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City Cast Chicago
City Cast Chicago
City Cast

Chicago’s daily news podcast, fresh every weekday at 6 a.m. Host Jacoby Cochran brings you timely conversations with news and culture makers;... more

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Burke Trial Updates, Election Season Begins, and Holiday Pop-Ups

The federal corruption trial of former Ald. Ed Burke is now in its fourth week. Multiple delays have slowed down... more

28 Nov 2023 · 21 minutes
What Happens When a Chicagoan is Missing?

What happens when a person goes missing in Chicago? Trina Reynolds-Tyler with Invisible Institute and Sarah Conway with City Bureau... more

27 Nov 2023 · 31 minutes
Why Does Chicago Love to Hate Malort?

Many of us may have out-of-town visitors this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. And what better way to say “I’m... more

22 Nov 2023 · 22 minutes
Yellow Line Crash, Migrant Shelter Limits, and Holiday Travel Tips

Service on the Yellow Line from Howard to Skokie/Dempster was still suspended Monday after a train crashed into a city... more

21 Nov 2023 · 22 minutes
Not Just Chicago: Juvenile Jails Across Illinois Fail Standards

Most of Illinois’ 16 juvenile detention centers fail to meet minimum compliance standards, according to recent reports from the Illinois... more

20 Nov 2023 · 17 minutes
New Top Doc, Johnson’s First Budget, and City of Lights

After a three month search, Mayor Brandon Johnson has hired Dr. Olusimbo Ige to lead Chicago’s Public Health Department. This... more

17 Nov 2023 · 29 minutes
Who Is the Voice of CTA?

If you’ve been on a CTA train or bus in the last 25 years you have heard the same voice announcing... more

16 Nov 2023 · 16 minutes
How 'Smelly' Onions Define Chicago

The name Chicago is believed to originate from Indigenous words describing a type of wild onion now known as “ramps.”... more

15 Nov 2023 · 17 minutes
ShotSpotter’s Future, Renaming Chi Birds, and Thanksgiving Meal Deals

City Council is slated to vote this week on the budget. One detail concerning Mayor Brandon Johnson’s supporters is the... more

14 Nov 2023 · 24 minutes
Chicago's Indigenous History You Probably Didn't Learn in School

Chicago is home to the country’s third-largest urban Native American population. But do you know why? Andrew Johnson says that’s... more

13 Nov 2023 · 19 minutes
City Council Drama, Friendsgiving Tips, and Is New Cubs Manager Worth It?

It was a very busy week in City Council. Between a rare censure vote, advancing the “Bring Chicago Home'' referendum,... more

10 Nov 2023 · 34 minutes
All the Things You Can Do with Your Chicago Library Card

While you’re picking up your next cozy read at your local library, don’t forget all the other things your library... more

09 Nov 2023 · 22 minutes
Does Uncle Remus Have Chicago's Best Chicken?

From the Cubs vs. White Sox to deep-dish vs. tavern-style, Chicago is no stranger to rivalries. One rivalry host Jacoby... more

08 Nov 2023 · 19 minutes
Is Chicago the Most Corrupt City? Plus, Fancy Meals and Good Tourist Traps

A new University of Illinois Chicago report has named Chicago the country’s most corrupt city for the fourth year in... more

07 Nov 2023 · 23 minutes
The Rise and Fall of Chicago’s Most Powerful Alder

The political corruption trial of former 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke begins today. Burke spent more than 50 years in... more

06 Nov 2023 · 24 minutes
Federal Aid for Migrants, Save-A-Lot Problems, and Christmas Music 24/7

Mayor Brandon Johnson traveled to Washington, D.C. this week with other big city mayors asking for more federal aid to... more

03 Nov 2023 · 31 minutes
Chicago’s Best Hikes Before Winter Sets In

We are halfway through our fall season and before wintertime Chi hits, we are revisiting journalist and naturalist Zack Nauth’s... more

02 Nov 2023 · 17 minutes
Are Chicago's Most Expensive Restaurants Worth It?

Chicago has no shortage of award-winning fine dining restaurants. Elaborate tasting menus, molecular gastronomy, and artistic small bites that are... more

01 Nov 2023 · 21 minutes
Why Chicago Needs Your Blood

Last month the American Red Cross announced a national blood shortage as supplies had dropped by 25% since August. But... more

31 Oct 2023 · 16 minutes
Why Hasn’t CPD Fired Cops with Extremist Ties?

A new investigation from WBEZ and the Sun-Times found almost 30 Chicago police officers — including nine still in the... more

30 Oct 2023 · 27 minutes
School Board Map Stalls, South Suburbs Court Bears, and Neighborhood Walking Tours

The first half of the General Assembly's veto session wrapped up Thursday, and there are three days left beginning Nov.... more

27 Oct 2023 · 30 minutes
From Haunted Hotels to Resurrection Mary: Chi's Scariest Ghost Stories

Haunted hotels, disappearing hitch hikers, and headless horsemen: These are just a few of Chicago’s spookiest ghost stories. But what’s... more

26 Oct 2023 · 16 minutes
Is Illinois to Blame for Pumpkin Spice Madness?

Illinois is the country’s largest producer of pumpkins and home to the canned pumpkin brand that made pumpkin pie a... more

25 Oct 2023 · 22 minutes
Public Safety Budget, Chicago’s Best Candy, and Your Fav Episodes

Budget season continues at City Hall with three days of hearings set to talk about public safety and police this... more

