Afternoon Edition: July 23, 2021

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

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Community activist Jazmine Salas was among those on Friday celebrating passage of the civilian oversight ordinance.

Sun-Times 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.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with isolated thunderstorms and a high near 88 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 74. Tomorrow will be hot and humid with a chance of showers, a high around 90 and a heat index pushing toward 100. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 91.

Top story

Supporters of new police civilian oversight ordinance celebrate victory

Calling it a win for the people but not Mayor Lori Lightfoot, supporters of the newly passed Chicago police civilian oversight ordinance celebrated their victory today.

“We overcame major opposition from the [Chicago] FOP and the mayor to eventually pass this historic ordinance,” Jazmine Salas, co-chair of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, said during an online news conference.

The ordinance — seen by many as critical to restoring trust between residents and the police — passed the City Council on a 36-13 vote earlier this week.

“The mayor tried to pass her watered-down version of oversight and had a really minor advisory role. She was forced to negotiate with us after her bill failed to garner any excitement or any support,” Salas said.

Salas said the rest of America is watching Chicago.

“We created the most democratic police oversight system in the nation, and we must keep fighting until we finally put an end to police impunity,” she said.

The final language would empower a seven-member commission to take a vote of no-confidence in the Chicago police superintendent. The commission also could take no-confidence votes for the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability and any Police Board member. Such votes would need the support of at least five of the seven members to pass.

Stefano Esposito has more on the ordinance and supporters’ reactions here.

More news you need

  1. Andrew Mahan, a former Christian Youth Theater Chicago employee, is alleging the company told him to resign or be fired after he appeared on a drag show poster. This comes amid criticism of CYT Chicago’s new policy on LGBTQ+ participants.
  2. Robert M. Kowalski, the attorney and developer at the center of an embezzlement scandal at a failed bank in Bridgeport, has a long, tangled history with City Hall and key political players. Reporter Tim Novak dove into city records and court documents to report how deep those ties run.
  3. Federal prosecutors in Minnesota are asking a judge to punish a Galesburg man with nearly a decade in prison for burning down a Sprint store amid last year’s protests in Minneapolis before turning his sights on Chicago. His sentencing is set for Aug. 10.
  4. A team led by University of Chicago scientists has found a new way to boost crop yield and make the plants more resistant to drought. It’s a technique they hope could be used in an increasingly unstable climate.
  5. A 14-year-old boy served as a key witness in an Englewood shooting case by identifying one of three gunmen who wounded his brother and killed his brother’s friend in April, prosecutors said. The boy allegedly saw the shooting from the window of his grandmother’s apartment and ran out when he thought the gunmen finished firing.
  6. A three-month elevator problem at the Lake View library has some calling on CPL to address accessibility issues as seniors and residents with disabilities are unable to reach second-floor books. Ald. Tom Tunney’s office said there was no timeline for the elevator’s repair.
  7. After two previous postponements and site relocations, organizers of “The Art of Banksy” Chicago exhibit today announced a new location. You’ll find it at 360 N. State (the structure adjacent to Marina Towers) starting Aug. 14.
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A bright one

‘Fishing at the Jetty’ returns to Riverwalk, educating tourists and Chicagoans alike

The program known as “Fishing at the Jetty” has returned to the Riverwalk in downtown Chicago after pausing last year due to the pandemic.

Located on the west of “The Jetty: Floating Gardens” part of the Riverwalk between Wells and Franklin streets, the program allows visitors to learn the basics of fishing.

“Fishing at the Jetty” also educates people on the revival of the Chicago River.

“One camp is people who look it as water and see water,” said Matt Renfree, senior program specialist. “Second camp know fish are in water, but they think the Chicago River is [too polluted]. But every day we’re catching all kinds of fish. Nearly everybody catches fish. Most days, we are at 80 or 90 fish. [The first weekend] we had 484 people out.”


Hannah Zhang holds a bluegill caught at “Fishing at the Jetty” on the Chicago Riverwalk.

Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

All species when first caught are logged. In 2019, when nearly 7,000 people participated, a high of 21 species came. American eel is the rarest fish so far.

In its first four years, “Fishing at the Jetty” basically ran the summer break of the Chicago Public Schools. This year it will continue through the end of September.

The program runs Thursdays and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Unless there is thunder and lightning, we are out rain or shine,” Renfree said.

Dale Bowman has more on the program here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, how do you feel about the city hosting Lollapalooza next week?

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 isn’t an Olympic sport but should be? Here’s what some of you said...

“Chicago stepping and Chicago foot working. Dance is waaaay underrated.” — Lisa Morrison Butler

“Horseshoes — it would be summer’s curling.” — Matt Gaul

“Putting clothes on a toddler, exiting Soldier Field after a sold-out event and changing a tire on the side of a highway should all qualify as Olympic events, in my opinion.” — Lisa Morgan

“Running out of your garage before the door closes while avoiding the sensors.” — Antonio Rodriguez

“Spades.” – Myna Mack Shegog

“Opening the produce plastic bags in the grocery stores.” — Ronda Kroeschen

“Bowling.” — Vera DeFelice

“Hanging wallpaper with your significant other.” — Matt Barth

“Lacrosse or rugby.” – Jim Bissell

“Uno.” — Levora J.

“Successfully doing an 8-hour packaging equipment changeover in three hours with half the people and no outside support.” — Frederic Raymond Lefferts V

“Cheerleading!” – Claire Bear

“Tabletop football.” — Dominic Del Vecchio

“Roller Derby.” — Heather M.

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