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.
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 partly sunny with a 40% chance of more snow and a high near 20 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 1 and wind chill values as low as minus-9. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 22 degrees, while Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high around 28.
Tyrone ‘Ty Skippy’ Winfield, renowned stepper with the ‘fastest feet in the land,’ dead at 61
Tyrone “Skippy” Winfield danced like he was on wheels.
He’d glide around floors as if they were made of ice, feet imperceptibly propelling him “like a James Brown,” said his wife and dance partner Celeste.
They were a formidable steppin’ team, winning dozens of trophies for performing the smooth swing dance and, some years, as much as $20,000 in prizes. They’d draw extended applause for fluid turns that seemed to involve telepathic communication between the partnersy.
“They looked like they were on skates,” said WLS-TV photojournalist Ken Bedford, a promoter of steppin’ events.
Known as “Ty Skippy,” Mr. Winfield was in demand at steppin’ gatherings around the country, where people would sign up with him for lessons.
He and his wife knew each other since they were kids growing up in West Pullman. She said she could never have another partner so in sync with her. “Not like him,” she said.
Mr. Winfield, who lived in East Chicago, Indiana, died of cardiac arrest last month at 61.
With its emphasis on smooth footwork and graceful turns, steppin’ evolved from the Lindy hop, ballroom dancing and the “bopping” of earlier generations, said Pete Frazier, who helps organize the “World’s Largest Steppers’ Contest” at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Last year, Mr. Winfield and his wife were honored there as legendary steppers.
And, thanks to YouTube, “You could see his dancing moves,” said Sam Chatman, the Chicago DJ credited with coining the term stepping, “and his reputation sort of exploded.”
“He had the attitude, the suit and the hat — touch his brim with his right hand; turn around, spin, do a split, turn the girl a certain kind of way,” said Tony Wilson, a singer-dancer who performs as Young James Brown.
Maureen O’Donnell has more on the iconic “Ty Skippy” here.
More news you need
- The City Council’s Black and Latino caucuses will meet again Sunday in a last-ditch effort to forge a compromise on a new Chicago ward map that averts a costly referendum. But it could be a short meeting, as both sides seem unwilling to budge.
- Once people convicted of felony drug charges complete a probation program addressing addiction, a Cook County judge has decided on sharing his cellphone number with them. Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns says it’s important for him to establish relationships with those who finish the program.
- Rhone Talsma, the Chicago librarian who dethroned Amy Schneider on Wednesday, faced an 18th-century challenge and more on yesterday’s “Jeopardy.” Miriam Di Nunzio has the story on how he fared here.
- Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra took on a different sort of challenge last night by devoting the first in a pair of programs entirely to the baroque era. Read Kyle MacMillan’s review of the Handel and Vivaldi-packed show ahead of this weekend’s performance.
A bright one
New interactive virtual tour brings pediatric inpatients to Field Museum
Alex Molito has spent most of the last month receiving treatment for a rare condition at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. But on Thursday, the 14-year-old boy got a much-welcomed break from the norm with a chance to explore the world outside the hospital walls.
Molito was virtually transported to the Field Museum via a roving robot.
Using a phone, Molito was able to control the robot — which looked like a tablet on wheels — as it zoomed around the dinosaur hall of the Field’s Evolving Planet exhibition.
The Field Museum, like many other cultural institutions, has incorporated more virtual experiences into its lineup of activities amid the pandemic, but this program is even more unique, according to Jeff Schroder, the Field Museum’s public learning experiences coordinator, who led Molito’s tour.
The innovative virtual tour was made possible by the WeGo Foundation, an organization founded in 2017 with the goal of providing pediatric inpatients the opportunity to “escape their hospital beds.”
The Field Museum — one of WeGo’s first partners in the Midwest — recently launched the program and plans to start by giving six to 10 virtual tours to pediatric inpatients each month, with the hopes of adding more in the near future.
Madeline Kenney on the new experience here.
From the press box
- The Bears said they wanted leadership, then proceeded to hire first-timers at head coach and general manager.
- “Neither overwhelming nor underwhelming, new coach Matt Eberflus might be exactly what the Bears need to restore respectability after the sputtering end of the Matt Nagy era,” Jason Lieser writes.
- Pat Foley’s final season in the Blackhawks’ TV booth hasn’t gone as fans expected. Jeff Agrest reports on the legendary broadcaster’s diminished visibility in his farewell season.
- Last night DeMar DeRozan officially became the Bulls’ first All-Star starter.
Your daily question ☕
Where’s the best place to go sledding in Chicago?
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: What do you think of the Bears’ new hire for head coach?
Here’s what some of you said…
“I like the hire for GM. I will hold judgment on the coach hire until I see who he brings in for an OC to help Justin Fields. That has to be priority number one!” — Lamont Robinson
“We’ll see. I’m hoping that he’ll turn it around. I’m. optimistic — cautiously.” — Patti Leinss Mueller
“What’s there to say? The Bears are exactly who we thought they were. They will never win again until this ownership sells the team. Sorry but it’s the truth.” — Jordan Levy
“Why a defensive coordinator when we are good in that department?” — Theresa Bybee Pusateri
“I’m not impressed. They could have done better. Should have hired the Miami guy.” — Kyle Adkins
“I think Ebeflus’ hire was a typical Bears move which will yield typical results. I would’ve selected an offensive-minded coach like Brian Daboll, Byron Leftwich or a defensive coach like Brian Flores. The Bears get a C- on this move.” — Lawrence Walker
“My brother-in-law is a season ticket holder for the Indianapolis Colts. He and many other Colts fans are happy he is gone. They gave away too many games in the 4th quarter.” — Scott Gard
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