Afternoon Edition: April 9, 2021on April 9, 2021 at 8:00 pm

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 mostly cloudy with a high near 62 degrees. Tonight’s low will be around 49 degrees. Tomorrow brings rain, including some possible thunderstorms, with a high near 60 degrees. And more rain is in the forecast for Sunday, along with a high near 58 degrees.

Top story

Vietnam vet Jim Zwit dead at 70: His greatest mission? Finding families of 8 war buddies killed in 1971 ambush

Jim Zwit never forgot the hot, sticky smell of Vietnam. And he never forgot the eight Army buddies he lost there in an ambush in 1971.

He made it his life’s mission to track down each of their families, spread across the United States. And that was in an age before finding people was made easier by the likes of Google, email and social media.

It took him 40 years, but he finally found the last of them.

“He let the families know their sons did not die alone and they’d never be forgotten,” said Pat Condran, a fellow vet who plans to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to mark the 50th anniversary of the April 15, 1971, firefight that forever changed the lives of those who survived.

Mr. Zwit, 70, a former Chicago cop who later ran his own investigations agency, died last month at his home in La Grange Park of bladder cancer, though his doctors think his wartime exposure to the chemical Agent Orange contributed to his health problems, according to his wife Grace.

Young Jim grew up on the Southwest Side and went to St. Bede the Venerable grade school and Bogan High School.

He was a student at what was then called the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle when he decided to enlist in the Army. He served in the 501st Battalion of the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.

Read Maureen O’Donnell’s full obituary of Zwit here.

More news you need

  1. The family of 13-year-old Adam Toledo is scheduled to view the video of the police shooting that resulted in the teen’s death next week, lawyers representing the family said. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has said it plans to make the video public after the Toledo family has seen it.
  2. The Chicago Police Department is preparing for potential demonstrations in the city after the release of the Toledo shooting video and the Derek Chauvin verdict. The department plans to cancel days off and switch officers to 12-hour shifts, Supt. David Brown told aldermen today.
  3. The CPD is also moving to fire two officers involved in the shooting of an unarmed man last year on a busy CTA platform. Administrative charges filed against Officers Melvina Bogard and Bernard Butler allege the shooting was unnecessary and the officers engaged in an “unjustified action.”
  4. Illinois reported a second straight day of record-setting vaccination numbers while public health officials continue to express concerns over the recent surge in cases. There were 164,462 doses administered yesterday, but the state also posted its highest one-day caseload since Jan. 29.
  5. Yet another defendant in the multimillion-dollar sports gambling case that involved Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher has pleaded guilty in federal court. Matthew Namoff, 25, pleaded guilty to conspiring to conduct an illegal gambling business.
  6. Vendors on the Chicago Riverwalk began a phased-in reopening today that will have all vendors open by the end of May. Island Party Hut, Beat Kitchen on the River and City Winery opened this morning along the water.
  7. Star Trek fans in the area will be happy to know that Chicago will play host to the franchise’s first official in-person festival since the start of the pandemic. Star Trek: Mission Chicago will be held at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago from April 8-10, 2022

A bright one

Restored mosaic on the Far North Side highlights Jewish immigrants’ struggles

A mosaic at the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center on the Far North Side tells the story of Jewish immigration to the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Titled “Fabric of Our Lives” and created in 1980, its images and words portray challenges they faced, coming to Chicago and elsewhere, typically from Eastern Europe, with little money, no jobs and often no grasp of English.

The 15-feet-tall, 13-feet-wide, glass-tile mosaic had suffered from the onslaught of decades of Chicago winters but restored in October at a cost of about $8,000 by Miriam Socoloff and Cynthia Weiss, the artists who originally had assembled the work in 1980.

The mosaic titled “Fabric of Our Lives” at the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center, 3003 W. Touhy Ave.
Provided

“In addition to our strong feelings for the themes of the mosaic, it was profoundly meaningful and satisfying to repair something,” says Weiss, 67, amid a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic and loss. “2020 was such a hard year. There was so much devastation.”

The Horwich JCC, at 3003 W. Touhy Ave., is in a neighborhood that’s fairly heavily Jewish.

One of the tenets of Judaism is that people should work to repair the world. That made it even more meaningful to painstakingly restore the mosaic, Weiss says.

Read Kyle Brown’s full story on the Bernard Horwich Jewish Community Center mosaic and check out our ongoing series on Chicago’s public art.

From the press box

Cubs beat reporter Russell Dorsey provides two key takeaways from the first two weeks of the North Siders’ season.

Once considered pillars of the Bulls’ rebuild, Lauri Markkanen and Coby White now find themselves as key reserves on a team trying to make the playoffs. How they embrace their new roles will be critical to the team’s postseason hopes, Joe Cowley writes.

It might have come off as a stunt, but Matt Spiegel wants you to know there’s nothing insincere about his upcoming, brief stint as the Cubs’ radio voice. Spiegel discussed the gig — “This is the first dream I ever had” — with our Jeff Agrest.

Your daily question ?

What’s your favorite part of living in a city on the water?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: Which Chicago professional sports team has the best uniforms? Here’s what some of you said…

“Blackhawks. Iconic Original Six sweater that has stood the test of time. The colors also pull it together” — Dre Jackson

“The ’90s version of the Bulls black jersey with red pinstripes was the best! It was very popular and was sold out everywhere!” — Shannon L. Campbell

“Definitely the White Sox, the black and white are clean and classy, very sharp looking!” — Candace Sanchez

“Chicago Red Stars — the ones that list all the neighborhoods in the design.” — Pic Anderson

“The Cubs home pinstripes because it represents the red, white and blue” — Jackie Waldhier

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