Can cities keep up with bad weather?
Flooding in the Chicago area is monitored and managed from this control room. The system was overwhelmed by storms last month.
May 20th, 2013
12:06 PM ET

Can cities keep up with bad weather?

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: nova_safo

(CNN) - By the end of the century, cities on the east coast of the U.S. could experience flooding at Hurricane Sandy levels every couple of years. That’s according to a report in the latest issue of Scientific American.

The study sites updated forecast models which predict climate change will lead to higher sea levels than previously thought.

But climate change is not just a concern for coastal cities. Today, the state of Indiana will just begin assessing flood damage to its public infrastructure. The damage was caused by record rain storms last month. Those same storms also brought flood waters to Chicago.

Those are  just the latest prime examples of the new challenge many cities are facing: an increasing frequency of heavy storms, which cities are not currently designed to deal with.

To see what Chicago is doing, and how the rest of the country might be affected, we visited the control center where flood waters are managed.

What we learned from David St. Pierre, the executive director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, is that climate change has arrived:

[1:00] “We are seeing these extreme rain events that we have never seen before in Chicago. After you get one 100-year rain event, everybody said, 'Well, we won’t see that in another 100 years.' And then two years later, we had another event. And this year, we had yet another. So we are seeing climate change and it is real.”

To find out more about what scientists are predicting will be the new reality for American cities over the next 20 to 30 years, and to find out what states are doing, please listen to our story in the above player.

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

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Filed under: Environment • Nature • Soundwaves • Stories
Illegal immigrants should apologize says priest
Father Gary Graf of Chicago's Saint Gall Catholic Church wants illegal immigrant to aplogize to Americans.
May 4th, 2013
07:00 AM ET

Illegal immigrants should apologize says priest

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @Nova_Safo

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) - A Chicago priest is making headlines for having done something that likely no other American has experienced: he crossed into Mexico – and then crossed back into the U.S. illegally. He says he did it to understand what many in his mostly Latino congregation have gone through. And he has a message for them: apologize if you’ve come here illegally.

Father Gary Graf of Chicago’s Saint Gall Catholic church on the city's south side serves a predominantly Latino and immigrant part of town. He’s a charismatic figure, in his 50’s and in good shape. He used to be a boxer and he’s got a deep, dark tan. The tan is the result of his walk through the desert at the U-S-Mexico border, where he crossed back into the U-S illegally.

[1:25] “I’ve lived in Mexico, know language, culture. Lived among them here in the states. But have never experienced getting here the way they got here – the vast majority of them,” he says.

The experience, he says, has resulted in a simple message to illegal immigrants:

[4:40] “Sorry. Thank you. I need your help.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • Crime • Faith • International • Justice • Politics • Soundwaves • Stories
April 15th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Anger over Chicago's mental health cuts

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @Nova_Safo

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – States have been slashing their mental healthcare budgets, even as mass shootings and the gun control debate highlight the need for more mental health resources.

Protesters in Chicago highlighted some of the consequences of those cuts last week. The occasion was the one-year anniversary of the city’s closure of half of its 12 public mental healthcare clinics. Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, one of the protest organizers, recalled the story of one patient who had confronted Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel before the closures.

[3:45] “She told the mayor to his face, if you close my clinic, I will die. And within a month of him closing the clinic, she was dead. She died of heart failure. However, nobody can say that stress isn’t related to heart failure. She was going through immense stress at the prospect of losing her therapist.”


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Filed under: Health • Soundwaves • Stories
CNN Radio News Day: April 12, 2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry (3rd L) is welcomed and escorted by US Ambasador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim (2nd L) and deputy director general of South Korea's Foriegn Ministry, Moon Seoung-hyun (2nd R), in front of a traditional honour guard (R and L) at Seoul air base on April 12, 2013. Kerry was expected to meet South Korean officials for discussion on North Korea and its expected missile launch.
April 12th, 2013
04:50 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: April 12, 2013

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • Secretary of State John Kerry visited Seoul today to try to ease some of the tension that's been building in the Korean Peninsula. Kerry met with South Korea's president and military leaders in charge of 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in the country's capital. He said the U.S. will hold off on a number of military exercises, and is lowering its rhetoric. CNN's Anna Coren in Seoul, says Kerry's comments could be seen as an olive branch:

"He did seem to open the door for diplomacy.  Basically the United States will talk to North Korea if it's serious about de-nuclearization." FULL POST

April 7th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Violent teen ‘flash mobs’ confound cities

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @nova_safo

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - The city of Chicago is grappling with how to respond to a strange event on a recent weekend afternoon, when hundreds of teens suddenly took over part of the city's downtown. There were fights among the teens, a reported assault on a passerby, and other disturbances. The local media dubbed it a violent teen "flash mob."

The incident alarmed residents, and some city officials, including Alderman Brendan Reilly who represents the area where the violence occurred. Reilly quickly called for a more visible police presence, and for businesses to be able to hire off-duty police officers as private security. The alderman believes the stakes are high for Chicago:

[2:52] “We’re out there aggressively recruiting new conventions to come here to town, we’re reaching out to visitors around the world, marketing this beautiful, great, safe city. But that’s harder to do, when you have negative headlines suggesting that it may not be safe to be in the central core.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • Culture • Soundwaves • Stories
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