McDonald’s Era in Russia Coming to a Close, Restaurants Sold

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Young Muscovites checks out a new taste sensation for the Soviet Union, hamburgers and soft drinks in Moscow on Jan. 31, 1990. McDonald’s said Thursday, May 19, 2022, it has begun the process of selling its Russian business to one of its licensees in the country. (AP Photo / Rudi Blaha, File)

The Chicago burger giant said its existing licensee Alexander Govor, who operates 25 restaurants in Siberia, has agreed to buy McDonald’s 850 Russian restaurants and operate them under a new name. McDonald’s did not disclose the terms of the sale.

May 18, 2022 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

The mayor’s new curfew proposal for teens. A fight for power in the Chicago Teachers Union. A new study on the unaffordability of child care. And how a name change could affect your vaccine card.

Child Care ‘Unavailable, Unaffordable’: Report

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(WTTW News)

A recent report from the Illinois Child Care for All Coalition, which includes the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois, argues that child care in the state is “unavailable, unaffordable and unsustainable.” According to the findings, child care is the largest expense for parents of children ages 4 to 8.

Spotlight Politics: City Council Passes New Map

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(WTTW News)

The City Council passes a new ward map, avoiding the possibility of allowing voters to weigh in on a new map via a referendum. And the mayor orders a change to the city's teen curfew. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

Legally Changed Your Name? Here’s What to Do If It Doesn’t Match Your COVID-19 Vaccination Card

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(WTTW News)

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required in most public spaces, but some establishments still require it. What should you do if you’ve legally changed your name since getting the jab? Here’s what you need to know.

How the Chicago Teachers Union Election Will Impact Schools

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(WTTW News)

The June 28 primary is approaching. But Friday comes another election, one that’s bound to have a big political impact: The election for leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union. While only CTU members can vote, the results will have an impact beyond the union itself. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: May 19-22

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(Credit: South Chicago Dance Theatre)

Fancy footwork, art fairs, cultural celebrations and chocolate usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago this weekend.

4% of Illinois Land Is Protected. The Goal Is To Conserve 30% by 2030. How?

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Just 4% of Illinois is officially protected. Nature preserve status is the highest level of protection available in Illinois. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Illinois has made a commitment to conserve 30% of the state’s land and water resources by the year 2030. What will it take to reach that target?

Chicago Faces $306M Budget Shortfall in 2023: Chicago’s Budget Director

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(Jürgen Polle / Pixabay)

Budget Director Susie Park unveiled the updated budget forecast during Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council’s Budget and Government Operations Committee, which holds a hearing to examine the city’s financial condition every quarter.

Pianist Evgeny Kissin Sends Audience at Orchestra Hall Flying High on Chopin

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Pianist Evgeny Kissin (Credit: Sasha Gusov)

The first half of Evgeny Kissin’s program was devoted to the triumvirate of the masters — Bach, Mozart and Beethoven — and he mastered them all. But it was the second half of the program, devoted entirely to Chopin that clearly held the audience in thrall.

May 17, 2022 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

Illinois lawmakers on abortion, crime and more. Three deaths at a Rogers Park assisted living facility. Congress hears testimony about UFOs. And putting the brakes on the Carvana tower in Skokie.

Congress Holds First Public Hearing on UFOs in More than 50 Years

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For the first time in more than 50 years, Congress held an open hearing on unidentified flying objects.

Tuesday, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie and Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray testified for more than 90 minutes before House lawmakers, and later went into closed session to discuss information related to unidentified aerial phenomena(UAP) they won’t yet make public.

Illinois Lawmakers Weigh in on Future of Abortion Access and More

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(WTTW News)

Governor J.B. Pritzker has emphasized that Illinois will remain a safe state for people to access abortions even if federal abortion protections are removed.

Skokie Officials Pump Brakes on Carvana Tower After Illinois Suspends Company’s Dealer’s License

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A rendering of Carvana’s proposed 14-story tower in Skokie. (Village of Skokie)

Construction of Carvana’s controversial 14-story car vending tower in Skokie, approved just three months ago by the Village Board of Trustees despite widespread community opposition, is now on hold due to the temporary suspension of Carvana’s dealer’s license in Illinois.

Organized Chaos Provides Comic Relief in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

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(WTTW News)

A current production on Broadway in Chicago is offering a blend of live theater, comedy and community. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu introduces us to two Chicagoland actors who say their roles are unlike anything they’ve ever done.

Calls for Investigation After 3 Residents of Senior Living Facility Die Following Multiple Heat Complaints

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(WTTW News)

Three women were found dead Saturday at the James Sneider Apartments in Rogers Park shortly after multiple heat complaints from residents as Chicago temperatures hovered around 90 degrees last week.

Chicago Heights Man Gets 37 Months in Prison For Threatening Violence at Biden Inauguration

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(MotionStudios / Pixabay)

U.S. District Judge Ronald A. Guzman on Tuesday sentenced Louis Capriotti, 47, to 37 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.

