Stories by Heather Cherone

Lightfoot’s Handling of Botched Anjanette Young Raid Represents ‘Failure’ of Government: Watchdog

Anjanette Young and her attorney Keenan Saulter speak outside the James R. Thompson Center on June 16, 2021. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

The unreleased report attempts to tell the “full story — thoroughly documented and sourced — of how the city’s government worked to prevent a victim of what was plainly either official misconduct or error from obtaining video proof of the raid on her home, thereby frustrating her efforts to secure redress for the injuries inflicted on her, however unintentionally, by government actors.”

No City Officials Fired or Suspended After Smokestack Implosion: Watchdog

A still image from a video taken of the demolition of the Crawford Coal Plant smokestack, April 11, 2020. (Alejandro Reyes / YouTube)

The first report from interim Inspector General William Marback disclosed that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration declined to fire an employee of the Chicago Department of Public Health or punish two other employees of the Department of Buildings responsible for approving and overseeing the implosion of the smokestack.

Trial of Ald. Daley Thompson Set for Feb. 4 on Charges That He Failed to Pay Taxes, Lied to Feds

A file photo shows Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th Ward) at a Chicago City Council hearing on April 12, 2016. (WTTW News)

Surging COVID-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant will not delay the trial of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th Ward) on seven charges that he lied to federal bank regulators and filed false tax returns, a judge ruled Friday.

Lightfoot Renews Stalled Push for Plan to Go After Gangs’ Profits as Opponents Mobilize

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot will renew her push for a new city law designed to fight crime by suing gang leaders in civil court on Friday, prompting opponents of the revised proposal to form a coalition determined to convince the City Council to reject the measure they say would target Black and Latino Chicagoans and do nothing to stop violent crime.

E-Scooters Set to Return to Chicago’s Streets, But They’ll Be Banned from 606 Trail

A cyclist wearing a mask rides along the 606 trail in Chicago. (WTTW News)

When the scooters return to Chicago's streets in the spring, they'll be banned from the Lakefront Trail, the 606 Trail, the Riverwalk and O'Hare Airport, city officials said.

No Evidence Chicago Ward Map Referendum Will Cost Taxpayers Millions, Despite Claims

A new Chicago ward map is set to take effect in time for the 2023 municipal elections. (WTTW News via Google Maps)

The likelihood that the June 28 primary election ballot will ask voters to decide what Chicago ward map should look like for the first time in 30 years increased this past week as the acrimony between the Black and Latino caucuses over the map escalated. 

Surge in COVID-19 Cases Prompts Gov. Pritzker to Send Rapid Response Teams to Hospitals

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 at a press conference. (WTTW News)

As COVID-19 hospitalizations surge, more than 2,000 health care workers will be sent to hospitals to help care for those who are ill. 

As Students Return to Chicago Schools, Tension Remains Between City, Teachers Over Testing

(WTTW News)

Efforts to use COVID-19 testing to ensure outbreaks could be stamped out before they catch fire was at the heart of the dispute between school officials and union leaders.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Contracts COVID-19

Mayor Lori Lightfoot appears on Chicago Tonight on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. (WTTW News)

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Tuesday that she tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing cold-like symptoms.

Lightfoot Taps Longtime Police Reform Advocate to Lead Oversight Board

Adam Gross appears on Chicago Tonight on September 25, 2018. (WTTW News)

Adam Gross will help launch the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability after serving as the director of the police accountability program area for BPI, a public interest law firm.

Racially Polarized Debate Over Chicago Ward Map Spills into 2022 With Raucous Hearing

A new Chicago ward map is set to take effect in time for the 2023 municipal elections. (WTTW News via Google Maps)

Any hope that a holiday break could reset the raging dispute over the map that will shape Chicago politics for the next decade and determine the balance of power between Black, Latino and Asian Chicagoans was extinguished Friday as members of the City Council clashed during the first of four public hearings scheduled this month.

COVID-19 Surge is ‘Merciless’ Top Doc Says, Urging Chicagoans to Avoid Unnecessary Travel

(WTTW News)

“COVID is very real, it’s merciless, and unless you are fully vaccinated, your defenses against it are pretty low,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. 

