Afternoon Edition: May 5, 2022

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

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Rendering of the proposed Bally’s casino in the River West neighborhood.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Bally’s casino in the River West neighborhood.


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 cloudy with some showers and a high near 55 degrees. Similar weather will continue into tonight with a low near 45. Tomorrow also see showers with a high near 53.

Top story

Bally’s River West casino proposal gets city nod

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is betting big on Bally’s.

Lightfoot today confirmed the East Coast gambling company as her pick to run Chicago’s coveted casino at the busy River West site of the Tribune printing plant at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street.

The mayor’s choice for the house of chance, first reported Tuesday by the Sun-Times, marks an upset of sorts for Bally’s. The publicly traded company has acquired rather than built most of the 14 casinos in its national portfolio — none of them remotely close in size to the $1.7 billion plan it’s envisioning along the Chicago River.

Besides the casino, Bally’s proposal includes a hotel; a 3,000-seat theater; an extension of the Riverwalk; a pedestrian bridge; an outdoor park; an outdoor music venue; a terrace with a large pool spa, fitness center and sun deck; and six restaurants, cafes and a food hall.

Bally’s projects the development will add more than 3,000 construction jobs annually and 3,000 permanent casino jobs, according to a news release issued by the Lightfoot’s office.

Bally’s got Lightfoot’s nod over two rival bids, both earmarked for the South Loop: one from gaming behemoth Hard Rock International and another from hometown favorite Rush Street Gaming, chaired by billionaire Rivers Casino Des Plaines mogul Neil Bluhm.

Mitchell Armentrout and Fran Spielman have more on the proposal here.

More news you need

  1. By putting her chips on the Bally’s bid, Mayor Lightfoot has “chosen the political path of least resistance,” writes our Fran Spielman. But that doesn’t mean Lightfoot will have an easy time parlaying that pick into a winning hand in the City Council, which takes 26 votes.
  2. Airplane manufacturer Boeing reportedly is moving its headquarters out of Chicago, 21 years after it landed here in what was hailed as a coup for the local economy. The Wall Street Journal said today that Boeing plans to move its headquarters to Arlington, Virginia, close to the nation’s capital.
  3. A 22-year-old bicyclist was fatally struck by a driver who did not stop last night in Old Irving Park. The crash happened across the street from where another cyclist was fatally struck three years ago.
  4. Four women and a child were taken to hospitals after a CTA bus crashed on DuSable Lake Shore Drive on the South Side this morning. The three-vehicle crash happened near 47th Street when the bus — carrying around 50 people — rear-ended another car, smashing in the front end of the bus, officials said.
  5. A person was arrested after opening an emergency exit of a plane on the runway at O’Hare International Airport and sliding down the wing early this morning. The plane was approaching the gate, Chicago police said.
  6. Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings upgraded its Illinois bond rating two notches today, the fifth upgrade credit agencies have given the state in less than a year. The upgrade is the first Illinois has seen from Fitch since June 2000 — and it comes as Gov. J.B. Pritzker hopes to prove to voters that the state is in better fiscal shape under his leadership.

A bright one

CPS students build Legos robots in technology competition

They started with a computer and a box of Legos.

Five teams of 7th graders then had one hour to use them to build a robot that could push plastic cups around a board. A timer at the front of a classroom at Genevieve Melody Elementary School ticked down as they got to work: 55 minutes, 25 minutes, 10.

And finally: “Time’s up!” teachers shouted.

Each robot looked different since students could make their own decisions about which pieces to use. But all had the same goal: to score the most points, based on where their robot pushed four plastic cups on the board.

Lamia Williams, 13, Timia Kirkman, 12, and Shamauryania Johnson, 12, (left to right) build a robot at Genevieve Melody Elementary School on Wednesday, May 4, 2022.

Lamia Williams, 13, Timia Kirkman, 12, and Shamauryania Johnson, 12, (left to right) build a robot during Project SYNCERE’s 5th annual ENpowered Games at Genevieve Melody Elementary School yesterday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The event, called the ENpowered Games, was a chance for the students to use skills they’d learned over 10 weeks in a class organized by Project SYNCERE.

The program is geared toward students currently underrepresented in STEM fields. Project SYNCERE aims to introduce kids to those subjects and help them find ways to get involved.

Adrianne Ball, Project SYNCERE’s director of programs, said if kids are exposed to STEM fields early, they can find out if they like them and ultimately make better decisions about their future.

“It’s really important to diversify the career options for students,” Ball said

Cadence Quaranta has more on the program here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

What’s a sitcom from your childhood that you’d like to see rebooted?

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: Which Chicago library branch is your favorite?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Blackstone, CPL’s first branch. It’s a nice walk from our apartment in Hyde Park. The staff are very friendly. We use the CPL website to place requests for the books and materials we want. They notify us when they’re available and ready to pick up. Great service.” — Mitzi Metcalf Cole

“I always enjoyed going to the Sherman Park library.” — Susan Forster Hull

“My local library is The Uptown library, but I do go to the Harold Washington library at times.” — Mollie May Brady

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