Stories by Nick Blumberg

CPS IG Says School Employees Stole Nearly $900,000

| Kristen Thometz

Chicago Public Schools Inspector General Nicholas Schuler says CPS employees orchestrated a plan to steal nearly $900,000 from the district. Other findings include unethical conduct and possible criminal behavior, according to a new report.

Flu Vaccine Falling Short

Chicago’s been in the grip of an especially bad flu season this year, sending people to the hospital and keeping children home from school. We look at why influenza has been so difficult to fight.

Wild Travels Around the U.S.

The team behind Wild Chicago's unusual take on the Windy City takes its act on the road in a show called Wild Travels, debuting on WTTW11 in January. We'll talk with producer Harvey Moshman and host Will Clinger about the hangover doctor, the neon boneyard, the pinball museum, and much more.

Chicago’s Dwindling Neon Signs

Photographer and long-time neon sign enthusiast Nick Freeman joins us to talk about his new book, Good Old Neon: Signs You're In Chicago. Freeman has documented hundreds of neon signs around Chicagoland, some of which no longer exist.

Words of the Year 2014

Vape? Bae? Lumbersexual? What do you think the Word of the Year for 2014 should be? University of Chicago linguist Jason Riggle tells us what words were on everybody's lips this year and why.

Congressman Schock on 2015 Spending Bill

| Rhyan Zuercher

Congressman Aaron Schock talks about the issues facing the new Congress and much more.

Can Cities In Illinois Go Bankrupt?

| Kristen Thometz

The Better Government Association reports that some Illinois municipalities struggling with high debt loads and troubled budgets could be looking at bankruptcy as an option to get out of a financial hole -- even though it's technically illegal.

Guitar Maker Ian Schneller

Guitar Maker Ian Schneller

Specimen Products is the brainchild of Ian Schneller. He's an artist and musician who makes and repairs stringed instruments and audio equipment. He also runs a school that teaches people to make a variety of instruments and audio equipment; but Schneller's real hope is that his students discover the disappearing art of making things by hand without the aid of a computer.

Send Us Your Word of the Year!

Vape? Bae? Lumbersexual? What do you think the Word of the Year for 2014 should be? Share your nominations in the comments section below. And join us on Wednesday, Dec. 17, when we hear from linguists who tell us what words were on everybody's lips this year and why.

Chicago's Fire Safety Deadline Approaches

Time is winding down for Chicago high-rises to comply with the Life Safety Evaluation Ordinance. We get the latest from the Department of Buildings Commissioner Felicia Davis.

Antarctic Explorers Discuss Their Dangerous Trek

National Geographic explorers Mike Libecki and Cory Richards tell us about their trek to a never-before climbed 2,000-foot summit in Antarctica called Bertha's Tower.

McPier Board Set to Vote On DePaul Arena

The price tag for the new DePaul University arena slated to be built on the Near South Side appears to be growing dramatically -- as much as 75 percent more than the original estimate.

Complaints About O’Hare Noise

| Kristen Thometz

Residents in Chicago and the suburbs complain that changes to takeoff and landing patterns at Chicago O'Hare International Airport are making previously quiet neighborhoods excessively noisy.