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 sunny with a high near 84 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms late and a low around 67. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 83.
One candidate bore a flamethrower. Another wielded garden shears.
And tens of millions of dollars later, the state of Illinois has reached the end of a massive television and digital advertising season where competing campaigns sought to turn each other into political sawdust.
GOP primary voters will be choosing from a field of six candidates in a campaign that could redefine Illinois’ Republican Party, which has fallen on hard times after controlling the state Executive Mansion for 26 straight years with a series of socially moderate, sometimes-fiscally conservative governors. It’s shaping up to be one of the most cash-flush gubernatorial campaigns in at least a quarter century of American politics, thanks to the deep pockets of Illinois’ richest men.
The winner of this race will determine whether the state GOP continues as a center-right party in Illinois, as it was during its gravy days, or gets recast as a subsidiary of former President Donald Trump in all of his conspiratorial, election-denying grandeur.
During the gubernatorial primary’s final hours, Trump came to Illinois Saturday to give his kiss of approval to state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, the downstate grain farmer with the distinct, rural twang to his voice who suddenly caught fire in the race while calling Chicago a “hellhole.”
“Darren is just the man to take on and defeat one of the worst governors in America, J.B. Pritzker. He’s one of the worst,” Trump bellowed to more than 2,000 supporters at a thunderstorm-shortened campaign rally near Quincy as Bailey stood alongside him, beaming.
Bailey has done much of his communicating to voters with a daily chat on his Facebook page, which is a mix of personal quips about his day, Democrat-bashing and old-fashioned Sunday school built around Scripture readings and prayer. This past weekend, he didn’t mention any of his GOP rivals by name and instead almost seemed to be moving beyond the primary to a fall match-up against Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
More news you need
- The polls don’t close until 7 p.m., but we’ll be closely following the results of the 2022 Illinois primary all night. Make sure to bookmark our live-updating election results page for the latest.
- A McKinley Park asphalt maker and several other companies will need to resubmit bids for more than $500 million in city contracting work after Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration rejected the initial bids over environmental concerns. When the city solicits new bids in October, it’ll require the businesses to show plans to control pollution.
- Still trying to weather an ongoing lifeguard shortage, the Chicago Park District will reassign some lifeguards to allow the city to open 37 neighborhood pools on July 5. Access to some no-swimming-allowed portions of North Avenue Beach and Calumet Beach will be limited in order to accommodate the staffing changes.
- Lincoln Park Zoo officials responded to a recent viral video of polar bear Siku laying on a small patch of ice in the summer heat by offering details of his schedule the day the video took place. As for the tiny ice pile, the zoo says Siku had already foraged fish hidden inside the ice, then decided to take a nap — his second of the day — on top of it.
A bright one
Coming down to the wire, Rene Madrid, 11, and Roman Arellano, 8, stood at the free throw line.
The ten-foot hoop of the Our Lady of Unity Parish gymnasium towered over their four-foot heads. Arellano shot first; his ball ricocheted toward the sideline. As he went to rebound it, Madrid set his feet and sunk his shot. A dozen boys watching on the court cheered. Madrid had just won his first game of knockout at the Midtown Center’s summer program for boys.
More than 200 boys are attending the program. On weekdays from June 27 to Aug. 5, it is open to rising 4th through 12th graders. In addition to sports, the boys attend classes, personal development seminars and engage in one-on-one mentoring. Run by youth development nonprofit Midtown Center, the program has been around since 1993.
It is their first year at the Wicker Park location; it has also been at a school in Bucktown. Along with the parish gym and classrooms, they will have access to the sports fields of nearby Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart this year.
The program is aimed at low-income students around Chicago, the majority of which are Chicago Public or charter school students. The cost of the six-week camp is $275, although Community Outreach Director Vince Meno said that it would be higher if it weren’t for the programs’ donors.
They lay emphasis on the games in order to get the boys excited about the program — “No kids want to come to a camp for classes and mentoring,” explained the 41-year-old Meno. However, the program tries to go a bit deeper than most summer camps.
From the press box
- Cubs hitters Willson Contreras, Rafael Ortega and Nico Hoerner weighed in on the upcoming trade deadline.
- Power hitting in MLB remains down, and there’s no obvious reason why, John Grochowski writes.
- Rick Telander on the booming business of NIL deals for college athletes: “What once would have gotten an athlete suspended, thrown out of school and possibly even charged with a crime is now the path to success.”
Your daily question ☕
What’s the most important issue to you as a voter this year? Why?
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Yesterday, we asked you: How did you celebrate Pride last weekend? Here’s what some of you said...
“I was in it! With my union. Local 1.” — Anthony Joseph Lacy
“I researched the Stonewall riots on Wikipedia and sat in amazement how corporatized the observance has become. I now have an inkling of a feeling of what it was like to be an observant Christian in America when the Coca-Cola version of Santa changed Christmas and how the candy companies changed Easter.” — Scott Falconer
“Watched the parade on the TV.” — Mary Korlaske
By reading tweets and posts about other people celebrating Pride. I had the usual list of obligations that precluded participation. I was jealous, while driving home, to see people enjoying the perfect weather. I have this inside life.— Br Gregory (@scottknitter) June 27, 2022
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