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Stories by Brandis Friedman

Digging in the Dirt with Tech Entrepreneur Kimbal Musk

(Courtesy of Square Roots)

A tech billionaire with a famous name talks about bringing his “real food” movement to the Windy City. 

Simulating Military Life Preps CPS Students for Life Beyond High School

Students Tori Neealy, left, and Leah Nunez in a flight simulator at Air Force Academy High School.

The city’s military academies help some Chicago Public Schools students reach new heights. We visit Air Force Academy High School.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives Collecting Signatures for Governor’s Race

Is Gov. Bruce Rauner about to get new competition in the Republican primary? 

How CPS is Hoping to Bridge Another Achievement Gap

High school students who take advanced classes are more likely to enroll in college. But Chicago Public Schools says that not enough minority students are getting access to this more challenging coursework.

More Details Emerge About Chicago’s Bid for Amazon’s HQ2

Just what are the city and state willing to do to bring an online giant to Chicago?

Apple Takes a Bite Out of Chicago Riverfront

(Courtesy of Apple)

After almost 14 years on the Magnificent Mile, the Apple store is making a move to the Chicago River. We get a preview of the new space.

Chicagoan Recounts Quest to Bring Aid to Parents in Puerto Rico

(Courtesy of Sonia Bell)

As FEMA and other groups have slowly brought aid to Puerto Rico, some family members living abroad have embarked on private rescue missions. Meet one Chicagoan who recently returned from a trip to visit her parents.

CTU President Karen Lewis, Brain Cancer Survivor, Reveals Stroke

Karen Lewis appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 5.

Recovering from what she describes as a “slight stroke,” Chicago Teacher’s Union President Karen Lewis on Tuesday revealed that she’s been in the hospital for the past week.

In Woodlawn, a Ground-Up Approach to a Healthier, Safer Community

A group of residents is getting back to its roots—literally—by partnering with the Morton Arboretum to harness the positive impact of trees on everything from the crime rate to the business community.

Report: Illinois Bill Backlog Keeps Growing

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Though the state of Illinois finally got a budget this summer, it still has billions of dollars in unpaid bills, and the amount keeps changing.

Ahead of Tuesday Vote, Opponents Urge Commissioners to Repeal Soda Tax

Cook County commissioners are scheduled to take another vote Tuesday on the county’s so-called soda tax. Opponents of the tax were pounding the pavement Monday, hoping to convince a few more commissioners to support a repeal.

Writing Memoirs at Cook County Jail Helps Detainees Earn New Label

(Courtesy of Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

In one of Cook County Jail’s maximum security units, some detainees are given access to pens for the towering task of writing their memoirs. How these men are earning a new label: authors.

Retired Judge Patricia Banks to Serve as Interim COPA Chief

Just weeks after its relaunch as the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, the agency is officially looking for a new chief administrator.

Chicago Police Data Shows Reductions in Homicides, Shootings

The Chicago Police Department says that for the second month in a row, homicides in Chicago were lower than they were during the same month the year before.

What’s Cooking with Christopher Kimball? New Milk Street Book, TV Show

Foodies who may be missing the bow-tied former host of “America’s Test Kitchen” don’t have to wait any longer to find out what he’s been cooking.

Despite Dip in Enrollment, No Budget Cut for Some CPS Schools

Chicago Public Schools principals learned this week that they won’t lose money if enrollment figures following the first two weeks of school were below projections made when budgets were estimated in July.

Chief COPA Administrator Considers Run for Attorney General

Sharon Fairley appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 14.

Is the head of a new Chicago police watchdog group about to jump ship just weeks into the job? 

Use-of-Force Training Begins for Chicago Police Officers

Mental health awareness, cultural competency and human rights are just a handful of the new training requirements for Chicago police officers as part of the city’s efforts at police reform.

With Amazon in Sight, Rauner and Emanuel Political Foes No More

After being political foes for months, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Bruce Rauner are back to working together for a common cause: convincing Amazon to build its second headquarters in Chicago.

Governor’s Race: Chris Kennedy Selects Ra Joy as Running Mate

Chris Kennedy, left, appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 22. Ra Joy is his running mate, Kennedy announced Thursday. (Ra Joy / Facebook)

Addressing violence is at the top of the ticket for a newly minted Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

How Arrupe College is Reinventing Higher Education

(Courtesy of Loyola University Chicago)

In 2015, Loyola University Chicago started a two-year college to provide high-quality education to low-income students. Now the school has graduated its first class of students.

Chicago Takes on the Feds Over Plans to Withhold Grant Money

Attorneys for the city of Chicago on Monday hoped to convince a federal judge that plans by the U.S. Department of Justice to withhold federal grant money over immigration enforcement is unconstitutional.

Karen Lewis on School Funding Reform, Scholarships and Budgeting

The head of the Chicago Teachers Union joins us with a report on the first day of school.

Eddie Johnson Recovering Well After Kidney Transplant, Doctors Say

Chicago’s top cop, 57, was already feeling well enough to check a few emails just hours after his surgery, doctors Rush University Medical Center said.

With Education Funding Reform Comes a Squeeze for Chicago Taxpayers

Exactly how much more money can Chicago homeowners expect to pay to fund Chicago teacher pensions?