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How Catfish and Algae Are Cleaning Up The Chicago River

The Atlantic's CityLab

  In the world of angling, voracious channel catfish are considered an easy catch.

 

In the world of angling, voracious channel catfish are considered an easy catch.


Testing Backlogged Rape Kits in Illinois

Today's Chicago Woman Magazine

  Navigating the path to justice for sexual assault survivors. Since 2010, Illinois has been processing a backlog of 4,000 untested rape kits, some dating back to 1978. But are survivors finding success in the system?    

 

Navigating the path to justice for sexual assault survivors. Since 2010, Illinois has been processing a backlog of 4,000 untested rape kits, some dating back to 1978. But are survivors finding success in the system?

 

 


  JOLIET, Ill. (Reuters) - An Illinois woman who helped lure two men to a drinking session to rob them for money for cigarettes, gasoline and cocaine, was found guilty on Friday of six counts of first degree murder after her friends allegedly strangled the men.  

 

JOLIET, Ill. (Reuters) - An Illinois woman who helped lure two men to a drinking session to rob them for money for cigarettes, gasoline and cocaine, was found guilty on Friday of six counts of first degree murder after her friends allegedly strangled the men.

 


  JOLIET, Ill. (Reuters) - An Illinois woman who helped plan a robbery that led to a double murder and who spent the stolen cash on cigarettes should be found guilty, the prosecution said on Tuesday in closing arguments at a trial in the Chicago suburb of Joliet.

 

JOLIET, Ill. (Reuters) - An Illinois woman who helped plan a robbery that led to a double murder and who spent the stolen cash on cigarettes should be found guilty, the prosecution said on Tuesday in closing arguments at a trial in the Chicago suburb of Joliet.


  Tears streamed down the face of Patti Blagojevich as the recorded voice of her husband, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, echoed in the courtroom of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. "It's very important for me to make a lot of money," Blagojevich said to his chief of staff John Harris on an FBI tape. "I need independence. I need freedom."  

 

Tears streamed down the face of Patti Blagojevich as the recorded voice of her husband, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, echoed in the courtroom of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. "It's very important for me to make a lot of money," Blagojevich said to his chief of staff John Harris on an FBI tape. "I need independence. I need freedom."

 


  Broke this national news: The fund former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been using to pay his defense lawyers is officially gone. After his arrest on Dec. 9, 2008, the fund, originally established to support his campaign efforts, had approximately $2.6 million. He then began using the money to pay his legal fees. Now it is empty.     

 

Broke this national news: The fund former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has been using to pay his defense lawyers is officially gone. After his arrest on Dec. 9, 2008, the fund, originally established to support his campaign efforts, had approximately $2.6 million. He then began using the money to pay his legal fees. Now it is empty. 

 

 


  How big is the news that Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago will not seek re­election for a seventh term in 2011? "It's huge," says U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, a former Cook County Commissioner who taught Chicago politics at Loyola and Roosevelt Universities for seven years. "Only in Chicago would this pre­empt an election for a governor, for a senator and for many other seats.    

 

How big is the news that Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago will not seek re­election for a seventh term in 2011? "It's huge," says U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, a former Cook County Commissioner who taught Chicago politics at Loyola and Roosevelt Universities for seven years. "Only in Chicago would this pre­empt an election for a governor, for a senator and for many other seats.

 

 


  During a break Thursday, July 8, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich turned around to talk to members of the public sitting in the courtroom on the 25th floor of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. He began to apologize. "I'm sorry about the language," Blagojevich said to a retired couple sitting on the bench who had driven in from the Chicago suburbs. "It's not like I haven't heard it before," one of the visitors told Blagojevich. "Well, I guess it's pretty clear my wife is a White Sox fan," Blagojevich responded as his wife, Patti Mell Blagojevich, tried to stifle a laugh and shot her husband a look. Just a few minutes earlier, during testimony, she had been heard swearing on tape.

 

During a break Thursday, July 8, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich turned around to talk to members of the public sitting in the courtroom on the 25th floor of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. He began to apologize. "I'm sorry about the language," Blagojevich said to a retired couple sitting on the bench who had driven in from the Chicago suburbs. "It's not like I haven't heard it before," one of the visitors told Blagojevich. "Well, I guess it's pretty clear my wife is a White Sox fan," Blagojevich responded as his wife, Patti Mell Blagojevich, tried to stifle a laugh and shot her husband a look. Just a few minutes earlier, during testimony, she had been heard swearing on tape.


  Moments after announcing he wouldn't testify in his own defense, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich propped one foot up on a courtroom bench and began signing autographs. It lasted all of four spectators before the marshals stopped the fanfare in the courtroom on the 25th floor of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Leaning back in his chair, Blagojevich's co-defendant, his older brother Robert, looked on sternly from behind the table where he and his own lawyers sat.    

 

Moments after announcing he wouldn't testify in his own defense, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich propped one foot up on a courtroom bench and began signing autographs. It lasted all of four spectators before the marshals stopped the fanfare in the courtroom on the 25th floor of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Leaning back in his chair, Blagojevich's co-defendant, his older brother Robert, looked on sternly from behind the table where he and his own lawyers sat.  

