Cheryl Corley

Cheryl Corley is an NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk and is based in Chicago. She travels throughout the Midwest covering issues and events throughout the region's 12 states.

In recent years, Corley has reported on the campaign and re-election of President Barack Obama, on the efforts by Illinois officials to rethink the state's Juvenile Justice System, on youth violence in Chicago, and on political turmoil in the Illinois state government. She's reported on the infamous Trayvon Martin shooting case in Florida and covered tornadoes that have destroyed homes and claimed lives in Harrisburg, Illinois; small towns in Oklahoma; and Joplin, Missouri.

In addition, Corley was among the group of NPR reporters covering the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as they tore through the Gulf Coast. She returned to the area, five years later, and joined the reporting team covering the impact of the BP oil spill. Corley also has served as a fill-in host for NPR shows, including Weekend All Things Considered, Tell Me More, and Morning Edition.

Prior to joining NPR, Corley was the news director at Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, where she supervised an award-winning team of reporters. She also has been a frequent panelist on television news-affairs programs in Chicago.

Corley has received awards for her work from a number of organizations including the National Association of Black Journalists, the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She earned the Community Media Workshop's Studs Terkel Award for excellence in reporting on Chicago's diverse communities and a Herman Kogan Award for reporting on immigration issues.

A Chicago native, Corley graduated cum laude from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and is now a Bradley University trustee. While in Peoria, Corley worked as a reporter and news director for public radio station WCBU and as a television director for the NBC affiliate, WEEK-TV. She is a past President of the Association for Women Journalists in Chicago.

She is also the co-creator of the Cindy Bandle Young Critics Program. The critics/journalism training program for female high school juniors is a collaboration between AWJ-Chicago and the Goodman Theatre. Corley has also served as a board member of Community Television Network, an organization that trains Chicago youth in video and multi-media production.

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5:01pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Television

An Oprah-less Chicago Tries To Keep Talk Show Spirit Alive

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

Members of the studio audience wait outside Harpo Studios before the final taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago in May 2011.
Paul Beaty AP

It's been nearly two years since Oprah ended her daily show, and Chicago's been adjusting to the loss of the daytime talk queen. Although she left a huge void, there's no need to write an obituary for the TV talk genre in Chicago.

In the lobby of Chicago's NBC Towers, the crowd of excited fans gathered for a TV taping is reminiscent of the Oprah days of old. But instead of Oprah, they're lined up to see veteran comedian Steve Harvey's show.

"I like Steve's energy. I like his shows. He's funny. He covers all topics," says fan Deloris Neal.

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4:34pm

Wed February 13, 2013
Business

Airport Suites Offer Travelers A Place To Nap On The Fly

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Minute Suite's 7-by-8-feet rooms offer Wi-Fi, a sofa bed, a television and a workspace. One traveler compared the small spaces to having an MRI done, but others say the idea is overdue at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Courtesy of Minute Suites

When there's a big snowstorm or a plane has mechanical problems, airports often turn into uncomfortable holding pens, with people scrunched in chairs, lying on floors, filling up restaurants and otherwise trying to find something to do.

That's actually good news for one company. Minute Suites is building tiny airport retreats across the country. The suites are already operating in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Next up are Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

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3:07am

Tue February 5, 2013
Around the Nation

Gun Violence Robs Chicago Mother Of 4th Child

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 3:40 pm

Shirley Chambers cries during Monday's funeral for her son Ronnie Chambers, 33. She had four children, three boys and a girl, all victims of gun violence in Chicago over a period of 18 years.
John Gress Reuters/Landov

The gun violence that scars some Chicago neighborhoods has been a plague for one woman. Shirley Chambers first lost a child to gunfire in the mid 1990s. In 2000, a daughter and a son were shot to death just months apart. On Monday, Chambers buried her last child.

Nearly 500 people filled the pews, the choir lofts and hallways of St. Luke Church of God in Christ for the funeral of 33-year-old Ronnie Chambers, an aspiring music producer who died Jan. 26.

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6:41pm

Wed January 16, 2013
U.S.

Violence-Riddled Chicago Hopes Gun Proposals Will Help Shield It

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:16 am

Community leaders and family members of murder victims attend a press conference Jan. 3 at St. Sabina Church in Chicago to make a plea for stronger gun regulations.
Scott Olson Getty Images

As President Obama unveiled his gun control proposals Wednesday, he highlighted mass shootings at schools in Colorado, Virginia and Connecticut. He also mentioned another group of children, not in school — the ones on the street corners of Chicago.

Chicagoan Annette Holt was at the White House during Obama's address. Her teenage son, Blair, was shot to death five years ago on a Chicago bus as he shielded a fellow student from a spray of bullets.

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5:20am

Sat December 15, 2012
U.S.

A Vision For Chicago Public Housing, Stymied And Contested

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

The Lathrop Homes, pictured here in 2006, are part of the latest revamp effort by the Chicago Housing Authority.
Chicago Housing Authority

Chicago's $1.6 billion "Plan for Transformation" envisioned public housing in a way that would deconstruct an image of the city's poor all concentrated in huge housing silos.

