Stories by Andrea Guthmann

How Money is Impacting Illinois’ Primary Election

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, a candidate for governor in the Republican primary, holds a news conference on May 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

In what’s been called “the battle of the billionaires,” some of the country’s wealthiest men are trying to influence Illinois’ Governor’s race. That includes the current Governor, Hyatt hotel heir J. B. Pritzker, whose campaign is largely self-funded. 

Chicago Park District Facing Lifeguard Shortage as Superintendent Hopes to Have 300 Lifeguards to Open ‘Ample’ Number of Pools

(WTTW News)

Park District Superintendent Rosa Escareño joined “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the ongoing shortage and acknowledged that some neighborhood pools may not be able to open at all if the Park District can’t fill some 300 lifeguard positions.

A New Tool is Providing Solid Clues to COVID-19’s Resurgence

Workers test sewage as part of a COVID-19 tracking effort. (Credit: University of Illinois Discovery Partners Institute)

Loss of federal funding has led to COVID-19 testing site closures throughout Illinois, and the nation. Milder symptoms for those who are vaccinated and increased use of at-home rapid tests, which people rarely report to health authorities, means accurate COVID-19 data is increasingly hard to come by. 

As Hate Crimes Surge, Interfaith Activist Aims to Bridge Growing Divide

(Beacon Press)

Hate crimes have been on the rise in the U.S. Last fall, the FBI reported that hate crimes surged to their highest level in 12 years. The Anti-Defamation League says 2021 saw the highest number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded by the organization.

Whole Foods Announces It’s Checking Out of Englewood

(WTTW News)

After just six years, Whole Foods announced last week that the grocery chain is closing its Englewood store. The store's departure is a major blow to the South Side neighborhood that's long suffered from a lack of healthy food options.

New State Law Aims to Bridge Racial, Economic Divide in Drug Trials

A recent review of government-funded cancer research studies found that the participants were disproportionately white. A new state law attempts to fix that.

A Summit at UIC Aims to Make Progress on Poverty

The STEP Summit in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (WTTW News)

Poverty was front and center at a summit Thursday at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where local policymakers, union leaders, employers and academics focused on how to end poverty in Chicago within a generation.

Blagojevich: Corrupt Politician or ‘Freed Political Prisoner’?

A banner on the Chicago home of Rod Blagojevich thanks President Donald Trump for commuting the former governor’s 14-year prison sentence. (WTTW News)

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich celebrated his homecoming Wednesday with a media spectacle at his North Side home. But public sentiment about his early release from prison is divided.

Former WBBM News Anchor Serves Up Memorable Meals, Conversation on PBS

Kate Sullivan appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

Following journalism jobs in Indiana, Arkansas, New York and Chicago, Kate Sullivan was hungry to blaze her own trail. Now, she’s the host and executive producer of “To Dine For,” a show combining Sullivan’s two passions: food and conversation.

How Chicago Schools Handle Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Lincoln Park High School (WTTW News)

The father of a Lincoln Park High School student is suing the Chicago Board of Education for allegedly not protecting his daughter from sexual assault. It’s the latest twist in a story for which few details have been released.

Project Delays Cause More Backups, Frustration on Jane Byrne Interchange

Construction along the Jane Byrne Interchange (WTTW News)

Consistently listed one of the worst bottlenecks in the country, a massive project to improve the Jane Byrne Interchange is behind schedule and costing more than originally expected. We discuss the latest on the project.

Advocates Push for Protections Amid Fears of Obama Center Displacement

(Credit: The Obama Foundation)

The proposed 20-acre Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park is raising new concerns about property values and lower-income residents getting pushed out of the area.

Iowa Caucus Mess Raises New Concerns About Election Security

Precinct captain Carl Voss, of Des Moines, Iowa, holds his iPhone that shows the Iowa Democratic Party’s caucus reporting app Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo / Charlie Neibergall)

The long-awaited Iowa caucuses ended in chaos. Citing “inconsistencies” with a new mobile app, Democrats delayed releasing results until Tuesday afternoon. Just how secure are the elections going into the 2020 presidential race?

Chicago’s Pullman: A Model for Neighborhood Revitalization?

(WTTW News)

In 2015, Pullman was designated Illinois’ first national monument. The Far South Side neighborhood scored another victory with the Amateur Athletic Union. And a 40-acre Amazon warehouse may be on the horizon.

Trump’s Legal Team Concludes Oral Arguments in Impeachment Trial

Jay Sekulow, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, speaks during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

The president’s legal team has wrapped up its impeachment defense. What’s next? And what to make of the trial so far? We ask law professor and former Supreme Court clerk Carolyn Shapiro and journalist Chris Bury.

Impeachment Analysis: House Managers Make Case for Abuse of Power

House Democratic impeachment managers, from left, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., arrive for the start of the third day of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

It’s day two of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and House managers are laying out their case for abuse of power. A former Supreme Court clerk offers his take on the proceedings so far.

U. of I. President Tim Killeen Talks Tuition Hikes, Enrollment

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 22, 2020. (WTTW News)

His contract was just renewed – and came with a 40% pay hike. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen lays out his priorities for the system and talks about the challenges it faces.

The Impact of Citizens United, 10 Years Later

(NCinDC / Flickr)

On the 10th anniversary of one of the United States’ most divisive Supreme Court rulings, two legal analysts share their differing views on the impact Citizens United has had on campaign funding and the nation’s political process.

‘It’s Not Regular’ Highlights Injustices on Chicago’s South, West Sides

Community organizer Jahmal Cole appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

A new book and sign campaign points out daily inequities in some of Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. We speak with Jahmal Cole, CEO and founder of the nonprofit My Block, My Hood, My City.

Flu Facts: Debunking Common Flu Myths

(Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash)

It’s winter, which means it’s flu season. We get a check-up on common misconceptions about the flu and flu shots with Dr. Marielle Fricchione, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health's immunization program.

An Exit Interview with Senate President John Cullerton

Outgoing Illinois Senate President John Cullerton appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

After 41 years in public service, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is stepping down. He reflects on recent headlines, his life in politics and what’s next.

Grading Local Government: City Bureau Releases ‘Open Gov Report Card’

Chicago City Hall (Ken Lund / Flickr)

How transparent is local government? See which agencies made the grade in a new report from nonprofit journalism lab City Bureau. Reporter Sarah Conway tells us more.

Shedding Light on Sundown Towns: ProPublica Illinois Investigates

The city of Anna. (Whitney Curtis, special to ProPublica Illinois)

The term “sundown town” is familiar to many African Americans. A new ProPublica Illinois story examines the legacy of one sundown town in Southern Illinois named Anna.

He Was Convicted, Then Exonerated. Now, He’s An Attorney

Mario Casciaro appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

A wrongfully convicted man shares his journey to becoming an attorney and his thoughts on the judicial system. Meet Mario Casciaro, who will be sworn in as an attorney this week.   

Is Time Running Out for the Seasonal Clock Change?

(skeeze / Pixabay)

The Illinois Senate is scheduled to take up a bill next week to make daylight saving time permanent. And it’s not just politicians who want to beat the clock. A local sleep expert sounds the alarm on why we should end the seasonal time shift.

‘No Crying in Newsrooms’: Former Sun-Times Editor Shares Stories of Women in Journalism

(StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay)

Julia Wallace, the former managing editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, talks about women in journalism in her new book, “There’s No Crying in Newsrooms: What Women Have Learned About What It Takes to Lead.”