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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 ChicagoPride.com.

Entries by Joseph Erbentraut

This Protest Song Captures The Power Of #BlackLivesMatter Demonstrations

(5) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 5:27 PM

Who says the protest song is dead?

Certainly not Sidewalk Chalk, an eight-piece, Chicago-based band who meld together hip-hop, soul and jazz and are set to release their third album, titled “Shoulder Season,” next month.

For the band’s second music video off their upcoming album, Sidewalk Chalk...

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Black Ex-Cop Shot 28 Times By White Officers Walks Free From Prison

(75) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 12:54 PM

A former Chicago cop who was shot 28 times in a skirmish with police a decade ago was preparing to spend the rest of his life behind bars — until the 63-year-old’s 40-year prison sentence was commuted last week.

Last Wednesday, Howard Morgan walked free after his was among

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Mike Ditka On His Donation To Democrat: 'Anything Is Better' Than Mayor Rahm Emanuel

(21) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 5:10 PM

Former Chicago Bears coach and football player Mike Ditka is no stranger to the political arena: He's endorsed and donated to candidates, and he once considered running for office, but he's apparently never supported Democrats -- until now.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that

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Winter Has Rarely Looked More Beautiful Than In This Drone Video Of Frozen Chicago

(32) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 2:43 PM

Thanks to last year’s historic polar vortex conditions, we already know that Chicago is eerily beautiful from above during the winter -- but now we have video proof.

On Sunday, photographer Colin Hinkle released a compilation of footage offering a bird’s eye view of a very-frigid...

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If You Think Winters Of Yore Were Worse Than Today, You Might Be Remembering Wrong

(42) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 5:45 PM

Are we becoming a bunch of babies for canceling schools due to extremely cold weather? ("Back in my day, we walked to school in blizzards -- uphill both ways!") Or is there something wrong with the way people remember the winters of yesteryear?

It was so cold...

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6개월 만에 아들을 만난 엄마의 반응(동영상)

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 9:57 PM

패트릭(Patrick Krawczykowski)은 베를린에 살고 있는 웹 디자이너다. 그는 지난 6개월 동안 엄마를 만나지 못했다. Storyful에 따르면, 패트릭은 엄마가 사는 시카고에 가고 싶었지만, 비행기 티켓을 살 여력이 되지 않았다고 한다.

고맙게도 패트릭과 엄마의 상봉을 도운 건, 그의 여동생이었다. 동생은 비행기 티켓을 구입했고, 패트릭은 지난 크리스마스를 맞이해 엄마를 찾아왔다....

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This Christmas Surprise Will Make You Want To Call Your Mom

(2) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 1:17 PM

If this doesn’t make you want to pick up the phone and dial up your mother, we don’t know what will.

Berlin-based web designer and developer Patrick Krawczykowski hadn’t seen his mother in six months, and he had no immediate plans to do so because he couldn’t afford...

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How One Mom (And Her Cupcakes) Could Improve Diversity In Tech

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 12:19 PM

When Chicago-based web designer and developer Jen Myers was first learning to code, it was difficult to feel that she belonged in the male-dominated field.

Myers was frequently the lone woman in her computer science classes, creating a sometimes uncomfortable dynamic. And as she began her career, she had few...

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Benny The Bull Intervenes After Guy Is Caught Ignoring Girlfriend On Kiss Cam

(13) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 5:05 PM

Leave it to one of America’s most beloved sports mascots to come to the rescue of a woman apparently being completely ignored by her boyfriend while caught on an arena “kiss cam.”

During the Celtics-Bulls game at Chicago's United Center on Saturday, the kiss cam caught a Celtics...

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Homicides Drop, But Shootings Rise As Chicago Still Struggles With Guns And Violence

(17) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 3:51 PM

Though Chicago is ending 2014 with its lowest number of homicides since 1965, a look at the broader picture of gun violence in the Windy City tells a more troubling story.

At a news conference on Monday, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy touted the reduction in homicides and overall crime,...

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Morton Salt Warehouse Wall Collapses, Causing One Big Salty Mess

(30) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 4:55 PM

When it rains, it certainly does pour.

Chicago’s Morton Salt building was the sight of an unusual scene Tuesday afternoon when a wall of the building collapsed, leaving at least half a dozen cars parked on the facility’s south side partially covered in, you guessed it, salt.

According...

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Chicago Boy Wanted 'Safety' For Christmas And Obama Responded Before Santa Could

(66) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 4:47 PM

Most kids write to Santa Claus asking for toys, games or bikes.

Not 13-year-old Malik Bryant.

Instead, the boy, who calls Chicago’s high-poverty, high-crime Englewood neighborhood home, asked Santa for just one Christmas gift this year. In a letter collected through nonprofit group Direct Effect Charities’ annual...

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Massive Fight At Chicago McDonald's Caught On Video

(369) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 12:38 PM

A popular McDonald’s restaurant in downtown Chicago was the site of a large disturbance captured on dramatic video early Saturday.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago police confirmed that they were called to respond to a fight at the Rock ’n Roll McDonald’s in the city’s tourist-friendly River...

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This '80s-Inspired Video Might Be The Goofiest NHL All-Star Bid Yet

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 5:49 PM

“Original Canadian dream” Jonathan Toews sure knows how to rock a sweatband and a pair of white short-shorts.

The Chicago Blackhawks captain stars in a new, ‘80s-inspired video released by the team, urging fans to "exercise your right to vote" for players to be a part of the...

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Chicago Artists Took Over A Whole Train Line With A #BlackLivesMatter Protest

(29) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 5:14 PM

As Black Lives Matter protests have captivated the nation over the past month, artists in Chicago used a different kind of medium to shed light on America's racial divide.

And they took over a whole train line on Friday to do it. A group of more than 100...

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This Sparkling New Park Was A Toxic Brownfield Just 4 Years Ago

(11) Comments | Posted December 20, 2014 | 11:43 AM

It is truly incredible what can be achieved when a neighborhood unites.

Though one would never guess by looking at it today, the site of Chicago’s newest city park was a contaminated eyesore not long ago. This turnaround has everything to do with local citizens working together for something better,...

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Donors Come To The Rescue Of Animal Shelter At Risk Of Christmas Eviction

(7) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 3:31 PM

It’s got all the makings of a holiday miracle.

Just a week ago, things looked bleak for Cache Creek Animal Rescue, a no-kill, not-for-profit animal shelter with a facility in Joliet, Illinois. The shelter had received an eviction notice telling it to vacate its suburban Chicago facility by...

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Tina Fey Parodies NPR In Flawless Vintage Improv Sketch

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 12:19 PM

As though we needed yet another reminder of Tina Fey’s pre-"Saturday Night Live"/"Mean Girls"/"30 Rock" comedic genius, Chicago’s Second City has us covered once again.

This week, the comedy school where Fey and so many other greats got their starts released freshly unearthed footage...

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Furries Set The Record Straight: There's Nothing To Be Afraid Of

(134) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 9:15 AM

It is frequently said that it is only human nature to fear the unknown, to assume the worst of the unfamiliar. Perhaps no group of people is more familiar with this tendency than the furry community.

For most in the general public, their knowledge of furries — individuals who share...

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9 Reasons Why No One Compares To Figure Skater Surya Bonaly

(42) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 12:56 PM

French-born figure skater Surya Bonaly has always been in a league of her own.

At the height of her career, the five-time European champion was often criticized by judges and journalists for having an unusual style not like that of her competitors. But it was that same factor that made...

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