CPS Attendance Dips on Strike Make-Up Days

(WTTW News)

Only 62% to 66% of Chicago Public Schools students went to class on Jan. 2 and 3 – days that were originally scheduled to be part of winter break but later converted to attendance days following the 11-day teachers strike.

Report: Obama Center to Have ‘Adverse’ Impact on Boulevard System

A rendering shows the north-facing view of the public plaza and Museum building, as viewed from the roof of the Chicago Public Library building. (Credit: The Obama Foundation)

A new report issued by Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development says the Obama Presidential Center will have an “adverse” impact on Jackson Park’s Historic Landscape District and the city’s historic Park Boulevard System.

Who’s Who on Trump’s Legal Team for Impeachment Trial

In this Feb. 22, 2018 file photo, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks to reporters outside the West Wing in Washington. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

President Donald Trump’s legal team for his Senate impeachment trial will include a pair of well-known attorneys who have vigorously defended Trump on television and played roles in some of the most consequential legal dramas in recent history.

US Drinking More Now Than Just Before Prohibition

In this June 16, 2016, file photo, bottles of wine are displayed during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City. According to federal health statistics, Americans are drinking more now than when Prohibition was enacted a century earlier. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, File)

Federal health statistics show a rise in per-person consumption of alcohol and increases in emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths tied to drinking.

Hershey Felder to Make Goodman Debut With Portrait of French Composer Claude Debussy

Hershey Felder in “A Paris Love Story” featuring the music of Claude Debussy. (Courtesy of Christopher Ash)

The multitalented actor, pianist (and yes, composer in his own right) brings the eighth installment in his renowned “Great Composers Series” to Chicago in June and simultaneously makes his Goodman Theatre debut.

‘Whisper House’ a Haunting Musical About Love, Loneliness, Betrayal and War

From left: Kevin Webb, Mikaela Sullivan and Leo Spiegel in Black Button Eyes Productions’ Chicago premiere of “Whisper House.” (Photo by Evan Hanover)

The stylishly macabre, morally challenging show by Duncan Sheik (of “Spring Awakening” fame) and Kyle Jarrow is now receiving its Chicago premiere by Black Button Eyes Productions.

How Do You Like Your January: Warm or Sunny? Because You Can’t Have Both

If it seems like January is relentlessly gray, you’re not imagining it. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

With 24 days of partly cloudy or straight up cloudy skies, January’s pretty bleak. Unfortunately, it takes a blast of cold northern air to get the sun to come out and play. 

21 Cold-Related Deaths Reported in Cook County Since October

Cold and snow blasted Chicago on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. A winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service is in effect for the Chicago region from 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 through Saturday morning. (WTTW News)

On Friday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported two new cold-related deaths in the county, including those of a 47-year-old man and a 71-year old woman. 

Nearly 25% of Illinois Residents Don’t Exercise, CDC Report Finds

(rawpixel / Pixabay)

Regular physical activity is vital for your health, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds nearly a quarter of Illinois residents aren’t getting any exercise at all.

Local Efforts Underway to Help Earthquake Victims in Puerto Rico

A big rock sits amid the rubble of the low wall it destroyed when it rolled down from a nearby cliff during a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (AP Photo / Carlos Giusti)

For the past several weeks, Puerto Rico has seen more than two dozen high-magnitude earthquakes. One Chicago-based group has teamed up with people on the island to provide funding for resources, doctors and mental health aid.

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.

Pay for Senior Teachers Still Unresolved, Months after CTU Strike Ended

The Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU Local 73 hold a massive demonstration in the Loop on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 -- day five of the Chicago teachers strike. (WTTW News)

Why the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Board of Education are still at odds over the teacher’s contract.

Anti-Plastic Advocates Defend Cost of Chicago’s Proposed Single-Use Ban

(Oliur Rahman / Pexels)

Chicago aldermen have proposed a ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam containers in an effort to cut down on plastic pollution. We learn more from Abe Scarr of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, which helped craft the proposal.

Giuliani Associate: Trump Had Knowledge of Ukraine Pressure

In this Dec. 2, 2019, file photo, Lev Parnas arrives at court in New York. Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has provided a trove of text messages and photos to the House committee leading the impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig, File)

A close associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is claiming Trump was directly involved in the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Illinois Officials Using Campaign Funds to Pay Big Legal Fees

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

House Speaker Michael Madigan has shelled out big money from his campaign fund to pay attorneys – and he isn’t the only public official to do so.

