US Births in 2020 Dropped to Lowest Level Since 1979

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(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

U.S. births dropped to their lowest level in more than 40 years in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How the pandemic is impacting family planning. 

Meet the Black-Owned Engineering Firm Helping Oversee the CTA’s Massive Red-Purple Line Overhaul

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Rashod Johnson, president and CEO of Ardmore Roderick. (WTTW News)

For extra help with its massive $2.1 billion modernization project, the CTA hired a joint venture made up of three firms, including a locally owned company that started in a South Side attic. Rashod Johnson tells us about his company and his love of civil engineering.

Chicago Expands Vaccine Eligibility for Youth Ages 12 to 15

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Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of Chicago’s public health department, announces all city-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites will be open to children ages 12 and up during a news conference on May 11, 2021. (WTTW News)

Vaccine eligibility is expanding. We speak with Dr. Allison Bartlett, a pediatrician and associate professor of the pediatrics section of infectious diseases at University of Chicago Medicine, to learn more about vaccinating young people.

EXPLAINER: Why the Colonial Pipeline Hack Matters

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In this Sept. 20, 2016 file photo vehicles are seen near Colonial Pipeline in Helena, Ala. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson, File)

A cyberattack on a critical U.S. pipeline is sending ripple effects across the economy, highlighting cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the nation’s aging energy infrastructure.

Officials Ramp Up Efforts to Get Black Chicagoans Vaccinated as Demand Drops

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(WTTW News)

Chicago’s top doctor says cases of COVID-19 are now concentrated among young, Black Chicagoans who live on the city’s South Side.

May 11, 2021 - Full Show

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(WTTW News)

Members of Congress on Middle East tensions and more. Where to get kids 12 and up vaccinated. Declining birth rates in the U.S. The race to replace Jesse White. And meet WBEZ’s new afternoon host.

3 US Army Soldiers Allegedly Bought, Supplied Guns Used in Chicago Shootings

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(WTTW News)

A trio of U.S. Army soldiers in Tennessee have been charged with funneling illegal firearms to Chicago that were found after a mass shooting earlier this year that left one person dead and several others wounded on the city’s Southwest Side.

Ald. Austin Misses Deadline to Pay Already Reduced Fine for Accepting Improper Campaign Cash

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A file photo shows 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin. (WTTW News)

The second-longest serving alderman on the City Council missed the deadline to pay a $5,000 fine to resolve charges that she accepted $48,500 in excessive campaign contributions. The Chicago Board of Ethics voted unanimously Monday to refer the matter to the city’s Law Department.

After Colonial Pipeline Attack, Maneuvers to Avert Shortages

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In this Sept. 8, 2008 file photo traffic on I-95 passes oil storage tanks owned by the Colonial Pipeline Company in Linden, N.J. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)

As the shutdown of a major fuel pipeline entered into its fifth day, efforts are under way to stave off potential fuel shortages, though no widespread disruptions were evident.

US Casinos Match Best Quarter Ever; Post-COVID Hopes Rise

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In this May 3, 2021 photo a game of roulette is under way in the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo / Wayne Parry)

Figures released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association, the casino industry’s national trade group, show the nation’s commercial casinos took in over $11.1 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Grandfather Charged in Stabbing Death of Man in Englewood Home

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A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

Anthony Moody, 55, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder stemming from the Sunday death of Robert Webster, and was ordered held on $200,000 bail during a hearing Tuesday afternoon.

AP Source: Biden to Tap Rahm Emanuel for Ambassador to Japan

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In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, then Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a news conference in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton)

President Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, according to a person familiar with the president’s decision.

US Schools Fight to Keep Students Amid Fear of Dropout Surge

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A student walks between classes at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan., on the first day of in-person learning Wednesday, March 30, 2021. (AP Photo / Charlie Riedel)

Educators are doing everything they can to track down high school students who stopped showing up to classes and to help them get the credits needed to graduate, amid an anticipated surge in the country’s dropout rate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chicago Opening City-Run Vaccine Sites to Ages 12-15 Starting Thursday

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The United Center mass vaccination site on Monday, March 29, 2021. (WTTW News)

Chicago will open all city-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites to youth ages 12-15 on Thursday, officials announced Tuesday. “Current data show that the vaccine is safe and effective in children, and it not only protects our kids, but also their families and our communities,” said Dr. Alison Arwady.

Poll: Most in US Who Remain Unvaccinated Need Convincing

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In this April 10, 2021, file photo, registered nurse Ashleigh Velasco, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Rosemene Lordeus, right, at a clinic held by Healthcare Network in Immokalee, Fla. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky, File)

Fewer Americans are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine than just a few months ago, but questions about side effects and how the shots were tested still hold some back, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges at a pivotal moment in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Crain’s Headlines: Rush, BMO Launch $10M Health Equity Institute

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Rush University Medical Center (WTTW News)

Rush University System for Health and BMO Financial Group team up to help improve health disparities in the region. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details on that story and more.

Agencies Calculating Cost of 2019 Steel Mill Cyanide Spill

Can you put a price tag on damaged natural resources?

