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6 Chicago Stories That'll Make You Start Your Weekend With A Smile

By DNAinfo Staff | May 12, 2017 1:01pm 

DOWNTOWN — It's been a rainy week, but things are about to get a lot better in Chicago.

It'll be 70 and sunny this weekend. Plus, we've got all kinds of roundups to make the weekend perfect: Here's where you can grab brunch for Mother's Day, here's a guide to every festival happening in Chicago, here are all the Farmers Markets you can hit up and here are all the sidewalk cafes for a meal outside.

Get the weekend started right by checking out these stories from around the neighborhoods:

[DNAinfo/Ted Cox]

TV Star Ned of 'Downward Dog' Returns Triumphant to PAWS

RANCH TRIANGLE — Ned, a very lucky dog who has landed a starring role in the new ABC TV series "Downward Dog," returned triumphant Wednesday to the place he was discovered, PAWS Chicago.

Of course, Ned doesn't seem to have been certain at first whether he was returning triumphant or just being returned. According to a couple of the PAWS volunteers, he had his tail between his legs at first, as if to say, "What am I doing back here?"

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Linze Rice]

Gale Elementary Garden Club In Bloom After Winning Nearly $200,000

ROGERS PARK — Big hopes, ideas — and soon a few plants, too — are in full bloom at Gale Elementary School in Rogers Park as the school celebrates winning nearly $200,000 to fund community projects at its garden.

Gale, 1631 W. Jonquil Terrace, recently learned it would receive $120,000 of that money through participatory budgeting in the 49th Ward, which allows community groups to pitch and vote on projects that can be financially supported through the ward.

The money will go toward adding a stage, picnic tables, a walking labyrinth, a "You Are Beautiful" fence affirmation, planters, decorative pathways and more to a Learning Garden at the school, available for all community members to enjoy.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Linze Rice]

Cubs' Anthony Rizzo Gives $3.5 Million To Lurie Children's Hospital

STREETERVILLE — Anthony Rizzo's foundation will donate $3.5 million to Lurie Children's Hospital, bringing the star Cub's overall gifts to the hospital to more than $4 million.

Rizzo's "Hope 44 Endowed Fund" will give grants to families who need help paying for their child's cancer treatments, the children's hospital at 225 E. Chicago Ave. announced Monday.

The gift will also endow a fund supporting two oncology specialists at the hospital who will "reduce anxiety and normalize the hospital experience for both patients and families," the hospital said in a press release.

Read more.

[Courtesy Megan Hougard]

Englewood High School 'Dream Students' Headed For Harvard, MIT, Stanford

ENGLEWOOD — Lindblom Academy students have been accepted into three of the crown jewels of American higher ed: Harvard, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Described as "dream students," Andrea Bossi will attend Harvard; Faith Jones will enroll at MIT and Abisola Olawale will be at Stanford.

Read more.

[DNAinfo/Howard Ludwig]

Blair Holt Honored 10 Years After He Was Killed On Bus Protecting Classmate

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Blair Holt boarded a bus outside of Percy Julian High School in Washington Heights exactly ten years ago Wednesday. Seven blocks later, he was killed.

Holt, 16, was shot while using himself as a human shield, protecting a friend when Michael Pace boarded the bus and opened fire. Four other Julian students were also shot as Pace sought to settle a gang dispute.

A decade after the fatal shooting that was captured on surveillance video, the street outside of the high school at 10330 S. Elizabeth St. was named in Holt's honor.

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A Video Of The Most Adorable Coyote Pups Ever

CHICAGO — Field Museum ornithologist Josh Engel has seen coyotes many times around Chicago and Cook County, but he'd never seen a den with pups.

That changed this week during a birding trip Engel, of Uptown, was part of just outside of Chicago. A friend and colleague, Amanda Zeigler of Red Hill Birding, spotted a den filled with as many as 10 pups.

"It felt like we were peering into the private lives of a coyote family," Engel said. "I've seen coyotes lots of times around Chicago and Cook County while I'm out birding, but this was the first time I've seen a den."

Read more.