Stories by Paul Caine

Shedd Aquarium Embarks on $500M Transformation


That transformation will be both physical, encompassing major interior renovations to create immersive exhibits, but will also entail a transformation of mission with more educational programming for Chicago school students.

Red Cross Warns of National Blood Crisis Due to Supply Shortage

A Red Cross blood donor rolls up a sleeve to give blood during the COVID-19 outbreak at the Rockville Donation Center in Maryland. (Photo by Dennis Drenner / American Red Cross)

The U.S. is experiencing a “national blood crisis” during what the American Red Cross says is the worst blood shortage in over a decade. Winter weather, a COVID-19 surge and limited volunteers are seen as the major causes.

Northwestern Study Finds Opioid Overdose Deaths Soaring for Older Americans

(Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash)

The number of Americans 55 and older who died from an opioid overdose surged 1,886% from a little over 500 deaths in 1999 to more than 10,000 deaths two decades later, according to a new report.

Israeli Researchers Teach a Goldfish to Drive

Goldfish swimming, not driving. (Sanjiv Nayak / Unsplash )

A man receives the first pig heart transplant. Astronomers witness a star go supernova. Researchers identify a biomarker of depression. And a goldfish goes for a drive. 

Much to Fix in the Offseason As Bears Begin Search for New GM and Coach

The Bears’ head coach and general manager are out. James “Big Cat” Williams, former offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, gives us his thoughts on the offseason challenges the team and the incoming new coach and general manager face.

Bears Face Vikings in What Many Expect to Be Nagy’s Last Game In Charge

(WTTW News graphic)

The Chicago Bears aim to end a disappointing season on a high note by beating the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in what could be Matt Nagy’s last game as the team’s head coach.

Northwestern’s New Longevity Institute Aims to Decode the Mysteries of Aging

(Alexandra Marta / Unsplash)

While some people seem to just stay young longer, others age prematurely. Your chronological age of course can’t be changed, but research suggests the biological processes that drive aging may in fact be malleable.

Chicago Area Housing Market Soared in 2021 But May Slow in 2022

(WTTW News)

Realtors sold more homes than ever, while prices rose at rates not seen since the housing boom of the early 2000s. 

Bears Face Giants in Penultimate Game, Look to End Poor Season on a High

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The Bears have a chance to finish a lost season on a high note, starting with the last place New York Giants who visit Soldier Field this Sunday. But there are questions as to who will play quarterback, and then the bigger picture questions as to where exactly the organization is headed as fans demand a major overhaul.

Bears Lose All Three Coordinators to COVID Protocols Ahead of Monday Night Clash with Vikings

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Rumors are swirling around the future of the Bears organization as big changes loom. Meanwhile, the team has to contend with all three coordinators possibly missing Monday night's game at home against the Minnesota Vikings due to COVID-19.

Bears Hoping to Prevent More Rodgers’ Boasts in Prime-Time Sunday Matchup

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The NFL’s most storied rivalry hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent years. But the Bears will take another crack at team shareholder Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in prime time at Lambeau Field with rookie quarterback Justin Fields coming back from a rib’s injury.

After Ending Losing Streak, Bears Face Stern Test Against Arizona Cardinals

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The drama out of Halas Hall over the rumored departure of head coach Matt Nagy has died down this week — with the Bears coming off a victory over the winless Detroit Lions. But this Sunday a much tougher opponent awaits in the shape of Super Bowl contender the Arizona Cardinals.

Greg Harris, Key Proponent of Illinois’s 2013 Same-Sex Marriage Law, Won’t Seek Reelection

Greg Harris appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 3, 2019. (WTTW News)

Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the highest-ranking openly gay lawmaker in Illinois history, said after 15 years, he’s ready to move on. His current term ends in 2023.

Small Business Owners Say Soaring Property Tax Assessments Could Put Them Out of Business

(Regina Shanklin / Pixabay)

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi has vowed to fix what has been a broken assessment system, but it’s meant some big increases for business owners who say they can’t afford it.

Bears Look to Break Four-Game Losing Streak Against the Ravens

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Signs of offensive improvement as rookie quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears come up just short against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a primetime Monday night match-up. James “Big Cat” Williams gives us his thoughts on the season so far and the upcoming game against the Ravens.

Argonne Scientists Lead Effort to Improve Economics of Recycling

(Photo by Sigmund / Unsplash)

The plastics industry is expected to be putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than coal by the end of this decade according to a recent report by Beyond Plastic, an environmental advocacy group.

‘Food Guy’ Steve Dolinsky Explores the World of Chicago Pizza in New Book

(WTTW News)

The book, “The Ultimate Chicago Pizza Guide: A history of Squares and Slices in the Windy City,” is Steve Dolinksy’s second on Chicago pizza.

QB Justin Fields Impresses in Loss to San Francisco, Some Progress Ahead of Pittsburgh

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A new Netflix series on Colin Kaepernick’s life is causing a stir; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not vaccinated after all; and on the field, the Chicago Bears prepare to tackle the Pittsburgh Steelers. We get into it with former Bears’ offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams.

Balding Mice Study Points Way to Hair Loss Treatments

(kalhh / Pixabay)

The cause of balding – in mice. The probe of a distant exoplanet. Tuskless elephants. University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin returns to help us understand some of the latest science stories making headlines.

As World Leaders Meet on Climate, Local Institutions Moving to Divest from Fossil Fuels

(qimono / Pixabay)

Scientists are warning of a looming climate catastrophe if countries continue to burn fossil fuels. The effort to invest in a sustainable future.

Bears Looking for Redemption Against 49ers After Humiliating Loss to Bucs

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After last week’s thrashing by the defending Super Bowl champs — the Bears are leading the league in one statistical category — the number of players on the COVID list.  What does this mean for the upcoming matchup with the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Field?

Report Finds Antisemitism on the Rise in America

(Ri Butov / Pixabay)

One in four American Jews say they’ve been targets of antisemitism in the past 12 months, according to a new report from the American Jewish Committee.

US Overdose Deaths Surge to an All-Time High

(Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash)

More than 96,000 people died of drug overdoses during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic – that’s an increase of almost 30 percent in just one year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Bears Travel to Tampa Bay to Face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers

Former Bears offensive lineman James “Big Cat” Williams give us his take on Fields as starter and his three keys to the game against the Buccaneers. (WTTW News graphic)

Rookie quarterback Justin Fields and the Bears have a Sunday date in Tampa Bay with seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. 

US Attorney Lausch’s Job Performance Wins Bipartisan Support

Political corruption. Gun violence. Financial crimes. Homegrown terrorism. These are just a selection of the cases brought in the last four years by John Lausch, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

UChicago Takes Aim at Chicago’s Persistent Cycle of Violence

A file photo shows a crime scene blocked off by the Chicago Police Department. (WTTW News)

Amid a surge in violence, the University of Chicago aims to help make the city a model for how to rebuild traumatized communities.