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Stories by Nicole Cardos

Pop Songwriter Justin Tranter Lays Track for Local Talent

Meet the Chicago-area native who is the songwriter behind some of pop music’s biggest hits.

Recent Police Suicides Prompt Advocates’ Call for Increased Resources

The Chicago Police Department’s Calumet District station on the city’s Far South Side. (Chicago Tonight)

A look at mental health resources available to Chicago police officers following the department’s third suicide in the last two months.

Looking Back and Ahead: Durbin Talks Kavanaugh, Chicago Mayoral Race

News of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to run again caught the senator by surprise. “I think it’s a wide-open contest at this moment,” Sen. Dick Durbin said on Chicago Tonight.

New Book Explores How a Showman Saved Premature Babies

(Courtesy of Dawn Raffel)

A new book tells the story of how a showman saved thousands of premature babies in the early 20th century.

Jury Selection Strategy: What Prosecutors, Defense Look For in Jurors

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke listens to court arguments during a hearing Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. Van Dyke is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune / Pool)

With five jurors now seated on the Jason Van Dyke trial, there are another seven spots to fill. A look at the strategy behind jury selection with the founder of a jury consulting firm.

Anxious About Exclamation Points? You’re Not Alone

(StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay)

The Wall Street Journal recently examined email and text anxiety caused by the “tyranny of the exclamation point.” We discuss the punctuation phenomenon.

Aldermen Discuss Priorities for Mayor’s Next 9 Months

Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks Tuesday, July 17, 2018 about the fatal police-involved shooting of 37-year-old Harith Augusts. (Chicago Tonight)

Now that the mayor is out of the race, Chicago aldermen talk about what that could mean for the coming months – and beyond. 

What’s Next for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel?

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 5, 2018.

He stunned the city with his decision to not seek a third term, leaving everyone wondering: what’s next? A discussion with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Judge Orders Release of Harith Augustus Shooting Videos

A still image taken from video footage released Thursday, Aug. 16 by the Chicago Police Department shows the immediate aftermath of the police-involved shooting of Harith Augustus, 37, on Saturday, July 14, 2018.

A conversation with journalist Jamie Kalven about police accountability as more videos of last month’s fatal police-involved shooting of Harith Augustus come online.

New Book Shares Stories of ‘Rad Girls’ to Inspire Youth

Meet the author and illustrator behind the new “Rad Girls Can” book about young women who are “bold, brave and brilliant.”

Changes to Oscars Draws Criticism, Raises Questions

J.K. Simmons and Lupita Nyong’o pose for a photo at the 87th Academy Awards on Feb. 22, 2015. (Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr)

The Motion Picture Academy announces a new award category for the Oscars. Why some critics say that’s cause for concern.

As City Adds Cops, Communities Call for More Comprehensive Solution to Violence

Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses safety in Chicago on Aug. 8, 2018 following a deadly weekend of violence. (Chicago Tonight)

City officials may have some thoughts about solving violence in Chicago, but not everyone’s on board. What some community members have to say. 

WBEZ: Madigan, Party Defensive After Volunteer Charged with Murder

House Speaker Michael Madigan (File photo)

Michael Madigan and his political organization are under fire once again. This time, it involves a volunteer who has been charged with murder. We go inside the WBEZ investigation.

New UIC Program Aims to Bring More Men of Color into Classrooms

Six students will participate in UIC’s Call Me MISTER program, which aims to get more male teachers of color into classrooms. From left: Alfred Tatum, Armando Rivera, Juan Hernandez, Jesus Flores and Juwaun Williams. (Credit: UIC Photo)

There’s a shortage of male teachers in Illinois classrooms, particularly those who are African-American and Latino. How the University of Illinois at Chicago is hoping to change that. 

Is Chicago the ‘Rat Capital’ of the US?

Chicago residents logged more than 50,000 complaints last year about rats, according to a new survey that ranks the city as the “rat capital” of the U.S. We separate rat fact from fiction.

World’s Next Largest Telescope Hopes to Answer Question of Life Beyond Earth

The GMT will consist of seven mirrors, each eight meters in diameter, to make a single optical surface that’s 24.5 meters wide. (Giant Magellan Telescope – GMTO Corporation)

There’s a telescope under construction in Chile, and it’s slated to be the world’s largest – if it’s completed in time.

Willie Wilson Addresses Charity Event Cash Controversy

Willie Wilson speaks to Chicago Tonight in 2015. (Chicago Tonight file photo)

The Chicago mayoral candidate faces criticism after handing out nearly $300,000 in cash and checks at a charity event. “I haven’t done anything but give my own money away,” Wilson said of the cash controversy.

Cases of Foodborne Illness in Illinois Surpass 500

There are more and more cases of food poisoning in Illinois. What’s behind the problem – and how to protect yourself.

Longtime WFMT Host Carl Grapentine Signs Off

Honors for Carl Grapentine and his work at WFMT at a special “Goodbye to Carl” event at Ravinia Festival on July 14, 2018. (Courtesy 98.7 WFMT)

A very familiar voice on our classical music sister station is retiring. A look at the on- and off-air musical life of WFMT’s Carl Grapentine. 

Ald. Pawar Drives Initiative to Test Universal Basic Income in Chicago

A new resolution to bring universal basic income to Chicago may soon be making its way to City Council for a vote.

Chicago Remembers 1968 Special Olympics with Anniversary Celebration

Justice Anne Burke, one of the leading forces behind the first games, stands with volunteers at the 1968 Games. (Courtesy of Special Olympics Chicago)

The Special Olympics celebrates 50 years. How it all began – right here in Chicago.

How Healthy is Lake Michigan? A Checkup on the Great Lakes

(Frank McNamara / Flickr)

When it comes to the health and maintenance of Lake Michigan, some environmentalists, property owners and even surfers have expressed their concerns. What the future may hold.

5 Things to Know About Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule

(markusspiske / Pixabay)

Public housing across the U.S. will become smoke-free at the end of the month. What that means for some 60,000 residents in Chicago.

New Anti-Harassment Panel Addresses Barriers for Women in Politics

(Cozendo / Pixabay)

Illinois ranks sixth in the nation when it comes to the percentage of state legislators who are women. A new panel aims to increase the number of women in Illinois politics.

Hospital Ship Sets Sail in Documentary ‘The Surgery Ship’

Nate Claus, second from left (© Mercy Ships)

A Chicago-area native talks about efforts led by a hospital ship to provide free surgeries to patients in West Africa and Central Africa.