VIDEO: Puppetry and play: Is it more than just make believe?

By: Julie Woon

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival has events for all ages – even adults. Puppeteers discuss why puppetry is still culturally relevant and describe other uses for puppets besides play. Audiences can witness the evolution of puppetry in festival performances through Sunday, January 25th.

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VIDEO: “Un-farm” produces local food in nontraditional ways

By Michaela Meaney

As locally produced food increases in popularity, new ways to grow it are also on the rise. FarmedHere is an indoor, vertical farm right outside of Chicago that uses aquaponics to grow USDA-certified organic greens.

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Experts cite Ebola’s indirect cost, urge public-private partnerships

By Jin Wu

Chicago health care and economic experts said the indirect cost of Ebola is enormous and partnerships between public and private sectors could be a solution for “the market failures” in Ebola prevention and treatment.

Dozens of people attended a public conversation called “The Cost of Health Crisis” Wednesday night at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library, discussing about the economics of pandemics, in this case, Ebola. Continue reading

VIDEO: Watch party discusses State of the Union address

By Meg Rauch

A small crowd gathered at Bridgeport’s Unity Center for a viewing party for President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  Guests at the event describe what they want to see from Washington in the next two years.  Continue reading

Event to examine aftermath of 2013 school closings on displaced students

By Taylor Mullaney

Two groups that explore public education in Chicago will join forces Thursday night at the University of Chicago Logan Center to discuss what happened to children displaced by the closings of 50 CPS schools in 2013.

The School Project plans to screen “Chicago Public Schools: Closed” as the second segment of its six-part documentary Web series. After the screening, the UChicago Consortium on Chicago School Research is scheduled to present its recent findings on where children affected by the closings are today. A panel discussion will follow.  Continue reading

CAIR-Chicago’s social media campaign generates conversation about Islam

By Ellen Kobe

Hasan Ahmad, or @hasanahmad80, as he is known in the Twitter-verse, sat on his computer Tuesday morning tweeting a series of photos with the hashtag #WhatAMuslimLooksLike. The 34-year-old in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, received 63 “likes” and 43 “favorites” (at the time of publication) on one photo of Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, an online education platform.

Ahmad and Khan have at least one thing in common — they are Muslims. Continue reading

2 Chicago-area newsstands gearing up to sell copies of Charlie Hebdo

By Ellen Kobe

Two Chicago-area newsstands are preparing to sell the “survivor   issue” of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French publication that gained worldwide attention after two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including 10 journalists and two police officers at its Paris headquarters two weeks ago.

Eric Ismond, manager of the Chicago-Main Newsstand in Evanston, verified that  limited copies of Charlie Hebdo will be for sale at 7 a.m. Friday. The weekly newspaper will also be sold at City Newsstand in Portage Park starting at 7 a.m. Ismond said that the two stores will most likely not implement a raffle drawing process for customers to obtain copies because he is expecting the magazine distributor LMPI to deliver a larger quantity to both locations next week.

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Measles numbers on the rise from Disneyland exposure

By Shanley Chien

The measles outbreak originating from people exposed to the virus at Disneyland over the holiday season is still spreading,  though there are no confirmed cases in Illinois associated with the theme park exposure.

The recent measles outbreak linked to the Disneyland exposure over the holiday season came on the heels of the country’s worst year of reported cases since the measles was declared eradicated in 2000. Continue reading

UnitedHealth tops both Q4 and 2014 estimates, predicts strong gains

by Jin Wu

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH), one of the nation’s biggest health issuers, reported higher profits in both the fourth quarter and the full year that topped analysts’ estimates as revenues increased in Optum, its healthcare management technology and consulting division, and its public and senior sector. Its stock climbed 3.5 percent.

The company earned $1.51 billion, or $1.55 per diluted share attributable to common shareholders, in the quarter ended December 31, up 5.8 percent from $1.43 billion, or $1.41 per diluted share attributable to common shareholders, in the year-earlier quarter. The diluted EPS beat the $1.50 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Continue reading

Rahm’s free college offer gets closer look

By Phoebe Tollefson

With an average City Colleges of Chicago graduation rate of just 13 percent and student complaints of expensive enrollment mistakes that delay graduation, Mayor Rahm Emanuel still touts his plan to make community college education free for qualifying applicants.

Lesley-Anne Camilotes is a good example of what can go wrong. Under her adviser’s guidance, the radiology student at Truman College completed the coursework and paid approximately $475 for a higher level math class she did not need to graduate, simply because she tested into it. She is now paying for and completing the required course, a semester behind schedule.

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