Stories by Blair Paddock

Trump Says Blagojevich Sentence Was ‘Ridiculous.’ What Do Locals Say?

Courtroom sketch by Thomas Gianni, 2011. (WTTW News)

President Donald Trump’s commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence ends a corruption saga that has been both notorious and bizarre.

Lake Michigan’s High Water Level Breaks 30-Year Monthly Record

Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (WTTW News)

Last month, Lake Michigan was about 3 inches higher than the previous January record in 1987, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. How the record-setting levels can affect Chicagoans.

Chicago Police Using Controversial Facial Recognition Tool

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Police Department recently started working with a controversial facial recognition tool. CPD says it’s not using it for real-time surveillance, but some advocacy groups still have concerns.

‘America the Beautiful and Violent’ Tackles Structural Issues in Chicago

(WTTW News)

Violence in Chicago sometimes leads to descriptions of the city as a “battleground” or “war zone.” But author Dexter Voisin says those narratives ignore the structural issues behind the violence in many communities.

The Fight Against the Coronavirus – And What You Need to Know

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, left, and Karla Satchell appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

There’s now one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Illinois. Health officials say the risk to the general public in the U.S. is low. But what’s being done to fight the virus?

Decades After Congress Passes ERA, Its Future Still Unclear

(WTTW News)

Women take to the streets across the country just as Virginia passes the Equal Rights Amendment. What’s the future of the ERA?

Local Efforts Underway to Help Earthquake Victims in Puerto Rico

A big rock sits amid the rubble of the low wall it destroyed when it rolled down from a nearby cliff during a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in Guanica, Puerto Rico, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. (AP Photo / Carlos Giusti)

For the past several weeks, Puerto Rico has seen more than two dozen high-magnitude earthquakes. One Chicago-based group has teamed up with people on the island to provide funding for resources, doctors and mental health aid.