Stories by Nicole Cardos

Meet Three of Chicago’s Social Media Influencers

(Pexels / Pixabay)

It’s a brave new world out there, and one fast-growing career is that of “social media influencer.” We talk with three Chicago-based influencers to find out just what they do.

Summer Reading List 2019: New and Old Books to Explore

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Summer in Chicago: There never seems to be enough of it, especially with so many things to do – and read. Need a good recommendation? Here are 15 wide-ranging options from three Chicago authors.

Search: Chicago Property Tax Increases and Decreases by Ward

(Stephen M. Scott / Flickr)

Property taxes are on the rise in many parts of the city, and homeowners will soon get specifics on those hikes in the mail. See ward-by-ward changes for single-family homes across Chicago.

Pension Payment: Analysts on Outlook for State-Controlled Pension System

 “The reason we haven’t solved the pension problem is because of political will, pure and simple,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on Monday, July 1, 2019.

If Chicago wants to ease its pension problems, it’ll need $1 billion in new taxes over the next three years. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot reportedly has another plan up her sleeve.

What Could Reparations for Black Americans Look Like?

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Although the idea behind reparations is “as old as slavery,” it’s gaining more traction than ever before, said Alvin Tillery, a political science professor at Northwestern University.

Question of Balance: Analysts Talk State Budget, Pension Reform

Gov. J.B. Pritzker appears at a signing ceremony for the $40 billion spending plan Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Does Illinois really have a balanced budget? Local analysts weigh in.

New Community Garden Aims to Shed Light on Urban Indians

The First Nations Garden in Albany Park was created by the American Indian Center and the Chi-Nations Youth Council in partnership with the city of Chicago. “It’s become a beacon for native people,” said 17-year-old Adrien Pochel.

In ‘Soulless,’ Jim DeRogatis Details ‘The Case Against R. Kelly’

Journalist Jim DeRogatis appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

Intimate details about R. Kelly are uncovered in a new book. Jim DeRogatis, the reporter who’s been following the singer for years, discusses “Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Violence, a Chicago Casino and Ald. Ed Burke

Did the Chicago police union instruct cops not to police during the violent Memorial Day weekend? Mayor Lori Lightfoot clarifies a rumor she says she heard in this wide-ranging, one-on-one interview.

City Council Cleanup: Aldermen Discuss Mayor’s Plan for Ethics Reforms

In light of the charges against Ald. Ed Burke, what can Mayor Lori Lightfoot and aldermen do to clean up City Hall?

Springfield Showdown: Lawmakers Weigh In on Session’s Local Impact

There were emotional floor debates and the passage of a slew of bills as the spring session wrapped up. Just how does all this capitol action affect Chicago and the surrounding areas? Two state lawmakers weigh in.

Beach Season is Here, and Water Safety Advocates Say They’re Worried

Are Chicagoans getting the information they need to stay safe at the beach – and in the lake? A new task force has some recommendations for Chicago beaches.

Underwood Talks Fiery Exchange, New Caucus on Maternal Mortality

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood appears on “Chicago Tonight” on May 28, 2019.

It’s been a busy first term for U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville). The congresswoman joins us to discuss her freshman year goals and recent headlines.

DCFS Acting Director on Plans for Reform of Troubled Agency

Acting Director Marc Smith appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has faced troubles for years. Acting Director Marc Smith talks about issues facing the state’s child welfare agency.

New Mayor, New Solutions to Chicago’s Finances? Local Analysts Weigh In

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot waves after being sworn in during her inauguration ceremony Monday, May 20, 2019. (AP Photo / Jim Young)

It’s her first week in office, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot doesn’t have time to waste when it comes to city finances. How can Chicago address its fiscal troubles?

Move Over, Meat! Alternative Options Growing in Popularity

As new products come on the market, traditional beef patties are being challenged by plant-based alternatives. (Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay)

There might be a new kind of meat cooking on the grill this weekend: alternative meat. But what is it? And why the craze?

Looking Ahead: Analysts Preview Lightfoot Administration

In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Lori Lightfoot talks about bid for Chicago mayor on “Chicago Tonight.” One year later, Lightfoot is preparing for her May 20, 2019 inauguration as Chicago mayor.

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot unveils an ambitious 100-day plan. We talk to experts about what the future holds under a Lightfoot administration.

New Report Grades Chicago Hospitals on Patient Safety

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How safe are Chicago hospitals? A new report says some of them are not making the grade when it comes to patient safety and preventable death. 

Could New $1,000 State Tax Drive Electric Car Owners Out of Illinois?

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State Sen. Martin Sandoval’s legislation would hike the electric vehicle registration fees from $17.50 to $1,000. It would also include tax and fee increases on gas, license plates and driver’s licenses.

‘World’s Fastest Man’ Remembers Cyclist Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor

At a time of Jim Crow laws, how did a black man compete to become the fastest athlete of his time? A new book by Michael Kranish tells the story a trailblazing cyclist and his connection to Chicago. 

Single Mother of 3 Successful Children Embraces ‘Power of Presence’

How to raise children to be successful adults? That’s the million-dollar question for every parent. A new book by Joy Thomas Moore has some suggestions.

Emanuel Supports Retirement Income Tax, But is it Too Taxing on Seniors?

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the latest supporter of a retirement income tax. A look at the potential impact on Illinois, Chicago – and seniors.

Former Ambassador Says US-Canada Relationship in Trouble

U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Courtesy Uncharted, LLC)

Canada is America’s most trusted ally, but that relationship is at risk. In their new book “The Art of Diplomacy,” a former U.S. ambassador to Canada and his wife explain.

South Side Home Movie Project Aims to Fill in Historical Gaps

Candace Ming exhibits footage with a donor at the Five Year Anniversary Bash at the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, October 7, 2017. (Courtesy South Side Home Movie Project)

A South Side native watches her long-forgotten home movies for the first time in 35 years. What was on them – and how the viewing was made possible.

Report Projects Grim Future for Social Security, Medicare

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

If you’re expecting to receive Social Security benefits, brace yourself. Costs for Social Security are projected to exceed the program’s income next year, which means beneficiaries may not get all that’s been promised to them.