Stories by Heather Cherone

Building at Former Crawford Power Plant to be Demolished June 5

The partly demolished site of the former Crawford Power Generating Station, which was active from 1925 to 2012. (WTTW News)

A planned demolition of a building at the former Crawford Power Plant will take place June 5, after being delayed nearly three weeks after protests erupted and the local alderman objected, company officials announced Friday.

As Stay-At-Home Order Ends, Here’s What Is Open — And What Isn’t

A business in Edison Park on Chicago’s Northwest Side tries to catch the attention of passersby during the pandemic. (WTTW News)

The stay-at-home order put in place on March 21 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker officially expired Friday. Here’s what is now open — and what will be different in Chicago as compared with the rest of the state.

Lightfoot Blasts Trump For ‘Threatening’ Those Protesting Death of George Floyd

A screenshot from a May 29, 2020 livestream with Mayor Lori Lightfoot. (Chicago Mayor’s Office)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the president’s statements about those protesting the death of George Floyd “profoundly dangerous” and were part of an effort to stoke racial tensions for his own political benefit.

Uber Launches Rent-By-Hour Service as Demand for Ride-Hailing Services Drops

(Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures)

Ride-hailing giant Uber will allow customers to book its cars and drivers by the hour in Chicago starting Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic continues to reduce demand for one-way trips.

Lightfoot Backs New Top Cop Despite Memorial Day ‘Fail’

A screenshot from a May 2, 2020 livestream with Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown in the city’s West Garfield Park neighborhood. (Chicago Mayor’s Office)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered new Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown her “unflagging support” on Thursday — even as she once again called his strategy for Memorial Day “a fail.”

Chicago Set to Start Reopening June 3: Lightfoot

A lone pedestrian is seen walking along the street in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood on May 19, 2020. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced that Chicago will start to cautiously reopen next Wednesday as the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Chicago appears to have passed.

State Budget Approves Lawmakers’ Cost-of-Living Raise, But Sets Aside $0

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Lawmakers will not get a pay raise as part of the newly approved state budget — even though state law requires that members of the Illinois House and Senate get an annual boost, Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Wednesday.

Plans Call for 130K Chicago Employees to Head Back to Work in Early June

Empty sidewalks and storefronts have become a common sight in Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic, including this scene in the city’s Montclare neighborhood on the Northwest Side on April 21. (WTTW News)

With city officials preparing to cautiously reopen Chicago’s economy as the peak of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have passed in Illinois, one-third of the city’s workforce could head back to their jobs early next month.

‘These Are Real People’: Coronavirus Kills More Than 5,000 Illinoisans

New statewide totals: 114,306 cases, 5,083 deaths

A sign directs patients with COVID-19 symptoms to the emergency department at AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center Chicago on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. (WTTW News)

As of Wednesday afternoon, the coronavirus death toll in Illinois stood at 5,038 people. “These are real people whose lives came to an end because of this pandemic,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, speaking from East St. Louis.

Ban on Evictions to Remain in Place After Bill to Waive Rent, Mortgage Payments Fails

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday he would extend the ban on evictions in Illinois past Friday, when the latest version of his stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire.

‘We Seem To Have Come Off The Peak’: Pritzker

New statewide totals: 113,195 cases, 4,923 deaths

A bar graph from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows the daily number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Illinois appears to have passed the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, with the rate of confirmed cases of the coronavirus dropping significantly, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday.

Chicago to Spend $56M, Hire 600 People to Track COVID-19 Infections

(Andrés Rodríguez / Pixabay)

Contact tracing is “one of the most important weapons that we have in this fight” against the coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.

After a Year in Office, Lightfoot Finally Gets a Win in Springfield With Casino Bill

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks with WTTW News on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 after lobbying lawmakers in Springfield to approve a bill that would ease some of the taxes and fees for a Chicago casino.

Before this week’s whirlwind four-day emergency session of the General Assembly, Mayor Lori Lightfoot rolled snake eyes twice in her bid to shape the rules for a Chicago casino. What her victory means for the city.

Coronavirus Linked to 67 More Deaths as Pritzker Releases Reopening Guidelines

New statewide totals: 110,304 cases, 4,790 deaths

Pedestrians wear masks as they walk along the sidewalk in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on Thursday, May 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

With restrictions set to be lifted in all four regions of the state on Friday, another 2,508 people tested positive for the respiratory virus, officials announced Sunday, and nearly 70 died.

Pritzker ‘Disappointed’ that Lawmakers Failed to Pass New Rule to Punish Businesses Ignoring COVID-19 Order

A small business in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on April 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

Bars, restaurants and other businesses that welcome customers in defiance of Illinois’ stay-at-home order will not immediately face punishment after the General Assembly declined to heed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s call to take action.

Effort To Expand Vote-By-Mail Amid Pandemic Heads to Governor’s Desk

(WTTW News)

A measure designed to considerably expand the number of Illinois voters who cast their ballot in the 2020 presidential election by mail cleared the state Senate Friday and is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.

As COVID-19 Cases Start to Drop, Chicago Set to Reopen in Early June: Lightfoot

Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday the number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Chicago had begun to drop, putting the city “on track” to cautiously reopen in early June. 

City Fines General Iron $6,000 For Explosions That Rattled North Side

General Iron’s metal-shredding operation in Lincoln Park. (WTTW News)

The city fined General Iron $6,000 after two explosions on Monday rattled the North Side metal shredder, officials announced. The fines are a result of two citations issued by the city late Thursday.

Chicago to Boost Mental Health Spending by $1.2M to Help Those Struggling During Pandemic

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

The city will expand mental health treatment for people struggling to cope during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Thursday.

Chicago Will Not Be Ready to Allow Outdoor Dining on May 29: Lightfoot

(Shelby L. Bell / Flickr)

A day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker loosened the rules for the third phase of his reopening plan, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago will not be ready for restaurants to reopen with outdoor seating next week.

State Unemployment Rate of 16.4% a ‘Tragedy,’ Pritzker Says

New statewide COVID-19 totals: 102,686 cases, 4,607 deaths

An Illinois Department of Employment Security office on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Record high unemployment spotlights the economic devastation caused by the pandemic. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says his administration is focused on safely restarting the economy and shoring up the unemployment insurance system.

Aldermen Approve Measures Designed to Help Ease Damage Caused by Coronavirus

A lone pedestrian crosses the street in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood in May. Across the city, businesses and schools are closed and residents are staying home to avoid COVID-19. (WTTW News)

Among the measures approved by the City Council is one that makes it illegal for workers to lose their jobs if they become ill with COVID-19. “Employees should not have to choose between keeping their jobs or saving their lives,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot Vows to Push Ahead With Effort to Give Tenants 90 Days’ Notice Before Evictions Despite Opposition

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media following a Chicago City Council meeting Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed a new law Wednesday that would give renters 90 days’ notice before they were evicted without cause, but progressive aldermen blocked the measure from advancing immediately.

Chicago’s Skyline Set to Change as Aldermen OK Plan for Tribune Tower East

A rendering of Tribune Tower East, a proposal from developers CIM Group and Golub & Company, released by the City of Chicago.

Aldermen on Tuesday advanced a proposal to build what could become the second-tallest building in Chicago — and the third tallest in the U.S. — on what is now a parking lot next to the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.

Logan Square Affordable Housing Complex One Step Away From Final Approval

A rendering of the Emmett Street Project slated for Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. (Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation)

A proposal to build a 100-unit affordable apartment complex in Logan Square is one step away from final approval after years on the drawing board.