Stories by eunice alpasan

WTTW News Explains: Why is Chicago’s Pension Debt So High?

You may have heard Chicago has a pension problem … to the tune of more than $35 billion of debt. Pensions affect nearly everyone — even if you’re not a public employee. Taxpayers have already been footing the bill to alleviate the pension debt.

(WTTW News)

Hospital Emergency Departments Saw Firearm Deaths, Injuries in Children Double During COVID-19 Pandemic: Study

The study compares firearm injury emergency department visits for kids at nine urban hospitals across the U.S. before and during the pandemic.

Community health worker Stefferina Woodrick leaving a flyer at a house on the 7800 block of South Pulaski Road in Ashburn on Oct. 31, 2023. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Trick or Treat? Community Health Workers Go Door to Door to Raise Awareness About COVID-19, Flu Vaccines

Their mission was to pass out flyers with information about an upcoming COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinic at Richard J. Daley Community College on the Southwest Side.

Part-time faculty members at Columbia College hold a press conference in downtown on Oct. 30, 2023. (WTTW News)

Part-Time Faculty Members at Columbia College Go On Strike Amid Concerns Over Class Cuts, Increased Class Sizes

Nearly 600 part-time faculty members at Columbia College walked off the job Monday. The faculty union and administration have been contract bargaining since May.

(Pexels / Kei Scampa)

More Than 90% of Pregnancy-Related Deaths Are Potentially Preventable; Black Women Face the Highest Risk, State Report Finds

The state still has a long way to go toward ensuring that all Illinois residents can have a safe and healthy pregnancy, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a press release.

(WTTW News)

Cook County Residents See Over $280M in Medical Debt Erased as Part of Medical Debt Relief Program

Neighborhoods on the South and West Sides of Chicago have seen the highest amount of medical debt erased so far, according to officials.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completed restoration project was held on Oct. 23, 2023. (Nicole Cardos / WTTW News)

$1.2M Wetlands Restoration Project on City’s Southeast Side Aims to Alleviate Flooding, Restore Wildlife Numbers

A major effort to restore nearly 200 acres of wetland habitat at Powderhorn Prairie and Marsh Nature Preserve on the Chicago’s Southeast Side is now complete after more than three years.

(WTTW News)

Which States Are Truly In The Midwest? A New Poll Covering 22 States Has People Online Divided … And a Little Salty

A new study that aims to explore Midwest state boundaries and identity was a result of over 11,000 responses across 22 states.

Milk and Moon Lactation Counseling LLC in Spring Valley, Ill., is a milk depot and donor milk dispensary in partnership with the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. (Courtesy of Milk and Moon Lactation Counseling)

Demand for Donor Breast Milk in Chicago Area Increasing, As Bipartisan Bill Aims to Improve Access Nationwide

Demand for donor breast milk has been growing as the country continues to recover from last year’s infant formula shortage that left many store shelves empty following a host of supply chain issues and product recalls.

(Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels)

Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Off to Slower Start Than Last Fall, Chicago Health Department Reports

About 66,900 Chicagoans, or 2.4% of the city population, have received the new vaccine since updated COVID-19 vaccines were recommended in mid-September, the Chicago Department of Public Health reports.

(WTTW News)

First Measles Case in Illinois Since 2019 Identified in Cook County, State Public Health Department Confirms

The measles case involves an unvaccinated individual and was confirmed by public health officials on Wednesday.

Artist James Bulosan, left, and artist Tita Recometa-Brady, having a conversation at the “More than Lumpia” art exhibit on Oct. 6 at the Epiphany Center for the Arts. (WTTW News / Eunice Alpasan)

Through Artistic Expression, Family Recipes and History Class, Filipino Americans In Chicago Are Exploring Identity and Reclaiming Narratives

Filipino American History Month in October puts a spotlight on the achievements of Filipino Americans, the stories of Filipino Americans throughout history and how that history is still felt today.

(WTTW News)

University of Chicago Launches Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression With Speaker Panels, Banned Book Collection

The Forum’s mission of “understanding, practicing and advancing” free inquiry and expression takes form this week with speaker panels as part of the initiative’s official launch.

Alma Aguilar, a long COVID patient, participates in the RECOVER research study at Mile Square Health Center on March 10, 2022. (Joshua Clark / University of Illinois Chicago)

What Chicago-Area Researchers Are Still Trying to Learn About Long COVID, as Treatment Clinical Trials Roll Out

Ongoing research efforts come as many long COVID patients have already exhausted available treatment options and are now left to manage and live with a variety of chronic symptoms.

