Your NPR news source
Maria Sánchez’s son plays with a phone inside a waiting area for shuttles near O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 2

Maria Sánchez’s son, who is from Venezuela and was flown in from Texas, plays with a phone inside a waiting area for shuttles near O’Hare International Airport’s Terminal 2, where they are taking shelter, on Oct. 3, 2023.

Pat Nabong

The Rundown: A surge in migrants at O’Hare Airport

Good afternoon! It’s Thursday, and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert film is finally out in theaters tonight. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Flights paid for by Catholic Charities of San Antonio lead to a surge in migrants at O’Hare Airport

More than 700 migrants were living at the airport this week — a 73% increase from the beginning of September, my colleague Michael Loria reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The number has grown so much that migrants are camping on flattened cardboard boxes.

The city says most of the growth is because the nonprofit San Antonio Catholic Charities has been using federal money to send migrants to Chicago.

Antonio Fernandez, CEO of San Antonio Catholic Charities, told the Sun-Times sending migrants by plane is more humane than by bus. He added that his nonprofit has been encouraging migrants to pick destinations other than Chicago but “cannot force them.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Chicagoans rally to support Palestinians. City Council will discuss a resolution to declare solidarity with Israel.

Thousands of people marched in the Loop last night in support of Palestinians in Gaza, Emmanuel Camarillo writes for the Chicago Sun-Times. The protesters called on the U.S. government to do more to end the bloodshed from the war with Israel.

“Two of my kids are there, I can’t go back. They don’t have water, they don’t have anything,” 38-year-old Imad Qendah told the Sun-Times. “I can’t speak with my son, my daughter, my wife, my dad, my mom. The internet is off, their phone is off, everything is off. If they die, I’m just going to see it on the news.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

And in the City Council, a special meeting was set for tomorrow to discuss a resolution declaring solidarity with Israel. Chicagoans will be able to express their views during an in-person public comment session. [Chicago Sun-Times]

In Israel, Energy Minister Israel Katz said no electricity, food or water will be provided for Gaza until Israeli hostages are released. [BBC]

3. Evanston rejects Northwestern University’s plan for concerts at a new football stadium

Evanston’s Land Use Commission last night approved a plan for a new $800 million stadium, but voted against allowing concerts and “other money-making events,” my colleague David Roeder writes for the Chicago Sun-Times.

The university has insisted concert revenue is essential to making the project financially viable.

“This project cannot and will not move forward without this approval,” Dave Davis, senior executive director of neighborhood and community relations for NU, said during the meeting.

Some commissioners and community members were concerned about traffic and noise that would come to the residential area around the stadium, Roeder reports. [Chicago Sun-Times]

The rejection comes amid a hazing scandal that has rocked the university’s athletic programs. [WBEZ]

4. Inflation is holding steady, so Social Security recipients will see a smaller increase in benefits

Consumer prices rose 3.7% in September compared to a year ago, which is similar to the increase in August, NPR reported today.

A deeper dive at costs finds that the prices of used cars and trucks fell, but rent and gas prices rose.

And people who receive Social Security benefits will get a 3.2% cost-of-living increase next year, NPR reports. The adjustment is calculated based on the average annual inflation rate for July, August and September and therefore is less than last year’s increase. [NPR]

5. Take a look at this year’s Fat Bear Week champion

The bear known as 128 Grazer needed to eat hundreds of pounds of salmon to survive hibernation this winter — and she definitely put in the work.

That effort paid off for more than just survival as Grazer trounced rival bears in the annual Fat Bear Week competition by earning more than 128,000 votes in the final round, NPR reports.

Grazer was a fan favorite coming into the competition because of her personal journey as an empty nester after raising two sets of cubs. She also had been known to preemptively attack large males that might hurt her offspring, NPR reports. [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Cook County residents got $200 million in federal relief aid from the summer rainstorms that caused severe flooding. [WBEZ]

  • Metra proposed new fares for 2024. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Three years of saved student loan payments helped a Bolingbrook family adopt a baby. Now they must juggle finances with repayment. [WBEZ]

  • Hollywood studios and actors suspended negotiations. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

Open House Chicago is this weekend, giving attendees free access to more than 170 of the city’s buildings known for their history, design or cultural significance.

The annual festival spans more than 20 neighborhoods across the city this year.

Block Club Chicago has a neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to some of the most notable sites featured. [Block Club Chicago]

Among the new offerings this year is the Walt Disney Birthplace in Hermosa, which previously was closed to the public. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good ...

What’s your favorite fall treat?

Jack writes:

“Apple pie ala Zing: I LOVE Jonathan apples and a pie made from Jonathan apples used to be my absolute fall mainstay. But, a recipe came to hand that included adding some cranberries into the filling and my fate was sealed. It is scrumptious. Actually, I now have two choices, a regular Jonathan pie, and the Zingy one, and I usually bake both if I have the time.”

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

The Latest
Plus, piping plovers Imani and Searocket have laid eggs at Montrose Beach. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Chief Keef’s long-awaited return to Chicago. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, the lifespan of a book at the Chicago Public Library. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Jessie Montgomery is Chicago’s most in-demand classical music collaborator. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Buddy Guy will perform during NASCAR’s racing weekend. Here’s what you need to know today.