Stories by leslie hurtado

‘Momnibus’ Bill to Support Moms Who Served in the Military

The Protecting Moms Who Served Act, introduced by Rep. Lauren Underwood and championed by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to invest in quality maternal care for mothers across the country. (WTTW News)

The Protecting Moms Who Served Act, introduced by Rep. Lauren Underwood and championed by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to invest in quality maternal care for mothers across the country.

‘The People’s Map’: Organizations Create Ward Maps Made by Communities

Courtesy CHANGE Illinois)

The deadline for a city ward map is Wednesday. CHANGE Illinois believes that map should be independently made by community members who reflect the city’s population and not by alderpeople. 

Illinois Surpasses Delta Variant Surge Before the Holidays

The increase in cases in Illinois this fall has now surpassed last summer’s delta variant surge. Health officials are urging residents to take extra precautions as they make plans to gather with family members who may or may not be vaccinated.  (WTTW News)

The increase in cases in Illinois this fall has now surpassed last summer’s delta variant surge. Health officials are urging residents to take extra precautions as they make plans to gather with family members who may or may not be vaccinated. 

Naperville Mayor: ‘Lift the Illinois Mask Mandate’

People wearing masks line up for a food drive in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side on April 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said that he supports Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mitigation efforts but still believes Illinois should follow the other 44 states that do not have a mask mandate. 

New Student Loan Changes Create Barriers for Borrowers

The student loan debt crisis is now up to $1.7 trillion. Many federal loan borrowers were temporarily relieved of repayments during the pandemic, but they’re set to resume Feb. 1.  (WTTW News)

The student loan debt crisis is now up to $1.7 trillion. Many federal loan borrowers were temporarily relieved of repayments during the pandemic, but they’re set to resume Feb. 1. And there’s no movement on canceling student debt.

Illinois Creates New Office to Combat Gun Violence

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

“Our goal in public safety is to have children no longer think about being shot at,” said Chris Patterson, who was tapped to lead the newly created Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. “Communities don’t feel safe because of the violence.”

Chicago Homeowners Owe $421M in Water Debt: WBEZ

A report from WBEZ reveals that homeowners collectively owe up to $421 million in debt, and that includes penalty fees and water taxes. 60% of those homeowners make up the city’s majority-Black ZIP codes.  (WTTW News)

A report from WBEZ reveals that homeowners collectively owe up to $421 million in debt, and that includes penalty fees and water taxes. Sixty percent of those homeowners make up the city’s majority Black ZIP codes.  

As Daylight Saving Ends, Sleep Specialists Say Standard Time Better for Health

(Rachel Nelson / Pixabay)

“It is much healthier to get more of that light in the morning than in the evening,” said Dr. Sabra Abbott, a sleep medicine specialist at Northwestern Medicine.

ProPublica Report Finds Immigration Center Staff Ill-Equipped to Care for Afghan Youth

Some Afghan youth at a local immigration center are traumatized after fleeing their country, according to a recent report by ProPublica. We hear from the reporter who broke the story.

Hundreds March to Demand Justice for Jelani Day

(Courtesy of the Day family)

The Illinois State University graduate was last seen in late August, and his body was found last month. On Monday, the LaSalle County coroner said Jelani Day drowned to death, but his family is asking federal agencies to get involved.

‘An Electrical Outrage,’ Thousands in Puerto Rico Left in the Dark

(WTTW via CNN)

Thousands of Puerto Ricans are taking to the streets to protest massive blackouts. The island’s antiquated power grid has long been unreliable, and it was decimated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. This summer, officials hoped the privatization of the power grid by LUMA Energy would help.

Disruptions in Supply Chains Cause Delays, High Prices

As the holiday season approaches, products overseas have been backlogged and prices for products have increased, causing those operating small businesses to scramble through their inventory. (WTTW News)

Small-business owners in Illinois are experiencing an unprecedented demand in supplies and goods, but inventory is limited at stores due to supply chain issues nationwide.

Cook County Reports Carjackings Nearly Doubled This Year

Cook County carjackings are on the rise once again and are on track to be the worst in two decades, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. (WTTW News)

In March, a task force was formed by the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police, and others to try and put the brakes on carjackings.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Reflects on His Life’s Work Ahead of 80th Birthday

Rev. Jesse Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom, Oct. 7, 2021. (WTTW News)

One of Chicago’s most notable residents, and one of the country’s most visible and iconic civil rights leaders for the last 60 years, turns 80 on Friday. The Rev. Jesse Jackson stood with Martin Luther King Jr. and has been carrying the mantle of fighting for racial and economic equality ever since.

Latina-Led Program Helps Survivors of Abuse Take Control of Their Finances

A Chicago organization, Mujeres Latinas En Accion, is launching a new program aimed at providing survivors of domestic abuse the financial literacy tools they may need to achieve economic stability. (WTTW News)

The Chicago organization Mujeres Latinas En Accion is launching a new program aimed at providing survivors of domestic abuse the financial literacy tools they may need to achieve economic stability. We speak with Lupe Ceniceros about the initiative.

Illinois’ Top Doctor on Vaccine Mandates, Booster Shots and More

Dr. Ngozi Ezike appears via Zoom on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. (WTTW News)

Flu season is right around the corner and new COVID-19 variants are expected to emerge in the coming months. Dr. Ngozi Ezike joins us to discuss the latest COVID-19 developments in Illinois as cases continue to climb due to the highly contagious delta variant. 

Mayor’s 2022 Budget Proposal Includes $214M in Housing Aid

A homeless encampment in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s homeless population would receive significant funding and support from the city under Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget proposal. As part of our “Firsthand: Living in Poverty” series, we take a look at how that money would be allocated.

Senate Parliamentarian Says No to Citizenship Bill, Immigration Advocates Push On

Thousands of immigrant-rights advocates, including some with Illinois organizations, protest in Washington, Sept. 23, 2021. (Courtesy Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights)

Thousands of immigrant-rights advocates, including some with Illinois organizations, marched in Washington on Thursday to demand congressional leaders create a legal pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. 

Advocates, Opponents Weigh In on Mexico’s Abortion Stance

Mexico’s Supreme Court voted Tuesday to remove legislation that punishes women for having abortions. The ruling was condemned by Mexico’s vast majority of Catholic leaders and conservatives. (CNN)

Just a few weeks after a Texas law took effect that bans most abortions in that state, Mexico’s Supreme Court has decided that women should not be criminalized for having an abortion. Both decisions have reignited protests over reproductive rights.

How Child Care Providers Are Dealing With a Staff Shortage

(WTTW News)

As some parents return to in-person work, many are struggling to find child care for their small children. A shortage of day care workers across Illinois means demand for services is high, leading some centers to pause enrollment.