A rendering of Camp Douglas during the Civil War Credit: SUN-TIMES PRINT COLLECTION

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, May 12, 2017. Have a great weekend! 

  • Historians: Bronzeville Culver’s is being built on the site of a former Confederate smallpox cemetery

A south-side Culver’s location is being built on the site of a smallpox cemetery where 655 Confederate soldiers were buried, according to historians. The soldiers died of the highly infectious disease while imprisoned at Camp Douglas in Bronzeville during the Civil War. The fast-food restaurant will open in the Lake Meadows Shopping Center this summer at 35th Street and Martin Luther King Drive, which is on the site of the prison camp. The smallpox cemetery was on or adjacent to the Culver’s, and the bodies were likely buried six feet below ground to prevent spreading the disease, according to the managing director of the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation, David Keller. The bodies were moved to other cemeteries by the military in 1867, and construction workers haven’t found any human remains, but experts say that bones are almost always left behind. “It’s really simple to have a burial and look down and see the backbone,” archeologist Michael Gregory, who has worked on Camp Douglas sites, told DNAinfo Chicago. “But people will leave behind the small hand bones, ribs and things like that.” [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Jason Van Dyke will get security at the courthouse during the Laquan McDonald murder trial

Cook County judge Vincent Gaughan has ruled that former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke will have security in the courthouse during his first-degree murder trial for the death of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke was caught on police dashcam video shooting the unarmed 17-year-old 16 times. The judge also ruled that Van Dyke will have to attend every court hearing. Van Dyke’s 75-year-old father, Owen “John” Van Dyke, testified Thursday that “he and his son have been followed as they left the courthouse, prompting them to drive decoy rental cars to hearings,” according to the Tribune. [Tribune

  • Urbana-based auto parts maker opening south-side plant with new 300 jobs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Governor Bruce Rauner put their differences aside Thursday to announce that auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate is opening a manufacturing plant at 2924 E. 126th, bringing 300 new jobs to the south side. The factory will open for full production in early 2019. “The U.S. automotive industry is strong, and that’s also true here in my beloved state of Illinois,” said Flex-N-Gate CEO Shahid Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars and graduated from University of Illinois. “Today’s announcement is proof that when everyone determines to work together, we can create great things.” [Crain’s Chicago Business]

  • Yo-Yo Ma will hold a concert for peace at Saint Sabina

Classic music icon and cellist Yo-Yo Ma will headline the Concert for Peace at Saint Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham on June 11. The concert was Ma’s idea, according to Reverend Michael Pfleger. “He just showed up unannounced one Sunday a few months ago and was very serious about doing something,” Pfleger told the Sun-Times. “He was so kind and so humble. He just wanted to support our work. But what impressed me about him was not just his superior talent, but his gentle and warm spirit. It was the beauty of them both together. Unmatchable.” [Sun-Times]

  • Controversy swirls after Steve Harvey’s memo to staff is leaked

Production on the Chicago-based Steve Harvey talk show wrapped up Thursday before the show and its host move to the Los Angeles. Local media reporter Robert Feder published a memo sent by Harvey to his staff that quickly went viral and revealed that the comedian is leaving most, if not all, of his staff behind in Chicago. “Do not wait in any hallway to speak to me. I hate being ambushed. Please make an appointment. I promise you I will not entertain you in the hallway, and do not attempt to walk with me,” he wrote in the e-mail. “Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED.” [Tribune] [Robert Feder]

  • A Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired bar is coming to the former Smack Shack site

A Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired bar called Prairie School is opening in the former home of Smack Shack in the Fulton Market District. Jim Meehan, the James Beard Award-winning mastermind behind the PDT (for “please don’t tell”) cocktail bar in Manhattan, is partnering with Heisler Hospitality on the project. [Chicagoist]