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Stories by Nick Blumberg

Hurricane Katrina: Remembering the Storm 10 Years Later

| Kristen Thometz
View of inundated areas in New Orleans following breaking of the levees surrounding the city as the result of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans. Photo was taken Sept. 11, 2005. (Lt. Cmdr. Mark Moran, NOAA Corps, NMAO/AOC)

Meet two storm survivors who moved to Chicago after the destructive storm ripped through the New Orleans area.

More than Apostrophes: A 'Subversive' Copy Editor on Chicago Style

Carol Fisher Saller

Carol Fisher Saller's principles of copy editing might surprise anyone who's ever tussled with an editor over a piece of writing. She argues communication and collaboration between writer and editor are key; style rules are useful guidelines, not the straps of a straitjacket; and that language's evolution isn't anything to rail against. She joins Chicago Tonight. 

Octopus Genome Reveals Sea Creature's Secrets

| Kristen Thometz
A juvenile California two-spot octopus (Octopus bimaculoides) holds onto the walls of her aquarium with her flexible, sucker-lined arms. (Photo Credit: Michael LaBarbera)

This month in Nature, an international team of researchers released some of their key findings after a first-of-its-kind study of the genome of the California two-spot octopus. The team found a massive and unusually arranged genome, with many genes unique to the octopus that could provide clues to the unusual animals. One of the researchers, University of Chicago neurobiologist Cliff Ragsdale, joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the ongoing project.

Wall Street Sell-Off Sparked by Plunge in Chinese Stocks

| Kristen Thometz

The Dow Jones took a nosedive this morning, dropping more than 1,000 points when trading opened. The markets recovered some of their losses, but investors still appear rattled by disappointing economic news from China. We'll hear what to expect in the days to come and how it might affect your day-to-day life from three economic experts.

'70 Acres In Chicago' Follows the Fight for Cabrini Green

Deidre Brewster (Photo by Cristina Rutter)

The Chicago Housing Authority's Cabrini Green homes stood for decades on the Near North Side. Between 1995 and 2011, the buildings were demolished and replaced with mixed-income housing. The new documentary "70 Acres in Chicago" tracks that tumultuous period and the efforts of residents to save their homes.

Can City Pension Reforms Survive?

| Kristen Thometz

The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over Chicago's pension reforms in November. Attorney John Schmidt says the city's pension reforms are fundamentally different than the state's reforms that were struck down earlier this year. Schmidt joins us on Chicago Tonight.

Plan to Free Up Federal Money Passes in House

The House today passed a bill freeing up nearly $5 billion in federal money. But Democrats failed to get enough support for an amendment to spend state dollars on some human services. After the vote, House Speaker Michael Madigan expressed frustration over the failed effort, but Republicans weren't buying it. We'll get the latest from Springfield with Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

Springfield Tries to Get Federal Money Flowing

Amanda Vinicky

An Illinois House committee voted Tuesday on a bill already passed by the state Senate that will allow the state to start spending $5 billion in available federal money. We have the latest from Springfield with Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

Illinois' Decades-Long Pension Debacle

| Sean Keenehan

A new, in-depth report looks at how Illinois politicians pulled the state into the current pension mess after decades of poor planning, non-existent estimates, and last-minute decision making. Journalist Dave McKinney wrote the story for Crain's Chicago Business and joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the story and how it provides important context for our current crisis.

Police Mostly Mum On Patrick Kane Investigation

| Sean Keenehan
Patrick Kane (Photo by Sarah A. / Flickr)

Police in Hamburg, N.Y. have confirmed they are investigating an alleged incident at the home of Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, but won't provide details. Chicago Sun-Times investigative reporter Dan Mihalopoulos traveled to the Buffalo suburb to cover the story. He joins Chicago Tonight with more.

Mayor Emanuel Responds to Rauner's Challenge

Mayor says he's 'ready to work' with Rauner on workers' comp reform

| Kristen Thometz

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday said his administration would be willing to help Chicago Public Schools and the city’s pensions, provided the city helps Rauner give local municipalities the ability to limit collective bargaining with public employees. On Chicago Tonight Mayor Rahm Emanuel responds to Rauner’s challenge.

Chicago Could Tighten Rules on Drones

| Kristen Thometz

Alds. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Ed Burke (14th Ward) have proposed an ordinance that would tighten restrictions on the use of drones in the city, including limits on how close they can fly to O'Hare and Midway airports. Ald. Waguespack joins Chicago Tonight to talk about his proposal, along with Aerial Vision Chicago co-founder Anthony LaRosa.

