Afternoon edition: March 31, 2022
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 cloudy with highs near 38 degrees and scattered rain and snow showers. Similar conditions will continue through tonight with lows around 30. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with highs near 47.
Half of murder cases deemed ‘solved’ by CPD in 2021 did not lead to charges
The total number of murders in Chicago last year reached levels not seen in a quarter of a century, but the police overseer beleaguered. David Brown has frequently noted a positive data point amid the surge in violence: his department “settled” more murder cases in 2021 than any other year in nearly two decades.
The solved cases statistic is usually among the list of numbers Brown cites in his public remarks, alongside the record number of handguns seized by officers and the rise in carjacking arrests. .
CPD detectives “cleared over 400 homicides in 2021,” Brown said at a January news conference, one of several times he mentioned the figure in public remarks. “Not the clearest in 19 years.”
Indeed, Chicago police closed exactly 400 murder cases in 2021, well above the average solved in each of the past years, according to statistics provided in response to a public records request. That’s nearly 50 more cases closed than in 2020 and well above the average of 250 in each of the previous five years.
Based on the department’s official 2021 total of 797 murders, that was equivalent to a “clearance rate” over 50% last year.
But a Sun-Times analysis found that a higher rate does not mean many more people are being brought to justice than in the past.
In fact, a closer look at the CPD’s clearance rate reveals that half of those cases – 199 – were closed “exceptionally”, meaning no suspects were charged. Under CPD policy, detectives are allowed to close a case when the suspect is dead, prosecutors refuse to lay a charge, or police believe they know who did but nevertheless fail to make an arrest.
Andy Grimm has the whole story behind the data here.
More news you need
- A vigil will be held tomorrow for Hector Manuel Franco Tello, a 54-year-old father of four from Albany Park who was found dead in the Chicago River last week, several days after he went missing. Friends and family have scheduled the vigil for 6 p.m. tomorrow at Ronan Park, near where he was found.
- Family members of Daniel Martinez, a Chicago native and ex-Marine who was fatally stabbed in Boston a few weeks ago, are preparing to say goodbye before Martinez’s visit tomorrow.Martinez’s family has a funeral home and his visitation will be the family’s first at their new location in Clearing, near Midway Airport.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot today threw a $7.5million bone at motorists squeezed by soaring gas prices – and dumped a $5million sweetener to lure commuters onto public transport . The $12.5 million plan it calls “Chicago Moves” will be funded primarily by revenue from corporate funds with help from the avalanche of federal coronavirus relief.
- Less than four months after Governor JB Pritzker announced that a development team would take over the beleaguered James R. Thompson Center in the Loop, the Governor’s office today announced that a purchase and sale agreement has been finalized. The group plans to preserve the building as a mixed-use property with offices, retail and hotels – and the state retaining around 30% ownership.
- Chicago is taking initial steps to muster a bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Although the city hasn’t hosted a major party rally in more than a quarter century, Chicago was historically the most popular site in the country for national political conventions. Take a trip through the history of Chicago’s political conventions here.
- The Windy City has a “compelling, compelling story to tell” about why it’s the right choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention – despite its international reputation as a haven for violent crime, the Mayor Lightfoot.A day after joining the Democratic heavyweight team from Illinois that publicized its interest in hosting the convention, Lightfoot took on the role of Chicago cheerleader.
- Life is Work, a resource center for trans identification for people of color, is hosting a trans visibility contest tonight at the Kehrein Center for the Arts in South Austin – with the winner set to win a $3 cash prize $000. The contest is a chance to “lift the spirits of leaders in the trans community” in the Chicago area and honor lost advocates, said Zahara Bassett, CEO and Founder of Life Is Work.
- After a two-week strike, teachers voted to approve a contract with School District 209 in Proviso Township.The three-year deal includes a 3% raise for teachers each year of the contract, as well as an annual bonus of $500.
- A new AMC series, titled “61st Street,” centers on a longtime Chicago public defender on the verge of retirement when he’s forced to take on another urgent case. The show’s star, Courtney B. Vance, spoke with our Richard Roeper about filming in Chicago and how the city was key to telling the stories portrayed in “61st Street.”
Frida Kahlo’s photo collection reveals new sides to the life of the iconic Mexican artist
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is best known for her striking self-portraits that blend realism, fantasy, nature and Mexican culture.
She also loved photography and was an avid collector – having amassed nearly 6,000 photographs, some purchased, some gifted, some inherited.
Some of these images belonged to her family, others to her husband, the painter Diego Riviera, but it was Kahlo who treasured the photographs and curated the collection.
Today, 240 of the photographs are featured in “Frida Kahlo, her photos”, a traveling exhibition presented in Pilsen at the National Museum of Mexican Art – opening tomorrow and until August 7.
When Kahlo died at age 47 in 1954, Riviera locked away some of her art and artifacts in a closet at La Casa Azul, the Mexico City home – which is now the Frida Kahlo Museum – where they lived and where Kahlo has grown up.
Fifty years later. the room was unlocked and the long-unseen photographs were discovered.
Mary Houlihan has more on the collection here.
From the press gallery
Your daily question ☕
What do you think of Mayor Lightfoot’s Plan offer prepaid gas cards and CTAs to Chicagoans?
Email us(please include your first name and place of residence) and we may include your response in the next afternoon edition.
Yesterday we asked you: What’s in Chicago that you won’t find anywhere else?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Delicious and varied food, Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan to name a few.” —vanessa amos
“Italian beef. Until I moved, I didn’t realize it was a Chicago thing. I thought they were everywhere. — Nikki Dee
“Nowhere else will you find an unbroken 18-mile lakeside trail. And it’s much longer when you consider all the side trails. —General Tenner
“Museums. I worked in one of them and I met a lot of people who thought that things in other museums were in the same place, because a city certainly couldn’t have more an excellent and immense museum! Margaret Laing
“Glass block windows in the shower.” — Natalie’s Peak
“The Italian beef, the bean and a team that will probably take another 106 years to win again.” —Eric Levy
“Excellent public transportation.” — terry sanders
“People! There’s nothing like a Chicago native! Add in the food, the museums, the lakefront, the sports teams, the architecture, the history, the neighborhoods, the festivals. You can leave Chicago , but Chicago never leaves you! And the best thing is that every time you meet another person from Chicago, it’s like you’re old friends!Joanne Budka-Clines
“As someone who has to spend a lot of time away from Chicago, there are things I can attest to: the people, the food, and the neighborhoods of all ethnicities and backgrounds. More greenery in summer than even cities with tropical climates. The most beautiful spring flowers and fall foliage. Great holiday spirit no matter what holiday and weather. And friendly people making eye contact and saying hello as they walk past. —Manisha Makwana
“The CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, as well as Shedd Aquarium, Wrigley Field, O’Hare, etc.” —Mark Worcester
Editor’s note: Our Wednesday afternoon newsletter mistakenly referred to two stories under incorrect names. The review for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was written by AP’s Jake Coyle. The sports column on the Ricketts family and Chelsea FC was written by Steve Greenberg. We apologize for the errors.
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