Stories by Heather Cherone

Chicago Suburbs to Face Tighter Rules to Stop COVID-19: Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his daily press briefing about the coronavirus in Illinois on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker imposed tighter restrictions designed to stop the spread of the virus amid a sustained surge in COVID-19 cases that has shown no sign of slowing down. “The virus is winning the war,” Pritzker said.

Ethics Board Investigating Ald. Brookins’ Decision to Represent Former Ald. Moreno

In this file photo, Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno speaks with WTTW News.

Former 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, facing felony charges of obstruction of justice and insurance fraud, has a new lawyer — 21st Ward Ald. Howard Brookins, who is now under investigation himself.

Lightfoot Celebrates Win By Biden, Harris: ‘Has a Nice Ring To It, Doesn’t It?’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot offers her congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020. (WTTW News via Chicago Mayor’s Office)

As throngs of Chicagoans poured into the street in jubilation on Saturday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined in the celebrating the election of Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice president.

Aldermen Skeptical Lightfoot’s Year-Old Public Safety Reorganization Will Work

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to create a new public safety office in an effort to save money by making the city’s law enforcement agencies more efficient has yet to show results — and aldermen are losing patience.

Chicago’s Recycling Rate Stuck Between Bad and Terrible: Officials

(WTTW News)

Between 8% and 9% of the trash produced every year by Chicago residents is kept out of landfills, officials said Friday — acknowledging that the city’s efforts to boost Chicago’s recycling rate remain stalled.

COVID-19 Cases Reach All-Time High in Chicago: Officials

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady speaks Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020 during a press conference. (WTTW News)

“If we don't slow this down, and soon, we will have hundreds of thousands of new COVID cases by the end of the year in Chicago,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Lightfoot: Use $10M in Federal Funds To Help Restaurants, Bars Threatened by COVID-19

A bartender mixes a drink at the Chicago restaurant 14 Parish. (WTTW News)

Struggling restaurants and bars would be able to apply for $10,000 grants from the city under the plan Mayor Lightfoot unveiled at a Thursday afternoon news conference.

COVID-19 Cases Increasing ‘Exponentially’ Across Illinois, Officials Say

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike speaks Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 about the state of the coronavirus in Illinois. (WTTW News)

“This amount of disease in our community, it’s hard to think you could go anywhere and not be exposed,” said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state’s top doctor.

After Defeat of ‘Fair Tax’ Pritzker Says There Will Be Painful Cuts

Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020 during a press conference. (WTTW News)

The defeat of a constitutional amendment to overhaul how Illinois taxes income will mean painful cuts and will not avert tax increases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday.

Illinois Congressional Races: Dems Look to Cement Gains in Suburbs

(MotionStudios / Pixabay)

Two years after challengers ousted long-serving suburban Chicago Republican congressmen, helping Democrats to seize control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats are looking to cement those gains.

Election Day Unfolds Smoothly, Chicago Officials Say

At 16 years old, Bronzeville resident Genessis Johnson isn’t old enough to vote, but she appreciates the importance of casting a ballot. “If you don’t want something to happen one way, you need to get up and you need to vote because if something does go the other way, you’re part of the problem,” Johnson said. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

After months of anticipation, weeks of record early voting and vote-by-mail totals, Election Day is here, and in Chicago it has been “smooth and uneventful,” Chicago election officials said Tuesday.

Watchdog Says CPD Delaying Records He Needs for Probe of Protests

Protesters and police officers wearing riot gear have a standoff near Daley Plaza on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson told aldermen Monday that the Chicago Police Department has delayed his office’s probe of how it responded to the protests and unrest that swept Chicago this year.

Officials Shut Down 3 Large Parties for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions

(Baptiste MG on Unsplash)

The largest party shut down by inspectors took place at the Chicago Sports Complex in Brighton Park, where 600 people gathered, none of them wearing masks, city officials said.

Early Voting, Voting By Mail in Chicago Smashes Records: Officials

(WTTW News)

With 24 hours to go before polls open on Election Day, Chicago voters have flooded election officials with early ballots and mail-in ballots, deluging records set in 2016 and promising a huge final turnout.

Frustrated Aldermen Demand More Street Paving Money Amid Budget Crisis

Chicago traffic (WTTW News)

Aldermen urged city transportation officials on Friday to help them repave more Chicago streets, spotlighting a perennial gripe about potholes and rough rides during a budget season like no other.

Chicago Activates Emergency Operations Center, Prepares for Halloween, Election-Related Violence

(WTTW News)

The city is prepared to deploy garbage trucks, salt spreaders, snow plows and water trucks to protect the city’s commercial districts if the election triggers unrest and violence, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Progressive Caucus Objects to Lightfoot’s Budget Plan, Calls for Cuts to CPD

(David Mark / Pixabay)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.76 billion spending plan for 2021 fails to craft a “compassionate, bold” solution to the long-standing inequities that plague Chicago, according to the City Council’s Progressive Caucus.

Pritzker: As COVID-19 Surges in Illinois ‘People’s Lives Hang in the Balance’

Gov. J.B. Pritzker provides an update Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 about the coronavirus in Illinois. (WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a grave warning on Thursday as Illinois officials reported 6,363 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, telling residents that the pandemic has entered the most dangerous phase since the spring.

Springfield Area Hit with COVID-19 Restrictions Starting Nov. 1

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Nine of the state’s 11 regions have triggered the state’s fail-safe metrics designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, with the addition of much of West-Central Illinois, including Springfield and Quincy, on Thursday.

As State Restrictions Take Effect, Lightfoot Allows Businesses to Stay Open to 11 p.m.

(WTTW News)

Restrictions ordered by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to stop the spread of COVID-19 take effect at midnight Friday. Mayor Lightfoot altered her plan to align with the restrictions laid out by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Elimination of Library Fines Pays Off, Library Officials Tell Aldermen

(Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to eliminate library fines in order to coax patrons back to the Chicago Public Library has paid off in spades, aldermen heard Wednesday.

Another Ratings Agency Sounds Alarm About Chicago’s Budget

(Regina Shanklin / Pixabay)

A second Wall Street ratings agency sounded the alarm over Chicago’s budget on Wednesday as aldermen continued weighing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $12.76 billion spending plan for 2021.

Lightfoot: I Didn’t Ask For ‘Special Treatment’ from Pritzker During COVID-19 Surge

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks in Pullman on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she spoke with Gov. J.B. Pritzker for about an hour on Wednesday, a day after the serious split between the officials leading the effort to stem the pandemic spilled into public view.

Lightfoot Pushes Back After Pritzker Suspends Indoor Dining, Drinking in Chicago

Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks about rising coronavirus cases at a Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 press conference. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot pushed back late Tuesday on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order to suspend indoor dining and drinking in Chicago, the latest sign of a serious split between the officials leading the effort to stem the pandemic.

Florida Added to Chicago’s Quarantine Order as COVID-19 Surge Continues

A passenger at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (WTTW News)

City officials added Florida to Chicago’s COVID-19 quarantine order as confirmed cases of the coronavirus continue to surge in Chicago, Illinois and throughout the nation.

Aldermen Balk at Plan for Property Tax Hike, Layoffs To Fill Budget Gap

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to close a projected $1.2 billion budget gap by hiking property taxes and laying off employees got a cool reception Monday from aldermen, who pleaded for other options amid a raging pandemic.