La Ultima Palabra: Letty Belmares

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Local mom and children’s book author Letty Belmares gives la ultima palabra on what she sees as the value of mothers to society. (courtesy Letty Belmares)

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, but one group in particular has had an especially heavy lift: mothers, who studies say have taken on the majority of caregiving responsibilities over the last year.

Family Reunification Taskforce Gears up to Reunite Migrant Parents and Children

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The Biden administration’s Family Reunification Taskforce began efforts to reunite more than 1,000 families separated from their children since 2017. (WTTW News)

This week, four families separated under former President Donald Trump’s immigration policy were the first to be reunited by organizations working with the Biden administration’s Family Reunification Taskforce.

Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices, May 8, 2021 - Full Show

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Michael Puente of WBEZ guest hosts "Latino Voices." (WTTW News)

The U.S. Census numbers are out. Do Illinois Latinos warrant more representation in Congress? Reuniting migrant parents and children at the border. Plus, the gifts of motherhood.

Rep. Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia Looks Forward to ‘Open’ and ‘Inclusive’ Redistricting Process

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(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

With a Democratic governor and super majorities in the state Senate and House, Democrats are in the driver’s seat to redraw the state’s political boundaries. Do Illinois Latinos now warrant more representation in congress than they currently have?

Lloyd Price, Singer and Early Rock Influence, Dies at 88

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FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2003 file photo, Lloyd Price, left, and Mary Wilson, of the Supremes, pose for a photograph with boxer Evander Holyfield during the reception of the 13th Annual Pioneer Awards presented by the Rhythm & Blues Foundation in New York. (AP Photo / Frank Franklin II, File)

Singer-songwriter Lloyd Price died Monday at a long-term care facility in New Rochelle, New York, of complications from diabetes, his wife, Jacqueline Price, told The Associated Press on Saturday.

With Civil Rights Charges, Justice Dept. Signals Priorities

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FILE - In this April 26, 2021, file photo Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice in Washington. (Mandel Ngan / Pool via AP)

In just over the past two weeks, the Justice Department has opened investigations of police in Louisville, Kentucky, and Minneapolis.

As US Reopens, Campuses Tighten Restrictions for Virus

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Students wearing masks make their way through the University of Chicago campus, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Shafkat Anowar)

Even as restrictions relax across much of the United States, colleges and universities have taken new steps to police campus life as the virus spreads through students who are among the last adults to get access to vaccines.

Major US Pipeline Halts Operations After Ransomware Attack

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FILE - 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)

Colonial Pipeline said the attack took place Friday and also affected some of its information technology systems. The company transports gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and home heating oil from refineries primarily located on the Gulf Coast through pipelines running from Texas to New Jersey.

Tawny Kitaen, Star of ‘80s Rock Music Videos, Dies at 59

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FILE - This May 28, 1998 file photo shows Tawny Kitaen. Kitaen, the sultry red-haired actress who appeared in rock music videos during they heyday of MTV, has died. (Bruce C. Strong / The Orange County Register via AP)

Tawny Kitaen, the sultry red-haired actress who appeared in rock music videos during the heyday of MTV and starred opposite Tom Hanks in the 1984 comedy “Bachelor Party,” has died. She was 59.

The Week in Review: Full Reopening Nears with Warning

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot detail various re-openings which include the Auto Show and a special concert series for people who are vaccinated. However, the mayor and the governor differ on full lifting of restrictions by about a month. (WTTW News)

Illinois is on track to open fully in June. Cultural institutions prepare for their return. High-profile political corruption cases heat up in court. And bombshell resignations both at CPS and COPA.

Four-Legged Volunteers Lend a Paw to Turtle Conservation Efforts in Illinois

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A Boykin spaniel with an ornate box turtle in its mouth waits to hand it over. (Cathy Bazzoni / Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo)

Specially trained “turtle dogs” took part in a field study of threatened ornate box turtles at Nachusa Grasslands, one of the species last homes in Illinois.

4 Ex-Cops Indicted on US Civil Rights Charges in Floyd Death

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This combination of photos provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, shows Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin, from left, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao.(Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via AP, File)

A federal grand jury has indicted the four former Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd’s arrest and death, accusing them of violating the Black man’s constitutional rights, according to indictments unsealed Friday.

It’s a Bison Baby Boom at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

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Bison at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. (USDA Forest Service)

Three calves, with their distinctive reddish-brown coats, were spotted this week at Midewin. Bison calves are typically born in April or May.

City Officials Lift Boil Order for Morgan Park, Beverly After Pumping Station Outage

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Some Chicagoans were under a boil order for 20 hours ending Friday, May 7. (Holger Schue / Pixabay)

The boil order was in place for approximately 20 hours in parts of Beverly, Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood, officials said.

