Stories by Paul Caine

RTA Chairman on His Calls for a Tax Hike

| Kristen Thometz

Regional Transportation Authority Chairman Kirk Dillard has just called for new tax revenue to help fund the region's mass transit systems which currently have a $30 billion project backlog. Chairman Dillard joins us to discuss the need for new revenue and the impact of proposed cuts to transportation funding by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

The Threat of "Superbugs"

| Linda Qiu

The World Health Organization warns that the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or "superbugs" means that we could be on the brink of a "post-antibiotic era" in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill. They say the situation is "so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine." We talk with two experts about the scale of the threat and what we can all do to try and contain it.

Getting What You're Owed From Social Security

Every year Americans leave almost $15 billion on the table by failing to claim Social Security benefits they are entitled to. The co-author of a new book and surprise best-seller, Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security, is in the studio with tips on how to make sure you get everything you are owed.

Scientific Chicago with Rabiah Mayas

| Linda Qiu

The 25th anniversary of the Hubble telescope is this month, scientists find a potential breakthrough in our understanding of Alzheimer's disease, and the likelihood of finding life on Mars just went up. Rabiah Mayas, Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the Museum of Science and Industry, rounds up the top local and international science news.

Spike Lee Film "Chiraq" Triggers Black-On-Black Violence Debate

| Natalie Valdes

A new Spike Lee film about black-on-black violence that is still in early production has already stirred up controversy just with its title: Chiraq. The mayor says he doesn't like it because it stigmatizes communities and gives the whole city a bad name. We talk with a local filmmaker with an anti-violence message, as well as experts on black-on-black violence to get their take on the controversy.

An End to Tax Breaks?

| Kristen Thometz

Illinois is one of only three states that does not tax retirement income. That cost the state $2.2 billion in FY 2013, and along with other tax breaks the total revenue the state is foregoing is close to $9 billion. Is it time to reassess and end at least some of these tax breaks? Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, is just back from Springfield and joins us to share his thoughts.

The Quiet Revolution in American Healthcare

The director of the new film RX: The Quiet Revolution talks about his new documentary that profiles the changing face of American health care and a renewed focus on the relationship between health care provider and patient.

The World Responds to Lincoln

More than 150 years after Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, a new book gives writers the opportunity to respond. The only catch, their essays had to be exactly 272 words -- the length of the original speech -- and be written in long-hand as Lincoln would have done. We talk with the editor who came up with the idea and one of the essayists.

Lawmakers on 2016 Budget Negotiations

| Kristen Thometz

Late last month, the Illinois Legislature passed a stopgap budget fix to plug a $1.6 billion deficit and avoid running out of money before the end of Fiscal Year 2015. With Fiscal Year 2016 starting July 1, the legislature is focused on refining the budget proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner in February. We discuss where budget negotiations are with a panel of lawmakers.

Indiana's Religious Freedom Law

| Kristen Thometz

Indiana's passage of a so-called religious freedom law has sparked an angry backlash from those who assert that it gives license to businesses to discriminate against same-sex couples on religious grounds. Already there has been a massive backlash against the law, with leaders of business—including Apple's CEO Tim Cook—decrying the law.

Chicago's Urban Coyotes

Ohio State University biologist Stanley Gehrt has followed more than 800 coyotes in Chicago over the past 15 years using GPS tracker collars. Where they turn up might just surprise you. Gehrt joins us to discuss Chicago's thriving urban coyotes.

Illinois House Passes a Stopgap Budget Fix

| Kristen Thometz

The Illinois House of Representatives passed a stopgap budget fix to plug a $1.6 billion deficit and avoid running out of money for day care programs and prison guards. Our panel analyzes this rare display of bipartisan cooperation. 

Robert Putnam on the American Dream in Crisis

Robert Putnam -- Harvard professor, political scientist, and author of the acclaimed Bowling Alone -- is back with a new book that charts the decline of the American Dream in his hometown of Port Clinton, Ohio. Putnam joins us to discuss his new book: Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

Early Voting and the Mayoral Race

| Kristen Thometz

Early voting starts today in the mayoral runoff election. We get an update on the campaigns from our news panel.

The Downfall of Congressman Aaron Schock

A predilection for social media and a jet-set lifestyle brings the political career of Congressman Aaron Schock, the once rising star of the Republican Party, crashing down. With reports that Schock over-billed taxpayers by misreporting travel expenses, could the young congressman be in real legal jeopardy? We discuss the issue with our panel.

Analyzing the Mayoral Candidates Financial Plans

With Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Jesús "Chuy" García offering competing views on how to fix the city's finances, our panel looks at the proposals put forward to fix the city's looming crises.

Brain Awareness Week

| Linda Qiu

It's Brain Awareness Week -- a global campaign designed to highlight the importance of brain research. University of Chicago neuroscientist Peggy Mason is here to enlighten us all. Take a Brain Quiz!

The Destruction of Antiquities in Iraq

| Kristen Thometz

As ISIS uses bulldozers and sledgehammers to destroy priceless antiquities in Iraq, we talk with an expert from The Oriental Institute at The University of Chicago about what is being lost.

The International Race to Build a Breakthrough Battery

Author Steve Levine had fly-on-the-wall access for two years to "the battery guys" at Argonne National Laboratory -- America's team in an international competition to build a battery that will change the world. Levine joins us to talk about his new book, The Powerhouse.

Mayoral Candidate Jesús "Chuy" García on the Runoff Election

Mayoral candidate Jesús "Chuy" García's strong showing has forced an unprecedented runoff election against incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Is Islamophobia on the Rise?

After the shocking murder of three Muslim Americans in North Carolina, we examine whether Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise. In a post-9/11 world, is it inevitable that some people will always view Muslim Americans with suspicion? And what role has mainstream media and movies such as American Sniper and Zero Dark Thirty played in demonizing all Arabs and stirring anti-Muslim sentiment? We have analysis.

Gov. Rauner's Budget Cuts

| Travis Cornejo

Gov. Rauner's budget cuts funding to Medicaid and public transportation, and recommends changes to public worker pension plans. We take a look at what would be the likely impact on services and public worker pensions should Gov. Rauner's proposed budget become law. 

Scientific Chicago with Neil Shubin

Dogs, Mini-Mammals, Crowd-Sourcing & the Planet's Inner Core

What can ancient dogs tell us about early human migration to the Americas? And how are scientists using earthquakes to scan our planet's inner core? University of Chicago paleontologist Neil Shubin joins us with a roundup of local science news.

Jackie Robinson West Lawyer

After the shocking decision to strip the Jackie Robinson West Little League team of its national championship for allegedly recruiting players outside the league's boundaries, we talk with the team's attorney Victor Henderson about his efforts to get the decision overturned.

Battle Against ISIS

| Travis Cornejo

As President Obama requests a war authorization from Congress, we examine whether the battle against ISIS has reached a tipping point. And, in the Ukraine, will a fragile new ceasefire pave the way for a comprehensive settlement of that crisis? We have analysis.