Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot initially opposed efforts by members of the City Council to require the heads of the city’s sister agencies to answer questions from the City Council but dropped her objections Wednesday. 

Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. (David Mark / Pixabay)

The funds will be used for repairs, debt retirement and pension contributions.

(Courtesy Riot Fest)
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An amendment has been proposed to the Chicago Park District code, which, if approved, would insert commissioners into the permit approval process for events drawing more than 10,000 attendees. 

The pool at River Park in Lincoln Square is one of 37 that will open July 5. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

With only 55% of lifeguard positions filled, the Chicago Park District is limiting access to “underutilized” beaches in order to redeploy staff to neighborhood pools, 37 of which will open July 5.

The Chicago Park District’s River Park, located in Lincoln Square. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

More than 55% of the department’s 587 seasonal lifeguard positions were vacant as of Thursday, according to Chicago Park District data, eight days after officials announced the city’s 49 outdoor pools would not open on schedule — leaving Chicagoans to swelter during a record-breaking heat wave.

(WTTW News)
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Park District Superintendent Rosa Escareño joined “Chicago Tonight” to discuss the ongoing shortage and acknowledged that some neighborhood pools may not be able to open at all if the Park District can’t fill some 300 lifeguard positions.

The Chicago Park District’s River Park, located in Lincoln Square. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago Park District officials acknowledged to WTTW News that it had not been able to hire enough lifeguards to allow its 49 outdoor pools to open as scheduled on June 24, blaming a “national shortage” and “several other factors.” 

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“We need lifeguards NOW and are offering great incentives to anyone who is a strong swimmer and interested in keeping the public safe,” Rosa Escareño, Chicago Park District general superintendent, said in a statement.

(WTTW News)
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The ACLU of Illinois immediately blasted the new Millennium Park policy as “too vague, allows too much discretion and does not recognize the right to protest for those under 18.”

Chicago Park District superintendent Rosa Escareño calls the CPD day camps “the best deal in town” from a cost perspective, she wants people to know that there are discounts available for those who need it. (Courtesy Chicago Park District)
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The warm weather has finally arrived, and that means it's time to start planning your summer activities. The Chicago Park District opened registration at the park district website for all its summer programs, including the one many parents have been waiting for — day camps. 

Rosa Escareño appears on Chicago Tonight on July 31, 2021. (WTTW News)

Rosa Escareño planned to retire in July as commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection after 30 years with the city, but agreed to lead the beleaguered park district after the scandal erupted.

River Park, in Lincoln Square. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The Park District board OK’d a $600,000 budget for the new Office of Prevention and Accountability, which is being established to prevent misconduct and hold wrongdoers accountable. Commissioners questioned whether the amount dedicated to the new office was adequate enough for the task at hand.

Chicago Park District Board President Avis LaVelle addresses the news media about the lifeguard sexual abuse scandal Tuesday, Nov. 2. (Heather Cherone / WTTW)

Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners President Avis LaVelle said Wednesday she was not forced to resign by Mayor Lori Lightfoot for her handling of complaints that girls and young women were being abused while working at Chicago’s parks.

The Chicago Park District’s River Park, located in Lincoln Square. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Three of the four lifeguards accused of wrongdoing resigned as a result of the investigation, while Chicago Park District Interim Inspector General Alison Perona recommended the fourth be terminated in connection with the allegations. 

Park District staff face losing pay if they refuse to comply with a new vaccine mandate. (Chicago Park District / Facebook)

Staff who have haven’t received accommodations and still remain unvaccinated as of March 1, 2022, will be placed on a non-disciplinary no-pay status until they comply with the mandate.

(Chicago Park District)

A search for a new leader of the Chicago Park District to usher into “a new era of accountability in our parks system” is underway, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.