Attention Green Thumbs: Submissions for Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards Now Open

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The Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards honor the city's green thumbs, wherever they garden, whether backyards, parkways, patio containers or urban farms. (Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards)

Submissions are being accepted through July 1 for the 2022 awards, which will be judged in-person again after going virtual in 2020 and 2021. The contest is open to all Chicago residents; entry is free.

Chicago Tonight: Black Voices, May 7, 2022 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

A grim Mother’s Day for moms of missing or murdered daughters, as they search for answers. The head of the Chicago Community Trust is heading to Spelman. And Black Americans in the Victorian era.

Mothers, Relatives Team Up to Raise Awareness for Missing Women

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King Walker and Diamond Bynum have been missing since 2015. (Submitted)

In 2021, 521,705 people were reported missing, according to the National Crime Information Center. Of that number, 89,020 were Black women and girls. That means despite making up about 7% of the U.S. population, Black women and girls were 17% of missing person cases last year.

Chicago Community Trust CEO Dr. Helene Gayle Steps Down, Will Lead Spelman College

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Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust. (Credit: Chicago Community Trust)

The first Black woman to lead the Chicago Community Trust, Dr. Helene Gayle, will leave her role in June to serve as president of Spelman College in Atlanta. 

‘The Birth of Gospel’ Showcases Chicago’s Place in Music History

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(WTTW)

The birth and growth of gospel music in Chicago is the subject of the latest episode of WTTW’s documentary series, “Chicago Stories.”

Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices, May 7, 2022 - Full Show

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CBS2 Chicago’s Marissa Parra hosts the May 7 episode of “Latino Voices” (WTTW News)

A bombshell Supreme Court leak signals an overturn of Roe v. Wade. What it could mean for Illinois. Plus, meet two City College valedictorians. And a preview of an upcoming lunar eclipse.

How a Roe Reversal Could Impact Illinois Latinos

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United States Supreme Court Building (Mark Thomas / Pixabay)

In Illinois, Gov. J. B. Pritzker says no matter how the Supreme Court eventually rules, abortion is still safe and legal in the state. But that’s not the case everywhere in the Midwest.

City College Valedictorians Reflect on 2020-2022 Experience

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Seventeen hundred students from the City Colleges of Chicago walked across the stage at the Wintrust Arena in the first in-person commencement ceremony for the colleges since the pandemic began.  (Courtesy City Colleges of Chicago)

Seventeen hundred students from the City Colleges of Chicago walked across the stage at the Wintrust Arena in the first in-person commencement ceremony for the colleges since the pandemic began.

Love Purse Carries Necessities, Inspiration to Women in Need

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The pandemic sparked an idea for local woman Maria Castro. She found a way to get everyday necessities — plus a touch of inspiration — to women in need. (WTTW News)

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated housing insecurity, substance abuse, human trafficking, and domestic violence, often leaving women struggling with those issues with virtually no resources to move forward. But the pandemic also sparked an idea for local woman Maria Castro. She found a way to get everyday necessities — plus a touch of inspiration — to women in need.

Red Moon Rising: Total Lunar Eclipse Coming to Chicago May 15

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“All you need are your eyes, a comfortable chair and a blanket to enjoy,” Chicago astronomer Joe Guzman said. “Those who have telescopes set them up and share this experience with your family as we observe one celestial object get in the way of another!” (WTTW News)

A celestial show is coming to Chicago next weekend - on the evening of Sunday, May 15, a lunar eclipse will grace the night skies. Chicago astronomer Joe Guzman says it's a great reason to spend an evening moongazing.

Condition of Some US Dams Kept Secret in National Database

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Water flows out of the Rockwall-Forney Dam in Forney, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. (AP Photo / LM Otero)

For much of the past couple of decades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declined to reveal the conditions of dams in the National Inventory of Dams — which it maintains — citing security concerns stemming from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

New Reparations Focus: Black Enclaves Lost to Development

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In this still frame from circa 1961 WJAR-TV newsreel footage, provided by the Rhode Island Historical Society, an armored military vehicle is used to demolish a residential building in what was then known as the Lippitt Hill neighborhood, in Providence, R.I. (WJAR-TV / Rhode Island Historical Society via AP)

The approach builds off the blueprint in Evanston, a Chicago suburb that became the first in the nation to begin paying reparations last year with a program providing Black residents grants for mortgage payments and home repairs, in acknowledgement of the historic discrimination Black people endured when trying to buy homes.

COVID Coverage for All Dries up Even as Hospital Costs Rise

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A room is empty in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center sits empty, in Lebanon, N.H., Jan. 3, 2022.  (AP Photo / Steven Senne, File)

Things are reverting to the way they were as federal money for COVID care of the uninsured dries up, creating a potential barrier to timely access. But the virus is not contained, even if it’s better controlled. And safety-net hospitals and clinics are seeing sharply higher costs for salaries and other basic operating expenses. 

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Selects Bally’s Bid for Long-Awaited Casino

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An aerial view of the proposed Bally’s casino site. (WTTW News)

The Mayor rolls the dice on a casino proposal, will alderpeople buy-in? The abortion bombshell rocks politics. Boeing takes off from Chicago. And the Bears complete the first draft under their new GM.

Meet the Lumpsuckers. Shedd’s Newcomer Is a Fish That Can Barely Swim, Is Covered in Teeth

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Lumpsuckers at the Shedd Aquarium. (Shedd Aquarium)

The Shedd Aquarium recently welcomed a group of lumpsuckers, a fish that’s weird in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to start.

