Whitney Young’s new principal, Chicago’s favorite places to thrift and more in your Chicago news roundup

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

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Retiring Principal Dr. Joyce Kenner hands off a baton to Former Assistant Principal and now Principal Rickey Harris, during a vote confirming Harris as the new principal of Whitney Young Magnet High School yesterday.

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.

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Top story

Whitney Young H.S. selects new principal, only its 4th in 47 years, to replace retiring Joyce Kenner

An assistant principal at Whitney Young Magnet High School has been tapped to replace longtime Principal Joyce Kenner, who retires this week after nearly three decades at the prestigious selective enrollment school.

Whitney Young’s Local School Council voted unanimously yesterday to offer a principal contract to Assistant Principal Rickey Harris, 49, making him the school’s first new principal since 1995 and only the fourth principal in its 47-year history.

Harris has served two stints at Whitney Young, his first from 2006 to 2010 as the school’s dean of students. He went on to become the principal of St. Margaret of Scotland School, a South Side Catholic elementary school, before he returned to CPS in the fall of 2013. He moved between a few schools before he went back to a private school and eventually returned to Whitney Young in 2020.

“This is a full circle moment for me,” Harris told about 50 staff, parents and students gathered for the LSC meeting Wednesday evening in the school’s second-floor library, declaring that “dreams still do come true.”

Harris turns 50 later this month and called his new job an early birthday present. He said he plans to continue Kenner’s focus on extracurriculars along with academics, while one of his primary goals will be to support special education students through a successful high school career.

Harris met Kenner in 2004 when he was the assistant principal at an elementary school. He visited Whitney Young for a meeting and chatted with Kenner, a moment he said Wednesday changed his life. Since then, the two have grown close. And she said she had Harris in mind when tossing around possible successors in her head and recommended him to the LSC — though she wasn’t allowed to vote on the matter yesterday.

Kenner retires as one of CPS’ longest-tenured principals and perhaps its most prominent. She became synonymous with Whitney Young over the years, championing the school’s athletics and clubs with its curriculum while facing criticism that she hasn’t always handled student concerns with care.

Nader Issa has more on the passing of the baton here.

More news you need

  1. Taha Khan, a 5-year-old boy, died when he was struck by two cars after wandering from his home in Edgebrook last night. A driver of one of the cars stopped and performed CPR on the boy until an ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital, where he died, officials said.
  2. A Pilsen woman remains on life support after she was shot during an exchange of gunfire between her boyfriend and an off-duty Chicago police officer on the Stevenson Expressway last week. A lawsuit filed yesterday claims the officer fired first during the road-rage incident, striking Lizbeth Urbina in the head.
  3. A man faces DUI and gun charges after he caused a crash that killed Angela Short, 14, while she was waiting at a bus stop with her mother last Friday, Chicago police said. Her mother was also struck and hospitalized in critical condition, David Struett reports.
  4. Family, friends and former colleagues are mourning the loss of Larry Cose, who died last week of complications from Alzheimer’s at age 68. His gentle, friendly nature made people open up to him when he was a Sun-Times reporter and helped build trust when he started a new career as a financial adviser, our Maureen O’Donnell writes in Cose’s obituary.
  5. In an interview with our Fran Spielman, mayoral contender Ald. Sophia King discussed the narrative that having seven Black candidates vying for the role divides an already-diminished African American vote. “I’m certainly not gonna be bullied out of the race. ... I expect to get votes — I will seek votes — from the entire city, not just one sector of the city,” King said.
  6. Bally’s Corporation today filed its application with the Illinois Gaming Board seeking approval of its plan for a $1.7 billion riverfront casino-resort at Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street. It’s the latest step toward breaking ground on the massive entertainment complex in an already congested River West corridor.
  7. Health insurance marketplace GoHealth has said it will lay off about 800 employees, with approximately 100 of the reductions occurring in Chicago, our David Roeder reports. The cuts represent 20% of GoHealth’s workforce.
  8. The body of JoJo, a 485-pound silverback gorilla who died two weeks ago at the Brookfield Zoo, will become cataloged into the Field Museum’s mammal collection and made available for scientific study. A spokesperson for the museum said they don’t believe JoJo’s body will be placed on public display.
  9. A new study found that low-income residents had a better chance of improving their economic status if they grew up in a neighborhood where it was easy to become friends with high-income people. Researchers from Harvard University and the U.S. Census Bureau found that Chicago’s Uptown is one of the highest-ranked areas in the country in terms of cross-class friendships.
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A bright one

Chicago ranked 10th-best thrifting U.S. city in new report

Chicago ranks among the best cities to thrift in the U.S., according to a recent national study.

Shoppers often seek out thrifting their clothes as a sustainable option for their closets and their wallets, but some cities have more options than others.

To mark National Thrift Shop Day next Wednesday, nationwide landscaping company Lawn Love ranked 2022’s Best Cities for Thrifting, looking at how many thrift stores, consignment shops, flea markets, Goodwill boutiques, outlets and other specialty thrift shops are in each city.


Matthew Talaga, manager at Brown Elephant Resale Lakeview seen in 2019 arranging new items received as donations in the store located at 3020 N. Lincoln Ave.

Victor Hilitski/For the Sun-Times

New York City ranks as the country’s No. 1 city for thrifting, with an overall score of 85.62, according to the report. That’s well above the city in the No. 2 spot, Houston, Texas.

Chicago also trails Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Austin and Miami in the rankings.

When it comes to sub-categories from the report, the city ranks fifth in consignment shops and fourth for thrift stores. Over the last year, in average monthly Google searches for “thrift store,” “flea market,” and “thrift store near me,” Chicago ranks second.

Read the online version of Katelyn Haas’ story here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

When the ice cream truck or paletero man rolls through on a summer day, what’s your go-to pick?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: Where’s the best place to go thrifting in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Unique Thrift stores.” — Laurel Scott

“Salvation Army near Ashland/Clybourn.” — Katie Andert

“The Brown Elephant in Andersonville!” — Susan Brabant Baxter

“My Sister’s Closet Resale.” — Tanya C.

“Family Tree Thrift store in Lincoln Square, just North of Winnemac on Lincoln Ave.” — Villalobos Zurc Elba

“Buffalo Exchange.” — David Pantoja

“The Goodwill in West Loop.” — Amanda Potter

“Norwood Life Society Thrift Shop.” — Jackie Waldhier

“Alleyways in rich neighborhoods.” — Jeff Vitton

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

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