Chicago News Roundup: Inside Chicago’s street takeover scene, reporter picks up R.I. in the mailbox. Kelly Tape Finding Details and more

Hello. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is about a 5 minute lesson that will take you through the biggest stories of today.

This afternoon it will be mostly sunny and the maximum temperature will be around 75 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with minimum temperature near 60. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and the maximum temperature will be near 82. It will be partly sunny on Sunday and the maximum temperature will be near 87.

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afternoon edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday at noon. Plus, a bonus point on Saturdays that dive into the city’s history.

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Chicago Street Takeovers: They’re Secret, Dangerous, Illegal—and Have a Devoted Following

The Dodge Charger restarted its V8 Hemi engine, a deep rumble as smoke billowed out of the rear tires in the Ford City Mall parking lot.

Draco hit the gas and spun the wheel, sending the charger spinning – or drifting – in a tight circle to applause and cheer from more than 100 people.

“It’s an adrenaline — it’s hard to explain — but you feel free in the moment,” said Draco, the name the 21-year-old uses on the circuit of street drifters. “You know, it’s one of those few times where I feel like I’m in control of my destiny.”

Sun-Times reporter Manny Ramosand photographer Ashley Regin spent several weekends in these meetings, with longstanding complaints about noise and interference and danger.

They are often arranged in minutes through a social network that taps into the culture of street racing. At times, people leaving a meeting broken up by the police run around until they get the coordinates of another meeting the same night.

And despite a recent crackdown that could cost participants their cars, there is no shortage of drivers or spectators.

See you here over your weekend in Chicago near Ramos and Resene.

you need more news

  1. Prosecution witness Lisa Van Allen, R. Kelly’s ex-girlfriend who has been one of his most visible critics over the years, broke down at the witness stand today during a flurry of thorny questions from Kelly’s attorney. Andy Grimm and John Seidel have full details of the trial, which today marked the end of its second week.
  2. R. Much of the prosecution’s case during the first two weeks of Kelly’s trial has centered on a 26-minute, 39-second videotape that purportedly shows Kelly sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl. Jim DeRogatis, a former Sun-Times pop music critic, recalled the day in 2000 when an unnamed source mailed him the tapes — and what happened after — here.
  3. Lana Batochir is expected to be discharged from hospital by the end of the week, nearly two weeks after she severed her leg in a boating accident in downtown Chicago. In a video released from his hospital bed, Batochir said he has not seen his children since the accident, nor has he told his 6-year-old daughter that both of her legs were amputated below the knee.
  4. A sign declaring unwavering support for abortion rights at Lake View Church was damaged on Wednesday after two men threw stones. Video of the incident, captured by a neighbor, shows a stone thrower shouting: “I sent a message.”
  5. Tenants of a troubled South Side building have filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court, seeking monetary compensation for poor living conditions over the past three years at Ellis Lakeview Apartments. Three residents living in the apartment complex filed suit yesterday after living with mold, rodents and plumbing issues.
  6. Tributes are pouring in for Harold Lucas, a beloved Bronzeville organist, activist and historian, who has died at the age of 79. “Harold was one of the freedom fighters,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson said of Lucas.
  7. A collection of 600 vintage license plates and city vehicle tags from the early 20th century were put up for auction this week. The “holy grail” among the collections: what is believed to be the first automobile license plate issued in Illinois in 1904.
  8. Business incubator Easy Wood has opened its first small-business center in Chicago’s South Side, home to four Black-owned businesses. Yesterday, the organization held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new property in Englewood, where Powell’s barbershop, consignment shop Mary | Wesley, Momentum Coffee and the design firm where the Beehive will operate.

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a bright

In the El Paseo Community Garden in East Pilsen, neighbors connect with nature, one another

The El Paseo Community Garden in East Pilsen runs the length of a city block, between Colerton and 21st Streets.

It didn’t always look so green. Most of the land was once “brownfield”, with high levels of lead contamination. Today, it is home to more than 20 vegetable beds, a prairie with native plants, a permaculture site, beekeeping, and community classes and gatherings.

Change did not happen overnight. El Paseo Gardens has been around since 2009 – around the time environmental activists and residents of Pilsen were organizing against pollution in their community. Much of that advocacy called for cleaning up the toxic waste left behind by the old metal smelter.

Some community residents even wanted a small piece of land for the garden – and got it.

Walk Community Garden.

Walk Community Garden.

The original space has been expanded with the help of NeighborSpace, a non-profit urban land trust for community gardens that helped secure the land and provided financial management support, technical expertise and access to resources.

Paula and Antonio Acevedo have been volunteering in the garden for more than 10 years. He took over as co-director in 2015, when the founders left. He has worked on projects including painting two murals and adding solar power to the garden, a beekeeping program and a permaculture site.

“It’s community,” says Paula Acevedo. “Not a sterile park that can be in any part of the city. We want it to really identify and showcase the community, the culture.”

WBEZ’sAdriana Cardona-Maguigad has more on the garden here.

from the press box

your daily question

What is it like to have and raise a dog in Chicago?

Send us an email at [email protected] and we may feature your reply in the next afternoon’s edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: If you could become an elder for one day, what would be the first thing you would do for your ward?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Rebuild the streets because they’re in terrible shape.” ,Glinda North

“I will put money back in programs and public schools to prevent future crime. Not much in a police force. Especially in small villages. … Why can’t Little Village have better roads, sidewalks and street cleaning? –Arturo E. de Leon

“I will build small houses for the homeless and provide them with the services they need. I’ll build tiny houses that are similar to Detroit if you know what I mean.” –Aidan Hughes

“Encourage businesses to live in neighborhoods with lots of empty storefronts.” — Jackie Waldhir

“Pucify roads, community safety committees, try to lower property taxes, red light cams, park committees, end ward night.” ,Greg Nazarian

“Connect with the electors. It seems that once in office, you take your voters lightly. Go out and see what people need; A survey can go a long way. ,Carlos Ocasio

“Go over it and survey people to find out what’s most urgently needed.” , Hector L. toregrosa-ramos

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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