Cheryl Corley

Based in NPR's Chicago Bureau, Cheryl Corley travels throughout the Midwest covering issues and events from Ohio to South Dakota as a National Desk reporter.

In recent years, Corley has reported on the political turmoil of Illinois state government surrounding the impeachment and trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the campaign and election of President Barack Obama, the battle over the Senate seat he once held and Chicago's losing effort to land the 2016 Olympics. She reported on the housing boom and bust, on efforts to revamp public housing and a new approach to home building — miniaturization. Her story about designer living in extraordinarily tiny homes on wheels became one of NPR's top emailed stories.

In 2005, Corley was among the group of NPR reporters covering the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as they tore through the Gulf Coast. Five years later she returned to the area 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, Tell Me More, the weekend edition of All Things Considered 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, with a Bachelor of Arts degree 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 also serves on the board as Acting President of the Association for Women Journalists in Chicago.



Thu September 29, 2011

Chicago-Area Skunk Population Raises A Stink

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 6:15 pm

This small juvenile skunk was caught by Des Plaines, Ill., homeowner Richard Kaulback. He says there have always been raccoons and opossums in the Chicago area, but this year, skunks have become prolific.
Cheryl Corley NPR

There is a slight stench as Brandon Owen steps out of his truck. The biologist is a wildlife technician with ABC Humane Wildlife Control, and his company has captured 687 skunks so far this year in northeastern Illinois — about 200 more than last year.

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Thu September 22, 2011

'Ebony,' 'Jet' Parent Takes A Bold New Tack

Circulation figures for Johnson Publishing's flagship Ebony and Jet magazines is up substantially in recent months.

Johnson Publishing Company, the black American icon based in Chicago, is hiring. It's a sharp turnaround for a company that saw circulation numbers and revenue for its flagship Ebony and Jet magazines plummet over a number of years. Those numbers are on the rise now, and company officials say questions about Johnson Publishing's ability to survive the turmoil in the media industry are no longer relevant.

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Tue August 23, 2011

Rahm Emanuel's First 100 Days As Mayor: 'I Love This'

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel served two presidents, represented Illinois in Congress, and on Tuesday, will mark his 100th day as mayor of Chicago. He promised early to put his own mark on Chicago as he took on the city's challenges. Some think he's succeeding.

In the anteroom at City Hall, Emanuel is surrounded by Chicago memorabilia. A few books about Chicago sit near caps of the city's sports teams. The new mayor says he has no regrets about leaving the national stage.

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Fri August 5, 2011
Crime In The City

P.I. Kelly: Hot On The Trail Of Crime In Chicago

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 11:10 am

Michael Harvey's novels focus on cop-turned-P.I. Michael Kelly and his life and work in the Windy City.
Citizen Erased! via Flikr

Michael Harvey has had a panoply of careers. He's been a lawyer and an investigative journalist; he's co-creator of A&E's real-cop TV series, Cold Case Files; and, these days, Harvey is also writing crime novels that show off the grit and the glitz of Chicago.

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Thu July 28, 2011
Around the Nation

In Chicago, A Test Of Wills Over A Budget Deficit

Rahm Emanuel celebrated with supporters at the Journeymen Plumbers' Union Local 130 Hall after winning the mayoral election in February. Now, Emanuel is in a test of wills with unions over closing the city's massive budget gap.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In Washington, congressional leaders and the White House are in a financial fight that's being watched around the world. But outside the Beltway, in cities large and small, mayors are grappling with their own economic challenges.

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is no stranger to tough negotiations. And, fresh from his second stint as a White House adviser, that's where he finds himself now.

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Wed June 15, 2011

Places In Peril: 2011's Most Endangered Historic Sites

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:45 am

Isaac Manchester Farm in Avella, Pa.
National Trust for Historic Preservation

On Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its latest list of places the trust considers the most endangered in the country. The list of 11 includes a Chicago hospital; a jazz musician's home; and a plant in Minneapolis that was once the world's most advanced flour mill.

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Sat May 28, 2011
Around the Nation

At The Center Of The Storm, Trackers Stay On Guard

Right in tornado alley, the staff at the National Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. keep a constant watch on the skies. The weather experts track signs of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes and issue the first alerts. This week's harrowing weather even had some of the storm center's staff heading for shelter. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.


Tue May 24, 2011
Around the Nation

The 'Oprah Show' Gave Chicago Cache

Oprah Winfrey's last new show airs Wednesday. Chicago will miss its iconic talk show host. She gave Chicago cache, not to mention jobs at her Harpo studio and loads of visitors.


Mon May 16, 2011
Money Counts: Young Adults And Financial Literacy

College Students Navigate Financial Life

Brandon Smith is graduating from Columbia College in Chicago. He works part-time at a sandwich shop downtown. Smith's college loans total $98,000, and he expects them to go higher.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Part of a series on young people and financial literacy

For many high school and college seniors, graduation is a time of new beginnings and harsh realities. Their thoughts are turning to money — for tuition, rent, and credit card bills. Three Illinois students have already made decisions about debt and finances that will be with them for years to come.

Depending On School Loans

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Fri May 13, 2011

In Chicago, A Political Dynasty Nears Its End

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:50 am

Tasos Katopodis Getty Images

In Chicago, a political transition will soon be under way. Next week, after 22 years in office, Mayor Richard M. Daley will step down, and a new mayor — former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — will be sworn in.

Daley's father, Richard J. Daley, who also served as mayor, was called "the boss." But his son cultivated his own kind of clout and became the city's longest-serving mayor.

'A Zest For Public Service'

When Daley took his first oath of office for mayor, he was quick to acknowledge his family history and to promise change.

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