Wall of keys. (Credit: DePaul’s Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence)

The state law that currently mandates licensing requirements for locksmiths is expected to sunset in January 2029, thanks to legislation passed in Springfield. Some fear that will result in problems for consumers, while others say it is needed deregulation.

Melzinnia Connolly, of Norwood Park, on Feb. 6, 2024. Connolly has been diagnosed with nerve damage and was prescribed opioids. (DePaul’s Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence)

According to the Illinois Prescription Monitoring Program, both the number of opioid prescriptions written and the number of patients served dropped by almost half since 2015.

(DePaul’s Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence)

Those impersonating licensed drivers can easily order counterfeit rideshare company stickers or magnetic taxi labels online. Other tactics include claiming their payment system is malfunctioning so that the ride must instead be charged on third-party payment platforms.

Alex Quenan and Roxy Stendera met in a recovery program three years ago. (Courtesy of Stendera and Quenan)

On Bumble, users may enter their height, occupation and political alignment. Tinder lets users list their Zodiac sign, alma mater and link a music app to show off their favorite artists. But for those dealing with mental illness, there’s no box to check to help disclose the ongoing struggles present in their lives.

An empty lot along the Dan Ryan Expressway owned by the CTA.

Despite thousands of daily passengers, the CTA’s parking availability pales in comparison to other major cities.

Due to the lack of  CTA-provided parking options, South Side commuters are often forced to park on streets, sometimes illegally, risking a ticket or a tow. If they choose to drive the entire commute, they’ll face a packed Dan Ryan Expressway and expensive downtown parking. 

An advertisement from the underground Jane Movement of the 1960s and 1970s for people seeking an abortion.

Could it mean the return of the Jane Collective for a new era?

If Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, states neighboring Illinois are poised to further restrict abortion access. Illinois organizations, both for and against abortion, are bracing for the influx of people who will likely turn to Illinois providers. 

(WTTW News)

In the county’s electronic monitoring program administered by Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office, defendants wear an ankle monitor equipped with GPS and cellular tower tracking technology. Some say the readings are not always accurate, leading to incorrect reports of violations. 

(HeartlandMom / Pixabay)

According to a November study, researchers estimate that anywhere from 700,000 to 1.6 million people in the U.S., are currently experiencing chronic smell loss or distortion because of COVID-19. For several Chicago-area residents, the loss persists. 

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Chicago has a long history of segregation and racial inequity. Now, a new data analysis by the DePaul University Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence shows inequity is rooted even in the planting of city trees.

(Creative Commons / Jeremy Atherton)

Advocates say laws, not plans, are needed

Three mayors in the past 15 years have all promised to combat the effects of global climate change. But some critics and scientists, along with a new data analysis by the DePaul University Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence, reveal their efforts have fallen short. 

(WTTW News)

Starting Monday, the city of Chicago is jacking up fines for speeding violations near schools and parks — and that has the mayor at odds with some aldermen. Carol Marin and students from DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence have the story. 

The town of Washington in central Illinois.

Seven years ago, the town of Washington in central Illinois was hit with a tornado. Now, some say the COVID-19 shutdown is an even bigger disaster.

(WTTW News)

State promises budget boost for programs

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, gambling in Illinois was spreading like wildfire, with more places to make a bet than Nevada. But is the state upholding its promise to provide addiction services at the same pace it expands gambling?

Nearly 25 million American women living below the poverty line are faced with a terrible choice every month: whether to spend money on menstrual hygiene products or other necessities. We explore what’s called period poverty – and the movement to end it.

More than a century after Upton Sinclair described a stretch of the Chicago River as “a great open sewer,” Bubbly Creek is still plagued by waste – and the restoration process has been mired in its own political muck.

(Photo by Cody Corrall / CJIE)

Leave your car unattended in a private lot and you may pay the price

If you park in a private lot and get booted it will cost you nearly three times what the city charges for a regular parking ticket. For more than 15 years it’s been a controversial – and sometimes maddening – fact of city life.