With No Action By Washington, States Race To Offer Virus Aid

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Hospital beds sit inside Renown Regional Medical Center’s parking garage, which has been transformed into an alternative care site for COVID-19 patients in Reno, Nev., on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. (Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio / Report for America via AP)

Faulting inaction in Washington, governors and state lawmakers are racing to get pandemic relief to small-business owners, the unemployed, renters and others whose livelihoods have been upended by COVID-19.

Thanksgiving Vandalism: ‘Land Back’ Sprayed on US Statues

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The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board says the Pioneers Statue has been controversial. (Credit: Minneapolis Park and Recreation)

Statues of three United States Presidents, a “Pioneers Statue” and numerous storefronts were targeted by vandals on Thanksgiving, with “land back” graffitied on some of the property.

The Lawn vs. Leaves Debate Continues. Is There a Compromise?

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(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Is there a middle ground between obliterating leaves and letting nature take its course? We asked an expert from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

The Week in Review: A Black Friday Like No Other

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(WTTW News)

After an unprecedented year, we take a hard look at the pandemic-ravaged economy, as businesses gear up for the all-important holiday retail season. 

Experts: Virus Numbers Could Be Erratic After Thanksgiving

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Vehicles line up as a health care worker helps to check in as citizens is being tested at the COVID-19 drive-thru testing center at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, November 22, 2020. (David Santiago / Miami Herald via AP)

The coronavirus testing numbers that have guided much of the nation’s response to the pandemic are likely to be erratic over the next week or so, experts said Friday, as fewer people get tested during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Stocks Rise on Wall Street as S&P 500 Hits Record High

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A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon)

Positive developments on the vaccine front have driven double-digit gains in the major indexes this month as investors look forward to progress in gaining control over the pandemic that plunged the global economy into its deepest slump since the 1930s.

COVID-19 in Illinois: 7,574 New Cases, 66 Additional Deaths

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A passenger at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (WTTW News)

The pandemic in Illinois reached another sobering mark on Friday, after health officials reported 12,029 total deaths linked to the pandemic and 705,063 infections. 

Sandhill Cranes, a Conservation Success Story, Now Face Climate Change Threat

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Sandhill cranes. (ladymacbeth / Pixabay)

More than 25,000 migrating sandhill cranes are making a pit stop at Indiana’s Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. The bird’s numbers have rebounded thanks to wetland conservation efforts, but now climate change threatens to undo that progress. 

US Colleges Mull New Virus Protocols For Students’ Return

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In this Nov. 18, 2020, file photo, University of Utah student Abigail Shull takes a rapid COVID-19 test in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The coronavirus presented huge challenges for the fall semester for U.S. colleges that opened the academic year with in-person learning, including some that took a battering from outbreaks.

Black Friday Offers Beacon of Hope to Struggling Stores

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A shopper walks by a store, Monday, Nov. 18, 2020 in Pembroke Pines, Fla. After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. In normal times. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year. But these are not normal times: The economy is tanking and crowds are expected to be dramatically diminished as coronavirus cases spike and shoppers do more of their purchases online.

The Holiday Show Must Go On

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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's "Home for the Holidays" concert will be available to view online. (Todd Rosenberg / Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Ready or not, the holidays have arrived. Here’s how some of Chicago’s most beloved traditions and experiences have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic to help bring some holiday cheer to 2020.

Trump Says He’ll Leave If Electoral College Seats Biden

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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after participating in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will leave the White House if the Electoral College formalizes President-elect Joe Biden’s victory — even as he insisted such a decision would be a “mistake.”

November 26, 2020 - Full Show

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Watch the Nov. 26, 2020 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

Nagy Under Pressure Ahead of Prime-Time Game Against the Packers

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Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams previews the Bears matchup Sunday against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

With Coronavirus Vaccines on The Way, Researchers Say It’s Time to Build Trust

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(WTTW News via CNN)

A recent survey found that just 51% of U.S. adults say they would get the COVID-19 vaccine — and just 32% of Black adults. We discuss the cause of medical mistrust and how to rebuild it. 

COVID-19 in Illinois: 12,022 New Cases, 131 Additional Deaths

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Public health officials have been urging Americans to reconsider their travel plans this holiday week amid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections. (WTTW News via CNN)

As Americans kick off a holiday season under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois health officials reported more than 12,000 new and probable cases of the virus across the state, and 131 additional deaths.

