Afternoon Edition: Sept. 1, 2021

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

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People living near the Eurostars Magnificent Mile Hotel, 660 N. State St., have been complaining to the local alderman, Brendan Reilly, about the behavior of some guests.

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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 77 degrees. Tonight, there will be a slight chance of sprinkles and a low around 62. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 79.

Top story

Alderman slams ‘weak slap on the wrist’ against hotel-turned-party-haven

A Gold Coast hotel has gotten what an influential alderman called a “weak slap on the wrist” — a $10,000 fine and a pledge to implement a “nuisance abatement plan” — after its patrons were accused of committing criminal acts at the hotel, its parking facility and adjacent property.

Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said the settlement agreement that allows the Eurostars Magnificent Mile Hotel to continue operating is an insult, considering the severity and duration of the violations at the hotel, 660 N. State St.

That includes 16 allegations of criminal conduct by hotel patrons beginning last fall and continuing until early March this year. Among them: armed robbery, criminal sexual assault, aggravated domestic battery, narcotics possession and numerous instances of unlawful use of weapons and failing to report lost firearms.

Under the abatement plan, the hotel will: install a video surveillance system and alarms on stairwells and emergency exits; block access to the elevator from the ground floor; and limit elevator access to people with room keys.

Guests will be required to sign and abide by a “no-gun and no-party policy.” They also can’t pay for their room in cash — a credit card with an embedded computer chip will be required. Also, balconies must be made inaccessible to guests.

“I’m not satisfied at all,” Reilly wrote in a text message to us. “I think $10K is a weak slap on the wrist for the hotel, considering it’s been a constant source of problems for the neighborhood over the past 18 months.”

City Hall reporter Fran Spielman has the full story here.

More news you need

  1. Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced the launch of a new team of detectives charged with clearing missing-person cases that date back to the 1930s. Authorities plan to tackle a list of 170 names, using techniques developed while working on missing children cases and seeking out lost victims of John Wayne Gacy.
  2. A 4-year-old girl is recovering today after being shot in the arm when people in two cars began shooting at each other in Englewood. She was on the sidewalk in front of her home when she was shot around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, police said.
  3. Two Chicago police officers have been charged with beating a 17-year-old during a January arrest in Woodlawn. The officers, who face two to five years in prison, were released on their own recognizance today.
  4. An Oak Lawn woman used a phony COVID vaccination card that misspelled “Moderna” to get into Hawaii for a vacation last week without quarantining for 10 days as required, authorities say. She is now incarcerated at a Honolulu jail and faces misdemeanor charges.
  5. While most Illinoisans were sleeping this morning, state senators advanced a sweeping overhaul of the state’s energy sector, kicking the legislation — and further negotiations — to the House. State Senate President Harmon called the bill the “most complicated” piece of legislation he has negotiated.
  6. Chicago’s tourism and hospitality industries appear to be on the rebound after a summer surge in business. The ongoing threat of the Delta variant didn’t stop local hotels from recently reporting their highest occupancy rates since before the pandemic.
  7. Warehouse workers represented by the Teamsters union have gone on strike against food service company Sysco in Des Plaines, potentially disrupting deliveries to Chicago and suburban schools and hospitals. The union cites a lack of progress in talks that started in January with the food service firm.
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A bright one

Ryan Tova Katz wants kids to see joy and themselves in her murals

If the sounds of kids playing at Weisman Playground aren’t enough to give you a sense of childhood joy, just look up.

There’s also a four-story mural — titled “Livvy in the Sky” — at the park at 901 W. Oakdale Ave. that shows a young girl playing on playground equipment.

It’s the latest in a series of murals by Roscoe Village artist Ryan Tova Katz spotlighting kids in Chicago.

Katz, 38, says she’s tried to help fill what she saw as a void in public art around Chicago.

“I just was looking around at everything, and I was, like, ‘There’s just not enough imagery of children of color in beautiful scenarios,’ ” Katz says.


Ryan Tova Katz’s mural “Livvy In the Sky” adorns the wall overlooking Weisman Playground at 901 W. Oakdale Ave. in Lake View.


Katz says she often gets inspiration for her murals from Milo, her 3-year-old, who’s a friend of the real-life “Livvy.”

Amy Nussvaum was walking in Lake View and discovered another of Katz’s murals in this series, “Butterfly Girl,” at Irving Park Road and Janssen Avenue. The image, which features a young girl who is Black, struck a chord with Nussvaum, who came back later with her 3-year-old daughter Galit, who is Black.

“I feel like oftentimes, when you’re the parent of a Black child or of any child that falls into a minority group in America, you really have to seek out ways to find representation for them,” says Nussvaum, 41.

“When she saw ‘herself’ painted on this building, it really meant a lot to her,” she says of her daughter. “And being able to show her that she’s so pretty and so gorgeous that someone painted a huge picture of someone that looks just like her means a lot to me.”

Zack Miller has more on Katz’s murals here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

With the Chicago-set “Candyman” in theaters, we want to know: What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen in the theater?

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: If you got to rename any building in Chicago, which would it be and what would you call it?

Here’s what some of you said...

“875 North Michigan Avenue should be named once again the John Hancock Center, just like the Willis Tower should be renamed Sears Tower once again.” — Maurice Snell

“Trump tower changed to Chicago Tower, remove the Trump name and put the four stars that Resembled of the Chicago flag.” — Alan Uriel Garcia

“Adler Planetarium to ‘Star Place.’” — Adrienne Varvil

“Well, it’s a stadium but change Guaranteed Rate Field back to Comiskey Park.” — Darvel Ahmad Stinson

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