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Stories by Brandis Friedman

Misty Copeland Shines Light on Diversity in Ballet World and Beyond

Misty Copeland, “Life in Motion” (Photo: Gregg Delman)

Whether she’s on stage or on television, it’s hard to not notice Misty Copeland, the professional ballet dancer making history as the first black woman to be named a principal dancer for the iconic American Ballet Theatre.

On the Ice With Bradie Tennell, Team USA Figure Skater

A local Olympian is bringing home a medal. We look back at our visit with figure skater Bradie Tennell.

The Past Haunts Chicago Police Department as It Works Toward Reform

The Chicago Police Department on Thursday announced the return of the Officer Friendly program, in which police officers visit children in school to foster relationships and provide safety education. “I want them to not be afraid,” said Officer Ramona Stovall.

In addition to new allegations of police rape, the Chicago Police Department is facing another lawsuit related to the torture tactics of notorious former police commander Jon Burge.

Two Principals, One School: A New Effort to Boost Learning at CPS

Fourteen percent of Chicago Public Schools principals left their schools last year, according to a new report. The district is now expanding a new strategy to keep its strongest principals on the job.

On the Ice With Bradie Tennell, Team USA Figure Skater

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. 

Balancing Health Care Workers Rights with Reproductive Rights

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.

What’s Next for DACA after Court’s Decision

Understanding a federal court’s decision to keep the much-debated DACA program that protects young immigrants.

Civil Rights Leaders React to Trump While Honoring MLK

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. speaks Monday.

On a day honoring a man devoted to racial harmony, many leaders and activists are reacting to assertions from President Donald Trump that he is not a racist.

Area Hospitals Race to Keep Up With a Demanding Flu Season

(Brandis Friedman / Chicago Tonight)

Health officials say the flu is peaking early this year, with 100 more flu outbreaks statewide than at this time last season. How hospitals are handling the increased volume of patients.

District’s ‘Turnaround’ Operator Highlighted as Model for Success

Piccolo Elementary School (Brandis Friedman / Chicago Tonight)

How some of Chicago’s weakest schools have turned around to become some of the strongest.

Janice Jackson Shares Her Vision for Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools students return to the classroom next week, but the district’s new chief executive officer is already at her desk, planning for the rest of the school year, and the future of CPS.

Cook County Collects $757M in Property Tax Prepayments

Thousands of Cook County property owners prepaid 2017 tax bills before the end the year, to the tune of almost $800 million. Where that money is going.

5 Suburban Counties Suing Pharmaceutical Companies Over Opioid Crisis

(The Javorac / Flickr)

DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Will and Lake counties filed almost identical lawsuits in their respective counties against numerous pharmaceutical companies, claiming the opioid crisis began almost 20 years ago.

From Relapse to Purpose: Program Provides More than Jobs

Starting Thursday, Cook County probation officers will have a new place to refer some of the 20,000 people on probation. For many of them, finding work is critical to staying out of trouble with the law.

‘Genius’ Grant Winner Hopes to Shed Light on Segregation in US

Tough talk about segregation from MacArthur “genius” grant recipient and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Hiplet Is Not Your Grandmother’s Ballet

(Courtesy of Nordstrom)

They’ve strutted across high-end runways and for fast-fashion TV commercials. Now, the Hiplet dancers are showing Chicago Tonight how they’ve worked for their success.

Citypak Provides Cover, Storage for Those With No Place to Call Home

Designed with the homeless, for the homeless: How a durable, simple backpack is meeting a basic need.

CPS Announces Plans for 2 New Elementary Schools

Several days after announcing proposed school closures and mergers, Chicago Public Schools is touting plans to offer two new elementary schools, while enhancing three others.

Cardinal Blase Cupich Visits Hurricane Survivors in Puerto Rico

An overhead view of Puerto Rico in late September, following damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Cardinal Blase Cupich said it was “painful” to see the destruction up close, and that he was there to “reassure our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters that the Holy Father cares about them and prays for them.”

New Round of Chicago Public School Closures Looming

A day before the Chicago Public Schools system is set to confirm which schools it plans to close next year, teachers say they’re already getting word. And the Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back. 

Burst Pipe at Chicago State University Moves 170 Students Off Campus

About 170 Chicago State University students are being shuttled between hotels and campus after a pipe burst in the school’s only residence hall, leaving the dorm and the student union without heat and hot water.

Iconic Johnson Publishing Building Has New Owner

Developer 3L Real Estate has acquired the 46-year-old landmark office building and plans to turn it into 150 rental apartments while maintaining its character by keeping the iconic Ebony/Jet sign on the building.

City, State’s Attorney Join Forces to Steer Uber Into Court

Local government is going after a major ride-sharing company for not only failing to protect customer and driver data during a massive 2016 data breach—but also for failing to disclose it, as required by law.

Todd Stroger to Challenge Toni Preckwinkle

The field to take on Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is growing. Todd Stroger, who formerly held the post, is announcing plans to run for his old office next year.

Hiplet Is Not Your Grandmother’s Ballet

(Courtesy of Nordstrom)

They’ve strutted across high-end runways and for fast-fashion TV commercials. Now, the Hiplet dancers are showing Chicago Tonight how they’ve worked for their success.