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Afternoon Edition: June 17, 2021

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

The Bears have played at Soldier Field since 1971.
Robert A. Davis

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 91 degrees. Tonight there will be showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1 a.m., with a low around 71. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a chance for more rain early on and a high near 92.

Top story

Bears submit bid for land in Arlington Heights as potential new stadium site

The possibility of the Bears leaving Soldier Field for a new stadium in Arlington Heights became significantly more realistic once the team put in a bid to buy the Arlington International Racecourse property.

The potential relocation had been little more than rumor and logical speculation until the team announced its bid today. While the Bears said it was “to explore all options” and “further evaluate the property,” they wouldn’t have bid if they weren’t legitimately considering a move.

The Bears have played at Soldier Field since 1971 and have a lease running through 2033. The organization doesn’t consider that lease to be a barrier, a source said, because it could negotiate a buyout and construction on a new facility would take years anyway.

Jason Lieser explains what this could mean for the city here.

More news you need

  1. The FBI has increased its reward to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest of a second person involved in the murder of 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams. An arrest warrant was issued for Devontay Anderson, 21, after he was charged with first-degree murder.
  2. Two coal-fired power plants in the Chicago area, both major sources of air pollution, will be closed by their owner in June of next year. The decision by NRG follows months of debate among state lawmakers about closing all coal plants by 2035.
  3. Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared racism a public health crisis in the city during a news conference today. She pointed to a recent report showing the concerning life expectancy gap between Black and non-Black Chicagoans.
  4. A federal judge in New York questioned a member of R. Kelly’s legal team today about her ties to a girlfriend of Kelly and an alleged victim in the federal racketeering indictment filed against him. This comes amid ongoing turmoil within Kelly’s legal team.
  5. Cook County workers — including custodians, technicians and administrative staff — plan to go on strike, protesting what they say are inadequate wages and burdensome health premiums. In total, about 2,500 workers plan to strike June 24, a union official said.
  6. The second of three people accused of trying to pay off an Oak Lawn trustee for the benefit of a red-light camera company has admitted his role in the 2017 scheme. Former Worth Township Supervisor John O’Sullivan pleaded guilty to the bribery scheme today.
  7. JP Morgan Chase said it plans to triple investment on the South Side and West Side to $150 million. The goal is to create and preserve low-income housing and help small businesses get access to capital.
  8. Talks of a lawsuit regarding the botched police raid on Anjanette Young’s home broke down this week, as Young called out Lightfoot in a news conference yesterday. Young demanded Lightfoot deliver on promises to reach a quick settlement and support reforms that could have prevented the 2019 raid.

A bright one

Pampered parrot escapes, miraculously found safe 5 miles away by another bird lover

In the dark hours last weekend — when she couldn’t sleep, when she was sick with worry — Teodora Ateska tried to imagine what she might have done to make him behave this way.

But it didn’t make any sense. Ateska had always showered him with kisses and fed him bite-size pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables (organic whenever possible). She took him camping and on bike rides in a special backpack with a clear plastic bubble so that he, too, could enjoy the views.

Despite all of this, Ateska’s beloved Quaker parrot, “Stole,” made the decision to escape from the 26-year-old’s second-floor North Side apartment the morning of June 12 through a tiny hole he’d pecked in a window screen.

Teodora Ateska and her beloved Quaker parrot, “Stole.”
Provided

“Oh, my God, I was in shock,” said Ateska, a safety manager for a trucking company and a native Macedonian.

But this story doesn’t end in tragedy.

Somehow, miraculously, Stole’s bout of insanity ended when he alighted onto the shoulder of a woman about 5 miles away in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. The fellow bird lover seized his little green-and-white body, put him in a cage and then found Ateska through one of her frantic social media posts.

Stefano Esposito has more on Ateska and Stole’s story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How do you feel about the possibility of a new Bears stadium in Arlington Heights?

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 do you feel about the city and state making Juneteenth an official holiday? Here’s what some of you said…

“It was kind of embarrassing when people from other countries knew the date and the significance but it was not celebrated here. It is about time.” — Fred O’Neal

“It doesn’t benefit me in any way as a Black person, but it’s kind of cool. As virtues to signal go, ‘owning human beings is bad’ is a pretty good virtue.” — Julia Harris

“This is why we have personal days off. People can use them for whatever they want.” — Frank Farej

“I don’t care what your political views are or the color of your skin. This is a celebration of Freedom, overcoming injustice and living up to our creed, ‘All Men are created equal.’ More Americans died in the Civil War than in any other war. Juneteenth celebrates their victory and struggle. Ending slavery is what they died for. This is a victory for all Americans. I fully back the holiday.” — Paul Wickham

“I feel like it’s pandering. While they are declaring Juneteenth a national holiday the Republicans are legislating away our voter rights and our ability to control our own uterus.” — Michelle Willis

“IMHO: Since the US celebrates many historical events, I believe freeing more than 250,000 people from tyranny and bondage is something to celebrate — after more than 150 years. It is long overdue.” — Joi Taylor

“I don’t understand why it wasn’t already a holiday. It is also part of history. I don’t get why ALL parts of American history are not taught at the same time. For years we all were taught to celebrate Columbus — who came up with that gem?! History shouldn’t be altered to make it pretty. ‘Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.’” — Colleen Lonergan Gallagher

“I think it’s great — I hope it encourages a frank discussion of history. May it be more than just a symbolic gesture.” — Tammy Veach

“It’s an empty gesture. Many Black people have been celebrating Juneteenth for years. Let’s get some action on voting rights and anti-lynching legislation.” — Ayani Good

“It’s an authentic American holiday that commemorates justice, freedom and liberation from bondage. How can anyone question it?” — Craig Barner

“Our family has celebrated June 19th, 1865 for as long as I can remember. I’m 47 and teaching my daughter the same. So many want us to forget that many were enslaved two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. I vow that we never forget and will honor the history of Americans — our Ancestors who were enslaved. I am proud of this day that the Land of Lincoln can officially recognize this important day in our country. As a US Army Veteran, as a Black woman and as a mother, I’m so very proud.” — LeDonna Nubin

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