Good morning, Chicago.
An inspector general’s investigation found that a Cook County elected official retaliated against an employee after she complained that her supervisor sent her unwanted, sexually explicit texts and groped her. My colleagues Alice Yin and Gregory Pratt have the story here.
Meanwhile, as the 2020 Olympics get underway, dozens of Illinois athletes are making the trek to Japan. Not among them, however, is Zach LaVine. The Chicago Bulls guard entered the health and safety protocols for COVID-19 yesterday, according to the U.S. team, though they hope he’ll be able to join them in Tokyo later in the week.
— Nicole Stock, audience editor
Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.
The Illinois county with the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate faces steep challenges getting shots in arms: ‘We could very easily slip backward’
Even though Mary Helen Wissinger has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since the spring, she avoids indoor dining and going inside public spaces when they appear crowded or the parking lot seems full.
Wissinger lives in Cairo, the southernmost city in Illinois and the seat of the county with the lowest coronavirus vaccination rate in the state. Roughly 15% of the population of Alexander County is fully vaccinated, far lower than the near 50% statewide, according to Illinois Department of Public Health statistics.
As the nation battles a surge in COVID cases in predominantly unvaccinated parts of the country, some public health experts worry about sections of Illinois with particularly low vaccination rates, which are at risk for outbreaks and pose a challenge to herd immunity.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker makes 2022 reelection bid official, acknowledges his handling of pandemic will be key issue
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced his widely anticipated bid for reelection Monday and acknowledged his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the overarching issue in the 2022 race.
While Pritzker’s decision was widely expected, particularly after he put $35 million of his own money into his campaign account in March, the governor had been silent publicly about his reelection plans — an effort to show he was more focused on the pandemic and governance than politics.
Aldermen Monday advanced a $1.2 million settlement proposal for the mother of a 16-year-old boy who a Chicago police officer shot during a foot chase on the West Side.
The City Council Finance Committee approved the deal for Tambrasha Hudson, who sued the city in federal court over the fatal 2016 shooting of her son, Pierre Loury. The vote was 13-8, and the full City Council will consider it and other settlements Wednesday.
In divorce documents, Ben Zobrist says Julianna ‘coaxed’ him into returning to the Chicago Cubs, while she requests $4M of the $8M he forfeited while on leave
Ben Zobrist’s estranged wife, Julianna Zobrist, says the former Chicago Cubs utility man was “guilty of failing to preserve marital assets” when he took a leave of absence from the team in May 2019, so she will ask a judge to award her an additional $4 million when those assets are divided during next month’s divorce trial, according to pretrial documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
George Bumbaris opened George’s Deep Dish in May. He’s not making Chicago-style pizza such as Uno’s, Lou Malnati’s or Burt’s, though. He’s making a pizza style that’s historically his own, yet so wonderfully Chicago, writes Tribune food critic Louisa Chu.