Stories by Nick Blumberg

Web Extra, The Week in Review: ‘Fair Workweek’ Ordinance

Paris Schutz and guests discuss more of the week’s City Council news, including a hotly debated “fair workweek” ordinance.

The Week in Review: Green Light for Obama Presidential Center

A federal judge OKs construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park. Mayor Lori Lightfoot stares down the police union. A stunning admission in the trial of Brendt Chrisetensen. And: the scooters are coming.

Deep Frydays: Ramp It Up

| Erica Gunderson

This week’s installment of our new battered-and-fried summer series goes deep on Chicago’s odorous namesake: the ramp. 

Lt. Gov. Stratton on Ensuring ‘Springfield is Working for the People’

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

The just-completed spring legislative session produced a slew of initiatives championed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. What Illinoisans can expect from those initiatives, the new state budget and more.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: Lightfoot Names New CPS School Board

Paris Schutz and guests discuss more of the week’s news: Mayor Lori Lightfoot appoints a new board to oversee Chicago Public Schools, and a dramatic “Jeopardy!” run draws to a close.

The Week in Review: Burke Pleads Not Guilty, Pritzker Signs Budget

Ald. Ed Burke gets his day in court. Gov. J.B. Pritzker gets his budget priorities passed. Chicago grapples with a spike in violence. And the Cubs get some much-needed pitching help.

Bicyclist Struck by CTA Bus in River North

An undated file photo of a CTA bus. (David Wilson / Flickr)

A bicyclist was struck by a CTA bus in the 400 block of North Wells Street on Thursday morning, according to the Chicago Police Department.

Shedd Kayak Trips Encourage Paddlers to Explore and Restore Chicago River

Restoring the Chicago River has been a project many decades in the making. One of many organizations taking part in that effort offers a water-level view of the work underway. We go for a look.

Morton Arboretum Builds Connections to Nature, Brick by Lego Brick

The new exhibition “Nature Connects” adds colorful creatures to the arboretum’s grounds using more than half a million Lego bricks.

How the Red Scare Upended Pulitzer Winner’s ‘Good American Family’

Elliott Maraniss on home leave in Ann Arbor with wife Mary in 1944 before heading to Camp Lee, Virginia, to command an all-black salvage and repair unit in the still-segregated U.S. Army. (Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

David Maraniss has written acclaimed biographies of Roberto Clemente, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In a new book, he turns his biographer’s eye to his father’s experiences during the Red Scare.

Lakefront Trail Users Adjusting to Newly Separated Bike, Pedestrian Paths

After two years of construction, a highly anticipated change to Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is now a reality: separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians. But it may take some getting used to.

Not Just Stonewall: New Show Explores 50 Years of Queer Art

The Stonewall riots in New York City started the modern gay rights movement (at least, they did in the popular imagination). A new exhibition at Wrightwood 659 challenges how we think of Stonewall’s place in history.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: Trump’s Pardon, Emanuel’s Legacy

Paris Schutz and guests discuss President Donald Trump’s pardon of disgraced former Sun-Times publisher Conrad Black, and assess some of Emanuel’s legacy ahead of Monday’s inauguration. 

The Week in Review: Lightfoot’s Ambitious Agenda

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot says she plans to blow up politics as usual. Springfield races toward the end of the spring session with huge issues up in the air. And another Chicago alderman is arrested.

Restoring the Morgan Park Home of Rotary International’s Founder

This historic photo, left, shows Paul Harris at the bottom of the driveway outside his Morgan Park home, which is today undergoing renovations, right. (Historic photo courtesy Rotary International)

An iconic volunteer organization has a worldwide reach – and Chicago roots. We take a look inside the renovations underway at the home of Rotary International founder Paul Harris.

‘We Made Uranium!’ Goes Inside Weird World of UChicago Scavenger Hunt

In 2008, the list of items for the Scavenger Hunt included this entry: “PIE FIGHT!! Bring ten cream pies and prepare to prove your superiority old-timey comedy style.” (Courtesy Leila Sales)

Elephants, uranium and the oddest wedding you’ve ever seen: A new book takes readers inside the unusual world of the University of Chicago scavenger hunt.

Former Homeland Security Chief Asks, ‘How Safe Are We?’

Janet Napolitano (Credit: University of California)

How safe is America from terror attacks and other threats? Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talks about whether the U.S. has gotten safer since the 9/11 terror attacks.

Rainy Week Tests Chicago Stormwater Management

Standing water along Foster Avenue near River Park on May 1, 2019 was caused by catch basins that filled with debris and drained slowly, according to a spokesperson for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Ready for even more rain? A look at how local tunnels and reservoirs handled the wettest week in years – and what’s next.

The Week in Review: Income Tax Overhaul Inches Forward

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s tax overhaul sails through the Senate. Heavy rains test flood-control fixes. Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot preps for a summer violence spike, and the Cubs prep for division rival St. Louis.

World’s Fastest Supercomputer Being Built at Argonne National Lab

The innards of a supercomputer. (Courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory)

From brain mapping to climate modeling and beyond: the potential impact of a new supercomputer being developed in the Chicago area. 

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Census Citizenship Question

(Daderot / Wikimedia Commons)

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether the 2020 census should ask about citizenship. Observers say the justices appear divided along ideological lines, giving an edge to the proposed change.

Chicago Health Officials Tracking Potentially Deadly Fungus

The Candida auris fungus is potentially deadly and can cause a number of infections, some of which are drug-resistant. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Cases of Candida auris in Chicago have been treatable with antifungal medications, says the chief medical officer for the city’s Department of Public Health.  

Valerie Jarrett Outlines ‘Journey to the West Wing’ in New Memoir

Michelle and Barack Obama with Valerie Jarrett at the Chicago Urban League Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner, November 2005. (Courtesy Valerie Jarrett)

Before she became the longest-serving White House adviser ever, Valerie Jarrett was a shy, bullied girl. She tells us about her new memoir, “Finding My Voice.”

Why Illinois Spends So Much Money on School Administration

Illinois spends more per pupil on school administration than almost every other state in the union, according to a new report. What the state is doing to address spending.

Tracing American Fashion from ‘Silver Screen to Mainstream’

From left: Evening dress designs by Howard Greer; Jacques, Chicago; and Jenkins. (Courtesy Chicago History Museum)

The 1930s were a defining decade for the U.S. At the Chicago History Museum, a new exhibit explores part of that era’s history you might not think of: fashion.