Chicago’s top cop has mixed hometown reviews

A legendary moment in his police career got him the top job in Chicago’s police force. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown’s career history in Dallas is outlined in Mark Konkol’s latest column and discussed with John Howell. Listen below and read it here:


Pritzker Evaluating Vaccine For State Workers

By Nick Gale, 890 WLS News

(CHICAGO) — While the Biden administration considers requiring federal workers to get a COVID vaccine or face strict restrictions, Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he isn’t there yet when it comes to all state workers.

“As I’ve said in the last week or so we’re looking strongly at the idea that there are people in sensitive positions, certainly in state government, that we want to make sure get vaccinated so we are evaluating how best to get that accomplished, but I promise that is something, among other mitigation’s, we are very focused on,” Pritzker said Wednesday.

Sources say the president will likely announce Thursday that he will require federal workers to get the COVID vaccine or face strict masking and other restrictions.

Copyright 2021, WLS News


BBB Warns of Lolla Scams

By Nick Gale, 890 WLS News

(CHICAGO) — This weekend marks the return of  Lollapalooza following an off-year during the pandemic. Usually, Lollapalooza fake tickets are the primary concern and fake ticket sellers are the main source of scams, but fake vaccination cards are also a concern this year.

It’s fraud of a different kind in anticipation of people using fake documents to prove they are vaccinated. With over 100,000 attendees a day and entry being at stake, it creates a perfect storm of scammers selling cards. Some buyers are willing to purchase a fake card instead of actually getting vaccinated.

“Just like finding tickets, there are countless ways for consumers to find vaccinations cards online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers and the like, and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs,” said Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.

“This scam is especially dangerous because fake tests and vaccine cards not only put people at a health risk, but buying and selling illegal cards is a crime,” said Bernas. He noted that the FBI is investigating buyers and sellers. Violators can be arrested.­

In a statement, the agency said: “FBI Chicago reminds the public that the creation, purchase, or sale of fake vaccine cards by individuals is illegal, dangerous, and punishable with significant fines and prison time.”

Officials do have concerns while the event is outdoors, with the crowd really bunched together, especially at the entry point where tickets and vaccination credentials have to be checked.

Organizers encourage people to bring their physical vaccination cards or negative COVID test results, not screenshots on their phones, to speed the process.

“Ticket sellers and scammers always use the excitement and emotion of events like playoffs or an exciting concert to snare unsuspecting victims,” Bernas said. “Buyers and sellers are urged to use extreme caution and remember buying and selling vaccination cards is not only illegal, they can expose themselves and others to COVID if they are not vaccinated.”

Last year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received over 300 reports on BBB Scam Tracker ( about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and more.

BBB is warning consumers to be smart when searching for and purchasing tickets to ensure they are buying from a trustworthy source.

  • Know that buying tickets from unknown sources is like buying tickets in a dark alley. Fake tickets, especially for sought-after events, have become common.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on to learn what other customers have experienced.
  • Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue or visit the box office directly.
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.
  • Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the exact location of the seats represented by the tickets. Know what happens when concerts cancel or change dates.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
  • Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be scams, especially if the prices are low.

Copyright 2021, WLS News


Trump still controls the GOP

How does Trump wield so much power over his party? Bloomberg Opinion columnist Jonathan Bernstein joins John Howell to explain, ‘the costs of getting rid of him are higher than the costs of holding their noses and sticking with him’. Find his op/ed below and listen to the full interview.


Chris Plante — Meet and Greet

Thank you to everyone that showed up for the dinner!

Chicago Preps for Hot Weather

By Nick Gale, 890 WLS News

(CHICAGO) — With hot temperatures in store for this weekend, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, Department of Family & Support Services and other city departments and sister agencies will provide resources for residents to find relief from the extreme heat. Resources include access to cooling centers, Chicago Park District splash pads, Chicago Public Library locations and more.

The city is also urging people to check in on relatives and loved ones and to dial 3-1-1 if they need assistance.

When City’s emergency response plan is triggered and extreme conditions warrant, cooling areas at the City’s six community service centers are activated. When up and running, the cooling areas operate from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday. Visitors are required to wear a face covering while in the cooling areas. DFSS will provide free face coverings for guests who do not have one and want to utilize the cooling areas.

Englewood Center – 1140 W. 79th Street
Garfield Center – 10 S. Kedzie Ave.
King Center – 4314 S. Cottage Grove
North Area Center – 845 W. Wilson Ave.
South Chicago Center – 8650 S. Commercial Ave.
Trina Davila Center – 4312 W. North Ave.

During hours of operation, residents can also find relief in one of the City’s more than 75 Chicago Public Library locations and more than 30 Chicago Park District fieldhouses as well as splash pads and pools at specific locations.

Copyright 2021, WLS News


Broadcast legend Bill Kurtis on new podcast series, ‘We Interrupt This Broadcast’

A new podcast series takes a look at the story behind the story of reporting on major historic events. The series is hosted by broadcast legend Bill Kurtis, narrated by Brian Williams and is based on the Joe Garner book, ‘We Interrupt This Broadcast’. Launching today, listen here:


Ethics reform not happening in Illinois

The latest resignation to hit Illinois politics is the departure of Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope. She tells John Howell, “I think in general our public in the state of Illinois are very discouraged and disappointed in the members of the Legislature here and don’t hold them in high esteem.” Listen to her full interview with John below: