In ‘Next to Normal,’ Mother’s Mental Illness Wreaks Havoc with Family’s Health

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David Schlumpf and Keely Vasquez in “Next to Normal” at Writers Theatre. (Photo credit: Michael Brosilow)

This 2008 musical is unsettling, irritating, frustrating, relentless and more. But director David Cromer and his actors have tapped into the dark charm and moments of humor in the show with great skill.

Lightfoot Rewards ‘Reform’ and ‘Old Guard’ Alderman in Council Shake-Up

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In this file photo, Lori Lightfoot, then a candidate for Chicago mayor, speaks to “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot releases her picks for committee chairmanships, proposing that Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) lead the Finance Committee that was led for decades by Ald. Ed Burke (14th).

An ‘Open Swim’ in the Chicago River is in the Works for September

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(Chicago Tonight file photo)

Doug McConnell has swam in New York’s Hudson River, the Boston Harbor and even the English Channel. Now he wants to make a splash in his own city.

Illinois Bill Seeks to Legalize Syringe Exchanges Statewide

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(Eric Molina / Flickr)

A new bill aims to fix the state’s “ambiguous” law over syringe exchange programs. Public support for such programs remains low, but advocates say they can offer critical help to those in need.

Trade War, Heavy Rains Weigh on Deere & Co.

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In this May 10, 2019, file photo John Deere Agricultural machinery made by Deere & Company sits staged for transport near cranes at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Washington. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

Deere cut its profit and sales expectations for the year as a trade war between the U.S. and China escalates and farmers try to recover from a planting season besieged by heavy rains.

Java the Corpse Flower is About to Bloom Again — Sooner Than Expected

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Java the corpse flower is on bloom watch at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Alex Ruppenthal / WTTW News)

After blooming for the first time in June 2017, Java, one of the dozen or so corpse flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden, is preparing to bloom again. 

Kim Foxx Won’t Have to Testify Amid Scrutiny of Jussie Smollett Case

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This Feb. 22, 2019 file photo shows Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaking at a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato, File)

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her top assistant will not have to testify about their dismissal of criminal charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett despite a request for a special prosecutor to investigate how that case was handled.

Expert: Fetal Abduction Rare Yet Endures Over 30 Years

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Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify his daughter’s body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Of the roughly 30 documented fetal abduction cases between 1987 and 2015, most of the mothers were slain and it’s typical for them to have been stalked or lured somewhere under false pretenses, an expert said. 

Where and When to See the Best Chicago-Area Wildflowers

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At Belmont Prairie in Downers Grove, June brings a profusion of pale purple coneflower to this rare remnant prairie. Copyright 2019 Mike MacDonald. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to see wildflowers in and around Chicago, photographer Mike MacDonald will tell you where to go – and when – for the most glorious blooms.

Pregnancy-Related Deaths on the Rise in the US

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(culturarte86 / Pixabay)

Nationally, black women die at a rate 3.3 times greater than white women, but the statistics in Illinois are even more grim.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Campaigns in Chicago

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Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, takes questions from reporters following his speech at the City Club of Chicago on May 16, 2019.

The election is a long way off, but current polls give the South Bend mayor a decent shot at the White House.

Chicago Nonprofit Wants to Make Credit Work for Everyone

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(JESHOOTS-com / Pixabay)

The nonprofit Working Credit says understanding how credit ratings work and building your own credit rating is much easier than you might think – and even more important than you might know.

Looking Ahead: Analysts Preview Lightfoot Administration

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In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Lori Lightfoot talks about bid for Chicago mayor on “Chicago Tonight.” One year later, Lightfoot is preparing for her May 20, 2019 inauguration as Chicago mayor.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot unveils an ambitious 100-day plan. We talk to experts about what the future holds under a Lightfoot administration.

Police: 3 Charged in Murder of Pregnant Teen Marlen Ochoa-Lopez

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Clarisa Figueroa, left, Desiree Figueroa, center, and Piotr Bobak (Chicago Police Department)

A 46-year-old woman who allegedly lured Marlen Ochoa-Lopez to her Southwest Side home under the guise of giving her baby clothes is now among three people who have been charged in the teen’s murder.

Restoring the Morgan Park Home of Rotary International’s Founder

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This historic photo, left, shows Paul Harris at the bottom of the driveway outside his Morgan Park home, which is today undergoing renovations, right. (Historic photo courtesy Rotary International)

An iconic volunteer organization has a worldwide reach – and Chicago roots. We take a look inside the renovations underway at the home of Rotary International founder Paul Harris.

Pregnant Chicago Woman Slain, Baby Cut From Her Womb

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Arnulfo Ochoa, the father of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, is surrounded by family members and supporters, as he walks into the Cook County medical examiner’s office to identify his daughter’s body, Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Chicago. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The body of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was found early Wednesday. She was last seen leaving her high school on April 23, the same day paramedics were called to a home several miles away on the Southwest Side about a newborn with problems breathing.