Afternoon Edition: Sept. 30, 2021

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

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at a Little Village news conference today. The governor said he’d be disappointed if the Chicago Bears left Soldier Field.

Mark Capapas/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.

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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.

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Top story

Pritzker punts on funding potential new stadium for Bears as lawmakers line up to block it

Gov. J.B. Pritzker today said he’d be disappointed if the Bears leave Soldier Field in favor of a new stadium in Arlington Heights, but the Chicago Democrat was noncommittal about the prospect of publicly financing a billion-dollar project — something a group of state lawmakers are lining up to block.

“I’m a Bears fan, and I know that it would be disappointing for me if the Chicago Bears moved outside of the city of Chicago,” Pritzker said at an unrelated news conference in Little Village. “I think that the Bears and the city of Chicago need to work out their differences in order for us to end up with the Bears staying in the city.”

“There’s something about having them in the city. ... There’s a tradition I think that we all feel, many of us, about the city of Chicago. Having said that, this is a private enterprise engaging with city governments to decide what’s best for them,” he said.

The team announced yesterday it reached a $197 million deal to buy 326 acres previously home to Arlington International Racecourse, which likely ran its final races last weekend. Mayor Lori Lightfoot sounded resigned to the idea of the team skipping town, but has urged the team to return to the negotiating table to keep them on the lakefront.

As for whether he’d support using public money to sweeten the pot for the Bears — either for a new stadium or for more upgrades at Soldier Field — the governor said “that’s not something that we’re looking at,” but he didn’t rule it out.

“It’s very important for us to focus on our fiscal situation in the state, making sure that we’re building up the infrastructure of the state and that we’re balancing our budget,” he said.

Read the full story here.

More news you need

  1. Breaking their Soldier Field lease could cost the Bears nearly $90 million, according to our analysis of the team’s lease with the Chicago Park District. Mitchell Armentrout has more on the Bears’ deal with the city and what it means for their potential move to Arlington Heights.
  2. New CPS CEO Pedro Martinez committed today to exploring the possibility of expanding remote learning options for parents who don’t yet feel comfortable sending their children back to school. But he stressed there were no promises those inquiries would yield a change.
  3. In a nationwide effort to target cartels selling counterfeit medication containing fentanyl, the DEA worked with a high-paid informant who provided tips. The efforts led to the arrests of 22 people in stings in the DEA’s Chicago field division, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, according to authorities.
  4. Chicago artists and creative workers financially impacted by the pandemic could soon find relief from the city. A $2.3 million relief fund for creatives will be dispersed through grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 by the end of the year, Mayor Lightfoot’s office said.
  5. A local man is singing the praises of his service dog, who alerted him early this morning to a fire filling the coach house where he and his uncle lived. They saved their three dogs and five puppies, but lost three other dogs they owned to the blaze.
  6. Tom Hardy returns in the titular role for “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” which opened in theaters today. Check out Richard Roeper’s two-star review of the sequel, which he calls an improvement despite “the yawner of a climax.”

A bright one

Local sex shop celebrates 20 years, touts resilience and self-care. ‘We’re looking out for people.’

Andersonville sex shop “Early to Bed,” 5044 N. Clark St., just marked its 20th anniversary — a journey owner Searah Deysach framed as both challenging and rewarding.

“It wasn’t something I set out to do,” said Deysach, 48, on opening the store in 2001. But she noticed there was a need in the city for a store where you could buy sex toys and not feel judged.

“That was the ‘aha’ moment. I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Stores that sell these products are staffed by people who make you feel terrible for wanting the products,’” she said.

Unable to secure a loan (“Nobody gives a sex toy store a business loan,” she said), Deysach got seed money from her mom and opened “Early to Bed” — a welcoming, destigmatized environment where customers can freely browse the products and ask questions.

Searah Daysach began Early to Bed, her Andersonville shop, 20 years ago because she felt the experience of buying sex toys was not as fun as it should be.

Searah Daysach began Early to Bed, her Andersonville shop, 20 years ago because she felt the experience of buying sex toys was not as fun as it should be.

Neil Steinberg/Sun-Times

Deysach and her clerks have worked over the last 20 years to make the store the fun, exciting experience she always thought shopping for sex toys should be.

In many instances, it has required them to be highly attuned to their customers, and take on the role of sex educator or couples counselor.

Couples visiting the shop often have “this gorgeously exciting experience, and they are on the same page, exploring together, talking, having conversations about sex, which is what you want everyone to do,” Deysach said.

“Then you see the opposite end of that, couples where communication is just not happening and we have to help facilitate that, because we’re looking out for people.”

Columnist Neil Steinberg has more on Deysach and her shop here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

It’s International Podcast Day, so we want to know — if you could create a Chicago-focused podcast, what would it be about? 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: How do you feel about the Bears’ efforts to leave the city for a new stadium in Arlington Heights? Here’s what some of you said…

“About time! Chicagoland deserves an amazing state-of-the-art stadium. Soldier Field is great but it’s not awesome. It’s too small. Arlington Park is a great location with the train already there.” — Mackenzie Currans

“San Francisco does not play in San Francisco, New York does not play in New York, Dallas does not play in Dallas. It’s okay if the Chicago Bears play in Arlington Heights.” — Gloria Chevere

“In retrospect, they probably should have built a new stadium elsewhere in Chicago 20 years ago instead of trying to fit a modern stadium at Soldier Field. The NFL has changed since then, so this might be the best option.” — Kurt Regep

“Bear management has shown us time and time again that all they care about is money — not the players, not the city, not the fans. Let them move. But they should forfeit the right to use ‘Chicago’ in their name.” — Greg Berezewski

“They lose in the city and they will lose in Arlington Heights too.” — Diane Gioia-Esposito

Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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