Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Lightfoot’s Office Introduces City to New Top Cop

An image taken from a video introducing David Brown. (Courtesy City of Chicago)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s choice for the next superintendent of the city’s police department still has to be confirmed by the City Council and he’s got no official start date, but David Brown is “at your service,” Chicago. 

41% of Illinois Residents Dying from COVID-19 are Black

People walk along a busy street in Garfield Park on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (WTTW News)

The novel coronavirus is believed to more severely impact those who are elderly, immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions. But demographic data points to another group that appears to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Curfew, Temperature Checks Potential Next Steps for Illinois as COVID-19 Spreads

A lone figure walks along a residential street in the Beverly neighborhood of Chicago on March 30, 2020. (WTTW News)

Just over two weeks into a mandatory stay-at-home order, Gov. J.B. Pritkzer said he is considering additional steps to curb the spread of COVID-19. Cases across the state now stand at 11,256.

Pritzker: Anyone Still Gathering During Pandemic is ‘Stupid’ or Not Paying Attention

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces a shelter-in-place rule to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

The number of coronavirus cases in Illinois has surpassed the 10,000 mark with nearly 250 deaths. Given those numbers, Gov. J.B. Pritkzer said anyone flouting his stay-at-home order is “either not paying attention to the news, or they’re stupid.”

Could New ‘Rapid’ Ventilators Meet Illinois’ Looming Shortage?

(Courtesy of the University of Illinois)

COVID-19 patients are currently using about 24% of ventilators available statewide, but there’s concern that supplies could run out. To address that possibility, University of Illinois engineers invented a ventilator that can be reproduced on a rapid scale.

The ‘Devastating Impacts’ of COVID-19 on Illinois Finances

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The coronavirus is taking a toll on individuals’ pocketbooks, but it’s also hurting government budgets across the nation. What it could mean for Illinois.

Volunteers 3D Printing Face Shields for Chicago Hospital in ‘Dire’ Need

Deborah and Richard “Richie” Beien (WTTW News)

Despite promises from the government that supplies are on the way, some area hospitals are worried they won’t have enough for a likely surge in COVID-19 patients. Swedish Hospital turned to the community for help, and an innovative duo stepped up.

A Virtual Visit to the Doctor’s Office: How Telemedicine Works

(WTTW News)

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Illinois doctors are increasingly seeing their patients online, and executive actions last week by President Donald Trump and Gov. J.B. Pritzker make it easier than ever.

After Twitter Spat, Pritzker and Trump Talk COVID-19 Supplies

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces a shelter-in-place rule to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

A day after a public feud on Twitter over management of the coronavirus crisis, Gov. J.B. Pritkzer said President Donald Trump “seemed like he was very responsive” when the two spoke on the phone. What they discussed.

Spotlight Politics: What Does Pritzker’s Order Really Mean for Residents?

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, announces a shelter-in-place order to combat the spread of COVID-19, as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, right, listens, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

Starting Saturday evening, Illinois should feel a little quieter than usual. Our politics team has the latest on a just-announced executive order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker to curb spread of the new coronavirus.

How the Coronavirus is Changing the US Census

(Stephen M. Scott / Flickr)

For everyone cooped up and quarantined, the government – make that, all governments, from the federal down to your city or town – has an assignment for you: fill out your census questionnaire.

Who, What and How? The Challenge—and Confusion—of Coronavirus Testing

(WTTW News)

Gov. J.B. Pritkzer on Wednesday declared the availability of testing for COVID-19 – or the lack thereof – to be the greatest challenge Illinois has faced in combating the outbreak. But he’s hopeful that will soon change.

Embattled State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Declares Victory in Democratic Primary

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 17, 2019. (WTTW News)

In her victory speech Tuesday night, the Cook County state’s attorney said there was an effort to make the primary election about one celebrity case (without specifically calling out Jussie Smollett) but that “the voters have overwhelmingly put that fallacy to rest.”

Hospitals Prepare for Onslaught of COVID-19 Patients

(WTTW News)

Illinois hospitals are postponing elective surgeries, reconfiguring their emergency rooms and are making extra space in their intensive care units as they prepare for a spike in patients suffering from novel coronavirus. 

In ‘Unprecedented’ Move, Pritzker Orders Temporary Closure of Illinois Restaurants, Bars to Dine-In Customers

Gov. J.B. Pritkzer announces the closure of all Illinois schools during an update on the coronavirus on Friday, March 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

The drastic measure comes as officials announced the number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois has risen to 93. Restaurants can still serve food via delivery, or curbside pick-up. “This is another hard step to take,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

Officials Announce New Measures to Limit Coronavirus Spread as Illinois Cases Rise to 32

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot discusses new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus on Thursday, March 12, 2020. (WTTW News)

Healthy students should still go to school, but for the next 30 days there should be no more parades, professional sports game, rock concerts and no banquets anywhere in Illinois as officials seek to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.

2020 Census: Check Your Mail for a Census Form, Then Fill it Out Online

This March 23, 2018, file photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident as part of the nation’s only test run of the 2020 Census. (AP Photo / Michelle R. Smith, File)

If it hasn’t already, an invitation should be arriving in the mail any day now – an invitation to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census. And for the first time, it’s possible to respond to the census over the internet.

Coronavirus Threat Causes Area Muslims to Cancel Pilgrimage Plans

Arjumand Khan (WTTW News)

Concerns about the coronavirus have caused many people to change their plans – even to cancel vacations. This includes some local Muslims, who were supposed to go to Saudi Arabia over spring break.

Illinois Supreme Court Candidates’ Approach to Justice

(Randy von Liski / Flickr)

Cook County voters have a rare opportunity this year to choose an Illinois Supreme Court justice. Given the lack of Republican interest, the winner of next week’s Democratic primary is a shoo-in for the spot. What sets the seven candidates apart?

March (Wagering) Madness – You Can Bet on It

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

For the first time, gamblers will be able to legally wager on sports games in Illinois starting at noon Monday, when Rivers Casino in Des Plaines opens its BetRivers Sportsbook.

Will Illinois Have an All-White Supreme Court Bench? That’s up to Voters

(Randy von Liski / Flickr)

The only Illinois Supreme Court seat held by a person of color is up for grabs, and Cook County voters will decide who wins the 10-year term.

Expanded Vote-by-Mail System Debuts in Time for March Primary

A mailer sent from the Chicago Board of Elections for the March 2020 primary. (WTTW News)

Elections board spokesman Jim Allen said a new tracking system will allow voters to follow their ballot every step of the way.

Chicago Police Consent Decree Approaches 1-Year Anniversary

(WTTW News)

At a community meeting Thursday in Humboldt Park, several dozen people spoke about their interactions with police. Sunday marks one year since a consent decree governing the department’s conduct took effect. 

Immigrant Seeking Asylum Finds ‘Second Mom’ in High School Counselor

Meydi Guzman Rivas, left, and Sara Huser. (WTTW News)

We meet an immigrant teen seeking asylum, and the suburban community that’s lending a hand.

Pritzker Offers 2 Budgets Amid Uncertainty Over Income Tax Changes

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his budget address in Springfield on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (WTTW News)

With the acknowledgement that “our choices remain hard, our fiscal situation challenging,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday delivered his proposal for a $42 billion state spending plan for the coming fiscal year.