All posts by stephrothman

Chicago Math and Science Academy robotics team wins big

By Stephanie Rothman

The Chicago Math and Science Academy’s robotics team, the Robotitans, won a prestigious national award at a competition in St. Louis that attracted some 15,000 high school students.

Roshaan Sidiqui, 17, won the Dean’s List award, named after the founder of the engineering nonprofit “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” or FIRST. The award adds to the more than 30 already earned by the Robotitans since the team started four years ago.

Through Robotitans, team members say they learn important skills besides engineering, including team-building, networking and leadership.

Photo at top: Robotitan member Roshaan Sidiqui, 17 adjusts the team’s award winning robot. The Robotitans are Chicago Math and Science Academy’s high school robotics team. (Stephanie Rothman/MEDILL)

McDonald’s workers protest for a higher ‘living wage’

By Stephanie Rothman

Activists and community leaders joined McDonald’s workers in front of its $200 million future headquarters in West Town to protest low hourly wages that they say are not enough to live on. The protesters want a $15 minimum wage.

Under a Chicago City Council ordinance passed in 2015, the city’s minimum wage was raised to $10.50 per hour. Chicago’s hourly wages will rise gradually to $13.00 per hour by 2019.

Photo at top: A worker protest at the construction site for the new corporate McDonald’s headquarters in West Town drew attention to the fight for a $15 minimum wage. (Stephanie Rothman/MEDILL)

Job-seekers flock to Rogers Park job fair

By Stephanie Rothman

The national unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, but there is still a need for more jobs in communities throughout Chicago.

Ald. Joseph Moore, 49th Ward, and the city of Chicago hosted the third annual Job Fair and Employment Resource Workshop in Rogers Park this week. Some 40 companies gave information to job seekers, who attended the fair for free.

Photo at top: Employers talk to Chicago residents at a Rogers Park job fair, hosted by the city of Chicago. (Rothman/MEDILL)

Sushi Donuts roll into Chicago

By Stephanie Rothman

Sushi shaped into different culinary forms is trending and the trend has hit Chicago. Simply Thalia on North States street has created the Chicago inspire sushi donuts.

The sushi donut has a donut shaped rice bottom filled with either avocado or spicy mayonnaise and topped with all the sushi fixings including different types of raw fish. There are three, all with Chicago themed names, such as The Loop and Blue Line.

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Food Truck Festival: fueling local small businesses

By Stephanie Rothman

The Chicago Food Truck Festival is back! Serving lunch to hungry customers, small business food trucks do more than fill people’s bellies… they’re fueling the local economy.

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Center hosts the festival, celebrating the wide array of small business food trucks in the Chicago area. The festival at Daley Center hosts 13 trucks cooking up a variety of cuisines from grilled cheese to fried chicken. The earnings from the festival boosts the local economy.

The festival will run through through October downtown in the heart of the loop.

Photo at top: Customers walk around Daley Center as they decide on their lunch choice during the 2017 Chicago Food Truck Festival. (Rothman/MEDILL)

Swedish Bakery closes after 88 years

By Stephanie Rothman

It’s a bittersweet day in Andersonville. A longtime staple in the community, the Swedish Bakery, is closing its doors after 88 years in business. It is believed to be the last Swedish Bakery in Chicago.

Photo at top: A Swedish Bakery employee slices and prepares cake to be sold on the last day of business. (Stephanie Rothman/ MEDILL)

Second City student prepares for the main stage

By Stephanie Rothman

Second City is a Chicago institution, yet you may not understand what it takes to make it on the main stage. Before being allowed to audition to become a fully contracted Second City comedian, students must go through six levels of the Second City training program.

Carly Glenn was two shows away from graduating and making her way upstairs.

Photo at top: Carly Glenn performs onstage at one of her last Conservatory shows at Second City. (Stephanie Rothman/MEDILL)

IHOP Gives Back to Local Children Hospitals

By Stephanie Rothman

IHOP restaurants are giving out some of their signature pancakes for free on national pancake day, but while people are chowing down they’re also being asked to make a donation for children in need.

Photo at top: Nova Dean Wells, 4 year-old, cooks pancakes with her mother and Miss Illinois 2016. (Stephanie Rothman/MEDILL)

Local churches bring some glitter to Ash Wednesday

By Alissa Anderegg

While Ash Wednesday has been practiced for centuries, a new national movement, Glitter Ash Wednesday, is making it more colorful in support of LGBTQ communities. Two local churches, Unity Lutheran Church in Edgewater and Berry United Methodist Church in Lincoln Square, are participating by providing ashes mixed with makeup-grade purple glitter at CTA stops and at Ash Wednesday services.


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Chicago women voice support for Planned Parenthood

By Stephanie Rothman

As the Trump administration moves to defund Planned Parenthood, funding for centers in Illinois are under threat.

There are seven Planned Parenthood health centers in Chicago, and defunding them would leave many women in the Chicago area in need.

“I am at high-risk for ovarian cancer and breast cancer,” said Yvonne Merill, Chicago resident. “So cheap free testing is really nice.”

Planned Parenthood provided her with affordable birth control services such as the birth control pill and an Intrauterine Device (IUD) as well as other female healthcare needs.

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