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Stories by Alexandra Silets

Climate Change and Infrastructure Failings in Extreme Weather

What part – if any – does global warming play in the intensity of hurricanes? And what infrastructure failures contribute to the utter loss and destruction during extreme weather?

The Week in Review: Battle Over Soda Tax Intensifies

The soda tax repeal vote approaches as Toni Preckwinkle faces an ad blitz and sagging polls. School starts with undocumented students fearful. And the Bears kick off the season. 

Illinois Education Secretary Beth Purvis on School Funding Reform

The state’s education secretary said Gov. Bruce Rauner agreed with 90 percent of the education funding bill known as SB1. Then he vetoed it. We discuss education funding reform with Beth Purvis.

Jim Durkin on School Funding Reform and Other Battles

The Illinois House Republican leader speaks with Carol Marin about the school funding compromise and other battles in Springfield.

School Funding Reform: House Members Talk About Dramatic Vote

It took three roll call votes Monday before an education funding bill passed in the Illinois House. In the end, there was still division on both sides of the aisle. We speak to lawmakers who voted for and against the measure.

Woman Breaks Nondisclosure Agreement with R. Kelly

A woman who says she had underage sex with Grammy Award winning performer R. Kelly is breaking her silence. Veteran music journalist Jim DeRogatis joins us with details.

Toni Preckwinkle Discusses Cook County Soda Tax Pushback

The Cook County sweetened beverage tax has had a challenging rollout, but Toni Preckwinkle doesn’t appear to be backing down. And she’s found a deep-pocketed supporter of the tax who’s helping with a media campaign.

Adler Astronomer: ‘Absolutely Phenomenal’ Solar Eclipse in Carbondale

Adler Planetarium astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz joins us from the eclipse epicenter in Carbondale. 

The Week in Review: Gov. Rauner Breaks Silence on Donald Trump

Rauner slams Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville. The battle over school funding ramps up. Lawmakers try to stamp out the soda tax. And the Cubs hold a slim lead in the National League Central division. 

Who is US Attorney Nominee John Lausch?

John Lausch

Former U.S. attorneys weigh in on the new nominee for the Northern District of Illinois, John Lausch.

Exodus of Illinois General Assembly Lawmakers

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

With tensions still high in Springfield, we talk with two lawmakers who are resigning from the legislature.

The Week in Review: Cook County Beverage Tax Has Some Up in Arms

A new soda tax angers many Cook County consumers. The governor vetoes part of the school funding reform bill. And a nasty outfield collision injuries White Sox rookies.

Ordinance Aims to Punish Parents of Gun-Toting Kids

Should parents be held responsible if they know their kids have guns? We speak to Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) about a new ordinance.

The Future of Health Care After Republicans Fail to Repeal and Replace

A bipartisan coalition of 43 House members, including three from Illinois, said Monday they’ve come up with a compromise plan to stabilize the health care market. What happens next?

The Week in Review: School Spending Showdown

Despite Gov. Bruce Rauner’s demands that the school spending bill be sent to him this week, Democrats say they’ll give it to him on Monday. In Chicago, officials are expanding gunshot detecting technology to more high-crime areas.

Lawmakers on the School Funding Showdown in Springfield

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

Ahead of the special session called by Gov. Rauner, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle weigh in on the battle over education funding.

Where Do School Funding and Reforms Stand in Springfield?

Illinois State Sens. Heather Steans and Karen McConnaughay report on the status of school funding and which reforms were passed this session.

William J. Kelly Running as Republican Alternative to Rauner

The field of Democratic candidates running for governor is especially crowded, but there is only one Republican aiming to challenge Bruce Rauner. And he'll face the governor’s formidable campaign war chest.

Cardinal Blase Cupich Takes on Chicago Violence

Cardinal Blase Cupich talks about a new anti-violence initiative and other issues facing the Catholic Church.

Jim Kirk: Firewall Will Exist Between Sun-Times, Owners

The Sun-Times publisher and editor-in-chief talks about the newspaper’s new owner and what’s ahead for the 69-year-old paper.

Blair Kamin Deconstructs Potential Chicago Pedway Upgrades

After: Cultural Center, pedway level. (Courtesy of the Environmental Law & Policy Center)

Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin analyzes a new report that envisions new uses and upgrades for Chicago’s Pedway.

The Battle Over School Funding Bill

After 736 days, Illinois finally has a budget. But it’s not all good news: At the moment, funding is locked up for all of the state’s public schools. Will schools open on time?

Lawsuit Filed to Battle Cook County’s Soda Tax

A lawsuit aims to stop the sugary drink tax that's supposed to go into effect on Saturday.

Supreme Court Hands President Trump a Partial Victory

The Supreme Court has given President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban a split decision. Analysis of that and other big decisions at the court.

Chris Kennedy Making a Name for Himself in Governor’s Race

In the crowded race for governor, businessman Chris Kennedy is making a name for himself by bucking Democratic Party leaders.