Chicago Restaurant Week Highlights 370 Spots to Dine

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The 11th annual event kicks off Friday and features a record 370 restaurants this year, including 100 new additions. We get a preview of what’s on the menu.

Oscar Nod for ‘Frontline’ Documentary Made by Chicago Team

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A still image from “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.”

Oscar nominations came out earlier this week, and the “Frontline” documentary “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” garnered a nod in the best documentary feature category. It was made by the Chicago team at Kartemquin Films. 

NYC Considers Pay-to-Drive Plan. Could Chicago Be Next?

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(Jason Mrachina / Flickr)

New York City motorists may soon need to pay a fee to drive in the city’s busiest areas during the week. Is congestion pricing a viable option for Chicago?

Commercial Property Tax Assessments Spark City Council Fight

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Powerful Chicago Ald. Ed Burke is under fire once again for an alleged conflict-of-interest violation involving two downtown buildings.

On the Ice With Bradie Tennell, Team USA Figure Skater

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The Winter Olympics begin in just two weeks, and at least one athlete from the Chicago area will be there. Meet a figure skater from suburban Carpentersville who’s been preparing for the games for 17 years. 

Illinois Positioned to Withstand Trump’s Solar Tariff, Experts Say

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(Solar Energy Industries Association)

President Donald Trump’s new tariff on imported solar panels will slow – but not stop – the growth of Illinois’ solar industry, experts say, thanks in large part to the state’s recently passed clean energy law.

Steve Bannon Accepts Invite to Speak at U of C, Students Protest

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Steve Bannon (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Students at the University of Chicago protested early Thursday in response to news that former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon had accepted an invitation to speak at the school.

Documentary Showcases Renowned Chicago Canoe-Builder Ralph Frese

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Ralph Frese in 2012 (Octane Rich Media)

The new film “Mr. Canoe” chronicles the life of Ralph Frese, a world-famous canoe-builder and conservationist who ran Chicago’s last working blacksmith shop. 

‘Duerson Act’ Would Ban Tackle Football for Illinois Kids Under Age 12

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(Pixabay)

Nearly seven years after former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson took his own life, a bill bearing his name will aim to prevent the disease that is believed to have led to his suicide.

Meet John Lausch, Northern Illinois’ New U.S. Attorney

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He is the top federal prosecutor in Northern Illinois. On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney John Lausch gave his first interviews since taking the job, sharing his plans to fight crime and corruption.

American Birder Noah Strycker Goes on Epic Quest for His ‘Big Year’

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(Courtesy of Noah Strycker)

Meet the man who literally went to the ends of the Earth to see as many bird species as possible.

Pregnant at 40, 50 and Beyond: A Look at Childbirth Later in Life

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U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is pregnant – at age 49. Are so-called “geriatric pregnancies” the new norm? And what are the risks of having children later in life? A doctor weighs in on later-in-life childbirth.

Ask Geoffrey: Where Are Those 1950s Giant Stuffed Bears?

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A viewer remembers a tall and terrifying bear in the former Marshall Field’s building. Was this just a figment of a child’s imagination?

Rare Mummy Portraits Offer Peek into the Past at Block Museum

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Portraits of mummies greet visitors at a new exhibition where art, science and history intersect. 

Tide Pod Dare Linked to 6 Illinois Poison Center Calls So Far in 2018

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(Austin Kirk / Flickr)

In the first 22 days of 2018, the Illinois Poison Center says it has received 31 calls related to people ingesting Tide Pods, with six of them associated with a dangerous social media trend.

Chicago Sues U.S. Steel Over Lake Michigan Pollution

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The city’s lawsuit comes a week after attorneys at the University of Chicago filed their own lawsuit against the steel corporation. “This Great Lake is our most precious natural resource and we must preserve and protect it,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

CPS Board Approves Janice Jackson As New CEO

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Janice Jackson was officially appointed Wednesday as the new CEO of Chicago Public Schools. But one of her first decisions is already drawing ethics concerns.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: Jan. 25-28

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(Courtesy of Austin Calderone)

Monster trucks, prix-fixe menus and an overnight bookstore bash usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Democratic Candidates for Governor Square Off in First Televised Debate

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Democratic candidates for governor J.B. Pritzker, left, and state Sen. Daniel Biss, right, spar during Tuesday’s debate. (Courtesy of NBC 5)

The gloves came off Tuesday as Democratic candidates for governor faced off on TV. Carol Marin and guests discuss the latest on that race, and the crowded Democratic field for attorney general.

Balancing Health Care Workers Rights with Reproductive Rights

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A debate over reproductive health care and a $5 million TIF grant the city recently awarded to a Catholic hospital raises questions about where medical responsibility ends and religious freedom begins.

Aziz Ansari Allegations Stir Questions About Sexual Conduct, Consent

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A controversial article about a sexual encounter: some say it was just a bad date. Others describe it as sexual assault. In the era of #MeToo, is there a gray area relating to sexual conduct and consent?

Access to Pharmacies Increasingly Difficult on South, West Sides

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A lack of drug stores in poor communities on the South and West Sides is creating so-called “pharmacy deserts.” What this means for some Chicago residents, and how researchers are looking for solutions.

Investment and Financial Planning Advice for a New Year, New Tax Code

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New Year’s resolutions may already be broken, but there’s still time to make smart financial moves in 2018. We get money tips from Sean Sebold of Sebold Capital Management.

What’s Next for Navy Pier? CEO Marilynn Gardner Shares Her Vision

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(Courtesy of Navy Pier)

Marilynn Gardner took the reins of Navy Pier in 2011 and has overseen its $300 million transformation as the pier’s president and CEO. She joins us in discussion.

Niles Tower’s History Mystery

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We climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Niles, where centuries-old bronze bells lay quiet – for now.

Petition Targeting Trader Joe’s ‘Inhumane’ Pork Suppliers Gains Traction

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(Humane Society of the United States / Creative Commons)

The group Crate Free Illinois is calling on Trader Joe’s to stop purchasing pork from suppliers that use gestation crates, tight metal stalls that keep pigs in one position for the majority of their lives.

Legionella Detected in Illinois Statehouse Complex

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Legionalla bacteria – a waterborne pathogen that can cause a type of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease – is present in the water systems at the Illinois state capitol complex in Springfield.

State Lawmakers Preview Upcoming Legislative Session

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The Illinois primary is just eight weeks away. Will state lawmakers dodge controversial issues before the March 20 election?

Illinois DCFS Director on ‘Toughest Job in State Government’

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Beverly Walker, acting director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, talks about running the controversial agency charged with protecting Illinois’ children. 

US Warns of North Korean Threat Amid Winter Olympic Diplomacy

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Protests erupt in South Korea as a delegation from North Korea arrives ahead of the Winter Olympics. Can Olympic diplomacy defuse the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula?

Courtroom Artist Tom Gianni Has His Day in a Gallery Exhibition

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Away from the courtroom, local artist Tom Gianni employs his talents in far different and impressive ways. We explore his solo show, “Art that Works for a Living.”

Biometric Data: Are We Safer in Illinois, Or Just Having Less Fun?

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Close-up of “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci

The latest social media craze of matching your face with faces in works of art left Chicagoans out in the cold, thanks to Illinois’ strict laws on biometric data. Do these rules keep us safe or leave us behind?