Afternoon Edition: Nov. 18, 2021Matt Mooreon November 18, 2021 at 9:00 pm

Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel listens during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 20. | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

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 chance of flurries and a high near 37 degrees. Tonight will also be mostly cloudy with a low around 25. Tomorrow will see increasing clouds with a high near 40.

Top story

Former Chicago inspector general clears Rahm Emanuel of wrongdoing in Laquan McDonald shooting

As ex-Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel waits for a confirmation vote to be U.S. ambassador to Japan, former city of Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson has cleared Emanuel of wrongdoing in his handling of the Laquan McDonald police shooting.

Emanuel’s return to government has “resurrected questions” about Emanuel’s responsibility for the Chicago Police Department and whether “he engaged in a cover-up,” Ferguson said in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J. The Chicago Sun-Times obtained a copy of the letter.

Ferguson wrote that while the questions are “appropriate” by those opposing his nomination “they are not fair, because they are not grounded in fact, because the facts simply do not exist.”

“I know, I was the inspector general for the city of Chicago leading the office which investigated the city’s handling of the aftermath of the McDonald murder.”

The Senate panel voted last month to send Emanuel’s nomination to the full Senate. There is no date set for a confirmation for reasons having nothing to do with Emanuel.

Ferguson, first appointed in 2009 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, had at times a frosty relationship with Emanuel — described in one story by City Hall reporters as a “cold war” between the men.

Ferguson stepped down earlier this year when it was clear that Mayor Lori Lightfoot was not going to reappoint him.

Lynn Sweet has more on Ferguson’s letter here.

More news you need

A 60-year-old man was killed and another man injured in separate shootings early this morning on I-55. Both victims were driving in the inbound lanes of the Stevenson when shots were fired, but police declined to say whether they believe the incidents are connected.

Both Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department are investigating a recent scuffle between a student and an armed CPD officer working as a security guard at Westinghouse College Prep. The 17-year-old student says the encounter, which was caught on video, has left him questioning his safety at school.

Two men involved in an armored car robbery that left a security guard dead and another wounded on the South Side earlier this week also robbed a cellphone store before they turned their guns on their accomplices, county prosecutors said today. The men were ordered held without bail today on several counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery charges.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s deputy floor leader today urged her to dump Police Supt. David Brown if he can’t get a handle on the city’s “crime pandemic” in a few months. Ald. George Cardenas spoke with our Fran Spielman about his position here.

City officials have chosen development teams for projects in three commercial corridors — two in Humboldt Park and one in South Shore — representing a $126 million investment, Mayor Lightfoot said today. Covering housing, community services and historic renovations, the developments are part of the mayor’s Invest South/West program for equitable investment.

From the Christmas tree lighting ceremony to the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and the Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooLights, the Chicago holiday celebrations are kicking off this weekend. Check out our full rundown of seasonal events and other non-holiday highlights happening in the week ahead here.

A bright one

Simeon is ready to prove the doubters wrong

This is not the typical Simeon basketball team. The Wolverines don’t have a superstar and Robert Smith’s squad wasn’t a contender for the top spot in the preseason Super 25.

“I really like this team, maybe because of those reasons,” Smith said. “Everyone is coming in and working hard and respecting each other’s game. I like not being the hunted like we normally are. We can just cruise along and see what happens at the end.”

Superstar or not, underestimating this group would be a mistake. Simeon has three talented, experienced guards. Seniors Jaylen Drane, Avyion Morris and junior Jalen Griffith were key players on the team that won the city title in 2020.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times
Simeon’s Jalen Griffith shoots during a pre-season practice.

That’s an incredible base for any team to start with. Drane is one of the state’s elite passers. He’s a dependable point guard that can dictate the pace of the game. Morris is a disruptor on defense and Griffith is a scorer.

There might not be a senior signed with a Divison I school yet, but there is plenty of talent on hand.

The Wolverines will be in Class 3A this season. It’s the first time they have dropped below Class 4A since 2007-08, when they lost to Marshall in the state title game.

“We have a chance to be one of the best teams in the country,” Morris said. “A lot of people are doubting us, thinking we aren’t as good as we used to be. I think we’re better than a lot of old Simeon teams.”

Michael O’Brien has more on the underdogs here.

From the press box

Bears-Ravens predictions for Week 11
Ahead of the high school basketball season, our Michael O’Brien serves up his first Super 25 rankings of the year.

O’Brien also listed his top 50 players in the area, a group that includes some names with NBA potential.
And while the state’s previous top-ranked player, JJ Taylor, is now gone after transferring to a school in California, Taylor’s old team, Kenwood, still has high expectations for the coming season.

Get all of our high school basketball preview content in one place right here.
Despite Lukas Reichel’s strong start in the AHL, the Blackhawks are in no rush with the first-round pick, Ben Pope reports.

Your daily question ?

What’s the most underrated neighborhood in Chicago? Tell us why.

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: What food tastes most like home for you?

“Potato salad, boiled potatoes, onions, green peppers, celery, boiled eggs, salt, pepper, and vinegar — add mayonnaise and stir. Warm potato salad takes me home to when we all cooked in one small kitchen to get a massive meal full of love.” — Glynis Meeks

“Beet pickles. My mom made the best beet pickles.” — Betty Mantell

“Noquis/Gnocchi. It tastes most like home because it is a food that many people, I would say the majority of people, eat back home in Uruguay on the 29th of each month. It is served in homes and restaurants. Rich and poor eat it. You put some money under your plate and it is supposed to bring you good fortune the following month. No matter where I am living/traveling, I have noquis for lunch on the 29th.” — Mateo Alejandro Garcia Vazquez

“Pozole, my mom makes the best.” — Taty Anderfuren Portillo

“Mom’s chicken and dumplings.” — Oneda Zeman

“Meatloaf. It was one of the few things my mom could cook well. Day-old meatloaf sandwiches remind me of field trips to the museums.” — Erich V. Dahm

“My grandma’s tator tot casserole made with cream of chicken soup.” — Steve Price

“Kosha Mangsho (mutton curry). It’s a Bengali, Calcutta, India delicacy!” — Mohua Raichaudhuri

“Mom’s fruitcake. It tastes like stucco. Just like what our home is made of.” — Jon Tomasic

“Bruh, frijolitos de la olla — con quesito huele patas.” — Omar Ramos

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