Stories by Eunice Alpasan

Top row, left to right: Sebastian White of the Evolved Network, Arshiya Farheen of Verzênay Patisserie and Randall Sabado of Cooper's Hawk. Bottom row, left to right: Ricky Sakoda, formerly of Merriman's, and Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe. (Sebastian White / Verzênay / Randall Sabado / Ricky Sakoda / Prairie Grass Cafe)

5 Chicago-Area Chefs to Host Fundraiser for Restaurant, Hospitality Workers Impacted by Maui Wildfires

All of the funds raised during the event will go directly to the Hawai’i Community Foundation—Chef Hui Fund, which supports Maui restaurants, hospitality workers and their families who were displaced due to the fires.

(Eastland Disaster Historical Society)

Newberry Library to Offer Closer Look at 1915 Eastland Disaster With Newly Acquired Collection

The Eastland Disaster, often overlooked in history, occurred in 1915 when a passenger ship docked at the Clark Street Bridge tipped over in the Chicago River, leading to the deaths of 844 people.

(ELEVATE / Pexels)

Cook County Announces $10M Program to Help Small Businesses Reduce Environmental Impact

Dry cleaners, auto body and repair shops, food and beverage manufacturers and metal finishers in suburban Cook County that experienced a decrease in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic are able to benefit from the program.

(WTTW News)

Are You Ready for Back-to-School Season? Here’s a Health Checklist to Prepare Your Child for the Upcoming School Year

The new school year is just around the corner. WTTW News asked pediatricians and physicians in the Chicago area to share what they think parents should keep in mind as their children head back to school.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra during an interview on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 16, 2022. (WTTW News)

After Declaring Gun Violence a Public Health Emergency, Illinois Health Department Celebrates State Supreme Court Decision

The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health expressed support for the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the state’s assault weapons ban.

Loretto Hospital, 645 S. Central Ave., is located in the Austin community on Chicago’s West Side. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Loretto Hospital Reaches Tentative Deal With 200 Striking Workers

Loretto Hospital in Austin has reached a tentative deal with about 200 striking workers who took to the picket line July 31.

A rendering of affordable housing development Encuentro Square at 3759 W. Cortland St. in Logan Square (Canopy / architecture+ design)

New Affordable Housing Development Breaks Ground in Logan Square as Neighborhood Continues to See Rapid Gentrification

Construction is underway for a new affordable housing development in Logan Square that aims to provide families and longtime residents with 89 affordable housing units in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood.

(WTTW News)

Personal Data of Nearly 2,000 Lurie Children’s Hospital Patients Involved in Third-Party Security Breach

The electronically stored patient data involved in the breach includes names, dates of birth, addresses, and social security numbers that an unauthorized third-party gained access to earlier this year.

A participant holds up a sign during a peace rally held in Evanston on Aug. 5, 2023, to commemorate 78 years since the dropping of the first atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (ThoughtPoet)

‘When Will the Victims Be Humanized?’: A Conversation With Yuki Miyamoto, Nuclear Ethicist and Daughter Of Atomic Bomb Victim

The box office hit “Oppenheimer” has prompted DePaul University nuclear ethics professor Yuki Miyamoto to shed light on the stories of people whose lives were directly and negatively intertwined with the film’s depicted events.

Loretto Hospital employee Michaela Jilliam speaks at a strike rally on Aug. 4, 2023. (WTTW News)

Loretto Hospital Workers Join SAG-AFTRA Members in Solidarity Rally, as Hospital Strike Enters Day 5

Front-line service, care and technical workers are among the 200 workers at Loretto Hospital in Austin who have been on strike since Monday.

(WTTW News)

What Chicago and Illinois Residents Should Know About COVID-19 Uptick, New Vaccine in the Fall

Local public health departments are continuing to monitor COVID-19 levels in the area as the U.S. sees a late-summer uptick in test positivity and hospitalizations.

Loretto Hospital workers and other union supporters picket in front of the hospital’s emergency wing in Austin during the first day of the strike on July 31, 2023. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Loretto Hospital Workers Go On Strike in Austin, Calling For Increased Wages and Staffing

Hospital workers at Loretto Hospital in Austin went to the picket lines Monday after the hospital and its workers union failed to come to an agreement on key bargaining issues such as increased wages and staffing, and adding Juneteenth as a permanent holiday.


Dangerous Heat Hitting the Chicago Area on Thursday, Friday

Parts of the Chicago area are under excessive heat warnings and heat advisories Thursday with temperatures expected to top out at 96 degrees along with a heat index into the triple digits, according to the National Weather Service.

