Afternoon Edition: June 18, 2021

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

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Chicago police officers attend a graduation and promotion ceremony in the Grand Ballroom on Navy Pier on June 15, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Committee on Public Safety today refused to consider an eleventh-hour compromise that would give a civilian oversight panel the final say on police policy disputes.

Scott Olson/Getty Images file

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.

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Top story

Eleventh-hour compromise reached on civilian police review over Lightfoot’s objections, but mayoral ally refused to consider it

Mayor Lori Lightfoot was spared a bitter political defeat today on the pivotal issue of civilian police oversight by the narrowest of margins.

By a 10-9 vote, the Committee on Public Safety refused to consider an eleventh-hour compromise hammered out without the mayor’s input that would give a civilian oversight panel the final say on police policy disputes.

About an hour before the vote, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) predicted that the votes would be there to approve the stronger oversight ordinance over Lightfoot’s strenuous objections after proponents agreed to “split out” a binding referendum that, if passed, would give the civilian panel even broader powers.

But Public Safety Committee Chairman Chris Taliaferro (29th) refused to consider the compromise distributed to aldermen only 30 minutes earlier.

“We’ve waited four years to vote on this matter. ... A majority of the City Council is on board,” said a disappointed Ald. Harry Osterman (48th), City Council champion for civilian oversight.

Fran Spielman has more on the midday spar over police oversight here.

More news you need

  1. COVID-19 case totals are continuing to move in the right direction as state health officials reported 102 new cases this afternoon — the fewest in a day since St. Patrick’s Day last year. Two-thirds of Illinoisans 12 or older are now vaccinated against the virus.
  2. Annette Nance-Holt, the first woman ever to serve as Chicago’s fire commissioner, vowed during her confirmation hearing today to diversify the Chicago Fire Department. CFD has a long and well-documented history of discrimination and racism.
  3. Three years ago, five paramedics accused their bosses of sexual harassment, alleging CFD fails to “discipline, supervise and control” its officers. Now, Chicago taxpayers will pay the price to the tune of $1.825 million.
  4. Some religious orders have balked at posting lists of predator priests, but the Claretians’ U.S. websites don’t even mention the scandal, how they’ve responded or how victims can complain. Robert Herguth reports on how the order is closing its eyes to sexual abuse by clergy.
  5. After her SUV was stolen, Kiama Doyle tried for hours to report the theft to 311 and was repeatedly hung up on — and she’s not the only one who’s had trouble. Callers this year have experienced long delays in getting through to 311, records show.
  6. More than 360 Chicago police officers have retired this year — a higher number than in all of 2018, figures from the police pension board show. More are expected to retire in July.
  7. Now that a bill for an elected Chicago school board has passed, significant unanswered questions remain. Nader Issa and Fran Spielman break down the hurdles and next steps facing the bill.
  8. Gov. Pritzker signed legislation into law yesterday that, among other things, will push back the state’s primary to June and establish permanent vote-by-mail registries. The bill also allows the spending plan for Illinois’ next fiscal year to be implemented by July 1.
  9. Tomorrow marks Juneteenth and Chicago is kicking off the weekend-long celebration of freedom today. Evan F. Moore has a full list of where you can find parades, music, block parties and more highlights.
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A bright one

Chicago’s Alligator Records celebrates 50th anniversary in ‘home of the blues’

Bruce Iglauer, founder and president of independent Blues record label Alligator Records, says he initially came to Chicago in 1966 as a “blues pilgrim” who wanted to check out the University of Chicago Folk Festival.

Decades later, ahead of Mayor Lori Lightfoot declaring June 18 as “Alligator Records Day” in Chicago, Iglauer is looking back at the nuances of starting an influential record label in a blues mecca.

“I’ve recorded blues artists all over the country, but I started here in Chicago because this is still the home of the blues in this country,” said Iglauer, a Wyoming, Ohio, native who founded Alligator Records in 1971.


Lil’ Ed Williams (from left), Billy Branch, Bruce Iglauer and Toronzo Cannon chat in the office of Alligator Records in Edgewater.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Iglauer and Alligator Records won’t rest on their laurels for long. In fact, the label’s legendary roster of blues artists is featured on the Edgewater-based label’s anniversary release, “Alligator Records: 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin’ Music,” which be available today on LP and three-disc CD set.

Billy Branch, a singer and harmonica player, says Alligator Records emerged in an era when the music and its record companies were abundant. He calls the label “the last man standing.”

“There were quite a few Chicago labels, and Bruce has maintained a catalog of some of the greatest artists that ever lived,” said Branch.

Read Evan F. Moore’s full story here.

From the press box

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