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Afternoon Edition: Aug. 18, 2021

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

Denise Huguelet, a teacher in Evergreen Park, was fatally shot Tuesday on the South Side of Chicago.
Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124/Facebook

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 partly sunny with a slim chance of thunderstorms and a high near 85 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 70. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 85 and a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the late afternoon.

Top story

Evergreen Park special ed teacher killed in Dan Ryan Expy. shooting

An Evergreen Park special education teacher shot and killed last night on the Dan Ryan Expressway is being remembered for her dedication to her students.

Denise M. Huguelet, 67, was shot around 10 p.m. in the southbound lanes near 63rd Street, according to Illinois State Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A state trooper nearby heard the gunshots and pursued a vehicle speeding from the area, state police said. With the help of a police helicopter, troopers arrested two people from the car and recovered a handgun.

Huguelet, of Orland Park, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. A spokeswoman for the state police said additional details would be released later.

Huguelet worked for 24 years as a special education teacher at Central Middle School, according to a Facebook post from Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124.

“Her passion for students and her dedication to the community showed in all aspects of her work,” the school district said in the post.

David Struett has more on Huguelet and what happened last night here.

More news you need

  1. Chicago Teachers Union leaders today said they were at an “impasse” with city officials in talks over additional safety precautions to protect children and staff from the Delta variant. Students are preparing to return to classrooms in less than two weeks.
  2. With the release of new census data, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is said to be gauging Democrats’ “availability for return to session” — and potentially to the map-drawing board. Depending on what a review of new population figures reveals, House Dems could be asked to return to the state capital in about two weeks.
  3. U.S. health officials recommended today that everyone get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging Delta variant. The plan calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
  4. The Obama Foundation yesterday revealed nearly $830 million is needed to build and operate the Obama Presidential Center in its first year. This comes days after City Hall signed legal papers to clear the way to build the center in Jackson Park.
  5. Chicago’s own Kanye West announced today that he will hold another public listening event for his yet-to-be-released album “Donda” — this time at Soldier Field on Aug. 26. Fans attending previous listening sessions heard pieces of the album but it has remained unreleased.

A bright one

With Logan Square mural ‘Prima,’ Matthew Mederer aims to inspire new beginnings

Artist Matthew Mederer left New Jersey for Chicago 10 years ago in search of a new beginning.

Last winter, as he and his wife stayed inside because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mederer, 37, came up with an idea for a mural reflecting another new start as he looked forward to spring and a hoped-for waning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Once Mederer started drawing, he knew he wanted to paint this mural in the spring. His wife titled it for him: “Prima,” short for primavera — Spanish for spring.

He painted the 28-feet-by-30-feet mural in April on the alley side of a building at Fullerton and Milwaukee avenues not far from where he lives in Logan Square.

Matthew Mederer’s mural “Prima” in Logan Square.
Provided

It features an image of a woman in bright colors to represent fertility and the vibrant hues of springtime. She’s figuratively staring into the future through a prism and letting a blanket fall off her shoulders as she steps into the new season.

Mederer says being inside so much because of the pandemic made him “hungrier” to start new projects as soon as possible.

He says he hopes the mural will inspire people to find strength in new beginnings — much as he tried to do after a breakup 10 years ago when he loaded all of his belongings in his car and set off for Chicago, a city where he’d never been. He says he figured: It’s a day’s drive away; that should work.

Lu Calzada has more on the story behind the mural here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What is the best TV show set in Chicago? Tell us why.

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

“Believe it or not, it was my focus on losing weight. I used a weight loss program that delivered small meals to my door once a month. Since we couldn’t go out to restaurants anyway, it was a good time to get serious. I lost 40 pounds in 6 months. Working now to keep it off. Inspired others to do the same.” — Jackie Flinchum

“My patients! we were so short-handed that nurses and techs from specialty areas were asked to help out on the floor. We called ourselves the “Spa Girls” and bathed, groomed and just talked to them. Patients were very lonely, not being able to have visitors. The smiles and hugs we got were truly a blessing!” — Eva Cortez

“My fur babies. I didn't have to say goodbye every morning and think about them all day.” — Cyndie O’Brien

“I hate to say it, but I watched more TV than I care to admit. But everyone was in quarantine, so we talked on the phone and talked on Facebook. Talking to family and friends helped the most.” — Marion McLaughlin

“Family. Even though we were social distancing at home, just knowing they were there was extremely comforting and uplifting. Hearing my grandkids laughing and enjoying themselves was music to my ears.” — Sue Shannon Whelan

“Fishing. Being alone out in nature with a pole in my hand and catching a few nice bass fish among other things.” — Bradley Nawara

“Cartoons and comic book movies ie Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe. I just want to escape from reality and enjoy a predictable happy ending.” — Robert Sanders

“My husband makes wine, need I say more?” — Wanda Freeman

“Houseparty calls with my family. And knowing I got to spend more time with my young adult kids because they weren’t out and about with friends.” — Stephanie Burns

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