Stories by Meredith Francis

War of Words Continues in Springfield as End of Fiscal Year Looms

Illinois State House Republican Leader Jim Durkin joins "Chicago Tonight" after a week of incendiary rhetoric in Springfield as the end of the fiscal year is just two weeks away.

Chicago Police Union Reacts to IPRA Release of Videos, Audio

Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority has begun posting audio and video from police misconduct investigations. We hear what the head of the police union has to say about it.

Blair Kamin on Lucas Museum Move, Endangered Churches and More

The Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer prize-winning architecture critic discusses a new lakefront proposal for the Lucas Museum and architecturally significant churches like St. Adalbert's in Pilsen that preservationists warn are at risk.

New Report Finds Illinois Municipalities Pushing for ‘Home Rule’

A movement is underway to have the Illinois legislature expand what's called "home rule authority." Bob Reed of the Better Government Association explains what that could mean for towns and villages throughout the state.

Spring Brings New Leadership at Chicago Botanic Garden

Jean Franczyk (Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden)

The Chicago Botanic Garden has named Jean Franczyk as its new president and CEO. The South Side native returns to Chicago after working in London for 10 years. She joins “Chicago Tonight” to discuss her new role at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Blame the Ancestors: Why Neanderthal DNA Can Be Bad For Your Health

A new study shows why Neanderthal DNA can be bad for you. Astronomers capture visual evidence of an exploding star. And sometimes, it’s a bad idea to go to the Internet for help. Rabiah Mayas from the Museum of Science and Industry joins “Chicago Tonight” to examine these stories and more.

President Obama Makes Historic Trip to Cuba

President Barack Obama addressed the Cuban people early Tuesday during his historic trip, saying, “I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War.”

Illinois’ 11th Congressional District Candidates

Hear from two of the three Republican candidates running on March 15 to unseat 11th District Democratic Congressman Bill Foster.

Loyola University Offers Medical Students Meditation to Combat Stress

(RelaxingMusic / Flickr)

Why Loyola Medical students are being encouraged to learn Transcendental Meditation – and how it could make them better doctors.

Apple vs FBI: Should Privacy Rights Outrank a Federal Investigation?

The FBI wants Apple to unlock an iPhone belonging to one of the people behind December's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple says it's taking a stand for privacy rights, while the FBI says it's merely trying to conduct the most thorough investigation possible.

Cancer Experts Talk Transformation in Treatment and Care

New discoveries and treatments are transforming the way doctors are fighting cancer. We speak with two specialists about recent developments that may offer hope for many patients.

Harper Lee Dies at 89

“To Kill a Mockingbird” Author Leaves Behind Legacy of Literature, Privacy

The celebrated, reclusive author of the Pulitzer prize-winning book “To Kill a Mockingbird" is reported to have died in her sleep at an assisted living facility in Alabama.

Who Will Appoint the Next Supreme Court Justice?

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has created new battle lines between the president and Senate Republicans. Is a constitutional crisis on the horizon?

Illinois’ 7th Congressional District Candidates

The latest in our 2016 election forums focuses on the 7th Congressional District contest pitting longtime incumbent Danny Davis against Iraq War veteran Thomas Day.

Chicago State University President on School’s Financial Crisis

Amid the budget stalemate, many public universities have been operating without funding from the state. Chicago State University has gone most of the fiscal year without a third of its budget. CSU President Thomas Calhoun Jr. tells us what's at stake.

Former Supreme Court Clerks Remember Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia was known for his biting dissents and sharp wit. But who was the man behind the black robes? Four former Supreme Court clerks join "Chicago Tonight" to talk about the late justice.

Crain’s Roundup: More Sears Stores Closing, New Stakeholder at Tribune

Sears writes down the value of its trade name and the Sun-Times owner buys a stake in Tribune Publishing. We get the latest on these stories and more business headlines with Crain's Chicago Business deputy managing editor Ann Dwyer.

Blair Kamin on Lucas Museum, Lathrop Homes Redevelopment

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin joins us to discuss the Lucas Museum's latest setback, the Lathrop Homes redevelopment, possible new building guidelines for South Michigan Avenue and more.

Chicago Athletes Triumph Over World Marathon

A marathon last month in Antarctica was the first of seven on seven continents ... in seven days. Two of the competitors are back in Chicago to tell the story–including the winner.    

Crain’s Roundup: Chicago’s Shrinking Headquarters, Vacant Dominick’s Stores

Chicago may be home to many Fortune 500 companies, but are corporate headquarters here shrinking? We get the latest from Crain's Chicago Business.

What Went Wrong in Flint?

Michigan Gov. Rick Synder is facing calls to resign over his administration's bungled handling of the contaminated water crisis in Flint. A former high-ranking official at the Environmental Protection Agency tells us what she thinks went wrong.

Khan's Classroom: The Future of Online Education

Can technology change how we learn? Former hedge fund analyst Sal Khan thinks so. His new approach to learning involves "hustle" and "flipping the classroom." Learn more from the founder of the free, non-profit online learning website, Khan Academy. 

Crain's Roundup: Plans for Low-Cost Whole Foods, Boeing Stock Plummets

United may be in for a bumpy ride if activist investors get their way, and a new low-cost grocery store from Whole Foods is coming to Evergreen Park. Those stories and more from Crain's Chicago Business deputy managing editor Ann Dwyer.

Hedy Weiss Reviews: ‘London Wall,’ ‘Sunset Baby,’ more

AnJi White and Kelvin Roston, Jr. perform in 'Sunset Baby.' (Courtesy of TimeLine Theater)

The Chicago Sun-Times theater critic gives us her take on highly recommended shows from Court Theatre, Griffin Theatre, TimeLine, Shattered Globe, Drury Lane and Paramount Theatre.