Erik Runge

Erik Runge joined WGN News in November 2013 as a per diem reporter.

Prior to working at WGN, Erik spent three years as a general assignment reporter at Fox 9 Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent several years in central Kansas where he covered the story of a serial killer named ‘BTK’, which stands for Bind Torture Kill. His work has been seen on NBC Nightly News and he has also reported live for MSNBC after Hurricane Ike crashed into Galveston, Texas. He most recently covered governmental shutdowns, a state house protest that lasted for weeks and several natural disasters including hurricanes, tornados, wild fires and blizzards.

An Iowa native, Erik earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Iowa. Erik is a life-long Cubs and Bears fan and lives with his dog Cassie.

Recent Articles
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    17-year-old shot in the head near Jefferson Park bank

    JEFFERSON PARK — A 17-year-old boy is in critical condition Tuesday night with a gunshot wound to the face. According to witnesses, the victim and a friend were near a drive-up ATM in a bank parking lot at the corner of Milwaukee Ave. and Gale St. in Jefferson Park. One witness said she heard gunshots and then saw the 17-year-old take off running toward nearby apartment buildings, making it about a block and a half before help arrived. Denise Breitenstein was just heading into work when she heard what she thought […]

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    ‘It’s going to be a bad season for sure’: Chicago doc releases 1st allergy report of 2017

    CHICAGO — “It’s going to be a bad season that’s for sure.” That’s the warning from Dr. Joseph Leija from Gottlieb Memorial Hospital to anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies. On Tuesday morning, Leija released the year’s first allergy report for Chicago. He says he started taking air samples from the rooftop of the Gottlieb Professional Building in early February. “Now it’s getting higher and higher. The mold and tree pollen for people with allergies, they’re suffering right now. Many […]

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    Unseasonably warm weather puts gardens at risk

    CHICAGO — After a weekend that would make Memorial Day jealous most years, the unseasonably warm temperatures continue today. The balmy weather has tricked garden bulbs into sprouting about a month earlier than they should. And the lack of snow and rain means the soil is very dry, sending some evergreen shrubs into dehydration. Tony Fulmer of Chalet Nursery in Wilmette says it’s not too early to water those thirsty plants. He recommends putting down a couple inches of mulch […]

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    Suburban school projects stalled over printing mistake

    It was a full house tonight at the district 181 headquarters in Hinsdale tonight. Referendums passed last year to generate additional funds for a new Hinsdale middle school, repairs to elementary schools in Oakbook Terrace, Elmhurst and Villa Park and library tax in Lombard. But the projects are all stalled because of a mistake. The DuPage County election board printed notice of the referendum three days too early in the local newspapers. Election code states these notices must be published […]

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    CPS teacher, parents hold protest over budget concerns

    CHICAGO —   Concerns over another round of Chicago Public Schools budget cuts has some parents, teachers and students taking to the streets. They gathered to protest in the Loop outside CPS headquarters Monday afternoon. CPS is trying to trim 104 million dollars as part of its 2017 spending plan. Parents WGN spoke to blame Gov Bruce Rauner for the lack of a budget. WGN’s Erik Runge has more.

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    Child, quadrapalegic man rescued from Garfield Park house fire

    CHICAGO — Close to 20 people lost their Garfield Park home to fire Saturday morning, but the loss could have been immeasurably worse had firefighters not been able to rescue a man in wheelchair and a child who was sleeping in the basement. Martinia Martin left her first floor apartment Saturday morning for the store, and when she came back she saw smoke, fire, and firefighters. Even worse, out of the 13 children who were first evacuated from the building’s apartments, her 7-year-old daughter […]

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    Officer in fatal shooting of Quintonio LeGrier, Bettie Jones will not face charges

    CHICAGO – Prosecutors say they won’t charge a Chicago police officer who fatally shot a college student and his neighbor while responding to a domestic disturbance in 2015. The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office says there’s “insufficient evidence” to prove Officer Robert Rialmo didn’t act in self-defense when he shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, who Rialmo said charged at him with a baseball bat, and 55-year-old Bettie Jones, whose shooting the department has called an accident. The shooting was investigated by […]

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    When airlines’ computer systems crash, lack of backups forces flight delays

    CHICAGO — United Airlines had to stop flying Wednesday for about an hour due to a computer glitch. Everything was working as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, but in the last year nearly every major airline has had these problems, impacting thousands of passengers. Aviation expert Joe Schwieterman says the problem is airlines have not been able to duplicate their complex computer systems. So when it goes down even for an hour it can ground flights nationwide. It is becoming an almost routine problem […]

  • 7thgraderbeaten

    Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo tweets support to 7th grader badly beaten at South Elgin school

    SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. — A middle school student in South Elgin is out of a coma after being beaten by a classmate — and he’s getting some high-profile support. Kenyon Woods Middle School 7th grader Henry Sembdner suffered facial fractures and injuries to his brain when he was attacked for allegedly bumping into a classmate Friday. The classmate who assaulted him was taken into police custody. Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo reached out to Henry via Twitter Monday night, and offered him […]

  • crime

    Forest Park police officer fatally shoots hit-and-run suspect

    FOREST PARK, Ill. — A Forest Park police officer shot and killed a man driving a car Saturday night near Harlem and Jackson. Police say it happened at about 6:15 p.m. along the border with Oak Park. The man was driving a car reported stolen in Glendale Heights and suspected to be involved in a hit-and-run accident in Chicago. The officer spotted the car and attempted to stop it. According to a statement released by Deputy Police Chief Michael Keating, […]