Chicago news roundup: Bears detail Arlington Heights plans, new COVID boosters coming soon and more

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 partly sunny with some sprinkles and a high near 78 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 63. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 79.

Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

Bears release details on Arlington Heights site, make case for public subsidy

The Chicago Bears will “seek no public funding for direct stadium structure construction” on the site of the Arlington International racecourse, but the team will seek “additional funding and assistance” for the broader, mixed-use development it called one of the largest in Illinois history.

The Bears laid the groundwork for a tax increment financing subsidy or some other form of state or local assistance for the broader development on the 326-acre site in an open letter released just two days before a community meeting at which conceptual plans are expected to be released.

If the Bears exercise their option to purchase the property for $197.2 million and proceed with the broader development, it will be “one of the largest development projects in Illinois state history,” the letter states.

The “multi-purpose entertainment district” will be “anchored by a “best-in-class, enclosed stadium … worthy of hosting global events” such as the Super Bowl, college football playoffs and the NCAA’s Final Four basketball championships.

“Make no mistake. This is much more than a stadium project. Any development of Arlington Park will propose to include a multi-purpose entertainment, commercial/retail and housing district that will provide considerable economic benefits to Cook County, the surrounding region and the state of Illinois,” the letter states.

“The long-term vision for the entire project is an ongoing work in progress, but could include: restaurants, office space, hotel, fitness center, new parks and open spaces and other improvements for the community to enjoy.”

Fran Spielman has more on the Bears’ plan here.

More news you need

Deaths on Illinois roads jumped by about 24% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same time last year. Experts say the pandemic forces driving a nationwide increase aren’t showing signs of slowing down soon.The city this week is rolling out two updated vaccines for COVID-19, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced today. Both are designed specifically to target the Omicron subvariants, and have received final approval from the CDC and emergency use authorization from the FDA.Jim Derogatis, the former Sun-Times reporter whose work first drew national attention to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by R. Kelly, is seeking to avoid becoming a witness in Kelly’s federal child-pornography trial. Our Andy Grimm has more on DeRogatis’ attempt to quash a subpoena from lawyers for Kelly’s co-defendant and former business manager, Derrel McDavid, here.Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th) is joining the growing list of Chicago City Council members calling it quits as she announced yesterday that she will not be seeking a third term. Our Manny Ramos has more on Sadlowski Garza’s exit and what it means for City Council here.

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A bright one

‘South Side’ to showcase locations throughout the city in new season

While the HBO Max series “South Side” is set in Englewood, the characters often venture outside the confining walls of the Rent-T-Own and into the wider, stranger-than-fiction, joyful and complicated world that is Chicago. This doesn’t mean they’re necessarily beloved or glamorous sights.

One episode in Season Three — out later this year on the streaming platform — will show what co-creator Bashir Salahuddin dubs “Chicago’s Mordor”: the Central Auto Pound on Lower Wacker. Salahuddin and co-creator Diallo Riddle joke the underground facility was created to get unsuspecting victims lost while trying to retrieve a towed car.

“You can’t find it,” Salahuddin laughs. “You gotta look at these magenta signs, and if you don’t you’re just going to be down on Lower Wacker forever.”

An unpleasant experience attempting to get his car back led Salahuddin to a realization.

“South Side” co-creators Bashir Salahuddin (left) and Diallo Riddle attend the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday in Los Angeles.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

“I was like, ‘This place is really aesthetically kind of wild,'” he remembers. “We kind of push towards that and we shot a variety of scenes down there and it’s actually kind of hauntingly beautiful.”

Viewers can also expect an episode shot at this year’s Lollapalooza.

Details of why and how “South Side” characters end up at the main stage of the festival are being carefully guarded, but Riddle and Salahuddin promise even more surprises that a Chicago resident and obsessive will recognize. The two co-creators let slip that a Kwanzaa holiday special will land characters at the beautiful and historic South Shore Cultural Center.

“I think we’re giving Chicago the spotlight,” Salahuddin teased. “That’s the most important character.”

Mariah Rushhas more with Salahuddin and Riddle here.

From the press box

Your daily question?

What’s something that isn’t an official Chicago landmark but should be? Explain.

Send us an email at [email protected] and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: What’s the best way to bid summer goodbye in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“A good old fashioned family barbeque, like we had growing up, we would go to the forest preserve, there would be softball, ribs, hamburgers, etc. That is how you end a summer in Chicago.” –Rob Lopez

“Catching some weekend fireworks at Navy Pier.” — Maurice Snell

“Attend an outdoor concert and afterward go shopping for some winter apparel.” –James Hawkins

“Jazzfest is great!” — Lisa Duncan

“Take a water taxi to the Riverwalk. Check out the Bridgehouse Museum, rent a kayak and finish the day dining at City Winery with a river view.” –Mary Ann O’Rourke

“A barbecue, good music and a fire pit.” –Ray Keaton

“Go to the Bears’ first home game.” –Charlotte Abel

“A street fest.” –Myrna Kar

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