Stories by paris schutz

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Irvin Called Donald Trump ‘Idiot,’ ‘Bigoted Racist,’ Text Messages Show

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, a candidate for governor in the Republican primary, holds a news conference on May 9, 2022. (WTTW News)

GOP gubernatorial candidate and Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin has carefully attempted to veer away from any conversation about controversial former President Donald Trump. But text messages written by Irvin in 2018 appear to show he has very strong feelings about Trump, and they are not positive.

Illinois House Speaker Gets Fellow Lawmakers to Donate More Than $200K to Wife’s Judicial Campaign

ShawnTe Raines-Welch is running for a judge seat on the Cook County subcircuit court. (Campaign Photo)

Much of judicial candidate ShawnTe Raines-Welch’s campaign cash comes thanks to the largesse of Democratic elected officials who work under the political leadership of her husband, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch.

Richard Irvin’s Ex-Wife Hired by Development Firm Receiving Millions in Aurora City Incentives

Web of Politically-Connected Companies Involved in $128M Hospital Redevelopment

The former site of Copley Hospital in Aurora will include senior living residences, as depicted in this rendering, along with a medical facility and school administrative building. (Courtesy of Fox Valley Developers)

The ex-wife of Aurora Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin works with a development team that stands to receive up to $15 million in Aurora city incentives, with the potential for millions more to redevelop the former Copley Hospital site.

Developers That Donated to Gubernatorial Candidate Richard Irvin’s Mayoral Campaign Received Tens of Millions in Aurora Incentives

Developers involved with Pacifica Square in Aurora, which opened in 2021, donated $25,000 to campaigns connected to Mayor Richard Irvin. (Paris Schutz / WTTW News)

A WTTW News review of public records has also found that Aurora taxpayers are on the hook for tens of millions in tax incentives to two other development companies that have donated thousands to Richard Irvin and political funds connected to him.

Aurora Company that Donated Big to Richard Irvin’s Mayoral Campaign Received Millions in City Contracts

Scientel Solutions, pictured in March 2022, relocated to Aurora after plans for its tower were approved in 2018. (WTTW News)

A review of state campaign filings and Aurora public records shows that a company that donated more than $135,000 to political funds connected to Richard Irvin also received millions in city contracts. That same company was also the beneficiary of legislation pushed by Irvin that could prove lucrative.

From Spit Tube to Results: Inside the Massive COVID-19 SHIELD Testing Operation

COVID-19 saliva tests are organized at a SHIELD Illinois testing facility in North Chicago. (WTTW News)

The unique saliva test was developed by University of Illinois scientists and SHIELD officials say it has become an essential tool in halting the spread of COVID-19.

Area College Providing Scholarships to Afghan Refugees: ‘It Was Kind of My Dream’

(WTTW News)

Northeastern Illinois University has provided 17 Afghan refugees with one-year scholarships to study at the school. 

Aurora Mayor Plans to Enter Republican Race for Governor on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sources Say

Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin (Aurora Mayor’s Office)

Multiple sources tell WTTW News that Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is currently planning to announce his candidacy for governor on Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Guaranteed Income Program Might Take Months to Roll Out

(WTTW News)

In October, the Chicago City Council approved a $31.5 million plan to send checks to the city’s families most in need, promising immediate assistance. But no assistance has gone out yet.

Chicago Immigration Groups Scramble to Resettle Afghan Refugees

Cash Fazal, a Chicago-based Afghan American immigration lawyer, speaks with “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

The White House says more than 116,000 people have so far been evacuated, but not everyone has been able to escape. Hundreds of Afghan refugees could settle in the Chicago area, and local immigrant groups are working around the clock to try and make that happen.

City Extends Deadline for Chicago Casino Submissions

(stokpic / Pixabay)

The process to get a Chicago casino is taking longer than originally anticipated. Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday the city would extend the deadline for interested parties to submit proposals to build and operate the casino.

Chicago Residents Fed Up with Noisy Caravans of Motorcycles

A person rides a motorcycle in Chicago. (WTTW News)

Residents in and around downtown neighborhoods describe a noisy problem that has been festering for a year, and one that seemed to hit a fever pitch during Lollapalooza. But are law enforcement officials listening?

