Stories by Blair Paddock

Paul Luu of the Chinese American Service League speaks at a Anti-Defamation League news conference. (WTTW News)

Number of Antisemitic Incidents in Illinois Up 128% Last Year, Report Finds

A report from the Anti-Defamation League finds an increase in antisemitic incidents, hate crimes, white supremacist propaganda and more in Illinois.

Week in Review: New Top Cop; Chicago’s Migrant Crisis

Larry Snelling takes the reins as top cop amid a surge in robberies. Some City Council members call for more state help with migrants. The federal government careens toward shutdown. And the Bears flat out stink.

UIC campus file photo. (WTTW News)

Chicago-Based Research Initiative Wants to Provide Data and Insight Around a Growing Latino Population

The goal of the Latino Research Initiative is to become a data hub for community groups, policy-makers and others.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Explores Possibility of a City-Owned Grocery Store In Effort to Improve Food Access

Mayor Brandon Johnson is pitching the creation of a city-owned grocery store in an effort to reverse historic disinvestment in food access on the South and West sides. This process is starting with a feasibility study alongside the Economic Security Project. 

Week in Review: Chicago’s Budget Shortfall; $25M Wrongful Conviction Settlement

A half-billion-dollar budget shortfall as Chicago pays millions in wrongful conviction lawsuits. The city forges ahead with shelter plans for migrants and doubles down on a temporary casino.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Reports Uptick in COVID-19 Cases. Here’s How One Doctor Recommends Keeping Safe

The city is seeing a rise in lab-confirmed cases and emergency room visits. A new vaccine is expected to be ready for the fall season.

(WTTW News)

How Educators Are Grappling With ChatGPT in Classrooms

College students juggling multiple responsibilities might find a shortcut through artificial intelligence apps like ChatGPT — but there’s concern that that shortcut cheats students out of a learning opportunity.

Howard Brown Health sign. (WTTW News)

Howard Brown Health Reinstates 24 Union Workers After Labor Relations Board Recommendation

This move is part of the proposed settlement from Region 13 of the NLRB, which found merit to charges of unfair labor practices from the queer health care organization in July. Part of the charges stem from the firing of 61 unionized workers earlier this year.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

New Superintendent Provides Opportunity for New Bridges Between Chicago Police Department and Community Members

Larry Snelling will become Chicago’s next police superintendent — if he’s confirmed by the Chicago City Council. The 30-year police veteran says he vows to improve community relations under his tenure.

Archival footage of Martin Luther King Jr.

Author Jonathan Eig Takes Nuanced Look at Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘King: A Life’

In the 55 years since his death, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is often quoted and revered, an icon. But in the new book “King: A Life,” author Jonathan Eig draws King as “a man, not a saint, not a symbol” — delivering far more nuance than history has allowed.

Week in Review: Johnson’s First 100 Days; Madigan’s Former Chief of Staff Convicted

Michael Madigan’s former top lieutenant guilty on all charges. The White Sox float leaving Chicago as they clean house at the top. Trump booked in Fulton County Jail. And the mayor strikes a deal on new tax revenue.

(Pexels / Kei Scampa)

Local Initiative Works to Address High Maternal Mortality Rates in Black Communities

Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It’s a grim reality that led advocates to start The Gathering campaign.

Flooding in Chicago. File photo. (WTTW News)

Federal Assistance Available for Cook County Residents Impacted by Flood Damage. Here’s How to Apply

President Joe Biden issued a disaster declaration for Cook County. It comes more than a month after nearly 9 inches of rain flooded parts of Chicago, with the West Side hit particularly hard.

(Courtesy of the My House Music Festival)

My House Music Festival Returns to Pilsen, Aug. 12-13

Pilsen residents can find a dancefloor in their backyard this weekend. The My House Music Festival is hosting house DJs for its eighth year.

St. Adalbert Church in Pilsen. (WTTW News)

St. Adalbert Church in Pilsen Clears First Hurdle on Path to Landmark Status

The city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted in favor of a preliminary landmark recommendation for St. Adalbert Church. This starts a lengthy eight-step approval process, which ends in a vote by City Council on the designation.

(WTTW News)

Illinois Residents Could See Higher Gas Bills if Peoples Gas Rate Hike Approved

Your gas bill could be about $12 per month higher next year — that’s the average increase per customer Peoples Gas estimates if it succeeds in raising rates. It’s the first time in nine years the utility company has asked for a rate hike.

Illinois Has Recorded More Tornadoes Than Any Other State This Year

Illinois has seen 107 tornadoes in 2023, according to the National Weather Service. That makes it the state with the most tornadoes this year. While Illinois holds this title, scientists caution the thought of adding the Prairie State to Tornado Alley.

IEMA and FEMA workers assess flood damage on the West Side. (WTTW News)

State, Federal Agencies Assess West Side Flood Damage to Determine Relief Measures

West Siders were hit particularly hard by floods nearly a month ago. More than 8 inches of rain flooded basements and ruined people's belongings.

(Thomas Ulrich / Pixabay)

When It Comes to Social Media and Violence, Some Researchers See an Alarmist Connection

The relationship between social media and violence might not be as cut-and-dry as some make it to be. There’s sometimes a perception that social media apps fuel violence, but researchers say that correlation can be overblown.

(Courtesy of Black Bench Chicago)

Chicago Organization Prepares Black Millennials for Futures in Civic Leadership

“There’s a gap between generations and passing knowledge,” said Alexandra Sims-Jones, Black Bench Chicago co-founder. The organization connects older generations with those younger to share lessons in civic engagement and organizing.

Howard Brown Health sign. (WTTW News)

Labor Board Finds Merit in Union Allegations Against Howard Brown Health

The National Labor Relations Board found merit or partial merit in the union’s allegations, which include Howard Brown Health participating in bad faith bargaining, creating the impression of surveillance, failing to provide information and declaring impasse and refusing to bargain over layoffs.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 19, 2023. (WTTW News)

Kim Foxx Sees Elimination of Cash Bail as Step Toward Equal Justice

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has pushed for the elimination of cash bail, calling it “a monumental milestone toward achieving equal justice.”

(WTTW News)

These Young People Are Taking the Lead on Anti-Violence Efforts in Chicago

Gun deaths among U.S. youth rose 50% in just two years. Black children and teens were roughly five times as likely as their White counterparts to die from gunfire in 2021, according to the Pew Research Center.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Chicago Top Cop Finalists; Ethics Issues at City Hall

Northwestern athletics program reeling after firing of football and now baseball coach. The search for a new top cop is down to three finalists. And multiple tornadoes rock the area with more severe weather in the forecast.

Michael Madigan file photo (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Michael Madigan Corruption Case; Northwestern Hazing Allegations

New efforts from Michael Madigan’s attorneys to suppress key evidence in his upcoming bribery trial. A battle among Chicago’s democrats for political power on the city’s Northwest Side. And fallout from allegations of hazing and racism in Northwestern University’s football team.

Flooding is captured in Chicago on July 2, 2023, in Chicago. (Paris Schutz / WTTW News)

How the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Handles Major Rainfalls

As much as 8 inches fell in certain areas over the weekend, followed by major flooding. Areas on the city’s West Side and western suburbs saw over 8 inches on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.