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Afternoon Edition: May 11, 2021

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

The Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 shown in Worcester, Massachusetts on April 22, 2021.
Joseph Prezioso/Getty

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 sunny with a high near 53 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 38 degrees. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 61.

Top story

City to offer vaccinations to 12-to-15-year-olds starting Thursday

All city-operated vaccination sites on Thursday will begin offering Pfizer vaccinations to kids between the ages of 12 and 15.

The announcement this morning came a day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for that age group and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to grant full approval tomorrow.

“Like adults, all youth age 12 and older are encouraged to get the vaccine,” said Chicago’s chief health official Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement.

The statement said city-operated vaccine site appointments for Thursday can be booked through the City’s call center at 312-746-4835 or through www.zocdoc.com/vaccine, although the website as of 10 a.m. this morning still indicated that anyone under 16 was not eligible.

“Current data show that the vaccine is safe and effective in children, and it not only protects our kids, but also their families and our communities,” Arwady said.

Read the full story from Mitch Dudek here.

More news you need

  1. Illinoisans have now rolled up their sleeves more than 10 million times for COVID-19 vaccinations, public health officials announced today. The state hit its latest shot benchmark as 58,709 doses were administered yesterday.
  2. Community activist Ja’Mal Green is accusing Mayor Lori Lightfoot of stopping a $15 million youth center he wants to build on the site of a shuttered elementary school in Auburn-Gresham in retaliation for Green’s outspoken criticism of the mayor. It’s one in multiple public breaks with the mayor since Green endorsed Lightfoot in 2019, after ending his own mayoral bid.
  3. Architect Helmut Jahn’s untimely death has reignited debate over the sale of his renowned — and reviled — James R. Thompson Center. Preservation advocates say Jahn’s death “really does cement the argument that the Thompson Center should be preserved.” But Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who put the building up for sale last week, said the building doesn’t fall under the category of great, artistic work.
  4. It’s not every day you get to meet your childhood hero, let alone call them your teammate. But Chicago Sky’s Azurá Stevens gets to do just that, playing alongside the legendary Candace Parker. Stevens even got to show Parker a doll she made for a middle school project on Parker in a full-circle moment.

A bright one

Urban Growers Collective teaches divested communities how to grow — and cook — food locally

Many of Chicago’s intentionally-divested communities lack viable access to fruits and vegetables — and there’s an ongoing debate about which entity is to blame, according to a 2018 study detailing supermarkets and food access.

In the meantime, the folks at Urban Growers Collective are teaching those communities how to grow fruits and vegetables at several farms around the city.

From left: Siobhan Beal, Malcolm Evans, Laurell Sims and Marshall Mitchell of Urban Growers Collective, an organization that creates farms and gardens in the South and West Sides of Chicago, pose for a picture in the farm in the South Chicago neighborhood, Tuesday afternoon, May 4, 2021. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
From left: Siobhan Beal, Malcolm Evans, Laurell Sims and Marshall Mitchell of Urban Growers Collective, an organization that creates farms and gardens in the South and West Sides of Chicago, pose for a picture in the farm in the South Chicago neighborhood, Tuesday afternoon, May 4, 2021. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times,

Urban Growers’ co-founders, Erika Allen and Laurell Sims noticed discrepancies over time, prompting them to step in and assist communities branded as “food insecure.”

Siobhan Beal (from left), Malcolm Evans, Laurell Sims and Marshall Mitchell of Urban Growers Collective, an organization that creates farms and gardens in the South and West Sides of Chicago, are photographed at the collective’s South Chicago neighborhood farm. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The collective operates eight “urban farms” across the city in neighborhoods such as South Chicago, Bridgeport, and Riverdale’s Altgeld Gardens and Phillip Murray Homes, a housing project long known for being a symbol for environmental racism nicknamed the “toxic doughnut,” according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

Each site operates “production-oriented” farms where Urban Growers staff members offer educational opportunities for leadership development, training and food distribution. Each farm exposes communities — adults and teens — to organic growing methods, growing practices and year-round production strategies.

Read Evan F. Moore’s full story here.

From the press box

After the Blackhawks’ season-ending loss to the Stars last night, Ben Pope looks at a season in which the team was far from perfect, but surprisingly compelling at times.

Before the Sky traded Gabby Williams to the Sparks, the talented forward requested a trade back last month, GM James Wade said yesterday. Wade cited disagreements over her role on the team and her unwillingness to participate in training camp before joining the French national team for EuroBasket as reasons that the Sky decided to move on.

Your daily question ☕

It’s National Eat What You Want Day, so we want to know: What are you having for dinner tonight?

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: What’s your favorite piece of architecture in Chicago? Here’s some of what you said…

“Buckingham Fountain. So beautiful. It sometimes feels like you’re in another part of the world. Like Italy or Greece. It’s just so grand. Magnificent!” — Sandra Sanchez

“Crain Communications Building, aka the Diamond building. The architecture of this building is unique to Chicago’s skyline. It’s recognizable at first glance and the windows adorn this structure with a vision of reflective strength. As a small child, back in 1983 when it was built, I remember being in awe of its shape and beauty. Seeing it makes me feel the love I have for my city.” — Leslie Kollene Warren

“The Wrigley Building on Michigan Ave., because it is fanciful and magnificent altogether. Flying buttresses on the top floors are perfect.” — Kathey Koziol

“The Water Tower. It survived the Chicago Fire, as did my great-grandparents. So it has always been my connection to Chicago, its past, and to my family history in Chicago.” — Betty Blomfield

“I love all of the details found in and on the Palmolive and Fisher buildings. The Mansueto and Harper libraries at the University of Chicago are both breathtaking as well.” — Jonathan Raymond

“The John Hancock building. It has such sleek lines, nice color and the antennas are equal lengths.” — Kelly Naughton

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

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