Trump Pardons Flynn Despite Guilty Plea in Russia Probe

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In this file photo, President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn arrives at federal court in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

President Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday, ending a yearslong prosecution in the Russia investigation that saw Flynn twice plead guilty to lying to the FBI.

Michael Jordan Donates $2 Million From Hit Documentary to Feed America’s Hungry

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Michael Jordan addresses reporters in Paris on January 24, 2020. (Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

“The Last Dance” was filled with hot dishes about Michael Jordan’s time with the six-time champion Chicago Bulls. Now, some proceeds from the Emmy-winning documentary will go toward hot dishes for the nation’s hungry.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Rogers Park

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(WTTW News)

Chicago’s northernmost neighborhood has reported 5,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The pandemic and rising case counts have heightened food insecurity across Chicago, and Rogers Park has been anything but immune. 

Chicago Businesses on Bracing For the Winter, Hopes for the Coming Months

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

With loan and grant money starting to run dry for some businesses—and what’s likely to be a difficult winter fast approaching—we check in with some familiar faces to ask how they’re coping with the coronavirus.

Monet Makes Impressions at Art Institute and Garfield Park Conservatory

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Claude Monet. Landscape with Figures, Giverny, 1888. Private collection.

Chicago is home to more Claude Monet paintings than any city other than Paris. That’s because the works of the famous French impressionist made a strong impression on local collectors. We explore the new show “Monet and Chicago.” 

Joe Biden Appeals for Unity in Thanksgiving-eve Address

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President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen theater Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

With COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, President-elect Joe Biden called on Americans to take precautions to try to stem the tide of the virus, by wearing masks and practicing social distancing. 

Pritzker: Illinois to Borrow $2B from Feds To Cover Short-Term COVID-19 Losses

COVID-19 in Illinois: 11,378 New Cases, 155 Additional Deaths

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during his daily press briefing on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (WTTW News)

“Adding debt is not a long-term solution to structural imbalance,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “Short-term borrowing is a short-term Band-Aid to address the urgency of a short-term problem like one caused by a pandemic.” 

Defying Warnings, Millions in the US Travel for Thanksgiving

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Holiday travelers check in at kiosks near an airline counter at Orlando International Airport Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo / John Raoux)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities have begged people not to travel and urged them to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small.

Argentine Soccer Great Diego Maradona Dies at 60

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In this March 26, 2006 file photo, former soccer player Diego Maradona smokes a cigar as he watches Argentina’s first division soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo / Natacha Pisarenko, File)

Diego Maradona’s spokesman, Sebastián Sanchi, said he died Wednesday of a heart attack, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.

Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade Canceled, But Toy Donations Still Needed

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Tens of thousands of riders participate in the annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade. (Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade / Facebook)

The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to this year’s Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade, which had been scheduled for Dec. 6, but organizers are still collecting toys for children in need.

It Is Not Too Late to Change Your Plans for Thanksgiving: Lightfoot

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot gives an update on COVID-19 during a press conference Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged all Chicagoans on Wednesday to rethink their Thanksgiving plans if they include travel or a gathering with those outside their immediate household amid a continuing surge of the coronavirus.

November 25, 2020 - Full Show

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Watch the Nov. 25, 2020 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

US Jobless Claims Rise to 778,000 as Pandemic Worsens

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In this March 27, 2020, file photo, a man walks past the Cafe Du Monde restaurant, which was closed but has since reopened, in the French Quarter of New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Before the virus struck hard in mid-March, weekly claims typically amounted to roughly 225,000. They shot up to 6.9 million during one week in March before dropping, yet remain historically high more than eight months later.

Rural Hospitals Facing Unique Challenges as COVID-19 Surges

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(rawpixel / Pixabay)

According to the latest data from state health officials, the city of Chicago has 921 intensive care unit beds, and more than 200 are currently available. But in some regions, the numbers are much different. 

How a Chicago Artist is Bringing Attention to Homelessness

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Chicago artist Zac Lowing (WTTW News)

Zac Lowing scours the beach for sea glass, but his work is about more than the sculptures he creates. Through his platform, he hopes to bring attention to the homeless community. 

Maria Cerda, a Trailblazer Who Inspired Latino Leaders, Dies at 86

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Maria Cerda (Courtesy of the Cerda family)

In the 1960s, Maria Cerda became the first Latina member of the Chicago Board of Education and a pioneering advocate for bilingual classes. We talk with her son about her legacy in Chicago and across the nation.