Your NPR news source

The Rundown: Two local women visiting Israel are missing

Good afternoon. The next seven days include a chance of rain in the Chicago area. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. A mother and daughter from Evanston have gone missing in Israel

Natalie Raanan, 18, and her mother, Judith, 59, have not been heard from since Hamas launched an attack on Saturday.

Family members say they fear the two women have been kidnapped by Hamas militants, who are estimated to have captured between 100 and 150 people. [Chicago Sun-Times]

President Joe Biden today publicly denounced Hamas as a terrorist organization whose “stated purpose for being is to kill Jews.” The president also confirmed Americans are among those being held hostage. [Washington Post]

Video analyzed by The New York Times shows how Hamas militants indiscriminately killed civilians. [New York Times]

An independent UN commission said there was “already clear evidence” of potential war crimes.

Separately, the UN’s human right chief said Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip is prohibited under international law. [Washington Post]

2. Mayor Johnson will unveil his plan to close a $538 million budget gap

In a crucial moment for his young administration, Mayor Brandon Johnson tomorrow is expected to release his first budget plan that must close a $538 million shortfall and pacify supporters who expect major investments in social services.

Johnson has already strongly hinted at eliminating some of the 1,700 vacancies in the Police Department, my colleague Fran Spielman reports.

Ald. Chris Taliaferro, who serves as Johnson’s handpicked chair of the City Council’s Police Committee, said he does not support such a move.

“We are moving close to 2,000 officers short of the 13,500 we are normally accustomed to. I would not support getting rid of vacancies that we have or zeroing them out. That would essentially be defunding our police department,” Taliaferro said. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old leader of United Working Families, an influential progressive group that helped elect Johnson, now finds herself navigating the halls of power. [WBEZ]

3. An 18-year-old star prepares for his big moment with the Blackhawks

Connor Bedard makes his season debut today as the Chicago Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

‘‘I’m so excited. It’s hard to think about and realize it’s true, but it’s really exciting,” Bedard said on Monday.

The 18-year-old has been propped up as the NHL’s next big hockey star, even before he was eligible to play. Bedard said he hopes to have his butterflies in check during the final 15 minutes of pageantry before this evening’s game.

‘‘It’s [about] taking the anthem, their player announcement and their warmups and having that be the ‘Oh, my god’ moment,’’ Bedard said. ‘‘Once the game starts, you focus on the game and not be starstruck as much. [But] that first bit is going to be pretty crazy.’’ [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Student loan payments resume this month

After a three-year hiatus during the pandemic, borrowers of student loans will begin making payments again this month.

More than 1.5 million Illinois residents owe student debt, totaling $61 billion, WBEZ’s Lisa Philip reports.

Lisa today answers questions from listeners and readers about interest, student loan servicers and whether a canceled student loan counts as taxable income. (Answer: It depends).

“The interest rates on my student loans are super-duper high and it always feels as if I am putting out a fire with my tears only,” wrote one borrower, Marco Colapietro, a high school counselor from Elk Grove Village. [WBEZ]

5. A 104-year-old skydiver dies weeks after breaking a world record

Dorothy Hoffner, a Chicagoan who set the world record as the oldest person to parachute from a plane, died Monday evening.

A spokesperson for Hoffner said they were honored the skydiving experience was able to serve as an incredible cap to her “exciting, well-lived life.”

Earlier this month, Hoffner jumped from a plane at Skydive Chicago Airport in Ottawa, Illinois, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago, saying “there was nothing scary about it.”

She broke the Guinness World Record for the oldest tandem parachute jump set in 2022 by a 103-year-old in Sweden. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • President Joe Biden was interviewed over the weekend in a special counsel’s investigation into classified documents. [NPR]
  • Scientists used a gene-editing tool to make chickens more resistant to bird flu. [BBC]
  • An anti-abortion activist scaled the 588-foot Accenture Tower in Chicago’s West Loop. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot increased to $1.73 billion. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

Staying busy during the actors’ strike hasn’t been hard for cast members of NBC’s locally made dramas Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med, my colleague Mitch Dudek reports.

Joe Miñoso, who plays the hard-charging firefighter Joe Cruz in Chicago Fire, has had more time to focus on window dressing.

“My wife runs a wellness business in East Dundee called Willow & Birch, and somehow I’ve become the window display guy, so I’m figuring out the fall seasonal look, and Christmas is right around the corner,” said Miñoso, who lives in the northwest suburbs. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Tell me something good ...

My apartment is decked out for fall, and I think my husband has a cinnamon broom in every room. So I’d like to know what’s your favorite fall treat?

Andrea writes:

“My new favorite fall treat is Vaca’s pumpkin spice ice cream! It is so creamy and perfectly flavored for the fall. I added their confetti cookie dough bites to it, which were perfect.”

And Mo writes:

“I love Affy Tapple! When I lived in Hawaii, the fall season was not as noticeable. There wasn’t a time change or noticeable leaves changing. My sister mailed me Affy Tapple, along with other goodies. It reminded me instantly of fall and of Chicago. I didn’t tell her you can get taffy apples in Hawaii, but it sure was expensive.”

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

The Latest
Plus, Ryne Sandberg’s statue was unveiled outside Wrigley Field. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, what we know about “The Bear” season 3. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Laurie Metcalf returns to Chicago for Steppenwolf Theatre’s “Little Bear Ridge Road.” Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, why Wieners Circle is fighting with Portillo’s on social media. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, piping plovers Imani and Searocket have laid eggs at Montrose Beach. Here’s what you need to know today.