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Afternoon Edition: May 14, 2021

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

The yellow markers show where Society of the Divine Word clerics were credibly accused of having abused children. The reds dots are places where the same priests and brothers served during their careers. The locations of the markers are approximations. Frank Main, Robert Herguth / 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.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 70 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 51 degrees. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 65.

Top story

Exporting abusive priests: Catholic religious order based near Northbrook reveals abusers

In his four decades as a Catholic missionary in Ghana, the Rev. Ronald Lange has been credibly accused of sexually abusing children over “multiple years.”

That’s according to his order’s Chicago hub. Facing scrutiny over its predator priests, including one who’s now on trial in East Timor, Society of the Divine Word has for the first time revealed the names and past postings of clergy who’ve been part of the Chicago province and been deemed by its leaders to have been credibly accused of child sex abuse anywhere in the world.

Lange, 79, is one of two priests on that list who formally remain part of the Chicago province of the Society of the Divine Word, an international religious order that “focuses on missionary work” and since 1875 has “entered lands where people are in need” and shared “God’s love.”

He’s also one of 26 current, former or deceased members the province now says have had substantiated accusations against them of having sexually abused children.

Read the full story from Robert Herguth here.

More news you need

  1. Mayor Lori Lightfoot nominated Annette Nance-Holt today to be the Chicago Fire Department’s commissioner. She would be the first woman to lead CFD in its 162-year history.
  2. Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is apparently seeking an early end to his two-year supervised release, left intact when his prison sentence was commuted last year by then-President Trump. Prosecutors don’t oppose the move, which remains as a formality to bring an end to the corruption case from more than a decade ago.
  3. A day after the CDC announced new mask recommendations, state and local officials have yet to issue an updated set of business guidelines regarding face coverings. “It’s just adding confusion to things for us,” one restaurant manager said today.
  4. Having lost many loved ones to Huntington’s disease, Dave and Susie Hodgson are preparing for the Naperville Riverwalk Sunday. The couple started the walk in 2005 and have since raised $1.2 million for the cause.
  5. Twin Chicago doctors Brittani James and Brandi Jackson are working to eliminate entrenched racism in the medical profession. “We’re teaching how to see it and how to undo it,” Jackson said.
  6. There are fears over what could happen to a towering stained glass artwork at the financially troubled Chicago Loop Synagogue and a mosaic at River Grove’s old Guerin Catholic high school. The synagogue’s president and school’s former principal each say public support could help.
  7. Riot Fest will return this year, with Nine Inch Nails, the Smashing Pumpkins and Vic Mensa among the headliners announced today. Three-day passes are available now, while single-day passes will go on sale next week.

A bright one

A music teacher at Bronzeville Classical Elementary School got the surprise of a lifetime yesterday morning when he thought he was walking into a union meeting but instead received a Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching.

Reggie Spears has been teaching music for over a decade, including the last three years at the Bronzeville school, but said he didn’t ever expect to win this award.

“I was just doing what I thought was best. It never even crossed my mind that this would be a possibility for me,” Spears said.

Teacher Reggie Spears (green shirt) surrounded by some of his students at Bronzeville Classical Elementary School after being surprised with his Golden Apple award on Thursday, May 13, 2021.
Teacher Reggie Spears (in center in green shirt) is surrounded by students at Bronzeville Classical Elementary School after he was surprised with a Golden Apple award on Thursday.
Grace Asiegbu/Sun-Times

Annually, the Chicago-based Golden Apple Foundation honors educators from across the state for the positive and lasting effects they have on their students’ lives, and the impact they have on building stronger communities.

Spears is one of 10 teachers who received the award this year, which saw a record-breaking number — 700 — of nominations of pre-K through third grade teachers.

Golden Apple recipients each receive $5,000 and a spring sabbatical provided by Northwestern University.

Read Grace Asiegbu’s full story here.

From the press box

When the Sky open their season tomorrow afternoon against the Mystics, they’ll try to put into action their plan to put a greater emphasis on defense. Candace Parker, the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, said there’s still a lot more to work on but establishing that identity is a step in the right direction.

Two weeks of Chicago celebrating him as the quarterback to save the Bears from their decades of offensive tedium is nothing to rookie Justin Fields, who’s been in the spotlight for years. “I’m made for this,” he said. “I’m built for this. It’s nothing new to me.”

And the Blackhawks wasted little time after the season ended this week, signing forward Henrik Borgstrom and goalie Arvid Soderblom to two-year deals. The two will add even more options to what should be a crowded competition for roster spots next season, Ben Pope writes.

Your daily question ☕

Which of Chicago’s summer festivals are you most excited to attend again?

Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: Where is your favorite place to see springtime flowers in the city? Here’s some of what you said…

“Magnificent Mile, with a stop at Billy Goat Tavern.” — Deborah Fuller Tobias

“Downtown, or the Conservatory.” — Jackie Waldhier

“Michigan Avenue.” — Erika Hoffmann

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