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Afternoon Edition: Sept. 22, 2021

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

Kentrell McNeal
Kentrell McNeal was the second 15-year-old Simeon High School student killed in gun violence in Chicago yesterday.
Good Kids Mad City

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 cloudy with a high near 62 degrees and gusts as high as 35 mph. A lakeshore flood advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. tomorrow. Tonight will also be mostly cloudy and windy with a low around 51. Tomorrow will continue to be breezy and cloudy with a high near 62 and a 40% chance of showers.

Top story

Two Simeon High School students killed in shootings hours apart. ‘This is why it’s so important to have ... outlets for young people’

A boy who had just celebrated his 15th birthday has died after he and a 14-year-old were shot in Hyde Park last night.

Kentrell McNeal was the second 15-year-old Simeon High School student killed in gun violence in the last 24 hours following the fatal shooting of Jamari Williams in a separate incident hours earlier near the South Side school.

McNeal was pronounced dead at 9:33 a.m. this morning.

Police said McNeal and the 14-year-old boy were attacked while sitting in a car around 6:30 p.m. in the 5200 block of South Lake Park Avenue.

The younger boy was struck in the leg and transported to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition, police said.

McNeal suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was taken to Provident Hospital, police said. He was transferred to Comer.

Yesterday evening, friends and family trickled in and out of the hospital, most on their phones notifying others of the shooting.

McNeal was part of the nonprofit youth group Good Kids Mad City, according to the group’s executive director Carlil Pittman.

“Lately I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Kentrell,” Pittman wrote on Twitter. “This is why it’s so important to have creative spaces and outlets for young people to be able to go to, because there’s nothing on the streets of Chicago for them already. RIP.”

Sophie Sherry and David Struett have the full story here.

More news you need

  1. Classes were canceled today at Naperville North High School as police investigated a bomb threat emailed to the west suburban school earlier this morning, school officials said. Students and staff were evacuated to Naperville Central High School, where families were asked to pick up their students, School District 203 said.
  2. Chicago’s Board of Education voted today to renew its agreement with the Chicago Police Department to the tune of $11.1 million. A committee of community groups that has worked to reform the school police program said it was pleased with the district’s progress.
  3. CTU officials gathered today outside a West Side elementary school where more than half the student body is under quarantine and called for CPS leaders to enact enhanced pandemic safety measures. In an interview Monday with WTTW, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was “disappointed” with the rollout of CPS’ testing plan.
  4. The Rev. Jesse Jackson was discharged today from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab after receiving therapy there for Parkinson’s disease as he recovered from a bout of COVID-19. Jackson, 79, and his wife Jacqueline Jackson, 77, were hospitalized Aug. 21 after testing positive for the virus.
  5. A former Chicago police sergeant with a history of misconduct allegations has been sentenced to two years probation for beating two men outside an Andersonville bar in 2018. Eric Elkins, 47, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of battery, and was sentenced to probation yesterday, court records show.

A bright one

Adopt-a-Beach: The meaning of the annual clean-ups via a visit to South Shore Beach

The South Shore Beach looked well-groomed last Saturday as heavy waves dunked the shore.

‘‘A woman comes with her dog, gets the big stuff and throws that out,’’ said Catherine Mardikes, the executive vice president for the League of Women Voters’ South Side unit. ‘‘But there is an amazing amount of trash in the sand, such as straws and glass.’’

Mardikes and vice president Jane Ruby led the South Shore Adopt-a-Beach event.

Plastics are the crux of why the 30th year of the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Adopt-a-Beach events matter.

Tracy Stanciel combs the South Shore Beach last Saturday during an Adopt-a-Beach event.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Tracy Stanciel found plenty of plastic as she combed the beach methodically. Her footprints made long lines in the sand, two feet apart, back and forth.

About 15,000 volunteers around the Great Lakes collect thousands of pounds of trash at the events. Volunteers wear work or surgical gloves to collect litter in buckets or garbage bags. Besides detritus common to humans, corroded metal posts (from old-time industrial dumping), a golf ball and a shotgun wad could be seen.

Dale Bowman has more from the cleanup effort here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Happy first day of autumn! Where’s the best place to see peak fall foliage in the 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 do you feel about the recent trend of restaurants forgoing printed menus for QR codes? Here’s what some of you said...

“I don’t mind at all. Before the pandemic, we probably never thought about all the things we touch & how many people touched before us including menus plus I usually look up the menu before going out for a meal so it’s the same thing.” — Tami Terry

“I want to turn off my phone and relax when I go into a restaurant. Although this is probably a part of the future and even happening at a lot of places now, I don’t like it.” — Carole Kuhrt Brewer

“I think it’s a great idea and certainly more sanitary than printed menus. Also, online menus allow for easier updating and should, in the long run, save money for the restaurants.” — Nichole Vasser

“I will leave without ordering. I still use a flip phone. It’s paid for, and it works in emergencies.” — Christine Bock

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