CSO Opens Season with Glorious Grieg, Stunning Shostakovich and More

Leif Ove Andsnes performs Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra led by CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti on Sept. 19, 2019, in Orchestra Hall. (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

Magnificent. That is the most fitting description of Thursday evening’s program at Symphony Center that marked the start of Maestro Riccardo Muti’s 10th season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Gets Blowback for Pot Plan


The mayor proposes to exclude marijuana sales in the Loop. A proposed ban on e-cigarettes leads to a testy debate in City Council. Climate change prompts a massive walkout. And the Cubs’ playoff hopes are on life support.

University of Chicago Nurses Hit the Picket Line

Hundreds of people hit the picket line at 7 a.m. Friday to protest what nurses describe as staffing shortages and forced overtime that are risking the safety of patients at the 618-bed hospital. (WTTW News)

Some 2,200 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center walked off the job Friday, citing staffing shortages and forced overtime. “The reason we are striking is for our patient safety and our staff safety,” said one nurse from the picket line.

‘Don’t be a Fossil Fool’: Chicago Youth Demonstrate for Environmental Justice

Protesters take part in a youth-led climate strike Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 in downtown Chicago. (WTTW News)

Protesters marched from Grant Park to Federal Plaza on Friday to demand action on climate change. The youth-led event was one of several in Chicago, and one of many dozens throughout the world. 

Trump Denounces ‘Partisan’ Whistleblower But Says ID Unknown

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump irritably defended himself Friday against an intelligence whistleblower’s potentially explosive complaint, including an allegation of wrongdoing in a reported private conversation Trump had with a foreign leader.

Where Have the Wild Birds Gone? 3 Billion Fewer Than 1970

This April 14, 2019 file photo shows a western meadowlark in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski, File)

North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970, a comprehensive study shows.

House Committee Votes to Boost Funding for Great Lakes Restoration

(Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)

The bill, which still needs approval in the full House and the Senate, would expand a 10-year effort to clean up toxic pollution, restore fish and wildlife habitat, manage invasive species and reduce runoff pollution in the Great Lakes.

Official: Fetal Remains Found in Garage Nearly 2 Decades Old

Officers from the Fort Wayne Police Department search the building that once housed an abortion clinic owned by Dr. Ulrich Klopfer on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Fort Wayne, Ind. (Eric Ginnard / The Herald-News via AP)

Illinois authorities said Thursday that more than 2,200 preserved fetal remains found stacked in the garage of a deceased doctor’s home were from abortions performed in Indiana nearly two decades ago.

Field Museum Joins Youth Climate Strike in Chicago

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

The Field Museum will be at the center of Chicago’s youth climate strike Friday as activists across the globe hold what is expected to be one of the largest environmental demonstrations in the history of the planet.

Will New Owner Joe Mansueto Light Up the Chicago Fire? We Ask Him

Joe Mansueto speaks with WTTW News on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.

He’s one of about a dozen Illinois residents who regularly makes Forbes’ list of the richest people in America. We sit down with Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto.

‘Downton Abbey’ Actor Harry Hadden-Paton Rehearses for Royal Role in Chicago


We go backstage as an actor prepares “The King’s Speech” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater – and remembers his role on “Downton Abbey.”

Former Clinton Aide Blumenthal Tackles Lincoln’s Life in 5 Volumes

Sidney Blumenthal (Credit: Ralph Alswang)

Sidney Blumenthal, the Chicago native who formerly served as the senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, discusses his political history of Abraham Lincoln, “All the Powers of Earth.”

Mickey Alice Kwapis Wants You to Love Taxidermy As Much As She Does

Mickey Alice Kwapis

Mickey Alice Kwapis knows that she doesn’t fit most people’s idea of what a taxidermist looks like. And she is trying to change that.

Father Michael Pfleger: Gun Violence ‘Not Just a Chicago Problem’

The Rev. Michael Pfleger appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 19, 2019. (WTTW News)

The social activist and senior pastor at Saint Sabina Church will join local and national organizations next week in D.C. to demand that Congress pass common sense gun safety laws. He joins us in discussion.

Bears vs. Redskins: Chicago’s Offense Looks to Improve After Slow Start


Can the Bears build on last week’s photo finish? Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams breaks down the Bears chances against the Redskins.

Crain’s Headlines: Amazon Announces Renewable Energy Goals


An electric vehicle maker is on tap to build 100,000 delivery vans for the e-commerce giant Amazon. The massive order is just part of a broader commitment, announced Thursday by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, to make his company greener.

