Stories by Nick Blumberg

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.

Deep Frydays: Frango Frolics

Many Chicagoans have sweet memories of the confection we’re about to dunk in hot oil: the Frango mint. But they might be surprised to learn that the signature candy of Marshall Field’s was not created in Chicago.

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.

Pilsen Parishioners Fight to Save Historic St. Adalbert Church

On Sunday, the final mass at St. Adalbert church in Pilsen is set to take place, but supporters of the church vow to appeal the closure.

City Can’t Keep Impounded Cars After Drivers File for Bankruptcy: Court

(Eric Fischer / Flickr)

A federal appeals court says Chicago can no longer continue to hold impounded vehicles of drivers in debt to the city after the vehicle owner files for bankruptcy. Melissa Sanchez of ProPublica Illinois explains.

‘Speaking for the Dying’: 2 Years of Observations on ICU Decision-Making

(SharonMcCutcheon / Pixabay)

In her new book, author Susan Shapiro tells us how to prepare for the life-and-death decisions that come with a trip to the intensive care unit.

City Council Caucus Chairs on Chicago’s Future

In this file photo, 28th Ward Ald. Jason Ervin speaks with “Chicago Tonight.”

The different caucuses of aldermen that make up the council play a big role in shaping its direction. Their leaders join us for a conversation about their priorities and vision for Chicago.

Gery Chico’s New Challenge: Uplifting Underserved Neighborhoods

Gery Chico appears on “Chicago Tonight” on July 3, 2019.

The former mayoral candidate and onetime Chicago school board president is taking on a new job as board chair of Local Initiatives Support Corporation Chicago. He tells us about his new role.

Deep Frydays: Totally Tubular Tamales

For our new summer series, we take some of Chicago’s favorite foods and, like the name says, we deep-fry them and deal with the big questions. Today’s sacrifice to the gods of hot oil: Chicago-style tamales.

Democratic Debates: How 1st Group Fared – and What to Watch for on Night 2

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., center, answers a question, during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Art, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Miami. Listening from left are, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. (AP Photo / Wilfredo Lee)

How the first round of Democrats tried to set themselves apart on a packed stage, and how the second group of candidates might fare. A conversation with Jason DeSanto.

Tour the Southeast Side Facility Producing New CTA Rail Cars

Rail car manufacturing is back in Chicago after some 50 years. We go inside the Hegewisch facility where production is underway on the CTA’s new 7000 series.

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.

Trump Tries Economic Sanctions on Iran After Backing Off Military Strike

“I think a lot of restraint has been shown by us. A lot of restraint. That doesn’t mean we’re going to show it in the future,” President Donald Trump said Monday, June 24, 2019 in announcing new economic sanctions against Iran.

New economic sanctions on Iran: will they prevent a military showdown? Robert Pape, director of the University of Chicago Project on Security and Threats, offers his insight.

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.

Tracing the National Security Council’s ‘Unprecedented Evolution’

The National Security Council is an integral part of U.S. foreign policy, despite the fact that most Americans know little about what it actually does. In a new book, author John Gans traces the council’s “unprecedented evolution.”

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

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.

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.