Stories by alexandra silets

The Week in Review: Illinois Enters Bridge Phase

Speaking from Six Flags Great America, Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives Illinoisans "more incentive to get vaccinated," as the state moves into the bridge phase of reopening, and venues announce their summer plans, May 13, 2021. (WTTW News)

Illinois enters the reopening bridge phase as summer festivals are announced. Leaked emails spell trouble for the mayor. Rahm may be headed to Japan. And the sudden death of a Chicago star-architect.

The Week in Review: Full Reopening Nears with Warning

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot detail various re-openings which include the Auto Show and a special concert series for people who are vaccinated. However, the mayor and the governor differ on full lifting of restrictions by about a month. (WTTW News)

Illinois is on track to open fully in June. Cultural institutions prepare for their return. High-profile political corruption cases heat up in court. And bombshell resignations both at CPS and COPA.

The Week in Review: A Current and Former Alderman Indicted

A file photo shows Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson, nephew to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and grandson of Richard J. Daley. (WTTW News)

A current and former alderman indicted. Another police shooting video released. Trouble over renaming Lake Shore Drive after DuSable. And the Bears shock the NFL Draft and land quarterback Justin Fields.

Spotlight Politics: Alvarez Shooting Video Released

The Chicago Police Department is under a federal consent decree and Supt. Brown says there are multiple things happening consecutively, April 28, 2021. (WTTW News)

Another video showing the police shooting death, this time of Anthony Alvarez, is released. It shows Officer Evan Solano making a split-second decision to fire his weapon at the 22-year-old during a foot chase. Our politics team takes on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

The Week in Review: City Stands Down After Chauvin Verdict

Illinois National Guard officers watch a protest in Old Town on June 6, 2020, one of many in the city and across the U.S. sparked by the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

The Derek Chauvin verdict brings some relief to Chicago. Ald. Ed Burke allegedly makes anti-Semitic statements. City Council meets in person. And Superintendent David Brown addresses the media about shootings.

News Educators Say Journalists Should ‘Slow Down’ on Social Media

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson addressed students returning to Walter Payton College Prep for the first time in 13 months, April 20, 2021. (WTTW News via NBC)

Unfounded rumors erupted on social media over the weekend about the alleged resignation of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. We talk about how rumors spread on social media and how journalists should cover them.

The Week in Review: Community and Officials React to Video of Fatal Shooting of Adam Toledo

Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivers remarks at a news conference Thursday, April 15, 2021 ahead of the release of police body camera video showing the March 29 death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. (WTTW News via Chicago Mayor’s Office livestream)

Bodycam video released in the shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. Demonstrators across the city respond. CTU and CPS strike a deal on return to high school. And Obama Center on track.

For the Immunocompromised, Vaccines Alone Won’t Bring ‘Normal’ Back

A new Johns Hopkins study finds fewer than 20% of organ transplant patients generated an antibody response to the first dose of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. (WTTW News via CNN)

A preliminary study from Johns Hopkins University finds that fewer than 20% of organ transplant patients generated an antibody response to their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The research raises questions about vaccine protection for those patients and others with weakened immune systems.

Author Hope Edelman on Grief and What Comes After

Hope Edelman has been writing, speaking and leading bereavement workshops for 25 years. Edelman joined “Chicago Tonight” to discuss loss, grief and grieving on pause, one year into the pandemic. (Credit: Hannah Kozak)

Hope Edelman has been writing, speaking and leading bereavement workshops for 25 years. She joins us to discuss her latest book, “The AfterGrief: Finding Your Way Along the Long Arc of Loss.”

The Week in Review: Loretto Hospital Vaccine Scandal Spurs Investigation

George N. Miller, president and CEO, Loretto Hospital. (WTTW News)

A Loretto Hospital executive resigns amid growing controversy. Mayor Lightfoot sidelines a vaccine contractor over more improper vaccinations. Evanston passes the nation’s first reparations law. Chicago homicides are on the rise.

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Her 88th Birthday

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her son, Jim Ginsburg. (Courtesy of Jim Ginsburg)

The diminutive Supreme Court justice with a towering legacy would have been 88 years old Monday. Her son Jim Ginsburg and daughter-in-law Patrice Michaels talk about a classical music tribute to her.

