Chicago news roundup: Little Village groups call on city to act after botched implosion, astronomer Adler on how to see supermoon and more


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 high near 76 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with lows around 61. Tomorrow will be sunny with highs near 84.

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.

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Environmental groups call for air monitoring and home air filtration systems in Little Village two years after botched implosion

Environmental activists are urging the city to pay for public air monitoring systems and air filtration for residents who live near the site of a dust storm caused by the demolition of a chimney.

More than two years after the demolition of the former Crawford coal works created a cloud of dust in Little Village, community groups say there are still unanswered questions about what led to the neighborhood being blanketed in dust on April 11, 2020. Hilco Development Partners supervised the demolition of the property.

The groups, including the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Southeast Environmental Task Force, released a list of demands at a virtual press conference yesterday.

“What that means for our neighborhood is not knowing for 800+ days what we’ve been exposed to in the dust, what’s left in the ground, or the long-term health effects,” said Kim Wasserman, executive director of Little Village Environmental Justice. Organization.

They want to see the installation of public air monitoring systems paid for with the $19,500 Hilco paid in municipal fines after the demolition. Hilco also settled a lawsuit with the state for $250,000, and a related entity that owned the land and the towing contractors were fined.

Elvia Malagón has more on the demands here.

More news you need

  1. Christopher Vaughn’s parents yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and others. It is the latest in ongoing efforts to free Vaughn, who in 2012 was convicted of murdering his wife and three children.
  2. At a graduation ceremony for the next generation of Chicago Police Department officers today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot told officers in her speech, “I will always support you.” It was the mayor’s latest attempt to reclaim the police support that has abandoned her since her landslide victory in 2019, our Fran Spielman explains in her latest.
  3. After a last-minute push from Schutt Sports and Chicago Public Schools, the Morgan Park football team was finally able to get their helmets back – just in time for the first day of football practice across the state. The Mustangs’ 75 helmets were sent to Schutt Sports, a helmet manufacturer, in December for refurbishment, but no return date had been set beforehand.
  4. An invasive silver carp was removed last week after it was found swimming in Calumet Lake in the far south, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said. According to the researchers, the invasive carp threaten to disrupt the food web that sustains native Great Lakes fish.
  5. Geza Gyu, the astronomy manager at the Adler Planetarium, encourages Chicagoans to go out Thursday night and look up to catch a “supermoon.” The full moon will appear larger and brighter on Thursday as its orbit brings it closer to Earth, Gyu said.

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A bright

Back-to-school haircuts donated by the South Side nonprofit prepare students to return to class

Hair fell and confidence rose yesterday in Bridgeport.

It was the start of a 30-day back-to-school haircut campaign offered at the headquarters of I Am A Gentleman, a nonprofit youth mentorship and leadership program for young people ages 13 to 21 years old from disadvantaged communities in the city.

“I think a haircut can really reflect who you are as a person, so taking care of your hair is important because it’s part of you and people look at it a lot,” said Jonathan Evans, 18, graduated from Lindblom Math. and Science Academy and will be heading to Bradley University in Peoria later this month to study game design and computer science.

Around 250 haircuts will be given over the next four weeks – with appointments available on the organization’s website


Emry Thomas, 16, leans forward as Mecca Highsmith gets a haircut at the offices of I Am a Gentleman, Inc. The nonprofit organization held a back-to-school event that offered free haircuts to students.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

“The reason we’re doing this is because we want young men, especially from urban neighborhoods, to look good but also feel good when they go back to class because we think that makes them look good. help them succeed in their school year,” Jermaine said. Lawrence Anderson, who founded and leads the organization.

Sixteen-year-old Emry Thomas, who is entering his freshman year in high school at the University of Chicago, stopped for a cone.

“This organization is important to a lot of young black men in the city because it’s so easy to get distracted by gangs, but it won’t get you anywhere except death or jail. It offers something you can do instead of going out on the block or something. It’s a positive thing,” said Thomas, who lives in Bridgeport. “It’s like a family.”

Mitch Dudek has more on the efforts of I Am a Gentleman here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What do you want to do before the summer ends in Chicago?

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

Yesterday we asked you: what is a smell that makes you think of Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“The smell of chocolate from the Blommer factory.” —howard moore

“The sweet smell of Tootsie Roll candy made in southwest Chicago.” — Tom Petraitis

“The delicious aroma of grease that emanates from the Billy Goat on Michigan Avenue!” — Kathleen Machek

“The stockyards may be long gone, but I will forever remember the smell of them. Unfortunately.” –Dennis Lynch

“BBQ in a garden with good old Mexican music.” — Gerard Valadez

“The leather tanning factory that once stood on Webster and the Chicago River.” — Gloria Chevere

“The smell of smelt, those little spring fish from when I was little by the lake. I am 74 years old. — Chris Huston

“To me, the leather of the baseball gloves, the concrete, the asphalt, this building smells like everyone in town and the meat and the beers are good. Chicago of course. — Brooks Vanderbush

“The smell of grilled onions reminds me of Maxwell Street Polish Chicago-style sausages.” — Federico Cedillo Jr.

“When the neighborhood cuts its grass, it smells fresh.” —Silvia Burgos

“Walking on the bridges and the smell of the river and Lake Michigan…I love the smell of water with the breeze.” —Patricia Moore Fluhler

You can find the full list of reader responses here.

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