Author Archive

Grammy-winning Composer ‘Working’ in Chicago

The year was 1971. A young musician from New York City, Stephen Schwartz, was about to strike gold. The recently married 22-year-old had labored over a musical, writing both the lyrics and music. He called it “Godspell.” Soon after it landed on Broadway, it became one of the most famous musicals of his generation. Schwartz […]

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Behind the Scenes of Producing a Chicago Tonight Story

Chicago Tonight Producer Marc Vitali is the wizard behind many of the arts and entertainment stories you watch on our show. Now, it’s his turn to be on center stage. I tagged along with Marc for a day while he produced a piece to figure out how a Chicago Tonight story comes to fruition. This […]

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Illinois Policy Institute Proposes a Balanced Budget

Out of dissatisfaction with the state budget, one Illinois research group on Tuesday released its own 2012 budget to rival Gov. Pat Quinn’s recent proposal. The Illinois Policy Institute, which calls itself a nonpartisan research and education organization, said in a press release that Gov. Quinn’s budget will continue to run Illinois into a deficit, one of […]

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Educating the Public about Gang Life

Lance Williams is an academic with one foot in the classroom, the other on the pavement. He’s considered an academic expert on Chicago gang life, with a doctorate in public health that focuses on youth intervention. He also helped write the first concise book on the Black P Stone Nation, one of Chicago’s longstanding gangs. […]

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Jody Weis’ Last Day as Chicago’s Top Cop

Six months ago, the Fraternal Order of Police was calling for his resignation. Now, Jody Weis approaches his final hours as Chicago’s top cop. Today’s date – March 1 – marks the expiration of Weis’ contract. Since Feb. 1, 2008, he’s been Chicago’s police superintendent. Handpicked by Mayor Richard M. Daley and disliked by the […]

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Local Dad Builds Bicycles for People with Special Needs

Steven Cohen, founder of JoRide Bicycles, started his business accidentally. He was trying to build a bike for his autistic son, Joey; one that would fit his son’s unique needs. The design of the bike was adapted especially for Joey, allowing him to experience the joy of bike riding. So Cohen took that bike model […]

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‘Why Can’t We Be Friends with Benefits?’ says Public Unions

Chicago Tonight Callaway Fellow and Wisconsin native Bob Spoerl took a trip to Madison on Wednesday night, nine days after the protest began. Here are his observations: In case you haven’t consumed any news over the past week and a half, let me recap what’s been going on in my home state. First, the new […]

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Lasers Lighting the Sky, Blinding Pilots Nationwide

Over the last half-decade, the number of reported laser pointing incidents at airplanes nationwide has increased nearly ten-fold. In 2005, there were around 300 such incidents reported to the Federal Aviation Administration. This January, the FAA reported that in 2010, the incident reports topped 2,800. That’s nearly double the number of incidents reported in 2009. […]

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Walking Away From Foreclosure

This is what some lenders are doing: they file a foreclosure and then ‘walk away’ because they deem it too expensive to maintain long-term vacant homes. And it’s going to cost Chicago some $36 million, according to a recent report from the Woodstock Institute. As of September 2010, 6.3 percent of the addresses in Chicago […]

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Behind the Scenes of WTTW’s Mayoral Candidate Forum

Unless you are running for mayor, a member of the City Club of Chicago, or you work for Chicago Tonight, you missed the drama before Monday’s mayoral candidate forum. While the show went on as planned, the antics before the show included two uninvited mayoral candidates crashing the party at WTTW studios; and one mayoral […]

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Blizzard of 2011: As Seen Through Your Camera

We asked you to send us your pictures of Chicago’s massive snowstorm. Here is a gallery featuring some of those images. It’s the Blizzard of 2011, as seen through the cameras of Chicago Tonight viewers and employees. Thanks, and stay warm.

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Mayoral Candidates Answer Tough Questions From Chicago Teens

Four of the mayoral candidates — Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, Miguel Del Valle and Rahm Emanuel — answer questions from Chicago high school students.

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