Blair Kamin on Obama Presidential Center Design Tweaks

|
Obama Presidential Center rendering (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

After many meetings with the community and a lot of pushback, the Obama Presidential Center design has undergone a number of changes. But do the plan revisions make it better? 

Motor Vehicle Deaths Claim 40,000 Americans in 2016

|
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert / Released)

Deaths from distracted driving are rising sharply. We talk with a transportation safety expert about what can be done to bring the number of fatalities down.

‘Ugly’ Produce Delivered to Your Door

|
(Colette Krey / Imperfect)

Roughly 20 percent of the produce grown in this country is never eaten, and a lot of it never even makes it off the farm because it doesn’t look right. Now, Chicagoans can buy that perfectly good (but unattractive) produce. 

What’s In a Name? At Buffalo Grove High School, Grief – and Solace

|
Buffalo High School Orchestra Director Elizabeth Bennett

A suburban high school struggling with the death of three teachers commissions an orchestral work to help the healing process.

Durbin Grills Homeland Security Chief on Trump’s Use of Vulgar Language

|

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday she “did not remember” the specific vulgarities used by President Donald Trump in a meeting last week, saying profanity was used by almost everyone in the room. 

Inside the World’s Only Button Museum

|

We visit a Chicago museum that presents history in an unexpected way: as told by buttons.

Defense Seeks Dismissal, New Venue in Case of Missing U. of I. Student

Potential capital case scheduled for trial next month

|
Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff's Department)

Attorneys for Brendt Christensen have filed new motions challenging the federal jurisdiction over the potential capital case and seeking to have the top count thrown out.

Civil Rights Leaders React to Trump While Honoring MLK

|
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. speaks Monday.

On a day honoring a man devoted to racial harmony, many leaders and activists are reacting to assertions from President Donald Trump that he is not a racist.

Will Changes to the Obama Presidential Center Appease Activists?

|
Obama Presidential Center campus rendering (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

The Obama Foundation revised its plans for the Jackson Park project after criticism, but activists still have significant concerns over roadwork, traffic and community engagement.

Former Skinhead Writes of His Descent Into Hatred, and How He Got Out

|
(Courtesy of Christian Picciolini)

Christian Picciolini talks about his life within the white supremacist movement and his subsequent efforts to combat racism, as told in his new book “White American Youth.”

Can Apple and Facebook Make Their Products Less Addictive?

|

After a public call for Apple to make its smartphones less habit-forming, we take a look at internet addiction in a digital age.

Durbin, Trump Spar Over Vulgar Language Used to Describe Immigrants

|
“I stick with my original interpretation,” Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday. “I am stunned that this is their defense.”

Two GOP senators say it didn't happen, Sen. Dick Durbin says it did. More on the fallout from the president’s reported comments about Haitian and African immigrants.

Study: Brain MRI Predicts How Well Deaf Children Learn Language

|

Researchers have created a tool that can predict language learning in deaf children after they receive a cochlear implant. Prediction is just the first step, says Dr. Nancy Young. “We’re trying to create precision therapy.”

‘Rainbow’ Dinosaur Revealed in Field Museum Study

|
An illustration of Caihong juji, a newly discovered species of dinosaur from 161 million years ago that featured rainbow-colored feathers. (Illustration by Velizar Simeonovski / The Field Museum)

The colorful display of feathers common among hummingbirds has roots in a bird-like Chinese dinosaur from 161 million years ago, a new study finds.

Surfers Prepare to Sue US Steel Over Lake Michigan Pollution

|
A surfer rides the waves on the south end of Lake Michigan. (Credit: Mike Killion)

A nonprofit group working with the University of Chicago is poised to sue U.S. Steel over Lake Michigan pollution if a deal is not reached by Sunday between the company and environmental regulators.

CPS Adding 65 New Special Education Positions Amid Calls for Reform

|

As Chicago Public Schools faces a state-led public inquiry into its special education practices, it announces dozens of new positions to bolster its diverse learning supports at more than 50 schools across the city.