Stories by andrea guthmann

A gun store display is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)

The Politics of Gun Control: Debating Illinois’ Assault Weapons Ban

Since the mass shooting at last year’s Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois has moved swiftly on gun control measures. The most controversial has been the ban on so-called assault weapons.

(Thomas Ulrich / Pixabay)

After Surgeon General’s Mental Health Warning, Chicago-Area Author Provides Tips on How Teens Can Safely Use Social Media

Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy recently issued a warning that social media presents a “profound risk of harm” to kids’ mental health. He’s calling on families to set limits on social media use and for lawmakers to issue tougher standards on technology platforms to protect kids.

Inspector General Deborah Witzburg appears on "Chicago Tonight" on May 30, 2023. (WTTW News)

Inspector General Report Finds Chicago Police Department Allows Dishonest Cops to Stay on the Job

An audit by Inspector General Deborah Witzburg reveals the Chicago Police Department has allowed more than 100 officers who filed false reports to stay on the job. Some were even promoted after being found to have lied.

Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, appears on "Chicago Tonight" on March 20, 2023. (WTTW News)

Dr. Allison Arwady on 3-Year Anniversary of COVID Closures, Dangers of Lead Paint

Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, led Chicago’s effort to fight the deadly virus. On this third anniversary of the pandemic, Arwady reflects on lessons learned and whether she would have done anything differently. 

Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. (David Mark / Pixabay)

Grant Park Summer Closures Raise Questions About Access, Priorities

Grant Park could potentially be closed to the public for 40 days for July's NASCAR Chicago Street Race, including event setup and teardown. That's just one of many events blocking free access to the park this summer.

(WTTW News)

Advocates Hopes Chicago’s Next Mayor Puts Focus on Environmental Justice Issues

Crime has dominated much of the local and national media coverage around Chicago’s mayoral election. But environmental justice activists contend that environmental issues also have a significant impact on quality of life for residents.

(WTTW News)

Candidates Compete for Seats on Newly Formed Police District Councils

Each of Chicago’s 22 police districts will now have a three-person civilian oversight council made up of people from that community. 

Orlando Mayorga delivers a talk as part of FIRSTHAND: Life After Prison. (WTTW)

Justice Advocates on How Trauma Impacts Those Who Have Been Incarcerated

Thousands of restrictive laws govern people who have been released from prison in the United States, making it difficult for them to find housing, employment and to restart life after they have done their time.

A rendering of a proposed dome on Soldier Field (Credit: Landmark Chicago Interests LLC)

Developers Work to Sell Chicago Bears on Plans for Improved Soldier Field

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a prominent developer are trying to sell the team on some dazzling new changes to Soldier Field in a Hail Mary attempt to keep the team in Chicago.

(WTTW News)

With a Renewed National Focus on Homelessness, Advocates Say Local Action Also Needed

On Monday, President Joe Biden unveiled his plan to cut homelessness by 25% by 2025. While the president is promising federal aid to help solve the crisis, advocates for the homeless argue there are local strategies that must be implemented as well.

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago is pictured in a file photo. (WTTW News)

New U. of C. Report Finds Federal Judges Jailing Defendants Awaiting Trial at Increasingly High Rates

A new report from the University of Chicago Law School’s Federal Criminal Justice Clinic shows that locking up pretrial defendants has become the norm in federal court, rather than the exception, as required by law.

(WTTW News)

How Will Inflation and Online Holiday Shopping Impact Michigan Avenue and Downtown Retailers?

Online shopping hit record levels last Friday, despite consumers’ concerns about the economy being at the highest level since the 2008 Great Recession.

Sen. Dick Durbin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 17, 2022. (WTTW News)

Sen. Dick Durbin on Ukraine, Immigration and the Upcoming Midterm Elections

As co-chair of the Senate’s Ukraine Caucus, Sen. Dick Durbin said any push to sit down at the negotiation table and offer Russia territory that it illegally took must come from the Ukrainians, not Western pressure.

