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Stories by Alexandra Silets

Garry McCarthy Mulls Run for Chicago Mayor

Will he or won’t he? Former Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is sounding more and more like a candidate for mayor. He joins us to discuss his potential run against the man who brought him to Chicago.

The Week in Review: City Remembers Slain CPD Commander

| Jay Shefsky

Chicago reels after highly regarded Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer is killed. House Speaker Michael Madigan comes under fire. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget pitch to lawmakers falls flat. 

Comptroller Mendoza: State’s Bill Backlog Now $8.4 Billion

As Gov. Bruce Rauner prepares to give the final budget address of his four-year term, the state’s bill payer is sounding the alarm. 

Illinois Lawmakers Preview the Upcoming Budget Battle

The governor gives his budget address Wednesday, but with a backlog of unpaid bills hovering above $9 billion, what will he propose to plug the hole? 

2018 Governor’s Race: Political Battles Turn Bitter

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

J.B. Pritzker apologizes for remarks he made on FBI wiretaps about black politicians. But will the apology undo the damage? We discuss the March 20 primary with political reporters Greg Hinz, Natasha Korecki and Laura Washington.

Paul Vallas, Former Schools Chief, Ponders Mayoral Run

Chicago’s mayoral election is a little over a year away, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel is already taking shots at former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, even though Vallas hasn’t officially jumped into the race—yet.

How Childhood Trauma, Stress Lead to a Lifetime of Heath Issues

Can childhood trauma lead to long-term heart disease? A growing body of evidence says yes, but it’s not just heart health that’s impacted. Toxic stress can lead to a multitude of health consequences.

Deconstructing President Trump’s Infrastructure Plan

In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump called on Congress to pass his $1.5 trillion plan to “rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.” But how far will that money go?

Democratic Candidates for Governor Square Off in First Televised Debate

Democratic candidates for governor J.B. Pritzker, left, and state Sen. Daniel Biss, right, spar during Tuesday’s debate. (Courtesy of NBC 5)

The gloves came off Tuesday as Democratic candidates for governor faced off on TV. Carol Marin and guests discuss the latest on that race, and the crowded Democratic field for attorney general.

What’s Next for Navy Pier? CEO Marilynn Gardner Shares Her Vision

(Courtesy of Navy Pier)

Marilynn Gardner took the reins of Navy Pier in 2011 and has overseen its $300 million transformation as the pier’s president and CEO. She joins us in discussion.

State Lawmakers Preview Upcoming Legislative Session

The Illinois primary is just eight weeks away. Will state lawmakers dodge controversial issues before the March 20 election?

Blair Kamin on Obama Presidential Center Design Tweaks

Obama Presidential Center rendering (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

After many meetings with the community and a lot of pushback, the Obama Presidential Center design has undergone a number of changes. But do the plan revisions make it better? 

Will Changes to the Obama Presidential Center Appease Activists?

Obama Presidential Center campus rendering (Courtesy Obama Foundation)

The Obama Foundation revised its plans for the Jackson Park project after criticism, but activists still have significant concerns over roadwork, traffic and community engagement.

Julia Sweeney Makes Second City Debut with ‘Older and Wider’

The author, actor and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member tells us about her new stand-up residency at The Second City.

Jeff Sessions’ Move Could Blunt Marijuana Legalization

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

Will the attorney general’s reversal of an Obama-era policy give prosecutors free rein to aggressively enforce pot prohibition?

Experts’ Tax Tips on What to Do Before Tax Code Changes

Congress has passed the most significant tax code reform since Ronald Reagan was president. How will the sweeping overhaul impact your bottom line? We get advice and tax tips from two experts. 

Holiday Movies: What to See in Theaters and What to Skip

From the quirky coming-of-age story “Lady Bird” to the latest in the Star Wars saga, we have some holiday movie reviews.

The Week in Review: Mayor Emanuel Starts Re-Election Media Rounds

Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasts President Donald Trump on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios faces a lawsuit charging racial discrimination in the property tax assessment system. And Cubs announcer Pat Hughes reveals a health scare.

How Stress and Anxiety Are Hurting Children

Kids are feeling more anxiety these days, especially in elite public high schools. That’s according to a recent series by the Chicago Tribune and Pioneer Press. We discuss childhood anxiety and some treatments.

Trump Sets Off Middle East Protests Over Jerusalem Announcement

President Donald Trump’s announcement this week that the U.S. is formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital rocked the Middle East. We discuss the future of Jerusalem and the peace process.

North Korea, US ‘In Game of Nuclear Chicken’

White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster believes the U.S. is inching closer to war with North Korea.

The Week in Review: Rep. Gutierrez Sets Off Political Reshuffling

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez drops a bombshell announcement after 13 terms in Congress. Cook County’s soda tax is dead, but political ramifications linger. Elon Musk is bidding on the O’Hare express train project. And the Bears lose patience with coach John Fox. 

Rick Steves Advocates for Marijuana Legalization in Illinois

Rick Steves speaks at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (Courtesy “Rick Steves’ Europe”)

The host of the popular PBS travel show testifies before a legislative panel on the legalization of marijuana. “I’m not pro-marijuana,” Rick Steves told us. “I’m really anti-prohibition and I’m pro-civil liberties.”

Declining CPS Enrollment Could Lead to More School Closings

With CPS enrollment down by 32,000—and the school-closing moratorium coming to an end—is another wave of Chicago school closings possible? WBEZ reporter Sarah Karp joins us in discussion.

Environmentalist Ma Jun: Millions Exposed to Pollution in China

China’s most prominent environmental activist talks about the country’s pollution crisis.