Stories by blair paddock

(WTTW News)

How Chicagoans Are Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May marks Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month. Across Chicago, members of those communities have made the city their home while keeping their cultural traditions alive.

(WTTW News)

Pullman Community Pushes for Restoration of Historic Hotel Florence; New Bill Would Provide $21M

In 1881, Hotel Florence was a luxurious locale where fancy parties took place and celebrities from all over the world stayed. The hotel has been closed since 2000. But community members are hoping a state bill can bring the hotel back to life.

(WTTW News)

Some Chicago School Advocates Say Proposed Elected Board Map Doesn’t Accurately Reflect Latino Population

The glaring issue for many parent advocates is that they see the proposed map as not representative of the majority Latino student population in Chicago Public Schools. Instead, the maps are based on Chicago’s overall population, meaning fewer majority Latino districts.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

How Edgewater Businesses Are Faring Amid Ongoing Red, Purple Line Construction: ‘A Lot More Thinking on Your Feet’

Construction often means disruption. That’s certainly been true in Edgewater and Uptown as the CTA’s been working to rebuild century-old tracks and stations. And with that project kicking off just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the challenges have been felt even more acutely.

An Institute of the Islamic Education building in Elgin is pictured, with the home occupied by Mohammad Saleem to the right. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

A Faith Leader Was Convicted of Sexually Abusing a Student and Employee. He Still Lives Within Feet of the School.

A brief exchange was all it took for convicted sexual predator and faith leader to be granted permission to live within feet of a school — something not normally permitted under Illinois’ sex offender laws.

Amanda Vinicky and guest on "Week in Review" on April 28, 2023. (WTTW News)

Week in Review: Johnson Unveils Transition Team; ‘ComEd Four’ Jury Hears Closing Arguments

Criminal justice change as Kim Foxx prepares to step away. Who’s helping the mayor-elect transition to City Hall. Awaiting a verdict in the “ComEd Four” case.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx (WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Kim Foxx’s Legacy; ‘ComEd Four’ Trial Closing Arguments

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is not seeking reelection. Closing arguments wrap up in the so-called “ComEd Four” trial. And some familiar Illinois faces are working on President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.

(WTTW News)

Chicago Revamping Downtown Development Plans, Seeking Community Input

In 2003, the city of Chicago set out on an ambitious plan: to prepare downtown for the 21st century. Now, decades after the plan was released, the city is revisiting it to address current Chicagoans’ needs.

(WTTW News)

Illinois Lawmakers Push for Permanent Child Tax Credit

A permanent child tax credit in Illinois would mean up to $700 per child for eligible families. Proponents say the measure would support low-income families and create more revenue.

(WTTW News)

Black Unemployment Rate Falls to Record Low in March

The Black unemployment rate hit a record low of 5% last month, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news comes three years after the rate spiked to nearly 17% during the early months of the pandemic.

(WTTW News)

Faith Leaders Promote Unity as Passover, Ramadan and Holy Week Converge

“I think that faith should always be something that helps people to see the connections between themselves more than the divisions,” said Alia Bilal of the Inner-City Muslim Advocacy Network.

(WTTW News)

Evanston City Council Approves $25K Direct Cash Payments in Expansion of Reparations Program

The initial program issued payments of $25,000 for housing benefits like mortgage assistance or renovations. Black residents who lived in Evanston during a 50-year period of discriminatory zoning laws and their direct descendants receive priority for eligibility.

(WTTW News)

Public Transit Advocates Outline System’s Pressure Points Ahead of Chicago Mayoral Election

Buses that never show up and unreliable train travel times. Filling a CTA staffing shortfall. And a push for better bike safety. Those are just a few of the transit topics on the minds of voters

The New 400 Theaters is facing closure in Rogers Park. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: New 400 Theaters Facing Closure After More Than 100 Years in Rogers Park

The New 400 Theaters in Rogers Park has survived two world wars, two pandemics and an ever-changing movie industry. The current owner is looking to sell the space, making the theater’s future unclear.

(WTTW News)

South Side Irish Parade Keeps St. Patrick’s Day Traditions Alive

It’s said the South Side Irish Parade started with about a dozen children marching around West Morgan Park with shamrocks and Irish flags. Now, organizers say it’s the largest community-based St. Patrick’s Day parade outside of Dublin.

(Pexels / Kei Scampa)

Childbirth is Deadlier for Black Families at Any Income, Study Finds

A nearly decade-long study from the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at births in California. The study found that babies born to the richest Black women were still more likely to die than babies born to the poorest White women.

(WTTW News)

Loyola’s Sister Jean Releases Memoir at 103, Reflects on Historic Game of Change

College basketball’s most famous fan, Sister Jean, is finally telling her own story. At 103 years old, the Loyola University Chicago matriarch is releasing the memoir “Wake Up with Purpose! What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years.”

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ In Your Neighborhood: Mixed Reactions to Northwestern’s Proposed Ryan Field Makeover in Evanston

Northwestern University is proposing to give its more than 100-year-old Ryan Field a major makeover. The change is said to make the field accessible for people with disabilities, offer green spaces and — to some community members’ dismay — have the option for concerts and similar events.

(WTTW News)

South Shore Residents Concerned About Displacement, Rising Housing Costs

Some South Shore residents have been without heat and hot water. Organizers said the situation highlights concerns over possible displacement and rising housing costs caused by the coming Obama Presidential Center, just blocks away.

Austin residents watch the WTTW News mayoral forum. (Blair Paddock)

Mayoral Forum Reaction: Austin Residents Want Investment in West Side Communities

Austin residents watched the WTTW News mayoral forum live Tuesday. Among their top priorities was a commitment to working with West Side communities that have experienced disinvestment.

(WTTW News)

Homicide Clearance Rate Lower in Chicago’s Black Communities: Report

For the past several years, the Chicago Police Department has solved an average of 50% of the city’s homicides per year. But that number, known as a clearance rate, is even lower for Black victims.

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx (WTTW News)

Foxx: Why Cook County is No Longer Pursuing Charges Against R. Kelly

R. Kelly has already been convicted in other jurisdictions and sentenced to decades in prison, with more time likely to be added during a sentencing hearing next month.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Bronzeville Receives Historic Designation

A South Side community is getting up to $15 million to ensure it continues to tell the story of the Great Migration in the early 1900s. The Bronzeville-Black Metropolis National Heritage Area stretches from the South Loop to Woodlawn and is home to natural, historic and cultural resources.

A business district in the West Garfield Park community is pictured on Jan. 19, 2023. (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: West Garfield Park Community Coalition Receives $10M Investment

A coalition of community-led groups just received $10 million from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation to help fund a wide-ranging project. It’ll bring together a range of services and opportunities — from health and wellness, to arts and culture and beyond.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: House Speaker Drama, Migrant Shelter Put on Hold

Awaiting the white smoke in the never-ending U.S. House speaker sweepstakes. Illinois House members pass an assault weapons ban in the middle of the night. And the Bears' season mercifully comes to an end.

(WTTW News)

Participation in Dry January Continues to Increase as Individuals Look to ‘Evaluate Their Relationship with Alcohol’

A total of 35% of legal-aged U.S. adults skipped alcohol for the entirety of January in 2022 — that’s an increase from 21% in 2019, according to food and drink research firm CGA.