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 with a high near 33 degrees and a slight chance of snow showers. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 6 and wind chill values as low as minus-10. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 23 and wind chill values as low as minus-10, and Sunday will be sunny with a high near 51.
Companies tied to Gangster Disciples co-founder Larry Hoover, his family and supporters facing new federal scrutiny
Companies linked to imprisoned Gangster Disciples kingpin Larry Hoover and his family and supporters are under federal scrutiny, according to records obtained by our Frank Main and Jon Seidel.
A federal grand jury has subpoenaed the Illinois secretary of state’s office for the incorporation records of 22 companies, including the Larry Hoover Project LLC and the Larry Hoover Sr. Legal Defense Fund Ltd.
The subpoena, dated Jan. 13, is part of an active investigation, a source told our reporters.
Federal prosecutors wouldn’t comment on the case.
No one has been charged with any crime in connection with it.
The grand jury was empaneled in 2020 — the year Hoover began his quest for a sentencing break under the federal First Step Act. Among other things, that law, signed by then-President Donald Trump in 2018, allows federal convicts to seek reductions in their sentences for selling crack cocaine based on lower penalties enacted in 2010.
Hoover’s lawyer Justin Moore said he hasn’t been contacted by federal authorities and doesn’t know what the grand jury is looking into.
Moore said it “would be surprising” if Hoover or his family members are under investigation, saying he’s isolated in prison, with his communications closely monitored, and that Hoover’s family members lead “law-abiding lives.”
Hoover, 71 — described by a federal judge last year as “one of the most notorious criminals in Illinois history” — is serving a life sentence at the federal super-max prison in Colorado, convicted in 1997 of running a criminal enterprise in which authorities said he oversaw a $100 million-a-year drug business with tens of thousands of gang soldiers in Chicago and other cities.
Main and Seidel have more on the latest development in the Hoover saga here.
More news you need
- Jussie Smollett is expected to be held in protective custody at the Cook County Jail while serving his sentence for lying to police about a hate crime he staged against himself in 2019. The action is neither unexpected nor unusual: High-profile and other at-risk detainees are usually kept segregated from the jail’s general population.
- A man has been charged with wounding a 3-year-old boy in the face last month during a drive-by shooting in West Garfield Park. The 35-year-old was arrested yesterday in Cicero and charged with aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm in the Feb. 22 shooting, Chicago police said.
- Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of Mary Elizabeth Jeske, a former La Grange kindergarten teacher who died last week at age 39. Her death came 21 months after getting married, four months after giving birth to her son Harry and just three weeks after finding out she had colon cancer.
- In the two years since the pandemic began and put medical workers on the front lines across the country, some nurses have been able to weather the financial storm felt by many workers from job losses and cutbacks, but others say they’re hoping wages and benefits will improve. Elvia Malagón spoke to local nurses about how COVID-19 has impacted their careers.
- The Chicago Police Department announced it will attempt to broaden its candidate pool by waiving the longstanding 60-hour college credit requirement for those with certain work experiences. The move comes as the department has experienced high rates of attrition in the last year with scores of officers retiring or looking for work in other municipalities across the country.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot “has a personality that a lot of folks don’t like” and it’s getting in the way of solving Chicago’s intransigent problems, the chairman of the Illinois Black Caucus told our Fran Spielman. State Rep. Kam Buckner said he will decide soon after the scheduled April 8 close of the spring legislative session whether to challenge Lightfoot in the race for Chicago mayor.
- In a largely symbolic declaration issued two weeks after the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the head of the Illinois Gaming Board banned the state’s sportsbooks from laying odds on Russian contests. The edict means casinos can’t take bets on “any sports event, league or competition” in Russia or Belarus.
- As the Chicago concert promotion agency Jam Productions turns 50 this year, cofounders Jerry Mickelson and Arny Granat spoke with our Miriam Di Nunzio about their humble beginnings and how they achieved success. Boasting more than 39,000 shows at Chicago clubs, theaters and arenas over the past half century, Jam brought big names like the Ramones, Bob Marley, Prince and more — just before their careers took off.
A bright one
Caroline Liu’s Argyle Street mural serves up a carp, a dragon and a little soup, too
At the bottom of a river, a carp swims, hoping to get to the top. But first, it must navigate the strong current and rise past a waterfall.
There’s a great reward if it succeeds, an empress says: It will become a beautiful dragon.
That’s the Chinese myth that artist Caroline Liu tapped in creating a mural on West Argyle Street in Uptown by the CTA’s Argyle Street Red Line station.
Liu, 34, the daughter of a Chinese immigrant, says it’s often told to encourage kids to keep striving. She says she wanted to pay homage to her culture and create something to uplift spirits during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly for Asian Americans.
“This is representation for little Asian girls to see their culture so widely represented,” the artist says. “Being able to see your culture and to see an Asian face so widely painted, so colorful in a way they maybe haven’t seen before — that part was definitely the most important.”
She painted the mural last August and titled it “Resilience.”
Alec Karam has the full story on Liu’s mural here.
From the press box
- Illinois’ run in the Big Ten tournament didn’t last long as the Fighting Illini lost to No. 9 seed Indiana, 65-63, this afternoon.
- The Cubs and manager David Ross have agreed to a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.
- Rick Morrissey on the Ricketts family’s reported efforts to buy Chelsea FC after crying poor when it came to the Cubs.
- The Bears cut running back Tarik Cohen, who hasn’t played since tearing his ACL early in the 2020 season. The move came with an injury designation, which means Cohen was unable to pass a team physical.
- Ben Pope provides an update on the Marc-Andre Fleury trade situation for the Blackhawks.
Your daily question ☕
Where can you find the best corned beef sandwich 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’s something previously canceled by the pandemic that you’re looking forward to enjoying this year?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Ribfest at DuPage County Fairgrounds.” — John Jones
“The African/Caribbean International Festival of Life.” — Cheryl Bitoy
“Going back to church every Sunday.” — Kathryn Kotvan
“The Mundelein Craft Beer Fest.” — Rich Garling
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