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Daywatch: Federal court dissolves minority hiring decree for Chicago Fire Department

Good morning, Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is making a public appeal to save one of her signature policies: ticketing drivers caught by automated speed cameras going as little as 6 mph over the limit.

The Tribune’s John Byrne and Alice Yin report that practice — unpopular with many drivers but welcomed by some street safety advocates — suffered a significant setback by a large bloc of aldermen who voted to roll it back. Now, the mayor is gearing up for a showdown that could lead to her first veto should the legislation pass the full council on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Police Department unveiled the final version of its new foot-pursuit policy, in the making for over a year since Mayor Lori Lightfoot and activists called for such rules following the back-to-back fatal police shootings of two young people who were chased by officers.

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

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A federal judge recently agreed to dissolve a 42-year-old court mandate on minority hiring within the Chicago Fire Department, finding that minority representation had increased substantially since its implementation in early 1980.

While federal officials looked at the increase in “minority” employees, some current and retired black firefighters cried foul, saying their manpower numbers continued to dwindle due to slow hiring of Black recruits and high black retirement among its commanding officers.

Daywatch: Federal court dissolves minority hiring decree for Chicago Fire Department

The topic of diversity, equity and inclusion is again top of mind for Hinsdale High School District 86 community members after an allegation of racial bullying during a varsity baseball game in April surfaced in recent FOIA findings.

In an email to District 86 superintendent Tammy Prentiss, a community member who attended the game said she witnessed the Hinsdale student section and several student athletes engaging in “cruel taunting” including racist comments toward Black LTHS players, according to the FOIA.

Daywatch: Federal court dissolves minority hiring decree for Chicago Fire Department

As she sliced a cheese wheel and speed-wrapped blocks in front of 800 screaming fans, Cara Condon forgot she hates crowds. The 2022 Cheesemonger Invitational’s buzzing audience couldn’t bother the Chicago cheesemonger. It was almost like she was behind the glass. “When it comes to cheese, I open up,” she said. “I blossom.”

The Tinley Park-born cheese expert, who works at Logan Square’s Beautiful Rind cheese shop, won the invitational, a biannual competition in Brooklyn, New York, on June 12 where some of the world’s best cheesemongers competed in tasks involving technical skill, cheese knowledge and salesmanship and where spectators might need Lactaid pills.

Daywatch: Federal court dissolves minority hiring decree for Chicago Fire Department

The Chicago Bears are off for summer break until late July when training camp begins. Are the Bears heading into a really bad season? Do the Bears make more free-agent moves before camp? What are the Bears doing with Teven Jenkins?

Brad Biggs answers your Bears questions in this final mailbag until camp.

Daywatch: Federal court dissolves minority hiring decree for Chicago Fire Department

“Illinois, you have an image problem,” writes Christopher Borrelli. “On paper, your chief exports include machine parts, medication, corn, pumpkins and dump trucks; in the nation’s imagination, your exports are dysfunction, casserole as pizza, Blues Brothers cover bands, Cubs hats and Kanye West. That’s the way of the world. Still, I would argue, the solution for your PR woes has been staring you in the face — or rather, crooning in our ears — for decades.”

The main export of Illinois is the power ballad.”

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