Chicago News Roundup: Southern Abortion Activists Collaborate with Local Groups, R. Kelly Trial Continues, Blues Brothers Prepare for Con


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 83 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 65. Tomorrow will also be mostly sunny with a high near 86.

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

Southern Abortion Rights Advocates Arrive in Chicago for ‘Black August Freedom Rides’

More than 100 years after black residents fled racial and social injustices in the South during the Great Migration, some people may have to make similar trips to Chicago and other cities to access legal abortions since the fall of Roe c. Wade.

“It’s a harsh reality that we’re still here in 2022,” said Lakeesha Harris, co-executive director of Lift Louisiana. “People say when Roe (v. Wade) fell we went back 50 years. In fact, when Roe fell – for black people – we go back over 100 years. »

She noted that the fight for access to abortion is linked to the fight for civil rights for black and LGBTQ people. She and about 30 other activists from Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi – already declaring or soon to ban almost all abortions – traveled by train from 1 to 11 p.m. in Chicago this week as part of “Black August Freedom Rides” to show how some people may need to travel to get safe and legal abortions.

Yesterday, a dozen people arrived at Union Station, some wearing T-shirts showing their support for abortion rights. They planned to stay until today to strengthen relationships with Chicago reproductive rights groups and to create a petition to present to the United Nations regarding abortion access.

The group wants to create a vision for a new kind of Roe v. Wade which focuses on the needs of a pregnant person, not just abortion providers.

Harris, who previously lived and worked in Chicago, said having a direct relationship with Chicago organizations such as the South Side Birthing Center will become essential.

“The idea was that activists could meet so that when we send people, our community members, they know who’s on the other side that we’re sending them to,” Harris said.

Elvia Malagón has more with the activists here.

More news you need

  1. The alleged victim who refused to testify against R. Kelly in his first criminal trial 14 years ago finally took the witness stand today at a much-anticipated moment during Kelly’s retrial in federal court in Chicago. . Andy Grimm and Jon Seidel are at the courthouse and have more on his testimony and the latest developments in the trial here.
  2. A former lifeguard supervisor has admitted to committing sex crimes against underage employees he supervised, becoming the first Chicago Park District employee convicted in the year-long investigation led by Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx. Mauricio Ramirez, 32, was sentenced last month to three years probation, 40 hours of community service, electronic monitoring and a lifelong sex offender registry, WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos reports.
  3. Water in Illinois state prisons is contaminated with toxic metals and other potentially harmful contaminants, a coalition of activists said today, urging Governor JB Pritzker to take action. Our Brett Chase has more from the prisoner rights, environmental and social justice groups that demonstrated downtown today here.
  4. A Chicago police sergeant has been charged with aggravated assault for kneeling on the back of a 14-year-old boy outside a Park Ridge Starbucks. sergeant. Michael Vitellaro is facing one count of official misconduct with aggravated assault in connection with the July 1 incident, according to Park Ridge Police.
  5. This morning, authorities resumed the search for a person who had fallen into Lake Michigan near the downtown “Playpen” boat hangout. The search took place just hours before a body was pulled from Montrose Harbor, marking the third apparent drowning in Chicago this week.
  6. Tom Coffey, a trusted campaign adviser to Harold Washington who later became a member of Chicago’s first black mayor’s administration, died yesterday at his home in Hinsdale at the age of 77. Read Neil Steinberg’s full obituary for Coffey.
  7. Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi are teaming up tomorrow and Saturday for the first-ever Blues Brothers Con at Joliet Old Jail. Aykroyd told the Sun-Times that while the convention’s setting is somber, “It’s all about the fun — the music, the laughs, the food, the camaraderie, and celebrating Chicago.”
  8. Thanks to a $20 million federal grant, a plan to convert 1.75 miles of unused rail corridor in Englewood into a nature trail for the community is about to become a reality. The federal grant to support the Englewood Nature Trail has been widely applauded by local leaders, who say it will revitalize the area and be a beacon for black Chicagoans.

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A bright

Chicago CRED graduates celebrate their high school graduations and set their sights on future careers

For Dimaris Smith, 27, yesterday was cause for celebration — he received his GED after joining Chicago CRED. Smith had to redo all of high school and finished in two years.

The anti-violence organization takes young men and women recovering from involvement in gun violence and gives them stipends, job training and soft skills, in addition to trauma therapy.

This year’s ceremony outside the South Shore Cultural Center saw 58 graduates receive diplomas after dropping out of high school. Between hula-hooping, singing and dancing, graduates and their families pulled up in cars, walked on a red carpet and posed with loved ones on stage after receiving their degrees.


People cheer Dimaris Smith at the Chicago CRED graduation ceremony outside the South Shore Cultural Center on Wednesday afternoon.

“These are guys who failed to graduate from high school,” said CRED spokesman Peter Cunningham. “They’ve been through a lot of tough times, and now they have their moment. They feel that excitement and are recognized for having accomplished something.

Smith uses her CRED training to attend trade school for HVAC.

“CRED let me know that it’s never too late to start,” Smith said. “You can make it happen regardless of the circumstances.”

Mariah Rush has more on CRED and her Class of 2022 here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

As a Chicagoan, what do you think of the Air and Water Show? Explain.

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

Yesterday we asked you: Parents and Guardians: How do you feel about sending your kids back to school next week?

Here’s what some of you said…

“It’s pathetic. They should have another two weeks of summer! —Jason Betke

“I’m ready for her to go back. The last two years back to school have been more terrifying as a parent. But this year I’m not as worried. I know as parents, we have a lot of things to worry about (gun violence in schools, COVID, etc.) but an education for our children is so essential that I’m hoping for a normal year – fingers crossed I can’t fear what won’t happen. Terri Riley

“We are ready.” — Mary Yazzie

“Always a bit sad when summer ends and the kids come home, but I can’t wait to get back to routines and reconnect with friends.” — Sandra Judith

“Pissed. It’s both my kid’s week and my birthday week and we’ve never had to deal with it. We usually have fun this week – vacation, brunch, dinners, party. Now that the last week of fun was ripped off. 😭 You know us Chicagoans love to keep our summer days short. A new vote is needed for next year. I’m also not ready to help with the math of Grade 6. 🤣” —Che Stlawrence

“Not happy. They barely had a summer. I prefer after Labor Day. —Joey Lynn Battaglia Pinaglia

“Hesitant. My son has type 1 diabetes and has been working remotely for 2 and a half years. There really isn’t a protocol in schools for COVID, and if there is, it’s not applied. So it’s about me.”Stacey Romain

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


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