Stories by Matt Masterson

The Dirksen Courthouse is pictured in Chicago. (Capitol News Illinois)

6 Charged in Fraud Scheme Accused of Staging Fake Robberies in Effort to Help ‘Victims’ Obtain US Visas

Six people are accused of staging fake robberies at various restaurants and businesses in and around Chicago in an effort to help make the purported “victims” eligible for U.S. visas.

The Chicago Tribune Freedom Center printing complex is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)

Chicago Tribune Journalists Suing Newspaper Over Alleged Pay Discrimination

The journalists filed a class-action lawsuit against the Chicago Tribune, the Tribune Publishing Company and Alden Global Capital, alleging they’ve faced pay discrimination based on gender, race and ethnicity as a result of the defendants’ “centralized policies and practices.”

A student writing on paper. (WTTW News)

Illinois Moving Back to ACT as Required Exam for High School Graduation

The Illinois State Board of Education on Wednesday awarded a six-year, $53 million contract to the ACT, Inc. organization, meaning high schoolers statewide will shift back to the ACT after taking SAT exams for most of the past decade.

Augusta National Golf Club (Dan Perry / flickr)

Former Augusta National Employee Pleads Guilty in Chicago to Stealing $5M Worth of Masters Items — Including Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan Green Jackets

Green jackets belonging to golf legends Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan were among the millions of dollars worth of memorabilia and items a former Augusta National Golf Club employee has admitted to stealing.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

CPS Details New Safety Plan as District Prepares to Remove Resource Officers From Schools

As Chicago Public Schools moves to fully remove police officers from its buildings, education officials are planning a phased-in approach to its new school safety plans.

(David Mark / Pixabay)

‘There’s a Lot of Unevenness’: Chicago’s Youth Joblessness Rates Outpace Illinois and US, New Report Finds

Employment levels in Chicago and beyond have rebounded since the COVID-19 pandemic, but a new report has found teens and young adults across the city, particularly those of color, are still struggling to find consistent work.

The nonprofit Loretto Hospital in Austin. (WTTW News)

Ex-Loretto Hospital Official Charged in $500K Embezzlement Scheme During COVID-19 Pandemic

Heather Bergdahl faces federal charges after she allegedly worked to steal from Loretto Hospital by sending nearly half a million dollars to businesses that never provided the hospital with goods or services.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Police: 5 People Killed in Weekend Shootings Across Chicago

A 23-year-old woman fatally shot inside a South Side home was among four people killed by gunfire across Chicago over the weekend, according to Chicago Police Department figures.

Chicago Pride Parade. (Gotta Be Worth It / pexels)

City Announces Additional Entries, New Starting Point for Chicago Pride Parade

Pride Parade supporters had reportedly called on Mayor Brandon Johnson to rescind plans to cut the number of parade entries down from nearly 200 last year to 125 this year due to safety and logistical concerns.

Illinois State Capitol. (WTTW News)

Arrest Made After Illinois State Capitol Bomb Threat

Illinois State Police on Friday announced that Gabrielle Williams, 23, had been taken into custody and is currently being held in the Sangamon County Jail pending a pre-trial detention hearing.

(WTTW News)

The Northwestern Hazing Scandal: A Timeline of Allegations, Investigations and Lawsuits

Examining the rapidly unfolding hazing scandal that led to the firing of Northwestern head football coach Pat Fitzgerald and threw the university into turmoil.

(WTTW News)

Northwestern Facing 3 New Lawsuits Stemming From Football Hazing Scandal as Ex-Player Claims Coaches Knew of Alleged Abuse

Former linebacker Nathan Fox claims he was hazed repeatedly during his time with the university’s football program, and that in at least one instance, the team’s coaches watched and laughed as it happened.

Leighton Criminal Court Building (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Cook County Prosecutors Looking to Add New Specialist Role Amid Growing Number of Hate Crime Reports

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office announced it is adding a new position — hate crimes specialist — in response to the “growing need to address hate crimes amid a challenging global climate.”

