Trump Pardons Ex-Strategist Steve Bannon, Dozens of Others

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In this Aug. 20, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, speaks with reporters in New York after pleading not guilty to charges that he ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme to build a southern border wall. (AP Photo / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

President Donald Trump pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon in the final hours of his White House term as part of a flurry of clemency action that benefited more than 140 people, including rap performers, ex-members of Congress and other allies of him and his family.

Field Museum Reopening This Week, With Free Days Coming Up for Illinoisans

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Safety precautions are in place as the Field Museum reopens. (Michelle Kuo / Field Museum)

The Field Museum is reopening to members on Thursday and the general public on Saturday, with safety precautions in place. Next week, the museum will offer free admission to Illinois residents on select days. 

Federal Court Rules Illinois’ Panhandling Law Unconstitutional

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(WTTW News)

A federal judge has permanently banned Illinois’ panhandling law from being enforced on the basis the statute violates the First Amendment. The case was part of a yearlong effort by advocates, including the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, to eliminate such laws.

McConnell: Trump ‘Provoked’ Capitol Siege, Mob Was Fed Lies

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In this Jan. 6, 2021, photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks from the Senate floor to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday explicitly blamed President Donald Trump for the deadly riot at the Capitol, saying the mob was “fed lies” and that the president and others “provoked” those intent on overturning Democrat Joe Biden’s election.

Lawmakers Discuss Pros, Cons of Ending Cash Bail

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(WTTW News)

A  massive criminal justice bill is heading to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk. Approved last week by the Illinois Senate and House, the measure covers everything from police use of force to body cameras. It would also end the practice of cash bail.

Legacy of Muddy Waters to Live On at MOJO Museum

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The North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought will be preserved as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

A museum honoring the “father of modern Chicago blues” is headed to North Kenwood. Family members of the late musician Muddy Waters tell us what’s in store for the MOJO Museum.

Chicago Activates Emergency Operations Center, Prepares for Inauguration-Related Violence

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(WTTW News)

City officials are taking precautions ahead of potential unrest, though they're not aware of any "actionable activity" being planned in Chicago on Inauguration Day.

Chicago Police Lieutenant Files Whistleblower Suit Over ‘Illegal’ Daily Quotas

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(WTTW News)

A Chicago police lieutenant is suing the city, claiming a new safety team designed to address neighborhood concerns and improve community relationships has instead focused on making baseless traffic stops in order to meet illegal self-imposed quotas.

Aldermen Advance Measure to Expand Protections for Immigrants

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(WTTW News)

Aldermen unanimously advanced a measure on Tuesday that would expand protections for immigrants by blocking Chicago police from cooperating with federal immigration agents in all cases.

Shedd Aquarium Announces Reopening Dates, Tickets on Sale This Week

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The Shedd Aquarium is preparing to reopen, with safety measures in place. (Shedd Aquarium / Brenna Hernandez)

With COVID-19 restrictions now loosened in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium has announced its plan to reopen later this month with a number of health and safety measures in place.

City Worker Fired After Making Racist, Violent Facebook Comments During Protests: Watchdog

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Protesters march along Dearborn Street while holding a sign honoring George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

City officials fired an employee of the Chicago Department of Transportation after he sent “unprovoked offensive, racist, harassing and violent” messages to a Chicagoan on Facebook during the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in late May, according to a report from the city’s watchdog.

12 Guard Members Removed From Biden Inauguration

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Riot shields are stacked at the ready as National Guard troops reinforce the security zone on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

Twelve U.S. Army National Guard members have been removed from the presidential inauguration security mission after they were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or posted extremist views online, according to two U.S. officials.

City Animal Shelter Employee Sexually Assaulted 2 Co-Workers: Watchdog

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Chicago Animal Care and Control, 2741 S. Western Ave. (WTTW News)

City officials fired an animal care officer assigned to work at the city’s shelter after an investigation determined they sexually assaulted two co-workers while off-duty and outside of the office, according to a report from the city’s watchdog.

A New COVID-19 Challenge: Mutations Rise Along with Cases

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In this Jan. 12, 2021, file photo a pharmacist draws saline while preparing a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo / Noah Berger, Pool, File)

The coronavirus is becoming more genetically diverse, and health officials say the high rate of new cases is the main reason. Each new infection gives the virus a chance to mutate as it makes copies of itself, threatening to undo the progress made so far to control the pandemic.

