Stories by Brandis Friedman

Frustrated Top Cop Calls for Tougher Gun Laws

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson at a press conference Monday.

Superintendent Eddie Johnson says his department has so far made 1,900 gun arrests in 2016, a 7-percent increase over the first seven months of 2015.

Parents, Aldermen Call for New Revenue for Schools

The group Parents 4 Teachers hopes that a package of ordinances introduced Wednesday in City Council will increase funding to CPS. (Parents 4 Teachers)

During a City Council meeting on Wednesday, a handful of aldermen introduced a package of ordinances that the group Parents 4 Teachers hopes will increase funding to CPS and spare further budget cuts.

CPS Faces Steady Enrollment Decline, Not All Principals Happy With Budgets

(Brandis Friedman)

Though the district’s student-based budgeting rate remains at the lowered amount set in February, a declining enrollment means a shrinking budget for schools.

CPS Principals Finally Get Draft Budgets for School Year

Though the school year has been rife with fiscal crisis, Chicago Public Schools’ principals now know that the cuts to their school budgets will not be as deep as threatened in recent months.

New Commission Forms to Solve Old Problem: Education Funding

It's not the first education funding reform committee in Illinois, but the governor says he’s hoping this one will be the one to get the job done.

Protests Continue in Wake of Police Shootings Around US

Over the weekend, Chicago police arrested 21 protesters on charges ranging from obstructing traffic and resisting arrest to aggravated battery of a peace officer. Demonstrators say more protests are planned for the week ahead.

South Side Bank a Bright Spot as Black-Owned Businesses Face Decline

Words of optimism from the new owners of a black-owned South Side bank that had been in financial trouble. Why they say keeping such businesses alive is crucial.

Witness Cooperation in Murder Cases a Chronic Problem in Chicago

It's a chronic problem in Chicago: unsolved murder cases. A look at one case, gone three-years cold.

CPD: Fear of Retaliation Drives Community Code of Silence

Unsolved murder cases like that of Marissa Boyd-Stingley are a chronic problem in Chicago. Why are some witnesses unwilling to share information with police? We asked CPD's Chief of Detectives Gene Roy to weigh in.

CTU, CPS Spar Over Funding, Labor Practice Charge

The dreary weather Wednesday morning didn't keep scores of Chicago Teachers Union members from taking to the streets and calling on the city and the school district to enact measures to stabilize the district's funding.

CPS School Year Ends Under Clouds of Financial Crisis

The first full day of summer also marks the last day of the school year for Chicago Public School students. How stormy will their summers be as the district tries to weather its financial crisis?

Retaining Principals a Chronic Challenge for CPS

Former CPS Principal Kathy Konopasek said her early retirement was a choice to "leave management."

It may not be quite an "exodus" of CPS principals, but more of them are leaving. Why the district is concerned it could get worse.

CPS Finds 14 Schools with High Lead in Water Samples

Parents of students at more than a dozen Chicago schools are receiving notices that testing has found elevated levels of lead in water at their children’s schools.

Reports Show Educational Gains for CPS, Despite Financial Troubles

(jeco / Flickr)

Despite darkening storm clouds that have been looming over Chicago Public Schools’ finances, two reports released this week show some rays of sunshine for student academics.

Making Music Together: A Look at Diversity in Orchestras

The Grant Park Music Festival opens in one week, making classical music accessible to anyone who's interested. But the makeup of orchestras across the country doesn't always reflect the makeup of surrounding communities.

Chicago Teachers Union Wades Into Funding Debate

The day after Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool warned that schools may not open in September, the Chicago Teachers Union weighed in, calling Claypool's leadership a failure. We hear arguments from both sides.

Keeping Up with Vaccinations a Year-Round Challenge for Some Schools

With just three weeks left in the school year, some Chicago Public Schools are finishing work that many schools try to have done at the beginning of the year: making sure all children are up to date on their shots and annual physicals.

CPS Preps for Last-Minute Funding Pitch

As parents rally for education funding outside of CPS headquarters, district officials prepare for an even bigger rally in Springfield.

Sample of CPS Principals See How Deep CPS Budget Will be Cut

As Chicago Public Schools brace for additional budget cuts, some principals find out exactly how much the current financial climate could impact their budgets for the next school year.

Black Flight: Some Chicago African-Americans Flee City’s Violence

To stay or go in the face of Chicago's violence? Many black families are choosing to go. 

Karen Alpert Delivers New Book on ‘Great Pain’ of Having Kids

Karen Alpert

A local author and blogger's hilarious take on parenting in her new book "I Want My Epidural Back."

From Vietnam to Michelin: The Journey of Chef Ryan McCaskey

Chicago chef Ryan McCaskey

In the final days of the Vietnam War, an effort to rescue thousands of babies from the country brought one of them to Chicago. Brandis Friedman shares the story of how he rose to become a Michelin-starred chef.

James Beard Awards Gala Pays Homage to Role of TV Dinner

James Beard (Dan Wynn)

Brandis Friedman takes a look at the inspiring dishes being served after next week's James Beard Awards – and how television is a main ingredient this year.

Confessions of a Mommy Blogger in New Book on ‘Mediocre Parenting’

So what if the kids have a television for a babysitter and a Big Mac for dinner—five nights in a row? They're alive. These are the hilarious confessions of Chicago mommy blogger Karen Alpert, who is out with her second book, "I Want My Epidural Back: Adventures in Mediocre Parenting."

Karen Lewis: Rauner Holding Schoolchildren ‘Hostage’

As the head of the Chicago Teachers Union warns of a strike, the district makes one last pitch to reach a contract agreement.