Stories by acacia hernandez

Some Illinois Workers Are Forced to Take Unpaid Leave as COVID-19 Drags On

(WTTW News)

In the first half of January, an estimated 8.8 million U.S. workers were reported to have stayed home either because they were sick with COVID-19 or were caring for someone who was sick. The news comes as some workers are running out of employer-provided sick days, or don’t have enough earned sick days to begin with. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Skokie

The Village of Skokie, a northwest suburb, located 16 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and 12 miles east of O’Hare International Airport, could soon be home to Illinois’ newest auto-vending machine. (WTTW News)

We go to Skokie, where some residents are upset about a potential new neighbor coming to town: a car dealer, with an untraditional model for displaying their wares.

Nonprofit Aims to Address Homelessness as Housing Insecurity Grows During COVID-19

The leader of a Chicago nonprofit focused on homelessness says the demand for their services has skyrocketed. "We are getting inundated with calls, emails and walk-ins from people that never imagined they would ever need help like this before.”

Rush Hospital CEO on Criteria for Delaying Surgeries Amid Bed Shortage

(WTTW News)

Illinois is setting record highs for the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalization rates with more than 6,800 now in hospitals due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, hospitals across the state are working to maintain the ability to take patients, and are delaying certain procedures amid a bed shortage.

Chicago Public Schools CEO on COVID Testing, Protocols and More

Pedro Martinez, CEO of Chicago Public Schools, joins “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the return to school and safety protocols in place amid the Omicron surge. (WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools distributed over 150 thousand PCR tests Tuesday at more than 300 schools in communities hardest hit by the pandemic. Students who test positive will be asked to stay home.

Chicago Restaurant Owners Ask for More Time Before Requiring Proof of Vaccines

Kim DiPofi, daughter of the owner of Pompei, a family owned Italian restaurant located on the city’s Near West Side says she is concerned about staff as well as customers coming into the restaurant. (WTTW News)

Some Chicago restaurant owners are asking for more time before the city’s proof of vaccine requirement takes effect at local restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues Jan. 3. A coalition of about 30 restaurants is saying there hasn’t been enough time to adjust operations amid the holidays.

Local Hospitals Face Hospitalization Surge as Omicron Variant Emerges

(inspiri / Pixabay)

The majority of hospitalizations in Chicago continue to be among those unvaccinated, but health officials advised everyone take precautions.

Many Unanswered Questions Remain About COVID-19 Long Haul Symptoms

People walk in Chicago’s Northalsted neighborhood in September 2020. (WTTW News)

Many, including doctors, are still searching for treatment for people whose symptoms continue more than a month after being infected and answers about persistent symptoms.

Utility Giants Agree to Stop Selling Data to ICE But Some Loopholes Remain

Utility giants have agreed to stop selling sensitive information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, among other law enforcement agencies. (Steve Buissinne / Pixabay)

For years, companies have sold data from cable, phone and power bills -- including names, home addresses and more.

Yearlong BGA Investigation Reveals City’s Failed Promises in Cabrini-Green

A yearlong Better Government Association investigation details the city’s failure to keep promises of jobs and housing for current and former Cabrini-Green residents. (WTTW News)

Cabrini-Green residents were promised jobs and housing after its demolition. A new investigation from the Better Government Association reveals how those promises fell short.

Chicago Sees Overwhelming Demand for Santa This Season

Santa Claus takes pictures with visitors at the Lincoln Park Zoo on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (WTTW News)

Families are lining up around the city to meet with the big guy himself. In some places, there's a struggle to meet the demand.

WFMT Celebrates 70 Years On Air Monday with a Full Day of Live Performances

WTTW’s sister station, WFMT Radio, is celebrating 70 years on air. Chicago's classical radio station first hit the airwaves in December of 1951. (WTTW News)

WFMT, our sister station, is celebrating 70 years on air. Chicago's classical music and fine arts radio station first hit the airwaves in December 1951. On Monday, the station will be live from Northeastern Illinois University’s Jewel Box Recital Hall for a day full of live performances.

