Stories by Hunter Clauss

Schools Chief Forrest Claypool Addresses CPS' Shaky Finances

| Rebecca Palmore

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool on Wednesday spoke passionately about the need for education funding reform, calling the current system by which CPS is funded "separate but unequal." Watch our full interview.

Iowa Caucuses 2016: What’s Happening?

| Kristen Thometz

White House hopefuls are getting their first test with voters tonight in Iowa, where caucusing is in full swing. Joining us from Des Moines, Iowa to talk about that and more is "Chicago Tonight's" Carol Marin.

Mayor Emanuel on Springfield Gridlock, CPS, Police Reform

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joins us to talk about the gridlock in Springfield, the financial crisis at Chicago Public Schools and police accountability. Watch the full discussion now.

Lawmakers React to Rauner's State of the State Speech

Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his second State of the State address Wednesday as Illinois continues to see an unprecedented budget impasse. How will Rauner appeal to the Democratic-controlled General Assembly and how will Democratic leaders respond? Amanda Vinicky joins us to share reactions from lawmakers.  

Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board Wants to Expand Qualifying Conditions

| Kristen Thometz

Gov. Bruce Rauner has a week to decide whether to expand the state's medical marijuana pilot program. So far the program only covers a limited number of serious illnesses and has 4,000 registered patients. Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, the head of the state Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, joins us to talk about the pilot program.

State Legislators Respond to Proposed State Takeover of CPS

Republican state leaders want to take away mayoral control of the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools. Instead, they want the nation's third largest school district under the purview of a state emergency board. Democratic legislative leaders in Springfield immediately opposed the plan, with some calling it "dead on arrival." We speak with state legislators from both parties.

Lawmakers Sound Off on CPS, AFSCME Standstill

Illinois is in an unprecedented budget stalemate that's lasted more than half a year and has sucked up much of the oxygen in Springfield. On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers plan to unveil legislation that would take away mayoral control from Chicago Public Schools. We speak with a panel of legislators.

Tension Escalates Between Gov. Rauner, AFSCME

| Rebecca Palmore

Tensions are rising between Gov. Bruce Rauner and one of Illinois' largest unions. We discuss what that could mean for the state with Anders Lindall, public affairs director for AFSCME Council 31; and John Tillman, CEO of the  Illinois Policy Institute.

City Releases Cedrick Chatman Fatal Shooting Videos

| Sean Keenehan
Cedrick Chatman (Courtesy of Chatman family)

A federal judge on Thursday ruled to release surveillance video that was originally held under protective order by the city depicting the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager—17-year-old Cedrick Chatman—by a white Chicago police officer in January 2013. We talk with Brian Coffman, an attorney representing the boy's family.

Analyzing Obama's State of the Union Address, Looking Ahead to GOP Debate

Without even mentioning the election, President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address last night included a number of critiques of the rhetoric from Republican candidates who are preparing for tomorrow's debate in South Carolina. Political communications expert Jason DeSanto discusses the president’s speech and upcoming debate.

Gov. Rauner Marks One Year in Office, Pushes Turnaround Agenda

The governor marks his first full year in office, but a whole host of problems loom on the horizon for the state. We talk with “Chicago Tonight” Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky, who spoke with Rauner earlier today.

Chicago Police Board President on Superintendent Search

Public to Weigh in on Search for New Top Cop

| Kristen Thometz

Tuesday the public gets to have its say in the search for the city's new police superintendent. Lori Lightfoot, president of the Chicago Police Board, joins "Chicago Tonight" to talk about the search.

Funeral Held for Bettie Jones

| Paris Schutz

Bettie Jones, the 55-year-old woman who was accidentally shot and killed by police on Dec. 26, was laid to rest Wednesday. Jones’ family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Chicago. Joining us to talk about Jones and the lawsuit is attorney Larry Rogers Jr.

CPS CEO Forrest Claypool Talks New Contract Proposal, Budget Woes

Forrest Claypool

The cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools is spiraling closer and closer to a financial doomsday that could see as many as 5,00 teachers laid off to help plug a $480 million budget hole. The CPS CEO joins us to talk about the district's finances and the new four-year contract being offered to the Chicago Teachers Union.

CTU's Jesse Sharkey on Strike Vote, New Contract Offer

County, Food Bank Battle Food Insecurity

A day after teachers voted overwhelming to go on strike, Chicago Public Schools is offering teachers a new contract that it says will prevent thousands of teacher layoffs. Jesse Sharkey joins us for a discussion.

Former IPRA Investigator Lorenzo Davis Speaks Out

Update: Lorenzo Davis is not able to join "Chicago Tonight" on Thursday.

Anita Alvarez on Re-election Efforts in Wake of Laquan McDonald Shooting

Anita Alvarez on "Chicago Tonight"

We talk with State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez about the Laquan McDonald investigation and why she thinks voters should give her another four years in office. 

Race and Unity: Harold Washington in His Own Words

As the city grapples with issues of race and equality in the wake of the Laquan McDonald video, today marks the 28th anniversary of the death of Chicago’s first African-American mayor, Harold Washington. Washington was the first guest on "Chicago Tonight" in 1984. We revisit some of our conversations with him.

Attorney of Officer Van Dyke Addresses Shooting Video of Laquan McDonald

| Sean Keenehan

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke faces first-degree murder charges in the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald and is being held without bail until a judge views the police dash-cam video on Monday. Van Dyke’s attorney, Daniel Herbert, joins us on “Chicago Tonight.”

McDonald Family Attorney, Journalist React to Judge's Ruling on Controversial Police Video

A Cook County judge ordered the Chicago Police Department to release the controversial dashboard video of an African-American teenager being shot 16 times by a white police officer. We talk with the freelance journalist who sued the city for the video and one of the attorneys representing the McDonald family during settlement talks with the city.

Kimberly Foxx Shares Vision for Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Kimberly Foxx

Political observers widely expect a heated slugfest in the upcoming March primary race for Cook County state’s attorney. At least two well-funded challengers are seeking to unseat seven-year incumbent Anita Alvarez. Kimberly Foxx, former chief of staff to Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, speaks with us about her campaign and vision for the office.

Tom Skilling Explains El Nino's Potential Impact on Coming Winter

WGN meteorologist Tom Skilling tells us how a huge El Nino in the works could affect the upcoming winter. 

Chicago Urban League's Shari Runner Talks Gun Violence, Leadership

| Sean Keenehan
Shari Runner

The new head of the Chicago Urban League joins "Chicago Tonight" to talk about the city's gun violence and how the 99-year-old organization aims to help foster a new generation of black leaders.

'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Visits Northwestern

George R.R. Martin (Gage Skidmore)

“Game of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin said Wednesday he never foresaw the popular HBO television series catching up to the books despite it taking an average three years and nine months between each book’s publication.

Bruce Rauner, Rahm Emanuel at Odds as State Budget Impasse Trudges On

| Sean Keenehan

Illinois is in its fifth month without a state budget and Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner have traded barbs—and possibly some dead fish—over how to resolve the impasse that is sucking all of the oxygen up in Springfield. We talk with "Chicago Tonight" reporters Paris Shutz and Amanda Vinicky, and WBEZ political reporter Tony Arnold.