Stories by blair paddock

An aerial shot of the newly constructed Southside Recycling, 11600 S. Burley Ave. (Courtesy of Reserve Management Group)

Controversy Over Permit for Facility on Southeast Side

Citing investigations from the Environmental Protection Agency, local residents and activists say their neighborhood cannot withstand the pollution they believe the new Southside Recycling facility will bring.

(RJA1988 / Pixabay)

Second Holiday Season With COVID-19: How Religious Leaders Are Celebrating

This time last year, many people celebrated the holidays virtually, as the COVID-19 vaccine was not yet widely available. But this year, the faithful can plan some in-person gatherings to celebrate the holidays.

(ValynPi14 / Pixabay)

Harvey Mayor on Homicides: ‘There’s a Perception Harvey Isn’t a Safe Place to Live’

More than 1,000 homicides have been recorded in Cook County so far this year. In the suburbs, Harvey has seen the highest total of homicides with 30.

(Kristina Tripkovic / Unsplash)

‘The Invisible Ones’ Radio Series Follows Cases of Missing Black Women

Over the past 20 years, 51 Black women and girls have either gone missing or been found dead after disappearing in Chicago, according to WVON, which has produced a new five-part series featuring the stories of these victims’ family members and their efforts to find answers. 

(WTTW News)

Parlor Pizza Under Investigation by City: Block Club Chicago

Former Parlor Pizza employees say they were forced to work overtime without pay and under toxic working conditions, according to Block Club Chicago. The restaurant is now under investigation for possible labor and anti-discrimination violations.

Book Censorship Debate: Controversy Over ‘Gender Queer: A Memoir’

Last week, students and officials at a west suburban school district discussed whether the graphic novel should be kept in school libraries. What could that mean for educational freedom?

A far-right paramilitary organization has found success in recruiting law enforcement officers in America’s largest cities, according to an investigation from NPR that shows active officers in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago on membership rosters, with Chicago showing the greatest representation of the three. (WTTW News)

NPR Investigates Ties Between Police and Far-Right Groups

A far-right paramilitary organization has found success in recruiting law enforcement officers in America’s largest cities, according to an investigation from NPR that shows active officers in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago on membership rosters. 

(WTTW News)

Physicians, Children’s Hospitals Declare Youth Mental Health Emergency

Mental health challenges for children have reached a national emergency, according to several medical organizations representing 77,000 physicians and more than 200 children’s hospitals. “The pandemic has taken its toll in numerous ways,” said clinical psychologist Mashana Smith.

A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune found the city has failed to provide the public with easy, consistent access to free toilets, with scant information available about those that do exist. (WTTW News)

Chicago Tribune Looks Into City’s Lack of Public Bathrooms

A recent investigation by the Chicago Tribune found the city has failed to provide the public with easy, consistent access to free toilets, with scant information available about those that do exist. As the story found, it’s not only a public health issue but a public safety one as well.

(Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash)

Logan Correctional Center Performances Seek to Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Logan Correctional Center is putting together performances about gender-based violence. Twenty-one people will perform over Zoom and share their stories through poems, monologues and more. 

Incarcerated people in Illinois haven’t had the ability to get onto parole since the ‘70s. But a bill in Springfield is working to bring it back. (WTTW News)

New Bill Would Reinstate Parole System in Illinois

Incarcerated people in Illinois haven’t had the ability to get onto parole since the ‘70s. But a bill in Springfield is working to bring it back, providing parole hearings for inmates who’ve served at least 20 years in prison. 

(Rebecca Palmore / WTTW News)

The Atlantic Looks Inside Alden Global Capital

McKay Coppins, who did a deep dive into Alden Global Capital, shares his insights into the hedge fund that bought the Chicago Tribune.

(WTTW News)

‘Our Fair Share’ Advocates for Distributing Annual Funds to Americans

Discussion and debate over a recently released book that advocates for a “citizen dividend” that would give cash to Americans.