January 19, 2021 - Full Show

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Watch the Jan. 19, 2021 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

Mets Fire GM After He Sent Explicit Texts to Female Reporter

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This screen grab from a Zoom call shows New York Mets general manager Jared Porter Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (Zoom via AP, File)

Mets general manager Jared Porter was fired Tuesday after sending graphic, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 when he was working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office.

This Chicago Family is Getting Through COVID-19 One Theme Week at a Time

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"Cruise night" is just one of the weekly themes Heather Payne and her family have come up with to occupy themselves during pandemic restrictions. (Courtesy of Heather Payne)

Back in March, a lot of people faced their first weekend of coronavirus lockdown with no idea of how they would fill the hours. How one local family put a creative spin on stay-at-home entertainment.

City Pays $115K to Settle 2 Lawsuits Alleging Excessive Force During Protests

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A protester faces a line of police officers in Chicago on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Hugo Balta / WTTW News)

The city of Chicago will pay $115,000 to two Chicago men who alleged they were subjected to excessive force during the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in late May, marking the first of what could be a costly wave of lawsuit settlements.

Exploring the Link Between Unemployment and Poverty

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(WTTW News)

When Illinois required businesses to shut down last March because of the coronavirus pandemic, many workers were left without an income. Now, researchers say they are seeing a dramatic increase in poverty.

The Growing Problem of Poverty in the Suburbs

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A still image taken from “Firsthand: Living in Poverty.” (WTTW)

Poverty is not just an urban issue. We speak with Lake County resident Gary Ladehoff, who is featured in WTTW’s new documentary series “Firsthand: Living in Poverty,” and Maggie Morales of the Lake County Community Foundation.

State and Local Governments Battle Entrenched Poverty Made Worse by the Pandemic

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 A still image taken from “Firsthand: Living in Poverty.” (WTTW)

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, communities of color across Illinois and in Chicago were experiencing an epidemic of poverty. We discuss the root causes of poverty and what public officials are doing to address it.

Basic Income: Providing Cash Assistance Directly to Adults, Families

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(nosheep / Pixabay)

What are basic income payments, and why do some advocates say they can help families in poverty reach their financial goals? We discuss the concept as part of WTTW’s new “Firsthand: Living in Poverty” initiative.

January 18, 2021 - Full Show

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Watch the Jan. 18, 2021 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

State Health Officials Lift Toughest COVID-19 Restrictions in Chicago, Suburbs

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(WTTW News)

Chicago and suburban Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry and DuPage counties moved Monday from Tier 3 to Tier 2 after the Illinois Department of Public Health launched a new plan to add hospital staff and beds where the need is greatest.

Cook County Ramping Up COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

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The second doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Chicago were administered at Norwegian American Hospital on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (WTTW News)

Illinois will soon begin the next phase of its COVID-19 vaccination effort, extending doses to residents ages 65 and older as well as essential front-line workers. The rollout is again prompting officials to urge residents get the vaccine once it becomes available to them.

FBI Vetting Guard Troops in DC Amid Fears of Insider Attack

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National Guard troops reinforce security around the U.S. Capitol ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. defense officials say they are worried about an insider attack or other threat from service members involved in securing President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, prompting the FBI to vet all of the 25,000 National Guard troops coming into Washington for the event.

Man Allegedly Hid 3 Months at Chicago Airport Due to Virus

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This Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, booking photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Office shows Aditya Singh. (Cook County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Aditya Singh, 36, is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft after he was arrested Saturday.

Aldermen Set to Consider Measure to Expand Protections for Immigrants

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 (Jürgen Polle / Pixabay)

Aldermen are set to consider a revised proposal backed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday that would expand protections for immigrants by blocking Chicago police from cooperating with federal immigration agents.

Garfield Park Conservatory’s MLK Tribute Fit for a King

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The Garfield Park Conservatory’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. tribute. (Courtesy of Garfield Park Conservatory)

The Garfield Park Conservatory is celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day virtually, with a look back at past tributes.   

Heavy Fortified Statehouses Around the US See Small Protests

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Timothy Teagan, a member of the Boogaloo Bois movement, stands with his rifle outside the state capitol in Lansing, Mich., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo / Paul Sancya)

Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. 

Chicago Tonight: Black Voices, Jan. 17, 2021 - Full Show

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Revisiting North Lawndale decades after Martin Luther King Jr. moved into the area. A history-making week for Black lawmakers in Springfield. A local poet honors Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

In Springfield, Sweeping Changes on Policing and Criminal Justice

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(WTTW News)

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus passes criminal justice legislation. Amanda Vinicky gives us the rundown on a week of sweeping changes in Springfield.