Ukrainians in Chicago vote in presidential election where comedian secures landslide victory

By Andrew Sweeney
Medill Reports

Ukrainians in Chicago cast their ballots on Sunday in the final round of the Ukrainian presidential election pitting incumbent president and oligarch Petro Poroshenko against comedian Voldomomyr Zelenskiy.

Zelenskiy triumphed in a landslide win of 72.3 percent and has pledged to continue Ukraine’s movement towards Europe after the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution.

However, Zelesnkiy’s victory came as a disappointment for many in Chicago’s Ukrainian community, who primarily originate from Poroshenko’s electoral heartland of Western Ukraine.

Continue reading Ukrainians in Chicago vote in presidential election where comedian secures landslide victory

Illinois vape shops prepare for statewide increase in smoking age

By Andrew Sweeney
Medill Reports

A statewide ban on sales of tobacco and e-cigarettes to those under 21 years of age will go into effect in Illinois on July 1st of this year.

The City of Chicago enacted a similar ban in 2016, which led to a 36% drop in smoking among 18-to-20-year-olds, according to the city’s Department of Public Health. Several other municipalities in the Chicagoland area have implemented similar measures.

Some suburban tobacco and vape shop owners worry about the economic impact on their stores when the age increase goes into effect this summer.

Photo at top: Shawn Sahlberg, manager of Vapors Unlimited, an e-cigarette shop in Lyle, Ill., is worried that the age change will affect his business. He say’s he’ll lose current customers who are under 21. “We thought about going to the town hall and seeing if we could kind of grandfather-in the 19 and 20-year-olds,” he said. (Andrew Sweeney/MEDILL)

South Side Story: Chicago family seeks justice as organizers challenge city’s reform efforts

By Javanna Plummer
Medill Reports

Flora Suttle, a retired police officer, said that Chicago’s consent decree is a necessary step forward. The decree is a court order designed to force an overhaul of the Chicago Police Department’s practices and policies. Suttle’s son Derrick was killed by a Chicago police officer in 2012. She suspects foul play and is seeking justice. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers, we learn more about the Suttle case and take a closer look at how Chicago policing affects Black communities in Chicago.

Photo at top: Photograph of Derrick Suttle who was killed by a police officer in 2012 standing with his daughter La’Rie. (Courtesy: Flora Suttle)

Decline of baseball in the african-american community

By Brianna Williams
Medill Reports

The number of African-Americans in the MLB has declined throughout the years, and there are a number of factors to blame. In this edition of Medill Newsmakers Brianna Williams talks to players – past and present- to find out what is behind the trend.

Photo at top: (Ozzie Smith, MLB Player. (Brianna Williams/MEDILL)

From solar to backyard birds – Find eco-friendly solutions at Going Green Matters

By Nathan Ouellette
Medill Reports

Going Green Matters, will feature more than 100 eco-friendly vendors this Sunday, offering everything from solar power to pedal power. Wilmette’s annual environmental fair has been showcasing clean energy solutions and technologies to Chicago area residents for 12 years.

The fair, co-sponsored by Go Green Wilmette and the Village of Wilmette, opens at the Michigan Shores Club this year and gives visitors one-stop shopping on how to introduce new sustainability practices into their everyday lives.

This year’s fair takes a special focus on solar.

“We want to get solar installed as cost-effectively as possible,” said Jack Ailey, co-owner of Ailey Solar. “We do it for environmental reasons and to be fair to our workers.”

You can meet these 10 vendors among dozens of others  at this year’s Going Green Matters.

Continue reading From solar to backyard birds – Find eco-friendly solutions at Going Green Matters

People and pets find the right match 94 floors over Chicago

By Athena Liu
Medill Reports

People came to find some love at the top of Chicago  – or close to it. A Chicago animal rescue organization made the matches, bringing dogs in need of adoption to 360 Chicago where the pups won hearts and people learned about responsible pet care.

Alive Rescue, a local non-profit organization, brought 21 adoptable dogs up to the observatory deck on the 94th floor of John Hancock Center on Sunday. The TILT & Tails event helped potential adopters find their perfect pet and raised money for the organization to continue the mission of saving, rehabilitating and placing abandoned, abused and stray animals in new homes.

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South Siders divided over the Obama Presidential Center

By DeForest Mapp
Medill Reports

Transportation, parking and the use of Jackson Park for the  Obama Presidential Center are dividing area residents as plans and community feedback continue to pour in.

The Chicago Park District is setting the date for the next public meeting for the Obama Presidential Center as well as the Tiger Woods-designed  golf course that would refurbish and combine the Jackson Park and South Shore Cultural Center golf courses.

Check on  future meetings on the Obama Presidential Center and proposals for it. Hear the latest opinions in this video report. Continue reading South Siders divided over the Obama Presidential Center

Chicago’s Working Bikes empowers riders across the globe

By Nathan Ouellette
Medill Reports

Traffic along  Western Avenue south of the Loop is often congested. Yet a reprieve from the pandemonium of horns and speeding cars can be found at the corner of Western Avenue and 24th Place, amid a dense forest of refurbished bicycles, at Working Bikes bike shop. 

Working Bikes is more than just a used bike shop offering rebuilt cycles and spare parts at affordable prices. Sales only make up a fraction of the not-for-profit’s operation, as volunteers stockpile abandoned and donated bikes and refurbish them for donation programs locally in Chicago and globally from Africa to Latin America.

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One year after inauguration, self care becomes indispensable for some

By Yunyi(Jessie) Liu
Medill Reports

Chicago Public School teacher Erika Woaniak, who works in Oriole Park Elementary School in West Town, said she has relieved her guilt regarding many of President Donald Trump’s positions through stepped-up self care.

”I used to think I should have been out knocking on doors for a candidate who is an ally,” she said. But now she takes time for herself. ”Also I’ll remind my students they’re allowed to have a break as well. So if they don’t get A on their math test that they really wanted, that’s OK.”

An American Psychological Association Study conducted after Trump’s election shows that 66 percent of American adults – both democrats and republicans – said the future of the nation is causing them significant stress. To reduce that stress,  Woaniak, media strategist Joanna Klousky and  journalist Jen Sabella host ”The Girl Talk,” focusing on self care for the January gathering.

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Women traders carve path in male-dominated industry

By Shen Lu

Trading has always been a male-dominated industry, but some women have made a career out of it.

When Roma Colwell-Steinke, instructor at the Chicago Board Options Exchange Options Institute, started on the CBOE trading floor in 1991, she was one of the four females among 1,000 traders in the derivatives pits.

Colwell-Steinke began her career as a trader in 1985 on the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. She then traded on the CBOE for 11 years after moving to Chicago in 1990.

Continue reading Women traders carve path in male-dominated industry