Rewriting History: Recognizing Black Trailblazer Ada McKinley

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Ada McKinley (Courtesy Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc.)

A Chicago-based community organization established more than 100 years ago serves more than 7,000 people annually, but the story of its founder has largely been erased. 

Criminal Justice Law Will End Cash Bail, Mandate Body Cameras

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(WTTW News)

Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed a criminal justice bill Monday that is massive both in its size – 764 pages – and scope. We discuss the the coming changes and what concerns the bill raises for opponents.

Notes on Jazz: ‘Bebop Fairy Tales’ Riffs on History

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Jazz is the foundation of Mark Ruffin’s entire career as a music historian, journalist and broadcaster. In this week’s Black Voices Book Club selection, the principles of jazz composition also inspired his fictional takes on topics of race and intolerance.

Fraud Overwhelms Pandemic-Related Unemployment Programs

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A man walks past a “Now Hiring” sign on a window at Sherwin Williams store, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Woodmere Village, Ohio. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak)

With the floodgates set to open on another round of unemployment aid, states are being hammered with a new wave of fraud as they scramble to update security systems and block scammers who already have siphoned billions of dollars from pandemic-related jobless programs.

What’s in an Adjective? ‘Democrat Party’ Label on the Rise

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In this Feb. 24, 2021, file photo, a sign directs Republican and Democrat legislators to their parking areas as a N.H. State Trooper watches the flow of traffic prior to a New Hampshire House of Representatives session held at NH Sportsplex, due to the coronavirus in Bedford, N.H. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa, File)

Amid bipartisan calls to dial back extreme partisanship following the insurrection, the intentional misuse of “Democrat” as an adjective remains in nearly universal use among Republicans. Propelled by conservative media, it also has caught on with far-right elements that were energized by the Trump presidency.

Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices, Feb. 27, 2021 - Full Show

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How the pandemic has interrupted an income source for day laborers. Reviving the debate over a $15 minimum wage. A hospital chaplain offering spiritual support. The last word on bridging cultures.

La Ultima Palabra: Anyiné Galván Rodríguez

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Anyiné Galván Rodríguez (WTTW News)

From Cuba to the Dominican Republic to right here in Chicago, millions of Afro Latinos speak their culture through their language and wear their African heritage on their bodies, especially in their hair texture.

Fight for Transgender Rights Plants its Flag on Capitol Hill

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(MotionStudios / Pixabay)

This week illustrated how far the U.S. has come in the battle for transgender rights and representation — and how far the country still has to go. 

Judge Approves $650M Facebook Privacy Lawsuit Settlement

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This March 29, 2018 file photo shows the Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square. (AP Photo / Richard Drew, File)

A federal judge on Friday approved a $650 million settlement of a privacy lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly using photo face-tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users.

Highlights of the COVID-19 Relief Bill Advancing in Congress

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference at the Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The House passed a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package early Saturday, 219-212, that includes $1,400 checks for most Americans and billions of dollars for schools, state and local governments and businesses.

The Week in Review: Michael Madigan Fills His House Seat Twice

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

The fight is on to replace Michael Madigan as Democratic Party chair, while his legislative successor steps down after three days on the job. And Chicago City Council erupts over COVID-19 spending. 

Aldermen Approve Lightfoot’s Plan for COVID-19 Relief Funds After Delay

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media following a City Council meeting to vote on her budget, which passed, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (WTTW News)

Aldermen voted 37-10 on Friday to approve Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to spend federal COVID-19 relief funds after a 48-hour delay prompted by fierce criticism of her decision to use $281.5 million in funds to cover the cost of salaries and benefits for Chicago Police Department officers.

US Advisers Endorse Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine from J&J

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This September 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a pharmacist preparing to give an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. (Johnson & Johnson via AP, File)

U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.

No New Cases of More Transmissible COVID-19 Variant Found in Illinois

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(WTTW News)

No new cases of two COVID-19 variants believed to be more transmissible have been discovered in Illinois in the past seven days, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

United Will Pay $49 Million to Settle Air Mail Fraud Case

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In this Oct. 14, 2020 file photo, United Airlines employees work at ticket counters in Terminal 1 at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

United Airlines will pay more than $49 million to avoid criminal prosecution and settle civil charges of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service in the delivery of international mail. 

Ald. Tunney Fined $2K for Defying Indoor Dining Ban

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Ald. Tom Tunney, 44th Ward, speaks with “Chicago Tonight” on April 9, 2020. (WTTW News)

The Lakeview alderman, who owns the restaurant Ann Sather, admitted he flouted the ban on indoor dining in December by allowing a “very limited number of our regular diners to eat inside the restaurant.” He faced a maximum fine of $10,500.

