Chicago news roundup: Feds sue the Cubs, Chicago astronomers get to use the James Webb Space Telescope 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 sunny with a high near 80 degrees. Tonight will see a slight chance of showers with a low around 64. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and a high near 78.

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.

Top story

Chicago’s U.S. attorney sues Chicago Cubs over ADA compliance in Wrigley Field renovation

The U.S. Attorney’s office sued the Chicago Cubs today over the team’s recent yearslong renovation of Wrigley Field, aiming to force the North Siders to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch’s office says the Cubs’ 1060 Project “enhanced the gameday experience for many fans,” but “the same cannot be said for fans with disabilities.”

Rather, the feds say the Cubs “removed the best wheelchair seating in the stadium,” isolated certain wheelchair users and confined them “to the worst seats” in the bleachers and grandstand, and left some struggling to see around fans on their feet.

The feds also point in their lawsuit to other problems — including counter surfaces and restroom paper towel dispensers that are allegedly too high for wheelchair users.

The Cubs insisted today that “the Friendly Confines today is more welcoming than ever to fans with accessibility needs.” And in a written statement, the team said it is “disappointed” in the lawsuit.

Though the team said it hoped the lawsuit could be resolved “amicably,” it said it would “defend Wrigley Field and our position it meets accessibility requirements for fans.”

The feds’ lawsuit seeks injunctive and monetary relief.

Jon Seidelhas more on the lawsuit here.

More news you need

The family of an unarmed 13-year-old boy who was shot and seriously wounded by a Chicago police officer in May has received videos of the confrontation, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability said. A lawsuit filed by the teen’s family against the unidentified officer and the Chicago Police Department contends the May 19 shooting was unjustified and that the teen had his hands up when he was shot.A few hundred activists and gun violence survivors — many wearing orange T-shirts, most with connections to Highland Park or Uvalde, Texas — rallied yesterday and marched on Capitol Hill for a federal ban on assault weapons. Our Lynn Sweet was there to cover the demonstrations.Planned Parenthood doctors who’ve stopped performing abortions in Wisconsin will travel to Waukegan to serve their patients, who must travel outside Wisconsin to receive an abortion in nearly all cases. Nurses, midwives, clinicians and other support staff will also be commuting from Wisconsin to a Planned Parenthood of Illinois clinic to help provide abortion services in the event of increased demand.A man told police he spotted someone driving his stolen car on DuSable Lake Shore Drive and began following it, dodging gunfire until he crashed into the car on a Stevenson Expressway exit ramp. Three people inside the car ran away and the man suffered scrapes to his arms, according to Chicago police.The trial of four people accused of trying to bribe then-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has been rescheduled for March 6. Charged in the case are longtime Madigan confidant Michael McClain, former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, ex-top ComEd lobbyist John Hooker and former City Club President Jay Doherty.Friends, family and former colleagues are mourning the loss of Chicago attorney Donald G. Lubin, who died last month at age 88. Lubin had key roles with Ray Kroc and McDonald’s Corp.Loved ones and colleagues are also grieving the loss of Minette McGhee, a former Sun-Times editorial assistant who died suddenly last week at 58 years old. “She just always brought heart and feeling to all those stories and to all of her encounters with her sources,” said Sun-Times columnist Maudlyne Ihejirika.Global sweets company Ferrero Group plans to open an “innovation center” in the old Marshall Field and Co. building, the company announced today. Ferrero is set to occupy about 45,000 square feet on the building’s eighth and ninth floors and employ about 170 people.

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A bright one

Awarded time with the James Webb Space Telescope, astronomers from Northwestern and University of Chicago are over the moon

Allison Strom sent a note on her astronomer text chain reading “Holy Jesus! Did you see that?” after the first images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope were revealed this week.

Strom, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern University, is pumped up. And for good reason. She’s basically next in a long line of astronomers who got permission to use the telescope.

She’ll get the chance to focus the device on a tiny patch of the cosmos to study what galaxies were made of billions of years ago when the universe was like a teenager.

This image released by NASA yesterday shows the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by the Near-Infrared Camera on the James Webb Space Telescope.

NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI via AP

Her project has been dubbed CECILIA (Chemical Evolution Constrained using Ionized Lines in Interstellar Aurorae) and is an acronym designed to fit the name of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, one of the first women to earn a doctorate in astronomy.

At some point in the next three weeks, the Webb telescope will do Strom’s bidding for a window of 40 hours, and then the fun begins for her and her colleagues who will analyze the data.

Strom is one of several astronomers at Northwestern and the University of Chicago who have been granted coveted time with the telescope — a $10 billion device that launched Christmas Day and traveled a million miles before sticking the landing in a cosmic parking lot known as L2, where it will orbit the sun.

Mitch Dudekhas more on who will get to use the telescope here.

From the press box

After an extremely busy week for the Blackhawks, GM Kyle Davidson provided updates on where the team is at with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.Lake Forest basketball player Asa Thomas, one of the state’s top prospect, has committed to play college hoops at Clemson, Joe Henricksen reports.Jeff Agrest offers some praise for Ozzie Guillen’s recent work as an analyst, noting the former manager gives viewers exactly what they want: raw, unfettered commentary backed up by experience.What Kyle Hendricks’ injury timeline means for Cubs’ Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson.

Your daily question ?

What is your essential summertime Chicago tradition?

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

Yesterday, we asked you: In honor of National French Fry day, where can you find the best fries in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Smoque BBQ has the best french fries. They’re hand-cut, double-fried, and come in a brown paper bag just bursting with crispy goodness. I like to dip them in their Memphis BBQ sauce.” –Michael Oelrich

“Byron’s on Irving Park. They are loaded with grease and fried to perfection. I lived a block away my first summer in Chicago and it was my introduction to the Chicago hot dog stand.” –Katie Matlin

“Top Notch in Beverly — hand-cut fresh daily.” –Jane Feurer

“Vinnie Ds and Ranch House.” –Gi Perry

“Winking Dog on North Avenue in Northlake has great fresh-cut fries. I order them well done, which I have found is usually a good idea for fresh-cut fries.” –Chuck Fieldman

“Al’s Beef on Taylor has great fries.” –Linda Bielic

“Mr. D’s. Shish Kabobs, 6656 W. Diversey Ave. Fresh cut. Delicious!” — Karen Roediger

“Ricobenes, 35th St Redhots or Au Cheval.” –Jenna Marie

“Sauce and Bread Kitchen in Edgewater/Rogers Park area has the best waffle fries ever! Like seriously amazing.” –Sean Grace

For more fry recs from our readers, click here.

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