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.
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‘We are in a battle for the heart and soul of these communities,’ top cop says after 15-year-old boy killed and 9 people wounded in two mass shootings on West Side
Reshorna Fitzpatrick stood with four other pastors as police placed white markers near shell casings strewn on the street and sidewalk near Theodore Herzl Elementary School in North Lawndale.
Five people — three of them teens — had been shot there, minutes after five other people had been shot just blocks away. A 15-year-old boy died in that shooting.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Fitzpatrick, pastor of the Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church down the street. “It’s heartbreaking and shocking because we had gotten to a place where we were really experiencing some peace.”
The two shootings yesterday evening were among three mass attacks in Chicago in a single day. The other occurred close to midnight in Lincoln Park when someone in a passing car shot eight people who had been riding in a party bus.
At least 34 other shootings this year have wounded four or more people, according to a Sun-Times analysis of city data. Over the last five years, Chicago has recorded the most mass shootings in the nation by far, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Three of the victims from the attacks were 15 and younger, continuing a trend of rising violence against children this year.
More news you need
- A federal judge today sentenced veteran Chicago police officer Nicholas Stella to 15 months in prison for his role in a large-scale, international gambling ring. Stella was also ordered into Chicago’s federal lockup six months ago after prosecutors said he “violently assaulted his girlfriend” last January.
- Gov. Pritzker says he’s planning on going to Lollapalooza despite renewed concerns of another COVID-19 surge fueled by the more infectious Delta variant. If you’re vaccinated, have a mask and practice social distancing, the shows can go on safely, he said — even though daily cases have recently tripled.
- Pritzker also signed a law today that aims to expand access to oral contraceptives by allowing trained pharmacists to assess patients and write a 12-month prescription. It’s a move Pritzker and champions of the bill called a “common sense approach” to helping women get contraceptives from trusted sources.
- A marker honoring Eugene Williams, the first victim of Chicago’s 1919 race riots, will be dedicated Saturday at Lincoln Cemetery, where he has been buried in an unmarked grave. Community members raised money to have the marker made for the 17-year-old, who was killed by a white stone thrower.
- The National Labor Relations Board today ruled that the presence of “Scabby the Rat” at union protests is protected speech that does not violate labor law against “coercive” behavior. That means Chicago-born Scabby and his hulking, inflatable peers will live to fight the boss another day.
- Robert Shaw, a former Chicago alderman from the 9th ward and commissioner with the Cook County Board of Review, has died of cancer at 83. He and his late twin brother William Shaw were a powerful duo in city, county and state politics.
- Chicago is seeing the effects of the wildfires out west this week as smoke clouded the city’s sky and turned the sun orange and red hues. The lingering smoke also caused air quality advisories to be issued for some parts of the United States, including Indiana.
- City Colleges of Chicago plans to aid adult learners this fall with Future Ready, a new initiative featuring 60 free career training programs. The new programs will cover subjects ranging from health care to cannabis operations to criminal justice to auto mechanics.
- Steppenwolf Theatre Company today announced the appointment of co-artistic directors — Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis — marking the first time in its history that the job will be shared by two people. It’s also the first time that a person of color will helm the troupe.
A bright one
The Isley Brothers, the legendary soul and R&B group, are headed to the Chicago area to headline their first show since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and after their highly-publicized Verzuz battle with Earth, Wind & Fire.
The “Sundress and Sandals Concert,” which is scheduled for tomorrow at Hazel Crest’s Cross Pointe Park (gates open at 5 p.m.), is the brainchild of PR Popups. The concert also features Kindred the Family Soul, Chantay Savage, and Carl Thomas of the recently formed R&B supergroup The Chi.
“I know it’s gonna be nice to be in front of a live audience, and to sort of pick back up where everything suddenly stopped,” said guitarist Ernie Isley. “We were supposed to have an international tour in 2020 and we didn’t go anywhere. Carlos Santana didn’t go anywhere. Earth, Wind & Fire didn’t go anywhere. The Rolling Stones didn’t go anywhere — nobody went anywhere.
In the aftermath of the Verzuz battle, not only did the Isleys garner yet another generation of fans to appreciate the longevity of their music, a story also surfaced regarding the Isley family connection with a legendary musician: Jimi Hendrix.
Guitarist Ernie Isley says Hendrix lived with his family in New Jersey for two years (1963-1965). During Hendrix’s stay there, Isley says the enigmatic singer-guitarist received his first Fender Stratocaster guitar and had his first professional recording session.
“We’ve been fortunate to have our catalog, and the fact that folks appreciate our music,” said Isley, who says he idolized Hendrix. “We’ve been involved with the music beyond our catalog, and a lot of rappers in the MTV generation were leaning on Isley Brothers songs for their hits. Certainly, they embraced us and we embraced them.”
From the press box
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Yesterday, we asked you: It’s National Hot Dog Day, so we want to know: Where can the best Chicago-style hot dog be found? Here’s what some of you said…
“George’s in Bucktown and Johnny’s in Elmwood Park.” — Flowers Shemi Mallela
“I’m a vegetarian now, but if anything could change my mind, it would be Gene and Jude’s in River Grove. I love how they put the homemade french fries right in the bun with the hot dog itself.” — Sandy Gulliver
“Jimmy’s Red Hots on Pulaski, Henry’s Drive-In on Ogden and Bob-O’s Hot Dog’s on Irving Park.” — Tony Buccini
“Dave’s Red Hots on Roosevelt” — Poochilla Juslef
“The Duck Dog at The Duck Inn!” — Javalen Hickey
“Byron’s Hot Dog on Lawrence! I remember they gave “Presidential Pups” to Obama at the White House. Also the best fries!” — Betty Lark Ross
“Josh’s Hot Dogs in Northbrook. No better community guy than the owner Josh Kaplan and no better Chicago-style hot dog with all the fixings (no ketchup and yes celery salt!).” — Julie Smoller Kreiter
“Pop’s Italian Beef. Great dogs.” — Lj Prete
“Lulu’s Hot Dogs in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood of Chicago!” — Timmy Smith
“If you don’t say Jimmy’s and you say Superdawg, may God have mercy on your soul.” — Derrick Colon
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