Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Thursday, July 21, 2016.
- Weather: The heat waves begins
An intense heat wave is set to start Thursday, with a high of 94 and a low of 77. It will be humid, and a thunderstorm is possible very late in the day. [AccuWeather]
- Children are among the innocent victims of the gun, gang violence surge
Gun violence has been on a steep rise in 2016, and children are increasingly becoming victims caught in the crosshairs. More than 260 children between the ages of ten and 17, and 15 children younger than ten have been shot in Chicago so far this year. [Associated Press via ABC News]
- Two men who claim to have been framed for murder will be released from prison after 23 years
For more than two decades, Jose Montanez and Armando Serrano have claimed that they were framed by a Chicago police detective for the 1993 murder of Rodrigo Vargas. Now, after 23 years in prison, Montanez and Serrano will be set free. The Chicago Police Department detective in question, Reynaldo Guevara, is retired, but “has faced dozens of allegations of framing or beating confessions out of suspects during his time as detective in a predominantly Latino neighborhood on the city’s Northwest Side,” according to USA Today. [USA Today]
- What’s up with the Chicago Police Department’s mysterious robot?
The Chicago Police Department has a rarely seen tool to fight crime and respond to emergencies: a robot. The robot was on standby when police were called to a north-side motel Monday regarding a man inside who was threatening to kill himself. Dallas police used a similar-looking machine, the Remotec Andros Mark V-A1, to detonate an explosive during the standoff with Micah Xavier Johnson, who killed five officers earlier this month. [DNAInfo Chicago]
- Syrian refugees settle into a new life in the city with help from Refugee One
Hasna Marza and her eight-year-old daughter, Samaam, fled the brutal ongoing civil war in their native Syria and have resettled in Chicago. An agency, Refugee One, is helping the Marzas and other refugee families adjust to their new lives in the United States. The organization teaches the immigrants English, helps them find jobs and homes, and in some cases provides treatment for trauma experienced in their home country. [Voice of America]
- Rahm is throwing a party for Chicago Public Schools principals
After a mass exodus of principals from Chicago Public Schools (at least 42 resigned and 23 retired during the 2015-’16 school year), Mayor Rahm Emanuel is thanking the administrators who remain with a happy hour at Maggie Daley Park Thursday. The timing is interesting: the principals’ budgets are due Friday. [Sun-Times]