COVID-19 Surge Delays Sentencing for Former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz

Former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz, right, listens as his attorney Richard Kling addresses the news media on Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

The former Little Village alderperson's sentencing on charges of wire fraud and money laundering will be delayed by more than a month due to the latest surge of COVID-19.

As Hospitalizations Reach Record Highs in Illinois, Gov. Pritzker Says He Fears Worst is to Come

(WTTW News)

“I fear the climb will continue” with the surge accelerated by post-holiday gathering infections, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday.

Rahm Emanuel Confirmed as Ambassador to Japan

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel discusses his book on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

The 48-21 vote returns the former Chicago mayor to public life more than three years after he announced he would not run for a third term in office amid the continuing uproar over the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by a Chicago Police officer in 2014.

All Chicago Library Branches Open Sunday Afternoons For 1st Time Since 2011

(WTTW News)

Some Chicago Public Library branches added Sunday afternoon hours beginning in December 2019 after Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed — and the Chicago City Council approved — an $18 million property tax hike as part of the city’s 2020 budget to fund the expansion.

Biden Calls for Chicago’s Lead Pipes to be Removed Within 10 Years, As Slow Roll Out Continues in Chicago

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

The $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill includes $15 billion to fund lead service replacement efforts, and $3 billion will flow to states and cities in 2022, officials announced.

Chicago Vaccine Mandate Upheld for Most City Employees, Firefighters

(WTTW News)

The ruling gives the unions’ employees until Dec. 31 to get their first shot of one of the three approved COVID-19 vaccines, and until Jan. 31 to get the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer BioNtech vaccines.

Retired Judge Picked by Mayor to Probe Botched Raid Finds No Wrongdoing by Lightfoot

Anjanette Young and her attorney Keenan Saulter speak outside the James R. Thompson Center on June 16, 2021. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot did not purposefully conceal information about the handling of the February 2019 raid that left Anjanette Young handcuffed while naked and pleading for help, according to the results of a probe ordered by the mayor released Thursday.

Chicago to Pay $2.9M to Anjanette Young To Settle Botched Raid Lawsuit

“This was so terrifying to me that two years later, I'm still dealing with it,” Anjanette Young said during a press conference Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. (WTTW News)

The Chicago City Council agreed Wednesday to pay $2.9 million to resolve the lawsuit brought by Anjanette Young after police officers handcuffed her while she was naked and ignored her pleas for help during a botched raid in February 2019.

As Lightfoot Decries Segregation, City Council Defies Aldermanic Prerogative to Approve Apartments

The vacant land near Higgins Road and Cumberland Avenue that GlenStar wants to transform into a 297-apartment complex. (Credit: Google Maps)

The proposal from Glenstar at 8535 W. Higgins Road will build the 41st Ward’s first affordable housing in decades amid a cluster of hotels and office mid-rises along the Kennedy Expressway near O’Hare Airport and steps away from the CTA Blue Line.

City Council Green Lights Sports Betting at Chicago’s Pro-Sports Arenas

 A rendering of the proposed two-story sports betting lounge at Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue next to Wrigley Field. (Provided)

A full-court press from the owners of the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks helped the measure backed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot hit the jackpot despite the opposition of Chicago billionaire and Rivers Casino Des Plaines operator Neil Bluhm.

Indicted Ald. Carrie Austin Collapses During City Council Meeting

A file photo shows 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin at a Chicago City Council meeting. (WTTW News)

Indicted Ald. Carrie Austin (34th Ward) collapsed during Wednesday’s City Council meeting and was treated by former firefighter Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41st Ward) before reviving and being taken out of the Council Chambers on a stretcher.

COVID-19 ‘Surging Again’ Across the Country: Chicago’s Top Doc

(WTTW News)

Chicago's updated travel advisory includes 42 states, announced Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Zoning Committee OKs Far Northwest Side Apartments, Dealing Blow to Aldermanic Prerogative

The vacant land near Higgins Road and Cumberland Avenue that GlenStar wants to transform into a 297-apartment complex. (Credit: Google Maps)

The committee vote represents a nearly unprecedented rebuke of the decades-old tradition of giving alderpeople the final say over housing developments in their wards.

Ald. Burke Faces Key Hearing in February, As Trial Slips to 2022

Ald. Ed Burke (WTTW News)

Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and massive amount of evidence, Ald. Ed Burke's criminal trial will not take place until 2022 at the earliest.