Afternoon Edition: June 4, 2021

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

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Julie Ann Hanson


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 sunny with a high near 91 degrees. Tonight will be clear with a low around 69. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 91.

Top story

Charges filed in 1972 stabbing death of Naperville teen

A retired Minnesota welder has been charged in the brutal 1972 stabbing death of a Naperville teenager, officials said today.

Barry Lee Whelpley, 76, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Julie Ann Hanson and is being held in a Minnesota jail, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said during a news conference.

He was due in court this morning for an extradition hearing, Glasgow said.

Whelpley was 27 at the time Hanson was killed and lived within a mile of Hanson’s home.

Glasgow and Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall offered few details about what led to the arrest and charges, saying only that it was “tremendous advancements in the DNA testing” and “genealogy.”

Stefano Esposito has more on the decades-old case here.

More news you need

  1. Gov. Pritzker signed new legislative maps today, locking in the Democratic drawn boundaries and stoking GOP outrage. The hotly contested political maps will chart the next decade of elections in Illinois.
  2. The city will begin cleanup of soil at a Southeast Side youth baseball field next week after officials discovered high levels of brain-damaging manganese there in 2019. The removal could last up to three weeks.
  3. A move to close a Southern Illinois coal plant owned by municipal utilities and dozens of towns is one of the final sticking points in Springfield over an energy bill. If the plant is forced to shut down, it would be the end of a big source of air pollution.
  4. The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority has agreed to scoop-and-toss a chunk of debt used to renovate Soldier Field. The move lets Chicago taxpayers off the hook for what would have been a $22 million cost.
  5. State lawmakers last week approved legislation that aims to diversify the state’s cannabis industry, which currently has no pot shops owned by a person of color. Tom Schuba answers your questions about the new bill here.
  6. Attorney Jeff Anderson is calling on bishops across Illinois to release full lists of religious order priests with credible sexual abuse accusations against them. Anderson says the Archdiocese of Chicago has released the names of only two such priests out of more than 100.
  7. Family and friends are mourning the loss of a giant in the Chicano movement: Jesus “Chuy” Negrete, 72, who died May 27. Negrete impacted countless people who knew him as a singer, writer, teacher and much more.
  8. Historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas, known for his videos detailing lesser-known Chicago factoids, is hosting tours of Bronzeville throughout Juneteenth weekend. If you want a ticket, they’re selling out fast.
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A bright one

South Side home of blues legend Muddy Waters a step closer to city landmark status

The North Kenwood home where blues legend Muddy Waters lived was granted preliminary landmark status by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks yesterday.

The property at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. is owned by Waters’ great-granddaughter, Chandra Cooper, who is converting the brick two-flat — where Waters lived on the first floor, rented out the top floor and had his recording studio in the basement — into The MOJO Muddy Waters House Museum. The preliminary designation passed unanimously.


The childhood home of blues legend Muddy Waters at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. in Kenwood on the South Side, Thursday afternoon, June 3, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

The project is among burgeoning efforts to honor Black history and part of a wave of house museums — including those honoring Emmett Till and Mamie Till Mobley, Phyllis Wheatley, and Lu and Jorja Palmer — that nearly got blocked by a failed ordinance earlier this year by Ald. Sophia King (4th) to limit them.

“When I was born in 1956, my mother brought me home to that house. When Chandra was born in 1970, I brought her home to that same house. We have a lot of love and pride for that house. This has been a hard fight, and I’m proud of Chandra for not giving up,” said Cooper’s mother, and Waters’ granddaughter, Amelia Cooper.

Read Maudlyne Ihejirika’s full story on Waters’ life and his family’s fight to make his home an official landmark here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s the best way to cool down on a scorching hot day in Chicago? 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: What music genre defines Chicago? Here’s what some of you said…

“House music. It was born and bred here. It knows no race, no religion — nothing that can divide the city. It’s a genre that welcomes all.” — Jaclyn Arenas

“No genre can define a place that has birthed so many different styles. Gospel, modern blues, house music, industrial. Heck, Fritz Reiner’s work with the CSO influenced every symphony in the nation. Music itself defines Chicago.” — Rich Williamson

“Deep house. We did it before everyone and better than everyone. Similar to the blues, but unlike the blues, house was done by their children — who by that time were Chicago natives. Many of the blues people settled in Chicago were grown and raised in the south.” — Steve Berger

“Blues — there are so many ties to Chicago with that genre: Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy to name a few. And the song Sweet Home Chicago.” — Erin Eileen

“Chicago soul. Yes, Chicago is known for blues and house music, but we tend to forget that Chicago was once the soul music capital of the midwest before Motown started in Detroit. Chicago has always had a rich soul music history here. In fact, Chicago was the birthplace of Soul Train. Let’s also remember, Chicago once had Record Row — from Chess Records, Vee Jay, Brunswick, Constellation, Curton and many others. WVON 1390 A.M. was the voice of the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago was a rich soul music history that’s at times often forgotten.” — Byron Benguche

“First, I want to know why the f--- Chi-town don’t have a viable Jazz station? Jazz has defined Chi for generations! From Louis Armstrong, Duke, Count, Joe Williams, Ella Sarah — all of these great artists got big in Chicago! And don’t forget — all the jazz festivals in and around the city! Yes, we have R&B, rock, hip hop and gospel, even European classical, but jazz from the prohibition era still today has musically dominated Chicago.” — Erik Scott

“Gospel, blues, house, and stepping music are Chicago creations.” — Chevy Israel

“Personally for me growing up here in Chicago the 70s and 80s listening to WVON, and way later WNUA, R&B, smooth jazz could put me in the right frame of mind, just as it does today! I recall block parties, Saturday night someone would have a party in their basement. Chicago is the base of some of the most memorable music, crossing all genres but Chicago will always be the home of the rhythm and blues!” — Lee Norris Tutt

“Gospel — Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Albertina Walker, The Caravans — the list is still growing.” — Candi Meriwether

“Hip hop because it expresses who we are and what we go through!” — Yasmin Johnson

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