Julian Crews

Julian Crews joined the WGN News team in 1996. He is a general assignment reporter for WGN Midday News and WGN Evening News.

From breaking news to feature reporting, Julian has reported all over Illinois, from Carbondale’s Shawnee National Forest to Chicago City Hall. The roaming street reporter travels to every corner of the Chicagoland and Illinois region, bringing news of the day to WGN and CLTV viewers.

Over the years, Julian has worn many hats, from the “Around Town” beat to politics and crime, producing in-depth, investigative pieces on Chicago street gangs and organized crime. Covering John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 1998 was especially fulfilling for Julian. The son of Cuban-born parents, he visited his family’s home in Havana, taking WGN viewers along for the ride.

Every spring, Julian takes people on a spirited road trip across the Land of Lincoln with the popular Cruisin’ Illinois travel series. His Cruisin’ web exclusives have become a major attraction on wgntv.com.

Recent Articles
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    Man hit by off-duty cop at Portillo’s files police brutality lawsuit

    CHICAGO — A man who says he was beaten by an off-duty Chicago police officer working as a restaurant security guard has filed a lawsuit. The suit alleges not just police brutality, but also an alleged police cover-up of the incident. The lawsuit surrounds a visit on June 15, 2016 to the Portillo’s restaurant at 100 West Ontario Street. Terrence Clarke says he and his family were abruptly ordered to leave by an off-duty Chicago police officer because it was […]

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    Neo-Nazi group claims responsibility for Hitler poster on U of C campus

    CHICAGO — A neo-Nazi group is claiming responsibility for putting up a poster containing a picture of Adolf Hitler and images of swastikas on the University of Chicago campus. Few details are available, but university students who spoke with WGN are clearly upset about what happened. Many were reluctant to discuss the matter, but the image of Adolf Hitler surrounded by swastikas is causing a stir. Published reports in the Chicago Maroon university newspaper say that university personnel removed the […]

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    Naperville businessman, 73, fatally shot while driving on Chicago’s West Side

    CHICAGO — A prominent African-American businessman and insurance agent was fatally shot as he was driving through Chicago’s West Side, on his way back home to Naperville. Family members identify the victims as 73-year-old Ronald Allen. Police said Allen lost control of his car on the 1300 block of North Laramie about 2:20 a.m. Friday and crashed into parked cars after someone opened fire. Allen suffered a gunshot wound to the side of his body and was pronounced dead at the scene. […]

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    Criminals strike Chicago delivery drivers twice in 24 hours

    CHICAGO — Delivery drivers in Chicago were targeted by criminals twice in 24 hours. Chicago police say thieves held a UPS driver at gunpoint so they could take packages from his truck. It happened just before 9 p.m. Wednesday at 85th and Prairie in the Chatham Neighborhood. Police are looking for two men in the case, but no descriptions were available. The truck driver wasn’t hurt. A FedEx truck full of packages was stolen on the South Side Wednesday. Police found […]

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    Cook County Jail downsizing as jail population decreases

    CHICAGO — The Cook County Jail is downsizing, and it’s expected to save taxpayers millions of dollars. The jail population is down thanks to electronic monitoring, and diverting the mentally ill and non-violent offenders to treatment programs. So Cook County leaders say it doesn’t make sense to renovate outdated and underutilized jail buildings. “Demolishing these jail divisions happens once in a generation – if ever,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. The demolition of Minimum Security Division 3 is […]

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    Cook County jail downsizing as inmate population shrinks

    CHICAGO — Three Cook County jail buildings are being demolished, as the jail population sinks to its lowest numbers since 1991. County officials announced Wednesday Divisions 1, 3 and 17 are going down, in a move that will save county taxpayers $3 million next year and $180 million over the next decade. Officials say the buildings are obsolete and underutilized.  They say more modern buildings require fewer workers to operate. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart credits the shrinking jail population […]

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    3 men injured in daytime shootout outside corner store in West Garfield Park

    CHICAGO — 3 men were shot when violence erupted in front of the Kostner Food Basket & Deli in the city’s West Garfield Park neighborhood close to 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, while children were on the street nearby, heading to school. Witnesses report hearing 12 shots or more as one of the men stood at a corner and shot at the other two across the street, and the two men returned fire. Witnesses say police and paramedics were quick to […]

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    Protesters disrupt Black Friday shopping on Mag Mile

    CHICAGO — For the second year in a row, demonstrators disrupted Black Friday shopping on the Mag Mile to call for more accountability for Chicago police. They demanded a shopping boycott, blocking store entrances up and down the busy street to demand an elected civilian police review board. City officials have said they plan to create a non-elected citizen oversight board next year. An engaged crowd listened to speakers Friday morning near the city’s historic Old Water Tower. One speaker criticized Republican […]

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    Thanksgiving travel rush begins

    CHICAGO — It’s getaway day for Thanksgiving travelers. It’s the busiest travel day of the year on America’s highways, and one of the busiest at Chicago’s airports. United and American Airlines have set up special high-tech “innovation lanes” to allow travelers to get through the security lines faster. Nine million people will drive the Illinois tollways between now and Monday morning, which is about 10 percent more than normal. A little tip — if you’re taking your trip in a rented car, […]

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    Illinois balking at tougher school bus safety standards

    CICERO, Ill. –Illinoisans concerned about bus safety following the fatal crash in Tennessee may not find any relief from Springfield. Il. Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) heads the Senate Transportation Committee. He tells WGN-TV news that lawmakers haven’t passed mandatory seat belt use on buses because of concerns it would cost too much and reduce bus capacity. The head of the National Safety Council is calling for tighter standards to get children to buckle up on buses.