Chicago’s Old Post Office Gets Multimillion-Dollar Makeover

Chicago’s Old Post Office on Oct. 21, 2019. (WTTW News)

The hulking Old Post Office building that lay empty for the best part of two decades – and that many feared might never be redeveloped – will soon reopen. Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin weighs in on the landmark.

The Story of Mold-A-Rama, Chicago’s Very Own Souvenir Machine

Paul Jones of Mold-A-Rama Inc. checks on a souvenir machine at Lincoln Park Zoo. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

For more than 50 years, vending machines scattered throughout Chicago-area zoos and museums have sold visitors souvenirs made of melted plastic. Meet the man keeping the vintage technology alive.

Crain’s Headlines: More Problems for Troubled Ford Factory

(Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr)

The Ford plant on the city’s Far South Side has been causing some big headaches for the automaker, which is expected to report lower profits this week in a third quarter earnings report.

High Water Levels in Lake Michigan Could Remain Though Early 2020

Lake Michigan waves splash onto the lakefront path on Oct. 21, 2019. (WTTW News)

With near record high water levels, Lake Michigan swallowed up beaches, piers and sidewalks across Chicago and the region this summer. An Army Corps forecast shows those levels may persist into next year.

Trump Laments G-7 Move From Doral After Bipartisan Pushback

President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump lashed out Monday at critics who prompted him to move next year’s Group of Seven summit from his private golf club in Florida, claiming he would have hosted it for free and now it will end up costing taxpayers “a fortune.”

City Animal Shelter Completes $1.5 Million Medical Unit Renovation

Chicago Animal Care and Control staff prepare a dog for surgery inside the shelter’s renovated medical unit. (Courtesy Chicago Animal Care and Control)

Chicago Animal Care and Control says its renovated facility and new medical equipment will allow staff to evaluate animals more quickly and carry out surgical procedures that will ultimately lead to more adoptions.

Dispose of Unused Medications at DEA’s Drug Takeback Day

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

Do you have old prescription medicines in your cabinet? Don’t flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash. Instead, dispose of them Saturday, no questions asked, at DEA-sponsored sites. 

Sensational Actress Works Her Magic in Writers Theatre’s ‘A Doll’s House’

Cher Álvarez (Nora) in “A Doll’s House.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Writers Theatre’s production of “A Doll’s House,” cannily but faithfully adapted by Sandra Delgado and Michael Halberstam, and featuring a bravura performance by Cher Alvarez, brought the play back to life in the most unexpected ways.

Chicago Board of Education Meeting Postponed As CTU Strike Continues


The Chicago Board of Education is postponing its regular monthly meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, until the teachers union and SEIU Local 73 end their ongoing strike. In a statement, the board said this allows district leadership to focus on negotiations.

2019 Chicago Summer Festival Guide

Taste of Lincoln Avenue (Special Events Management)

Coming up: Spooky Zoo, BatFest, Day of the Dead, Pier Pumpkin Lights and more. 

Bridgewater Throws for 2 TDs, Surging Saints Top Bears 36-25

New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) is chased by Chicago Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman (91) during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

Teddy Bridgewater threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and the Saints improved to 5-0 without their injured star quarterback by beating the Chicago Bears 36-25 on Sunday.

Chicago Teachers Strike Enters Day 3 as Monday Classes Canceled

Chicago teachers hold signs and walk the picket line on day two of a strike on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (WTTW News)

Negotiators for Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union failed to come to a contract agreement despite weekend bargaining sessions, though both sides agree progress has been made.

The Week in Review: Chicago’s Teachers on Strike


Chicago teachers take to the picket lines. Will the city delay the start of legal pot sales? A federal probe into ComEd widens. And the Bears try to bounce back against the Saints. 

Strike Day 2: City Wants 10-Hour Daily Bargaining Sessions With CTU

Chicago Public Schools teachers formed picket lines for the second day Friday as the city and Chicago Teachers Union continued contract negotiations.

As teachers hit the picket lines for the second day, the city called on Chicago Teachers Union leaders to spend more time at the negotiating table in order to reach a deal. 

Chicago’s Mayor Says Top Cop Was Drinking Before Incident in Car

In this March 26, 2019, file photo, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford, File)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had “a couple of drinks with dinner” before he fell asleep at a stop sign while driving home early Thursday morning. 

What Happens If a Teacher Crosses a Picket Line and Goes to Work?

Chicago teachers marched Friday on the second day of the CTU's strike. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union expects all of its members to be on picket lines during their ongoing strike. Breaking ranks could cost teachers their job.

