Stories by Amanda Vinicky

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Logan Square

Blocks from the Mayor’s house in Unity Park, the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and other groups held an action calling for an elected school board. May 20, 2021 (WTTW News)

It’s been two years since Chicago got a new mayor when Lori Lightfoot was sworn into office. For the latest in our community reporting series, we visit Lightfoot’s neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

ISBE Passes Resolution Calling for In-Person Learning in Illinois Schools This Fall

(WTTW News)

The Illinois State Board of Education on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution in support of an upcoming declaration that will make it a requirement that schools reopen their doors in the fall, with only limited options for remote learning.

High Schoolers Return to Classrooms Monday After CPS, CTU Reach Deal

(WTTW News)

The fourth quarter of the school year has begun for Chicago Public Schools. And on Monday, nearly 26,000 high school students were expected to return to their classrooms to resume in-person learning for the first time in more than a year.

Little Village Community Responds to ‘Excruciating’ Police Shooting Video

A flyer with the name and face of Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old boy who was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer on March 29, is shown on a lamppost in the Little Village neighborhood, where he lived and died. (WTTW News)

Feelings about Adam Toledo’s killing are particularly raw in Little Village, where Toledo’s family lives. We spent the day talking with residents and local leaders about their community, and the fatal shooting of the 13-year-old who called it home.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Bridgeport

The White Sox home opener at Guaranteed Rate Field was a rainy affair on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (WTTW News)

For the first time since 2019, fans are back at Guaranteed Rate Field to watch the White Sox in person. As part of our community reporting series, we visit the area to see how fans are settling in — and how the area is faring one year into the pandemic.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Wrigleyville

The Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field on Thursday, April 1, 2021. (WTTW News)

The Cubs may have lost their 2021 home opener, but fans consider it a win. For the first time since 2019, some 10,000 people were able to watch the game inside of Wrigley Field. We have this look at all things opening day as part of our community reporting series.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Reflects on COVID-19 Pandemic, One Year In

Gov. J.B. Pritzker appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, March 15, 2021. (WTTW News)

It’s been a full year since Gov. J.B. Pritzker took the extraordinary step of issuing an executive order to halt dine-in service at bars and restaurants across the state. Five days later, the stay-at-home order was announced. The governor joins us to reflect on the past year and discuss what’s ahead.

Opening of United Center Mass Vaccination Site Marred by Confusion Over Eligibility

(WTTW News)

Even as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered Tuesday morning at the United Center, confusion swirled over how many appointments remained available, who was eligible for those slots and when they would open for thousands desperate for the life-saving shot.

Pritzker Signs ‘Transformative’ Education and Workforce Equity Act Into Law

(WTTW News)

Proponents of a new bill signed into law Monday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker say it will “change the face of education” in Illinois by improving access and equity across the state’s education system through an expanded early intervention program, annual readiness assessments and more.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: South Deering

(WTTW News)

The industrial community once marked by steel mills is now lined with other plants, and the proposed opening of a metal scrapping company has become a point of controversy on the Southeast Side and across the city.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Jefferson Park

(WTTW News)

The Northwest Side community of Jefferson Park is known as the gateway to Chicago, in part because it’s a transit hub. The area’s thought of by some as typical “bungalow belt” Chicago. It’s predominantly middle class, but recently there’s been an uptick in homelessness. 

3 New Laws to Know in 2021

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The new year usually brings with it hundreds of new laws in Illinois. But like everything else in recent history, the coronavirus pandemic has changed that up, too. On Jan. 1, 2021, only a trio of new laws will take effect.

Health Officials Urge Residents to ‘Spread Joy, Not COVID’ Amid Vaccine Excitement

US Surgeon General Pays a Visit to Chicago

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020 at a press briefing on the coronavirus with Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. (WTTW News)

Just days before Christmas, a trio of high-profile doctors, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, made a plea for people to follow public health measures designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, even as two vaccines are being distributed across the U.S.