The office building at 100 N. Western Ave. in Chicago, on Monday, May 6, 2024, where an office of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice is located. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP Photo)

‘I Felt More Alone Than Ever’: Former Juvenile Detainees Speak Out After New Lawsuit Alleges Decades of Sex Abuse in Illinois Youth Centers

The alleged sexual abuse in these cases occurred between 1996 and 2017 and the victims were all minors — some as young as 12 — when the alleged abuse occurred, according to the complaint.

The office building at 100 North Western Avenue in Chicago, on Monday, May 6, 2024, where an office of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice is located. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

New Lawsuit Claims Dozens of Juveniles Subjected to Sexual Abuse in Illinois Detention Centers

Nearly 100 people are claiming in a new lawsuit that they were subjected to sexual abuse and assault as the hands of correctional officers and staffers at facilities in Chicago and across the state.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

7 People Killed in Weekend Shootings Across Chicago: Police

According to Chicago Police Department figures, 31 people were shot in 24 separate shootings between 6 p.m. Friday and 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

A casket carrying the body of fallen Officer Luis Huesca is carried by fellow officers before funeral services April 29, 2024. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

After Manhunt, 22-Year-Old Charged in Killing of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca

Chicago police officials on Friday officially announced charges against 22-year-old Xavier Tate Jr., who now faces counts of first-degree murder, aggravated vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen firearm.

Officer Luis M. Huesca (Chicago Police Department / Youtube)

Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca

Law enforcement officers have arrested the suspect accused of killing Chicago police Officer Luis Huesca.

(WTTW News)

Reproductive Rights Advocates Suing Chicago After Permit to March During DNC Rejected

Bodies Outside of Unjust Laws claiming the city has relied on its “constitutionally defective” parade permit ordinance to summarily deny permits that would allow groups to march during the convention.

Police vehicle file photo. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

A 10-Year-Old Girl Was Killed in Collision With Vehicle Fleeing Police. Her Family Now Wants to Use Deposition of Ex-Mayor Lightfoot at Trial

Attorneys for the family of Da’Karia Spicer, 10, killed in a 2020 traffic crash are seeking to make public their deposition of former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who a day after the accident said she didn’t believe a police vehicle pursuit had led to the girl’s death.

(WTTW News)

Bargaining Underway as CPS, CTU Work Toward New Teachers Contract

Officials from the union and Chicago Public Schools began talks this week as the sides work to secure the first new teachers contract since former CTU organizer and educator Brandon Johnson was elected mayor.

A casket carrying the body of fallen Officer Luis Huesca is carried by fellow officers before funeral services April 29, 2024. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

‘He Was a Great Man’: Slain Chicago Police Officer Luis Huesca Remembered, Celebrated During Funeral

“Luis left a great impression on not only everyone sitting here, especially his team, but he’s leaving an impression on the entire country,” Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said.

A group of protesters set up on Northwestern University’s campus on April 25, 2024. (WTTW News)

Northwestern to Allow ‘Peaceful Demonstrations’ on Campus After Reaching Agreement With Protesters

Protests began on the Evanston campus and at universities across the country in recent weeks amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Officer Luis M. Huesca (Chicago Police Department / Youtube)

Officials Announce $100K in Rewards for Information Leading to Arrest of Suspect in Officer Luis Huesca's Killing

The Chicago Police Department over the weekend announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for 22-year-old Xavier L. Tate Jr., who is being sought in connection with Huesca’s death.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

2 People Killed in Weekend Shootings Across Chicago: Police

According to Chicago Police Department data, 16 people were shot between Friday evening and Sunday night.

R. Kelly appears for a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Friday, March 22, 2019 in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)

Federal Appeals Court Upholds R. Kelly’s Child Pornography Convictions From Chicago Trial

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected the R&B singer’s claim that the statute of limitations had passed and instead affirmed his convictions, stating that “(f)or years, Robert Sylvester Kelly abused underage girls.”