Stories by Heather Cherone

Kanye West Short 1,300 Signatures: Illinois Elections Officials

This Nov. 17, 2019, file photo shows Kanye West on stage during a service at Lakewood Church in Houston. (AP Photo / Michael Wyke, File)

Superstar Kanye West fell short of qualifying for the Illinois ballot as an independent presidential candidate by 1,300 signatures, according to the official review on Friday of the nominating petitions submitted by the Illinois native.

Cook County Officials Launch Rental Assistance Grants for Suburban Residents

(Samuel A. Love / Flickr)

With the state’s ban on evictions set to expire in two weeks, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced a $20 million rental assistance fund to help residents of suburban Cook County impacted by the pandemic.

Lightfoot Tests Negative for COVID-19 After Appearing with Ald. Scott Who Tested Positive

Mayor Lori Lightfoot urges Chicagoans to complete the 2020 census during a Wednesday, July 29, 2020 press conference at the DuSable Museum in Hyde Park. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has tested negative for the coronavirus after appearing at a Wednesday news conference alongside Ald. Michael Scott Jr., who announced about 24 hours later that he had been diagnosed with the virus.

Pritzker Targets Businesses Flouting COVID-19 Regulations With New Rules

(Shelby L. Bell / Flickr)

“This is a make or break moment for the state of Illinois, for making sure people are doing everything they can to mitigate, to reduce the spread,” the governor said. “This is a moment for us to enforce the masking requirement across the state.”

City Officials Begin Using State’s Method to Calculate Key Metric Used to Track Coronavirus

(WTTW News)

Chicago officials have begun using the state’s method to calculate the single most important benchmark for tracking the spread of the coronavirus — positivity rates — as confirmed cases of the virus continue to rise statewide.

CPS Will Start School Year on Sept. 8 With Remote Learning, Officials Announce

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools will start the school year on Sept. 8 the same way they ended the last academic year — with all students taking classes remotely, officials announced Wednesday.

Controversy Brews Over Plan for More Affordable Housing on Far Northwest Side

A rendering of the proposed apartment complex near Lawrence and Austin avenues in Jefferson Park. (Credit: Full Circle Communities)

A plan to transform a long-vacant lot in Jefferson Park into an apartment complex has reignited the furious debate surrounding Chicago’s massive affordable housing shortfall.

City Orders Visitors From Puerto Rico to Quarantine As Officials Warn, Again, That Virus is Spreading

San Juan, Puerto Rico. (AndPon / Pixabay)

Visitors to Chicago from Puerto Rico will be required to quarantine for two weeks starting Friday in an effort to stop the increasing spread of the coronavirus in Chicago, city officials announced Tuesday.

Elections Officials Dismiss 1 of 3 Challenges Filed to Keep Kanye West Off November Ballot

This Nov. 17, 2019, file photo shows Kanye West on stage during a service at Lakewood Church in Houston. (AP Photo / Michael Wyke, File)

The Illinois State Board of Elections is scheduled to finalize the Nov. 3 ballot on Aug. 21. Will superstar Kanye West be on the ballot in his home state as an independent candidate for president?

Chicago Cracks Down on Large Parties, Events to Stop Spread of COVID-19

The exterior of a warehouse in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, where officials say an illegal party was shut down over the weekend. (WTTW News)

Inspectors shut down an illegal party at a Humboldt Park warehouse where revelers were not wearing masks or following social distancing rules, city officials said Monday.

Bars Forced to Stop Indoor Service Amid Coronavirus Increase Can Apply For Sidewalk Cafe Permit: Lightfoot

(Photo by Lightscape / Unsplash)

Chicago bars ordered to stop serving customers indoors as part of a rollback ordered by Mayor Lori Lightfoot following an increase in the number of coronavirus cases can apply to open a sidewalk cafe, city officials announced Friday.

Pritzker Unveils Plan to ‘Transform’ Juvenile Justice in Illinois By Closing Large Facilities

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

Illinois will close five large juvenile detention centers as part of a plan unveiled Friday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in an effort to “transform” the current system, which Pritzker called “too punitive and too ineffective.”

