St. Ignatius students sue truck driver who struck their bus, Ald. Burke to leave long-held post and more in your Chicago news roundup

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

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The scene of a bus crash involving St. Ignatius College Prep hockey players and a semi driver in Warsaw, Indiana.

The scene of a Nov. 12 crash in Indiana, where 16 St. Ignatius hockey players were injured after a truck driver crashed into their bus.

Warsaw police

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a five-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers, wind gusts as high as 40 mph and a high near 58 degrees. Tonight will be cloudy with showers and a low near 27. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 33.

Top story

St. Ignatius hockey players sue truck driver who struck their bus in Indiana

Sixteen St. Ignatius junior varsity hockey players have filed a lawsuit against the truck driver who plowed into their team bus in Indiana earlier this month, knocking the bus on its side and seriously injuring three players.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday in Kosciusko County, Indiana, names the driver Victor Santos and the trucking companies as defendants.

Santos, 58, of Brooklyn, New York, was charged with felony counts of causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle and criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon. Police have said Santos was seen swerving across a highway and traveling more than 90 mph before he crashed into the school bus on Nov. 12. Santos briefly tapped the brakes as he approached an intersection on U.S. Route 30 in the town of Warsaw, then barreled through a red light and knocked the school bus on its side, officials said.

At least 16 members of the school’s junior varsity hockey team were injured, three of them critically.

Santos’ blood alcohol level was .13%, almost twice the legal limit in Indiana, police reported.

The lawsuit alleges counts of negligence and seeks punitive damages because police alleged Santos was driving under the influence of alcohol. The lawsuit also names the companies N&V Trucking Express, B&W Cartage Inc. and B&W International as defendants.

Representatives for the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

David Struett has more on the students’ case against the driver here.

More news you need

  1. Two men, 22 and 20, have been charged with fatally shooting a 12-year-old girl in March as she was heading home from her birthday party. A community activist who has worked with the family said the family is grateful for the arrests but “there’s not too much relief there.”
  2. Indicted Ald. Edward Burke (14th) has chosen not to seek reelection to a record 15th term in a ward dramatically redrawn to eliminate his most favorable precincts. Instead, the 54th year that makes Burke the longest-serving alderperson in Chicago history will be his last. Our Fran Spielman has more on Burke’s departure here.
  3. A federal judge sentenced a suburban man today to 18 months of probation and 100 hours of community service for entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot there and walking into a senator’s office. David Wiersma, 68, pleaded guilty in late August to misdemeanor parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
  4. A man who once worked for a Cook County agency that was formed to promote the redevelopment of vacant properties has been charged with scamming it to line his own pockets. Mustafaa Saleh, 36, faces one count of wire fraud for the alleged scheme involving his onetime employer, the Cook County Land Bank Authority.
  5. Chicago police officials discussed a proposed overhaul to the department’s controversial gang database yesterday at a virtual meeting of the interim Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability. The new system, dubbed the Criminal Enterprise Information System or CEIS, comes three years after a report by the city’s Office of the Inspector General found that the original database was a disorganized mess of often unverified and outdated information.
  6. After months of delays and protests, St. Paul’s Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Chicago today finally carried out a plan to remove a beloved statue from a shuttered church in Pilsen. The plan has faced fierce opposition from former parishioners, other concerned Catholics and preservationists, several of whom were detained in the process of removing the statue today. 
  7. Enrollment at the City Colleges of Chicago has slightly recovered this fall after a few years of dramatic declines, exceeding both state and national averages at other community colleges. The uptick in students doesn’t return the seven-college system to its pre-pandemic enrollment levels but is still welcome positive news for administrators who credit several initiatives for the gains.
  8. Any non-Illinoisans looking to send their standout scholar to the acclaimed Illinois Math and Science Academy high school in west-suburban Aurora may now have the chance — for a hefty price. Officials at the grades 10-12 school announced yesterday they would open tuition-based seats for the first time for the 2023-24 school year and accept “a small group” of out-of-state students for paid tuition enrollment of $53,790.
  9. Illinois Democrats’ bid to become one of the first states to hold presidential primary votes will likely be rejected this week by the Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws panel, sources told our Lynn Sweet. The panel will meet here Thursday through Saturday.
  10. The city’s overnight winter parking ban — the one where your car will be towed from main roads whether it snows or not — begins Thursday. The ban is meant to ensure main roads remain clear for snow-clearing vehicles during winter storms and will remain in effect through April 1 between 3 and 7 a.m.

A bright one

With new album, Omar Apollo now understands ‘what it is I want to say’

Singer-songwriter Omar Apollo strives to inspire his fans through his songwriting and the music genres he delivers, from retro-soul to R&B and corridos. The young artist is also a 2023 Grammy Award nominee for best new artist. 

Born in Hobart, Indiana, Apollo remembers taking the train for day trips to Chicago with his friends. His first open mike was Chance the Rapper’s Open Mike at Harold Washington Library event. The son of Mexican immigrants, Apollo has used his burgeoning career to be a voice for mental health and social causes. 

In his latest album “Ivory,” released in April, Apollo reveals himself musically and personally as exemplified by ballads of love, bad decisions and relationships. “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)” is a global hit song about pleading to past loves, grieving, and understanding self-worth. 

2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 1 - Day 1

Omar Apollo performs at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 15, 2022.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The 25-year-old says he feels like he learned how to make an album with this new release.

“I understand (now) what it is I want to say, what it is I want to do,” he said. “From the textures, sounds, vocals, feelings and emotions. I have a bird’s-eye view now.”

Apollo went from the cold Indiana winters in his garage, wearing gloves while he tried to record his vocals, to working at top music studios with the New York musicians he’s looked up to his whole life.

“It really prepared me to just want to keep making more albums. Try to make them perfect ... but in my way,” he said.

You can see Apollo take the stage tomorrow night at the Aragon Ballroom with Chicago’s own Ravyn Lenae.

Jesus J. Montero has more with Apollo here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What is your favorite public art piece in Chicago? Tell us why.

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: What’s your favorite locally owned store for holiday shopping?

Here’s what some of you said...

“Lost Girls Vintage in Logan Square and Pixie and the Boy are two of my favorite local shops.” — Annie Shallah

“Komoda on Chicago Ave in West Town.” — Shirlee Berman

“Embellish boutique on Lincoln ave in North Center.” — Donna Oline

“Love Clark Street in Andersonville. A little of everything.” — Tiffany Dunlevy

“Laurie’s Planet of Sound — a fantastic record store in Lincoln square!” — Don Hedeker

“Belle Up Boutique in Beverly.” — Jane Feurer

“Sideshow Gallery on Western near Fullerton all day!” — Andrew Malort

“Grandstand in Bridgeport.” — Margo Gertz Fultz

“De Mi Tierra by Midway.” — Sandra Silva

“My favorite locally-owned store for Christmas shopping is Made Artisan Collaborative in the Beverly neighborhood on 103rd street. The variety of beautiful and fun things is fantastic, because they feature dozens of different artists’ and crafters’ work. You could easily do all of your Christmas shopping in this one warm, welcoming place!” — Bobby Marley 

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

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