‘Shop Early’: US Christmas Trees Supplies Tight, Prices Up

In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, photo, a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is for sale in Lenoir, N.C. A Christmas tree shortage is being blamed on the Great Recession. Poor sales a decade ago, limited the number of trees planted, which are being harvested this year. (AP Photo / Sarah Blake Morgan)

Christmas tree supplies are tight again this year across the U.S., depending upon location and seller. The industry is still bouncing back from the Great Recession and trying to win people back from a shift toward artificial trees when times were especially tough.

Holiday Money-Saving Strategies That Can Backfire

In this Nov. 29, 2019, file photo people walk by a Black Friday promotional at Cookie's department store in the Brooklyn Borough of New York. (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews, File)

Holiday marketers have your number, and they know how to entice you to spend. However, you can position yourself to recognize – and overcome – overspending triggers.

The Week in Review: Trump Lashes Out After House Panel Vote


The House moves forward on Trump impeachment. Interim top cop Charlie Beck makes a big change. Is Chicago equipped to weather a recession? And the Bears head to Lambeau for a rematch with the Packers.

Durbin, Krishnamoorthi Propose Vaping Fee to Fund Prevention Program

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

As part of an effort to steer youth away from vaping, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi are proposing a new fee on e-cigarette manufacturers and importers to fund prevention programs.

Report: Patients Misdiagnosed in Catholic Hospitals to Get Contraception

(Nate Grigg / Flickr)

Medical providers at Catholic hospitals face multiple barriers to providing contraceptive care to women, and such restrictions have prompted workarounds that can be harmful to patients, a new report from the University of Chicago finds.

House Gets 2 Trump Impeachment Charges After Judiciary Vote

Members of the committee work during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Democrats propelled President Donald Trump’s impeachment toward a historic vote by the full U.S. House on Friday, as the Judiciary Committee approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Dorothy Brown Associate Convicted of Lying Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

Dirksen United States Courthouse (Ken Lund / Flickr)

Federal prosecutors said that by lying to a grand jury, 58-year-old Beena Patel “threw a wrench in the wheels of justice and ground them to a halt.”

US Labor Board Rules for McDonald’s in Unionization Case

In this June 25, 2019 file photo a sign is displayed outside a McDonald's restaurant in Pittsburgh.(AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar, File)

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in McDonald’s favor in a long-running case filed by 20 workers who were fired or faced retaliation for trying to unionize. 

House Panel Delays Historic Trump Impeachment Vote

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, exhales after a day of work with Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member, right, on the markup of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

The House Judiciary Committee abruptly postponed a historic vote late Thursday on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, shutting down a 14-hour session that dragged with partisanship. 

New Year, New Taxes: What Will Cost More in 2020


Illinois’ income tax will hold steady in 2020 and despite warnings from Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago’s new budget avoids a major property tax hike. But before you go on a holiday shopping spree, a word of caution.

‘Labor of Love’ Drives Meticulous Stivers Coffee Operation in Pilsen

Donnie Hunt, the roastmaster of Stivers Coffee, checks the color of coffee beans as they roast in the company’s gas-driven roaster. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

For more than 30 years, Stivers Coffee has used a large, gas-driven machine to roast coffee beans from all over the world for Chicago’s restaurants, offices, farmers markets and more. We go for a look.

Behind the Scenes of ‘The Light in the Piazza’ with Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming speaks with WTTW News about “The Light in the Piazza.” (WTTW News)

Following a run on London’s West End and at LA Opera, the Tony Award-winning musical “The Light in the Piazza” now comes to Chicago. We visited the cast during a recent rehearsal.

Crain’s Headlines: 4 South Side Hospitals in Consolidation Talks

(WTTW News)

Plans are afoot to consolidate financially struggling hospitals that serve Chicago’s poorest residents on the South Side.

Bears, Packers Meet for 200th Time as Both Teams Eye the Playoffs


It may be the best rivalry in all of sports. Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams joins us to preview the 200th meeting of the Bears and Packers.

Illinois Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against E-Cigarette Maker Juul

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks to the media Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (WTTW News via BlueRoomStream)

Juul Labs, the largest manufacturer of e-cigarettes in the nation, intentionally marketed its products to minors and misrepresented the potency of nicotine in its products, according to a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. 

Major Red Line Closures on Far North Side This Weekend

The Wilson CTA Red Line station. (WTTW News)

Northbound Red Line trains will run express between Wilson and Howard from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Monday as part of the CTA’s Red and Purple Line modernization project. 

