Stories by Nick Blumberg

Chicago's John Paul Stevens, the 'Unexpected Justice'

An image from the film 'Unexpected Justice: The Rise of John Paul Stevens'

A new documentary explores the path of one Chicago native that led to his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Learn about the movie Unexpected Justice: The Rise of John Paul Stevens with co-director Greg Jacobs.

GOP Debate: What to Expect in Round 2

Trump, Carson and Fiorina Among 11 Candidates in Wednesday Debate

Photos by Gage Skidmore

Eleven GOP presidential hopefuls will meet for a second prime-time cable news debate Wednesday. Donald Trump still leads the polling but retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s numbers have surged as has the profile of former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. We discuss what to expect from tomorrow night’s debate.

Chicago Bears: A 'Decade-by-Decade History' Book

Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton. (Photo © Chicago Tribune)

After spending months combing through nearly 100 years of archival photographs and newspaper articles, the Chicago Tribune is releasing a comprehensive look at the Windy City's football team. Joe Knowles, associate managing editor for sports at the Tribune, joins Chicago Tonight to talk about what fans can expect from the book.

'Cook County ICU' on the Human Side of a Famous Hospital

'Cook County ICU' by Dr. Cory Franklin

Dr. Cory Franklin spent 25 years leading Cook County Hospital's intensive care unit – more than enough for a lifetime of stories. The ICU's former chief joins Chicago Tonight to discuss his new book, Cook County ICU, his most memorable patients, and what they taught him.

Examining the Issues Before Congress

Congressmen Foster, Roskam on Iran Nuclear Deal, Planned Parenthood Funding, More

| Kristen Thometz
Congressmen Bill Foster, left, and Peter Roskam

Congress reconvenes next Tuesday after a five-week recess, and there are some weighty and urgent matters to attend to, including yet another debt ceiling fiscal cliff. Joining us to share their thoughts on these and other issues are Congressman Bill Foster (D-11th); and Congressman Peter Roskam (R-6th).

Why Allstate Wants to Monitor Your Driving, and Your Data

| Kristen Thometz

Patents recently issued to Northbrook-based insurance giant Allstate could allow the company to monitor your car for sources of distraction, collect health data on drivers, and even monitor what's going on around your vehicle. The company says any new technology will improve driver safety, but some are worried it could violate the privacy of drivers, passengers and passers-by. 

Hurricane Katrina: Remembering the Storm 10 Years Later

| Kristen Thometz
View of inundated areas in New Orleans following breaking of the levees surrounding the city as the result of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans. Photo was taken Sept. 11, 2005. (Lt. Cmdr. Mark Moran, NOAA Corps, NMAO/AOC)

Chicago Tonight marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with two storm survivors who moved to Chicago after the destructive storm ripped through the New Orleans area. Joining us to share their stories and memories are David Kaplinsky and Tovi Khali.

More than Apostrophes: A 'Subversive' Copy Editor on Chicago Style

Carol Fisher Saller

Carol Fisher Saller's principles of copy editing might surprise anyone who's ever tussled with an editor over a piece of writing. She argues communication and collaboration between writer and editor are key; style rules are useful guidelines, not the straps of a straitjacket; and that language's evolution isn't anything to rail against. She joins Chicago Tonight. 

Octopus Genome Reveals Sea Creature's Secrets

| Kristen Thometz
A juvenile California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) holds onto the walls of her aquarium with her flexible, sucker-lined arms. (Photo Credit: Michael LaBarbera)

This month in Nature, an international team of researchers released some of their key findings after a first-of-its-kind study of the genome of the California two-spot octopus. The team found a massive and unusually arranged genome, with many genes unique to the octopus that could provide clues to the unusual animals. One of the researchers, University of Chicago neurobiologist Cliff Ragsdale, joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the ongoing project.

Wall Street Sell-Off Sparked by Plunge in Chinese Stocks

| Kristen Thometz

The Dow Jones took a nosedive this morning, dropping more than 1,000 points when trading opened. The markets recovered some of their losses, but investors still appear rattled by disappointing economic news from China. We'll hear what to expect in the days to come and how it might affect your day-to-day life from three economic experts.

'70 Acres In Chicago' Follows the Fight for Cabrini Green

Deidre Brewster (Photo by Cristina Rutter)

The Chicago Housing Authority's Cabrini Green homes stood for decades on the Near North Side. Between 1995 and 2011, the buildings were demolished and replaced with mixed-income housing. The new documentary "70 Acres in Chicago" tracks that tumultuous period and the efforts of residents to save their homes.

Can City Pension Reforms Survive?

| Kristen Thometz

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over Chicago's pension reforms in November. Attorney John Schmidt says the city's pension reforms are fundamentally different than the state's reforms that were struck down earlier this year. Schmidt joins us on Chicago Tonight.

