Use Crescent Moon To Spot Trio of Planets This Week

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(moritz320 / Pixabay)

Look to the night sky this week for fascinating celestial show: the solar system’s three inner planets — Mercury, Venus and Mars — will all be visible. Use the crescent moon as a guide to find them in the sky.

NASA’s Perseverance Mission Begins Hunt for Ancient Martian Life

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NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its dual-camera Mastcam-Z imager to capture this image of “Santa Cruz,” a hill about 1.5 miles away from the rover, on April 29, 2021, the 68th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The entire scene is inside of Mars’ Jezero Crater; the crater’s rim can be seen on the horizon line beyond the hill. (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS)

NASA’S Ingenuity helicopter takes flight on Mars. We get an update on the space agency’s most ambitious mission to date on the Red Planet from local astronomer and space enthusiast Mark Hammergren. 

Chicago’s Top Federal Prosecutor Hospitalized with Stroke-Like Symptoms

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U.S. Attorney John Lausch appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 13, 2019. (WTTW News)

U.S. Attorney John Lausch was hospitalized Saturday after suffering from stroke-like symptoms, according to the spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois. Lausch, 51, returned to work on Monday, his spokesperson said.

‘Chicago Takes 10’ Virtual Performance Series Brings Audience ‘the Sound of Chicago’

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Artists Charles Joseph Smith and Angel Bat Dawid are featured as part of the "Chicago Takes 10" series. (courtesy Chicago Takes 10)

The “Chicago Takes 10” series is made up of 60-to-90-minute featured performances from one of ten art groups funded by the Walder Foundation and live streamed from Constellation Performing Arts.

What’s Driving Chicagoland’s Red Hot Housing Market?

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Home sales were up almost 25% in March 2021 compared to March 2020, according to data from the trade group Illinois Realtors. (WTTW News)

The number of local home sales skyrocketed in late 2020 and early this year, driving prices in the Chicago metro area to all-time highs. That’s translated into lightning-fast turnover as people put their homes up for sale -- as well as a decline in inventory of available houses and units.

May 12, 2021 - Full Show

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A real estate boom has homebuyers hustling. A trip to Mars — and a fascinating celestial show to watch from Earth. Our Spotlight Politics team on the mayor’s email hack and infighting in the GOP.

Alleged Gunman in Killing of 7-Year-Old Jaslyn Adams Charged With Fleeing Illinois

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(WTTW News)

Devontay Anderson has been charged in federal court with fleeing Illinois to avoid prosecution for the killing of 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams outside a West Side McDonald's last month, according to an FBI affidavit.

Scramble on for New Fuel Routes After Colonial Pipeline Hack

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A customer looks at a hand written sign posted on a gas pump, showing that the service station is out of all grades of fuel Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo / Chris Carlson)

There is no gasoline shortage, according to government officials and energy analysts. But there is a problem getting the fuel from refineries on the Gulf Coast to the states that need it, and officials are scrambling to find alternate routes to deliver that fuel.

Former Charity Director Pleads Guilty to Misappropriating $800K on Trips, Bulls Tickets

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(WTTW News)

Stuart Nitzkin, the former head of a suburban nonprofit supporting physically and psychologically challenged children, pleaded guilty to stealing money from the organization and using it to pay for golf, family vacations and tickets to sporting events.

Ruling Paves Way for Longer Sentence in George Floyd’s Death

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In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens as the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

A Minnesota judge has ruled that there were aggravating factors in the death of George Floyd, paving the way for the possibility of a longer sentence for Derek Chauvin, according to an order made public Wednesday.

COVID-19 Pet Boom Has Veterinarians Backlogged, Burned Out

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Veterinary personnel keep a cat named Miller calm as he has blood drawn, Monday, April 12, 2021, at Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee)

Approximately 12.6 million U.S. households got a new pet last year after the pandemic was declared in March 2020, according to a COVID-19 Pulse Study by the American Pet Products Association.

WBEZ ‘Reset’ Host Sasha-Ann Simons on Covering Chicago

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(WTTW News)

A new WBEZ series examines how Chicago’s institutions interact with its residents. Sasha-Ann Simons, the station’s new host of “Reset,” joins us.

As Candidates Flock to Secretary of State Race, Burnett Won’t Run to Replace White

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Ald. Walter Burnett, left, speaks during a City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (WTTW News)

Although five Democrats are already jockeying to replace Secretary of State Jesse White, Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward) told WTTW News he will not run to replace his political godfather. 

US Births in 2020 Dropped to Lowest Level Since 1979

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

U.S. births dropped to their lowest level in more than 40 years in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How the pandemic is impacting family planning. 

Meet the Black-Owned Engineering Firm Helping Oversee the CTA’s Massive Red-Purple Line Overhaul

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Rashod Johnson, president and CEO of Ardmore Roderick. (WTTW News)

For extra help with its massive $2.1 billion modernization project, the CTA hired a joint venture made up of three firms, including a locally owned company that started in a South Side attic. Rashod Johnson tells us about his company and his love of civil engineering.

