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President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden at the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (WTTW News via CNN)

After the president refuses to participate in a virtual debate, it is canceled by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The city faces a nearly unsolvable budget problem as federal stimulus talks break down. And the “fair tax” fight heats up.

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

Illinois Republicans probe Michael Madigan. U.S. Attorney General Barr touts a drop in Chicago crime. Recordings reveal President Trump knew about COVID-19 dangers while publicly saying the opposite.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday, July 31, 2020: “We’re at a danger point, everybody. Pay attention.”

The governor warns of a “danger point” as COVID-19 cases rise. Three cops are injured in a shooting. ComEd gets a grilling from aldermen, while House Speaker Madigan says he isn’t going anywhere.

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A screenshot from a video surveillance camera inside the office of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush on June 1, 2020. (WTTW News via City of Chicago)

Activists call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to defund the police – an idea she rejects. She’s pushing to license police after video caught a dozen officers lounging as looters destroyed businesses.

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A quiet lakefront in Chicago on March 26, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois sets a new record of confirmed COVID-19 cases as testing capacity expands. Gov. J.B. Pritzker extends the stay-at-home order until May 30 with some modifications. And Chicago aldermen narrowly approve emergency powers for Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 

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Coronavirus fears tank the stock market. The gloves come off in the race for Cook County state’s attorney. More turmoil at Chicago Public Schools. And the city preps for round two of electric scooters.

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With the new year come recreational marijuana, growing federal investigations, the search for a Chicago police superintendent and some soul-searching for the Bears. We peer into the crystal ball.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot fires top cop Eddie Johnson weeks before his retirement. Are the feds eyeing House Speaker Michael Madigan? Legal pot hits a roadblock. And Mitchell Trubisky shines in a Bears win over Dallas.

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Eddie Johnson will make way for interim Superintendent Charlie Beck at the end of the year. Lawmakers talk up lobbying reforms amid a ComEd investigation. And can the Bears salvage their season?

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Illinois’ congressional Democrats support impeachment. Southwest Side politicians get caught in federal crosshairs. The Chicago Teachers Union overwhelmingly supports a strike. And the Cubs collapse.

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A sexual harassment report puts new scrutiny on Springfield. Bombastic former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh mulls taking on Trump. A teachers union trip to Venezuela causes uproar. And the Cubs close an otherwise strong week with a blowout loss.

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Four cops fired over an alleged cover-up. A life sentence for a former U. of I. student. A war of words between Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Five casino locations are unveiled. And the Cubs are red hot.

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Carrie Austin becomes the latest Chicago alderman to be raided by the feds. Justice Anne Burke comes under fire over judicial appointments. And the Bulls draft Coby White.

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It’s been a tumultuous week in local politics. We break down the Burke indictment and address the fallout. Plus: Mayor Lightfoot’s dramatic first City Council meeting, the deadline dash in Springfield and more.

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J.B. Pritzker faces a federal investigation into his property taxes. Mayor Emanuel brokers a deal between striking musicians and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

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Texts raise questions about Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s involvement in the Jussie Smollett case. The final aldermanic votes have been tallied. And a lawsuit seeks to stop the Lincoln Yards project.