Plan to Free Up Federal Money Passes in House

The House today passed a bill freeing up nearly $5 billion in federal money. But Democrats failed to get enough support for an amendment to spend state dollars on some human services. After the vote, House Speaker Michael Madigan expressed frustration over the failed effort, but Republicans weren't buying it. We'll get the latest from Springfield with Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

Springfield Tries to Get Federal Money Flowing

Amanda Vinicky

An Illinois House committee voted Tuesday on a bill already passed by the state Senate that will allow the state to start spending $5 billion in available federal money. We have the latest from Springfield with Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

Illinois' Decades-Long Pension Debacle

| Sean Keenehan

A new, in-depth report looks at how Illinois politicians pulled the state into the current pension mess after decades of poor planning, non-existent estimates, and last-minute decision making. Journalist Dave McKinney wrote the story for Crain's Chicago Business and joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the story and how it provides important context for our current crisis.

Police Mostly Mum On Patrick Kane Investigation

| Sean Keenehan
Patrick Kane (Photo by Sarah A. / Flickr)

Police in Hamburg, N.Y. have confirmed they are investigating an alleged incident at the home of Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, but won't provide details. Chicago Sun-Times investigative reporter Dan Mihalopoulos traveled to the Buffalo suburb to cover the story. He joins Chicago Tonight with more.

Mayor Emanuel Responds to Rauner's Challenge

Mayor says he's 'ready to work' with Rauner on workers' comp reform

| Kristen Thometz

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday said his administration would be willing to help Chicago Public Schools and the city’s pensions, provided the city helps Rauner give local municipalities the ability to limit collective bargaining with public employees. On Chicago Tonight Mayor Rahm Emanuel responds to Rauner’s challenge.

Chicago Could Tighten Rules on Drones

| Kristen Thometz

Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Ed Burke (14th Ward) have proposed an ordinance that would tighten restrictions on the use of drones in the city, including limits on how close they can fly to O'Hare and Midway airports. Ald. Waguespack joins Chicago Tonight to talk about his proposal, along with Aerial Vision Chicago co-founder Anthony LaRosa.

Countdown to Congress

Congressmen Weigh in on Iran Nuclear Deal, Debt-Ceiling Deadline, More

| Steffie Drucker
Illinois Congressmen Luis Gutiérrez, left, and Randy Hultgren

Illinois Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R) and Luis Gutiérrez (D) join Chicago Tonight to discuss Iran, Planned Parenthood, clean energy, the 2016 election, and more issues they'll face next month.

What You Need to Know About the Plastic Bag Ban

Alderman Looks to Close Loopholes on Ban Starting Aug. 1

| Steffie Drucker

The city of Chicago's partial ban on plastic bags is now in place, but the ordinance as it's currently written will still allow stores to give out plastic bags, provided they meet certain standards. We discuss the new rules and proposed changes to them.

Aldermen Weigh Options for Tackling City's Deficits, Pension Debts

The City Council today tackled a host of issues in its final meeting before a two-month break. But one issue that didn't come up between aldermen and Mayor Emanuel is the big, expensive elephant in the room. Carol Marin talks with a panel of aldermen to analyze the city’s options for making its pension payments. 

BGA: Chicago Ranks No. 1 in Fatal Police Shootings Among Top 10 Cities

Chicago police officers shot and killed 70 people between 2010 and 2014, according to a new report from the Better Government Association. Andrew Schroedter, senior investigator with the BGA, joins Chicago Tonight to talk about these numbers and their implications for Chicago.

Writer Seeks Best Restaurants from Back Seat of Cab

Layne Mosler. (Photo by Rumen Milkow)

When Layne Mosler hails a cab, she doesn't have a destination in mind. What her driver doesn't know is that Mosler's next stop will be his (or her) favorite restaurant. This strategy has led her to discover some of the best eats in cities across the globe, which she details on her blog Taxi Gourmet. Now, Mosler shares her adventures in her new book, Driving Hungry.

Emanuel to Phase Out Seven Downtown TIF Districts

| Kristen Thometz

This month Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he plans to wind down seven Tax Increment Financing Districts located near downtown. Critics of the move say he’s hanging downtown out to dry, but others say this is a first step toward taxing transparency. We’ll hear from Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz and Tom Tresser of the TIF Illumination Project.

Rauner Lays Blame for Budget Impasse at Madigan's Feet

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday held a press conference to lay blame for the weeks-long partial state government shutdown at the feet of House Speaker Mike Madigan, and to decry lawmakers for taking a pay raise when there's no budget in place. We'll get the latest Springfield news from Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.