Good afternoon! Sassy, our new dog, is settling in well and getting along with Princess Leia, our first dog. They are both sleeping in the sun close to each other. Anyway, here’s what you need to know today.
1. A Humboldt Park man seen holding a gun on top of a building, sparking a 12-hour standoff with police, had a record with authorities
Neighbors say police and local officials had long been warned about a man at the center of a clash on Friday, saying his record of erratic behavior should have been taken more seriously.
The man, who has not been identified by authorities, has been the subject of more than 40 calls for service since January 2022, a Police Department source told my colleague Tom Schuba.
Neighbors say they followed the advice officials typically give to avoid mass shootings, notifying authorities when the man was believed to be armed and acting strangely.
The man was known to sit on top of a makeshift platform atop a building, where an illuminated board displayed a swastika. A neighbor said several previous complaints resulted in police closing a nearby street, including once someone reported seeing the man with a flamethrower.
Farrah Walker, a member of the West Humboldt Park Community Coalition, said her group notified city and state leaders about the man, but said “nothing has been resolved in a year of this.”
A SWAT team found the man dead after the confrontation on Friday. His death was ruled a suicide. [Chicago Sun-Times]
2. A former Chicago Park District official accused of mishandling allegations of abuse by lifeguards is still getting paid with taxpayer dollars
Four City Council members have paid more than $48,000 from their taxpayer-funded expense accounts to a consulting firm owned by the former Park District official, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Alonzo Williams resigned as the Park District’s director of programs at the end of 2021 after investigators accused him of mishandling allegations of abuse and harassment within the Lifeground program. His name has also been placed on the district’s “no hire” list.
The payments — from the former Ald. Roderick Sawyer and current councilors Michelle Harris, David Moore and Jason Ervin highlight a “loophole that allows those who have been removed from office or asked to resign from their government positions to almost immediately start consultancy and begin receiving taxpayer dollars once again,” reports the Tribune. .
In a statement, Williams accused the Park District of acting “beyond its legal power to defame my reputation and hinder my prospects for gainful employment.” [Chicago Tribune]
3. NASCAR drivers assess the Chicago racetrack
We’ve heard the wide variety of opinions from Chicago residents about the street race taking place downtown on July 1 and 2. But how do NASCAR drivers feel?
“I think we’re all excited and all very nervous at the same time,” reigning Cup champion Joey Logano told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Steve Greenberg.
“Running through the very narrow city streets, I honestly don’t know how it’s all going to work out,” said driver Bubba Wallace. “I think a lot of us are skeptics in the field.”
Among the challenges for the drivers are “seven hard-to-imagine 90-degree turns on the track, which in some cases (drivers guarantee) lead to crashes when the piled-up cars attempt to pass one another smoothly, but fail.” Greenberg writes. .
He also says that “the narrowness of certain fairways on the pitch, Balbo, to name one, will pose a rare and potentially tricky challenge, as will the different surfaces from fairway to fairway.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
4. A 46-foot-long ‘river monster’ is on display at the Field Museum
It’s not actually a monster per se, but the skeleton of a semi-aquatic dinosaur known as Spinosaurus.
It was unveiled Friday at the museum, which is the only place in the Western Hemisphere to see the world’s “largest predatory dinosaur.”
But the museum ran into a bit of a problem. One of the bones in the dinosaur’s 2-foot-long tail was broken, my colleague Stefano Esposito reports.
The team that built the cast of the Spinosaurus on a 3D printer in Italy was on hand, they quickly grabbed some glue powder. They mixed the glue with the only liquid available, Italian espresso.
“It was quite fun to see a team of Italians use Italian coffee to put together a skeleton,” said Matteo Fabbri, a native Italian and field scientist who helped unearth the specimen’s original fossils in the Sahara desert. [Chicago Sun-Times]
5. Apple introduces a mixed reality headset
The tech giant kicked off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference today and announced a sleek new headset that combines real-world and virtual reality, known in the industry as “mixed reality,” reports The Associated Press.
The headset, called the Vision Pro, will cost $3,500 when it hits stores early next year, the AP reports.
Apple’s leap into headsets comes as other companies, like Facebook, are increasingly turning to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality as their next big thing.
But the public response has been “decidedly dull so far,” the AP reports.
“Some of the devices that implement the technology have even been derisively mocked, the most notable example being Google’s Internet-connected glasses launched more than a decade ago.” [AP]
This is what is happening
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump visited the Justice Department as an investigation into classified documents comes to a close. [Washington Post]
US officials say Ukraine may be carrying out a counteroffensive against Russia. [New York Times]
An investigation is underway into a private plane that crashed in Virginia prompting the military to dismantle the fighter jets. [AP]
the addams family it was the most popular musical performed in high schools this academic year. [NPR]
Ah, one more thing …
Still thinking about the end of Succession?
The show’s creator, Jesse Armstrong, was in Fresh air today and we discuss the fate of Kendall, Shiv and Roman along with everything else you might want to know about Succession‘sending.
I won’t spoil anything for people who haven’t seen the show or who are just getting started, but it’s a very good interview that answers some lingering questions. [NPR]
Tell me something Good …
This weekend I went to the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, also known as CAKE, which features many independent artists and publishers. And it got me thinking, what is one summer event in Chicago that you look forward to every year?
CAKE is definitely one of mine. I bought my husband two handmade brooches by artist Christina Seo that separately show Legolas and Frodo on glittery backgrounds.
And I’m also looking forward to the Bristol Renaissance Fair in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin. Last year I dressed up as a drunk wizard.
Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in this week’s newsletter.