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The Little Calumet River. (Charles Morris / National Park Service)

State and federal agencies are still assessing how much damage was done to natural resources in Northwest Indiana as a result of the 2019 discharge of hazardous chemicals into a Lake Michigan tributary.  

Lawmaker Moves to Block State Financing for Massive One Central Development

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The site of the proposed development One Central. (WTTW News)

The proposed mega-development would create residential and retail space, parkland and a transit hub on top of the Metra tracks just west of Soldier Field. Why some lawmakers want to block state financing for the splashy, $20 billion plan.

Pfizer COVID-19 Shot Expanded to US Children as Young as 12

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In this Jan. 24, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 is shown at a one-day vaccination clinic set up in an Amazon.com facility in Seattle and operated by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities.

Still a ‘Vast Wasteland’? Newton Minow Reflects on the State of Television

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Newton Minow appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, May 10, 2021. (WTTW News)

Newton Minow, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, played a key role in public media. Here’s what he thinks about television today — six decades after his famous “vast wasteland” speech.

Logan Square Farmers Market Gives Businesses a Boost Amid COVID-19

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Pete Ternes, owner of the brewpub Bungalow by Middle Brow, takes a pizza out of the Logan Square restaurant’s oven on April 30, 2021. Bungalow by Middle Brow is one of several vendors participating in this year’s Logan Square Farmers Market. (WTTW News)

One of Chicago’s only weekly, nearly year-long farmers markets opened on Sunday, just in time to provide some extra help to the farmers, restaurateurs and other food producers selling their goods in the city’s Northwest Side neighborhood. We meet some of this year’s vendors.

Economy Roars Back, But Dismal Jobs Report Points to Jobs-Skills Mismatch

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(Photo by Brian Lundquist on Unsplash)

The U.S. economy has come roaring back from pandemic lows, but a disappointing jobs report that fell far short of analysts’ predictions highlighted some potentially worrying trends.

Vaccine Hesitancy Driven for Some by Fear of Allergic Reactions

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(WTTW News)

Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is dropping, but there is still a large population that’s hesitant to get the shot. Some of that hesitancy is steeped in politics or misinformation, but others fear an allergic reaction. We meet one Chicagoan who says she has good reason to hold out.

In India’s Northeast There’s Fear of a Virus Surge to Come

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An Indian woman getting vaccinated with a dose of COVAXIN against the coronavirus gestures to camera in Gauhati, Assam, India, Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo / Anupam Nath)

With experts saying the coronavirus is likely spreading in India’s northeastern state of Assam faster than anywhere else in the country, authorities were preparing Monday for a surge in infections by converting a massive stadium and a university into hospitals.

Judge to Decide if Smollett Attorney Can Stay on Case After Summer Hearing

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Jussie Smollett appears at a hearing for judge assignment with his attorney Tina Glandian, left, at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Thursday, March 14, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

A Cook County judge has scheduled a hearing this summer to determine if an attorney that actor Jussie Smollett has hired will be allowed to represent him following allegations of a possible conflict of interest involving that attorney and the two brothers Smollett allegedly hired to carry out a hoax attack.

Reversing Trump, US Restores Transgender Health Protections

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In this Sunday, June 11, 2017 file photo, Equality March for Unity and Pride participants march past the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

The federal government will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care, the Biden administration declared Monday, reversing a Trump-era policy that narrowed rights at the intersection of changing social mores and sensitive medical decisions. 

Jim Mabie, Longtime WTTW-WFMT Trustee and Board Chair, Dies at 85

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Jim Mabie in 2018. (WTTW)

Jim Mabie, a noted Chicago businessman, philanthropist and civic leader who served as a WTTW and WFMT trustee for more than 20 years, died Saturday surrounded by his family.

Americans Set Another Pandemic-Era Record for Air Travel

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In this Nov. 25, 2020, file photo, air travelers line up to go through a a security checkpoint at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, File)

The Transportation Security Administration said that slightly more than 1.7 million people were screened at airport checkpoints on Sunday, the highest number since March 2020, when travel was collapsing because of the coronavirus outbreak.

May 10, 2021 - Full Show

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COVID-19 vaccines are on their way to downtown office buildings. What to do about vaccine allergies. The debate over a mega-development near Soldier Field. Newton Minow on TV as a “vast wasteland.”

Results Are in From City Nature Challenge, and Chicagoans Went Wild

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Virginia bluebells were among the species most commonly recorded by Chicagoans during the 2021 City Nature Challenge. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicagoans notched a whopping 12,000 observations of plants, animals and fungi in the 2021 City Nature Challenge, coming in well ahead of Moscow, Prague, London and Tokyo.

As Supply of COVID-19 Vaccine Swells, Clinics Open in Office Buildings

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot announces that COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held in office buildings as employees return to work at a news conference Monday, May 10, 2021. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Vaccination clinics will open in office buildings in downtown Chicago and across the state as officials continue to get as many people vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. The vaccines will allow the city to put “the pandemic in the rearview mirror,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

City, State Officials Cut Ribbon on Long-Awaited Navy Pier Flyover

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The Navy Pier flyover. (WTTW News)

The project’s many delays – some due to unexpected maintenance, some to funding availability – became a source of both frustration and humor for trail users and observers, who joked about the flyover taking longer than engineering marvels like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sears Tower.