Afternoon Edition: April 8, 2021

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Afternoon Edition: April 8, 2021

Faye Jenkins, a CPS cafeteria worker at Franklin Fine Arts Center, stands outside her apartment building, Monday, April 5, 2021.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be cloudy and rainy with a high around 59 degrees. More rain is in the forecast for tonight, which will have a low near 50 degrees. Tomorrow will be very similar: rainy with a high near 60 degrees.

Top story

Cafeteria worker sues CPS, says she suffered brain aneurysm after principal threw bottle at her

An elementary school cafeteria worker said she suffered persistent headaches for months and was eventually diagnosed with a brain aneurysm after her ex-principal, who faces a criminal trial next month, threw a water bottle at her head last spring.

The Chicago Public Schools lunchroom manager is now suing over her injuries, accusing the school district of failing to protect her from the former principal despite a series of past misconduct complaints.

Kurt Jones, the former leader of Franklin Fine Arts Center in Old Town, was charged with a felony last June, three months after the incident that left cafeteria worker Faye Jenkins with a bloody cut above her eye.

During the first week of pandemic school closures in March 2020, Jenkins and other workers were cleaning up after their meal distribution program wrapped for the day when Jones — who later said he and the staff was “horsing around” and “playing dodgeball” — threw a hard, reusable plastic water bottle at Jenkins, striking her in the face.

We first reported details of the incident as well as several additional allegations that Jones had created a toxic environment for parents, students and staff.

Given these previous complaints, the school district “knew, or reasonably should have known, that [Jones] was demonstrating a pattern of inappropriate and improper conduct towards both his students and employees,” Jenkins alleged in a nine-page, four-count complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court last month against Jones, CPS and the Board of Education.

Read Nader Issa’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker is encouraging Chicagoans to snap up some of the 150,000 new COVID-19 vaccine appointments dropping across the suburbs next week for residents 16 and up. The city won’t make adult vaccine eligibility universal until April 19.
  2. Doctors said this morning they’re “optimistic” as brain activity returns to a 21-month-old boy wounded in a road-rage shooting earlier this week on Lake Shore Drive. But doctors said it’s still too early to make any meaningful predictions about the boy’s full recovery.
  3. A driver in Oak Park opened fire during a traffic stop this morning, wounding a police officer before being shot in return. Both are hospitalized with serious injuries but expected to survive, a village spokesperson said.
  4. A Chicago man admitted to a federal judge today that he set fire to a Chicago police SUV amid rioting downtown last May. He now faces a likely sentence of 8-14 months behind bars after pleading guilty to obstructing law enforcement amid a civil disorder.
  5. The fourth season of Showtime’s “The Chi” will kick off May 23, aiming to focus on relationships between the Black community and the police. Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, West Side native and rapper Da Brat, and Chicago native Jason Weaver are among new additions to the cast.
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A bright one

A nose for morels: Teaching dogs to help in the hunt for morel mushrooms

From dogs and pigs helping humans hunt truffles, it’s a small step to teach dogs to help humans find morel mushrooms.

“It has been a very popular class,” said trainer Inga From of Positive Gun Dogs of Minnesota. “I think they just want to get out with their dogs and give them something to do. If they do find morels, that is a bonus.”

Helluva a bonus.

From started her class for dogs and morels last spring, which meant it switched to remote learning. She ended up with many more participants than she expected or what she would have had live. Her live classes are for eight to 10.



Morel season has been going for a couple weeks in southern Illinois and should soon pick up around the Chicago area. Two days ago, the progression map for the Facebook group Illinois Morel Mushrooms indicated finds as far north as Henderson County.

Can your dog be trained to find morels?

“I found that in the class, you would be surprised, any kind of dog can do it that does nose work,” From said. “The hard part for the mushroom dogs is to leave them alone.”

Read Dale Bowman’s full story here as you ponder whether your dog can help you find some tasty treats in the forest.

From the press box

Days before the NHL trade deadline, the Blackhawks swung a move this morning with the Panthers to take a shot at reviving the career of 2018 first-round pick Henrik Borgstrom. The team had to take on the contract of Brett Connolly, who’s signed through 2023, in order to get the deal done.

You’ll want to check out the Sky’s new jerseys for the upcoming WNBA season, which the league unveiled this morning. Nike stepped up its game with these new uniforms, which are titled Heroine Edition, Explorer Edition and Rebel Edition.

And Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg joined The Fran Spielman Show to discuss his new role as a multiplatform analyst for Marquee Sports Network. Listen to the full episode here.

Your daily question ☕

Which Chicago professional sports team has the best uniforms? Tell us why.

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: In honor of National Beer Day, what’s your favorite local brewery? Here’s what some of you said…

Maplewood Brewery & Distillery. Best beer, spirits, Lounge and staff in city of Chicago, state of Illinois and beyond.” — Matt Pomatto

Begyle Brewing is my absolute fav! Great selection of beers for all beer lovers!” — Becca Cleeland

Whiner at Back of the Yards!” — Jorge Matías

Brewbakers. South Side staple” — Ryan Flynn

Exit Strategy Brewing Companyin Forest Park. Great mainstay beers and rotating lab selections. Food is good enough that sometimes I just order that – though usually I end up with a beer or two as well. They also have been really cautious during the pandemic and have been very creative to keep the business going.” — Rafael Rosa

Milk Money Brewing in LaGrange. Rather than “make a mark” they perfected what makes beer tasty. The beer is top-notch and creatively canned, and their food — Detroit-style pizza and fantastic fried chicken — I can eat daily.” — Chris Arnold

Whiner, Marz, and Hop Butcher for the World.” — Dave Pietruszka

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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