Afternoon edition: March 10, 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 mostly cloudy with highs near 28 degrees and a chance of snow. Tonight will also be cloudy with snow likely and a low around 24. Tomorrow will be mostly cloudy with a chance of more snow and a high near 35.

top story

Chicagoan unites with uncle and aunt who left Ukraine amid Russian invasion and plan to help more people

Mark Shoykhet smiled with relief when he saw his niece standing outside the customs gates of Terminal 5 at O’Hare Airport last night.

He and his wife, Ada, were exhausted after almost a week wondering if they would be able to flee Ukraine as the Russian invasion intensified.

Mark Shoykhet, 83, hugged his niece, Jackie Birov tightly, slamming the shot glasses into her black tote bag.

The first thing Shoykhet told Birov was that he was tired and unshaven. He also said he had had at least one glass of whiskey on the flight from Warsaw, Poland – I guess there was no need for the vodka Birov packed with it after all.

Then came Ada, 81, through the doors. She became emotional when she kissed Birov, who had a bouquet of flowers for her.

Birov was finally reunited with her uncle and aunt, whom she spent countless hours over the past week helping get to Chicago.

Birov, whose parents came to the United States from Ukraine before he was born, had spent weeks trying to encourage his aunt and uncle, who live in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, to leave.

While Birov scoured Signal to find available travel arrangements for his family, Ada and Mark Shoykhet spent a lot of time in a bomb shelter in Vasylkiv, Ukraine, about 20 miles south of Kiev. While they were there, Birov said, a bomb fell on an apartment building less than half a mile from where they were.

Birov doesn’t just want to help his family. She was able to help at least six other people leave Ukraine in the past week – and she’s not done yet.

Madeline Kenney talks more about Birov’s efforts here.

More news you need

  1. Jussie Smollett, the actor convicted in December of lying to police about a hoax hate crime, will soon learn his sentence as part of an ongoing hearing in County Court this afternoon. Cook. Read the latest hearing news and watch live coverage from the courtroom here.
  2. A man accused of killing a WGN-TV security guard in a carjacking told police he ‘wanted his car and that was it’, saying the fatal shooting ‘wasn’t not supposed to happen,” Cook County prosecutors said today. Bail was denied for the man, who faces charges of first degree murder and attempted hijacking in the murder of Salena Claybourne.
  3. Murder charges have been filed against a 20-year-old man accused of killing someone over a pair of shoes on the West Side last year. He faces one count of murder in the Aug. 20 shooting of 26-year-old Torrence Sumerlin, Chicago police said.
  4. An anonymous tip-off led to an arrest in the hit-and-run death of a 16-year-old boy in Burr Ridge last weekend, police said today. An 18-year-old Woodridge man has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash last Saturday night, police say.
  5. Mayor Lori Lightfoot today said she finds it ‘unconscionable’ that former Zoning Committee Chairman turned FBI mole Danny Solis has been ‘walking on a tightrope for years…continuing to ride and negotiate’ . In an interview with the Sun-Times editorial board, the mayor also said she was offended that Solis’ deal with authorities kept him out of jail.
  6. The Salvation Army is being sued in three states, including Illinois, for allegedly violating federal law by failing to pay minimum wage to ‘thousands of people’ who lived or worked in its adult rehabilitation centers in national scale. Michael Clancy, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, says his starting salary at the organization’s adult rehabilitation center on North Desplaines Street was $1 a week.
  7. The California-based healthcare network, embroiled in controversy for its decision to close Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park, has announced plans to sell its two remaining Chicago-area hospitals. Pipeline Health said it has signed a letter of intent to sell West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Uptown to a Michigan-based company called Resilience Healthcare for $92 million.
  8. Pixar’s latest film, “Turning Red,” centers on a 13-year-old girl who discovers that whenever her emotions run too deep, she turns into a red panda. In his 2.5-star review, our Richard Roeper says the film is a “brightly colored, at times hovering and funny but ultimately underwhelming and sputtering coming-of-age adventure”.

A bright

Highland Park’s robotics team is competing in a state tournament and hopes to bring their program to CPS.

Last season, when the FIRST Tech Challenge was virtual due to COVID, the robots fired small rings at a target. This year’s competition is called “Freight Frenzy”.

“The focus this year basically comes down to picking up balls, blocks and ducks,” says Jacob Hoyt, outreach captain for Highland Park’s 18529 Rust in Piece team.

Rust in Piece is one of 36 teams in the FIRST Tech Challenge Illinois Championship Tournament at Elgin Community College on Saturday.

The team got together to fine-tune their robot yesterday in Aiden Cohen’s basement, where several competitive robotics careers were born.

Members of Team 18529 Rust in Piece. (left to right) Ross Goldbaum, Ari Posner, Aiden Cohen, Jacob Hoyt and Spencer Nguyen.

There is a non-technical ethical aspect to the contest called “graceful professionalism”. Rust in Piece loaned tools and materials to other teams in the middle of competitions and created a course which they began teaching to 5th graders.

They took the program to Wilmot School in Deerfield.

The program, launched in a single 5th grade class, will roll out to all four Deerfield elementary schools next year. The teens also met with Chicago Public Schools today, and the plan is to bring their curriculum there for 5th graders as well.

The message they deliver, Cohen said, is, “Hey, that’s what we do. We build robots. But we also try to make the community better.

Neil Steinberg has more with the Highland Park robotics team here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

What’s the one thing previously canceled by the pandemic that you’re looking forward to enjoying this year?

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: how would you describe St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago to someone new here?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Party in the streets and celebrations as the river turns green.” — Carole Spevacek Smith

“Alcohol, sweat and vomit. In this order.” – Ricardo Morales

“North Side trashed Saturday, South Side trashed Sunday. Both sides ransacked the same day. — David Matzinger

“Drunk people, green river, lots of fun!” — Gwendolyn Kindle Ferguson

“You’re Irish somehow in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day!” — Cara Zellers

“Green river, green beer and lots of people dressed in green!” Also corned beef and cabbage everywhere. — John Williams

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