Stories by Eunice Alpasan

(WTTW News)

Doctors Talk Lessons Learned in 3 Years Since First Confirmed COVID-19 Case in Chicago

It’s been three years since the first Chicago COVID-19 case was confirmed. Since then, more than four million people in Illinois have been diagnosed with coronavirus; it has killed more than 36,000 people in the state.

(CNN)

Addressing Root Causes of Drug Cartel Violence in Mexico and How It Affects the US

The U.S. Department of State has put much of Mexico under a travel advisory, including an advisory not to travel to the state of Sinaloa due to crime and kidnappings.

(WTTW News)

How Gender-Affirming Health Care Helps Trans and Nonbinary People Feel ‘Seen And Whole’

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that provides more protection for patients coming to Illinois to seek gender-affirming health care. The move comes as several states attempt to restrict gender-affirming care for transgender people.

(WTTW News)

Sheriffs Across Illinois Say They Won’t Enforce New Assault Weapons Ban

The pushback from sheriffs comes as the Protect Illinois Communities Act already faces legal challenges in the courts, including one from former Republican Illinois attorney general candidate Tom DeVore on behalf of more than 800 plaintiffs.

(WTTW News)

Reflecting on the Road to Death Penalty Abolition in Illinois, 20 Years After Sweeping Clemency

It’s been 20 years since then Illinois Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 people on death row, marking a major step toward the eventual abolition of the death penalty in the state.

An image from “Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.”

Chicago Film Critics Break Down Sight and Sound’s New Greatest Films of All Time List

The latest edition of the revered “Greatest Films of All Time” list by Sight and Sound magazine was unveiled this month, sparking discussion about representation in film and which movies are often either included or left out in prestigious lists.

(WTTW News)

Illinois to Receive More Than $250M to Improve Internet Access and Connectivity

Illinois is set to receive more than $253 million in federal funds that government officials say will further address broadband equity, access and affordability throughout the state.

(CNN)

As Natural Gas Costs Rise and Environmental Concerns Grow, Advocates Call for Transition to Electric Home Heat

As the price of natural gas rises, it’s prompting some consumer and environmental advocates to call for homes to go all-electric.

(WTTW)

Crain’s Headlines: With Holiday Travel Just Ahead, Illinois Attorney General Calls For More Federal Protections

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is calling for more federal protections for airline travelers, a major snack company is selling its gum business and a phone app company is expanding in Chicago.

(WTTW News)

Maintaining Sobriety During the Holidays, Overcoming Stigma Within Latino Communities

Omar Corro, senior director of operations at Rincon Family Services, said a major issue is family members not understanding what an individual in recovery might be going through, especially during the holidays.

(WTTW News)

Concerns Raised Over Safety of Postal Workers In Light of Armed Robberies, Attacks

Postal carrier Aundre Cross was shot and killed Friday in Milwaukee while delivering mail. In a separate case, a man in late October received numerous felony charges, including aggravated kidnapping and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a postal carrier in the Little Village neighborhood. 

Sign on rump International Hotel and Tower. (WTTW News)

Calls to Remove Trump Tower Sign Pick Back Up As Investigations Continue

Few things have stirred as much architectural controversy in recent years as the “TRUMP” sign on the Trump International Hotel and Tower in downtown Chicago.

(Brandis Friedman via Lensa AI)

Popular Photo App Lensa Spurs Debate Over Ethics of Artificial Intelligence in Art

Users can submit photos of themselves that the app will use to generate multiple self-portraits in different art styles using artificial intelligence technology. But the trend has also reignited concerns about the ethics regarding the use of artificial intelligence in art.

(WTTW News)

Community Activists Question How Relaunched Chicago Police Gang Database Will Impact Black Chicagoans

Chicago Police Department officials are looking to bring back a system that would track Chicagoans they believe to be members of gangs. But it’s not without controversy and pushback. 

(WTTW News)

About 1.35 Billion Young People Globally At Risk of Hearing Loss Because Of Unsafe Listening Practices: Study

recent study from BMJ Global Health says as many as 1.35 billion young people ages 12-34 across the globe are engaging in listening practices that could make them susceptible to hearing loss. 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Same-Sex Marriage Protections, Potential Rail Strike

In an interview, Sen. Tammy Duckworth spoke on a number of legislative issues that U.S. lawmakers are taking up during the lame-duck session before a new Congress is sworn in early next year.

Anthony Michael Tamez and Nikki McDaid Barry appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 23, 2022.

The History Behind Thanksgiving and What the Holiday Means to Local Native Americans

Thanksgiving brings families and friends together across the country, but for many Native Americans it’s also recognized as the National Day of Mourning.

(WTTW News)

What Ticketmaster’s Taylor Swift Concert Fiasco Tells Us About Chicago’s Local Music Scene

Ticketmaster is a dominant force in the ticketing business, merging with Live Nation back in 2010 to create Live Nation Entertainment. Antitrust concerns and calls for the company to break up have resurfaced in light of increased attention in the past week.

(WTTW News)

Exacerbated By the Pandemic, UIC Program Aims to Support Mental Health of Medical Students

Medical students looking to enter the medical field can be particularly vulnerable to the everyday stressors and pressures of entering and working in the profession, according to those in the field. 

(WTTW News)

With More People Visiting Cook County Forest Preserves, Leader Says Newly Won Tax Revenue Will Help ‘Meet Those Needs’

Nearly 70% of voters approved an additional .025% increase in property taxes, which would bring in $40 million dollars in new revenue annually to the preserves.

Jones College Prep High School is pictured on Nov. 7, 2022. (WTTW News)

Students at Jones College Prep Protest Following Halloween Costume Controversy

The calls come following their principal’s response to a student who wore a military uniform costume on Halloween that was widely interpreted to represent a Nazi soldier. 

(WTTW News)

Hate Crimes Against Black Chicagoans Up 50% This Year, City Agency Finds

Commissioner Nancy Andrade said during a budget committee hearing on Oct. 20 that Black people are one of the most frequently targeted groups for hate crimes. 

Only 16% of US Hospitals Complying With Federal Price Transparency Rule, Says Advocacy Group

The report by Patient Rights Advocate published in August reviewed 2,000 hospitals across the country and found that 319 were complying with the rule.

(WTTW News)

Students With Disabilities Grapple With Lingering Effects Of COVID-19 Pandemic

While many students fell behind academically during COVID, students with disabilities saw that regression amplified.

(WTTW News)

Amid Questions Over Reliability, Proposed CTA Budget Avoids Rate Hikes and Cuts

The Chicago Transit Authority unveiled its budget proposal for next year. The proposed $1.8 billion budget avoids service cuts and price increases while making investments to upgrade the transit system. 

Children walking down a sidewalk. (WTTW News)

US Health Panel Recommends Kids Ages 8 and Older Be Screened For Anxiety

In another move signaling the nation’s ongoing mental health crisis, a national panel of health care professionals is recommending all kids get screened for anxiety, starting as young as 8 years old.