Reporter news: September-October 2009

In July, citing blog posts, data analyses and maps from The Chicago Reporter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo alleging that the lending giant targeted African-American and Latino borrowers with subprime products.

In four blog posts between June 22 and July 10, the Reporter revealed that black borrowers in Chicago received their priciest home loans from Wells Fargo. In addition, the company sold mostly high-cost loans in black neighborhoods and gave wealthy African Americans subprime loans more often than poorer white borrowers.

The Reporter’s recent nursing home investigation prompted a meeting between South Side elected officials, state health officials and the city’s largest nursing home operator. In May, the Reporter uncovered wide racial disparities in staffing at nursing homes owned by Floyd A. Schlossberg.

In July, state Sen. Jackie Collins, state Rep. Andre Thapedi, 6th Ward Alderman Freddrenna Lyle and Dr. Damon Arnold, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, met with a Schlossberg representative. The nursing home operator promised to perform capital improvements and outreach to area churches but not to hire additional staff at its majority-black homes.

In August, the Reporter launched the Chicago Muckrakers blog on ChicagoNow, the Chicago Tribune Media Group’s Web site featuring dozens of local blogs on a variety of topics. Chicago Muckrakers will highlight some of the best in local investigative news coverage and periodically take a deeper look at current news headlines. Find the new blog at www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-muckrakers.

The Reporter has added content from tcrBLOG to the “news & investigations” section at www.chicagoreporter. com. Other additions include social networking links, a Google search bar and a “weekly feature” that will highlight Web exclusives and stories from the most recent print edition.

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