Stories by Alexandra Silets

Paris Schutz and guests on “Week in Review” on Oct. 6, 2023. (WTTW News)

Week in Review: Escalating Migrant Crisis; $130M Northwestern Lawsuit

Chicago City Council votes to end tipped minimum wage. The escalating migrant crisis exposes a city divided on what to do. And Northwestern’s fired head football coach sues his former employer.

(WTTW News)

WTTW News Explains: How Do Chicago’s Lake Michigan Water Cribs Work?

Meet Ellis Chesbrough, Chicago’s first city engineer and designer of the water delivery system we still use today. WTTW News Explains how water cribs work out on Lake Michigan. 

A server working in a restaurant. (WTTW News)

A Proposed Ordinance Would Hike Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers in Chicago. Here’s What to Know

Ald. Jessie Fuentes (26th Ward) is sponsoring a Chicago ordinance that would eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers. The proposal has the backing of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Emery Moorehead, a member of the 1985 Super Bowl championship team, joined “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 7, 2023. (WTTW News)

Four and Out with 1985 Super Bowl Bear Emery Moorehead Ahead of Chicago Bears Season Opener

The Chicago Bears kick off the season Sunday by taking on the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. Former Bears tight end Emery Moorehead, a member of the 1985 Super Bowl championship team, joined “Chicago Tonight” to preview the season.

A rendering of a planned new Ryan Field in Evanston. (Credit: Northwestern University)

What’s Next for Northwestern University’s Proposed Ryan Field Development Plans

To fully fund renovations without direct taxpayer subsidies, Northwestern University said it needs revenue from at least six concerts. Many Evanston neighbors, however, are pushing back on that proposal. The issue is so divisive that a City Council meeting this week is expected to last several days.

(WTTW News)

Illinois Republicans Call for Stronger Ethics Reforms Following Conviction of Madigan’s Ex-Chief of Staff

In May, four of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s allies were found guilty on all charges of conspiring to bribe the former speaker to shepherd and pass ComEd’s legislative agenda. Madigan’s former chief of staff, Tim Mapes, was convicted last week of lying to federal prosecutors to protect “the boss.”

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 22, 2023. (WTTW News)

CTU President Stacy Davis Gates on Reaching Migrant Students, Planning for Extreme Weather

Chicago Public Schools’ first day of school saw a wave of new Spanish-speaking students who arrived in Chicago after seeking asylum in the United States. Those migrant students are dealing with both trauma and language barriers.

Week in Review: Johnson Makes Big Moves; Mapes Trial Continues

Larry Snelling gets Mayor Johnson’s nod to lead the Chicago Police Department. Illinois Democrats and Republicans call each other out at the state fair. And the playoff-contending Cubs walk all over the bottom-feeding Sox.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: State Gun Ban Decision; Top Madigan Aide on Trial

Mayor Brandon Johnson set to select a new police chief. Nobody gets in to see the wizard, according to a federally charged top Madigan aide. State Supreme Court rules on assault weapons. And the sinking Sox.

Illinois State Capitol. (WTTW News)

Illinois Lawmakers Look to Address Domestic Violence Rise With Laws to Help Survivors

The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline reported a 9% uptick in contacts received between 2020 and 2021, according to The Network for Advocating Against Domestic Violence 2021 annual report. With those grim statistics, Illinois lawmakers hope updates to domestic violence laws will help survivors of abuse.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Donald Trump Arraignment; Northwestern Hazing Scandal

Trump arraigned on four felony counts tied to Jan. 6. Mayor Johnson defends police response to teenage troublemakers last weekend. Northwestern hires the former U.S. attorney general. And Cubs bat the team into playoff contention.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Rocky Wirtz’s Legacy; Northwestern Lawsuits Pile Up

Chicago mourns the loss of Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz. Northwestern hit with more lawsuits. The city strikes peace with labor unions ahead of the 2024 DNC. And Mayor Johnson meets again with the Bears.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Northwestern Hazing Lawsuits; Eliminating Cash Bail in Illinois

Northwestern players speak out as lawsuits multiply against the beleaguered athletics program. State prosecutors get ready to eliminate cash bail as state Supreme Court upholds law. Chicago City Council addresses snowy winter sidewalks. And remembering Tony Bennett.

