Jails lack resources to care for heroin addicts, experts say

By Dani Anguiano

Sonja Radtke, 30, a recovering heroin addict, says experiencing heroin withdrawal feels a lot like going through hell, but it is much worse in jail where treatment is limited.

“Like, I throw up blood and have seizures when I get sick, but [jail staff] really don’t do anything,” Radtke said of her withdrawal experience while incarcerated in an Illinois jail.

Similarly, Chenel Jones said the pain that she experienced while withdrawing from heroin was so intense that she became delusional.

“Because it’s hell,” Jones said. “I just asked God to take my life. I had gave up – it’s so painful and it’s so sickening.”

The jails where Radtke and Jones experienced withdrawal are among the more than 5,000 jails and prisons across the United States, many of which lack the resources to provide treatment for heroin withdrawal and detoxification. The National Commission on Correctional Health Care says methadone-based treatment is highly effective for opiate addiction, but only a handful of facilities have a methadone program, such as Rikers Island’s Key Extended Entry Program. Heroin use has reportedly skyrocketed across the country in recent years leaving more and more facilities ill-equipped to offer treatment. Continue reading

International Women’s Day brings healing to female writers

By Dawnn Anderson

“Being a woman of color you are forced to choose between being a woman and being black. But both are my realities. The writing circle shows diversity in our experiences. We are not all the same.”

That was one of the sentiments expressed on International Women’s Day March 8, at the Jane Addams Hull-House museum, where eight strangers openly shared their lives through reflective free writing exercises. Continue reading

Architecture for everyone – how one start-up design firm thinks beyond the building

By Bethel Habte

During a presentation at Creative Mornings, a free monthly conference and networking event, architect Katherine Darnstadt pulled up a photo of people waiting in line for designer cupcakes at a food truck on a freezing Chicago afternoon. She followed that photo with one of people waiting in line for fresh produce at a decommissioned transit authority bus her firm redesigned to serve communities in food deserts across the city.

“Same day, different parts of the city,” she told a crowd of nearly 200 people. “That’s the dichotomy that we do have in this city and we work right at that gap.” Continue reading

Presbyterians approve same-sex marriage amendment

By Ellen Kobe

The largest Presbyterian Church denomination, PC(USA), approved an amendment to its Book of Order that recognizes same-sex marriage in the church Tuesday. As approvals needed to vote in favor of the 14-F Amendment steadily increased this winter, those in the Chicago Presbyterian community reflected on what this change means for the Presbytery of Chicago, churches in the city and individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

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VIDEO: #FlatsProject Gives Small Businesses a Kick Start in Uptown


The #FlatsProject’s inaugural business is now up and running. Public Barber opened its doors March 2nd after winning the #FlatsProject small business acceleration project competition. The barber shop offers traditional grooming with an emphasis on customer experience and aims to facilitate community development.

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Bagpipers, politicians and Ghostbusters among St. Patrick’s Day highlights

By Christine Smith

For its 60th year downtown, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade stretched across six blocks of Columbus Drive during its celebration of the holiday on Saturday. The parade, which lasted nearly two hours, included everything from Irish dancers and leprechauns to green dogs and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Continue reading

City Council schedules April hearing for CPD torture reparations ordinance

By Bethel Habte

The Chicago City Council Finance Committee announced Monday that it will hold a hearing April 14 on the Reparations Ordinance for Chicago Police Torture Survivors.

The hearing marks a step forward for activists supporting the measure, which would provide $20 million in reparations and services for torture victims and their families who were subjected to physical and psychological abuse during former Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge’s 19-year tenure. The ordinance had stalled in the Finance Committee since Aldermen Joe Moreno and Howard Brookins filed it in October 2013.

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Illinois unemployment hits 6-year low in January

By Jin Wu

Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in January, according to a release Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Illinois reports an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, the lowest since 2009.

Illinois unemployment rate has been dropping for six consecutive years, reaching 6.1 percent in January. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Jin Wu/Medill)

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Video: Do we need another t-shirt printer? Yes!

By Lucy Ren

Within three years of operation, Lucky Prints LLC, a custom apparel printing shop located in the industrial district in Nearwest Chicago, has expanded its production line to twice as large, and increased its revenue by 25 percent last year.

“It’s a pretty competitive industry, surprisingly,” said Adam Smith, co-founder of Lucky Prints. The company is currently run by Smith, an operations manager and a production manager. The other co-founder left the company last year for graduate school.

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Jake Chelios seeks to make a name for himself with Wolves

By Sara Romano

In a lot of ways, the Wolves defenseman is just like other minor-league hockey players. He dreams of making the NHL. He struggles for playing time and tries to make the most of his opportunities. He talks to his dad after each game.

But there is one big difference.

His dad is NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios.

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