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Afternoon Edition: June 29, 2021

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

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act into law on Tuesday.
Blue Room Stream

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 chance of showers and thunderstorms and a high near 84 degrees. Similar conditions will continue tonight with a low around 71 and tomorrow with a high near 82.

Top story

‘The dawn of a new day’: New Illinois law allows student athletes to be compensated for use of name, image

Student athletes soon can be compensated for the use of their name or image under legislation signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 2338, the Student-Athlete Endorsement Rights Act, allows athletes at colleges and universities to retain agents. The law also outlines when a student athlete may be compensated.

The legislation allows student athletes to “take control of their destiny when it comes to their own name, image likeness and voice,” Pritzker said at the bill-signing ceremony at the State Farm Center on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pritzker was joined by state legislators and the athletic directors from U of I, Northwestern University and DePaul University.

Illinois Rep. Kam Buckner, D-Chicago, said the bill is about “autonomy” and fairness.

A former defensive lineman on the football team at Illinois, Buckner sponsored the legislation in the House and said the “long overdue” law modernizes the college athletics landscape.

Rachel Hinton has more on the game-changing law here.

More news you need

  1. A group of Chicago-area activists is urging President Biden to rethink his plan to send a strike force to help police stem the flow of illegal guns into the city, saying federal forces would only worsen things. The group is calling for, among other things, a congressional hearing in the city with testimony from local mothers who’ve lost children to gun violence.
  2. A federal judge found today that a Pilsen man invoked his right to counsel when authorities tried to get him to identify himself as the person wearing a “Joker” mask during the May 2020 protests downtown. The ruling renders some comments he made unusable by prosecutors.
  3. Across Illinois, 1.3 million children claimed as dependents on taxes will be eligible for Child Tax Credit payments starting July 15. Elvia Malagón spoke with local parents to hear how they’re feeling about the payments.
  4. Members of the Chatham and Park Manor communities met last night to discuss fears and solutions following a mass shooting on 75th Street earlier this month. One solution, suggested by Ald. Roderick Sawyer, would be to deploy drones equipped with cameras and speakers to disrupt perceived criminal activity.
  5. The company that owns a Dolton plant that processes chemical solvents agreed to pay $350,000 to settle government allegations that it improperly handled hazardous waste. This comes after the EPA threatened to take legal action against the company following numerous problems identified in a 2019 inspection.
  6. Plans to build an outdoor roller rink in West Garfield Park are getting a mixed reaction in the community, with some residents citing safety concerns. Cheyanne M. Daniels has more on the complicated debate surrounding the rink here.
  7. Food trucks selling everything from truffle BLTs to catfish strips are coming back to Daley Plaza. A rotating lineup of six food trucks will set up between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily from July 30 through Oct. 15.

A bright one

‘The show must go on’: Stormy weather couldn’t dampen Pride in the Park celebration

A late-morning torrential downpour and a tornado warning couldn’t rain on the parade of thousands of festivalgoers who flooded Grant Park Saturday for Pride in the Park.

The storm delayed the kickoff to the two-day music festival by two hours. Still, throngs of people decked out in rainbow attire and ponchos poured into the downtown park to celebrate as Pride month nears its end.

Performers included drag queen Alyssa Edwards and Chicago’s own Miss Toto. Chaka Kahn performed on Sunday.

“Rain was not going to keep me away,” said Mark King, 42, who wore a multi-colored speedo and sequined jacket. “I thought there was a very good chance it was going to get canceled, but the show’s gotta go on, we’ve got to celebrate as a city.”

Alyssa Edwards performs at Pride in the Park in Grant Park, Saturday afternoon, June 26, 2021.
Alyssa Edwards performs at Pride in the Park in Grant Park, Saturday afternoon, June 26, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

With rain continuing steadily into the evening, some huddled together under umbrellas in an attempt to stay dry, while others embraced the weather and danced on the muddy swamp-like grounds. Most were mask-less, bringing flashbacks of pre-pandemic times.

“It’s just exciting,” Kim Belizaire said. “It’s good to see people getting out and trying to live life again. It is a sense of normalcy again, I haven’t done something like this in so long.”

Belizaire, 20, said she took a train from Skokie with friends and was drawn to the celebration for its “good vibes.”

Belizaire’s friend, 19-year-old Evan Numan, who recently came out as gay, emphasized the importance of embracing inclusivity and diversity at the event.

“All these people are coming to celebrate the same thing, so it’s really just meaningful and honestly [an] overwhelmingly good experience to see all these people that are either part of my community or support me,” Numan said. “It’s just a beautiful feeling knowing that you’re accepted, you’re loved by [others] and you mean something.”

Read Madeline Kenney’s dispatch and see Ashlee Rezin Garcia’s stunning visuals of the celebration here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

With the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 reportedly spreading in Illinois, do you plan to take more precautions again Tell us why or why not.

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 concerned are you about the effects of climate change on Chicago weather? Here’s what some of you said...

“I am concerned in general about the extreme weather due to climate change. Scary. If we have to wait for the masses to educate themselves I am afraid we’re screwed.” — Nana Holla

“In the Midwest, we will be ok for now. It depends on how the upcoming administrations want to handle climate change.” — Jose Osorio

“I’m concerned that people don’t realize that climate change is real and that without a concerted effort from everyone to make changes to help the environment, our future generations won’t have a nice world to call their home.” — Gisella Montuano

“So far it seems manageable, I mean unless we had a considerable magnitude earthquake.” — Walter J. Dominiquez

“The midwest region always had bad weather. Some people think that a tornado won’t touch down in the nearby suburbs and in the city, but it can and it will. Be prepared and take watches and warnings seriously.” — Erika Hoffmann

“Very. I have absolutely no idea what can be done to mitigate the growing issues with global climate change, but I know that something must be done before it’s beyond repair.” — Chris Vaughn

“I am concerned. The amount of information and personal experiences that I’ve paid witness to is leading me to some very uncomfortable decisions. Leaving the city not just for things like the economy and better work opportunities, but also a hostile climate environment. You see the news and the big headlines with droughts, wildfires, and massive floods. The real crisis that threatens all of us is human-influenced climate change.” — Valentin Galvan

“Over the next 50 years, I expect the population of Chicago to increase substantially as populations in Florida and New York relocate to higher ground. Many will follow their corporate bases whose flagship high-rise HQs lose value as the foundations become compromised by sea level.” — Douglas Black

“In my opinion, any conversation must start within the context of restorative, ecological justice for those communities most impacted by the degradation of the region’s single most important natural resource: healthy water.” — Paul Grajnert

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