Stories by Nick Blumberg

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.

How Black Leaders Unintentionally Contributed to Mass Incarceration

Author James Forman Jr. talks about his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.”

Sales Dry Up for Boeing’s Grounded 737 Max Jets

In this photo taken Monday, March 11, 2019, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane being built for TUI Group sits parked in the background at right at Boeing Co.'s Renton Assembly Plant in Renton, Washington.  (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

Lawsuits mount and sales tumble in the aftermath of two deadly crashes involving Boeing’s 737 Max jet. Can the company repair its reputation? Commercial pilot Rob Mark weighs in.

The Week in Review: Mayor-Elect Lightfoot Prepares to Take Charge

Lori Lightfoot secures a historic election. City Council moves to the left. Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx faces more heat. And the Cubs’ bullpen implodes.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: Emanuel’s Term Winds Down

Paris Schutz and guests discuss the loose ends in the final weeks of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term, including the Lincoln Yards TIF and the new police and fire academy.

How Will Runoff Election Results Impact Chicago Politics?

Candidates are making their final sprint toward Tuesday’s runoff election. Will voters show up? Carol Marin leads a political roundtable with three journalists who have followed the race closely.

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

Eddie Arruza and guests discuss an assessment by veteran city hall reporter Fran Spielman of the frenzied final stretch of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term and why she believes Emanuel is “obsessed” with his legacy.

The Week in Review: Shock and Anger After Smollett Charges Dropped

Jussie Smollett is cleared of all felonies, leaving the mayor and police superintendent livid – and the Cook County state’s attorney under fire. And in election news, a new poll shows a lopsided race for mayor.

Surprising Outcome in Smollett Case Provokes Anger from Mayor, Police Superintendent

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson appear at a news conference Tuesday, March 26, 2019, after prosecutors abruptly dropped all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

We discuss the legal underpinnings of the stunning move by prosecutors to drop all charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, and how media coverage of the case has played out.

The Choice for Mayor 2019: Toni Preckwinkle

As the April 2 runoff eletion nears, we take an in-depth look at Toni Preckwinkle’s path from high school history teacher to political power player.

Illinois Senate Democratic, Republican Leaders on Budget Priorities

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker struck a bipartisan tone in his budget speech. What the top Democrat and Republican in the state Senate think of his proposal.

Web Extra, The Week in Review: Impact of Jussie Smollett

Eddie Arruza and guests take a dive deep into the broader impact of the Jussie Smollett case.