 


  Two weeks ago, as the prosecution made its final points in his corruption trial, a pale Rod Blagojevich listened nervously while his wife Patti looked on, sullen and indignant, from the bench, the arms of her brother around her. It was as if they could feel what was coming.

 

Two weeks ago, as the prosecution made its final points in his corruption trial, a pale Rod Blagojevich listened nervously while his wife Patti looked on, sullen and indignant, from the bench, the arms of her brother around her. It was as if they could feel what was coming.


  The fanfare surrounding the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich seems more appropriate for a Hollywood red carpet than a federal prosecution case that includes 24 counts of racketeering, bribery and extortion charges practically out of a James Patterson novel.  

 

The fanfare surrounding the trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich seems more appropriate for a Hollywood red carpet than a federal prosecution case that includes 24 counts of racketeering, bribery and extortion charges practically out of a James Patterson novel.

 


  What’s taken root in the community garden at 61st Street and Dorchester Avenue is far more important than the crops harvest each year from the 143 plots, supporters say. It has served as a bridge between the University of Chicago and the nearby Woodlawn neighborhood, they say, and now that’s in jeopardy with the school’s decision to raze the garden next month for construction of a 78,000-square-foot Chicago Theological Seminary.

 

What’s taken root in the community garden at 61st Street and Dorchester Avenue is far more important than the crops harvest each year from the 143 plots, supporters say. It has served as a bridge between the University of Chicago and the nearby Woodlawn neighborhood, they say, and now that’s in jeopardy with the school’s decision to raze the garden next month for construction of a 78,000-square-foot Chicago Theological Seminary.


  Front page (1A) cover story related to long-term investigation into coach and allegations about her sexual relationship with students.

 

Front page (1A) cover story related to long-term investigation into coach and allegations about her sexual relationship with students.

Ramon Gardenhire remembers being in law school at Wayne State University in Detroit and trying to give blood for the first time. He went with a group of friends and sat down with the screener. "She was going through all the list of questions when she asked, 'Have you had sex with any men since 1978?'" Gardenhire says. After joking about how that was the year he was born, Gardenhire told her yes, he had, publicly revealing his status as a gay man. With that admission he was denied the chance to give blood.

Ramon Gardenhire remembers being in law school at Wayne State University in Detroit and trying to give blood for the first time. He went with a group of friends and sat down with the screener.

"She was going through all the list of questions when she asked, 'Have you had sex with any men since 1978?'" Gardenhire says.

After joking about how that was the year he was born, Gardenhire told her yes, he had, publicly revealing his status as a gay man.

With that admission he was denied the chance to give blood.


  Conversations with Frank Gehry, Denise Scott Brown and others about sexism, ego and social value when it comes to the Pritzker Prize.  

 

Conversations with Frank Gehry, Denise Scott Brown and others about sexism, ego and social value when it comes to the Pritzker Prize.

 


  Narrative story that won a Peter Lisagor Award for "Best Breaking News Online." On the last day of jury deliberations in the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. paced the courthouse cafeteria in his three­piece suit. Pausing near the trash bin, he began to pontificate. "This is what I went to law school for," he said. "This is what I signed up for as an American citizen ... This is bigger than Sam Adam Jr. This is bigger than Rod Blagojevich. This is a whole system, if you think about it. We are sending young American boys into the world, to Iraq, to die for this."  

 

Narrative story that won a Peter Lisagor Award for "Best Breaking News Online."

On the last day of jury deliberations in the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. paced the courthouse cafeteria in his three­piece suit. Pausing near the trash bin, he began to pontificate. "This is what I went to law school for," he said. "This is what I signed up for as an American citizen ... This is bigger than Sam Adam Jr. This is bigger than Rod Blagojevich. This is a whole system, if you think about it. We are sending young American boys into the world, to Iraq, to die for this."

 


In Too Deep

Time Out Chicago

  In-depth investigative story into the deaths of two Race to Mackinac sailors. Earned exclusive interviews that bested the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times,   

 

In-depth investigative story into the deaths of two Race to Mackinac sailors. Earned exclusive interviews that bested the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, 

 


  At about 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, the first person in a line of more than 60 people for the closing arguments in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial was Dan Bender, a 64-year-old Chicago retiree who once owned a trucking business on the South Side of Chicago and has been writing legal briefs as a researcher for the past 15 years. "I wanted to come see this," he says. "The courtroom is theater, and a high-profile case like this is about as theatrical as it gets. It's the seventh game of the World Series, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Or the Super Bowl. Only it's one hundred times more rare." In fact, only about 25 public tickets would be handed out.  

 

At about 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, the first person in a line of more than 60 people for the closing arguments in the Rod Blagojevich corruption trial was Dan Bender, a 64-year-old Chicago retiree who once owned a trucking business on the South Side of Chicago and has been writing legal briefs as a researcher for the past 15 years. "I wanted to come see this," he says. "The courtroom is theater, and a high-profile case like this is about as theatrical as it gets. It's the seventh game of the World Series, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Or the Super Bowl. Only it's one hundred times more rare." In fact, only about 25 public tickets would be handed out.

