Stories by Heather Cherone

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils the forecast for the 2023 Chicago budget on Aug. 10, 2022. (WTTW News)

Lightfoot Drops Proposal for $42.7M Election-Year Property Tax Hike After Hitting Brick Wall of Opposition

Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not explain Thursday how she would propose to bridge the city’s projected 2023 budget shortfall, which is now 33% bigger than the gap she detailed nearly two months ago.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Police Must Allow Those Arrested Access to a Phone Within 3 Hours: Consent Decree

Chicago Police Department officers agreed to allow those arrested access to a phone within three hours in order to resolve a lawsuit filed by the Cook County Public Defender’s Office after mass arrests during the protests and unrest triggered by the police murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson. (WTTW News)

Chicago Teachers Union Endorses Brandon Johnson for Mayor, Urges Him to Make Bid Official

Brandon Johnson, 46, has yet to formally announce that he will run for mayor of Chicago — but the backing of the Chicago Teachers Union will ensure that he will have ample resources if he does take on Lightfoot, who has long been at odds with the city’s most politically powerful labor union.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Properly Withheld 48 Years’ Worth of Police Misconduct Files, Illinois Supreme Court Rules

The unanimous Supreme Court decision, released Sept. 22, resolves a 7-year-old lawsuit brought by Charles Green, who was sentenced to life in prison at age 16 after being convicted in a 1985 quadruple murder. Green was released in 2009, and wants to prove his innocence.

Two people cross LaSalle Street. (Provided: City of Chicago)

Envisioning Chicago’s Financial District as a New Residential Neighborhood, Lightfoot Offers Developers Subsidies

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she was determined to chart a “bright and lasting” future for LaSalle Street between Washington Street and Jackson Boulevard, an area of the city she said had been permanently altered by the shifts triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Sen. Emil Jones, D-Chicago. (Provided: Illinois Senate Democrats)

State Sen. Emil Jones III Pleads Not Guilty to Charges He Took Bribes from Red-Light Camera Company, Lied to Feds

State Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he took a $5,000 bribe from a firm that installed red-light cameras throughout the state and lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

COVID-19 Risk ‘Low’ Across Chicago, Cook County: Federal Officials

Chicago and Cook County last faced a low risk of COVID-19 on May 5. The region has bounced between a medium risk and a high risk all summer.

(WTTW News)

Pritzker Calls on Jones, Hastings to Resign from State Senate

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is running for re-election, said it was not enough for the lawmakers to resign as leaders of the Democratic Party in the Illlinois Senate.

(WTTW News)

Chicago to Pay $25M to Settle 3 Police Misconduct Cases

In all, the payments approved Wednesday are equivalent to 30% of the city’s annual $82 million budget to cover the cost of police misconduct lawsuits.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Police Banned from Investigating People Seeking Abortions or Their Doctors

The new law is modeled on the city’s rules designed to protect immigrants from prohibiting members of the Chicago Police Department from cooperating with federal law enforcement agencies.

State Sen. Emil Jones, D-Chicago. (Provided: Illinois Senate Democrats)

State Sen. Emil Jones III Took Bribes from Red-Light Camera Company, Lied to Feds: Charges

The charges against state Sen. Emil Jones III were made public by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois through an information, a court document that is typically filed in cases where the defendant has indicated they plan to plead guilty.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)

Crews Have Replaced Less Than 0.5% of Lead Service Lines Shown to Contaminate Tap Water in Chicago Homes: Data

Despite promises, a federally-funded program has removed just 154 lead service lines from Chicago homes as of Monday, according to data provided to WTTW News by the Department of Water Management.

Timmy Knudsen, who is running for 43rd Ward alderperson. (Provided)

Lightfoot Picks Her Zoning Board Chair to Fill Vacant 43rd Ward Chicago City Council Seat

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced her choice of Timmy Knudsen less than 24 hours before the City Council’s Rules Committee is set to consider his nomination. A final vote by the Chicago City Council is expected Wednesday.

