Stories by Nick Blumberg

Author Paul Tough on ‘How College Makes or Breaks Us’

(lil_foot_ / Pixabay)

College admissions have been major news in recent months after a bribery scam came to light. A new book explores how the higher education system is failing many low-income students and students of color.

The Week in Review: Anne Burke Named Chief Justice of Illinois Supreme Court

Anne Burke is elevated to chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. CPS is hit with another scathing report on sexual abuse. Uber’s CEO bets big on Chicago. And the Bears try to reverse fortune against the Broncos.

How Satellites Can Detect and Protect Earth From Asteroids

A unique view of Earth from the vantage point of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in orbit around the moon. (Credit: NASA / Goddard / Arizona State University)

Adler Planetarium astronomer Mark Hammergren explains how a space-based sentry can help detect asteroids that will pass near Earth.

Lack of E-Cigarette Regulations Complicates Explanation for Lung Illnesses

(lindsayfox / Pixabay)

Hundreds of people have been sickened and as many as five are dead after a recent outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. We speak with Dr. Samuel Kim, associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson on a Possible Teachers Strike and the School Year Ahead

Janice Jackson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 5, 2019.

The Chicago Teachers Union on Wednesday set a date for a strike authorization vote. It’s the latest turn in what’s been a contentious round of contract negotiations. CPS CEO Janice Jackson discusses that and more.

Bus Driver Fired, CTA Sued After Cyclist Struck by Bus in River North

A view of Wells Street looking south to the intersection of Hubbard Street in River North, where  police say a cyclist and CTA bus collided on June 6, 2019. (Google Maps)

A Chicago Transit Authority bus driver who racked up more than a dozen traffic tickets before working at the agency is out of a job and facing a lawsuit, along with his former employer, following a nonfatal June crash that sent a Chicago cyclist to the hospital.

A Pantry in a Pilsen Health Center Takes Aim at Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is a nationwide problem, but studies show it’s even more acute in Chicago. How one food pantry is trying to tackle the problem.

Deep Frydays: Part of Your Complete Breakfast

If your breakfast routine is feeling a little boring these days, Nick and Erica have just the thing for you: deep-fried Cream of Wheat – with a surprise center.

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli on Gun Violence, Police Database

Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Aug. 21, 2019.

Chicago’s top cop says a gun offender dashboard will create a “culture of accountability.” But not everyone agrees. Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli explains why she objects to the database.

With Business Community’s Help, CRED Fights Chicago Violence with Jobs

Brendan Taylor

Solving the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago is an unrelenting challenge. We learn about CRED, a program that wants Chicago’s business community to see it as a problem it can – and should – help stem.

A Look at Immigration Status in the Workplace

Amid workplace raids, what responsibilities do employers have to verify immigration status? And what rights do workers have?

Lawsuit Over Facebook Facial Recognition Survives Legal Challenge

(Pexels / Pixabay)

Why some Illinois Facebook users are suing the company over its facial recognition software for photos.

Sportswriter Chronicles Her Groundbreaking High School Basketball Team

Melissa Isaacson appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

How Title IX changed a future Chicago sportswriter’s life, and paved the way for a championship basketball team from Niles West. We speak with Melissa Isaacson, author of “State: A Team, a Triumph, a Transformation.”

The Week in Review: Trump Teases Blagojevich Pardon, Again

President Trump once again dangles a commutation for Rod Blagojevich. Mayor Lightfoot spars with judges on gun violence. And optimism surrounds the Bears at their first preseason game.

Deep Frydays: Hot Tips

Since the rib tip is not only a Chicago institution but also a finger food, we decided it was the best candidate this week for a beer-batter-and-hot-oil dunk.

Record-High Lake Swallowing Up Chicago Shoreline

Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, talks about the area’s shrinking and disappearing beaches this year, and why it matters.

A Conversation About Domestic Terrorism, Mental Health and Racist Rhetoric

“Hate has not place in America,” President Donald Trump said Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, after weekend shootings left more than 30 people dead in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

President Donald Trump condemns hate, but says hateful rhetoric and mental illness are to blame for mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso – not guns.

The Remarkable Life of the ‘Legendary Harry Caray’

President Ronald Reagan in the press box with Harry Caray during a Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Sept. 30, 1988.

The longtime White Sox and Cubs broadcaster is the subject of a new book. Author Dan Zminda joins us to discuss “The Legendary Harry Caray: Baseball’s Greatest Salesman.”

Rep. Krishnamoorthi on Mueller, Trump and Impeachment

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 29, 2019.

Last week, former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress. U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi was there to question Mueller, and now he joins us in conversation.

The Week in Review: Lightfoot Notches Wins, Needles FOP

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s hot mic controversy. An ethics reforms package targets Ald. Ed Burke. Federal agents edge closer to House Speaker Michael Madigan. And the Bears report to training camp.

Deep Frydays: Saganaki Saga

Midwesterners could be forgiven for thinking that Wisconsin has a lock on all things cheese. But in Chicago, we’ve managed to one-up our neighbors to the north: we set it on fire.

The ‘Adaptable House’ Aimed at Easing Chicago’s Affordable Housing Crunch

A design by Greg Tamborino, winner of the “Disruptive Design Chicago” competition. (Rendering courtesy Neighborhood Housing Services)

A recently completed design competition is now working with a developer to take its winning entry from concept to construction in two vacant, city-owned lots.

How Illinois Employers Might Handle Recreational Marijuana

(Martin Alonso / Flickr)

Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, but there are a lot of unanswered questions about how employers will react – and adapt – to the law. 

From Oil and Gas to CBD, Northbrook-Based UL Combats Explosion Hazards

Bill Hoffman, laboratory leader for UL (Underwriters Laboratories) hazardous locations facility in Northbrook. (WTTW News)

A facility at safety certification company UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is working to keep potentially explosive environments safe. But you might be surprised how prevalent those environments can be – and the common things that might trigger a safety hazard.

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.