Neighbors and business at odds over crowds, a late U.S. rep’s mob ties and more in your Chicago news roundup

Today’s update is about an eight-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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Rodney Johnson at the site on 75th Street of past gatherings that erupted in violence. He’s part of a neighborhood group fighting to get bars to keep the large gatherings under control.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

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

— Matt Moore (@MattKenMoore)

Weather 🌧️

This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and a high near 62 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 41. Expect rain tomorrow with a high near 41.

Top story

Bar owners, Greater Grand Crossing residents at odds over crowds, violence on East 75th Street

Concerned about a mass shooting and spontaneous block parties at which hundreds of people have gathered on East 75th Street, a group of Greater Grand Crossing residents is waging a campaign against bars and other businesses in the iconic Black business district.

They’re demanding that the business owners and the Chicago Police Department do more to control unruly crowds on the street during summers. For a year, they’ve been gathering petitions and filing complaints with City Hall about businesses in the six blocks east of the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Along that stretch last year, at least four people were shot, one fatally, two people were carjacked, and one person was robbed at gunpoint. The residents say the businesses have contributed to the violence by turning a blind eye to rowdy customers and lawlessness on the street.

“75th used to have more bars than we have now, more than twice as many, but we never had the issues we are currently having coming out of these establishments,” said Rodney Johnson, one member of a neighborhood group.

They want building owners to fence off parking lots to help keep drunken revelers from congregating during overnight hours, especially after bars close. They say security guards at the bars should help shoo away crowds gathered outside and that they’re just trying to make the area safe for everyone to visit — and not the kind of place where 10 people were shot in the street on a summer morning in 2021.

Bar owners say the residents don’t represent the views of the community and that their expectations are unreasonable. They say they’re spending too much on lawyers to defend them against what they say are frivolous complaints. And they caution that things would get worse if they’re pushed out of business, leaving vacant properties that might lead even more businesses to close.

More on how residents and businesses are responding to concerns in the community.

More news you need

A bright one ✨

United pilot passes torch to daughter in final flight to O’Hare Airport after 38-year career

For years, when anxious passengers shuffled to the front of his plane to alleviate pre-flight jitters with a glance at the cockpit and pilots, United Airlines Capt. Chris Bales would greet them and pull a picture from his wallet. It showed his three daughters outside his house on the first day of school.

The message was clear: “I’m going to get home to them, and I’m going to get you home to your loved ones, too.”

On Sunday, Bales, who lives in Milwaukee but has flown out of O’Hare Airport for 38 years, is set to take his last flight before reaching the federally mandated retirement age of 65. And one of the girls in the picture, his daughter, Ally, will be his co-pilot.

“It’s kind of the passing of the torch. I’ll be feeling a lot of pride,” he said.


On Sunday, Chris Bales, who lives in Milwaukee but has flown out of O’Hare Airport for 38 years, is set to take his last flight before reaching the federally mandated retirement age of 65. And his daughter, Ally, will be his co-pilot.


Ally Bales, 33, a probationary pilot whose flown with her dad one other time in her 10 months on the job, might make an announcement to the passengers about his retirement, but the thought of getting choked up makes her hesitant.

“It’s kind of the culmination of all I’ve known,” she said.

Chris Bales, who’d fly for another year or two if not for the mandated retirement age, offered his daughter a few words of advice: “Keep your nose clean, and things will sail along.”

“Being born into an aviation family, all the stories I’ve heard, now it will be me having the stories and filling them in. It will be pretty incredible to keep this family legacy,” she said.

Our Mitch Dudek has more with the Bales and the passing of the torch.

From the press box 🏈⚾

Your daily question☕

What’s the most romantic place in Chicago? Tell us why.

Email us (please include your first and last name) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: What’s one tip you have for someone playing 16-inch softball for the first time?

Here’s some of what you said...

“Leave the glove at home.” — Reid M.

“Practice catching the ball with your hands all the way open. That is the key to not breaking your fingers.” — Ray Nice

“Take your rings off before you start.” — Andrew Fogle

“Learn how to catch the ball with proper hand position to avoid broken fingers.” — Dan M.

“It takes some oomph to get that thing to go somewhere, so take a good look for holes in the defense and aim at one of them.” — Dale Johnson

“If you have an occupation where the use of your hands is critical, see HR first regarding your company’s insurance policy.” — Donald Lewis

“Very hard ball at the start. If you want to hit it deep, do it in the first couple innings. It gets soft as the game goes on.” — Stephen Wampler

“Do a few minutes of stretching/exercises before stepping onto the field. Loosen up your hips/body. And have fun!” — Linda Manning

“All wins/losses must be celebrated/mourned over drinks somewhere on Rush!” — Christine Bock

“Hit it where they ain’t.” — Steve Wozniak

“You can’t leave first until you chug a beer. Any man scoring has to chug a beer. You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings. Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning.” — Mark Magoon

“Protect your fingers and catch softly.” — Gene Tenner

“Outfield play deep. Infield play shallow. Don’t throw the ball around more than absolutely necessary. Swing a heavy bat. Have fun.” — Garrett Karp

“Have good medical insurance.” — Ed S.

“When hitting, be patient, wait on the pitch, and drive it to right field with an inside-out swing.” — Matt S.

“Don’t play this game unless your hands are larger than normal. Testament several crooked fingers from trying to catch a brand new ball with bare hands.” — Les C.

“Playing 16-inch softball for the first time? Do not play third base, shortstop or first base. Those positions have the ball hit and thrown at you very often. Your figures will be broken or dislocated. I should know playing 5 nights a week for over 40 years. Even after many years of experience, I would still get dislocated or bruised figures.” — Bruno R.

“Buy a bigger glove!” — Joe K.

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

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