Afternoon Edition: April 15, 2022

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

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David Chipman, a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent whose nomination by President Joe Biden to lead the agency failed by one vote after debate over his ties to gun violence-prevention groups. “A majority of the Senate wants the ATF to serve as a public relations firm for the industry,” Chipman says.

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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 mostly cloudy with isolated showers and a high near 54 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with isolated showers and a low around 34. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 48 and Sunday will be partly sunny with a high near 45.

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Afternoon Edition

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Top story

When stores sold guns that fueled Chicago crime broke the law, ATF went easy on them

Over the past two decades, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has let some of the Chicago area’s most notorious gun sellers off the hook for serious violations of federal law that included selling to straw purchasers, transferring guns without background checks and doctoring sales records.

ATF inspection records obtained by The Trace and USA Today for 13 gun dealers singled out by the city of Chicago as suppliers of a disproportionate number of guns used in crimes committed show the agency found more than 120 violations of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 at these stores. Only one store passed its inspection with no violations.

The sweeping Gun Trace Report that then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration published in 2017 showed that nearly one in four guns picked up by the Chicago police between 2013 and 2016 came from just 10 stores in Illinois and northern Indiana. The top three stores together accounted for 2,000 crime guns.

ATF inspection records for the gun dealers named in the report show that the agency routinely meted out softer penalties than warranted under its guidelines when it found violations at these stores.

That finding is in step with a pattern of conciliatory inspections nationwide that the news organizations uncovered last year. That investigation found that, between 2015 and 2017, ATF regularly downgraded penalties for lawbreaking retailers across the United States. The review of more than 2,000 gun dealers showed many had flouted federal laws, selling weapons to convicted felons and domestic abusers, lying to inspectors and falsifying ledgers to hide their misconduct.

And when the ATF discovered these violations, it often issued penalties no stronger than warnings, sometimes repeatedly, and allowed stores to remain open.

The new batch of records provides details of inspections conducted as far back as 2009 and suggests that ATF’s lax approach to investigating gun dealers has continued.

Read the full story here.

More news you need

  1. A driver has been charged with fleeing from a Near North Side traffic stop and striking four people, including a young girl and a Chicago police sergeant. The man was arrested yesterday and charged with aggravated battery to a police officer, authorities said.
  2. After two years of live-streamed and scaled-down events, hundreds gathered in Pilsen on Good Friday for the 45th annual Via Crucis. Check out photos from the procession, which reenacts the before, during and after of Jesus’ crucifixion.
  3. A judge in California has dismissed former “Windy City Rehab” co-host Donovan Eckhardt’s defamation suit against showrunners he claims falsely painted him as an untrustworthy villain. Eckhardt’s now 0-for-2 at trying to legally wrest $2 million from the companies behind the hit HGTV show.
  4. Former Chicago cop Jamay Nellum-Fane first turned to the cannabinoid to deal with job-related stress and treat postpartum depression. Now she’s retired and encouraging other police officers to try it through her new business.
  5. On what would’ve been the 100th birthday of former Chicago mayor Harold Washington, Alison Martin looked back at local reporting on Washington’s campaign ahead of his 1983 mayoral election win. The reports covered some of Washington’s efforts to draw voters, including a “fiery speech” to 1,000 people at the Palmer House.
  6. A $30 million expansion of the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum was announced today on what would have been the civil rights and labor activist’s 133rd birthday. Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union, the nation’s first successful Black union.
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A bright one

Union League Boys & Girls Clubs spend spring break preparing for Earth Day

Malachi Louis spends his afternoons shooting hoops at Humboldt Park’s Barreto Club, one of the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs. He goes to the club nearly every day and considers it his second home.

“If I don’t want to be at home, I’ll come here,” said Malachi, 12. “There’s a lot of people that are here that I can trust and like. I come here to play ball and get my anger and stress out.”

Yesterday, Malachi and 20 others went beyond their normal activities at Barreto Club, 1214 N. Washtenaw Ave., and spent time cleaning the garden, planting seedlings for vegetables and painting plant pots in preparation of Earth Day next week.


Kids and volunteers plant new flowers in the garden and nearby trees in preparation of Earth Day at the Union League Boys & Girls Clubs in Humboldt Park.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“Earth Day is supposed to be a day we help the earth,” he said. “A lot of people have been littering, but on Earth Day we can start cleaning up and make our world beautiful. It’s our world, and we should want it to be clean.”

Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970, is observed annually on April 22. In recent years, the day’s global events are meant to raise awareness about global climate change and sustainable, environmentally friendly practices.

Kim Hawkins, vice president of development for the club, said with vaccination rates increasing for youth ages 5 and up, it was a good week to hold the event, which corresponds with CPS’ spring break.

“Our gardens have been neglected a little bit, and we wanted them to have a blast this spring break,” Hawkins said. Some students also decorated cupcakes with an Easter and spring theme.

Cheyanne M. Daniels has more here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What do you believe was former Chicago mayor Harold Washington’s greatest political accomplishment? Why?

Send us an email at and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What makes a bar a classic Chicago watering hole? Here’s what some of you said...

“The Old Style sign hanging out in front.” — Michael Seropian

“Friendly atmosphere, a grill that serves pub grub, a robust but not overwhelming choice of beers and paneled walls.” — Craig Barner

Dim lights, Old Style on tap, tavern pizza, and a cast of characters at the bar.” — Robert Lisowski

“Cold Beer, various types of local sport teams on, a good menu of pizza, burgers& dogs etc and good souls telling stories and a picture of Mayor Richard J Daley hanging in the bar. Old Style sign a must.” — Al Komjathy

A good bar like Old Time Tap in far south side of Chicago. Run by a good local family who understands the neighborhood and enjoys their loyal customers. Also, the staff of fine bartenders who make you want to stay and feel welcome and keep you coming back for more.” — Ken Miotk Jr.

“Must be on a corner. Serves breakfast, especially on the weekends.” — Scott Sorrel

“The liquor store attached.” — Cassie Wancata Wagner

How original the carpet floor is…” — Sean Castner

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

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