Stories by Charles Jefferson

Cook County Sales Tax Hike Faces Wednesday Vote

Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has proposed raising the county sales tax by a penny on the dollar to help cover a pension-fueled budget shortfall. Wednesday, the county board is scheduled to vote on the hike. President Preckwinkle joins Chicago Tonight. We'll also hear from Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who opposes raising the sales tax.

Remembering the Deadly Heat Wave of '95

Chicago skyline

This summer marks the 20-year anniversary of a brutal heat wave that hit Chicago and left more than 700 people dead. Tonight, WGN chief meteorologist Tom Skilling and Northeastern Illinois University professor emeritus Robert Starks join us to remember the summer of 1995.

Local Organization Helps Transgender People Find Work

We take a look at a local organization that helps transgender people improve their work skills, find jobs, and overcome social stigmas facing the trans community. 

Famed Chicago Trading Pits Close

Trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1993.

The famed frenzy of open outcry trading that filled the Chicago Board of Trade’s pits for more than 80 years will cease Monday. The closure of most of the futures pits comes as most futures are traded electronically these days. Eddie Arruza visited the CBOT and has the latest.  

The Head of the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund

Today was deadline day for a $634 million payment due to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, and this afternoon the payment was made. But school finances remain in a perilous state. We talk with the head of the pension fund, Charles Burbridge, on what happens next.

Weekend Events Around Town: 6/26-6/28

Break out your rainbow gear to show your pride; view the colorful artwork of former Playboy art director Art Paul; and get crafty at the Renegade Craft Fair. Chicago Tonight has your weekend picks.

Chicago Pride Parade’s Safety, Future

Chicago celebrates its 46th annual Pride Parade on Sunday. We talk with the man behind the parade and Ald. Tom Tunney about the history, security, and future of one of Chicago's largest parades.

Hall of China Opens at the Field

The Field Museum of Natural History unveils its newest permanent exhibition, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China.

Catholics and Climate Change

Pope Francis' recent views on climate change are sparking debates within the Catholic community. Joining us are Mark Potosnak, a member of the Catholic Climate Covenant and assistant professor of environmental science at DePaul University, and Mary Anne Hackett, president and CEO of Catholic Citizens of Illinois.

Safety in Sanctuaries

A panel of local religious leaders joins us to talk about the racially motivated shooting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina and how they are addressing safety concerns from their congregations.

Techweek Chicago

Ahead of the annual congregation of entrepreneurs, visionaries, and innovators at Techweek Chicago, we’ll talk with Techweek CEO Katy Lynch about what to expect this year and how the weeklong event has rebounded from last year’s snafu involving controversial party invites.

Scientific Chicago with Neil Shubin

Perfect Pitch, Trap-Jaw Ants, Virgin Births & Shrinking Mount Everest

Once thought impossible, new research suggests people can learn perfect pitch. University of Chicago paleontologist and science explainer extraordinaire Neil Shubin is back to discuss that, the unique way trap-jaw ants avoid predators, “virgin births” in sawfish, and the shrinking of Mount Everest.

Blair Kamin on The 606

This Saturday, The 606, park and trail system will officially open. Chicago Tribune Pulitzer-prizewinning architectural critic Blair Kamin shares his thoughts about the trail ahead of its opening.

A Closer Look at the Charges Against Dennis Hastert

The charges against former U.S. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert include perjury and using a complicated series of financial maneuvers to hide a $3.5 million payoff to someone from Yorkville, where he taught high school decades ago. We take a closer look at the legal issues behind the indictment and the possible ramifications.