1,500 Businesses Struggling to Recover from Unrest, Pandemic Get City Grants: Lightfoot

A business is boarded up in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood on the city’s South Side on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, following unrest over the killing of George Floyd. (WTTW News)

“Our small businesses play a large role in contributing to the vibrancy of our city which is why it is essential that we continue to offer them assistance during what may be the most difficult time that many of them face,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a statement.

Aldermen Rake ComEd Over the Coals Amid Bribery Scandal, Even As Officials Say City Can’t Afford Takeover

(WTTW News)

Aldermen raked officials from Commonwealth Edison over the coals Thursday, demanding answers about the firm’s admission that it engaged in a yearslong bribery scheme even as officials warned the city would have no choice but to extend the utility’s lucrative city contract.

Bird, Lime, Spin to Offer Scooters During Chicago’s Second Pilot Program

(WTTW News)

The three firms will scatter 10,000 scooters across much of the city — four times as many allowed during the summer of 2019 — but the scooters will not be allowed downtown or along the Lakefront or 606 trails, according to the city’s rules.

‘The Jury is Still Out’: Police Superintendent David Brown Marks 100 Days Amid Multiple Crises

David Brown is sworn in as police superintendent by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot after unanimous approval by the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Brown’s wife and daughter are also pictured. (@Chicago_Police / Twitter photo)

After nearly 100 days at the helm of the Chicago Police Department, the superintendent’s tenure has been anything but average, as he faces an ongoing pandemic, protests and a surge in gun violence. 

Worried About Democracy? Angry About Police Brutality? Fill Out the Census, Lightfoot Says

Mayor Lori Lightfoot urges Chicagoans to complete the 2020 census during a Wednesday, July 29, 2020 press conference at the DuSable Museum in Hyde Park. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered a full-throated defense of American democracy Wednesday before urging Chicagoans to safeguard the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights by responding to the 2020 census.

As Coronavirus Cases Continue to Increase, State and City Officials Disagree on Key Metric

(WTTW News)

Illinois and Chicago officials disagree on how to calculate the single most important benchmark for tracking the spread of the coronavirus, even as the number of confirmed cases of the virus continues to rise statewide.

Lightfoot Orders Visitors from 4 More States to Quarantine for 2 Weeks

Omaha, Nebraska (ScottPeck / Pixabay)

Visitors to Chicago from Wisconsin, Missouri, North Dakota and Nebraska will be required to quarantine for two weeks starting Friday in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, city officials announced Tuesday.

Lightfoot to ComEd: I’m Deeply Disturbed by Wrongdoing

(WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned Commonwealth Edison officials Monday that the utility would have to make significant changes if it wants to keep its lucrative city contract following a yearslong bribery scheme.

Chicago Set to Order Visitors From Wisconsin to Quarantine: Lightfoot

Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Leroy_Skalstad / Pixabay)

Visitors from Wisconsin to Chicago will soon be required to quarantine for two weeks in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

Chicago Officials Launch 2nd Round of Rental Assistance Grants

(Stephen M. Scott / Flickr)

Chicagoans who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because of the coronavirus pandemic can apply for a second round of grants of up to $3,000 to help them pay their rent or mortgages.

5 Businesses Fined, Beverly Bar Shut Down for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions

Cork & Kerry (Google Streetview)

City officials fined five businesses and shut down a Beverly bar for violating rules designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Monday.

Lightfoot’s Decision to Take Down Columbus Statues Splits Aldermen

City municipal crews help guide the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park as it is removed by a crane, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Chicago. A statue of Christopher Columbus that drew chaotic protests in Chicago was taken down early Friday amid a plan by President Donald Trump to dispatch federal agents to the city. (Tyler LaRiviere / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

While some aldermen praised Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to take down the statues of Christopher Columbus, others said Friday she should not have acted unilaterally in the middle of the night.

Push to Keep Woodlawn Residents In Their Homes Near Obama Center to Include More Affordable Housing

Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood was featured as part of our COVID-19 Across Chicago series on “Chicago Tonight” on June 17, 2020. (WTTW News)

Even though the Obama Presidential Center has yet to receive final approval to break ground, Woodlawn’s real estate market is already bubbling, with the median sale price for single-family homes rising 90% from 2010 to 2019.

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