Sun-Times, BGA Report Reveals Costly Toll of ‘Dead-End’ Drug Arrests

(WTTW News)

An analysis of 280,000 drug possession cases between 2000 and 2018 revealed about half of those cases were dismissed. In 2018, such dismissals rose to 72% of cases, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times and Better Government Association.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Andersonville

Located in the Edgewater community on Chicago’s northside, Andersonville has one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish heritage and is home to a large LGBTQ plus community. (WTTW News)

Located in the Edgewater community on Chicago’s North Side, Andersonville has one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish heritage and is home to a large LGBTQ community. Learn more about the history as well as what the area is doing to adopt eco-friendly initiatives.

Advocates Concerned About City’s Homeless Population Amid Emergency Bed Shortage

A homeless encampment in Chicago. (WTTW News)

The city of Chicago has been partnering with Hotel Julian downtown, paying for 175 rooms to house those experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic. Alderpeople recently extended this partnership into February. But is it enough?

Kenosha Prepares for Rittenhouse Verdict As Third Day of Deliberations Closes

Kenosha County Sheriff David G. Beth, who has become a well-known figure to observers of this case, spent the day outside the courthouse providing demonstrators with cookies, pastries and coffee in hopes that the friendly gesture would calm tensions. (WTTW News)

Jurors in the trial of Antioch native Kyle Rittenhouse have now completed three days of deliberation and still no verdict. This comes as demonstrators made their voices heard outside the Kenosha County Courthouse again, and as the outspoken judge in the case admonished a member of the news media. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago

Naval Station Great Lakes is the largest military installation in Illinois and home to the Navy’s only boot camp. (WTTW News)

Located about 35 miles north of downtown Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan, North Chicago houses Naval Station Great Lakes, home of the Navy’s only boot camp.

Shootings on the Rise in Downtown Area, Police Data Shows

(WTTW News)

According to Chicago police data, shootings have increased in both the downtown police districts over last year, with District 1 seeing a 66% increase and District 18 seeing a 59% increase.

Mark Kelly Exits Role as Chicago’s Cultural Affairs Commissioner

Mark Kelly served as commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special events for more than five years. Now that he’s no longer in office, “I get to be another citizen enjoying the glories of our city that have been put together by so many people,” he said.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Resurrection in Pilsen

Pilsen, a largely Mexican community just southwest of Chicago’s Loop, is coming together to celebrate Día de los Muertos, an important day throughout Latin America. (WTTW News)

Despite COVID-19 concerns, celebrations are coming together in Pilsen, a community just southwest of Chicago’s Loop with a substantial Mexican population.

Public Safety App Usage Grows, But So Does Skepticism

(terimakasih0 / Pixabay)

Public safety apps like Citizen and Nextdoor allow users to report incidents and crime in the area. But some skeptics say these apps have fueled fear.

Students Want Answers, Action After Classmates ‘Protest’ Spanish Song at School Dance

A video showing a group of Marist High School students kneeling during a Spanish song played at a school dance has gone viral. And some students want action to be taken. (WTTW News)

A video showing a group of Marist High School students kneeling during a Spanish song played at a school dance has gone viral. And some students want action to be taken.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Revitalizing North Lawndale

Community gardening in North Lawndale (Courtesy Young Mens Educational Network Chicago)

Located on Chicago’s West Side, North Lawndale is a neighborhood that has dealt with decades of disinvestment and vacant spaces. Community members have taken things into their own hands by creating community gardens and safe spaces for the next generation.

Airline Industry Sees Divide in Vaccine Mandates Ahead of Holiday Season

Airline employees refusing COVID-19 vaccines could lose their jobs. What impact could that have on the airline industry?

DACA Holders See Delays in the Renewal of their Status

DACA recipients have been reporting longer delays in the renewal of their status, putting many of their employment eligibility at risk. Or in some cases, completely taking away their ability to work legally. (WTTW News via CNN)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has given immigrants who were brought here as youth an opportunity to work and study in the U.S. lawfully. But recently, DACA recipients have been reporting longer delays in the renewal of their status, putting many of their employment eligibility at risk.

Latinos Make Huge Impact on White Sox Playoff Roster

Last season, the White Sox became the first team in MLB history to have an all-Cuban born top four in their lineup, but the history of Cubans and baseball bleeds back to the 1860s. (Courtesy NBC Sports Chicago)

Players from Minnie Miñoso to Luis Aparicio to Ozzie Guillén have been fan favorites on Chicago’s South Side for decades. Never has the Latino presence on the White Sox roster been more important than this year, when the Sox could have seven or more players of Latino heritage starting in the playoffs.