Rail worker strike looms for Metra, not everyone’s excited for Riot Fest 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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A Metra train arrives at the LaSalle Street Metra Station in the Loop, Monday morning, Jan. 4, 2021.

A Metra train arrives at the LaSalle Street Metra Station in the Loop.

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 77 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 59. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 83.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

Metra cancels some Thursday night service as possible freight railroad worker strike looms

Some Metra trains won’t be running Thursday night as the commuter rail service braces for a possible nationwide work stoppage by freight railroad workers.

Those workers are set to go on strike on Friday if an agreement isn’t reached, and while Metra is not involved in negotiations, some of its lines are owned and operated by freight railways.

If there’s a work stoppage, there will be no service Friday on the BNSF, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West lines.

Even before then, however, in anticipation of a strike, Metra said it has been forced to start limiting services on those lines beginning Thursday evening.

BNSF: Four inbound trains departing from Aurora after 8 p.m. will be canceled (the specific runs are Nos. 1296, 1298, 1300 and 1302). Outbound trains on that line that would have departed Chicago after 9:30 p.m. also are canceled (Those runs are Nos. 1289, 1291, 1293 and 1295).

Union Pacific North:Inbound trains departing from Waukegan (Nox. 372 and 374) after 10 p.m. are canceled, as are outbound trains (Nos. 371, 373, 375 and 377) departing Chicago after 9:30 p.m.

Union Pacific Northwest:All inbound trains after 9:30 p.m. are canceled (Nos. 666 and 668). Outbound trains departing from Chicago (Nos. 661, 663, 665 and 601) also are canceled after 9:30 p.m.

Union Pacific West:One inbound trains departing from Elburn (No. 68) is canceled after 9:15 p.m., as are two outbound trains (Nos. 69 and 71) departing Chicago after 9:30 p.m.

Manny Ramos has more on the potential Metra shutdowns here.

More news you need

  1. Gov. J.B. Pritzker today signed a disaster proclamation allowing the state to speed up procurement of resources for more than 500 immigrants who have come to Illinois on buses from Texas. “This is not a time to demonize human beings. This is a time to live up to our values,” Pritzker said.
  2. A mass shooting in Washington Park that killed two people and wounded seven others was likely caused by “a personal conflict with gang affiliations,” police Supt. David Brown said today. Tom Schuba has more on Brown’s comments on the investigation into the incident.
  3. As Riot Fest gears up for another rocking weekend at Douglass Park, those who live nearby continue pushing for the festival to leave. Many residents say they’re fed up with for-profit festivals like Riot Fest taking over the local park for days or weeks at a time.
  4. Mayoral candidate Kam Buckner today released a plan for rehabilitating public transportation in Chicago that puts a focus on safety, reliability, affordability and making transit more sustainable for the future. Manny and Fran Spielman have more on Buckner’s plan here.
  5. Street artists from around the world will descend on Chicago this weekend to paint the sky … or, at least, some viaducts along the Chicago Skyway. Meeting of Styles, an international street art festival, returns to the Southeast Side on Friday.
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A bright one

Bronzeville Art District gears up for caps successful year of gallery bus tours

South Side art lovers are gearing up for one final fete before the fall.

All summer, the Bronzeville Art District has hosted free monthly tours of its member galleries. Participants ride double-decker buses staffed by docents. Galleries sometimes offer beverages and live music.

“It’s about connecting people with their culture and history of one of the African American communities of Chicago, as well as bringing people from all over the city to enjoy what Bronzeville has to offer,” said Frances Guichard of Gallery Guichard, 436 E. 47th St.

This year’s final tour runs Friday from 6-9 p.m. Participants can start at any of the five galleries, including Blanc Gallery, Faie Afrikan Art, the South Side Community Art Center and the building at 436 E. 47th St., which houses both Gallery Guichard and the Bronzeville Artist Lofts. Buses leave every 20 minutes, following two different routes. One runs from the 47th Street building to Faie Afrikan Art; the other, between 47th Street, the Community Art Center and Blanc Gallery.

Monique Brinkman-Hill is executive director of the South Side Community Art Center. The 82-year-old institution is one of five member galleries participating in the Bronzeville Art District tour.

Monique Brinkman-Hill is executive director of the South Side Community Art Center. The 82-year-old institution is one of five member galleries participating in the Bronzeville Art District tour.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

No registration is needed for the free event, though participants may RSVP beforehand, using the Eventbrite link found on the Bronzeville Art District website.

Rounding out their first year in person since the pandemic began, organizers hope to celebrate Bronzeville’s art and hear its stories of resilience, going back to the Great Migration of the early 20th century, when many Black Southerners moved north.

“Bronzeville was one of the first places that they landed, and it was a place that was booming with art, with music, with businesses,” Brinkman-Hill said.

“It remains an area that has seen ups and downs of economics as well as things like the pandemic, but it remains and sustains to be strong because of the people in the community.”

Michael Loria has more on the tours here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

If someone’s looking to “immerse” themselves in the culture of Chicago, like GOP governor candidate Darren Bailey, what neighborhood should they move to? Tell us why.

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

Yesterday, we asked you: How do you feel about GOP candidate Darren Bailey’s announcement that he’s now living in downtown Chicago?

“He is trying to win the suburban vote. Where do the suburbanites mostly go? Mag Mile and Wrigley Field. This is immersing himself in it from their point of view.” — Tracey Ryniec

“Let me guess. A highrise with a doorman and security? Whoopty-do. Anyone can do that. Let him rent a spot in a neighborhood and take public transportation, then get back to me.” — Eileen Black

It is beyond hysterical that the downstate pig farmer is now living in downtown Chicago; if he wants to feel at home with the pigs, suggest he go to a city council meeting.” — Gary Nyman

“Living in the Hancock is one part of Chicago where few of us will live. Mr. Bailey should visit and live in the neighborhoods and see how we are doing, fine and sometimes not so fine.” Mike Thomas 

“It’s one thing for a candidate to say our city has problems, as many large cities do, and then propose policies that could help solve them. Repeatedly calling a home we’re proud of a ‘hellhole,’ say living here is like ‘The Purge,’ and then move into some of the most expensive real estate in the city to ‘immerse yourself in the culture’ is all part of his plan to vilify and alienate our city from the rest of the state. He and his hate is not welcome here, and he’ll learn that the hard way in November.” — Brad Kruizenga

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

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