As we settle into our first full week of Illinois’ phase five, we’re seeing the reopening unfold in uneven ways as businesses adjust to the new guidelines. Yesterday it was announced that concerts in Millennium Park will be open for full capacity this summer. At the same time, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the Chicago Blues Festival, Gospel Music Festival and Jazz Festival are all taking another summer off.
Meanwhile, there was a big announcement in education news yesterday. Lightfoot named José Torres as the interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools, though she said the search continues for someone to permanently fill the role. Torres is due to formally take the reins from departing CEO Janice Jackson at the end of June. Here’s a look at the longtime educator.
And if you’ve been to a Cubs game lately (or pretty much anywhere near Wrigleyville), you’ve noticed the Friendly Confines are packed with people enjoying the new lack of capacity limits. Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward says that should be the concern — the fans in the stands — and not the fact that he and some of his teammates have yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
— Nicole Stock, audience editor
Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.
Illinois, one of the nation’s largest producers of coal, is on the verge of becoming the first Midwest state to ban energy companies from burning the lung-damaging, climate-changing fossil fuel to generate electricity.
The end of gas-fired power might not be far behind.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday said a much-circulated email in which she berated an aide was “born out of frustration” and she’s now in “a better place” with her team.
In late January, Lightfoot sent her then-scheduler an email complaining that she doesn’t get enough of what she called “office time.” That’s typically a less structured part of the day when the mayor can think, write or make long-term plans. While it’s common for politicians to give staff members specific direction, it’s the way Lightfoot delivered her feedback that raised eyebrows in government and political circles. Lightfoot repeated several sentences — one 16 times — to highlight her displeasure over her schedule.
A Chicago police sergeant has filed a complaint with the city’s inspector general alleging that during the early, tense days of last year’s civil unrest, a commander assigned her and a team of officers to a post on the Bridgeport block where he lives.
This story of happenstance involves a 101-year-old Chicago sausage maker, an 84-year-old local Italian deli and Home Depot. It’s a story that could take place only in Chicago, and it’s the kind of story that makes me love this city, somehow, even more, Tribune food critic Nick Kindelsperger writes.