VIDEO: New grant aims to increase pre-k enrollment

By Meg Rauch

Ninety percent of a child’s brain development has already taken place by the age of five. That’s why preschool is so important for a child’s intellectual, social and emotional growth. A new grant aims to expand early childhood education in Chicago.  Continue reading

VIDEO: Hundreds debate Obama Presidential Library bid in Washington Park

By Marika Bastrmajian

On the second day of community discussions, over 200 residents in Washington Park continued to deliberate the possibility of bringing the Obama Presidential Library to the south side.   The proposal is to use roughly 22 acres of public parkland.

Continue reading

Expert panel makes 2015 economic predictions

Story by Meredith Wilson
Audio by Bethel Habte

A panel of economic experts exceeded an already optimistic outlook for 2015 with their predictions on gross domestic product, unemployment and the Dow during the Executives’ Club of Chicago’s Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon on Wednesday.

Diane Swonk, chief economist and senior managing director of Mesirow Financial Services expects U.S. GDP to grow by 3 percent, unemployment to be under 5 percent and the Dow to close at 18,499. Continue reading

VIDEO: Prescient Edge looks ahead to Chicago relocation

By J’nelle Agee

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the 30th company to relocate to Chicago since he took office. Prescient Edge, a global security and technology firm, will be moving its headquarters from Virginia to downtown Chicago. But who will get the approximately 60 jobs it will bring to the city?

Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago bartenders watching out for you

By Melissa Schenkman

A national study on alcohol use found on an average day six people die from alcohol poisoning.  Illinois ranked the third lowest in the number of deaths.  Angelo Cristobal, a Streeterville bartender talks about how bartenders are trained to do more than serve drinks.   Continue reading

VIDEO: Taxi prices to surge

By Beth Lawrence

Taxi rides could soon be more expensive in high traffic hours.

Just before leaving office, Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that would allow traditional taxi companies to begin using surge pricing. Surge pricing allows ride-sharing apps to charge higher prices during peak hours.

Continue reading

VIDEO: Block Museum teaches Kashmir culture through art in new exhibit

By Courtney Dillard

Collecting Paradise,  a new exhibit at Northwestern University’s  Block Museum,  displays art from the Kashmir  region in South Asia. Robert Linrothe, an associate professor of art history at Northwestern, selected 44 paintings, manuscripts and sculptures for the show. The Block will also offer movie screenings, lectures and music showcases to complement the exhibit.

Continue reading

Fashion exists despite the winter weather

By Mallory Hughes

It’s only two weeks into the New Year and Chicagoans are already fighting frigid wind chills. For almost a week, the lows were below zero when the average temperature this time of year is 31 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some people allow their sense of style to shine through all of those layers, but others strive to simply stay warm in the Windy City. Here’s how people on the streets of Chicago’s Loop managed to stay warm, look good or both.

Continue reading

Songs for Burge torture victims fill City Hall

By Kate Morrissey

Voices echoed off the stone walls of the second floor of City Hall Thursday morning as both song and protest supported Chicago Police torture victim reparations.

Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, with support from Project NIA and Amnesty International, organized the sing-in on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual birthday, during the Committee on Finance meeting. About 40 demonstrators called for a hearing on an ordinance first introduced to City Council in 2013. The ordinance would give financial reparations to victims of police torture under the command of Jon Burge, who worked out of a far South Side police district, and provide psychological counseling, health care and education for victims and their families. Continue reading

Fear Factor: The High Hidden Cost of the Ebola Epidemic

By Jamie Friedlander

The “cost” of an epidemic such as Ebola usually targets the dollar toll in hospital fees and economic downturns. But the loss of lives and the measure of suffering remains a lasting and growing cost.

“In terms of the cost in Liberia, it’s not dollars and cents. It’s the death of a generation,” said Robert A. Weinstein, MD, professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical College, in reference to the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Continue reading