Stories by heather cherone

Lightfoot Asks State Lawmakers for ‘More Time’ as Pivotal Elected School Board Vote Looms

Supporters of an elected school board demonstrate in April 2019. (WTTW News)

As state lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield for a pivotal vote on whether Chicago Public Schools should be run by an elected school board, Mayor Lori Lightfoot asked members of the Illinois House to delay a vote approved by the Illinois Senate.

Lightfoot Won’t Commit to Up-Or-Down Vote to Rename Lake Shore Drive for DuSable

(WTTW News)

While celebrating the full reopening of Chicago on Friday morning as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she does not support the push to rename Lake Shore Drive, again calling it an “iconic” name with national recognition.

‘It Is a Great Day’: As COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Plunge, Illinois, Chicago to Reopen

(WTTW News)

All businesses will be allowed to operate at full capacity and gatherings of all sizes will be permitted, according to the new rules.

Watchdog Probing Outage at Roseland Pumping Station as ComEd Rejects Blame

(Holger Schue / Pixabay)

ComEd officials said they were not responsible for the outages on May 6 and May 25 at the Roseland Pumping Station.

Aldermen Unmoved as ComEd Officials Tout Reforms

The firm also vowed to fight climate change and reduce shut-offs

(WTTW News)

Several aldermen are unconvinced that the city should ink a new franchise agreement with ComEd — and Chicago may have other options, officials said.

Illinois Republicans Ask Judge to Toss New Legislative Maps

Plus: Our Spotlight Politics team on that and more

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The state’s top Republicans asked a federal judge Wednesday to appoint an eight-member commission made up of four Democrats and four Republicans to craft the maps with census data.

Highly Contagious COVID-19 Delta Variant Present in Illinois: Officials

(WTTW News)

At least 15 cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant were identified in Chicago through Tuesday, city officials said. 

Commission Gets to Work on Redrawing City’s Ward Map, But Uncertainty Looms

A map of Chicago includes boundaries for some of the city’s 50 wards. (WTTW News via Google Maps)

The 13-member Chicago Ward Advisory Redistricting Commission is charged with drawing a ward map “that is truly reflective of the diversity of Chicago,” organizers said.

Key City Panel Endorses Plan to Build Boys & Girls Club at Redesigned Police, Fire Training Academy

The Boys & Girls Club set to be built as part of the new police and fire training facility is the first new club to be built in Chicago in a generation, officials said. (Credit City of Chicago)

Construction quietly began on the $95 million facility in West Garfield Park in January and is set to be completed in the fall of 2022, officials said.

While ComEd Negotiations Remain Stalled, Lightfoot Extends Deadline for New Proposals

(WTTW News)

Firms have until July 30 to submit their pitch to operate and manage the electric distribution system that serves residents and businesses in Chicago, officials said. 

Our Democracy is in Peril, Obama Tells Economic Club of Chicago

Former President Barack Obama addresses the Economic Club of Chicago, June 4, 2021 (Credit Economic Club of Chicago)

Former President Barack Obama warned Chicago’s business leaders Friday afternoon that American democracy is imperiled by persistent economic inequality and structural racism, and said corporate America has a responsibility to call out voter suppression efforts.

Outreach Workers to Go Door-to-Door in Neighborhoods Where COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Lagging

(WTTW News)

City officials are targeting the 13 Chicago neighborhoods that have the lowest rate of vaccination as part of a push to bring the life-saving shots directly to those most at risk of falling ill and dying from COVID-19.

Effort to Greenlight Scooters Permanently in Chicago Hits Pothole

Chicagoans took approximately 540,000 rides on electric scooters during a four-month second trial run in 2020, officials said. (WTTW News)

A push to make electric scooters a permanent part of the city’s transportation system stalled Thursday, with several aldermen telling transportation officials that the two-wheelers would create a nuisance on Chicago’s streets and sidewalks.

Effort to Landmark Muddy Waters’ North Kenwood Home Advances

Plans are in the works to preserve the North Kenwood house Muddy Waters bought as a museum, recording studio and more. (WTTW News)

The landmark designation would preserve the legacy of African Americans in Chicago and ensure that future generations recognize Muddy Waters as the father of the blues, supporters said.

Chicago to Fully Reopen June 11, Lightfoot Announces

(WTTW News)

Amid a steep decline in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Chicago officials will lift all restrictions on businesses and gatherings next Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. 

Pritzker Signs Law Allowing Those Who Get COVID-19 Vaccine to Get Free Booze

Plus: Our Spotlight Politics team breaks down Springfield’s contentious spring session

(Photo by Lightscape / Unsplash)

Illinois bars and taverns can now offer their thirsty patrons an incentive for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The new law starts June 10 and runs through July 10. 

Ethics Bill Passed by General Assembly Leaves Chicago’s Laws Intact, Officials Say

(WTTW News)

A package of new regulations designed to tighten ethics rules for state lawmakers and Springfield lobbyists will not override Chicago’s ethics rules, much to the relief of city officials.

Goodbye, Alderman. Hello, Alderperson

Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)

For 184 years, members of the Chicago City Council have been known as aldermen — even though its first female members were elected a half-century ago. That is set to change.

New Rules for Chicago’s Home-Sharing Industry Set to Kick In

(WTTW News)

New rules for Chicago’s home-sharing industry are set to take effect Tuesday, including a ban on short-term rentals that last only one night, in an effort to block huge parties that have become a regular nuisance in some neighborhoods.

No States Covered by Chicago’s COVID-19 Travel Order, As City Hits Major Milestones: Officials

(StelaDi / Pixabay)

For the first time in nearly a year, visitors to Chicago from anywhere within the United States do not have to quarantine for 10 days or record a negative test for COVID-19, city officials announced Tuesday.

Mass Vaccination Site Near Wrigley Field to Close Saturday, As Officials Focus on ‘Hyper-Local’ Efforts

(WTTW News)

After two months and 42,000 jabs, the city-run mass vaccination site near Wrigley Field will close Saturday, as efforts to bring a COVID-19 vaccine directly to residents ramp up, officials said.

Top Cop Has Yet to Act 1 Month After Investigators Recommended Suspension for Officer Who Shot Anthony Alvarez

An image from body camera video released April 28 by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability shows Anthony Alvarez, 22, in the moments before he was shot by a Chicago police officer March 31, 2021. (WTTW News via COPA)

A Chicago Police Department representative did not respond to questions about why Brown has yet to act on the recommendation made by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, known as COPA, April 28.

Museums May Have to Change Addresses if Outer Lake Shore Drive is Renamed for DuSable: Officials

(WTTW News)

Changing the addresses of the four museums could cost the institutions a significant amount of money and complicate their efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

As Lightfoot Asks for More Federal Funds to Remove Lead Pipes, City Push Hasn’t Gotten Off the Ground

A water lead testing kit. (WTTW News)

The city has yet to replace a single lead service line in the eight months that have elapsed since Mayor Lori Lightfoot rolled out her plan, officials acknowledged.

Push to Rename Lake Shore Drive for DuSable Blocked, For Now

(docaz / Pixabay)

Opponents of a plan to rename 17 miles of Lake Shore Drive for Jean Baptiste Point DuSable, Chicago’s first permanent non-Indigenous settler, blocked a vote on the measure Wednesday, enraging supporters of the plan, who called the move racist. 

Ban Booze Sales at Stores After 10 p.m. to Improve ‘Quality of Life’: Lightfoot

(WTTW News)

The proposal brought an immediate backlash not just from those who enjoy an impromptu late-night tipple, but business owners who said the rules would push sales outside the city — and give bars and restaurants an unfair advantage over stores.