Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about an eight-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
— Matt Moore (@MattKenMoore)
This afternoon will be mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and a high near 57 degrees. Expect showers and possibly a thunderstorm tonight with a low near 41 degrees. Showers are likely tomorrow with thunderstorms possible and a high near 64.
After $18 million in campaign spending and a five-week battle for the heart and soul of Chicago, it’s finally up to voters to decide whether to make Paul Vallas or Brandon Johnson the city’s 57th mayor.
Try not to hold your breath for the final outcome. The winner may not be known for days.
“I highly doubt either camp will concede on election night because up to 100,000 votes may not be counted when we go to bed on election night,” said pollster Matt Podgorski of M3 Strategies, whose polling correctly placed the top four finishers in Round One of the mayoral sweepstakes within roughly half a percentage point.
“Folks who have a pretty good idea of which way the late ballots break will be able to have a pretty good idea of who’s gonna win on election night,” Podgorski added. “But no one’s going to concede if there’s enough outstanding ballots for it to make a difference.”
Election Board spokesperson Max Bever agreed even a four-percentage-point gap between Vallas and Johnson tomorrow night might not be safe.
“We’ll probably have to see how those vote-by-mail ballots come back” before either camp concedes, Bever said Monday.
Every ballot returned by 7 p.m. tonight will be counted on election night. The rest will have to wait.
Technically, the board has until April 18 to count all vote-by-mail ballots postmarked by 7 p.m. Tuesday. By the close of business Monday, Bever expected to have as many as 110,000 vote by mail ballots counted. With 200,000 applications, that still leaves up to 90,000 outstanding votes — but probably less than that, based on the first round of voting, Bever said.
“Not all of those might be coming back. Of the 100,000 outstanding that we had as of election day for Feb. 28, we only got 52,000 of those back over the next two weeks. So, it’ll probably be a similar return rate,” Bever said.
“It’s safest to say it’s that first week that we get the majority of vote by mail ballots back. I’d say if it’s close on election night, we’ll know or have the majority of vote by mail ballots back by April 11.”
More news you need
- A Chicago police officer has had his police powers taken away after being accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old boy at the Harlem Irving Plaza in Norridge. David Deleon, 30, was arrested last week and charged with felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery.
- Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation over the weekend after more than a dozen tornados tore across Illinois on Friday night, including one that killed a man after a roof collapsed at a packed concert venue in Belvidere, and another that killed three people in downstate Crawford County. Pritzker signed the proclamation late Saturday, allowing the state to send assistance to DuPage, Boone, Crawford, Marion and Sangamon counties.
- Faculty members at Chicago State University, Illinois’ only predominantly Black public university, went on strike today for better pay and a reduced workload. WBEZ’s Lisa Philip has more on how talks between the staff and university administrators reached this point.
- Decades after residents left and the Chicago Housing Authority complexes were leveled, dirt is being turned as part of an ongoing effort to restore a North Lawndale community. Work began last month on a four-story apartment building with dozens of apartments on the Lawndale site. The developers hope to turn the long-bald stretch of Ogden Avenue into a vibrant community for workers from the nearby medical district and Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.
- Federal prosecutors are seeking a nearly six-year prison sentence for a downstate man who has pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer and a news cameraman during the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Shane Woods, 45, is among at least three dozen Illinoisans who have faced charges stemming from the U.S. Capitol riot.
- A group of investors says they’re ready to trot out a new harness racetrack and casino in the far south suburbs that would provide a much-needed boost to Illinois’ struggling horse racing industry. There’s just one thing reining in their proposal: state law allows Hawthorne Race Course — the Chicago area’s only surviving track — to veto any potential new track within 35 miles of their storied 132-year-old grandstand in Stickney. Our Mitchell Armentrout has more on developers’ stalled “racino” plans.
- And Los Lobos, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, and Blind Boys of Alabama are among the artists scheduled to headline this year’s Chicago Blues Festival, running June 8-11 at Millennium Park. We’ve got the schedule and the full lineup of more than 250 artists for the summer event.
A bright one ☀️
In her real life, Claire Rogoski works in a funeral home. But every now and then, she dresses up as Wonder Woman to refill her “happiness bank,” she said.
Rogoski, an apprentice funeral home director and embalmer from Schaumburg, is one of the tens of thousands of cosplayers, artists and fans who attended the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, or C2E2 this past weekend.
C2E2 is a three-day extravaganza of all things comics, pop culture and fandom. Fans swarmed McCormick Place starting Friday morning, some wearing colorful wigs, striking makeup and handmade costumes.
