Stories by Brandis Friedman

Developments in Court Oversight for the Chicago Police Department

Chicago has taken its first step toward having judicial oversight of its efforts to reform the Police Department, but not with the federal government. It’s doing it with the state of Illinois.

Rauner Signs Immigration, Voter Registration Bills

Immigrants and refugees in Illinois can now breathe a sigh of relief, and people eager to vote will find it easier to register. The changes come as Gov. Bruce Rauner signed two pieces of legislation Monday.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett Headed to ‘Camp Cupcake’ for 4.5-Year Sentence

The disgraced former Chicago Public Schools CEO reports to prison in just a few days.

Rauner Spokeswoman Confirms Governor to Sign Immigration Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner may be set to sign legislation limiting cooperation between officials in Illinois and federal immigration authorities.

Crain’s: Cook County Union Lauds Preckwinkle for New Contract

Toni Preckwinkle appears on “Chicago Tonight” on June 22, 2017.

As the fight over the Cook County sweetened beverage tax enters yet another round, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is getting some praise from one of the county's biggest unions.

Gwendolyn Brooks: Still ‘Real Cool’ at 100

(Courtesy of Brooks Permissions)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet also served as the state's poet laureate from 1968 until her death in 2000. Today's poets are finding creative ways to remember her.

Chicago’s Summer Jobs Program Provides More Than a Paycheck

Each summer, thousands hired through One Summer Chicago earn work experience and a paycheck. But the city may be earning something, too.

Efforts to Simplify CPS High School Application Process Draw Concern

An attempt to make the high school application process easier is raising some questions.

Memo Finds Cook County Bail System Unconstitutional

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is criticizing Cook County’s bail bond system.

Mayor Declines to Say Whether He’ll Reappoint Police Board President

Lori Lightfoot appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 5, 2017.

The Chicago Police Board could be without a president Tuesday. The term of current President Lori Lightfoot expired Monday.

Center Aims to Provide ‘Softer Landing’ for Some Released Inmates

Some Cook County jail detainees will be getting a little extra help when leaving the jail.

Rauner Calls Lawmakers Back to Capitol for Education Funding Battle

Lawmakers will have much to discuss during yet another special session, this time on education spending. Three Illinois teachers weigh in.

Enrollment Down, Per-Pupil Spending Inches Up in New CPS Budgets

Despite the fight in Springfield over education funding, Chicago Public Schools leaders say they will open to students in the fall—but with fewer students.

Ald. Dowell Voices Support to Merge 2 South Loop Elementary Schools

The 3rd ward alderman says she believes combining the schools will create a more diverse and just-as high performing elementary school, and high-quality neighborhood high school for South Loop residents. 

More Fallout Over Incendiary Emails at Chicago Water Department

Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson says emails distributed among employees at the city Water Department suggest a culture of overtly racist and sexist behavior.

Investigation Questions Whether District Meets Needs of Bilingual Students

Chicago Public Schools students who are still learning the English language are overwhelmingly not getting the support they need, according to an investigation by the Chicago Reporter.

3 Cops Plead Not Guilty to Cover-Up Charges in Laquan McDonald Case

Two former Chicago Police officers and one current officer pleaded not guilty to charges they conspired to cover for former cop Jason Van Dyke in the shooting of 16-year old Laquan McDonald.

Extended July 4th Weekend Leads to More Violence on City Streets

The Chicago Police Department says the city saw 56 shootings and eight homicides from Friday night to Tuesday night, with the majority occurring Monday on the city’s South and West Sides.

Judge to Rule Friday on Cook County Soda Tax

Soda fans will find out Friday whether or not they'll start paying more for their sweetened beverages in Cook County this weekend.

Gwendolyn Brooks: Still ‘Real Cool’ at 100

(Courtesy of Brooks Permissions)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet also served as the state's poet laureate from 1968 until her death in 2000. Today's poets are finding creative ways to remember her.

Hillary Clinton Addresses Importance of Literacy in Speech to Librarians

In an address to the American Library Association’s annual conference, the former Democratic presidential nominee addressed the importance of literacy and libraries. 

Federal Law Enforcement Helps Chicago Fight Crime

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is lending the city access to technology that police hope will help close thousands of gun cases opened every year.

Man Accused of Stealing $7M from Elderly Homeowners Pleads Not Guilty

A Chicago businessman pleads not guilty in federal court to charges he stole $7 million from elderly homeowners in a reverse mortgage scheme.

Duckworth Urges Trump to Obey Emoluments Clause

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is joining several other members of the Senate and House in a lawsuit to compel President Trump to obey the Constitution's emoluments clause.

Robert Steele, Cook County Commissioner, Dies at 55

Residents of North Lawndale and the Cook County Board are mourning the loss of one of their own. Second District Commissioner Robert Steele died Monday from complications of diabetes.