Afternoon Edition: July 7, 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 cordon off the 8900 block of South Indiana Avenue after a police officer and two ATF agents were shot and wounded Wednesday morning.

Mitch Dudek/Chicago Sun-Times

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.

Today will be mostly cloudy with scattered thunderstorms and a high near 86 degrees. Tonight, expect more scattered thunderstorms and the temperature to drop to a low around 64. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 73.

Top story

Person of interest questioned after Chicago cop, 2 federal agents shot on Southwest Side

A person of interest has been taken into custody after a Chicago police officer and two federal agents working undercover were wounded by gunfire this morning on the Southwest Side, police said.

Police spokesman Tom Ahern said in a tweet that the person was being interviewed by detectives, but gave no other details.

Police had found a white Chevrolet Malibu believed to be used in the shooting near 89th Place and Indiana Avenue. Officers had been looking for a suspect there, and a “drone command van” was sent to assist in the search.

The shooting happened shortly before 6 a.m. as the three were getting onto the northbound lanes of Interstate 57 near 119th Street, about a mile from the Morgan Park police station, police said.

The police officer was grazed in the back of the head, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was shot in the hand, and another ATF agent suffered a wound to his side, police said. All were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center.

Police Supt. David Brown told reporters the three “were conducting an investigation. They were all together in one vehicle when they were fired upon.”

Frank Main, Jermaine Nolen, Stefano Esposito, Cheyanne M. Daniels, and Mitch Dudek have more on the still-developing story here.

More news you need

  1. President Biden landed at O’Hare late this morning and met with Mayor Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Preckwinkle on the tarmac. Both had brief one-on-ones with the president before he took off for McHenry Community College in Crystal Lake, where he spoke this afternoon.
  2. A federal judge denied a sentencing break today to Joseph Miedzianowski, who prosecutors have called the most corrupt cop in Chicago history. Miedzianowski was convicted of running a Miami-to-Chicago drug-trafficking operation and sentenced to life in prison in 2003.
  3. New age-progression photos of Tionda and Diamond Bradley were released yesterday, marking the 20th anniversary of the sisters’ disappearance from their mother’s Bronzeville apartment. Tionda and Diamond were 10 and 3, respectively, when they went missing on July 6, 2001.
  4. Suzanne Douglas, whose many roles included a mother on “The Parent ‘Hood” and Cissy Houston in Lifetime’s biopic “Whitney,” has died at age 64. The prolific actress and Chicago native grew up in Altgeld Gardens.
  5. After surviving decades of hardships, including Prohibition and the Great Depression, Southport Lanes is closed for good, its owner said today. That means most of everything is up for auction inside the old Schlitz-tied tavern turned bowling alley and neighborhood hangout.
  6. The highly anticipated “Black Widow” opens tomorrow, and while its stars deliver terrific performances, the lightweight story hinges on implausible plot turns and soapy antics, writes Richard Roeper. Marvel’s first new movie in theaters in more than two years will also be available to stream via Disney+ for $29.99.
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A bright one

New indoor track in Pullman’s Gately Park will share space with After School Matters

South Side student athletes now have a new sports facility where they can practice.

Mayor Lightfoot cut the ribbon yesterday for a new indoor track in Gately Park in Pullman.

The 139,000-square-foot facility at 10201 S. Cottage Grove Ave. also will serve as the new flagship site for After School Matters, the non-profit group that hosts programs for students in the 8th through 12th grades at the Gately Park site and two other locations.


Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke Tuesday at the opening of a new facility in Pullman which features an indoor track, plus space for other After School Matters programs.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Joyce Chapman, president of the Gately Park Advisory Council, said the facility is “a long time coming for the Far South Side.”

After School Matters and the Chicago Park District announced the project in 2018, according to CEO Mary Ellen Caron. It was set to open last year but was delayed by the pandemic.

Yesterday was the first day of programs at the new facility, which has seats for 3,500 spectators and, Lightfoot said, will “put Chicago on par with New York City and Boston” when it comes to track and field championships.

In addition to the track, the building’s After School Matters wing has art and dance studios, music rooms, culinary spaces, tech labs and a rooftop garden spread over two floors.

Cheyanne M. Daniels has more on the new facility here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How would you define the “Midwest Nice” label? Do you think it’s accurate?

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 fireworks fired off throughout the city during Fourth of July weekend? Here’s some of what you said…

“You have the nerve to ask this question. They’re still popping at 3 a.m. in my neighborhood two days later. — Kenny Guest

“I feel bad for all vets, pets and wildlife, so I don’t think it’s worth it. I read that the U.S. needs to look into silent fireworks, like Italy.” — Yvette Spearman

“Fireworks are beautiful and fun! Chicago sure enough represented strong! It’s our tradition growing up. Not everyone can make it to the big shows downtown, neither are a lot of us really wanted down there. My heart goes out to the dogs and birds etc. Just for the record — I don’t like the noise from cops, firemen, ambulances, car music, airplanes, freight trains and other noises either.” — Keith Davis

“Scheduled fireworks during a set period of time is fine. It is the random fireworks, set off at random intervals, durations, and inappropriate times, that I strongly object to.” — Gail Waldoch

“I love it. It’s a national tradition that has deep cultural significance. People should respect their neighbors and not carry on until 2 a.m., but I think the tradition of families and neighbors setting off fireworks always brings to mind what the observance represents, and it’s a fun way to commemorate the people who fought for our hard-won independence.” — Rich Williamson

“Old man talking here: back in the day, a few “captains,” or whatever you want to call them, would get portions of a neighborhood together and there’s be some localized fireworks. Now? Everyone and their brother must show how they have their own fireworks. Like OK dudes, you have the exact same fireworks at the other 900 people on the block. Congrats. And the city’s inability to crack down? In a time when they at the very least could be fining people for noise violations? Ridiculous.” — Joe Kushner

“I hate them! In my neighborhood, they start a week early and are still continuing! I will tolerate them on the Fourth of July only. At times they make the whole house shake — it sounds like a war zone! My poor dog nearly has a heart attack! The municipalities offer wonderful fireworks displays. That should be enough — we don’t need your dynamite!” — Charlotte Deutsch Meyer

“I like them. Too many square people with no lives just like to complain a lot to ruin it for the rest of us.” — Ibrahim Ali

“It was worse than ever. I’ve never heard nonstop booms and explosions of that intensity. Terrible for people, animals and wildlife. The garbage and mess in Welles Park the next day was shocking.” — Liz Strause

“I love it. They always start in June. A little here and there. I love the fireworks by Winnemac Park. I’ve lived here for over 20 years. Yes, I have dogs — they survive each year. So I hope they don’t stop. Now it’s over and you may hear them once in a while.” — Sandra Sanchez

“I tried to enjoy the fireworks but I kept jumping because some sounded like gunshots.” — Erica Palmer

“They started way too early for this graveyard worker.” — Michelle Burke

“I have a 21st-floor balcony, and someone on the roof of a nearby shorter building was shooting huge rockets all evening/night. They went off so close to my unit that I had to close the balcony door, as it was deafening. I was afraid to step outside for fear a stray spark or firework would land on my balcony or me. It started out interesting and ended up annoying and scary.” — Mary Jane Tala

“I love it. I will admit my neighborhood went a bit overboard. I think some of the stuff was too big for a residential area.” — Terry Barnicle

“We talk about vets and pets, but children with autism and sound sensitivity suffer too. We have had six weeks of the neighborhood fireworks nightly, and it’s still happening. Enough.” — Sheila Bobik

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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