Stories by Paul Caine


‘Triple-demic’ Threat Causing Medication Shortages for Children

Pharmacies across the country are seeing surging demand for child-friendly versions of Amoxicillin, Tamiflu and other drugs. That demand has led at times to empty shelves and parents having to try multiple pharmacies to find their child’s prescription.

Pat McGann appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 7, 2022. (WTTW News)

Chicago Comedian Pat McGann on Being a Latecomer to Stand-Up and Playing the Iconic Chicago Theatre

Pat McGann made a transition from sales to stand-up comedy and in the years since has appeared on late night television and in his own special. Next year, he will headline a show at the Chicago Theatre. 

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Lightfoot and García File; Ed Burke Calls It Quits

Federally indicted Ald. Ed Burke finally calls it a career after 54 years. Lightfoot and García officially file their paperwork to run for mayor, Latino neighborhoods got socked with higher property taxes. And the SAFE-T act gets a revamp.

(Credit: University of Chicago)

University of Chicago Series Highlights How School’s Scholars Have Changed the World

A new series of video shorts from the University of Chicago aims to highlight the role its researchers and scientists have played in transforming our understanding of the world — and indeed the cosmos.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: End of an Era at City Hall; Proposed Changes to SAFE-T Act

Proposed changes to the controversial SAFE-T Act that ends cash bail in Illinois. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

Ald. Ray Lopez addresses the media on Nov. 21, 2022. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Lopez Drops Out of Mayoral Race; García Addresses FTX Donations

Ald. Ray Lopez drops out of the mayoral race, but not before launching another stinging attack on incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.


Big Tech Companies Face Trying Times Amid Wave of Layoffs

A wave of layoffs at tech giants like Facebook parent Meta, Amazon and Twitter — along with falling share prices — seems to signal a changed environment for big tech.

(WTTW News)

Illinois GOP Taking Stock, Looking to Future After ‘Very Disappointing’ Election

Last Tuesday was instead an unmitigated disaster for the Illinois GOP — losing every race for statewide office and falling further into super-minority status in the statehouse. It’s prompted calls from within for some soul-searching.

Enrique Limón, editor-in-chief of the Chicago Reader, appears on "Latino Voices" on Nov. 12, 2022. (WTTW News)

Enrique Limón Takes the Helm at the Chicago Reader

Tasked with the job of maintaining the Reader’s relevance in an ever-changing media landscape is Enrique Limón. He is the Reader’s new editor-in-chief and the first Latino to hold that position in the publication’s more than 50-year history.

(WTTW News)

Advocates Push for City of Chicago Pilot Program to Clear Sidewalks of Snow and Ice

What if homeowners didn’t have to plow sidewalks and city workers took up that function instead? There is a growing movement to do just that — and it’s driven by the inconsistency and lack of accessibility of Chicago’s sidewalks after a big snow event.


Week in Review: Pritzker and Bailey Trade Barbs, Duckworth Holds Big Cash Advantage

Gubernatorial candidates punch hard in a final debate. Bailey scores big deposit from conservative billionaire and we dig into other big races. In sports, the Bulls tip off the season as the Bears try to stave off collapse.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state Sen. Darren Bailey debate on Oct. 18, 2022. (Credit: WGN)

Spotlight Politics: Pritzker and Bailey Spar in Final Debate Before Election

The final debate in the race for governor turns out to be short on substance but high on name-calling. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

Former U.S. Attorney General appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 12, 2022. (WTTW News)

Former AG Eric Holder Dismisses Trump Claims DOJ ‘Weaponized’ Against Him

Former U.S. Attorney General under President Barack Obama, Eric Holder, says that if former President Donald Trump were an ordinary citizen he would likely have already been indicted.

