Stories by Acacia Hernandez

The village of Robbins water tower is pictured on Dec. 1, 2022. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ In Your Neighborhood: Robbins Calls For Federal Help to Fix Aging Water Infrastructure

Over Thanksgiving week, hundreds of Robbins residents were left with dry homes following two water main breaks. It is just part of a long history of water infratructure problems in the town. 

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García appears on Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 22, 2022. (WTTW News)

US Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García Ramps Up Campaign for Mayor: ‘I Want To Come Back Home’

U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García is mounting a campaign for mayor of Chicago and says the city needs a new leader who can bring people together. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Impact of Obama Center Construction on Woodlawn

The Obama Presidential Center has been the source of excitement and anxiety for residents in the South Side Woodlawn community, who are eager to benefit from the major development but are concerned about being priced out. The’re also raising concerns about the difficulty of getting around the massive construction site. 

The Damen Silos are pictured on Nov. 10, 2022. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: McKinley Park and Future of Damen Silos

The state announced it will enter into exclusive negotiations with MAT Limited Partnership to take over the Damen Silos property. The 23-acre property located along the Chicago River has been vacant for years. 

A mural on the side of a building in East Garfield Park. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Trauma’s Toll In East Garfield Park

Fourteen people, ten of whom from the same family, were shot in East Garfield Park on Oct. 31. The victims had been holding a vigil for a relative who’d recently passed away when a car drove by and opened fire. We visit the community dealing with the aftermath. 

Chicago Board of Trade building. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ In Your Neighborhood: City Aiming to Breathe Life Into Financial District

As firms and other businesses have started locating their offices in other parts of town, and with the massive shift in work patterns driven by COVID-19, the eight-block stretch has become home to more vacancies than any other part of downtown. Now, the city has an ambitious plan to spur development.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ In Your Neighborhood: Rebuilding in Austin Following Building Explosion

building explosion on Sept. 20 left one person dead and several injured in the Austin community on Chicago’s West Side. With help from neighbors, residents are slowly starting to rebuild. 

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Recovery and Development in Hyde Park

The community’s 53rd Street is home to many locally-owned shops, nightlife spots and restaurants. There’s been some turnover during COVID, but a lot of the small businesses have hung on — even though they’re still facing challenges. 

Site of a planned new high school on the Near South Side. (WTTW News)

Chicago Tonight In Your Neighborhood: Plan for New School on Near South Side Runs Into Opposition

A new high school is slated to be built at 24th and State streets, with the recent blessing of the Chicago Board of Education. It was a tight 4-3 vote, an indication of how controversial the plan is considering that residents of Chinatown, the South Loop and surrounding communities have been asking for a new school for decades.

The Veterans’ Home in the Dunning community is pictured on Sept. 22, 2022. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Dunning

Many city employees and people of Polish descent call the community of Dunning home, as do veterans, who at long last are beginning to move into Chicago’s newest veterans’ home.

Back in the late 19th century, Dunning was thought of as a scary place.

“Parents used to threaten their children that if you didn’t behave, if you didn’t eat breakfast, they’d send you to Dunning,” said history buff and longtime area resident Dan Pogorzelski of the Northwest Chicago Historical Society.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils the forecast for the 2023 Chicago budget on Aug. 10, 2022. (WTTW News)

Firm Has Filed More Than 100 Lawsuits Against Lightfoot Administration Over FOIA Denials

Since she took office in 2019, Loevy & Loevy has filed 104 lawsuits against the administration for denying access to documents requested through Freedom of Information Act filings, according to Matt Topic, an attorney at the firm. 

Route 66 Park in Burr Ridge. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Migrants Arrive at Burr Ridge Hotel

Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso has criticized Chicago and Illinois officials for not informing the village of the migrants’ arrival ahead of time, and said that at this point, his office is actively working with businesses and the school district to assist the families staying at the hotel.

Special ‘Voices’ Community Conversation: Previewing PBS’ ‘Facing Suicide,’ Addressing the Health Crisis

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — a time professionals and community voices raise awareness of this stigmatized, and often taboo, topic. A new film explores powerful stories of those impacted by suicide and takes viewers to the front lines of research with scientists whose work is leading to better prevention and treatment. 

Arlington Park Metra station in Arlington Heights. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Bears Make First Pitch to Arlington Heights Residents

The Bears hosted a community meeting Thursday in north suburban Arlington Heights about their plans for a new stadium and entertainment district, and there’s no shortage of opinions.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: East Side

The neighborhood is an industrial corridor. It has a long history that dates back decades with the arrival of steel mills that drove hundreds of immigrants to move to the area to work and build. We started by talking to a long-time resident who tells us more about the economic impact of the steel mills' shutdown.

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

‘Black Voices’ Community Conversation: Education Equity As New School Year Starts

On Monday, “Chicago Tonight” co-host and “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” host Brandis Friedman moderated the latest edition of our “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” community conversation series in a discussion focused on education equity and the outlook for the new school year.

A colorful banner welcomes visitors to North Center (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: North Center

Chicago’s North Center neighborhood is a community where many city dwellers raise a family with lots of schools, parks, and public space. Many residents and community leaders have worked for years to create a community feel and, to address infrastructure needs to improve transportation safety.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: North Park

North Park was originally a Swedish community and over the years it’s become more diverse, with a blend of different cultures and backgrounds.

Milwaukee is set to host the 2024 RNC. What that could mean for local businesses and more. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Milwaukee

Chicago is waiting to see whether Democrats will choose it above Atlanta, Houston and New York as the host city for the party's 2024 convention. But Republicans have already made their selection: Milwaukee.

Emmerson Buie Jr. appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 8, 2022. (WTTW News)

Chicago Special Agent in Charge Retires from FBI After 30 Years

The head of Chicago’s FBI office is retiring after 30 years of service. Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. has been running the Midwest’s largest FBI field office since 2019.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Avalon Park

The Southeast Side community is home to about 9,500 people, according to U.S. census data. Local hotspots include a nostalgic roller rink and a series of murals by local artists.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Waukegan

Located about 30 miles north of downtown Chicago, Waukegan has recently become a hub for Planned Parenthood doctors in Wisconsin to treat their patients since that state halted abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Morgan Park

More and more communities are turning to private security to help combat higher crime. In the Morgan Park community on the city's far south side, a new pilot program employs private security guards to watch over local businesses. Morgan Park is located just south of Beverly and just north of suburbs like Blue Island on the southern edge of the city.

“Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness,” is a new two-part documentary. (Credit: “Hiding in Plain Sight”)

‘Voices’ Community Conversation: ‘Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness’

On Monday, “Chicago Tonight” co-host Paris Schutz moderated the latest edition of our “Chicago Tonight: Voices” conversation in conjunction with “Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness,” a new two-part documentary by executive producer Ken Burns.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Pride Parade Returns in Northalsted

For the first time in three years, Northalsted and the surrounding neighborhood will host the city’s Pride Parade.

Candidate Forum: Democratic Secretary of State Candidates Anna Valencia, David Moore Square Off

Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia and Ald. David Moore (17th Ward) are among four Democratic candidates vying to fill his seat. “Chicago Tonight” also invited candidate and former state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias who initially accepted an invitation and then later canceled. Also on the ballot is Sidney Moore.