Stories by Matt Masterson

Student Loan Company Reaches $1.85B Settlement With Illinois, Other States

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks to the media Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (WTTW News via BlueRoomStream)

Navient, the second largest student loan servicer in the U.S., agreed Thursday to cancel $1.7 billion in debt owed by more than 66,000 borrowers across the country as part of a multistate lawsuit that accused the company of abusive lending practices.

In Close Vote, Rank-and-File Teachers Approve Safety Deal With Chicago Public Schools

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

Rank-and-file CTU members on Wednesday signed off on the deal, two days after the union’s elected delegates voted to suspend a labor action that saw the vast majority of teachers refusing to work in person amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer Shoots 3 in Suburban Bowling Alley

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

A probationary Chicago police officer who was off duty shot three people at a suburban bowling alley Tuesday night, according to the agency that investigates police shootings.

Students Set to Return to Classroom as Chicago Teachers Suspend Labor Action

(WTTW News)

Chicago students are set to return to their classrooms this week after several days at home as the city and Chicago Teachers Union have reached a compromise on new COVID-19 mitigations inside schools.

Monday Classes Canceled As CPS-CTU Standoff Drags On

A sign supporting the Chicago Teachers Union during its car caravan rally on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (WTTW News)

“Although we have been negotiating hard throughout the day, there has not been sufficient progress for us to predict a return to class tomorrow,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted Sunday.

Chicago Teachers Call For Temporary Remote Learning, Drop Universal Testing Demand in Latest Offer to City

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union on Saturday sent a new proposal to the city hoping to resolve its ongoing labor action in which its members have refused to work in schools in-person during a spike in COVID-19 cases

Chicago Parents Suing CTU in Push to Get Kids Back in Their Classrooms

A sign supporting the Chicago Teachers Union during its car caravan rally on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (WTTW News)

In the lawsuit, parents claim the union’s action is actually an “illegal strike” — language that’s also been used by Mayor Lori Lightfoot. They want a judge to order teachers to return to their schools and resume in-person learning.

No CPS Classes Friday as City, Teachers Union Still Without Safety Agreement

A sign supporting the Chicago Teachers Union during its car caravan rally on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022. (WTTW News)

While a few school buildings may be open to students, Chicago Public Schools has once again canceled classes as negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union continue. 

CPS Cancels Classes Thursday as Negotiations With Teachers Continue

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools students will stay at home for a second consecutive day Thursday, as the district has once again canceled classes after the Chicago Teachers Union voted to begin working remotely.

No CPS Classes Wednesday After Chicago Teachers Vote to Work Remotely

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union announced late Tuesday that its rank-and-file members voted in favor of a measure to halt in-person work and transition to remote work Wednesday as it continues negotiating a deal with the city and school district over additional health and safety measures.

CPS to Cancel Wednesday Classes if Teachers Union Votes to Work Remotely

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

The Chicago Teachers Union is set to vote Tuesday evening on a labor action that would see its 25,000 members work fully remotely beginning Wednesday. If that measure is approved, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said he’ll have no choice but to cancel classes.

Watchdog Report Sheds Light on Pandemic Spending Issues in CPS

(WTTW News)

Charter schools taking tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary loans, security workers cutting hours to apply for enhanced public benefits and bus companies who pocketed payments while laying off employees were among the issues highlighted in a new report.

CTU Members to Consider Walkout This Week as COVID-19 Cases Spike

(WTTW News)

“I am so pissed off that we have to continuously fight for the basic necessities, the basic mitigations … this makes no sense,” CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said Monday.

CPS ‘Strongly’ Encouraging Students, Staff to Get COVID Test Before Coming Back to Class Next Week

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

“By getting tested before returning from break, we can have a successful and healthy start to the new year,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a statement.

Chicago Sets New Mark For Latest First Snowfall of Season

(Pexels / Madison Inouye)

The National Weather Service on Tuesday said that as of 12:10 p.m., one-tenth of an inch of snow had been recorded at O’Hare Airport — Chicago’s official weather site — making the first measurable snowfall in 287 days.

3 Killed, 19 Shot Over Christmas Weekend in Chicago: Police

(WTTW News)

According to the Chicago Police Department, there were 16 shootings across the city between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Illinois Sees Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Case Count

(WTTW News)

There were 16,581 new and probable COVID-19 cases recorded within the past 24 hours by the Illinois Department of Public Health. That’s the highest single-day total this year and the highest since November 2020, per IDPH data.

Feds Recommend 1-Year Prison Sentence for Former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz

Ald. Ricardo Munoz appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 23, 2018. (WTTW News)

In a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday, federal prosecutors said former Ald. Ricardo Muñoz “abused his public position and betrayed the public trust” by embezzling nearly $38,000 in city money over the course of approximately three years.

Dan Webb: Handling of Initial Jussie Smollett Charges by Foxx’s Office Was a ‘Disgrace’

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 18, 2020. (WTTW News)

The special prosecutor who secured convictions this month against Jussie Smollett said the way the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office first resolved the former “Empire” star’s criminal charges was a “disgrace” and that Kim Foxx and others lied about how it went down.

Special Prosecutor Found ‘Major Failure’ in How Kim Foxx’s Office Handled Jussie Smollett Case

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty at Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 14, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

Finger-pointing, misleading statements, “substantial abuses of discretion” and a “major failure" of operations were among the findings included in a special prosecutor's investigation into Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx and her office's handling of the Jussie Smollett case.

No Bail For Chicago Man Charged With Attempted Murder of 4-Month-Old Son

(WTTW News)

A 26-year-old father allegedly shook and beat his infant child to the point where the boy suffered injuries consistent with a car crash and will require medical care for the rest of his life, prosecutors claimed.

Chicago’s Top Doc ‘Confident’ CPS Won’t Return to Remote Learning Citywide

Students at Chicago Public Schools walk along a hallway in this file photo. (WTTW News)

“We’re gonna have to see what happens with omicron, but I do not expect that we will be making plans to move entirely remotely and certainly not for extended periods, even if that were a thing,” Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday.

Board Approves $9M Settlement for Fired Black CPS Teachers, Staff

(WTTW News)

Chicago education officials approved a settlement Wednesday that will put an end to years of litigation with the Chicago Teachers Union over a series of layoffs that disparately impacted hundreds of Black teachers and paraprofessionals.

Special Prosecutor Asks Judge to Release Report on Jussie Smollett Investigation

Jussie Smollett pleads not guilty at Leighton Criminal Court Building, Thursday, March 14, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Pool / Chicago Tribune)

“The trial of Mr. Smollett being complete, it is now appropriate for the seal on the (Office of Special Prosecutor’s) Summary Report to be lifted and for it to be publicly available,” Dan Webb wrote in a new motion Wednesday.

Man Accused in July Homicide Now Faces Charges in Separate West Englewood Killing

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

A man accused in a fatal shooting after a traffic accident earlier this year now faces charges in a separate West Englewood homicide in which he allegedly killed a man as he stood outside a vehicle that had two young children inside.

Man Charged Months After Lakeview Hit-And-Run That Left Cancer Survivor Dead

(WTTW News)

Brett Dimick, 30, has been charged with reckless homicide stemming from the Aug. 14 hit-and-run that left 24-year-old Sophie Allen dead and another woman injured.