Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Chicago Sports Hall of Fame Inducts First Special Olympics Athlete

Tommy Shimoda (Courtesy of Special Olympics Chicago)

Tommy Shimoda, 24, won gold and bronze medals in speed skating at the Special Olympics World Winter Games this year in Austria. This week, he was inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, becoming the first Special Olympics athlete to receive the honor. 

Local Officials React to ‘Senseless’ Las Vegas Shooting

In the wake of the massacre of concertgoers in Las Vegas, Chicago is preparing to host one of its largest annual events, the Chicago Marathon, on Sunday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the city is ready.

US Supreme Court to Take on Union Fees Case Janus v AFSCME

(Matt H. Wade / Wikipedia)

An Illinois case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and it could have huge ramifications for public unions.

Rauner Signs Controversial ‘Abortion Bill’

The move puts an end to ambiguity over his stance on the issue, but in raising the ire of his conservative base it may also force him into a new battle: fending of a challenger from the right in next year’s elections.

Chicago Doubles Down on Campaign for New Amazon Headquarters

Who’s on the team assigned to lure Amazon’s new national headquarters to Chicago? It may be easier to ask who isn’t involved.

Mayor Vows to Fight Fed’s ‘Unlawful Attack on Chicago’s Values’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 24.

A new wrinkle in Chicago’s legal battle with the U.S. Department of Justice.

‘Abortion Bill’ Handed Off to Rauner

Gov. Bruce Rauner now has the next 60 days – until late November – to act on a bill that would expand taxpayer-funded abortions in Illinois.

Dennis Hastert Victim Scott Cross Speaks Out

A law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner last month eliminates the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault against children. Fighting for that change was personal for Scott Cross. He joins us in discussion.

Illinois and Amazon: A Test for the State’s Leaders

A joint Chicago-Illinois delegation has returned from a scouting trip to Seattle, as the city and state attempt to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to Chicago.

Illinois Attorney General: Who Will Replace Lisa Madigan?

Erika Harold

Erika Harold has a clean shot at the GOP nomination. Among Democrats, it’s a scramble. The first to officially announce a run is state state Rep. Scott Drury, who had been running for governor. 

University of Chicago Ties for No. 3 Spot on Best Colleges List

The University of Chicago (Don Burkett / Flickr)

The new U.S. News and World Report college rankings are out. See which Illinois schools made the list.

Equifax Data Breach: How to Protect Yourself

Of Illinois’ 12.8 million residents, an estimated 5.4 million may have been impacted by the Equifax data breach. We review what you can do to protect yourself from potential identity fraud.

Daniel Biss Replaces Ramirez-Rosa with Rep. Litesa Wallace

Left: Daniel Biss speaks to Cook County Democratic committeemen on March 27, 2017. (Chicago Tonight). Right: On Friday, Biss announced his new running mate, state Rep. Litesa Wallace. (Litesa Wallace / Facebook)

Mere days after parting ways with his original running mate, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful announced the Rockford lawmaker would join his ticket.

2018 Illinois Governor’s Race: Who’s Ahead, Who’s Behind

Gov. Bruce Rauner appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 14, 2017.

Political intrigue and high finance mark the race for governor.

Attorney General Madigan Sues Trump Administration to Protect ‘Dreamers’

President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has Illinois politicians at odds.

Chicago Gun Violence Down Over Labor Day Weekend, Police Say

Deputy Police Superintendent Kevin Navarro

The Chicago Police Department says it’s not a victory, but it is progress: Homicides were down 46 percent over the holiday weekend compared with last year, and there was a 30-percent reduction in shootings.

Education Overhaul Becomes Law, Scholarship Plan Attracts Scrutiny

At long last, Illinois has tossed its old method of funding schools in exchange for a formula that aims to send more state money to the poorer districts that need it most.

‘Historic’ Education Funding Bill Heads to Gov. Rauner

The Illinois Senate has passed a new education funding measure that Gov. Bruce Rauner said he will sign into law.

Illinois House Passes ‘Historic’ Education Funding Bill

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

A day of drama in the Illinois House ended Monday night with a passage of bipartisan education funding legislation that Gov. Bruce Rauner said he will “quickly” sign into law should the Senate pass the package on Tuesday.

Rauner Shakes Off Staff in Latest Upheaval

Gov. Bruce Rauner may say a controversial cartoon published by the Illinois Policy Institute has nothing to do with him, but his response may have led to another staff shake-up.

Education Talks, Cartoon Controversy Continue

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

Illinois’ top legislators will meet Thursday to continue hammering out a deal on education funding, even as a controversy continues to swirl over an editorial cartoon that backs one of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s positions.

Legislators Condemn Rauner’s Reaction to Political Cartoon

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Top legislators spent hours Monday working on an education funding package, and reaction to a political cartoon is still simmering. 

‘Hopeful’ Madigan Cancels Eduction Funding Vote ‘In Light of Progress’

House Speaker Michael Madigan talks about education funding on Aug. 16, 2017. “We're not going to walk away from Senate Bill 1,” he said.

A marathon private session between Illinois’ top legislative leaders was evidently productive enough that House Speaker Michael Madigan is canceling the chamber’s expected vote on a contentious education funding plan Wednesday as talks continue. 

Solar Eclipse Sparks ‘Festival’ Atmosphere in Carbondale

Onlookers were treated to a clear view of the solar eclipse in Carbondale. “It was a festival sort of atmosphere,” Amanda Vinicky said. “You literally had a beer tent, carnival rides, and band, a whole lot of very excited people wearing garb for the solar eclipse.”

State Rep. Steven Andersson to Step Down

Exclusive: Andersson explains why he’s not running for re-election

State Rep. Steven Andersson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 11.

The Republican legislator who was instrumental to the passage of Illinois’ first budget in more than two years is leaving state politics. Find out why.