All Police Officers Involved in Mistaken Raid Placed on Desk Duty: Lightfoot

A still image from a Chicago Police Department body camera video shows a police raid at the home of Anjanette Young in February 2019. (WTTW News via Ja’Mal Green)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Monday that all of the officers involved in the February 2019 raid that left a Chicago woman handcuffed and naked have been placed on desk duty.

High Court Front-Runner Hailed By Right, Feared By Left

Amy Coney Barrett (WTTW News via CNN)

Amy Coney Barrett, a devout Catholic, is a federal appellate judge in Chicago who has established herself as a reliable conservative on hot-button legal issues from abortion to gun control. 

Unrest in Kenosha: A Live ‘Chicago Tonight’ Report

Kenosha residents and activists Brian Little and Diamond Hartwell speak with WTTW News on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

Protesters have returned to the streets of Kenosha every day since a police officer shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake seven times. We visit the city to speak with residents and officials about the shooting and unrest that’s followed.

An Exit Interview with Senate President John Cullerton

Outgoing Illinois Senate President John Cullerton appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 13, 2020. (WTTW News)

After 41 years in public service, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is stepping down. He reflects on recent headlines, his life in politics and what’s next.

Lightfoot Fires Top Cop Eddie Johnson for ‘Intolerable Actions’

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson announces his retirement during a press conference at police headquarters on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Less than a month later, Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired Johnson during a surprise announcement on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot makes a bombshell announcement: Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is terminated, effective immediately. Lightfoot says an inspector general’s investigation revealed Johnson “repeatedly lied” to both the mayor and the public.

Should Chicago Increase Its Minimum Wage to $15 by 2021?

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, workers in food preparation and serving-related occupations made up the bulk of workers earning minimum wage or less in 2013, the Pew Research Center reports. (delo / Pixabay)

At a City Council hearing on Tuesday, committee members discussed a proposal to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021. Activists say it’s long overdue. But could it hurt small businesses? We debate the issue.

Chicago Casino Study: Taxes Too High to Be Profitable

(Free-Photos / Pixabay)

An onerous tax structure would virtually kill any chance that a Chicago casino operator could make a profit, despite an ability to make massive amounts of money, according to a newly released feasibility study.

Pritzker Signs Bill Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Gov. J.B. Pritzker takes in the applause before signing a bill that legalizes adult-use cannabis in the state of Illinois at Sankofa Cultural Arts and Business Center in Chicago. (AP Photo / Amr Alfiky)

With the swipe of a pen – several of them, actually – Gov. J.B. Pritzker made it official Tuesday: Illinois will become the 11th state where smoking or otherwise using weed is legal.

FBI Raids 34th Ward Office of Ald. Carrie Austin

A file photo shows 34th Ward Ald. Carrie Austin (WTTW News)

Federal agents have executed a search warrant at the South Side ward office of Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin. A source close to the matter says Austin has been under federal investigation for several years.

Ald. Moreno Charged with Insurance Fraud, Obstruction of Justice

(Alderman Joe Moreno 1st Ward / Facebook)

Chicago police on Wednesday charged 1st Ward Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno with four felony counts after he allegedly lied to police and his insurance agency in January claiming his car had been stolen.

Prosecutors Drop All Charges Against Jussie Smollett

Actor Jussie Smollett leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Tuesday March 26, 2019, after prosecutors dropped all charges against him. (Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett exited the Leighton Criminal Court Building a free man Tuesday morning after prosecutors unexpectedly dropped felony charges against him in a case that’s garnered national headlines for months.

Spotlight Politics: Mayoral Money Machine Revs Up

Bill Daley gets a major endorsement for mayor while hauling in big bucks. Carol Marin, Paris Schutz and Amanda Vinicky have details on that story and more in this week’s political roundtable.

Spotlight Politics: More Stories of Aldermen Behaving Badly

Chicago aldermen are caught up in some questionable or unscrupulous behavior, as the campaign for mayor gets down and dirty. Carol Marin, Paris Schutz and Amanda Vinicky have details in this week’s roundtable.