General Interest

Facing the supernatural – fact or fable?

By Ramsen Shamon

When Minnie Wilson, 64, was a child growing up in Bassfield, Miss., she grew accustomed to seeing things she considered supernatural.

The retired factory worker who now lives in LaGrange usually kept quiet about her otherworldly experiences, fearful that no one would believe her.

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St. John’s wort gets mixed reviews for treating depression

By Lucy Vernasco

What if there was a flower that could make you happy – not just as a thing of beauty but an object of healing? Some claim one such bloom actually exists.

Stocked with the supplements and gummy vitamins is St. John’s wort, capsulized from the blooms of a yellow-flowered shrub used to remedy snake bites, depression and other ailments since the ancient Greeks first tried it. In the form of branded and generic pills and capsules, St. John’s wort is sold as a mood lifter.

There’s even a Yogi Blues Away tea that relies on St. John’s wort to ease tension, fix mild emotional imbalance and assist with seasonal affective disorder. Continue reading

10th ward candidates debate jobs, safety for the Southeast Side

By Lizz Giordano and Sarah Kramer

Candidates for Chicago’s 10th Ward aldermanic seat called for more jobs and more police presence for the economically depressed Southeast Side at an open forum in Hegewisch.

Five of the seven candidates running in the upcoming citywide elections on February 24 appeared Thursday night before an audience of activists, residents and supporters. The contenders voiced frustration with City Hall and the current Ald. John Pope while calling for greater transparency in municipal politics. Continue reading

VIDEO: Drone interest takes off as regulation lags behind popularity

By Laura Furr

From the White House to Chicago’s suburbs, from Lollapalooza to Snapchat, unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones, have been making headlines.

And as drone technology becomes cheaper with user-friendly photo and video capabilities, interest in personal drone use has taken off. Continue reading

Netflix outage causes panic on Twitter

When Netflix users experienced outages Tuesday evening they turned to Twitter to make their own live stream drama.

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Despite $10 million investment in arts education, experts say much work remains

By Taylor Mullaney and Phoebe Tollefson

When Jim Duignan began the Stockyard Institute in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood in 1995, he realized that the arts could enable kids to actually solve problems in their own communities.

“We could really be building work based on the young people’s questions,” Duignan said. “And whether it was spoken word, or whether it was building a radio station, or whether it was public art or whether it was doing walks….They came alive. They just came alive.” Continue reading

VIDEO: Homeless LGBTQ youth find unique home in Humboldt Park

By Rachel White

A free independent housing facility in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood offers a safe haven for the city’s homeless LGBTQ youth. One resident describes his life in foster care and on the streets before he found a home at a place called El Rescate.

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Rauner’s call for union reform stirs talk before state address

By Emily Hoerner

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner ignited conversation by sending a memo to the Illinois legislature, calling on lawmakers to prune union rights and government spending just two days before Wednesday’s State of the State address.

The memo prefaced the governor’s cost-saving measures, including state employee rule reforms that Rauner described in the memo as “fair to both state workers and taxpayers.” The note pointed out that federal workers are prohibited from striking and bargaining over wages, benefits and pensions. Illinois union workers are not.

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Chicago blizzard takes social media by storm

By Laura Furr

Chicagoans took to the snow-filled streets this week to capture the realities of the fifth-largest blizzard to ever strike the city.

The 19.3 inches of snow recorded at O’Hare International Airport, according to the National Weather Service, inspired nearly 100,000 Instagram photos using the popular hashtag #chiberia. Almost 3,000 Instagrams were tagged #chicagoblizzard as of Tuesday morning.

Some took to the video-looping app, Vine, to share their playful snow days, while others tweeted of both the struggles and the beauty Chicagoans see each winter.

Here’s how some Chicagoans made the best of the blizzard:

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VIDEO: Religious leaders pledge to increase black voter turnout in February’s mayoral election

By Courtney Dillard 

Ministers and community activists across Chicago have pledged to transport at least 100 congregations to the polls for early voting on Sunday, February 15. They announced the “Souls to the Polls” initiative Wednesday at Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church on the Near South Side.

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