Stories by patty wetli

General Iron’s Parent Company Acquiring Another North Side Metal Recycler

Metal scrap. (Public Domain Pictures / Pixabay)

While awaiting the city’s verdict on its permit application to start up a metal shredding and recycling operation on the Southeast Side, Reserve Management Group is in the process of acquiring another metal recycling business in Humboldt Park. 

City Asks for Public Feedback on General Iron Permit. Will It Fall on Deaf Ears?

Protesters gather near the Logan Square home of Mayor Lori Lightfoot to voice their opposition to General Iron’s plans to move to the Southeast Side on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (Annemarie Mannion / WTTW News)

Opponents of a permit application for a metal shredding facility on the Southeast Side question whether public comments will fall on deaf ears.

High Waves Warning: Flooding and Dangerous Conditions Along the Lakefront

Strong winds are creating high waves along the Lake Michigan shoreline. (Nikkiwjourney / Pixabay)

Strong winds are creating dangerous conditions along the lakeshore, prompting the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications to issue a lakeshore flood advisory until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The Lawn vs. Leaves Debate Continues. Is There a Compromise?

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Is there a middle ground between obliterating leaves and letting nature take its course? We asked an expert from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Sandhill Cranes, a Conservation Success Story, Now Face Climate Change Threat

Sandhill cranes. (ladymacbeth / Pixabay)

More than 25,000 migrating sandhill cranes are making a pit stop at Indiana’s Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area. The bird’s numbers have rebounded thanks to wetland conservation efforts, but now climate change threatens to undo that progress. 

The Holiday Show Must Go On

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's "Home for the Holidays" concert will be available to view online. (Todd Rosenberg / Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Ready or not, the holidays have arrived. Here’s how some of Chicago’s most beloved traditions and experiences have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic to help bring some holiday cheer to 2020.

Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade Canceled, But Toy Donations Still Needed

Tens of thousands of riders participate in the annual Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade. (Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade / Facebook)

The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt to this year’s Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade, which had been scheduled for Dec. 6, but organizers are still collecting toys for children in need.

Cook County Forest Preserves: Is It Time For a Funding Referendum?

The Cook County Forest Preserves have offered respite during the pandemic. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

Throughout the pandemic, nature has proved its worth as an outlet and resource, benefiting people’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. Now the question is, will people return the favor?

Close Encounter of the Raptor Kind! Hawk Amazes Weekend Shoppers at Jewel-Osco

A Red-tailed hawk, perched outside a Jewel-Osco, 3400 N. Western Ave., on Nov. 21, 2020. (WTTW News)

A red-tailed hawk, stoically perched atop a chain-link fence, was spotted Saturday outside a Jewel-Osco in Roscoe Village. Raptors are more common in the city than most people think, said a local hawk expert.

New Bears Recruits? Shedd’s Penguins Enjoy a Workout at Soldier Field

Penguins from the Shedd Aquarium recently paid a visit to Soldier Field. (Brenna Hernandez / Shedd Aquarium)

A quartet of penguins from the Shedd Aquarium paid a visit to Soldier Field. Could this be the secret weapon the Bears need to take down the Packers during Sunday’s showdown?

Let There Be Holiday Lights! Megawatt Displays Are Still Very Much On

Chicago's Mag Mile will sparkle as magically as ever in 2020. (The Magnificent Mile / Facebook)

In the midst of what feels like the cancellation of everything, Chicago’s biggest outdoor holiday light displays are still happening — albeit in a socially distanced way. Want wattage? We’ve got the scoop on where to go. 

Parks and Preserves Are Still Open. But Many Facilities Are Closed, Programs Canceled

Parks and preserves are tightening restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. In the spring, even picnic tables were "closed." (Raed Mansour / Flickr)

With tighter mitigations in place due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Chicago Park District and surrounding forest preserve districts have suspended programs indefinitely.

The Holiday Train Is Coming! COVID-19 Can’t Stop Santa

Riders won't be able to board the Holiday Train, but Santa's still coming. (Courtesy of Chicago Transit Authority)

Customers won’t be able to board the Holiday Train or Holiday Bus but the CTA’s festive fleet will still spread holiday cheer across the city.

