NASA’s Mission to ‘Touch the Sun’ Begins to Unravel Mysteries of Solar Wind

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Prior to its August 2018 launch, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is packed safely inside the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket payload fairing. (Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls)

An update on the mission and findings of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, named after pioneering University of Chicago astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who first proposed the existence of the solar wind in 1958.

Irony? Chicago Salt Truck Slides on Ice Into Lake Michigan

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This file photo shows a City of Chicago seal on the side of a salt truck. (t3xt (talk) / Wikimedia Commons)

Two Chicago Park District workers escaped without serious injury after the salt truck they were navigating along an icy lakefront bike path slid into Lake Michigan on Wednesday morning.

Crain’s Headlines: FAA Chief Says 737 Max Won’t Be Cleared Before 2020

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In this April 10, 2019, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane being built for India-based Jet Airways lands following a test flight at Boeing Field in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

Federal aviation regulators won’t clear Boeing’s troubled 737 Max airplanes for flight until sometime in 2020. That’s according to an interview that Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson gave to CNBC on Wednesday.

House Votes, Senate Trial: What’s Next in Impeachment

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Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, right, speaks with, from left, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., second from right, during a news conference to unveil articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment by the end of the week, sending them to the House floor for a vote by Christmas. Next would come a Senate trial, likely in 2020.

Flooded Farmers Face Growing Dilemma in Warming World

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In this May 10, 2019 photo, Brett Adams gestures as he stands where the road to his flooded farm disappears under flood waters, with the farm buildings seen in the background, in Peru, Neb. (AP Photo / Nati Harnik)

This year’s devastating losses are forcing tough decisions about the future of farming in America’s flood plains, even among those skeptical of climate change and humans’ role in it.

‘Merry, Merry Chicago!’ Returns to Symphony Center. Here’s a Preview

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For the fifth year, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra presents “Merry, Merry Chicago!” a celebration of holiday music that features members of the orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Chorus.

Secretary of State Jesse White Talks Tumblers, Real ID and More

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 10, 2019. (WTTW News)

This month marks the 60th anniversary of one of Chicago’s most popular performance groups: the Jesse White Tumblers. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White joins in conversation to discuss that group, the Real ID rollout and more.

Commercial Photographer’s Archive Shows Passion for People

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The photographer Dorrell Creightney.

When he died in 2011, Chicago photographer Dorrell Creightney left behind half a million photos. His work is not well known, but his daughters are on a mission to change that.

The Surprising Power of 2 Plays Captured on National Theatre Live

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Lindsay Duncan in “Hansard.” (Catherine Ashmore / Courtesy NT Live)

A fervent believer in the unique power of live theater, I have become quite a convert to broadcasts of live performances after seeing two superb National Theatre Live productions this past weekend. 

Crain’s Headlines: Judge Appoints Examiner in Sears Bankruptcy Fight

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(WTTW News)

The bankrupt estate of Sears Holdings Corporation and the hedge fund division that bought the retailer’s troubled remains out of bankruptcy have been engaged in an ugly fight over the value of certain assets.

New Lawsuit Claims College Board Illegally Sold Student Data

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(Pexels)

A Chicago firm is suing the vendor behind the SAT and Advanced Placement exams in a federal class-action suit that accuses them of collecting and selling millions of students’ personal information.

Lightfoot Names City Transportation Commissioner

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Gia Biagi appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2014. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has picked Gia Biagi to run the Chicago Department of Transportation and will submit her nomination for City Council approval this month.

Chicago Warming Centers: 113 Places to Escape the Cold This Winter

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Winter in Chicago, 2013 (David Wilson / Wikimedia Commons)

As winter weather arrives, Chicagoans can seek refuge from the cold at 113 public buildings designated as warming centers. 

CDC Investigating Fresh Express Salad Kit Linked to E. coli Infection

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(Richard Kelland / Flickr)

If you recently purchased premade salad kits at the store, check the label before serving it. Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped salad kits have been linked with an E. coli outbreak.

‘We Must Act’: Democrats Unveil Trump Impeachment Charges

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From left House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal and Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, D-Calif., unveil articles of impeachment against President D

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment Tuesday against President Donald Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — pushing toward historic votes over charges he corrupted the U.S. election process and endangered national security.

Merriam-Webster Declares ‘They’ Its 2019 Word of the Year

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The word “they” is displayed on a computer screen on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo / Jenny Kane)

The language mavens at Merriam-Webster have declared the personal pronoun their word of the year based on a 313% increase in look-ups on the company’s search site, Merriam-Webster.com, this year when compared with 2018.

‘We Don’t Like Outsiders’: Chicago Residents Sound Off on City’s Next Top Cop

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A Chicago police officer looks on during Monday’s police board listening session at the Trinity United Church of Christ. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Board held the first of three community listening sessions Monday in Washington Heights as it continues its search for a new superintendent.

Lightfoot Clarifies Police Enforcement of Public Pot Smoking

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(Jantaaa / Pixabay)

Legal marijuana sales are coming to Illinois in January. But where exactly can you smoke pot in Chicago? City officials are trying to shed light on the issue – are they ready for the rollout?

