Afternoon Edition: May 31, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: May 31, 2022
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Chantina Wilson poses for a portrait at an office at Salem Baptist Church in Roseland, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.

Anthony Vazquez/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.

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with isolated showers and a high near 85 degrees. Tonight will also be mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely and a low near 63. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high around 66.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

Black health care providers look to end treatment inequality

When Chantina Wilson was six months pregnant, she started having abdominal pains. She scheduled an appointment with her doctor, a white man, who told her she was having Braxton-Hicks contractions.

But this wasn’t Wilson’s first pregnancy. She knew what contractions felt like. Still, her doctor ignored her protests and sent her home with prescription-strength Tylenol.

“He didn’t even touch me,” Wilson said. “He just assumed I was having contractions.”

But she wasn’t. It was appendicitis, which Wilson discovered only after going to Stroger Hospital, where she was treated by another OB-GYN — a Black woman.

“I will never forget this lady,” Wilson said. “She came in and she was like, ‘The pain you’re describing, that’s not contractions. You’re pointing to your appendix.’ I ended up having emergency surgery right then because she told me I could die if I didn’t.”

Black patients around the country can tell similar tales. Many report having symptoms and pain dismissed or misdiagnosed. For pregnant Black women, mistreatment drastically increases the possibility of death.

In Illinois, Black mothers died from pregnancy-related issues six times more than white mothers in 2020, according to a report from the Illinois Department of Public Health. And a 2021 CDPH report found that Black infants are almost three times more likely to die within their first year than non-Black infants.

Wilson’s been fighting against these statistics as a patient care navigator with MyOwnDoctor, a Black-owned holistic telehealth service.

While telehealth services have expanded over the last few years to provide everything from counseling to prescription deliveries, MyOwnDoctor focuses on “culturally relevant” care.

The service connects patients of color to Black and Latino physicians, who often better understand their patients' lives and experiences. These physicians work in primary care, specialty care and mental health care.

Cheyanne M. Danielshas more on the effort to support patients of color here.

More news you need

  1. DNA collected from a cigarette butt has led to charges in a fatal shooting that occurred during an attempted carjacking more than three years ago in Englewood, county prosecutors said. A 20-year-old man is facing a first-degree murder charge after the FBI matched his DNA to the cigarette and a witness identified him as one of two gunmen who killed Kenjuan Scott, prosecutors said.
  2. Early voting for the June 28 primary got underway this morning in the city, with a dozen people waiting in line outside the Chicago Board of Elections supersite downtown. In-person early voting in the rest of the city begins June 13.
  3. Warning that Chicago is becoming “almost numb” to the “relentless drumbeat” of violence repeated over Memorial Day weekend, mayoral challenger Kam Buckner today unveiled his plan to stop the bloodshed. Our Fran Spielman has the details of Buckner’s plan here.
  4. A 27-year-old man cut his head after jumping from the top of a Blue Line “L” train this morning on the West Side, Chicago police said. Authorities say he was riding on top of the moving train and then jumped off when the train stopped.
  5. Family, friends, and colleagues are mourning the loss of longtime Sun-Times library assistant Zigis “Ziggy” Ulmanis, who died May 21 at age 83. “He had a respect for reporters,” said his wife of 60 years, Charlotte Ulmanis, whom he met when they were both “copy boys” at the Sun-Times in 1960.
  6. Pollution from diesel trucks will claim more than 400 lives across the state and make thousands of residents sick next year, making it crucial that Gov. J.B. Pritzker speed up Illinois’ transition to electric vehicles, a new report finds. The Respiratory Health Association in Chicago is urging Pritzker to take steps to phase out diesel-fueled engines, including setting targets coming as soon as 2030.
  7. All six Republican primary candidates for governor will appear together on stage for the first time Thursday in a high stakes debate on live primetime television. The debate will be the first chance for voters to see the apparent frontrunners, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin and State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, go head-to-head.
  8. Taste of Chicago’s full lineup of food vendors and musical entertainment was announced this morning by the city. Returning as a free multi-date, multi-location event, the festival touts more than 30 food vendors and music from headliners like Nelly, Aterciopelados, Drive-By Truckers and more. See the full vendor and artist lineup here.
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A bright one

Chicago’s Charles Parnell rises through the acting ranks to a big-time role alongside Tom Cruise

When business was slow at Guadalaharry’s, a Mexican restaurant on Rush Street, Charles Parnell and a co-worker would make up skits in the kitchen.

They’d write character names on a nearby blackboard, Parnell said. They’d decide on a backstory and then, they’d start acting. One day, Parnell said, his co-worker paused, mid-scene.

“You’re pretty good at this,” she told him. She encouraged him to give acting a shot.

“All she had to do was say that, and then I just kind of took off,” said Parnell, now appearing in the summer blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick.”

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Charles Parnell attends the Global Premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick” on May 4, 2022 in San Diego, Calif.

Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Parnell started taking local acting classes, he said, eventually making his way to the Piven Theatre Workshop in Evanston. It was there that his teachers started to make him feel like he had something to offer as an actor, Parnell said, and after about a year, he started doing small stage productions in Chicago.

Parnell hadn’t intended to leave Chicago, he said. He was born and grew up in Hyde Park. After many years, Parnell still calls it “the best neighborhood in the world.” In 1994 he headed to New York, and he has since moved to Los Angeles. When people ask him where he lives, “L.A, but I’m from Chicago,” Parnell always says. “I never let that go.”

His Chicago friends organized a screening at AMC River East. They originally arranged to reserve 150 seats, but that number rose to around 250 as more people wanted to come.

“That’s what it means to come from Chicago,” he said, “to have your friends come and not care how much you’re in a movie, they’re coming because you’re on the screen.”

Parnell’s family and friends returned to AMC River East again last week, this time for “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Cadence Quarantahas more with Parnell and his career here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Who has the best tacos in Chicago?

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’s the best part about summer in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“The neighborhood festivals.” —Debbie Vogler Thompson

“The festivals, neighborhood carnivals, the Lakefront, the Riverwalk, etc. Such a gorgeous city in the summer.” —Brice Notardonato Ellett

“Buckingham Fountain being turned on, Cubs games and the beaches.” —Jim Buettner

“Chicago Pride, Market Days, and the morning runs by the waterfront.”— Roger Sanchez

“Open water swimming, kayaking, patio dining with my wife.” —Erika Hoffmann

“Getting a free tan just walking around but cooling off with Italian ice, barbecuing and being able to sit outside all evening!” —Niki Brown

“The scenery, people watching, a cool adult beverage.” —Jackie Waldhier

“Being one with nature. You can go say hello to all the animals in the only free zoo Lincoln Park Zoo and take a walk to the beach and swim or fish or just lay in the sand and feel the breeze and the warm sun hugging your body.” —Barb Massey

“It is literally the best two weeks of the year.” —Nadine Ellis

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

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