Chicago News Roundup: CTA Driver Talks Recent Attack, Chicago Duck Derby Return and More
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 sunny with a slight chance of thunderstorms and a high near 86 degrees. Tonight it will be partly cloudy with a low near 72. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny with a high near 91. Sunday will be partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms and a high near 90.
More and more CTA runners are being attacked, with violence at a level not seen in more than a decade
Dan Beam had a bad feeling about the two men who ran through his car on the CTA red line one day last month.
They gauged him. Then one of them grabbed his cell phone.
It sparked a melee involving knives and bottles that highlighted the sharp rise in violent crime on CTA trains and L and Metro buses – and the city’s efforts to contain it.
Beam, 42, fought back and eventually fled, and his attackers were arrested.
But not before he was punched in the face, stabbed in the collarbone and cracked on the head with bottles as he fought off the two men he distrusted and four others, he and the police, also took part in the July 22 attack.
It spilled onto another carriage and on the platform at North/Clybourn station, Beam stabbed three of his attackers before jumping off the train and calling for help.
The number of violent crimes on the L and buses has climbed to a level not seen in more than a decade, according to an analysis by the Chicago Sun-Times. By July 19, 488 attacks had been reported on the transit system – the most since 533 during the same period in 2011.
Passenger numbers have remained relatively low since the COVID-19 pandemic. This means cyclists are more likely to be victims of violent crime today than they were a few years ago, according to analysis based on urban crime data.
The city previously had an online, publicly available data portal that tracked every crime on the CTA, but stopped updating it in 2011. The Sun-Times used other crime data to create a set similar data for this analysis.
Violent crimes accounted for more than 26% of the 1,863 crimes reported on the CTA this year.
In 2018 and 2019, when there were significantly more runners, violent crimes accounted for 13% of crimes.
As more and more violent crimes have been committed, the deployment of police in the CTA system has not kept pace.
Tom Schuba, Manny Ramos and Jesse Howe have more information on the state of the CTA here.
More news you need
- A sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Carmelites, a Catholic religious order, has been settled for $1.75 million, attorneys for the victim said today. The case was brought by a woman who claimed she was repeatedly abused as a child in the 1980s by Robert Boley, a Carmelite priest who taught at the now closed St. Cyril Catholic School in Woodlawn.
- New allegations have surfaced regarding the former lead prosecutor in the R. Kelly federal case in Chicago, with attorneys for one of his former employees alleging the prosecutor may have developed an inappropriate personal relationship with an alleged victim. Our Jon Seidel has more on the claims here.
- Seven months before the botched implosion of an old coal-fired power plant chimney left Little Village choked with dust in 2020, a town worker issued a dire warning to his boss that was ignored, reports Brett Chase. John Kryl, then director of environmental inspections, wrote in an email that plans to implose the tower could cause “near cataclysmic” damage.
- A federal appeals court today ruled in favor of Governor JB Pritzker in his bid to end judicial review of state employment practices via the Shakman Executive Order. Pritzker moved to overturn the half-century-old Shakman Executive Order, with state attorneys telling the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals that “there is no evidence the state is holding consideration of political factors in hiring today”.
- Chicago Reader president and publisher Tracy Baim announced today that she will be stepping down by the end of the year. Baim said she wanted to put the reader in new leadership, write more, and engage in other work to help Chicago journalism.
- Mayor Lori Lightfoot yesterday unveiled plans to build 10 new outdoor plazas in Chicago neighborhoods the city hopes to inspire community engagement and local pride. The plazas, which could feature walking paths and spaces for artists and vendors, are part of a program funded by Chicago’s $1.2 billion stimulus plan and are expected to be completed by the spring.
Support citizen and independent journalism by purchasing a digital subscription to the Chicago Sun-Times.
75,000 rubber ducks cause a stir in the Chicago River for this year’s Duck Derby
Being the 2022 Chicago Ducky Derby Ambassador has been an experience that Special Olympics athlete Kyle Tuckey calls phenomenal.
“It’s such a great honor,” Tuckey said
Special Olympics Illinois held its 17th annual Ducky Derby yesterday with a large crowd enjoying the chance to watch the 75,000 ducks dive into the Chicago River and race to the finish line.
The Ducky Derby is a fundraising event that helps Special Olympics Illinois support more than 21,000 athletes with developmental disabilities with programming, including participating in athletic competitions and providing health services.
Alex McMillin, spokesman for Special Olympics Illinois, said the organization met its goal of selling all 75,000 rubber ducks, or “adopts,” raising more than $450,000.
Tuckey said once he learned he was going to be this year’s ambassador, he immediately got to work promoting the event.
“I told everyone my goal from the start was 75,000, and we sold out a day before the race.”
Read the online version of our Jordan Perkins story here.
From the press gallery
Your daily question ☕
In honor of International Beer Day, which Chicago craft brewery is your favorite? Tell us why.
Email us at [email protected] and we might feature your response in the next afternoon edition.
Yesterday we asked you: where is the best place to travel for a summer weekend away from the city?
Here’s what some of you said…
“Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan. It’s far enough from Chicago to feel like you’ve left it behind, and the dunes are so huge they almost seem exotic. —Craig Barner
“Lake Geneva or Williams Bay. Just a slower vibe very walkable, beach feature, quaint shops, great food and all things green.” —Anne Kennedy
“Galena, Illinois is a quaint town located on the beautiful Galena River. A once thriving mining town, it has a rich history and was the home of Ulysses S. Grant. A quaint downtown neighborhood with lots to do! Galena is a bucolic getaway for sure.” —Diane Sandlin
“Anne Arbour, Michigan. They have a wonderful little anthropology museum. — Andrew Zwick
“You have to go to Saugatuck, Michigan!” It’s only a two-hour drive from town and is home to quaint beaches, boats, shops and restaurants. We love walking around the city on warm summer nights or admiring the leaves on cool fall days. It’s the perfect time to visit!” — Alex Weier
Thanks for reading the Chicago afternoon edition. Think we missed a story? Email us here.