Teen Charged with Murder in Slaying of Nurse in Little Village

Armando Lopez (Chicago Police Department)

Armando Lopez, 19, was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of registered nurse Frank Aguilar, 32, on Nov. 12. Detectives believe they’ve also identified the shooter, who is not yet in custody.

FCC Votes to Set Up 3-Digit Suicide Hotline Number Like 911

In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo, a man uses a cell phone in New Orleans. With suicides on the rise, the government wants to make the national crisis hotline easier to reach. (AP Photo / Jenny Kane)

Once it’s implemented, people will just need to dial 988 to seek help, similar to calling 911 for emergencies or 311 for city services. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline uses a 10-digit number. 

Judiciary Panel Debates Trump Impeachment, Moves Toward Vote

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., listens during a House Judiciary Committee markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin)

The House Judiciary Committee opened a marathon session Thursday as the sharply partisan panel took the first steps toward voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Watch live.

New Book Traces ‘The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker’


Over its long history, Chicago has seen plenty of firsts, but those stories aren’t always well-known today. Entrepreneur Jesse Binga is at the center of one of those stories. Longtime journalist Don Hayner tells us more.

Police Board Holds 2nd Public Meeting on Top Cop Replacement

Police Board President Ghian Foreman speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (WTTW News)

At the Muslim Community Center on the city’s Northwest Side, roughly four dozen residents weighed in on the qualities they’d like to see in the next police superintendent. Paris Schutz has this report.

NASA’s Mission to ‘Touch the Sun’ Begins to Unravel Mysteries of Solar Wind

Prior to its August 2018 launch, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is packed safely inside the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket payload fairing. (Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls)

An update on the mission and findings of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, named after pioneering University of Chicago astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who first proposed the existence of the solar wind in 1958.

Irony? Chicago Salt Truck Slides on Ice Into Lake Michigan

This file photo shows a City of Chicago seal on the side of a salt truck. (t3xt (talk) / Wikimedia Commons)

Two Chicago Park District workers escaped without serious injury after the salt truck they were navigating along an icy lakefront bike path slid into Lake Michigan on Wednesday morning.

Crain’s Headlines: FAA Chief Says 737 Max Won’t Be Cleared Before 2020

In this April 10, 2019, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane being built for India-based Jet Airways lands following a test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

Federal aviation regulators won’t clear Boeing’s troubled 737 Max airplanes for flight until sometime in 2020. That’s according to an interview that Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson gave to CNBC on Wednesday.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Dec. 12-15

(Lincoln Park Zoo / Facebook)

Millions of holiday lights, a seasonal double feature, art fairs and carols usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Kim Foxx Vacates 1,000 Pot Convictions as Clock Ticks Toward Legalization

Foxx: “We must now own our role in the harm these convictions have caused.”

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, left, stands beside Gov. J.B. Pritzker inside the lobby of the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

In three weeks, Illinois will become the 11th state with legalized marijuana sales. On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx as she began the process of vacating thousands of low-level cannabis convictions.

House Votes, Senate Trial: What’s Next in Impeachment

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, right, speaks with, from left, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., second from right, during a news conference to unveil articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment by the end of the week, sending them to the House floor for a vote by Christmas. Next would come a Senate trial, likely in 2020.

Flooded Farmers Face Growing Dilemma in Warming World

In this May 10, 2019 photo, Brett Adams gestures as he stands where the road to his flooded farm disappears under flood waters, with the farm buildings seen in the background, in Peru, Neb. (AP Photo / Nati Harnik)

This year’s devastating losses are forcing tough decisions about the future of farming in America’s flood plains, even among those skeptical of climate change and humans’ role in it.

‘Merry, Merry Chicago!’ Returns to Symphony Center. Here’s a Preview


For the fifth year, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents “Merry, Merry Chicago!” a celebration of holiday music that features members of the orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Secretary of State Jesse White Talks Tumblers, Real ID and More

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 10, 2019. (WTTW News)

This month marks the 60th anniversary of one of Chicago’s most popular performance groups: the Jesse White Tumblers. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White joins in conversation to discuss that group, the Real ID rollout and more.

Commercial Photographer’s Archive Shows Passion for People

The photographer Dorrell Creightney.

When he died in 2011, Chicago photographer Dorrell Creightney left behind half a million photos. His work is not well known, but his daughters are on a mission to change that.

The Surprising Power of 2 Plays Captured on National Theatre Live

Lindsay Duncan in “Hansard.” (Catherine Ashmore / Courtesy NT Live)

A fervent believer in the unique power of live theater, I have become quite a convert to broadcasts of live performances after seeing two superb National Theatre Live productions this past weekend.