Officer Aréanah Preston mourned at funeral, takeaways from Mayor Johnson’s inauguration 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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The body of Officer Aréanah Preston is carried into Trinity United Church of Christ in the Washington Heights neighborhood for her funeral, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Preston, 24, was killed during an attempted robbery as she arrived home in Avalon Park after a shift on May 6. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The body of Officer Aréanah Preston is carried into Trinity United Church of Christ in the Roseland neighborhood for her funeral, Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Preston, 24, was killed during an attempted robbery as she arrived home in Avalon Park after a shift on May 6.

Pat Nabong/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 sunny with a high near 62 degrees. Tonight, partly cloudy with a low near 45. Look for similar weather tomorrow with a high near 76.

Top story

Colleagues of slain Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Preston rise to their feet during funeral to ‘show her how much we loved her’

Those who worked with slain Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Preston rose to their feet during her funeral at Trinity United Church of Christ today to “show her how much we loved her.”

The officers wore yellow ribbons, Preston’s favorite color.

Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Mayor Brandon Johnson and interim Police Supt. Fred Waller were among the mourners who gathered outside the church as Preston’s white casket arrived in a hearse, draped in the city’s flag. Cries from the family pierced through the sound of the bagpipes.

Preston was fatally wounded early May 6 when she exchanged gunfire with a group of robbers who approached her as she returned home from work still wearing her police uniform.

Four teenagers were charged in the killing last week and denied bail. Though she was off-duty at the time, Preston’s slaying is being considered a line-of-duty death.

Preston’s mother, Dionne Mhoon, told those gathered that her daughter was a “kid full of life, dreams, big goals and wanted to make major changes.”

“In this tragic situation, my family and I feel triumph,” she said. “We feel grace. We feel the love. We feel the hugs. And most importantly, we feel God’s presence over us. There is a presence of Aréanah’s presence saying, keep going, momma. You always wanted to be like me.”

Mhoon said she now plans “to lead, love and be just like you, brave and bold with a warm spirit and a contagious smile.”

“Death is only a tragic thing if you have not lived. My baby lived,” she said to applause. “I am because of her. I pray for peace in homes. I pray for peace in our communities, and I pray for peace in my heart.

More on the mourning of Officer Preston from our Tom Schuba and Sophie Sherry.

More news you need

Mayor Johnson’s first week


Mayor Brandon Johnson meets migrants staying at the 12th District police station at 1412 S. Blue Island Ave. on the Near West Side on Tuesday.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Brandon Johnson spent part of his first full day as mayor yesterday visiting asylum-seekers who have been sleeping on the floor of the 12th District police station and others staying at a temporary shelter in Little Village, saying he needed to see the crisis “first-hand.”

Johnson shook hands with several people inside the station, telling them he was “grateful” they were here and assuring them that “we are going to do everything we can to make this home for you.” More on Johnson’s visit with asylum-seekers from our Emmanuel Camarillo.

The mayor’s first full workday at City Hall also involved hearing from restaurant owners, business and community leaders of the Fulton Market Association.

Besides demanding 5,000 more surveillance cameras to stop violent crime, the leaders said they would oppose any new or increased taxes until existing tax increment finance funds are raided and the TIF system is reformed. They also want to spend an avalanche of federal and state infrastructure funds on several transportation projects. More on the Fulton Market leaders’ requests from our Fran Spielman.

And we’ve got seven key takeaways from Inauguration Day, including the presence of activism on the main stage, one very notable hug between Mayor Johnson and former Mayor Lori Lightfoot and more. Read the full analysis from our Mitchell Armentrout and Catherine Odom.

A bright one ✨

Paige Crawford couldn’t find the recreational sports space she was looking for, so she created one

One by one, every person in the gym at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy went around the circle that had formed at center court and shared their name and zodiac sign.

As each individual in the co-ed group of about 30 who came out to participate in a friendly game of pickup basketball finished sharing those two personal facts about themselves, their shoulders began to relax and an ease set in.

It was an ease tethered to sharing community in a space that feels safe and welcoming. When Crawford founded League Of Their Own, a community organization connecting women and nonbinary people of all backgrounds through recreational sport and wellness, that was one of the defining missions.

