Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Cook County Democrats Make Picks for 2020: Foxx, Neville, Cabonargi

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 20, 2018.

Cook County Circuit Court Clerk candidate Michael Cabonargi, Illinois Supreme Court candidate P. Scott Neville and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will have the coveted endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party in next year’s elections.

Democratic Slating for the State’s High Court

Nathaniel Howse, a candidate for Illinois Supreme Court justice, speaks with WTTW News.

Leading Cook County Democrats on Friday will choose which candidates they’ll give a boost to in next year’s election. The focus Thursday: a rare election for a spot on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Spotlight Politics: Politicians Hit Illinois State Fair

Democrats take the stage for Governor’s Day at the state fair in Springfield. Our politics team tackles the 2020 election and more in our weekly roundtable.

Trump ‘Thinking Very Seriously’ About Commuting Blagojevich’s Sentence

(Courtesy NBC 5 News)

President Donald Trump tells reporters he is “thinking very seriously” about commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a 2010 contestant on “The Apprentice” who is now halfway through his 14-year prison sentence.

Spotlight Politics: State Sen. Tom Cullerton Fights Federal Indictment

An indicted state senator keeping a leadership post, and city officials react to deadly shootings. Our politics team weighs in on those stories and more in our weekly roundtable.

Pot Prohibition in Illinois Will Persist, Even After It’s Legal

Marijuana will be legal in Illinois in five months, but a growing number of communities across the state are considering saying “no” to cannabis sales within their borders, including suburban Naperville.

Chicago Responds to Weekend Carnage With Condolences, Calls for Action

“We have to stand up and do a hell of a lot more than we’ve done in a very long time,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, following a violent weekend in Chicago and mass shootings that left more than 30 people dead in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Dozens were killed and wounded in mass shootings over the weekend. And in Chicago, it was the most violent weekend of the year, leaving seven dead from shootings. How local leaders are responding.

Prescription Imports, Drug Prices Revealed: Trump’s Health Care Plans

(Brett_Hondow / Pixabay)

As Democratic contenders for the White House battle it out over their visions for transforming health care in America, President Donald Trump continues to try to position himself as responsible for bringing down costs.

Spotlight Politics: What Will Former Union Boss Coli Tell the Feds?

A big-time labor leader is cooperating with federal agents. Our politics team weighs in on that and more in our weekly roundtable.

Spotlight Politics: Has Madigan’s Political Luck Run Out?

Why are allies of House Speaker Michael Madigan writing checks to an ousted campaign operative? Our politics team weighs in on that and more in our weekly roundtable.

Chicago Mayor, Clerk Move to Lighten ‘Crushing’ Vehicle Fines

Getting a parking ticket is an annoying part of city life for most Chicago residents and visitors. But for some people, it can be life-altering.

Sterigenics Opponents Fight Proposed Deal to Reopen Plant

The Sterigenics medical sterilization plant in west suburban Willowbrook. (WTTW News)

A medical sterilization plant in west suburban Willowbrook that’s been shuttered since February would reopen under a proposed court order, but not if residents who leave near the facility have their way.

Reflections on the Life of Justice John Paul Stevens

John Paul Stevens, U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Photographer: Steve Petteway)

John Paul Stevens was a born-and-bred Chicagoan who rose to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Local legal scholars, historians and attorneys who worked with Stevens reflect on his life.

What Illinois Offers Undocumented Immigrants

Even as President Donald Trump cracks down on undocumented immigrants, Illinois is expanding services available to them. What services are – and aren’t – on offer.

Chicago Prepares for Possible Immigration Crackdown

“There’s a lot of fear out there, and what’s most distressing to me is the fear in the hearts and in the eyes of children,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday, July 11, 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago is on the list of cities targeted for a large-scale immigration raid that could come as soon as Sunday, according to national reports.

Illinois Betting on a Rapid Pace for Casino Expansion

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

State legislators laid out a rapid pace in the new gambling expansion law that will give Illinois six new casinos, including one in Chicago – so fast that it appears the state is already struggling to keep up.

Illinois Unemployment System Down, Payments Delayed

(kaboompics / Pixabay)

The outage means people cannot file for unemployment and 29,000 of the 86,000 claimants who are already certified will see their payments delayed.

Lead Concerns Halt Chicago Water Meter Installations

(Skitterphoto / Pixabay)

Chicago’s water meter installation program is on an indefinite hold after new data showed an increased level of lead in some metered homes.

Illinois Taxes Goods. But What About Services?

(kaleido-dp / Pixabay)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been upfront recently that city residents should expect to pay more in taxes to help fill persistent budget holes. One she’s eyeing? A tax on services.

Illinois Looks to Drivers, Smokers to Fund Road Repairs

If you filled up your gas tank Monday, you may have noticed it got pricier. What’s behind that bump, and what other new laws are going into effect at the start of Illinois’ new fiscal year.

Driving Under the Influence of … Marijuana?

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

Illinois is on the road to legalized marijuana. What that means for local law enforcement.

Controversy Over School Ratings as New CPS Board Meets

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson speaks at a Chicago Board of Education meeting Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s newly appointed Chicago Board of Education ushered in some changes during its first meeting Wednesday. 

Pritzker Expected to Sign Marijuana Legalization Bill Next Week

(Martijn / Flickr)

Recreational marijuana is all but a done deal in Illinois. Late last month, Illinois became the first state in the nation to approve such a measure via a legislative body. On Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to make it final.

State Leader Defends Personal Stake in Illinois’ Gambling Industry

Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady speaks at the City Club of Chicago on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (WTTW News)

A recent investigation revealed that Illinois Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady has a “business interest” in Midwest Electronics Gaming, a prominent video gaming company. On Tuesday, Brady commented on the business.

Changes Coming to Chicago’s Embattled Workers’ Comp System

“The system that Ed Burke ran was ripe for corruption,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Thursday, June 13, 2019. (WTTW News)

It’s a program that costs the city more than $100 million a year, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that under Ald. Ed Burke, it was “ripe for corruption.”