24 Oct 2023 · 21 minutes
What Can Illinois Lawmakers Actually Do in 6 Days?

The General Assembly’s six-day veto session kicks off Tuesday in Springfield. This is the time when lawmakers will discuss laws... more

23 Oct 2023 · 17 minutes
Jail Population Drops, Moving Migrants to St. Louis, and Basketball Courts Disappear

As the city decides on the locations of proposed “winterized base camps” for newly-arrived migrants, communities continue to protest plans... more

20 Oct 2023 · 35 minutes
How to Go All Out for Halloween in Chicago

Halloween is less than two weeks away, and Chicago has plenty of opportunities to celebrate. From pumpkin carvings, to costume... more

19 Oct 2023 · 20 minutes
In Defense of Deep-Dish

Is deep-dish pizza really just for the tourists? That’s what some Chicagoans will tell you, while outsiders may mock the... more

18 Oct 2023 · 26 minutes
Plainfield Hate Crime Charges, Inside Bally’s Casino, and Meet Our New Producer

A southwest suburban man has been charged with a hate crime in a stabbing that left a 6-year-old boy dead... more

17 Oct 2023 · 25 minutes
Why Are There Fewer Trains and Buses Running?

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Chicagoans are frustrated with public transit. Common concerns include... more

16 Oct 2023 · 19 minutes
Johnson's First Budget, Burke Trial Updates, and Friday the 13th

Earlier this week, Mayor Brandon Johnson gave his first-ever budget address at City Council. To help break down the details... more

13 Oct 2023 · 34 minutes
How to Enjoy Chicago…for Under $50

With news of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first-ever city budget proposal, the City Cast Chicago team thought it was time to... more

12 Oct 2023 · 31 minutes
Who Makes Chicago’s Best Jibarito?

Chicago is home to dozens of culinary creations, and the jibarito is by far one of the best. Imagine a... more

11 Oct 2023 · 21 minutes
DCFS Director Resigns, Fall Vaccine Checklist, and FEMA Flood Relief

The director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services, Marc Smith, has announced he will resign at the end... more

10 Oct 2023 · 23 minutes
CTA Leader Makes How Much?! Plus, ‘Mansion Tax’ Update and Messi Misses Chicago

Despite complaints from riders about unreliable service, CTA President Dorval Carter’s pay has only climbed during his eight years on... more

06 Oct 2023 · 36 minutes
The Best of Chicago’s Fall Theater

Despite a new report showing the city’s arts organizations are still hurting from the pandemic, there is still plenty of... more

05 Oct 2023 · 21 minutes
Can Chicago Ever Recapture the Magic of Marshall Field's?

A lot of Chicagoans will always know the Macy’s on State Street simply as Marshall Field’s. That’s because the department... more

04 Oct 2023 · 22 minutes
Restorative Justice in Schools, ‘36 Hours in Chicago,’ and Camping In Style

Chicago schools that implemented restorative justice practices a decade ago have seen big reductions in suspensions and student arrests, a... more

03 Oct 2023 · 23 minutes
Why is Chicago So Bad at Recycling?

Less than 10% of Chicago’s waste is recycled, according to a recent Tribune report. Meanwhile, other cities boast rates of... more

02 Oct 2023 · 22 minutes
Another Wrongful Conviction Suit, Chicago Needs More Midwives, and 50 Years of Hip-Hop

Chicago has paid $178 million to resolve wrongful conviction lawsuits since 2019, according to WTTW. Now the city faces yet... more

29 Sep 2023 · 25 minutes
Why Fall Is Still Camping (and Glamping) Season

It’s the final day of our Fall Getaway Guide. This week we’ve pitched road trips in every direction and autumnal... more

28 Sep 2023 · 23 minutes
Hop Aboard Metra for Quick, Cheap Fall Day Trips

We’re back with the second day of our Fall Getaway Guide. Yesterday we gave you all the tips and tricks... more

27 Sep 2023 · 19 minutes
There's a Perfect Fall Road Trip in Every Direction from Chicago

It’s officially fall, and the City Cast team is going road tripping! Host Jacoby Cochran, lead producer Simone Alicea, newsletter... more

26 Sep 2023 · 28 minutes
Why Student Loan Repayments Scare The Hell Out of Us

Federal student loan payments start back up in October following a pandemic pause. This is a huge deal in Illinois... more

25 Sep 2023 · 23 minutes
Migrant 'Base Camps,' Future of Tipping, and Soccer at Soldier Field

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration is defending the decision to sign a one-year, nearly $30 million contract with controversial private security... more

22 Sep 2023 · 25 minutes
'Do You Remember' Why It's Earth, Wind & Fire Day?

Today is Earth, Wind & Fire Day. Founded in Chicago by the late band leader Maurice White in 1969, the... more

21 Sep 2023 · 15 minutes
‘Young Love’ Is TV’s Newest Chicago Love Letter

Matthew Cherry’s short film “Hair Love” won an Oscar and became a New York Times bestselling children’s book. Now the... more

20 Sep 2023 · 17 minutes
Obama Center Housing Protections, Your Fav Chi Dates, Say Goodbye to Summer

Last week, Fifth Ward Ald. Desmon Yancy introduced the South Shore Housing Preservation Ordinance to City Council. The measure would... more

19 Sep 2023 · 22 minutes
How Will Mayor Johnson Close Chicago’s Budget Gap?

Budget season has officially begun! Mayor Brandon Johnson released his first budget forecast last week, kicking off his first budget... more

