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Local artists give dead trees new life

by Natalie Pacini

A look at the new Chicago Tree Project.

Look before you lock: Preventing hot car accidents

It can only take a few hours to make the difference.  The dangers of leaving your baby inside a hot car.

The Real World returns to Chicago

by Natalie Pacini

MTV's infamous reality show will soon start filming its 30th season in the West Loop.

Divvy enters second year, entices riders

by Natalie Pacini

A look at Divvy bicycle program's performance in its premier year.

Taste of Chicago: fewer days, traditional food and new vendors

by Kate Rooney

Taste of Chicago is back. The five-day food festival, brings in tourists and a bump in revenue for the City. Among this year's additions is a "Made in Chicago Market", which features local designers.

Chicago celebrates 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

by DeJonique Garrison

Chicago Freedom Riders celebrate 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Emanuel pushes minimum wage hike

by Kristin April Kim

Minimum wage in the city of Chicago could be raised to $13 under new panel recommendation


Divvy valet rolls out in Chicago

by Abby Sun

Chicago's Divvy bike program is rolling out the newest amenity for bikers. The valet program balances bikes at Divvy stations during rush hour.

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Chicago steps up attracting foreign travelers

by Rose Zhou

Rose Zhou Chicago already lures Midwestern vacationers and is a logical meet-in-the-middle choice for U.S. conventions. The city wants to increase the number of people visiting the Windy City, and has set a goal of 55 million tourists annually by 2020. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, a local travel exp


MuckFest MS raising money for disabling disease

by Eliza Larson

MuckFest MS is a national 5k race through the mud. The race is coming to Chicago for the first time this August.


The union debate: How Northwestern University's football team gained national attention

by Christian Flores

Christian Flores 2014-06-06 After former Northwestern University quarterback Kain Colter teamed up with College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) President Ramogi Huma and filed a petition to get the team represented by a union, the school became the center of national media attention. Christian Flores spok


Sustainable agriculture and its increased importance

by Carolyn Freundlich

Carolyn Freundlich 2014-06-06 This edition of Medill Newsmaker looks at sustainable agriculture, why it's important for the environment and your health. Environmentalists say as global warming continues we need to redefine our expectations about cooking and nutrition to better match the ecological realiti

Mobile dating apps: The good, the bad, the digital

by Rachel Menitoff

Rachel Menitoff The proliferation of mobile dating apps is now taking love to a whole new level. It’s remaking an industry that’s expected to reach $1.2 billion this year. Premier matchmaker, Bela Gandhi, talks about how these apps are best used. Frequent mobile dater Kjerstin Wood shared some of her persona


Iraqi culture: Far from home and more than a war zone

by Alix Hines

Alix Hines 2014-06-06 The greater Chicago area is home to about 3,000 Iraqi refugees, according to the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers Anass Al Bayati, immigration specialist at the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society, explains the struggles Iraqis face when they come to the U.S. Ali Al

Eating disorders can prove fatal

by Laura L. Calderone

Laura L. Calderone 2014-06-06 Almost 30 million - or roughly one in 10 Americans - suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder. Although the numbers of those afflicted with eating disorders are staggering, misconceptions remai

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Keeping the tradition alive: Dragon boat races

by Elizabeth Wang

Elizabeth Wang 2014-06-06 Dragon boat racing is a long-standing tradition that started in China thousands of years ago. Now, it's crossed overseas and has become an international water sport for anyone to join. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, host Elizabeth Wang speaks with captains from two teams

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Chicago flunks air quality test

by Kelly Nicastro

In the latest report by the American Lung Association, Chicago’s air quality received a failing grade. The annual  “State of the Air” report indicated the failing grade is due to the region’s high levels of smog and soot. The report covers the Chicago metropolitan area and officially ranked the region 14th worst in the nation for particle pollution (soot) and 20th worst for high ozone levels (smog). It is reported that most of the pollution in the Chicago area is because of its leading transportation hub, heavy trucking traffic and the nation’s main freight rail network. The Lung Association says nearly half of all Americans live in counties where pollution makes the air unhealthy to breathe.

