Stories by Nick Blumberg

This 5-Year-Old’s Coronavirus Podcast is Just What We Needed

(Courtesy Andrew Gill)

These days, it’s as important as ever to stay informed. But the glut of coronavirus content can, at times, be overwhelming. A new, locally produced podcast offers a much different perspective on the pandemic.

Chicago Showdown, Round Three: Windy City Cinema

"The Blues Brothers" (Universal Studios)

We’re spending a lot more time indoors. Join us as we get reacquainted with our beloved city through film. The polls are now open!

Public Space in the Age of COVID-19: How Other Cities are Coping

In an effort to discourage people from congregating, Chicago on Thursday shut down many public spaces. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot shut down Chicago’s lakefront, 606 trail and Riverwalk to encourage social distancing. But will limiting access to public space reduce the demand for it? We look to other cities’ ideas.

Mayor Lightfoot to Chicagoans: ‘You Simply Cannot Congregate’

A scene along Chicago’s lakefront on Thursday, March 26, 2020. (WTTW News)

A day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatened to close off access to city parks if Chicagoans continued to flout social distancing rules, the city shut down the lakefront trail, beaches and adjoining parks, the Bloomingdale Trail and the Chicago Riverwalk.

City Responds to Coronavirus with Discounted Divvy Memberships, CTA Credits

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

Half-priced Divvy memberships, credit for unused CTA passes and free rides for paratransit customers are all part of Chicago’s plan to keep its transportation network rolling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republican Jeanne Ives on Facing Sean Casten, Coronavirus Pandemic

Jeanne Ives appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

First-term congressman Sean Casten was unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th District, but in the general election he’ll face outspoken competition from Republican candidate Jeanne Ives.

Sean Casten on Confronting COVID-19 and His Conservative Challenger

Sean Casten (WTTW News)

Can Jeanne Ives flip Illinois’ 6th Congressional District back to red? We sit down for a one-on-one with first-term congressman Sean Casten.

Illinois Congressional Races: Newman Defeats Lipinski; Oberweis, Ives Declare Victory

 Democratic candidates for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, from left: Marie Newman, Rush Darwish, incumbent Dan Lipinski and Charles Hughes appear on a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum. (WTTW News)

Challenger Marie Newman has defeated long-serving U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, and the Republican challengers for first-term Democrats Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten are set. Where else things stand across congressional districts.

Chicago Showdown, Round One: Lost Chicago Buildings

Chicago Federal Building

With no hockey or basketball, delayed baseball and no March Madness, we don’t even have sports to turn to in these times of trouble. Enter the Chicago Showdown, four weeks of Chicago-themed brackets built to fuel friendly arguments – and we need your votes!

This Chicago Company Hopes its Seated Scooter Gives it a Leg Up

“Chicago Tonight” producer Nick Blumberg tests a seated electric scooter. (WTTW News)

As city officials plan a second round of the electric scooter pilot program, meet a company that hopes its seated scooter will make the cut.

Candidate Forum: US Rep. Dan Lipinski Faces 3 Primary Challengers

 Democratic candidates for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, from left: Marie Newman, Rush Darwish, incumbent Dan Lipinski and Charles Hughes appear on a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum. (WTTW News)

Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District has long been a Democratic stronghold, but in recent years the Democrat representing it has been under fire from his ideological left.

66 Divvy Stations, 10 Miles of Bike Lanes Coming to South Side, City Says

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

The long-awaited expansion of Chicago’s Divvy bike-share program on the Far South and Southwest sides is set to kick off this spring — and some new bike lanes and pedal-assist bikes are on the way too, according to city officials.

Meet the 5 Republicans Hoping to Take on Sen. Dick Durbin

Republican candidates for Senate, from left: Mark Curran, Tom Tarter, Casey Chlebek, Peggy Hubbard and Robert Marshall appear on a “Chicago Tonight” candidate forum. (WTTW News)

Five Republican candidates are vying to take on Illinois’ long-serving and well-funded incumbent senior senator, Dick Durbin, who is running for a fifth term this fall. All five join “Chicago Tonight” for a candidate forum.

The Week in Review: Coronavirus Panic Crashes Markets

Coronavirus fears tank the stock market. The gloves come off in the race for Cook County state’s attorney. More turmoil at Chicago Public Schools. And the city preps for round two of electric scooters.

4 CTA ‘L’ Stations in the Loop Closed This Weekend

(Eric Fischer / Flickr)

Track maintenance will close four “L” stations in the Loop this weekend from 2 a.m. Saturday until 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the Chicago Transit Authority. Get the full details.

Keep Scooters Off Sidewalks, Aldermen Say, as Second Pilot Ramps Up

(WTTW News)

At a hearing Wednesday, Chicago aldermen voiced their concerns and hopes for the city’s second round of electric scooter testing that’s expected to kick off this summer.

Chicago’s FBI Chief on Tackling Corruption, ‘Our Highest Criminal Priority’

FBI Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. appears on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

Chicago’s FBI office is in the midst of several high-profile political corruption cases that appear to be targeting politicians. Since last fall, those investigations have been overseen by Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr.

How ‘Hood Feminism’ Picks Up Where Mainstream Feminism Fails

Author Mikki Kendall appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 24, 2020. (WTTW News)

In her new book, Chicago native and author Mikki Kendall offers a critique of mainstream feminism. She joins us to discuss “Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Movement Forgot.”

Creating the State Street of the Future, Again

State Street in Chicago (WTTW News)

Every year, millions of people visit State Street in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. But is the street working the way it should? That’s the question the Chicago Loop Alliance is asking as it considers what State Street could be.

4 CTA Stations on Red, Blue Lines Set to Close This Weekend

Taking the Blue Line this weekend? The Grand station will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 4 a.m. Monday. Other closures are set for Red Line stations in Edgewater. (David Wilson / Flickr)

Three CTA Red Line stations in Edgewater will be closed from Friday night through Monday morning for the fifth consecutive weekend. The Grand Blue Line station will also be closed.

The Week in Review: Jussie Smollett Indicted Again

Jussie Smollett faces new criminal charges. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx faces political fallout. Mayor Lori Lightfoot addresses rising crime numbers. And the NBA All-Star game descends on Chicago.

NBA All-Star Weekend Hits Chicago. Here’s What You Need to Know

(WTTW News)

The NBA’s All-Star Game is in Chicago for the first time since 1988 and the city is bouncing with NBA events all weekend. Here’s a preview.

Brunch-Loving Chicagoans, Rejoice: City Council Could Loosen Sunday Liquor Sales at Restaurants

(Photo by Johann Trasch / Unsplash)

If you’ve ever tried to order a bloody mary with your eggs benedict on a Sunday morning, you might have run into one of the many quirks of Chicago’s liquor laws. But that could soon change.

CTA Weekend Closures at Three Red Line Stations in Edgewater

(Sarah A. / Flickr)

For the fourth weekend in a row, three CTA Red Line stations in Edgewater will be closed from Friday night through Monday morning.

Tribune Buyouts: Mixed Emotions for Longtime Journalists Leaving Company

Matt O’Connor, left, and Greg Kot appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (WTTW News)

Two veteran journalists who agreed to leave the Chicago Tribune after a recent round of buyouts talk about their hopes for the company’s future.