Stories by Reuben Unrau

WHPK DJs Organize, Fight Back After Changes Result in Programming Cuts

Mario Gage, left, and Santiago Deandre, aka Taigo Onez, co-host the biweekly hip-hop program "The Essence" on WHPK radio. Due to a recent ban on after-hours access to the studio, more than half of the show was cut. "We're losing time now," said Deandre. "The rap format is pretty much null and void." (Courtesy of Mario Gage)

For more than three decades, WHPK radio at the University of Chicago campus has delivered around-the-clock broadcasts to South Side neighborhoods. But due to recent administrative changes, the signal has gone silent for most of the station’s late-night and early morning hours. Now, many DJs are fighting to take back their airwaves.

Plane Catches Fire During Takeoff at O’Hare Airport, Minor Injuries Reported

On Twitter, user Jose Castillo shared this photo and caption after American Airlines Flight 383 caught fire: "Here’s a picture my dad sent me from the runway."

About 20 people on board an American Airlines flight bound for Miami suffered minor injuries, fire officials said, after the plane caught fire Friday afternoon on a runway at O'Hare International Airport.

CTA to Roll Out Vintage Train Cars for Cubs World Series Games

Taking the CTA Red Line will be a blast from the past for some Cubs fans heading to the their team’s first World Series appearance in more than half a century.

Number of Registered Voters in Illinois Exceeds 8 Million

With less than two weeks until Election Day, more Illinoisans are registered to vote since record keeping began in 1970.

The High Cost of the World Series in Chicago

For Chicago’s long-suffering fans to get in on the action of the Cubs’ historic championship run, they’ll have to pony up the big bucks. 

New Mixed-Use Development Plan to Combine Libraries With Housing

The Chicago Public Library’s revamped Chinatown branch opened last year with a feng shui-influenced interior design and expansive views of the city. A design competition for three new CPL branches kicks off next year. (Steven Kevil / Wikimedia Commons)

A new partnership between the Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Libraries will put affordable housing and learning centers under the same roof in three city neighborhoods.

EPA to Shut Down 2 Chicago Vehicle Emissions Test Facilities

Motorists will be without a single testing center within Chicago city limits starting Nov. 1.

Final Section of Chicago Riverwalk to Open This Weekend

Mayor Rahm Emanuel leads a tour of a new section of the Chicago Riverwalk, which will be open to the public Saturday. (Courtesy City of Chicago)

The completion of the three-block stretch marks the end of construction on the 1.25-mile promenade, providing pedestrian and bike access along the south bank of the river.

Chicago Ranked No. 2 Travel Destination in U.S. by Conde Nast

Chicago River (Tim Emerich)

Chicago bumped San Francisco from its number two spot in this year’s ranking of U.S. travel destinations by Conde Nast Traveler.

Field Museum Turns to Public to Help Digitize Collection

The Field Museum’s Matt von Konrat says that more than 3 million plant specimens have yet to be digitally cataloged. "We still have a ton of undiscovered diversity locked away," he said. (Courtesy of the Field Museum)

It's home to an estimated 30 million objects from across the globe, but only about 25 percent of the Field Museum's collection has been cataloged in a digital database. Starting Thursday, volunteers can help grow that percentage.

City Sets Aside $1 Million for Municipal ID Program

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Wednesday a new program that will provide city municipal photo ID cards to Chicago residents.  

Plan to Merge Ventra App With Divvy Receives Federal Grant

Divvy riders may soon be able to use the Ventra app to pay for bike rentals, thanks to a grant from the Federal Transit Administration. (Tony Webster / Wikimedia Commons)

Just weeks after Chicago was named the best U.S. city for biking, plans are underway to make the bicycle sharing program Divvy more convenient for CTA riders.

Federal Grant Helps Fund New Illinois Sexual Assault Law

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Aug. 23 announces a new state law that requires universities in Illinois to respond more quickly to sexual assault reports. (Chicago Tonight)

The Illinois Attorney General’s office announced last week a $750,000, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice that will help fund a new program that aims to improve the state's response to sexual assault crimes.

