Alex Ruppenthal is a Chicago-based independent journalist who has covered everything from a rare Chicago earthquake triggered by rock quarry blasting to a New England city council renowned for its members' name-calling and outbursts. He writes about sports and society, government, energy, public health, education, extremism, surveillance and whatever he's currently obsessing over. Contact him at


Chicago will stop forcibly enrolling high school freshmen in military classes (WBEZ)

Chicago automatically funnels some Black and Latino students into military-run courses (Chalkbeat)

State lax in enforcing law meant to track, support minority-owned businesses (Better Government Association)

Aiding or exploiting? The problem with rooting out immigration fraud (CHICAGO magazine)

'That's not where it hurts': Gymnast's former coach under investigation for sexual abuse (WTTW/"Chicago Tonight") 

Boston-area police detective investigated 13 times before threatening to 'blow hole' through driver's head (GateHouse Media New England)

61 EPA staff have left Chicago office in 2017, and they're missed (WTTW/"Chicago Tonight")

After battling petcoke, community confronts more damaging pollutant: Brain-damaging manganese (WTTW/"Chicago Tonight")

Lights Out: How more than 73,000 Illinois homes lost electric service during COVID-19 (South Side Weekly)

Company approved for Illinois' first fracking permit has history of violations in the state (WTTW/"Chicago Tonight")

Agreements between Illinois cities and utilities push costs onto ratepayers (Energy News Network) 

As Trump relaunches Countering Violent Extremism, records on past Illinois program reveal links to FBI, law enforcement (The Chicago Reporter)

Experts explore potential link between earthquake and suburban quarry 'blast' (Shaw Media) 

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