18 Sep 2023 · 16 minutes
New Migrant Shelter Plan, Riot Fest Weekend, and Celebrating Mexican Independence Day

Mayor Brandon Johnson has outlined a plan to relocate nearly 1,600 migrants and asylum-seekers from Chicago police stations to what... more

15 Sep 2023 · 31 minutes
Who Can Plan The Best Chicago Alphabet Dates?

In a twist on the “alphabet dating” TikTok trend, host Jacoby Cochran and City Cast marketing coordinator Jermaine Thomas faced... more

14 Sep 2023 · 26 minutes
How One Pilsen Home Became a Butterfly Sanctuary

Been seeing more monarch butterflies lately? Now is the time when Illinois’ state insect migrates south toward Mexico. Along the... more

13 Sep 2023 · 16 minutes
911 Response Times, Student Loan Questions, and Foxes vs. Plovers

Chicago Inspector General Deborah Witzburg reports police failed to accurately track 911 response times nearly half time. The lack of... more

12 Sep 2023 · 18 minutes
What Do Local School Councils Do?

Next week, Chicago Public Schools will kick off election season for local school councils. The councils help drive big decisions... more

11 Sep 2023 · 20 minutes
Blackhawks’ Newish Regime, Sky’s Playoff Push, and Bring On The Packers

Earlier this summer, longtime Blackhawks owner and CEO Rocky Wirtz died at the age of 70. His son Danny Wirtz... more

08 Sep 2023 · 30 minutes
Alphabet Dating with a Chicago Twist

Whether you’re gearing up for cuffing season, celebrating a long-term relationship, or you’re just looking for something for you and... more

07 Sep 2023 · 21 minutes
Meet Chicago’s First-Ever Poet Laureate

Tomorrow the Poetry Foundation is starting its Fall season with a celebration at the Harold Washington Library featuring Chicago’s first-ever... more

06 Sep 2023 · 22 minutes
New Temporary Casino, Best Chi Rivalries, and The Taste Is Here — Finally!

Regulators with the Illinois Gaming Board are expected to inspect Bally’s temporary casino at Medinah temple today and run practice... more

05 Sep 2023 · 23 minutes
Sox Park Shooting, City Sues Car Companies, and Remembering Chairman Fred Hampton

Last week, two White Sox fans were struck by gunfire during a home game at Guaranteed Rate Field. Both individuals... more

01 Sep 2023 · 34 minutes
Rate This Perfect Day in Chicago…and Madison

Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to plan a quick Midwestern Road Trip. Luckily for us, our friends over... more

31 Aug 2023 · 21 minutes
Why Did Your Favorite Chi Restaurant Close?

All summer we’ve been hearing how Chicago is coming back with tourism up, crowds outside, and no shortage of daily... more

30 Aug 2023 · 16 minutes
Another Corruption Conviction, Making New Friends, and More Pickleball Courts

Last week, we saw the conclusion of yet another corruption trial with ties to former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.... more

29 Aug 2023 · 19 minutes
Should White Sox Fans Hit Panic Button?

Last week, White Sox fans experienced every emotion imaginable. As the team struggles through a disappointing season marred by injuries,... more

28 Aug 2023 · 22 minutes
Back To School, White Sox Drama, and Dank Weekend Plans

Chicago Public Schools are back in session. Chalkbeat Chicago's Samantha Smylie and Northwestern professor and author Arionne Nettles join host... more

25 Aug 2023 · 32 minutes
Is ‘The Fugitive’ Chicago’s Greatest Movie?

Earlier this year, host Jacoby Cochran talked with journalist and author Natalie Moore about one of her favorite movies, the... more

24 Aug 2023 · 16 minutes
How to Protect Seniors from Financial Scams

The number of elders being scammed out of their life savings is increasing while Illinois’ system to protect seniors from... more

23 Aug 2023 · 26 minutes
Mayor Johnson’s First 100 Days and Where to Cry in Chi

Tuesday is Mayor Brandon Johnson’s 100th day in office. While we have realistic expectations about what can be accomplished in... more

22 Aug 2023 · 26 minutes
Is CPS Ready for New Migrant Students?

Chicago Public Schools students are back in class today, including probably thousands newly-arrived migrant children. We say probably because CPS... more

21 Aug 2023 · 23 minutes
Mayor Hires & Fires, Safety at Promontory Point, and ‘Acid Rap’ Anniversary

Chief Larry Snelling has been selected as the next police superintendent, and Dr. Allison Arwady is out as public health... more

18 Aug 2023 · 33 minutes
Morning Swims, Secret Concerts, and Other Great Weekend Plans

There is just too much to do in Chicago every weekend. That’s why host Jacoby Cochran is talking with Hey... more

17 Aug 2023 · 23 minutes
Do We Know Chicago Better Than Google Maps?

From construction to public transit gaps to the sheer size of the city, getting around Chicago is really hard. While... more

16 Aug 2023 · 28 minutes
Top Doc Fired, Top Cop Hired, and Top Relaxed Cities

Friday afternoon, Mayor Brandon Johnson fired Dr. Allison Arwady after four years leading the Chicago Department of Public Health. Then Sunday, the... more

15 Aug 2023 · 26 minutes
Why Migrants, Strikes, and Weather Dominated Summer Headlines

This summer, Chicago has increased spending on temporary shelters, resource centers, and services for the nearly 13,000 migrants and asylum... more

