Stories by Brandis Friedman

Memo Finds Cook County Bail System Unconstitutional

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is criticizing Cook County’s bail bond system.

Mayor Declines to Say Whether He’ll Reappoint Police Board President

Lori Lightfoot appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 5, 2017.

The Chicago Police Board could be without a president Tuesday. The term of current President Lori Lightfoot expired Monday.

Center Aims to Provide ‘Softer Landing’ for Some Released Inmates

Some Cook County jail detainees will be getting a little extra help when leaving the jail.

Rauner Calls Lawmakers Back to Capitol for Education Funding Battle

Lawmakers will have much to discuss during yet another special session, this time on education spending. Three Illinois teachers weigh in.

Enrollment Down, Per-Pupil Spending Inches Up in New CPS Budgets

Despite the fight in Springfield over education funding, Chicago Public Schools leaders say they will open to students in the fall—but with fewer students.

Ald. Dowell Voices Support to Merge 2 South Loop Elementary Schools

The 3rd ward alderman says she believes combining the schools will create a more diverse and just-as high performing elementary school, and high-quality neighborhood high school for South Loop residents. 

More Fallout Over Incendiary Emails at Chicago Water Department

Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson says emails distributed among employees at the city Water Department suggest a culture of overtly racist and sexist behavior.

Investigation Questions Whether District Meets Needs of Bilingual Students

Chicago Public Schools students who are still learning the English language are overwhelmingly not getting the support they need, according to an investigation by the Chicago Reporter.

3 Cops Plead Not Guilty to Cover-Up Charges in Laquan McDonald Case

Two former Chicago Police officers and one current officer pleaded not guilty to charges they conspired to cover for former cop Jason Van Dyke in the shooting of 16-year old Laquan McDonald.

Extended July 4th Weekend Leads to More Violence on City Streets

The Chicago Police Department says the city saw 56 shootings and eight homicides from Friday night to Tuesday night, with the majority occurring Monday on the city’s South and West Sides.

Judge to Rule Friday on Cook County Soda Tax

Soda fans will find out Friday whether or not they'll start paying more for their sweetened beverages in Cook County this weekend.

Gwendolyn Brooks: Still ‘Real Cool’ at 100

(Courtesy of Brooks Permissions)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet also served as the state's poet laureate from 1968 until her death in 2000. Today's poets are finding creative ways to remember her.

Hillary Clinton Addresses Importance of Literacy in Speech to Librarians

In an address to the American Library Association’s annual conference, the former Democratic presidential nominee addressed the importance of literacy and libraries. 

Federal Law Enforcement Helps Chicago Fight Crime

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is lending the city access to technology that police hope will help close thousands of gun cases opened every year.

Man Accused of Stealing $7M from Elderly Homeowners Pleads Not Guilty

A Chicago businessman pleads not guilty in federal court to charges he stole $7 million from elderly homeowners in a reverse mortgage scheme.

Duckworth Urges Trump to Obey Emoluments Clause

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth is joining several other members of the Senate and House in a lawsuit to compel President Trump to obey the Constitution's emoluments clause.

Robert Steele, Cook County Commissioner, Dies at 55

Residents of North Lawndale and the Cook County Board are mourning the loss of one of their own. Second District Commissioner Robert Steele died Monday from complications of diabetes.  

CPS Works to Address Student Trauma, Mental Health

Chicago Public Schools began certifying schools for their social emotional learning supports two years ago. We visit one school that’s achieved the highest certification – exemplary.

In Homan Square, 102-Year-Old Building Gets a New Life

The 225,000-square-foot Sears and Roebuck printing facility was once described as its own city within the city of Chicago, but it’s been closed for decades—until now.

It’s ‘A Whole New World’ for Disney Composer Alan Menken

What does it take to adapt a classic Disney musical for a live audience? We sit down with the award-winning composer to talk about remaking “Aladdin,” and the “keys” to his success.

Chicago Cabbies Say They Are ‘Run Off the Road’ By Uber, Lyft

(Paul Sableman / Flickr)

Is the cab industry in Chicago collapsing? Cab drivers say their industry is being decimated by ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft flooding the market.

S&P, Moody’s Downgrade Illinois’ Bond Rating

The two credit agencies have downgraded Illinois' bond rating yet again.

Cook County Drug Court Program Designed to Break Cycle of Addiction

Cook County Judge Charles Burns (Chicago Tonight)

Often when criminal court defendants are placed on probation, they’re sent back to jail if caught using drugs. But in one Cook County courtroom, they’re given a second chance – and sometimes a third or fourth. 

Survivors of Torture Under Jon Burge Find a Place of Respite

“I still have my nightmares from what Burge did to me,” said Anthony Holmes.

This week, the city of Chicago is coming through on a promise made two years ago to survivors of torture.

Durbin Asks Feds for Help with Gun Violence Prevention in Chicago

After almost 40 shootings this weekend, and another potentially violent summer approaching, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is calling on the federal government to lend Chicago a hand.