Mayor Lightfoot Takes Chicago Casino Push to Springfield

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to reporters in Springfield on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. (WTTW News)

Even as cities like Rockford and Waukegan move forward with their fresh authority to host casinos, Chicago is at a standstill.

Draft Executive Order Would Make ‘Federal Buildings Beautiful Again’

“Flamingo,” a sculpture by Alexander Calder, looms over Federal Plaza in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Details on how a proposed Trump administration order could limit the design of future federal buildings.

What’s Behind Chicago’s Black Exodus

A UIC report cites high unemployment rates and the continuing effects of the housing crisis on an exodus of African Americans from Chicago. (WTTW News)

Hundreds of thousands of black Chicagoans have fled the city since 1980, according to a recent report. What’s driving that exodus, and what can be done to reverse the trend?

Humans and ‘The Sixth Extinction’: One Book, One Chicago Looks at Altered Planet


The latest selection for the citywide reading program is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book from New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert, who joins us in discussion.

President Trump Goes on Clemency Spree, and the List is Long

President Donald Trump talks to the media before he boards Air Force One for a trip to Los Angeles to attend a campaign fundraiser, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump has gone on a clemency blitz, commuting what he called a “ridiculous” 14-year prison sentence for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardoning former New York Police Department commissioner, among a long list of others.

Trump Says Blagojevich Sentence Was ‘Ridiculous.’ What Do Locals Say?

Courtroom sketch by Thomas Gianni, 2011. (WTTW News)

President Donald Trump’s commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence ends a corruption saga that has been both notorious and bizarre.

Crain’s Headlines: 1871 Parent Acquires Illinois Technology Association

(1871 Chicago / Facebook photo)

Two Chicago nonprofits that offer training and support to local tech firms have struck a deal to create a one-stop shop for them.

Study: Coronavirus Can’t be Spread from Mom to Baby in Late Pregnancy

(Lisa Runnels / Pixabay)

In a small study, pregnant women diagnosed with the novel coronavirus during their third trimester didn’t spread the virus to their newborns. While a local researcher called those results exciting, he said they can’t be generalized to all pregnant women. 

Illinois Lawmakers Take on Plastic: Bills Would Ban Styrofoam, Create Bag Tax and Bottle Deposit

(Kate Ter Haar / Flickr)

In the war against plastic pollution, Illinois legislators just announced a new battle plan that would tackle the problem from multiple angles.

Trump Commutes Prison Sentence of Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich

In this March 14, 2012, file photo, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media outside his home in Chicago as his wife, Patti, wipes away tears a day before reporting to prison after his conviction on corruption charges. (AP Photo / M. Spencer Green, File)

President Donald Trump, who had previously floated the idea of using his powers to help the disgraced former governor, commuted the 14-year sentence Tuesday. In making that move, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Trump “abused” his pardon power.

Embattled Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Speaks Out

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks with WTTW News on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.

Embattled Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is speaking out nearly a week after a special prosecutor reindicted actor Jussie Smollett.

Gov. Pritzker’s Plans for Plagued Child Welfare Agency

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

On Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will lay out his vision for the state budget. His office has already made public his plan to send more money to the Department of Children and Family Services.

The Changing Role of the American President

The north side of the White House is seen covered in snow Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour / The White House / Flickr)

Much has been said about the ways President Donald Trump is changing the presidency. On this Presidents Day, we look back at the ways the presidency evolved before Trump moved into the White House. 

Jeff Bezos Commits $10 Billion to Fight Climate Change

In this Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks off stage after holding a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington to announce the Climate Pledge, setting a goal to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The world’s richest man, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, said in an Instagram post that he’ll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect Earth.

Lightfoot Says Chicago Won’t Be ‘Bullied’ as ICE Ramps Up Immigration Enforcement

New York Times reports specialized ICE Agents being sent to Chicago, sanctuary cities

In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, California. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull, File)

President Donald Trump will deploy specialized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tactical units to nearly a dozen so-called sanctuary cities, including Chicago, according to The New York Times.  

Study: ‘No Clear Rationale’ for 45% of Medicaid Antibiotic Prescriptions

(sarcifilippo / Pixabay)

A new report from Northwestern Medicine suggests Medicaid patients are being prescribed too many antibiotics. What that could mean for public health.

