Afternoon Edition: CPS leaving kids without bus rides to class

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


CPS this year is prioritizing students with disabilities and kids in temporary living situations amid a bus driver shortage, leaving students in magnet or selective-enrollment programs without bus services.

Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Good afternoon, Chicago. ✶

It’s no secret that Chicagoans are brutal critics when it comes to depictions of our city in movies or TV shows.

A scene that mislabels a neighborhood, or involves a character taking a local routes that makes no sense, does more than leave a bad taste in our mouths. It can feel like a personal affront.

That’s why it stays with you for years when a movie or TV show gets it right.

For example, the Harrison Ford-starring film “The Fugitive,” which just turned 30 years old this month.

The action flick inspired an ode from WBEZ’s Natalie Y. Moore, who dubbed it, “the best movie set in Chicago,” topping other classics like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “The Blues Brothers” and “Love Jones.”

Do you agree?

Seems like a Chicago movie marathon will settle this.

But before you get to viewing, here are the stories you need to know this afternoon.

⏱️: A 7-minute read

— Matt Moore, newsletter reporter (@MattKenMoore)


Chicago Public Schools families left without a bus ride to class face ‘enormous stress’ as first day nears

Reporting by Nereida Moreno

Families search for ride: Thousands of Chicago Public Schools families have been scrambling for weeks to arrange transportation for their children ahead of the new school year. This comes after the district abruptly announced late last month that it only had half of the bus drivers it needs to transport eligible students.

CPS’ focus: CPS is prioritizing students with disabilities and kids in temporary living situations – who are legally required to be routed – amid the national bus driver shortage. That leaves students in magnet or selective-enrollment programs without bus service. They can instead get free CTA cards for the upcoming school year, which starts on Monday.

Driver shortage persists: The driver shortage has been an acute problem for the district since students returned from remote learning in 2021. This year, only 7,000 families will have service by the first day of class – even though the district has slightly more bus drivers now than it did last year. The district’s efforts to reduce route length is a key reason that fewer students are getting bus services this year, a CPS spokesperson said. Officials with bus companies also offer another reason for the ongoing driver shortage: Many candidates cannot pass the CPS background check.




Supplies headed to Maui were loaded aboard United Airlines flight 1588 at O’Hare International Airport Wednesday. The plane will return from Maui with passengers fleeing last week’s deadly wildfire.

United Airlines

  • Supplies sent from Chicago to Maui: A plane carrying 24,000 pounds of supplies left Chicago Wednesday afternoon to help people recovering from the wildfires on Maui. If you want to help, experts recommend donating to Hawaii-based nonprofits like the Hawaii Community Foundation.
  • Former Northwestern athletes pen open letter: More than 1,000 former Northwestern athletes condemned hazing while also defending the school’s athletics culture in an open letter. The letter comes as Northwestern is facing several lawsuits after allegations of hazing in the football program cost former coach Pat Fitzgerald his job.
  • Store clerk defrauded food stamp program: A South Side grocery clerk admitted to a Chicago cop that he was ripping off Illinois’ federally funded food stamp program, federal authorities say. Despite that conversation — recorded on the officer’s body camera on Sept. 7, 2021 — he continued to scam Link for nearly two years.
  • Ousted Northwestern coach is high school volunteer: Former Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald will be a volunteer assistant coach at Wilmette high school Loyola Academy this season. Fitzgerald’s son Ryan, a junior, will be the school’s starting quarterback this season.
  • Air and Water Show returns: Love it or hate it, the showcase takes flight at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. We’ve got everything you need to know about the show before you go.



Clare Bollnow and the graffiti artist known as Joos painted this mural on Belmont Avenue just east of California Avenue in Avondale in May.

Robert Herguth/Sun-Times

Reporting by Robert Herguth

There’s something unsettling about the contorted faces painted on a brick wall of a building on Belmont Avenue just east of California Avenue.

There’s the ghoulish guy whose eyes are out of alignment and the trail of spots that extends from the top of his skull to the tip of his nose. There’s the bluish, haloed figure with thin, white lines — might they be tears? — seeming to streak down his cheek and chin. And there’s the character with one eye blood red, the other dead, as well as with bright, red lips, a hunched shoulder and flaming horns.

Clare Bollnow and the graffiti artist who goes by Joos created the mural on the side of Peterson Picture Frame Co. in May. Bollnow is fine with people getting an uncomfortable feeling from that mural or her other work.

“Some of the paintings I do of people, some of it’s really heavy,” says Bollnow, 27, who has a studio in Humboldt Park. “I think we’re not used to sitting with our feelings. In the social media age, we have five seconds to consume an image. You can scroll past stuff that makes you feel bad.

She says her murals and other creations can be “polarizing work. There are people that love it and that totally f------- hate it. But I’m totally fine with that because it makes people feel something.”




From left, battered Oreos being fried; fried PB&J; fried Oreos; a fried Twinkie; and a fried key lime pie at the Illinois State Fair yesterday.

Mitchell Armentrout/Sun-Times

‘Deep-fried everything’: We sample 7 sinful snacks to indulge in at the Illinois State Fair — so you can, too

Reporting by Mitchell Armentrout

As American as apple pie — and as Illinoisan as deep-fried Snickers.

Hot-oil entrepreneurs have converged on Springfield for an annual showcase of extreme comfort foods.

The Sun-Times went downstate and sampled the saturated-fat smorgasbord. Here are some standouts, and oddball, deep-fried goodies.

Peanut butter and jelly: The newest menu entry at Lemonade Jacob’s sees a Smucker’s Uncrustable slathered in funnel cake batter and lowered into the oily abyss. Powdered with the obligatory confectioner’s sugar, the fried sandwich’s jelly and butter melt together into a syrupy, sweet mess.

Oreos: A standby at dozens of state fair stands, Fred Jackson says his stand out because he uses peanut oil at his Manna Foods stand.

“It’s not for me,” the Pinckneyville native said, rubbing his belly. “But people have gotten more interested in it the last few years. All these young people come in and take pictures of it with their phone. I never let a picture get between me and my food.”

Twinkies: The soft outer pastry layer melds into the funnel-caked crust — not that purveyor Todd Burton of Grafton will tell you what goes into it. Whatever it is, it feels oh-so wrong, but right at home in Springfield.

Key lime pie: Named the best dish at the ’22 state fair, a full slice of crisp Key lime maintains a bit of its coolness despite the hot wrath of the deep-fryer, a satisfying contrast in temperature and texture.

For a fuller list of this year’s fried standouts, head here.



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Editor: Satchel Price
Newsletter reporter: Matt Moore
Copy editor: Angie Myers

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