South Shore residents talk midterms, the story behind fake ‘newspapers’ in your mailbox 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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People walk across the crosswalk at E 71st St and S Jeffrey Blvd in South Shore last week.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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 sunny with a high near 74 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 60. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a chance of storms and a high near 71.

Top story

South Shore voters hope Obama center brings change to believe in — but they take nothing for granted

Jennifer Schultz has always loved living in South Shore.

She could walk to Lake Michigan, play tennis at a nearby park — and it once seemed like she could find anything in her neighborhood. But over the years, the 71-year-old has seen a decline in resources ranging from road improvements to programs for the youth.

“We have to travel outside to get stuff that we need,” Schultz said. “There’s not enough restaurants in the neighborhood, other kinds of retail establishments. And we deserve all those things just as well as anybody else. We should be like another Hyde Park.”

Schultz says politicians have not paid enough attention to South Shore, but she thinks that could soon change with the construction of the Obama Presidential Center just north of the neighborhood.

“We will be one of the areas that is looked at as an area where people want to move into,” she said.

Just as the World’s Columbian Exposition in Jackson Park shaped the development of South Shore in the past, residents say the Obama Presidential Center could shape its future, even as some worry about the displacement of current residents. Residents want more variety in the types of stores, wellness options and mental health resources for South Shore, but many aren’t sure if elected leaders, including those on the Nov. 8 ballot, will ever bring those long-sought needs to the area.

Still, those the Sun-Times interviewed indicated they favored giving Gov. J.B. Pritzker another term even if they didn’t completely agree with all of his policies.

Blue and yellow Pritzker campaign signs dot some of the intersections in this South Side neighborhood known for its bungalow homes. There weren’t any visible signs of Republican challenger Darren Bailey. Issues that reverberate beyond their community, such as abortion, inflation and crime were among the reasons why many in South Shore said they plan to back Pritzker.

Elvia Malagón has more with South Shore residents in the latest installment of our Pulse of the Heartland series here.

More news you need

  1. Eleven of the 14 people wounded after gunmen opened fire on a vigil Monday in East Garfield Park were family members. “It was like they were just aiming at us, which is crazy because you couldn’t see anything but kids and women,” said one woman who was shot three times.
  2. Dozens of Chicagoans experiencing homelessness rallied with supporters this morning in West Loop after city stickers were placed on their tents that threatened to discard the shelters. Members of the community spoke with our Michael Loria for his coverage here. 
  3. In the days before next Tuesday’s election, an avalanche of so-called “newspapers” produced by GOP partisans who do not reveal their financial backers is flooding the mailboxes of Illinois voters. Our Lynn Sweet dives into the big-money players behind the phony publications here.
  4. The long-dormant Damen Silos, a Southwest Side fixture for more than a century, is set to be sold by the state for more than $6.5 million. The winning bid went was made by an asphalt plant owner who’s been the target of numerous pollution claims by some McKinley Park residents, our Brett Chase reports.
  5. Construction has begun on a pioneering geriatric health center in Brighton Park. The new facility from Esperanza Health Center will host one of the state’s first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly initiatives, a federal program designed to help seniors stay in their homes for longer.
  6. A Chicago nonprofit that provides services to people with disabilities received an $8 million gift from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Access Living said it was the single largest contribution received from an individual donor in its 42-year history.

A bright one

Done with ‘SNL,’ Melissa Villaseñor savors her freedom and ‘feels like a little kid’

Comedian Melissa Villaseñor keeps up a cheery, upbeat persona that we’ve seen for six years as she grins and waves goodnight at the end of “Saturday Night Live.” And that’s what fans will see at her stand-up shows this weekend at The Den in Chicago.

Mostly. But there’s a less friendly portion of her set that crowds seem to love, and she calls it “The Mean Meliss.”

“I kinda let it out,” Villaseñor says. “I talk about how I’m a people-pleaser and I’m really jolly, but there’s a side of me that comes out late at night like a wolf.”

That’s when she lets loose with everything that’s been getting on her nerves. “It’s still really silly,” she says, “but there’s a dark side.”


Melissa Villaseñor was on “Saturday Night Live” for six years.

Robyn Von Swank

The main theme of the show, though, is freedom. Having left “SNL” last summer of her own volition, the California native now is back on the West Coast, reconnecting with family and expanding her talents, lately taking classes in Spanish and guitar.

With the weekly “SNL” grind behind her, Villaseñor is auditioning and opening herself up to whatever new projects come her way.

“I want to make my own show happen. I’m excited to act in movies now, too,” she says. “The possibilities are all here. I hope — I’m not gonna say hope, I KNOW that’s what the next things are.”

Darel Jevens has more with Villaseñor ahead of her shows tomorrow and Saturday here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What’s something every Chicagoan can agree on?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s something about Chicago that you think is underrated?

Here’s what some of you said...

“Definitely the people. Chicagoans are some of the friendliest and most helpful people in the country. They are truly genuine. Nothing fake about them.” — Melody Gee

“Our city parks. We have some of the best parks in America — truly great open spaces. The citizens of Chicago should be quite proud of these green natural venues.” — Chris Vaughn

“Cultural offerings. Chicago is the equal — and often the superior — of New York and several other cities, but few recognize it. The media will never acknowledge it.”

“It's pretty amazing how Chicago has miles of prime real estate that was kept public along the lakefront. Chicagoans have access to over 20 miles of lakefront and park access along Lake Michigan.” — Sandra Judith

“The music scene. It has something for everyone. Just like the food.” — Mario Buscemi

“The Forest Preserves suburban Chicago.” — Brandy N. Booker

“The boulevard system that is connected (and inspired by the boulevards of Paris) and winds through some beautiful neighborhoods.” — Guy Matheson

“Beaches. Being able to walk, bike or bus to a sandy beach is a pretty rare thing for a large American city.” — John T.

“Polka music. Chicago has had some of the all-time greats in polka, like Li’l Wally, Eddie Zima, The Ampol Aires, and The Versatones, but they have not received the recognition that they deserve. As Li’l Wally said ‘Chicago is a polka town!’” — Don Hedeker

“The fishing.” — Mike Humphrey

“The smaller museums around the city. Yes, we have amazing museums like the Field Museum and MSI, but there are so many museums in the city hiding in plain sight that have so much information to share. One of my favorites is the International Museum of Surgical Science, tucked away on DuSable Lake Shore Drive in a 1917 mansion.” — Kayla Palmisano

“How clean the city is; have you seen New York? Alleys made a big difference and effective sanitation services.” — Kaye Grabbe

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

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