Stories by blair paddock

(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)

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)

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.

(WTTW News)

10 Organizations Across Chicago Launch Effort to Put Survivors of Gender-Based Violence at Forefront of Change

Advocacy groups around the city have banded together in an effort to shift that shame by trying to address the root causes of gender-based violence. The Survivor Power Institute, made up of 10 organization across Chicago, launched their pilot in November.

(WTTW News)

In February, Chicago Voters Will Choose Police District Council Members. Here’s What Those Councils Do.

February’s municipal elections are not just about the race for mayor or Chicago City Council. There are also dozens of candidates running for brand new positions: police district councils.

Altgeld Gardens (WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Altgeld Gardens

The approval of TIF money to fund the southern expansion of the Red Line could have a big impact on the historic public housing community of Altgeld Gardens.

(Courtesy of Weber)

Crain’s Headlines: More Fulton Market Development; Weber Grill Plans to Go Private

Developers announce plans for Fulton Market. And Palatine-based grill company Weber is going private —a quick year after their public bid.

(WTTW News)

‘Chicago Tonight’ In Your Neighborhood: Holiday Happenings in North Lawndale

Poverty and violence are part of the West Side community area’s story. But community members say there’s much more to it, and residents are making new traditions. 

(WTTW News)

As Chicago Property Tax Bills Arrive, Study Examines Biggest Increases

If you are a homeowner in certain portions of the city, you’ve seen your bill go up quite a bit. On the predominately Latino Lower West Side, there was an increase of 46%, according to a new study.

(WTTW News)

Week in Review: Top Business Stories of the Year

Inflation, gas prices, retail — we take a look at the top business stories of the year and look into our crystal ball for 2023.

(WTTW News)

Spotlight Politics: Democrats Come Up Big in Illinois; Chicago Mayoral Race Heats Up

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has a big night as Illinois Republicans scramble to rebuild. Our politics team weighs in on that story and more.