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Afternoon Edition: May 20, 2021

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

Dr. Allison Arwady knocks on a door of a home in March in the Back of the Yards neighborhood to give the resident a mask and information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times file

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 high near 85 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 68. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 85.

Top story

Chicago bringing COVID-19 vaccines straight to older residents’ doors to boost uptake: ‘It’s a concierge service’

City officials say they need more seniors to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and they’ll bring it to folks’ doorsteps to make it happen.

Chicago has managed to keep pace with most state and national vaccination rates except when it comes to residents 65 or older. Only about 69% of Chicagoans in that category have gotten a shot, compared to 82% in that age group statewide and 85% across the U.S.

That’s why the Chicago Department of Public Health expanded its in-home vaccination program this week to offer dose-to-door delivery to anyone 65 or older, plus their caretakers and family members.

“We’ll problem solve and figure out how to get a vaccine to that person, no matter what their issue is, no matter what kind of vaccine they want, no matter where they live,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during an online Q&A today. “It’s a concierge service. … So if you’re over 65, no questions asked: We will bring (the) vaccine to your house at a time that’s convenient for you, and vaccinate anybody else, really, in your family or at home.”

Read Mitchell Armentrout’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. A week after the U.S. House threw out Jim Oberweis’ bid to overturn Rep. Lauren Underwood’s election, she spoke on the House floor yesterday. Underwood declared Oberweis’ baseless challenge a local battle in the ongoing nationwide war on truth.
  2. The General Assembly passed a bill that would require Illinois schools to report incidents of sexual assault by one student against another to the state’s Board of Education. It was one of multiple notable bills passed yesterday by the GA.
  3. Illinois public schools will be required to return to full-time in-person learning next fall. However, concerns remain about students who aren’t yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
  4. A local child seeking an organ transplant has found support from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. They are raising money for what is expected to be a lifetime of medical-related expenses.

A bright one

Becoming A Man participants show what happens when potential meets opportunity

Christopher Rucker II was emotionally floundering his freshman year at Bronzeville Scholastic Institute High School when he learned about the Becoming A Man (BAM) program that serves at-risk Chicago Public Schools youth.

His father, who promised to be in the audience when Rucker gave his eighth-grade valedictorian speech at Harold Washington Elementary, died of a sudden heart attack.

Soon after, his mother lost her job. Things were really, really tight. Life seemed dark.

Christopher Rucker II and Damontae Warren are visited by Dar’tavous Dorsey, then a supervisor with the lauded Chicago mentoring program Becoming A Man a week into their freshman year at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Rucker just finished college in 2 1⁄2 years with a 4.0 GPA. Warren will finish next fall, in 3 1⁄2 years. 
Christopher Rucker II and Damontae Warren, who were then students at Chicago Public Schools, visit Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark., during a college tour organized by the lauded Chicago mentoring program, Becoming A Man, here with then supervisor Dar’tavous Dorsey. Rucker just finished college in 2 1⁄2 years with a 4.0 GPA. Warren will finish next fall, in 3 1⁄2 years.
Provided

Then a BAM counselor invited Rucker to attend a meeting.

“A couple friends and I went. He started breaking it down. And something he said at that first session stays with me to this day. He said, ‘There’s no one way to be a man.’”

BAM, founded in 2001 to help young men navigate difficult circumstances, helped him see college as part of his future.

Rucker, now 21, was raised under challenging circumstances, mostly by his grandmother, in the Burnside, Chatham and South Deering neighborhoods.

BAM helped Rucker secure a full-ride scholarship to Philander Smith College, where he just graduated — within 2 1⁄2 years, and with a 4.0 GPA.

Read Maudlyne Ihejirika’s full story here.

From the press box

Former big league star CC Sabathia slammed Tony La Russa as “out of touch” today after the White Sox manager criticized Yermin Mercedes instead of standing up for him amid the controversy over the catcher hitting a homer on a 3-0 pitch in a blowout win.

Longtime Chicago sportscaster Mark Schanowski will join ABC 7 to help fill the void created when the station pulled Mark Giangreco off the air in January and fired him in March.

The Fire have a new president, Ishwara Glassman Chrein, and she will have a lot on her plate when she begins. Before joining the Fire, Glassman Chrein was the head of sports partnerships and business development at Yahoo Sports/Verizon Media.

Your daily question ☕

In honor of National Rescue Dog Day, tell us about when you adopted a pet. How’d you know they were the one?

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 what you thought of this year’s Lollapalooza lineup. Here’s what some of you said…

“I have big reservations because of the pandemic. Otherwise, I’d go to it.” — Ivan Ruíz

“I would like to see Foo but I know that they’ll only be on for an hour or so.” — Jackie Waldhier

“Like this lineup better than the 2020 lineup for sure. 2020 was a bunch of no-names.” — Paul Saboya

“Journey and Limp Bizkit! For a minute there I thought this was Naperville Ribfest.” — Mike Danahey

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

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