Chicago Won’t Reimpose Mask Mandate Until Hospitals Are Threatened: Chicago’s Top Doc

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Since May 5, federal health officials have warned all residents of Cook County that they face a “medium” risk of contracting COVID-19. Since then, Chicago health officials have “strongly” urged Chicagoans to wear a mask when they are indoors, particularly in a crowded setting where they are unaware of the vaccination status of those around them.

EXPLAINER: White ‘Replacement Theory’ Fuels Racist Attacks

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A person pays his respects outside the scene of a shooting at a supermarket, in Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

Ideas from the “great replacement theory” filled a racist screed supposedly posted online by the white 18-year-old accused of targeting Black people in Saturday’s rampage. Authorities were still working to confirm its authenticity.

Nearly 43,000 People Died on US Roads Last Year, Marking Highest Number in 16 Years

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The scene of a fatality car crash, June 2, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla. (Tanner Laws / Tulsa World via AP, File)

The 10.5% jump over 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its fatality data collection system in 1975. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said America faces a crisis on its roads. 

FDA Clears COVID Booster Shot for Healthy Kids Ages 5 to 11; CDC Scheduled to Consider Thursday

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A nurse holds a vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, right, and a vial of the vaccine for adults, which has a different colored label, at a vaccination station in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo / Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Food and Drug Administration’s authorization now opens a third shot to elementary-age kids, too — at least five months after their last dose. There is one more hurdle: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to formally recommend the booster for this age group.

May 16, 2022 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

The city’s response to violence at Millennium Park and alderpeople discuss Chicago’s newly-approved ward map. Plus, the rise in racist hate crimes and white supremacy, and business headlines from Crain’s.

Monty the Piping Plover Is Dead, Birding Community Stunned and Mourning

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Monty’s legacy will be the chicks he and Rose brought into the world, seen in 2020. (Bob Dolgan)

In a brief announcement on social media, news was shared Friday evening by monitors that Monty the piping plover has died.

As Hate Crimes Surge, Interfaith Activist Aims to Bridge Growing Divide

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(Beacon Press)

Hate crimes have been on the rise in the U.S. Last fall, the FBI reported that hate crimes surged to their highest level in 12 years. The Anti-Defamation League says 2021 saw the highest number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded by the organization.

Crain’s Headlines: McDonald’s ‘De-Arching’ in Russia

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(WTTW News)

McDonald’s is “de-arching” in Russia and leaving the country after more than 30 years; as the baby formula crisis deepens, a local congressman is putting pressure on Abbott Labs; and Boeing leadership faces criticism from an Ireland-based airline.

WNBA’s Brittney Griner Faces Extended Pre-Trial Detention in Russia

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(CNN)

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been in Russian custody since just before Russia invaded Ukraine. Her pre-trial detention was extended another 30 days last week — a sign some experts say could actually provide a glimmer of hope.

New Chicago Property Assessment Pushes Tax Burden from Homeowners to Businesses, Assessor Fritz Kaegi Says

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Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 22, 2019.

The value of commercial properties increased 56% from 2018 to 2021, compared with 10% for single-family homes and small apartment buildings, according to the data released by the Cook County assessor’s office. That could result in a consequential change in how Cook County’s property tax burden is carved up. 

This Crayfish Was Rescued During Chicago River Day Cleanup, But in a Major Plot Twist, It’s Invasive

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Red swamp crayfish pulled from the Chicago River during May 15 cleanup. (Twitter / @Bates-Jefferys)

In its 30-year history, Friends of the Chicago River’s annual cleanup has evolved from a focus on litter to invasive species. An invasive crayfish pulled from the river over the weekend highlights the work to be done.

Lightfoot Moves Up Weekend Curfew for Teens to 10 p.m. After Downtown Violence

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses downtown violence on May, 16, 2022. (Heather Cherone/WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday she had no choice but to act after the murder of 16-year-old Seandell Holliday just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the heart of Millennium Park amid what Lightfoot called “chaos and unnecessary violence.” 

Chicago City Council Votes 43-7 to Approve New Ward Map After Racially Polarizing Debate

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Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

While the map set to take effect in time for the next round of municipal elections in 2023 has been the subject of more public scrutiny than any other revised map in Chicago’s history, it still allows incumbent alderpeople to pick their own voters and punish their enemies.

Teen Charged in Fatal Millennium Park Shooting Moved to Adult Court, Held on $250K Bond

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(Lara Farhadi / Flickr)

In addition an arrest in the fatal schooting, police say charges are also currently pending against six adults and one possible juvenile accused of spray-painting the Bean and Cancer Survivor Wall in Maggie Daley Park.

US Deaths From COVID Hit 1 Million, Less Than 2 1/2 Years In

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Sara Atkins poses for a photo, in Wynnewood, Pa., Tuesday, May 10, 2022, while holding a pillow with an image of her father Andy Rotman-Zaid, who died of COVID-19 in December 2020. She channels her grief into fighting for global vaccination and better access to health care to honor her father. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

The confirmed number of dead is equivalent to a 9/11 attack every day for 336 days. It is roughly equal to how many Americans died in the Civil War and World War II combined. It’s as if Boston and Pittsburgh were wiped out.