Chicago news roundup: Voters head to the polls for midterms, Man sues Chicago cop he claims coerced false confession and more

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

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 56 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low near 45. Tomorrow will also be mostly sunny with a high near 66.

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Voters head to the polls in suburban Chicago for the general election

The 2022 U.S. midterm elections are rolling across the country, and in Illinois, Sun-Times and WBEZ reporters and photographers report the latest polling news.

Since polls opened at 6 a.m. this morning, turnout has been slow but steady in Chicago. The citywide turnout at noon was 27.1% with 417,286 ballots, according to city election officials. There are 1,540,821 registered voters in Chicago.

Sandy Williams had no trouble voting at the same place he always voted, but trouble arose when he took his 92-year-old mother, Katherine Williams, to her polling station. After taking her to the townhouse, his “historic” polling place, he was told his new polling place was at 901 E. 95th St. It was there that he was again informed that her mother’s polling station was in another location. Instead of driving to McDade Elementary School, which he says is ‘right behind’ where she lives, election officials made her fill out a provisional ballot – two hours after they initially decided to vote .

“It’s very annoying,” Williams said. “I’ve never seen it happen like this.”

Williams said her mother’s residence moved to the Ninth Ward during the redistricting, though she was never told her polling place would be changed. An election worker at a South Side polling station, who did not want his name used, said people going to the wrong polling site had been a problem all day.

Alex and Claire Cockrum, also residents of Portage Park, voted for many reasons – especially to protect women’s rights.

But before they could vote, they were turned away at the Sainte-Constance church because they were at the wrong polling station.

They always voted at Prussing Elementary School, just down the street from the church. But before Election Day, their councilman, Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th), sent a flyer to the couple and their neighbors saying their neighborhood had become St. Constance Church.

Jazmin Bandera, a St. Constance poll worker, said the Cockrums weren’t the only ones dealing with the confusion. She sent people to show up to vote at the church in Prussing and spoke with people who were sent to St. Constance from school. Those voters were either in the wrong place because of Gardiner’s flyer or because their voter card was in the wrong place, Bandera said.

For the latest updates on polls and election results, visit our live blog here.

More news you need

  1. A man was charged today with stabbing and dismembering a person whose remains were found for five days in alleyways near the suspect’s home in Austin. The 56-year-old was charged with multiple counts, including first-degree murder, according to court records.
  2. A man who claims a Chicago police detective framed him for a Northwest Side murder – resulting in 13 years behind bars – has filed a lawsuit against the city and multiple detectives. The city spent more than $75 million of taxpayer dollars to pay for wrongful convictions caused by that same officer, former police detective Reynaldo Guevara.
  3. A federal judge today refused to dismiss a money laundering case against the wives of suspected Chicago cocaine traffickers linked to the Sinaloa Cartel, Margarito Flores and Pedro Flores. The judge said he did not believe prosecutors gave Vivianna Lopez and Valerie Gaytan a free pass to collect and spend their husbands’ drug proceeds after the twin brothers were locked up.
  4. In April, the EPA ordered Sims Metal Management in Pilsen to install high-quality air monitors to determine if the scrapyard might be releasing harmful levels of toxic metals and other pollutants. Although the air tests are attracting community interest, readings of hazardous metals, including lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium, are unreliable, the EPA said. And the data is also potentially flawed for large particle pollution.
  5. Family, friends, former colleagues and fans are mourning the loss of longtime WGN meteorologist Roger Triemstra, who died last week at age 92. Triemstra blended scientific savvy with popular humor in his reporting, becoming one of the Chicago area’s most trusted radio and television personalities.
  6. As Illinois continues to vote today, WBEZ’s Dave McKinney reflects on the heated gubernatorial race which he describes as short, but not sweet. The 19-week entanglement between Democratic Governor JB Pritzker and Republican Senator Darren Bailey has been shaped by struggles over abortion, political extremism, crime and the economy. The insults flew from the start.
  7. Want a reserved seat when NASCAR hosts two days of racing here next summer? It’ll cost you at least $465 for reserved two-day tickets and nearly $4,300 for the most expensive option when they go on sale Thursday. Two-day general admission tickets, which start at $269, will go on sale later.
  8. In his three-star review of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Sun-Times reviewer Richard Roeper praised the film, calling it an exciting new adventure. The film also succeeds as a tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman – a wonderful actor who was taken out of this world decades too soon, writes Roeper.

A bright

Chicago’s solar-powered community fridge puts down lasting roots in Englewood

Eric and Risa Von Haynes have their work cut out at the Englewood Love Fridge.

On a recent afternoon, the Hayneses carry their usual pick-ups from pantries and the Chicagoland Food Sovereignty Coalition to the fridge. The South Side Community Refrigerator sits inside a brightly painted wooden structure that has the words “Free Food” in pink painted wooden letters on the front.

As the Von Hayneses fill the refrigerator, familiar faces approach, greet them, and choose the bounty. “Take what you need, leave what you can” is the organization’s motto, and visitors follow suit.

There are currently 26 refrigerators scattered around Chicago accessible 24/7, but this one in Englewood at 6344 S. Morgan St. is special. It’s the first to be “off-grid” – powered by solar panels with a “robust” power bank, says Eric Von Haynes, which makes it not only durable, but more self-sufficient.

Risa and Eric Von Haynes launched the Love Fridge in 2020 to help people during the pandemic. The self-help organization’s motto is “Take what you need, leave what you can”.

According to Eric Von Haynes, this is not only Chicago’s first solar-powered community refrigerator, but also the first in the Midwest. The only other he knows is in Los Angeles.

The duo, who call themselves the ‘spokes’ of the Love Fridge wheel, launched the self-help group in 2020, amid the pandemic, to share fresh, free food during a time of heightened food insecurity.

The Englewood Love Fridge sits on land managed by the Getting Grown Collective, an Englewood non-profit organization focused on providing access to food through farming skills. The nonprofit also maintains Ancestor Garden Libations – used to teach collective members how to grow medicinal herbs and native plants – at the site. The refrigerators are filled by the Von Hayneses and other volunteers several times a week.

“It just gives us the opportunity to put them in certain spaces that we think might be useful,” he said.

Mariah Rush has more on the Love Fridge project here.

From the press box

Your daily question☕

What was your experience voting at the polls today?

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

Yesterday we asked you: What’s one place in Chicago that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to another country?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Alta Vista Terrace – looks more like a London street than a Chicago street.” — Chris Finley

“Small village or Chinatown.” — Benny Petit

“The second floor of the Italian Village. Opened in 1927. Hasn’t changed in over 40 years that I’ve been going there and hope that never changes.” —Marc Stearns

“O’Hare. It feels like its own country. — Baylee Steelman

“Little Italy, Taylor Street.” — Jim Catanzaro

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

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