Paige Crawford of League Of Their Own talks with players during a community basketball game at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy.

Paige Crawford of League of Their Own talks with players during a community basketball game at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy.

Kirsten Stickney/Sun-Times

“I started League Of Their Own at the end of 2019, early 2020,” Crawford said. “I was looking for a community of women athletes who I could play recreational sports with, without being too serious or too competitive. There weren’t really spaces for women and, more specifically, women of color. I said, ‘I’m not going to complain about it. I can just create the space and be the change I want to see.’”

Education is as strong a component of Crawford’s sessions, which rotate to include opportunities in multiple sports, as the recreational aspect. She begins every session with intros and a question.

In the four years since being founded, League Of Their Own has collaborated with Chicago designer Don C, Chicago streetwear and footwear store Saint Alfred, media/commerce company Togethxr and others, including Nike and Reebok. On various occasions, Crawford will host co-ed sessions in partnership with other recreational sports groups that align with League Of Their Own’s mission.

More on League Of Their Own and Crawford’s mission from our Annie Costabile.

From the press box 🏀🏈⚾️🥍

Your daily question☕

What’s your favorite part about living in your neighborhood?

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

Yesterday we asked you: What’s the best coffee shop in Chicago?

Here’s some of what you said...

“Cafe Jumping Bean is a Chicago institution! The coffee is good and strong. And sandwiches are delicious. Plus the art on the walls is a plus.” — Cindy Silva

“Without a doubt, the best coffee is at the Goddess and The Baker — any of their locations. Somehow their baristas have figured out how to steam the milk so that it tops the coffee like freshly whipped cream. Not to mention they have the cutest holiday creations, rainbow glitter lattes are my Pride Month favorite. “ — Jeanne McInerney

“La Malinche is super charming. Great coffee, amazing mugs, yummy crepes, and outdoor space! Can’t think of what else I would want from a cafe.” — Tamara Matthews

Definitely Dark Matter Coffee’s Star Lounge. Great coffee, chill and cozy, and where I had one of my first dates with the person who became my fiancé :)” — Nicole Cardos

Doppio Coffee House in West Lakeview — they have the most amazing open-faced sandwiches I’ve ever had!” — Mike Pruim

“The Drawing Room at the Chicago Athletic Association. It’s gorgeous.” — Bryce L.

“Ritual Coffeehouse, near the Irving Brown Line. Not fancy but Jacob rocks his 70s 33s!” — Bob Glezen

“Froth on Monroe! The goth/academic ambiance makes you want to stay there well after you’ve finished your cup of coffee.” — Lauren Edwards

“La Colombe in Wicker Park. The staff is very nice. The coffee is smooth tasting.” — Linda Jena Fisher

“Perkolator in Portage Park! It is my favorite coffee shop. It is family-owned, and the owners are incredibly wonderful. They also roast their own coffee beans.” — Maximo Emilio

“Backlot Coffee. Because they serve a mean cup.” — Jackie Waldhier

“Afro Joe’s Coffee in Beverly, South Side! Dope patio, fye cheesecake and delicious lattes, coffee, wraps, paninis, etc. Don’t forget the artwork, nice atmosphere and music!” — CJ Cordaro

“Afro Joe’s in Beverly. The coffee and baristas are great; the food is delicious and unique; and the setting, the people, and the neighborhood are beautiful. There’s always something going on: Saturday Soul Sessions weekly, Open Mic nights once a month, Community Yoga, Artist Wine Down, Educator Appreciation Days, and always charity and holiday stuff for the kids. I wish I lived closer!” — Chris H.

“Cafe Colao, on Division. The best Puerto Rican coffee and the pastries are to die for.” — Guela Luchadora

“Sputnik Coffee is fantastic, both the coffee shop itself as well as the beans you can buy in many stores around the city!” — Vladimir Gurkot

“Back of the Yards Coffee. Delicious brew, great staff and they give back to the community!” — Nancy Salas-Herrera

“Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health on Belmont. Great selection, pay what you can. 90s hip-hop is always playing. Free group therapy w licensed clinicians and yoga too.” — Danielle Beaton

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

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