Stories by Paul Caine

GOP Congressman Says Chicago May Need National Guard If Looting Continues

Illinois U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis appears Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom. (WTTW News)

Illinois U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis says Chicago may have to call the National Guard back to the city if it is unable to prevent further looting. Davis and U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat, join us in conversation.

Democrats, Republicans ‘Miles Apart’ on Unemployment Insurance Deal, Says Bustos

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks back to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

As cities and states across the nation struggle to get control of COVID-19, members of Congress butt heads over another stimulus package. Illinois U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos weighs in on those topics and more. 

Secret Service Agent Shot in Reagan Assassination Attempt Retires as Orland Park Police Chief

Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (WTTW News)

The Secret Service agent who took a bullet to protect President Ronald Reagan has spent the last 26 years as chief of police in Orland Park. We speak with Tim McCarthy ahead of his Aug. 1 retirement.

Dr. Ezike: Residents’ Actions Will Determine if Reopening Rollback Needed

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, July 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

With Illinois reporting more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the sixth consecutive day, the state’s top public health official says the question of a reopening rollback will be answered by residents.

New Solar Orbiter Snaps Closest Pictures Ever Taken of the Sun

(Credit: NASA / European Space Agency)

We journey to the sun’s surface and explore more from the world of science with University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin.

More Than Half of Chicagoans Expected to Vote by Mail in November

(WTTW News)

A record 121,000 Chicagoans have sent in applications to vote by mail in the November election. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump claims without evidence the 2020 election will be “the most rigged.”

Trump Pressures Schools to Reopen But Many CPS Teachers Fearful of Classroom Return

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

President Donald Trump is pressuring schools to fully reopen in the fall. But as many teachers, parents and even some students are expressing fears over returning to school, cases of COVID-19 are rising across the country.

Northwestern Infectious Disease Expert Rips National Response to Pandemic

“I have done a phenomenal job with it,” President Donald Trump says of his response to COVID-19 at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, June 20, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

He is optimistic about the development of vaccines and treatments to slow the spread of COVID-19 but describes the national response to the virus as a “disgrace.” We speak with Dr. Robert Murphy of Northwestern University.

Lt. Gov. Stratton Urges Caution as Illinois Prepares to Enter Phase 4

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, June 22, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois is on track to move into phase four of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan on Friday, but the state faces a huge challenge in reviving its pandemic-stricken economy and putting people back to work.

Argonne Uses Supercomputer to Model Coronavirus Spread in Chicago

The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. (Image courtesy Argonne National Laboratory)

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have created the most detailed simulation that exists to model the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago — and what it shows is sobering.

Study: Black Families Have 1 Cent for Every Dollar White Families Have

(WTTW News)

A new study from Northwestern University highlights the growing wealth gap between black and white families. 

Illinois Hair Salons Prepare to Open Friday, But Not in Chicago

(Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash)

On Friday, all salons and barbershops in the state — except those in Chicago — will be allowed to reopen as part of phase three of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan. What will the new salon experience be like?

Health Inequality Plus Coronavirus Creates Perfect Storm in Chicago’s Black Community

The Rev. Marshall Hatch joins “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom for a conversation on Monday, April 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

Black Chicagoans are almost six times more likely to die from the new coronavirus than white residents, according to state and city health officials. We talk about the city’s ongoing health disparities with the Rev. Marshall Hatch of New Mount Pilgrim Church.

General Iron Now Links Pollution Control Equipment to Explosions

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

General Iron Industries believes that two explosions at its scrap metal-shredding facility that shook Lincoln Park on Monday were connected to a new piece of pollution control equipment installed last year.

Adler Planetarium Lays Off 120 Employees

(Adler Planetarium / Facebook)

A day after celebrating its 90th birthday, the Adler Planetarium laid off 120 part-time and full-time employees. The “difficult decision” was made “in order to help the Adler survive,” spokesperson Jennifer Howell said in a statement to WTTW News. 

State Lawmakers at Odds Over Gov. Pritzker’s Recovery Plan

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recently unveiled five-phase plan to gradually reopen the state is already getting pushback. Joining us to share their views are state Reps. Deanne Mazzochi, a Republican, and Mike Zalewski, a Democrat.

Pandemic Creates Hard Choices for Low-Income Essential Workers

(WTTW News)

The pandemic has laid bare how existing inequalities can magnify the impact of the virus on low-income workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color. And now, many of those workers are being designated as essential.

Cook County Jail’s Response to COVID-19 Could Spur Far-Reaching Bail Reform

(WTTW News)

A look at what’s being done at Cook County Jail to keep people safe and the pandemic’s impact on the criminal justice system. Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx join us.

Infectious Disease Expert Says CDC Limits on Early Testing Likely ‘A Big Mistake’

Dr. Emily Landon of UChicago Medicine joins “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, April 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

Dr. Emily Landon’s job is to prepare for outbreaks like COVID-19. She joins us to discuss the effectiveness of testing and the statewide stay-at-home order.

Earth Day Turns 50 But Celebrations Muted by COVID-19 Pandemic

(Daniel Dionne / Flickr)

We discuss the history of Earth Day and the environmental challenges the planet is facing today with Denis Hayes, the organizer of the very first event in 1970, and local environmental activist Kim Wasserman.

Congress Expected to Replenish Paycheck Protection Fund This Week

A small business in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on April 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

A new bill to replenish a multibillion-dollar fund aimed at helping small businesses keep workers on the payroll failed to materialize Monday. We get a status check on the Paycheck Protection Program.

Argonne Scientists Enlisted in Fight Against COVID-19

The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. (Image courtesy Argonne National Laboratory)

Scientists and engineers across the planet are desperately searching for ways to combat the new coronavirus. A significant part of that effort is taking place just west of Chicago.

CPS Chief Education Officer Spells Out Goals for Remote Learning Plan

Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer LaTanya McDade speaks via Zoom with “Chicago Tonight” on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (WTTW News)

This week, Chicago Public Schools families are learning a new lesson: how remote learning works. We check in on the district’s remote learning plan with LaTanya McDade, CPS chief education officer.

West Ridge Leads City in Virus Cases, But Black Communities Disproportionately Impacted

A map displays data confirmed cases of COVID-19 by zip code. (Illinois Department of Public Health)

The West Ridge neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city, but a cluster of zip codes on the South Side are not far behind, according to newly released data.

Right-wing Terrorists Looking to ‘Weaponize’ Pandemic, Says U of C Expert

An overcrowded hospital in Brooklyn deals with COVID-19 cases. (WTTW News via CNN)

Could hospitals and supermarkets become targets for terror groups looking to exploit the pandemic to advance their racist agenda? We speak with international terrorism expert Robert Pape.