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Joseph Erbentraut
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HuffPost Chicago Editor Joseph Erbentraut has been writing ever since he had access to his mother's typewriter while growing up in rural Wisconsin. Enamored with the keys' clickity-click sound and the simple beauty of black, perfect words against a purely white background. The medium later became a computer and the young writer's life of reporting launched with the "publication" of the Sixth Grade Times, which offered in-depth coverage of school-wide assemblies, birthday parties and breaking playground gossip. Overseeing a staff of five with an angsty teenage fist, he sold issues for a dime apiece and caused quite a stir with one particular series of bag-lunch exposes.

A decade later, Erbentraut earned a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and moved shortly thereafter to Chicago, a city he has grown to adore. In addition to his work with The Huffington Post, his writing has been featured in the Village Voice, Windy City Times, Chicagoist, Gapers Block, EDGE Media Network and

Entries by Joseph Erbentraut

Working Out From Your Office Desk Is About To Get A Whole Lot Simpler

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 3:29 PM

By now, the research on the subject has made itself painfully clear: Sitting all day at a desk job is not at all good for you.

While many have used this knowledge to pursue a number of options -- including standing desks, treadmill desks and other setups --...

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Turns Out Booking R. Kelly To Play Your Music Festival Is Bad For Business [UPDATE]

(11) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 6:19 PM

UPDATE -- July 29: Late Monday, the festival announced they had "decided to part ways" with Kelly and canceled his concert.

In a statement shared with HuffPost by the festival, a Kelly spokesperson said, “R. Kelly is sorry to disappoint his fans, but looks forward to seeing them...

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Gun Violence May Cost America's Most Famous Mayor His Job

(175) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 8:30 AM

It's been another violent summer in Chicago.

More than 80 people were shot, 16 fatally, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend -- the bloodiest weekend of 2014. In the two weekends that followed, a total of 76 people were shot, eight fatally.

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You Probably Don't Know Rising R&B Star SZA Yet, But You Will

(20) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 7:44 AM

Among the dozens of musical acts comprising the lineup for the past weekend's Pitchfork Music Festival, only a handful of performances came with the same level of anticipation as that of R&B artist Solana Rowe -- better known by her stage name, SZA.

The St. Louis-born, New Jersey-raised...

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Pitchfork Music Festival 2014 in Photos: The Best of the Fest

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 1:18 PM

They came, they saw, they wore a whole lot of floral patterns.

The ninth installemnt of The Pitchfork Music Festival is now in the books, and the Chicago fest has never been stronger. The Union Park event this year boasted a wide-ranging lineup featuring everything from...

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Yes, Even Rock Stars Like Dum Dum Girls Freak Out When They Meet Their Idols

(13) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 8:09 AM

With three critically acclaimed albums and four EPs already under their belts, Dum Dum Girls are practically veterans of the indie music scene. That staying power is with good reason: this is one bad-ass, self-assured band.

But all of the praise and experience playing shows all over the globe doesn't...

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TV Reporter's Revenge Against Videobombers Is Comedic Gold

(22) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 3:27 PM

You might want to think twice the next time you flash a double peace sign or try to pull off your own Erykah Badu-style ambush of a live television news shot. At least if you're in Chicago.

While on location at the Taste of Chicago food festival, WGN...

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How Long It REALLY Takes To Get Over A Breakup

(19) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 9:20 AM

Once the romance fades and the relationship is over, how much time does it take to officially get over it?

Science says a year and a half. One 2009 study suggested it takes nearly 18 months for divorcees to feel ready to move on after a split is...

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Toni Preckwinkle Won't Run For Chicago Mayor

(6) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 5:07 PM

A day after two polls indicated she would defeat Rahm Emanuel if an election were held now, an individual seen by many as the Chicago mayor's top obstacle to reelection announced she will not challenge him for the post.

Cook County Board President Toni...

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Broke States Just Might Have Political Corruption To Blame

(5) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 4:54 PM

A legacy of political corruption is costing a number of U.S. states much more than their reputation, according to a new study.

The study, authored by Cheol Liu of the City University of Hong Kong and John Mikesell of Indiana University and published in the May/June 2014 issue...

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Rahm Emanuel Is In Even More Re-Election Trouble Than We Thought

(34) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 3:59 PM

Two new polls released over the weekend contained bad news for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he begins to ramp up the fundraising efforts for his re-election campaign.

According to a poll commissioned by the Chicago Sun-Times and conducted by We Ask America, Karen Lewis -- the outspoken Chicago Teachers...

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Luis Gutierrez Slams Senator's 'Immoral' Call For Criminal Checks On Border Kids

(47) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 6:17 PM

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) slammed a fellow member of Illinois' congressional delegation Friday, saying Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) "should be ashamed of himself" for seeking criminal background checks on undocumented children who have entered the United States.

In a statement, Gutierrez accused Kirk of trying to paint the...

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Twitter Says The National Guard Isn't The Key To #FixingChicago

(5) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 3:31 PM

Gun violence in Chicago left over a dozen people dead and more than 60 others wounded over the Fourth of July weekend. Amid now-familiar calls to bring in the National Guard to help the city stop the bloodshed, hundreds of others have something else in mind.

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Police Torture Victim Still Fighting For Justice -- Over 30 Years Later

(9) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 6:34 PM

Though over 30 years have passed since Chicago police officers tortured him into falsely confessing to taking part in a murder, Darrell Cannon is still fighting the legal battle of his life.

As In These Times reported in an article published last month, Cannon was brutally shocked in...

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Rev. Jesse Jackson: Chicago Needs A 'Reconstruction Plan'

(65) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 3:01 PM

Amid reports of yet another young life lost to gun violence in Chicago, the Rev. Jesse Jackson called the surge of shootings in the city over the Fourth of July weekend "a national disgrace" that spotlights the need for "a reconstruction plan" for its most poverty-stricken...

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This Mansion, Spanning 5 City Lots, Is Chicago's New Most Expensive Home (PHOTOS)

(8) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 9:32 AM

Chicago's got a new McMansion on the market -- and it's definitely a beaut.

While it's not the city's most expensive property -- that title is still held by the $32 million 89th floor penthouse of the Trump Tower -- this Lincoln Park mansion, listed earlier...

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Gun Laws Blamed For Chicago's Holiday Weekend Shooting Surge

(660) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 3:28 PM

After a violent holiday weekend during which 11 people were killed and more than 60 others were wounded in shootings -- two of the deaths and five of the woundings at the hands of police officers -- Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Monday that the...

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This Gay Pride Parade Float Was Shocking -- For All The Wrong Reasons

(85) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 11:17 AM

One float among the 200 that participated in the record-breaking Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday is catching some flak over signs criticized as body-shaming and "insensitive."


The controversial float was sponsored by Chicago Liposuction, a suburban clinic that offers body treatments including tummy tucks,...

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These Folks Are Lucky To Be Alive After Driving Into Giant Sinkhole

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 2:23 PM

After a massive storm system hit parts of the Midwest on Monday evening, many area residents were without power, flooding was rampant, travel plans were thwarted and a massive suburban Chicago sinkhole swallowed up two cars.

Officers arrived at the scene in...

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Rare Bill Murray Footage Proves He Was Born To Play Nick The Lounge Singer

(3) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 4:05 PM

Though Nick the lounge singer was one of actor Bill Murray's signature recurring characters from his stint at "Saturday Night Live," the role did not actually originate on the sketch comedy TV show.

Rather, Murray polished his lounge lizard act on the stage at Second City in Chicago, where the...

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