Ask Geoffrey: What’s the Chicago Parental School?


Geoffrey Baer on the reform school that was once WTTW’s neighbor.

PBS Career Exploration Documentary Series Features Chicago-area Native

Final episode showcases Chicago workforce organization

(Courtesy Roadtrip Nation)

Chicago is the last stop on PBS’ four-part career exploration documentary series: “Roadtrip Nation: To Be Determined.” We talk with one of the road trippers, who’s a Chicago native, and a CEO of a workforce development program.

Aldermen Rake ComEd Over the Coals Amid Bribery Scandal, Even As Officials Say City Can’t Afford Takeover

(WTTW News)

Aldermen raked officials from Commonwealth Edison over the coals Thursday, demanding answers about the firm’s admission that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme even as officials warned the city would have no choice but to extend the utility’s lucrative city contract.

2nd US Virus Surge Hits Plateau, But Few Experts Celebrate

Passengers boards a Casco Bay Lines ferry bound for Peaks Island, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Portland, Maine. State officials reported more cases of COVID-19. (AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty)

While deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. are mounting rapidly, public health experts are seeing a flicker of good news: The second surge of confirmed cases appears to be leveling off.

Forget Catch of the Day. This Bass Is the Catch of the Year, and Here’s Why

What’s so special about this fish? It’s all about the little yellow tag. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District)

A largemouth bass fished from the Skokie River provided proof of the success of a 2018 dam removal on the Chicago River.

Trump Floats Idea of Election Delay, A Virtual Impossibility

President Donald Trump delivers remarks about American energy production during a visit to the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo / Tony Gutierrez)

President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, on Thursday floated the startling idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election.

July 30, 2020 - Full Show


Watch the July 30, 2020 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

At Least 3 Chicago Police Officers Wounded in Shooting at CPD Station Thursday

(WTTW News)

Three Chicago Police officers were shot, including one who was struck in the neck, outside a Northwest side police station Thursday by an offender who had been arrested as a suspect in a June carjacking.

Bird, Lime, Spin to Offer Scooters During Chicago’s Second Pilot Program

(WTTW News)

The three firms will scatter 10,000 scooters across much of the city — four times as many allowed during the summer of 2019 — but the scooters will not be allowed downtown or along the Lakefront or 606 trails, according to the city’s rules.

Women Embrace #ChallengeAccepted, But Some Ask: To What End?

This image provided by Tara Abrahams shows her Instagram post with the #challengeaccepted joining female users across the United States, flooding the photo-sharing app with black-and-white images. The official goal: a show of support for other women. Abrahams, the philanthropic advisor from New York added a caption encouraging people to check their voter registration status and make a plan to vote in November. (Tara Abrahams via AP)

To some, #challengeaccepted represents a clear example of “slacktivism” — campaigns based on social platforms that require little effort of participants. There’s no donation requested, no volunteer shift required, just a few minutes to post a message or image that people are unlikely to fight over.

Police Officer Suicide Sounds Mental Health Alarm

(WTTW News)

On Tuesday, a high-ranking chief in the Chicago Police Department is believed to have committed suicide — and research shows the suicide rate for Chicago officers is higher than the national average.

Spotlight Politics: Bad News for High School Athletes

Gov. J.B. Pritzker discusses new state guidelines for recreational sports on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker releases new guidelines for recreational sports, and a war of words unfolds at the ComEd hearing at the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Former Illinois, New Mexico State Coach Lou Henson Dies at 88

In this Aug. 24, 2015, file photo, former Illinois men’s basketball coach Lou Henson is interviewed during a ceremony announcing the naming of the basketball court at State Farm Center to “Lou Henson Court” at Memorial Stadium’s 77 Club in Champaign, Ill. (Rick Danz / The News-Gazette via AP, File)

Lou Henson, the plain-spoken coach who took New Mexico State and Illinois to the Final Four during a 21-year career that included nearly 800 victories and a feud with fellow Big Ten coach Bob Knight, has died. He was 88.

Proud of Your Garden? Enter This 60-Second Video Challenge

“Pete’s Pollinator Place,” a 2019 garden award winner. (Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards / Peter Gizyn)

The Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards has shifted to a video format for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Submissions are open through Sept. 30, so get those cameras rolling.

Chicago Rowers Made History as First All-Black High School Crew in US

The Manley Crew on the water. © 1998 Heather Stone. Courtesy of Tribune Content Agency

The new documentary “A Most Beautiful Thing” tells the story of Manley High School’s rowing team on Chicago’s West Side. We speak with some of the men featured in the film.