Harry Shum Jr. plays AV tech whiz James in “Broadcast Signal Intrusion” (Courtesy Dark Sky Films)

New Film Inspired By 1987 Hijacking of WTTW’s Airwaves

Longtime WTTW fans may remember that back in 1987, our airwaves were hijacked by an unknown TV “pirate.” Now nearly 34 years later, it’s inspired a new film playing Thursday at the Chicago International Film Festival.

(WTTW News)

Fifth Third Bank Invests $20M in South Chicago Neighborhood

The infusion comes on the heels of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Invest South-West Initiative, a three-year program aimed at investing $750 million in developments across 10 neighborhoods, including South Chicago.

Julio Rodriguez of ALMA and David Ernesto Munar from Howard Brown Health join “Chicago Tonight: Latino Voices.” (WTTW News)

What Coming Out Day Means to Latino LGBTQ Leaders

Monday marks National Coming Out Day— an annual awareness day aimed at supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. What do that awareness and support mean for leaders in the Latino LGBTQ community? We hear from Julio Rodriguez of ALMA and David Ernesto Munar from Howard Brown Health.

Renters are finding fewer affordable homes and apartments as the city sees a decline in units. (WTTW News)

Study: City Sees Decline in Affordable Housing

Renters are finding fewer affordable homes and apartments as the city sees a decline in units. A new study from DePaul University shows the city experienced a 5.2% decline in affordable rental units over the past decade.

The Board of Directors of Chicago Public Media— the parent of WBEZ— unanimously approved a non-binding letter of intent for the group and the Sun-Times to explore joining together as a local nonprofit news organization. (WTTW News)

Chicago Public Media Board Moving to Acquire Sun-Times

The Board of Directors of Chicago Public Media— the parent of WBEZ— unanimously approved a non-binding letter of intent for the group and the Sun-Times to explore joining together as a local nonprofit news organization.

A group of workers with tortilla maker El Milagro march across 26th Street to protest working conditions on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. (WTTW News)

El Milagro Employees Protest Poor Working Conditions at Tortilla Factory

Workers are back on the job after last week’s walkout. We hear about their working conditions and the latest on their organizing efforts.

A rift between Chicago Bears leadership and the owner of Soldier Field— the Chicago Park District — may be brewing, as speculation swarms over whether the team is planning to relocate. (WTTW News)

WBEZ: Latest on the Bears’ Possible Soldier Field Exit

A rift between Chicago Bears leadership and the owner of Soldier Field— the Chicago Park District — may be brewing, as speculation swarms over whether the team is planning to relocate. 

An early surge in respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a common virus that usually appears in the winter, is driving an increase in patients going to the emergency room — unnecessarily. (WTTW News)

Increase in Pediatric Emergencies Driven by Other Respiratory Viruses, Not COVID, Doctors Say

An early surge in RSV, a common virus that usually appears in the winter, is driving an unnecessary increase in patients going to the emergency room, doctors say.

(WTTW News)

Illinois’ House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch on Energy Bill and More

A massive energy bill became law this week and among other things, it aims to get Illinois carbon-free by 2045. Meanwhile, Illinois COVID vaccination rates slow as the delta variant surges. And the legislature’s veto session is coming up in a month.

(WTTW News)

What to Expect With the Upcoming Flu Season

As flu season approaches, the country is still grappling with a surge in COVID-19 infections driven largely by the delta variant. Will flu cases and the coronavirus result in a “twindemic” this year? A local doctor weighs in.

Ruby Ferguson appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. (WTTW News)

Ruby Ferguson Talks Food Equity Policy in Chicago

Chicago has it’s first-ever food equity policy lead. Ruby Ferguson, who is taking on that role, will help address food insecurity across the city, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. 

A food pantry in Woodridge. (WTTW News)

How Communities Facing Food Insecurity Are Creating Equitable Systems

As part of our “Firsthand: Living in Poverty” series, we hear about the current state of food insecurity in Chicago — and possible solutions to the problem.

(WTTW News)

Rental Assistance is Slow to Arrive as Eviction Threat Looms

Renters across the country may soon face eviction now that the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Biden administration’s extension of the eviction moratorium. We discuss resources available to local renters.