Stories by Brandis Friedman

Out of Jail, Back to School

Whether it’s been 10 years or 30 years since they dropped out of high school, men and women who went on to serve time in jail or prison are finally getting their diplomas. We explain how programs like St. Leonard’s Ministries are getting help from Cook County to keep people out of jail and reduce violence.

Should Schools Close on Cold Days?

For the second day, Chicago Public Schools are closed because of cold weather, but not everyone agrees.

CPS Cancels Classes for Second Day

Chicago Public Schools will be closed for a second day tomorrow because of the extreme weather.

Final Week for Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to the City Club of Chicago during his final days in office.

Bitter Cold, Snow for Chicago Area

Chicagoans are bracing for a wintry week to start off the first full week of the New Year. Send us your severe weather photos here.

Sen. Kirk Expands Heroin Overdose Efforts

| Kristen Thometz

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk expands efforts to fight heroin overdoses in Cook and surrounding counties.

Styling the Magnificent Mile

A recent exhibit at the Chicago History Museum explains how the Mile became known for being Magnificent.

Ta-Nehisi Coates Uncut

The Atlantic correspondent and author Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses his thoughts on the students at North Lawndale College Prep, his mea culpa for glossing over the accusations against Bill Cosby in the past, and he explains why The Case for Reparations is unrelated to the black conservatives’ argument.

Learning By Doing

| Kristen Thometz

With support from the Chicago Public Education Fund, a CPS K-12 magnet school is using time and technology to benefit students.

More CPS Freshmen Earn College Degrees

Study Says 14 Percent Earn 4-Year Degrees

| Kristen Thometz

A new report updates the percentage of Chicago Public Schools' ninth-graders who will graduate from college by the time they turn 25.

Betting on Video Gambling Cafés

Critics say video gambling cafés are proliferating in a loophole of the state's video gambling law.

Tech is the New Black

The Museum of Science and Industry celebrates the pairing of fashion with technology. We take a look inside the one night only installation and hear from the museum's first-ever recipient of the Fashion Inspiration Award, blogger Garance Doré.

Supt. McCarthy Talks City Crime Statistics

| Kristen Thometz

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy shares crime stats, with a month to go until year's end. And as more protests regarding the police-involved shooting death of Michael Brown are scheduled in Chicago, McCarthy also discusses how events in Ferguson, Mo. have influenced his policing strategy.

Author of 'The Case for Reparations' Talks Race in America

As Ferguson, Mo. awaited a grand jury's decision, a predominant writer on race in America shared his views. 

Social Impact Bonds to Expand Pre-K

The Chicago City Council approves a measure that would fund an early childhood education program using private investment funds.

Mental Health Transition Center

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart gives Chicago Tonight an exclusive look at the jail's new Mental Health Transition Center.

Waukegan Strike Drags On

Waukegan teachers are entering their fourth week on strike -- today is day 18. Brandis Friedman talks with parents, teachers, and both sides of the negotiating table.

CPS Looks to Replace Midterm Testing

Chicago Public Schools is requesting to extend the pilot of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) before implementing it district-wide.  Brandis Friedman has the story.

The Growth of Incarceration

As Illinois lawmakers look into ways to reform the state's prison system, we hear from the lead author of a comprehensive report on the U.S. prison system.

Misty Copeland on ‘Life in Motion’

Dancer Misty Copeland joins us to talk about her rocky upbringing and her against-the-odds success in the world of ballet. 

Mayor Emanuel Calls for Sentencing Reform

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called on the Illinois Legislature to reform sentencing laws for low-level drug offenses. Brandis Friedman has the details.

CPS Principals Say Schools Are Filthy

A number of CPS principals say the new, privately-contracted custodial company isn't up to the job, and their schools aren't being cleaned properly. And principals fear it will only get worse, as Aramark announces custodial layoffs. 

Starting Up in Chicago Neighborhoods

A campaign to boost small businesses and community development projects in Chicago neighborhoods is underway. 

Ban the Box

A movement to get more people with criminal convictions back to work comes to Illinois.

Contract Buyers League

| Kristen Thometz

We take a look at a little-known piece of Chicago's real estate history: the Contract Buyers League.