Afternoon Edition: Sept. 7, 2021

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

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Parents and students arrive Aug. 30 at George Armstrong Elementary School in Rogers Park for the first day of school for Chicago Public Schools.

Ashlee Rezin/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.

This afternoon will see periods of severe showers and thunderstorms, with a high of 87 degrees, wind around 20 mph and an 80% chance of precipitation. Tonight will be mostly clear aside from isolated showers and thunderstorms, with a low around 59. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 78 degrees.

Top story

CPS mandates return to in-person school council meetings, irking some representatives

Now that Chicago Public Schools students have returned for in-person classes, the district wants Local School Councils to resume in-person meetings for the first time during the pandemic, a move that has upset some elected school representatives.

If there was a pandemic silver lining at CPS over the past year and a half, it was the increased engagement that some LSCs saw when their meetings moved online. While select schools didn’t see large attendance upticks virtually, others had hundreds of people log on, a far cry from many in-person LSC meetings in the past where few, if any, people showed up. From Spanish translation to hearing-impaired services, LSCs were as accessible as ever from the comfort of families’ homes.

But keeping in line with a return to pre-pandemic practices, virtual LSC meetings must come to an end, CPS officials told the school councils last week.

An email from the district’s LSC director, Myra Winding, said Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s emergency COVID-19 provisions that required public meetings to be conducted virtually had ended.

“This means that Local School Councils must return to the pre-pandemic requirements for conducting open meetings in person,” she wrote.

Reached Friday, Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said the governor’s executive orders “were amended to take out the open meetings act provisions since we no longer have capacity limits, but public bodies are able to determine if they can do meetings in person or virtually based on their own circumstances.”

Nader Issa has more on the LSC issue here. Get more education news by subscribing to the new Education This Week newsletter from the Chicago Sun-Times here.

More news you need

  1. A 38-year-old man has been charged with shooting and seriously wounding a CTA bus driver in the Loop on Saturday. The driver was rushed to the hospital in serious condition after the man shot him in the jaw, police said.
  2. Many companies are reporting difficulty filling open positions, offering bonuses and inducements such as flexible schedules to get people to sign on. But the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 looms, showing up in federal reports covering the job market.
  3. Nearly nine years after a judge handed four life terms to Christopher Vaughn for the murders of his wife and three children, an effort is underway to free him. A new attorney on the case says he is “looking down a number of avenues, all of which lead to actual innocence” and there are also plans to seek clemency from Gov. Pritzker.
  4. Actor Michael K. Williams, known for his deftly-acted roles in shows like “The Wire” and “Lovecraft Country,” has died at age 54. Tributes from fans and fellow actors have been widely shared on social media for Williams, who was found dead yesterday by family members in his Brooklyn apartment.

A bright one

Young Chicago actor gets dream role in ‘Doogie Howser’ reboot

While he’s still catching up on episodes of the original “Doogie Howser, M.D.” series, Wes Tian, 12, scored his dream role in his role on the show’s upcoming Disney+ reboot, “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.”

Tian plays Brian Patrick Kamealoha, young brother to Lahela “Doogie” Kamealoha, a 16-year-old prodigy (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) trying her best to juggle a budding medical career with life as a teenager.

“I love that he has such a bond with his older sister,” Tian says of the comedic character he plays on the show, set to begin streaming tomorrow. “He looks up to her, but they don’t really get to see each other too much because he’s back at home with the family and she’s saving lives in the hospital.”

It’s an incredible storyline, but so too is the story that got Tian to where he is today.

Chicago actor Wes Tian co-stars in the new Disney+ series “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.”

Chicago actor Wes Tian co-stars in the new Disney+ series “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.”


Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Tian spent much of the pandemic-stricken year of 2020 auditioning for various roles. And last February, he got a callback from Disney.

Smack dab in the middle of yet another brutal Chicago winter, Tian and his family found themselves flying to Hawaii for an extended stay with a bunch of actors and actresses that the youngster had never met. But strong bonds were quickly forged.

For five months, Tian filmed a show he dreamed of being on, playing “a super adventurous character” in one of this season’s most anticipated new shows.

And while Tian looks forward to getting started on his next project, he’s currently getting back in the swing of school back in Illinois, trying his best to find a balance between his personal and professional life.

“Let’s just say I have really accommodating teachers,” he says.

Tricia Despres has more on Tian’s backstory here.

From the press box

  • Bears coach Matt Nagy hopes that quarterback Andy Dalton will excel as the starter. But if he doesn’t, Nagy is ready to deal with the outcry for Justin Fields.
  • Regardless of who starts, inevitable injuries mean the Bears will need solid backups, writes Rick Telander.
  • In only his fourth season with the Bears, Allen Robinson already is chasing the franchise’s all-time leaders in receiving yards. It further illustrates how badly this organization needs him.
  • Michael O’Brien looks at three regular high school football playoff teams in 0-2 holes and three surprising undefeated teams.

Your daily question ☕

When does summer feel officially over to you?

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: What Chicago sports team “deserves” a championship more than all the others and why? Here’s what some of you said...

“The Bulls, because they haven’t won ish since Jordan.” — N’cole Nekia

“Chicago Sky since Candace Parker is playing for them now! And she could potentially add another championship title to her list of accomplishments.” — Cody Thomas

“White Sox. They’ve earned it. Built properly, made smart trades, made smart signings and hired the GOAT manager who has unfinished business.” — Nathan Dusek

“The Chicago Fire, so that non-fans in Chicago can learn that we have a Major League Soccer team here and not say ‘oh I thought you were talking about the TV show.’” — Alan Królikowski

“The Blackhawks. They need to win one more Stanley Cup with this group of players, Toews Kane and Fleury, before they go into total rebuild mode.” — Chris McKellar

“Chicago Red Stars because is the best soccer team we have in the Chicagoland area, Chicago Fire doesn’t exist anymore.” — Angel Rangel

“I say the Bears, so that the city can stop hanging on to 1985 like it was last year!” — Ryan Esquivel

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