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Creepy Crawley Chicago

2014-06-06 Entomophagy is the consumption of insects as food. People have been consuming insects for thousands of years and still do throughout most of the world. Besides being an excellent source of protein, insects are beginning to be recognized for their culinary possibilities and many top restaurants acro


Women's lacrosse moves beyond its traditional east coast borders

by Taylor Thornton

The growth of women's lacrosse continues to grow throughout the United States and even internationally. Over the past five years women's lacrosse membership rates have increased and team participation in the women's World Cup continues has soared to a total of 19 teams. Medill Newsmakers host Taylor Thornton sat down with Wildcat Elite Head Coach Beatrice Conley, The Australian Women's team coach Sue Sofarnos and the founder of Outreach With Lacrosse and Schools Sam Angelotta.


Gender discrimination still present in sports broadcasting

by Kim Adams

Kim Adams Women have come a long way in sports reporting since they were first allowed in locker rooms in the late 1970s. They have become a norm in sports television, doing everything from anchoring studio shows to color commentary for men’s basketball games. ESPN’s Doris Burke has even done color commentar

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HIV and the healing power of man's best friend

by Kelly Nicastro

Dr. Rob Garofalo believes the human-animal bond is much stronger than some may think. In fact, he says his dog, Fred, saved his life.


Light in life of a blind sea lion at Shedd Aquarium

by Laura L. Calderone

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is known for entertaining guests and tourists from around the world. But it also rescues and rehabilitates marine animals. The Shedd's most recent arrival, a sea lion named Cruz, was blinded by bullet fragments.


A boy's first flight at Chicago's Trapeze School New York

by Anne Evans

The outdoor trapeze of the Chicago branch of the New York Trapeze School is back in the swing of things for the summer and new students are learning to 'fly.'

All aboard the Canine Express

by Donna Mary Mahoney

The Canine Express transports shelter dogs from overcrowded animal shelters in Indiana to ones on the east coast.


Autonomous robots give patients with paralysis new mobility

by Laura L. Calderone

A robotics lab at the Research Institute of Chicago is turning science fiction into non-fiction. Brenna Argall, a robotics researcher at the Research Institute, is developing autonomous robots, which operate by anticipating a user's intentions

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Leap of faith: Parkour helps one man find purpose

by Natasha S. Alford

New fitness trends come and go -- with hefty promises and sometimes even heftier equipment fees. But to do the fitness style called Parkour all you need is your body and the space around you.


Restorative justice at work for Chicago youth and professionals

by Natasha S. Alford

Natasha S. Alford 2014-06-12 In a country that incarcerates an alarmingly high number of its citizens— particularly young men of color—there is a growing movement to find alternatives to prisons in the United States.   One not-so-new approach that has reemerged in the national spotlight is called restora

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Prison reform gains ground in Chicago

by Katie Schubauer

Katie Schubauer 2014-06-06 Reform groups criticize the American prison system for being too punitive. But recent rehabilitative efforts are trying to change that. The Cook County Department of Corrections offers a program in which selected inmates take cooking classes with Chef Bruno Abate of Chicago's Tocco

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Helping Seasonal Affective Disorder with the sense of smell

by Rachel Menitoff

Even in the warmer days of summer, it's hard to shake the memories of this year's harsh winter. The darkness and cold left many Chicagoans with the blues. But the cure for seasonal affective disorder may be right under your nose.

Teens teach each other lessons in justice

by Natasha S. Alford

When Denisia Bryant, 17, walks into a room she commands attention without a word. “Everyone this is Denisia, I don't know if you've met her,” says a group coordinator, interrupting the conversation to make sure she gets a proper introduction. The circle warmly greets the Senn High School junior. She smiles, then sits down.


Fast-food workers look to Seattle as wage fight continues in Chicago

by Carolyn Freundlich

A few weeks before the Seattle City Council voted to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 over the next several years, fast-food workers in Chicago rallied outside McDonald's headquarters to demand a similar wage hike.


