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Afternoon Edition: Aug. 25, 2021

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

Mayor Lori Lightfoot got her second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Feb. 19, 2021. It was administered by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot got her second dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in February. It was administered by Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady.
Pat Nabong/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.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 92 degrees, heat index values as high as 101 and a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 74 and a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 87 and a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Top story

Lightfoot forges ahead with Oct. 15 vaccine mandate for city employees, despite opposition from all four police unions

Mayor Lori Lightfoot today forged ahead with an Oct. 15 vaccine mandate for all city employees over strenuous and united opposition from all four police unions.

“As cases continue to rise, we must take every step necessary and at our disposal to keep everyone in our city safe and healthy,” Lightfoot was quoted as saying in a press release.

The press release doesn’t say what would happen to city employees who refuse to comply with the vaccine mandate. It simply says the new policy “applies to all city employees and volunteers” and will take effect on Oct. 15.

Employees “can apply for medical or religious exemptions” and those requests would be reviewed the city’s Department of Human Resources on a “case-by-case basis.”

Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara has been at loggerheads with Lightfoot over all things law enforcement before hammering out an eight-year contract that ended the longest labor stalemate in Chicago history.

This time, Catanzara is not alone.

“It ain’t just our guys. It’s the sergeants, lieutenants and captains. This is a united front. All four of the unions. It’s no longer John Catanzara’s big mouth, like they like to spin it all the time,” Catanzara said today.

Fran Spielman has more on the mandate and police opposition to it here.

More news you need

  1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker quietly extended the state’s eviction moratorium last week, pushing the enforcement of those orders into the middle of September. Pritzker’s executive order, signed last Friday, extends the moratorium to Sept. 18.
  2. The owners of a now-shuttered metal shredding and recycling plant in Lincoln Park have agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, according to the EPA. The General Iron plant, which was on the North Side for decades, operated without a key permit and without the required “emission capture and control equipment,” the EPA said.
  3. A former worker for Abbott Laboratories is claiming that the pharmaceutical giant targeted African American workers in a layoff that led to her firing. She also alleges that white men who ran the company were more comfortable with helping white men succeed there.
  4. More than 1,200 K-12 schools throughout Illinois have signed up to use a COVID-19 saliva test developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The test last year helped the college system’s downstate and Chicago campuses avoid major outbreaks of the virus.
  5. Kanye West fans planning to attend tomorrow’s public listening event at Soldier Field for his upcoming “DONDA” album can expect minimal COVID-19 precautions. While seating capacity for “The Donda Album Experience” will be capped at 38,000, attendees won’t be required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results.
  6. A VH1 docu-series that looks into the lives of America’s Black diaspora in cities across the country now features an episode explaining the nuances of life in the city for Black Chicagoans. You can stream “Growing Up Black: Chicago,” which premiered yesterday on VH1’s YouTube Channel, here.
  7. Nia DaCosta’s “Candyman” is gory and haunting, yet strikingly beautiful, socially relevant and just plain entertaining, writes Richard Roeper in his 3.5-star review. Billed as a spiritual sequel to the 1992 original, “Candyman” opens in theaters Friday.

A bright one

‘Dr. Seuss Experience’ opening at former Macy’s Water Tower site

Fans of Dr. Seuss books can dive into a whole new chapter of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s world with the Chicago engagement of “The Dr. Seuss Experience,” a 25,000-square-foot immersive attraction opening Oct. 8 at Water Tower Place in the former site of Macy’s on Michigan Avenue.

The Chicago engagement follows runs in Toronto and Houston.

Presented by Kilburn Live and Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the event is a multisensory “journey” through nine Seuss books brought to life including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The Lorax,” “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!,” “There’s A Wocket in My Pocket!,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and more.

The centerpiece of “The Dr. Seuss Experience” is an interconnected maze comprised of hundreds of balloons (inspired by “Oh the Places You’ll Go!).
The centerpiece of “The Dr. Seuss Experience” is an interconnected maze comprised of hundreds of balloons (inspired by “Oh the Places You’ll Go!).
Kilburn Live

The pages of the books are brought to Instagrammable life via state-of-the-art audio/video, sculptures, larger-than-life sets and real-life characters in various storybook “rooms.”

While the centerpiece of the experience remains an interconnected maze comprised of hundreds of balloons (inspired by “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”), the Chicago edition will also feature the premiere of new optical illusions and an original work by School of the Art Institute alum Michael Murphy.

You can find more information on the upcoming attraction here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What do most non-Chicagoans get wrong about our city?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: How would you describe the taste of Malört to someone who’s never had it before? Here’s what some of you said...

“It’s a baby aspirin wrapped in a rubber band rolled in pencil shavings and covered with bug spray.” — Tom Kief

“It’s like if shame and regret were left to ferment before being distilled through an old, sweaty shoe.” — Nora Rose Allen

“Pure, unbridled hatred. Like skittles drenched in gasoline, stuffed into a sock. Then someone beats you to death with that sock. Like how getting dumped in high school feels.” — Mike Amarilio

“Sweat squeezed out of hockey pants then aged for 5 years the poured on hockey pants squeezed out and aged another 5 years in a keg tub left over from a frat party that a cat drowned in.” — Mike Smolarek

“Imagine rotten grapefruit with the lingering after taste of a tire fire. Pretty much that.” — Karen Rose

“When I was a kid in the 60s we would chase the bug sprayer truck and inhaled the DDT. It tastes like that mixed with licorice.” — Thomas McInerney

“I did several shots of this one trip and decided it’s tastes like a forest fire, if the forest was made of ear wax.” — Brittany Benson

“It tastes like you mowed the lawn with your face.” — Nick Wright

“It’s like french-kissing a desk from Ikea.” — Lindsey Monroe-Bougher

“Tastes like the Chicago River.” — Patrick John Kane

You can read more responses here.

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