Hey there! It’s Thursday, and I had no idea Lady Gaga did the song for the new Top Gun movie. And my idiot brain immediately thought, “Can fighter pilots listen to music in the air? Do they come with aux cords?” This heat wave is taking a toll. Here’s what you need to know today.
Abortion providers estimate that anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 patients could travel to Illinois each year if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
And hospitals and clinics worry they won’t have enough staff to treat them, reports WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.
“What we’re working with now is a crisis, and it’s happening so quickly that it’s hard to keep up,” said Dr. Erica Hinz, an OB-GYN who leads the complex family planning fellowship at UI Health, a hospital system on Chicago’s Near West Side.
Many health care workers across the state are burned out after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. While there may be enough physicians to provide abortions, there might not be enough support staff, such as medical assistants and nurses, to help provide care. [WBEZ]
Out-of-state patients are already traveling hundreds of miles to have abortions in southern Illinois, which could see an additional 14,000 patients a year, reports the Chicago Tribune. [Trib]
Illinois state Rep. Kam Buckner today announced he will join the growing list of candidates running in next year’s mayoral election.
Buckner, a South Side native and the chairman of the Illinois Black Caucus, said his campaign will focus on “instilling trust in city government, and making tangible changes to some of the most pressing issues facing residents — like improving Chicago Public Schools and reducing a surge in violent crime,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
In Springfield, Buckner was a key player behind the sweeping criminal justice reform bill that eliminates cash bail.
He has been a close ally to the Chicago Teachers Union and supported an elected school board for Chicago Public Schools. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The latest mass shooting took place last night and wounded four people, including two boys aged 6 and 11, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. About five hours later, a 3-year-old girl and a woman were shot.
More than 900 people have been wounded by gun violence in Chicago so far this year.
But there are some positive signs. Communities on the South and West sides recently saw a 19% decline in homicides and a 28% drop in non-fatal shooting victims from the same time last year, according to a Sun-Times analysis.
Across the city, those numbers have fallen 7% and 17% respectively, accounting for a 15% overall drop over the same period. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Meanwhile, in a highly unusual move, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown blamed a mass shooting this week on a man who has not been charged or named as a suspect. [Chicago Tribune]
And it’s running into opposition from some locals.
Part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan for the city’s first casino is setting up a temporary site at the landmark Medinah Temple building in the second quarter of 2023.
Critics are quick to point out that “Friedman Properties CEO and Medinah Temple owner Albert Friedman — a past contributor to Lightfoot and other city leaders — gave the mayor’s campaign fund $6,000 on March 22, shortly before the city announced the building as the temporary location, instead of the developer’s choice,” reports the Chicago Tribune. [Trib]
The Medinah Temple was built in 1912 as a 4,200-seat theater for the Shriners, a social organization established in New York in the 1870s. The domes, pointed arches, and colorful interiors of the building were part of a style known as Moorish Revival.
The building also has the first declaration of faith for all Muslims — “There is no God but Allah” — written on the main entrance in what WBEZ contributor Dennis Rodkin calls “the most egregious example of cultural appropriation” in the building’s style. [WBEZ]
Astronomers unveiled the first picture of a black hole at the heart of the Milky Way that has a mass equal to more than 4 million suns.
“It’s the dawn of a new era of black hole physics,” an international team of astrophysicists and researchers from the Event Horizon Telescope team announced today.
The discovery comes three years after the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released the first-ever image of a black hole — one located tens of millions of light-years away from Earth in the Virgo cluster of galaxies.
Black holes are challenging for researchers to study because they either bend light or prevent it from escaping entirely. But scientists have found a way to detect and study them based on the powerful effects they have on their surroundings. [NPR]
Here’s what else is happening
- Amid a nationwide shortage of baby formula, Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories seeks federal approval to restart manufacturing of formulas. [Crain’s]
- President Joe Biden today marked the approaching milestone of 1 million U.S. deaths in the pandemic. [NPR]
- Finland moves closer to joining NATO as Russia shows no signs of backing down in the war with Ukraine. [NPR]
- The Republican governors of Virginia and Maryland are asking federal authorities to halt protests outside of justices’ homes. [Washington Post]
Oh, and one more thing …
New details are coming in about the next Dune movie starring Timothee Chalamet as a space prince who loves playing in the sand.
I kid, and yes, I’ve read the books.
Anyway, Christopher Walken has been picked to play the mad Emperor Shaddam IV who rules over the known universe. [Hollywood Reporter]
The news made me think of the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, about acclaimed director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s failed attempt to make a Dune movie.
Salvador Dalí had been tapped to play the emperor, and Dalí allegedly made all sorts of wild requests for his character, such as a throne that had to be “a toilet made of two intersected dolphins.” [BBC]
Tell me something good …
What are you looking forward to doing outside as the temperatures get warmer?
JoAnn Geanconteri writes:
“I am looking forward to having my windows washed to get old man winter off and then open them up to let the spring air in and the sounds of birds chirping and saying awww! 😊”
Feel free to email or tweet me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter this week.