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WBEZ's Afternoon Shift

Chicago Public Media

The Afternoon Shift was a live WBEZ show featuring in-depth interviews and conversations with newsmakers and innovators. Its last show was June 5, 2015.

The Afternoon Shift was a live WBEZ show featuring in-depth interviews and conversations with newsmakers and innovators. Its last show was June 5, 2015.


Chicago, IL


The Afternoon Shift was a live WBEZ show featuring in-depth interviews and conversations with newsmakers and innovators. Its last show was June 5, 2015.





For the last three years, we’ve brought you news and conversations on a wide range of topics that affect Chicagoans’ daily lives. We’ve covered a lot of big stories: elections, the Polar Vortex, the passing of major figures in the city like Roger Ebert, Jane Byrne, and Cardinal George. The list goes on. But not everything we do is so serious. Whether it’s stories about food, real estate, arts and culture or sports, we’ve always tried to bring an element of fun to your afternoon. So, this...


What makes Chicago great?

Due to recent programming changes, June 5 is the final Afternoon Shift. We take this hour to celebrate the show and the city we love: Chicago. What we’ve always tried to do is have a robust conversation about how Chicagoans live their lives together. Whether that’s lighthearted exchanges on how cyclists or drivers act, or more serious discussions about how to fix our Chicago’s biggest problems. So, we ask our listeners: what conversations aren’t we having enough in Chicago? What aren’t we...


Tracking gas leaks in Chicago

The Environmental Defense Fund is pairing up with Google to map gas leaks in Chicago and the suburbs. It found the city riddled with leaks. All the wasted gas costs ratepayers cash. But it’s also a big environmental threat. WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan joins us to explain.


Tinley Park water meters are overcharging residents

The Village of Tinley Park is facing a major water problem but not the kind you hear about in California. The southwestern suburb uses “smart meters” to measure water usage in homes. They’re electronic instead of mechanical and are supposed to be more accurate. But according to a Chicago Tribune investigation, the SmartMeters have been regularly overcharging residents, sometimes by hundreds of dollars. Greg Pratt is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, and he joins us with details.


Proposed condo development in Pilsen stirs controversy

A proposed luxury condo development in Pilsen has some in that area concerned about the continued gentrification in the neighborhood. There’s a community meeting Thursday night at the Rudy Lozano library for residents to discuss their concerns. WBEZ’s Yolanda Perdomo joins us with a preview.


Prominent Indiana Democrat announces bid for governor

The race for Indiana governor isn’t until next year, but it’s already starting to heat up. Indiana State Schools Superintendent, Glenda Ritz, is currently the most prominent Democrat to hold a statewide office, and is officially running for governor of Indiana. But in the last year or so, much of her authority was stripped by Republicans who control the Statehouse. Ritz says she wants to focus on education, jobs and bringing Hoosiers closer together. Joining us to talk about what her...


Jet noise relief may come to Northwest Side

As the summer heats up, so does the summer travel season. And for some Northwest Side residents, that brings to mind the noise of roaring airplane engines overhead. This week marks a few legislative victories for those neighbors. WBEZ’s city politics reporter Lauren Chooljian joins us with more.


Canaryville beating sparks outrage on social media

Many people on social media are livid about an alleged racially-motivated beating that took place in Chicago’s Canaryville neighborhood last weekend. WBEZ’s Natalie Moore joins us from our South Side bureau with an update.


‘That Should be a Word’ offers 250 new terms for our modern lexicon

Last week, Merriam-Webster added more than 1,700 new words to its unabridged dictionary, including gems such as “clickbait” and “photobomb.” Now, author Lizzie Skurnick is adding a few more words to our cultural lexicon. In her appropriately titled book, “That Should be a Word,” Skurnick has added 250 new terms to fit our modern linguistic needs. She joins us with more on her book and her words.


Chicago landmarks captured in pencil

Local artist Jack Nixon has been building his portfolio for nearly 30 years. His detailed graphite drawings showcase some of Chicago’s most famous landmarks and buildings: the Civic Opera House, the art institute and the Tribune building, just to name a few. His artwork is photo-realistic, but almost goes beyond reality. He joins us to explain his work.