Aldermen Stew Over Being Called Out by Lightfoot Campaign

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“We can disagree on the budget, but to say we didn’t put forth alternatives is not truthful,” said Ald. Daniel La Spata, 1st Ward. (WTTW News)

Are relations between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Council members heading south? Several aldermen are decrying rough-edged tactics after a Lightfoot campaign committee publicly called out every alderman who voted against the city budget.

Rapper Juice WRLD Treated for Opioids During Police Search of Plane

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In this May 15, 2019 file photo, Juice WRLD performs in concert during his “Death Race for Love Tour” at The Skyline Stage at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney / Invision / AP, File)

A federal agent who was at a Chicago airport to search a private plane that rapper Juice WRLD and his entourage had arrived in administered the opioid antidote Narcan to the performer, who briefly woke up incoherent but later died, authorities said Monday.

Crain’s Headlines: Former Outcome Health Executive Ashik Desai Pleads Guilty

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Ashik Desai, who was at the center of a fraud scheme at health care advertising firm Outcome Health, pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud.

Despite Illinois Law, Not All Courthouses Provide Lactation Rooms

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(Burst / Pexels)

Every county courthouse in Illinois is now required to provide a publicly accessible space – other than a bathroom – for women to express breast milk. But a survey of 77 facilities finds that nearly 25% lack a designated lactation space. 

Holiday Gift Guide: Chicago-Style Picks

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Malort – Chicago’s most infamous liquor – makes our 2019 holiday gifts list. (star5112 / Flickr)

Holiday shopping can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. To help spread seasonal cheer, WTTW News staffers picked our favorite local options.

Sesame Street Puppeteer Caroll Spinney Dies at Age 85

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In this Thursday, April 27, 2006, file photo, Caroll Spinney, right, who portrays “Sesame Street” characters Oscar The Grouch, left, and Big Bird, arrives for the Daytime Emmy nominee party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Reed Saxon, File)

Caroll Spinney, who gave Big Bird his warmth and Oscar the Grouch his growl for nearly 50 years on “Sesame Street,” died Sunday at the age of 85 at his home in Connecticut, according to the Sesame Workshop.

At the Art Institute, a Panoramic View of Andy Warhol’s Artistic Output

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Andy Warhol. “Self-Portrait,” 1986. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; gift, Anne and Anthony d’Offay in honor of Thomas Krens. © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

He was called the Pope of Pop – pop art, that is. Andy Warhol predicted 15 minutes of fame for everyone. His own fame lasted decades and has endured since his untimely death in 1987. We explore “Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again.”

Rapper Juice WRLD Dies After Medical Emergency in Chicago

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In this May 1, 2019 file photo, Juice WRLD accepts the award for top new artist at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP, File)

Rapper Juice WRLD, who launched his career on SoundCloud before becoming a streaming juggernaut and rose to the top of the charts with the Sting-sampled hit “Lucid Dreams,” died early Sunday after a “medical emergency” at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

Chicago Chief’s Firing Again Rattles Confidence in Force

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In this Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, file photo, Chicago Police Department Supt. Eddie Johnson, right, announces his retirement as Mayor Lori Lightfoot looks on during a press conference at CPD headquarters in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The unceremonious firing of Chicago’s police chief just weeks before his retirement has rattled a department that, under his leadership, was seeking to restore public confidence.

Judiciary Hearing Sets Stage for Trump Impeachment Charges

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, listens to ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., after the House Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

Pushing ahead with articles of impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee convenes Monday to formally receive the investigative findings against President Donald Trump. Watch live.

For Banks, Data on Your Spending Habits Could be a Gold Mine

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This Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, photo shows rewards offered through Chase bank on an iPhone in the Brooklyn borough of New York.  (AP Photo / Jenny Kane)

There’s a powerful new player watching what you buy so it can tailor product offerings for you: the bank behind your credit or debit card.

Patriotism Is the Theme of Christmas at the White House

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A decorated tree stands next to the portrait of President George Washington in the East Room during the 2019 Christmas preview at the White House, Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

“It is with great joy that our family welcomes you to the White House this holiday season as we celebrate the Spirit of America,” President Donald Trump, the first lady and their son, Barron, say in the signed introduction to a souvenir book visitors will receive as a holiday keepsake.

The Week in Review: Eddie Johnson Out

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot fires top cop Eddie Johnson weeks before his retirement. Are the feds eyeing House Speaker Michael Madigan? Legal pot hits a roadblock. And Mitchell Trubisky shines in a Bears win over Dallas.

Taking Stock of Chicago Theater as 2019 Draws to a Close

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Nondumiso Tembe in “Lindiwe,” left, Kelvin Roston Jr. in “Oedipus Rex,” center, and Christina Hall in “Always … Patsy Cline.” (Photos by Michael Brosilow)

It would be all but impossible to survey the many great, good and sometimes disappointing productions of the past 12 months. But three recent shows suggest the great variety of work produced in Chicago – and the immense amount of talent here.