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Daywatch: Migrant boy finds home in baseball

Good morning, Chicago.

The burnout that has hit so many in her line of work came for Phyllis Lubel last fall.

She had just finished a particularly grueling 16-month stretch in which she logged close to 300 hours inside Lake County emergency rooms, where she took on the arduous task of trying to help survivors in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault.

After nearly 26 years with the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center in Gurnee, first as a volunteer and then as an advocacy services specialist, the 58-year-old Skokie native had reached a breaking point.

I need to have a life, she thought. I can’t keep this pace up.

Across Illinois, scores of direct service providers like Lubel who work at the state’s 31 rape crisis centers are struggling under the weight of crushing workloads, stagnant wages and unsteady job security. Those pressures have intensified in recent months, advocates say, after a key source of federal funding was essentially slashed in half, a loss of around $9.5 million.

Read the full story from The Tribune’s Jonathan Bullington.

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State Rep. Kam Buckner, left, and state Rep. Mary Beth Canty talk before Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his State of the State and budget address in front of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
State Rep. Kam Buckner, left, and state Rep. Mary Beth Canty talk before Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his State of the State and budget address in front of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Illinois House proposal could pave way for video gambling in Chicago

A Springfield ally of Mayor Brandon Johnson has introduced a measure that could help pave the way for Chicago to legalize the kind of video poker and slot machines that have proliferated at bars and restaurants across the state over the past decade.

A truck waits in a turn lane in heavy traffic near 41st Street and Pulaski Road in the Archer Heights neighborhood, March 28, 2024. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)
A truck waits in a turn lane in heavy traffic near 41st Street and Pulaski Road in the Archer Heights neighborhood, March 28, 2024. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Neighborhoods near congested I-55 freight corridors count truck traffic, push for changes

Outside Mario Aguirre’s office in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood, traffic is so bad that people hit a tree, mailbox, light pole, brick wall, vehicle or pedestrian about once a week.

Aguirre, president of the United Credit Union, said the main problem is the torrent of 18-wheel diesel freight trucks. They pour in and out of a BNSF intermodal rail yard at Pulaski Road and 41st Street, just south of I-55.

Crews were setting up cones Friday at the Briggs Street interchange in preparation for Interstate 80 construction beginning April 1, 2024. (Alexandra Kukulka/Daily Southtown)
Alexandra Kukulka/Daily Southtown
Crews were setting up cones Friday at the Briggs Street interchange in preparation for Interstate 80 construction beginning April 1, 2024. (Alexandra Kukulka/Daily Southtown)

Interstate 80 construction to begin Monday in Will County

Interstate 80 construction stretches into Will County this week, a project New Lenox officials said may increase traffic but will provided needed upgrades to the highway.

Charles Perry poses for a portrait outside a storefront he recently purchased on Friday, March 22, 2024, on 95th St. in Chicago. Perry hopes to turn the storefront into an ice cream parlor. (Vincent Alban/Chicago Tribune)
Brian Ellison walks through an empty lot at the corner of West 5th and North Kedzie avenues near his home in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, March 21, 2024, in Chicago. Ellison lives in an area with several vacant lots owned by the city and county, which he hopes will be sold for affordable housing construction. He estimates there are at least a dozen vacant lots between his home and the CTA Green Line Kedzie station about three blocks away. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune)

Many of Chicago’s vacant lots are near transit, posing challenges for neighborhoods and CTA, study says

More than one-third of vacant lots in Chicago are close to “L” stations, a new report shows, creating challenges for neighborhoods and the CTA alike.

And most of those vacant lots are in predominantly Black communities, a glaring symbol of historic disinvestment, according to the report from transit-focused development collaborative Elevated Chicago, the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University and community groups.