May 6, 2021 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

Live from Evanston on the suburb's reparations program. Plus, a push for more Latino political representation. The status of film production in Chicago. And a whopper of a fish tale. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Evanston

Reparations, equitable recovery top of mind for some residents

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Downtown Evanston (WTTW News)

Located along the lakefront just north of Chicago, Evanston is known for its dining scene, arts and culture, and Northwestern University. But it also has a history of racial segregation and redlining, which city leaders hope to address through a historic reparations program that passed in March.

Latino Policy Forum Seeks 20 Majority-Latinx Districts … Or Else

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The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (WTTW News)

The Latino Policy Forum’s Roberto Valdez Jr. said that his group is counting on Illinois lawmakers to set aside at least 20 state legislative districts – 15 House seats and five state Senate seats – that are at least 50% Latino.

A Banner Year for Film and TV in Chicago

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(StockSnap / Pixabay)

After a big downturn last year, film and TV production in Chicago is looking up.

Enzyme Could Help 700 Million People with Chronic Kidney Disease

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(geraldoswald62 / Pixabay)

Scientists in Australia have identified an enzyme that could help millions of people around the world. Rabiah Mayas of the Museum of Science and Industry discusses that and other science stories making headlines.

A Whopper of a Fish Tale: The Sturgeon That Set Social Media Atwitter Could Become the Norm Again

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A massive sturgeon, caught May 2021 in the Detroit River. (Jason Fischer / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The 240-pound, 100-year-old, nearly 7-foot-long sturgeon is making headlines. But fish that size used to be common in the Great Lakes and maybe, thanks to restoration efforts, they will be again.

Ask Geoffrey: Logan Square’s Norske Club

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Opened in 1917, the Norske Club was a gathering place for events and parties, exhibits, musical and theater performances and dinners celebrating Norwegian heritage. (WTTW News)

What can an apartment building that once hosted royalty tell us about Chicago’s Norwegian American community? Geoffrey Baer has the story of this former social club designed by a pair of famous Chicago architects.

Lightfoot Promises ‘Unprecedented’ Public Participation in Search For Next CPS CEO

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(WTTW News)

While the final decision on a new Chicago Public Schools CEO is ultimately up to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, she said she doesn’t want to make that decision behind closed doors.

Pritzker Boosts Funding for Education by $350M in Budget Proposal

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(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

With the state’s economy recovering faster than expected, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state could afford to fully fund the state’s education system.

Study: Residents Left Big Metros During Pandemic for Family

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FILE - Rows of homes, in suburban Salt Lake City, on April 13, 2019. Utah is one of two Western states known for rugged landscapes and wide-open spaces that are bucking the trend of sluggish U.S. population growth. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, File)

A study found that many migrants weren’t driven by new jobs or weather — or even a fear of the virus — but a desire to be closer to family and a freedom to make it happen because of remote working. 

Officers Who Shot Anthony Alvarez, Adam Toledo Remain on Leave: Police Officials

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(WTTW News)

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown has not acted on the recommendation of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability that the officer who shot and killed Anthony Alvarez in Portage Park be stripped of his police powers during the ongoing probe.

COVID-19 Vaccines Coming Soon to a Doctor’s Office Near You: Officials

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(WTTW News)

“The days of vaccine scarcity are over,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday. “Today, we’re initiating the expansion of vaccine administration to physician offices across the state of Illinois, allowing them to become COVID-19 vaccine providers for their patients.”

2 South Side Neighborhoods Under Boil Order. Why, and What Does That Mean?

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Some Chicagoans are under a boil order on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (Holger Schue / Pixabay)

Chicagoans in the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods are under a water boil order possibly until Friday, following a service disruption at the Roseland Pumping Station.

Chicago Police Disproportionately Target Black Men with Search Warrants: Watchdog

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Demonstrators march in Chicago on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 to show their support for removing police officers from schools. (WTTW News)

Just 3.5% of the approximately 5,500 residential search warrants served by Chicago police officers between 2017 and 2020 targeted white Chicagoans, according to a new report from the inspector general’s office.

Is it Safe to Go to Big Sporting Events During the Pandemic?

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(AP Illustration / Peter Hamlin)

The short answer: Not yet, but there are ways to make it safer if you go.

US Proposes Ending Rule That Weakened Wild Bird Protections

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In this June 26, 2010 file photo, Plaquemines Parish Coastal Zone Director P.J. Hahn rescues a heavily oiled bird from the waters of Barataria Bay, La. (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert, File)

The Biden administration on Thursday proposed revoking a rule imposed under former President Donald Trump that weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law that protects most U.S. bird species.

Hummingbird Thousands of Miles Off Course Finds Refuge in Chicago Forest Preserve

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Vivid blue-green plumage and an unmistakable bright red bill are hallmarks of the male broad-billed hummingbird. (Courtesy of Nathan Goldberg)

Chicago birdwatchers were treated to a rare glimpse of a wayward hummingbird at LaBagh Wood, far beyond its normal range of the U.S.-Mexico border.

May 5, 2021 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

What legislators need to do before the end of the month. How the COVID-19 vaccine is impacting the economy. Reducing the state’s maternal mortality rate. Key issues facing Latino communities.