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Afternoon Edition: May 21, 2021

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

The theater building at Lake Forest High School, formerly named for David Miller. One of two former teachers named in lawsuits filed Friday accusing them of sexual abusing students and the school of failing to do anything about them.
Bob Chiarito/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 85 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 69 with isolated showers. Tomorrow there will be isolated showers with a high near 86.

Top story

7 former students sue Lake Forest High School, claiming inaction on sex abuse by 2 teachers

In two federal lawsuits filed today, Lake Forest High School faces accusations that two former teachers sexually abused students.

The suits were filed in Chicago by seven former students against the school and Lake Forest Community High School District 115. One also names former Lake Forest High School driver’s education teacher Cynthia Martin, and the other names former teacher David Miller as defendants.

The lawsuit accusing Miller says he targeted boys facing difficult circumstances at home to “groom and sexually abuse male students for nearly 35 years.”

In the other suit, Martin is accused of “using her home and the provision of alcohol to sexually abuse a female student.”

Both suits, which seek unspecified monetary damages, say school officials were aware of the allegations and did nothing.

Read Bob Chiarito’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. Hundreds gathered in Logan Square Park yesterday to rail against Mayor Lightfoot’s litany of perceived failures as she marked the halfway point of her first term in office. The group eventually marched toward Lightfoot’s nearby home, with some hoisting mock report cards filled with failing grades.
  2. Just shy of 5 million Illinois residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (about 39% of the population), public health officials said today. The state’s daily vaccination rate has ticked up slightly this week, but it’s still down 42% overall compared to mid-April.
  3. Tribune Publishing directors said today that shareholders approved Alden Global Capital’s offer to buy the company, heralding a new and uneasy era at the Chicago-based media company. An announcement that Patrick Soon-Shiong, the company’s second-largest shareholder, abstained raised questions about the outcome.
  4. The University of Illinois Chicago is renaming its John Marshall Law School, citing the Supreme Court justice’s history of trading and enslaving hundreds of people. The school will be known as the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law.
  5. The last day for the walkthrough portion of the United Center mass vaccination site will be Monday and the drive-thru portion will dole out its final shots June 24. About 287,000 doses have been administered at the site since it launched March 9.
  6. The 600 or so full-time faculty who aren’t on a tenure track at UIC are being “held hostage” by the administration, a union leader for the group said yesterday. About half of all faculty at UIC don’t have tenure and instead work on fixed-term contracts, leading to much uncertainty, the union says.
  7. Chicago activist and former mayoral candidate Ja’Mal Green crashed a news conference yesterday held by Lightfoot for not backing his efforts to bring a youth center to Auburn Gresham. Green later said he got “pretty emotional” when the mayor said she was unaware of his proposal — which the Sun-Times wrote about last week.

A bright one

Piping plover pair Rose and Monty have laid four eggs on Montrose Beach Dunes

Rose and Monty, the piping plover pair who became famous in Chicago after mating on one of the city’s crowded beaches, are growing their brace.

The endangered birds have produced four eggs at their breeding grounds at Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area on Chicago’s North Side.

A wire enclosure protects the nest and eggs from predators. Monty and Rose can freely enter and exit to take turns incubating their eggs.

Monty, a piping plover, sits on the eggs in a wired enclosure put up by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to protect the nest from predators.
Monty, a piping plover, sits on the eggs in a wired enclosure put up by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to protect the nest from predators.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

In early April, the Chicago Park District expanded the Montrose Beach Dunes Natural Area an additional 3.1 acres to provide more permanent protection for the piping plovers and other endangered wildlife. The natural area is a prime bird watching spot covered daily by birders.

There are about 70 breeding pairs of plovers in the Great Lakes area, officials said.

This is the third year the pair has nested on Montrose Beach Dunes.

Read Zinya Salfiti’s full story here.

From the press box

With teammates rallying around Yermin Mercedes and vowing not to let the flap involving manager Tony La Russa distract them, the White Sox are like a band of brothers, Daryl Van Schouwen writes.

Cubs president Jed Hoyer sharply expressed his disappointment yesterday that his players have not reached the 85% coronavirus vaccination threshold that has relaxed restrictions for other MLB teams. Hoyer also said it’s putting the team at a competitive disadvantage.

Your daily question ☕

As city aldermen attempt to corral rogue tow truck drivers, we want to know: What do you think about the tow truck industry in Chicago?

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 to tell us about when you adopted a pet and explain how you knew they were the one. Here’s what some of you said…

“My husband and I went to Chicago Animal Care and Control to find a cat. We didn’t want a kitten. My husband was suffering from depression and the doctor suggested a pet. We were walking through the cat area and all of a sudden a paw shot out of a cage and stopped Joe in his tracks. Harry rubbed up against the cage and wanted Joe to pet him, purring away. The volunteer took Harry out and he climbed right in Joe’s arms. He chose us. He was Joe’s buddy for years. When Joe passed away Harry and I mourned together. He is now my baby!” — Roberta Nunziato

“Our friend was moving to an apartment where she could not have her dog. We helped her, and the pup instantly became a part of our family. Little did we know three of our dogs would die within two years. So this dog became the love we needed at that time.” — Donna Schraeder

“Molly was 3 months old when I got her, and she was classified as a male at first (that’s how overlooked she was). They had us choose three dogs to meet and I saw this small little thing huddled behind all the dogs jumping around. She peeked through and saw me, wiggled out and came up to the glass. Had to meet her. They have you sit in a room and bring in each dog separately, letting the dog come up to you and see if there’s something there. The first two dogs were sweet and all, but when Molly came in she ran straight to me like she knew me. I mean, instant connection. She had scars all over her face and had that scared look in her eyes constantly, just a quivering mess under my legs. But the people there said it was the most out of her they had seen. My girl will be eight in October. She’s still afraid of loud noises and big balloons among other things but she’s the best companion ever.” — Andrew Malort

“While waiting for her adoption paperwork to get approved, my favorite song (which is not popular or well known) started playing. I knew immediately it was meant to be.” — Angie DeRosa

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