Chicago news roundup: New Illinois public health chief faces big challenges, Oak Park native sets sail and more

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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 cloudy with a slight chance of showers and a high near 81 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 65. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 85.

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

Illinois’ new public health director takes the helm as COVID rebounds, monkeypox rises and abortion rights shrink

Faced with an ongoing pandemic, an emerging viral epidemic and abortion bans in neighboring states, Illinois’ new top doctor today acknowledged “the weight of these challenges” during his first week on the job – but pledged to guide residents through “a time when it’s just hard to feel protected.

Dr. Sameer Vohra, who officially took over as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday after Governor JB Pritzker announced his appointment last month, said the agency would meet these challenges with “a primary and overarching objective: to prevent and protect the public against disease and injury.

“We live in a time when it’s just hard to feel protected,” Vohra said in her first public appearance at a South Side news conference alongside the governor. “We are two and a half years since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic, and although we are learning to live with the virus, my heart continues to cry and cry for the families of the 34,388 Illinoisans we have lost to this terrible disease.

“Beyond other emerging diseases like monkey pox, we face an epidemic of gun violence, a mental health crisis and a growing national threat to the protection of reproductive rights,” said Vohra, president. founder of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Department of Population Science and Policy. “It is impossible not to feel the weight of these challenges.

“Under my leadership, the Department of Public Health will serve as a resource and guide for the people of Illinois, providing essential information and offering services to individuals and families that will help them lead the healthiest and most productive,” Vohra said.

Mitchell Armentrouthas more on Vohra here.

More news you need

  1. A 17-year-old boy was charged with fatally shooting a man in Logan Square in January. The teenager was arrested yesterday and charged with first degree murder in the January 9 murder of Donovan Duffy.
  2. There’s a parade of resignations and retirements from the Chicago City Council because it’s ‘not a good place to work these days,’ zoning committee chairman Tom Tunney told our Fran Spielman. Tunney, a key member of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s leadership team, said he could join the exodus himself.
  3. A former employee of the Cook County Assessor’s Office agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors today as he admitted to helping lower taxes on some properties by at least $1 million in exchange for benefits such as home improvements. Lavdim Memisovski, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for behavior that occurred between 2016 and July 2018.
  4. Relatives and former colleagues are mourning the loss of Myrna Salazar, who co-founded the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance and served as its executive director. Salazar, 75, is a strong advocate for fairness and representation for Latino artists on Chicago stages.
  5. Illinois shoppers looking to stock up on school supplies, clothing and other back-to-school gear can expect to save a little on sales tax starting tomorrow. The state sales tax exemption on certain school-related items, which applies to all retailers, will continue through August 14.

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A bright

Visually impaired Oak Park native to compete in U.S. Parasailing Championship

When Jasmin Washington sets sail for the Independence Cup on Friday – a regatta for disabled sailors in Burnham Harbor – the 22-year-old Oak Park native is hoping to clinch another top spot.

“I stick to the motto that I can do anything sighted people can do, I just need to tweak it a bit,” said Washington, who is visually impaired.

Earlier this summer, Washington and his team took first place at the Robie Pierce Regatta in Rye, New York.

Jasmin Washington on a boat in a striped shirt and blue life jacket

Jasmin Washington says she hopes to turn professional in competitive sailing and compete in the Paralympic Games or the World Blind Sailing Championships.

Washington will compete in the double-handed split race with teammate Bonnie Everhart of Arlington Heights, who sails for the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation. They will pilot a 20ft adaptive boat that includes rebound steering, which allows blind sailors to follow a straight path on open water using bungee cords and other devices to allow a sailor to feel through voltage how far they are off center. .

Washington says she’s always been drawn to boats, but it was a chance encounter in 2017 at Jackson Park Outer Harbor that led her to competitive sailing. She was fishing with her uncle when she was able to chat with members of the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation, which provides sailing lessons for people with disabilities.

Washington said she hopes to become good enough one day to compete at a professional level in the sport and eventually learn to command sailboats that have not been adapted for people with disabilities.

Jordan Perkins has more with Washington here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

Where is the best place to travel for a summer weekend away from the city? Tell us why.

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

Yesterday we asked you: what do you enjoy about living in Chicago?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Almost everything. The food is great, the blues clubs are amazing. We have Lake Michigan and some of the best hotels in the world. My hometown.” —Rita Carthans

“Chicago is very, very beautiful! The architecture here is amazing! The Chicago skyline is amazing! Our neighborhood parks and our Lakefront are amazing! Our museums, art galleries, concert halls and cultural activities are incredible! And our food – amazing! — Beatrice C. Franklin

“I love culture, food, diverse activities and different walks of life.” —Maurice Snell

“It’s a crucible! So many different cultures living together. We have fabulous parks and beaches. A free zoo. Many styles of architecture. We have alleys, so we don’t need to have garbage in front of our houses. We have an excellent public transport system. We have a reliable source of fresh water. There are so many more positives than negatives! —Patricia McDonald

“The Lakeshore, the diversity, the neighborhoods and the opportunities it provides for my children. —Andre Bell

“I like the energy here. The very many small and large companies everywhere. Inspiring architecture. Delicious food. The diversity! The people. The CTA and the meter. The sports! The feeling that you can be anyone or anything you want to be. Julia Margaret

“Always something and anything to do. You get the best of the entire universe in one city.Kevin Brewer

“The culture, the South Side, the good people and the beautiful buildings each have a story to tell!” —Darryl Cotton

“I love the Lakefront It’s very calming.” —Yoshida Mitchell

“Certainly people – everyone always seems so nice, caring and helpful.” —William Brian

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

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