The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee / Facebook

The Chicago Theater community gathers in Oakbrook tonight to celebrate the year’s best work on the stage. Illinois Public Radio's Brian O’Keefe visited with the one of the creative forces behind one of last year’s big winners and this year’s nominees.



The culinary world's prestigious James Beard Awards ceremony will take place in the city of Chicago for five more years.  Chicago has hosted the awards ceremony since 2015. Prior to that, New York had hosted the event honoring the best chefs and restaurants in the U.S. for 25 years.

Jason Lawrence / Flickr

A Chicago disability rights group has sued the mobile ride-hailing service Uber for allegedly violating U.S. laws mandating wheelchair accessibility.

3-D Imaging Proves Tiny T. Rex Arms Largely Unused

Oct 14, 2016
greyloch / Flickr

It turns out The Field Museum's T. rex Sue didn't use those tiny arms very much. At least that's the initial conclusion from a detailed look at the fossil's right forelimb at the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2017 budget includes $1 million for a program to provide identification to people who have trouble getting official photo ID cards.  Emanuel and Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza announced the municipal ID program's launch Wednesday. The ID would be available to all Chicago residents, granting them access to city services, cultural institutions and programs.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel used his annual budget speech to laud the cash-strapped city for being "back on solid ground."  Emanuel told members of the Chicago City Council that the 2017 budget he's proposing is free of a pension crisis and insolvency threatening city employee retirements. 

Students and teachers in Chicago headed back to the classroom after the Chicago Teachers Union, and the nation's third-largest school district, averted a strike with a late-night tentative contract agreement.  The union had been prepared to hit the picket lines this morning for what would have been the second major Chicago Public Schools strike since 2012. 

The Chicago Police Department has proposed a new policy that would require officers to use the least amount of force necessary, and centers on the "sanctity of life."  Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says the policy will undergo 45 days of public comment which he called a department first, and a step toward a promised improvement in transparency. 

Authorities are trying to determine what caused an 8-year-old refugee from Congo to die not long after his arrival in Chicago.  The boy, identified as David Dieme, arrived at O'Hare International Airport from Dubai on Tuesday with his father and several other children. 

Chicago aldermen have approved an ordinance backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that will revamp investigations into police shootings and officer misconduct. Alderman Ariel Reboyras says the measure is "far from perfect but it shows we want to move forward."

A woman who says she watched a white Chicago police officer fatally shoot a black teenager, has filed a federal lawsuit that alleges police pressured her to change her account or "forget" what she saw.  Alma Benitez says police detained her for hours, and falsely told her the dashcam video contradicted what she said happened on Oct. 20, 2014, when officer Jason Van Dyke shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Tony Webster

An analysis of the homicide toll in Chicago in August shows that it was the deadliest month in the city in two decades.  Young African-American men are the chief victims of surging violence in a handful of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods that have loosely organized street gangs.

The man who calls himself the leader of Illinois' Republican Party conti ues to refuse to weigh in on this year's election.

London's mayor wants to reassure American investors, tourists and students that his city will remain open for business despite his country's decision to withdraw from the European Union.  Sadiq Khan said during a visit to Chicago, that London is demanding a seat at the table when the British government begins formally negotiating its exit from the EU, and will ensure the deal is a "good one."

Construction has started on a new trauma center that will serve the South Side of Chicago, which hasn't had one for 25 years.  Ground was broken on the $43 million project at University of Chicago Medicine. The new facility is expected to open in January 2018. 

Wikimedia/Steve Jurvetson

Chicago aldermen are heading off a ride-hailing service's plans for driverless vehicles by proposing an ordinance to ban the vehicles.  Two Chicago aldermen proposed the ordinance during the City Council meeting. 

Cook County prosecutors say a man charged with murder in a Chicago apartment building fire that killed three children and an adult was angered over a deal for sex the woman reneged on.  Prosecutors say 51-year-old Reginald Hester gave a videotaped confession admitting that on Aug. 23, he started the early-morning fire on the rear porch and interior stairway of the building. 

The city of Chicago is asking a judge to overturn an Illinois attorney general's ruling that police officers' personal emails are a matter of public record.  The city filed the complaint arguing that officers' personal emails concerning the shooting death of a black teenager by a white officer aren't subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

Flickr Creative Commons/Tony Webster

Chicago police are solving homicides at a far lower rate than their counterparts in some other major cities, which may reflect how hard it is for detectives to crack the culture of silence surrounding the violence committed by the city's street gangs.

The Chicago Police Department is expanding the use of a gunshot detection system and surveillance cameras in areas of the city that are dealing with high rates of gun violence.  Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says in a statement the expanded ShotSpotter system and crime cameras will be in police districts on the city's south and west side. 

Flickr Creative Commons/prsa-ny

A former Chicago law clerk and current candidate for a judgeship who was fired after allegedly taking the bench to hear some minor traffic cases now has a challenger.

A pregnant Chicago woman who was shot in the abdomen during another violent holiday weekend in the city later delivered a nearly full-term baby boy.  The shooting Monday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood also wounded the woman's boyfriend. 

Stephen M. Scott / Flickr

Police say 90 people were killed in Chicago last month, more homicides than New York and Los Angeles combined. Hundreds more people were shot in one of the bloodiest months in recent history. The city is now on pace for its deadliest year in almost two decades with more than 460 murders already.

Loyola University criminologist Arthur Lurigio says the first thing the police need to do to reduce violent crime is start solving more murders.

The FBI is appealing for the public's help in solving a more than a decade-old killing of a 13-year-old Indiana girl, whose decapitated body was found by boaters in a river near Chicago. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Afshin Darian

The iconic Tribune Tower on Chicago's Michigan Avenue will have a new owner.   Los Angeles-based CIM Group has agreed to buy the tower for up to $240 million. The deal, expected to close by September's end, was announced by Chicago-based Tribune Media Tuesday. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Nate Pesce / Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office

A popular site for "Pokemon Go" characters in a conservation area on the north Chicago lakefront has attracted hundreds of players and inspired legislation to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

A law clerk running unopposed for a judgeship has been fired after she was accused of donning a robe and taking the bench in a Chicago courtroom to hear some minor traffic cases.   Chief Judge Timothy Evans' office says Rhonda Crawford is no longer employed by the Cook County Circuit Court. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Jim Pennucci

Enormous rats are making their way through the federal court system. But they're not wet-nosed, living rodents. They're rubber, inflatable ones.  Unions deploy such rat replicas outside businesses they have disputes with.  

Cook County officials say they expect to issue the 10 thousandth marriage license to a same-sex couple this week.  Cook County Clerk David Orr held a news conference along with state lawmakers and civil right groups to mark the milestone. 

A former Chicago transportation official has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was convicted of taking bribes to steer $100 million in red-light camera contracts to a company in Phoenix.  U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall sentenced John Bills today in Chicago.