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.
This afternoon will be cloudy with a high near 40 degrees. Tonight will be cloudy with a chance of showers and a low around 36. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 48.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to use a $12.5 million gas and mass transit card giveaway to see and raise mayoral challenger Willie Wilson squeaked through the City Council today.
The vote was 26 to 23. It was the closest shave of Lightfoot’s more-than-three-year tenure.
Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) was among the “no” votes. He and Wilson have already joined what’s expected to be a crowded race for mayor aimed at forcing Lightfoot into political retirement after a single term.
Prior to the final vote, Lightfoot delivered an impassioned plea in favor of the giveaway she claims is desperately needed to help “hurting” Chicagoans.
Opposition to the plan she calls “Chicago Moves” forced Lightfoot to make several tweaks just to get it through committee.
The income ceiling for eligibility was lowered, and three-fourths of the $7.5 million in gas cards will be reserved for South and West Side neighborhoods defined by the city as “high-mobility hardship community areas.” The eligibility area was further broadened Wednesday.
The rest will be distributed through citywide lotteries “in equal portions to each ward,” officials said.
The cards will go to winners of rolling lotteries starting in May and continuing in four more monthly waves.
More news you need
- A monk at Marmion Academy in Aurora has been charged with sexually abusing a former student, according to police. Joseph J. Charron, 66, faces eight counts of sex abuse and assault for having nonconsensual sexual contact with the student before and after his graduation, Aurora police said.
- Police are investigating two more attacks on Chicago Transit Authority Red Line trains, including one that reportedly injured a local actor, amid an apparent rise in public transit violence. CBS Chicago reported that actor Will Clinger, former host of WTTW’s “Wild Chicago” and current host of “Wild Travels,” was in intensive care after the Monday evening attack.
- Newly appointed Ald. Nicole Lee (11th) chose sides today in the bitter battle to redraw ward boundaries based on results of the 2020 census. Lee became the 34th alderperson to back the map drafted for the Rules Committee and the Black Caucus by Mike Kasper, instead of the Latino Caucus’ map.
- In other City Council news, Mayor Lightfoot’s appointment of Deborah Witzburg as Chicago’s new inspector general was unanimously approved. The city has been without a permanent watchdog for nearly eight months — ever since longtime Inspector General Joe Ferguson jumped to avoid being pushed out by Lightfoot.
- And lastly, Sun-Times staffers have won three top prizes in the National Headliner Awards, which “honor the best journalism in the United States.” It’s all work made possible by the support of our subscribers and the city we’re honored to serve.
A bright one
Carol Burnett turned 89 years young yesterday and she’ll be celebrating the event on the road with her one-woman show, “An Evening of Laughter and Reflection,” which arrives at the Chicago Theatre tomorrow.
The iconic comedienne/actress — whose accolades include Golden Globes, Emmys, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a Peabody Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, a Grammy Award, and more — is still doing what she’s loved doing for nearly 70 years: making people laugh.
“It’s the same kind of show that I’ve been doing — 90 minutes of Q&A interspersed with various clips of my shows. We just bump up the lights and people raise their hands and I call on someone. It’s playing without a net,” Burnett said with a chuckle during a recent phone chat with our Miriam Di Nunzio. “It keeps the old gray matter ticking.”
Her career has always been about the laughter, and making people just forget the cares of the days, Burnett said. It’s a responsibility she never took lightly.
“Someone once asked me what I wanted my legacy to be and I said maybe it’s just that I made people laugh when they needed it,” Burnett said.
“It also gives me joy. It’s reciprocal. It makes me happy that people are laughing. It gives me a new lease on life.”
From the press box
- Bulls guard Zach LaVine has downplayed the level of discomfort he’s gone through this season with his left knee and plans to undergo surgery immediately after the playoff run, Joe Cowley reports.
- Steve Greenberg’s got more on what’s looking like a dire situation for the Bulls with LaVine and Alex Caruso both out for Game 5 tonight
- Daryl Van Schouwen with an update on White Sox closer Liam Hendriks and his back injury.
- As Ryan Poles heads into his first draft as Bears general manager tomorrow, he’s thinking big, Jason Lieser writes.
Your daily question ☕
In addition to rising gas prices, what is an issue that you as a Chicagoan want the mayor to address?
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 the first sign of spring in Chicago?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Snow in the birdbath.” — Kelly Beall
“The smell of the grill on that random above average temperature day. Followed by WAY below average weather the very next day.” —Amy Klod Boyle
“All the folding chairs get put away.” — Laura Canales
“The first sight of the Red Cardinal! Spring is definitely nearby. Guaranteed!” —LaVerne Smith Bell
“Mario’s Italian Lemonade stand opening.” —Mickey Carioscia
“The potholes become mini swimming pools.” —Carol Wortel
“Tearing down last year’s work on the Jane Byrne and doing it over again.” —Steve Brumfield
“Cherry Blossoms in Hyde Park and Tulips on Michigan Ave.” —Robert Soltan
“The sounds of landscaping in the morning.” —Anita D’Agostino-Francis
“When the lawn starts turning green and tulips start blooming beautiful colors all over.” —Drusilla Watkins
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