Chicago

6:06am

Wed May 21, 2014
Environment

Why Those Tiny Microbeads In Soap May Pose Problem For Great Lakes

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 1:19 pm

Researcher Sherri Mason looks for microbeads in a water sample from Lake Michigan. Legislation to phase out products containing the beads is pending in New York and Illinois.
Cheryl Corley

From the shoreline at North Avenue Beach in Chicago, the blue water of Lake Michigan stretches as far as the eye can see. But beneath that pristine image, there's a barely visible threat, says Jennifer Caddick of the Alliance for the Great Lakes: microbeads.

These tiny bits of plastic, small scrubbing components used in hundreds of personal care products like skin exfoliants and soap, can slip through most water treatment systems when they wash down the drain.

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1:42am

Fri May 16, 2014
StoryCorps

An Inmate Who Killed Another Rethinks His Own Past

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 10:07 am

Carlos Rocha, 40, is serving a 30-year sentence for possession of a weapon and murder.
Courtesy of the Danville Correctional Center

Carlos Rocha grew up in Chicago and became a gang member like his brothers. In 1998, he was arrested for weapons possession and sent to prison.

Right before he was to be released on bond, Carlos, now 40, got into a fight with another inmate and killed him, resulting in an additional 24 years behind bars.

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5:14am

Thu May 15, 2014
Around the Nation

Across The U.S., Bicycle Commuting Picks Up Speed

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:55 am

The ranks of bicycle commuters are growing, though men are almost three times more likely than women to ride to work.
Tobias Ackeborn iStockphoto

As bicycling goes, America is far behind Copenhagen, the promised land where roads look like bicycle highways as people pedal to work. But commuting by bike in the U.S. is catching on — though geographic, income and gender disparities persist.

In Chicago, busy Sheridan Road is the start of the Lakefront bike trail on its north side. That's where you can find plenty of bicyclists commuting to work early in the morning.

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9:18am

Wed April 9, 2014
The Salt

Food Scraps To Fuel Vertical Farming's Rise In Chicago

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:28 am

Arugula plant beds inside The Plant, a vertical farm operation in Chicago.
Plant Chicago, NFP/Rachel Swenie

From plant factories fueled by the magenta glow of blue and red LED lights, to the 30-foot tall Ferris wheel for plants in Singapore, we've shown you the design possibilities for growing vegetables up instead of out.

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6:00am

Wed April 9, 2014
Agriculture

Vertical Farming: Towering Vision, Uncertain Future

Large banks of fluorescent lamps provide the spectrum of light that keeps the floating beds of plants alive year-round in The Plant Chicago, a vertical farming facility.
Peter Gray Harvest Public Media

Farmers are making inroads supplying local food to hungry city foodies, but many producers are trying to grow more food in urban centers. City real estate is at a premium, so some producers are finding more space by using what’s called “vertical farming,” and going up rather than spreading out.

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