Stories by Paris Schutz

Report: Obama Center to Have ‘Adverse’ Impact on Boulevard System

A rendering shows the north-facing view of the public plaza and Museum building, as viewed from the roof of the Chicago Public Library building. (Credit: The Obama Foundation)

A new report issued by Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development says the Obama Presidential Center will have an “adverse” impact on Jackson Park’s Historic Landscape District and the city’s historic Park Boulevard System.

Illinois Officials Using Campaign Funds to Pay Big Legal Fees

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

House Speaker Michael Madigan has shelled out big money from his campaign fund to pay attorneys – and he isn’t the only public official to do so.

City Council Approves New Protections for Undocumented Immigrants

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media after a City Council meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (WTTW News)

Undocumented immigrants stand to gain more protections in Chicago after City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday. The meeting also featured a tense debate over contracting for LGBTQ business owners.

How Safe are Legal Marijuana Vaping Products in Illinois?

(Lindsay Fox / Pixabay)

A deadly outbreak of vaping illnesses has been linked to black market products containing THC. But similar products are now sold legally at cannabis dispensaries across Illinois. Are they safe?

Pot Dispensaries Make Final Preparations for Recreational Sales

In Lakeview, workers were busy putting the finishing touches on the Sunnyside dispensary just two days before recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois. (WTTW News)

Are local officials and cannabis dispensaries ready for the rush of customers when recreational marijuana becomes legal Wednesday? We visit a pot shop in Lakeview to see how it’s gearing up for green.

How Rockford Dramatically Improved its Homicide Clearance Rate

Rockford Police Officer Patrice Turner (WTTW News)

Chicago police officials have long admitted they struggle solving homicides, but a city just west of Chicago has seen an almost miraculous improvement in its homicide clearance rate – and it coincides with a different approach to policing.

Council Rejects Recreational Marijuana Delay After Chaotic Meeting

Ald. Walter Burnett, left, clarifies his use of the word “bump” during a tension-filled City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (WTTW News)

The measure to stall recreational marijuana sales in Chicago was defeated by a 29-19 vote Wednesday, but not before the proceedings devolved into a chaotic fight over the rules and rounds of political one-upmanship.

Police Board Holds 2nd Public Meeting on Top Cop Replacement

Police Board President Ghian Foreman speaks with WTTW News on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (WTTW News)

At the Muslim Community Center on the city’s Northwest Side, roughly four dozen residents weighed in on the qualities they’d like to see in the next police superintendent. Paris Schutz has this report.

Aldermen Stew Over Being Called Out by Lightfoot Campaign

“We can disagree on the budget, but to say we didn’t put forth alternatives is not truthful,” said Ald. Daniel La Spata, 1st Ward. (WTTW News)

Are relations between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Council members heading south? Several aldermen are decrying rough-edged tactics after a Lightfoot campaign committee publicly called out every alderman who voted against the city budget.

African American Aldermen Try to Halt Sale of Legal Pot in Chicago

Sales of recreational marijuana will begin in Chicago – and across the state – on Jan. 1. Or will they? A group of aldermen on Wednesday explained why they want to put the brakes on pot in Chicago.

Eddie Johnson: ‘I Did Not Intentionally Mislead Mayor’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on “Chicago Tonight” during separate appearances in 2019. (WTTW News)

Former Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is making his first public comments a day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot abruptly terminated him amid claims that he “repeatedly lied” to both the mayor and the public.

Federal Monitor: CPD Lagging Behind in Consent Decree Compliance

(WTTW News)

Federal monitor Maggie Hickey on Friday released the first semiannual report for the Chicago Police Department’s consent decree, saying that the department is not in compliance with a majority of the reforms.

Lightfoot Claims Uber Paid Off African American Ministers

“They offered up black ministers $54 million – a one-time deal – if they would convince the mayor to do away with any other kind of regulation,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday alleged that ride-hailing giant Uber offered to pay off black ministers to the tune of $54 million if they would join a campaign to publicly oppose a $40 million ride-hailing tax proposal – a claim the company denies.

Spotlight Politics: Johnson’s Retirement Will Set Off Political Fight for Next Superintendent

A big change could be coming to the Chicago Police Department. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

State Elections Board: ‘We’re Under Constant Threat’ from Foreign Interference

(WTTW News)

The 2020 election is just under a year away, and both federal and state election authorities say the threat of foreign interference is ramping up.

Spotlight Politics: Assessing Political Fallout of Teachers Strike

Who will be the political winners and losers of the Chicago teachers strike? Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

In Chicago Speech, Former FBI Director Comey Dishes on President Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey speaks at the University of Chicago on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (WTTW News)

Former FBI Director James Comey spoke Tuesday in Chicago, a day after the person who fired him, President Donald Trump, visited the city to speak at a conference of police chiefs.

The Week in Review: End in Sight for Chicago Teachers Strike?

The Chicago teachers strike heads into its second weekend. Will classes resume Monday? Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants help from Springfield to close a budget gap. And the Cubs go back to the future with their new manager.

Lightfoot: No Property Tax Hike If Springfield Chips In

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivers her first budget address to City Council on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered her first budget address Wednesday at City Hall amid a swirl of protests from striking Chicago Public Schools teachers and support staff outside. How she plans to close the budget gap.

Chicago Public Schools Teachers to Strike Thursday

CTU President Jesse Sharkey speaks during a rally Wednesday.

It's official: Chicago Public Schools teachers are going on strike after CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union failed to reach a contract agreement. Teachers and support staff planned to hit the picket lines at 6:30 a.m. Thursday. 

City Releases Inspector General’s Laquan McDonald Investigation

The scene of the Laquan McDonald shooting taken on the night of the fatal incident is shown on a screen to jurors during the trial of Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. (Chicago Police Department)

There is new insight into the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald and whether or not there was a large-scale cover-up of the initial incident to protect the Chicago police officer who shot him.

Land Deal Tied to Illinois Senate President Cullerton Under Scrutiny

A sign for the Canal Shores golf club, left, and a file photo of Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. (WTTW News)

A North Shore land deal involving Illinois Senate President John Cullerton raises questions about a powerful public official influencing a vote that could enrich him and his son.

The Impeachment Process: How It Works

Now that an official impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump has been launched, how exactly does impeachment work, and what are the next steps?

Illinois Considers Banning Flavored E-Cigarettes

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been critical of the vaping industry, and now Illinois lawmakers are considering statewide action.

City Council Looks to Restrict Vaping, Expand Marijuana

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media following a City Council meeting Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago’s mayor and aldermen are vowing to take strict action on vaping while welcoming the sale of cannabis. Those two vices dominated the discussion during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.