Ald. Leslie Hairston Stands By Comment That Nature Sanctuary is ‘Dead’

The South Shore Nature Sanctuary features 6 acres of dunes, wetlands, woodlands and prairies. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

The fate of a 6-acre nature sanctuary on the city’s South Side is at the center of a debate over Tiger Woods’ $30 million plan to transform two golf courses. And it’s health is also in question. We go for a visit.

Find Pumpkin Patches in Chicago and the Suburbs

(webandi / Pixabay)

Sure, you could go to your local grocery store and grab a gourd – but what’s the fun in that? We share a bounty of spots for plucking a pumpkin.

Health Officials: 69 Hospitalizations Linked to Vaping in Illinois

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

Nearly 70 Illinois residents are among 530 people across the country who have been hospitalized and diagnosed with vaping-related breathing illnesses, according to federal and state health officials. That’s up from 380 a week ago.

House Chairman: Whistleblower Complaint May Involve Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to reporters after the panel met behind closed doors with national intelligence inspector general Michael Atkinson about a whistleblower complaint, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

President Trump’s director of national intelligence is refusing to turn over to Congress an urgent whistleblower complaint that reportedly concerns Trump making an unspecified promise to a foreign leader, the chairman of the House intelligence committee said.

No Fetal Remains Found at Shuttered Indiana Abortion Clinic

This September 2014 photo shows Ulrich Klopfer. More than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains have been found at the Illinois home of the former Indiana abortion clinic doctor who died last week. (South Bend Tribune via AP)

A northern Indiana prosecutor said Thursday that authorities have found no fetal remains at a shuttered abortion clinic once operated by a late abortion doctor whose Illinois property was found to contain more than 2,200 medically preserved fetal remains.

US Awards $3M to Fill Gaps in Medical Marijuana Research

In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, California. (AP Photo / Richard Vogel, File)

The U.S. government is spending $3 million to find out if marijuana can relieve pain, but none of the money will be used to study the part of the plant that gets people high.

Will Combo Pill Catch on in US to Prevent Heart Attacks?

In this Nov. 5, 2018 file photo, a drugstore employee reaches for medicine from shelf in downtown Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo / Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

A cheap, daily pill that combines four drugs has been tested for the first time in the United States to see if it works as well among low-income Americans as it has in other countries to treat conditions leading to heart attacks and strokes.

Government Watchdog to Testify About Alleged Trump ‘Promise’

In this July 24, 2019, file photo, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

The government’s intelligence watchdog is set to testify Thursday in a closed session before the House intelligence committee about the handling of a whistleblower complaint.

Spotlight Politics: Signs of Struggle Ahead for Lightfoot?


Are there early signs of a revolt that could make life harder for Chicago’s mayor? Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

‘Everything Must Go’ Investigates Gentrification through Poetry, Illustrations

An illustration by Langston Allston from the new book “Everything Must Go.” (Courtesy Kevin Coval and Allston)

Chicago poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston discuss their new book about Wicker Park in the 1990s – and the forces of gentrification that have changed it.

Ask Geoffrey: The Pan American Games in Chicago


About a decade ago, Chicago tried, and failed, to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to the city. But it wasn’t the first time Chicago tried to host a major international sporting event. Geoffrey Baer explains.

2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial Returns With a Critical Eye

(Courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial / Kendall McCaughtery, 2019)

Exhibits and installations from around the world hope to reframe – and sometimes challenge – the very idea of architecture at this year’s event. We get a preview.

FCC Proposes New 3-Digit Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(Pexels / Pixabay)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK. But the FCC wants to make that number a whole lot easier to remember – and dial.

Crain’s Headlines: Fulton Market Office Building Sells for $50M

(Nick Ulivieri / Crain’s Chicago Business)

A relatively nondescript seven-story office building in the Fulton Market District has become the most expensive office building sale in the city’s history.

‘Greenway’ Plan for Lincoln Park Side Street Sparks Neighborhood Tension

A Chicago Department of Transportation rendering shows what a new bike lane configuration on Dickens Avenue would look like.

A proposal to add a so-called greenway for cyclists and introduce pedestrian-focused safety measures on a Lincoln Park side street has sparked an outpouring of attention from neighbors.

City Council Looks to Restrict Vaping, Expand Marijuana

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media following a City Council meeting Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s mayor and aldermen are vowing to take strict action on vaping while welcoming the sale of cannabis. Those two vices dominated the discussion during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.