Outreach worker training with the Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (Credit: Metropolitan Peace Initiatives)

Collaborative, Community-Based Violence Prevention Effort Aims to Professionalize the Field of Street Outreach

Communities Partnering 4 Peace led by the Metropolitan Peace Initiatives is one of many violence prevention efforts across the city working to address the sharp increase in gun violence that Chicago, along with other major cities, experienced during the pandemic.

(SEIU Healthcare IL & IN Facebook Page)

Loretto Hospital Workers Deliver 10-Day Strike Notice to Management: ‘Everyone Here Needs to Have a Living Wage’

Nearly 200 workers at Loretto Hospital in Austin delivered a 10-day strike notice to management Wednesday over calls to address low wages and unsafe staffing conditions.

People take shelter in a youth theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 6, 2022. Still from FRONTLINE PBS and AP’s feature film “20 Days in Mariupol." (AP Photo / Mstyslav Chernov)

‘It Felt Like a Nightmare You Can’t Wake Up From’ | Q&A With Journalist, Director of New Russia-Ukraine War Documentary

A documentary that gives a vivid and harrowing look into the Russian invasion of a Ukrainian city during the opening days of the Russia-Ukraine war will be premiering at the Gene Siskel Film Center on Friday for a limited week-long run.

Armand Cann, fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, left, and Brad Semel, engaged species recovery specialist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, walk along a protected site at Montrose Beach ahead of the release of three plovers on July 12, 2023. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Chicago Has 3 New Piping Plovers at Montrose: Meet Searocket, Prickly Pear and Wild Indigo

Three endangered piping plover chicks were released into the wild Wednesday at a protected site at Montrose Beach in an effort to aid in its species recovery. It marks the first time plovers have been released in the state.

Flooded streets in Chicago are pictured on July 2, 2023. (Paris Schutz / WTTW News)

Pritzker Issues Disaster Proclamation Following Severe July Storms as More Flooding Possible

Residents on the West side of the city and its surrounding suburbs were hit particularly hard by flooding. Some areas saw as much as 8 inches of rainfall on July 2, leading to flash floods and extensive property damage.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Officials Seek Community Input on Environmental Issues Facing Neighborhoods

“The goal here is for us to think about how the cumulative impact data can help change policy and operations across city departments,” said Angela Tovar, Chicago’s chief sustainability officer.

A crowd retraces the Highland Park Fourth of July parade route on July 4, 2023, one year after a mass shooting in the suburb left seven dead. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Highland Park Residents Come Together on Fourth of July, Year After Mass Shooting: ‘It Was a Pretty Powerful Feeling’

This July 4 in Highland Park, one year after seven people were killed and dozens more wounded in a mass shooting, the sounds of marching bands and cheers were replaced by a much more solemn gathering.

(WTTW News)

Local Efforts to Tackle Systemic Racism in Banking, Help Black Communities Build Generational Wealth

Generations of discriminatory lending practices and policies have taken a major toll on Black communities. A 2020 study found that for every $1 of accumulated wealth that White families have, Black families have just one cent.

Art Johnston and Pepe Peña in the documentary “Art and Pep.”

‘Art and Pep’ Tells the Story Behind Iconic Gay Bar Sidetrack, Documents the Fight for LGBTQ+ Rights in Chicago

Art Johnston and Pepe Peña, owners of the iconic gay bar Sidetrack in Northalsted, are the subjects of a new documentary. The film follows their love story — spanning 50 years — and the history of the Sidetrack bar amid the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Chicago.

(WTTW News)

Revisiting the Impact of Chicago’s Mass School Closings 10 Years Later in Austin, Garfield Park

Ten years ago, the Chicago Board of Education and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided to close nearly 50 public schools, mainly on the South and West sides of the city. Some buildings remain vacant; others are being transformed into community assets.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Business Organization Proposes Plan to Reduce Chicago’s Gun Violence by 80% in 10 Years

The business group is proposing a “one table” approach to addressing gun violence with the goal of reducing homicides and shootings by about 80% in 10 years. 

The Ebony test kitchen at the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City. (Courtesy of Landmarks Illinois)

Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen Acquired by National Museum of African American History and Culture

The test kitchen, originally constructed in the early 1970s and housed at the former Johnson Publishing Company Building in the South Loop, was used by Ebony magazine editors to test recipes the magazine would feature in its publication.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives on the floor. (WTTW News)

US House Members on Debt Ceiling Deal, Immigration Policy for Assisting Migrants Arriving in Chicago

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a deal Wednesday night to divert a U.S. default on its debt; the bill now heads to the Senate for approval. However, the deal was not without controversy for lawmakers of both political parties.