Stories by Alex Ruppenthal

Illinois’ US Senators, Reps. Respond to Trump’s Executive Order on Refugees

A majority of Illinois' congressional members have issued statements about President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries. Find out what they have to say.

Cook County Laying Blueprint for New Age of Community Solar Projects

(Solar Energy Industries Association)

Cook County is more than halfway through a multiyear project that aims to make solar energy more affordable for residents.

Lead Testing, Energy Jobs Highlight Illinois’ 2016 Environmental Scorecard

On Thursday, the Illinois Environmental Council released its Environmental Scorecard, highlighting the top pieces of environmental legislation (and legislators) from 2016. 

MWRD Deal Aims to Reduce Algae Pollution in Chicago River

The decadeslong fight to clean up the Chicago River took a step forward last week with the resolution of two lawsuits targeting phosphorous discharge that has polluted waters from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico.

Chicago Activists Prepare to Defend Environment Under Trump

(Daniel Dionne / Flickr)

Dozens of Chicago activists met last week to plan a defense of environmental policies that appear vulnerable under the administration of President Donald Trump.

Meet Patsy McNasty, Notebaert Nature Museum’s Alligator Snapping Turtle

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's alligator snapping turtle, Patsy McNasty, moved into a bigger tank Jan. 19. (Alex Ruppenthal / Chicago Tonight)

Alligator snapping turtle Patsy McNasty moved into a new 300-gallon tank this week at Chicago's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where visitors attended a “housewarming” event for the 14-pound turtle. 

Chicago Counting on Complaints to Enforce New Recycling Ordinance

(Brian Johnson and Dane Kantner / Flickr)

Chicago will depend on residents to help enforce the city’s updated recycling ordinance – at least initially. The changes, which took effect Jan. 1, mark the first update to the city’s recycling rules in 20 years.

Report: Pollution Leading Cause of Death Worldwide

Pollution causes 10 million deaths per year, according to an upcoming report written by 50 researchers and policymakers, including Chicago-based energy experts.

New Illinois Law Keeps Police Dogs With Partner Officers

K-9 Officer Marlo served with the Oak Brook Police Department from 1993-2000. (Randy Mucha)

Thanks to a new state law, officers partnered with a police dog are first in line to keep the dog once it is deemed no longer fit for service.

Cook County Surpasses Emission Reduction Targets

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County is ahead of schedule on its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, a new report shows.

Emanuel Names New Chicago Police Board Appointment

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has named former chief deputy U.S. Marshal John P. O’Malley to the Chicago Police Board, which decides the most serious cases of police discipline. 

Earth2Trump Resistance Roadshow Coming to Chicago

Organized by the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity, Earth2Trump is a series of rallies aimed at building “resistance to all forms of oppression and all attacks on the environment,” the group states.

Trump’s Chicago Skyscraper at Bottom of City’s Energy Rankings

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago (TonyTheTiger / Wikimedia Commons)

Donald Trump is no friend of the environment. And based on new energy use data from the city, neither is his trademark Chicago skyscraper.