New Program Aims to Employ, Provide Services to Chicago’s Homeless

A new program announced last week by Mayor Rahm Emanuel will connect 100 homeless individuals to employment opportunities and services such shelters and heath clinics.

A pilot program announced last week by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Department of Family and Support Services aims to provide temporary employment opportunities and assistance to 100 homeless individuals.

West Side Woman Planning Soldier Field Prayer Vigil

Chicago police officer Shelisa Jones hopes her planned interfaith prayer vigil at Soldier Field will bring peace to Chicago. "We've gotten so callous with what's happening. How can we be like that?" she said. (Courtesy of Shelisa Jones)

Shelisa Jones is on a mission from God. Her plan? Rent out Soldier Field next Monday for a citywide interfaith prayer vigil for peace during one of Chicago’s most violent years in decades. 

Northwestern Announces Record Voter Registration for Incoming Freshman

This week, the university announced that 96 percent of incoming freshman have registered to vote, thanks in part to a new website launched this fall. 

Oak Park Church to Sell Iconic Billiards Tables

When Oak Park Billiards closed 10 years ago, the vintage Brunswick pool tables remained. But with a new tenant moving in, those iconic tables, along with hundreds of other items, are up for sale to the general public this weekend.

Report: Chicago Companies Struggle with Diversity in Top Positions

A recent survey of the top 50 Chicago public companies reveals a lack of minority representation among senior leadership positions, with 19 showing no ethnic diversity within their executive ranks.

Banned Books Week Puts Spotlight on Diversity in Literature

The Dr. Seuss book "The Lorax" was banned in a California school district in the late 1980s. (Carissa Rogers / Flickr)

Readings and discussions with a focus on this year’s theme of diversity will take place in libraries and bookstores across Chicago.

‘Not Forgotten’ Tells Stories Behind Chicago’s Roadside Memorials

A mural memorial in South Lawndale is part of the exhibition "Not Forgotten: Chicago Street Memorials." (Courtesy of Thomas Ferrella)

An upcoming photography exhibition at the Gage Gallery at Roosevelt University shines a light on these organic works of art and the stories behind them.

Chicago Ideas Week Announces 2016 Lineup

From left: Abby Wambach, Ari Emanuel and Michael Morell take part in this year's Chicago Ideas Week. (Courtesy of Chicago Ideas Week)

The annual Chicago Ideas Week festival returns next month with more than more than 250 presenters, including U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach, talent agent Ari Emanuel and former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.

Report: Park Forest 3rd Most Affordable Housing Market in US

Survey shows renters 'relatively satisfied' with Chicago

In a report released last week, Coldwell Banker ranks the most and least affordable housing markets in the U.S. (Courtesy Coldwell Banker)

According to a report released last week from real estate company Coldwell Banker, Park Forest is the most affordable market in Illinois and the third most affordable nationwide. 

Report: Chicago’s West Side is ‘Epicenter’ of Heroin Crisis in Illinois

(Eric Molina / Flickr)

A study from Roosevelt University titled, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” analyzes the state’s heroin crisis. One of the report’s co-authors pinpoints Chicago’s West Side as the “epicenter” of the state’s crisis.

New Law Requires Student Drivers to Learn How to Interact With Police

Chicago police make an arrest. (grendelkhan / Flickr)

A new Illinois law mandates that driver’s education instructors teach students how to behave if pulled over by law enforcement.

Englewood Peace Festival Shines a Light on Neighborhood’s Resiliency

Participants take part in street yoga outside the Peace House, a community center in Englewood built by the nonprofit group I Grow Chicago. (Courtesy of Erin Vogel)

As homicide rates in Chicago soar, a new street festival looks to highlight the positive side of a South Side community that often makes headlines for crime.