Happy Friday! In honor of NASCAR coming to Chicago this weekend, here’s a list of the best car chase scenes set in the city. And here’s what else you need to know today.
The court ruled 6-3 today the Biden administration overstepped its authority and needs Congress’s approval to undertake such a costly program.
The decision effectively kills the president’s $400 billion plan to cancel or reduce federal student loan debts for millions of Americans.
“A lot of people, because this got struck down, they’re going to start feeling hopeless, like people can already not pay their bills as it is,” said Ami Schneider of Schaumburg, who was saddled with student debt from a for-profit school and is now an organizer for the advocacy group the Debt Collective.
And interest is expected to start accruing again on student loans Sept. 1 with payments due the following month. [AP/WBEZ]
The court also issued a ruling today that supported businesses that are opposed to same sex marriage, siding with a Colorado web designer who refuses to create work for LGBTQ+ weddings. [NPR]
AAA estimates 89% of the 2.8 million travelers from around the state will take road trips — the rest are expected to take flights, buses, trains and cruises.
Meanwhile, gas prices in Illinois have fallen by about 7 cents per gallon over the past two weeks, Jacquelyne Germain writes for the Chicago Sun-Times. And average gas prices are almost $1.50 less compared to last year.
The Illinois Tollway plans to suspend most temporary maintenance and construction in anticipation of the 9.2 million vehicles expected to pass through the system between Friday and Tuesday.
Friday is expected to be the busiest day on the roads. [Chicago Sun-Times]
People flying may face long lines, delays and cancellations, with United Airlines still struggling to get back on track after a week of disruptions. [New York Times]
Some city doctors say they’re seeing the effect this week’s smokey, dirty air had on vulnerable residents, my colleague Brett Chase writes for the Chicago Sun-Times.
Hospitals and clinics are reporting more patients sick because of the air, especially those who have underlying conditions like asthma, lung or heart disease or similar issues.
One young patient almost died yesterday from a respiratory illness, Dr. Kelly Ryan, an emergency department doctor at Sinai Chicago, told the Sun-Times. [Chicago Sun-Times]
And though NASCAR’s race cars could be significantly more polluting than average cars, experts say this weekend’s event isn’t expected to make the city’s air quality much worse. [Block Club Chicago]
The Divvy program has seen its share of successes and challenges over the decade, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The bikes, which were especially popular during the pandemic, serve as another transportation option for commuters, tourists and residents. But it took until this year for the bikes to reach all 50 of the city’s wards, with majority-Black and brown communities often getting fewer docking stations, the Tribune reports.
And the 2020 introduction of e-bikes, which make riding easier, have also increased the rental fee. In response, the city said it would reinvest in the cheaper traditional bikes. [Chicago Tribune]
The finds on the island of Kythnos included more than 2,000 clay figurines linked to the worship of Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture, and her daughter Persephone, to whom the excavated sanctuary complex was dedicated, according to Greece’s culture ministry.
As The Associated Press reports: “The excavation by Greece’s University of Thessaly and the Culture Ministry also found luxury pottery imported from other parts of Greece, ornate lamps and fragments of ritual vases used in the worship of Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis, an ancient Athens suburb.”
The excavations will continue through 2025.
Kythnos, which was first inhabited about 10,000 years ago, served as a copper mining site from 3 B.C. and was later used as a place of political exile during Roman times. [AP]
Here’s what else is happening
Illinois will release less abortion data in an effort to protect patients and providers. [WBEZ]
Apple is now worth $3 trillion, the first company to hit that milestone. [CNN]
More than 600 people were arrested in France after another night of protests over police killing a teen. [NPR]
UChicago received approval to construct the city’s first stand-alone cancer center. [Block Club Chicago]
Oh, and one more thing …
NASCAR isn’t the first sport to use the city as a venue.
As Richard Cahen and Michael Williams write for the Chicago Sun-Times, the city’s streets were used for bicycle races in the 1800s, beaches are regularly closed off for volleyball tournaments, public pools were used for swimming competitions and parts of Lake Michigan for regattas.
There are also bigger events like the annual Chicago Marathon and the 1959 Pan American Games. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Tell me something good …
The new season of The Bear on Hulu got me wondering about other shows or movies set in the Chicago area that I should check out over the upcoming long weekend.
“South Side is a great show on HBO that takes place in Chicago! Although it doesn’t host a flurry of iconic sights, it still showcases neighborhoods that rarely see the light of day :)”
“Around Christmas time I was having some holiday blues and decided I needed
to re-watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I vaguely recalled that Nia Vardalos
had set it in Chicago (what other US city would a Canadian comedian
choose?), but I had forgotten that the opening sequence is basically a love
letter to the Chicago skyline and all the wonderful big buildings downtown.
I was so chuffed that I’m pretty sure that, alone in my living room with
the cats, I announced out loud to no one, ‘that’s my city!’ I just made
my Massachusetts school friends watch it with me again last month, only
*partly* to show off.”
“Last year I caught the Music Box’s (gorgeous) 35 mm screening of Michael
Mann’s Thief. Within seconds, I was transfixed, mesmerized and downright
The simple story of a heist thief that unlocks universal themes on labor,
class and agency, it’s also a quintessential Chicago movie. Yes it’s the
Green Mill scene and the Western Ave backgrounds, but James Caan’s
character, with his pride in a job well done, deep distrust of authority
and yearning for his own brighter tomorrow, feels like the city itself
Thanks for all your responses this week! I’m sorry I couldn’t include them all, but it was great hearing from everyone.