“Coming to a place like this, seeing people alive and celebrating, and they’re wearing such amazing outfits, and there’s so much creativity ... That’s super meaningful,” said Rogoski, who has been attending C2E2 since 2011.
Theo Kriha, an art student at Columbia College Chicago, called C2E2 “iconic” for its size and offerings. Carter Smalley, an event spokesperson, said they expect around 70,000 attendees, 250 vendors and 500 artists this year.
Cosplay is a family activity for Joe Hernandez, 51, who choked up talking about coming to conventions with his daughter Breña. Hernandez wore an elaborate Candyland costume complete with a cupcake hat and scepter. Breña, a college student, flew in from New York for her 12th C2E2 with her dad.
Addie Markiewicz, 18, came to the convention with three friends from her hometown of Lockport. Markiewicz said cosplay is a way to express herself.
“It gives us a chance to be someone else and express what we love in a way where other people can admire,” said Markiewicz, who wore a bright blue wig to cosplay a character from the video game Genshin Impact.
From the press box
- With weather in the forecast later on, today’s White Sox home opener started at 2:10 p.m. instead of 3:10 p.m. as previously scheduled.
- Few, if any, coaches in Final Four history paid their dues longer than San Diego State’s Brian Dutcher. Steve Greenberg has more on Dutcher’s journey, which began decades ago at Illinois.
- A whirlwind few months for Blackhawks prospect Frank Nazar will culminate in an appearance at the Frozen Four with Michigan, Ben Pope writes.
Your daily question☕
Do you live in an apartment? If you could say anything to your neighbor — without consequence — what would you say?
Send us an email at email@example.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
On Friday, we asked you: Do you think the city needs more bike lanes? Tell us why or why not.
Here’s what some of you said…
“I’m all for more bike lanes so long as bicyclists follow the rules of the road, which many do not.” — Anne-Marie St. Germaine
“We already have plenty of asphalt, we need a lot less cars!” — Dave Coulter
“Nope. More pedestrian malls and wider sidewalks. Loads of bike lakes already — every street can’t be a bike lane.” — Christine Stuminski
“Yes, to make traffic safer and move faster for both cars and bikes. It establishes clear markers of where to drive. It’s like ‘No Passing’ markers on highways for cars. Every major road in Chicago should have a bike lane, protected bike lanes are best but if not at least clearly marked, and signed, bike lanes.” — Robert Kastigar
“Chicago needs more protected bike lanes. The existence of a painted line alone doesn’t decrease drivers’ speed or caution and many drivers are confused about the laws concerning bikes. Better design, like concrete barriers and green boxes to demarcate space for bikes, will make biking safer. Making biking safer will increase biking. Increased biking makes for a better Chicago—cleaner air, less noise pollution and in general happier people.” — Laura W.
“No more bike lanes. More and more automobiles are added to the streets daily. The bike lanes are wider than the car lanes on most streets. Cars, trucks, SUVs, buses, and other working vehicles on the streets, the bicycle lanes are dangerous for drivers, and utility vehicles.” — Clifola Coleman
“I suppose the city could use more bike lanes, but only if there’s a way to enforce traffic laws on bike riders. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen bicyclists run stop signs and red lights and ignore other traffic laws. I’ve narrowly avoided being struck by a bicyclist twice in just the last year as I walked in my residential neighborhood. And I’m always worried that the prevalent stop-sign-ignoring will cause an accident while I’m driving. Chicago can be bike-friendly, but only if the people riding those bikes will obey traffic laws.” — Virginia G.
“Yes, more protected bike lanes mean less traffic. It’s also a better usage of space, especially on the Southside where we have so many too-wide multi-lane roads going through residential areas. That encourages crazy driving like it’s a highway. The paint-only bike lanes are almost worthless, so don’t bother with those.” — Ben B.
“We need more as usage and demand will only rise.” — James Scofield
“No! The bike lanes we’ve already got are seriously obstructing not only car traffic, but CTA buses. Some bike lanes need to be eliminated, such as 55th Street in Hyde Park. We need to encourage people to use transit, which can carry folks who are old or otherwise can’t ride a bicycle. The bike lanes make the #55 bus run slower, which is a problem. The bicycle utopia is just not going to happen.” — Roger Deschner
“No, we do not need any more bike lanes. Unfortunately, the bike lanes that are available now, bikers do not utilize the lanes. They dart in and out of traffic which is unsafe for everyone.” — John Coruthers
Thanks for reading the Chicago Sun-Times Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.