Kolmar Park is pictured on Sept. 26, 2022. (WTTW News)

Park on Northwest Side Now Named After Gertrud Kolmar, German-Jewish Poet Killed in Holocaust

Kolmar Park was originally named for the street it is on, Kolmar Avenue. After learning of Gertrud Kolmar’s life and work, a local campaign was spearheaded to have the park rededicated in honor of the poet who died during the Holocaust.

(Credit: U.S. Department of Transportation)

New Federal Website Lets Consumers Know Their Rights When Flights Are Canceled or Delayed

The Department of Transportation unveiled what it’s calling the Airline Customer Service Dashboard, which allows passengers to see what they’re entitled to if their flight is cancelled or significantly delayed.

UpRising Bakery and Café in suburban Lake in the Hills was vandalized over plans to host a family-friendly drag show. (Credit: Corinna Sac)

Suburban Bakery Vandalized Over Planned Drag Show Banned from Hosting Future Events

On July 28, Lake in the Hills officials told UpRising Bakery and Cafe that live programming violated a local zoning ordinance and they had to refrain from holding any more events.

UpRising Bakery and Café in suburban Lake in the Hills was vandalized over plans to host a family-friendly drag show. (Credit: Corinna Sac)

Suburban Bakery Targeted, Vandalized Over Plans to Host Family-Friendly Drag Show

It’s been a difficult few weeks for UpRising Bakery and Café in suburban Lake in the Hills. The cafe was targeted with hate speech and vandalized after making plans to host a family-friendly drag show. 

(WTTW News)

Chicago Tourism Officials Say Hotel Usage Up, Business Travel Still Slow

Summer travel is heating up. A survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association shows that nearly 70% of Americans are planning to travel this summer. But what about tourism here in Chicago?

(WTTW News)

How Abortion Bans Could Impact Infertility Treatments

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has had an immediate impact on women with unwanted pregnancies. But people who desperately want to have children are also being impacted.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, a candidate for governor in the Republican primary, holds a news conference on May 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

How Money is Impacting Illinois’ Primary Election

In what’s been called “the battle of the billionaires,” some of the country’s wealthiest men are trying to influence Illinois’ Governor’s race. That includes the current Governor, Hyatt hotel heir J. B. Pritzker, whose campaign is largely self-funded. 

(WTTW News)

Chicago Park District Facing Lifeguard Shortage as Superintendent Hopes to Have 300 Lifeguards to Open ‘Ample’ Number of Pools

Park District Superintendent Rosa Escareño joined “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the ongoing shortage and acknowledged that some neighborhood pools may not be able to open at all if the Park District can’t fill some 300 lifeguard positions.

Workers test sewage as part of a COVID-19 tracking effort. (Credit: University of Illinois Discovery Partners Institute)

A New Tool is Providing Solid Clues to COVID-19’s Resurgence

Loss of federal funding has led to COVID-19 testing site closures throughout Illinois, and the nation. Milder symptoms for those who are vaccinated and increased use of at-home rapid tests, which people rarely report to health authorities, means accurate COVID-19 data is increasingly hard to come by. 

(Beacon Press)

As Hate Crimes Surge, Interfaith Activist Aims to Bridge Growing Divide

Hate crimes have been on the rise in the U.S. Last fall, the FBI reported that hate crimes surged to their highest level in 12 years. The Anti-Defamation League says 2021 saw the highest number of antisemitic incidents ever recorded by the organization.

(WTTW News)

Whole Foods Announces It’s Checking Out of Englewood

After just six years, Whole Foods announced last week that the grocery chain is closing its Englewood store. The store's departure is a major blow to the South Side neighborhood that's long suffered from a lack of healthy food options.

New State Law Aims to Bridge Racial, Economic Divide in Drug Trials

A recent review of government-funded cancer research studies found that the participants were disproportionately white. A new state law attempts to fix that.

The STEP Summit in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (WTTW News)

A Summit at UIC Aims to Make Progress on Poverty

Poverty was front and center at a summit Thursday at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where local policymakers, union leaders, employers and academics focused on how to end poverty in Chicago within a generation.