Stories by andrea guthmann

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‘An Arm and a Leg’ Podcast Tells Alarming Stories of Health Care Costs

As political candidates spar over health care, a local journalist gathers startling personal stories about medical costs. We speak with Dan Weissmann, host of a podcast about the high cost of health care. 

Chicago on Fast Track to Vehicle Ticket Collection Reform

Vehicle fines are driving thousands into debt each year. City Clerk Anna Valencia gives us the road map to changes in parking fees and fines.

In 3 Wards, Chicago Voters Oust Incumbents, Opt for Newcomers

We meet three political newcomers who upset longtime aldermen – plus a fourth candidate who won an open seat in Tuesday’s election.

Kevin Graham appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 7, 2019.

Head of Chicago Police Union Sounds Alarm on Consent Decree

Are Chicago police officers ready for the reforms ordered by a new consent decree? We hear from Kevin Graham, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police.  

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New Illinois Program Offers Medical Marijuana as Alternative to Opioids

In the wake of a new study showing Americans are more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from a car crash, Illinois is trying a new approach to curb opioid addiction: medical marijuana. 

Chicago Teachers Union Weighs in on Race for Mayor

A conversation with Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, on the mayor’s race, charter schools and upcoming contract negotiations.

Maryam Banikarim

Reporters Without Borders Documents Threats to Journalists Worldwide

2018 was a deadly year for journalists, with more than 50 killed worldwide. We hear from the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders about threats to journalists at home and abroad.  


It’s the Season of Giving. How to Choose Charities Wisely

The Trump Foundation announces it’s shutting down. A Northwestern University economist shares his strategies for smart charitable giving.

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

AARP Illinois Survey Shows Voter Anger Over State Fiscal Crisis

Nearly three-quarters of registered voters lack confidence that Illinois’ recent budget deal will reduce the state’s long-term fiscal problems, a new poll shows.

What Global Warming Could Mean for Lake Michigan

A United Nations report warns catastrophic consequences from global warming could come as early as 2040. Local scientists share their perspectives.

Prize-Winning Journalist Rukmini Callimachi Risks Her Life Reporting on Islamic State

We speak with the prize-winning journalist who began her career in the Chicago area and now risks her life reporting on Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Making College Work: A Conversation with New NEIU President Gloria Gibson

Northeastern Illinois University has a new president, its first African-American woman. Gloria Gibson shares her plans for the Northwest Side campus.

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New Book Dishes on Chicago’s Best Pizza

Local food reporter Steve Dolinksy serves up a slice from his new book, “Pizza City, USA.”

‘Schoolhouse Gate’ Highlights Supreme Court’s Power Over Schools

As the makeup of the Supreme Court shifts, a timely new book examines how the court has influenced America’s public schools.

Illinois Taking Steps to Secure Upcoming Elections

In 2016, Illinois was targeted by Russian hackers who obtained private information from some 76,000 voters. How local election boards hope to ensure every vote is safe this November.

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Pediatricians Group Releases New Guidelines for Treating Transgender Youth

Research shows transgender children benefit from early intervention, but just how young is too young? 


Third Coast Festival, a ‘Sundance of Radio,’ Returns for 17th Year

Podcasters and radio producers descend on Chicago for the annual Third Coast International Audio Festival. We get a preview with founder and executive director Johanna Zorn.

Critics of O’Hare Express Train Say Emanuel on Wrong Track

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants everyone to get on board with an ambitious plan for an express train between downtown and O’Hare, but would taxpayers be the ones taken for a ride?

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Retiring Hedge Funds: Pension Plan Investing Strategies

Illinois’ state employee pension plan, one of the largest in the nation, has retired from hedge funds. Find out why.

Could Climate Change Lead to a Global Water Crisis?

Cape Town, South Africa, could soon be the first major city to run out of water. What lessons can Chicago share – and learn?

‘White Like Her’ Memoir Details Hidden Heritage

Local mystery writer Gail Lukasik unveils her own startling family mystery in her new memoir.

The Amazon Race: What HQ2 Win Would Mean for Chicago

Chicago may be on Amazon’s top 20 list, but what will it take to win it all – and at what cost?

(Hugo Chisholm / Flickr)

Words and Wisdom About ‘Aging Thoughtfully’ in New Book

In a culture obsessed with youth and beauty, aging can be an ugly topic. The co-authors of a new book discuss retirement, romance, wrinkles and more.

Helene Gayle

New Chicago Community Trust CEO ‘Excited About Making Huge Impact’

Meet Dr. Helene Gayle, the new CEO of the Chicago Community Trust, and find out what the future holds for this 102-year-old philanthropic organization.   

Suburban High School Football in Downward Spiral, Analysis Shows

Youth football seems to be taking a hit. We speak with a Daily Herald investigative reporter about steep declines in high school football participation.

New Guidebook Highlights 111 Unique Chicago Attractions

Meet Amy Bizzarri, the author of a new guidebook highlighting the unusual, unknown and often hidden side of Chicago.