Afternoon Edition: Jan. 14, 2022

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

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Pre-rolls containing CBD THC-O, which is three times stronger than the THC found in marijuana, for sale at CBD Kratom in River North.

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.

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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 be cloudy with a high around 28 degrees and a 50% chance of snow. Tonight will also be cloudy with a low around 22 and a 60% chance of snow — new snow accumulation of less than a half inch is possible. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a high near 25 and a chance of flurries, while Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high around 27.

Top story

Chicago stores exploit legal loophole to sell THC-O, a ‘psychedelic’ 3 times stronger than weed

The story of THC-O sounds like something out of Seth Rogen’s “Pineapple Express.”

Military scientists once investigated the synthetic, cannabis-like compound as a potential nonlethal incapacitating agent while conducting secret experiments on the effects of marijuana and its byproducts.

Decades later, a hemp-derived version of the substance is touted as being three times more potent than even the strongest weed, providing a potentially psychedelic experience.

But THC-O — also known as THC-O-acetate — is no Hollywood creation. You can buy the alternative cannabinoid at stores all over Chicago that specialize in selling quasi-legal products that don’t face the same stiff regulations as products sold at licensed weed shops.

The emergence of THC-O was made possible by Congress. Its passage of the federal Farm Bill of 2018 made the distribution and sale of hemp and its derivatives legal.

The law banned products containing more than a minuscule amount of Delta-9-THC, the main component in marijuana that gets users high. But it didn’t account for the galaxy of psychoactive compounds that can be extracted or produced from hemp.

Tom Schuba has more on THC-O’s presence in Chicago here.

More news you need

  1. Ald. Edward M. Burke was videotaped inside his City Hall offices as part of the blockbuster investigation that led to his federal racketeering indictment nearly three years ago, court records made public today reveal. Our Jon Seidel has more on what the newly unsealed documents reveal here.
  2. An off-duty Chicago police officer shot three people inside a Blue Island bowling alley earlier this week when an argument over using a restroom escalated into a fist fight, prosecutors said today. David Struett, Tom Schuba, and Matthew Hendrickson report the latest on the case after today’s court proceedings.
  3. The city’s Office of Inspector General has issued a scathing report of how the city handled the aftermath of the botched raid on the home of Anjanette Young. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office and several city departments all receive harsh criticism in the OIG report.
  4. A city public health official will receive a written reprimand for failing to take actions to prevent the botched implosion at a former power plant that left Little Village blanketed in dust in 2020, according to another OIG report released today. Although the report says that the official should be disciplined — including a potential firing — the city health department told the inspector general that the official will get only a written reprimand.
  5. Family, friends and longtime customers are mourning the loss of Henry Meinke, 94, who was the third generation to run Meinke Garden Center — Niles’ oldest business. He liked to chat with and answer questions for the shop’s multiple generations of customers, among them Scottie Pippen and Bonnie Hunt, Meinke’s son said.

A bright one

Anna Simpson and her world of fishing: Cicero woman keeps going fishing all over the place

“I always said I didn’t catch a fish big enough to satisfy me,” Anna Simpson said.

However, she did find some satisfaction with a 35-inch, 16-pound lake trout, caught on Nov. 27 from southern Lake Michigan. It earned her Fish of the Week honors.

Anna, who turns 79 this month, also has caught a 35-inch, 35-pound carp from Lake Michigan and a big payara from Colombia.

Anna grew up at 26th and Trumbull and met her husband Tommy at Farragut High School. In a foretelling event, one of their first dates was netting smelt on the Chicago lakefront.


Anna Simpson with a 35-inch, 35-pound carp she caught from Lake Michigan.


Her interest in fishing picked up after Tommy was drafted and stationed at Fort Carson, where she lived continued to fish.

When Tommy and Anna retired around 2008, they joined Riverside Fishing Club. Since then, Anna has gone along on club outings and trips.

Anna and Tommy also have enjoyed their son Mark taking them on some of his international trips. They have been fishing in places as distant as Colombia, where Anna fished for peacock bass and caught payara. She has camped along the Amazon River.

Considering her joy in fishing, Anna said she’ll continue fishing “as long as [Mark] can take me.”

Outdoors columnist Dale Bowman has more from his conversation with Anna Simpson here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Which Chicago park looks the best in the winter?

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 can you tell someone’s from Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“When they say “let’s go to the jewel” in the middle of a raging thunderstorm.” — Lori Bradley

“Anywhere else in the country if somebody says, ‘I’m gonna come by your house’ they mean that they will pass by it on the street. In Chicago, if somebody says that, you better set out the snacks and beer.” — John Rehmer

“If they say pop and not soda, gym shoes and not sneakers, and if they call you ‘Joe’ instead of your name.” — Tayatta S. Cummings

“They still use the names Marshall Fields and Sears Tower.” — Amy McAfee

“We refer to locations in the city by numbers- 4400 North and 3200 West. And we know exactly how many blocks that would be from our location.” — Dianne Daleiden

“If you tell THEM you’re from Chicago and they respond with ‘What neighborhood?’ or ‘what Parish?’” — Carlos Javier Ochoa Andrade

“They honk right when the light turns green.” — Evie Fanos

“If they’re totally offended that someone puts ketchup on a hot dog.” — Ron Clewer

“After they shovel the front parking spot, they put a folding chair and call dibs.” — Rudy H Garcia

“When it’s 40° and they say ‘It’s warm outside.’” — Aaron Benjamin

“Hey you guys, I’m running through the gangway to go to the Jewel.” — Christine Fernandez

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

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