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Stories by Nick Blumberg

A Closer Look At Obama's Overtime Plan

| Steffie Drucker
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has proposed a change in overtime regulations that could make an additional 5 million Americans eligible for overtime pay. Join Chicago Tonight for a conversation about who this will affect, when the proposed change might go through, and where the rules stand currently.

Military Experts Warn Against Climate Inaction

Experts from the American Security Project are in Chicago to sound the alarm that inaction on climate change weakens the United States' national security position. We'll talk with retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Lee Gunn and Andrew Holland, senior fellow with the American Security Project and a former aide to ex-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during Hagel's time in the Senate.

Chicago’s Shared Streets, Efforts to Boost Biking

| Kristen Thometz

Construction gets underway this week on the Argyle Streetscape project in Uptown, which will create a first-of-its-kind Chicago street that's shared among bikes, cars, and pedestrians. The city has also announced a discounted Divvy bike share membership rate for lower-income Chicagoans, and it's currently adding protected lanes to encourage more bicycling. We'll take a closer look.

WBEZ: Puerto Rican Drug Addicts Sent To Chicago Likely Victims of Identity Theft

A story by WBEZ and This American Life in April revealed that heroin abusers from Puerto Rico were being sent to unlicensed drug rehab programs in Chicago, many of which appear to be little better than flophouses and use methods that are questionable at best. The facilities often force clients to give them their identity papers for safe keeping, and don't always give them back when the clients leave. A follow-up report from WBEZ has found that some of the Puerto Rican addicts sent to Chicago appear to be victims of identity theft.

Draft Biden PAC Pushes for VP to Run in 2016

| Steffie Drucker

Vice President Joe Biden has run for president of the U.S. twice, most recently as an early Democratic contender in the 2008 primary. A Chicago-based movement called Draft Biden is hoping he’ll run once more.

Toni Preckwinkle on Her Sales Tax Plan

| Kristen Thometz

Facing a budget crunch, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is proposing a 1 percent hike to the county sales tax. She'll likely face a tough time finding the nine board member votes she needs to get the tax passed. Preckwinkle joins Chicago Tonight to talk about the budget.

Government Debts Loom Over Local, World Economy

| Kristen Thometz

With a fast-approaching debt payment due to the International Monetary Fund and no deal in sight, the world waits to see whether cash-strapped Greece will remain a part of the Euro currency. And here at home, massive pension debts and political battles are complicating budget deals for the state of Illinois and city of Chicago. We talk with two economists about both local and global economic issues.

Creating Green Space in the Lawndale Triangle

Neighbors in an area of North Lawndale called the "Lawndale Triangle" feel cut off. They have no park or green space, and very few places where they can come together as a community. Now, neighborhood leaders and a local nonprofit have joined together to create a community park and garden on a lot that's sat empty for years.

Summer Reading Selections

If you're headed to a beach somewhere to bake on the sand for a while ... well, first of all, don't forget the sunscreen. But just as importantly, don't forget to bring a bag full of books to keep you company. 

Mayor Emanuel on the CPS Cash Crunch, City Budget

| Kristen Thometz

Mayor Rahm Emanuel joins Chicago Tonight to talk about the pension payment owed by CPS next week, the school system and city's budget deficits, and whether he expects any good news from Springfield.

“The Subversive Copy Editor”

Carol Fisher Saller's principles of copy editing might surprise anyone who's ever tussled with an editor over a piece of writing. She argues communication and collaboration between writer and editor are key; style rules are useful guidelines, not the straps of a straitjacket; and that language's evolution isn't anything to rail against. She joins Chicago Tonight. 

Conservative Voices on Climate Change

Most scientists believe that climate change is real and man-made, but the policy debate over how to address the problem is often lacking in conservative voices. Former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican, has been an advocate for free-market solutions to climate change. Inglis joins Chicago Tonight for a conversation.

The Other Obama Library

A new exhibit in Hyde Park shares its name with a building that has generated a lot of publicity, protest, and angst over the last several months: The Barack Obama Presidential Library. But unlike the officially curated and managed home of the future former president's legacy, the Barack Obama Presidential Library housed at The Hyde Park Free Theater describes itself as “a community museum of, for, and by the people.”

The Battle Over Workers’ Comp Reform

| Kristen Thometz

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan plans to bring a workers’ compensation reform measure to the floor Thursday when the House returns to session. It’s the latest move in an ongoing fight over workers’ comp reform between Democrats and Gov. Bruce Rauner. We take a look at what Rauner's proposing, whether it has any chance of passage, and how workers’ comp has already been reformed in Illinois.

Durkin on the Battle Over an Illinois Budget

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin joins Chicago Tonight to talk about the general assembly's recently wrapped-up spring legislative session. The session, which saw sometimes tense battles between the Democratic majority in the legislature and rookie Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, ended without a budget deal.

Willie Wilson Takes Aim at the White House

Millionaire businessman and one-time Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson announced Monday he plans to run for president. Wilson says he’s running as an anti-tax Democrat and a candidate of the people

The Debate Over "Right to Try"

The Illinois General Assembly has sent a bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner that will allow terminally ill patients to try experimental medication that hasn't yet been approved by the FDA. We'll hear more on the debate over whether the bill gives families a lifeline or puts already sick people at risk.

Cook County Sheriff on Reducing the Jail Population

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart joins Chicago Tonight to talk about the new county jail director and efforts to get mentally ill people treatment instead of incarcerating them.

"Born Survivors" on the Infants of the Holocaust

In the new book Born Survivors, author Wendy Holden tells the story of three women who gave birth in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. The three babies managed to survive, and they finally meet one another 65 years later.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Pension Ruling

We speak with Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the Illinois Supreme Court ruling that found the 2013 pension reform law unconstitutional. What does that mean for Chicago’s pension reform? We’ll also ask him about the downgrading of the city’s credit rating to junk status and Obama Presidential Library coming to the South Side of Chicago. 

“The Big Jones Cookbook”

Credit Grant Kessler

James Beard semifinalist Paul Fehribach, executive chef of Andersonville's Big Jones restaurant, joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the recipes and history in his new Southern cookbook.

Chicago's Donnie Madia Wins Big At James Beard Awards

Restaurateur Donnie Madia, owner of the One Off Hospitality Group, joins Chicago Tonight after a big night at Monday's James Beard Foundation Awards, which were held for the first time in Chicago.  

PBS Chief Paula Kerger

Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, joins Chicago Tonight to discuss her vision for the future of public media, the challenges PBS and its member stations face with fundraising and editorial control, and how public media can grow and build their audiences.

How Chicago Compares to Indiana's HIV Outbreak

Tuesday, a team of federal health officials arrived in southern Indiana to evaluate a recent surge in HIV cases, which the director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS called one of the worst outbreaks of the last 20 years. We talk with John Peller, president and CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, to see how Chicago’s infection rate compares to Indiana, what the underlying causes are, and how to stem the tide of cases.

What's Next After the Dante Servin Verdict?

| Hunter Clauss

Chicago Police Detective Dante Servin was acquitted earlier this month in the shooting death of an unarmed African-American woman, Rekia Boyd. Critics have blamed Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez for filing the wrong charges against Servin, and have blamed Judge Dennis Porter for acquitting Servin and writing a ruling that appeared to argue different charges would have been warranted. What lessons can be learned from the case, and what needs to change going forward? We're joined by legal experts Len Cavise and Richard Kling.