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Stories by Alexandra Silets

Death Knell Tolling for McMansions

A look at what's behind the rise and fall of the great big McMansions. Why aren't they selling?

East Chicago Lead Contamination Forces Nearly 1,200 from Homes

Nearly 1,200 people are being forced to move from their homes in East Chicago, Indiana, after high levels of lead were found in the soil. WBEZ’s Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente joins us with the story.

Countdown to Election Day 2016

The presidential election is exactly eight weeks away. We break down the campaigns and what the candidates need to do in the final push.

Outgoing Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez Reflects on Office

With only a few months left in office, does Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez wish she had done anything differently? She joins us in discussion.

Why Thousands of Cook County Residents Pay Zero in Property Taxes

Analysis from the Chicago Sun-Times shows that thousands of Cook County residents do not pay anything in property taxes. (Colin J Bird / Wikimedia Commons)

Are some wealthy residents of Cook County taking advantage of laws meant for the most vulnerable? We discuss the issue with a Chicago Sun-Times watchdog.

Assessing the Risk, Damage After Illinois’ Voter Rolls Hacked

The State Board of Elections computer hack may have been smaller than first thought. Now it seems the personal information of only 90,000 Illinois voters was compromised. How safe is voter information? We get the latest.

Are Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings Helping or Hurting Students?

(Burns Library, Boston College / Flickr)

Safe spaces and trigger warnings: Are they good for college students or stifling academic and intellectual freedom?

Tribune Tower Sold for $240 Million to Owners of Block 37

Tribune Tower (Ken Lund / Flickr)

The owner of Block 37 is buying the landmark Tribune Tower. We have details from the pages of Crain's Chicago Business.

Recent Fatalities Raise Questions About Chicago Bike Safety

Chicago's first Protected Bike Lane on Kinzie Street. (Chicago Bicycle Program / Flickr)

Four cyclists have been killed this summer in Chicago. Wednesday night, another was struck in a hit-and-run in the Loop. Join us for a discussion on bike safety with the advocacy director for the  Active Transportation Alliance.

Labor Day Weekend Traffic Predicted to be Deadliest Since 2008

Labor Day traffic could be the deadliest in nearly a decade. The National Safety Council tells us why–and how to reverse the deadly trend.

The Week in Review: More Chicago Police Department Turmoil

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson orders firings in the Laquan McDonald shooting cover-up. Donald Trump is trouble for Illinois Republicans. CPS pitches a billion-dollar bond sale, and the Cubs cruise towards the playoffs.

One Man’s Mission to Expand Composting in Chicago

Jonathan Scheffel takes a break at a red light. (Alexandra Silets / Chicago Tonight)

Meet an entrepreneur who is helping Chicagoans compost while growing his business–all by the seat of his bicycle.

McDonald’s Wins Big at Rio 2016 Olympics

McDonald's at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. (Phil Richards / Flickr)

Olympic athletes are lovin' McDonald's at the Rio games. That story and more from Crain's Chicago Business.

What Macy’s Store Closings Might Mean for Retail Industry at Large

Macy's department store at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills.

Macy's is closing 100 stores. Will other traditional retailers follow suit?

Donald Trump’s 2nd Amendment Comment: Protected Under 1st Amendment?

(Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Is Donald Trump inciting violence with his latest controversial quip? A closer look at whether his words constitute free speech. 

The Week in Review: Republicans Look to Dump Trump

Republicans are looking to dump Donald Trump after his disastrous week. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed water and sewer tax to fix the municipal employees’ pension fund angers aldermen and homeowners alike.

Solutions for the State’s Perplexing Pension Gordian Knot

Can state lawmakers craft a constitutional fix for the Illinois public pension problem? We talk with one man who has a plan.

Looking Back at Republican, Democratic Conventions for Insight Ahead

The fallout continues from the political conventions. We hear from several reporters who spent two weeks on the ground at both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

The Week in Review: GOP Convention Highlights Fractured Party

The two top editors from the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times share their thoughts on the Republican National Convention. A modest tax rebate is coming to Chicago property owners. And the Cubs get back to their winning ways. Join Eddie Arruza and guests for these stories and more.

Building Bridges Between Community and Police

Where do law enforcement and the communities they're sworn to serve start to heal and end years – if not decades – of suspicion, antagonism and violence? We look at solutions to end the mistrust and contentious relations between minority communities and law enforcement.   

After Financial Losses, Illinois Obamacare Provider Goes Under

Crain’s Chicago Business managing editor Ann Dwyer reports on the closure of an Illinois Obamacare provider, vacancies in the Trump Tower and Lake Forest's stagnate real estate market. 

#StopThePop Campaign Targets Additions to Historic Bungalows

A social media campaign calls on developers to halt second-story additions to Chicago’s bungalows.

The Week in Review: Deadly Shootings in Dallas

Five police officers are gunned down at a Dallas protest. In Chicago, debates over police oversight continue. The Chicago Bulls land Dwayne Wade. And Abner Mikva is remembered. Joel Weisman and guests discuss these stories and more.

‘Gates of Harvard Yard’ Reveals Chicago Connection

The array of wrought iron atop Johnston Gate includes a wreath-adorned cross that symbolizes Harvard’s early commitment to training ministers as well as numerals denoting the year of the university’s founding, 1636. Above “1636”is a small shield displaying the year of the gate’s completion, 1889. (Credit: Ralph Lieberman)

Blair Kamin, Pulitzer prize-winning architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune, talks about the architectural artistry of Harvard Yard and his new book on the subject.

Crain’s Roundup: Book a Hotel to Get ‘Hamilton’ Tickets

Crain’s Chicago Business managing editor Ann Dwyer reports on a less conventional way to get those hot “Hamilton” tickets, the newest bank acquisitions in town and changes to the clothing startup Trunk Club.