Good afternoon! You know summer’s days are really numbered when the Halloween aisles pop up at stores. Even the Halloween-themed Oreos are out now. Here’s what you need to know today.
Former President Donald Trump and 18 of his allies were indicted by a grand jury yesterday for their alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
Among them is Trevian Kutti, a Chicago-based publicist who once represented R. Kelly and Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, my colleague Natalie Moore reports.
Georgia prosecutors say Kutti attempted to pressure an election worker to falsely admit committing election fraud. She denied the allegations. [WBEZ]
Stephen Cliffgard Lee, a Lutheran minister in Orland Park, was also charged with efforts to intimidate election workers. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The Georgia case is similar to a federal indictment that was unsealed earlier this month, but there are key differences: Even if Trump were to win the 2024 presidential election, he would not be able to pardon himself if convicted in the Georgia case.
As NPR reports, presidents do not have pardon powers in state cases. And Georgia prosecutors do not report to the president. [NPR]
Mayor Brandon Johnson this week sidestepped questions about his firing of Dr. Allison Arwady, the city’s now former public health commissioner who helped guide Chicago through the pandemic, my colleague Fran Spielman reports.
Arwady says she was shown the door on Friday without ever receiving the courtesy of a single face-to-face meeting with Johnson. When a reporter asked Johnson about Arwady’s comments on Monday, the mayor quoted Tupac.
“You can’t always go by the things that you hear. Right? ‘Real eyes realize real lies,’ ” Johnson said. (The full Tupac quote begins: “Don’t believe everything you hear.”)
Johnson also sidestepped a question about whether Arwady’s ouster was “payback” from the Chicago Teachers Union for Arwady’s push to reopen schools sooner than the union wanted. [Chicago Sun-Times]
In an interview with NBC5 Chicago, Arwady said her abrupt firing was “unnecessarily destabilizing” to the city’s public health department. And she said it could make it harder to attract a successor with the necessary background and expertise to do the job. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a federal lawsuit just days after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law rolling back legal protections for gun manufacturers and retailers.
The law opens the door for gun sellers and manufacturers to be sued if they are found to advertise to minors or militants.
Gun manufacturers and sellers are also liable in cases where firearms are sold to “straw purchasers” — where someone buys a gun for someone else — or to people who are prohibited under federal law from possessing guns.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation argues the law is unconstitutional and violates both the First and Second amendments. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Staff at the Art Institute of Chicago approved their first contract, organizers announced today, a move that comes more than a year after the employees led a charge to unionize workers at museums in the city.
Art Institute staff members voted to form a union in January 2022 and were joined by employees at the School of the Art Institute, forming the Art Institute of Chicago Workers United.
More than 500 workers at the museum and its affiliated school are covered by the new collective bargaining agreement, which includes scheduled pay raises, WTTW News reports.
Since the unionizing efforts at the Art Institute, workers at the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry have voted to organize. [WTTW News]
The museum’s new Spinosaurus skeleton is named after a crocodile-headed god from Egyptian mythology who protected the waters of the Nile River, my colleague Jacquelyne Germain reports.
The name is a nod to the similarities between the god and the Spinosaurus, a river-dwelling dinosaur with crocodile-like jaws that was first uncovered in Egypt.
The Field Museum’s cast of Sobek the Spinosaurus, the world’s largest predatory dinosaur, is the only one displayed in the Western Hemisphere, according to the museum.
At 46 feet long, the Spinosaurus fossil cast is 4 feet longer than Sue the T. rex. When roaming the Earth tens of millions of years ago, Spinosaurses were also bigger and longer than Tyrannosaurus rexes. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Here’s what else is happening
- Hundreds of people are still missing since wildfires erupted in Maui. [NBC News]
- Young activists in Montana won a first-of-its-kind climate change trial. [NPR]
- Migrant families kicked out of a Chicago motel are sleeping in tents. [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Chicago’s 107-year-old Lake Street Bridge will receive major renovations next year. [Chicago Sun-Times]
Oh, and one more thing …
If you hear jets flying over Chicago this week, don’t worry. The city isn’t under attack — it’s just the Air and Water Show, one of the more polarizing summer events in Chicago.
The show takes place Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but you may hear fighter jets rehearsing earlier in the week.
Block Club Chicago has a handy guide for folks planning on attending the free event. [Block Club Chicago]
The Air and Water Show, which got off the ground in 1959, is one of those events Chicagoans either love or hate.
Every couple years a petition pops up to abolish the event, a case made in a 1996 report from the Chicago Reader headlined “Plane Stupid.” [Chicago Reader]
Tell me something good …
I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off over the weekend with my nephews (they weren’t really watching) and was wondering, with the new school year coming up: What’s your favorite “high school” movie?
Jenny Seidelman writes:
“As a Gen-Xer, I feel compelled to name Heathers as my favorite high school movie. So many good one-liners in that one (‘What’s your damage, Heather?’) and it’s peak Winona Ryder.”
Andrea Steinberg writes:
“My favorite ‘high school’ movie is Grease. Of course, the cast looked way beyond high school age but the music was great and the cast was terrific! Some of the songs are classic.”
And Annie M. writes:
“Pump Up The Volume! Corrupt administrators. Pirate radio. Young Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis. Fabulous soundtrack. Who needs anything more?”
Feel free to email me, and your response might be shared in the newsletter this week.