Afternoon Edition: Aug. 3, 2021

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

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Lollapalooza attendees present their proof of vaccination cards at the entrance on Thursday, July 29, the opening day of the music festival.

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.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 82 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 63. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 84.

Top story

Lightfoot: No regrets on Lollapalooza or concerns it will become super-spreader event

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said today she doesn’t fear a surge of coronavirus cases tied to Lollapalooza, in part because her public health commissioner “went incognito” to the music festival without valid proof of vaccination and was turned away.

During a live interview on WVON-AM (1690), Lightfoot said she is “well aware” of a video appearing to show young people being “waved through” the Lollapalooza gates by people who were supposed to be checking vaccination cards, but “weren’t even looking at” those credentials.

But the mayor offered a possible explanation. Once attendees were screened and showed credentials proving they’d been vaccinated, they were issued a wristband. So the video could have been people with wristbands being waved through, Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot said her confidence about the safety of Lollapalooza stems from the city’s vigilance in holding event organizers to their promised protocols and testing that system to make certain they did.

Attendees were required to either show their own vaccination card — and a valid ID proving they were the person whose name is on the card — or proof that they had tested negative for the coronavirus no more than 72 hours before the concert.

Lightfoot said she has “no regrets” about green-lighting the festival, a major money-maker for Chicago that filled hotels and restaurants.

Two days after it ended, the mayor remains confident Chicago’s premier music festival — the largest of its kind in the world this year — will not turn out to be a “super-spreader” event. She argued just the opposite.

Fran Spielman has more on where the mayor stands after Lolla here.

More news you need

  1. Scoot over, Vautravers Building! A 127-year-old Lake View structure is on the move, literally, to get out of the way of a CTA track rebuilding project. The move 30 feet west and four feet south — as part of the CTA’s Red and Purple modernization — is set to wrap up today.
  2. To cut down on long lines and long waits at Chicago-area driver services centers, the Secretary of State’s office will require appointments for many locations beginning in September. The state will also expand its remote renewal program for eligible drivers.
  3. The Blackhawks finally committed yesterday to publicly releasing the findings of an ongoing sexual assault investigation. The probe stems from lawsuits claiming the Hawks grossly mishandled an alleged May 2010 sexual assault of an ex-player by a former coach.
  4. The CDC’s latest guidance says people who are fully vaccinated should get tested three to five days after a potential exposure even if they don’t have symptoms. The guidance comes amid concerns of the contagious Delta variant, which now accounts for most coronavirus infections.
  5. The Metro echoed those concerns in its announcement today that concert goers will need to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the Wrigleyville concert hall. Additionally, masks will be recommended for all fans.
  6. Employees at the Art Institute are organizing a union and asking managers not to interfere with their campaign, potentially opening a new frontier in local labor activism. Organizers said they hope to unionize about 330 museum employees, some of whom were affected by furloughs and temporary pay cuts during the pandemic.
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A bright one

For Rookie, Lollapalooza was a homecoming — and a dream come true

For the members of Chicago rock band Rookie, stepping on to the stage at Lollapalooza Friday felt like a dream, years in the making.

The five piece looked out onto the early afternoon crowd and swiftly jammed through their first few songs, letting their brand of 1970s-inspired roots rock blast through the festival grounds, enticing sleepy concertgoers to stop by.

For years Max Loebman (guitar/vocals), (guitar/vocals), Christopher Devlin (bass/vocals), Joe Bordenaro (drums/vocals) and Justin Bell (keys/vocals) each cut their teeth playing in the Chicago D.I.Y. scene. But after filling in for members in each other’s respective bands, the group decided to form Rookie in 2017.


Dimitri Panoutsos performs with Rookie during day two of Lollapalooza on Friday, July 30 in Grant Park.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

As a new unit, the band began making a name for itself throughout the following years, rising with the likes of fellow Chicago scenemates Twin Peaks and Beach Bunny.

But by the time they released their debut self titled album — a gritty, catchy album with soraing guitars and smart melodies — in 2020, all momentum had stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tour dates were canceled — including a stint at Lollapalooza 2020 — venues shut down, and the band was tasked with figuring out what to do next.

So they did what they’ve always done — they got together and jammed.

More from my conversation with Loebman and Panoutsos at Lollapalooza here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

NYC announced today it will require vaccination proof for indoor dining and gyms. Should Chicago do the same? Tell us why or why not.

Yesterday we asked you: Neil Steinberg says an S. Rosen’s bun is the true star of a Chicago-style hot dog. What’s your favorite part of a Chicago dog? Here’s some of what you said...

“I have to agree with him on the Rosen’s hot dog bun. However, the true star of a Chi-town dog is the hot dawg itself. It has to be a Vienna Beef hot dog. Plus, the bright green relish, diced onions, mustard, tomatoes, sports peppers and celery salt compliment the hot dog. There is no substitute.” — Vicki Trinidad

“Sport peppers cannot be substituted by anything.” — Jim Pabst

“All of it, but the neon relish is my jam.” — Nesha Williams

“The Vienna beef dog.” – Donald Lehner

“I relish to say, the mustard!” — Victoria Smith Farley

“Chicago relish and sport peppers.” — Jackie Ingram

“Relish, peppers and celery salt.” — Sanford Madnick

“It starts with a Vienna, Kosher-style hot dog.” – Lori Ellen

“My favorite thing is just visiting Chicago to have one.” — Jay Thrash

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