Stories by Eddie Arruza

Renée Fleming: The Diva and Her Gowns

High-end designers have always been eager to dress the superstar soprano for both stage roles and concert performances. Renée Fleming tells us about those one-of-a kind creations.

FoodQ Pilot Program Delivers Healthy Meals to Chicago Food Deserts

How a new meal delivery pilot program is trying to reduce hospital and doctor visits in Chicago neighborhoods where healthy eating is out of reach.

40th Ward Candidate Forum: Incumbent Ald. O’Connor vs. Vasquez

Aldermanic candidates for the 40th Ward: Incumbent Ald. Patrick O’Connor, left, and Andre Vasquez.

In 2015, 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O’Connor easily won re-election. But the second-longest-serving member of the Chicago City Council is now in one of the most contentious runoff races in the city. He and challenger Andre Vasquez join us.

Renée Fleming Reflects on 25 Years with Lyric Opera

Renée Fleming sits down for an interview with Eddie Arruza on March 20, 2019.

One of the world’s most renowned opera singers is marking a landmark anniversary in Chicago. We speak with superstar soprano Renée Fleming.

Striking CSO Musicians Get Superstar Support

Conductor Riccardo Muti joins striking Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians Tuesday, March 12, 2019 outside Symphony Center. (Eddie Arruza / WTTW News)

Instead of being in rehearsal Tuesday morning with their superstar conductor Riccardo Muti, most of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 106 musicians joined forces with him on the sidewalk outside the concert hall.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Goes on Strike as Contract Talks Collapse

Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra go on strike and walk the picket line outside the doors of Orchestra Hall on Michigan Avenue, Monday, March 11, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

While saying their negotiations have been “respectful and cordial,” the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and their management dug in Monday in what could be a prolonged strike. 

Desert Plant Raising the Roof of its Chicago Home

The century plant at Garfield Park Conservatory stands about 17 feet, 6 inches tall on Monday, March 4, 2019.

For more than half a century, a plant at the Garfield Park Conservatory has been growing slowly and imperceptibly. Until last fall. We visit the rapidly ascending century plant.

Chicago Aldermanic Races Yield Some Stunning Upsets

Several incumbent aldermen were voted out of office and others are headed into a runoff. And despite scandals and investigations, some others prevailed.

Chicago Election Has Potential to Change Face of City Council

With 160 candidates running for alderman, the Chicago City Council could be seeing a major makeover in May.

There Are 150-Plus Aldermanic Candidates. Here Are 6 Wards to Watch.

In addition to the very competitive and crowded mayoral contest, voters in all 50 wards are voting for alderman as well. We highlight some of the races to watch.

Venezuelans in Chicago Hope for Change in Their Homeland

Luciana Diaz

A growing number of Venezuelans fleeing the turmoil in their country are finding a new life in Chicago. But they’re keeping a close eye on their homeland, with the hopes that change is about to take place.

‘Missing’ Uptown Chandeliers to Make Their Way Back Home

After decades of neglect and decay, Chicago’s historic Uptown Theater is finally being brought back to life. And some of the original light fixtures – painstakingly restored – will soon make their way back to the 1925 movie palace.

The Dangerous Beauty of ‘Chiberia’

Chicago is seldom brought to its knees by brutal weather conditions, but Wednesday was a rare exception. And while subzero temperatures made the outdoors dangerous, they also created extreme beauty.

Snowstorm Likely a Prelude to More Dangerous Weather

Commuters wait for a train as snow falls Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato)

How Chicagoans handled a snowy start to the week – and how the city is preparing for worsening conditions.

Federal Courts in Chicago in Triage Mode as Shutdown Trudges On

Judge Ruben Castillo

The chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois speaks out on the effect the shutdown is having on the federal courts.

Federal Employees in Chicago Turn to Food Pantries for Help

Judith Hartfield has worked for the U.S. government for more than 30 years.

A growing number of federal workers in Chicago are turning to food pantries as the government shutdown enters its second month.

Historic Black Marines in Danger of Losing South Side Veterans Hall

James A. Reynolds, left, and John Vanoy joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943, becoming among the first African Americans in the previously white-only military branch.

They were among the first African-Americans to be accepted into the U.S. Marines Corps. Now, surviving members of the Montford Point Marines fear they could lose their veterans hall in Englewood.

Rediscovered 15th Century Songbook Produces ‘New’ Songs

Nearly 50 short love songs, all handwritten in the tiny Leuven Songbook, were apparently lost for centuries until their fateful rediscovery in 2014. Now, some of the songs are being brought back to life in Chicago.

No Signs of Sickout Among Chicago TSA Agents

The federal shutdown is causing a lot of worries among government employees, including TSA agents. How workers in Chicago are reacting.

Farthest Object Ever Explored Comes into View on New Year’s Day

Ultima Thule, the relatively tiny object in the outer solar system, is now the farthest cosmic body to be reached by humans. We hear from the lead scientist behind the farthest flyby ever.

Apollo 8 Astronauts Recount Historic Mission at ‘Rocket Men’ Book Launch

Commander Colonel Frank Borman leads the way as he, Command Module Pilot Captain James A Lovell Jr., and Lunar Module Pilot Major William A. Anders head to the launch pad for humanity’s maiden voyage around the moon and its first aboard the Saturn V vehicle, developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (Image credit: NASA)

A Chicago reunion of the Apollo 8 astronauts as a new book by local author Robert Kurson celebrates the historic first human flight to the moon.

New Chicago Ordinance Aimed at Encouraging, Regulating Pop-Ups

The concept of pop-up businesses is not new, but a city initiative to regulate them is. We visit several Chicago pop-ups that are open for business in this new era of retail.

NASA Reaches New Heights: Mars, Asteroid Bennu and Ultima Thule

NASA InSight’s first full “selfie” on Mars, taken Dec. 6, 2018, displays the lander’s solar panels and deck. On top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. (Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech)

From amazing new vistas of Mars to a little rover bouncing on a distant asteroid, an exploration of recent achievements in outer space with Adler Planetarium astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz.

Chicago’s Historic Newberry Library Unveils New Look, Exhibition

As one of Chicago’s oldest and most prestigious institutions unveils a new look, it also looks back at an event that transformed the city.

Illinois’ Bicentennial: People, Places and Things to Celebrate

Buckingham Fountain (Pixabay)

From its majestic rivers to Lake Michigan, and sky-high architecture to vast, fertile prairies, there really is no other state like Illinois.