Stories by Paris Schutz

Little Village Rocked by Coronavirus, Shutdowns

(WTTW News)

Coronavirus-related city and state shutdowns have had an impact across Chicago, but neighborhoods like Little Village on the city’s Southwest Side are feeling them a littler harder. 

South Shore Residents and Businesses Cope with Coronavirus

(WTTW News)

From small businesses to health care facilities to residents, the coronavirus shutdown is impacting neighborhoods across the city. We visit the South Shore community to find out how area residents and businesses are handling the crisis.

The Economic Impact of the Coronavirus: Devon Avenue

(WTTW News)

Along a 2-mile stretch of Devon Avenue in Chicago’s West Ridge community, you’ll find one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the country – and one dominated by small businesses, many of which are now closed.

Chinatown Grapples with Economic Fallout of the Coronavirus

(WTTW News)

The various state and city coronavirus restrictions are having a dramatic impact on local businesses, especially mom-and-pop restaurants and stores. We visit Chinatown to see how businesses are coping with the changes.

Oak Park Prepares for Near Total Lockdown

(WTTW News)

While the state of Illinois has enacted a partial shutdown for restaurants and bars and nixed big public gatherings, one local community has taken it a step further.

Spotlight Politics: An Election Amid the Specter of Coronavirus

(WTTW News)

What to make of the election results Tuesday? And did the governor make the right call to hold the election amid COVID-19 fears? Our politics team takes on the primary election in this week’s roundtable.

Illinoisans Go to the Polls Despite Coronavirus Fears

Chicago voters hit the polls on primary election day, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (WTTW News)

A day that started out with confusion and low voter turnout looks to be ending with relatively few lingering problems, and turnout numbers that approach typical primary elections. 

Election Day: Chicago Officials Urged Gov. Pritzker to Postpone Election

Exasperated Chicago election officials say they urged Gov. J.B. Pritzker to postpone Tuesday’s election, close all polling places and move to mail-in balloting, but Pritzker rejected the idea.

Illinois Restaurants, Grocery Stores Scramble Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns

Shoppers line up outside Costco in Lincoln Park on Monday, March 16, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois restaurants and bars are preparing for their last call for dine-in business until at least the end of the month. Meanwhile, grocers big and small are scrambling to restock shelves.

Chicago Aldermen Urge Action on Peoples Gas Rates

(WTTW News)

A committee of Chicago City Council members on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to take action on Peoples Gas rates, calling out the company for its multibillion-dollar System Modernization Program.

Lawmakers Press Peoples Gas On High Utility Bills

(WTTW News)

Peoples Gas, the private utility company that delivers natural gas to the entire city, is in the midst of a massive infrastructure upgrade – and consumers are paying for it. 

Pritzker Issues Disaster Proclamation as 4 More People Test Positive for Coronavirus

Gov. J.B. Pritzker talks Monday, March 9, 2020 about the novel coronavirus at a press conference. (WTTW News)

In Illinois, 11 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to state and local health officials. “I want folks to understand this is going to affect your daily life,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a Monday news conference.

Meet the ‘Mystery Man’ Behind Blago’s Commutation

Mark Vargas appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich referred to Mark Vargas as the “mystery man” that led the effort to get him out of prison. But who is he? And why did he want to take on that case?

Spotlight Politics: Countdown to the March 17 Primary

In less than three weeks, Illinois voters will go to the polls. Will the state have a big role in weeding out the Democratic presidential field? And how will the contentious race for Cook County state’s attorney shake out?

Lightfoot: Revised Chicago Casino Proposal ‘Good for Illinois’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks with WTTW News on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.

A one-on-one with Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who spent part of the week in Springfield lobbying lawmakers to approve a bill that would ease some of the casino taxes and fees. We discuss that and more with the mayor.

Spotlight Politics: The ‘Mystery Man’ Behind Blagojevich Commutation

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks to the media after his 14-year sentence was cut short by President Donald Trump. At right is Mark A. Vargas. (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

Lost in the hoopla of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s homecoming speech Wednesday was a nod he gave to the mild-mannered man standing nearby. So, who is Mark A. Vargas? Our politics team digs into that and more.

Embattled Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx Speaks Out

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks with WTTW News on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.

Embattled Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is speaking out nearly a week after a special prosecutor reindicted actor Jussie Smollett.

Local Health Officials: Couple with Coronavirus Now ‘Free and Clear’

Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood has been struggling economically since the virus started making headlines. (WTTW News)

At a press conference Thursday in Chinatown, state and local health officials sought to reassure the public that the risk of contracting the deadly virus is low, and that Chicagoans should go about their daily lives.

Kim Foxx Faces Political Fallout from New Smollett Charges

A file photo shows Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. (WTTW News)

There’s more political fallout related to the Jussie Smollett case after a special prosecutor announced a new six-count indictment against the “Empire” actor.

Spotlight Politics: Former State Lawmakers in Trouble

There are more reports of alleged bad behavior involving former state lawmakers. Our politics team digs into that and more in our weekly roundtable.

Spotlight Politics: Sandoval Guilty Plea Has Repercussions

Beyond Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s State of the State address, the guilty plea of yet another former public official is the talk of Springfield and Chicago. Our politics team digs into that story and more in our weekly roundtable.

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?