Stories by Alexandra Silets

Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Clash Over Metra Electric Proposal

A southbound Metra Electric District train departs 79th Street station. (vxla / Flickr)

Could a three-year pilot program to lower fares and expand train service on the South Side hurt the Chicago Transit Authority? A supporter of the plan weighs in.

The Week in Review: Illinois Dems Join Pelosi’s Call for Impeachment Inquiry

Illinois’ congressional Democrats support impeachment. Southwest Side politicians get caught in federal crosshairs. The Chicago Teachers Union overwhelmingly supports a strike. And the Cubs collapse.

Aldermen Propose Limits on Backyard Livestock in Chicago

(Capri23auto / Pixabay)

A new ordinance has been introduced in City Council to severely reduce farm animal adoption in Chicago. We discuss the proposal with Ald. Raymond Lopez and Laura Calvert of Advocates for Urban Agriculture.

University of Chicago Nurses Hit the Picket Line

Hundreds of people hit the picket line at 7 a.m. Friday to protest what nurses describe as staffing shortages and forced overtime that are risking the safety of patients at the 618-bed hospital. (WTTW News)

Some 2,200 nurses at the University of Chicago Medical Center walked off the job Friday, citing staffing shortages and forced overtime. “The reason we are striking is for our patient safety and our staff safety,” said one nurse from the picket line.

The Reparations Debate is Heading to City Council

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

A new resolution on reparations is scheduled to be introduced in City Council this week. Alds. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and Nick Sposato (38th Ward) weigh in on the topic.

Business is Buzzing This Summer for a Chicago Beekeeper on Wheels

It’s a job as old as time, but one Chicagoan is beekeeping in her own unique way. Meet graphic designer-turned-beekeeper Jana Kinsman.

Will Illinois Become the Next State to Pass Rent Control Laws?

Rent control has been barred in Illinois since 1997 but is once again under consideration. How does it work, and is it the answer to Chicago’s affordable housing crisis?

Vista Tower’s Engineering Feats: Blair Kamin Explains

Vista Tower (WTTW News)

Chicago’s third-tallest building, the Vista Tower, is being touted for it’s unique curvilinear-shaped structure. But it’s the engineering secrets you can’t see that really set this skyscraper apart.

Sterigenics Settlement: Controversial Company Gets Green Light from Judge

A DuPage County judge signed off on a consent order Friday allowing for Sterigenics to reopen but with stricter emissions controls. What exactly does the settlement allow – and how soon can Sterigenics be fully operational?

The Week in Review: Sterigenics Ruling, Bears Flop

A judge rules Sterigenics can reopen. The mayor hears "no new property taxes" at her first budget town hall meeting. Elected officials spar over city violence. And the Bears blow the 100th season opener.

The Legal Battle Over Lincoln Yards $1.3B TIF District

The battle over the massive $6 billion Lincoln Yards development is far from over. We discuss the controversial project with Aneel Chablani, chief counsel of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins.

The ‘State of the City’: Chicago’s $838M Budget Gap and the Path Ahead

A day after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot marked her 100th day in office, she delivered her first “State of the City” address at Harold Washington Library. Our panel reacts to the speech and offers analysis.

Top Cop Eddie Johnson on Organ Donation, Chicago Violence

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, left, and Chicago Police Officer Daniel Johnson appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 28, 2019.

In 2017, Daniel Johnson donated a kidney to his father, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. In 2018, Daniel was sworn in as a Chicago police officer. The two join us to discuss the successful transplant and Chicago’s policing challenges.

Chickens and Roosters Rescued from Foul Play in Chicago

(Alex Silets / WTTW News)

People commonly adopt dog and cats from the pound, but there’s a new phenomenon in Chicago: stray chickens and roosters are being rounded up in an effort to find them their forever homes.

Joe Walsh Apologizes for Past and Attacks Trump

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 19, 2019.

The former tea party Republican congressman wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling for a primary challenger to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. Joe Walsh on his change of heart.

The Week in Review: Chicago Casino Future in Doubt

It’s back to the drawing board for a Chicago casino. Two longtime Chicago politicians decide to hang it up. President Trump is still considering clemency for former Gov. Blagojevich. And the Cubs nose-dive on the road.

Chief Judge Evans: Gun Violence Not the Result of Bail Reform

Chief Judge Timothy Evans appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 8, 2019.

Chief Judge Timothy Evans responds to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s concerns about suspects with illegal guns getting out on bail.

Can – and Should – Chicago Take Over ComEd’s Infrastructure?

(Daniel X. O’Neil / Flickr)

For years, ComEd has had control of Chicago’s power supply. Now, nearly two dozen aldermen want to take a closer look at a possible public takeover of the utility. A look at the pros and cons of a takeover.

What to Watch for in Next Round of Democratic Presidential Debates

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, answers a question, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. Listening from left are, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee)

This week, 20 Democratic hopefuls again take the stage to debate the issues currently at the forefront of the 2020 presidential election. Jason DeSanto of Northwestern University previews the event.

What Will Chicago Look Like in 2050? A Look at CMAP’s Long-Range Plan

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

Erin Aleman doesn’t have a crystal ball, but she has a pretty good idea of what Chicago and the surrounding area will look like 30 years from now.

Illinois GOP Denounces Controversial Facebook Post Amid War of Words

Attendees at a rally in North Carolina for President Donald Trump chant “Send her back” as Trump watches on.

From President Donald Trump’s tweets to a Facebook post on the page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association, we discuss the widening political divide and what constitutes racism.

The Week in Review: Cops Fired, Christensen Avoids Death Penalty

Four cops fired over an alleged cover-up. A life sentence for a former U. of I. student. A war of words between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Five casino locations are unveiled. And the Cubs are red hot.

Wild Weather Gardening: How to Garden with Excessive Rain and Heat

It is possible to keep your garden alive when the weather shifts from extreme rain to extreme heat? The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Eliza Fournier has some tips for combatting common problems.

Veterans, Lawmakers Push to Overturn Transgender Service Ban

Jennifer Pritzker appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 16, 2019.

The House passes an amendment to reverse President Donald Trump’s ban on most transgender people serving in the military. Retired Col. Jennifer Pritzker joins us.

ICE Raids Rattle Chicago’s Immigrant Communities

Immigration raids in Chicago and around the nation stoked fear, but there were very few reports of mass detentions and deportations. We discuss the ICE deportation operations with Ruth Lopez-McCarthy and Randy Ramey.