Suburban Starbucks Unionization Vote Fails, First Chicago-Area Loss for Organizing Effort

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(WTTW News)

Workers at more than 250 Starbucks locations around the U.S. have filed to join a union, and about 50 have voted in favor of unionization. Organizers and their supporters have accused Starbucks of aggressive “union-busting” tactics, including cutting hours, disciplining, and firing pro-union employees. 

Step Aside, Iowa, New Hampshire: Illinois Democrats to Compete for Early Presidential Primary

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(Regina Shanklin / Pixabay)

Illinois’ population closely represents the nation as a whole, whether measured by race, age, income or education, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Chicago), the chair of the Democratic Party of Illinois, wrote to Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, adding that Illinois not only includes Chicago, but also rural areas devoted to agriculture dotted by small towns.

COVID-19 Poses ‘Medium’ Risk Across Chicago, Cook County: Federal Health Officials

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(WTTW News)

Residents of seven northeast Illinois counties — McHenry, Lake, Cook, Kendall, DuPage, Will and Grundy — face a medium level of COVID-19 risk, according to the CDC. Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Chicagoans should consider the CDC’s medium level of risk warning as “a yellow light of caution.”

May 5, 2022 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

The cards are on the table with the Mayor’s pick for the city’s only casino. How the state handled a COVID-19 outbreak at a veterans home. Plus the state’s DCFS director

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Old Town

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(WTTW News)

Located two miles north of downtown, and about a mile from the lake, Old Town a neighborhood that has undergone a lot of change in the past decade. Residents have fought to preserve historic buildings in the area.

How Higher Fed Rates Stand to Affect Americans’ Finances

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This May 4, 2021, file photo shows the Federal Reserve building in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky, File)

The substantial half-point hike in its benchmark short-term rate that the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday won’t, by itself, have much immediate effect on most Americans’ finances. But additional large hikes are expected to be announced at the Fed’s next two meetings, in June and July, and economists and investors foresee the fastest pace of rate increases since 1989.

Chuoy the Buoy Reports for Duty on Lake Michigan, Filling a Chicago-Sized Gap in Monitoring Capabilities

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Chuoy the buoy, reporting for data-monitoring duty in Lake Michigan off the Chicago shoreline. (Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant)

Anchored a mile off Navy Pier, Chuoy the Buoy fills a Chicago-sized gap in shoreline monitoring. Swimmers, boaters, anglers, researchers and meteorologists alike will benefit from data collected close to the city’s lakefront.   

Veterans Died Without Attention from Illinois’ Health Department

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(WTTW News)

Thirty-six residents of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home died in November 2020 as part of a COVID-19 outbreak. A new report from the state’s auditor general finds that IDPH neglected to respond to the outbreak at the state-run facility until for many, it was too late.

Rebuild Foundation Breaks Ground for New Arts Incubator in Greater Grand Crossing

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Work is underway at a former Catholic school in Greater Grand Crossing that Rebuild Foundation is turning into an arts incubator. (WTTW News)

After being closed for more than 20 years, a former Catholic school in Greater Grand Crossing is being rebuilt into a new arts incubator for the Rebuild Foundation. Arts Correspondent Angel Idowu takes us to that groundbreaking for an inside look at the city’s newest cultural hub. 

Director of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Faces 9th Contempt Charge

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Marc Smith, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom. (WTTW News)

House Republicans are calling for an audit of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. And the agency's own director, Marc Smith, has been held in contempt of court nine times.

Lightfoot Shows Her Cards, Picks Bally’s Casino Proposal in River West

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Bally’s casino and resort would be built on what is now the Chicago Tribune printing plant and newsroom near Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street. (Provided)

Lightfoot’s support for a casino on what is now the Chicago Tribune printing plant and newsroom near Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street will bounce the roulette ball to the Chicago City Council to consider Bally’s plan.

Boeing Will Move its Headquarters to DC Area From Chicago

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In this July 13, 2021, photo, the logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.  (AP Photo / Richard Drew, File)

A move to Arlington, Virginia, would put Boeing executives close to officials for their key customer, the Pentagon, and the Federal Aviation Administration, which certifies Boeing passenger planes.

Think Chicago’s Recent Midge Swarms Are Wild? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

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A midge swarm on Lake Erie. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Swarms of gnat-sized midges, which look like mini-mosquitoes, minus the bite, have been reported along the Chicago lakefront. But in this case, “swarm” is relative. 

Carpenters Class of All Women Is Building Walls, Breaking Barriers

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(WTTW News)

Chicago Women in Trades helped organize what they say is the regional unions’ first class of all women in 140 years. The Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council’s pre-apprentice program will put participants on the path to becoming a union-card-holding carpenter.

State Street Buildings Face Wrecking Ball Due to Security Concerns

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Buildings at 220 S. State St. and 202 S. State St. are being recommended for demolition as part of a security plan for the Dirksen Federal Building. (WTTW News)

The 1913 Consumers Building at 202 South State St., and its neighbor, the 1915 Century Building, were designed by two of Chicago’s most storied architecture firms. But multiple federal agencies have concluded the towers’ locations just east of the Dirksen Federal Building render the country’s largest federal courthouse vulnerable to attack and pose too much of a security risk to keep.

May 4, 2022 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

Supreme Court political fallout. The state joins a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service. The fight to preserve historic loop buildings. And a renovated Chicago theater readies for its closeup.

New Round of State Abortion Battles Winding up After Draft

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 Protesters gather at the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, May 3, 2022, during a rally organized by Planned Parenthood Michigan in response to the news that the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. (Daniel Shular / The Grand Rapids Press via AP, File)

The potential to roll back established abortion rights already has emerged in states with divided political control, including Pennsylvania and Virginia. California and Colorado are pushing to protect abortion access in their constitutions, a stronger step than passing a law.