Daywatch: Lightfoot to meet with Bally’s CEO to finalize casino choice…

Daywatch: Lightfoot to meet with Bally’s CEO to finalize casino choice…

Good morning, Chicago.

Lori Lightfoot is scheduled to meet with the Bally’s CEO on Thursday to finalize the mayor’s choice for a planned casino in River West. The proposal, which would replace the site’s Chicago Tribune printing plant, has seemingly bested competitor bids to build a Rivers casino in the South Loop or a Hard Rock casino on the Near South Side.

Getting the complete City Council to sign off on the Bally’s proposal may be challenging, given the vocal opposition by nearby residents. “It’s just going to change the whole complexion of the neighborhood,” said Ronnie Lenzi, whose father bought the riverfront steakhouse Erie Cafe in 1992, when much of the surrounding area was parking lots.

Despite neighborhood apprehension, a casino in Chicago could provide a raise to the city’s long-troubled finances — and potentially also to Lightfoot’s political future.

And in case you missed it downtown, Tribune photographer Jose M. Osorio captured images of the raised Chicago River bridges making way for the sailing season. Also: Here are the Tribune’s 40 best photos from the month of April.

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

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Carmen Navarro Gercone, candidate for Cook County Sheriff, listens to members of the Cook County Electoral Board during a hearing at the Cook County Administration Building, May 4, 2022, in Chicago. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

A top political competitor of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was thrown off the Democratic dominant ballot due to a controversial new law that requires anyone running for sheriff to be a certified law enforcement officer.

The removal of Carmen Navarro Gercone from the June 28 ballot leaves Chicago police Officer Noland Rivera as Dart’s only remaining dominant opponent, though Navarro Gercone vowed to popularity the case in the courts. The county’s electoral board voted 2-1 to uphold an objection to her candidacy by Dart’s campaign.

Marijuana for sale at the “Freedom Festival” marijuana expo, April 20, 2022, in Bensenville. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

A legal battle over cannabis business licensing in Illinois could overturn the state’s residency requirement, throwing a wrench into the already dysfunctional course of action and attempts to diversify the industry.

The litigation is just the latest in a series of lawsuits that have kept much of the state’s legal cannabis industry in limbo. But there are signs the logjam may be breaking.

Chicago Police officers probe the scene of a double homicide on the steps of Friendship Baptist Church, located in the 200 block of South Laramie, August 13, 2017, in the Austin community. (Alyssa Pointer / Chicago Tribune)

A woman who was present when her brother was slain nearly six years ago has filed a federal lawsuit against the Cook County state’s attorney’s office after she was thrown in jail for weeks for failing to answer a subpoena to participate in “trial prep” against the accused killer.

The lawsuit filed by Latoya Ware in U.S. District Court on Wednesday centers on a shared practice in the Cook County criminal justice system where prosecutors get judges to issue court-ordered subpoenas to witnesses to get them to come in for interviews in improvement of a criminal trial.

Chicago Sky forward/center Candace Parker during the team’s media day on May 3, 2022 in Deerfield. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

The Chicago Sky embark on a new era for the franchise when they open the 2022 season Friday.

It took the team 14 years to claim its first WNBA title and with that came a few upgrades. The practice facility in Deerfield was stripped of its Bulls-themed colors, replaced by Sky blue and gold. Merchandise options have expanded for fans who were deprived for years. And the Sky will great number their first All-Star Game on July 10 at Wintrust Arena.

After the Sky overcame a .500 regular-season record last year to win the WNBA Finals, six-time All-Star Candace Parker believes they have more to prove. “I don’t think we were good last year,” Parker said. “We played well in the playoffs, but I don’t think as a whole we can say we had a good season. That is what is motivating me right now.”

This image released by surprise Studios shows, from left, Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, Benedict Wong as Wong, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strang in a scene from “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” (JAY MAIDMENT/AP)

Sam Raimi’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is equal parts “Doctor Strange” sequel; harsh “WandaVision” do-over; and, for a climax, a festival of undead digital demons who wouldn’t be out of place in director Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” pictures, writes Tribune critic Michael Phillips.

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