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
  • Mom wants answers after son with autism struck by substitute teacher

    CHICAGO — The mother of a 7-year-old boy with autism wants answers after she says her son was hit at a CPS school. Paulie Vaca’s mother Holley Cornwell-Vaca says her son will never return to Hendricks Community Academy.  Her son is ok but she says she can’t believe more isn’t being done. “He’s happy. He’s not an aggressive, mean kid,” Holley says.  “He is non-verbal.  And he has cognitive issues social issues.” Paulie is in 1st grade at Hendricks and is […]

  • Fate of homeless who live under Uptown viaducts in hands of federal judge

    CHICAGO — The question of where several homeless people in Uptown will end up now rests with a federal judge. About 40 homeless people live under the viaducts along Wilson and Lawrence avenues near Lake Shore Drive. This bridge is slated for construction. Supporters of the homeless are trying to stop the project until another spot for them is found. But, the city argues the old bridge needs to be fixed. A judge is expected to make a decision on […]

  • Groups camp out ahead of meeting about Obama Presidential Center

    CHICAGO — Groups camped out ahead of a Thursday night meeting on the future of the Obama Presidential Center, as some call on the Obama Foundation to sign an agreement that will guarantee jobs for local residents and protect against increasing rent. While still in the planning and feedback stage,  city officials say the center will bring big changes to parts of Jackson and Washington Parks and the South Shore Cultural Center, including widening Stony Island, eliminating the heavily used […]

  • Flights to Florida resume as state reels after Irma

    Flights to Florida will resume today as the state continues to pick up the pieces after Irma. Airports in parts of Florida have been closed for several days and it will take airlines a while to get caught up. Many airlines got staff in place last night to try and get people moving. Also some airlines are capping the cost of a ticket to try and help get people moving. Thousands of flights in the Caribbean in Florida were canceled […]

  • Chicago’s showdown with feds over ‘sanctuary city’ status goes to court

    CHICAGO — Lawyers for the City of Chicago faced off with attorneys for the Trump administration in a federal courtroom Monday morning, challenging President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold public safety grant money from Chicago and other sanctuary cities. Mayor Emanuel and the City sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month after Sessions said in order to get millions of dollars in federal grant assistance for fighting crimes, cities had to allow federal immigration […]

  • Chicago volunteers prepare to head to Florida for Irma recovery efforts

    CHICAGO — The last flights out of Miami are taking off now. The planes that left Friday were packed. But not everyone is looking to leave Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma — some are waiting to head out there. Thousands of volunteers with Red Cross in Chicago are waiting to go. “This is what we do. We respond to disasters,” said volunteer Katherine Ravenstine. A handful of Red Cross Chicago volunteers are already in place ahead of the storm, but […]

  • Mayor Emanuel calls on Gov. Rauner to establish ‘Dreamers’ Bill of Rights’

    CHICAGO — Illinois is among 15 states suing to block President Donald Trump’s plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in a New York federal court on behalf of several attorneys general. It asks a judge to conclude that Trump’s action involving the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is unconstitutional. Illinois has roughly 42,000 of the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients nationwide. The state has the third-highest number of approved applications, […]

  • Mayor: Chicago students welcome as Trump ending DACA program

    CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago students “have nothing to worry about” as President Donald Trump’s administration said it will wind down a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. Emanuel spoke as Chicago Public Schools marked the first day of classes Tuesday. The mayor told students at Solorio Academy High School they “are welcome in the city of Chicago.” The Chicago Sun-Times reports that school officials say about a third of the school’s students are undocumented citizens. Emanuel said […]

  • US United Nations Ambassador: North Korea shows it is ‘begging for war’

    WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says North Korea’s actions show that its leader, Kim Jong Un, is “begging for war,” and the time has come for the Security Council to adopt the strongest diplomatic measures. Haley told an emergency session of the Security Council on Monday that “Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited.” The emergency session comes after […]

  • Over 100 dogs compete to be ‘Ashley Whippet’ Frisbee champion

    NAPERVILLE, Ill. – For nearly 45 years, dogs and their owners have been competing for the Irv Lander Cup– the so-called Stanley Cup of the K-9 Frisbee world. The 43rd Annual Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee World Championship kicked off in Naperville on Saturday. Saturday was the last chance qualifier and Sunday is the world championship. More than 100 dogs were in Naperville from around the world. Some are from China, Japan and Canada. And they are competing for the coveted […]