Chicago Expands Vaccine Eligibility for Youth Ages 12 to 15

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Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of Chicago’s public health department, announces all city-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites will be open to children ages 12 and up during a news conference on May 11, 2021. (WTTW News)

Vaccine eligibility is expanding. We speak with Dr. Allison Bartlett, a pediatrician and associate professor of the pediatrics section of infectious diseases at University of Chicago Medicine, to learn more about vaccinating young people.

EXPLAINER: Why the Colonial Pipeline Hack Matters

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In this Sept. 20, 2016 file photo vehicles are seen near Colonial Pipeline in Helena, Ala. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson, File)

A cyberattack on a critical U.S. pipeline is sending ripple effects across the economy, highlighting cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation’s aging energy infrastructure.

Officials Ramp Up Efforts to Get Black Chicagoans Vaccinated as Demand Drops

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(WTTW News)

Chicago’s top doctor says cases of COVID-19 are now concentrated among young, Black Chicagoans who live on the city’s South Side.

May 11, 2021 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

Members of Congress on Middle East tensions and more. Where to get kids 12 and up vaccinated. Declining birth rates in the U.S. The race to replace Jesse White. And meet WBEZ’s new afternoon host.

3 US Army Soldiers Allegedly Bought, Supplied Guns Used in Chicago Shootings

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(WTTW News)

A trio of U.S. Army soldiers in Tennessee have been charged with funneling illegal firearms to Chicago that were found after a mass shooting earlier this year that left one person dead and several others wounded on the city’s Southwest Side.

Ald. Austin Misses Deadline to Pay Already Reduced Fine for Accepting Improper Campaign Cash

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A file photo shows 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin. (WTTW News)

The second-longest serving alderman on the City Council missed the deadline to pay a $5,000 fine to resolve charges that she accepted $48,500 in excessive campaign contributions. The Chicago Board of Ethics voted unanimously Monday to refer the matter to the city’s Law Department.

After Colonial Pipeline Attack, Maneuvers to Avert Shortages

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In this Sept. 8, 2008 file photo traffic on I-95 passes oil storage tanks owned by the Colonial Pipeline Company in Linden, N.J. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)

As the shutdown of a major fuel pipeline entered into its fifth day, efforts are under way to stave off potential fuel shortages, though no widespread disruptions were evident.

US Casinos Match Best Quarter Ever; Post-COVID Hopes Rise

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In this May 3, 2021 photo a game of roulette is under way in the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo / Wayne Parry)

Figures released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s national trade group, show the nation’s commercial casinos took in over $11.1 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Grandfather Charged in Stabbing Death of Man in Englewood Home

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A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

Anthony Moody, 55, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder stemming from the Sunday death of Robert Webster, and was ordered held on $200,000 bail during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

AP Source: Biden to Tap Rahm Emanuel for Ambassador to Japan

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In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, then Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton)

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, according to a person familiar with the president’s decision.

US Schools Fight to Keep Students Amid Fear of Dropout Surge

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A student walks between classes at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan., on the first day of in-person learning Wednesday, March 30, 2021. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)

Educators are doing everything they can to track down high school students who stopped showing up to classes and to help them get the credits needed to graduate, amid an anticipated surge in the country’s dropout rate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Poll: Most in US Who Remain Unvaccinated Need Convincing

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In this April 10, 2021, file photo, registered nurse Ashleigh Velasco, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Rosemene Lordeus, right, at a clinic held by Healthcare Network in Immokalee, Fla. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky, File)

Fewer Americans are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine than just a few months ago, but questions about side effects and how the shots were tested still hold some back, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges at a pivotal moment in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Crain’s Headlines: Rush, BMO Launch $10M Health Equity Institute

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Rush University Medical Center (WTTW News)

Rush University System for Health and BMO Financial Group team up to help improve health disparities in the region. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details on that story and more.

Agencies Calculating Cost of 2019 Steel Mill Cyanide Spill

Can you put a price tag on damaged natural resources?

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The Little Calumet River. (Charles Morris / National Park Service)

State and federal agencies are still assessing how much damage was done to natural resources in Northwest Indiana as a result of the 2019 discharge of hazardous chemicals into a Lake Michigan tributary.  

Lawmaker Moves to Block State Financing for Massive One Central Development

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The site of the proposed development One Central. (WTTW News)

The proposed mega-development would create residential and retail space, parkland and a transit hub on top of the Metra tracks just west of Soldier Field. Why some lawmakers want to block state financing for the splashy, $20 billion plan.

Pfizer COVID-19 Shot Expanded to US Children as Young as 12

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In this Jan. 24, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 is shown at a one-day vaccination clinic set up in an Amazon.com facility in Seattle and operated by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities.

Still a ‘Vast Wasteland’? Newton Minow Reflects on the State of Television

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Newton Minow appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, May 10, 2021. (WTTW News)

Newton Minow, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, played a key role in public media. Here’s what he thinks about television today — six decades after his famous “vast wasteland” speech.