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Bryan Smith

5 years
ago

Rita Crundwell and the Dixon Embezzlement

THE $53 MILLION BAMBOOZLE: How the trusted comptroller of a small Illinois town became the biggest municipal embezzler in U.S. history, according to the feds—and no one noticed

6 years
ago

Can Karen Freeman-Wilson Fix Gary, Indiana?

The Harvard-educated new mayor is drawing national attention with her out-of-the-box ideas to turn Chicago’s most notorious neighbor back into a thriving city

6 years
ago

Falling Slowly

“Unless this has ever happened to you, you cannot understand the escalating sense of panic. I’d just get right back up, I thought. No. I could get my arms up on solid ice, but every time I did, another chunk broke off. Reach, crash. Reach, crash. The water had already saturated my parka, making my arms feel leaden. I don’t know whether the water was over my head or not, but I knew I could not touch bottom.”

6 years
ago

Dr. Mercola: Visionary or Quack?

Americans’ growing interest in alternative medicine has helped turn suburban Chicago doctor Joseph Mercola into one of the most popular voices in natural health. So why does he have so many people riled up?

6 years
ago

What Happened Between David Protess and Medill?

LOSS OF INNOCENCE: The star professor dedicated his 29-year career at Northwestern’s journalism school to overturning wrongful convictions and, in doing so, almost single-handedly prompted the end of the death penalty in Illinois. How did he and Medill come to such a bitter and rancorous end—in which no party escaped untarnished?

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