Stories by heather cherone

Aldermen Approve Scaled-Back Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

(haiberliu / Pixabay)

The Chicago City Council voted 46-4 Wednesday to ban the sale of most flavored liquid nicotine products in Chicago, after an effort to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products failed to advance.

Effort to Expand O’Hare Cargo Operations With City Borrowing Stalls Amid Questions About Diversity Goals

(WTTW News)

An effort by city officials to finish a project to expand cargo operations at O’Hare Airport by borrowing $55.6 million stalled amid objections from aldermen angry that the company that would benefit from the funds failed to hire enough Chicagoans.

Chicago Adds Kentucky to Quarantine Order; Removes California, Puerto Rico

(veerasantinithi / Pixabay)

Starting Friday, Chicago’s quarantine order will apply to 21 states, but visitors from California and Puerto Rico will no longer be required to quarantine for two weeks, officials announced Tuesday. 

Aldermen OK New Contract for Chicago Firefighters

(WTTW News)

Aldermen advanced an agreement Thursday that would give Chicago firefighters $95 million in back pay, but puts off fraught negotiations over how fire stations should be staffed.

Aldermen Agree to Pay $6.65M To Settle 4 Police Misconduct Cases

(WTTW News)

Aldermen agreed Thursday to settle four lawsuits that alleged police misconduct, including two lawsuits prompted by the deaths of two Black men shot by Chicago police officers.

Aldermen to Weigh Scaled-Back Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

(Lindsay Fox / Pixabay)

Spurred by a surge in vaping by teens, the measure set for a vote by the City Council’s Committee on Health and Human Relations would ban the sale of all flavored nicotine products — except those that taste and smell like tobacco, according to the proposal.

Sending National Guard Troops to Chicago Could Make Residents ‘Feel Less Safe’: Former General

An Old Navy store in downtown Chicago is boarded up Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 after a night of looting and unrest. (WTTW News)

“The unintended effect may be that people will feel less safe,” Alicia Tate-Nadeau, former brigadier general of the guard, said of deploying troops to Chicago. “It could stigmatize areas of the city for years to come.”

Burke Unlikely To Face Trial in Mid-2021, Judge Tells Lawyers

Ald. Ed Burke (WTTW News)

“I'd like to give you all a trial date, but I'd like to give you one we think will stick,” Judge Robert Dow said Wednesday, noting delays caused by the pandemic as well as a massive amount of evidence to sort through in this case.

City Officials Defend Effort to Help Businesses Recover From Pandemic, Looting

Crews start boarding up the 3 Smokin Sisters Tobacco Shop on 71st Street in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood. Shop owners emptied the store of inventory following looting on Sunday, May 31, 2020. (@paschutz / Twitter)

City officials Tuesday defended their efforts to help Chicago’s small businesses struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic and recover from unrest touched off by police brutality protests, even though only 20% of a $100 million loan fund has been spent.

Former Mayor, Cook County Commissioner Pleads Guilty To Corruption Charges

(Gloria Kaye / Pixabay)

Former Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski, who also served as mayor of the tiny west suburban city of McCook, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal corruption charges, acknowledging that he engaged in multiple extortion and bribery schemes while in office.

Chicago Adds Hawaii, Nebraska, North Carolina to Quarantine Order: Officials

Maui, Hawaii (hmmunoz512 / Pixabay)

Visitors to Chicago from Hawaii, Nebraska and North Carolina will be required to quarantine for two weeks starting Friday, city officials announced Tuesday. Indiana is also on the verge of being added to the quarantine order that includes 21 states and Puerto Rico.

5 Chicago Restaurants, Clubs Shut Down for Violating COVID-19 Restrictions

Grota Restaurant (Google Streetview)

City officials shut down five restaurants and clubs for violating rules designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday.

Man Shot By Police in Pilsen Dies After Shots Fired at Officers

(WTTW News)

The man, who has not yet been identified, died at Stroger Hospital after being shot by at least one officer who opened fire after their police cruiser was shot at by a group of people standing on a sidewalk in the Pilsen neighborhood.

Chicago Faces $1.2 Billion Budget Shortfall in 2021: Lightfoot

(David Mark / Pixabay)

On top of that colossal shortfall, the city’s financial picture worsened significantly during the past three months because of an “economic catastrophe caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

After Investigation Forced Ald. Burke to Yield Control of Finance Committee, City Saved $1M: Annual Audit

Ald. Ed Burke (WTTW News)

In 2018, the City Council’s most powerful committee spent approximately $2 million — the most of any of the legislative committees. The following year, the committee spent $1.1 million. The difference? Ald. Ed Burke resigned as chair on Jan. 4, 2019. 

City Can’t Afford to Take Over ComEd, Study Finds

(WTTW News)

It would likely cost the city nearly $9 billion if Chicago wanted to cut ties with Commonwealth Edison and form its own electric utility, according to a city study released Friday.

Lightfoot Asks for Proposals for Casino in ‘Heart’ of Chicago

(stokpic / Pixabay)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot took the first step Thursday toward making the long-planned Chicago casino a reality, asking firms interested in building and operating “a unique entertainment and gaming experience” to make their pitch to city officials.

Chicago Will Not Alter COVID-19 Testing Recommendation After Federal Government Changes Guidance: Arwady

(WTTW News)

Chicago health officials will continue to recommend that anyone exposed to someone diagnosed with the coronavirus be tested for COVID-19, despite new guidance from the CDC that ignited a firestorm of controversy.

14K Chicagoans Apply for Housing Assistance Grants: Officials

(WTTW News)

Thousands of Chicagoans who lost their jobs or found their paychecks scaled back because of the coronavirus pandemic asked the city for help paying their rent or mortgages, officials said.

2,157 New COVID-19 Cases in Illinois, 37 Additional Deaths

New policy on face coverings at bars and restaurants takes effect

A cyclist wearing a mask rides along the lakefront trail in Chicago. (WTTW News)

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,157 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and another 37 virus-related deaths — including a teenage girl from Cook County.

Push to Keep Woodlawn Residents In Their Homes Near Obama Center Advances

Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

Even though the Obama Presidential Center has yet to receive final approval from the federal government to break ground, Woodlawn’s real estate market is already bubbling, with the median sale price rising 106% from 2016 to 2020.

2 Men Face Federal Charges In Connection With Looting During Protests in May

A photo taken from surveillance footage by the U.S. attorney’s office shows a man identified by authorities as William Lorenz at a Walgreens store on May 31, 2020. (U.S. attorney’s office)

Two Chicago men will face federal charges that they looted three Northwest Side pharmacies on May 31 during the protests triggered by the death of George Floyd.

Aldermen Advance Measure to Toughen Chicago’s Home-Sharing Regulations

(WTTW News)

The measure includes 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.

Aldermen Agree to Ease Rules on Nudity in Bars, Clubs to Settle Lawsuit

(WTTW News)

The measure approved Tuesday by a City Council committee would revise the law that requires women to cover their nipples with “pasties” or latex while performing topless at a bar or club that has a liquor license. 

Chicago Removes Arizona, North Carolina From Quarantine Order, Adds South Dakota: Officials

A passenger at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. (WTTW News)

City officials on Tuesday announced changes to Chicago’s quarantine order. Starting Friday, 18 states and Puerto Rico will be on the list.