Afternoon Edition: May 4, 2021

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

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The Auto Show will be the first convention held at McCormick Place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/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 cloudy with a high near 56 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 44 degrees. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 60 degrees.

Top story

Lightfoot sets goal to ‘fully open’ Chicago by July 4

McCormick Place will reawaken from its 14-month, pandemic-induced slumber with the July 15 return of the Chicago Auto Show — and Mayor Lori Lightfoot said her goal is to get the city “fully open” by July 4.

“I am working night and day toward this goal. … But, we and I need you to continue to be on this journey with us. And that means getting vaccinated now — as soon as possible,” Lightfoot told reporters at McCormick Place, where details of the auto show return were announced today.

“Every day that our COVID-19 metrics continue to tick downward brings us a day closer to being able to put this pandemic in the rearview mirror. And we are too close to accomplishing this mission to give up now. Our goal … is to be fully open by July 4th.”

Getting Chicago “fully open” by July 4 weekend also could mean the return of Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago and the Air & Water Show, the city’s most popular and iconic summer events.

“Don’t skip to the end of the chapter, There’s more coming,” the mayor said.

Just last week, Lightfoot vowed to be more cautious than other major cities in reopening Chicago. She said the last thing she wanted to do is to move too quickly, only to be forced to shut things down yet again.

Asked how that jibes with her goal of being “fully open by July 4th,” the mayor cited “steady progress” in all the health metrics that Chicago follows and “modeling” that suggests those trends will continue.

Read Fran Spielman’s full story with the latest on Chicago’s reopening plans here.

More news you need

  1. The 2021 Chicago Auto Show will be a trial run of sorts for other conventions awaiting green lights. There will be an outdoor section, tickets will be sold online only and masks will be required. Mitch Dudek and Rachel Hinton have more details on how the convention will be held.
  2. TY Johnson, a 17-year-old local basketball star who’s committed to play at Loyola, was shot last night in Englewood when someone in a passing car opened fire on him and an 18-year-old woman while they were outside. Johnson was grazed in the back of his head and brought to a nearby hospital; he’s now at home and resting.
  3. Indiana landed back on Chicago’s coronavirus travel quarantine list today as the neighboring state sees a surge in cases. The travel order, which calls for those returning from Indiana to quarantine for 10 days, doesn’t apply to people who are two weeks removed from their final vaccine dose.
  4. Keegan-Michael Key, the former Second City star who went on to co-create the iconic sketch show “Key & Peele,” will host “Saturday Night Live” for the first time later this month. Key, who left Chicago in 2004 to join “Mad TV,” will host the May 15 episode with musical guest Olivia Rodrigo.
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A bright one

CSO plans to resume in-person concerts May 27 at Symphony Center

The sounds of in-person classical music are returning to Symphony Center.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association today announced the first CSO concert performances with live audiences in attendance at Orchestra Hall (220 S. Michigan) since the pandemic shutdown of all performing arts venues in March 2020.

The series of concerts, programmed in conjunction with maestro Riccardo Muti, will take place May 27-June 13 “and feature music for brass and percussion, string ensembles and orchestra,” today’s announcement said.


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and audiences will be returning to Orchestra Hall later this month.

©Todd Rosenberg Photography

The concerts will be presented with adherence to current state and city COVID-19 guidelines for public events, including reduced-capacity audiences, mandatory face masks for audience and staff, hand-sanitizing stations, and an HVAC fresh air system that meets current standards.

Due to social distancing guidelines, musicians must be a minimum of six feet apart on stage, which means the orchestra will be reduced to 45 musicians on stage depending on the program (some concerts will feature smaller, CSO ensembles).

Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. May 11, at or by phone at (312) 294-3000.

Get more details on the upcoming CSO schedule from Miriam di Nunzio’s full story here.

From the press box

The Cubs put three players – infielder Nico Hoerner and pitchers Jake Arrieta and Dan Winkler – on the 10-day injured list today. The team added Ildemaro Vargas, Kyle Ryan and Keegan Thompson to the big league roster to fill those spots.

If it is audition time for the sinking Bulls, unheralded wing Javonte Green is ready to prove his worth, Joe Cowley writes. Green, 27, put up seven points and three rebounds in 11 minutes off the bench in the loss to Philadelphia last night.

Your daily question ☕

What was it like when you saw a “Star Wars” movie for the first time?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: What do you think of the proposal to rename Lake Shore Drive after Chicago founder Jean Baptiste Point DuSable? Here’s what some of you said...

“It’s a very bad idea. Lake Shore Drive is neutral and descriptive. It is the jewel in the necklace of Chicago that we all enjoy. Honor the lake, which is the true reason we’re all here. Also, why put thousands through an address change that no one asked for or wants? Just do not do this.” — Roberta Naftulin Siegel

“They can name it anything they want. It will always be Lake Shore Drive. It’s always going to be Sears Tower, and it’ll always be Comiskey Park.” — Jan Hughes

“Seriously wasting our taxpayers money and time. They really should be focusing on more important matters and issues rather than changing the name of a street that’s been perfectly fine.” — Evelyn Ruby

“Absolutely not. It is Lake Shore Drive and should remain as it runs along the lake. There are several areas already named DuSable, including a museum, which is great.” — Kathy Scardina

“Change Columbus Drive to DuSable instead. Lake Shore Drive is iconic and known around the world.” — Julie Randall Petertil

“Great idea! What better tribute to the city’s founder? Maybe it’s long overdue.” — Robert Michael Jones

“Great idea to honor Chicago founder, but like a proposal to rename Columbus Drive through Grant Park instead of Lake Shore Drive. Could also replace the Columbus statue with DuSable.” — Lainey Elaine

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