Afternoon Edition: April 29, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: April 29, 2022
A shopper leaves a Whole Foods Market in Englewood today, the same day the company announced the store would be closing.

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 mostly cloudy with a high near 65 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a low near 53. Tomorrow we’ll see showers and possible thunderstorms with a high near 69. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 60.

Top story

Englewood Whole Foods to close after just 6 years in neighborhood, leaving few healthy options

Whole Foods Market plans to close its Englewood location after opening the grocery store with great fanfare just six years ago.

The Englewood store as well as another one in the DePaul University Welcome Center in Lincoln Park are among six stores the grocery chain plans to close nationwide. The company was not specific about closing dates, saying the stores will close in the coming months.

When Whole Foods came to the neighborhood six years ago, it helped close a food desert gap by providing access to healthier, fresh foods.

Residents now have access to an Aldi and Go Green Community Fresh market along the same block.

With the relentless push from then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Whole Foods agreed to open the Englewood store in 2016 amid concerns about whether residents of the impoverished South Side ward could afford to shop there.

The project depended on an $11 million city subsidy for site preparation that also required an expiring tax increment finance district to be extended while money was “ported over” from a neighboring TIF.

Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th) said she knew from the outset that Emanuel’s grand experiment wouldn’t work. She acknowledged that the closing will only enlarge a food desert that deprives area residents of healthy and affordable shopping choices that include fruits and vegetables.

The announcement of store closures comes just two days after Whole Foods opened a nearly 66,000-square-foot store at 3 W. Chicago Ave. in the One Chicago high-rise. It replaces a store at 30 W. Huron St.

Cheyanne M. Daniels and Fran Spielman have more on the closure here.

More news you need

  1. Police have charged a man with fatally shooting his wife Wednesday morning at the Brickyard Mall in the Montclare neighborhood. A beloved mental health specialist, Jennifer Hamilton, 47, had taken out an emergency restraining order against her husband a little more than a week before her husband shot her five times, county prosecutors said today.
  2. Former Chicago Ald. Edward Vrdolyak is once again out of prison, five months after he reported to a federal medical center in Minnesota, records show. Vrdolyak’s lawyer had cited the 84-year-old’s “spiraling health issues,” reporting that he spent two weeks in solitary confinement after he reported to Minnesota’s FMC Rochester.
  3. A program that strives to create a pathway for high school students in the south suburbs to learn the electrical trade is getting $500,000 in federal funding. Run by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, the training program serves students at Thornton Township High School District 205 and Thornton Fractional School District 215.
  4. The Michigan Avenue building rented to Neiman Marcus has a new owner, our David Roeder reports. While some details are undisclosed, the circumstances of the sale indicate the retailer of luxury goods intends to stay. Those who follow the fortunes of the Magnificent Mile had worried that Neiman, like Macy’s, might bail on the street.
  5. Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper is beyond Chicago’s dreary weather and channeling warmer times with his new 2022 Summer Movie Preview list. From “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Top Gun: Maverick,” to “Lightyear,” “Nope” and more, these are Roeper’s 15 most anticipated movies headed our way.
  6. If you could paint a nightmare, it might just look something like the mural you’ll find in the alley in the 1300 block of West 18th Street. In the latest installment of our ongoing Murals and Mosaics series, artists Michelle Huang and Mario Mena explain that’s just what they were aiming for.

A bright one

‘Moment of my life’: Cubs’ Willson Contreras shares field with younger brother William

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras wiped away tears after hugging his younger brother William at home plate before first pitch yesterday. And his eyes filled with tears again after the game when he recounted that moment.

“It was the moment of my life, believe me,” Willson said. “... I always recall those moments when we were growing up together back home, just dreaming to get signed by somebody. And I’m crying because of the job that we put together to get to where we are.”

The Contreras brothers shared a special moment Thursday as they exchanged their respective teams’ lineup cards before the Cubs’ 5-1 loss to Atlanta. It was the brothers’ first time in opposing dugouts in their professional careers.

Atlanta had recalled William from Triple-A before the series finale with the Cubs. William, who at 24 is five years younger than Willson, made his major-league debut in 2020.

“I thought that the best way to make my parents proud was taking the [lineup] cards out together,” Willson said.

So, after getting both of their teams’ leadership on board, the Contreras brothers carried the lineup cards out to home plate yesterday evening, their last name stretching across the backs of their opposite-colored jerseys as they held their embrace.

“It is really special for me because of everything we went through to get to where we are right now as a family,” Willson said. “No one knows how hard the road is to get to the big leagues. And having my brother play against me, it’s just special. I’m trying to set an example for him to follow. And that’s what made me proud the most.”

Maddie Lee has more on the moment here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What are your predictions for the Bears going into this weekend’s NFL Draft?

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 one way to be a good neighbor?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Think about everyone on the block, not just yourself. Be mindful of the noise levels, and treat other people’s property better than you would treat your own.” — Monica Lavalais

“Talk to them before calling authorities for some supposed infraction.” — Carol Ann Kathrein

“Don’t let your animals run loose, or when leashed, relieve themselves in other people’s yards.” — Beverly Brown

“Help shovel snow during Chicago’s eight months of winter.” — Mike Walsh

“Help clean up where you see no one lives. The block is a reflection of all of us.” — Tina Hammond

“Help each other and respect each other. I have to say I love many of my neighbors. They have been there for me in the worst of times and best of times. I appreciate every single one of them.” — Angie Dreksler

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

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