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.
GARY, Ind. — A Gary man has been charged with murder in connection to a missing Chicago Heights woman. But her family hasn’t given up hope she’s still alive. Jessica Flores, 36, and Melina Cottrell, 26, were reported missing from Gary, Ind., in late February. The pair disappeared after meeting up with 41-year-old Drew Carter III, nicknamed “Tiny,” authorities said. Police later found Cottrell, who said she was able to escape Carter after he held her captive with a weapon. […]
CHICAGO — Chicago-area mosques and community centers are stepping up security in the wake of mass shootings that left 49 dead and scores wounded at New Zealand mosques. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said suspects in Friday’s terrorist attacks have “extremist views” that have no place in the country or the world. While officials said there is no immediate threat in the U.S., local Muslim communities are taking precautions. The Muslim Community Center in Morton Grove has hired extra […]
CHICAGO —A round of severe weather blew through Northern Illinois and Indiana Thursday prompting tornado warnings and watches. Around 3 p.m. most of the warnings for Northeastern Illinois were cancelled a few remained for Indiana. Gusty winds continue. A Wind Advisory remains in effect for the Chicago area until 10 p.m. Power outages have been reported as a result of the storms and wind. Chicago police headquarters was without power for about 30 minutes. Police said the power went out […]
CHICAGO — Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians are on strike Monday after failing to reach a contract deal. The group of around 100 musicians made the decision to strike Sunday night after meeting with CSO management. The musicians say their wages and benefits are not competitive. They began picketing at the symphony center at 8 a.m. Monday. The musicians say they will not perform until a deal is made. Their next performance is scheduled for Thursday.
CHICAGO — Singer R. Kelly was released Saturday from Cook County Jail after paying more than $161,000 in back child support. Robert Kelly, 52, was taken into custody Wednesday after failing to pay $161,663 in child support to his ex-wife. He spent three nights at Cook County Jail, 2700 S. California Ave., before someone wishing to remain anonymous posted money on Kelly’s behalf Saturday. “I promise you we’re going to straighten all this stuff out,” the singer told reporters outside […]
CHICAGO — A Cook County grand jury has returned a 16-count indictment against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Prosecutors on Feb. 20 charged Smollett with a single count of disorderly conduct for filing a false report claiming two men attacked him downtown Jan. 29. Smollett, who is black and gay, said the men shouted racist and homophobic slurs while punching him, kicking him and putting a noose around his neck. Prosecutors said Smollett staged the attack. Police alleged the actor was […]
CHICAGO — R. Kelly’s publicist on Friday said the R&B singer could be released from Cook County Jail soon. Kelly, 52, was behind bars for the third day Friday after failing to pay more than $160,000 in child support to his ex-wife. The singer during a court appearance Wednesday only had a third of what he owes. A judge refused to let Kelly pay the child support in installments. Kelly is also facing 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Cook […]
CHICAGO — As the mayoral candidates prepare to battle it out on the debate stage tomorrow, Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot are hoping key endorsements could help give them the edge. One important endorsement that remains undecided is their former opponent Willie Wilson. He finished fourth on election day, but carried several predominately African-American wards in the process. Wilson said Wednesday he’s been hearing from a lot of people in person, checking online poll results, and talking with people in […]
OAK PARK, Ill. — Students at Oak Park and River Forest High School staged a sit-in protest Monday to show support for staff members they say were wrongly placed on administrative leave for supporting student protests. According to students, around 100 of them held a sit-in to demand the school issue an apology, and reinstate teacher Anthony Clark and aid Shoneize Teynolds, identified as the secretary to an assistant principal. Students say they were told the staffers were suspended for […]
CHICAGO — The FAA is investigating how two passenger planes came dangerously close to colliding Friday afternoon at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The Envoy Air and American Airlines planes took off from parallel runways about 12:15 p.m. Friday, the FAA said. For some reason, one of the pilots began turning left instead of flying straight. The air traffic controller noticed the course change and calmly, but with urgency, corrected the situation. “This is clearly a pretty serious near miss,” said […]