Countdown to Congress

Congressmen Weigh in on Iran Nuclear Deal, Debt-Ceiling Deadline, More

| Steffie Drucker
Illinois Congressmen Luis Gutiérrez, left, and Randy Hultgren

Illinois Congressmen Randy Hultgren (R) and Luis Gutiérrez (D) join Chicago Tonight to discuss Iran, Planned Parenthood, clean energy, the 2016 election, and more issues they'll face next month.

What You Need to Know About the Plastic Bag Ban

Alderman Looks to Close Loopholes on Ban Starting Aug. 1

| Steffie Drucker

The city of Chicago's partial ban on plastic bags is now in place, but the ordinance as it's currently written will still allow stores to give out plastic bags, provided they meet certain standards. We discuss the new rules and proposed changes to them.

Aldermen Weigh Options for Tackling City's Deficits, Pension Debts

The City Council today tackled a host of issues in its final meeting before a two-month break. But one issue that didn't come up between aldermen and Mayor Emanuel is the big, expensive elephant in the room. Carol Marin talks with a panel of aldermen to analyze the city’s options for making its pension payments. 

BGA: Chicago Ranks No. 1 in Fatal Police Shootings Among Top 10 Cities

Chicago police officers shot and killed 70 people between 2010 and 2014, according to a new report from the Better Government Association. Andrew Schroedter, senior investigator with the BGA, joins Chicago Tonight to talk about these numbers and their implications for Chicago.

Writer Seeks Best Restaurants from Back Seat of Cab

Layne Mosler. (Photo by Rumen Milkow)

When Layne Mosler hails a cab, she doesn't have a destination in mind. What her driver doesn't know is that Mosler's next stop will be his (or her) favorite restaurant. This strategy has led her to discover some of the best eats in cities across the globe, which she details on her blog Taxi Gourmet. Now, Mosler shares her adventures in her new book, Driving Hungry.

Emanuel to Phase Out Seven Downtown TIF Districts

| Kristen Thometz

This month Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he plans to wind down seven Tax Increment Financing Districts located near downtown. Critics of the move say he’s hanging downtown out to dry, but others say this is a first step toward taxing transparency. We’ll hear from Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz and Tom Tresser of the TIF Illumination Project.

Rauner Lays Blame for Budget Impasse at Madigan's Feet

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday held a press conference to lay blame for the weeks-long partial state government shutdown at the feet of House Speaker Mike Madigan, and to decry lawmakers for taking a pay raise when there's no budget in place. We'll get the latest Springfield news from Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

Crain's Roundup: Haute Furniture, Healthy Food, and Home Brewing at the Office

Ann Dwyer

We talk with Crain's Chicago Business Deputy Managing Editor Ann Dwyer about some of the biggest business stories this week, from Crate and Barrel's performance in some key categories to Seattle Sutton's battle in the prepared meals market. Also, find out how coworkers are embracing the spirit of home brewing -- at the office.

Cook County Sales Tax Hike Faces Wednesday Vote

| Charles Jefferson
Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has proposed raising the county sales tax by a penny on the dollar to help cover a pension-fueled budget shortfall. Wednesday, the county board is scheduled to vote on the hike. President Preckwinkle joins Chicago Tonight. We'll also hear from Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who opposes raising the sales tax.

A Closer Look At Obama's Overtime Plan

| Steffie Drucker
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama has proposed a change in overtime regulations that could make an additional 5 million Americans eligible for overtime pay. Join Chicago Tonight for a conversation about who this will affect, when the proposed change might go through, and where the rules stand currently.

Military Experts Warn Against Climate Inaction

Experts from the American Security Project are in Chicago to sound the alarm that inaction on climate change weakens the United States' national security position. We'll talk with retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Lee Gunn and Andrew Holland, senior fellow with the American Security Project and a former aide to ex-Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during Hagel's time in the Senate.

Chicago’s Shared Streets, Efforts to Boost Biking

| Kristen Thometz

Construction gets underway this week on the Argyle Streetscape project in Uptown, which will create a first-of-its-kind Chicago street that's shared among bikes, cars, and pedestrians. The city has also announced a discounted Divvy bike share membership rate for lower-income Chicagoans, and it's currently adding protected lanes to encourage more bicycling. We'll take a closer look.

WBEZ: Puerto Rican Drug Addicts Sent To Chicago Likely Victims of Identity Theft

A story by WBEZ and This American Life in April revealed that heroin abusers from Puerto Rico were being sent to unlicensed drug rehab programs in Chicago, many of which appear to be little better than flophouses and use methods that are questionable at best. The facilities often force clients to give them their identity papers for safe keeping, and don't always give them back when the clients leave. A follow-up report from WBEZ has found that some of the Puerto Rican addicts sent to Chicago appear to be victims of identity theft.