Stories by Paul Caine

Banned Books: Librarians Push Back Against Censorship

(PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay)

It’s Banned Books Week, an annual event organized by the Chicago-based American Library Association to highlight the threat of censorship. Find out which books were challenged most in 2018.

Former Clinton Aide Blumenthal Tackles Lincoln’s Life in 5 Volumes

Sidney Blumenthal (Credit: Ralph Alswang)

Sidney Blumenthal, the Chicago native who formerly served as the senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, discusses his political history of Abraham Lincoln, “All the Powers of Earth.”

FCC Proposes New 3-Digit Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(Pexels / Pixabay)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK. But the FCC wants to make that number a whole lot easier to remember – and dial.

Congestion Charge a Tough Sell for ‘Overtaxed’ Chicagoans

Chicago traffic (WTTW News)

Talk of a possible city congestion tax is heating up. On Monday, the CEO of Uber said he supported the idea to help ease Chicago traffic and raise revenue. But how would it work, and could it drive away business?

Rare, Super-Deep Diamonds Reveal Secrets of Early Earth

Diamonds from the Juina area: most of these are super-deep diamonds. (Credit: Graham Pearson)

Scientists in Spain have been analyzing so-called super-deep diamonds as a means to learn more about the formation of the Earth itself. Rabiah Mayas tells us more about that and other stories making science headlines.

Northwestern Engineering Team Pioneers New Medical Technologies

John Rogers, who leads the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics at Northwestern University. (WTTW News)

The future of medical monitoring is taking shape in a laboratory just north of Chicago. We learn about a new generation of flexible electronics.

Make Salsa and Pico de Gallo with Fresh, Homegrown Ingredients

Organic gardener Jeanne Nolan and chef Nicole Putzel show us what’s possible (and delicious) for local gardeners – even if you don’t have much space.

Illinois Tech Becomes 1st University in Midwest to Offer Degree in Artificial Intelligence

(StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay)

This fall, students at the Illinois Institute of Technology will be among the first in the country to have the option of pursuing an undergraduate degree in AI. Aron Culotta, director of the new program, tells us more.

Aldermen React to Mayor’s ‘Hard Choices’ in ‘State of the City’ Speech

City Council members are still digesting Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s “State of the City” address, in which she revealed an $838 million budget shortfall. We get reaction from Alds. Raymond Lopez and Nicholas Sposato.

Trump’s Dream of Space Force Moves One Step Closer to Reality

President Donald Trump watches with Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary Mark Esper as the flag for U.S. Space Command is unfurled in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

As society becomes increasingly dependent on space-based systems, there’s a growing need for protection from potential adversaries. But is the U.S. Space Command – and eventually a Space Force – the answer?

Activist Calls for Racial Equity as Transportation Revolution Looms

Chicago and the world is on the brink of a transportation revolution – and activists for racial equity want to ensure the benefits of that revolution reach communities of color.

Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source to Get $815 Million Upgrade

The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory (Courtesy Argonne National Laboratory)

Since 1995, researchers in Chicago and from around the world have used Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source to create super bright X-rays to probe everything from dinosaur bones to atomic particles. But the APS has an even brighter future.

Consultant’s Report Questions Economics of Chicago Casino Plan

(stokpic / Pixabay)

After a Las Vegas consultant says proposed sites for a Chicago casino aren’t financially viable, will state lawmakers change their bets?

New Asian Carp Study Reaffirms Need to Protect Great Lakes

Crews search for invasive Asian carp near Chicago on Aug. 2, 2011, following several recent discoveries of their genetic material in Lake Calumet. No Asian carp were found. (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Jessica Vandrick)

Asian carp will certainly survive and most likely thrive if they are able to make their way into Lake Michigan, according to a study released Monday by the University of Michigan.

USDA Disaster Declaration Promises Relief for Illinois Farmers

Spring flooding in Illinois (Courtesy Illinois Farm Bureau)

A trade war with China. Springtime floods. And now weeks without rain have combined to create a perfect storm battering Illinois farmers. Will a disaster declaration be enough to save them?

UChicago Empower Initiative Adds Diversity to Student Body

(Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr)

A year after announcing it was dropping mandatory SATs as part of its admissions process and increasing financial aid for low-income and rural students, the University of Chicago is seeing an impact on enrollment.

CPS Teacher Shortage Hits Black and Special Needs Students Hardest

Each year, hundreds of Chicago Public Schools are having to make do without teachers and substitutes because of a teacher shortage. But according to new reporting from WBEZ, that shortfall does not impact all schools and students equally.

Descendants of John Dillinger Get Permission to Exhume His Body

This file photo shows Indiana Reformatory booking shots of John Dillinger, stored in the state archives, and shows the notorious gangster as a 21-year-old. (AP Photo / The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Nye, File)

Descendants of the notorious Depression-era bank robber claim they have evidence that the body in his grave in Indiana may not be his. We examine the enduring fascination with the legendary outlaw.

Chicago Lab Creates Cutting-Edge Bionic Prosthetics

Advances in prosthetics mean that in the not-too-distant future it’s possible that people who have lost a limb could receive a fully functional robotic replacement. And a lab in Chicago is leading the way to the future.

Capital One Data Breach Leaves Millions Vulnerable

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Another day, another data breach. This time, Capital One admits that more than 100 million of its credit card users have had their personal data hacked.

Harvest Time for Onions, Garlic – and Dandelions

Jeanne Nolan shows us how to harvest red onions, garlic, scallions and edible weeds from our organic garden at WTTW.

Electric Scooters in Chicago: Are They Here to Stay?

Chicago’s pilot program to allow electric scooters on city streets is proving popular – at least with scooter users. We check in on the four-month program.

University Presidents Welcome Illinois Budget Boost

A file photo of Chicago State University. (WTTW News)

A two-year budget impasse had many college students fleeing Illinois. Will a boost in funding now help persuade them to stay?

50 Years After Moon Landing, Billionaires Back Grandiose Visions for Space

An artist’s concept of an O’Neill cylinder. (Courtesy Blue Origin)

Could Jeff Bezos’ vision of giant rotating habitats one day support millions of people in space? We speak with two experts about humankind’s future in space. 

Chicago Life Expectancy Gap Driven by Race, Segregation, Says Researcher

Chicago has the largest life expectancy gap of any big city in America. We speak with a researcher who says that while “there’s no easy answer” to the disparity, the city’s high degree of racial segregation clearly plays a role.