Muti and CSO Bring a Touch of Italian Heat to Works of 3 German Romantics


What happens when a conductor steeped in the Italian tradition takes hold of three works by quite different 19th century German Romantic composers? The answer could be heard as Maestro Riccardo Muti led the CSO in works by Wagner, Brahms and Schumann.

CPS Enrollment Declines By 6,000 Students


Fewer students are enrolled at Chicago Public Schools this year compared to last year, according to figures released by the district Friday. But CPS says the drop-off is “significantly” smaller than declines in recent school years.

Ex-LAPD Top Cop Charlie Beck Named Interim Chicago Police Superintendent

Charlie Beck, right, speaks during a press conference in 2018 while Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, left, looks on. On Friday, the former LAPD chief was named Chicago’s interim police superintendent. (Eric Garcetti / Flickr)

Charlie Beck, who led the Los Angeles Police Department for nearly a decade, has been tabbed to serve as the interim Chicago police superintendent following Eddie Johnson’s retirement at the end of the year.

People Puzzled By Peculiar Texts, and No One Can Say Why

In this Oct. 24, 2013, file photo, a person checks their smartphone in Glenview, Ill. A mysterious wave of texts swept America’s phones overnight Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, delivering unintelligible messages that left many people mildly confused when they woke up on Thursday. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

If you woke up Thursday to a weird text that seemed totally out of place, you aren’t alone. A mysterious wave of missives swept America’s phones overnight, delivering largely unintelligible messages from friends, family and the occasional ex.

Former Interim Police Superintendent Weighs in on Johnson’s Retirement

In this file photo, John Escalante speaks with WTTW News in March 2016 when he served as the interim Chicago police superintendent. (WTTW News)

What lies ahead for Chicago’s next top cop? And what’s the job like? We asked John Escalante, who served as interim Chicago police superintendent following the ouster of Garry McCarthy in 2015. 

Chicago Sinfonietta Celebrates Diwali, the Festival of Lights


The nation’s most diverse orchestra is working to push the boundaries of how classical music is presented by incorporating dance into its next concert.

Tough Challenges Ahead for Chicago’s Next Top Cop


Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she’ll announce her plan to find an interim successor to police Superintendent Eddie Johnson in the coming days. We discuss Johnson’s legacy and the challenges that await the city’s next top cop.

Chicago’s Bloodshot Records Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Chicago-based musician Jon Langford speaks with WTTW News about long relationship with Bloodshot Records. (WTTW News)

The independent record label sets the gold standard for roots music in Chicago and beyond. We visit the headquarters of Bloodshot Records on the eve of its silver anniversary – and get an earful.

Bears, Lions Hope to Salvage Seasons in Divisional Showdown


The Chicago Bears (3-5) look to snap a four-game losing streak when they face the Detroit Lions (3-4-1) on Sunday. Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams gives us a preview.

Crain’s Headlines: Bill Daley Lands at Wells Fargo Bank

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff Bill Daley appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 17, 2018. (WTTW News)

The former Chicago mayoral candidate was picked by Wells Fargo’s new CEO, Charles Scharf, to oversee matters including government relations at the scandal-scarred bank.

‘Shared Street’ Model in Uptown is Here to Stay. Will it Be Replicated?


Four years ago, Argyle Street in Uptown was dramatically reimagined. How the single-level streetscape, now permanent, is working – and whether it can serve as a model in other neighborhoods.

How a Small-Town City Employee Stole Nearly $54M in Public Money


It’s one of the most outrageous cases of municipal fraud in modern times. We discuss “All the Queen’s Horses” with the documentary’s director, Kelly Richmond Pope.

More Than 2,000 in US Diagnosed in Vaping Illness Outbreak

In this Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, a woman using a vaping device exhales a puff of smoke in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. (AP Photo / Tony Dejak, File)

New government figures show more than 2,000 people have been diagnosed with vaping illnesses in the still-unsolved U.S. outbreak.

Report: 46 Illinois Hospitals Earn Grade ‘A’ in Patient Safety, 4 Earn ‘D’

(rawpixel / Pixabay)

As many as 440,000 people die every year from preventable mistakes in hospitals, according to national nonprofit The Leapfrog Group. How Illinois hospitals are performing.

Top Cop Eddie Johnson Announces Retirement: ‘It’s Time’

Police superintendent will serve through the end of 2019

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement during a press conference at police headquarters on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. (WTTW News)

It’s official: Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson will retire at the end of the year. He made his announcement Thursday flanked by family members and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, celebrating what he says has been a reduction in crime on his watch.

