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.
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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Two weeks after the opening day of Lollapalooza, the music festival shows no signs of having been a “super spreader event,” the city’s top public health official said Thursday.
Of the approximately 385,000 people who attended, 203 attendees have been diagnosed with COVID-19, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady said Thursday during a news conference at City Hall. As of Wednesday, none of those who tested positive have had to be hospitalized or have died, Arwady said.
“The bottom line is we’ve not seen anything that has surprised us related to the Lollapalooza outbreak,” Arwady said.
Of the 203 cases, 127 were among vaccinated attendees and 76 were among unvaccinated attendees.
Fifty-eight of the cases are Chicago residents, she said; of those, 13 people reported attending Lollapalooza on or after their symptoms began, Arwady said.
More news you need
- Chicago remains the third-largest city in the U.S. despite worries about population loss, according to census data released today. The new data will be used by officials to redraw the lines that determine the state’s political maps.
- CPS plans to offer cash payments to families whose disabled children were wrongly denied special education services between 2016 and 2018. The payments to the families of up to 12,000 current and former students could cost the school district as much as $22 million.
- An electronic device that warns divers of diminishing air supplies would have benefitted a CFD diver Juan Bucio the night he tried to rescue a boater who’d fallen in the Chicago River, according to a new report. Bucio, a 46-year-old firefighter who specialized in diving, lost contact with his partner as they attempted the rescue in 2018.
- Marcus Boggs, who the feds say stole money from a man who received a settlement after being wrongly convicted of a crime, was sentenced today to three and a half years in federal prison. Boggs stole more than $800,000 of the settlement as part of a 10-year-, $3 million scheme, the feds said.
- If the House approves the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill the Senate passed this week, Illinois could receive more than $15 billion for projects, officials say. Lynn Sweet breaks down what’s in the bill for Illinois and the rocky road ahead in Congress for Democrats.
- While nearly four in five Illinois lawmakers say they’re vaccinated, two legislative blocs are unwilling to reveal if they’ve been jabbed — Black Democrats and downstate white Republicans, WBEZ reports. Those blocs represent some of the least-inoculated parts of the state, explain reporters Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.
- More than 9,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported since the start of the pandemic, with reported incidents expected to surpass last year’s numbers, according to a new Stop AAPI Hate report. More than 63% of the incidents were submitted by women, roughly 31% took place on public streets, and 30% at businesses.
- Cook County has created an education program aimed at helping fill a three-month learning gap brought on by the pandemic. Dubbed Project Rainbow, the early education initiative plans to roll out free and accessible video content and repurposed learning materials.
- Gov. Pritzker announced a $250 million grant program for small businesses yesterday, aiming to stimulate economic growth statewide and helping businesses recover from the pandemic. Starting next Wednesday, business owners will be able to submit applications for the grants.
A bright one
This summer, Tiana Theiss is back to doing what she loves — diving into the sand to bump the ball for her beach volleyball team.
She started a new league this summer for Players Sport & Social Group, which she joined five years ago. They are among hundreds of players once again packing Montrose Beach on Wednesdays.
It’s all so different from last summer, when the lakefront — and leagues — were shut down.
“Right now, I think people are just happy to be here, and they’re not as much concerned with winning games,” said Theiss, 33, of Wicker Park. “We’ve all had such direly different experiences from the pandemic, and we’re all kind of grieving what we’ve passed through and celebrating a resurgence of normalcy.”
Chicago Sports and Social Club, Players Sport & Social Group and Simply Social Sports all offer adult volleyball, kickball and softball leagues — and all weathered tough times during the pandemic.
Sports is the best way to meet new people and make friends, many players say.
Chicago Sports and Social Club has registered roughly 25,000 members this year, with most sign-ups occurring since the city’s full reopening, according to president Chris Hastings.
This summer, Players Sport & Social Group had close to 20,000 participants in its volleyball, beach volleyball and kickball leagues. An average year, including all seasons, typically registers about 40,000 participants, said Dave Reid, vice president of sports and business.
Games and bar activities after playing are not the only highlights of these leagues. Most offer special programs and events throughout the year, like Chicago Sports and Social Club’s recent Volleywood, a music festival and volleyball tournament on North Avenue beach.
From the press box
- The Cubs’ rocky reunion with pitcher Jake Arrieta has come to an end. The team released the 2015 Cy Young Award winner on Thursday.
- Bears coach Matt Nagy plans to send rookie quarterback Justin Fields into the game early Saturday against the Dolphins and play extensively — possibly even into the fourth quarter.
- ICYMI: Fox has special plans for its broadcast of tonight’s Field of Dreams game between the White Sox and Yankees.
- Our high school football preview continues with a look at No. 10 Maine South.
Your daily question ☕
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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: “Jeopardy!” today announced its two new hosts: Mike Richards and Mayim Bialik. What do you think of the show’s new Alex Trebek replacements? Here’s what some of you said...
“Mike Richards was a good choice. Mayim Bialik was a safe choice.” — Gale Watson
“I’m very disappointed. I will probably not watch as much.” — Tye Anthony
“I Love Mayim! I think she adds a great personality to the hosting!” — Robin Renwick Cummings
“Mayim is perfect for the show and can stand alone.” — Nancy Sanders
“Both are equally qualified and have good stage presence.” — Richard Daniel
“It was LeVar Burton or Ken Jennings for me.” — Lesa Paczesny
“Mike Richards might maintain some fans of the show, but he sure won’t earn any new ones.” — Keith Lewis
“I do not like either of them. I did not especially care for Alex Trebek, who has been canonized by the show. Art Fleming was by far the best. Jeopardy is a great game and needs a great host.” — Frank Collins
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