(Credit: WGN-TV)

The Week in Review: Pritzker and Bailey Sling Mud in Debate; Lightfoot Unveils $16.4B Budget Plan

Gubernatorial candidates sling mud in their first televised debate. No property tax hikes in Mayor Lightfoot’s election year budget. Homeless advocates press Lightfoot for more funding. And the White Sox head into an offseason full of questions.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivers her budget address on Oct. 3, 2022. (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Lightfoot Unveils City Budget; Latino Leaders Urge Garcia to Run

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils a $16.4 billion budget proposal – but bows to political reality and drops a property tax hike linked to inflation. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

(WTTW News)

While Chicago Recycling Rate Remains Stubbornly Low, Advocates and Officials Eye Improvements

Chicago has long had a tortured relationship with recycling. City leaders have scrapped old programs and replaced them with new ones, but the result is the same  recycling rates in the single digits. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Nixes Tax Increase, Pritzker Leads Poll

Mayor Lori Lightfoot nixes a plan for a $42 million property tax increase tied to inflation. And a WGN poll says Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger Darren Bailey, who this week likened Chicago to an unruly child.


Queen Elizabeth’s Death Prompts Mourning But Also Discussions on Monarchy and Empire

To many, Queen Elizabeth's 70-year reign was a symbol of tradition and stability that linked the present to the past. But on her death, along with expressions of sympathy, many people from former colonies from Ireland to Kenya — and here in America — have pushed back on the glorification of the monarchy and empire.

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch. (Via City Club of Chicago)

Spotlight Politics: Welch Defends Ending Cash Bail; Pritzker Threatens to Sue Conservative PAC

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch makes a spirited defense of the SAFE-T Act and the end of cash bail. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

J.B. Pritzker (WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Pritzker Calls for Lawmaker Resignations

Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls for two Democratic lawmakers to step down amid personal controversies, a New Lincoln park alderperson is sworn in, the White Sox implode in a must-win series and the Bears seek to bounce back from Green Bay loss.

State Sen. Emil Jones, D-Chicago. (Provided: Illinois Senate Democrats)

Spotlight Politics: State Senator Charged, New Chicago Alderperson Appointed

Federal prosecutors charged state Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, with three felonies in relation to allegations he took a bribe from a red-light camera firm.. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Gov. J.B. Pritzker attend a roundtable event on Sept. 16, 2022. (WTTW News)

The Week in Review: Vice President Kamala Harris Comes to Town

Vice President Kamala Harris in town as more migrants are sent to Chicago, GOP candidate for governor Darren Bailey moves to the city amid uproar over a racially motivated ad, and the undefeated Bears head up to Lambeau.

This image shows the exoplanet HIP 65426 b in different bands of infrared light, as seen from the James Webb Space Telescope. Purple shows the NIRCam instrument’s view at 3 micrometers, blue shows the NIRCam instrument’s view at 4.44 micrometers, yellow shows the MIRI instrument’s view at 11.4 micrometers and red shows the MIRI instrument’s view at 15.5 micrometers. (Credit: NASA/ESA/CSA, A Carter (UCSC), the ERS 1386 team and A. Pagan)

Northwestern Astronomer Part of Webb Telescope Team to Image Exoplanet

For the first time, the James Webb Space Telescope has been used to directly image an exoplanet — that’s a planet outside of our solar system. A Northwestern astronomer was part of the team. 

An aerial rendering of a proposed Chicago Bears stadium and entertainment district in Arlington Heights. (Credit: Hart Howerton / Chicago Bears)

The Week in Review: Bears Make Stadium Case to Arlington Heights

The Bears unveil Arlington Heights dome plans, two more veteran alderpeople decide to hang it up, more migrants are sent from Texas to Chicago, and the Bears are set to open their season at their home for now — Soldier Field.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Texas Gov., Lightfoot Trade Barbs Over Migrant Buses; Aldermanic Exodus Continues

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott are trading barbs over buses of migrants sent to Chicago. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Aldermanic Exodus Continues, BGA Raises Questions Over Pritzker’s Blind Trust

More aldermen join the city hall exodus, CPD announces a new time-off policy, Darren Bailey gets a cash infusion, and Governor Pritzker's investments are under scrutiny, our Spotlight Politics team digs into all that and more.