Stories by Blair Paddock

New Academic Journal Plans to Combat Misinformation on Trans People

(Lena Balk / Unsplash)

Researchers say the lives of trans people haven’t been well-represented in existing journals. The Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies plans to change that. It’s launching as the first academic journal to have an entirely trans editorial board.

How Onslaught of Bills on LGBTQ Rights Affects Young People

(WTTW News)

Over 300 bills affecting LGBTQ rights are being introduced this year in the U.S. according to the Human Rights Campaign. And more than 130 of them specifically target transgender people. Mental health professionals say this is having a significant impact on LGBTQ youth’s access to care and their wellbeing.

Candidate Forum: Three Republican Candidates for Governor

Republican candidates for governor Paul Schimpf, Gary Rabine and Max Solomon join “Chicago Tonight” for a candidate forum ahead of election day, June 21 2022. (WTTW News)

Six candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for governor, to take on incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker. The campaign has been marked by a handful of billionaire supporters who have competing interests and are battling not only for the direction of the state, but of the Republican party itself.

Atmospheric Scientist Talks This Week’s Wild Weather

(WTTW News)

The week started off with a tornado in the western suburbs. Then, the Chicagoland area was hit with an excessive heat warning. It ended up being our warmest stretch of days in 10 years.

Candidate Forum: 4 Democrats Running in Redrawn 3rd Congressional District

Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. (Google Maps / WTTW News)

Early voting is underway in Chicago and primary election day is less than three weeks away. Voters in Illinois’ newly drawn 3rd Congressional District will have four candidates to choose from in the Democratic primary. There is also one Republican candidate running. 

How Gun Violence Affects Chicago’s Youth

(WTTW News)

In 2020, the murder rate with handguns was the highest in 25 years, with over 10,000 gun-related deaths of children and adults younger than 24. Firearm-related murders increased by 35% among children and young adults, from 2019 to 2020. And it has a significant impact on young people’s mental health.

How COVID-19 Vaccines May Advance HIV Treatment

(WTTW News)

Medical advances made while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic may have valuable applications in fighting another epidemic. 

What To Know About Chicago Entering High COVID-19 Risk

(WTTW News)

At the end of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated the threat level from medium, meaning there's also a high potential for straining the city's health care system.

One-on-One with CTU President-Elect Stacy Davis Gates

CTU President-Elect Stacy Davis Gates joins “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom, May 24, 2022. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union has elected a new president: Stacy Davis Gates. Davis-Gates will be moving up from her position as vice president when current president Jesse Sharkey steps down July 1. 

Child Care ‘Unavailable, Unaffordable’: Report

(WTTW News)

A recent report from the Illinois Child Care for All Coalition, which includes the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois, argues that child care in the state is “unavailable, unaffordable and unsustainable.” According to the findings, child care is the largest expense for parents of children ages 4 to 8.

Illinois Lawmakers Weigh in on Future of Abortion Access and More

(WTTW News)

Governor J.B. Pritzker has emphasized that Illinois will remain a safe state for people to access abortions even if federal abortion protections are removed.

Director of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Faces 9th Contempt Charge

Marc Smith, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom. (WTTW News)

House Republicans are calling for an audit of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. And the agency's own director, Marc Smith, has been held in contempt of court nine times.

Illinois Infrastructure Gets Graded a C-minus

(WTTW News)

A report from the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers has graded the state on everything from roads to drinking water. The last time the report was released was 2018.

‘The Great Chicago Quiz Show’ is Back

Host Geoffrey Baer tests contestants on all things Chicago. This time around, he’ll be talking to guests like anchorman Bill Curtis, jazz legend Kurt Elling and Tonika Lewis Johnson of the Folded Map Project.

Religious Leaders on Celebrating Holidays During COVID-19

(WTTW News)

This week, three major religious holidays are coinciding for the first time in over 30 years: Ramadan, Easter and Passover. And many people are choosing to observe their holiday traditions in person for the first time in two years. 

Illinois Lawmakers on the $46.5B Budget and More

(WTTW News)

Illinois legislative leaders Dan McConchie, Don Harmon, Tom Demmer, and Chris Welch join “Chicago Tonight” to break down the budget, efforts to fight crime, tax relief and more.

LGBTQ Young People at Greater Risk of Mental Health Problems During Pandemic

(WTTW News)

According to the newly released data, 26.3% of gay, lesbian or bisexual students attempted suicide between Jan. and June 2021. For heterosexual students, the number was 5.2% and other or questioning students at 16.5%.

Local Doctors Travel to Ukrainian Border to Offer Medical Support

Retired Skokie doctors Dr. David Shapiro and Dr. Avery Hart volunteered with NATAN Worldwide Disaster Relief to travel to Poland and provide aid to Ukrainian refugees. (Courtesy Avery Hart & David Shapiro)

Two retired Skokie doctors have recently returned from volunteering in Eastern Europe, helping refugees escaping the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Genealogists Spring Into Action With Release of 1950 Census Records

(Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau)

Last week, the U.S. National Archives released U.S. census records from 1950, granting public access to files that documented more than 150 million people and the areas they lived, the jobs they had, and much more.

O’Hare Seeing Pre-pandemic International Travel Numbers

(WTTW News)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is predicting O’Hare International Airport may see more passenger flights this fiscal year than it did prior to the pandemic.

New Omicron Subvariant Expected to Soon Account For Most COVID-19 Cases in Chicago

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Top Chicago public health officials say that the BA.2 omicron subvariant will be making up most of Chicago cases by the end of the month.

Organizations Raise $35M for Chicago COVID-19 Relief

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Community Trust and the United Way of Metro Chicago have partnered with community leaders to invest $35-million in neighborhood businesses and pandemic resources as part of a COVID-19 relief and recovery effort.  

After Census Undercounted Some Groups, Community Advocates Say More Outreach Was Needed

(WTTW News)

The 2020 Census undercounted Latino, Black and Indigenous people. That’s according to a survey by the U.S. Census Bureau itself.

Doctors Argue Cash Transfer Programs Could Fight Violence

(WTTW News)

Guaranteed income or cash transfer programs have often been framed as resources to help pay for unexpected medical bills or rent. But now, a group of doctors is pitching the program as not only an anti-poverty strategy but an anti-violence strategy.

CTU Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against District Over Dropping Mask Mandate

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools students will have the option of whether to wear masks, starting next week. The district’s mandate was originally maintained under a contract agreement with the Chicago Teachers Union — despite Illinois dropping masks for schools statewide last week. But Monday, the district announced it’s dropping that mandate.

Board President Toni Preckwinkle Details How Cook County Will Spend American Rescue Plan Funds

Toni Preckwinkle joins “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom, March 2 2022. (WTTW News)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle details how an influx of federal funds will be allocated.