A rendering of "The Club MDW," a lounge for travelers that is expected to open next fall at Midway International Airport. (Courtesy of Chicago Department of Aviation)

Midway Airport to Open Its Own Fee-Based Lounge for Travelers Next Fall

The lounge will be accessible to travelers who buy an airport lounge membership or day pass. It is expected to open next fall. 

(Engin Akyurt / Pixabay)

The Physical and Mental Toll of Living With Long COVID: ‘I Feel Like We’ve Been Abandoned and Forgotten’

Amid many unanswered questions and the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration earlier this year, long COVID patients remain in limbo as they continue to manage and live with their symptoms.

(WTTW News)

Updated COVID-19 Vaccines and Flu Shots Are Arriving in Chicago. Here’s Where You Can Find Them

COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots will be available to everyone at no cost, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

(Kristan Lieb / WTTW)

Interactive Campaign Asks Chicagoans to Explore Impact of Segregation by Running Errands in a Different Neighborhood

The Folded Map action kit aims to help Chicagoans explore the effects of segregation in the city and how it continues to perpetuate racial inequities.

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Chicago Chooses 10 Local Artists for New Job Training Program That Bridges Arts and Health in Communities

Ten Chicago-based artists will be taking part in a new job training program that has them apprentice at the city’s mental health clinics and become certified community health workers.

Narcan nasal spray in use. (Courtesy of Emergent)

As Over-the-Counter Narcan Hits Store Shelves, Access Problems to the Life-Saving Overdose Reversal Drug Persist

Narcan, which comes as nasal spray and was initially approved for over-the-counter sale by the Food and Drug Administration in March, is expected to hit shelves at stores like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and Walmart as soon as next week. The life-saving medication is expected to retail at stores for $45.

The Garfield Community Service Center on Aug. 31, 2023, located at 10 S. Kedzie Ave. in Chicago, is one of several disaster recovery center locations for residents to apply for federal assistance. (WTTW News)

Facilities Open for Cook County Residents Applying for Federal Help After Severe Storms. Here’s Where to Find Them

Facilities are open on the West Side and in nearby suburbs to assist residents applying for federal assistance for damage caused by severe storms that occurred between June 29 and July 2.

The American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program has only been able to provide 25% of the rides requested by cancer patients in Cook County so far this year. (Courtesy of American Cancer Society)

American Cancer Society in Search of More Chicago-Area Volunteer Drivers for Road To Recovery Program

The Road To Recovery program has only been able to provide 25% of the rides requested by cancer patients in Cook County so far this year.

Workers at a group of nursing homes in the Chicagoland area owned by Infinity Healthcare delivered a 10-day strike notice on Aug. 24, 2023. (Courtesy of SEIU Healthcare Illinois)

Chicago-Area Nursing Home Workers Deliver 10-Day Strike Notice, Could Strike as Early as Labor Day

Workers at a group of nursing homes in the Chicagoland area owned by Infinity Healthcare delivered a 10-day strike notice Thursday. Workers say there is a worsening crisis of short staffing fueled by low wages.

A team member with the Federal Emergency Management Agency speaking to a resident in Cicero, Ill., on July 26, 2023. (WTTW News)

How You Can Apply for Federal Flooding Assistance Following Severe July Storms

Representatives with FEMA and the SBA are in Cook County to assist people with applying for federal grants and loans as the agencies work to open a designated recovery center in the area.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Suburban Cook County Resident is First Person in Illinois to Die From West Nile Virus This Year

Of the 12 total cases of West Nile virus the state health department has seen so far this year, seven of those cases were reported in Cook County, including two in Chicago.

Top row, left to right: Sebastian White of the Evolved Network, Arshiya Farheen of Verzênay Patisserie and Randall Sabado of Cooper's Hawk. Bottom row, left to right: Ricky Sakoda, formerly of Merriman's, and Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe. (Sebastian White / Verzênay / Randall Sabado / Ricky Sakoda / Prairie Grass Cafe)

5 Chicago-Area Chefs to Host Fundraiser for Restaurant, Hospitality Workers Impacted by Maui Wildfires

All of the funds raised during the event will go directly to the Hawai’i Community Foundation—Chef Hui Fund, which supports Maui restaurants, hospitality workers and their families who were displaced due to the fires.