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In this May 28, 2021 file photo, travelers wait for their luggage at a baggage carousel at Miami International Airport in Miami. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee, File)

The airline industry’s recovery from the pandemic passed a milestone as more than 2 million people streamed through U.S. airport security checkpoints on Friday for the first time since early March 2020.

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(WTTW News)

The city and state are fully reopened after a long 15 months. The remap fights heat up. A former alderman may have secretly recorded former House Speaker Michael Madigan. And an elected school board is on the agenda in Springfield.

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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?

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(WTTW News)

People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue to wear face coverings in crowded settings and maintain 6 feet of social distance when inside businesses and venues, even after Illinois moves into phase 5 of its reopening plan, according to new guidance.

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In this May 26, 2021 photo, a sign for workers hangs in the window of a shop along Main Street in Deadwood, S.D. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Hiring in the United States picked up in May yet was slowed again by the struggles of many companies to find enough workers to keep up with the economy’s swift recovery from the pandemic recession.

Plus: Our Spotlight Politics team breaks down Springfield’s contentious spring session

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(Photo by Lightscape / Unsplash)

Illinois bars and taverns can now offer their thirsty patrons an incentive for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The new law starts June 10 and runs through July 10. 

The Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance Program application window closes June 8

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(WTTW News)

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program provides grants to cover 15 months of missed rental payments. By August, the eviction ban is set to be lifted in Illinois. Will this assistance be enough to keep people afloat?

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A pilot program is launching in Gary, Indiana, where more than a hundred residents have started to receive monthly payments of $500. (WTTW News)

It’s an idea that’s grown increasingly popular in recent years: guaranteed or universal basic income payments. Now, a pilot program is launching just outside Chicago, where more than 100 residents have started to receive monthly payments of $500.

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(Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures)

A Chicago alderman wants ride-share companies to cap surge pricing amid a driver shortage, and drivers want Uber and Lyft to do more to keep them safe.

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A woman paints a Black Lives Matter mural in Chicago. (WTTW News)

A year after the murder of George Floyd — and the corporate statements in support of racial equity that followed — some corporations say they are working toward an equitable economic recovery. We learn about the Chicago Community Trust’s new Move to Action initiative.

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The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel (WTTW News)

The last 14 months have been incredibly difficult for Chicago’s usually booming hospitality industry. Though many hotels are still grappling with lower occupancy rates and many employees are still laid off, a recent uptick in travel means things are starting to look up.

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(WTTW News)

The proposal brought an immediate backlash not just from those who enjoy an impromptu late-night tipple, but business owners who said the rules would push sales outside the city — and give bars and restaurants an unfair advantage over stores. 

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(Photo by logan jeffrey on Unsplash)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot included the cap on fees as part of larger package designed to help Chicago businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic “quickly and holistically.” 

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The Greater Chicago Food Depository supplies food pantries across the Chicago area. (WTTW News)

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which supplies food pantries across the area, says in its more than 40-year history it has never seen a hunger crisis like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss the issue as part of WTTW’s Firsthand initiative exploring poverty.

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In this Feb. 9, 2021 file photo, the Bitcoin logo appears on the display screen of a crypto currency ATM at the Smoker’s Choice store in Salem, N.H. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa, File)

Even by Bitcoin’s standards, last week was pretty wild. The price of the famously volatile digital currency fell nearly 30% at one point after the China Banking Association warned member banks of the risks associated with digital currencies.

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(WTTW News)

The long-awaited reopening of Chicago’s culinary hot spots should come as welcome news. But for the owners of those restaurants, finding the line cooks and servers they need has proven to be a tall order.