Declaration of Juneteenth Holiday Sparks Scramble in States

|
FILE - In this June 19, 2020, file photo, demonstrators march through downtown Orlando, Fla., during a Juneteenth event.  (AP Photo / John Raoux, File)

This year alone, legislation to make Juneteenth a paid state holiday died in Florida and South Dakota and is stalled in Ohio, all states controlled by Republicans. But even in Maryland, where Democrats control the Legislature, a Juneteenth bill passed one chamber only to die in the other.

Biden’s Silence on Executions Adds to Death Penalty Disarray

|
FILE - This March 22, 1995, file photo shows the interior of the execution chamber in the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo / Chuck Robinson, File)

President Biden hasn’t said whether he’d back a bill introduced by fellow Democrats to strike the death penalty from U.S. statutes. He also hasn’t rescinded Trump-era protocols enabling federal executions to resume and allowing prisons to use firing squads if necessary, something many thought he’d do on day one.

Boeing’s Newest Version of the 737 Max Makes First Flight

|
The final version of the 737 MAX, the MAX 10, passes other 737 MAX planes as it takes off from Renton Airport in Renton, Wash., on its first flight Friday, June 18, 2021. The plane will fly over Eastern Washington and then land at Boeing Field. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)

U.S. regulators cleared the way for Max jets to resume flying late last year after Boeing made changes, including overhauling flight-control software that played a role in the crashes. This spring, about 100 new Max jets were idled for several weeks because of an unrelated problem with electrical grounding of cockpit instruments.

What You Need to Know About At-Home COVID-19 Tests

|
(Annie Spratt / Unsplash)

Dozens of different at-home COVID-19 tests are now available from big-box retailers and pharmacies. But before you run out and buy one, a few words of caution from Dr. Emily Landon, an infectious disease specialist at UChicago Medicine.

Obama Portraits Launch 5-City Tour at Chicago’s Art Institute

|
Kehinde Wiley. “Barack Obama,” 2018. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

A portrait is a traditional way of commemorating a presidency. But the former president and first lady made a statement by choosing distinctive contemporary artists. This week, Chicago becomes the first city to host The Obama Portraits. Here’s a preview.

Ask Geoffrey: New Downtown Buildings

|
The overhauled base of the Willis Tower (Credit EQ Office)

You may have been stuck at home the past 15 months, but Chicago’s ever-growing skyline didn’t skip a beat. New buildings have sprouted up all over downtown Chicago, including some projects that might surprise you.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Lisle

|
Although they look like wood, Daniel Popper's sculptures in the Human + Nature exhibit are made of concerete. (WTTW News)
Nestled between Wheaton and Naperville in the western suburbs, Lisle is home to the Morton Arboretum, the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy and the Bavarian Lodge. As part of our community reporting series, we check in to see how Lisle is recovering from the pandemic.

June 17, 2021 - Full Show

|
(WTTW News)

Live from the Morton Arboretum. Plus, a noted chef on what Juneteenth means to him. The Obamas are in town — their portraits that is. And the city’s skyline in Ask Geoffrey.

Fed Forecasts Strong Economic Growth, but Inflation Concerns Rise

|
(NikolayFrolochkin / Pixabay)

The Federal Reserve has revised its forecast for inflation this year, predicting that core inflation — which doesn’t include the cost of food or gas — could rise to 3.4% by the year’s end. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that while the economy is growing strongly, the U.S. is still down 7 million jobs.

Lightfoot Dismisses Bears’ Bid for Arlington Racetrack as ‘Negotiating Tactic’

|
(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot dismissed the announcement Thursday by the Chicago Bears that the team was seriously considering leaving Soldier Field, where they are locked into a lease through 2033. 

Feeling Lucky? Get Vaccinated to Win Cash or Scholarships

|
Gov. J.B. Pritzker receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at a mass vaccination site in Springfield. (WTTW News)

Every Illinois resident who has gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine will be eligible to win one of 43 cash prizes — including three million-dollar jackpots — and 20 scholarship awards starting July 8, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday. 

‘Obamacare’ Survives: Supreme Court Dismisses Big Challenge

|
In this June 8, 2021 photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

“The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land,” President Joe Biden, said, celebrating the ruling. The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left the entire Affordable Care Act intact in ruling that Texas, other GOP-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court. 

Aldermen Advance Plan to Cut Off Liquor Sales at Midnight

|
A bartender mixes a drink at the Chicago restaurant 14 Parish. (WTTW News)

The measure, which would ban the sale of alcohol at stores after midnight, is part of a part of a massive package of initiatives Mayor Lori Lightfoot said was designed to help Chicago businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adler Planetarium Eyeing 2022 for Full Reopening, Some Popular Programs Will Return Sooner

|
(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

A return to pre-pandemic business as usual is not yet in the stars for the Chicago cultural institution, though some screenings and public observing events will make an in-person comeback beginning July 3.

Fed Sees Earlier Time Frame for Rate Hikes With Inflation Up

|
In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it may act sooner than previously planned to start dialing back the low-interest-rate policies that have helped fuel a swift rebound from the pandemic recession but have also coincided with rising inflation. 

Lightfoot Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis

|
(Goodfreephotos_com / Pixabay)

Black Chicagoans die more than nine years sooner than other Chicagoans, a gap caused by systemic racism that is only growing, according to a report released this week by the Chicago Department of Public Health.

