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The Chicago River is far from America's cleanest waterway. But a few anglers are trying their luck as its ecosystem improves. Captain Tim Frey took us for a winter fishing trip on the river.

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A 10-week-old sea otter pup rescued after a rough storm in California last month is recovering at her new home in Chicago.

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It’s 2016 and we’re still three metaphorical minutes away from global doom. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists say global warming and nuclear weapon proliferation pose serious threats to mankind.

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Chicago animal shelters like PAWS are still coping with the spread of a new, highly contagious strain of canine influenza. In the U.S., the outbreak of the H3N2 dog flu virus was first found in Chicago last year. It's now spreading to western states.

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For the first time in a decade, five planets will be visible at the same time in the pre-dawn sky – and you won't need a telescope to see them.

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Thousands of birds in southwest Indiana were killed after a new strain of bird flu, the H7N8 virus, was found at 10 poultry farms late last week, according to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

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New reports show that Earth’s surface temperature last year was its highest since modern temperature record keeping began in 1880. The global record was also broken in 2014, although 2015 saw dramatic increases by comparison.

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Bridges spanning the Chicago River; credit: Patrick McBriarty

The bridges spanning the Chicago River have played an intrinsic role in Chicago’s development as an epicenter of industry and transportation. It was here that a new kind of bascule bridge, or drawbridge, was innovated and engineered to perfection. Patrick McBriarty, author of Chicago River Bridges, joins us to discuss how the bridges shaped the city.

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Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been released from a federal prison in Alabama after his 2013 conviction for tax evasion and misuse of campaign funds. His next stop will be a halfway house, likely located in the Washington, D.C. area.

Who Pays the Price?

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Expulsions and out-of-school suspensions in Chicago Public Schools saw a drop in the 2013-2014 school year, but a recent study suggests troubled students are still vulnerable. We discuss school discipline with our panel.

11th Ward Aldermanic Runoff Forum

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The race for the open seat in Chicago's 11th Ward has gone to a runoff between Patrick Daley Thompson and John Kozlar. Thompson is an attorney and Water Reclamation Commissioner. He's also a nephew of Richard M. Daley and grandson of Richard J. Daley. Kozlar is a law student and neighborhood advocate who ran and lost in the 2011 race. They join us.

7th Ward Aldermanic Runoff Forum

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The 7th Ward race pitted incumbent Ald. Natashia Holmes against seven challengers. A runoff resulted between Holmes who won 25 percent of the vote and Gregory Mitchell who garnered 20 percent of the vote. We hear from both candidates.

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The Illinois Supreme Court heard the first round of oral arguments today over the constitutionality of a pension law that cuts state employees' benefits.

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Election Day is tomorrow. Besides the high-profile race for mayor of Chicago, there are several elections playing out among the city's 50 wards. Which races are highly contested? We discuss the issues and dynamics that define this aldermanic election season.

The Unusual Mating Rituals of the Animal Kingdom

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Credit: Christopher Drake

The Lincoln Park Zoo is putting on a Valetine's Day-themed after hours event that delves into the unusual mating habits and reproductive traits of the animal kingdom. Jay Shefsky spoke with the zoo's general curator, Dave Bernier, about some of their animals' perplexing courtship rituals.

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Credit: Chris Stone

Tickets for the Grateful Dead's July 3-5 reunion shows at Soldier Field are in high demand. The band received more than 60,000 envelopes of mail-in ticket requests.