Crain’s Headlines: Cook County OKs 3% Tax on Pot Sales

(Photo by Add Weed / Unsplash)

Come summer, people buying cannabis in Chicago will pay 6% in local pot taxes, in addition to the state tax on pot, which ranges from 10% to 25%, depending on the potency of the product being purchased.

Newly Discovered Photos Reveal Childhood of Groundbreaking Journalist

(Courtesy of Jimmy Nuter)

Dozens of old glass negatives found in the attic of a North Side home lead to a surprising discovery, just days before the house was scheduled to be torn down. 

Ask Geoffrey: Lincoln Park Statue in Mexico City?


How did a Lincoln Park statue wind up standing in cities all over the world? Geoffrey Baer goes south of the border for the answer. 

Chicago More Vulnerable to Climate Change than Miami, Says ‘Death and Life of Great Lakes’ Author

(Roman Boed / Flickr)

Author Dan Egan had sobering words for Chicagoans at a One Book, One Chicago event this week.

Weekend Red Line Construction, Station Closures Canceled

(Sarah A. / Flickr)

Three CTA Red Line stations in Edgewater that were scheduled to be shut down this weekend will remain open after construction work was canceled due to a high wind advisory, according to the office of 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman.

Ex-Judge: Kim Foxx Shouldn’t Use Tax Dollars for Outside Counsel

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

Sheila O’Brien, who successfully petitioned for a special prosecutor to take over the Jussie Smollett investigation, is now seeking to bar the Cook County state’s attorney from using taxpayer dollars to pay for her own outside counsel.

‘Impartial Justice’? What to Watch in Trump’s Senate Trial

Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson carries the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

The impeachment of President Donald Trump is the Senate’s challenge now. Look Thursday for a series of striking ceremonial matters to set up the Senate as a court of impeachment. 

Spotlight Politics: A Corruption Check-In


Just weeks into 2020, fresh headlines are shining light on politicians behaving unethically. Our politics team digs into those stories and more in our weekly roundtable.

‘It’s Not Regular’ Highlights Injustices on Chicago’s South, West Sides

Community organizer Jahmal Cole appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

A new book and sign campaign points out daily inequities in some of Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. We speak with Jahmal Cole, CEO and founder of the nonprofit My Block, My Hood, My City.

City Council Approves New Protections for Undocumented Immigrants

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media after a City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

Undocumented immigrants stand to gain more protections in Chicago after City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday. The meeting also featured a tense debate over contracting for LGBTQ business owners.

House Sends Articles of Impeachment to the Senate

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the impeachment managers in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

After nearly a month of delay, the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to transmit articles of impeachment for the trial of President Donald Trump to the Senate. We discuss the latest and look ahead.

For 30 Years, Chris Ware Has Chronicled the Adventures of American Misfits

Artist Chris Ware (WTTW News)

For fans of comics and graphic novels, he is a superstar. But the artist Chris Ware lives a low-key life just outside Chicago. At his home studio, we meet the engaging comic book artist with an unusual eye for everyday life.

Interim Top Cop Charlie Beck on the Future of Policing in Chicago

Interim Chicago Police Superintendent Charlie Beck appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s a temporary job, but a big one: Chicago’s interim police superintendent talks about restructuring the police force, parallels between LA and Chicago and the search for the city’s next top cop.

Crain’s Headlines: Advocate Closing 7 Suburban Immediate Care Clinics

(Mike Mozart / Flickr)

Advocate Medical Group is closing immediate care clinics at seven Chicago-area Walgreens stores next month.

So Long Spork, See Ya Clamshell: Chicago Moves to Get Rid of Plastic Waste

(Chris Goldberg / Flickr)

Chicago is getting tough on plastic waste. A new city ordinance would, if passed, ban Styrofoam to-go containers and reduce single-use plastic utensils.

E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce is Over, CDC Says

Romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California has been linked with a multistate E. coli outbreak that has sickened 40 people, including an Illinois resident. (Liz West / Flickr)

A monthslong E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California, appears to be over. The outbreak sickened 167 people in 27 states, including Illinois, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Chicago Man Charged in Dual Carjackings of Porsche, SUV

Caleb Morales (Chicago Police Department)

A Chicago man from the South Side is facing felony criminal charges after he allegedly carjacked a Porsche and another vehicle that had two children in it on the Near North Side.