Stories by marissa nelson

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Greektown

(WTTW News)

As restaurants in Greektown work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions, the neighborhood is hosting its inaugural Greektown Restaurant Week. 

Average US Life Expectancy Drops One Year, New Report Shows

Highest decrease among Black, Latino individuals

(WTTW News)

U.S. residents can expect to live one year less, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that uses data from the first half of 2020. That decrease in average life expectancy is even steeper in Black and Latino communities. 

‘Black Voices’ Community Conversation: Black Women

A screenshot from the “Black Voices” community conversation on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (WTTW News)

From Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks to Marsha P. Johnson and Stacey Abrams, Black women continue to be key leaders in our communities. This Black History Month, WTTW News shined a light on Black women during our February community conversation. Watch it now.

How Therapists are Helping Clients While Managing Their Own Mental Health

(WTTW News)

Over the past year, therapists have helped their clients through a myriad of challenges: a global health and economic crisis, a reckoning with racial injustice, a tense political climate and a deadly mob at the nation’s Capitol. And they’ve done so while also managing their own mental health.

Fight Over Metal-Scrapping Plant Shines Light on Community’s History With Industry

South Deering (WTTW News)

Protesters are urging the city to stop a metal-scrapping company from opening on the Southeast Side. What both sides have to say.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: South Deering

(WTTW News)

The industrial community once marked by steel mills is now lined with other plants, and the proposed opening of a metal scrapping company has become a point of controversy on the Southeast Side and across the city.

Should the Federal Government Cancel Student Loan Debt?

(WTTW News)

President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief package could include canceling some student loan debt. What that could mean for borrowers — and the economy.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Chinatown

Chinatown (WTTW News)

Chinatown celebrations for the Lunar New Year look different amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a normal year, festivities include a parade, banquets and family meals spanning from the eve of the Chinese New Year until 15 days after. This year, nearly all celebrations will be virtual.

How Community Members Are Helping Gage Park Through the Pandemic

(WTTW News)

Gage Park sits within two ZIP codes that have consistently seen some of the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in the city, yet the vaccine rollout has been criticized for not reaching the Southwest Side like it has the North Side.

Gage Park Historic Bungalow District Added to National Register for Historic Places

(WTTW News)

Located roughly 7 miles southwest of the Loop, many of Gage Park’s bungalows were built between 1924 and 1927. 

How Nursing Homes Are Faring With COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

(WTTW News via CNN)

The first round of COVID-19 vaccination administration to skilled nursing homes in Illinois is complete, and assisted living sites are set to finish their first round by Feb. 15. We discuss the state of the pandemic in nursing homes.

COVID-19 Has Devastated the Hospitality Industry, Leaving Many Without Jobs

(WTTW News)

Before the pandemic, 14.6% of all Latina workers in the U.S. worked in the hospitality sector, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Two such workers who lost their jobs during the health crisis share their experiences.

Students, Parents Hang in Balance Amid CPS, CTU Dispute

(WTTW News)

Is it time to return to in-person learning? Two parents of Chicago Public Schools students share their views as negotiations over a school reopening plan continue between the district and the Chicago Teachers Union.

‘Latino Voices’ Community Conversation: COVID-19

A screenshot from the “Latino Voices” community conversation on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. (WTTW News)

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities in Chicago and across the country. Check out our virtual discussion about COVID-19 with Hugo Balta, host of “Latino Voices,” and a panel of guests.

Harris Makes History: First Black, South Asian Woman to be VP

A file photo of Kamala Harris, who was sworn in Jan. 20, 2021 as vice president of the United States. (WTTW News via CNN)

Vice President Kamala Harris has spent her career breaking barriers. We discuss the significance of Harris holding the second-highest office in the nation, and what challenges may lie ahead. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Archer Heights

(WTTW News)

The Southwest Side community is home to many essential workers and has been a hot spot for the coronavirus throughout the pandemic.

Basic Income: Providing Cash Assistance Directly to Adults, Families

(nosheep / Pixabay)

What are basic income payments, and why do some advocates say they can help families in poverty reach their financial goals? We discuss the concept as part of WTTW’s new “Firsthand: Living in Poverty” initiative.

Justice Department Watchdog Says Officials Knew Immigration Policy Would Separate Families

(WTTW News via CNN)

A scathing report on the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of families at the border. 

Respiratory Therapists Seeing More Patients, People on Ventilators Amid Pandemic

(WTTW News via CNN)

Respiratory therapists care for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients. We hear from two local therapists about their experiences and workloads amid the pandemic.

What to Know About Extremist Groups Involved in Capitol Attack

Pro-Trump supporters breach security gates at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

The deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol one week ago brought together many extremist organizations, from right-wing militias to members of the Proud Boys. We discuss those groups and the potential threats they pose.

Security Experts Surprised by Protesters Ability to Storm US Capitol

Protesters storm the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (WTTW News via CNN)

“I was not surprised by the violence,” said Tom Mockaitis, a security and terrorism specialist. “I was surprised and appalled by how poorly prepared to defend the United States Capitol the security apparatus was.” 

‘Relief on the Horizon’: Some Health Care Workers Optimistic as US Rolls Out Vaccine

(WTTW News)

Health care workers have been among the first Illinoisans to get the coronavirus vaccine. Has the immunization provided relief? We hear from two doctors.

The Week in Review: A Year Unlike Any Other

(WTTW News)

COVID-19, civil unrest, a chaotic election, spiking homicides and the walls close in on House Speaker Madigan. Looking back at a year nobody will ever forget, and what lies ahead in 2021.

Spotlight Politics: Mayor’s Office Releases Emails Related to the Botched Raid

A still image from a Chicago Police Department body camera video shows a police raid at the home of Anjanette Young in February 2019. (WTTW News via Ja’Mal Green)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office releases emails related to the wrongful raid of Anjanette Young’s home following calls for more transparency about the botched raid. Our politics team takes on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

‘Black Voices’ Community Conversation: Watch Night

A screenshot from the “Black Voices” community conversation on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition. Check out our virtual discussion about the history of Watch Night services with Brandis Friedman, host of “Black Voices,” and a panel of guests.

Chicago Blackhawks CEO Says Name Change Not in Team’s Future

(JenOlson / Pixabay)

Are the days numbered for the Blackhawks team name and logo? According to the team’s new CEO the answer is no, but some Native American groups are pushing back. Two community leaders debate the issue.