Afternoon Edition: May 12, 2022

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

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Christina Lopez

Provided photo

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 sunny with a high near 92 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 65. Tomorrow will be sunny with a near 88 and scattered showers expected in the evening.

Top story

Family of grandmother killed in Metra train crash says accident was ‘preventable’ at a crossing residents have complained about

The family of a woman killed when a Metra train slammed into a semi truck yesterday said they believe the accident was preventable, and they have heard from people who say traffic often gets stuck on the crossing in Clarendon Hills because of construction.

The family of Christina Lopez, 72, called on anyone who witnessed the accident yesterday morning or had problems at the crossing at Prospect Avenue to come forward “so that no family has to go through this tragedy again.”

“It didn’t have to happen,” Lopez’s son-in-law Jeff Klonowski said in a front yard news conference in Downers Grove. “If anyone has information, video footage or any information that could get answers, please, please reach out.”

Lopez was taking the train to visit her sister in LaGrange, as she often did, when it hit a semi stopped across the tracks around 8 a.m., according to Metra. The driver got out of the semi before the truck was hit and exploded into flames.

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation and was scheduled to hold a briefing this afternoon.

The family, and their lawyer, said they have not heard from investigators but they have gotten calls from people who have complained in the past about the crossing, where construction has slowed traffic and back it up across the tracks.

“People were in harm’s way quite frequently,” said attorney Steven K. Jambois. “This was something that was bound to happen and was very preventable.”

David Struett has more on the tragic crash here.

More news you need

  1. Three young children were wounded by gunfire in attacks on the South Side last night as shootings continue to spike across the city in recent days. Two of the children, boys 6 and 11, were among four shot in West Englewood — the third mass shooting in Chicago in two days. Five hours later, about a mile and a half away in Gresham, a 3-year-old girl and a woman were shot.
  2. A 25-year-old man has been charged with fatally shooting two men inside Humboldt Park on Monday. Police say he was arrested minutes after he and another gunman opened fire on Antwon Gee, 35, and Devel Jones, 34.
  3. A 10-year-old girl called police in March and accused her father, a Chicago police officer, of sexually abusing her, but the man was only charged for domestic battery, a misdemeanor. The arrest in March has raised questions about how the case was handled by fellow cops and by prosecutors, Tom Schuba reports.
  4. Federal prosecutors today announced drug trafficking charges against 10 members or associates of the Four Corner Hustlers street gang. The sweeping sting operation resulted in the seizure of “multiple kilograms” of heroin and cocaine and 10 firearms, including a MAC-10 submachine gun, federal authorities said.
  5. Chinatown developer See Y. Wong, a key player in the public corruption scandal that ultimately led to the indictment earlier this year of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, is set to be sentenced Aug. 16. The date comes more than a year after Wong pleaded guilty in an unrelated case.

A bright one

Helado Negro turns to far out inspiration for ‘Far In’ cut

Roberto Carlos Lange, who performs as Helado Negro (Black Ice Cream), seems as chill as his stage name. His otherworldly music, sung in English and Spanish, swirls through many genres, including Latin, electronica, roots, ambient and rock. He often filters these eclectic sounds through a prism of pop-culture influences.

“Wake Up Tomorrow,” the first track from his latest album “Far In,” takes its inspiration from a “Twilight Zone” episode. Trained as a visual artist, he also incorporates elements of performance art in his concerts, where he often appears with dancers he’s dubbed “Tinsel Mammals,” modeled after Cousin Itt from the ’60s sitcom “The Addams Family” (but covered in silver fringe instead of hair).

Lange remains unfazed by the success of “Far In,” his seventh studio release and the first for the influential indie label 4AD. All Music, NPR and Pitchfork named “Far In” one of the best of 2021, the latter declaring, “Far from shutting others out with an inward gaze, the album is an invitation into his orbit, a beacon of light beamed out into the universe, drawing you in toward its warmth.”

2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2 - Day 1

Helado Negro performs onstage during the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 20, 2018 in Indio, Calif.

Cowan/Getty Images for Coachella

Of his career upswing, borne out by his biggest tour to date (with a concert that stopped by Thalia Hall on Monday), Lange said, “I set my expectations in a different dimension. I’m all right whatever happens. I’m lucky that I can do what most people can’t” — pursue their dreams through art.

Born in South Florida circa 1980 to Ecuadorian immigrants, Lange absorbed all sorts of music, from roots to experimental. Though he’s often labeled a Latin artist, his music comes from all corners, and he thrives in the genre dissonance.

“What I grew up listening to was variety,” he said. “I heard Beatles songs in Spanish before I knew what they were. [Latin music] has always been a broad spectrum.”

Laura Emerick has more with Helado Negro here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s the best way to beat the heat in 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 are ways out-of-town fans can respectfully attend big music festivals like Riot Fest, Lollapalooza or Pitchfork?

Here’s what some of you said…

“To enjoy other things other than the concerts, the stores, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc.” —Jackie Waldhier

“Single file on the sidewalks please!” —Russell Sparks

“Share your dispensary purchases.” —Bill Goodman

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