Stories by Nick Blumberg

Anti-Plastic Advocates Defend Cost of Chicago’s Proposed Single-Use Ban

(Oliur Rahman / Pexels)

Chicago aldermen have proposed a ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam containers in an effort to cut down on plastic pollution. We learn more from Abe Scarr of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, which helped craft the proposal.

Weekend Red Line Construction, Station Closures Canceled

(Sarah A. / Flickr)

Three CTA Red Line stations in Edgewater that were scheduled to be shut down this weekend will remain open after construction work was canceled due to a high wind advisory, according to the office of 48th Ward Ald. Harry Osterman.

How the Warren Court Helped Create the US We Know Today

A new book explores the landmark years in which the Supreme Court reshaped the course of the United States. We discuss “Democracy and Equality” with University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone, who co-authored the book.

The Week in Review: Shocking Email Puts Madigan on the Defensive

A shocking email has Springfield at attention and Madigan on the defensive. Presidential hopefuls set up shop in Illinois. Cannabis flies off the shelves in Chicago and a local coyote gets a DNA test.

City Outlines Plans to Curb Racing, Stunt Riding by Large Groups of Motorcyclists

The city is developing plans to curb drag racing and stunt riding by large groups of motorcyclists along city streets and Lake Shore Drive during warm weather, officials said Thursday.

City to Install Noise Monitors Along Lake Shore Drive

(Jason Mrachina / Flickr)

The city of Chicago plans to install six noise monitors along Lake Shore Drive with an eye toward cracking down on illegally modified motorcycles that race up and down the highway, city officials said Thursday.

Police Oversight is Widespread in the US. But is it Effective?

(WTTW News)

Sharon Fairley, the former head of Chicago’s civilian police oversight agency, talks about the findings of a new survey and breaking the cycle of scandal, reform, repeat.

Lightfoot’s Transportation Commissioner Nominee Headed for Council Approval

Presumptive Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi speaks with reporters at City Hall after the City Council’s Transportation Committee advanced her nomination on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Nick Blumberg / WTTW News)

A key City Council committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Gia Biagi, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pick to lead the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Longtime Bears PA Announcer Jim Riebandt Reflects on 38 Seasons

Jim Riebandt appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 2, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s the end of a considerable era for Chicago Bears fans. The team’s longtime public address announcer, Jim Riebandt, worked his last game at Soldier Field in December when the Bears faced off against Kansas City.

The Week in Review: Eventful 2019 Means Big Questions in 2020

With the new year come recreational marijuana, growing federal investigations, the search for a Chicago police superintendent and some soul-searching for the Bears. We peer into the crystal ball.

The Evangelical Christian Argument for Removing Trump from Office

President Donald Trump listens during a roundtable with governors on government regulations in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of the influential evangelical Christian publication Christianity Today, joins us to discuss his recent editorial that fired up the president.

Aldermen Pushing for Lake Shore Drive Noise Monitors

(Jason Mrachina / Flickr)

A group of aldermen have introduced a long-discussed ordinance directing the city’s Transportation Department to install noise monitors along Lake Shore Drive, with an eye toward cracking down on illegally modified motorcycles that race up and down the highway.

Shake-ups, Shutdowns and New Models: The State of Chicago Journalism

(Andrys / Pixabay)

A notorious hedge fund becomes the largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing. Two other news outlets are going by the wayside. But the local media landscape includes some possible bright spots, too.

CTA Bus Driver Fired After Striking Cyclist Racked Up Overtime Pay

(Steven Vance / Flickr)

A Chicago bus driver who was fired after running over a cyclist in River North in June racked up more than 532 hours of overtime in 2019 – including on the day of that nonfatal crash, according to records obtained by WTTW News.

Inside Uber’s Dramatic Rise – and Its CEO’s Fall

“Super Pumped” author Mike Isaac, a reporter for The New York Times, appears on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

When Uber burst onto the scene a decade ago, it dramatically reshaped how we get around. But the story inside the company was just as dramatic. Mike Isaac, author of the new book “Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber,” explains.

The Week in Review: Trump Lashes Out After House Panel Vote

The House moves forward on Trump impeachment. Interim top cop Charlie Beck makes a big change. Is Chicago equipped to weather a recession? And the Bears head to Lambeau for a rematch with the Packers.

Major Red Line Closures on Far North Side This Weekend

The Wilson CTA Red Line station. (WTTW News)

Northbound Red Line trains will run express between Wilson and Howard from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Monday as part of the CTA’s Red and Purple Line modernization project. 

New Book Traces ‘The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s First Black Banker’

Over its long history, Chicago has seen plenty of firsts, but those stories aren’t always well-known today. Entrepreneur Jesse Binga is at the center of one of those stories. Longtime journalist Don Hayner tells us more.

Lightfoot Names City Transportation Commissioner

Gia Biagi appears on “Chicago Tonight” in 2014. (WTTW News)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has picked Gia Biagi to run the Chicago Department of Transportation and will submit her nomination for City Council approval this month.

CDOT: ‘Please Don’t Stop Reporting Bike Lane Issues to 311’

(WTTW News)

The Chicago Department of Transportation on Thursday acknowledged the frustrations cyclists have faced when submitting bicycle-related issues to 311, but said the system has been improving and called on everyone to keep those service requests coming.

Constitutional Questions Debated in Testy New Phase of Impeachment

Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (WTTW News)

The House Judiciary Committee holds its first hearing as it weighs articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. Local law professors Tom Ginsburg and David Franklin discuss the testimony and what lies ahead.

Cyclists Say City Isn’t Addressing 311 Complaints About Bike Lanes

(WTTW News)

With hundreds of miles of bike lanes, Chicago is touted as a city for cyclists. But many who ride on city streets say the daily hazards they encounter and report aren’t being addressed.

Fox News Analyst Gianno Caldwell on the Power of Conservatism

Gianno Caldwell (Maryelkordy / Wikimedia Commons)

The conservative political analyst and consultant, who is also a Chicago native, discusses his new book “Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed.”

Democrats Eye Impeachment Articles, Despite Some No-Show Witnesses

U.S. Rep. Quigley appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Nov. 25, 2019. (WTTW News)

Nine witnesses in three days made for a packed and dramatic week of public testimony in the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley weighs in on the hearings and next steps.

The Week in Review: Lightfoot’s Budget Advances Despite Pushback

Despite gripes from aldermen, the mayor’s first budget advances. Who will replace the top senator in Springfield? Cops go to court. Fraud at City Colleges. And can the Bears pull off a win this weekend?