Governor Pritzker Pitches Free College, Expanded Child Care in Reelection Push

Gov. J.B. Pritzker sits down for an interview with Paris Schutz on July 20, 2021. (WTTW News)

The governor launched his reelection campaign Monday, touting his leadership of the state through the COVID-19 pandemic. But Republican opponents used the occasion to bash what they have called a “disastrous” tenure. 

Asian Carp to Undergo Name Change

(WTTW News)

At the end of June, Illinoisans will no longer hear the words “Asian carp.” After several years and hundreds upon hundreds of millions spent trying to keep them from the Great Lakes, how can that possibly be? We explain.

Spotlight Politics: Madigan’s Former Chief of Staff Indicted

A file photo shows former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. (WTTW News)

Tim Mapes, a longtime confidant to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, was federally indicted Wednesday on charges he obstructed justice and lied to a grand jury. Our Spotlight Politics team weighs in on that story and more in this week’s roundtable.

Vaccine Hesitancy Driven for Some by Fear of Allergic Reactions

(WTTW News)

Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is dropping, but there is still a large population that’s hesitant to get the shot. Some of that hesitancy is steeped in politics or misinformation, but others fear an allergic reaction. We meet one Chicagoan who says she has good reason to hold out.

Philanthropic Groups Step Up in Last-Minute Tribune Talks

The Chicago Tribune Freedom Center printing facility along the Chicago River. (WTTW News)

The clock is nearing midnight for the Chicago Tribune and efforts to prevent a takeover from controversial hedge fund Alden Global Capital. WTTW News has learned there are still active talks behind the scenes to come up with a bid that could derail Alden’s plan.

Will Chicago Workers Go Back to the Office in a Post-Pandemic World?

Downtown Chicago (WTTW News)

While some people may have gotten used to the comforts of working from home, others may be itching to get out. The stakes for the city couldn’t be higher, especially for the owners and managers of the massive pieces of real estate in the city’s central business district that are still sitting mostly vacant.

Embattled Loretto Hospital Executive Resigns Amid Vaccine Scandal

The Loretto Hospital (WTTW News)

Dr. Anosh Ahmed, COO and CFO of Loretto Hospital, was at the center of multiple controversies over alleged improper vaccination events, after Block Club Chicago first reported on vaccines administered at Trump Tower Chicago to the building’s employees.

Complaints About Vaccine ‘VIP’ Lines at Loretto Go Back Months

The Loretto Hospital (WTTW News)

A union representative who works with Loretto Hospital staff says members have complained about so-called VIP lists of vaccine recipients since the vaccine rollout began in January.

Loretto Employee Alleges Vaccine ‘VIP’ Line at Hospital

The Loretto Hospital (WTTW News)

A Loretto Hospital emergency room technician who appeared Tuesday on “Chicago Tonight” said he witnessed what he calls “VIP” lines of patients coming in to be vaccinated at the West Side hospital.

Inside Advocate Aurora Health, Reflections on an Unprecedented Year

(WTTW News)

This time last year, hospitals were bracing for the unknown as COVID-19 accelerated its spread across the U.S. We got an exclusive look inside Illinois’ largest private health system as hospital professionals reflect on a year unlike any other.

This Legislation Could End Illinois’ Payday Loan Industry

(WTTW News)

Legislation awaiting the governor’s signature could shut down the payday lending industry in Illinois, but payday proponents say that could lead to a host of bigger problems.

Violent Conflict in Myanmar Reverberates in Chicago’s Refugee Community

Nasir Zakaria (WTTW News)

Rohingya have fled persecution and genocide and sought refuge on Chicago’s North Side. But now, military conflict back home is causing new fears.

Aldermen, Mayor at Odds Over Phone Calls in Police Custody

(WTTW News)

When a suspect is taken into police custody, they are supposed to have the right to a phone call, but data from the Cook County Public Defender’s office shows that isn’t always the case. A new proposal aims to tackle the problem.

Illinois Shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine to Come From Wisconsin

(WTTW News)

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines are expected to ship to Illinois and the rest of the country as soon as this weekend, with much of that shipment being stored in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.