Stories by jay smith

Column: As the Band Approached Us, the Gunshots Rang Out in Highland Park

A band marches in the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park moments before shooting begins. (Jay T. Smith / WTTW News)

My heart aches. It aches for those who were lost, their families and for the devastating days ahead. I also thought about next weekend, and the weekend after.

Remembering Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan appears on “Chicago Tonight” in a 2002 candidate forum when he was running for governor.

Jim Ryan served as Illinois attorney general for eight years starting in 1995. He twice ran, unsuccessfully, for Illinois governor. He died on Sunday after what his family said were “several lengthy illnesses.” He was 76.

Remembering Former US Sen. Adlai Stevenson III

Adlai Stevenson III appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2009 with Carol Marin. (WTTW News)

In 2009, Adlai Stevenson III spoke with Carol Marin on “Chicago Tonight.” Even though he was a self-proclaimed “reformer,” he still found virtues in the old party machinery. Stevenson died Monday at the age of 90.

Loyola Ramblers’ 1963 NCAA Win Also a Story of Racial Justice

Jerry Harkness, Loyola basketball (1960-1963)

Loyola University Chicago’s NCAA run has put the Ramblers in the national spotlight once again. We remember the 1963 championship team.

‘Chicago Tonight’ at the 2012 Republican National Convention

Paris Schutz has a report from day one of the 2012 GOP convention in Tampa.

‘Chicago Tonight’ at the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley talks about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden from our coverage of the 2008 Democratic Convention.

Former White Sox Fan Favorite Playing Baseball in South Korea

Tyler Saladino (Courtesy of MBC Sports Korea)

Tyler Saladino had some exciting moments on the South Side when he spent parts of four seasons with the White Sox. Now he’s on the field in South Korea.

Archive: Jerry Reinsdorf, Jerry Krause on Bulls 1996 NBA Championship

Jerry Reinsdorf and Jerry Krause appear on “Chicago Tonight” on June 17, 1996. (WTTW News)

In honor of “The Last Dance,” the 10-part ESPN documentary about the Chicago Bulls championship years, we revisit an interview from the “Chicago Tonight” archives.

Archive: Bulls Coach Phil Jackson on Scottie Pippen’s 1.8-Second Strike

Bulls Coach Phil Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 26, 1995. (WTTW News)

The behind-the-scenes story of Scottie Pippen’s infamous refusal to take the court during a 1994 playoff game as told by Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson on “Chicago Tonight” in 1995.

Remembering Dennis Rodman’s Entry on Chicago Sports Scene

Dennis Rodman (File photo)

If you’re watching ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary series “The Last Dance,” you have lots of company — and you may have spotted another familiar face on the series recently.

Baseball Blues: Sox, Cubs Broadcasters Talk About Delayed Season

White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

There is no joy in Mudville (or in Chicago for that matter) as the coronavirus pandemic has struck out Major League Baseball. Jason Benetti and Len Kasper talk about what might have been — and what may happen in the weeks to come.

Life, Restricted: Chicago Native Teaching in China on Quarantine Measures

Jeff Axelrod with is students in Zhangjiagang, China. (Courtesy Jeff Axelrod)

While Illinois residents have been following a stay-at-home order since Saturday, people in China have been dealing with restricted living conditions for months. We speak with a Chicago native who now teaches high school in the Chinese city of Zhangjiagang.

Baseball Season Preview: Jason Benetti, Len Kasper on White Sox, Cubs in 2020

White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti, left, and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper preview the season on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 4, 2020. (WTTW News)

With spring training right around the corner, we look to the coming season with White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper.

Chicago White Sox GM Wants Team That Can Win ‘On an Annual Basis’

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s been a busy winter for Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, but after a flurry of moves, it may be time for him to rest a bit. “I think for the most part, the heavy lifting for the offseason is done,” Hahn said.

From the Archives: John Callaway Interviews PBS Icon Fred Rogers (1985)

A still image taken from a 1985 video featuring Fred Rogers in conversation with “Chicago Tonight” host John Callaway. (WTTW News)

At a time of great division in the U.S., a little bit of Mr. Rogers can go a long way to remind us of simpler times. We revisit a 1985 interview between Fred Rogers and original “Chicago Tonight” host John Callaway.

Viewer Feedback: ‘We Must Reduce Dependency on Cars’

Viewers weigh in on a report that says Chicago is one of the most polluted cities in America. And you left some thoughtful sentiments about Chicago Tonight's 35th birthday.

‘Chicago Tonight’ Turns 35

On this date, 35 years ago, “Chicago Tonight” was born. Watch the premiere episode, featuring an interview with John Callaway and Mayor Harold Washington.

White Sox, Cubs Broadcasters Preview Upcoming Season

Cubs and White Sox broadcasters Len Kasper (left) and Jason Benetti recently had a meeting of the minds at Harry Caray’s restaurant. (@LenKasper / Twitter)

It might be cold and snowy outside, but pitchers and catchers report Wednesday for their first spring training workouts. We ask White Sox broadcaster Jason Benetti and Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper about the upcoming season.

Jazz Enthusiast Brings Passion to New Book ‘The Jazz Alphabet’

(Courtesy Neil Shapiro)

We learn the ABCs of jazz with Chicago author and illustrator Neil Shapiro, whose new book is a “work of love” – and an ode to the greats.

Viewer Feedback: ‘An Example of Chicago Politics’

Viewers weigh in on Ald. Ed Burke’s attempted extortion charge and the firearms found in his offices.

Viewer Feedback: ‘We Must Reform Pensions!’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently laid out his prescription for shoring up the city’s underfunded public employee pensions. Viewers weigh in.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Fishing is Cruel and Inhumane in General’

Viewers weigh in on a controversial fishing technique called “snagging.”

Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks Legend, Dies at 78

Stan Mikita appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2011.

The Chicago Blackhawks legend played 22 seasons with the team, and is the franchise leader in assists, points and games played. He died Tuesday.

Joel Weisman Throws Out 1st Pitch at White Sox vs. Yankees on Monday

Former “Chicago Tonight: The Week in Review” host Joel Weisman throws out the first pitch Monday, Aug. 6, 2018.

After more than six months of anticipation, the former “Week in Review” host throws out the ceremonial first pitch as the White Sox took on the New York Yankees.

Viewer Feedback: ‘Keep Up With the Times Chicago’

Your thoughts on a new model of car-sharing that may come to Chicago called “free-floating” car-sharing.

Viewer Feedback: ‘These Cages Must be Outlawed Across the U.S.’

Viewers react to our story about where Trader Joe’s gets some of its pork products.