Stories by Maya Miller

10 Things to Do This Weekend: May 4-7

Sample beer and play giant Jenga at Soldier Field on Saturday. (Courtesy of Red Frog Events)

A beer tasting in Soldier Field, live music and kite-flying pros usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Nursing Home Workers Strike Averted in Final Hours

(Courtesy of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Facebook)

SEIU Healthcare Illinois members reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with the Illinois Association of Health Care Facilities late Wednesday night, avoiding a strike in which 5,000 nursing home workers across 53 Chicago-area facilities were expected to participate.

Peace Hub Youth Conference Addresses Chicago Violence

The third annual Peace Hub Impact Youth Conference takes place May 5-6, 2017.

Nearly 1,000 young adults and social service professionals are expected to attend a conference this weekend to talk about the daily challenges of life in Chicago, from gun and gang violence to poverty.

WePlay Offers Safe Space, Community at Chicago Children’s Museum

Participants, facilitators and organizers of the pilot program WePlay take a picture in the Chicago Children's Museum Pritzker Playspace, where they've been spending time over the past 12 weeks. (Courtesy of Chicago Children's Museum)

Five years ago, Saleem Penny decided to create a program offering safe play spaces in Chicago to young parents and their children. Learn about WePlay, which just wrapped up its first session.

Housing Prices Soar in Humboldt Park, Garfield Park

The cost of a single-family home in Humboldt Park increased by 20.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. (Richie Diesterheft / Flickr)

Data released by the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University outline substantial year-over-year gains in the price of single-family homes in Chicago neighborhoods of Humboldt Park and Garfield Park.

Rumi Spice to Pitch its Chicago Business on ‘Shark Tank’

Emily Miller, left, and Kimberly Jung discuss their company Rumi Spice in 2015. (Courtesy of Rumi Spice)

After serving tours in Afghanistan, attending Harvard Business School and launching a global business, Emily Miller and Kimberly Jung face another, daunting challenge: pitching their company Rumi Spice to potential investors on reality TV.

5,000 Chicago-Area Nursing Home Workers Threaten Strike

A member of SEIU Healthcare Illinois protests in early April. (Courtesy of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Facebook)

Thousands of nursing home workers at 53 Chicago-area facilities have threatened to go on strike beginning next week, according to an announcement from SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

Chicago Celebrates Independent Bookstore Day

Volumes Bookcafe is one of two dozen bookstores participating in #MyChicagoBookstore Challenge in honor of Independent Bookstore Day. (Courtesy of Volumes Bookcafe)

This Saturday, bookstores across the country will celebrate their status as indie shops, including two dozen stores across the Chicago area. “It’s like a pub crawl for bookstores,” said Lynn Mooney, co-owner of Women & Children First. 

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 27-30

Independent bookstores, wine tastings, James Beard-inspired menus and hundreds of artists usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago.

Fairy Tale Exhibition Aims to Level the Playing Field

The exhibition “Once Upon a Castle” avoids imposing gender stereotypes and norms onto children. (Courtesy of Chicago Children's Museum)

By eschewing traditional tiaras, thrones and knightly armor, a fairy tale-minded exhibition at the Chicago Children’s Museum hopes to spark children’s imaginations without imposing gender stereotypes.   

From Homeless Pasts, a New Crop of Public Speakers

Laura Doss, 68, was homeless for 16 years. She recently graduated from a public speaking program. (Courtesy of Speak Up)

A program called Speak Up connects formerly homeless individuals with seasoned storytellers so they can learn how to speak more effectively about their life experiences. We meet a recent graduate of the program.

Chicago ‘Dooring’ Reports Saw Steep Increase in 2015, Data Shows

(Chicago Bicycle Program / Flickr)

Crash data for 2015 released this week by the Illinois Department of Transportation shows a rise in the number of reported “doorings” in Chicago – collisions that occur when the door of a parked vehicle is opened directly in the path of an oncoming cyclist.

Obama to Speak on Civic Engagement at University of Chicago

Former President Barack Obama delivers his farewell address to the nation from Chicago’s McCormick Place on Jan. 10, 2017.

Former President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak Monday in Chicago as part of his goal to “encourage and support the next generation of leaders,” according to his press office.

Chicago to House 100 Homeless Families, Address ‘Doubled-Up’ Population

Chicago Department of Family and Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler on April 20 announces the city’s $1 million commitment to housing 100 homeless families. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

This fall, 100 homeless families with school-age children will gain permanent housing and support services, thanks to a partnership between the city and the nonprofit Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 20-23

C2E2 returns this weekend. Is your costume ready? (Chris Favero / Flickr)

A giant pop-culture convention, Earth Day celebrations and a wine festival usher in the weekend. Here are 10 things to do in and around Chicago. 

Report: Chicago’s Homeless Population More Than 80K in 2015

A number of tents line the Lawrence Avenue underpass on a winter night in 2016. (Chicago Tonight)

Chicago’s homeless population was 82,212 in 2015, according to figures released Wednesday by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Find Outdoor Dining Options at Chicago’s Open Data Portal

Simone’s Bar in Pilsen. (Connie Ma / Flickr)

Could the city’s open data portal be your new go-to website for restaurant planning?

Panel to Address Human Rights on Chicago’s South Side

Carlos Javier Ortiz’s “A Thousand Midnights” is part of the “In Acts” exhibition at the Weinberg/Newton Gallery, where a panel discussion on human rights takes place Tuesday. (Courtesy of Weinberg/Newton Gallery)

A discussion about human rights on the South Side of Chicago – including public health and criminal justice – takes place Tuesday evening at a River North gallery.

Immigrants’ Abuse Complaints Rarely Investigated, Group Says

An ICE agent arrests a suspect.

Reports of abuse at U.S. immigration detention facilities, including those in Illinois, are rarely investigated, according to data obtained by a national nonprofit agency.

Data Shows Impact of Budget Impasse on Social Services

The Urbana Adult Education Center is one of the 463 social service agencies that reported negative impacts as a result of the state budget impasse. (Courtesy of Naomi Jakobsson13)

Nine out of 10 social services agencies said they were unable to raise 25 percent or more of the funding owed to them by the state, according to a new survey.

In Chicago, Tour Guides Take Measured Approach to Trump Tower

(Giuseppe Milo / Flickr)

The 92-story skyscraper is a regular feature of Chicago architecture tours. But a changing political landscape has led some tour guides to be more careful with their comments about the structure.

MCA to Offer Free Youth Admission Starting June 1

(Peter McCullough / MCA Chicago)

Area teens can add one more freebie to their summer to-do lists.

Monarch Butterflies Signal Immigrant Support

Luis Rafael’s low-poly design is displayed at dozens of storefronts in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

The orange-and-black insect has flocked to a Chicago neighborhood, but its presence is more of a political act than a natural one.

10 Things to Do This Weekend: April 13-16

(Courtesy of Spring 2017 Soul Reunion)

Spring is in the air. From dance parties to an art fair and family Easter party, here are 10 ways to celebrate the weekend in and around Chicago.

BUILD Chicago Offering Alternatives to Gang Life for Nearly 50 Years

Latee Smith was 12 years old when he joined a gang. Now 16, he’s focusing on trying to “make something positive” out of his life. (Maya Miller / Chicago Tonight)

After sustaining a life-threatening gunshot wound, 16-year-old Latee Smith began plotting revenge on his attacker. But a local intervention specialist helped Smith refocus his energy.