14 Aug 2023 · 30 minutes
Flood and Heat Risks, Simone Biles Dazzles, and Humboldt Park Skating

While federal agencies track flood risk across the country, FEMA maps may paint an incomplete picture of the risk in... more

11 Aug 2023 · 25 minutes
How Chicago Families Can Enjoy the End of Summer Break

The first day of school is coming up, but there is still plenty to do for kids in Chicago. Jenny... more

10 Aug 2023 · 20 minutes
Why Is Largest Black Parade Called the Bud Billiken?

For the last 94 years, the Bud Billiken Parade has been Chicago’s ultimate back to school bat signal. It’s the... more

09 Aug 2023 · 16 minutes
COVID Cases Rise, What’s a ‘Midwest Vibe?’ and Chicago’s Animal Superstars

Chicago’s Department of Public Health warns that COVID cases and hospitalizations have been going up in recent weeks. Lead producer... more

08 Aug 2023 · 21 minutes
What’s Next for Chicago Film Industry as Strike Continues?

Local TV and film actors held another rally downtown last week as they strike along with writers, shutting down production... more

07 Aug 2023 · 20 minutes
Northwestern’s Failing Grade, Bunny Virus Hits Chicago, and Midwest Camping

Northwestern University has struggled to manage the fallout from the hazing scandal rocking its athletic department as lawsuits continue to... more

04 Aug 2023 · 26 minutes
Why the Southwest Side is a Dog Park 'Desert' No More

The vast majority of Chicago’s dog parks are on the North Side. But among all of the city’s equity issues,... more

03 Aug 2023 · 15 minutes
What Every Chicagoan Needs to Know About Making a Budget

The rent is due, new college students are setting out into the world, and now is a great time to... more

02 Aug 2023 · 27 minutes
Chicago's 'Mansion Tax,' Airport Pickup Tips, and Who's Our Rap GOAT?

Mayor Brandon Johnson and his allies in City Council want to put the Bring Chicago Home ordinance on the March... more

01 Aug 2023 · 22 minutes
What Chicago Can Learn From Evanston’s Reparations Fight

Mayor Brandon Johnson wants to create an exploratory committee on reparations for descendants of Black formerly enslaved people who have... more

31 Jul 2023 · 21 minutes
More Migrant Shelters Open, Chi Steakhouses are Back, and Still Recovering from Beyoncé

As more temporary housing facilities open for migrants and asylum-seekers, neighborhood resistance grows to the city’s rollout. During this week’s... more

28 Jul 2023 · 27 minutes
How to Weather-Proof Your Weekend Festival Plans

Chicago’s weather has been unpredictable this month. Canadian wildfire smoke has blanketed the sky for days, torrential rain has already... more

27 Jul 2023 · 25 minutes
Why Stepping is Chicago’s Greatest Dance

Summertime Chi is filled with plenty of opportunities to dance the night away, including at the city’s SummerDance series next... more

26 Jul 2023 · 20 minutes
Labor Wins, Library Love, and Chicago’s Horcruxes

Chicago’s always been a union town, but labor is having a moment right now. Host Jacoby Cochran and lead producer... more

25 Jul 2023 · 18 minutes
Does Chicago Have a ‘Lame Duck’ School Board?

This Wednesday, the Chicago Board of Education will hold their first official meeting since Mayor Brandon Johnson replaced all but... more

24 Jul 2023 · 20 minutes
Ending Cash Bail, Chicago’s Secret Hangout, and Beyoncé's Here

Earlier this week the Illinois Supreme Court ruled 5-2 to uphold the state’s elimination of cash bail, making Illinois the... more

21 Jul 2023 · 30 minutes
Saying Goodbye to the Silver Room Block Party

Organizers of the Silver Room Sound System Block Party recently announced that this would be their final year. Although it... more

20 Jul 2023 · 19 minutes
Your Guide to Throwing a Chicago Block Party

While music and street fests get most of the Summertime Chi hype, neighborhood block parties are probably the real unsung... more

19 Jul 2023 · 19 minutes
How Block Clubs Helped Shape Chicago

For a century, Chicago has had an enduring, complicated, and nostalgic relationship with block clubs — small, volunteer-based community groups.... more

18 Jul 2023 · 17 minutes
Who Will Lead the Chicago Police Department?

Mayor Brandon Johnson is now on the clock to make one of the most important hires of his term: Police... more

17 Jul 2023 · 23 minutes
Northwestern Hazing Scandal, West Side Flooding, and a $50 Lego Burger?

An investigation into Northwestern’s football program revealed a history of hazing, including alleged coerced sexual acts, and allegations of racism.... more

14 Jul 2023 · 34 minutes
Why Are You Sleeping on Chicago Libraries?

We all know you can get books at the library. But your library card can get you way more than... more

13 Jul 2023 · 22 minutes
Life-Saving Tips for Lake Michigan Swimmers

Summertime Chi would be incomplete without spending some time on Lake Michigan. But its easy to underestimate the dangers of... more

12 Jul 2023 · 15 minutes
Johnson's Lofty Goals, Summer Blockbusters, and Malört Love

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s transition committee released its 223-page report outlining goals for the new administration. While many align with Johnson’s... more

11 Jul 2023 · 19 minutes
How Are Megadevelopments Shaping Chicago’s Future?

Chicago is home plenty of new developments from high-rises to a presidential museum to a casino. But there are only... more

