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Afternoon Edition: Sept. 23, 2021

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

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press conference at Revolution Workshop this morning.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a press conference at Revolution Workshop this morning.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times,

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 partly sunny with a high near 64 degrees and wind gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 50. Tomorrow will be sunny and windy with a high near 78.

Top story

Pritzker announces $40 million workforce recovery grant program, a ‘key component’ for state’s pandemic recovery

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a $40 million workforce recovery grant program aimed at helping job seekers get back to work and small businesses in industries hit hard by the pandemic rebuild their workforces.

The grant program is one “key component” of the state’s pandemic recovery, Pritzker said today at Revolution Workshop in Garfield Park.

The governor also said the state will expand its youth career pathways program, investing $4.4 million in 20 organizations around the state that serve young people who might be at risk of dropping out, experiencing violence or who “otherwise would meaningfully benefit from training programs that open new doors.”

Pritzker said programs announced today aren’t “the goals in and of themselves, but they are the key components of our recovery from the pandemic and our commitment to build a better Illinois for everyone.”

The $40 million for the workforce recovery grant program comes from money the state received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The grant program will use the state’s job training and economic development program model to increase access to education, training, and “supportive services needed for vulnerable residents to successfully re-enter the labor force,” according to a news release on the program.

Rachel Hinton has more on the program and grant recipients here.

More news you need

  1. President Joe Biden will visit Chicago next Wednesday to “highlight the importance of COVID-19 vaccine requirements for businesses.” Biden plans to visit a local business enforcing a vaccine mandate, a White House official said.
  2. An arrest warrant has been issued for an Oak Lawn woman who failed to appear for her first court date after allegedly using a phony COVID-19 vaccination card to vacation in Hawaii. She faces a misdemeanor charge for violating the state’s COVID emergency proclamation, which requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination or a negative test.
  3. An 18-year-old man has been charged with a fatal home invasion in South Shore, while three others have been released from custody. He was one of three people in masks who entered a home around 5:30 a.m. and shot and killed Ben Sims, police said.
  4. Chicago is now home to the First Women’s Bank, a bank its founders say is the first and only women-led and women-focused bank in the country. A ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday served as the grand opening for the bank’s headquarters in West Town.
  5. A Boston-area man who disarmed a gunman robbing passengers on a CTA Blue Line train in 2019 was just awarded a medal and $5,500 for his good deed from the Carnegie Hero Fund. Jean-Paul LaPierre was on a crowded train car on his way downtown to run the Chicago Marathon when he encountered the gunman, took his gun and held him until police arrived.

A bright one

Things to do in Chicago for music fans

Every week, we update our categorized lists of things to do in and around the city. We’ve got a list of things to do for fans of movies, dance, museums and more. For music fans, this weekend boasts several opportunities to catch some great artists and enjoy the good weather in the forecast.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Maestro Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2017.
© Todd Rosenberg Photography

Ricardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra reunite for their first concerts since February 2020 with a series of three performances in a fall residency. The opening program (starting tonight and running through Saturday) features music by Joseph Bologne-Chevalier de Saint-George and Florence Price as well as Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3 (Eroica).”

Berwyn Blues Festival

Black Joe Lewis, who performs Saturday with his band at the Berwyn Blues Festival.
Connor Beitel Photo

The inaugural Berwyn Blues Festival kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday at FitzGerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd. The lineup includes Shemekia Copeland, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and more.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival

The Hyde Park Jazz Festival returns this weekend with mostly outdoor performances. Festival highlights include the debut of local drummer and band leader Makaya McCraven’s new piece commissioned by the festival plus sets by Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Dee Alexander & the Metropolitan Jazz Octet and more.

You can learn more about these events and other upcoming highlights here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

If you could be on one reality competition or game show, which would you choose? Tell us why.

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: Happy first day of autumn! Where’s the best place to see peak fall foliage in the city? Here’s what some of you said...

“Morton Arboretum (though not actually the city).” — Bill Schilling

“If you don’t want to drive to suburbs, go to the north end of Legion Park, southwest corner of the intersection at Peterson and Lincoln. Not only is it one of the most vibrant cluster of trees, the colors usually last longer than most other neighborhoods.” — Manisha Makwana

“Cindy’s Rooftop overlooking Millennium Park, a classic view!” — Erika Hoffmann

“Longwood Drive in Beverly.” — Wesley Jacob Astor Paul

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