June 16, 2021 - Full Show

|
(WTTW News)

Springfield movement on a controversial elected school board for Chicago. Plus, a one-on-one with “Game of Thrones” creator George RR Martin. Learning about the trans community, and more.

Chicago Area Trans Survey Will Collect Data ‘Made By and For Trans People’

|
(Lena Balk / Unsplash)

A transgender-led research group is working to create a comprehensive data set that reflects the trans community in Cook County more wholly. “We’re really trying to not just tell stories of trans pain, but also tell stories of trans joy,” said Dylan Felt of Northwestern University.

George RR Martin Talks Northwestern, Writing and ‘Game of Thrones’

|
“Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (WTTW News)

A notable Northwestern alum is in town for some major recognition. “Game of Thrones” author George RR Martin was awarded an honorary doctorate at Monday’s commencement ceremony. We caught up with Martin to talk about the GOT phenomenon and his time at Northwestern.

Study: Rare COVID-19 Syndrome More Common in Black, Latino and Asian Kids

|
(WTTW News)

A rare inflammatory condition linked to kids with coronavirus infections is more likely to occur in Black, Latino and Asian children than their white counterparts, according to a new study. “This virus does not affect everyone equally,” said pediatrician Dr. Patrick Seed.

Gabriel Villa Explores His Mexican Roots in Contemporary American Art

|
Artist Gabriel Villa speaks with “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

In a new exhibit at the Hyde Park Art Center, a Mexican American artist is exploring his personal and professional transformation. We meet the artist to learn more about “The Metamorphosis of Gabriel Villa.”

Elected Chicago School Board Bill Passes Illinois House, Now on to Pritzker’s Desk

|
Supporters of an elected school board demonstrate in April 2019. (WTTW News)

The Illinois House on Wednesday approved legislation that will turn the current seven-member appointed board — the lone appointed school board in the state — into a 21-member body with elections beginning in 2024. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has strongly opposed the bill, calling it “very ill-constructed.”

Alderman Drops Push for Open Hearings into Cybersecurity to Probe Mayor’s Stolen Emails

|
Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

“We don’t want to provide a road map” for others who seek to obtain the city’s data, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) said.

Anjanette Young Feels ‘Betrayed’ by Mayor Lightfoot in Lawsuit Over Botched Raid

|
Anjanette Young and her attorney Keenan Saulter speak outside the the James R. Thompson Center on June 16, 2021. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

In the six months since Anjanette Young and Mayor Lori Lightfoot sat down for a face-to-face meeting, little has been done to correct the issues that led to the botched raid at Young’s home in 2019 or address her ongoing lawsuit against the city, her attorney said Wednesday.

Aldermen Advance Mayor’s Pick to Serve as City’s Top Lawyer

|
(WTTW News)

Celia Meza has served as the city’s top attorney since December, replacing former Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner, who resigned amid a furor over the mayor’s handling of the revelation that Chicago police officers handcuffed a naked woman during a mistaken raid in February 2019.

Vaccine Effort Turns Into Slog as Infectious Variant Spreads

|
In this May 12, 2021, file photo, one man holds the door for another as they arrive at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Auburn Mall in Auburn, Maine. (AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty)

As cases tumble and states reopen, the potential final stage in the U.S. campaign to vanquish COVID-19 is turning into a slog, with a worrisome variant gaining a bigger foothold and lotteries and other prizes failing to persuade some Americans to get vaccinated.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: June 17-20

|
(Marcelo Ikeda Tchelão / Pixabay)

Sudsy brews, street art, superheroes and Juneteenth celebrations. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Hours After 4 Killed in Chicago, 5 More Hurt in Shooting

|
Police tape marks off a Chicago street as officers investigate the scene of a fatal shooting in the city's South Side on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. An argument in a house erupted into gunfire early Tuesday, police said. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

Five people standing outside on Chicago’s West Side were shot in a violent end to a day that began with a mass shooting on the city’s South Side that left four people dead and four more injured, police said.

Dates Announced for ‘Sundays on State’ Open Streets Events Downtown

|
(WTTW News)

The Chicago Loop Alliance’s series of events shutting down a stretch of the city’s iconic street to cars, is scheduled to run for eight Sundays this summer starting July 11, CLA announced Wednesday.

CSO Announces Return of Maestro Muti and Adventurous Plans for 2021-22 Season

|
Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti on the podium during the CSO’s May 9, 2019 program of works by Mozart and Stravinsky. (Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg)

Beginning in September, Maestro Riccardo Muti will lead the orchestra he has not seen since February 2020 in a three-week residency marking the official opening of the 2021-22 season in Orchestra Hall and the return of (hopefully full) live audiences.

Lights Out for Energy Bill

|
Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Ogle County, Illinois. (Christopher Peterson / Wikimedia Commons)

Lawmakers couldn’t clinch a deal on a comprehensive energy package before their regular session ended in May, but were called back to Springfield on Tuesday to try again. Instead, the Senate adjourned once again without taking action.

June 15, 2021 - Full Show

|
(WTTW News)

State lawmakers take up unfinished business in Springfield. Reopening guidelines at an area race track. What would a lunar colony look like? And the future of electric scooters.