Potbelly insiders sold stock as price fell

By Alysha Khan

As Potbelly Corp.’s stock fell throughout 2014, company insiders at the Chicago-based restaurant chain were selling the stock.

Potbelly went public October 4, 2013 at an initial offering price of $14. The stock peaked at $32.40 two days later. It closed Monday at $13.95.

At the beginning of 2014, former CEO Bryant Keil owned more than 1 million shares of Potbelly stock. The chain began as a lunch counter at an antique store on Lincoln Avenue. In 1996, Keil purchased the original location and expanded the neighborhood haunt into a nationwide chain with more than 280 locations. He served as CEO till 2008 and chairman till 2011. He now sits on the Potbelly board of directors.

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Air sick passengers force emergency landing at O’Hare

By Margaret Anderson

What’s a traveler’s worst nightmare? Is it a sudden drop in cabin pressure with oxygen masks falling like dangling jellyfish above the passengers’ heads, or is it no masks at all?

That’s just what happened Tuesday morning when a United flight made an emergency landing at O’Hare International Airport after a pressurization issue sickened passengers. Continue reading

Women on Illinois corporate boards: one is the loneliest number

By Kate Morrissey

When Victoria Medvec heard a recent Catalyst report about the small percentage of women on corporate boards, she had one question, “Who are they?”

She wanted to call the two companies in Illinois that had no women.

Medvec, the executive director for the Kellogg Center for Executive Women at Northwestern University, said companies that include women on their boards end up with a higher quality board because they are pulling from a larger talent pool that includes greater diversity in experience and perspective. The center offers leadership workshops to executive-minded women and keeps a database of attendees to help board searches find qualified women.

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Jazz dance company makes history at Auditorium Theatre

By Megan Kramer

Giordano Dance Chicago performed their first full-length evening at the Auditorium Theatre Saturday, including the premiere of “Shirt Off My Back” by Ray Mercer as part of the theater’s new “Made in Chicago” series.

The performance was a huge milestone for artistic director Nan Giordano, whose father Gus Giordano formed GDC in Evanston in 1963.

“It is a very honored, exciting opportunity for our company,” Giordano said. “We have been on the Auditorium stage numerous times, but we’ve never had our own evening.”

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Chicago blizzard takes social media by storm

By Laura Furr

Chicagoans took to the snow-filled streets this week to capture the realities of the fifth-largest blizzard to ever strike the city.

The 19.3 inches of snow recorded at O’Hare International Airport, according to the National Weather Service, inspired nearly 100,000 Instagram photos using the popular hashtag #chiberia. Almost 3,000 Instagrams were tagged #chicagoblizzard as of Tuesday morning.

Some took to the video-looping app, Vine, to share their playful snow days, while others tweeted of both the struggles and the beauty Chicagoans see each winter.

Here’s how some Chicagoans made the best of the blizzard:

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AbbVie expenses yield loss, stock falls

by Jin Wu

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV), the Illinois-based biopharmaceutical company separated from Abbott Laboratories in 2013, reported lower profits in both the fourth quarter and the full year due to foreign currency volatility and expenses of the terminated acquisition of Shire Plc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Ireland. The stock dropped 4.3 percent.

For the quarter ended December 31, AbbVie swung to a loss of $810 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, from earnings of $1.13 billion, or 70 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter. The diluted EPS missed the negative 44 cents consensus estimate. Continue reading

VIDEO: Horse statues to return to the streets of Chicago

By J’nelle Agee

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation announced the return of the Horses of Honor Campaign.

The public art exhibit will debut this summer and is a continuation of last year’s collection. All proceeds will benefit the “Get Behind the Vest” campaign, which buys new bullet-proof vests for active-duty Chicago police officers. Continue reading

Puppies, domestic violence focus of Super Bowl ads

By Lukas Voss

Wedged between Cris Collinsworth´s analysis and Katy Perry´s elaborate halftime extravaganza, a 911 call involving a pizza delivery halted the usual Super bowl commercial landscape.

The NFL, in collaboration with NO MORE, a campaign to raise awareness and end domestic violence, used its airtime during the biggest television event of the year to air the first-ever public announcement against domestic violence during the Super Bowl.

Many people were genuinely impressed with the ad on twitter with reactions ranging from being completely floored by its content, to supporting NO MORE in the effort to publicize the issue of domestic violence. Continue reading

Emanuel: Chicago needs a ‘21st century’ infrastructure

By Matt Yurus

Campaigning before the City Club of Chicago’s guests and members, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that Chicago needs a “21st century foundation” to maintain a “21st century economy.”

Emanuel’s speech, which was his fifth and final speech concerning his agenda for a second term, called for continued investment in Chicago’s infrastructure. More than $7 billion have already been invested in infrastructure under Emanuel’s administration. Continue reading

Lynch’s silence keeps media talking

By Bennet Hayes

“I’m here so I won’t get fined.”

By the letter of the law – or at least the NFL’s version of it — Marshawn Lynch fulfilled his duties at Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day. Never mind that he uttered the same seven-word phrase in response to every question, or that he took leave of the podium immediately after the NFL-mandated 270 seconds had elapsed. By the barest requirements, Lynch fulfilled his media obligations on Tuesday.


Video clip via KCPQ-TV.

But in the hours since Lynch stepped off the podium in Glendale, debate has raged. Does the Seahawks star tailback owe the world – media, fans and the NFL alike — more than those seven words?

Many media members seem to think so.

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