General Interest

VIDEO: Demonstrators push for the decriminalization of marijuana

By Isabella Szabolcs

Chicago demonstrators gathered to protest what they call a discrepancy in Illinois marijuana laws at Saturday’s Global Cannabis March.

Medical marijuana is now legal for dozens of conditions in Illinois. On May 4, the Illinois Medical Cannabis Board recommended the use of medical marijuana to treat 11 new medical ailments. Cook County state attorney Anita Alvarez  announced that she will be changing how low-level drug offenses — including marijuana — will be prosecuted. Rather than issuing arrests and tickets, she will now be dismissing misdemeanor marijuana cases. In addition, House Bill 218, which would decriminalize the possession of less than 15 grams of cannabis, passed the House and is awaiting a reading in the Senate.

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VIDEO: Kids and volunteers get veggie smart

By Sara Shouhayib

Food banks are taking creative approaches to feeding their hungry neighbors in Northern Illinois, teaching nutrition in cooking classes for volunteers and kids at school. Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago stargazers want to bring back the night sky

By Yining Zhou

Chicago is missing the stars, and Audrey Fischer wants them back. As the President of Chicago Astronomical Society, Fischer started a project called “One Star at a Time” to raise awareness about the need to reduce light pollution and bring back starlight for future generations.

Serious light pollution has made star gazing in a city like Chicago nearly impossible for the unaided eye.

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VIDEO: Historic West Side conservatory re-opens

By Rachael Ponn

It was early evening on June 30, 2011, when ominous dark clouds rolled into the skies, bringing with them severe thunderstorms that caught everyone by surprise. Lightening struck skyscrapers like The Willis Tower but the real casualty was The Garfield Park Conservatory.

Golf-ball sized hail destroyed over 50 percent of the glass pane facade, which forced the historic site to close off many sections of it’s glassed landscape.

Eunita Rushing, president of The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, will never forget the moment she saw the conservatory in pieces.

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Chicago braces for NFL Draft and its impact on the city

By Scott Guthrie and Connor Morgan
Additional Reporting by Nick Kariuki

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed hard to land the 2015 NFL Draft. And now, just weeks after winning a second term in office, he can try to show why.

There will be no shortage of attention on Chicago and the league April 30 through May 2 for their joint experiment.

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VIDEO: Chicago protest in solidarity with Baltimore

By Rachael Ponn

In response to events in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, protesters flooded Chicago’s South Side streets on Tuesday to condemn police violence and remember the hundreds who have died from it.

As the sun began to set, homemade signs with phrases like “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Police Crimes” were held up by members of the crowd. The protest began outside Chicago police headquarters, but quickly swelled to more than 500 people and migrated east toward 35th Street and King Drive.

Malcolm London, the 22-year-old co-founder of Black Youth Project 100, was one of the event’s leaders.

“The reason why I fight,” London said, “is that every day, when I see my nieces and nephews playing outside or kicking it with me, it’s knowing that this current climate that they live in means that they may not make it to 22.”

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VIDEO: New improvements made to app that helps erase juvenile record

By Empriss Campbell

The Juvenile Justice Council of Mikva Challenge wants you to know you may be able to erase your record. The Juvenile Justice Council is a group of young students who are on a mission to improve the justice system. The JJC created the idea for a digital platform called to clarify the process. Medill’s Empriss Campbell talked with the group about their new advertisement campaign to spread the word.

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VIDEO: Chicago Nepalese community accepting donations to send home

By Kira Boyd

The death toll continues to rise in Nepal and resources are rapidly dwindling. The Nepalese community in Chicago is banding together to help raise funds to send back to their home country. Medill’s Kira Boyd talked with some people with close connections to Nepal.

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March rebound in retail sales driven by autos

By Siyuan Du

Retail sales for March increased for the first time since November, driven by strong auto sales, but the results fell short of expectations.

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VIDEO: UberEATS launches in the Loop

By Abigail Hodgson

Foodies in Chicago don’t have to fret.

Powered by the same mobile app people request ride-shares from, Uber launched its lunch-delivery service Tuesday in Chicago and New York.

For a flat $3 delivery fee, Uber will arrive curbside with your meal in 10 minutes or less.

The app will offer two dishes from local restaurants on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu for the week is posted online. Options will range from $9 to $13 every day and won’t have a surge charge that consumers usually see during high-demand hours.

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