Afternoon Edition: Feb. 18, 2022

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

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Activists march through the streets in the Logan Square neighborhood demanding that the permit be revoked for a General Iron plant in the Southeast Side, Thursday, March 4, 2021.

Tyler LaRiviere/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 mostly sunny with a high near 31 degrees and gusts as high as 40 mph. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low of 9, a 50% chance of snow showers and wind chill values as low as minus-8. Tomorrow will be sunny with patchy, blowing snow and a high near 22. Sunday will be mostly sunny and breezy with a high of 44.

Top story

Lightfoot rejects Southeast Side metal shredder’s plan to open

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s top public health official determined that a car-shredding operation will not open on the Southeast Side, ending an almost three-year battle between her administration and residents who said they can’t tolerate any more air pollution.

Southside Recycling, the renamed, relocated business formerly known as General Iron, was expecting to open about a year ago under an agreement with the city. Community organizers fought back, saying that the industrial Southeast Side already suffers from very poor air quality.

The fact that the business was being moved from white, affluent Lincoln Park to a working-class Latino neighborhood surrounded by Black communities is racist, residents said. That claim drew a federal civil rights investigation that is ongoing.

The city’s public health department “finds that the facility proposes to undertake an inherently dangerous activity in a vulnerable community area, and the applicant failed to provide sufficient evidence that the facility can comply and stay in compliance with the terms and conditions of a permit, [municipal] code, or the rules as necessary to fully protect the residents of the Southeast Side,” Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a letter to the business owner.

Brett Chase has more on the city’s decision here.

More news you need

  1. An Illinois appellate court has dismissed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s appeal of a downstate judge’s order that invalidated his statewide school mask mandate. The ruling means local school districts can impose their own mask mandates if they want to, but Pritzker administration officials can’t force them to do so.
  2. Illinois House speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch is trying to get his wife ShawnTe Raines-Welch elected a Cook County judge, even going door to door to collect signatures from registered voters to ensure she can get on the June 28 Democratic primary ballot, sources say. And Raines-Welch is not the only clout candidate running in the suburban judicial district, Robert Herguth reports.
  3. An 8-year-old boy was wounded in a drive-by shooting this morning in Brighton Park. The boy was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition is stable, police said. A 19-year-old who had been with the boy at the time was not injured.
  4. An Oak Forest man pleaded guilty today to a federal gun charge, admitting he fired a pistol he possessed illegally during the May 2020 rioting and looting in downtown Chicago. He is the third person this month to plead guilty in federal court to playing a role in that period of the 2020 uprisings here.
  5. A Chicago police officer is accused of punching a man while he was restrained in custody before he was taken to a hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound he suffered in an exchange of gunfire with other officers. Officer Chris Hillas wasn’t involved in the Dec. 24 shooting, but he still attacked the man after he was placed in custody, prosecutors said.
  6. Melodie Gliniewicz pleaded guilty today to one felony count of deceptive practices, avoiding trial which was set to begin Tuesday and dropping the charges against her, The Daily Herald reports. She was accused of helping her late husband embezzle money from a Fox Lake police youth program.
  7. The tollway board chairman Gov. Pritzker appointed in early 2019, former Peoples Gas president Will Evans, is resigning after a tumultuous tenure, a Pritzker spokeswoman confirmed today. It was Evans’ decision to step aside, according to the spokeswoman, who said Pritzker will appoint Dorothy Abreu to replace him.
  8. A subsidiary of AT&T led by a former top aide to Michael Madigan could face a criminal charge as an apparent offshoot of an ongoing federal investigation into the dethroned Chicago Democrat, the company revealed in a federal regulatory filing. WBEZ’s Dave McKinney has more on the charges potentially facing Illinois Bell Telephone Company LLC here.
  9. Millennium Park will soon have a renovated and rebranded Park Grill Restaurant and additional food and beverage concessions along its central promenade. That’s thanks to new liquor licenses awarded today over the objections of the City Council’s Black Caucus chair, Ald. Jason Ervin, who cited a lack of minority ownership in the company that bought out the clout-heavy owners of Park Grill.

A bright one

In Elgin mural, CJ Hungerman is OK if you think he was painting the coronavirus

At the center of CJ Hungerman’s sprawling mural outside Elgin’s Hemmens Cultural Center, there’s a circular, crater-ish object that bears some resemblance to a microscopic view of the coronavirus.

Well, sure it veers a bit from that, with coils streaming from holes in the object, beams of light and what looks like it could be brain matter.

The artist painted the mural — which is 70 feet across and more than 20 feet high — early last fall on a wall in the plaza outside the performing arts center that’s across from Elgin’s City Hall.

Hungerman, 51, says, “It’s based on a painting I did in 2018. It does kind of mimic the coronavirus.”

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CJ Hungerman ‘s “Communication Station” mural, which he painted last year in Elgin.

Provided

While Hungerman, who lives in Geneva, was painting the mural, he says the COVID-19 connection clicked with some passersby, “who asked the same thing. It’s just serendipity that it kind of matched up with what was going on society-wise, with the coronavirus and all its underlying themes.”

Hungerman says the painting is about communication and in particular “positive communication.”

As he wrote in a summary of the mural, the “vessel-colored shapes abstractly represent the diversity of people residing in the Elgin community. They are harmoniously grouped together with lines of communication coming out of several of the vessels. The cords flowing out of these holes represent the interactivity of people exchanging ideas, and they are a throwback to the old land lines on phones.”

Hungerman says the painting also is “about sound, an abstract vision of sound” and “composition” — tying it in to the cultural center, which hosts plays and concerts.

We’ve got more on Hungerman’s mural here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s a reasonable home temperature?

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 is getting you through the dog days of winter?

Here’s what some of you said…

“The knowledge that spring is getting closer each day. It eases the depression that people have.” — Jo Ann Fields

“Chili, beer, weed and HBO Max.” — Adam Fryer

“Scrapbooking for my grandkids.” — Connie Jones

“My books. I’m getting lots of reading done.” — Mary Jo Haluta

“Homemade chicken and dumplings.” — Michael Akoneto

“The winter is getting me through! Why you may ask? I love the winter months! I pretty much stay indoors from work to home during the summer, but once the fall and winter arrive, I’m outdoors as much as possible.” — Patricia Rodgers

“My two great neighbors who both have snowblowers and take very good care of their 65-year-old neighbor, plus others who are up there in years!! Thanks Keith and Steve, you the best!” — Noreen Kuenster

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

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