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Stories by Erica Gunderson

Madigan Under Fire for Handling of Harassment Claims

Should House Speaker Michael Madigan step aside? The latest on the fallout from allegations of sexual harassment in his political offices.

Ask Geoffrey: The Fascinating Story of Antoinette Rich

Geoffrey Baer has the keys to the story of a symphony orchestra made up of all pianos – and all women. And: The story behind a colonial-inspired park district field house in the Austin community.

West Town Textile Studio Finds Common Threads with Community

On Chicago’s West Side, an artist-run production weaving mill and a social service agency work together to weave adults with intellectual disabilities into the fabric of their community. 

Ask Geoffrey: How Does Edens Expressway Stay Billboard-Free?

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

Most Chicago-area expressways are littered with billboards. How did one expressway escape the same fate? Geoffrey Baer drives by with the answer to that and other viewer questions.

North Side German Club Lets the Good Times Roll

Many immigrant communities in Chicago formed ethnic clubs to help maintain their traditions. One such club has celebrated the German tradition of Karneval for over a century. We take a look.

Screened Out: How Tots and Tech Can Work Together

(Øyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons)

Is there a safe level of technology use for kids? We discuss “The Art of Screen Time” with author and NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz.

These Commercial Bread Bakeries Set the Stage for Chicago’s Favorite Foods

We have some fun on a bun in commercial bakeries that make the bread for two iconic Chicago foods.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’?

Geoffrey Baer has some newspaper history hot off of yesteryear’s presses, and dives deep into the fishy story of storm drain covers.

Duerson Act Debate: Who Should Decide on Tackle Football for Kids?

Former pro football players are joining the effort to ban tackling in youth football. We talk pros and cons of the newly introduced Duerson Act.

2018 Academy Awards: A More Inclusive Age of the Oscars?

“Get Out” actor Daniel Kaluuya speaks at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

This year’s Oscar picks for best picture are an unusually mixed bag of genres, including the comedy-horror film “Get Out.” Two film critics weigh in on this year’s nominees.

Ask Geoffrey: Where Are Those 1950s Giant Stuffed Bears?

A viewer remembers a tall and terrifying bear in the former Marshall Field’s building. Was this just a figment of a child’s imagination?

Niles Tower’s History Mystery

We climb to the top of the Leaning Tower of Niles, where centuries-old bronze bells lay quiet – for now.

Biometric Data: Are We Safer in Illinois, Or Just Having Less Fun?

Close-up of “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci

The latest social media craze of matching your face with faces in works of art left Chicagoans out in the cold, thanks to Illinois’ strict laws on biometric data. Do these rules keep us safe or leave us behind?

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to Andy Frain Ushers?

For many years, sports fans in Chicago were welcomed to games by clean-cut and friendly Andy Frain ushers. The story of the man behind the house of ushers in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

What Role Should Data Analysis Play in Health Care Policy?

(agilemktg1 / Flickr)

How evidence-based health care policy can get more value out of the health care system. A discussion with Katherine Baicker, dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

What DNA Testing Kits Can – and Can’t – Tell You About History, Health

The commercials for do-it-yourself DNA testing kits promise a bounty of self-discovery about your history and health. But are you prepared for the results?

West Town Textile Studio Finds Common Threads with Community

On Chicago’s West Side, an artist-run production weaving mill and a social service agency work together to weave adults with intellectual disabilities into the fabric of their community. 

Ask Geoffrey: The History of Houseboats on the Chicago River

Geoffrey Baer floats through a bygone colony of houseboats that once populated our city’s favorite Y-shaped waterway in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Columnist: Getting Older Doesn’t Have to Mean Getting Grumpier

A conversation with Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn, who muses on how to be “a good old man” as he celebrates a milestone birthday.

Inside a Culture of Harassment at Chicago Ford Plants

“It’s a struggle every day,” a current Ford employee says. As Chicago Ford plants once again grapple with accusations of sexual harassment, we speak with two women about what it’s like to work there.

New Book Explores Dorothy Day’s Life as Mother, Grandmother

Author Kate Hennessy discusses her new book about Dorothy Day, her Catholic activist grandmother.

Ask Geoffrey: What Are Those Faces on Michigan Avenue?

Geoffrey Baer gets eye-to-eye with some sky-high building ornament and gets beneath the surface of a towering metal figure in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

Fake News, Feminism, #MeToo: The 2017 Words of the Year

Much like 2016’s set, the words of 2017 are a political batch reflective of the tumultuous year we just put behind us. What else made the cut.

Ask Geoffrey: Why Traffic Reports Mention Thorndale

Chicagoans hear about Thorndale Avenue all the time in traffic reports, and a viewer wonders why. Geoffrey Baer speeds by with the story in this week's “Ask Geoffrey.”

Ask Geoffrey: The Early (and Late) Birds of Union Station

(Courtesy of Goettsch Partners)

Geoffrey Baer shines a light on a pair of hooded statues at Union Station and some old-fashioned security technology in this week’s edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”