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.
This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a chance of scattered showers and a high near 53 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 38 degrees. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 55.
With the clouds parting on cue and the lake glistening in the distance, city leaders officially opened the last stretch of the much-delayed Navy Pier Flyover project today.
“It’s taken a while,” Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi said of the project that began in 2014. “But we did it as funding became available and we never gave up. We kept pushing forward.”
The flyover is the final section of the $64 million project, which stretches 18 miles from South 71st to Hollywood.
“The completion of this project will make our lakefront shine that much more brightly,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Pedestrians and cyclists alike praised the widened, open-air feeling of the new path that tracks the bridge over the mouth of the Chicago River.
Tom Ross, 68, of Streeterville was on the bridge with his wife, Carla Ross.
“Whatever time of year it was, it was dark and gloomy and falling apart a little bit (before),” Tom Ross said. “It wasn’t open like this. This is going to be gorgeous this summer to look at the lake.”
More news you need
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot today accused a hacker gang of demanding ransom in exchange for keeping secret a massive cache of City Hall emails that are now getting widespread attention. Lightfoot tried to walk a political tightrope with her comments, alternately questioning the legitimacy of the emails, claiming they were taken out of context and urging reporters to be “very, very cautious” before drawing any conclusions.
- Among those hacked documents, our reporters uncovered records showing the city’s handling of fatal shootings by cops continues to violate state law. Find all of our coverage so far of the contents of City Hall’s hacked emails, including the story on how COPA’s violating state law, here.
- Three men who died last week after apparently igniting an explosive powder near Starved Rock State Park were relatives from Chicago, the coroner’s office said today. Police say no foul play is suspected and the men were likely trying to start a fire to cook food that was found nearby.
- Illinois health officials reported the state’s lowest COVID-19 daily caseload in almost two months this afternoon. Get the latest coronavirus numbers here.
- The state and city will hold free vaccination clinics in 10 major office buildings around the Chicago area in an attempt to get even more employees back into their workplaces soon. There are seven locations in the city and three in the suburbs.
- The Jussie Smollett case took another step today when a Cook County judge scheduled a July 14 evidentiary hearing looking into whether one of the actor’s lawyers had contact with the two brothers who were allegedly paid to stage a phony hate crime in 2019. Smollett will be required to attend the hearing in person, and he said today he intends to be there.
- “Chicago Med” star Torrey DeVitto confirmed on social media that she’s dating Cubs manager David Ross. “Love him madly,” the actress captioned on an Instagram post that shows her kissing Ross on the cheek.
A bright one
How exceptional a young classical pianist is Joshua Mhoon? Pretty darn exceptional.
Consider that the senior at the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in the West Loop applied to seven of the top music schools in the United States, and not only was he accepted at all of them, he received scholarships from each.
“He is a very talented guy,” said James Giles, a professor of piano at Northwestern University who has been his private teacher for three years. “He has a lot of things going for him musically and intellectually. So, he’s able to play at a very high level.”
Mhoon, who will be 18 in July, ultimately picked the famed Juilliard School in New York. He will be a student of Emanuel Ax, who just happens to be a frequent musical partner of cellist Yo-Yo Ma and one of this country’s most respected concert keyboardists.
But there is one hitch. His total expenses for the first year, including tuition, housing and fees, will be $79,000, and his scholarship only covers $42,000 of that. Undeterred, he and his family launched a GoFundMe page that as of Sunday had raised $20,170 toward a goal of $34,000. (He has other scholarships that will cover the remaining difference.)
If all works out, and he is sure it will, he begins school on Aug. 24.
From the press box
Mark Giangreco rubbed some people the wrong way, but he delighted, informed and supported countless more. The longtime Chicago sports broadcaster reflected on his 39-year run on the city’s airwaves and his departure from ABC 7 amid controversy with our Jeff Agrest.
Coby White has been playing better recently, but is it too little, too late for the Bulls’ second-year guard? Joe Cowley looks at White’s situation ahead of a big offseason for his future in Chicago.
For Adbert Alzolay and his wife, Diana Inzunza, food has been something that’s made them closer. Alzolay and Inzunza discussed how improved nutrition has also played a role in the Cubs right-hander’s emergence in the team’s pitching staff with our Russell Dorsey.
Your daily question ☕
What’s your favorite piece of architecture in Chicago? 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.
On Friday, we asked you: What’s a personal passion project you’re working on right now?Here’s what some of you said...
“Working on growing my art business. I am a newspaper collage artist that uses local newspaper in my work such as the Chicago Sun Times!” — Catherine Elizabeth
“I’m working on recording all the songs my friend and I have written for ourselves over the last 10 years.” — Patrick Ryan Rodriguez
“Working on my debut solo album for a local indie label.” — Kao Ra Zen
“My brother and I are working on our Jeeps.” — Fātima Moḥammed
“Working on our local Military Museum in River Grove. Preserving local folks military items from gear to documents. Peace time or war time service, displaying the life and times of military service to the nation.” — Richard Wojewnik
“A couple of guitars from parts that I’ve acquired but didn’t have the time to assemble.” — Todd Mills
“Painting hibiscus flowers using a water color technique with acrylics.” — Roni Schmidt
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