Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly speaks at an August 2021 press conference. | Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be sunny with a high near 81 degrees. Tonight will be mostly clear with a low around 63. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high near 89, and Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high near 88.

Top story

Park District to install life rings on Pratt Pier in Rogers Park in wake of Cisneros drowning

The Chicago Park District will install life rings in staffed locations along the lakefront and on Pratt Pier in Rogers Park — where swimming is off-limits — to prevent a repeat of the drowning that killed 19-year-old Miguel Cisneros.

A rower at St. Ignatius College Prep who spent his freshman year at Columbia University taking classes online, Cisneros drowned on Aug. 22 after jumping off Pratt Pier in Rogers Park where swimming is prohibited.

There were no life rings on the pier at the time. In fact, the Park District had removed life rings that had been installed by Rogers Park residents.

Today, Chicago Park District Supt. Mike Kelly reversed that decision.

He announced that life rings would now be installed on Pratt Pier and at staffed locations along the lakefront and at Park District-controlled areas along the Chicago River as part of a six-point safety plan.

The plan also includes “restricted access” through installation of fencing; additional signs; adding swimming regulations to all e-registration forms; and educational outreach that includes teaching more kids to swim by the time they reach fourth grade.

“There will be a life ring at Pratt Beach, which is normally a manned location. There will be a life ring on the pier as well. I don’t love that decision. I cannot stress enough, folks. We’re in the life-safety business. We’re in the teach-kids-to-swim business. Anything that gives a semblance of comfort to going in that water where it says, `Do Not Swim’ [encourages people to break the rules], but we’re gonna do it,” Kelly said.

“I’m not above the city. I’m not above the citizenry. … I have a loved one who was saved by a life ring years ago on the Chicago River. So, I get it. It doesn’t make my job any easier as the head of the Park District. But this decision needs to be made. There will be a life ring on the pier. there will be a life ring at the beach. There will be life rings on all manned beaches.”

Read Fran Spielman’s full story here.

More news you need

Chicago police said today they are speaking to a person of interest in the murder of 19-year-old Yarianna Wheeler, whose body was found in Lake Michigan last month. Police did not release any other details of the investigation.

Former Niles mayor Andrew Przybylo spoke to our Manny Ramos about how his family continues to deal with the loss of his niece, Vanessa Kolpak, who was only 21 when she died in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Przybylo told Ramos that he wonders how his niece might have changed the world if she’d had the chance.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said today she has asked departing Inspector General Joe Ferguson to investigate profane, threatening and misogynistic text messages sent by Ald. Jim Gardiner. The messages had been exposed recently by an anonymous blog that bills itself as a political watchdog on the Northwest Side.

An argument over unpaid debt led to a Near West Side double shooting that left one man dead, prosecutors said today. Matthew Hendrickson has the latest on the case.

A pair of men from downstate Illinois pleaded guilty today to charges stemming from the breach of the U.S. Capitol. The two men admitted to spending about 20 minutes inside the building on Jan. 6.

Risa Lanier, a veteran Cook County prosecutor, has been appointed first assistant to State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Lanier has argued several high-profile cases during her more than 20 years with the office.

A bright one

For Milwaukee Avenue mural, here’s what you get when 2 artists meld different styles

Artists Matt Dean and Thomas Turner hadn’t even met before they worked together in August to create the eye-catching mural that now covers 2,500 square feet of a wall of South Side Control Supply Co., 488 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Dean, who is from Los Angeles and works under the name Kiptoe, and Turner, who’s from Atlanta, had been invited to be part of Chicago’s third Titan Walls festival, which brought in and set loose 14 artists over five days.

They were told: You can each get half of the wall, or you can work together on the whole thing. Together, they said.

Muros
Thomas Turner and Kiptoe’s untitled collaboration at 488 N. Milwaukee Ave. The two artists, working together for the first time, painted the 100-feet-wide mural during the Titan Walls festival Aug. 21. It features a photo-realistic cow and butterfly on one side and several animals in a more animated style on the other.

“Most of the time, we’re painting by ourselves, and it’s super-lonely and can get really frustrating and exhausting,” Dean, 30, says of mural work. “But when there’s someone there to go through it with you, and they’re painting also, and you can vibe off each other, it just makes it so much more fun.”

Turner started sketching. Dean came up with a sketch he’d previously done for a project that fell through. They started figuring out ways to bridge the two parts.

The result: Two different styles — one featuring a photo-realistic cow and butterfly, the other depicting animals in a more animated fashion — melded into one piece on the wall at the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning supply business.

Read Zack Miller’s full story here and check out our ongoing series on murals and other public art in the Chicago area.

From the press box

Perhaps no one on the Bears’ roster is more excited for the season to begin on Sunday than pass rusher Robert Quinn. Patrick Finley looks at the stakes for Quinn, who’s trying to bounce back from a disappointing first year in Chicago.

What jerseys will be the Bears wear this season? For the first four weeks, it’ll be the classic navy, both home and away.

More Bears-Rams preview content: David Montgomery is coming into his own, broadcaster Al Michaels on the Bears and moving from Mondays to Sundays, and the Rams’ offense won’t be messing around with Matthew Stafford under center this year.
Simeon High School’s impact on the world’s best basketball league extends well past Derrick Rose. Read Joe Henricksen on how a unique Chicago-to-NBA pipeline keeps thriving.

Your daily question ☕

Where’s your favorite place to watch a Bears game? Why?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday, we asked you: How did Sept. 11, 2001 change your life? Here’s what some of you said…

“Increased respect and admiration for firefighters and first-responders!” — Nathaniel Thomas Jr.

“I’m a Muslim educator/speaker. The easier question is: How didn’t it change my life?” — Omer M. Mozaffar

“No longer could we freely enter buildings without an ID. Security at airports tightened — having to go through X-ray and taking shoes off. Made me aware of terrorism, which never seemed real to me. But those in the towers, on the planes — they lost their lives. I will never forget.” — Susan Harris Fiege

“I lost my job. I was a travel agent at the time. I still get tears in my eyes when I hear stories of people that lost their loved ones.” — Karin Rios McNeil

“My love for humanity and being an American grew exponentially. Watching us all come together as a nation to support each other taught me that we can overcome anything thrown our way instead of dividing over race, color, creed, religion, etc.” — Robin Pressley

“Made me care about my country more.” — Laurence Stom

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