Farragut Career Academy sophomore Yoel Guerra, 16, from Venezuela adjusts his glasses after scoring a run during a game against Mather High School in La Villita Park on Friday, March 29, 2024, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)
Farragut Career Academy sophomore Yoel Guerra, 16, from Venezuela adjusts his glasses after scoring a run during a game against Mather High School in La Villita Park on Friday, March 29, 2024, in Chicago. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune)

Refuge on the field: A migrant boy finds home in baseball

Between batters with no music playing, Yoel Guerra danced, swinging his hips in the infield between the bases. But as his opponent stepped up to bat, he crouched down, ready to field the ball.

The 16-year-old from the northern state of Aragua, Venezuela, has played baseball since he was 4. He’s been in Chicago for over a year now, and he said he derives the most joy from the field.

Police Superintendent Larry Snelling, left, and Mayor Brandon Johnson pose for group photos with recruits before the start of the Chicago Police Department recruit class graduation and promotion ceremony at Navy Pier on March 11, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)
Police Superintendent Larry Snelling, left, and Mayor Brandon Johnson pose for group photos with recruits before the start of the Chicago Police Department recruit class graduation and promotion ceremony at Navy Pier on March 11, 2024. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

With logjam over police discipline broken, Snelling faces early leadership test

Since he was named Chicago police superintendent last year, Larry Snelling has repeatedly called for fairness toward officers accused of wrongdoing, and accountability for those who’ve committed misconduct.

And now, as the future of police discipline in Chicago comes into focus after months of uncertainty, Snelling faces a test of sorts: deciding the professional fates of more than two dozen officers facing firing whose folders remain on his desk.

AT&T notifies users of data breach and resets millions of passcodes

AT&T said it has begun notifying millions of customers about the theft of personal data recently discovered online.

The telecommunications giant said Saturday that a dataset found on the “dark web” contains information such as Social Security numbers for about 7.6 million current AT&T account holders and 65.4 million former account holders.

Cardinal Blase Cupich greets church members before conducting an Easter Mass on Sunday, March 31, 2024, at St. Moses the Black Parish in Grand Crossing. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
Cardinal Blase Cupich greets church members before conducting an Easter Mass on March 31, 2024, at St. Moses the Black Parish in Grand Crossing. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

‘It’s a great blessing’: Hundreds gather for Easter Mass with Cardinal Cupich in Grand Crossing

Hundreds gathered for Easter Mass at a South Side church Sunday morning, where Cardinal Blase Cupich preached a resounding message of hope, peace and compassion.

The pews of St. Moses the Black Parish in Grand Crossing, which describes itself as a church “rooted in the Black Catholic tradition,” were packed with parishioners dressed in bright spring hues.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles, left, and coach Matt Eberflus speak to the media at Halas Hall on Jan. 10, 2023. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)
Bears general manager Ryan Poles, left, and coach Matt Eberflus speak to the media at Halas Hall on Jan. 10, 2023. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune)

So that was March? A recap of one of the busiest, dizziest months in Chicago Bears history.

Give yourself a moment, Chicago Bears fans, to regroup and regain your equilibrium. Because let’s be honest, that may have been the busiest and dizziest month in team history, a wildly eventful 31 days during what is arguably the most important offseason in the franchise’s 104-year existence.

Piano and keyboard player Herbie Hancock performs as part of the Jazz Series at Symphony Center in Chicago on Saturday, March 30, 2024. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Piano and keyboard player Herbie Hancock performs as part of the Jazz Series at Symphony Center in Chicago on March 30, 2024. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

Review: Herbie Hancock and a sterling sextet ignite Symphony Center Jazz

Ah, to tour as Herbie Hancock.

The Chicago native, turning 84 next week, is one of music’s most catalytic forces — never mind in jazz, where he first made his name as a member of Miles Davis’s second quintet, in the 1960s. If jazz’s boundaries seem especially porous today, Hancock punched many of those holes himself: his funky band Headhunters, conceptual Mwandishi sextet and pirouette into electro with “Future Shock” all gave the genre an exhilarating rattle. Critic Hannah Edgar reviewed his Symphony Center appearance on Saturday.

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