Stories by Paul Caine

Von Steuben Robotics Team Leads the Way for Girls in Science

(Courtesy Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center)

Meet the team from Von Steuben High School that’s on its way to the prestigious U.S. Open Robotics Championship.

Critics Say Non-Disclosure Agreements Enable Abuse

Harvey Weinstein

Non-disclosure agreements enabled USA Gymnastics to cover up Larry Nassar’s crimes and Harvey Weinstein to silence his alleged victims. Should they be allowed—and are they enforceable?

DNAinfo Alumni to Launch New Hyperlocal Website

(Nltram242 / Flickr)

The news site DNAinfo Chicago shut down three months ago. Now, former staffers are coming back with a new business model and a new name, but with the same focus on hyperlocal news.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX: A New Era of Commercial Space Exploration?

Falcon Heavy demo mission on Feb. 6, 2018. (SpaceX / Flickr)

Could Elon Musk’s successful launch and landing of his Falcon Heavy rocket usher in a new era of commercial exploration—and exploitation—of space? This story and more from the world of science with Neil Shubin.

Three Corporate Titans Aim to Disrupt American Health Care

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Three of the richest men in America want to bring radical change to health care. Could their new company bring down costs?

Illinois Now Ranks Among Top 5 States for Film, TV Production

(Till Krech / Flickr)

From “Empire” to “Electric Dreams,” Chicago is fast becoming a major television and film production hub. We speak with the director of the Illinois Film Office.

Commercial Property Tax Assessments Spark City Council Fight

Powerful Chicago Ald. Ed Burke is under fire once again for an alleged conflict-of-interest violation involving two downtown buildings.

American Birder Noah Strycker Goes on Epic Quest for His ‘Big Year’

(Courtesy of Noah Strycker)

Meet the man who literally went to the ends of the Earth to see as many bird species as possible.

Access to Pharmacies Increasingly Difficult on South, West Sides

A lack of drug stores in poor communities on the South and West Sides is creating so-called “pharmacy deserts.” What this means for some Chicago residents, and how researchers are looking for solutions.

US Warns of North Korean Threat Amid Winter Olympic Diplomacy

Protests erupt in South Korea as a delegation from North Korea arrives ahead of the Winter Olympics. Can Olympic diplomacy defuse the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula?

Government Shutdown Looms Ahead of Trump’s 1-Year Anniversary

President Donald Trump could begin his second year in office with a government shutdown. An assessment of his first year, and a look ahead.

Meteor Fireball Seen Across Midwest, Sonic Boom Shakes Michigan Homes

An image taken from a video shows a meteor flash on Jan. 16, 2018. (T. Masterson / International Meteor Organization)

A fireball streaked across the Midwestern sky Tuesday night, creating a sonic boom. An Adler Planetarium astronomer tells us more about this rare celestial fireworks display.

Motor Vehicle Deaths Claim 40,000 Americans in 2016

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert / Released)

Deaths from distracted driving are rising sharply. We talk with a transportation safety expert about what can be done to bring the number of fatalities down.

Dick Simpson on His Life as a Chicago Progressive

He has seemingly been part of the Chicago political scene forever, first as an activist but then as an alderman, political science professor and twice as an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. Dick Simpson talks about his new book.

Microbes: Earth’s Oldest and Most Essential Life Forms

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

They are the oldest forms of life on Earth and without them humans would not exist. How microbes shape the planet and its people.

Dorothy Brown’s Office Granted More Time to Modernize

In 2018, the notion that one of Cook County’s most important offices is still using systems that Charles Dickens would recognize would seem to be a problem. Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown joins us.

1871 CEO Howard Tullman a Cryptocurrency Skeptic

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may be all the rage, but is the so-called “blockchain” technology behind them the thing that could really change the world?

US Stocks March Higher Boosted by Tax Cuts and Deregulation

The financial markets have skyrocketed over the past year. Can they keep climbing in 2018?

Daniel Ellsberg Reveals Secrets of America’s ‘Doomsday Machine’

He leaked the Pentagon Papers expediting the end of the Vietnam war, but Daniel Ellsberg now reveals another big secret in his new book, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.”

Governor’s Race: Marshall’s Plan to Split State, Legalize Marijuana

Burr Ridge physician Dr. Robert Marshall tells us why he’s running for governor and discusses his plans for Illinois.

Outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen Hikes Interest Rates One Last Time

While Fed Chair Janet Yellen ends her tenure on an upbeat note, are there storm clouds ahead for the economy?

Roy Moore Proves Too Much for Alabama Voters

Doug Jones celebrates his victory over Roy Moore on Dec. 12.

Does Doug Jones’ upset signal a building blue tsunami that could help Democrats retake the House – and maybe even the Senate – in 2018?

Canada Geese Give Local Hunters the Slip

It’s open season for hunters of Canada geese, but the migrating birds have found a novel way to stay out of the firing line: wintering in the city. Rabiah Mayas joins us with that story and more from the world of science.

Plans for Gospel Museum on Site of Burned-Out Pilgrim Baptist Church

(Rendering courtesy of Wight & Company)

A local businessman who founded the Stellar Gospel Music Awards wants to create the nation’s first major gospel museum on site known as the birthplace of gospel music.

Bitcoin Price Soars Ahead of Launch of Futures Trading In Chicago

(Antana / Flickr)

The Chicago Futures Exchange is set to start trading bitcoin, which has seen its value rise more than 1,000 percent since the start of the year. Just what is bitcoin?