Tampa Bay tries to keep Blackhawks fans away

The Blackhawks begin the battle for their third Stanley Cup in five years on Wednesday night in Tampa. The Tampa Bay Lightning haven’t been exactly welcoming to Chicago fans, banning Blackhawks jerseys and blocking ticket purchases for out-of-state credit cards. WBEZ’s Cheryl Raye-Stout has infiltrated Tampa and she joins us with an update.


Gov. Rauner ditches Illiana Expressway

One of the big budget cuts announced Tuesday by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was scratching the $1 billion Illiana Expressway. The proposed east-west route would have connected I-57 near Wilmington in Will County to I-65 near Lowell in Indiana. While the State of Indiana was fully on board, Gov. Rauner never supported the roadway as much as his predecessor. WBEZ’s Michael Puente joins us to talk about the Illiana’s demise and what it could mean for the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana.


Giant telescope may be able to see first light in the universe

With today’s technology, astronomers can see billions of years into the past, but they’ve never been able to see the first light emitted in the universe after the Big Bang. That could be about to change thanks to a new high-powered telescope being developed by the University of Chicago and ten partner organizations. The billion dollar Giant Magellan Telescope is one of the first in a new generation of extremely large, earth-based telescopes, which may spur a new era for astronomy. Wendy...


Cokie Roberts on politics and her latest book, “Capital Dames”

We talk national politics with Cokie Roberts. The NPR and ABC News political contributor is in town to discuss her new book. “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868” is packed with details about women from First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln to the many women who vied for that position, including Jesse Benton Fremont. We also turn to the state of national politics today, candidates running for president in 2016 and the current state of politics.


Method soap factory opens in Pullman

Tuesday marks the grand opening of the Method soap factory in the Pullman Historic District on the south side. The community has been on an economic climb in the past few years, and this is the latest boost for the once-thriving manufacturing hub. WBEZ’s Susie An has more.


Report finds U of I was wrong for rescinding Steven Salaita’s job offer

A report from a national professors group says the University of Illinois wrongly rescinded a job offer for a professor after he made critical and profane comments about Israel on Twitter. Steven Salaita had been offered a position at the school's Champaign-Urbana campus to teach American Indian studies, but the offer was withdrawn last year. The report released today by the American Association of University Professors says the school violated principles of academic freedom by withdrawing...


Balancing microbes in hospitals could reduce infection rates

More than half of infections that occur in hospitals are caused by the bacteria that live there, and that can make health care facilities a dangerous place for the people who need them most. The Hospital Microbiome Project is hoping to change that by analyzing the different elements that cause infections in hospital settings. Environmental microbiologist at Argonne National Laboratory Jack Gilbert joins us to talk about the team researching hospital bacteria.


Method soap factory features eco-friendly design

The Method soap plant in Pullman had its grand opening today. The building has solar panels, a greenhouse and is LEED Platinum. That means it has the highest rating for energy efficiency and environmental design. Joining us to discuss this very green factory is Roger Schickedantz, an architect with William McDonough and Partners who helped design the building.


The NFL is giving up its tax-exempt status

Two big stories in sports this afternoon. The NFL is following in Major League Baseball’s footsteps: It’s dropping its controversial not-for-profit tax-exempt status. After several cancellations due to the unrest in Baltimore, tomorrow’s White Sox game against the Orioles at Camden Yards will go on. But the game is not open to the public. WBEZ’s Cheryl Raye-Stout joins us to explain.


State budget cuts will affect sickle cell patients

The proposed state budget cuts all funding, roughly $500,000, for the Acute Care Sickle Cell Center at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago starting July 1. It’s the only outpatient and comprehensive care center in the Midwest focused on treating adults with sickle cell that is mainly diagnosed in African Americans. The center is designed to help patients avoid lengthy emergency room visits by providing emergency pain treatment. More than 800 people were treated at the center...