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A protester moves away from a smoke canister Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wis. Anger over the Sunday shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police spilled into the streets for a third night. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the fatal shootings of two people during the demonstrations.

Morry Gash

Newsletter: What We Know About Kyle Rittenhouse

Hey there! It’s Wednesday, and it’s a busy day. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. Illinois teenager arrested in the killing of two people during Jacob Blake protests

Illinois police today arrested 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse after two people were shot to death during a chaotic night of demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisc., over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, who lives in Antioch, Ill., was arrested on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide. [WBEZ]

Rittenhouse is a supporter of “Blue Lives Matter” and participated in a “public safety cadet program” in Chicago’s far northern suburbs, reports WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos. Here’s a look at what else is known about Rittenhouse. [WBEZ]

The shootings happened around midnight at a Kenosha auto repair shop where a vigilante group gathered, officials say. Cellphone videos from bystanders show a person with a long gun running into the car lot with another man chasing him. The two go behind a row of cars and gunshots can be heard.

Later, other cellphone videos show what appears to be the same person jogging down the street with a crowd following him. The person with the gun trips and falls down, and some people begin running at him. Three people confront the gunman, and two people appear to be shot. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump today said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has accepted federal assistance. Evers said today that 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard will support authorities in Kenosha County this evening. [Kenosha News]

2. It’s Mike Pence’s night at the RNC

Vice President Mike Pence headlines the Republican National Convention tonight, delivering a speech from Baltimore’s Fort McHenry that is expected to argue President Trump is the better choice when it comes to the economy and law and order, reports NPR.

Tonight’s speech carries a lot of weight for Pence, whose political future rides on the November election in more ways than one. Pence has left the door open to a potential presidential run in 2024, and tonight could give conservatives an idea of how Pence will appeal to a party transformed by Trump. [NPR]

Speaking of which, here’s a look at how the Republican Party has abandoned long-held GOP beliefs, like promoting free trade and a hardline on Russia, to become the “Donald Trump Party.” [NPR]

And if you missed last night’s convention speeches, here are four big takeaways. [NPR]

3. Hurricane Laura grows to “catastrophic” Category 4 storm

The National Hurricane Center said today that Hurricane Laura has powered up to an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm as it heads toward Texas and Louisiana, where the hurricane is expected to make landfall tonight and into Thursday morning.

Forecasters say Hurricane Laura could bring a catastrophic and life-threatening storm surge to the area, with winds up to 130 mph, and could push water onto more than 450 miles of coast from Texas to Mississippi. Category 4 hurricanes can cause widespread damage resulting in areas becoming uninhabitable for weeks or months.

“Heed the advice of your local authorities. If they tell you to go, go! Your life depends on it today,” said Joel Cline, tropical program coordinator at the National Weather Service. [AP]

4. Jobless workers in Illinois might receive boost to weekly payments

Gov. JB Pritzker said Illinois is applying for a $300-per-week boost to unemployment payments that was authorized by President Trump.

Trump earlier this month signed an executive order allowing money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be used for jobless benefits. The move bypassed Congress, where negotiations over a new coronavirus relief bill hit a brick wall.

Democrats support extending a $600-a-week supplement to jobless payments that expired last month. But Republicans oppose that plan, arguing it allows some workers to make more money than they did before the pandemic. [Chicago Tribune]

Meanwhile, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows today said he does not expect a deal will be reached before the end of September. [Politico]

5. Illinois inches closer to 8,000 COVID-19 deaths

State officials today reported 2,157 new cases and an additional 37 deaths. So far, the state’s death toll stands at 7,954, along with a total of 225,627 reported cases.

The state has seen a seven-day average of 2,001 cases per day, according to The New York Times. That’s a 14% increase from the average two weeks ago. You can find more information about the state’s positivity rate and other COVID-19 metrics in this link. [WBEZ]

Meanwhile, in a stunning reversal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly updated its guidelines to suggest people who do not show symptoms do not need to be tested — even if they’ve been exposed.

“This change in policy will kill,” tweeted Alison Galvani, director for the Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis at Yale School of Medicine. [USA Today]

Here’s what else is happening

  • At least 64 people were arrested during a Breonna Taylor protest in Louisville, Ky. [NPR]
  • Schools must allow students to use bathrooms matching their gender identity, a federal appeals court ruled today. [Buzzfeed]
  • A hospital on Chicago’s Southwest Side could lose Medicare funding over safety issues. [WBEZ]
  • A scientist discovered a dinosaur fossil while running on a beach. [BBC]

Oh, and one more thing …

Did you know that one of Stanley Kubrick’s favorite movies was White Men Can’t Jump? (Yes, that Stanley Kubrick.)

This week on Nerdette Recaps with Peter Sagal, the crew revisits the sports dramedy starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as basketball hustlers trying to make their way in Los Angeles.

And next week, hosts Greta Johnsen, Tricia Bobeda and Peter Sagal will recap Dazed and Confused. And you can join the party by recording yourself on your smartphone and sending the audio file to [WBEZ]

Tell me something good ...

Many students are either back in school or soon will be. And I’d like to know: What was one of your favorite classes?

Nancy Hagen Goldstucker writes:

“My favorite classes were Latin I-V with Madame Wellia (Mrs. Wells) and a church Latin course with her daughter. I loved Latin because I have no ear for languages and did not have to speak it! I also loved an English history class on the War of the Roses. What can I say? I’m a nerdette!”

And Mike writes:

“During my Semester at Sea, I took a class called ‘Introduction to Physical Comedy’ taught by a professional clown. Our class activities basically involved seeing how much we could make others (and ourselves) laugh.”

What was one of your favorite classes? Feel free to email at or tweet to @whuntah.

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