Missives from Mongolia: Chasing down the Ice Age

By Sarah Kramer The Altai Mounts of western Mongolia may be concealing secrets amid the splendor. The breathtaking alpine landscape could hold clues to how abrupt climate change might have impacted our ancestors— and how it may impact our descendants. This summer, a team of scientists, students and historians trekked through the hills and valleys […]

Under One Roof: A new approach to health care in Nicaragua

By Sarah Kramer On a hill overlooking a steep mountain valley dappled with tropical greens and dry scrub brush, wire fences and a small dirt footpath lead to the main road and the town center of Boaco. Above all this sits the home of Milagro Solano Lira, 29, and her 4-year-old daughter, Yosmiling. She is […]

Southeast Siders: No End in Sight For Pet Coke

By Sarah Kramer Jessica Loy had lived in her new two-story home for three months when her youngest son, Carlos Gonzalez, Jr., 5, started showing the same symptoms of asthma his twin sister, Carla Gonzalez. Carla has suffered from asthma since she was a baby, Loy said, but Carlos didn’t have a history of the […]

10th Ward Residents Vote: Ban Pet Coke Now

By Sarah Kramer and Lizz Giordano Residents of Chicago’s 10th Ward voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ban the storage of petroleum coke, a byproduct of the oil refining process. Nearly 86 percent of  voters favored the ban in Chicago’s Southeast Side 10th Ward. The referendum vote is non-binding, but it’s another loss for Koch Industries-owned KCBX […]

Extension denied: Pet coke piles must be covered by June 2016

By Sarah Kramer The Chicago Department of Public Health denied a request on Monday to extend the deadline for covering the piles of petroleum coke stored at terminals along the Calumet River on Chicago’s Far South Side. Koch Industries subsidiary KCBX Terminals asked the city in December to allow an 18-month extension – with a new deadline of December […]

City Council acts to limit pet coke storage in Chicago

By Sarah Kramer The Chicago City Council acted Wednesday to limit the amount of petroleum coke entering the city and set daily storage limits on the Southeast Side facilities. The ordinance calls for these limits to be set by the City Council by March 31. “Passing this ordinance is the new step in our continuing […]