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Illinois nonprofit provides free flights for patients traveling to get an abortion – Chicago Tribune


Good morning, Chicago.

A bipartisan gun violence bill that seemed unimaginable a month ago is on the verge of winning final congressional approval, a vote that will produce lawmakers’ most sweeping answer in decades to mass shootings. The Senate approved the measure Thursday by 65-33. Fifteen Republicans joined all 50 Democrats, including their two independent allies, in approving the bill. The House was set to vote on the $13 billion package Friday.

Earlier Thursday, another branch of government moved in the opposite direction on gun restrictions. In a major expansion of gun rights, the Supreme Court said Thursday that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, a ruling likely to lead to more people legally armed.

And in the latest Jan. 6 hearing, Illinois Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger took the lead in questioning witnesses whose testimony tried to show how former President Trump pressured the Justice Department to help him overturn the 2020 election. Here are some takeaways from the hearing, including details on how many GOP members of Congress were said to have sought pardons.

Here are the top stories you need to know to start your day.

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A burgeoning Illinois nonprofit has begun providing free flights aboard small passenger airplanes to help patients travel to their abortion appointments, a new means of reproductive health care access that’s emerged as the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized the procedure nationwide.

The Springfield-based charity Elevated Access was incorporated in late April, according to Illinois secretary of state records. “Even before Roe ends, it’s not easy to access an abortion,” said the nonprofit’s executive director, who asked to remain anonymous for his safety, citing the heightened threat of violence surrounding reproductive rights as the Supreme Court ruling approaches.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot disputed the notion that Chicago police officers are being overworked, telling reporters the department gives cops notice when their days off are going to be canceled and they have an “incredible amount of” time off as part of their contract.

Lightfoot made the comments after aldermen approved an ordinance Wednesday providing a death benefit to spouses of first responders who die by suicide. The City Council passed the measure unanimously after its sponsor, Southwest Side Ald. Matt O’Shea, and other aldermen spoke about the hardships faced by officers, including having their days off repeatedly canceled amid an ongoing staff shortage.

When Illinois’ wealthiest man, Ken Griffin, announced Thursday that he plans to move the headquarters of his investment firm from Chicago to Miami, it was not only a major development for Citadel, it also came at an intriguing time politically for the billionaire hedge fund manager.

Illinois Republican voters are poised on Tuesday to accept or reject some or all members of a slate of GOP candidates for statewide offices that Griffin funded with $50 million. That slate is headed by Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who is vying to be the Republican nominee for governor.

Considering the timing and political optics, the Tribune’s Rick Pearson and Dan Petrella report, it points to a potentially early concession speech.

When Dalen Terry stepped out of a NBA draft watch party of more than 100 friends and family in Phoenix, his boisterous excitement zipped across two time zones — even through a Zoom call.

The Chicago Bulls selected Terry with the No. 18 pick Thursday, adding wing depth to their roster as the team looks to build around DeMar DeRozan for the 2022-23 season. Bulls general manager Marc Eversley said the rookie’s infectious energy was key in the team’s selection.

“Chicago is a major food town, from pricey fine dining to modest neighborhood joints that hit the spot, and I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the sweaty, cacophonous kitchen dynamics of the latter so richly and lovingly portrayed as they are in ‘The Bear,’ a darkly comedic drama that takes its inspiration from a local staple: Mr. Beef,” writes Tribune critic Nina Metz.

Having seen all eight episodes, Metz says it might be one of her favorite shows of the year.

The Chicago Pride Parade is back after a 3-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic and is the highlight of a month of events planned to honor and celebrate Chicago’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning or queer (LGBTQ) community during June.

Here’s what you need to know before you go.



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