All posts by asweeney

Warhammer keeps fantasy alive on tabletops

By Andrew Sweeney
Medill Reports

Still angry about the last season of Game of Thrones and looking for a new fantasy world to lose yourself in? You need not wait for the next big HBO or Amazon show. There is a community near you, ready to join you in battle.

Warhammer is a series of tabletop battle games owned by British company Games Workshop. Players meet in the real world with real miniatures they paint and assemble themselves.

The hobby’s longevity in the digital age is remarkable, but what is more unique is the community that exists around Warhammer, and its rare and varied appeal.

In this video, players talk all things Warhammer — and the “unbridled creativity” it offers them — at Warhammer Glenview.

Photo at top: The inspiration for Warhammer comes from all aspects of popular culture, like these marines from the sci-fi horror film Aliens. (Andrew Sweeney/MEDILL)

Continue reading

Global coffee prices are lower than ever, so why is your latte still pricey?

By Andrew Sweeney
Medill Reports

Whether it is just black, mixed with milk and chocolate or thrown together with ice and caramel, coffee in all its forms is a deep-rooted feature of American life.

The average price of a cup of joe in the U.S. has gone up by a dollar over the last 10 years, even as coffee production has increased and the wholesale price is at its lowest point ever.

So why are consumers paying more?

Photo at top: Overproduction in countries like Brazil and Vietnam has flooded the market with coffee beans and forced prices down. (Andrew Sweeney/MEDILL)


Ukrainians in Chicago vote in presidential election where comedian secures landslide victory

By Andrew Sweeney
Medill Reports

Ukrainians in Chicago cast their ballots on Sunday in the final round of the Ukrainian presidential election pitting incumbent president and oligarch Petro Poroshenko against comedian Voldomomyr Zelenskiy.

Zelenskiy triumphed in a landslide win of 72.3 percent and has pledged to continue Ukraine’s movement towards Europe after the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.

However, Zelesnkiy’s victory came as a disappointment for many in Chicago’s Ukrainian community, who primarily originate from Poroshenko’s electoral heartland of Western Ukraine.

Continue reading Ukrainians in Chicago vote in presidential election where comedian secures landslide victory

Illinois vape shops prepare for statewide increase in smoking age

By Andrew Sweeney
Medill Reports

A statewide ban on sales of tobacco and e-cigarettes to those under 21 years of age will go into effect in Illinois on July 1st of this year.

The City of Chicago enacted a similar ban in 2016, which led to a 36% drop in smoking among 18-to-20-year-olds, according to the city’s Department of Public Health. Several other municipalities in the Chicagoland area have implemented similar measures.

Some suburban tobacco and vape shop owners worry about the economic impact on their stores when the age increase goes into effect this summer.

Photo at top: Shawn Sahlberg, manager of Vapors Unlimited, an e-cigarette shop in Lyle, Ill., is worried that the age change will affect his business. He say’s he’ll lose current customers who are under 21. “We thought about going to the town hall and seeing if we could kind of grandfather-in the 19 and 20-year-olds,” he said. (Andrew Sweeney/MEDILL)