Stories by Crystin Immel

Illinois House Lawmakers Return to Springfield

Credit: Amanda Vinicky

Illinois House lawmakers are back in session in Springfield a week after representatives failed to pass a one-month spending plan. The Democrat-controlled House led by Speaker Michael Madigan is scheduled to take up the temporary spending plan again despite opposition from Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republican lawmakers. We talk with Chicago Tonight's Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky about the status of the budget and more.

Final Days of the IL Legislative Session

It’s the final stretch of the legislative session. Will lawmakers be able to approve a budget by Sunday or will a special session be necessary? Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky updates us on that and more.

Tech Hub 1871 Seeks Another Expansion

Chicago’s technology incubator, 1871, seeks public funding to expand for the second time in a year, following a 25,000 square foot expansion last year. The potential state-backed expansion concerns privately run co-working spaces and offices that rival 1871. We hear the latest from Crain's Chicago Business reporter John Pletz. 

The School Project: Teaching

The School Project is a Chicago-based documentary series that is tracking the past and present status of the city's public school system. The sixth and final episode examines education reforms and teaching philosophies.

Crystin's NFL Draft Notebook

Day 3: Grading the NFL Draft

The picks are all in, and after three days of festivities and thousands of fans pouring into Grant Park, the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago has concluded. Crystin Immel grades the NFL on the overall fan experience they provided in Grant Park.

Crystin's NFL Draft Notebook

Day 2: In Enemy Territory

Crystin Immel returned to Auditorium Theatre to cover rounds two and three of the NFL Draft on Friday. But things didn't go as smoothly as she planned. 

Crystin's NFL Draft Notebook

Day 1: From Back Room to Row One: Getting In and Staying In

Crystin Immel is an Assistant Producer and the assignment desk editor for Chicago Tonight. She’s also a big NFL fan. We thought it would be fun to send her to the NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre to see the draft through her eyes. 

The School Project: UnChartered Territory

Charter Schools: For Better or Worse

The School Project is a Chicago-based documentary series that is tracking the past and present status of the city's public school system. The fifth episode examines the expansion of charter schools in Chicago and talks to proponents and critics of the charter movement. 

House Panel to Review Governor's State Budget

House Speaker Michael Madigan will convene a special oversight panel that will meet Tuesday to look at the budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. As the governor marks 100 days in office this week, we examine his term so far with Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky.

The School Project: Testing Season

The School Project is a Chicago-based documentary series that is tracking the past and present status of the city's public school system. The fourth episode  focuses on the battle over standardized testing.

10 Chicago Chefs, Restaurants Nominated for James Beard Awards

The finalists for this year's James Beard Awards have been released. Ten local names made the list of finalists in the restaurant and chef awards categories.

Springfield News with Amanda Vinicky

We discuss the progress being made on closing this year’s budget gap and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget, as well as how the governor is settling into his role with Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky.

Medical Marijuana Licenses Move Forward

Gov. Bruce Rauner granted licenses on Monday to companies to grow and sell medical marijuana in the state. The move comes after a review by the Rauner administration and the Illinois Attorney General, amid fears that Gov. Rauner would take months to reach a decision on the coveted licenses.

Photographing Hillary

A new book showcases Hillary Clinton's political tenure from First Lady to Secretary of State.

"Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea"

A new book, Victura: The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea, shows what a small sailboat meant to a famous first family. Author James Graham joins us. Read an interview, a book excerpt, and view a slideshow of photos.

"Chicago’s River At Work And At Play"

The Chicago River has long been thought of as Chicago’s second shoreline, overlooked by Lake Michigan. In Chicago’s River At Work And At Play, author Neal Samors and photographer Steven Dahlman explore the history and future of the Chicago River. Read an interview with Samors, view a slideshow, and read the preface of the book, written by former Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Temple Grandin

We revisit a conversation with Temple Grandin, a well-known adult with autism, best-selling author, and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Grandin also has an HBO movie based on her life starring Claire Danes which won seven Emmy Awards. Watch a web extra video and read an excerpt from her book.

Temple Grandin

A well-known adult with autism and one of the world’s most prominent speakers on the subject visited Chicago to speak at the Chicago Humanities Festival this past weekend. Temple Grandin is a best-selling author, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and also has an HBO movie based on her life starring Claire Danes which won seven Emmy Awards. She joins us. Watch a web extra video and read an excerpt from her book.

"Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb and American Strategy"

A new book, Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy by author Kenneth Pollack, explores the advantages and potential consequences of different foreign policy approaches. Pollack joins us to discuss the book. Read an excerpt.

The NFL’s "League of Denial"

FRONTLINE’s much-anticipated documentary, League of Denial: Inside the NFL’s Concussion Crisis, explores whether the NFL put players at risk by denying the relation between concussions and long-term health issues. Our panel tackles the question of football safety at all levels.

"The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie"

It started out as a fictitious pie shop Paula Haney would dream of with her husband Craig. Now, Haney has opened the Hoosier Mama Pie Company in Chicago and is looking to expand. In her new retro-style cookbook, Haney wants to share her love for pie with more than 120 pie recipes ranging from lemon meringue to frito-chili pie. Check out her recipe for sugar cream pie.

ELCA Elects First Female Presiding Bishop

In August, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton became the first female presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a four-million member denomination. Bishop Eaton will be installed as presiding bishop this Saturday, October 5 in Chicago. Read an interview with Eaton.

"Strings Attached"

Melanie Kupchynsky has been a violinist for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years. She began playing the violin at the age of 4 and her first teacher was her father, known to everyone else as “Mr. K.” After her father's death, Kupchynsky co-wrote a book called Strings Attached, recounting the lessons learned from her father. Read an excerpt from the book, view photos, and listen to music clips.

Health Care Marketplace Costs

The Illinois health insurance marketplace has officially been named “Get Covered Illinois.” Starting on October 1, Illinois residents will be able to shop around for health care plans. Gov. Pat Quinn has released a few preliminary estimates of plan rates, saying plans in Illinois could be more than 25 percent lower than initial federal estimates. Our panel breaks down some of the numbers. View a timeline on the Affordable Care Act and future health care deadlines.

Pope Francis Envisions Church as a ‘Home for All’

In recent remarks, Pope Francis says the Roman Catholic Church has become “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception.

New Flu Vaccine Options

Catching the flu may be the last thing on your mind as summer unwinds, but flu season is right around the corner. This year, there will be more vaccine options to help prevent against the influenza virus than in years past, including a vaccine that prevents against four strains instead of the traditional three strains of the virus. Read symptoms and tips to avoid the flu.