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    Sweeping reform planned for Illinois child welfare system (part 2)

    Illinois’ child welfare system is under court order to clean up its act and do a better job of serving kids who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. That alone can be traumatizing.  But, sometimes, what happens next is as bad or worse. Our Nancy Loo talked to the ninth DCFS Director in five years, who holds a sweeping reform plan in his hands.   Producer Pam Grimes and Photojournalist Mike D’Angelo contributed to this […]

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    New hope for fixing Illinois’ broken child welfare system (part 1)

    About 16,000 children in Illinois will go to sleep tonight in a strange home because their parents either can’t or won’t care for them. There is nothing simple about a state stepping into the role of parent during a crisis. And the Illinois Department of Children and Family services- DCFS- has had its own share of failures. But as WGN’s Nancy Loo reports, there is new hope for fixing Illinois’ broken child welfare system. Producer Pam Grimes and Photojournalist Mike […]

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    Tornado forecasts at the College of DuPage are gaining national attention

    April marks the beginning of the midwests’ most tornado prone months. And there are few meteorological challenges trickier than predicting tornadoes. The College of DuPage in Glenn Ellyn is getting national attention for work that’s showing promise in predicting tornado areas not just days, but weeks in advance. It appears they’ve hit on a missing link that is putting COD on the map.  WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling is among those excited about this new development. Before this discovery they […]

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    Tomatoes that taste like mid-summer in early spring

    If you love tomatoes, you know how hard it is to get good ones this time of year. Well, not anymore. About an hour-and-a-half west of Chicago, there are summer tasting tomatoes growing on Illinois farmland, as far as the eye can see.  Tomato connoisseur Micah Materre has that story. You can find MightyVine tomatoes in most major grocery stores. And, they’re working with the city of Chicago to get them into farmers’ markets this spring and early summer.  There are […]

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    Toronzo Cannon: Blues man by night, bus driver by day

    Here in the city where Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Buddy Guy electrified the blues, there’s a player on the scene who’s putting a new charge in the old sounds.   And yet this talented artist and songwriter is also just another working stiff.  WGN’s Steve Sanders introduces us to Toronzo Cannon.     Alligator Records artists like Toronzo, Shemekia Copeland, and Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials will open this years blues fest on June 10th at Grant Park. […]

  • 2015 Chicago Blues Fest Tribute to Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon

    CHICAGO — Chicago Blues Festival starts tomorrow in Grant Park. Blues greats Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters performed at Chicago’s very first blues fest in 1969. And as WGN’s Steve Sanders reports, family and former band mates are converging on the city for a centennial tribute. (Harmonica solo) It’s mid-day on a Wednesday; a time many blues musicians sleep. But not today. “In my opinion, blues is the most powerful music on the planet. It’s the most universal.” Billy Branch, […]

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    Chicago’s Very Own Buddy Guy, a living legend

    If there’s such a sound as “authentic” Chicago blues, there’s one player, one man, one artist who still delivers that musical genre like no one else. Steve Sanders give us the story of living Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy. Plus, watch Buddy Guy and Steve Sanders rock out together: From the WGN archives, January 2012

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    Tom Skilling looks ahead to spring weather

    Forecasters were spot on with the Chicago area’s winter outlook last fall that predicted milder than normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.  With a relatively easy winter, what might spring bring? WGN’s Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling has been looking at what the science is saying about March, April, and May. Spring doesn’t officially begin until Sunday, March 20th. But, we typically think of all of March, April, and May as the months of spring. Long range forecasting is still a […]

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    Are surveillance cameras making Chicago safer?

    The number of surveillance cameras in Chicago has grown from just 30 in 2003 to tens of thousands now. The city says it has access to some 26,000 cameras, while the ACLU estimates it could be almost double that number. What impact are these cameras having on crime in Chicago? And what protections and policies are in place to make sure they're not being misused? WGN's Gaynor Hall reports in tonight's Cover Story.

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    Chicago children of gun violence, in their own words

    Nearly every day, we tell you about the shootings plaguing Chicago. But after the crime scene is cleared and the cameras are gone, what happens to the children who’ve survived gun violence? In tonight’s Cover Story, Gaynor Hall tells us how helping these children could shape the city’s future. Young survivors in their own words. One of the kids you’ll hear from tonight we first told you about in March after a shooting ripped his family apart. We talked with him, […]

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