CPS Reports Possible Threat Found Inside Lane Tech

Lane Tech High School (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

The school district sent a letter Wednesday informing families the written threat was found inside a student bathroom at the North Side high school.

Juul Halts Sales of Fruit, Dessert Flavors for E-Cigarettes

In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 file photo, Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig)

The flavors affected by Thursday’s announcement — mango, crème, fruit and cucumber — account for less than 10% of Juul’s sales. The flavors had only been sold through Juul’s website, after the company pulled them from stores last November.

Joffrey Dancers’ Dramatic Powers Soar in Hypnotic ‘Jane Eyre’

Greig Matthews and Amanda Assucena in Joffrey Ballet’s production of “Jane Eyre.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

British choreographer Cathy Marston’s enthralling production of “Jane Eyre,” is now being performed with stellar artistry and deep emotional insight by the Joffrey Ballet even though not a single word is spoken throughout the performance.

Chicago’s Top Cop Found Lying in Car; Requests Investigation

In this March 26, 2019, file photo, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson speaks during a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford, File)

A passerby found Johnson early Thursday in a car parked near a stop sign and called 911. Police department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement that Johnson indicated he parked his car after feeling lightheaded. 

CTU President: Lightfoot Spreading ‘Falsehoods’ About Negotiations


As Day One of the teacher strike ended, Chicago Teachers Union leadership strongly criticized claims made by Mayor Lori Lightfoot that the union lacked urgency to end the work stoppage.   

Joel Paterson, Master of Classic Guitar Styles, Takes on the Beatles


There are plenty of Beatles covers in the world. But when a talented local guitarist like Joel Paterson applies his artistry to the fab four, that gets our attention.

Mayor Lightfoot: Where’s CTU’S Urgency?


Bargaining sessions between the Chicago Teacher's Union and the city started late and ended early on Thursday, the first day students missed classes with their teachers on strike, causing Mayor Lori Lightfoot to question the union’s sense of urgency. 

Chicago Aldermen Propose New Name for Lake Shore Drive

(Roman Boed / Flickr)

Alds. David Moore and Sophia King introduced an ordinance Wednesday to rename Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Drive in honor of the city’s founder.

Crain’s Headlines: Northwestern’s $10M Grant to Prevent Opioid Deaths

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hailey R. Staker)

A Northwestern researcher known for developing wearable technology has received a $10 million federal grant to create a potentially life-saving implantable device for people with opioid use disorder. 

CPS Teachers, Staff Take Their Case to the Streets with Rallies Across the City

Teachers and support staff on the picket line Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 in front of Little Village Academy. (WTTW News)

Chants of “fair contract!” and “Mayor Lightfoot, get on the right foot!” rang through the air outside Chicago Public Schools around the city on the first morning of the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU support staff walkout. 

Illinois Leads Nation with 137 Vaping-Related Illnesses

(Vaping360 / Flickr)

In Illinois, there have been 137 vaping-related illnesses – the most in any state across the country, according to the latest data released by federal and state health officials. 

Bears vs. Saints: Trubisky May Return, But Injuries Mount


The Chicago Bears host the New Orleans Saints. Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams has a preview.

‘Pop America’ Reframes Pop Art, Expands Notion of ‘America’

Antonio Berni, Mediodía (Noontime), 1976. Acrylic and collage on canvas, 78.22 x 78.34 inches (198.7 cm x 199 cm). Collection of the Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin. Barbara Duncan Fund, 1977.97. © José Antonio Berni.

Pop Art gets reframed in a new museum show that looks closely at the visual culture of the 1960s and ‘70s – and sheds light on an entire hemisphere of artwork that really pops.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lion Sahar Died of Encephalitis Caused by Fungal Infection

Sahar, Lincoln Park Zoo's 9-year-old male lion, died Sept. 27 while living temporarily at a zoo in Kansas. (Courtesy Lincoln Park Zoo)

Sahar, a 9-year-old African lion, arrived in Chicago in 2012 and became a favorite among staff and visitors. He died unexpectedly last month while living at a zoo in Kansas. 

‘Southern Exposure’ Expands Chicago’s Architectural Canon

Lee Bey’s new book explores architectural gems on Chicago’s South Side, such as the University of Chicago’s Law School. (Lee Bey / Northwestern University Press)

In his new book, architecture critic and photographer Lee Bey highlights visually striking and culturally significant sites on Chicago’s South Side that have gone mostly overlooked, he says. 

UK, EU Reach Tentative Brexit Deal; Still Needs Ratification

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks out to greet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg before their meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (AP Photo / Matt Dunham)

Despite the tentative agreement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson must now sell the deal to Parliament. Johnson’s political rivals and even a key ally have already rejected the agreement.