Judge Strikes Down New Trump Rule on Religious Objections

In this Tuesday, May 21, 2019 file photo, August Mulvihill, of Norwalk, Iowa, center, holds a sign depicting a wire clothes hanger during a rally at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa, to protest recent abortion bans. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall)

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a new Trump administration rule that could open the way for more health care workers to refuse to participate in abortions or other procedures on moral or religious grounds.

Meet Hatty, the Therapy Dog Helping Crime Victims in Cook County


The latest member of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office isn’t a human. She’s a dog. We meet the new Labrador retriever, Hatty.

Ask Geoffrey: The ‘Big Shot’ at the Museum of Science and Industry


Today, taking a picture is as easy as a single click on a phone. But for many years, the process was much more intricate and time-consuming. Geoffrey Baer shines some light on the now largely forgotten event. 

How Aldermen Are Reimagining Lake Shore Drive

(Jason Mrachina / Flickr)

Cracked bridges, eroding and disappearing beaches and massive flooding are taking a toll on Lake Shore Drive. We hear some ideas from aldermen about shoring up the lakefront.

Crain’s Headlines: Invenergy Expanding Corporate Headquarters


The nation's largest privately held wind energy producer has expanded its offices at 1 S. Wacker Drive, in a deal that will soon make it the biggest tenant there.

Spotlight Politics: Johnson’s Retirement Will Set Off Political Fight for Next Superintendent


A big change could be coming to the Chicago Police Department. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Lightfoot’s Proposed Real Estate Transfer Tax Hike Gets Pushback

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Is the mayor’s plan for a real estate transfer tax hike dead on arrival or could a new so-called win-win compromise supported by some Democratic lawmakers create a path forward?

Dancing Down Memory Lane Before the Curtain Falls on ‘Hamilton’ Chicago

The company of “Hamilton.” (Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

Just over three years ago, Chicago audiences were introduced to the smash hit musical “Hamilton.” We catch up with two original cast members of the Chicago production.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Nov. 7-10

UniverSoul Circus (Photo by Boon Vang)

Circus acts, a prison tour, barrel-aged brews and a powwow usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Mayor Lightfoot on Eddie Johnson Retirement Reports: ‘He’s Still Here’

Still images from appearances of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on “Chicago Tonight.” Lightfoot spoke to reporters Wednesday about Johnson’s possible retirement this week. (WTTW News)

Earlier this week, Eddie Johnson said he’s been “toying” with the idea of stepping down after three years as police superintendent. But Lightfoot wouldn’t say Wednesday if she expects that to happen soon.

House Dems Announce Public Impeachment Hearings Next Week

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, arrives at a closed door meeting on the ongoing House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

House Democrats will launch a major new phase of their impeachment inquiry next week with public hearings that will feature three State Department officials who have testified about their concerns about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

US Teen Vaping Numbers Climb, Fueled by Juul and Mint Flavor

This April 16, 2019, file photo, shows a Juul vape pen in Vancouver, Washington. (AP Photo / Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

New research shows U.S. teens who use electronic cigarettes prefer those made by Juul Labs, and mint is the favorite flavor for many of them, suggesting a shift after the company stopped selling fruit and dessert flavors in stores.

He Was Convicted, Then Exonerated. Now, He’s An Attorney

Mario Casciaro appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

A wrongfully convicted man shares his journey to becoming an attorney and his thoughts on the judicial system. Meet Mario Casciaro, who will be sworn in as an attorney this week.   

Vintage Toy Collection Inspires Exceptional Group of Local Artists


For years, vintage toys have inspired renowned Chicago artist Karl Wirsum. And recently he shared his fun-filled collection with an extraordinary group of local artists at Project Onward.

What Some Companies Are Doing with Your ‘Secret’ Consumer Score

(AhmadArdity / Pixabay)

When you send messages to an Airbnb host or order food through Yelp, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about where else that information goes – or who it goes to. But that data has the potential to affect you in surprising ways.

Crain’s Headlines: Walgreens Explores Deal to Take Company Private

(Mike Mozart / Flickr)

Walgreens has been exploring a potential deal to take the company private in what could become the largest leveraged buyout in history.

Oak Park Record Store Val’s Halla Closing its Doors Nov. 30

Val Camilletti at her record store, Val’s halla, in 2005. (WTTW News)

A legendary record store is closing at the end of the month. We revisit our portrait of this one-of-a-kind shop opened by Val Camilletti in 1972.