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Stories by Paris Schutz

Elon Musk’s Boring Company on Track to Build O’Hare Express Train

Each pod would hold 8-16 people. (Credit: The Boring Company)

The concept sounds like it was lifted straight out of science fiction, but billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk says he is going to make it happen.

Former Madigan Operative Accused of Sexual Harassment Speaks Out

Alaina Hampton, right, speaks to the media Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 with her spokesperson Lorna Brett.

Accusations of sexual harassment against Kevin Quinn started the #MeToo avalanche in House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office. Now, the former Madigan operative is making public statements for the first time since he lost his job in January.

Chicago Groups Challenge Trump Administration on Immigration

Should immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. be separated from their children? That question is at the heart of a dispute between immigration groups and the Trump administration.

Top Madigan Official Accused of Harassment Resigns

Sherri Garrett speaks at a press conference Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (Chicago Tonight)

Tim Mapes, House Speaker Michael Madigan’s top aide, has resigned following allegations made by a state employee accusing Mapes of making sexually inappropriate remarks.

Obama Presidential Center Sails Through City Council

Obama Presidential Center rendering (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

The project that will transform 19.3 acres of Jackson Park into the Obama Presidential Center aced its final in a series of city votes Wednesday.

Speaker Madigan Denies Retaliation Claims, Calls for Investigation

House Speaker Michael Madigan (File photo)

A firestorm erupts over a state Democratic lawmaker’s claims that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is retaliating against her.

Plan Commission Greenlights Obama Presidential Center

Opponents and allies alike came together for a big vote Thursday on the future of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park.

Lori Lightfoot Launches Mayoral Campaign

She says she offers a progressive vision for the city. Lori Lightfoot formally announces her campaign to take on Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel Laps the Ever-Expanding Mayoral Field in Fundraising

To put Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s fundraising advantage into perspective: a total of $6.6 million has been raised so far in this campaign, according to the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform – $6.1 of it by Emanuel.

Key Questions Remain Ahead of Obama Center Vote

Obama Presidential Center rendering (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

Next week, the city is poised to take the first of several votes on the Obama Presidential Center. Why some community groups want to slow down the process.

State Watchdog Asked to Investigate Sexual Harassment Claims in Madigan’s Office

Alaina Hampton, who is accusing a former staffer in House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political organization of sexual harassment, reads a statement on March 22, 2018.

The former campaign worker in House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political organization who accused her supervisor of sexual harassment is taking her case to the state’s legislative inspector general.

New Report Recommends Graduated Income Tax for Illinois

Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

A prominent local tax watchdog group says Illinois government would gain $2 billion with a graduated income tax.

Downtown to O’Hare in 32 Minutes: On Board a Little-Used Metra Line

While talk of building a new express train to O’Hare heats up, we explore a little-known line that already goes there.

Third Candidate Enters Race for Illinois Governor

(State Sen. Sam McCann / Facebook photo)

State Sen. Sam McCann enters the race for Illinois governor as a Conservative Party candidate.

Toronto’s Troubled Airport Express Train Could Be Cautionary Tale for Chicago

Toronto airport express train (Canadian Pacific / Flickr)

Why some experts caution that a proposed express train between the Loop and O’Hare could fly off the tracks, financially.

Mayor Emanuel Touts ‘Second Waterfront’ in Chicago

(Richard Schneider / Flickr)

The mayor outlines major projects to expand recreation along the Chicago River. Why some aldermen say it’s not enough.

Michael Ferro Sells Tronc Shares to Heir of Former Tribune Owner

(Adam Jones, Ph.D. / Wikimedia Commons)

The embattled former owner of Tronc, which owns the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, sold the shares to McCormick Media LLC, according to an SEC filing that came late Friday afternoon. 

Why More Illinois Towns Could Follow Harvey’s Fate

Attorney Bob Fioretti represents the city of Harvey.

The state is withholding tax money from south suburban Harvey because it has fallen behind on its pension payments. Will others follow?

Top Cop Eddie Johnson Vows Changes to Chicago Gang Database

“We recognize that some people may be misidentified,” Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

The controversial database is coming under legal scrutiny as many say they have been wrongly added to the list and targeted.

$8.5 Billion O’Hare Expansion Cleared for Takeoff

“In signing this agreement today, we are securing and strengthening Chicago’s future,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel told media at O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.

Get ready for lots of construction at O’Hare for the next several years: The city and airline executives officially sign a $8.5 billion deal to expand the airport. That and more news from a busy day at City Council.

Loyola Ramblers Relaxed Before Final Four Journey

“It’s all about Michigan. It’s all about what we have to do to stop them, and what we have to do to score,” Loyola men’s basketball coach Porter Moser said Tuesday.

Loyola suits up for its final practice before heading to San Antonio for a Final Four date with Michigan.

Loyola’s Stunning Run Takes Team to Final Four

Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball coach Porter Moser speaks to the press March 19, 2018. (Chicago Tonight)

Loyola never looked back in this one. After three heart-pounding wins that came down to the last shot, the Ramblers fate was rarely ever in doubt Saturday as they dominated 9th-seeded Kansas State 78-62 en route to the NCAA Final Four.

Loyola Rambles On to Elite 8

Loyola Ramblers fans cheer on the team at in Rogers Park bar Bruno’s on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

As has become the norm in the Loyola Rambler’s heart-pounding NCAA Tournament run, it came down to the final seconds on Thursday against the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Former Staffer Sues Madigan, Democratic Party for Sexual Harassment

“This is not simply about standing up for myself and my own career. It is also about the countless other women who have been subject to this type of harassment,” Alaina Hampton said Thursday.

Alaina Hampton, a former political and legislative staffer in House Speaker Michael Madigan’s political organization, is taking her ex-boss to federal court.

Kaegi Knocks Off Berrios in Cook County Assessor’s Race

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, left, Fritz Kaegi and Andrea Raila.

In a blow to the Democratic establishment in Cook County, Fritz Kaegi has defeated incumbent Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios. “The old machine style is no match for the people of Cook County,” Kaegi told a gathering of supporters.