With COVID-19 Cases Rising, Pritzker Releases Safety Guidelines for Recreational Sports

(Keith Johnston / Pixabay)

With the number of new coronavirus cases rising in Illinois and a handful of outbreaks linked to youth sports, the governor announced new guidance restricting youth and adults sports in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

July 29, 2020 - Full Show


Watch the July 29, 2020 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

Chicago Portrait: Dr. Everywoman

Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald works in her downtown Chicago medical office on July 27, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

During the day, Dr. Wendy Goodall McDonald sees patients at her obstetric and gynecological practice in Chicago. But after work, she entertains and educates the public through song parodies.

The Greatest of the Great Lakes Has a Twitter Account With a Superiority Complex

(Jolene / Flickr; inset: Twitter / @lakesuperior)

The “greatest lake of all time” has a Twitter account to match its swagger, run by a human who speaks not on behalf of the lake but as the lake in a brash, anthropomorphic way. And we can’t get enough of it.

‘The Jury is Still Out’: Police Superintendent David Brown Marks 100 Days Amid Multiple Crises

David Brown is sworn in as police superintendent by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after unanimous approval by the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Brown’s wife and daughter are also pictured. (@Chicago_Police / Twitter photo)

After nearly 100 days at the helm of the Chicago Police Department, the superintendent’s tenure has been anything but average, as he faces an ongoing pandemic, protests and a surge in gun violence. 

CPS: More Than 400 Daily COVID-19 Cases Could Trigger Full-Time Remote Learning

(Don Harder / Flickr)

In order for schools to move to fully remote instruction this fall, the city of Chicago must hit a rolling average of 400 new COVID-19 cases per day, according to new guidance from Chicago Public Schools.

Worried About Democracy? Angry About Police Brutality? Fill Out the Census, Lightfoot Says

Mayor Lori Lightfoot urges Chicagoans to complete the 2020 census during a Wednesday, July 29, 2020 press conference at the DuSable Museum in Hyde Park. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered a full-throated defense of American democracy Wednesday before urging Chicagoans to safeguard the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights by responding to the 2020 census.

US Is Expected to Report a Record-Breaking Economic Plunge

In this July 13, 2020 file photo, a For Rent sign hangs on a closed shop during the coronavirus pandemic in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky)

Having endured what was surely a record-shattering slump last quarter, the U.S. economy faces a dim outlook as a resurgent coronavirus intensifies doubts about any sustained recovery the rest of the year.

Trump Administration Won’t Accept New DACA Applications

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the White House, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it will reject new applications and shorten renewal periods for an Obama-era program that shields young people from deportation.

Could ComEd Customers Get Reimbursed for ‘Wrongfully Inflated Rates’?

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Commonwealth Edison must pay a $200 million fine to the federal government as part of its deal with the U.S. attorney’s office. That fine will go to federal coffers — not ComEd customers. But a lawsuit is seeking to change that.

A Virtual Tour of the Union League Club of Chicago

Inside the Union League Club of Chicago. (WTTW News)

It’s home to a massive art collection that includes a Monet and a passel of Paschkes. The latest in our series of virtual tours: a private club with a public focus — and an eye for artwork.

Evanston Artist Transforms Neighborhood, One Garage Door at a Time

Evanston artist Teresa Parod paints a mural on a garage door. (WTTW News)

Alleys serve many purposes, but they’re not typically used as the backdrop for public art. Enter Teresa Parod, who is using house paint to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Chicago Tribune Moves Columnists to Reinforce Line Between Opinion and News

The Chicago Tribune announced changes to its print edition to clarify the difference between news and opinion on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Rebecca Palmore / WTTW News)

How should local newspapers and the media industry at large differentiate between news and opinion? What the Chicago Tribune is doing to clarify its content.

Secret Service Agent Shot in Reagan Assassination Attempt Retires as Orland Park Police Chief

Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

The Secret Service agent who took a bullet to protect President Ronald Reagan has spent the last 26 years as chief of police in Orland Park. We speak with Tim McCarthy ahead of his Aug. 1 retirement.

Barr Defends Aggressive Federal Response to Protests

Attorney General William Barr listens during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the oversight of the Department of Justice as a video plays in the background on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, July 28, 2020 in Washington. (Chip Somodevilla / Pool via AP)

Attorney General William Barr defended the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America as he testified for the first time before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

July 28, 2020 - Full Show

(WTTW News)

Watch the July 28, 2020 full episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime or Quarter? US Mint Asks People to Get Coins Back in Circulation

(Jason Rogers / Flickr)

Whether piled up in change jars, cup holders or couch crevices, coins are not circulating, and that makes it difficult for businesses to deal in cash, the U.S. Coin Task Force says. Here’s how to help.