The Rev. Frederick Haynes III appears on the July 18, 2023, episode of “Chicago Tonight.”

New Leader of Rainbow PUSH Coalition Aims to Stand on the Shoulders of Rev. Jesse Jackson

The new president and CEO of Rainbow PUSH Coalition says he’s learned so much from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. that he’s basically a graduate of University of Jesse Jackson Sr. The Rev. Frederick Haynes III is only sort of kidding.

(Courtesy of Youth Guidance)

How This Chicago Program is Helping Girls With PTSD, Anxiety and Depression

Teen girls are in crisis. Research found nearly 40% of girls studied in Chicago high schools are experiencing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder as well as anxiety and depression from exposure to violence.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Police Abuse Allegations; NASCAR’s Future in Chicago

Allegations of sexual misconduct by Chicago police against migrants housed at a West Side station. The future of NASCAR in Chicago. And Mayor Brandon Johnson’s blueprint for the city’s future.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: NASCAR Chicago Street Race; Supreme Court Rulings

Chicago buckles down for this weekend’s NASCAR race. City residents choke down the world’s worst air quality. The president visits Chicago amid a major week of Supreme Court rulings. And Connor Bedard becomes a Hawk.

(WTTW News)

Advocates, Lawmaker Push to Send Money from Big Music Festivals Back to Impacted Chicago Neighborhoods

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, says since profits from events go to the Chicago Park District’s general operations fund, the financial gains from Riot Fest don’t help his constituents directly. He has proposed a 2% community benefits tax.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Trump’s Historic Arraignment; Mapping Out the NASCAR Chicago Street Race

Trump arraigned on historic 37-count federal indictment, and turns it into a political fundraising opportunity. City Council grills NASCAR officials as street closures pile up. And another bombshell political corruption conviction.

(WTTW News)

As Electric Vehicles Drop AM Radio, Broadcasters and Advocates Are Pushing Back

Most of the car companies manufacturing electric vehicles, a quickly growing market, have dropped AM radio from new vehicles. Because more than 40% of all radio listening is done in cars, there has been major pushback to the growing lack of AM access.

Illinois State Capitol building. (WTTW News)

Illinois Commission Aims to Research Reparations, Educate Public About the Issue

The state of Illinois’ reparations commission, known as the African Descent-Citizens Reparations Commission, is hard at work on a daunting mission.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 6, 2023. (WTTW News)

Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Investigation Into Child Sexual Abuse Among Catholic Clergy

More than 450 Catholic clerics and religious brothers abused nearly 2,000 children across six Illinois dioceses, according to a multi-year investigation from the state’s attorney general’s office, a total significantly higher than what the church itself had reported previously.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Debate Over Migrant Aid; Debt Ceiling Compromise

The Bears look beyond Chicago and Arlington Heights. Emotions run high over aid for asylum seekers. And back from the brink on a debt ceiling.

A Chicago City Council meeting on May 31, 2023. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Heated City Council Meeting; Memorial Day Weekend Violence

Tempers and emotions flared at Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting over the vote to use $51 million for migrants who are struggling to find shelter and food in the city.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on May 23, 2023. (WTTW News)

Sen. Dick Durbin on Supreme Court Ethics Reform, Reaching a Debt Ceiling Deal

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin joined “Chicago Tonight” to talk about ethics reforms at the high court, the growing migrant crisis and the possibility that the federal government could default on the national debt.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Johnson’s First Week in Office; Springfield Budget Talks

Mayor Brandon Johnson off and running on his first week as Chicago’s 57th mayor. Lawmakers keep state budget specifics close to the vest. And a new bill to assist the Bears in Arlington Heights gets momentum.