21 Cold-Related Deaths Reported in Cook County Since October

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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

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(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

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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

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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

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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

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(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

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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

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(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

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(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

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(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?

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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

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(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

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(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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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(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

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(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

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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

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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.

Passion for Design Leads to Career in Handmade Leather Goods

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Yohance Joseph Lacour

A Chicago leather craftsman is wrapping up his first year as an entrepreneur creating leather products in the form of shoes, bags and even greeting cards. 

Chicago Prepares to Declare Climate Emergency

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(Fred Faulkner / Flickr)

A resolution introduced at Wednesday’s City Council meeting calls for an emergency “climate mobilization” on a scale not seen since WWII.

Date Set for Trial of Man Accused in Murder of CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer

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Jury selection in the trial of 46-year-old Shomari Legghette will begin Feb. 27, just over two years since Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer was fatally shot in a downtown stairwell.

Pelosi Names Schiff, Nadler as Prosecutors for Trump Trial

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., center, flanked by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference to announce impeachment managers on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

The seven-member prosecution team will be led by the chairmen of the House impeachment proceedings, Reps. Adam Schiff of the Intelligence Committee and Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee.

Governor’s 1st Year: Pritzker on Pot, Madigan and Pensions

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks with Amanda Vinicky of “Chicago Tonight” on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. (WTTW News)

One year ago, Illinois got a new leader when J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as the state’s 43rd governor. Pritzker reflects on his first year in office and looks ahead to what’s next.

Englewood Aldermen Address Political Divisions at Historic Town Hall

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Ald. Stephanie Coleman, 16th Ward, speaks to Paris Schutz of “Chicago Tonight” at a town hall for the Englewood community on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

Can one Chicago neighborhood overcome its political divisions to exert more influence in City Council? Five aldermen representing portions of Englewood held a historic town hall Tuesday to try and do just that.

Newest National Park Quarter Inspires Collectors with Fruit Bats

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The first national park quarter to be released for circulation in 2020 will feature the National Park of American Samoa, home to giant fruit bats. (Credit: United States Mint)

In just a few weeks, there’s a very good chance you’ll have fruit bats in your pocket. The United State Mint will release a quarter on Feb. 3 featuring the National Park of American Samoa, which is home to giant bats.

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