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.

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel served two presidents, represented Illinois in Congress, and on Tuesday, will mark his 100th day as mayor of Chicago. He promised early to put his own mark on Chicago as he took on the city's challenges. Some think he's succeeding.

Michael Harvey has had a panoply of careers. He's been a lawyer and an investigative journalist; he's co-creator of A&E's real-cop TV series, Cold Case Files; and, these days, Harvey is also writing crime novels that show off the grit and the glitz of Chicago.

Part 1 of a 6-part series

In Washington, congressional leaders and the White House are in a financial fight that's being watched around the world. But outside the Beltway, in cities large and small, mayors are grappling with their own economic challenges.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is no stranger to tough negotiations. And, fresh from his second stint as a White House adviser, that's where he finds himself now.

On Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its latest list of places the trust considers the most endangered in the country. The list of 11 includes a Chicago hospital; a jazz musician's home; and a plant in Minneapolis that was once the world's most advanced flour mill.

After 25 years on the air, Oprah Winfrey, the queen of daytime television, brings her show to an end Wednesday. It's a bittersweet moment for Chicago, the city where Winfrey brought plenty of attention — and money.

Winfrey's Harpo Studios is a landmark in Chicago's West Loop: The facility takes up a full block in a neighborhood of loft condos, restaurants, art galleries and the remnants of a Chicago market district of food processors and manufacturers.

Part of a series on young people and financial literacy

For many high school and college seniors, graduation is a time of new beginnings and harsh realities. Their thoughts are turning to money — for tuition, rent and credit card bills. Three Illinois students have already made decisions about debt and finances that will be with them for years to come.

Depending On School Loans

In Chicago, a political transition will soon be under way. Next week, after 22 years in office, Mayor Richard M. Daley will step down, and a new mayor — former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — will be sworn in.

Daley's father, Richard J. Daley, who also served as mayor, was called "the boss." But his son cultivated his own kind of clout and became the city's longest-serving mayor.

'A Zest For Public Service'

When Daley took his first oath of office for mayor, he was quick to acknowledge his family history and to promise change.

Chicago has the country's third-largest school system with more than 400,000 students including preschoolers. At least 15 of those students have died by gunfire this school year.

According to the Chicago Police Department, last year a total of 70 children of school age, including dropouts and non-public school students, were killed by guns. More than 600 were wounded.

Some experts say witnessing gun violence can lead to violent behavior that may perpetuate crime in at-risk neighborhoods.

But the aftereffects for survivors of gun violence can be devastating.

Youth violence rates around the country have been decreasing in recent years, but violent crimes are still most concentrated in poorer, urban neighborhoods. Experts say kids who grow up in dangerous areas are more likely to become targets.

In Chicago, a program called CeaseFire is working to curb violence by helping at-risk youth find employment and patrolling the streets to stop crimes before they happen.

Shooting And Getting Shot At

In some of Chicago's troubled neighborhoods, it's not unusual for boys to join gangs at a young age. For many, it's a road fraught with violence.

But a group called Becoming a Man (BAM) is working on getting to those youngsters before they're drawn into gang life or drop out of school.

Tony DiVittorio, a 42-year-old, muscular and tattooed social worker, created BAM in 2003 in an effort to mentor boys. He says young males are often more likely than females to be victims or perpetrators of violent crime.

The Mission