Afternoon Edition: June 14, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: June 14, 2022

A Chicago Police Department helicopter flies in the South Austin neighborhood, Saturday, March 20, 2021.

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.

This afternoon will be sunny and hot, with a high near 98 degrees and heat index values as high as 105. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low near 80. An excessive heat warning is in place through tomorrow, which is also expected to be sunny and hot with a high near 97.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

More helicopters eyed as a tool for Chicago police to fight carjackings, other crimes

Chicago police officials, facing a surge in carjackings in recent years, are hoping to acquire new helicopters, possibly with the help of donations, to help track stolen vehicles and conduct other types of aerial missions.

A police source said the city has earmarked about $12 million to buy two new helicopters, but no contracts have been signed.

“We anticipate, or hope, to replace our helicopters,” Eric Carter, the first deputy police superintendent, said in an interview.

Carter said “several philanthropists have stepped up and inquired what the needs were as well as the cost. It would be a phased transition if we are successful in acquiring the helicopters through philanthropists and donations — or government funds.”

He wouldn’t elaborate.

The department has two Bell helicopters, one built in 1994 and the other in 2006. Though Carter spoke of replacing them, a former city official said the police department would be better off creating a fleet of at least four helicopters, including the two old ones.

The city’s police helicopters are serviced at Gary/Chicago International Airport in northwest Indiana. In May 2020, the city signed a $4.7 million, five-year maintenance contract with Gary Jet Center Inc. The police department pays for the maintenance with money that officers seize in drug cases.

The possible timetable for getting new police helicopters is unclear. One source said it could happen as early as the end of this year. Another said it would take at least a year and a half.

The need for more helicopters has been considered by all three police superintendents who’ve served under Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the sources said.

Frank Main has more on CPD’s push for more helicopters here.

More news you need

  1. Naperville police released video today showing an officer fatally shooting a man who ran at him with a hatchet during a traffic stop earlier this month. The officer pulled over a vehicle on June 3 when another car pulled up and a 28-year-old got out of that car and “charged” at the officer with a hatchet, police said.
  2. A Chicago firefighter who was wounded in a mass shooting in West Pullman after a birthday party last year has died. Timothy Eiland, 33, a father of five, was pronounced dead yesterday at South Suburban Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
  3. Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of Chicago writer and producer John Cuneo, who died early last month. Mr. Cuneo, 58, is being remembered by family and friends as creative, caring and always ready with a joke.
  4. Caterpillar, an Illinois-based maker of construction and mining equipment for nearly 100 years, said today that it is moving its headquarters from Deerfield to Irving, Texas. The announcement is a blow to the prestige of the Illinois economy, our David Roeder explains.
  5. A worker at a suburban excavation company has been convicted on charges alleging he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks to Bloomingdale Township’s onetime road commissioner. A jury yesterday found Mario Giannini, who worked for Bulldog Earth Movers, guilty at the end of a weeklong trial.
  6. Country trailblazers The Chicks are bringing their tour to the area with a stint at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park tomorrow. Lead singer Natalie Maines spoke with the Sun-Times ahead of the show about the band’s journey, name change, and legacy.
  7. The River North Residents Association lost what little leverage it had when Mayor Lightfoot put her chips on Bally’s River West bid and convinced City Council to authorize the construction of a casino in the group’s neighborhood. But that didn’t stop the organization from releasing a list of demands today that they say will make the casino more palatable.
  8. The beloved bronze lions flanking the steps of the Art Institute of Chicago left their posts today for their first deep-cleaning in 21 years. Weighing more than 2 tons, the lions were lifted and taken to a facility in Forest Park where they’ll be steam cleaned and then coated with a wax preservative.
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A bright one

Pan de Vida food pantry set to open in Little Village

At first glance, Pan de Vida Fresh Market may seem like a typical grocery.

There are some local touches, given its location in Little Village. There are Talavera-inspired ceramics. And in the back, a colorful mural features a dove and cacti.

But the produce, tastefully displayed in farmers-market-style crates, isn’t for sale, because Pan de Vida isn’t a grocery store. It’s a food pantry. Shoppers won’t have to pay a cent, not even for the flowers. Yes, they have flowers.

Pan de Vida has operated out of Little Village for a dozen years. Previously, it was run by volunteers out of the basement of the New Life Community Church.

An employee stocks crates at Pan de Vida food pantry in Little Village.

An employee stocks some of the canned spaghetti sauce at Pan de Vida Fresh Market in Little Village last Wednesday

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

During the pandemic, the nonprofit New Life Centers became involved, and Pan de Vida went from feeding dozens every week to nearly 10,000, giving away boxes of food, twice a week, drive-thru style, said Matt DeMateo, executive director of New Life Centers.

Pan de Vida’s new, dedicated space, in a two-story building at 2701 S. Lawndale Ave., opened today. The second floor will become an area where social workers can connect clients with resources. There will be computers there, too, for children to learn digital skills.

The pantry will operate five days a week: 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

“It’s going to be like a supermarket,” said Margarita Marquez, a Pan de Vida client who was given a tour. “You’re going to see what it is that you really need. Before, what they had is what you took.”

Michael Loria has more on the community endeavor here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Where do you prefer to stay while on vacation — a hotel or Airbnb? Tell us why.

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

Yesterday we asked you: What’s your favorite way to stay cool on an especially hot summer day?

Here’s what some of you said…

“I bought a snow cone maker on Amazon and sugar-free syrup on eBay. I’m eating snow cones all summer long! Yum!” — Ruben Santos Claveria

“Open water swimming!” — Erika Hoffmann

“I’m making a big pot of agua de jamaica, or hibiscus tea, and it’ll stay sweet and chilled in the fridge. There’s nothing like an ice-cold tea on a hot day.” — Estela Balderas

“The library is great. Air conditioning and thousands of books can’t be beat.” — Howard Moore

“I paid for a membership at the pool across the street, and, as a retiree, I can go there during the day when many are at work.” — Mary Jane Tala

“We either go for ice cream and people watch., or on really hot days., we go for Halo-Halo., and take a stroll. Halo-Halo is my favorite!” — Mike Ward

“In my air-conditioned apartment and eating a pint of ice cream.” — Sharon Bartley

“Jumping in the pool and listening to some tunes while floating with a beer close at hand.” — Nick Vitone

“Italian ice from Mario’s on Taylor Street.” — Maria LaMothe

“Jump in the lake!” — Jill Twery

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

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