Afternoon Edition: Aug. 9, 2021

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

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Chicago police officers turn their backs to Mayor Lori Lightfoot late Saturday at University of Chicago Medical Center.

Provided photo

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 cloudy with potentially damaging thunderstorms likely and a high near 84 degrees. Tonight the storms are expected to continue with a low around 73. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a slight chance of storms and a high near 92.

Top story

Chicago cops give cold shoulder to Mayor Lightfoot at hospital after two officers shot

They turned away and gave her their backs.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot was given the cold shoulder by CPD rank and file about midnight Saturday at the University of Chicago Medical Center when she approached them on the 7th floor as they grappled with the shootings of two fellow officers.

Chicago Police Officer Ella French was shot and killed during a traffic stop Saturday night in West Englewood, while her partner continues to fight for his life at the hospital. Three people are in custody.

Just moments before more than a dozen officers turned their backs on the mayor, Lightfoot tried to talk to the male officer’s father, who himself is a retired Chicago police officer. He clearly wanted nothing to do with Lightfoot, according to two sources who were there.

The father excoriated the mayor and blamed her for what had happened. One source said Lightfoot handled herself well as the father yelled at her. She listened and treated him with respect.

It was then suggested that Lightfoot say a few words to nearby grieving officers, but as she approached, “they did the about-face — it looked like it had been choreographed,” said one of the sources present, calling it “astounding.”

Read Michael Sneed’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. The father of the CPD officer fighting for his life after being shot during a West Englewood traffic stop that killed another cop described the incident as “our darkest moment.” Fran Spielman spoke to the father, who’s a retired police officer himself.
  2. At least 75 people were shot over the weekend in the city, with more than half occurring during a tragic 10-hour span that saw three mass shootings. Read more details on the weekend’s gun violence here.
  3. The first phase of R. Kelly’s federal trial in Brooklyn started today with jury selection. Get refreshed on the case with a timeline of Kelly’s allegations and legal troubles, a glossary of key legal terms and a series of bios on key figures involved in the trial.
  4. About 70% of adults in Chicago have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Aug. 5. Based on the city’s population data that means over 1.5 million adult Chicagoans have gotten at least one jab.
  5. The stand at River Park used to sell hot dogs. Now it’s River Lab, the hub for a new Chicago Parks District program designed around the Chicago River and its inhabitants. Dale Bowman visited the “lab” and spoke to senior program specialist Matt Renfree about the project.
  6. How do local artists view what’s happening now in Chicago’s R&B music scene? Our Evan F. Moore spoke to Lauren Dukes and other singers about recent trends in the genre, what inspires them and how the local scene can better support its creatives.
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A bright one

Mini golfers flock to new bird-themed, youth-designed course in Douglass Park — ‘a beautiful oasis’

A group of Chicago teens helped turn a once vacant, grassy area in Douglass Park into a miniature golf course that’s as educational as it is fun.

The public on Saturday got its free first shot at playing the new 18-hole mini golf course, called “Douglass 18.” People of all ages, including parents with young children, took turns vying for holes-in-one on the conservation-themed course.

“It’s great,” Albany Park resident Christopher Lampa said after sinking a shot on No. 7. “I’m definitely enjoying it so far.”


Khalid Hannah, left, plays mini golf with his son Khalil, right, on the opening day of the Douglass 18 mini golf course in the North Lawndale neighborhood on Saturday morning.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Funded by corporate sponsors, Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) and a private donor from the Lincoln Park Zoo, the roughly $900,000 project had been in the works for more than three years. Each hole, designed by West Side teens, was inspired by one or two of the 200-plus species of birds that migrate through Douglass Park every year.

Jaeda Branch, Lincoln Park Zoo’s community program lead for North Lawndale, hopes the course inspires people to be more aware of their actions at the park and to start taking better care of nature in general by not littering.

“It’s important because right now it’s a great oasis [for birds], but we want people to be conscious of their actions of things to make sure that it stays a beautiful oasis,” Branch said.

Madeline Kenney has the full story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

The Tokyo Olympics ended last night. What was your favorite moment from the Summer Games?

Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday for International Beer Day, we asked you: What’s your favorite Chicago brewery to visit? Tell us why. Here’s what some of you said...

“Lagunitas. Hands down.” — John Hill

“Old Irving Brewery: great brews, great food and great space.” — Harry Burgan

“Revolution, every time I drink it I feel like starting one.” — Jaime Ortiz

“Half Acre and Revolution breweries.” — Vicki Trinidad

“Half Acre all day!” — Lori McAllester Schultz

“Used to be Metropolitan, before they got too political.” — Erika Hoffmann

“Marz Community Brewing because that Maxwell Lager is 🔥.” — Guillermo Moreno

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