The idea was to mix public-housing residents with market-rate condos and subsidized rentals or homes, with one-third of each in these new communities.

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6:37pm

Sat September 1, 2012
Politics

GOP Looks To Amp African-American Support

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 7:32 pm

Mia Love, the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Barack Obama won more than 95 percent of the black vote in the last presidential election, and Democrats are expected to have a huge advantage this November. Even so, Republicans looked for ways to appeal to those voters at their convention in Tampa, Fla.

Though the convention hall was packed with delegates this week, it wasn't until gospel star Bebe Winans and the Tampa Bay City Life Church Chorus came on stage that there was any sizable number of African-Americans around.

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4:15pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Politics

RNC's Program Aimed At Luring More Latino Voters

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

As they leave the convention in Tampa, Republican Party leaders are hoping their efforts in Florida will win over more Latino voters. Hispanic lawmakers were given high-profile speaking roles, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who introduced Mitt Romney last night. Recent polls suggests President Obama leads Romney 3 to 1 among Hispanics.

NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from Tampa on this week's Republican efforts at outreach.

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4:39pm

Thu August 30, 2012
It's All Politics

As Convention Day Winds Down, Tampa Hosts Republican (And Other) Parties

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:09 pm

NPR's Cheryl Corley and producer Brakkton Booker followed Tuesday's Republican National Convention events with a trip to Tampa's trendy Ybor City neighborhood.
Brakkton Booker NPR

In Tampa, "Republican Party" can take on a whole new meaning as it gets later in the convention day. That's when delegates, lobbyists, business executives and others begin to mingle, filling up the city's nightspots.

NPR producer Brakkton Booker and I began Tuesday night with a trip to 7th Street in Ybor City, the Tampa neighborhood made famous for its cigar factories of the past. Now it's a mix of restaurants, bars and trendy shops similar to New Orleans' Bourbon Street.

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4:57pm

Wed August 29, 2012
Politics

Republican 'Party' Takes On New Meaning At RNC

Nominating the presidential and vice-presidential candidates is just part of the business conducted at a party convention. Delegates and guests also spend time attending workshops and policy sessions. And then there's the partying — lots of partying.

6:43am

Tue August 28, 2012
Election 2012

GOP Convention Delegates Ready To Roll In Tampa

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 9:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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5:47pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Election 2012

Michelle Obama Focuses On Work Still To Be Done

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:35 pm

First lady Michelle Obama sits with guests as they eat lunch during a kids' state dinner at the White House on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

This week, first lady Michelle Obama was doing something she loves to do, talking about nutrition with kids. She hosted the first state dinner for children, welcoming 54 of them and their parents to the White House.

"This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you," Obama said to the children, who ranged in age from 8 to 12.

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6:20am

Sat July 28, 2012
U.S.

Hot, Dry, Tapped Out: Drought Shrivels Fun, Too

Originally published on Sat July 28, 2012 8:57 am

Don't call 'em greens: Some golf courses, such as this one in Syracuse, N.Y., are letting their signature green grass go to brown in an effort to save water.
Dennis Nett The Post-Standard/Landov

The drought that's hit huge swathes of the country is also draining the audiences for outdoor activities.

Just look at the Fox River, about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. Water swirls and plunges over a dam in Yorkville, Ill. Normally there'd be lots of folks canoeing or kayaking here, but not today.

"As you can see most of my canoes are just sitting," says Greg Freeman, the owner of Freeman Sports Shop.

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6:07am

Sun July 8, 2012
Presidential Race

Urgency Reigns At Vote-Focused NAACP Convention

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 2:59 pm

The NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization, holds its annual convention in Houston this week. As in any election season, the group is focused on voting rights and voter turnout. But this year, there's another issue that's front of mind: the dramatically high rate of unemployment rate among African-Americans.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney will address the NAACP convention on Wednesday, and Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak the following day. NAACP members are ready to hear their plans.

The Race To Register

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3:01am

Wed June 27, 2012
Law

Exhale, Chicago, A Little Pot May Be Fine(d)

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 3:00 pm

In Chicago, nearly nine out of 10 low-level marijuana busts result in a dismissal.
iStockphoto.com

In Chicago, a new policy on marijuana possession would mean adults who are caught with a small amount of the illegal drug would receive a fine instead of being arrested.

It's mostly about money and how best to use police resources.

Under current Illinois law, anyone found with less than about 1 ounce of marijuana can be charged with a misdemeanor. If found guilty, they face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

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3:15am

Wed June 20, 2012
Education

A New Union Battle As Chicago Teachers, Mayor Clash

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:08 am

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis speaks to reporters after casting her ballot in a strike authorization vote. Teachers voted overwhelmingly to authorize the first strike in 25 years if the city and the union can't come to terms this summer.
M. Spencer Green AP

There hasn't been a school strike in Chicago for 25 years. But the current contract between Chicago teachers and the Chicago Public Schools expires at the end of next week, and tensions between the teachers union, the school district and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are ratcheting higher.

Chicago Teachers Union members outmaneuvered the mayor, school officials and anti-union education groups by overwhelmingly approving a measure that allows teachers to strike if contract negotiations fall flat.

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