Stories by Paul Caine

Time For Winter Prep in The WTTW Garden

With winter right around the corner, home gardeners should harvest whatever fruit and vegetables that remain in their garden as soon as possible. Organic gardener Jeanne Nolan shares tips to get your garden ready for the cold season. 

Chicago Zoological Society Honors Wildlife Conservation Leaders

Lion populations have plummeted in Africa since 1950 as a result of habitat loss and poaching. (Courtesy Susan McConnell)

Colleen and Keith Begg founded an organization that helps maintain the wildlife in the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique, one of the last remaining strongholds for lions in Africa. 

Scientists Reconstruct Face of Human Ancestor Using Fossilized Bone

How did researchers reconstruct the face of an ancient human ancestor using a fossilized bone? This story and more from the world of science with Neil Shubin.

Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Draws Fire From All Sides

President Donald Trump’s decision to immediately withdraw all U.S. troops from northern Syria has prompted criticism from politicians, military leaders and others. 

Local Scientists Help Create First Long-Range Tornado Forecasts

(Courtesy of Victor Gensini)

Earlier this year, for the first time ever a small team of scientists was able to forecast a severe tornado outbreak almost one month in advance. We speak with Victor Gensini, a key member of that team.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson Takes on New Role as Illinois’ ‘Cannabis Czar’

(Martijn / Flickr)

She was a driving force behind Illinois’ new marijuana law. Meet the state’s new cannabis regulation oversight officer.

Oriental Institute Unveils Multimillion-Dollar Makeover for Centennial

On the South Side of Chicago is a relatively small but academically renowned museum whose founder James Henry Breasted helped rewrite the history of human civilization. We go for a look.

Elon Musk Unveils Prototype for Mars Rocket

Mars visualization with satellite imagery overlay. (Kevin Gill / Flickr)

The SpaceX founder aims to create a fleet of reusable rockets that will make space travel dramatically cheaper and more accessible. But can he turn what has long been science fiction into science fact?

Allies Watch Closely as Trump Impeachment Probe Intensifies

President Donald Trump meets with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the United Nations on Sept. 25, 2019. (WTTW News)

The public has new insight on how President Trump interacts with world leaders behind closed doors. But do his actions amount to an impeachable offense? And how do allies and adversaries overseas view his dealings with Ukraine?

Democrats, Republicans React to Launch of Impeachment Inquiry

President Donald Trump listens during a multilateral meeting on Venezuela at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

How is a formal impeachment inquiry likely to play to voters? We ask Tom Bowen of New Chicago Consulting and Jennifer Nevins, a self-described pro-Trump conservative activist.

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?