Chicago news roundup: Early voting opens, more on police response to Highland Park shooting

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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 will be mostly sunny with a maximum close to 52 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows around 39. Tomorrow will be sunny with highs near 58, while Sunday will be sunny with highs around 67.

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

Early voting for November 8 general election begins downtown

Early voting began downtown earlier in the day, with election officials urging voters to quickly check polling stations in their precincts in case they have changed since the redistricting.

“Nearly half of Chicago voters have a newly assigned polling place before Election Day,” said Max Bever, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections. “We urge all Chicago voters to plan their vote — either by voting by mail, early voting, or voting on Election Day — and verify their voter information in advance.”

A number of high-profile races are on the ballot in the Nov. 8 general election, including the Illinois gubernatorial race.

Voters were out early this morning for several reasons.

“It’s a fight for democracy. I feel like our country is in danger with some things going on. Our freedoms are being taken away from us and I want to make sure I maintain them,” said Linda McCully, 63, from the Gold Coast, referring to issues ranging from women’s rights to the right to vote.

Civil rights were also on Azurea Jackson’s mind.

“A lot of black people sacrificed a lot for black people to have the right to vote and I wanted to be here from day one,” said Jackson, 70, who lives on the South Side.

The regular drizzle was not a deterrent.

“I don’t care. People have been through much more miserable situations than that,” she said.

Read Stefano Esposito’s full story here.

More news you need

  1. On July 4, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd watching a parade in Highland Park, hundreds of law enforcement personnel from agencies across Illinois rushed to help. Our Frank Main has more on current and former law enforcement on the police response that day.
  2. If you missed it last night, the first frenzied face-to-face televised debate between Governor JB Pritzker and Darren Bailey turned into a battle over which of the two is the biggest liar and biggest threat in the world. ‘Illinois for the state, writes Dave McKinney of WBEZ. Read Dave’s full breakdown of the Pritzker-Bailey debate here.
  3. Risking a pre-election backlash, City Clerk Anna Valencia and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin today said they would accept the 20.5% wage increases included in the proposed city budget for 2023. Annual salaries for the City Clerk and Treasurer have been frozen at $133,545 since 2005.
  4. Chicago Shakespeare’s production of “The Notebook” receives a four-star rave review from our own Steven Oxman. “What we see in Chicago Shakespeare is a pre-Broadway production that’s not just safe for skeptics. It’s a significant leap in artistic quality over its source material,” Oxman writes. Read the review here.

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A bright

In Uptown’s mural, artist Anthony Lewellen combines a love of nature and ‘concrete and light poles’

In Uptown, you can see the sun rise twice – early in the morning over Lake Michigan and anytime of the day over the “Resting Waters Rising Light” mural by artist Anthony Lewellen at 844 W. Montrose Ave.

Besides the rising sun, it shows a red light hanging over a cormorant, a common waterfowl in Illinois.

“I was sort of referring to what Chicago was like before it got as urban as it is today,” says Lewellen, 50. “I love nature and I love all the little creatures. But I also really love concrete and light poles.

A vertical mural shows a large dark green bird standing in front of a turquoise sea and orange sky.

“Resting Waters Rising Light” by Anthony Lewellen completed October 2020 at 844 W. Montrose Ave. in Uptown.

Lewellen, who describes himself as an “urban imagist”, says he saw a cormorant in a wetland reserve near his home and studio in North Mayfair and was drawn to it “aesthetically”. He says he included the traffic light to create “an overlap between nature and the urban environment. It’s kind of tied to those two things that I feel like I’m always struggling with.

Lewellen says that when community group Uptown United approached him to do the mural, the narrow six-story structure he painted it on in October 2020 intrigued him. With “graffiti roots,” he says he’s always looking for a “dope spot” to paint.

“All the time I’m driving around town, and I see walls, and I’m like, ‘Man, something would look really good there,'” he says.

Austin Hojdar has more with Lewellen here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question☕

Early voting for the Nov. 8 election opened today in Chicago. Do you plan to vote earlier this year? Why or why not?

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

Yesterday we asked you: how would you describe what it’s like to cruise Lower Wacker Drive to someone who isn’t from here? Here’s what some of you said in our emails, Facebook comments and Twitter mentions…

“Drive towards the light and hope for the best.” —Audrey Wulard

“I love lower Wacker. I’ve been driving and exploring it since 1969. It’s magical. However, how to drive it cannot be described, it cannot be experienced and shown to someone. And I love his connections to Wabash, Lake and Wells. This is unfortunately only a shadow of itself, just like the streets that made up the Loop under the “El” tracks. -Bob Long Jr.

“It’s like Mario Kart is in Gotham City.” —Jamie Nicole

“It’s like driving on a road that is under another road.” —Nick Hussong

“It’s like pure liberation. Suddenly the traffic is moving and you can get somewhere faster than the people walking above. -Jim O’Connor

“I avoid it like the plague!” — Renee Kennedy

“The Bermuda Triangle.” —Dee Pauta

“No one who isn’t from here should be cruising down Wacker Drive. The end.” —Debbie Borman

Thanks for reading the afternoon edition of the Chicago Sun-Times. Think we missed a story? Email us here.

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