Stories by Tonia Hill

Paul Adams III appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 20, 2020. (WTTW News)

Chicago Educator, Civil Rights Activist Reflects on Legacy of MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. was known for speaking out against racial segregation, voter disenfranchisement and economic inequality. We discuss his life and legacy with a man who marched with him: Paul Adams III.

Apology from Northwestern’s Student Newspaper Makes Headlines of its Own

An apology by The Daily Northwestern for its coverage of two protests caused harsh backlash on social media and in newspapers across the country. We discuss the incident with the associate dean of the university’s Medill School of Journalism.

In this file photo, John Escalante speaks with WTTW News in March 2016 when he served as the interim Chicago police superintendent. (WTTW News)

Former Interim Police Superintendent Weighs in on Johnson’s Retirement

What lies ahead for Chicago’s next top cop? And what’s the job like? We asked John Escalante, who served as interim Chicago police superintendent following the ouster of Garry McCarthy in 2015. 

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Lightfoot’s New Plan to Address Mental Health Care

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils a new mental health plan that includes a boost in funding. But some say it falls short of her promise to bring back six clinics that were shuttered by her predecessor in 2012.

(Roman Boed / Flickr)

Chicago Aldermen Propose New Name for Lake Shore Drive

Alds. David Moore and Sophia King introduced an ordinance Wednesday to rename Lake Shore Drive to Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Drive in honor of the city’s founder.

A healthy monarch butterfly spotted in downtown Chicago in 2007. (Greg Robbins / Flickr)

Monarch Migration Leads to Some Dead Butterflies on Chicago Lakefront

This week, a number of dead monarch butterflies were found along the lakefront. The sight alarmed some members of the public who spotted the insects. But one local expert says it’s par for the course as the butterflies retreat south for the winter.

(Robert-Owen-Wahl / Pixabay)

Minimum Wage Debate: Should Tipped Workers Also ‘Fight for $15’?

Should tipped workers make the same minimum wage as non-tipped workers? We discuss the pros and cons of a pending ordinance in City Council that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 – including for those who earn tips.

Author Celeste Watkins-Hayes appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

‘Remaking a Life’: New Book Features Chicago Women Living with HIV/AIDS

For more than a decade, Northwestern University professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes documented the lives of more than 100 women living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago and beyond. Now, their stories are featured in a new book.

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

Why It’s Legal for Police, Divorce Attorneys to Collect I-Pass User Data

Police departments and divorce attorneys are collecting personal data from I-Pass users. WBEZ reporter Tony Arnold tells us how that happens – and why it’s legal.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 19, 2019. (WTTW News)

Father Michael Pfleger: Gun Violence ‘Not Just a Chicago Problem’

The social activist and senior pastor at Saint Sabina Church will join local and national organizations next week in D.C. to demand that Congress pass common sense gun safety laws. He joins us in discussion.

Actor LaRoyce Hawkins of “South Side” appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 12, 2019.

Comedy Series ‘South Side’ Highlights Chicago Talent, On and Off Camera

A new scripted comedy series set in and around Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood is lighting up the small screen. We speak with one of the stars of the show, Harvey native LaRoyce Hawkins.

New Series ‘We Are Witnesses’ Explores Criminal Justice in Chicago

A new short film series debuting this week explores the nature of crime, punishment and forgiveness through the voices of Chicagoans impacted by the criminal justice system.

(Martin Alonso / Flickr)

Naperville City Council Says ‘No’ to Legal Sale of Marijuana – For Now

Marijuana sales for recreational use will be legal in Illinois come January, but not all cities in the state are on board. Two Naperville City Council members join us to discuss how that city is handling the change.

Candace Moore appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 3, 2019.

Civil Rights Attorney to Lead New Office of Equity and Racial Justice

A new office aims to examine policy with equity and racial justice in mind. We speak with Candace Moore, who is leading the office.

(Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons)

5 Chicago Teens Charged with Murder Under Controversial Illinois Law

Just what is the felony murder law? Critics say it is broad and unjust, especially when it involves juveniles. Proponents say it deters crime. Chicago defense attorney Brandon Brown weighs in.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 28, 2019.

Gary Mayor Gets New Role: Freeman-Wilson to Lead Chicago Urban League

One of Chicago’s leading organizations aimed at addressing the needs of the African American community is about to get a new leader. We speak with outgoing Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

Tiger Woods’ Jackson Park Project: Where the Proposed Merger Stands

It’s been nearly three years since pro golfer Tiger Woods announced his plan to restore and merge two historic golf courses on the South Side. We discuss the proposal and the varying reactions to it.

Report: Obama Center Will Have ‘Adverse Effect’ on Jackson Park

We discuss the future of the Obama Presidential Center with Ghian Foreman, president and CEO of Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative; and University of Illinois at Chicago professor David Stovall.

The Chicago race riots of 1919 (Courtesy of the Chicago Defender)

Chicago Organizations Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Race Riots

Saturday marks the 100th anniversary of the Chicago race riots. How some local organizations are planning to remember that violent week in 1919.

Wakandacon 2018 (Credit: Nkechi Chibueze / Happy Black Chick Photography)

Festival inspired by Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ Returns to Chicago

Comic book lovers, pop culture fanatics and art and tech enthusiasts are flocking to McCormick Place this weekend for the Afro-futuristic celebration Wakandacon. We get a preview of this year’s fest.

President Donald Trump pauses while speaking at a rally Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 at Southern Illinois Airport in Murphysboro. (Andrew Harnik / AP Photo)

President Trump to Deliver 2nd State of the Union Address

President Donald Trump delivers his second State of the Union address Tuesday night following a historic 35-day government shutdown. 

(Stephen M. Scott / Flickr)

What You Should Know About the 2020 Census

The next U.S. census will take place April 1, 2020. How the data is collected, what it’s used for and the latest on the controversial citizenship question.

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

What Legalized Marijuana Could Mean for Illinois

With support from new Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois is getting closer attention throughout the state. 

Bernie Mac’s Widow Reflects on His Life and Legacy

A decade after the comedian’s death, Bernie Mac’s widow, Rhonda McCullough, looks back on his Chicago roots and successful acting career.