10 Jul 2023 · 22 minutes
What Do SCOTUS Rulings Mean in Chi? Plus, Floods and Art Fests

What impact will the US Supreme Court’s recent decisions on affirmative action and student debt relief have on the future... more

07 Jul 2023 · 29 minutes
Is Malort Really That Bad? We Try It!

Chicago has its share of inside jokes, but none maybe more painful than goading newcomers into taking a shot of... more

06 Jul 2023 · 22 minutes
What Makes Chicago Roller Skaters the Best?

Chicago roller skaters have long been called the smoothest roller skaters for their intricate footwork, elaborate routines, and signature swagger.... more

05 Jul 2023 · 22 minutes
Have You Tried These ‘Hometown Bites’ From Chi?

Tired of the same old burgers and dogs on Fourth of July? Looking for something unique — and truly Chicago... more

03 Jul 2023 · 20 minutes
Terrible Air Quality, More Highway Expansions, and Holiday Cookouts

Earlier this week, Chicago had some of the worst air quality in the world due to wildfire smoke from Canada.... more

30 Jun 2023 · 24 minutes
NASCAR Rolls into Chicago…And You Have Opinions

After weeks of road closures and a healthy amount of skepticism from city residents, NASCAR weekend is upon us. We... more

29 Jun 2023 · 16 minutes
This Alder Wants City Council’s Immigration Committee to Actually Meet

The City Council’s committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights is slated to meet this morning — the same committee that... more

28 Jun 2023 · 22 minutes
Mayor Johnson vs. Candidate Johnson, Weird Local Laws, and Can Chicagoans Drive?

Five weeks into Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first term, and supporters as well as critics are watching closely to see if... more

27 Jun 2023 · 27 minutes
Red Line Extension Finally On Track After Decades of Promises

Chicago doesn’t end at 95th Street — but its busiest train line does. For 54 years, Far South Siders have... more

26 Jun 2023 · 26 minutes
Pride Parade, Minimum Wage, and Cubs Take London

Chicago’s 52nd annual Pride Parade is Sunday starting in Uptown and ending in Lincoln Park. The Chicago Reader’s editor in... more

23 Jun 2023 · 23 minutes
The Ultimate Summertime Chi Dining Guide

All this month, we’ve been bringing you our Summer Entertainment guide to help you tackle Summertime Chi with a plan.... more

22 Jun 2023 · 22 minutes
How to Keep Rats From Ruining Your Summer

For eight years, Chicago has been dubbed the “rattiest” city in the country by pest control company Orkin. The city... more

21 Jun 2023 · 16 minutes
Why Chicago is the Poetry Capital of America

One of Chicago’s most slept-on contributions is poetry. From groundbreaking publications and institutions to acclaimed poets, Chicago is arguably the... more

20 Jun 2023 · 22 minutes
NASCAR Road Closures, Banning Book Bans, and Juneteenth Celebrations

NASCAR’s first-ever street race is two weeks away, and closures near the Grant Park course are picking up. DuSable Lake... more

16 Jun 2023 · 27 minutes
How to Do Chi Music Fests Right

We are continuing our Summer Entertainment Guide, where every week this month we give you recommendations for how to live... more

15 Jun 2023 · 24 minutes
Riot Fest Debate, Parking Meter Profits, and Chi Naked Bike Ride

This week, neighbors gathered in Douglass Park to protest Riot Fest ahead of today’s Park District meeting considering permit approvals... more

14 Jun 2023 · 23 minutes
How to Keep Chicago Cyclists Safe

Better weather means more Chicagoans outside and more bikes on city streets. Unfortunately, infrastructure to keep cyclists safe is inconsistent... more

13 Jun 2023 · 17 minutes
Why Is Chicago Always Talking About Pensions?

One of Mayor Brandon Johnson’s first announcements when he took office was to create a task force to solve Chicago’s... more

12 Jun 2023 · 20 minutes
Shuttered Schools Still Vacant, White Fluff Coats Chi, and Cats Get Busy

Ten years ago, Chicago closed 50 schools in largely Black and brown neighborhoods. But what happened to those buildings after... more

09 Jun 2023 · 26 minutes
Your Chicago Pride Guide

Every week this month, we’re bringing you our summer entertainment guide where we give you recommendations to make the most... more

08 Jun 2023 · 19 minutes
Why These Chicago Neighborhoods Are Literally Heating Up

The city is currently looking for volunteers to help map heat disparities in Chicago —neighborhoods where the temps are higher... more

07 Jun 2023 · 22 minutes
Your Tips for Chi Transplants, Parks vs. Beaches, and Metal Shredder Update

An administrative judge ruled late last week that the city should have granted a permit to a metal scrapping facility... more

06 Jun 2023 · 25 minutes
How Did Closing 50 Schools Change Chicago?

As Chicago Public Schools let out for summer around this time a decade ago, 50 schools were closed for good.... more

05 Jun 2023 · 23 minutes
Migrant Funding Debate, Officers Who Lied Kept Jobs, and New Fave Bars

Alders on Wednesday approved $51 million in funding to help asylum-seekers in Chicago, but the City Council vote was contentious.... more

02 Jun 2023 · 28 minutes
It’s Time to Take a Day Off Like Ferris Bueller

No list of classic Chicago movies is complete without “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” But is Ferris’ itinerary even possible to... more

01 Jun 2023 · 19 minutes
Why Everyone Loves Pickleball (Except Some Tennis Players)

Pickleball is growing so fast in Chicago the city is set to build 50 new pickleball courts by 2025. But... more

