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.
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Former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan joined generations of indicted Chicago politicians before him today when he pleaded not guilty to federal criminal charges, kicking off what could be a yearslong court battle.
But perhaps most notable about Madigan’s arraignment is what didn’t happen. There was no walk of shame. No swarm of media. No awkward moment of silence in the courtroom while Madigan, lawyers and reporters waited for the judge to take the bench.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were only voices on the phone. But not Madigan’s. A lawyer entered the plea on Madigan’s behalf during the telephone call that featured scratchy audio and judges and lawyers talking over each other.
Madigan was not heard during the call. His co-defendant, Michael McClain, had trouble getting on the line, but later apologized to the judge, calling himself “electronically challenged.” McClain’s lawyer also entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
The next hearing in the case has been set for April 1 before U.S. District Judge John Blakey.
Madigan’s arraignment came two years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted the federal courts along with the rest of daily life. It also largely put a halt to a ritual faced by scores of politicians before Madigan: The stroll through the lobby of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on the way to see the judge.
Instead, defendants charged in federal court now have the option of a remote arraignment. And many have taken it, including several who have faced public corruption charges since 2020.
But none had the profile of Madigan, whose in-person arraignment likely would have been on par with those of ex-U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert or former Govs. Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan.
More news you need
- A 17-year-old boy has been charged in the murder of a WGN-TV security guard who stopped for gas in South Shore after work on Monday. Salena Claybourne was fatally shot that afternoon after the teen and another person tried to carjack her in the 6700 block of South Jeffery Boulevard, Chicago police said.
- A CTA union president demanded today that the transit agency bring back conductors and re-establish its own police unit to stop a surge in violent crime that he says has been depressing ridership and putting CTA employees at risk. Eric Dixon, president of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 308, said yet another “smoke and mirrors” response from city officials won’t cut it.
- A federal judge gave 18 months in prison today to Vincent “Uncle Mick” DelGiudice, a man the feds say ran the largest, longest and most lucrative criminal gambling ring in the history of Chicago’s federal court. The judge also ordered him to pay a significant amount of forfeiture, including a $3.5 million money judgment.
- Promontory Point, one of the most beloved spots on the south shoreline of Lake Michigan, has been named to Preservation Chicago’s annual “most endangered” list. The Point is among eight historic buildings or public assets that made the list, which also includes Cabrini Row Houses and Lathrop Homes-South Campus.
- This Saturday, conductor Eun Sun Kim will make history at Lyric Opera by becoming just the fourth woman ever to conduct a main stage production there. She will lead eight performances of Giacomo Puccini’s tragic love story, “Tosca.”
- Chicago’s iconic Pride Parade will be back in person this June after a two-year hiatus. “We’re doing this with our fingers crossed,” said Tim Frye, the parade’s coordinator, expressing cautious optimism for the parade’s return after its previous iterations were sidelined by the pandemic.
A bright one
Dana Heffernan has always had a passion for food. It started with his mother’s massive garden in Clinton, Wisconsin, that he would help tend as a kid during the summers.
But Heffernan didn’t seriously consider pursuing a culinary career until his late 20s.
At 28, Heffernan took a leap of faith and temporarily moved to Italy, where he traveled around working for free under various chefs.
While Heffernan lived there, he would watch others in the kitchen and try to mimic what they were doing.
After spending most of 2011 overseas, Heffernan returned stateside a year later and moved to Chicago, where he worked under some of the city’s best chefs, including John Hogan, Tony Montana and Pat Sheerin, before linking up with restaurateur Joe Carlucci, president of Carlucci Hospitality Group.
Heffernan’s journey through Tuscany in his late 20s inspired most of the menu at Carlucci Chicago, where he serves as the executive chef.
“I have numerous dishes on the menu that are things that I clearly remember from the beginning of my trip and just having those first bites and things like that that will completely stay with me the rest of my life,” Heffernan said.
From the press box
- The 2022 Sun-Times All-State basketball team honors the 10 best players from Illinois over the course of the current season. Check out who made this year’s team here.
- After 25 years in Peoria — and two canceled state finals the past two years due to COVID — the boys’ state basketball tournament returns to Champaign this weekend. Here’s why the state finals belong there.
- And of course, there are the games. Michael O’Brien previews the IHSA state basketball finals.
- Are the White Sox getting a glimpse of their pitching staff of the future at minor league camp? Young prospects like Jared Kelley, Matthew Thompson and Andrew Dalquist have high hopes for making an impact on the South Side.
- The Sky will celebrate their 2021 WNBA title with a ring ceremony on May 24.
Your daily question ☕
How would you describe St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago to someone new here?
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 the first album you ever bought?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Pink Floyd — ‘The Wall.’” — Steven Schnur
“Brandy’s 1994 debut album.” — Eli Klasne
“Chicago’s ‘Chicago at Carnegie Hall.’ I saved for weeks to get enough money to buy it! I played trumpet and I would listen to the albums constantly. The original lineup was inspiring!” — Kevin McKenna
“WHAM!’s ‘Make it Big’ on vinyl at Rose Records.” — Carlos J. Beltran
“Bought two on the same day: Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and Metallica’s ‘...And Justice For All.’” — John Tacopina
“The Beatles’ ‘Rubber Soul’ and Herb Alpert’ ‘A Taste of Honey.’”
“Batman Forever’s soundtrack.” — Ossie Brando
“‘West Side Story.’ I saved my allowance, rode my bike into town and bought it.” — Denise Mroczek
“Rage Against The Machine’s ‘The Battle Of Los Angeles.’” — Jamie Marie
“Britney Spears’ ‘...Baby One More Time.’” — Cisco Ortiz
“Redman’s ‘Whut? Thee Album’ on CD.” — Steven Invictus Walton
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