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Afternoon Edition: May 25, 2021

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

Tommie Gatewood Sr. poses for a portrait near 5312 W. North Avenue in North Austin, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Mr. Gatewood lost his son, Tommie Gatewood Jr., during a violent weekend that coincided with wide scale protests after George Floyd’s death.
Tommie Gatewood Sr. poses for a portrait near 5312 W. North Avenue in North Austin, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Mr. Gatewood lost his son, Tommie Gatewood Jr., during a violent weekend that coincided with wide scale protests after George Floyd’s death.
Anthony Vazquez/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 mostly cloudy with a slight chance of showers and a high near 85 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 67. Tomorrow there’s a chance of thunderstorms before it becomes sunny with a high near 83.

Top story

A year later, families mourn relatives killed during violent weekend post-George Floyd protests

Last May, Tommie Gatewood was looking forward to grabbing breakfast with his 27-year-old son, who was trying to get back on his feet after losing his job.

But later that month — before the breakfast happened — Gatewood got a call saying his son had been fatally shot in Chicago. He thought it was a cruel joke until a nephew who works in law enforcement confirmed the details.

His son, Tommie Gatewood Jr., was among at least 26 people who were killed during a violent weekend last May that overlapped with protests and unrest in Chicago over the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Without a clear plan, Chicago police officers found themselves outnumbered and unprepared as vandalism and unrest spread from downtown to neighborhood businesses and as concerns grew about violence amid the chaos, according to a report from the city’s office of the inspector general.

One year later, we spoke with three families who lost loved ones to gunfire that weekend.

“Tomorrow is not promised to you,” said Jerri Richards, whose son JaQuawn Newman was killed. “You try to live your life the right way, the best that you can, and you just pray. Take one day at a time.”

Read the full story from Elvia Malagón.

More news you need

  1. City Council is poised tomorrow to rename Outer Lake Shore Drive in honor of Jean Baptiste Point DuSable. The combined cost to the city, state and CTA would total $2.5 million, Ald. David Moore said.
  2. A year after protests in Chicago sounded calls for unity, shifting demographics, longstanding segregation and differing views on the role of police influence efforts to unite Black and Brown communities. Some activists say the calls to unite have not ended all differences, but the moment still mattered.
  3. Officials today announced the smallest tally of new COVID-19 cases reported in Illinois since March 15 as 808 more residents tested positive for COVID-19. Fewer people are being tested each day, but the average positivity rate is back down to a record low.
  4. Adam Toledo’s family announced today the founding of Adam’s Place, a nonprofit organization to help at-risk youth from Chicago and other Midwestern cities steer clear of trouble. It will be a rural sanctuary on farmland for historically underserved youth, the family’s attorneys said.
  5. Four years after a car crash left her paralyzed, Judy Mahoney is fighting for her job at Byrne Elementary, where she has worked for the last three years. Funding for the position was temporary, and Mahoney and her supporters called on CPS today to allow her to stay.
  6. Tribune Publishing’s CEO Terry Jimenez left the company today, the first day under new ownership for the Chicago-based company. Jimenez, who opposed the sale to Alden Global Capital, leaves with a $2.55 million package.
  7. A federal grand jury has accused 22 people of spending more than $2 million in bitcoin to access thousands of payment card accounts stolen from Kmart. The hack has victimized at least 80 of the retailer’s Chicago-area customers.

A bright one

Mister Kelly’s documentary to preview on WTTW-Channel 11

Chicago will get its first look at a new documentary about the famed Rush Street nightclub Mister Kelly’s this week on WTTW-Channel 11.

The film will air as a one-hour special at 8 p.m. Thursday, followed by a rerun at 10 p.m. Sunday. The full version, clocking in at 80 minutes, premieres nationally this fall.

The film includes live footage of performances from the club, where such greats as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Herbie Hancock and Lenny Bruce got their acts together during their up-and-coming years. Big names including Billie Holiday, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan chose the venue as the site of their live albums.

The marquee at Mister Kelly’s and Bellevue and Rush trumpets a Joan Rivers residency in this 1960s photo.
Chicago History Museum

The executive producer of the film is David Marienthal, whose father George and uncle Oscar operated Mister Kelly’s as well as two other prominent Chicago nightclubs of the era: the London House and the Happy Medium Theater.

“Our city was the entertainment epicenter of the country during that time,” Marienthal said in a statement, “and my father and uncle built an unrivaled talent incubator.”

Read Darel Jevens’ full story here.

From the press box

The Cubs have a vexing problem, and it’s not about hitting or pitching. Some players are creating their own competitive disadvantage by refusing to take the coronavirus vaccine, Rick Telander writes.

Bulls forward Patrick Williams showed flashes of immense two-way potential during his rookie season. Now he needs to embrace that mentality and run with it, according to veteran teammate Thad Young.

While the White Sox were having a good time on the field in a 5-1 win over the Cardinals, some of their fans got into a brawl in the bleachers that was caught on video by onlookers.

Your daily question ☕

As more fans return to stadiums, what is your most memorable experience attending a Chicago sports game? 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: How much has your daily routine returned to “normal” since being vaccinated? Here’s what some of you said…

“I’m fully vaccinated. Still taking the same pandemic precautions although I go to more places (rehab center for therapy, salon for pedicure), but not much else. Still too many unknowns to completely relax.” — Ayani Good

“I’m not carrying around constant anxiety.” — Angela Ballard

“My family had a baby shower last weekend in a park. We’re mostly health care workers and seniors.” — Felice Eleazar

“My routine has changed very much for the better. I actually made it to Wrigley Field for the first time since 2019! Also, I can visit relatives without the fear of a severe case of covid. It is wonderful!” — Jo Ann Fields

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

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