Afternoon Edition: April 14, 2022

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

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A red light camera near the corner of Sheridan and Belmont Ave., Thursday, March 2nd, 2017.

James Foster/For the 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.

This afternoon will be sunny and very windy, with a high near 52 degrees, southwest winds between 30-35 mph and gusts as high as 60 mph. Tonight will be partly cloudy and breezy with a low around 39. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy and breezy with a high near 53.

Top story: Lightfoot touts 2 programs to help motorists pay mounting ticket debt

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration today touted a pair of new or enhanced programs baked into her 2022 budget to relieve the burden on some Chicagoans driven into debt and bankruptcy by the city’s overreliance on ticket revenue.

To loosen the yoke of debt between now and Dec. 31, Chicago will offer motorists at all income levels a first-ever “fix-it” defense for compliance violations such as an invalid or missing city sticker or expired license plates.

The “fix-it” defense can be used only once per violation for the lifetime of a license plate. The only requirement to have a ticket dismissed is to purchase and display a valid sticker and contest the ticket online, by mail or in-person showing proof of purchase.

If motorists provide that proof, any tickets issued for that violation in the 30 days before compliance will be dismissed.

The more generous of the two offers is earmarked for 10,733 city residents already enrolled in the “Utility Billing Relief” program and for Chicagoans whose household incomes do not exceed “300% of federal poverty guidelines.” That’s no more than $82,250 for a family of four.

Motorists enrolled in the “Clear Path Relief” program will get relief from red-light and speed camera tickets, compliance tickets and parking violations. Tickets for expired meters are not covered.

Fran Spielman has more on the programs here.

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More news you need

  1. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability announced today it has concluded its investigation into the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by Chicago police officer Eric Stillman in Little Village last year. The agency said it has forwarded its findings to Police Supt. David Brown but did not disclose what its recommendations were.
  2. A family in Chinatown is reaching out for help after their father was found brutally beaten and “left for dead” after a carjacking last week. Jin Yut Lew remains in a coma and may have permanent brain damage after he was attacked and then discovered on a sidewalk by a street cleaning crew near the Dan Ryan Expressway last Thursday, family said.
  3. A man has been charged with murdering two people who were found inside an Uptown senior home on Sunday. Ocie Banks Jr., 33, was arrested Tuesday after police identified him as the man who shot and killed Sheila Banks, 61, and Ocie Banks Sr., 79, Chicago police said.
  4. The West Side building where a porch collapsed earlier this week — killing one man and injuring two others — must be demolished because it’s not structurally sound, city officials announced today. The collapse occurred Tuesday, killing Anthony Wright, 53, and injuring two others.
  5. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who guided Illinois through the heart of the pandemic as the state’s top health official, has been named president and CEO of Sinai Chicago hospital network. Ezike was the first Black woman to lead the state agency and will also be the first Black woman to lead Sinai Chicago.

A bright one:

Got extra hotel toiletries? Chicago dispatcher’s nonprofit donates them to people experiencing homelessness

Minka Giles, a Chicago police dispatcher, loves to travel.

She’s been to 34 states and nine countries and, like many travelers, she began to acquire a lot of hotel toiletries.

“One day it was like ‘Well, what do I do with all this stuff?’” she said.

So she began to give the items to Chicagoans experiencing homelessness. And she tapped her friends at the police department for help.

Minka Giles a 14 year veteran with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, stands at OEMC’s media room, Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Giles was awarded the award for her work at OEMC as well as her non-profit organization Never 99 who helps homeless people all over Chicago. | Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Minka Giles a 14-year veteran with the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, stands at OEMC’s media room yesterday. She was awarded an award for her work at OEMC as well as her non-profit organization Never 99.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Now, at least once a month, a police officer will drive Giles to places like Lower Wacker Drive and other downtown areas where homeless people congregate. Giles turned the work into a nonprofit and named it Never 99.

The number is used in police dispatch terminology to denote a cop who’s patrolling alone, but Giles wanted to use it to let people know that no one is ever alone.

“You are never 99, you are never alone. There is always someone somewhere to help, whether you’re dealing with homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, whatever,” she said.

Mitch Dudek has more on Giles’ work here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What makes a bar a classic Chicago watering hole?

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: How do you feel about the Biden administration’s extension of the travel mask requirement to May 3?

Here’s what some of you said…

“I haven’t stopped wearing mine. I’m all about protecting myself — period!” — Jacalyn Horne Johnson

“Boo.” — Annette Mandelski Berger

“What difference will two weeks make? Not sure I understand the logic.” — Terri Riley

“I’m all for it. It’s a small price to pay in relation to our ability to move around.” — Christine Bock

“My son is a pilot. We need to keep everyone safe in close quarters.” — Vikki Bradley Stella

“If it saves lives, it’s not that big a deal. I will comply.” — Jim Coutcher

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

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