Stories by Paris Schutz

Cook County Judge Tosses Soda Tax Lawsuit

The Cook County penny-per-ounce sugary beverage tax is back, pending an appeal. Friday, Cook County Judge Daniel Kubasiak granted a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the law did not violate the Illinois Constitution. 

City Approves Big Changes to Chicago River’s North Branch District

Big changes are coming to the North Branch of the Chicago River. Why some are up in arms over the plan.

Chicago Expands Gunshot Detecting Technology on South Side

The city is expanding its ShotSpotter program as shootings outpace last year's rate.

Manny’s Deli Celebrates 75 Years

For decades, it’s been the one place in Chicago where you can get a giant serving of corned beef or pastrami, with some juicy political gossip on the side. 

City Settles Red Light Camera Lawsuit for $38.75 Million

The city has settled a massive lawsuit with more than a million drivers and will partially reimburse those tickets. Here’s what you need to know.

Preckwinkle and Dart Spar Over Cook County Layoffs

Why the stalled soda tax has unleashed a war of words between Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios Grilled on Property Tax System

Is the property tax assessment system in Cook County institutionally racist? Assessor Joseph Berrios addressed that question and others before a packed Cook County Board room on Tuesday. 

Massive Overhaul in Governor Rauner’s Administration

The exodus continues in Gov. Bruce Rauner's office as old staff members leave and new ones come in. A look at who’s out, and who’s in.

White Sox Pitcher Jose Quintana Traded to Cubs

(Credit: WGN Sports)

A stunning Windy City Swap: Sox ace pitcher Jose Quintana is being sent about 8 miles north.

Labor Group Buys Chicago Sun-Times

A group of investors led by former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath has completed its purchase of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza on State Budget

While Illinois residents should expect to see a smaller paycheck in short order, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says it will takes months for the increased revenue to truly buttress state coffers.

Preckwinkle: Cook County Layoffs Coming After Soda Tax Stalled

(Vox Efx / Flickr)

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that thousands of layoffs will start next week as an appeals court Monday dealt a blow to the new tax.

State Budget Passes. Now What?

| Amanda Vinicky

The new state budget includes significant cuts and a higher income tax. So now what? We address some lingering questions about the fiscal health of the state—and the city.

Chicago Police ‘Perplexed’ Over Deadly July 4th Weekend

Some 87 people were shot and 15 killed over this year’s four-day holiday weekend, with the lion’s share coming on the Fourth of July.

Judge Blocks Cook County Soda Tax

A new penny-per-ounce sugary drink tax will not take effect in Cook County on Saturday.

Trump Picks John Lausch for Chicago US Attorney

President Donald Trump has selected former federal prosecutor John Lausch to be the next U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, according to multiple reports Friday.

Mayor Faces Heat on Chicago Police Reform

Will the mayor cave to pressure to get independent oversight of the Chicago Police Department?

Three Cops Indicted in Alleged Laquan McDonald Cover-Up

A Cook County special prosecutor has indicted three Chicago police officers on multiple charges in connection with the shooting death of Laquan McDonald in October of 2014. 

Plan to Close Ohio Street Pedestrian Tunnel at Night Moves Forward

Aldermen on the City Council’s Finance Committee on Monday approved a plan to lock the Ohio Street pedestrian tunnel between midnight and 5 a.m.

Outsider to Review Cook County Assessment Process

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says embattled Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, a close political ally, has agreed to an outside evaluation of the property tax assessment process.

Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia Mulling Bid for Cook County Clerk

Democratic sources tell Chicago Tonight that Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia is mulling a run for the post, contingent on whether he can garner enough Democratic support.

Groups Seek Investigation into Cook County Property Tax System

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios

A coalition of community groups is asking for an investigation into the Cook County property tax assessment system run by Assessor Joseph Berrios.

Should Illinois School Districts Hire More Minority Teachers?

In an affluent suburb, a school district is engaged in a bold experiment to help minority students perform better—or a misguided form of bureaucratic overreach, depending on your point of view.

Chris Kennedy: State Property Tax System a ‘Racket’

In a speech Tuesday on the city’s South Side, gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy called for abolishing the current property tax system, calling it a “racket” and likening it to extortion. 

Civic Groups to Lawmakers: Don’t Come Back Without Budget

Andy Shaw, Better Government Association

Some high-profile civic groups are getting together to pressure state lawmakers to finally get a full-year budget done.