31 May 2023 · 17 minutes
What Your Landlord Can and Can't Do

It’s almost June 1, so you know what that means: It’s time to pay the rent. But from maintenance problems,... more

30 May 2023 · 24 minutes
Traffic and Property Taxes Suck, but These Summer Plans Don't!

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Construction in Chicago sucks. This year’s road and highway... more

26 May 2023 · 27 minutes
The Best Midwest Road Trips for Last-Minute Getaways

Memorial Day is the perfect excuse to take a trip, whether it be for the whole weekend or just the... more

25 May 2023 · 15 minutes
Why Illinois’ Youngest Democrat is Hopeful for Springfield's Future

Though the legislative session was supposed to end last week, lawmakers are still in Springfield working on a state budget... more

24 May 2023 · 24 minutes
New School Board Map, Your Chicago ‘Icks,’ and Rooftops vs. Patios

While the scheduled end of the spring legislative session has come and gone, Illinois lawmakers have until July 1 to... more

23 May 2023 · 24 minutes
Could You Get Paid Next Time You’re Stuck at O’Hare, Midway?

Ahead of the summer travel season, the Biden administration announced it would propose new rules requiring compensation for air passengers... more

22 May 2023 · 21 minutes
Johnson's Inaugural Promises, Bears Move Hits Bumps, and Chicago Red Flags

Mayor Brandon Johnson was sworn in earlier this week with a memorable inauguration ceremony. Now the 57th mayor of Chicago... more

19 May 2023 · 26 minutes
Building the Perfect Italian Beef

The hit show “The Bear” dropped a new trailer this week ahead of its highly anticipated return for season 2... more

18 May 2023 · 16 minutes
What It's Like to Grow Up Running from the FBI

Zayd Dohrn was born underground and on the run from the FBI. His parents, Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, were... more

17 May 2023 · 22 minutes
How to Turn Your Most Mortifying Moments into a Bestseller

Humorist Samantha Irby has made a career out of oversharing, from her start as a blogger in Chicago’s lit scene... more

16 May 2023 · 21 minutes
Lightfoot Out, Johnson In: Power Transfer at City Hall

Brandon Johnson will be inaugurated as the 57th mayor of Chicago this morning, officially bringing a close to the Lori... more

15 May 2023 · 21 minutes
As One State of Emergency Ends, Another Begins. Plus Buckingham Fountain Flows Again!

Earlier this week Mayor Lightfoot issued a state of emergency as hundreds of asylum seekers are arriving to Chicago daily.... more

12 May 2023 · 32 minutes
Why Chicago Fell in Love with Piping Plovers

Beginning in 2019, two names dominated headlines and became a love story Chicago could get behind. Monty and Rose were... more

11 May 2023 · 18 minutes
How Sox and Cubs Rivalry Both Divides and Unites Chicago

Both the White Sox and Cubs are having disappointing seasons so far. Which means no Chicago baseball fan is happy... more

10 May 2023 · 13 minutes
Rating Mayor Lightfoot's One — and Only — Term

Mayor Lori Lightfoot began her final week in office with a farewell address Monday. She touted her accomplishments on spurring... more

09 May 2023 · 25 minutes
More Migrants Expected, But What About Thousands Already Here?

More than 8,000 asylum-seekers, many from Venezuela, have arrived in Chicago since last fall. Unfortunately, the lack of coordination at... more

08 May 2023 · 23 minutes
‘ComEd Four’ Reactions, PPP Fraud Crackdowns, and ‘Friendly’ Match at Soldier Field

The “ComEd Four” trial ended earlier this week when four former executives and lobbyists for the utility company were found... more

05 May 2023 · 25 minutes
Chicago Writer says WGA Strike Isn't Just a Hollywood Problem

After negotiations with studios stalled, the Writers Guild of America officially went on strike this week. The writers strike may... more

04 May 2023 · 18 minutes
‘ComEd 4’ Found Guilty. Here’s How Their Corruption Affected Your Rates

All four defendants in the “ComEd Four” trial have been found guilty on corruption charges, including a nearly decade-long scheme... more

03 May 2023 · 11 minutes
Small Business Week, New Libraries, and Your Deep-Dish Recs

It’s National Small Business Week, and we are sharing love for some of our favorite neighborhood businesses. The city is... more

02 May 2023 · 27 minutes
What’s Next for Prosecutor’s Office After Kim Foxx?

Last week, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced she will not be seeking a third term next year. Foxx was... more

01 May 2023 · 27 minutes
More Migrants Arriving, Growing Youth Employment, and Happy Birthday Jacoby

More than 7,000 mostly Venezuelan asylum seekers have arrived to Chicago from other states since last fall, many of them... more

28 Apr 2023 · 34 minutes
Here’s Why You’re Wrong About Deep Dish

Deep-dish pizza is polarizing for tourists, newbies, and longtime Chicagoans. It’s mockingly referred to as a casserole rather than pizza,... more

27 Apr 2023 · 28 minutes
After Breaking Everest Record, Local Climber Has an Epic New Challenge

Last year, Lucy Westlake became the youngest American woman to summit Mount Everest. She previously broke the world record for... more

26 Apr 2023 · 17 minutes
Summer Camps, Lifeguards, and Our Favorite Parks

The list of Park District summer programs was released Monday, so the competitive process of registration begins May 1. If... more

25 Apr 2023 · 28 minutes
What Lawmakers Are Arguing For and Against in Springfield

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson was in Springfield last week to pitch his mayoral agenda to Illinois lawmakers, including increased state funding... more

