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The Rundown: It could feel like 115 degrees this week

Good afternoon! Students returned to Chicago’s public schools today. Hope everyone had a great day, though I understand if some kids are bummed with having the shortest summer break in memory. Here’s what else is going on today.

1. It could feel like a 115 degrees in the Chicago area this week

The National Weather Service warns dangerously hot and humid weather is in the forecast for the Chicago area this week.

High temperatures and humidity on Tuesday could make it feel as hot as 110 degrees, the weather service warns.

And while Wednesday’s forecasted high is in the upper 90s, the heat index could make it feel like 115 degrees, according to the weather service.

The excessive heat watch is slated to end on Thursday, which also may see highs near 100 degrees and heat index values above 110.

As with previous heat waves, meteorologists recommend staying hydrated and staying somewhere cool during the hottest days of the week. And if you’re going outside, be aware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, which include dizziness, nausea and weakness. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Are Chicago’s public schools prepared for extreme heat?

Hundreds of thousands of students returned to Chicago Public Schools classrooms this morning. And a big question hanging over the day is whether the school district is prepared for the upcoming heat wave.

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said during a school visit that all CPS classrooms have air conditioning. Many schools have air conditioning units rather than central air, my colleague Sarah Karp reports.

If it’s too hot, Martinez said schools won’t send kids out for recess and will use the gyms instead.

You can find more back-to-school coverage in this link. [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Mayor Johnson offers no timetable for moving migrants out of police stations

Mayor Brandon Johnson, who marks his 100th day in office tomorrow, declined to say when his administration might unveil a plan ensuring migrants are not sleeping on the floors of police stations, reports Mick Dumke at Block Club Chicago.

“We’re moving as fast as we possibly can,” the mayor said.

When pressed on his plan, Johnson was evasive and instead talked about the “incredible journey” of his first 100 days in office, Dumke reports. [Block Club Chicago]

Some progressives worry Johnson’s early accomplishments have lacked the boldness he displayed on the campaign trail, WBEZ reports.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the big moments during the early days of the Johnson administration and what they may say about its future. [WBEZ]

4. Chicago’s oldest movie theater closes after more than 100 years

The New 400 Theaters in the Rogers Park neighborhood closed its doors to the public this month after screening movies for more than a century.

The theater first opened as The Regent vaudeville and movie house in 1912, my colleague Mary Norkol reports. Since then, it has become a beloved neighborhood staple known for its inexpensive movie tickets.

During its historic run, the New 400 had sold more than 1 million tickets and not a single one cost more than $10, according to a statement posted by the theater on social media.

Like many theaters across the country, the New 400 struggled during the pandemic. Owner Tony Fox told The Loyola Phoenix in March that he planned on selling the building and potentially retiring. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. Sister Jean turns 104 today

Sister Jean Dolores Bertha Schmidt, better known as “Sister Jean,” rose to fame in 2018 when the Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball team made history with its underdog run to the NCAA Final Four during March Madness.

Much has changed since she was born in 1919 in San Francisco, but Sister Jean says she looks to the church for something that remains steadfast.

She draws from the teachings of Pope Francis, urging people to follow his example to help others, especially the poor and migrants.

“I think we owe it to people to be kind to them,” Sister Jean says.

“If we look back in our own families, most of our ancestry would notify us that our grandparents or great-grandparents were all migrants … and somebody was kind to all of them,” she says. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

Tropical storm Hilary was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone today, but life-threatening flooding remained a risk for Southern California. [NPR]

President Joe Biden will meet with survivors and survey damage from this month’s deadly wildfires in Maui. [ABC News]

Many long-COVID symptoms can persist even after two years, according to a new study. [Washington Post]

The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at the “40ish” most important people in podcasting. [Hollywood Reporter]

Oh, and one more thing …

Class is back in session for many students this week, including a champion boxer.

Today, my colleague Anthony Vazquez tells the remarkable story of Joseph “Jo Jo” Awinongya Jr., who racked up impressive boxing wins while getting an associates degree at age 16.

As Jo Jo finished middle school with a high school diploma, which he accomplished through homeschooling at age 14, he took and passed the entrance exam for community college, Vazquez reports.

Jo Jo started Joliet Junior College with a full course load. When the family drove to out-of-state boxing competitions, he would study and do homework up until the fight.

“I am the youngest in my classes. Most of the time, I try to keep it quiet a little bit. I might tell a couple of people, but they never guessed that I’m 16 due to my height,” said Jo Jo, who at 6-foot-3 towered over his classmates during his recent graduation.

Jo Jo starts classes this week at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Tell me something good ...

With the new school year here, what advice do you have for students as they navigate life?

I’ll go first: Don’t stress out too much. Because you’ll still have dreams well into your 40s about not doing your homework or forgetting to go to class.

Feel free to email me, and your response might appear in the newsletter this week.

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