Stories by Paul Caine

SAT ‘Adversity Score’ Draws Praise and Criticism


SAT scores may soon come with an “adversity score” to measure the challenges a student faces in just trying to get to college. We weigh the pros and cons.

Northwestern Researchers Reverse Age-Related Memory Loss

(Courtesy Northwestern University)

Neil Shubin, University of Chicago paleontologist and one of our favorite explainers of all things scientific, joins us to discuss stories making news in the world of science.

Pritzker Makes Push for Legal Sports Betting

In this Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, file photo, gamblers place bets in the temporary sports betting area at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke, File)

Will a sports betting plan cross the finish line in Illinois? Gov. J.B. Pritzker supports it, and plans are being negotiated in Springfield to expand gambling in the state.

State Lawmakers Press Gov. Pritzker to Support South Suburban Airport

A group of elected state and local officials signed a letter earlier this month urging Gov. J.B. Pritzker to back a third northeastern Illinois airport near Monee. 

Astronomers May Have Detected Neutron Star Being Consumed by Black Hole

An artist’s illustration of two colliding neutron stars. (Credit: Dana Berry / Swift / NASA)

If the discovery is confirmed, it would be the first evidence that black holes and neutron stars can pair up to form binary systems.

Developer Seeking State Funds for Transit Hub in One Central Megaproject

A rendering of One Central (Courtesy Landmark Development)

A proposed new development just west of Soldier Field is seeking major state subsidies. Meet the developer and the local alderman – and hear about the plans for One Central.

In ‘Red Meat Republic,’ the Story of How Beef Made Chicago and Changed America

(Pexels / Pixabay)

Chicago’s connections to the meat processing industry are well known, but the beef industry didn’t just spur the city’s development. In a new book, historian Joshua Specht says the beef industry helped shape modern America itself.

Illinois Inches Closer to a Graduated Income Tax

“This amendment will … let us adopt a system that is more fair to the middle class,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a press conference in Springfield on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says allowing the state to tax richer people at a higher rate is the only way to return financial stability to Illinois. We speak with supporters and opponents of the governor’s top legislative priority.

Cold-Tolerant Crops a Safe Choice for Spring Planting

Unseasonably cold weather in Chicago has delayed the start of spring – at least in terms of planting, says organic gardener Jeanne Nolan. Here are some tips for your spring crops.

Beloved Rogers Park Restaurant Demolished

The iconic Heartland Cafe, which for more than 40 years sat at the corner of Glenwood and Lunt avenues in Rogers Park, is being torn down. We look back at its history as a community hub.

Lightfoot Takes Aim at Aldermanic Prerogative

In this March 24, 2019 photo, Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot participates in a candidate forum sponsored by One Chicago For All Alliance at Daley College in Chicago. (AP Photo / Teresa Crawford)

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot says aldermanic prerogative is at the heart of many corruption scandals emanating from City Hall. Two aldermen give us their take on the issue.

Former Illinois Legislative Inspector General Says Office is ‘Broken’

Former Illinois Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter called the office she used to run “broken” and said without changes the legislative inspector general is “a powerless role.”

Developer Wants Obama Presidential Center to Spur South Side Regeneration

This illustration released on May 3, 2017 by the Obama Foundation shows plans for the proposed Obama Presidential Center with a museum, rear, in Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side. (Obama Foundation via AP, File)

Ghian Foreman, a South Side resident and developer, says the Obama Presidential Center can benefit all residents in Jackson Park and beyond. 

How to Ready Your Garden for Spring Planting

Before you dig in and start planting, give your garden some tender, loving care. The team from the Organic Gardener helps us prepare our soil for spring planting.

Johnson Publishing Company Leaves Behind Rich Legacy

After 77 years, the founding company of Ebony and Jet magazines will soon cease to exist. We talk with two former writers and editors about the history and legacy of Johnson Publishing.

Astronomers Take First-Ever Picture of a Black Hole

This image released Wednesday, April 10, 2019, by Event Horizon Telescope shows a black hole. Scientists revealed the first image ever made of a black hole after assembling data gathered by a network of radio telescopes around the world. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration / Maunakea Observatories via AP)

Ever since Einstein’s theory of relativity first predicted them, black holes have captured the imagination of the public and scientists alike. We speak with two local astrophysicists about this scientific breakthrough.

Neil Shubin Hunts Fossils in Antarctic ‘Graveyard’

(Courtesy of Neil Shubin)

Renowned University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin recently returned from an expedition to search for fossils in Antarctica. He tells us about his trip.

Economists Differ on Prospects for City, State Under Progressive Agenda

Gov. J.B. Pritzker discusses his graduated income tax proposal on March 7, 2019.

With Gov. J.B. Pritzker seeking a state graduated income tax and Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot rethinking tax subsidies for controversial city projects, two economists offer their take on the local and national economy.

Melissa Conyears-Ervin Easily Wins City Treasurer Runoff

City Treasurer-elect Melissa Conyears-Ervin appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 4, 2019.

State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin on Tuesday easily defeated 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar in the runoff election for city treasurer. She joins us to discuss her victory and plans for the office.

Vasquez Vanquishes O’Connor in 40th Ward

Aldermanic candidate Andre Vasquez appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 3, 2019.

Veteran Ald. Patrick O’Connor is taken down by democratic socialist and former battle rapper Andre Vasquez in the city’s 40th Ward. Vasquez joins us to talk about his victory and his aldermanic plans.

Preckwinkle Questions Lightfoot’s Progressive Credentials

Mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle joins us as her campaign goes after the progressive bona fides of her challenger, Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot Accuses Preckwinkle Campaign of Spreading False Rumors

Mayoral candidates Lori Lightfoot appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Feb. 27, 2019.

Mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot tells Carol Marin on “Chicago Tonight” that the Preckwinkle campaign had previously tried to “take her out” by spreading a rumor that she would quit the race.

What to Make of This Extraordinary Chicago Election

Fourteen mayoral candidates? A possible runoff? Political reporters and political scientists give us their take on this unprecedented election.

Record Number of Mayoral Candidates Leaves Voters Spoiled for Choice

Chicago voters may want change, but with so many mayoral candidates to choose from, what are they to think? We get election analysis from political reporters Craig Dellimoreo, A.D. Quig and Greg Hinz.

Brookfield Zoo at Forefront of Fight to Save World’s Most Trafficked Animal

David, a young male pangolin, is part of Brookfield Zoo’s “Habitat Africa! The Forest” exhibit. (Credit: Chicago Zoological Society)

Researchers estimate that more than one million pangolins have been taken from the wild over the past decade as demand has soared for their meat and scales. What one local institution is doing to save these scaly anteaters.