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Afternoon Edition: Sept. 2, 2021

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

Travell Miller was killed shielding his daughter from gunfire Wednesday on the West Side, family says. He had moved to the neighborhood five days earlier.
Travell Miller was killed shielding his daughter from gunfire yesterday, his family says. He had moved to the neighborhood five days earlier.
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.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 78 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 61. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 77 and a 40% chance of showers.

Top story

Father killed while shielding young daughter from gunfire on West Side, family says. ‘She’s devastated that she watched her father get killed.’

Travell Miller’s last act before dying in an ambush on the West Side was shielding his 7-year-old daughter from gunfire and possibly saving her life, his family says.

“He was simply driving his daughter to school. He was talking to his mother [on the phone] as this guy runs up on the car,” Miller’s father Joseph Gilmore said today.

“His mother hears her son say, ‘Dang man, what the f---.’ She hears commotion and then hears him say, ‘Mama, Mama, I’ve been shot,’” Gilmore said.

Miller, 33, had been stopped in traffic around 7:30 a.m. yesterday in the 3000 block of West Chicago Avenue when the gunman got out of another car, walked up and opened fire, police said. He was hit four times and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The location of Miller’s wounds show he had bent over to protect his daughter, Gilmore said a doctor told him. “She’s traumatized. She’s devastated that she watched her father get killed.”

Police have released photos of the suspected attacker and the car he was driving, a silver two-door Grand Prix with no plates. “I pray that God serves them the same dish they gave my son,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said detectives were investigating if the shooting stemmed from road rage. His family says they have no other idea why Miller would have been targeted, saying he had no enemies and had just moved to the neighborhood five days earlier.

David Struett has more on the tragic loss of Travell Miller here.

More news you need

  1. A Chicago police lieutenant faces two felony charges, including one count of aggravated battery in the public way, for an on-duty incident that occurred in February 2021. Reporter Mitch Dudek has more on the charges facing the officer.
  2. Chicago Teachers Union members are concerned about everything from managing crowds in schools to the rollout of COVID-19 testing, saying CPS is “duct-taping” together safety measures. The union says there are about 300 students and school employees who are in quarantine, but CPS has not said what it might take to close a school or the entire district.
  3. If you’re in O’Hare Airport, you’ll soon have a whole new world of quick, touch-less shopping choices, thanks to concession agreements advanced today that aim to re-define vending machines. One of the new categories of vending machines will carry toddler-centric supplies like diapers, wipes and sippy cups for parents.
  4. More than three dozen dogs and cats from Louisiana shelters in the direct path of Hurricane Ida arrived at PAWS Chicago yesterday afternoon. While some of the animals could be ready for foster homes in the coming days, others will be treated for heartworm and need up to three months to recover.
  5. Chicago River users can now get a real-time look at water quality thanks to a new website that shows data from sensors installed in the river’s three main branches. The sensors are designed to continuously estimate the amount of bacteria in the water from human and other warm-blooded animals’ waste.
  6. The Florida house that Al Capone owned for nearly two decades — and the place where he died — is facing demolition. Calling it a “piece of crap,” the new owners of the Miami Beach house plan to demolish it after buying it for $10.75 million this summer, the AP reports.

A bright one

In quest to find best hot dog in Chicago, local family creates their own, opens restaurant

Bobby Morelli and his 9-year-old daughter Brooklyn have long been on a quest to find the best hot dog in Chicago. They’ve visited all the classic spots in the city.

It’s a “cool” bond the father-daughter duo have, according to Brooklyn.

“I like the hot dogs that we search for,” the incoming fourth grader said. “But sometimes it’s not as good as the ones that my dad has.”

Morelli, with the help of Brooklyn and his wife Shy, and youngest daughter, opened The Hot Dog Box in August 2020 as a side project after the pandemic cut in half the client pool for his web design and marketing company.

Bobby Morelli, Founder of The Hot Dog Box, and his daughter Brooklyn.
Bobby Morelli, Founder of The Hot Dog Box, and his daughter Brooklyn.
Brian Rich/Sun-Times

“I was looking for something that I could do myself that was fun, not a lot of stress, and we came across this particular box,” Morelli said as he gestured to his fire-engine red stand in Boxville, the city’s first shipping container marketplace located near the 51st Street Green Line station.

Morelli started serving classic Vienna Beef Chicago hot dogs last fall, but he always knew he wanted to create a menu that made him stand out from the rest. So, he closed up shop for a few months last winter and started to brainstorm on creating a signature dog.

“I just started to research different hot dog toppings, different things that we can do to just add the extra oomph. ... So I said, let’s come up with a filet mignon steak hot dog,” Morelli said. “Nobody’s necessarily done that before that I know of here in the city of Chicago, and that would be something that I feel most people would be intrigued by.”

Morelli launched several variations of the filet mignon steak dogs in March, and they were a huge hit, especially the Bronzeville Bourbon Filet Mignon Steak Dog.

Madeline Kenney has more on the Morelli family’s creations — and their secret sauce — in her latest Dishin’ on the Dish installment here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

If you could only pick one flavor of ice cream to eat for the rest of your life, what kind would it be? And from where?

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

“The original ‘Candyman’ with Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen was the one film I’ve seen in the theater which had me jumpy for a day or two afterward. I absolutely would not say the name even once, let alone three. And I distinctly remember checking over my shoulder a few times while in front of the mirror in my bathroom. A very close second would be ‘The Blair Witch Project. — Randy Volz

“‘Pet Cemetery 2.’ I snuck into the theater because I was underage and had to leave early because I couldn’t handle it. The security guard was on to me when I left the theater looking like I had just seen a ghost.’ — Shirlee Berman

“‘The Blair Witch Project.’ The entire theater reacted in unison. It was great.” — Frank Stafford

“‘Event Horizon.’ We went thinking it was just a space movie — great marketing ploy, because they got us, and scared the you-know-what out of us! Still love that movie.” — Eric Janzen

“‘The Exorcist.’ Opening night, dropped shrooms — I recovered in 1978.” — Brian Boyle

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