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Afternoon Shift: What neighborhoods mean for financial mobility

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Growing up poor in either DuPage or Cook County could change your salary by $7,500
The neighborhood you grow up in helps determine how much you move up or down the economic ladder, especially if you come from a poor family. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, it could mean the best or among the worst in the nation depending on whether you live in DuPage or Cook county. According to new research from Harvard University, DuPage County ranks the best, meaning a low-income child who spends her first 20 years in DuPage County would end up with making about 15 percent higher than the national average, or $4,000 a year. Cook County is almost the worst. A child who spends her first 20 years in Cook County would end up with an income 13 percent lower than the national average, or $3,500 less a year.

Ben Scuderi is a pre-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, and one of the authors on the report. He joins us to talk about his research. We’re also joined by Candace King, the executive director of DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform and Camille Richardson who ran the Ways to Work Program for Lutheran Child and Family Services. Plus, Angela Walker, a Ways to Work loan recipient, talks about her experience.


Comedian Greg Proops discusses his Proopcast and "The Smartest Book in the World" 

“The Smartest Book in the World” by comedian Greg Proops is many things. It’s a veritable encyclopedia of baseball, a lesson in great poetry and feminism, as well as an in-depth analysis of which U.S. President would make the best shortstop. For many years, Greg has been a part of “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and he currently hosts a podcast(proopcast) called, “The Smartest Man in the World.” He joins us in studio with more.

Guest: Greg Proops is a comedian and author of “The Smartest Book in the World.”

Humboldt Park Beach may not open this year

Chicago’s Humboldt Park is home to the city’s only inland beach. It’s a man-made swimming area that’s long been a neighborhood favorite. A top Park District official said there’s no plan to open the beach this season. That’s partly because it costs almost a million bucks to operate. The news  did not go over well with about 150 people who showed up at the park’s fieldhouse. WBEZ’s Chip Mitchell gives us an update on the story.

Guest: Chip Mitchell is WBEZ’s West Side Bureau reporter.

Unpacking Chicago crime statistics

A series of special reports from David Bernstein and Noah Isackson at Chicago Magazine call into question the accuracy of the Chicago Police Department's accounting of homicides in the city. Their latest piece, titled "New Tricks," appears in the June 2015 issue of the magazine and argues that CPD mysteriously and intentionally classifies and reclassifies investigations to artificially keep murder rates deflated. David Bernstein and Noah Isackson join us to discuss their story.


  • David Bernstein is the features editor at Chicago Magazine.
  • Noah Isackson is a contributing writer at Chicago Magazine.

Tech Shift: Facebook launches "instant articles"

Many of us have opened news articles through Facebook’s app, and know it can sometimes take a while for the article to load on the mobile web. Well, Facebook is launching an instant articles feature, which allows stories to load more quickly on Facebook’s app. Casey Newton is the Silicon Valley Editor at tech news site The Verge and he joins us with details on this new feature.

Guest: Casey Newton is the Silicon Valley editor at The Verge.

Amtrak derailment left passengers scrambling to get free

Investigators are looking into what caused an Amtrak train to derail in Philadelphia. It was traveling from New York to Washington when it went off the tracks around 9:30 pm. Paul Cheung, a reporter for the Associated Press, was on that train. Paul was relaxing on his way home from work when he felt a lurch as the train went black. He tells us his story.

Guest: Paul Cheung is the Director of Interactive for the Associated Press.

Moody's downgrades Chicago's credit rating to junk status

Moody’s Investors Service has double downgraded Chicago’s credit rating to junk status. That leaves Chicago and Detroit as the only U.S. cities with more than half a million residents with such low ratings. The downgrade follows last week’s ruling by the Illinois

Supreme Court overturning the state’s pension reform law. Moody’s says the city’s options for curbing growth in its own unfunded pension liabilities have narrowed considerably. Its outlook on long term ratings remains negative. Shawn O’Leary is the Senior Vice President and Senior Research Analyst with Nuveen Asset Management and he joins us to explain what this means for the city and its residents.

Guest: Shawn O’Leary is the Senior Vice President and Senior Research Analyst with Nuveen Asset Management.

Illinois lawmakers are brainstorming ideas to deal with the state's pension obligations

Illinois lawmakers are already coming up with ideas for what’s next after last week’s Supreme Court decision on pensions. A plan that took years to craft to deal with Illinois’ pension debt, was struck down as unconstitutional. WBEZ’s State Politics reporter Tony Arnold discusses what’s next for Illinois.

Guest: Tony Arnold is WBEZ’s State Politics reporter.

How will the Obama Presidential Library impact South Side neighborhoods?

South Side community groups are laying out what they’d like to see the Obama Foundation do for the neighborhoods near the two proposed sites for the presidential library and museum. The Community Benefits Agreement calls for more affordable housing for middle-class families, a fund for senior citizen homeowners, and a feasibility study for a Level 1 or Level 2 Trauma Center. Joining us from our South Side bureau with more are WBEZ’s Natalie Moore and Naomi Davis, organizer of the Bronzeville Regional Collective, which has put forward these proposals.


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