Stories by Paris Schutz

Feds Probe Gardiner for Bribery, Pay-to-Play: Sources

Ald. Jim Gardiner declined to respond to questions from WTTW News about the reports of an FBI probe while at City Hall on Tuesday for a meeting of the Chicago City Council. (WTTW News)

Federal officials are probing allegations that Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th Ward) took bribes and demanded payments before taking official actions, sources told WTTW News.

Watchdog Asked to Probe How Ald. Gardiner Got Court Records on Political Foe

Jim Gardiner appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 27, 2019, a day after ousting two-term incumbent Ald. John Arena (45th Ward) in the municipal election. (WTTW News)

The watchdog for the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk has been asked to probe whether one of the office’s employees improperly accessed court records and sent them to Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th Ward), who faces allegations that he has used his office to retaliate against political opponents, WTTW News has learned. 

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Bronzeville

Renderings of Katherine Johnson and Gwendolyn Brooks are captured in part of Bronzeville’s “Renaissance Mural.” (WTTW News)

The historic Bronzeville neighborhood on the city’s South Side sits just south of McCormick Place, and has been known for decades as a hub of Black arts and culture in Chicago. Wednesday, City Council paved the way for a massive new development that could reshape the community’s future.

Phil Ponce Ends Regular Appearances on ‘Chicago Tonight’

(WTTW News)

After nearly three decades at “Chicago Tonight,” Phil Ponce ends his regular appearances on the program. We reflect on his career in journalism and his leadership role in the WTTW newsroom.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Downtown Reopens

Nearly 200 previously furloughed staff members returned to the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Thursday, June 10, 2021, to prepare for the state’s full reopening Friday. (WTTW News)

The city and state’s full reopening is a double-edged sword for many in the hospitality and entertainment industry. They wonder: the crowds may be coming back, but will the labor force return?

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Northalsted

Northalsted, formerly called “Boystown,” is known as the center of LGBTQ life in Chicago. As Pride celebrations begin, the community has just started to recover the vibrant character that made it famous following last year’s pandemic and civil unrest.

‘Chicago Tonight’ in Your Neighborhood: Village of Riverdale

The Village of Riverdale lags behind the rest of suburban Cook County in vaccinations. As part of our community reporting series, we speak with elected officials, community leaders and physicians about the vaccine rollout, and what they’re doing to make the vaccine more accessible.

Community Organizations Want to Help Greater Englewood Get Vaccinated

Part of our ‘Chicago Tonight’ In Your Neighborhood series

The Greater Englewood Area, made up of Englewood and West Englewood, has faced historic disinvestment. Now it’s lagging behind in the percentage of residents who are vaccinated against COVID-19. These community organizations are helping to inform residents about the vaccine and make appointments more accessible.

‘What Are We Going To Have Left In Our Community?’ Aldermen React with Panic, Sorrow to Unrest

A chaotic scene in Chicago on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Hugo Balta / WTTW News)

As unrest swept the city Sunday, aldermen pleaded with Mayor Lori Lightfoot to help them protect their communities from roving bands of criminals clashing with police and looting businesses.

Before She Was Mayor: An In-Depth Profile of Lori Lightfoot

From humble beginnings in Massillon, Ohio, to a high-powered federal prosecutor – to mayor of Chicago. Our in-depth profile of the events that shaped the life of Lori Lightfoot.

Federal Judge Approves Historic Chicago Police Consent Decree

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson discuss steps toward oversight of the Chicago Police Department on Aug. 29, 2017.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dow called the historic decree “an important first step toward needed reforms of the Chicago Police Department and its policies.”

Activists, Local Business Leaders Push Back Against Lincoln Yards

An artist’s rendering of the Lincoln Yards master plan released in January 2019. (Courtesy Sterling Bay)

A master plan for the $6 billion Lincoln Yards development is released. The developer says it has taken community concerns to heart, but critics say the plan is being pushed too fast.

Spotlight Politics: What’s Coming in 2019

Catch up on what you may have missed over the holidays – and get a look at what’s to come in 2019 – with our political correspondents in this weekly roundtable.

Spotlight Politics: Preckwinkle Drops Petition Challenge

A major detente in the race for Chicago mayor. We take a deep dive into the 2019 election and other top political headlines in our weekly roundtable.

Census 2020: Illinois Joins Suit to Block Citizenship Question

(Pixabay)

Why the 2020 census could include a question about citizenship – and why there’s a legal effort to block it.

2020 Census Citizenship Question ‘Politically Motivated,’ Say Officials

(Pixabay)

The United States Census is not often a hot-button issue, but it’s recently been thrust into the center of controversy.

Garry McCarthy Announces Run for Chicago Mayor

Garry McCarthy appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 20, 2018.

Garry McCarthy is officially in. “It’s time for new leadership in City Hall that’ll fix our problems and pull us together,” the former Chicago Police superintendent said in a video announcing his bid for Chicago mayor.

Chicago Cubs Win Game 5, Send World Series Back to Cleveland

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate Sunday night’s win over the Cleveland Indians. (Credit: MLB / Twitter)

The Cubs face another do-or-die game Tuesday night in Cleveland. What did this weekend's home games mean for the local economy?

Violence in Chicago: A Special Edition of ‘Chicago Tonight’

(Daniel Dionne / Flickr)

Community leaders from around Chicago join us for an hourlong conversation about the root causes of Chicago's violence, and what can be done to stop it.

Emanuel Says He Plans ‘Major Address’ on Gun Violence

Acknowledging the historically high murder rate in Chicago this month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday told “Chicago Tonight” that he is planning a major address in mid-September to deal with violence.

CTU Prepping Teachers for ‘Strong Possibility’ of Strike

Email claims teachers union is "likely to strike" as it continues negotiating a new contract with Chicago Public Schools.

An email sent to Chicago teachers this week claims the union is “likely to strike” and advertises a strike training session this weekend.

Unanimous Vote Gives Waukesha Access to Lake Michigan Drinking Water

The city of Waukesha on Tuesday was given a green light to divert water from Lake Michigan for its drinking water supply after eight representatives from the states that border the Great Lakes voted unanimously to allow the diversion.

Funeral Held for Bettie Jones

Bettie Jones, the 55-year-old woman who was accidentally shot and killed by police on Dec. 26, was laid to rest Wednesday. Jones’ family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago. Joining us to talk about Jones and the lawsuit is attorney Larry Rogers Jr.

Emanuel Eyes $500 Million Property Tax Increase, Sources Say

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly considering a $500 million property tax hike—one of the largest in the city’s history—to help pay police and fire pensions and construction projects for Chicago Public Schools. The tax increase is expected to be included in the mayor’s 2016 budget. We examine what’s reportedly in Emanuel’s budget and what it means for city residents.

Mayoral Runoff Candidate Post-Forum News Conference

Chicago mayoral candidates Rahm Emanuel and Jesús "Chuy" García gave a brief news conference following the forum.