Afternoon Edition: May 2, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: May 2, 2022
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Turnstiles at the CTA’s Red Line subway stop at Lake Street.

Sun-Times files

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.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a high near 59 degrees. Tonight will be cloudy and windy with showers overnight and a low around 48. Tomorrow will be rainy and breezy with a chance of thunderstorms and a high near 50.

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Afternoon Edition

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Top story

Wilson wants CTA to bring back conductors and its police unit to stop ‘crisis’ of mass transit crime

Mayoral challenger Willie Wilson vowed today that if elected he will bring back CTA conductors, resurrect the CTA’s own police unit and supplement both efforts by hiring back retired Chicago police officers to stop a surge in violent crime and unruly behavior that’s keeping riders away and putting employees at risk.

The millionaire businessman embraced the security plan championed by Eric Dixon, president of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 308. Wilson announced his plan after riding the L from 95th Street to downtown, ending up at the Thompson Center, across the street from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office at City Hall.

Wilson said he has no idea how much money it would cost to re-establish the CTA Police unit and hire conductors. Nor does he know how many retired cops would need to be hired to support those efforts.

He only knows that, no matter how much it costs, more must be done to stop an epidemic of strong-armed robberies, stabbings and shootings that is scaring the heck out of people who have no choice but to ride the CTA to work and encouraging those who do have a choice to continue to drive to work, or work from home.

“The first duty of a mayor, in my opinion, is to protect its citizens. If she has 71 security officers around her house, why can’t she protect the citizens that get robbed and things of that nature on the CTA?” Wilson said.

“You [used to have] people coming from the suburban areas on CTA. Now, they’re not doing it because they’re afraid of the crime. … A lot of people don’t come to Chicago no more. They don’t even come for tours. I’ve got people who are suburban who are afraid to come. People are afraid. Look how many tax dollars you’re losing just from people who don’t come to Chicago and go elsewhere to shop. You’re defeating yourself right there.”

Two months ago, Lightfoot, Police Supt. David Brown and CTA President Dorval Carter Jr. unveiled a plan to “more than double the resources” devoted to unarmed private security guards and “strategically adjust resources” from within the Chicago Police Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism to better address shifts in crime patterns” on public transit.

Fran Spielman has more on the mayoral candidate’s comments about CTA safety.

More news you need

  1. While R. Kelly already faces a potential life sentence in federal prison after a New York jury convicted him of racketeering, the singer’s new defense attorney has turned her sights on the federal charges still pending against him in Chicago. Jon Seidel has more on the motion filed by today by Kelly lawyer Jennifer Bonjean, the attorney with Chicago roots who helped free actor Bill Cosby.
  2. Two men were wounded near the Theater District in the Loop yesterday when the victims of a robbery opened fire at the thieves and hit them instead, police said. The incident prompted the cancellation of a Sunday evening performance of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” at the nearby Nederlander Theatre.
  3. A shooting outside a Near North Side bowling alley that killed one woman and wounded another over the weekend occurred during an argument involving an ex-boyfriend, police said. No one was in custody as of publishing earlier this afternoon.
  4. In Woodlawn, a developer’s efforts to revitalize a South Side landmark have gained new life thanks to his ability to adapt. David Roeder reports on the future of the old Washington Park National Bank Building.
  5. Ahead of Patti Smith’s headlining show at the Metro later this week, the Chicago-born singer and songwriter spoke to Selena Fragassi about her memories of the city, her music and her upcoming book. “One thing that mains constant is her opinion on artistic freedom and how it relates to the punk rock ethos,” Fragassi writes.
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A bright one

Spotlight shines on Pullman porters in major expansion of South Side museum

After Lyn Hughes took a walking tour of Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood in 1990, she decided to create a museum around its critical connection to the Black labor movement. At the time, she didn’t know much about the museum business. But she saw a need.

“I just thought that there ought to be some place in Pullman that talked about the African American experience, and I was appalled that nobody was doing that,” Hughes said.

Five years later, Hughes founded the National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in a humble brick house. That would be just the beginning of a long battle to bring more recognition to the Black men who were the masters of hospitality on America’s most luxurious railroad cars in the late 19th and early 20th century.

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Pullman workers in uniform in front of a clock tower in Chicago, circa 1880.

Chicago History Museum

Federal efforts to designate Pullman as a national monument took off during the Obama administration, but the spotlight was trained on the southern end of the neighborhood, founder George Pullman and the railroad car factory. Hughes’ museum about porters was sometimes overlooked.

Now, Hughes and other museum leaders aim to change that, announcing plans last month to expand while creating a new cultural district that would draw tourists and boost local employment.

For Hughes, the whole story began when she chanced upon that walking tour of Pullman, a Far South Side neighborhood that started in 1881 as one of America’s most prominent company towns — a residential district for the workers who made railroad cars at Pullman’s factory.

Read the full story for more on Hughes, the history behind the museum and the fresh effort to expand.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How do you think the Bears did in the NFL Draft over the weekend?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

On Friday, we asked you: What are your predictions for the Bears going into this weekend’s NFL Draft? Let’s see how those predictions compared to reality...

“The Bears will do everything wrong.” — Gordon Siggeman

“No matter who they pick and how good they are, the Bears will lose more games than they win this coming season.” — Jeff Hornstein

“Be patient. Pace left us in a mess, and Poles has to clean it up. That doesn’t happen over one draft, and just because you haven’t heard of the player, doesn’t mean he’s not good. We’ve had 1st-round selections who couldn’t even cut it, and before we got Darnell Mooney, how many of us actually knew about him? Now we praise him ... Rome wasn’t build in a day, and neither will this Bears team in a draft.” — Michael Johnson

“I predict more people around Chicago will become Lions fans.” — Jonathan Justus

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

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