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Stories by Matt Masterson

Wife of Slain CPD Commander Bauer Thanks Chicago for Support

Erin Bauer: ‘One man almost stole my faith in humanity, but City of Chicago, nation restored it’

Flowers and balloons are left as a makeshift memorial to CPD Cmdr. Paul Bauer outside his 18th District precinct. (Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

“I saw each and every one of you from the darkened window of my car,” Erin Bauer wrote in an open letter Tuesday. “The good people in this world far outnumber the bad. Grace and I are humbled, as Paul would be.”

Police: Carjacking Suspect Faces Murder Charge After Fatal Crash

A 29-year-old Streamwood man faces felony murder charges after he allegedly stole and crashed a taxi, killing a 69-year-old Lincoln Park woman.

Suspect in Fatal Shooting of Police Commander Bauer Held Without Bond

Shomari Legghette (Chicago Police Department)

A Cook County judge has denied bond for Shomari Legghette, a four-time felon charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Chicago Police Department Commander Paul Bauer this week.

Police: Man, 44, Charged in CPD Commander’s Shooting Death

Shomari Legghette (Chicago Police Department)

Shomari Legghette, 44, was charged a day after the fatal shooting of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer. He was allegedly wearing body armor and carrying a firearm containing an extended-round magazine.

Slain CPD Officer Was ‘Part of the Fabric’ of Near North Community

The Chicago Police Department on Wednesday continued mourning the loss of 53-year-old Commander Paul Bauer a day after he was shot and killed in the line of duty.

The Chicago Police Department on Wednesday continued mourning the loss of 53-year-old Commander Paul Bauer a day after he was shot and killed in the line of duty.

BBB Warns Online ‘Catfishing’ Scams on the Rise

Online dating scams have cost victims in the U.S. and Canada nearly $1 billion over the past three years, according to a new report from the Better Business Bureau. And hundreds of these reports have come from the greater Chicago area.

Chicago Police Officer Killed in Shooting Near Thompson Center

“It’s a difficult day for us, but we will get through it,” an emotional Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Tuesday following the shooting death of 18th District Commander Paul Bauer.

CPS Adjusts Englewood Plan, Will Now Phase Out Students at 3 High Schools

(Chicago Public Schools)

Under a revised plan, students at Hope, Harper and TEAM Englewood high schools will now be allowed to stay at their schools through graduation instead of being forced out this summer.

Attorneys for Brendt Christensen Seek Judge’s Recusal, 2019 Trial Start

Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

Defense attorneys say they need more than a year to adequately prepare for trial in the case of a Champaign man facing the death penalty in the disappearance and death of a University of Illinois scholar.

CPS Cancels Friday Classes Ahead of Snowstorm

Snow blankets cars and everything else in its way on a Chicago street in January 2014. (Maggie Not Margaret / Flickr)

Before the snow even started to fall Thursday evening, Chicago Public Schools took the rare step of canceling all Friday classes.

Free After 23 Years in Prison, Exonerated Man Files Suit Against City

Nevest Coleman, left, stands with his attorney, Russell Ainsworth. (Chicago Tonight)

Nevest Coleman spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Now he’s suing the city of Chicago, claiming he was beaten and coerced into giving a false confession.

Englewood School Closures Could Harm Homeless CPS Students, Advocates Say

About 15,000 Chicago Public Schools students are homeless, and a proposal to close four Englewood high schools would disproportionately harm part of that population, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says. 

Voting in Jail? New Bill Seeks to Expand Ballot Access for Detainees

A new bill would turn Cook County Jail into a temporary polling site and require that jails across the state provide detainees with voter registration applications.

Chicago Police Forming Joint Task Force to Crack Down on Carjackings

Reports of carjackings rose more than 45 percent in Chicago last year, and through the first weeks of 2018, there have been more than three carjackings reported in the city per day, on average. 

Police: Suspect Using Dating App to Meet, Rob Victims on North Side

Chicago Police are seeking a man they believe is responsible for two knifepoint robberies on the North Side that occurred after the suspect met the victims through a dating app.

Defense Seeking Trial Delay in Case of Missing U. of I. Student

Prosecutors won’t object to continuance in capital case

Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

Attorneys for Brendt Christensen are hoping to postpone a February trial date after prosecutors announced their intent to seek the death penalty.

State Legislators Override Rauner Veto of School Funding Revisions

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

State legislators override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of a trailer bill to the state’s new evidence-based funding formula. But school districts awaiting new state equity funding will still have to wait to get those dollars, according to one bill sponsor.

Education Equity Group Calls for Community Referendum on NTA Transition Plan

(Matt Masterson / Chicago Tonight)

A local group focused on ending racial and class-based school segregation is asking the Chicago Board of Education to review alternative proposals to CPS’ plan to transform a high-performing Near South Side elementary into a high school.

CTU Members Approve Merger With Charter School Teachers Union

More than two-thirds of CTU voting members cast ballots in favor of merging with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff. “We've embraced our common struggle to support our workers, our students, their parents and our neighborhoods,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said.

Police: Burglars Disguised as Utility Workers Robbing South Side Homes

The Chicago Police Department is warning South and Near South Side residents of a string of burglaries after men apparently posing as utility workers broke into multiple homes over the past month. 

‘Duerson Act’ Would Ban Tackle Football for Illinois Kids Under Age 12


Nearly seven years after former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson took his own life, a bill bearing his name will aim to prevent the disease that is believed to have led to his suicide.

CPS Board Approves Janice Jackson As New CEO

Janice Jackson was officially appointed Wednesday as the new CEO of Chicago Public Schools. But one of her first decisions is already drawing ethics concerns.

Charter Advocate Blasts Proposed CTU-ChiACTS Merger on Eve of Final Vote

The president of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools is again speaking out against a proposed merger between the CTU and the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff, which could be finalized next week.

Feds Seeking Death Penalty Against Man Accused in U. of I. Student Death

Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

In a five-page filing Friday afternoon, U.S. Attorney John Childress says a “sentence of death is justified” against Brendt Christiansen if he is convicted in the death of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang.

CPS Releases Space Utilization Data After Yearlong Gap

Find out how the space is being used at your school

Nearly 230 Chicago Public Schools are underutilized, according to new district data. That’s nearly equal to the number of schools the district says are operating efficiently.