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Your Friday afternoon briefing

Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition
Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
— Satchel Price (@satchelprice)

Happy Friday! This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 44 degrees. Some rain is in the forecast for tonight, which will see a low near 34 degrees. This weekend will be sunny and warm: Tomorrow’s high will be around 50 degrees, while Sunday’s high will be near 46 degrees.
Top story
The Chicago Police Department is planning for summer festivals and other events in case pandemic rules are eased. | Justin Jackson/Sun-Times
The Chicago Police Department is planning for summer festivals and other events in case pandemic rules are eased. | Justin Jackson/Sun-Times
With vaccinations surging and coronavirus cases dropping, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has asked the Chicago Police Department to prepare security plans for large-scale summer events.
The discussion about police preparations for a return to some sense of normalcy in Chicago this summer came up this week during the mayor’s regular “accountability” meeting with top police brass.
Chicago Police Department spokesman Don Terry refused to say what types of major events the mayor is contemplating. He would only say that CPD is “preparing for the summer for things to open, if they open up.”
“If we continue on this path, with people being vaccinated and the infection rate going down — and if the city opens up — we’re gonna be prepared for what happens in the summer in Chicago,” Terry said today.
“We’re gonna be prepared for however much the city is able to open up. We’ll be prepared. We’ll be practicing.”
Summer in Chicago normally means Cubs and Sox games with fans in the stands at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field. It means Lollapalooza, Taste of Chicago, July 3rd fireworks at Navy Pier and a host of neighborhood festivals.
More news you need
  1. A mass COVID-19 vaccination site will open at the United Center on March 10, state and city officials announced this morning. With a combination of drive-thru and temporary walk-up facilities, the site will have the capacity to vaccinate about 6,000 people per day.
  2. The City Council is poised to authorize another round of federal stimulus spending despite the political furor triggered by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to spend $281.5 million on police payroll costs. Today’s vote is expected to authorize $377 million in stimulus spending.
  3. Arsons were up nearly 65% last year over 2019, our analysis of city crime data shows. The South Side and West Side were hit the hardest by arsonists.
  4. After Hyde Park’s St. John Stone Friary was criticized in 2018 for housing a priest who previously faced allegations of child sex abuse, church officials claimed it was an isolated incident. But once-secret records show it wasn’t the first time a priest accused of child sex abuse had been moved there.
  5. Despite Cardinal Blase Cupich’s three-year-old plea for all religious orders in the area to publish lists of members credibly accused of child sex abuse, the local Dominican order — which runs an Oak Park high school — still hasn’t released one. The Rev. James V. Marchionda, leader of the Dominican order for the Midwest, says “it remains under consideration.“
  6. Starting Monday, Chicago’s speed cameras will begin handing out $35 tickets to motorists caught driving 6 mph to 10 mph over the speed limit. The city cites a 45% surge in traffic deaths last year for the change, but one alderman critical of the decision argued it’s "all about revenue.”
  7. Local banks’ mortgage lending practices came under fire today at a City Council hearing. Eight banks, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, declined to attend the hearing, while J.P. Morgan did not respond to an invitation. 
A bright one
When abolitionist Frederick Douglass visited Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church to speak in 1893, nearly 1,000 people turned out at the historic Black congregation on the Near South Side to hear him.
“The Black man will be respected nowhere while he is not respected in the United States,” Douglass told the crowd, according to a newspaper account. “Our work,” he said, “is to make ourselves respected.”
Nearly 70 years later, during the Civil Rights Era, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. also took to the pulpit at the church to speak.
Throughout most of that time and still today, there’s been a presence above the church’s altar that also speaks to the plight and salvation of African Americans. It’s a mural depicting Jesus as a Black man.
Jesus is depicted as a Black man in this mural on the dome-like ceiling of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, 2401 S. Wabash Ave. Pat Nabong / Sun-Times
Jesus is depicted as a Black man in this mural on the dome-like ceiling of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church, 2401 S. Wabash Ave. Pat Nabong / Sun-Times
Painted in 1904 on the domed ceiling along with other religious figures, the mural remains a source of pride for the roughly 400-person congregation.
It’s also a rare portrayal of Christ, who typically has been cast as a white man with European features.
Tyra Owens, 33, a lifelong member of Quinn Chapel, says: “I just remember looking up at that mural during services” as a child “and seeing myself close to God. It really meant a lot to me.”
From the press box
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said at training camp that he’s pleased with the team’s communication after another offseason of trade rumors.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa sounds excited about having Nick Madrigal as the team’s second baseman. “Nick is a young guy you can trust in any situation,” La Russa said yesterday, while adding that the young infielder is “an artist.”
And the Sox bolstered their farm system today by agreeing to terms with Cuban pitching prospect Norge Vera. The 20-year-old right-hander, who’s rated as the No. 15 international prospect by MLB Pipeline, will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus.
Your daily question  ☕
Do you agree with the city’s decision to have speed cameras ticket motorists for going 6-10mph over the limit? Why or why not?
Reply to this email (please include your first name and where you live) and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: Did falling ice or heavy snow damage your property over the last two weeks? Here’s what some of you said…
“Water came inside along the back wall of the building we live in. Leaked in for days. The unit above us as well. … Then we had a water main break, which is now getting fixed with the warmer weather.” — Andee Michele
“It disconnected my WiFi.” — Kristine Antoinette
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