Afternoon Edition: March 16, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: March 16, 2022

Then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel promotes the Polar Plunge at a news conference in 2014.

Fran Spielman/Sun-Times file

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.

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Top story

Special Olympics sues to halt use of its name by Special Children’s Charities in Chicago

A dispute that has apparently simmered for decades over the Special Olympics brand in Chicago boiled over in federal court today when the global organization sued a local group — despite a half-century of support — to force it to stop using that name.

The complaint filed by Special Olympics Inc. alleges Special Children’s Charities of Chicago, which recently celebrated its Polar Plunge benefit and is led by a member of the Daley Family, has wrongly been “posing online” as “Special Olympics Chicago,” even though any permission it once had to use that name ended in December 2020.

“Indeed, there is no entity called ‘Special Olympics Chicago,’” the lawsuit said.

The dispute is a potentially sensitive one given the history of the Special Olympics here, involving Eunice Kennedy Shriver and now-Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke. But during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis said her organization simply wants to protect its name and trademark.

“They are unlawfully being used as ‘Special Olympics Chicago’ by Special Children’s Charity, and we have asked numerous times for them to desist,” Davis said.

The trademark infringement lawsuit asks a federal judge to enjoin the Chicago organization from using the name “Special Olympics” or “Special Olympics Chicago.”

The lawsuit says Special Children’s Charities wrongly told donors it is a Special Olympics entity. The complaint does not allege any misuse of funds. Rather, it says the Chicago group does good work, and its more than 50 years of support “are appreciated.”

The complaint also details the history of the Special Olympics, including how Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, started a camp at her home in suburban Washington, D.C., for children with special needs in the 1960s. It does not mention Burke, who was then a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District who sought to hold a track meet for disabled children.

Burke is the wife of Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), who for years has faced unrelated federal racketeering charges.

Jon Seidel has more on the suit here.

More news you need

  1. Three people are charged with murdering a man they tried to carjack in the West Garfield Park neighborhood in 2020. The three people were arrested yesterday in the slaying of Robert Johnson, 52, police said.
  2. A state labor board has rejected the Chicago Teachers Union’s request to temporarily block Chicago Public Schools’ mask optional policy while the union’s legal challenge plays out. But CTU’s case against the district continues and could be expedited for a hearing as soon as next month.
  3. Marilyn Miglin, the cosmetics magnate, former Home Shopping Network host and wife of murdered real estate developer Lee Miglin, died two days ago. Mrs. Miglin, 83, was surrounded by family when she passed away in Chicago, according to the Chicago cosmetic company that bears her name.
  4. American Blues Theater today revealed plans for a new, permanent home on Chicago’s North Side. The theater company is finalizing the purchase of a 17,965-square-foot space at 5627 N. Lincoln Avenue, part of the new Lincoln Avenue North Arts District.
  5. Ahead of her Saturday night stint at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, country luminary Reba McEntire spoke with us about her life and career, new and longtime fans, and getting back on the road. “I’m happier than I’ve been in so long, and I thank God every day for that blessing,” she says.
  6. Nominees for the 2022 James Beard Awards, considered by many to be the Oscars of the restaurant business, were announced today with a strong showing from the Chicago culinary scene. Among the local names nominated are Chef Jason Vincent of Giant (finalist for outstanding chef) and Filipino restaurant/bakery Kasama (best new restaurant).

A bright one

Englewood group surprised with $110,000 donation from broadband company

Imagine Englewood if... is a nonprofit that provides youth programs on healthy living, environmental awareness and positive communication skills.

And yesterday, the organization was awarded $110,000 from cable and internet company Astound Broadband.

Imagine Englewood if... was initially promised $30,000 from Astound. When the check was presented, they were shocked to find it was actually for $110,000.

“I teared up,” said Michelle Rashad, who has been the group’s executive director for four years.

Michelle Rashad, executive director of Imagine Englewood if.

Michelle Rashad, executive director of Imagine Englewood if.

Provided/Shondell Rashad Photography

As a small nonprofit, Rashad said, it can be overwhelming. “I just took a deep breath because I was able to see how much more I could do with the goals that we have this year.”

The company originally interviewed several other groups to split the funds between before choosing Imagine Englewood if... to receive the entire amount. 

The unrestricted funds will help the group with new programs for the year. 

Cheyanne M. Daniels has more on the nonprofit’s efforts here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Chicago runners/walkers: What’s your favorite route to trek in the city?

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: Should Chicago dye the river for any other occasion? What color and why.

Here’s what some of you said…

“Yes, March 4, the date Chicago [was incorporated]. We should dye the river red and blue. Chicago has a rich history, but few know much about it beyond the cliches. And there is a lot of cynicism about Chicago, especially from suburbanites and small-town Midwesterners. Why not celebrate the city’s rich history?” — Craig Barner

“When the Sox win the pennant, they should dye it black!” — Erik Kirkstein

“Red, white and blue for the Puerto Rican parade.” — Nancy Figueroa

“Purple or pink for International Women’s Day or breast cancer awareness.” — Brittani Nichole

“Definitely orange when the Bears finally make it again!” — Brittani Nichole

“Nope. Keep it special for St. Patrick’s Day!” — Jason Betke

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

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