Chicago News Roundup: Chicago Pharmacy Deserts, Highland Park Shooting Suspect’s Not Guilty Plea, Group’s Plans for Columbus Statues Return


Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon is likely to see thunderstorms with a high near 91 degrees and heat index values ​​as high as 100. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms with a low near 71. Tomorrow It will be mostly sunny with a chance of thunderstorms and a high near 78.

Afternoon Edition

The most important Chicago news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus number on Saturday dives into the city’s history.

top story

Fewer pharmacies found on south and west sides of Chicago, analysis shows

Even as pharmacies provide more lifesaving services — including COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, contraceptive counseling and wellness visits — a recent study shows that communities on Chicago’s South and West Sides have fewer pharmacies than other parts of town.

These areas are called pharmaceutical deserts. The term was coined in 2014 by Dima Qato, a former professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago now at the University of Southern California. In a drugstore desert, at least a third of residents live more than a mile from a drugstore, or more than a third of residents with “limited vehicle access” live more than a half-mile from the nearest pharmacy.

In Chicago, North Side residents are much more likely to have easy access to pharmacies than their South and West counterparts, according to Qato’s research. Additionally, the number of drugstore deserts in Chicago’s south and west neighborhoods has increased in recent years.

“Chicago actually has the largest gaps between white and black neighborhoods in the country,” Qato told the Sun-Times.

And, as Mitchell discovered, that problem was exacerbated by the civil unrest of 2020, when a number of pharmacies closed. It was particularly an issue in black neighborhoods where, the city confirmed, about one in five pharmacies were temporarily or permanently closed, according to a WBEZ analysis of August 2020 city data that tracked pharmacy availability.

Meanwhile, a separate WBEZ analysis shows that access to Chicago’s two largest drugstore chains — Walgreens and CVS — is much higher in the city’s white communities than in black or Latino areas.

Now, with the pandemic and women’s reproductive rights at the center of national health discussions, pharmacy closings and drug access have become bigger issues for many Chicagoans.

Cheyanne Daniels and Esther Yoon-Ji Kang have more on widening the gap here.

More news you need

  1. Robert E. Crimo III pleaded not guilty today to 117 criminal charges brought against him after he allegedly fired from a rooftop during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, killing seven people and injuring 48 others. Our David Struett has more on the Crimo case here.
  2. A University of Chicago student who went missing in June has been safely reunited with his family, three months after offering a $10,000 reward to find him, school officials said today. In an email to the school, Dean of Students John Ellison announced that 20-year-old Diwen Fan came to campus today with her family “to show her gratitude to the entire university community”.
  3. A former lead prosecutor handling the R. Kelly case in federal court in Chicago used a private email account and a false name to engage in ‘surreptitious’ communications with a prominent journalist, attorneys have alleged of a former Kelly employee. The claim by attorneys for former Kelly employee Derrel McDavid was filed less than two weeks before Kelly was due in federal court in Chicago on August 15.
  4. An Italian-American group said today it is considering returning statues of Christopher Columbus which were removed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot two years ago. The Italian American Joint Civic Committee plan would have the statues returned to their original locations in Grant and Arrigo parks by Columbus Day 2022 and protected at the expense of city taxpayers.

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A bright

New Freshmen Prepare To Move To Campus With CHA Trunk Party

Rosemary Perez will be the first person in her family to attend college when she attends Benedictine University this fall.

Thanks to the Chicago Housing Authority’s “take flight college send-off” trunk party, the 19-year-old, who will be majoring in psychology, can cross the majority of dorm essentials off her list.

“It was awesome because I didn’t know how I was going to get a lot of these things,” Perez said.


CHA residents bound for college receive a laptop during the 12th Annual CHA “Take Flight College Send-Off” and Springboard to Success at the United Center on the West Side, where residents of The CHA received dorm supplies and a laptop to start their college trip yesterday.

The 12th annual event, organized by the ACH and its partner Springboard to Success, was held at the United Center yesterday to support college students living in public housing and give them some of the items they will need for college.

In its first few years, the send-off event hosted only about 30–40 college-bound students who lived in CHA buildings. But this year, 175 students received basic necessities such as towels, sheets and a shower basket, as well as new laptops.

“It’s really nice to be able to have the support of the ACH, especially considering how difficult it was to get into college,” said Aoloni Fisher, 18, who will attend the Dominican University.

Jordan Perkinsa more with incoming freshmen here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What do you like about life in Chicago?

Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.

Yesterday we asked you: What makes someone a real Chicagoan?

Here’s what some of you said…

“You know, real Chicagans like sassage with hot, drenched peppers, on top, and beer with a frothy head. And, they don’t send anybody nobody sent. — Gene Tenner

“Knowing that Chicago has the best pizza in the country.” —Linda Bergstrom

“Always go to school or work in a blizzard!” —Sammie T Shields

“They always come by Ma’s before da Jewels to see what they need.” —Mary Ann O’Rourke

“Walk backwards when it’s minus 20.” — Jean Contreras

“Knowing where neighborhoods are usually located, their names, and what they’re usually popular to have culturally available in cuisine and ambiance.” — Eva Prokop Callahan

“You refuse to use the term Willis Tower because it will always and forever be the SEARS Tower.” —Brandie Osborn Wilcox

“Know where the pediment room is. — Larry Clin

“If they know where the east is by knowing where the lake is.” — Becki Gerson – Tedesco

“Someone who pronounces Chicago correctly, knows the names of all the neighborhoods (or most of them), knows the streets that separate north and south and east and west, and never puts of ketchup on a hot dog. He’s a Chicagoan. — Nancy Rice

“They know how to pronounce Devon and Touhy.” —Karen Kring

“No matter where you live, your heart and your taste buds will always be Chicago.” — Cindy Rose Todd

“You’re always proud of this city – no matter what the press or the mayor or anybody else does and you see that skyline, it puts a smile on your face.” —Charles W. Johnson

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