Chicago is a city of firsts — everything from the first Ferris wheel to the first brownie and the world’s very first skyscraper. WTTW News explains.
Stories by nick blumberg
Mar 4, 2024 | Nick Blumberg
CTA President Pledges to Restore Service to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Faces Frustration at City Council Hearing
Feb 27, 2024 | Nick Blumberg
CTA President Dorval Carter said the transit agency plans to restore reduced bus and train service to pre-pandemic levels this year, including a 44% boost to bus service, with the process beginning in the coming weeks.
Despite Decades of Cries for Help, Chicago Failed to Aid Blind Pedestrians. Now, City Wants Lengthy Timeline to Fix Problem
Jan 16, 2024 | Nick Blumberg
Fewer than 2% of Chicago’s signalized intersections have an accessible pedestrian signal that provides auditory and tactile guidance to blind, low-vision and deafblind pedestrians — despite more than two decades of requests and years of internal acknowledgement from city staffers about the need for such accommodations.
Chicago Tribune Journalists Push for Contract Deal, Accuse Company Owner of Stripping Assets Ahead of Planned Rally
Dec 15, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Tribune Publishing journalists plan to picket and rally Saturday outside Tribune Tower, accusing the hedge fund that owns the company of brutally undercutting local news in service of a relentless thirst for profits.
Starbucks Broke Labor Law, Must Reopen Unionized Chicago Coffee Shop Shuttered Last Year, Federal Labor Officials Say
Dec 14, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
The National Labor Relations Board is asking a judge to order Starbucks to reopen 23 shuttered locations around the U.S. – including at Bryn Mawr and Winthrop avenues in Edgewater – claiming the company closed the coffee shops as retaliation for employees unionizing or to hinder their organizing efforts.
Dec 12, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
As you travel a ways west from the lake in Chicago, it’s hard not to notice clusters of north-south streets that all start with the same letters – K, L, M, N, O. What gives? WTTW News Explains.
Dec 11, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Despite scores of noise complaints from residents jolted awake by garbage trucks, private trash haulers have been slapped with just five tickets for illegal pickups during quiet hours over the last two years, according to a WTTW News data analysis.
One Agency to Rule Them All? As Fiscal Cliff Looms, CMAP Pitches Bold Plan to Overhaul Chicagoland Public Transit
Dec 7, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
With CTA, Metra and Pace expected to have a combined $730 million budget deficit starting in 2026, state lawmakers passed a measure charging the regional planning agency CMAP to think big and come up with a plan.
Rogers Park Residents Form Tenants Union Over Bedbugs, Maintenance Complaints; Building Manager Says Problems Addressed
Nov 29, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
A group of fed-up residents from a Rogers Park apartment building showed up at the property’s management company Wednesday to announce they’d formed a tenants association. It’s part of what organizers said is a resurgent tenants union movement.
Nov 6, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
For many Chicagoans, the quiet pre-dawn hours are regularly interrupted by the sound of noisy — and illegal — early morning pickups by private garbage hauling companies. A proposed ordinance aims to fix that.
Aurora Officials Gave Long-Delinquent Aviation Company a Sweetheart Deal, Lawsuit Claims — Ahead of Sale to Company Now Backing Aurora’s Mayor
Nov 6, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
A federal lawsuit awaiting a judge’s ruling says city of Aurora terms for Revv Aviation illegally disadvantage one of their competitors at the Aurora Municipal Airport. Revv’s owners have donated to Mayor Richard Irvin’s campaign fund and hosted a fundraiser for him.
Sep 18, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
You can rag on our region for Crock Pot meals loaded with cream of mushroom soup, or salads mostly made of marshmallows and Cool Whip. But one Chicago chef says the culinary depth and national influence the Midwest has had on America’s taste is underestimated.
Chicago Housing Authority Leaseholders Accuse Management Companies of Retaliation, Blast Agency Oversight: ‘They’re Not Dictators’
Sep 13, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
One longtime CHA resident said the potential sale of her home is part of a longtime pattern of neglect and retaliation from management companies and a failure of proper oversight from the CHA — a pattern echoed by claims from four other leaseholders or resident advocates in neighborhoods around the city.
Sep 6, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Unprecedented regional coordination, $1.5 billion in new annual funding and a push to transform service and draw in more riders than ever. Those are just some of the ambitious ideas up for debate as part of an effort to create a bold new vision for public transit in the Chicago area.
Sep 5, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Do you ever find yourself wondering how all the exits got their numbers? It’s relatively simple — but not necessarily intuitive. WTTW News Explains.
Aug 29, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
The CTA says in July of 2023, it delivered an average of 88% of scheduled rail service, compared to 71% in August of last year. And it says it delivered 96% of bus service this July, compared to 81% last August.
Aug 22, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Chicago students are still struggling to make up for COVID-era learning losses, and a local tutoring organization is trying to help students close that gap.
Paramedics, EMTs Claim Chicago-Area Ambulance Company Illegally Forced Them to Pay For Red Light, Speed Camera Tickets
Aug 17, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
In a class action wage theft lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County court, plaintiffs say instead of contesting the tickets, which were incurred during emergency calls while running with lights and sirens, the company charged the cost of the moving violations against employees’ pay without their consent.
Art Institute, School of the Art Institute Workers Ratify Union Contract in a First for a Chicago Cultural Institution
Aug 15, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Art Institute of Chicago Workers United was the first in a unionization wave that’s swept across local museums and cultural institutions.
Aug 14, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Renovations are underway at the Garfield Park Community Plaza to create more play areas for kids, a stage, a covered roller rink and a sculpture designed by young people from the community.
Aug 1, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Some 800,000 Illinoisans are working in temporary jobs, according to industry estimates. That number has more than doubled over the last two decades.
Chicago-Based Photographer Documents ‘Enduring Ties’ With Cuba in Show at New Photojournalism Center
Jul 28, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Alex Garcia’s pictures allow the humanity of his subjects to shine, free of preconceived notions. The show has celebratory moments as big as a fireworks show and as small as the back of a car. And it doesn’t shy away from the harsh conditions many Cubans face.
First Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Female Northwestern University Athlete; Former Quarterback Also Files Suit
Jul 25, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
The hazing scandal at Northwestern University has widened to include a volleyball player who on Monday became the first female athlete to sue the university over allegations she was retaliated against by the coach for reporting her mistreatment.
Jul 25, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Under the city’s noise ordinance, private waste haulers can’t make pickups before 7 a.m. But WTTW News spotted trucks making multiple early-morning stops.
‘You’re Overpowered’: Former Northwestern Players Allege Culture of Hazing, Abuse in Football Program and Beyond
Jul 19, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
A group of 15 ex-Northwestern athletes represented by civil rights lawyer Ben Crump and Chicago-based colleagues say they plan to file suit against the university in the near future.
Jul 17, 2023 | Nick Blumberg
Public safety isn’t just about addressing the root causes of crime or stopping people from picking up a gun. Sometimes, making a neighborhood safer is as simple as a water balloon or a bounce house.