Grant program swings kids into summer with new playgrounds

by Kim Adams

Kim Adams As the school year draws to a close, thousands of Chicago children will play on safer, brand-new playgrounds this summer. More than 100 playgrounds will be replaced or refurbished in 2014 as part of the Chicago Plays program, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel launched last spring. Each selected park receiv


The beer that could make a rare disease famous

by Rose Zhou

Six-month-old Cohen Garcia has a rare genetic disorder called 22q deletion syndrome. The hole in his heart leads to his breathing and swallowing difficulties. His father, Ryan Garcia, decided to use a rare beer to disseminate the rare disease -- naming a personalized beer after his son.


Restaurant and tech company in food [waste] fight

by Rose Zhou

A restaurant owner in Lakeview is making a daily effort to produce "zero waste" - recycling or reusing nearly everything the restaurant uses. And he's leading conservation initiatives among other Chicago restaurants.


Food for your commute: market opens under L stop

by Eliza Larson

Prepared and locally sourced foods and produce are now available on your commute home.

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Chicago high schools to get condom dispensers designed by local students

by Annabelle Ju

Chicago Public Schools teamed up with the city's health department for a school condom distribution program. The condom dispensers, designed by Columbia College students, will be installed in 24 public high schools.

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South Side students hold peace march, demanding a stop to violence

by Rachel Menitoff

Thousands of students from Perspectives Charter Schools' five campuses stage peace march


Parents take extra precautions to prevent secondary drowning

by Alix Hines

Secondary drowning can happen up to 48 hours after a child has a near drowning incident. Find out what parents are doing to keep their kids safe at the pool.


How getting muddy can help war veterans re-enter society

by Donna Mary Mahoney

Tough Mudder Chicago is a rugged and muddy obstacle course of more than ten miles, and Iraq-war veteran Chris Miller races like this draw vets who thrive on the physical challenge and camaraderie of the event.

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Medical marijuana could be a solution for Illinois kids with epilepsy

by Alix Hines

Alix Hines 2014-05-27 The Illinois House passed a bill adding Epilepsy to a list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. This new bill is meant to help children who are having 100 to 1,000 seizures every day. Many of them have intractable Epilepsy, which means they do not respond to other me


New website alerts Chicagoans of when to avoid toxic river

by Cat Boardman

A new website created by the civic engagement group Open City, lets Chicago residents know when sewage is being dumped into the Chicago River, which happens about 35 times a year.


New mental health program gives Englewood access to care

by Eliza Larson

Eliza Larson 2014-05-22 A new mental health program at the University of Illinois Health Mile Square Center and Metropolitan Family Services is the first of its kind in the Englewood community. It features integrated primary care and mental health services for children and families. This integrated c


Students, parents say goodbye to Ames Middle School

by Christian Flores

Christian Flores 2014-05-27 Most Chicago kids start summer break in June, but many Logan Square parents have no idea what middle school their children will attend in the fall. Earlier this year, the Chicago Public School Board voted to convert Ames Middle School into the Marine Math and Science Academy. The


Lake Michigan isn't as warm as beachgoers think

by Annabelle Ju

Chicago Park District manager says Lake Michigan may take longer to warm up this year due to last winter's Polar Vortex.

Ash tree removal in Evanston

Chicago: Beetle Be Gone

by Carolyn Freundlich

Chicago is gearing up for another round in the ring against a deadly insect.


Humboldt Park housing market grows in 2014

by Elizabeth Wang

Elizabeth Wang 2014-05-22  Humboldt Park is making strides in the housing market as one of Chicago’s up and coming neighborhoods, boasting LEED certification and offering many new green and eco-friendly amenities. true Right false false Rosa Parks Apartment, a recently opened affordable


New app helps students with autism learn skills

by Elizabeth Wang

As smartphones and tablets begin to dominate the classroom, new apps can help those students with special needs.


Tattoo removal service takes away marks of violence

by Eliza Larson

A tattoo shop in Oswego, Ill. is leaving its mark on society. Tattoo artist Chris Baker not only offers tattoos, he also removes ones associated with gangs and sex-trafficking. He calls his shop Ink180, because removing those marks helps people turn their lives around.


Chicagoan pledges to spend no money in May to fight breast cancer

by Annabelle Ju

Kevin Zarlengo has pleaded to not spend a single dime in May. This personal challenge has a bigger meaning for the University Village resident. His savings this month will go to charity.

