Afternoon Edition: May 3, 2021

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

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CPS CEO Janice Jackson listens during a press conference about vaccinating CPS teachers.

Pat Nabong/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.

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Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

This afternoon will be the calm before the storm this evening: mostly cloudy and a high around 74 degrees. Tonight there will be thunderstorms before 1 a.m. with a low near 52. Tomorrow there’s a chance for more storms in the morning with a high around 58.

Top story

CPS CEO Janice Jackson’s resignation will leave district without top 3 officials

Janice Jackson is leaving her post as chief executive of Chicago Public Schools when her contract expires at the end of June, she announced today.

Jackson’s departure comes at a critical juncture for the nation’s third-largest school system — not only as it begins its recovery from an unprecedented disruption to education with the majority of students still learning remotely, but also as two other top leaders are set to leave.

“While I feel there is still more work to be done in CPS, I also believe it is time to pass the torch to new leadership for the next chapter,” Jackson wrote in a letter to CPS families announcing her departure today.

“When I began this journey, I made a commitment to lead with integrity, courage, and excellence while bringing much needed stability to the district. I have delivered on that promise and will continue to advocate for the children of Chicago.”

At an afternoon news conference, Jackson said as she looks back on her tenure, she is “both proud and humbled and also a little bit tired if I’m being honest.”

Read Nader Issa and Fran Spielman’s full story on the resignations of Jackson and two other top CPS officials as the district sees a major shakeup.

More news you need

  1. More than 85% of the city’s ShotSpotter alerts between June 2019 and this April led to “dead-end deployments” by Chicago police, according to researchers at Northwestern University. Over 40,000 ShotSpotter alerts prompted no formal reports of any crime over a 21-month stretch — amounting to an average of 61 unfounded deployments each day.
  2. While carjackings have dropped 55% in Chicago since their peak in the winter, nearly 200 homicides have been committed in the city since the start of the year, according to CPD data. Five people were killed and at least 40 others were wounded in shootings across the city last weekend.
  3. A Logan Square man faces four counts of attempted murder after police say he drove onto a grass median in the neighborhood and struck a woman at a picnic. Timothy Nielsen, 58, drove his truck into a crowd Saturday after he “intentionally jumped a curb,” CPD said in a statement.
  4. Walgreens today launched mobile clinics in Chicago to bring COVID-19 vaccines to underserved communities — no appointments necessary. Starting Wednesday, some locations will also offer walk-in vaccinations with no online bookings required.
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A bright one

On the verge of a film project, Anna D. Shapiro announces exit from Steppenwolf

Anna D. Shapiro, a rising star in the theater and now the movie world, will step down in August as Steppenwolf Theatre’s artistic director, the company said Sunday.

She has held the title since 2015 and has been working on a succession plan for several months, as the end of her contract neared. Last week, news emerged that Shapiro is about to direct a film, “Bury the Lede,” about the 50-year tenure of White House correspondent Connie Lawn.

The script is by Joy Gregory, the Lookingglass Theatre co-founder who went on to work on TV’s “Jericho” and “Madam Secretary.”


Anna D. Shapiro has served as Steppenwolf Theatre artistic director since 2015.

Frank Ishman

While Shapiro earlier directed the filming of her National Theatre revival of “Of Mice and Men,” starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd, “Bury the Lede” will be her first work originating on the big screen.

An Evanston native, Shapiro has been a key national player in the stage world for more than a decade, since winning a Tony Award in 2008 for directing the Broadway production of “August: Osage County.” Earlier she directed the world premiere of the Tracy Letts drama at Steppenwolf.

Read Darel Jevens’ full story here.

From the press box

Days after drafting their expected left tackle of the future in Teven Jenkins, the Bears will cut veteran Charles Leno Jr., a source confirmed to our Patrick Finley. The Bears can save more than $9 million in salary cap space by cutting Leno with a post-June 1 designation

Bears GM Ryan Pace threw draft analysts for a loop with his aggressive move up from 20th to 11th in the first round to select Justin Fields. Mark Potash looks at the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the Bears’ 2021 draft moves – a far cry from the reaction four years ago when the team drafted Mitch Trubisky.

Your daily question ☕

What do you think of the proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive after Chicago founder Jean Baptiste Point DuSable?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: How do you feel about the Bears trading up to draft Ohio State QB Justin Fields? Here’s what some of you said...

“As a fan of the Bears for over 50 years this is probably the best I’ve felt about a QB we have drafted. Not since Jimmy Mac have I had such high hopes. Bear Down.” — John Kielbasa

“Best move the Bears have ever made at the QB position. Time will tell if it pans out, but the Bears, in my eyes, are in great hands right now.” — Dave Ebert

“Bad move. Fields will be another Ohio State [Mike] Tomczak. And the Bears gave up a first, fourth and fifth rounder.” — Michael Beaudoin

“It’s a good move. Fields, potentially, could be an All-Pro level quarterback as long as Chicago protects him with a solid offensive line. Fields has the speed, arm strength, and accuracy to be successful in the NFL. In addition, Fields doesn’t turn the ball over. Chicago made a good choice by moving up in the draft to get Fields.” — Mike Crenshaw

“#BearDown might have found their best QB in the team’s history. This is going to erase the 2017 mistake [of drafting Mitch Trubisky] if Justin Fields turns out to be what everyone thinks he is going to be.” — Victor Hernández

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