Meet 2 New Members of Teatro ZinZanni, Where Vegas Meets Vaudeville

Liv Warfield, left, and Alseny Sylla are new cast members of the Teatro ZinZanni show “Love, Chaos and Dinner.” (WTTW News)

Circus arts, comedy and cabaret come together at Teatro ZinZanni. Six months into its run, the show has completely juggled its cast. New performers include two people with Chicago ties but very different backstories.

At The WasteShed, One Person’s Trash is Another’s Inspiration

The WasteShed in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. (WTTW News)

When it comes to recycling, Chicago doesn’t have the best track record. But one nonprofit on the city’s West Side is working to change that – and in the process, offer a wide range of art supplies and materials at an affordable price.

FDA Wants to Know More About E-Cigarettes Linked to Lung Illnesses

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Vaping-related illnesses have killed more than 60 people across the U.S. since March – including five in Illinois – and hospitalized 2,758 others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All-Star Weekend, as Expected, Was About Honoring Kobe

Jennifer Hudson sings a tribute to former NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who were killed in a helicopter crash Jan. 26, before the NBA All-Star basketball game Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Nam Huh)

It has become one of the NBA’s most revered traditions: On the morning of the NBA All-Star Game, the league pays tribute to retired players with what is called the Legends Brunch.

The Week in Review: Jussie Smollett Indicted Again


Jussie Smollett faces new criminal charges. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx faces political fallout. Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses rising crime numbers. And the NBA All-Star game descends on Chicago.

Nike Lab Pays Tribute to Picasso Sculpture with a Chicago Twist

“Chicago Bulls Remix” (Angel Idowu / WTTW News)

Art installations with a Chicago sporty twist are on display throughout the Navy Pier exhibition as part of the NBA All-Star weekend.

Chicago to Begin Testing Patients with Flu-Like Symptoms for Coronavirus

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Chicago is among five U.S. cities that will test patients who exhibit flu-like symptoms for the novel coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The First Fan: Obama Appears at All-Star NBA Cares Event

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson grabs a rebound during the first half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in New Orleans, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo / Matthew Hinton)

Zion Williamson and Trae Young are used to meeting fans who are typically a bit nervous during those interactions. This was different. This time, they were nervous to meet the fan.

Watching These Insanely Cute Animals Enjoy Their Valentine’s Treats Will Warm Your Cold Heart

Charger the sea lion cozies up to a Valentine’s Day cake. (Jim Schulz / Chicago Zoological Society)

From gorillas chomping on heart-shaped biscuits to sea lions digging into a gelatin cake, Brookfield Zoo’s Valentine’s Day celebration has warmed our hearts.


R. Kelly Hit With New Federal Indictment in Ongoing Sexual Abuse Case

In this June 26, 2019, file photo, R&B singer R. Kelly, center, arrives at the Leighton Criminal Court building for an arraignment on sex-related felonies in Chicago. (AP Photo / Amr Alfiky, File)

Already facing the possibility of three separate trials in 2020, the R&B singer was hit with a new federal indictment this week alleging he engaged in sexual activity with a minor in the late 1990s.

Senn High School Staffer Removed Amid Investigation Into Racial Discrimination Allegations

Senn High School (Wikimedia Commons)

The teacher who was accused by a Hispanic student of telling her to “go back to your country” after she refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance has been removed from the school.

Kim Foxx Allowed to Continue Use of Outside Lawyers in Jussie Smollett Case

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 17, 2019. (WTTW News)

Judge Michael Toomin denied a petition from Sheila O’Brien, who argued that Kim Foxx’s hiring of attorneys from outside her office should not be allowed under state statutes.

We *Heart* These Vintage Valentines Shared by the Newberry Library

Vintage valentine from the Andrew McNally collection at the Newberry Library. (Courtesy of the Newberry Library)

The Newberry’s collection of vintage valentines is spreading old-fashioned romance across the internet.

Would a ‘Fair Map’ Halt Corruption?

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Previous attempts to end gerrymandering in Illinois have come up short, but a coalition of advocacy groups are at it once again.

Former WBBM News Anchor Serves Up Memorable Meals, Conversation on PBS

Kate Sullivan appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

Following journalism jobs in Indiana, Arkansas, New York and Chicago, Kate Sullivan was hungry to blaze her own trail. Now, she’s the host and executive producer of “To Dine For,” a show combining Sullivan’s two passions: food and conversation.

Chicago Gospel Group Brings New Energy to Old Spirituals

Adrian Dunn (WTTW News)

They are making music with a mission. A rousing Chicago gospel group brings a modern approach to traditional spirituals as they work toward social justice. We catch up with the Adrian Dunn Singers.