PETRO PERIL: The changing landscape of oil by rail

Petro Peril Chicago Tracks

5 crude oil derailments in 2013. 10 derailments in 2014. 4 derailments within one month in 2015. At this rate, the U.S. is on track to have its worst year for oil-carrying train derailments. By Ezra Kaplan Over 40 crude oil-filled trains, each a mile long, roll through Chicago every week, according to documents obtained […]

More oil than ever is rolling on U.S. rails

By Ezra Kaplan A 21 percent jump in the number of tank cars of crude oil traveling by U.S. rail in 2014 over 2013 represents a new record total of nearly half of a million cars of crude, according to the Association of American Railroads. A total of 493,126 crude oil tank cars moved through […]

Chicago leads the way as a global city

By Ezra Kaplan On a recent Friday, in the main ballroom of the Standard Club in downtown Chicago, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted a half-day International Women’s Day Global Health Symposium. Speakers from the public and private sectors addressed a crowd of 365 of which nearly half were young people and over three-quarters […]

GrubHub stock dives despite earnings growth

By Ezra Kaplan Shares of GrubHub Inc plunged 11 percent Wednesday despite beating expectations for both revenue and profit in the first quarter. Instead investors reacted to possible signs of slowing revenue growth rates even as the company is expanding.

Under Armour shares fall despite strong sales

By Ezra Kaplan Shares of Under Armour Inc. fell almost 5 percent as the company reported a 13 percent drop in net income and a 2015 outlook that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

VIDEO: Tugboats, pushing along the Illinois economy

A tug boat sits in the dock in the Calumet Harbor.

The Illinois waterways provide a cheap and efficient route for manufacturers to transport raw materials and products. Each year this industry contributes $6.4 billion to the state’s economy, according to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. The barges transporting the hundred of millions of tons of freight yearly depend on tugboats to get to the destination. […]

Illinois remains lethargic on medical marijuana

Medical marijuana in Illinois is way behind schedule leaving more a thousand patients out in the cold. (Laurie Avacado/Creative Commons)

By Ezra Kaplan Marla Levi is a 52-year-old Chicagoan with multiple sclerosis. With the support of her doctor, she applied and was accepted into the state-funded Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. This means that she qualifies and has a medical need for medical marijuana. It has been nearly three months since she got her papers but […]

VIDEO: Chicago campaign cash – a tale of David and Goliath

Rahm Emanuel shakes hands at the Clark and Lake CTA stop, Wednesday, February 25, 2015

By Ezra Kaplan The polls are closed and the results are in. For the first time in Chicago’s history, there will be a mayoral runoff. In the run up to the election, Rahm Emanuel raised almost $15 million while Jesus “Chuy” Garcia spent only $1.4 million.

VIDEO: A ride-hailing service with a personality

Kyle Lovett poses with the iconic pink mustache of Lyft ride-hailing service. (Ezra Kaplan/Medill)

By Ezra Kaplan Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber have exploded into major metropolitan areas. The services allow non-professional drivers to connect with paying riders through a mobile app. From the convenience of a mobile phone, a passenger can request a driver pickup. Once in the car, the user experience is just like that of […]

Musical instruments on planes: If it fits, it flies

By Ezra Kaplan Traveling artists will have an easier time flying with their musical instruments following a Department of Transportation rule change requiring all airlines to allow musicians to carry instruments just like any other piece of baggage. “At DOT, we know how important instruments are to musicians and are committed to doing everything we […]