Legislators Propose Alternatives to ‘Grand Bargain’

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Nearly three months after Senate leaders unveiled a so-called “grand bargain,” the gridlock in Springfield has only intensified. Now, Democrats and Republicans are coming forward with their own alternative platforms. 

City Proposes Municipal ID Program

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Don't have a drivers’ license or other form of official documentation? Chicago may soon be issuing municipal IDs to provide documentation to undocumented immigrants, ex-offenders and the homeless. 

JB Skating: Chicago’s Smoothest Creation

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In 1971, Calvin Small and two friends started roller skating a little differently than everyone around them. It caught on. And  now, JB skating is known all over the country. 

Illinois’ Chief Information Officer on Cybersecurity

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(Christopher Schirner / Flickr)

How Hardik Bhatt wants to protect state agencies from hackers. 

Ask Geoffrey: What’s With the Out-of-Order Presidents?

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(Ken Lund / Flickr)

Geoffrey Baer investigates why the Loop’s streets honoring presidents don’t honor the order of their terms in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Governor’s Race Heats Up, Emanuel Dodges Questions About Email

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Carol Marin discusses the political happenings of Springfield and Chicago with Tina Sfondeles of the Chicago Sun-Times, Lauren Chooljian of WBEZ and Heather Cherone of DNAinfo.

The Surprising Story Behind ‘Whistler’s Mother’

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James McNeill Whistler. “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother),” 1871. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, RF 699. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY.

We visit the Art Institute of Chicago to find out more about the 19th century oil painting “Arrangement in Grey and Black, Number One” – commonly known as “Whistler’s Mother.” 

Paul Vallas and CSU Board Chairman Discuss Struggling School’s Future

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Paul Vallas and Chicago State University Board Chairman Marshall Hatch discuss the ongoing search for university leadership and what lies ahead for the beleaguered school.

Traffic Fatalities on the Rise Despite More Car Safety Features

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(ruimc77 / Flickr)

With fatalities from motor vehicle crashes on the rise, could driverless cars steer us toward a safer future?

Report: City Misuses Affordable Housing Funds

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The Altgeld Gardens Homes on Chicago’s Far South Side provide affordable housing to low-income households. (Zol87 / Wikimedia)

The city of Chicago has a fund paid for by big developers that helps subsidize low-income residents who need help paying rent. But is all of that money going where it's supposed to? 

Plan for Transformation: WBEZ Examines Progress of CHA Redevelopment

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Demolition of Cabrini-Green homes (Joe M500 / Wikimedia Commons)

Seventeen years after Mayor Daley launched his plan to transform the Chicago Housing Authority, WBEZ examines promises kept – and broken.

Saul Bellow Archives Reveal ‘Softer Side’ of Nobel Laureate

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(Courtesy of University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center)

The archives of the award-winning author who spent 30 years teaching at the University of Chicago offer a window into his personal life and creative process.

Brookfield Zoo Addresses Ethics of Animal Captivity

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(Brookfield Zoo / Chicago Zoological Society)

The ethical debate over zoos – and whether animals belong in them – has resurfaced over the past year, and now Brookfield Zoo is joining the discussion.

Viewer Feedback: ‘These Politicians Will be OK’

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Viewers weigh in on Lincoln Park Zoo’s urban wildlife monitoring program, a judge's order to pay Illinois legislators' salaries and state Rep. Will Guzzardi’s proposal to bar financially troubled schools from opening new charter schools.

Field Museum Offers Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Encyclopedic’ Collections

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(Courtesy of the Field Museum)

More than 30 million objects are stored behind the scenes at the Field Museum. A new exhibition addresses how scientists from all over the world are using the vast collections to make new discoveries.

Remembering a Forgotten Photographer of Chicago History

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Jun Fujita (Courtesy of Graham and Pamela Lee)

One hundred years ago he took unforgettable photos of Chicago in turbulent times. Exploring the life of Jun Fujita, a Japanese immigrant who captured city history.