Stories below were written for the Medill News Service in 2008
Missing LINK confuses, excludes
During the summer, Chicago’s officials said they would make fresh fruits and vegetables available to all, but there was widespread confusion. People using LINK cards were unable to shop at most of the markets even though there is equipment that would make the markets economically accessible for everyone.
Ex-offenders learn how to smile
In 1995, 18-year-old Christopher Roach was looking for cash. No stranger to auto theft, he decided to try an armed robbery; the first one brought in $1,700.
The easy money became addictive; a few robberies later he was arrested.
He spent the next nine years in prison, away from a newborn son he never met, dealing with extreme anger problems. When he was released in 2004 – on his 27th birthday – without work experience or a high school diploma, his anger and frustration intensified. All paths seemed to point back to prison.
At St. Leonard’s House on the West Side, formerly incarcerated men can get help when they get a second chance. For some, it means much more than a class or a job.
Burge legacy lives on
Twenty-four years ago, Chicagoan Stanley Howard said, someone put bags over his head until he passed out and then shocked him with a cattle prod.
Families and friends of alleged torture victims hold a rally calling for their cases to be re-opened and justice served to former police commander Jon Burge.
Update on Burge – Trial set for May 2009
Violence an all too-real factor for some children
The scene is intense. A man holds his 9mm to another’s head and pulls the trigger. The body slumps hard to the sidewalk, blood everywhere, as the shooter runs away without remorse. Endless shootings and crimes on residential blocks. How does this affect children? The answers I found were surprising.
Do you know your Rezko?
An easy guide to the Rezko trial. Some said his conviction would lead to Blagojevich’s trial, but good ole Rod created his own evidence. One year learning about Illinois’ politics is just not enough to comprehend a history of corruption.
Being poor doesn’t mean eating poorly
It’s tough, almost impossible if you have a large family, but healthy eating on a tight budget can be done.
Seniors share paratransit horror stories
Fran Madnick was waiting for a paratransit vehicle to pick her up on West Chicago Avenue and take her home, a 15-minute drive. A dispatcher for the paratransit service informed that her ride was only four blocks away. Two hours later, she was still waiting on that West Chicago Avenue sidewalk. The driver had taken another passenger to O’Hare Airport, passing Madnick and her house, before returning to get her.
One response to “Published”
Ms. Harris – You have done some fine examples of long-form journalism, especially on the use of LINK benefits at farmers markets. I found several of your stories on the Medill Reports website. I would encourage you to update these stories. LINK is now widely accepted at farmers markets. In addition, several farmers markets have coupled the use of “financial incentives” with the LINK program to further encourage the purchase of healthy fruits and vegetables. For the 2010 market season, the downtown Evanston farmers market disbursed $2,000 in LINK benefits. This year, to date, the downtown Evanston farmers market has disbursed $5,766 in LINK benefits, coupled with $4,198 in financial incentives, for a total of $9,964. This demonstrates a significant increase in the purchase of healthy fruits and vegetables by LINK beneficiaries. I do believe that the story of access (for low-income individuals) to healthy fruits and vegetables needs to be told.
Frank D. Jefferis