Judge Finds No Bias from Jussie Smollett Special Prosecutor Dan Webb

|
“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at Leighton Criminal Court Building for a hearing to discuss whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during his disorderly conduct case on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton)

A Chicago judge decided Friday to keep a special prosecutor looking into why the state’s attorney’s office abruptly dismissed charges against actor Jussie Smollett, finding there’s “no indication he harbors any bias.”

‘Driving Force’ Behind Murder of 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee Guilty of Murder

|
Corey Morgan is found guilty of first-degree murder for the killing of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee during his trial at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / pool)

While he didn’t fire the fatal shots that killed 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, prosecutors say Corey Morgan was the “driving force” behind the boy’s execution in 2015. On Friday, Morgan was found guilty of murder for his role in one of Chicago’s most horrific crimes.

Duckworth, Booker File Bill to Reduce Cost of Solar Energy for Poor Families

|
(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

The Low-Income Solar Energy Act would expand an existing program and create new ones to make solar energy more affordable for low-income Americans. 

White House Prepares Formal Objection to Impeachment Probe

|
President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, before his departure to nearby Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump said Friday the White House is preparing a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally objecting to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry without an official vote.

Some in GOP Want Trump Inquiry But Balk at Impeachment Talk

|
Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-Ill., speaks to reporters after attending an event Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Noreen Nasir)

The handful of lawmakers who say they’re “troubled” or concerned by the allegations account for a small fraction of the 197 House Republicans. Still, their comments represent thin cracks in what has been a solid foundation for Trump.

Native American Jewelry Tells ‘Stunning Stories’ of Indigenous People

|

At the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, more than 80 pieces of Native American jewelry reveal cultural history and spiritual beliefs. How this wearable art helps preserve indigenous stories.

Comedian Damon Williams Stands Up for Hometown of Chicago

|
(Courtesy of Damon Williams)

Damon Williams has worked at City Hall, Subway and – for the last 27 years – has been a very busy stand-up comic. We catch up with Williams ahead of his benefit for Teamwork Englewood on Friday.

Oriental Institute Unveils Multimillion-Dollar Makeover for Centennial

|

On the South Side of Chicago is a relatively small but academically renowned museum whose founder James Henry Breasted helped rewrite the history of human civilization. We go for a look.

Gunman Guilty in Brutal Slaying of 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee

|
Dwright Boone-Doty is found guilty by jury of first-degree murder for the murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune / pool)

Dwright Boone-Doty, 24, has been found guilty of murder in what remains one of the most shocking and horrific murders in Chicago’s recent history.

Minimum Wage Debate: Should Tipped Workers Also ‘Fight for $15’?

|
(Robert-Owen-Wahl / Pixabay)

Should tipped workers make the same minimum wage as non-tipped workers? We discuss the pros and cons of a pending ordinance in City Council that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 – including for those who earn tips.

1 Year After Van Dyke Conviction, How is Chicago Handling Police Misconduct?

|
Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens to closing arguments Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

It’s been one year since former Chicago Police Office Jason Van Dyke was convicted of murdering 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. We discuss issues related to police misconduct and accountability.

House Committee Holds Hearing on Gun Violence in Chicago

|

Several members of the Illinois congressional delegation heard testimony Thursday about gun violence, and legislation aimed at addressing it.

Crain’s Headlines: Ken Griffin’s $125 Million Gift to Chicago’s MSI

|
(J.B. Spector / Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago)

Ken Griffin has buildings, gallery wings and exhibitions named after him in Palm Beach, New York and Chicago. Now the local hedge fund billionaire’s latest gift of $125 million will put his name on an entire museum.

Bears vs. Raiders: Mack Faces Former Team in London

|

The Chicago Bears head across the pond for their matchup with the Oakland Raiders. Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams has a preview.

102 Cases of Vaping Illnesses in Illinois, Health Officials Report

|
(Vaping360 / Flickr)

More than 100 Illinois residents are among 1,080 people across the country who have been hospitalized for severe breathing illnesses related to vaping, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Not Just Ukraine: Trump Now Calls for China to Probe Bidens

|
President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Medicare at the Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in The Villages, Fla. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump, ensnared in an impeachment inquiry over his request that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, on Thursday called on China to do the same.

Schiff: Trump’s ‘Rant’ Reinforces Urgency of Impeachment Inquiry

|
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., listens at a news conference with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, spent Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., as the impeachment inquiry of President Trump began in earnest. By Thursday evening, Schiff is set to be in the Chicago area.

Researchers Develop Blood Tests to Detect Diabetic Complications, Cancer

|
(Belova59 / Pixabay)

The scientist who invented blood tests that can detect diabetic complications and liver cancer sees the tool becoming part of annual blood tests in the future. “That’s the grand picture,” said University of Chicago professor Chuan He.

