Stories by amanda vinicky

One-on-One With Gov. J.B. Pritzker as the Incumbent Shifts Focus to the General Election

Gov. J.B. Pritzker appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 29, 2022. (WTTW News)

The day after Illinois Republicans handily selected farmer and state Sen. Darren Bailey as his general election opponent, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled glimpses of what’s to come

Conservative State Sen. Darren Bailey Cruises to GOP Nomination, Will Face Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November

State Sen. Darren Bailey and Gov. J.B. Pritzker. (WTTW News)

Fresh off an endorsement from former President Donald Trump, downstate farmer and state Sen. Darren Bailey appears to have coasted to a win the six-way Republican contest for Illinois governor. We take a look at the statewide election results and what they mean for November. 

As Primary Polls Close, Vote Counting Ensues

(WTTW News)

Amanda Vinicky was outside 69 W. Washington, where work was being done to put together the election totals, as polls closed in today’s primary election.

Local, State Officials React to Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision


With the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade, Illinois elected officials are planning a legislative response. A special session will be called in July.

Chicago-Area Road Work Could Slow Down as Quarry Workers Strike Continues

(WTTW News)

Some 300 members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 — those who are employed by Chicago-area quarries run by Lehigh Hanson, Vulcan Materials Co. and Lafarge Holcim — went on strike June 7.

Pediatricians Urge Vaccinating Children Under Age Five


Within days of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control approving vaccine courses for children six-months through 4 years old, area hospitals, pediatricians and health care centers are beginning to put those doses in children’s arms.

Blood Donors Wanted as Shortage Continues

(Credit: American Red Cross)
Factors out of most people’s reach have caused everything from high gas prices to shortages of products like baby formula and tampons. But there is another shortage that we can do something about: it’s the supply of blood that hospitals and their patients depend on daily. 

Illinois Could Reform FOID, Ammo Purchasing Gun Safety Laws

(WTTW News)

A breakthrough bipartisan gun package got a boost — with the tentative backing of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. As members of Congress tiptoe toward taking federal action — state legislators are likewise focused on firearms measures.

After Texas School Shooting, States Debate ‘Red Flag Laws.’ Here’s How Illinois’ Version Works

(WTTW News)

As members of Congress weigh potential measures to protect against mass shootings, one often-mentioned option is a so-called red flag law. Illinois already has one. But is it working?

Inflation Overpowers City Minimum Wage Hike

(Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash)

Starting in July, minimum wage employees of larger businesses will see their paychecks rise by 40 cents an hour to $15.40

Elected Officials, Activists Call for More Gun Control Laws After Texas School Shooting

(WTTW News)

So far this year there have been 24 shootings in K-12 schools across the country. A sobering statistic that Illinois' Senator Durbin gave in his opening remarks of a Senate Judiciary Committee today. Senators questioned President Biden's nominee for the director of the nation's top gun enforcement agency — a position that has been vacant for seven years.

After Population Loss Reported, Revised Census Numbers Show Illinois Actually Gained 250K Residents

(WTTW News)

The story had been that people were leaving Illinois, and that the population dropped by about 18,000. But the U.S. Census Bureau came out last week with fresh numbers in its post-enumeration survey that show the reverse: The state gained some 250,000 people between 2010 and 2020.

How the Chicago Teachers Union Election Will Impact Schools

(WTTW News)

The June 28 primary is approaching. But Friday comes another election, one that’s bound to have a big political impact: The election for leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union. While only CTU members can vote, the results will have an impact beyond the union itself. 

New Illinois Supreme Court Districts Bring Competition

(Randy von Liski / Flickr)

Federal judges are appointed and confirmed, something the nation has witnessed via televised hearings as the nation’s high court has gone through turnover in recent years. But Illinois elects most judges. 

Veterans Died Without Attention from Illinois’ Health Department

(WTTW News)

Thirty-six residents of the LaSalle Veterans’ Home died in November 2020 as part of a COVID-19 outbreak. A new report from the state’s auditor general finds that IDPH neglected to respond to the outbreak at the state-run facility until for many, it was too late.

Carpenters Class of All Women Is Building Walls, Breaking Barriers

(WTTW News)

Chicago Women in Trades helped organize what they say is the regional unions’ first class of all women in 140 years. The Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council’s pre-apprentice program will put participants on the path to becoming a union-card-holding carpenter.

Illinois Erected a ‘Force Field’ in Anticipation of Post-Roe v. Wade Future

The 2019 Reproductive Health Act enshrines in law individuals’ rights to make autonomous decisions about their reproductive health, including birth control and abortions. (WTTW News)

The draft opinion leaked to Politico and confirmed by the chief justice as genuine calls the Roe decision “egregiously wrong” and would return “the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives” – meaning to Congress and to the states. 

COVID-19 Cases and Pollen Count Both Climbing, Leaving Those With the Sniffles Wondering

(WTTW News)

Patients are presenting with stuffy nose, nasal congestion, cough, post-nasal drip and sore throats. In the age of COVID, that leaves people worried. 

Finger-Pointing Over Late Cook County Property Tax Bills

(WTTW News)

A reprieve from having to pay a hefty tax bill sounds like a gift, but a monthslong delay in Cook County property tax bills could instead cause headaches for taxpayers, governments and elected officials alike.

What Will Your Electric Bill Look Like This Summer? It Depends Where in Illinois You Live.

(WTTW News)

In Illinois, there’s an added layer of intrigue (or skepticism) about electrical costs given that in 2020 ComEd admitted to federal prosecutors it spent nearly a decade using bribery to get laws passed that were  favorable to the utility company’s bottom line.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Darren Bailey Fought Against Mask Mandates. His Family Farm Required Them For Some Workers

State Sen. Darren Bailey is escorted out of a May 2020 Illinois Senate session for not wearing a mask. (WTTW News)

His campaign said Darren Bailey’s stance on masking has been “consistent” despite a policy at his family business that could be viewed as contradictory to his public anti-masking message. According to federal documents, face coverings are required for certain workers at the Bailey Family Farm, of which he is registered as a trustee.  

More Than 2 Years After Illinois Legalized Recreational Marijuana, Some Say Law Falls Short of Promise

A cannabis cultivation facility. (WTTW News)

Nearly two-and-a-half years after recreational cannabis became legal to sell in Illinois, state Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) says Illinois has failed to live up to the promise of the law.

Illinois Gets New Budget, And Likely a Lawsuit Too

(WTTW News)

The $46 billion budget Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Tuesday includes $1.8 billion in largely temporary tax relief, including $50 rebate checks to adult taxpayers, a one-time increase for property owners worth up to $500, and lifting for a year a 1% sales tax on groceries, meaning that shoppers will save $1 on $100 worth of food.

New Bills from Illinois Lawmakers’ Spring Session

(WTTW News)

Controversial public safety measures took priority in Springfield. And we know that Illinois has a budget. But a whole lot of other changes are coming, thanks to state lawmakers’ recent rush of activity. 

Twitter Lands White Sox Fan at His Field of Dreams

Rob Friedman uses social media to promote baseball and its players at all levels; he’s got a goal of growing the whole game. (WTTW News)

Rob Friedman uses social media to promote the game baseball. Fans of Friedman may better know him as Pitching Ninja. As @PitchingNinja, Friedman posts interviews with and videos of pro athletes, often providing tips on pitching mechanics. It’s free for anyone to access and use to perfect their skills.

Illinois State Legislature Looks to Target Crime Through Series of Recently Passed Bills

(WTTW News)

In their final days of the annual spring session, members of Illinois’ General Assembly approved a series of bills targeting public safety.