Stories by Nick Blumberg

CPS Teachers, Staff Take Their Case to the Streets with Rallies Across the City

Teachers and support staff on the picket line Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 in front of Little Village Academy. (WTTW News)

Chants of “fair contract!” and “Mayor Lightfoot, get on the right foot!” rang through the air outside Chicago Public Schools around the city on the first morning of the Chicago Teachers Union and SEIU support staff walkout. 

As Scooter Pilot Ends, A Call For Keeping Them Around – With Changes

A report from the Active Transportation Alliance says Chicago should develop a long-term e-scooter program across the entire city. 

Mayor, CPS CEO: Solutions to ‘Quality-of-Life Issues’ Aren’t in a Teachers Contract

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, center, and Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson, right, appear on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday again accused the Chicago Teachers Union of ignoring the city’s contract proposals – but said a strike isn’t a foregone conclusion. Lightfoot and CPS CEO Janice Jackson join “Chicago Tonight” in conversation.

Quigley: Attempts to Slow Impeachment Probe Show White House ‘Panic’

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 8, 2019.

A conversation with U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley on President Trump’s moves to stall the impeachment inquiry.

Northwestern Coach Pat Fitzgerald on Sports, School and Leadership

Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

The winningest football coach in Northwestern University’s history talks about leadership – and why his team has been successful academically.

The Week in Review: Teachers Gear Up For a Coordinated Strike

CPS teachers set a walkout date. A local Republican congressman hedges on the Trump impeachment inquiry. What are the feds looking for in Illinois? And the Bears get ready for battle across the pond.

Lyft Blocks Bike-Sharing Access on Popular App – But Chicago Riders Won’t Be Affected

A Divvy docking station in the Chicago’s West Loop. (Tony Webster / Flickr)

This week the popular transportation app Transit announced Lyft was blocking users from accessing rides on New York’s bike-sharing system. But Chicagoans who use Transit to access Divvy bikes need not worry. 

As Teachers Strike Looms, Principals Group Says CPS Misrepresented Its Views

Troy LaRaviere appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Oct. 1, 2019.

Troy LaRaviere, the head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association, discusses how a teachers strike would impact school administrators.

‘A New Low’: Sen. Durbin on Ukraine Call, Trump Impeachment Inquiry

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 30, 2019.

In a flurry of tweets, President Donald Trump spent the last several days attacking the newly launched impeachment inquiry against him. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin weighs in on the situation.

Jacqueline Stewart, TCM’s Newest Host, on Film Preservation, Representation

A file photo of Jacqueline Stewart, the new host of the Turner Classic Movies series “Silent Sunday Nights.” (WTTW News)

The Turner Classic Movies series “Silent Sunday Nights” is a celebration of some of the triumphs of early filmmaking, and its new host is a Chicago native whose love of the movies goes all the way back to her childhood.

Bus Driver Fired After Striking Cyclist Was Among Highest-Paid CTA Drivers

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

A CTA bus operator who was fired after an on-duty accident in which he struck a cyclist was among the highest-paid drivers working for the agency in recent years, according to a WTTW News analysis of CTA employee salaries.

Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Trump Impeachment Inquiry

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 25, 2019.

He has experienced how it feels inside a White House facing the threat of impeachment. Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offers his take on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

After 40 Years in Solitary Confinement, a ‘Story of Transformation and Hope’

Albert Woodfox appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 24, 2019.

Albert Woodfox was held in solitary confinement for decades in Louisiana before his release in 2016. Now, he’s written a book about his experiences. He joins us to discuss “Solitary.”

Schools Consider Unrestricted Locker Room Access for Transgender Students

A suburban high school district that’s faced years of court battles over equal locker room access is considering a big policy change.

‘Greenway’ Plan for Lincoln Park Side Street Sparks Neighborhood Tension

A Chicago Department of Transportation rendering shows what a new bike lane configuration on Dickens Avenue would look like.

A proposal to add a so-called greenway for cyclists and introduce pedestrian-focused safety measures on a Lincoln Park side street has sparked an outpouring of attention from neighbors.

Author Paul Tough on ‘How College Makes or Breaks Us’

(lil_foot_ / Pixabay)

College admissions have been major news in recent months after a bribery scam came to light. A new book explores how the higher education system is failing many low-income students and students of color.

The Week in Review: Anne Burke Named Chief Justice of Illinois Supreme Court

Anne Burke is elevated to chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. CPS is hit with another scathing report on sexual abuse. Uber’s CEO bets big on Chicago. And the Bears try to reverse fortune against the Broncos.

How Satellites Can Detect and Protect Earth From Asteroids

A unique view of Earth from the vantage point of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in orbit around the moon. (Credit: NASA / Goddard / Arizona State University)

Adler Planetarium astronomer Mark Hammergren explains how a space-based sentry can help detect asteroids that will pass near Earth.

Lack of E-Cigarette Regulations Complicates Explanation for Lung Illnesses

(lindsayfox / Pixabay)

Hundreds of people have been sickened and as many as five are dead after a recent outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. We speak with Dr. Samuel Kim, associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson on a Possible Teachers Strike and the School Year Ahead

Janice Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 5, 2019.

The Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday set a date for a strike authorization vote. It’s the latest turn in what’s been a contentious round of contract negotiations. CPS CEO Janice Jackson discusses that and more.

Bus Driver Fired, CTA Sued After Cyclist Struck by Bus in River North

A view of Wells Street looking south to the intersection of Hubbard Street in River North, where  police say a cyclist and CTA bus collided on June 6, 2019. (Google Maps)

A Chicago Transit Authority bus driver who racked up more than a dozen traffic tickets before working at the agency is out of a job and facing a lawsuit, along with his former employer, following a nonfatal June crash that sent a Chicago cyclist to the hospital.

A Pantry in a Pilsen Health Center Takes Aim at Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a nationwide problem, but studies show it’s even more acute in Chicago. How one food pantry is trying to tackle the problem.

Deep Frydays: Part of Your Complete Breakfast

If your breakfast routine is feeling a little boring these days, Nick and Erica have just the thing for you: deep-fried Cream of Wheat – with a surprise center.

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli on Gun Violence, Police Database

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 21, 2019.

Chicago’s top cop says a gun offender dashboard will create a “culture of accountability.” But not everyone agrees. Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli explains why she objects to the database.

With Business Community’s Help, CRED Fights Chicago Violence with Jobs

Brendan Taylor

Solving the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago is an unrelenting challenge. We learn about CRED, a program that wants Chicago’s business community to see it as a problem it can – and should – help stem.