(WTTW News)

Pay $9M to Man Who Spent 25 Years in Prison for Murder He Didn’t Commit, City Panel Agrees

The Chicago City Council is set to pay $9 million to a man who spent 25 years in prison after being convicted of murder in 1994 following an investigation led by a Chicago Police detective accused of routinely framing suspects.

(WTTW News)

Chicago City Council Committee Agrees to Pay $15M to Family of Woman Killed During Police Chase

The Chicago City Council is set to pay $15 million to the family of a woman who was struck and killed by a car driven by a Chicago Police officer.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks during a press conference on Aug. 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

2 Chicago Police Officers Charged in Connection with July Shooting in Pilsen That Seriously Injured Unarmed Man

Sgt. Christopher Liakopoulos, 43, and Officer Reuben Reynoso, 42, are set to appear Friday afternoon in Cook County bond court to face charges of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm and official misconduct.

(WTTW News)

As Indiana’s Abortion Ban Takes Effect, Already Overwhelmed Illinois Clinics, Groups Brace for Onslaught

The near-total ban on abortion that took effect Thursday in Indiana will force more people to travel to already-overwhelmed Illinois clinics for reproductive health care and seek help from groups that have already reached their capacity, reproductive health care advocates told WTTW News.

This file photo shows a southbound CTA Red Line train in Chicago. (WTTW News)

CTA President Skips City Council Hearing Focused on Transit Agency’s Service, Safety Woes

“It is not a good look for him to have the oxygen and audacity not to show up,” Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward) said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Sept. 14, 2022, at a news conference. (Governor's Press Office)

Gov. Pritzker Signs Disaster Declaration, Mobilizes National Guard to Care for Immigrants Arriving to Chicago from Texas

More than 500 immigrants who are seeking asylum have arrived in Chicago on 11 buses since Aug. 31, officials said.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks about the county’s cash assistance program on May 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

Applications for Lottery to Determine Who Gets $500 Per Month For 2 Years to Open Oct. 6, Preckwinkle Announces

The program, which is expected to include 3,250 households, will launch a test of a basic-income program with $41.5 million from the federal COVID-19 relief package signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle said.

(WTTW News)

Chicago’s Democratic Socialists Endorse 3 City Council Challengers Amid Push to Expand Power

The February 2023 election represents a nearly unprecedented opportunity for Democratic Socialists to not only take on Mayor Lori Lightfoot but also to remake the Chicago City Council after a wave of retirements and departures.

Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward) appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, May 11, 2020. (WTTW News)

Ald. Ariel Reboyras Announces He Won’t Seek 6th Term Representing Belmont Cragin on Chicago City Council

Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward) announced he will not run for re-election to represent Belmont Cragin in 2023, joining an unprecedented exodus from the Chicago City Council. Reboyras, 69, said in a statement it had been “an unbelievable honor” to represent parts of the city’s Northwest Side for 20 years.

(Randy von Liski / Flickr)

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke to Retire Nov. 30

“The race has been run and it is time to pass the gavel to a successor,” Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke said.

Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

After Becoming a Force At City Hall, 2023 Elections Pose Challenges, Opportunities for Chicago’s Democratic Socialists

The February 2023 election represents a nearly unprecedented opportunity for Democratic Socialists to not only take on Mayor Lori Lightfoot but also to remake the Chicago City Council after a wave of retirements and departures.

(WTTW News)

Measure to Ban Chicago Police from Investigating People Seeking Abortions or Their Doctors Advances

The measure known as the “Bodily Autonomy Sanctuary City Ordinance” would ratify and expand an executive order signed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in July after the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In this file photo, Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Ward) speaks at a Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Ald. Howard Brookins Announces He Won’t Seek 6th Term Representing Auburn Gresham on Chicago City Council

The South Side alderperson said he is “ready to hand the reins over to a new generation of leadership” after 20 years in office.