Stories by Nick Blumberg

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.

Long-Awaited CTA Red Line Extension Moves Forward With New $38M Contract

The CTA’s South Terminal at 95th/Dan Ryan on the Red Line opened in April 2018. A plan to extend the Red Line would connect the terminal to 130th Street. (Chicago Transit Authority / Flickr)

The CTA’s proposal for a 5-mile extension of the Red Line south to 130th Street is one step closer to reality. 

Historic Near North Houses Headed for Landmark Status

A brick building in the Italianate style at 110 W. Grand Ave. (Felix Mendez / WTTW News)

A proposed new landmark district aims to protect historic Chicago homes from demolition, but some owners worry it will tie their hands.

Weekend Closures and Interruptions on 4 CTA Train Lines

(Eric Fischer / Flickr)

Bridge maintenance, CTA station upgrades and a massive modernization project will impact travel on portions of the Red, Blue, Green and Pink lines this weekend. Get the full details.

Three Edgewater Red Line Stations Closed This Weekend

(Sarah A. / Flickr)

For the second weekend in a row, three CTA Red Line stations on the North Side will be closed from Friday night through Monday morning.

Get Ready for Big Red Line Changes, CTA and City Warn

(Chicago Transit Authority / Flickr)

Red Line riders have several years of North Side station closures, construction work and delays ahead of them as the CTA and contractor Walsh-Fluor work to rebuild a miles-long section of the century-old “L.”

The Week in Review: A New Era in Springfield

Springfield readies for the 2020 legislative session. The mysterious coronavirus rears its head in Chicago. House Democrats wrap up their impeachment case against President Trump. And Tribune reporters take on their owners.

4 CTA Stations on Red, Blue Lines Will Be Closed This Weekend

(Sarah A. / Flickr)

Three CTA Red Line stations in Edgewater will be closed from Friday night through Monday morning, marking the first of several planned weekendlong closures. The Grand Blue Line station will also be closed this weekend.

‘PBS NewsHour’ Co-Founder Jim Lehrer Dead at 85

Jim Lehrer speaks at the Miller Center of Public Affairs in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2011. (Steven Morgan / Wikimedia Commons)

Jim Lehrer’s longtime colleague and current “NewsHour” anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff announced the news in a release, saying Lehrer died peacefully in his sleep at home.

Lawmakers, Neighbors Debate Fixes as Beaches Shrink, Shoreline Erodes

(WTTW News)

High lake levels, fluctuating temperatures and winter storms have battered Chicago’s lakefront in recent weeks. Emergency projects are in the works to ward off further damage, but is a bigger redesign of the lakefront needed?

Chicago Tribune Reporters Sound the Alarm on Newspaper’s Future

The Chicago Tribune’s Freedom Center, a printing and inserting facility along the Chicago River. (WTTW News)

Two Chicago Tribune investigative reporters are speaking publicly about their fears for the company amid staff cuts and uncertainty over the hedge fund Alden Global Capital, now the largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing.

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.

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