Afternoon Edition: April 20, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: April 20, 2022
Joyce Dorsey Kenner, the principal of Whitney Young Magnet High School, talks to a student during the Near West Side school’s graduation ceremony June 13, 2020.

Joyce Dorsey Kenner, the principal of Whitney Young Magnet High School, talks to a student during the Near West Side school’s graduation ceremony June 13, 2020.

Pat Nabong/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 cloudy and windy with a chance of showers and a high near 54 degrees. Similar weather will continue into tonight with a low around 46 and winds that could gust as high as 40 mph. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 71.

Top story

Joyce Kenner, CPS’ most prominent principal, to retire after 3 decades

Joyce Kenner, one of the longest-tenured Chicago Public Schools principals, who has led the highly selective and prestigious Whitney Young Magnet High School through academic and athletic success along with several controversies over a nearly three-decade run as principal, is retiring at the end of the school year, she announced today.

Kenner, 65, has become synonymous with Whitney Young over the years, through both ups and downs and eight permanent CPS CEOs — plus a few interim. She has been a vocal administrator among many afraid to speak against their bosses, while also a target of criticism that she hasn’t always handled student concerns with care.

“I have great anxiety, because this has been my life,” Kenner told the Sun-Times in an interview this week. “Almost half my life I’ve spent at Whitney Young.

“I’m nervous about the next stage of my life. This has been a dream job for any educator.”

Kenner, only the third principal in Whitney Young’s 47-year history, still had her sights set on bigger dreams, though. She told the Sun-Times in a 2011 interview that she wanted to be CEO of the district: “I’m throwing my name out. I have the background and experience to take us to another level.”

The principal of course never was tapped for that position in the 11 years since. But she confirmed she expressed interest to city leaders when Janice Jackson stepped down last year. And as she heads toward retirement, her feelings about the top job haven’t changed.

“I still believe that to this day,” Kenner said of her ability to serve as CEO. “And I’m not trying to put anyone down, but I think they should have at least offered me the opportunity to interview.”

Nader Issa has more on Kenner and her resignation here.

More news you need

  1. Services are planned Saturday for Billie Paige, one of the first Black women to work as a lobbyist in Springfield. A trailblazer in Illinois politics, Mrs. Paige died April 10 at 84 years old.
  2. A federal judge overseeing a former Illinois inmate’s struggle to receive gender-affirming surgery has accused the U.S. Bureau of Prisons of treating the case like a game of “whack-a-mole.” The judge has also ordered weekly updates and a detailed plan to make sure that Cristina Nichole Iglesias gets the surgery before her expected release in December.
  3. If gas giveaways were a game of political poker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot just barely trumped Willie Wilson — with house money. The City Council’s Budget Committee today set the stage for a full vote on the mayor’s gas card giveaway by narrowly voting to approve the plan.
  4. Demolition crews began tearing down Antioch Missionary Baptist Church today, days after a fire all but destroyed the historic Englewood church. The church, at 6248 S. Stewart Ave., has been home to the Antioch MBC congregation since 1958.
  5. The demolition of another historic Chicago building comes as a statewide preservation group today issued an annual list of “most endangered landmarks” in need of saving. The list from Landmarks Illinois includes the Century and Consumers buildings on State Street, Gillson Park in Wilmette and an old caretaker’s house in Dan Ryan Woods.
  6. We’re inviting kids from pre-K through high school in Chicago and the suburbs to enter our art contest and send us a piece to fit the theme “Spring ahead.” It’s for the newest Chicago Sun-Times art contest, part of what we call The Imagination Project. Here’s how to submit.

A bright one

Chicago Magic Lounge honors city history of cabaret magic

When you enter the Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark St., you’ll notice the establishment is hidden behind a fake laundromat, complete with spinning dryers.

Guests aren’t fooled per se — it’s all too pristine to be an actual laundromat. But you know something extraordinary is afoot, a feeling magnified by the black-walled bar to the left and a pristine little lobby decorated with museum-quality magic memorabilia to the right. This feels like someplace you’d find at Disney World instead of a North Clark Street cabaret. Not a raw cinder block in sight, writes our Neil Steinberg in his latest column.


Austin Bumgartener performs a trick at the Chicago Magic Lounge, 5050 N. Clark St., a cabaret hidden behind a fake laundromat. The club is open seven days a week.

Neil Steinberg/Sun-Times

The Chicago Magic Lounge can’t be whisked offstage without mentioning its emcee, magic veteran Jan Rose, a lady of a certain age whose personality outshined the two featured magicians, first by her dramatic rendition of the considerable history of Chicago-style close-up magic.

“We are here to celebrate the grand history of Chicago magic,” she exuded, detailing the dozens of clubs that once spread across the city.

“Slowly, one by one, they began to disappear,” she said. “Pun intended.”

Steinberg has more from his night at Chicago Magic Lounge here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What do most movies and shows get wrong in their depictions of Chicago?

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

Here’s what some of you said…

“Wear the same jersey until they lose.” — Bob Swyter

“Never ever say how well we are pitching. The minute I do, the pitcher falls apart.” — Sheila Skemp

“They do better if I don’t watch.” — Scott Skinner

“I sleep in a jersey or team T-shirt the night before a game.” — Joan Palmquist

“I don’t wash my Bears jerseys during the season.” — Brandon William Burgess

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