Afternoon edition: January 18, 2022

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. This is an approximately 5 minute read that will educate you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be partly sunny and windy with a high near 40 degrees. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with lows of around 19 degrees and wind gusts up to 30 mph. Tomorrow will be partly sunny with a maximum near 23 degrees.

top story

As Opioid Overdose Deaths Hit New High, Pressure Grows for Safe Places to Inject Drugs in Chicago

Cook County recorded more homicides last year than it had in decades, but twice as many people died from opioid overdoses, a growing epidemic that has growing numbers of health experts lobbying for safe places to inject drugs.

The opioid toll has been rising since 2015, when there were 647 overdose deaths in Cook County. Last year’s total is expected to be over 2,000 once all tests come back from suspected cases.

State and local agencies spend millions of dollars every year to tackle the problem, from offering treatment programs to wider distribution of test strips and the drug naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an overdose. of opioids.

But the American Medical Association, reviewing the spike in deaths in Cook County, concluded last year that more could and should be done.

The 175-year-old group of doctors argued that ‘the decriminalization of the use of illicit opioids’ was crucial and that ‘there is an urgent need for safe injection sites, which have been linked to a reduction in deaths by overdose during an international assessment”.

The sites, also called overdose prevention sites, are supervised spaces where users can enter and have their drugs tested before being given clean needles. The supervisors do not help people administer the drugs and are only present to intervene in the event of an overdose.

Such places have been credited with prevent fatal overdoses in Canada and Australia for years. There are over 100 sites worldwide, and advocates say they pay more than just themselves. Every dollar spent on them generates $2.33 in healthcare savings, according to to study.

Cook County health officials say they support them, and the city of Chicago says it is following the experience of the nation’s first two injection sites in New York.

But no substantial action has been taken, even after Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx visited a site in Canada two years ago.

David Struett has more on Chicago’s opioid crisis and how the city is responding here.

More news you need

  1. A University of Chicago police officer shot and injured a gunman who opened fire in Hyde Park late this morning, officials said. Latest on this developing story here.
  2. A Chicago police sergeant who oversaw the botched investigation into the death of David Koschman – who was beaten to death in 2004 by then-mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew – has been promoted to lieutenant. Sam Cirone had faced a possible one-year suspension over the case – but the 29-year-old veteran was instead given a reprimand and, a Chicago Police Department spokesperson confirmed, rose through the ranks.
  3. The federal website where Americans can claim COVID-19 for free began accepting orders today — a day earlier than originally announced — as the White House seeks to address nationwide shortages. The tests – found on – are expected to ship in late January, and supplies are limited to just four per household.
  4. A city-owned Gold Coast space that once housed famed Maxim’s restaurant is getting a facelift. The city council’s housing committee has agreed to sell the city-owned space and its complementary parking space to local resident Adam Bilter and his 24 E. Goethe LLC for an appraised value of $680,000.
  5. In an attempt to stand out in Chicago’s competitive culinary scene, Frontier chef and owner Brian Jupiter chose a source of meat you won’t find in your backyard here: alligator. The result is gator gnocchi, featured in the latest episode of our Dishin’ on the Dish series.

A bright

Fans pay tribute to Betty White in her native Oak Park: ‘If she could have lived to be 200, we would have preferred that’

Fans hugged the Betty White cutouts. Others ate cake while lowering masks adorned with White’s photo. An Oak Park resident held up a giant photo stuck on a broomstick. Another held up a framed painting of her as the crowd sang the Golden Girls theme song, “Thank you for being a friend”.

More than a hundred people remembered the actress and comedian outside the Classic Cinemas Lake Theater last Saturday in the western suburbs, where White was born in 1922. Although White was 100 days missing when she died On December 31, 2021, Growing Community Media, which originally planned to celebrate White’s centennial, hosted a “Betty White Centennial Celebration” to honor her legacy.

Jeanette Mancusi carries a photo of Betty White during a ‘Betty White Centennial Celebration’ honoring White outside the Classic Cinemas Lake Theater in Oak Park, Illinois, which is White’s hometown, on Saturday last morning.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Since White loved animals, organizers set up an Animal Care League pet adoption pop-up across the street.

Denise Shanks came to the event with the intention of commemorating White. She left with a newly adopted puppy.

“I felt [adopting a dog] was a great way to honor him and his legacy,” Shanks said. “She had a great life, but, you know, you never like to see people like her go. If she could have lived to be 200, we would have preferred that, wouldn’t we? »

Pat Nabong has more photos and details from the celebration here.

From the press gallery

Your daily question ☕

How has the Omicron surge impacted your 2022 plans?

Email us (please include your first name and place of residence) and we may include your response in the next afternoon edition.

On Friday, we asked you: Which Chicago park is the most beautiful in winter?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Marovitz Golf Course. Great place for cross-country skiing. — Ted McClelland

“It’s not quite a park, but all the forest reserves in the southwestern suburbs are the best.” — Marc Bartlett

“Sherman Park always looked really cool when the lagoon was freezing.” — Denis Novak

“Grant Park and Millennium Park.” — Myrna Kar

“Jackson Park and Grant Park.” — Mo’ease E. Shegog-Winters

“Columbus Park.” — Vicky Dickens

“Garfield Park”. — Marilyn Scharko

“Washington Park.” — Erin Oni

“Humboldt Park”. — Katie Byrd

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