Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Cook County’s Chief Judge Fends off Opposition to Keep Top Spot

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

By a vote of 143-102, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ peers on Thursday voted for him to keep the job he’s held since 2001 for another three years.

Chicago Rolls Out Plan to Curb Deadly Traffic Accidents

Can Chicago eliminate deadly traffic crashes? It’s trying. (Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city plans to act with a sense of urgency on it’s just-announced Vision Zero safety plan, a $6 million effort to eliminate the number of traffic-induced serious injuries and deaths.

Spotlight Politics: Illinois Has a New Supreme Court Justice

Ald. Ed Burke faces federal corruption charges, but his wife is in line for a promotion. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Corporations Balk at Progressive Plan to Reinstate Corporate Head Tax

Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, 35th Ward, speaks with a coalition of progressive and labor groups Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says Chicago needs to close an $838 million budget gap. A block of progressive groups and some aldermen are looking to corporations to close it.

Disability Rights Community Mourns Loss of Pioneer Marca Bristo

Marca Bristo (Courtesy Access Living)

Marca Bristo died from cancer Sunday morning, according to Chicago’s Access Living, the organization she founded in 1980. She was 66 years old.

Study Shows ‘Clear Evidence of Rising Rents’ Near Obama Center Site

Ald. Jeanette Taylor, 20th Ward, speaks at a press conference Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019. Taylor is the sponsor of a City Council that seeks to guarantee her constituents are not displaced by the development of the Obama Presidential Center.

Former President Barack Obama’s planned presidential center is still years from opening, but a new report suggests it may already be having an effect on the surrounding neighborhoods.

Spotlight Politics: Lightfoot Leans on Springfield as Chicago Teachers Ready to Strike

Chicago students returned to their classrooms this week, but there are early signs they could be back on break come early October. Our politics team takes on that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

Willie Wilson to Run as Independent for US Senate Against Dick Durbin

Willie Wilson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 28, 2018.

Wealthy businessman and Chicago pastor Willie Wilson announced Tuesday he’ll run as an independent against U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. “As an independent Democrat I want to go into the belly of the beast in Washington, D.C.,” Wilson said.

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.