Jussie Smollett convicted of staging attack, lying to police

CHICAGO — A jury has convicted Jussie Smollett on five of six charges he staged a racist, anti-gay attack on himself and lied to Chicago police about it. The jury returned the verdict Thursday afternoon against the former actor from the TV show “Empire” after a weeklong trial. Jurors acquitted him on one charge. Two […]

First case of omicron COVID-19 variant detected in Illinois

URBANA – Health officials reported late Tuesday that the omicron COVID-19 variant has been confirmed in a case in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Public Health said the case was confirmed in a Chicago resident. That patient had been in contact with a person from another state who […]

Accused of lying to police, Smollett takes the stand

Updated at 9:05 p.m. CHICAGO — Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has testified that claims he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself are “100% false.” Smollett took the stand Monday at his trial on charges that he lied to Chicago police about the January 2019 attack in downtown Chicago. He refuted testimony from two […]

Brothers to take center stage in Jussie Smollett trial

CHICAGO — The trial of actor Jussie Smollett will boil down to the question of whether the jury believes the actor’s version of what he says was a racist and homophobic attack or that told by two brothers who say they helped the actor fake the attack. Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo admit they took part […]

Racial covenants, a relic of the past, are still on the books across the country

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inga Selders, a city council member in a suburb of Kansas City, wanted to know if there were provisions preventing homeowners from legally having backyard chickens. So she combed through deeds in the county recorder’s office for two days looking for specific language. At one point, she stumbled across some language, […]

Civil rights activist, historian Timuel Black dies at 102

CHICAGO — Civil rights activist, retired Chicago professor and historian Timuel Black has died at the age of 102. Black’s widow tells the Chicago Sun-Times and WLS-TV that he died Wednesday. Details of his death were not immediately available. Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson called Black “a tall tree in the civil rights […]

After 5 Years, Obamas Break Ground On Presidential Center

CHICAGO — Barack and Michelle Obama have broken ground on Chicago’s South Side for the Obama Presidential Center. Tuesday’s event follows years of legal battles, concerns about gentrification and a federal review. Construction officially began last month in Jackson Park along Lake Michigan. Barack Obama says he hopes the center will bring an economic boost […]

After 5 Years, Obamas To Break Ground On Presidential Center

CHICAGO — Barack and Michelle Obama are expected to attend a celebratory groundbreaking on Chicago’s South Side for the Obama Presidential Center. Tuesday’s event follows years of legal battles, concerns about gentrification and a federal review. Construction officially began last month in Jackson Park along Lake Michigan. The site is near the Obama family home […]

Investigators Probe Deadly Amtrak Derailment In Montana

JOPLIN, Mont. — Federal officials sent a team of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board to the site of an Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana that killed three people and left seven hospitalized Sunday. The westbound Empire Builder was en route to Seattle from Chicago, with two locomotives and 10 cars, when it left […]

Emmett Till Marker In Mississippi Toppled But Not Vandalized

JACKSON, Miss. — An Emmett Till historical marker in Mississippi will be repaired after being knocked off the pole that supports it. That’s according to Allan Hammons, president of an advertising agency that made the sign. A previous version of this metal sign was vandalized and another Till historical marker in the area was shot […]

Illinois Sees Record Pot Sales, With Boost From Lollapalooza

CHICAGO — Illinois dispensaries sold a record $127.8 million in recreational marijuana in July, with a big boost coming from out-of-state fans who converged on Chicago for the Lollapalooza music festival. The month’s sales were 10% higher than May’s record of $116.4 million, which were slightly higher than June’s $115.6 million, according to a monthly […]

Chicago To Join Illinois In Fully Reopening June 11

CHICAGO — Chicago’s mayor has moved up the city’s timetable for reopening to match the rest of the state. Mayor Lori Lightfoot had planned to allow bars, restaurants, hotels and sports stadiums to open to full capacity on July 4. On Thursday, Lightfoot said the city is ready to join the rest of the state […]

Illinois Selling James R. Thompson Center In Chicago

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois says it’s officially placed the James R. Thompson Center that houses state government offices in downtown Chicago up for sale. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services took a step that has been in the works for years. Illinois officials have argued the 17-story building designed by celebrated […]

Harris: Vaccinated Can Be ‘Role Models’ For Friends, Family

CHICAGO — Vice President Kamala Harris is urging Chicago union members to share their experience receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and act as “role models” for family and friends who may be reluctant even as Illinois prepares to open access to all adults. Harris on Tuesday visited a vaccination site in Chicago that opened last week […]

Chicago Grants Emmett Till’s South Side Home Landmark Status

CHICAGO — The Chicago home of Emmett Till, the Black teenager whose 1955 lynching galvanized the civil rights movement, has been granted landmark status. The Chicago City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that protects the South Side home from demolition. Till was 14 in the summer of 1955 when he went to visit family […]