New Abortion Clinic Being Built in Illinois, Near St. Louis

|
A new abortion clinic is quietly being built by Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights, Illinois, just 12 miles across the Mississippi River east of St. Louis, as Missouri women concerned about the uncertain future of a St. Louis clinic flock across the state line. (AP Photo / Jim Salter)

Planned Parenthood has quietly been building a new abortion clinic in Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, as women concerned about the uncertain future of Missouri’s sole abortion clinic flock across the state line.

Lyft Blocks Bike-Sharing Access on Popular App – But Chicago Riders Won’t Be Affected

|
A Divvy docking station in the Chicago’s West Loop. (Tony Webster / Flickr)

This week the popular transportation app Transit announced Lyft was blocking users from accessing rides on New York’s bike-sharing system. But Chicagoans who use Transit to access Divvy bikes need not worry. 

How Risky is Eating Red Meat? New Papers Provoke Controversy

|
 In this June 5, 2014, file photo, a man makes a submarine sandwich with mortadella, cooked salami, ham, Genoa salami and sweet capicola at a delicatessen in Massachusetts. (AP Photo / Elise Amendola, File)

Eating red meat is linked to cancer and heart disease, but are the risks big enough to give up burgers and steak? A team of international researchers says probably not, contradicting established advice.

Spotlight Politics: Watchdog Releases Sexual Harassment Report

|

A state watchdog’s highly anticipated report on sexual harassment is finally public. Our politics team dives into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Chicago Teachers Union Sets Oct. 17 Date for Strike If No Deal Reached

|
Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

The Chicago Teachers Union says members will walk off the job in two weeks if a deal with the Chicago Board of Education can’t be reached.

Naomi Klein on the ‘Burning Case’ for a Green New Deal

|
Naomi Klein appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 2, 2019.

Over the past year, a term new to many Americans has entered the political lexicon: the Green New Deal. One early advocate was author Naomi Klein, who joins us to discuss her new book, “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal.”

Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Clash Over Metra Electric Proposal

|
A southbound Metra Electric District train departs 79th Street station. (vxla / Flickr)

Could a three-year pilot program to lower fares and expand train service on the South Side hurt the Chicago Transit Authority? A supporter of the plan weighs in.

Crain’s Headlines: TV Ratings Show Drop in Cubs’ Popularity

|
(WTTW News)

The lovable losers aren’t as popular as they used to be — at least if TV ratings are any guide. Two back-to-back end-of-season collapses helped drive down TV ratings for the 2019 season. 

Fearing the ‘Insect Apocalypse’? Renowned Entomologist Says ‘Get Rid of Your Lawn’

|
Dr. May Berenbaum, professor of entomology and head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois (Courtesy University of Illinois)

The polar bear has become the poster child for climate change, but increasing temperatures impact many forms of life – including insects. Dr. May Berenbaum weighs in on what that means for the rest of life on Earth. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Oct. 3-6

|
(Couleur / Pixabay)

Fall flavors, a community art project, pumpkin patches and a scary film series usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Ask Geoffrey: The History of the Art Institute Lions

|
South lion at the Art Institute of Chicago. (Heather Paul / Flickr)

From the Picasso to the Bean to countless city murals, public art is a vibrant part of Chicago culture. But for over a century, Chicagoans have taken special pride in a pair of sculptures watching over Michigan Avenue. Geoffrey Baer explains.

Vivian Maier Photos, Artifacts Donated to University of Chicago

|
Unpublished work © 2017 The Estate of Vivian Maier. All rights reserved.

The legend of street photographer Vivian Maier has grown immeasurably since her death. Now the collector who acquired the majority of her work has made a gift to the University of Chicago: 2,700 of her images and some artifacts.

‘Oslo’ An Enthralling Exploration of How Personal Diplomacy (Almost) Worked

|
From left: Scott Parkinson, Stef Tovar, David Parkes, Jed Feder and Bri Sudia in TimeLine Theatre Company’s “Oslo.” (Photo by Brett Beiner Photography)

J.T. Rogers’ superbly crafted, whip-smart, at times fancifully (and farcically) imagined 2017 Tony Award-winning play captures the efforts of a Norwegian husband-and-wife team to forge a peace process between the Israeli government and the PLO.

New Evidence Will Clear Marni Yang of Gruesome 2007 Murder, Attorneys Claim

Yang convicted of killing Rhoni Reuter, pregnant girlfriend of former Chicago Bears star Shaun Gayle

|
Attorney Jed Stone, center, speaks during a news conference Wednesday discussing his new petition for Marni Yang's freedom. He is surrounded by Yang's children, left, Andrew and Emily, and her father Larry Merar. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

It’s been more than eight years since the Chicago real estate agent was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Rhoni Reuter, the pregnant lover of former Chicago Bears star Shaun Gayle. Marni Yang’s attorney is now calling for a new trial.