Stories by Paul Caine

Week in Review: $50M Police Misconduct Case; Massive Data Breach at Cook County Health

Migrants with schoolchildren losing shelter. Massive data breach at Cook County Health. And Chicago pays its largest-ever police misconduct settlement.

Ingrid Newkirk appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 11, 2024. (WTTW News)

PETA Founder Protests Pork Industry Practices, Reflects on History of Activism

For more than 40 years, PETA has worked to change the way many people think about animals. Attention-grabbing media campaigns have raised the public’s awareness of practices like factory farming, fur production and animal testing — while also drawing backlash at times for the group’s tactics.

Week in Review: Biden Takes Executive Action at the Border; Chicago Police Prep for the DNC

Chicago police learn new tactics to handle mass protests ahead of the DNC. And could the president’s new border policy mitigate migrants coming to the city?

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on May 22, 2024. (WTTW News)

Kim Foxx Floats Changes to How Her Office Prosecutes Crime, Drug Cases Tied to Traffic Stops

Under a new proposal from Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, prosecutors would not file drug, gun and theft charges stemming from an initial traffic stop where there was no other probable cause to make the stop.

File photo of a teacher in a classroom. (WTTW News)

Local School Council Members React to CPS Funding Changes

Chicago’s school funding model is changing. Instead of basing school funding on student enrollment as the district has done for the past decade, Chicago Public Schools is now taking a needs-based approach.

Week in Review: Brandon Johnson’s First Year; Embattled CTA Chief Facing Calls to Quit

One year into Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration. Campus encampment cleared at DePaul. And will Springfield help Chicago Public Schools close its deficit?

Renée Fleming appears on “Chicago Tonight” on May 13, 2024. (WTTW News)

Superstar Soprano Renée Fleming’s New Book Aims to Highlight the Healing Power of Music

World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming has a new book called “Music and Mind” – a collection of essays curated and edited by the operatic superstar exploring the healing power of music and the arts, and what modern science is uncovering about that connection.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on May 7, 2024. (WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools CEO Says District Underfunded, Needs More Money From State

CPS is anticipating a budget deficit of $391 million for the coming school year as COVID-19 relief funding runs out. That deficit is expected to rise to $700 million the following year.

Week in Review: Pro-Palestinian Protests Grow; Pritzker Pushes Back on Bears’ Stadium Proposal

Tensions rise over encampments at local universities. And the mayor’s relationship with the Chicago Police Department, as a manhunt leads to murder charges.

File photo of a homeless encampment in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Illinois Taking Steps to Reduce High Rates of Homelessness in Black Community

A new study found that Black Americans are four times more likely to experience homelessness than their White counterparts. But in Illinois the situation is even worse, researchers found, with Black residents eight times more likely to become homeless at some point in their lives.

Week in Review: Bears Pitch Domed Lakefront Stadium; Pro-Palestinian Protests at Northwestern

The Bears unveil plans for a $4.75 billion state-of-the-art domed lakefront stadium. And pro-Palestinian Northwestern students and staff protest the war in Gaza.

James “Big Cat” Williams appears on “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on April 24, 2024. (WTTW News)

James ‘Big Cat’ Williams on the Bears’ Stadium Plans and 2024 NFL Draft

For the Chicago Bears, this week may just turn out to be one of the most significant in the history of the franchise.

Week in Review: Video of Dexter Reed Shooting Raises Questions on CPD Use of Force; Biden Fundraises in Chicago

Chicago roiled by the release of video showing the fatal police shooting of Dexter Reed. President Joe Biden hits town to raise big bucks. And a special sendoff for Paris Schutz.

Community members gather outside the 11th District police headquarters on April 9, 2024, hours after video of the fatal police shooting of Dexter Reed was released. (Heather Cherone / WTTW News)

Community Calls for Change, Accountability After Video Released in Fatal Police Shooting of Dexter Reed

The footage of Chicago police officers firing 96 shots at Dexter Reed following a traffic stop has caused outrage with the city’s Black community and led to demands for change — and accountability — for the police officers involved.

Week in Review: Demands for Change at Prisoner Review Board; City Council Votes Against Punishment for Ald. Sigcho-Lopez

Mayor Brandon Johnson confidently reflects on one year in office. And Illinois Republicans want big changes to the state’s Prisoner Review Board after a convict is released and allegedly commits murder.

Former chair of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board Donald Shelton joins “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on April 3, 2024. (WTTW News)

Former Chair of Prisoner Review Board Pushes Back Against Pritzker’s Criticism Following Killing of 11-Year-Old Boy

“It’s one thing to say that I think the judgment was in error,” Donald Shelton said in an exclusive interview with WTTW News. “It’s another thing to say that there was a lack of concern for a victim of domestic violence.”

Week in Review: O’Neill Burke Declares Victory in State’s Attorney Race; City Council Committee Wants Transparency on Migrant Evictions

Eileen O’Neill Burke declares victory in the tight Cook County state’s attorney race. Chicago City Council wants migrant evictions oversight. And Johnson supports public money to develop a lakefront stadium.

Week in Review: Johnson Doubles Down on Progressive Agenda; Arlington Heights Sweetens Tax Deal for Bears

Too close to call in the race for Cook County state’s attorney. Johnson doubles down on his progressive agenda. And Arlington Heights sweetens a property tax deal for the Bears.

Frank Ursetta holds a portion of a bionic limb being developed by the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Pioneering Chicago Lab Helps Develop Next Generation of Bionic Limbs

For years, researchers say there was very little advancement in the field. But in recent decades, prosthetic limbs have come a long way. And at the multidisciplinary Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in downtown Chicago, the next generation of bionic prosthetics are being developed.

Week in Review: Illinoisans Prepare to Head to the Polls; Migrant Evictions From City Shelters Set to Begin Sunday

Previewing the big Election Day races. Is the migrant shelter measles outbreak under control? And the Bears could build a domed lakefront stadium.

A mural along Mahalia’s Mile in the Chatham community. (WTTW News)

Bronzeville, Chatham Expect Boost From Cultural District Designation

The cultural district designation will allow districts to apply for a share of $3 million set aside in state funding to support projects that uplift communities, spur economic development and preserve cultural heritage.

Week in Review: Trump Ruled Ineligible for Illinois Primary Ballot; Multiple Warnings Over Migrant Shelter Conditions

Trump is ruled ineligible in Illinois but will stay on the ballot. And all signs point to the Bears drafting a superstar prospect with the first overall pick.

J. Ivy appears on “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on Feb. 28, 2024. (WTTW News)

Chicago Poet J. Ivy on His Influences, His Gift and Winning a 3rd Grammy

J. Ivy is one of the most high-profile poets on the planet. He has worked with A-list artists including Jay-Z and Beyoncé. He even gave John Legend his “Legend” name. Ivy’s spoken word album “The Light Inside” just earned him a third Grammy.

Week in Review: Judge Strikes Bring Chicago Home Referendum; White Sox Court Springfield Lawmakers

Chicago’s Board of Education votes to remove police officers from schools. And the White Sox head to Springfield in the hopes of scoring a stadium subsidy.

(WTTW News)

US Department of Education Under Fire as New FAFSA Rollout Beset by Delays

The first major overhaul of the FAFSA form since the Reagan era was supposed to make the process simpler and quicker. So far, that’s not been the case.

Week in Review: Johnson Dismisses Questions Over ShotSpotter Cancelation; Madigan’s Former Right-Hand Man Sentenced

Confusion over the end of the city’s ShotSpotter contract. State and county leaders agree to spend millions more in migrant care — but did Johnson renege on his commitment?