Bail denied for woman who tossed nephew off Navy Pier, Chicagoans raise funds for Hurricane Fiona victims 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 woman has been charged with pushing her 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan off Navy Pier yesterday, leaving him in “very critical” condition.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a five-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be partly sunny with a high near 84 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 52. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 63.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

Bail denied for woman who tossed 3-year-old nephew into Lake Michigan off Navy Pier, despite defense claims of mental illness

Three-year-old Josiah Brown was pushed into Lake Michigan by his “beloved aunt” who then stood by as he sunk to the bottom off Navy Pier, where divers found him a half-hour later, prosecutors said in court today.

The boy went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to Lurie Children’s Hospital in “very critical condition,” officials said. He is not expected to survive, prosecutors said during a bond hearing for the aunt, Victoria Moreno.

Judge Susanna Ortiz denied bail for Moreno, despite defense arguments that she suffers from mental issues. The judge called Moreno’s actions “intentionally brutal and heinous.” Moreno, 34, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery to a child, according to police.

The boy was pulled from the lake about 1 p.m. yesterday near the 700 block of East Grand Avenue. Moreno initially told responding officers that she was only a witness, then claimed she was holding the boy’s shirt and let go because he “was acting up,” according to a police report and a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Ashton King and Allison Huston were walking along the lakefront that afternoon when they heard a splash and noticed Moreno peering into the water, where the boy was floating on his back. Moreno denied knowing him, Huston said.

King said she immediately dialed 911 as Huston tried to keep the boy “as calm as possible.” By then, he still had his eyes open but was unresponsive, King said. She then recalled walking past a life preserver, but the boy had already sunk into the water by the time Huston grabbed it.

Emergency crews arrived a short time later and grabbed him from the water. Moreno had already backed away and “didn’t do anything” while the boy was drowning, King said.

Tom Schuba and David Struetthave more on this tragedy here.

More news you need

  1. Five years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican community leaders in Chicago are once again raising funds to help residents recover from another powerful hurricane. Local orgs are aiming to raise at least $100,000 for the victims of Hurricane Fiona, said Jessie Fuentes of the Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago. Our Elvia Malagón has more on the efforts to help here.
  2. An ordinance passed by City Council today makes Chicago a “bodily autonomy sanctuary city,” which means police and city officials will be barred from cooperating in investigationsseeking to criminalize women who come to Chicago seeking reproductive care. Fran Spielman says the council passed the measure “without a word of debate.”
  3. In other City Council news, Chicago’s youngest alderperson was sworn in and started voting today. Ald. Timmy Knudsen, recently appointed by the mayor to represent the 43rd Ward, will also be the sixth member of the council’s LGBTQ caucus.
  4. It’s too late to pump the brakes on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to have Chicago host the first street course race in NASCAR history, which will tie up part of Grant Park for two weeks next year. But a new ordinance proposed today by Ald. Brendan Reilly aims to check the mayor’s power in the future and make sure City Council approves large special events that take over parks for days.
  5. Lastly from City Hall, City Council today delayed a controversial ordinance that would allow private vehicle booters that already roam free in 34 Chicago wards to expand their operations citywide. Currently, booting on private lots is allowed only if the local alderperson opts in — and 16 alderpersons have refused.
  6. Chicago developer Sterling Bay, with big plans pending at its Lincoln Yards site on the North Side, has revealed its push for a residential tower across the street from the 53-acre property. The building would contain 359 units and 205 parking spaces, according to the zoning application.
  7. New York’s attorney general sued former President Donald Trump and his company today, alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C., the Associated Press reports. The suit claims that Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago was been represented as worthless to tax authorities, but was appraised at $133 million as recently as 2015 as part of an annual review by Deutsche Bank.
  8. Michelle Obama is planning a six-city tour this fall in support of her new book, “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times,” with a stop at her hometown’s Chicago Theatre in December. You can find more info on the event and how to attend here.
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A bright one

‘Chicagohenge’ is here. What is it, and where can you see it?

Every year around the fall and spring equinoxes, many Chicagoans stop and stand in the middle of downtown streets for the perfect photo: the sun shining directly through the Loop’s grid, illuminating the buildings in a fierce orange.

The phenomenon is known as “Chicagohenge,” and it refers to the week leading up to the fall equinox (or the week following the spring equinox) when the sun lines up exactly with Chicago’s east-west streets during sunrise and sunset. This unique moment occurs because during the equinoxes, the Earth is not tilted toward or away from the sun; the sun follows a path across the celestial equator, said Michelle Nichols, director of public observing at the Adler Planetarium.

“What it boils down to, and what you can see on the days of the equinoxes ... is the full sun shining right down our east-west streets,” Nichols told the Sun-Times back in 2019.

The sun lines up with Chicago’s east- and west-facing streets at sunset, otherwise known as the phenomenon “Chicagohenge,” as seen from North Michigan Avenue at East Washington Street in the Loop on the evening of March 20, 2021.

The sun lines up with Chicago’s east- and west-facing streets at sunset, otherwise known as the phenomenon “Chicagohenge,” as seen from North Michigan Avenue at East Washington Street in the Loop, March 20, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The name “Chicagohenge” is a nod to Stonehenge in England, a prehistoric monument that at certain points aligns with seasonal paths traveled by the sun.

This year, the fall equinox is tomorrow. To see “Chicagohenge,” you need to stand on an unobstructed east-west street around sunset or sunrise in the days leading up to it.

If you do decide to check it out, make sure you look up at the sky instead of directly into the sun. And if you miss it, you’ll get another chance in March.

You can find more on “Chicagohenge” here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What’s something people think is a Chicago thing but really isn’t?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s one Chicago-specific dish you won’t find anywhere else?

Here’s what some of you said...

“Pairing fried chicken, mostaccioli and Italian beef at parties.”—Sarah Bernstein Tennyson

“The Combo — Italian Beef and Italian Sausage — sandwich.” —Tom Carter

“Maxwell street polish! Oh my goodness.” —Denise Loveliness

“Poppyseed hot dog buns.” —Melissa Leonard

“Chicago Dog with fresh cut fries, Italian Beef sandwich, Italian Sausage sandwich, gyros, deep dish pizza, cracker-thin crust pizza, rainbow cone!” —Cindy Lee Nielsen

“Chef Thai Dang’s, Dang Good Wings, — right next to HaiSous — create a lifelong and enduring craving!” —Ina Pinkney

“Jibaritos, the Puerto Rican sandwich of thin-sliced steak or other meats, lettuce, tomato, garlicky mayonnaise, and American cheese on flattened fried green plantains, invented by Juan Figueroa at Borinquen Restaurant in Humboldt Park in 1996.” —Ricardo Jimenez

“Ricobene’s breaded steak sandwiches.” —Linda Gressick

“Pepper and egg sandwich.” —Stephanie Iniguez

“Pizza puff, real pizza and polish sausage.” —Camille Austin

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

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