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Stories written by jtranmer
I'm a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, with a Master's degree in journalism. I freelance on the side, mentor high school students and edit for Chicago Talks while I work my way through my final semester. Thesis, international reporting and learning about covering the business beat have dominated my life in the best way, but I still take time to relax and enjoy myself. Lately in my free time, you can find me sitting in a coffee shop reading creative nonfiction.
Small Business in a Big Market: Smoque Vapours

Small Business in a Big Market: Smoque Vapours

via YouTube A thick cloud of vapor pours out of his mouth after inhaling off the electronic cigarette that’s attached to a low, modern-looking table filled with vials of different flavors of e-liquids. Sam Gendell, a former pack-per-day smoker and a new customer to one of Chicago’s e-cigarette stores called Smoque Vapours, started using the […]

Preserving a Language, Preserving a Nation

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Preserving a Language, Preserving a Nation

A young man in a hoodie casually strolls into IQRA’ Book Center on Devon Avenue asking about leather stockings. Tariq Khan, the assistant manager, sets down his pricing gun and jumps into action, grabbing sizes and chatting up the bearded customer. Shaban Beharovic, a 32-year-old West Rogers Park resident, is looking for some traditional Islamic […]

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Columbia Program Links High School Students to Journalism

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Columbia Program Links High School Students to Journalism

Find more photos like this on Columbia Links Sitting with his fellow Columbia Links graduates at the recent summer academy graduation, Solomon Davis said he was surprised when he was called up to receive the first-ever news literacy award through the journalism program for Chicago high school students. “It’s an honor that they felt I […]

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The Importance and Pursuit of Education: The Story of Shahrukh Hasan

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The Importance and Pursuit of Education: The Story of Shahrukh Hasan

Shahrukh Hasan, IT coordinator for IQRA International Educational Foundation in Skokie, knows education is important to uplifting a community. As a first generation immigrant from Karachi, Pakistan, he works within the Muslim community to promote religious education. Find out more about him and what he’s doing at IQRA in my Cowbird.

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Bring Together a Diverse Community

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Bring Together a Diverse Community

Cowbird is a storytelling platform that links one image with a story. They want to “build a public library of human experience, so the knowledge and wisdom we accumulate as individuals may live on as part of the commons.” ChicagoTalks wants to encourage reporters to try telling the kind of stories journalists have always told […]

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Final call to a friend

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Final call to a friend

Antanice “Niecy” Ward lets out a giggle when she remembers the funny faces her friend Soraya Gibson used to make when talking about people. “She was very silly, very goofy. She always had everyone laughing,” she says. As Ward sits in her cook’s apron in the Lake View High School cafeteria where she worked with […]

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State lawmaker questions ALL KIDS program after audit

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State lawmaker questions ALL KIDS program after audit

With the state finances reeling, one lawmaker is exploring how much money could be saved by restricting access to state healthcare benefits for undocumented immigrants. The potentially explosive issue already has come under scrutiny following a state audit that showed as many as 75 percent of the children covered under the state’s ALL KIDS program were […]

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