Stories by Eddie Arruza

Pluto Gets Its Close-up


Pluto finally got a visitor from Earth, 85 years after the dwarf planet’s discovery. Completing a nine-year, 3-billion-mile voyage, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reached the former ninth planet of our solar system on Tuesday. We'll discuss the milestone flyby with astronomers from the Adler Planetarium.

Famed Chicago Trading Pits Close

| Charles Jefferson
Trading floor at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1993.

The famed frenzy of open outcry trading that filled the Chicago Board of Trade’s pits for more than 80 years will cease Monday. The closure of most of the futures pits comes as most futures are traded electronically these days. Eddie Arruza visited the CBOT and has the latest.  

Chicago’s Velodrome

Long before hockey, football, and even baseball became popular sports in the U.S., there was velodrome racing. At the end of the 19th century, competitive racing on bicycle tracks was all the rage, especially in Chicago which had several velodromes throughout the city. Those great tracks have all disappeared but there is still one on the city's South Side that's currently sitting idle. But that could change soon.

The Robots are Coming!

J.B. Spector/Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

The Museum of Science and Industry premieres a new national touring exhibit that explores how robots, created by human ingenuity, will ultimately be our companions and colleagues, changing how we play, live, and work together.

Spike Lee on “Chiraq”

Film director Spike Lee is giving few clues into the approach he'll take with his controversially titled Chiraq. But at a press conference this morning outside St. Sabina Church on the South Side, Lee did say “Chicago will survive” his take on the city’s violence that has made international headlines. We hear from the controversial director and some victims’ relatives about their support for Lee’s film which is currently in preproduction in Chicago.

Web Extra: On The Table with Eddie Arruza

As part of the Chicago Community Trust’s On The Table, Chicago Tonight's Eddie Arruza hosted a dinner with area residents where they shared their thoughts, concerns, opinions, and hopes for the region's future. Read his blog about the event and watch a video of what participants had to say.

Nature Preserve Comes to Life

| Linda Qiu

In 2011, the Chicago Park District bought 20 acres of land on the city's north side. The plot of land had sat unused and untended for many years. Nearly four years later, work on the nature preserve is moving quickly with a scheduled unveiling set for this summer. We get a preview.

NFL Draft Comes to Chicago

For three days starting April 30, the NFL Draft will be held in Chicago for the first time since 1964. The National Football League as well as Chicago organizers say the event will be a major extravaganza that will turn parts of downtown Chicago into professional football's second biggest event of the year. But the draft is arriving with some controversies. We hear why organizers believe the draft will be a major showcase for the city while some observers think it will be only be a showcase for the NFL.

Surprising "Dog Flu" Find Generates More Concerns

| Linda Qiu

Officials say the outbreak of the so-called dog flu throughout the Chicago area is now of greater concern than originally thought. Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal & Rabies Control, tells us what the latest findings mean for pets and what animal control officials are doing to contain the outbreak.

13-Year-Old with Nut Allergies Creates a Documentary

| Linda Qiu

Jack Yonover is one of an increasing number of kids who have to watch what they eat to avoid potentially life-threatening nuts. The Wilmette teenager is also a budding filmmaker and has created an impressive documentary about the dangers of nut allergies from a kid's perspective. Yonover tells us about his documentary that is already drawing attention from health professionals and film festivals.

Outbreak of "Dog Flu" in Chicago Area

| Linda Qiu

Hundreds of Chicago area dogs have gotten sick and a number have died from what is believed to be an especially virulent "dog flu." A Chicago veterinarian tells us what the disease is, why it's especially bad, and offers advice about what loving dog owners should and should not do.

"Dead Wake"

| Linda Qiu

Best-selling author Erik Larson who shot to fame with his classic, Chicago-inspired book, The Devil In the White City is once again using his celebrated storytelling skills to recount the shocking last voyage of the Lusitania.

Is E.T. Phoning Earth?

| Linda Qiu

An Adler Planetarium astronomer tells us whether earthlings may, at long last, be hearing from other intelligent life in the universe.

Soprano Deborah Voigt

The "Down-To-Earth Diva" Tells All

We revisit a conversation with famed soprano Deborah Voigt about her career and autobiography.

Nuclear Sub Cooks Get High-End Chef Tips

Two U.S. Navy Culinary Specialists have spent their military careers cooking for hungry shipmates. But recently, they spent time in the relatively open kitchen space at the Union League Club of Chicago working with its Executive Chef, Michael Garbin. We follow them during a cooking session.

Lyric Opera's New Mariachi Opera

Two years ago, Lyric Opera of Chicago presented what was called the world's first mariachi opera. It was well-received and a big hit with audiences--so much so that it spawned another mariachi opera. This time around it's a Lyric Opera commission that has brought back together the same creative team and many of the same performers from the previous work. Its title is El Pasado Nunca Se Termina or The Past Is Never Finished, and it's receiving its world premiere here in Chicago.

Remembering Rev. Willie Barrow

| Kristen Thometz

She was known as "The Little Warrior." Short in stature but a towering force in the civil rights movement, the Rev. Willie T. Barrow died early this morning at age 90. We look back at her long and influential life, and the legacy she leaves behind.

Emanuel & García Ramp Up Attack Rhetoric

With less than a month until the April 7 runoff election in Chicago, the mayoral contenders ratchet up the attack rhetoric. Both candidates have harsh words for the other over who can right the city's financial ship. We have the details.

Pluto's Assassin -- and Why He's Not Remorseful

Caltech Astrophysicist Mike Brown was one of the scientists who, in 2006, led the successful crusade to get the former planet Pluto downgraded to the status of dwarf planet. He joins us to discuss what he's found far, far away in our solar system.

Is This Modern Art?

A new play at Steppenwolf Theatre has sparked a heated conversation -- precisely what the creators wanted. Based on the 2010 graffiti "bombing" of the then-relatively new Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago, This Is Modern Art tells the story of the graffiti crew that carried out the event, but it also poses questions about the creation of art and who qualifies as an artist. 

Finding Finkl's Future

credit: Payton Chung

The nearly 40-acre site of the former Finkl Steel Company is prime real estate in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. After the company's move to the south side of Chicago last year, there are  many questions over how to reuse and revitalize the parcel of land Finkl left behind.

Soprano Deborah Voigt

The "Down-To-Earth Diva" Tells All

Famed soprano Deborah Voigt stops by to discuss her career and new autobiography.

Valentine's Duo: John Pizzarelli and Jane Monheit

They are two of the best contemporary interpreters of Jazz Standards and the Great American Songbook. John Pizzarelli and Jane Monheit tell us about their influences and careers, and then give us an intimate, pre-Valentine's Day performance in our studio.

Love on Paper

In time for Valentine's Day, The Newberry Library in Chicago has searched through its extensive archives for artifacts of love. Taking suggestions from its staff across many areas of expertise, the library has created an exhibition of works on paper that express love in all its forms over the last eight centuries. We revisit the story.

Who Runs The Classroom? Beyoncé

| Nick Blumberg

Pop diva Beyoncé is arguably the most popular performer in the world. But there's much more to her than her success as a provocative pop icon. That's the idea behind a new college course at UIC that delves into Beyoncé's role in shaping "feminist perspectives and [the image] of U.S. black womanhood."