Stories by Alexandra Silets

Inside Northwestern’s Massive New Biomedical Research Facility

Northwestern University is officially opening its massive $560 million, state of the art research center next week. Get a sneak peek inside.

Mayor Lightfoot Tries to Chart a New Course on Public Safety

“Forty-three people were shot, and five died. So we can’t claim victory, and we certainly can’t celebrate,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a City Club of Chicago event on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.

In spite of heavy rainfall that kept many indoors and 1,200 additional police officers on the streets of Chicago, 43 people were shot, seven fatally, over the Memorial Day weekend.

Chicago-Based Netflix Series ‘Easy’ Wraps After 3 Seasons

Chicago-based writer and director Joe Swanberg appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

Chicago-based writer and director Joe Swanberg has been shooting “Easy” in Chicago for the past three years. He tells us about the central theme of the show – and the role the city plays.

Aldermen on Governing with Mayor Lori Lightfoot

As Mayor Lori Lightfoot takes aim at City Council corruption, we talk with four aldermen about how they’ll work with the new mayor.

Pregnancy-Related Deaths on the Rise in the US

(culturarte86 / Pixabay)

Nationally, black women die at a rate 3.3 times greater than white women, but the statistics in Illinois are even more grim.

New Survey of Millennials Focuses on Economic Issues

(nosheep / Pixabay)

A new poll finds the majority of millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are hopeful about their economic future, even though only one-third have career jobs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel: ‘My Goal Wasn’t to Be Liked’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, May 13, 2019.

With one week to go on the fifth floor of City Hall, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sat down with Paris Schutz to talk about anti-Semitism, his leadership style, the looming pension problem and his own transparency. 

Former Federal Prosecutors Say Trump Obstructed Justice

President Donald Trump speaks during the presentation of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point football team in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon)

Political wrangling continues on Capitol Hill as Attorney General William Barr faces contempt charges and hundreds of former prosecutors sign a letter stating their belief that the president obstructed justice.

Will Hemp be Illinois’ Next Billion-Dollar Bumper Crop?

(chrisbeez / Pixabay)

A flood of Illinois farmers are hoping hemp will be a cash crop for them this summer after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Agriculture opened up licensing last week.

Vintage Maps Offer Unique Perspective on Chicago History

(Courtesy Curtis Bird)

Maps are more convenient than ever for finding the shortest route to your dinner reservation, but what do they tell us about the history of our city and state?

In ‘Charged,’ Journalist Looks at Role of Prosecutors in Mass Incarceration

Emily Bazelon (Credit: Nina Subin)

A conversation with Emily Bazelon, an investigative journalist at the New York Times Magazine whose new book takes a hard look at how prosecutors contribute to overcharging and mass incarceration.

Controversial Proposal Would Require Corporate Board Diversity

(rawpixel / Pixabay)

Should the state require corporate boards of publicly held companies like McDonald’s and Boeing to seat women and African Americans? We discuss the proposal and whether it passes legal muster.

The Hatchery Chicago Cooking Up Food and Jobs on the West Side

There’s a new business incubator in Chicago that's cooking up some innovative food products on the West Side. And it’s the home for a culinary wizard’s passion project.

New Documentary ‘Boss’ Explores Black Business in America

Ebony founder and publisher John H. Johnson is among the entrepreneurs featured in PBS’ new documentary “Boss: The Black Experience in Business.”

The PBS film features stories from a number of African-American entrepreneurs, including several Chicagoans who played key roles in various industries, from journalist Ida B. Wells to publisher John H. Johnson. 

A Look at the Massive ‘One Central’ Development Proposed Near Soldier Field

A proposed $19 billion development could transform the area near Soldier Field. (Rendering courtesy Landmark Development)

A new study estimates that the proposed One Central development near Soldier Field would create 210,000 permanent jobs and generate $120 billion in taxes over 40 years. 

Web Extra, The Week in Review: Mueller Report’s Chicago Connections

Paris Schutz and guests discuss Chicago’s connections to the Mueller report, including the confirmation that the Illinois State Board of Elections was compromised in the 2016 election.

The Week in Review: Foxx Faces Heat in Smollett Case

Texts raise questions about Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s involvement in the Jussie Smollett case. The final aldermanic votes have been tallied. And a lawsuit seeks to stop the Lincoln Yards project.

Rebuilding Notre Dame a ‘National Project’ for France

Debris seen inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Firefighters declared success Tuesday in a more than 12-hour battle to extinguish an inferno engulfing Paris’ iconic cathedral. (Christophe Petit Tesson, Pool via AP)

A fire has devastated the 850-year-old cathedral in Paris. What will it take to rebuild the iconic structure? Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin joins us in discussion.

Best-Selling Author Shares Planner for Life’s Biggest Eventuality: Death

Author and journalist Katy Butler tells us about her new book, “The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life.”

Chicago School Board: Better to Elect or Appoint?

There’s a grassroots push for an elected school board in Chicago, but how would a move away from an appointed board impact students? We discuss the pros and cons with Jesse Sharkey and Rufus Williams.

Loyola Basketball: A History of Remarkable Ramblers Teams

Longtime Chicago sportswriter Fred Mitchell tells us about his new book as we look back at the Loyola Ramblers’ magical season – just one year ago – when they went all the way to the Final Four.

New Biography of Ernie Banks Goes Beyond Legend of Mr. Cub

Behind the good cheer, Ernie Banks hid a melancholy and lonely man. We talk with Ron Rapoport, the author of “Let’s Play Two,” a new biography about Mr. Cub.

Hometown Architect Jeanne Gang Lands O’Hare Project

The O’Hare expansion proposal from Studio ORD (Chicago Department of Aviation)

A new global terminal at O’Hare will be filled with light, wood and trees. We take a closer look at the winning design and discuss the future of airport travel.

Mayoral Candidate Forum: Lightfoot vs. Preckwinkle

 Mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot, left, and Toni Preckwinkle appear on “Chicago Tonight” on May 14, 2018 and Oct. 16, 2017, respectively.

Mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle join us for a special edition of “Chicago Tonight” moderated by Phil Ponce and featuring a live studio audience. Watch the full video online.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: College Admissions Scandal

Eddie Arruza and guests discuss the college admissions scandal that has ensnared some of the nation’s top schools and dozens of parents.