Stories by Eddie Arruza

Illinois' Public Universities Pressure Lawmakers to End Budget Stalemate

(Vince Smith / Flickr)

Lawmakers get a visit from protesters demanding an end to budget cuts. We discuss how the standoff is affecting higher education with Governors State University President Elaine Maimon.

Opera is 'Second Nature' for This 25-Year-Old Composer

Matthew Aucoin (Photo by Todd Rosenberg)

He's a composer, conductor, poet and instrumentalist. And he's already being compared to Mozart. We revisit the 25 year old whose children's opera–written for Chicago–is getting another hearing. 

State Comptroller Munger: 'Illinois Is Out of Money Now'

A dire report from Illinois' comptroller today: The state budget stalemate has reached an alarming point in the state's ability to make a significant pension payment and pay bills. 

Gov. Rauner Puts Thompson Center Up for Sale

The Thompson Center is for sale. Gov. Rauner says the iconic building has become a costly and inefficient albatross for Illinois. Just how much can the state get for it, and what does the renowned architect who designed it have to say about its future?

Special Ops Photographers Offer Unfiltered Look at 'Faces of War'

Recon by Fire, 1967. A member of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Brigade in Quảng Ngãi Province uses his M16 rifle to conduct reconnaissance by fire. Photo by Specialist 5 Robert C. Lafoon, U.S. Army.

A new exhibition in Chicago showcases a collection of rare images and films from Vietnam, and the cameramen–many of whom were enlisted soldiers– who captured them. Three such veterans join us to discuss their experiences documenting that war.

Mission Impossible? 'The Martian' Aims for Realism in Outer Space

Ridley Scott's film 'The Martian'

The new Matt Damon movie "The Martian" rocketed to the top of the box-office this past weekend, but how accurate is its rocket science? Our panelists give us their review of the physics and psychology of the cinematic trip to Mars.

NASA Says Liquid Water on Mars Could be Evidence of Life Beyond Earth

| Sean Keenehan

Last week NASA said it would be making a major announcement today about a discovery on Mars. While some space fans might have been hoping it was about finding life, the announcement was about something almost as significant. Adler Planetarium astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz joins us to discuss the latest on the Red Planet.

Mayor Emanuel Defends 'Last Resort' Budget Proposal

Emanuel: ‘I’m here to fix these challenges’

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joins us for his first extended interview since proposing his so-called "last resort" budget.

Chicago Aldermen React to Mayor's Budget Proposal

Mayor Emanuel unveils his much anticipated doomsday budget proposal. How much pushback will it get from residents and aldermen? We ask four of them.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Visits WFMT

| Sean Keenehan
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A U.S. Supreme Court Justice becomes a classical music radio announcer for a day – and it happened at our sister station WFMT. We hear what Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the justice who's become "notorious," had to say.

Rediscovered Journals of a Civil War Soldier Offer Eyewitness Accounts

Erasmus Corwin Gilbreath, circa 1870s.

The rediscovery of a Civil War soldier's journals and his ties to Chicago: A look at a fascinating new exhibition at the Pritzker Military Museum. Eddie Arruza has the story.

South Side Trauma Center a Victory, But Activists Continue Fight for Equity

Activists in Chicago have scored a major victory in the form of a new adult trauma center for the city's South Side. While the new facility is being hailed as a big step toward health care equity in an underserved area, activists say much more needs to be done. Eddie Arruza joins us with details.

Cuban Activist Speaks Out on US-Cuba Relations

Dr. Alberto Roque Guerra

Cuba and the United States have reestablished diplomatic ties but is the Caribbean nation ready for more changes? On Chicago Tonight, we hear from Cuban activist Dr. Alberto Roque Guerra on one way the communist government seems to be shifting.

Shoreline Facelift Unfolds to Ease Fullerton Beach Traffic

| Sean Keenehan

One of the most sizable redesigns of the Chicago lakefront is underway at Fullerton Avenue beach, and the change is predicted to be eye-popping. By next summer, everyone passing through the area will have a lot more breathing, sunning, and picnicking room. Chicago Tonight's Eddie Arruza has the story.

Dealing With a Disgruntled Employee

| Kristen Thometz

A horrifying incident unfolded on live television this morning when a reporter and her cameraman were shot and killed by a man reported to be a former colleague. On Chicago Tonight, we'll look at what businesses can and should do to look for and address the potential dangers of a disgruntled employee.

Controversy Over the Little Pink Pill

| Kristen Thometz
Addyi, the pink pill for women.

The FDA has approved the first drug designed to boost libido in pre-menopausal women. Is it really effective and safe? We look at the so-called female Viagra and the massive marketing campaign behind Addyi.

Mayor Emanuel Announces Plan to Improve 2 CTA Bus Routes

Plan Raising Questions About the Future of BRT for Chicago

(Photo courtesy

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Tuesday a plan to improve the service of two of the city's busiest bus routes. The three-part plan calls for improved speed and overall performance of Chicago Transit Authority buses along Western Avenue (No. 49) and Ashland Avenue (No. 9). Get details of the plan and read the mayor's announcement.

Composer, 25, Debuts World Premiere Opera at Lincoln Park Zoo

Matthew Aucoin

He's only 25 years old, but composer, poet and conductor Matthew Aucoin is already a major sensation in the classical music world. And now, Lyric Opera of Chicago has commissioned the young composer to write an opera. Second Nature receives its world premiere this week at Lincoln Park Zoo. We speak with this classical phenom on Chicago Tonight.

Devaluation in China Leads to Jitters in US, Global Economy

Shanghai's Pudong district in January 2014.

For the third day in a row, China devalued its currency. That devaluation led to jitters in financial markets around the globe. Since Monday, the Dow Jones alone has fallen 500 points. Join us for a panel discussion on the economy with Michael Miller, associate professor at the Driehaus College of Buisiness at DePaul University; and Edward Stuart, professor emeritus of economics at Northeastern Illinois University.

Students Dig for Lost Treasures in the Gold Coast

| Rebecca Palmore

High-end treasures in Chicago's Gold Coast are usually found in pricey stores. But we'll tell you about some being uncovered at an archaeological dig on the grounds of a famous house.

Cook County Board Approves Sales Tax Increase

Cook County Commissioners approved Wednesday a 1-percent increase in the county portion of the sales tax, which brings Chicago’s sales tax to 10.25 percent. President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed penny-on-the-dollar sales tax was approved by a vote of 9-7.

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.