Stories by andrea guthmann

Amanda Vinicky talks to Chicago teens Erica Smith, Davarius Jones and Jonathan Morales on “Chicago Tonight” on April 23, 2024. (WTTW News)

Chicago Teens Talk Safety, Making a Positive Impact Through Community Involvement

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the average age for Chicagoans to witness a shooting is 14. Research also shows that exposure to violence can lead to long-lasting mental health issues.

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

As Homicides Drop Nationwide, Chicago Lags Behind Other Major Cities. Why?

Crime overall is falling nationwide. But when it comes to homicides, Chicago’s numbers are not declining as quickly as the two largest cities in the nation — New York and Los Angeles.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his state of the state and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (WTTW News)

State Lawmakers Debate Top Takeaways From Pritzker’s Proposed Budget

More money for migrants, increased access to preschool, a break on grocery bills and a prescription for how the state could wipe out medical debt — those are some of the spending plans in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s nearly $53 billion state budget.

A rendering of a new White Sox stadium and surrounding development, including housing, at The 78 site. (Credit: Related Midwest)

Are Publicly Funded Stadiums a Good Investment? State Lawmakers Weigh in on Chicago Teams’ Plans

You’ve probably been hearing about the Chicago Bears and White Sox stadium goals. They’re not the only ones making a pitch for publicly financed stadiums.

(WTTW News)

Community Advocates on School Safety After CPS Moves Away From Resource Officers

 In a unanimous vote last Thursday, they decided to eliminate uniformed police officers from the 39 public high schools that still have them.

Chicago police officers use ShotSpotter technology. (WTTW News)

City Council Members Weigh in on ShotSpotter Contract Extension, CPD Discipline System

Mayor Brandon Johnson continues to push forward with the progressive policing strategies he promised during his campaign to prioritize. He announced the city will be phasing out its contract with ShotSpotter, the controversial gunshot detection technology.

A homeless encampment in Chicago’s Humboldt Park is pictured in February 2024. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

With Ballot Decision Looming, Chicago Homeless Advocates Push for Support and Funding

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless estimates more than 68,000 people in Chicago are experiencing homelessness. That higher number includes people who are doubled up, or temporarily living in someone else’s home.

Rep. Delia Ramirez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 29, 2023. (WTTW News)

Rep. Delia Ramirez on Immigration Policy, Congressional Conflict Over Bipartisan Border Deal

Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago), herself the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, weighs in on the situation in Washington and efforts to address immigration.

Bally’s Chicago Casino at Medinah Temple in River North. (WTTW News)

Bally’s Casino Brings in Less Than a Quarter of Projected Revenue for Chicago in 2023

The temporary Bally’s casino in River North’s Medinah Temple brought in just over $3 million in tax revenue last year. That’s almost $10 million short of what former Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration projected.

(WTTW News)

Red Cross Declares Nationwide Emergency Blood Shortage

The number of people donating blood has dropped by 40% over the last two decades, according to the American Red Cross.

Rioters storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (CNN)

Illinois Joins States Considering Challenges to Donald Trump’s Candidacy on Insurrection Grounds

A legal challenge from five voters has made Illinois the 18th state forced to grapple with whether former President Donald Trump should be disqualified from the 2024 ballot.

(WTTW News)

Chicago’s Natural Gas Pipeline Project Halted Amid Push for Cleaner Energy Investments

There is a battle over a multi-billion dollar, decades-long project to upgrade Chicago’s aging natural gas pipelines.

Dorothy Jean Tillman appears on “Chicago Tonight: Black Voices” on Dec. 13, 2023. (WTTW News)

Meet the 17-Year-Old Chicagoan Who Just Earned Her Doctorate Degree

Most 17-year-olds are excited about finishing high school and possibly thinking about college. But Bronzeville teen Dorothy Jean Tillman is in a class all by herself. A typical teen in some ways, she also happens to have just earned her doctorate degree.

Jackson Park (WTTW)

Geoffrey Baer Celebrates More of the City in ‘The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago 2’

Since no one program could contain every beautiful place in town, its high time for the sequel. “The Most Beautiful Places in Chicago 2” debuted Monday on WTTW.

(WTTW News)

Retailers Cheer Increased Holiday Spending This Year as Legos, Hot Wheels and Barbies Likely Big Toy Winners

Much of the country was back at work Monday after the long holiday weekend. But along with whatever else they were doing at their job, there’s a good chance they were doing something else ... shopping.


Cook County on Pace to Surpass Fatal Opioid Overdose Record as Fentanyl Use Spreads

The rise in opioid deaths is largely due to the increase in synthetic opioids like fentanyl, says law enforcement officials. 

Goodman Theater. (WTTW News)

From Dwindling Audiences to Increased Costs, Report Spotlights a Crisis for Chicago’s Theater Community

Live theatre attendance in Chicago has dropped by 60% in the last four years, according to a recent report commissioned by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events contains alarming data.

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh on Oct. 2, 2023. (WTTW News)

Former Congressman Joe Walsh on Republican Efforts to Oust House Speaker, Trump’s Hold on the Party

Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh, a Republican, says the battle over House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is an example of where the national Republican Party is right now.    

(WTTW News)

As Delta-8 Cannabis Products Gain Popularity, Chicago and Illinois Officials Debate How to Best Regulate the Substance

Products made from delta-8 promise to deliver a milder marijuana-like high. But unlike marijuana, which is strictly regulated and can only be sold in licensed dispensaries, delta-8 can be sold in convenience stores and cafes, and there are no age minimums for purchase.

Bally's casino opening day on Sept. 9, 2023. (WTTW News)

Hopes High as Bally’s Opens Chicago’s First Casino at Medinah Temple

After three decades and several mayors pressuring Springfield, Chicago’s first casino officially opened its doors on Saturday. Hopes are high for a big economic boost. 

Chicago Police Department Headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Examining the Chicago Police Department’s Progress on the Consent Decree Almost 5 Years Into the Process

The court-mandated oversight was prompted by the 2014 murder of teenager Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer. Almost five years later, the department is in full compliance with just over 5% of the requirements.

(Credit: Chicago Police Department)

With Carjackings on the Rise, Illinois Looks to Curb the Growing Crime

There’s been an increase in carjackings nationwide, but Chicago is reporting more incidents than any other city in the U.S.

(WTTW News)

Architects, Community Advocates Say Investing in Public Spaces Can Make Neighborhoods Safer

Public transit and amenities like theaters, parks, libraries and grocery stores make neighborhoods more livable and appealing. But do they actually make them safer?

(WTTW News)

Anti-Violence Programs Aim to Keep the Peace By Stopping Conflicts Before They Occur

The city, state and federal governments have allocated millions in funding for anti-violence programs — ones that hire local residents at high risk of being shot or shooting others. 

(WTTW News)

Media Matters When It Comes to the Public’s Perception of Crime and Violence

Recent data shows that the murder rate in the U.S. is experiencing one of the largest decreases ever. Yet that good news doesn’t always make the headlines. Instead, mainstream media is often accused of furthering a narrative about rampant crime.

(Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels)

Teen Summer Jobs a Public Safety Priority, Johnson Administration Says

Research shows a correlation between youth unemployment and crime. Mayor Brandon Johnson has made teen employment a public safety priority. He’s pledged to double the number of jobs in the city’s youth employment program.