24 Apr 2023 · 22 minutes
Lightfoot Media Silence, Bye, Bye Burke, and Hello Cherry Blossoms

Both Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Alderman Ed Burke had their last meeting in City Council this week. Lightfoot was defeated... more

21 Apr 2023 · 31 minutes
Is Chicago Actually the Country Music Capital?

Nearly 100 years ago this week, the “National Barn Dance” premiered on WLS Radio in Chicago. The show introduced country... more

20 Apr 2023 · 22 minutes
The Perfect Chicago Day For $50? Challenge Accepted.

From shows to festivals to bars to shops, there are plenty of easy ways to empty out your wallet on... more

19 Apr 2023 · 32 minutes
How to Make a Budget Without Getting Overwhelmed

With taxes on the brain today, we have designated the entire week as “Personal Budget Week” in our daily newsletter... more

18 Apr 2023 · 28 minutes
Why You Should Remember the Name Lenard Clark

In 1997, a 13-year-old Black kid from the South Side named Lenard Clark was beaten into a coma by a... more

17 Apr 2023 · 26 minutes
BONUS: 'The Moth' Presents Jacoby's Skate Down Memory Lane

We’re coming to you on a Saturday with a special episode from The Moth, the arts organization that’s dedicated to... more

15 Apr 2023 · 15 minutes
DNC's Coming, Walmart's Leaving, and Diar DeRozan Is Our MVP

Chicago and Illinois leaders secured the bid for Chicago to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention, Walmart announced it’s closing... more

14 Apr 2023 · 23 minutes
Why Chicago's the Center of Sneaker Culture

The new movie “Air” tells the story behind Michael Jordan’s debut shoe, the Air Jordan 1, nearly 40 years ago.... more

13 Apr 2023 · 20 minutes
Chicago Gay Hockey League Says Pride Is More Than a Jersey

The Blackhawks’ final game of the season is tomorrow after the team failed to make the playoffs for the third... more

12 Apr 2023 · 18 minutes
How Mayor-Elect Johnson Might Tackle Transit, Public Health, and the Environment

Even before mayor-elect Brandon Johnson is sworn in May 15, he’ll face questions about his plans for city departments and... more

11 Apr 2023 · 26 minutes
Why Golden Gloves Is About More Than Boxing

It’s Golden Gloves week! The renowned amateur boxing tournament is celebrating 100 years, with championship matches starting Thursday. Host Jacoby... more

10 Apr 2023 · 19 minutes
Young Voters Turn Out, Englewood Protests Save-A-Lot, and Who's the Best Podcast?

The next mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, will be the first mayor from the West Side in 90 years when... more

07 Apr 2023 · 27 minutes
It’s Time to Landmark Chicago as Birthplace of House Music

House music was born in Chicago's Black and brown LGBTQ communities almost 50 years ago. Now preservationists and historians want... more

06 Apr 2023 · 21 minutes
Brandon Johnson is the New Mayor. So What’s Next?

The municipal election has felt very long. Because it has been very long. When none of the nine candidates received... more

05 Apr 2023 · 31 minutes
Rebranding Election Season, Northerly Island, and Carp to Copi

It’s election day! So by tonight, we may know who will be leading the country’s third-largest city as voters cast... more

04 Apr 2023 · 27 minutes
How Well Does ChatGPT Know Chicago?

Artificial intelligence is being talked about a lot right now, from fabricating pictures of the Pope, to creating original trippy... more

03 Apr 2023 · 23 minutes
Future of CPS, Retired Cops Not Returning, and This Election is Almost Over

Both mayoral candidates have touted their education bona fides ahead of Tuesday’s runoff election. But what are their plans for... more

31 Mar 2023 · 28 minutes
What Sox Fans Miss About Old Comiskey

Baseball is back in Chicago. The Cubs open their season at Wrigley Field today against the Milwaukee Brewers, and the... more

30 Mar 2023 · 20 minutes
What It's Like Being a Young Republican in a Blue City

Democrats have run Chicago for decades, and the lead-up to the mayoral runoff on April 4 has often been about... more

29 Mar 2023 · 25 minutes
Spring Flowers, Spring Art, and Springfield

Following the heat-exposure deaths of three seniors last year in Rogers Park, the state Senate passed a bill requiring air... more

28 Mar 2023 · 22 minutes
Brandon Johnson Says Chicago Needs a Teacher at City Hall

Voters will choose Chicago’s new mayor next Tuesday, April 4. On the ballot are former CPS head Paul Vallas and... more

27 Mar 2023 · 35 minutes
Chi’s Packed Summer Schedule, Smog Problems, and Spring is Here!

As summer festival lineups emerge, some Douglass Park neighbors are still protesting Riot Fest’s expected appearance on the West Side... more

24 Mar 2023 · 25 minutes
Why Chicago's Flag Rules, and Illinois' Flag Doesn't

While the Chicago flag is seen everywhere from buildings to tattoos, Illinois’ state flag is less well-known. That’s probably because... more

23 Mar 2023 · 20 minutes
This Lawmaker Wants to Legalize Human Composting

Nobody likes to think about what happens to their bodies after they die, but it’s an important decision. A bill... more

22 Mar 2023 · 17 minutes
Three Years of COVID. Plus, Incumbent Alders in Runoff

Three years ago today, Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect as COVID-19 swept the world. Host Jacoby Cochran,... more