 


  Court on Thursday, June 2, started in typical Rod Blagojevich style. The former Illinois governor arrived and signed autographs in front of the Dirksen Federal Building. The day, however, ended in blistering fashion.    

 

Court on Thursday, June 2, started in typical Rod Blagojevich style. The former Illinois governor arrived and signed autographs in front of the Dirksen Federal Building. The day, however, ended in blistering fashion.

 

 


  Blinking back tears from her lilac-covered eyelids, Marsha Emanuel looks around at the crowd of 250 cheering for her son Rahm at Chicago's North Side John C. Coonley elementary school and says, "This is the moment I've been waiting for."  

 

Blinking back tears from her lilac-covered eyelids, Marsha Emanuel looks around at the crowd of 250 cheering for her son Rahm at Chicago's North Side John C. Coonley elementary school and says, "This is the moment I've been waiting for."

 


  JOLIET, Ill. (Reuters) - The star witness in the trial of a grisly double murder that shocked veteran police officers in the Chicago suburb of Joliet testified on Thursday how she and friends planned to rob their male victims.

 

JOLIET, Ill. (Reuters) - The star witness in the trial of a grisly double murder that shocked veteran police officers in the Chicago suburb of Joliet testified on Thursday how she and friends planned to rob their male victims.


  The Wisconsin State Capitol had taken on an eerie quiet by late Friday. Gone were the throngs of protesters who had occupied its marble floors like it were a summer campground. The midnight honking of cars circling the white building had ceased. The chalk outlines around fake dead bodies etched with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's name remained in dismembered parts, not yet completely washed away by hoses. 

 

The Wisconsin State Capitol had taken on an eerie quiet by late Friday. Gone were the throngs of protesters who had occupied its marble floors like it were a summer campground. The midnight honking of cars circling the white building had ceased. The chalk outlines around fake dead bodies etched with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's name remained in dismembered parts, not yet completely washed away by hoses. 


  It's 9 p.m. on Sunday night but the sound of beating drums, saxophones and maracas continue to reverberate against the Wisconsin State Capitol's stone walls. Hundreds of people are cheering and clapping from three levels above, peering down into the circular rotunda where an impromptu 50­person band plays. Black­clad Wisconsin state troopers keep watch. The siege of Madison, Wisconsin goes on, with the protesters—teachers, union organizers and their supporters—preparing for the long haul as they bring the weight of mass protests against Wisconsin's Republican governor budget slashing agenda. It is the third day of demonstrations in what may turn out to be long, cold campaign. 

 

It's 9 p.m. on Sunday night but the sound of beating drums, saxophones and maracas continue to reverberate against the Wisconsin State Capitol's stone walls. Hundreds of people are cheering and clapping from three levels above, peering down into the circular rotunda where an impromptu 50­person band plays. Black­clad Wisconsin state troopers keep watch. The siege of Madison, Wisconsin goes on, with the protesters—teachers, union organizers and their supporters—preparing for the long haul as they bring the weight of mass protests against Wisconsin's Republican governor budget slashing agenda. It is the third day of demonstrations in what may turn out to be long, cold campaign. 


  "The rich have gotten much richer," bellowed Jesse Jackson Jr. amid the rumble of cheering voices, horns and maracas. "Yeah!" roared back the crowd of at least 10,000 protesters who had gathered in Madison, Wis., Thursday morning.   

 

"The rich have gotten much richer," bellowed Jesse Jackson Jr. amid the rumble of cheering voices, horns and maracas. "Yeah!" roared back the crowd of at least 10,000 protesters who had gathered in Madison, Wis., Thursday morning. 

 


  Vivan Moore loves to play the 2-cent slot machines at Aurora’s Hollywood Casino. Although she can’t seem to finish a book, Moore, 67, jokes she can read an entire newspaper in one sitting and enjoys picking up the National Enquirer on occasion when someone—like Patrick Swayze—is featured. The dove-haired grandmother also made history last week by becoming the first person in Chicago undergo a highly confidential clinical trial for a device known as the Pipeline Embolization Device that is pending FDA approval and could potentially revolutionize treatment for brain aneurysms, neurosurgeons and medical experts say.  

 

Vivan Moore loves to play the 2-cent slot machines at Aurora’s Hollywood Casino. Although she can’t seem to finish a book, Moore, 67, jokes she can read an entire newspaper in one sitting and enjoys picking up the National Enquirer on occasion when someone—like Patrick Swayze—is featured. The dove-haired grandmother also made history last week by becoming the first person in Chicago undergo a highly confidential clinical trial for a device known as the Pipeline Embolization Device that is pending FDA approval and could potentially revolutionize treatment for brain aneurysms, neurosurgeons and medical experts say.

 


Nuisance Factor

Fort Worth Weekly

  An investigative piece into asbestos-removal plan that was keeping the derelict Cowtown Inn standing in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

An investigative piece into asbestos-removal plan that was keeping the derelict Cowtown Inn standing in Fort Worth, Texas.