Chicago police officers buckling down on seat belt use

by Kim Adams

Chicago police are cracking down on seat belt use during Memorial Day weekend. The Illinois Department of Transportation held a news conference Tuesday to discuss the enforcements, which include seat belt enforcement zones and DUI checkpoints.


Moderate opening at Farmers Market after severe winter

by Rose Zhou

As temperatures warm up, Chicagoans will likely see some changes at the city's many farmers markets.  


Rummage in Winnetka

by Carolyn Freundlich

One of the largest single-day rummage sales ever, the event in Winnetka raises $220,000 annually for over 40 charities


CrossFit breaks into sports world

by Taylor Thornton

CrossFit is a training program picking up steam across the world. But some athletes in the Chicago area are taking CrossFit to the next level. Elisabeth Akinwale is one athlete who trains competitively for CrossFit and will compete in the upcoming CrossFit Games in California.

Women in Chicago aren't giving up on fair pay

by Alix Hines

Women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households according to However, the website also shows that women make 23 percent less than their male counterparts.Three women in Chicago are working to help women ensure they receive fair pay despite the Paycheck Fairness Act not passing through Congress. 


Fast food workers fight for fifteen

by Taylor Thornton and Nicole Blanchard

Fast food workers took part in a global protest against unlivable wages. Protestors rallied at the McDonald's on 600 N.Clark Street Thursday to draw attention to their fight for $15/hr and the right to unionize with out retaliation. McDonald's responded with a written statement saying "We respect everyone's right to voice an opinion. McDonald's respects our employees' right to voice their opinions and to protest lawfully and peacefully." Medill Reports took to the streets with team coverage from Taylor Thornton and Nicole Blanchard.

Playground or tennis courts? 45th ward votes where to spend tax dollars.

by Cat Boardman

Residents of the 45th ward get their say on how to spend city money

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An Olympic flame that just keeps shining

by Katie Schubauer

While many people are aware of the Special Olympics, few realize it got started here in Chicago. And one athlete has been there for every single game. Katie Schubauer reports.

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Soldier Field rugby match will bring Kiwis to the city

by Katie Schubauer

Chicago will host the fourth-ever match-up between the USA Eagles Rugby team and the New Zealand All Blacks this fall. Tourism officials hope the match will bring lots of Kiwis to the city.


Bridgeport finds itself in a sticky situation over mysterious decals

by Eliza Larson

A mysterious message is popping up along Bridgeport’s retail corridor. Stickers saying, “Ugly Ol’ Halsted: You’ve really let yourself go,” appear on windows of vacated storefronts along Halsted Street.


Noise from new O'Hare flight path making residents raise their voices

by Kelly Nicastro

Northwest side residents fight to reduce plane noise from O'Hare's new flight path.


Evanstonian opens seafood joint despite doubters

by Annabelle Ju

Donna Lee had a vision for a fresh seafood eatery in the New East Side for four years and her dream is finally coming true this month.


Iconic hot dog shop to close in October

by Kim Adams

Kim Adams One of Chicago’s most renowned hot dog shops announced it will close its doors in October. Doug Sohn, the owner of Hot Doug’s in Avondale, simply said: “It’s time to do something else.” Customers typically wait in lines of more than an hour for the famed meats. Hot Doug's lovers should expect t

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Longtime UIC professor: Making campus safer 'is not a big mystery'

by Kim Adams

Kim Adams 2014-05-06 William O’Neill, a bioengineering professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is urging university administrators to address the safety concerns of faculty and students. The school has beefed up security after a sexual assault occurred in a dorm in late March. However O’Neill and


Tour companies warming up for a record number of summer visitors

by Rose Zhou

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced last week that Chicago reached an all-time record of nearly 47 million domestic visitors in 2013. The number of overseas visitors also went up. If growth continues, it could be good for tourism-related businesses this year. From souvenir shops to city tour guides, Chicago businesses are preparing for more summer visitors to boost their bottom line.

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CTA surprises business owners with Belmont Bypass plan

by Rachel Menitoff

The CTA notified Lakeview business owners of its plan to expand and improve the Red, Purple and Brown Line trains. The plan will demolish more than a dozen buildings in Wrigleyville.