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Stories by Nick Blumberg

Taking the Property Plunge: A New Guide for First-Time Homebuyers

Considering homeownership? How to decide if it’s the right time to buy—and how to avoid common mistakes. A discussion with real estate and personal finance author Ilyce Glink.

How Black Americans Shaped Abraham Lincoln’s Life

A long out-of-print book tells the stories of African-Americans who knew and worked for Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. 

Oscar Nod for ‘Frontline’ Documentary Made by Chicago Team

A still image from “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.”

Oscar nominations came out earlier this week, and the “Frontline” documentary “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” garnered a nod in the best documentary feature category. It was made by the Chicago team at Kartemquin Films. 

A Look Inside the Complicated System of U.S. Immigration

The political debate over immigration has come to the fore yet again as a government shutdown looms, with the standoff due in large part to failed immigration reform negotiations.

Can Apple and Facebook Make Their Products Less Addictive?

After a public call for Apple to make its smartphones less habit-forming, we take a look at internet addiction in a digital age.

School Funding Formula in Limbo After Rauner Veto

Gov. Bruce Rauner used his veto pen this week to rewrite a bill making minor technical changes to the state’s new and much-debated school funding formula. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith joins us.

Preventing and Treating Legionnaires’ Disease

Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with moderately-high magnification depicts a large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

As lawmakers spar over a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at a veterans home in Quincy, we take a closer look at how the illness spreads and is treated.

What Does Latest Stock Market Record Mean for Investors?

The Dow Jones crossing 25,000 is the latest milestone in a long-running bull market. What’s driving it, and when it could end.

The Week in Review: Chris Kennedy Takes Aim at Mayor Emanuel

Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy slams Mayor Rahm Emanuel for overseeing a “strategic gentrification plan” designed to “push people of color out of the city.” This story and more with Eddie Arruza and guests.

Flu Cases Spike: How to Protect Against This Year’s H3N2 Flu

Doctors say the most dominant strain of the flu this season is one that can take a more severe toll on patients who catch it. How to protect yourself from what could be an especially bad flu season in Chicago.

Conservative Lawmakers Back Effort to Block Publicly Funded Abortions

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

How Republican lawmakers are trying to stop publicly funded abortions in Illinois—and what the bill’s backers say.

2017’s Top Political Stories: Trump, Emanuel, Rauner and More

From national issues down to neighborhood ones, 2017’s political landscape was shaped by the effect of President Donald Trump’s first year in office.

WBEZ: Families Accuse State of Negligence in Veterans Home Deaths

Thirteen veterans have died of Legionnaires' disease since 2015 at a state-run veterans home in Quincy. A new report by WBEZ reveals Illinois' top health official warned of the seriousness of the outbreak days before it was made public.

Veteran Journalist Robert Jordan on ‘Murder in the News’

The longtime Chicago journalist talks about his new book “Murder in the News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime.”

How Men Misunderstand Sexual Consent

A new study looks at how young men view sexual interactions – and finds that some have difficulty understanding whether a woman is giving consent to have sex.

Inside the Mind, and Notebooks, of Leonardo da Vinci

Author Walter Isaacson talks about his comprehensive new biography “Leonardo da Vinci,” which delves into the staggeringly inquisitive and creative giant of the Renaissance.

CPS Inspector General on Resignation of CPS CEO Forrest Claypool

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool steps down after the district’s watchdog accuses him of a full-blown cover-up. We speak with CPS Inspector General Nicholas Schuler.

The Week in Review: CPS Watchdog Recommends Firing Schools CEO

The Chicago Public Schools watchdog recommends firing CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. Gov. Bruce Rauner says he’s not the one “in charge” of Illinois. And losing streaks persist for the Bulls and Hawks.

Outcry Over FCC Plan to End Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules

Will new FCC rules mean an end to the open internet? A look at the net neutrality debate.

BGA: Illinois Nuclear Plants Leak, Spill Radioactive Water

Byron Generating Station just south of Byron, Illinois. (Ben Jacobson / Wikimedia Commons)

Radioactive water leaking from Illinois nuclear power plants, despite promised safeguards—an investigative reporter on what’s been done.

Ilyasah Shabazz on the Legacy of Her Father, Malcolm X

To many, the legacy of activist Malcolm X is that of a fiery counterpart to the pacifist Martin Luther King, Jr. But to one of his daughters, that analysis overlooks his complexities and contributions to the fight for human rights.

Exploring the Mysteries of Anesthesia in ‘Counting Backwards’

A new book from a Northwestern medical school professor delves into the history of the common—yet still mysterious—world of anesthesia.

Former Alderman Bob Fioretti Challenging Toni Preckwinkle

In the wake of the much-maligned sweetened beverage tax, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s re-election no longer appears certain. Why Bob Fioretti believes Cook County needs new leadership.

The Week in Review: Lawmakers Get Serious About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment takes the focus in Springfield and City Council. Aldermen approve a new police training center on the West Side. Sears plans to shutter more stores. And the Bears take on the weakened Packers. 

Retired Astronaut Scott Kelly on the Power of ‘Endurance’

Quiet time in the cupola (NASA / Scott Kelly)

He holds the American record for most consecutive days in space. Retired astronaut Scott Kelly discusses the incredible mission described in his new book, “Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.”