Cheryl Corley

Based in NPR's Chicago Bureau, Cheryl Corley travels throughout the Midwest covering issues and events from Ohio to South Dakota as a National Desk reporter.

In recent years, Corley has reported on the political turmoil of Illinois state government surrounding the impeachment and trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the campaign and election of President Barack Obama, the battle over the Senate seat he once held and Chicago's losing effort to land the 2016 Olympics. She reported on the housing boom and bust, on efforts to revamp public housing and a new approach to home building — miniaturization. Her story about designer living in extraordinarily tiny homes on wheels became one of NPR's top emailed stories.

In 2005, Corley was among the group of NPR reporters covering the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as they tore through the Gulf Coast. Five years later she returned to the area and joined the reporting team covering the impact of the BP oil spill. Corley also has served as a fill-in host for NPR shows, Tell Me More, the weekend edition of All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

Prior to joining NPR, Corley was the news director at Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, where she supervised an award-winning team of reporters. She also has been a frequent panelist on television news-affairs programs in Chicago.

Corley has received awards for her work from a number of organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. She earned the Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago's diverse communities and a Herman Kogan Award for reporting on immigration issues.

A Chicago native, Corley graduated cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts degree and is now a Bradley University trustee. While in Peoria, Corley worked as a reporter and news director for public radio station WCBU and as a television director for the NBC affiliate, WEEK-TV. She also serves on the board as Acting President of the Association for Women Journalists in Chicago.

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3:04am

Thu February 5, 2015
Around the Nation

A Chicago Community Puts Mixed-Income Housing To The Test

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 12:38 pm

A resident of Lathrop Homes leaves one of the few occupied buildings in the development. The city wants to redevelop the public housing as mixed use, and offered vouchers to encourage residents to relocate.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Right next to the Chicago River on the city's North Side, Lathrop Homes, with its black, white and Latino residents, is considered the city's most diverse public housing.

It's also on the National Register of Historic Places. And with 925 low-rise units on about 30 acres, it's big. But these days, only a fraction of those apartments are occupied.

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3:06am

Mon December 29, 2014
Environment

Road Salt Contributes To Toxic Chemical Levels In Streams

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 8:05 am

Salt is unloaded at a maintenance yard in Scio Township, Mich., in September.
Carlos Osorio AP

This is the time of year when it's not uncommon to see big trucks barreling down highways and streets spreading road salt.

Steve Corsi, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says that translates into high levels of chloride concentrations for rivers like the Milwaukee in Wisconsin or 18 other streams near urban areas in Illinois, Ohio, Colorado and several other states.

"At many of the streams, concentrations have now exceeded those that are harmful to aquatic life," he says.

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7:43am

Sat November 22, 2014
Race

Ferguson Braces For Grand Jury Decision

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 1:52 pm

Some businesses in Ferguson have boarded up their windows in anticipation of the grand jury announcement whether to criminally charge Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Jeff Roberson AP

It's not certain that a grand jury decision in a Ferguson, Mo., case will be announced this weekend, but officials, protesters and city leaders have been preparing.

The grand jury, which will decide whether a white police officer who shot an unarmed black 18-year-old will face charges, met behind closed doors Friday. The city is bracing for what comes next.

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2:27pm

Wed November 19, 2014
Music News

Joyful Opera Performed In Nazi Concentration Camp Revived In Chicago

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 5:53 pm

Ela Stein Weissberger joins the cast of Brundibár for a final song.
Cheryl Corley

Brundibár, a children's opera that premiered during World War II, became both a symbol of hope and resistance and a Nazi propaganda tool. Now, Petite Opera, a small company in suburban Chicago, is reprising the opera, originally performed by Jewish children held in a concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia.

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2:53am

Fri October 24, 2014
Around the Nation

With Ferguson Protests, 20-Somethings Become First-Time Activists

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 9:18 am

Dontey Carter (from left), Mel Moffitt, Lenard Smith, Ned Alexander and Allen Frazier are all members of the Lost Voices group, formed after Michael Brown's death in August. They say they want to ensure justice for Michael Brown and other unarmed individuals killed by police officers.
Cheryl Corley NPR

In the weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., protesters gathered daily at the site of a burned-out convenience store.

About a block away, the empty lot of a boarded-up restaurant became the campsite for a group of young activists called the Lost Voices. During the protests, the group "invited all the people who can't come out every day and wanted to share the experience with us," says Lenard Smith.

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