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Afternoon Edition: Aug. 17, 2021

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

Masks already are required at airports, but the city of Chicago is poised to resume requiring masks in other indoor settings, as well, sources told the Sun-Times. 
Jeff Chiu/AP

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 sunny with a high near 84 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 70. Tomorrow is expected to be partly sunny with a 30% chance of thunderstorms and a high near 85.

Top story

City announces indoor mask mandate to take effect Friday

Facing rising coronavirus case numbers, Chicago officials today announced plans to impose an indoor mask mandate again starting Friday.

Before making the announcement this afternoon, city officials noted that Chicago’s average daily case count was now at 400. Just days before the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she would not hesitate to return to a mask mandate if Chicago’s daily rate of coronavirus cases was “consistently going over” 200.

Chicago’s numbers highlight a concerning statewide trend as all but four of the state’s 102 counties are in the CDC’s “high transmission” category. Three of the other four checked in one level below that, the “substantial transmission” category.

Earlier this month, Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide mask requirement for schools. The Democratic governor hasn’t provided an end date for when students, teachers and staff would be able to ditch the face coverings, saying “this virus tends to have cycles to it and variants” and the face coverings are one way to keep people “safe and healthy in our schools.”

Fran Spielman and Madeline Kenney have more on the new mandate here.

More news you need

  1. Dozens gathered yesterday to mourn 70-year-old Yvonne Ruzich, who was killed earlier in the day by two gunmen while she was seated in her car. Chicago police today released photos of the suspects in Ruzich’s killing and asked for help in identifying them.
  2. A growing number of Chicago-area theater companies will require audiences to wear masks and show proof of vaccination, or negative COVID-19 test results, to gain entry to participating venues. The protocols will be in effect Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.
  3. A Chicago pharmacist has been charged with selling authentic COVID-19 vaccine cards on eBay, federal authorities said. He allegedly sold 125 cards to 11 different buyers for a total of more than $1,200, according to the feds.
  4. Four members of former House Speaker Mike Madigan’s inner circle could face trial late in 2022 for their alleged roles in the ComEd bribery scandal. What’s still unclear is whether new allegations might surface in the case by then.
  5. Zelda Sands, an accomplished composer who managed the offices of Sam Cooke’s record and publishing companies, died Saturday in her Hollywood apartment at 92. “One of the last links to one of Chicago’s greatest singers has died,” Maureen O’Donnell writes of Sands.
  6. Executives from a Phoenix-based pot firm joined U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly and other officials today to break ground on a massive new cultivation center in Matteson. Kelly framed the new facility, which will eventually support hundreds of jobs, as Matteson’s latest effort to “wholeheartedly embrace the future.”

A bright one

J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop owner explains his deep connection to restaurant’s signature breaded pork tenderloin sandwich

Chris Cunningham always dreamt of opening a restaurant that specializes in Midwest sandwiches. When the opportunity arose in the fall of 2019 to make that vision a reality, he knew there was one item he definitely had to include on the menu: a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich.

Cunningham, the do-it-all owner of J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop in Irving Park, grew up on those sandwiches — a staple on most diner menus around the Quad Cities and in Indiana. However, when he moved to Chicago almost two decades ago, he had a hard time finding a place that could satisfy his childhood craving.

Christopher Cunningham is the owner of J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

So, he took matters into his own hands, creating a recipe that replicated the sandwich he remembered from his youth.

“We were making the tenderloins in our backyard because we couldn’t find them anywhere,” he said.

The breaded pork tenderloin sandwich — a favorite in his household — quickly became a top seller at J.T.’s Genuine Sandwich Shop.

The secret to making the sandwich, Cunningham said, is in the process.

More from the latest installment of Madeline Kenney’s Dishin’ on the Dish series here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

When you think back to some of your hardest days during the pandemic, what’s something that got you through?

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: It’s time to start harvesting vegetables planted in the spring. Which ones have you been enjoying from your garden? Here’s what some of you said...

“So far just cherry tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes, green peppers are still growing.” — Maureen Dombrowski

“Tomatoes, jalapeños and bell peppers.” — Russell Miller

“Tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and celery.” — Gerry Fritz Ryan

“Potatoes and tomatoes.” — Dawn Bench

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