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The Rundown: It’s going to be a hot week

Good afternoon! I can’t stop thinking about this cat house. Anyway, here’s what you need to know today.

1. Chicago and much of the U.S. will face extreme heat this week

The city could see highs in the upper 90s by Friday as a relentless heat dome that has centered around the U.S. Southwest expands, reports my colleague Stefano Esposito.

But the extreme heat is expected to be brief, with temperatures potentially cooling off by the weekend.

“Luckily, we won’t have a whole lot of humidity,” said Kevin Doom, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “But when temperatures are this hot, you don’t need a ton of humidity to drive up the heat index.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

Nationally, the “heat over the coming week won’t be as intense as it was in the Southwest last week,” The Washington Post reports. But it “will cover a lot more territory. In other words, on balance, this will be the hottest week of the year so far for the Lower 48.” [Washington Post]

2. Mayor Johnson and his allies are urged to reopen 19 mental health clinics, not just six

Mayor Brandon Johnson has vowed to reopen six mental health clinics that were shuttered more than a decade ago as the city faced enormous financial challenges from the Great Recession.

But City Council members were told this week that six new clinics will not be enough following a pandemic that raised more awareness about mental health.

Dr. Eric Reinhart, who is being pushed by some community advocates to replace Dr. Allison Arwady as the city’s public health commissioner, told council members they need to reopen 19 clinics that were closed in the 1980s.

Reinhart also says Chicago needs an alternate response system that relieves police officers of the responsibility for handling the mental health emergency calls. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Deaths from opioid overdoses reached an all-time high in Cook County

Two-thousand people died of opioid overdoses last year in Cook County, breaking the previous record of 1,935 deaths set just the year before, county officials announced today.

Overdose deaths in the county have risen nearly every year since 2018. The number of deaths significantly increased around the beginning of COVID-related lockdowns, jumping 42% from 2019 to 2020, my colleague David Struett reports.

Although overdose deaths have plateaued since then, “we are still seeing a steady increase year over year,” said Natalia Derevyanny, spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The vast majority of overdoses last year — 91% — involved fentanyl. About 56% of those who died were African American. White people accounted for about 29%, with Latinos just under 15%, the office said.

Just over 70% of the county’s opioid deaths were in Chicago. [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Hazing allegations emerge in Northwestern’s volleyball program

A former volleyball player has filed a lawsuit against the university, alleging officials failed to properly address a hazing incident that took place two years ago, NPR reports.

In the lawsuit, the former players said she was injured in 2021 while running sprints across a court as a form of punishment for breaking the team’s COVID-19 guidelines. [NPR]

This is the first hazing lawsuit outside of the school’s football team, which has been at the center of widespread allegations of hazing and sexual abuse.

This week, a fourth lawsuit was filed by a former football player. It was filed on behalf of Lloyd Yates and is the first to name the plaintiff.

“We were conditioned to believe that this behavior was normal, which was sickening and unacceptable,” Yates said. “To all the young athletes out there, I urge you to stand up, stand up for yourself, even when the odds are against you.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. The odds got better that we could avoid a global recession

The International Monetary Fund today provided a rosier financial outlook for the year, saying the world economy is more resilient than economists originally thought.

The updated outlook provides a sense of optimism that a recession can be avoided, and it may “give global policymakers additional confidence that their efforts to contain inflation without causing serious economic damage are working,” The New York Times reports.

But global economic growth is weak by historical standards, and some serious risks remain.

“The global economy continues to gradually recover from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it is not yet out of the woods,” said Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the I.M.F.’s chief economist. [New York Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • UPS reached a tentative deal with the Teamsters, averting a potential strike. [AP]
  • Transgender swimmers will be included in the trial of an open category at competitions. [AP]
  • Spotify is raising its prices. [USA Today]
  • Jay-Z made a surprise visit to a Bronzeville restaurant. [Block Club Chicago]

Oh, and one more thing …

Meet Jessica Cox, the world’s first licensed pilot without arms.

Cox recently visited Chicago to give students at the AeroStar Avion Institute a look at what could be the first foot-controlled plane to fly around the world.

The so-called “Impossible Airplane” is expected to be finished in 2025.

“Do you know how special it feels to have something made just for you? This world is not always built with people with disabilities in mind,” Cox said.

“Disability does not mean inability,” she told the students. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Tell me something good ...

I was one of the many people who saw Barbie over the weekend, and it got me thinking about my favorite toys and games as a kid. What were some of yours?

Bruce Tyler writes:

“My favorite toy that I remember playing with for hours on end was the encyclopedia. No, just joking, although I certainly did spend many hours with it.

“In reality I also spent a lot of time making up stories about my MAC Men. They were little action figures and accompanying accessories, in particular their mountain.

“I used to play with them in my basement playroom in our house in Newton Center, MA. Sometimes I let my brother play with me but other times I was a selfish brat!”

And Tyler Hewitt writes:

“I had a toy I loved as a child that not too many people seem to remember. You would take plastic cubes and put them into a machine (basically a small hot plate) which would turn it into a dinosaur or other creature.

“When you were finished playing with it, you would stick it back into the machine, then into a small vise-like device which would change it back into a cube.

“For years, I had no idea what that toy was even called, but I recently found an old commercial for it on You Tube: Mattel’s Strange Change Machine.”

Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter.

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