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The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to scale back its $85 billion a month bond-buying program. As Fed policymakers convene this week, financial insiders speculate what the timetable for a stimulus wind-down could look like. We talk with two Chicago economists about the stimulus program and what federal tapering means for businesses and consumers. Read an interview.

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After a scandal that resulted in the resignation of its CEO, Metra is looking for a new leader. Elizabeth Brackett sits down with new Metra board members to talk about leadership and the company’s vision going forward.

Ashland BRT

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We share what you had to say about the pending Ashland Bus Rapid Transit project in tonight's Viewer Feedback.

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Debate over an Ashland Bus Rapid Transit line is heating up as community meetings take place this week to gauge public sentiment. We talk with Ald. George Cardenas (12th) and Metropolitan Planning Council Vice President Peter Skosey about the advantages and challenges facing this long-term project. Read an interview.

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Chicago's new bike share program was a hit with commuters this summer, but can it hold up during the winter? And what happens behind the scenes to make sure bikes are available and ready to go at one of the 300 locations throughout the city? Paris Schutz takes a rare look inside. Read an article.

Ventra Special

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We share what you had to say about Chicago Tonight's Ventra Special in tonight’s viewer feedback.

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On a special edition of Chicago Tonight with a live studio audience, we take a close look at the CTA’s problem-plagued rollout of its new Ventra payment system.

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Mariano's Fresh Market is paying $36 million in cash to Safeway Inc. to take over 11 local Dominick's grocery stores. View a map of the locations.

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Deerfield-based Walgreens opens its first totally green “Net-Zero Energy” store in Evanston. We take a tour and go behind the scenes to see what makes this an ultra environmentally friendly store, producing all of its own energy with solar panels and wind turbines. Watch web extra videos and view a slideshow.

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History was made on Wall Street, as The Dow topped the 16,000 mark for the first time ever. S&P 500 also reached a new high, as it briefly surpassed 1,800. Both indexes are up more than 20 percent this year, but what does this all mean? Our panel of experts has analysis.

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Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation says that requests for rat control services are down 15 percent this year. One reason, they say, is that city crews have done 30 percent more rodent control inspections and baiting jobs than in this period last year. That got Jay Shefsky wondering about the people who do those inspections and baiting jobs. He tagged along with a crew and showed us what he found. We revisit the story. Read an article and a web extra interview.

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An increasing number of old churches are for sale in Chicago, but what should buyers do with them? We tell you about the debate over reuse versus demolition. View a slideshow.

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Boarded up homes; distressed neighborhoods -- Chicago is struggling to deal with the fallout of the foreclosure crisis on top of depopulation on the south and west sides. The city is tearing down abandoned properties that are magnets for crime. But what else can be done to reshape troubled areas? We talk with Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who spearheaded the creation of the Cook County Land Bank, and Marshall Brown, an architect, urban planner and professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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Bitcoins

What is a Bitcoin? Where do they come from and how are they used? And why are more and more governments taking a careful look at this first ever cyber currency? We revisit Eddie Arruza’s story about how Bitcoin got started, and what it's all about. Read an article.

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A restoration pioneer celebrates 30 years of working in the forest preserves. Elizabeth Brackett has the story. Read an article.

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Chicago Transit Authority and Ventra officials promise a quick fix to the new Ventra system. How? Paris Schutz has the details.