In Nicaragua, improving respiratory health starts at the hearth

By Bryce Gray

Inside Felipa Del Carmen’s tin-roof, dirt-floor home in Nicaragua, piles of wood stand at the ready to keep an indoor fire burning. The mother of six says that a number of her children have battled pneumonia that required treatment at Clínica Verde, a nearby non-profit clinic.

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A traditional indoor cook fire fills the home of Felipa Del Carmen with smoke. (Bryce Gray/Medill)

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Pork prices plunge, threatening “the greatest collapse”

By Yasufumi Saito

The price of lean hogs—the name of butchered pork in commodity markets—has plummeted drastically from its peak last summer, reaching a record low due to a loss of equilibrium in  supply and demand. Experts warn of “the greatest collapse” in pork prices if the trend continues. Continue reading

VIDEO: The Silver Room moving urban arts and culture preservation to Hyde Park

By Beth Werge

Retail trends show that mom and pop stores are steadily disappearing. But one local store owner isn’t giving up: Instead, he’s moving to experiment in a new location. Continue reading

Ulta pulls a blowout performance in latest numbers

By Bethel Habte

In line with expectations, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. posted strong fourth quarter and annual earnings Thursday afternoon.  The stock popped.

Ulta made $87.26 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $70.68 million in the year earlier quarter. The company’s earnings per diluted share widened to $1.35 from $1.09.

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VIDEO: Chicago organization repairing deformities, changing childrens’ lives

By Julie Woon

Kassy Preciado is resting in an extended stay hotel as she begins to heal. Last week, she underwent the final surgery in a three-step process to have a large birthmark removed at Comer’s Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago.

The five-year-old patient had an unsightly birthmark, known as a congenital pigmented nevus, which covered almost the entire length of her right arm.

“It was a black birth mark with a lot of hair. It looked like a monkey and was bad looking,” Preciado said.

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LGBTQ student voices amplified through online college fair

By Dawnn Anderson

More than half of LGBTQ students said they feel threatened at school due to their sexual orientation, and almost that many said they feel the same way because of how they prefer to express their gender.

That is according to the 2013 National School Climate Survey. Cognizant of hostile learning environments that exist for this community, Campus Pride, a national nonprofit working toward safer college environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Queer or questioning students, will host the very first LGBTQ-friendly online college fair March 19. Continue reading

WSJ columnist’s new book explains fashion, celebrity relationship

By Mallory Hughes

“This is the end of fashion!”

Teri Agins, veteran fashion columnist for The Wall Street Journal and author of two books about the business of fashion, said this in 1999 after Giorgio Armani produced the first collection of men’s suits without lining to make them more comfortable.

In October, roughly 16 years later, Agins, The Wall Street Journal’s first fashion reporter, published her latest book, “Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities Are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers” (Penguin Random House, $28). In it she explains how celebrities have simultaneously revolutionized and marginalized the art of style.

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Shakespeare troupes struggle to bring the Bard into Chicago classrooms

By Jessica Gable

Ever since Arin Mulvaney first performed Shakespeare with a high school troupe for elementary and middle school students, her dream has been to bring her beloved Bard and his work to younger children.

Today, she is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare All-Stars, a group of professional actors who travel around Chicago schools to present Shakespearean plays or scenes to a captive audience of students. They give about 15-18 performances a year.

“A lot of kids don’t have any experience with Shakespeare before high school,” Mulvaney said. “So for some people, especially elementary schoolers, they’ve never heard of this guy Shakespeare.”

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VIDEO: Wildcats Fall to Hoosiers in BIG Ten Tournament

By Joe Musso

Chris Collins and the Northwestern Wildcats experienced a number of highs and lows throughout the 2015 season.  After losing ten straight games over the span of five weeks, the ‘Cats rattled off five wins in their last seven regular season games.  The roller coaster ride came to an end Thursday night at the United Center.

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Eating disorders can eat away your body

By Priyam Vora

Eating disorders take an enormous toll on your body – not only draining weight but impacting the bones, heart and other organs.  Between 5 to 20 percent of people who develop the disease eventually die from it, according to WebMD. Continue reading