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Stories by Nick Blumberg

Documentary Spotlights Only Bank ‘Small Enough to Jail’

A still image from “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” a new episode of “Frontline.”

A new episode of “Frontline” shines a light on the little-known story of the only U.S. bank to be prosecuted in the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. We speak with the director and producer of “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.”

As Rain and Floods Continue to Batter Texas, Long Recovery Lies Ahead

For days, parts of Texas have been slammed by massive rain and flooding caused by Harvey. A look at recovery efforts for the short and long term.

The Week in Review: Another Rauner Staff Shake-Up

Lawmakers reach a deal on school funding. Gov. Bruce Rauner cleans house again. Chicago sees its most violent weekend since July 4. And the Cubs grow a comfortable lead in their division. 

After Publicly Criticizing Trump, Chicago CEO Faces Racist Backlash

Ravin Gandhi denounced the president’s comments on Charlottesville in an op-ed, and now finds himself the target of racist invective. What he hopes will come out of the experience.

Zachary Fardon on Violence, Police Reform and His New Job

Zachary Fardon appears on “Chicago Tonight” on March 23, 2017.

The former U.S. attorney, who was asked to resign by the Trump administration in March, joins us in discussion.

Dragons, Demons and Omens of Death: A History of Human Eclipse Watching

Over the course of civilization, eclipses have been met with fear and superstition. How humans have reacted to—and explained—eclipses throughout history.

Green Job Training, Conservation Efforts Threatened by Federal Cuts

Along Wolf Lake on Chicago’s Southeast Side lies the only Illinois state park within city limits, where visitors can find fishing spots, biking trails – and invasive species.

New Shedd Shark Expert on Aquarium’s Conservation Efforts

(Albert Kok / Wikimedia Commons)

Jumping into ocean waters teeming with sharks doesn’t sound like much fun, but for researchers working on shark conservation, it’s a way to gather important and sometimes surprising information. Meet Steve Kessel, the Shedd Aquarium’s new director of marine research.

The Week in Review: State Misses Payments to Public Schools

Illinois blows the deadline for payments to public schools. Mayor Rahm Emanuel sues the Trump administration. Lawsuits fly over Cook County’s soda tax. And Mitch Trubisky shines in the Bears first preseason game.

Trump Threatens North Korea with ‘Fire and Fury’

Despite increasing international condemnation, North Korea has ramped up its nuclear capabilities to a potentially dangerous level. 

Chicago Sues Trump Administration Over ‘Sanctuary City’ Policy

“Chicago will not be blackmailed into changing our values, and we are and will remain a welcoming city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Sunday at a press conference announcing the suit.

Does the Latest Stock Market Record Mean Anything?

Another record-setting day on Wall Street. What’s propelling the stock surge—and can it last?

Trump to Sign Sanctions Against Russia ‘Soon’

Vladimir Putin orders hundreds of U.S. diplomats out of the country as tensions escalate with Russia.

Book Inspires Young People to Create ‘No Small Plans’ For Chicago

(Courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation)

A new graphic novel wants to empower Chicago teenagers to push for the city they deserve. Meet one of the teens who created the book.

Wisconsin Company Offers to Voluntarily Microchip Employees

(Credit: Three Square Market)

Buying a bag of chips or logging onto your computer with a wave of your hand will soon be possible at one Wisconsin company. 

Study of Deceased Football Players Finds Widespread CTE

A new study offers the latest and perhaps most dramatic evidence of the neurological toll of football on those who play it.

Mitigating Mosquitoes After Heavy Rain

Heavy rains and record flooding in the Chicago area hatch a big concern: mosquitoes. With standing water as a breeding ground, more mosquitoes could be on the way.

The Week in Review: Layoffs Hit After Pop Tax Fizzles

Cook County layoffs spark a war of words. Chicago drivers get red-light ticket relief. Shakeup in the governor’s office. Revived Cubs are winning again, and the Sox go on a trade tirade.

Jim DeRogatis: Parents Claim R. Kelly is Holding Women in a ‘Cult’

Timothy Savage speaks at a press conference on July 17, 2017.

Parents accuse singer R. Kelly of keeping their daughter and other women in a cult. We speak with the journalist who broke the story.

Meet Edwin Eisendrath, the New Chicago Sun-Times CEO

Learn more about the new CEO and the unlikely group that just purchased the beleaguered Chicago Sun-Times.

Rauner Calls on Legislators to Send Him School Funding Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner insists on removing what he calls a Chicago “bailout” from a state school funding plan.

Sheriff Tom Dart: Budget-Related Layoffs Would ‘Devastate’ Office

Big cuts are coming to the Cook County Sheriff's Office, including nearly 400 jail guards. “We had no way to plan for this,” said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Gov. Bruce Rauner Shakes Up Staff

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s staff shake-up is still going on after legislators voted last week to override the governor's veto of a tax hike and budget.

Preserving Artifacts, Memories of Holocaust Survivors

(David / Flickr)

We meet one of the curators of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Week in Review: Finally, a State Budget

Lawmakers finally pass a budget, but Illinois bonds may still face a junk rating. Holiday weekend violence despite increased police presence. Can the underperforming Cubs right the World Series ship?