41 Problematic Monuments Flagged by City Commission Identified

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Courtney Johnson, a South Side resident, stands in front of a vandalized statue of Christopher Columbus in Grant Park on Saturday, June 15, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

A commission charged with reviewing Chicago’s more than 500 public monuments as part of a “a racial healing and historical reckoning project” released on Wednesday a list of 41 monuments that are problematic for a variety of reasons, officials announced.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Greektown

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(WTTW News)

As restaurants in Greektown work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions, the neighborhood is hosting its inaugural Greektown Restaurant Week. 

How a Chicago Artist is Working to Help Musicians in Need

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(WTTW News)

A Chicago artist is working to make sure no musician is left behind with a community organization dedicated to Black musicians in Chicago.

Evanston Mayor, Former State Lawmaker Daniel Biss on Tackling National Issues at the Local Level

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Daniel Biss (WTTW News via Zoom)

One of Chicago's most populous suburbs is soon to have a leader who’s familiar statewide. Former state legislator and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss won the election for mayor of Evanston this week with nearly 74% of the vote. 

22nd District Gets 3rd State Representative in a Month

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For 50 years, Illinois’ 22nd state House district on Chicago’s Southwest Side was represented by one man: former Speaker Michael Madigan. Two months into 2021, the district has had three representatives in the span of a week.

February 25, 2021 - Full Show

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Watch the Feb. 25, 2021 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

Ask Geoffrey: The Hawthorn Mellody Dairy Farm

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What does a 20th century electricity baron have to do with a spitting llama at a suburban petting zoo? Geoffrey Baer is here with the story of the Hawthorn Mellody dairy farm in this week’s Ask Geoffrey.

Chicago’s Top Doctor Optimistic City Can Move into Next COVID-19 Vaccination Phase in March

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(WTTW News)

With the federal government ramping up its vaccine distribution efforts and a third vaccine potentially becoming available next week, Chicago could begin vaccinating more groups of residents in March, according to Dr. Allison Arwady.

Biden Lifts Trump-Era Ban Blocking Legal Immigration to US

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President Joe Biden closes the folder after signing an executive order relating to U.S. supply chains, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Joe Biden on Wednesday lifted a freeze on green cards issued by his predecessor during the pandemic that lawyers said was blocking most legal immigration to the United States.

Another Wave of Fans Returning to Sports Despite COVID-19

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Fans cheer the New York Knicks coming out to warm up for an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in New York. A limited number of fans were allowed to attend. (Wendell Cruz / Pool Photo via AP)

Socially distant seating, mask mandates and temperature checks will be in place at many venues, but some experts remain concerned about community spread and the threat of more contagious variants of COVID-19. 

Time’s Up on Dibs, City Says. Clear Your Stuff or It’ll Get Tossed

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The city will begin hauling away dibs placeholders on March 2. (WTTW News)

It’s time to get those chairs, buckets and frozen pants out of the street. The unofficial grace period for the unofficial practice of dibs is officially over March 2, according to the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Nearly $20M Proposed for Improvements to Chicago's Parks, Including Camp Sites at Big Marsh

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(Courtesy Friends of Big Marsh)

The projects, proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot at Wednesday's City Council meeting, would largely be funded through Tax Increment Financing dollars.

Manhattan Prosecutor Gets Trump Tax Records After Long Fight

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In this Dec. 12, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before boarding Marine One. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, File)

The Manhattan district attorney’s office enforced a subpoena on Donald Trump’s accounting firm within hours of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday and now has the documents in hand, a spokesperson for the office said Thursday.

US Jobless Claims Fall to 730,000 But Layoffs Remain High

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In this Feb. 9, 2021 file photo, a passer-by walks past an employment hiring sign while entering a Target store location, in Westwood, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Applications for benefits declined 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It is the lowest figure since late November.

Star Farm Planting Brick-and-Mortar Roots With Local Foods Co-Op in Back of the Yards

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Star Farm has purchased the building at 5256 S. Ashland Ave., with plans to transform it into a local foods co-op. (Background image: Star Farm; inset: Google Streetview)

Like a lot of urban growers, Stephanie Dunn of Star Farm sells her produce at farmers markets around Chicago. Now she’s about to start up a different kind of farmer’s market: her own food co-op housed in a building she is preparing to renovate thanks to a grant from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

To Hell and Back: Chicago Musician Recovers from Severe Depression

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Erwin Helfer in 2001. (Credit: Paul Natkin)

There are many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has turned people’s lives upside down. This is the story of the emotional devastation — and recovery — experienced by beloved local musician Erwin Helfer.