All posts by shannonlongworth

Chicago News Report

By Tim Hackett, Max Goodman, Karleigh Stone, Nicole Croteau, and Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

In the inaugural episode of Chicago News Report, we cover the everything from beach safety to the legalization of marijuana.

We’ll be reporting on local news here in the city for the next 10 weeks.

Photo at top: Ohio Street Beach. (Nicole Croteau/MEDILL)

Student activism around gun violence wanes in Chicago

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

On this episode of Medill Newsmakers, we look at the state of youth activism in Chicago.

A little over a year after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the activism among young people has decreased in Chicago.

Photo at top: Good Kids Mad City open mic event in Bronzeville. (Shannon Longworth/MEDILL)

Youth activists in Chicago push for action on both climate change and gun control

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Many of the same high school and college students who work to prevent gun violence in Chicago are also active on the issue of climate change.

Gun violence is a more easily-identifiable, immediate issue in some  communities, while climate change is more long-term and global. But they may not actually be all that different in the minds of these students. In fact, Chyann McQueen, an organizer for Good Kids Mad City, sees the two issues as closely related. They both disproportionately affect minority and low-income neighborhoods.

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South-side youth group uses open-mic events to prevent gun violence

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Memorial Day weekend in Chicago has typically seen the year’s first major spike in gun violence in the city, and this year was no different. More than 40 people were shot, five of them fatally, over the holiday weekend.

It’s one of the reasons Good Kids Mad City hosted an open mic on the Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend. The non-profit is a group of minority high school and college students from the west and south sides of Chicago. Their work involves publicly demonstrating as well as hosting programs for teens in their communities. Open mic events are intended to keep young people away from situations that put them at risk.

Photo at top: Good Kids Mad City hosts an open mic night at the Bronzeville Incubator on Saturday, May 25, 2019 (Shannon Longworth/MEDILL)

Maritime Day marks beginning of Chicago boating season

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Chicagoans celebrated the Merchant Marines as well as the start of summer with a blessing of ships and recreational boats on Wednesday at Navy Pier.

With its long stretch of lakefront property, Chicago has many docks and slips for boat owners. And some of those owners are joining a rental market that has developed over the past few years, beyond the usual charter companies offering planned excursions. Services like Boatsetter — a company that works like Airbnb or Uber for boats —are offering residents and visitors new ways to enjoy Lake Michigan.

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Ride-sharing drivers protest for better pay

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Uber and Lyft drivers did a work stoppage today in major cities nationwide. In Chicago, they protested not only for better pay, but also for a cap on the number of ride-sharing drivers.

The 24-hour stoppage comes ahead of Uber’s initial public offering on  Friday.

Photo at top: Uber drivers demonstrate in Grant Park.(Shannon Longworth/MEDILL)

Spring snow takes Chicago by surprise

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

More than two inches of snow on Saturday interrupted spring for Chicagoans.

So the question arises: is such extreme weather at unusual times of the year related to climate change?

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Carlaw, there’s no way to tie an individual weather incident to a larger climactic change without seeing a trend over years or decades. Continue reading

Stopping on the Mag Mile proves costly for ride-sharing drivers

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Uber and Lyft drivers are facing hefty fines for violating the no-stopping, no-standing regulation along North Michigan Avenue.

The law applies to all vehicles driving on the street, according to Chicago Police. However, ride-hailing drivers are specifically being ticketed because their apps so frequently tell them to drop off and pick up passengers in front of the many stores along the strip.

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Toddlers engage more with print books than with ebooks, study says

By Shannon Longworth
Medill Reports

Although many parents choose to read to their toddlers from ebooks, a study published this month in the journal Pediatrics says print books are a better option for a child’s development.

In the study, researchers evaluated child engagement through their levels of verbalization and collaboration, which are two critical pieces of the learning process. Ebooks are popular for their convenience, but the study showed that tablets served as a distraction. Parents spent more time explaining how to use the device than they did reading the story displayed on it.

Photo at top: Families join a weekly story-time event at Women and Children First bookstore in Andersonville. (Shannon Longworth/MEDILL)