Justice of the Pies, a Chicago Bake Shop With a Social Mission, Earns Statewide Recognition

Maya-Camille Broussard, owner of Justice of the Pies. (Justice of the Pies / Facebook)

Chicago’s Justice of the Pies was one of 31 businesses named to the Office of Tourism’s Illinois Made program, which boosts the profile of the state’s makers, creators and artisans.

Chicagoans Who Nurtured Monarchs All Summer Learn How Mexicans Preserve Their Winter Home

Monarch butterflies migrate en masse, but they aren’t social creatures, scientists say. (Mageephoto / Pixabay)

Traveling more than 2,000 miles every year, the migration journey of monarch butterflies links the United States and Mexico in a way no trade agreement or cultural exchange ever could.

Chicago's Museums Shutting Down for Second Time Due to COVID-19, Reopenings Uncertain

Chicago's museums are shutting down for the second time due to coronavirus restrictions. (Heidi Zeiger / Office of the Mayor)

Chicago's museums are facing a second shutdown and an uncertain future. Many closures are open-ended or will last at least through the remainder of 2020.

Shedd Aquarium Closing Through End of 2020 as Coronavirus Surges

(Shedd Aquarium / Facebook)

With the city and Cook County under stay-at-home advisories due to COVID 19, the Shedd Aquarium has decided to close its doors through the remainder of the year, targeting Jan. 2 for reopening, the aquarium announced.

Feds Pump Brakes on General Iron Permit Pending Fair Housing Investigation

General Iron’s metal-shredding operation in Lincoln Park. (WTTW News)

General Iron’s parent company has applied for its final permit to operate its metal-shredding operation on the Southeast Side, but federal officials have asked the city to hold off on making a decision.

Campaign Launches to Flip Black Friday to ‘Black Shop Friday’ This Holiday Season

Momentum Coffee and Coworking is among the first businesses announced for Black Shop Friday. (Momentum Coffee and Coworking / Facebook)

“Black Friday has been around for a long time, but what has been missing is the Blackness,” said the creators of the program, which encourages people to support Black-owned businesses in Chicago this holiday season.

Take Home a Plant From Lincoln Park’s Canceled Holiday Flower Show

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Hundreds of poinsettia plants were grown for the annual holiday flower show at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, and they need homes now that the event has been canceled.

Obama Touts Presidential Center, Plans to ‘Beautify’ Jackson Park During ‘60 Minutes’ Interview

Former President Barack Obama sat for a recent interview with “60 Minutes.” (60 Minutes / Facebook)

On the promotional trail for his new memoir “A Promised Land,” the former president sat down with “60 Minutes” for an interview that aired Sunday.

Possible Measles Exposure at O’Hare, Health Officials Warn

(Angelo Esslinger / Pixabay)

In the midst of a surge in COVID-19 cases, health officials are now warning Chicagoans about possible exposure to another infectious disease.

Leave the Leaves! Ecologists and Bees Will Thank You

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

From a sociological perspective, we rake because no one wants to be the neighbor with the messy lawn, but ecologically speaking, the benefits of a little mess outweigh the merits of a pristine yard.

Officials Urge Illinoisans to Limit Activities Over Next 3 Weeks as COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Rise

(WTTW News)

On Wednesday, Illinois set a new single-day record of COVID-19 cases as state health officials reported 145 virus-related deaths. Officials are urging residents to work from home and limit non-essential activity in the coming weeks.

Purchase of Emmett Till House by Nonprofit ‘More Than a Real Estate Transaction’

Blacks in Green buys home, plans to create international heritage pilgrim site

The former home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, at 6427 S. St. Lawrence Ave. in Chicago’s Woodlawn community. (WTTW News)

The former Woodlawn home of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, is now in the hands of the nonprofit Blacks in Green. Founder Naomi Davis shares the group’s vision for the historic site.

After Record Warmth, Cold Front and Strong Winds Headed to Chicago

(Jplenio / Pixabay)

A strong cold front is moving toward Chicago, bringing fast-moving thunderstorms, plunging temperatures and the threat of damaging wind gusts and tornadoes.