The Week in Review: Biden’s ‘Help is on the Way’ in Form of Vaccines and Stimulus Aid

(WTTW News)

Illinois officials plan on how to spend roughly $13 billion from the stimulus bill. Mayor Lightfoot hints at a near normal summer for Chicago. State lawmakers head back to Springfield. And Loyola and the University of Illinois brace for the NCAA tournament.

The Week in Review: Mass Vaccination Sites Open to Address Disparities

(WTTW News)

Officials are opening mass vaccination sites hoping they’ll correct disparities in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Lower COVID-19 infections prompt Mayor Lori Lightfoot to relax restrictions on restaurants. And a return to in-person learning for Chicago high schoolers is floated. 

The Week in Review: Michael Madigan Fills His House Seat Twice

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

The fight is on to replace Michael Madigan as Democratic Party chair, while his legislative successor steps down after three days on the job. And Chicago City Council erupts over COVID-19 spending. 

The Week in Review: After 50 Years, Madigan Calls it Quits

A file photo of state Rep. Michael Madigan. (WTTW News)

A political era ends. A report slams the police response to summer unrest. Gov. Pritzker’s budget has no income tax hike but some pain for business. Vaccination rates lag in Black and Brown communities.

Spotlight Politics: Pritzker Takes Aim at Republicans in Budget Address

(NikolayFrolochkin / Pixabay)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker takes aim at Republicans during his budget address. Our politics team breaks that down and more.

The Week in Review: Impeachment Managers, Trump’s Defense Make Their Case

An image taken from a video of President Donald Trump posted on the official White House Twitter account on Jan. 13, 2021 — the day he was impeached for a second time and a week after deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol. (WTTW News via @WhiteHouse)

Impeachment managers and Donald Trump’s defense wrap up the former president’s second impeachment trial. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth continue to push President Joe Biden to keep Chicago’s top federal prosecutor. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says no new taxes in his new budget. 

Spotlight Politics: Trump’s 2nd Impeachment Trial Underway

A mob breaches the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

Powerful video evidence is presented at former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone takes on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

The Week in Review: CPS, CTU Remain at Odds

(WTTW News)

After heated negotiations this week, there’s still no deal between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union. Meanwhile, Chicagoans scramble for COVID-19 vaccinations as complaints mount against the sign-up process.

Spotlight Politics: Vaccine Rollout, CPS Uncertainty

(WTTW News)

The tug of war between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools is still on, as the vaccine rollout bumps along. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone weighs in on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

The Week in Review: Still No Agreement On Return to In-Person Learning

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union are still negotiating a return to in-person learning. The coronavirus keeps indoor dining to a minimum in Chicago, and pushback over backroom political deals.

Spotlight Politics: Potential for Teachers Strike Looms

CPS CEO Janice Jackson speaks at a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 amid negotiations between the district and Chicago Public Schools. (WTTW News)

A possible teachers strike over safety issues looms as city and state COVID-19 mitigations are being rolled back. Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky and Heather Cherone weighs in on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

3 Former Tribune Critics Reflect on Past, Future of Journalism

(WTTW News)

Blair Kamin, Phil Vettel and Howard Reich have taken voluntary buyouts at the Chicago Tribune after decadeslong careers at the newspaper. They discuss their experiences at the paper and what comes next.

The Week in Review: An Inauguration Like No Other

Joe Biden is sworn in as president during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in at a heavily fortified inauguration. Biden starts his term with executive orders on COVID-19 and immigration. Partial indoor dining is set to resume in Chicago.

Spotlight Politics: A Peaceful, Historic Inauguration

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

A solemn and somber Inauguration Day for President Joe Biden, as well as a historic day for Vice President Kamala Harris — and the nation. Our politics team breaks it all down in this special edition of our weekly roundtable.

The Week in Review: A Historic Impeachment, Shift in Springfield Politics

An image taken from a video of President Donald Trump posted on the official White House Twitter account on Jan. 13, 2021 — the day he was impeached for a second time and a week after deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol. (WTTW News via @WhiteHouse)

President Trump is impeached a second time. A monumental shift in Springfield as state Rep. Michael Madigan relinquishes the speaker’s gavel. The battle over in-person learning continues between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union.