Afternoon Edition: June 3, 2022

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

SHARE Afternoon Edition: June 3, 2022
A Chicago-area man who first came forward to report abuse by former Episcopal priest Richard Kearney stands in front of St. James Cathedral.

Ashlee Rezin/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 with a high near 79 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 55. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a high near 74. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 77.

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Afternoon Edition

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Top story

Chicago Episcopal diocese’s $750,000 sex abuse case puts Bishop Chilton Knudsen’s actions under scrutiny

In 1990, a youth minister at an Episcopal church in La Grange was concerned about one of the teenagers who frequented the parish — an 18-year-old who’d been living out of a car, “acting strange and doing a lot of drugs.”

She confronted him, and he shared a secret: He’d been sexually abused for years as a boy. His abuser was Richard Kearney, an Episcopal priest who ran his childhood parish in Oregon, Illinois, before moving to a congregation in Waukegan.

“I told her I didn’t know why I was acting the way I was,” the man later said, according to court records. “I was hurting a lot, and I told her about the abuse. She said that she was going to make sure that something got done about it.”

He said “she put me in contact with Chilton Knudsen,” a priest who at the time was a top aide to then-Chicago Bishop Frank Griswold and now serves on an interim basis as Chicago’s primary Episcopal bishop.

In the decades since, Knudsen wrote curriculum for her denomination on preventing sexual abuse and became a “certified sexual abuse prevention trainer” in response to a clergy sex abuse crisis that has embroiled Protestant faiths as well as the Catholic church.

But, according to interviews and a Cook County lawsuit that the Episcopal diocese settled in May for $750,000 without admitting any wrongdoing, she didn’t immediately call the police after the 18-year-old told her Kearney repeatedly abused him.

Though a church spokesman says she did contact the Lake County sheriff’s department within weeks, police didn’t get involved until two months later, records show — after the mother of two children called a child abuse tip line to report Kearney.

During those two months, Kearney molested another boy, according to records and interviews.

According to the recently settled lawsuit, Griswold’s office knew as early as 1987 that Kearney — who, after having been sent to a rehabilitation program, was arrested in 1990, convicted of child sexual abuse charges and “removed” from the priesthood — might have molested kids at Saint Bride’s Episcopal Church in Oregon, a half hour from Rockford, but did nothing.

Robert Herguth has more on Knudsen here.

More news you need

  1. Swastikas and racist graffiti were found at a bathroom in a school in Evanston, just weeks after nooses were found at another school in the north suburb. A staff member at Nichols Middle School found the messages.
  2. A congressional committee investigating the partial collapse of a downstate Amazon warehouse during a tornado last year, killing six, has accused the online retail giant of “obstructing” its investigation. Among those killed in the Dec. 10 tragedy was 26-year-old Austin McEwen, whose family is suing Amazon.
  3. Twelve Illinois residents are among nearly two dozen people who face federal charges for an alleged $26 million insurance-fraud scheme that lasted nearly a decade. Prosecutors say the defendants filed false applications to get life insurance policies then tricked carriers into paying death benefits by lying about the identities of deceased people.
  4. For a generation, Democrat Bobby Rush has represented Illinois’ First Congressional District, the latest and longest-serving holder of a House seat centered in the heart of Chicago’s historic South Side African American community. After nearly 30 years in Congress, Rush opted not seek a 16th term, and a field of nearly two dozen candidates has quickly assembled. Our Andy Grimm has more on who’s running.
  5. Lastly, Chicago is gearing up to host a summer’s worth of festivals all over the city. We’ve listed some of the city’s best festivals for local bites, brews and music here.
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A bright one

Artist behind Pilsen-area murals wants kids ‘Dreaming Big’ about their futures and art

When he moved from Mexico to the United States at 9, Jorge Nambo-Palmeno didn’t speak much English.

So he’d sometimes communicate with his new classmates through art — by drawing pictures for them. One of those early doodles was of a robot.

Nambo-Palmeno, now 29, still likes putting robots in his artwork. But he calls them “Nambots.” Like the one in the “Dreaming Big” mural that he completed last August at 15 and Wood streets in the Pilsen area.

art_mural_copy.jpeg

Jorge Nambo-Palmeno’s mural “Dreaming Big” at 15th and Wood streets in the Pilsen area.

Provided

“Dreaming Big” is roughly 23 feet wide and 16 feet high. Nambo-Palmeno used spray paint to create it, maybe a dozen spray cans.

He says he hopes the mural will inspire kids who haven’t gotten much support for their artistic dreams.

“I’ve always had an interest in letting kids dream big and be inspired by art,” Nambo-Palmeno says. “I feel like there’s just something very therapeutic that kind of just progresses a kid’s mind.”

Nicky Andrews has more with Nambo-Palmeno here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

How would you explain the “no ketchup on hotdogs” dogma to a non-Chicagoan?

Yesterday we asked you: How can you tell if someone is from Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“They add ‘s’ to things that don’t have them; JewelS, SoldierS Field, AldiS, BlarneyS Island. The list goes on.” — Tom Kief

“If they know what mild sauce is, then you know they’re from the Chi.” — Brian Althimer

“We Midwest folk from Chicago are a tough yet friendly bunch! We’ll always invite you in for a beverage in our ‘fronchroom/frunchroom.’ I have no clue of its origin, but to this day I meet people from all over the country and once they say that word in conversation, I know exactly where they’re from. My kind of town Chicago!” — Mike Ward

“When they say ‘gym shoes’ instead of ‘sneakers.’ We don’t wear sneakers in Chicago.” — Karen Can

“They say ‘El’ and not ‘train,’ and eat fish with their spaghetti on the side.” — Jeannette Blackwell

“You don’t have to wonder in the first 10 mins of meeting someone they will have told you they’re from Chicago at least three times.” — Ashlie Danielle Rotter

“Who the heck cuts their pizza in triangles?” — Judith Taglieri

“Would you like a pop? Not soda.” — Belinda Miller

“By the way they step. Chicago is the steppers capital.” — Edith Stinson

“When you tell someone to meet you in the gangway with a pop and some deep dish before the Taste, they know what to do.” — Karen Peterson Mannerino

“No ketchup on Chicago hot dogs.” — Lynn Gryzlak

“They tell distance not by miles, but hours and minutes.” — Dan LaBuda

“Let me have an Italian beef combo dipped with sweet and hot peppers.” — Lanisa Abrams-Harvey

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

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