Afternoon Edition: April 19, 2022

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

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Signs advising riders that mask are still required aboard the el Train at the Clark and Lake train station today.

Anthony Vazquez/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.

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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.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 47 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 39. Tomorrow will be cloudy with showers likely and a high near 54.

Top story

Chicago commuters take continued mask requirement in stride

Riders seemed to take the Chicago Transit Authority’s mask requirement in stride today even after a federal judge in Florida struck down the national mask mandate on public transportation.

A Metra spokesperson said today that riders will still be required to wear masks on trains “while we assess the situation.” A CTA spokesperson had the same response.

Commuters outside the CTA Brown Line’s Kimball stop this morning seemed cool with it.

“You know, it’s kind of like if you go into someone’s house and they ask you to take your shoes off, that’s what you do,” said Jay Berger, 38, of Albany Park.

“It’s common sense because Chicago is one of the country’s biggest cities and an international travel hub with people coming and going all the time,” said John Overstreet, 52.

“Now, if it was a smaller town like Davenport, Iowa, I don’t think it would be such a big deal to not wear a mask on a bus or train,” said Overstreet, who works in radio ad sales.

Richard Rosario, 45, a security guard at a Loop high-rise, said he doesn’t always wear a mask while on a train. “If there’s three or four people on the train car, I’ll take it down. I’m vaccinated and kind of over wearing a mask,” he said.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s decision freed airlines, airports and mass transit systems to make their own decisions about mask requirements, resulting in a mix of responses.

The major airlines switched to a mask-optional policy, with some eliciting cheers from passengers when the changes were announced over loudspeakers. The Transportation Security Administration said last night that it would no longer enforce the mask requirement, and airports in Houston and Dallas almost immediately did away with their mandates after the TSA announcement.

Stefano Esposito and Mitch Dudek have more on mask requirements here.

More news you need

  1. A 15-year-old boy has been charged with fatally shooting a man during an argument yesterday morning in West Garfield Park. The teen was arrested moments after shooting the 43-year-old man, Chicago police said.
  2. After a fire destroyed Englewood’s historic Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on Good Friday, a wall depicting Jesus’ ascension was seemingly spared from the flames. The mural, on an inside wall of the church, appeared to be untouched after several days of burning, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
  3. Gov. J.B. Pritzker today signed a $46 billion budget package into law that promises to increase education spending, reinforce the state’s “rainy day” fund and put an extra dent in Illinois’ monstrous pension debt. The package also aims to send $50 checks to millions of Illinoisans.
  4. After signing a pair of 90-day extensions, Rosa Escareno said today that she would welcome the opportunity to be the permanent replacement for ousted Chicago Park District CEO Mike Kelly. The park district board could make a decision on Escareno’s future tomorrow during its regular monthly meeting.
  5. Millionaire businessman and mayoral candidate Willie Wilson announced plans today for a third gas giveaway. The $1 million giveaway is planned for Saturday at yet-to-be-announced locations throughout Cook County.

A bright one

Cubs’ Jason Heyward sees ‘so much opportunity’ for West Side baseball academy

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward pored over videos of the progress made on the building that will house the baseball academy bearing his name. But he still is trying to wrap his head around the scale of it.

‘‘I’ve heard 40-foot-high [ceilings], but I can’t imagine what that looks like in person,’’ he said.

Heyward plans to visit the site soon.

The Jason Heyward Baseball Academy is part of a sports, education and wellness facility in the North Austin neighborhood that broke ground last summer. The academy is scheduled for a soft opening this coming winter, with events and possibly a tournament, and a full launch of after-school programming next spring, Heyward told the Sun-Times.

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs

Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward is looking forward to the opening of his baseball academy, which broke ground last summer.

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Heyward’s academy is one piece of the 10-acre campus, working in tandem with By the Hand for Kids, Intentional Sports, Grace and Peace Revive Center and the Chicago Fire Foundation to put on sports and community programming.

The academy also is poised to help expand baseball’s reach in Chicago.

Travel-ball teams, for example, are concentrated on the North Side, often serving majority-white communities. There are a handful of top programs on the South Side, including the White Sox’ ACE program, the West Englewood Tigers and Cubs scout Keronn Walker’s B.I.G. Baseball Academy.

Heyward’s academy brings top-tier baseball facilities to North Austin, which is on the West Side. Heyward pictures it becoming a destination.

Maddie Lee has more on Heyward’s efforts here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s your go-to sports superstition when your team’s playing?

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: Illinois’ new tourism slogan is “Middle of Everything.” What would be your tourism slogan for the state?

Here’s what some of you said… ·

“Illinois: It’s where Chicago is.” — Nick Hussong

“Help! I’ve fallen in a pothole and I can’t get up!” — Jen Soto

“Come and relax, it’s just a high tax.” — Michael Fioretti

“I’ll go with Royko’s unofficial slogan for Chicago politicians: ‘Where’s mine?’” — John Mueller

“We Don’t Talk About Blago.” — Stephanie Lyons-Belk

“At least it’s not Florida.” — Lesley Abravanel Andersson

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

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