21 Mar 2023 · 26 minutes
How the ComEd Corruption Trial Affects All of Us

Week two of “ComEd Four” trial gets underway today. That’s the trial of four former executives and lobbyists who are accused... more

20 Mar 2023 · 18 minutes
Fire Safety Lags, Alders Seek Independence, and Here Come Summer Music Lineups

We are joined by the Chicago Reader’s Social Justice Reporter Debbie-Marie Brown and from the Illinois Answer's Project & Better... more

17 Mar 2023 · 26 minutes
These Are Chicago’s Best Music Venues

Beyonce, Metallica, Drake, Taylor Swift, and others will play Chicago’s biggest arenas and stadiums at hefty prices this Summer. But... more

16 Mar 2023 · 18 minutes
A Chicago Heiress Made Miniature Murder Scenes and Forensic Science Was Born

Do you think you could solve a murder just by looking at a miniature re-creation of the crime scene? Frances... more

15 Mar 2023 · 16 minutes
SAFE-T Act and 'ComEd Four' in Court. Plus, When and Where is The Taste?

It can feel like it’s all mayor’s race all the time as we head into the April 4 runoff election,... more

14 Mar 2023 · 27 minutes
Here's Why Chi’s Next Mayor Will Change Education

Ahead of the April 4th runoff, mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson have made education a major part of... more

13 Mar 2023 · 27 minutes
Johnson and Vallas’ First Debate, Women in Trades, and Chi’s Open Mic Scene

Mayoral Candidates Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas had their first televised debate this week ahead of the April 4th runoff.... more

10 Mar 2023 · 30 minutes
The Foods You Didn’t Know Were Invented in Chi

Most people around the world are familiar with Chicago’s classic foods—Chicago-style hot dogs, deep dish or tavern style pizzas, and... more

09 Mar 2023 · 22 minutes
Simeon's Basketball Dynasty: 10 Years Later

For the last 20 years, Simeon Career Academy High School basketball has been one of the city’s most dominant sports... more

08 Mar 2023 · 21 minutes
Are These the Most Beautiful Places in Chicago?

Geoffrey Baer has been showing off Chicago’s architecture and natural beauty for decades. First as a docent for the Chicago... more

07 Mar 2023 · 19 minutes
What Does Chicago Need to Do for Safer Streets?

Next week, City Council is set to consider ordinances that would crack down on drivers parked in bus and bike... more

06 Mar 2023 · 22 minutes
Police Head Out, Who’s Next? Plus, Loop Living and Beautiful Places

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown announced Wednesday he’s resigning effective March 16. Both mayoral runoff contenders Paul Vallas and Brandon... more

03 Mar 2023 · 26 minutes
How to Create an Elaborate Work of Art on an Egg

Starting Saturday, the Ukrainian National Museum will host workshops on how to write pysanky, also known as Ukrainian Easter eggs.... more

02 Mar 2023 · 16 minutes
Election Results Are In…But Now There’s a Runoff

City Cast Chicago is in you feed a little later this morning, so we could bring you the most up-to-date... more

01 Mar 2023 · 29 minutes
Chi Music Scene Gets Spotlight in NPR Series

As you head to the polls today, we want to offer a little respite from all the political coverage. And... more

28 Feb 2023 · 19 minutes
Does Chi Need 50 Alders?

Tomorrow, voters will choose who will run the city as they cast ballots for mayor and City Council. But aside... more

27 Feb 2023 · 17 minutes
Weekly News Recap from WBEZ's 'Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons'

We've got something special for you this weekend. We're sharing the Weekly News Recap from our friends over at WBEZ's... more

25 Feb 2023 · 46 minutes
Election Fatigue, Expanding Paid Leave, and Spring…Is That You??

After months of campaigning, commercials, and forums, election day is Tuesday. But we’re wondering: Does the mayoral race have a... more

24 Feb 2023 · 26 minutes
HBO Max Is Dropping ‘South Side’ But We’re Not

In a blow to Chicago comedy fans, HBO Max announced Tuesday that it would not pick up “South Side” for... more

23 Feb 2023 · 20 minutes
What You Need to Know About the New Police District Councils

Police district councils are new on the ballot in next week’s municipal election. Voters in each of the city’s 22... more

22 Feb 2023 · 18 minutes
What Are Chi Voters’ Biggest Concerns?

Chicago’s municipal election is one week from today. So how are voters feeling about the biggest issues facing the city?... more

21 Feb 2023 · 21 minutes
More Money for Students, Bears Close in Burbs, and Chi Love Letters!

As the Chicago Bears closed on a $197 million property deal in Arlington Heights, Gov. JB Pritzker promised nearly $1... more

17 Feb 2023 · 34 minutes
Yes, Chicago Has An East Side: Here's Why You Need to Visit

When you ask about East Side, many Chicagoans will look at you quizzically and say, “What, like Lake Michigan?” But... more

16 Feb 2023 · 20 minutes
How Political Ads Motivate Voters

As Feb. 28th approaches, political ads for the municipal elections are only getting more frequent and aggressive. Democratic media strategist... more

15 Feb 2023 · 19 minutes
Dating in Chi Can Be Good, Bad, or Just Strange

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’ve got a date planned with the love of your life or you’re going solo, the... more

14 Feb 2023 · 21 minutes
City Cast Chicago
Does Chi Need 50 Alders?
City Cast Chicago

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Tomorrow, voters will choose who will run the city as they cast ballots for mayor and City Council. But aside from candidates’... more