Spring 2015

NFL Draft making an impact on downtown Chicago businesses again

By Alex Valentine

Sonia Agueyo sees the difference the NFL Draft is making. The front desk agent at the Travelodge in downtown Chicago said room bookings for Thursday’s first day of the draft are more than double what the hotel would see on its busiest weeknight.

“We’ve had more than 120 arrivals, and we’re pretty much booked up the next two nights,” said Agueyo. “Normally, on the busiest weeknight, we’ll have about 60 rooms booked. Two nights ago, we had 12. Continue reading

NFL Draft: Goff, then Wentz? Wentz, then Goff? That’s for Rams to decide

By Jordan Ray

Which will it be?

When the Los Angeles Rams are on the clock April 28 at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theatre in Chicago for the 2016 NFL Draft, which quarterback’s name will they send in as the No. 1 overall pick?

“We know (it will be a quarterback),” ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said April 14 on his weekly podcast. “We just don’t know which one it will be.”

Will it be Cal’s Jared Goff? Continue reading

#WHERESTHEJUSTICE: Muslim students talk about social justice from an Islamic perspective

By Jasmine M. Ellis

Students at Loyola University Chicago are learning more about the Muslim community through Islam Appreciation Week. Hosted by the Muslim Student Association, the organization is focusing on social justice from an Islamic perspective. Using #WHERESTHEJUSTICE students are contributing to the conversation by sharing what social justice issues matter most to them. Muslim students hope to use this week as a platform to change the narrative surrounding Islam in the media.

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A day in the life of a Chicago Medical Examiner

By Iacopo Luzi

Being a Medical Examiner is not an easy job. Every day work involves dealing with death.

“Things that people shouldn’t see,” said Dr. Steven White, Assistant Medical Examiner and certified forensic pathologist at the Cook County Office of the Medical Examiner, in Chicago.

Dr. White’s day at the office begins at 6:30 a.m., and he never knows what he will have to deal with.

Fortunately not all the cases that arrive at the Medical Examiner office are homicides or suicides. The majority of times he analyzes natural death cases.
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Tight security at Chicago marathon keeps runners, spectators safe

By Kayla Daugherty

Early on the morning of October 11, security crews started work to prepare for 45,000 runners and over a million spectators that arrived for the Chicago Marathon.

The safety of thousands of runners from all over the world was Chicago Police Chief Wayne Gulliard’s goal. Gulliard is the chief of the Bureau of Patrol and oversaw security measures from the command center near the race.

“I expect it to be a great success. We planned for many contingencies,” he said. “We cannot prevent everything, but we plan for everything and we are working with a lot of our partners in law enforcement and other city agencies. We expect a positive outcome.”
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Strong dollar hurts Marriott Vacations quarterly profit

By Kristen Vake

Shares of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. plummeted 15 percent Thursday after the timeshare company reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings that it blamed on the strong U.S. dollar.

Net income in the quarter ended Sept. 11 was down almost 16 percent to $21.6 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, compared with earnings of $25.6 million, or 75 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter a year ago. Adjusted earnings were 82 cents a share, below the 87 cents expected by analysts.
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The sugar taboo: Chicago considers a soda tax

By Amanda Koehn

Strong opinions of protest and support are building  fizz as Chicago’s proposed soda tax moves forward.

Alderman George Cardenas (12th) and public health advocates are moving along a proposal for a penny-per-ounce sugar sweetened beverage tax in Chicago, despite disinterest from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

But opponents warn about job cuts and an added pinch on budgets that will hit lower wage earners the hardest.

A penny-per-ounce tax is volume based and would apply to all sugar sweetened beverages—any drinks that have more than 5 grams of sweetener per 12 ounces (which would be a 12-cent additional tax). It is informally referred to as a soda tax, though it exempts diet sodas. Such a tax has been adopted in Berkeley, California and Mexico, though proposals have also failed in many cities around the U.S.

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Foods can pave the path to stress relief

By Jennifer Ball

Dietitians recommend eating foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories to boost nutrition but also relieve stress. Vegetables can be a great source of nutrients without the adding extra calories to burn at the end of the day.

This means opting for the salad bar instead of the ice cream bar, said Northwestern University registered dietitian Karen Sechowski.

Comfort foods such as cookie dough may seem like the best option for stress relief, but they’re definitely not going to be worth it in the long run. It tastes really good at first, but then you crash, she said.

That crash won’t happen with fruits and vegetables and they offer the bonus of antioxidants. Antioxidants can be a great way to boost your immune system and to help relax stress. Blueberries and pomegranates are rich in antioxidants  that reduce toxic elements in the body. Antioxidants can be found in green or white tea or a sweet white or red wines.  Continue reading

Colleges rev up academic success with free fitness classes

By Ariana LaBarrie

Students are toting sneakers and water to class instead of laptops and notebooks with the free fitness classes offered at many colleges.

Several campuses, including Chicago area colleges like Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University and DePaul University, are offering the work out classes to students ranging from aquatic workouts to Zumba.

Students often come to class with their backpacks, taking a quick break in their hectic schedule to fit in a sweat before going back to the academic grind.  Stressed out students become more relaxed both mentally and physically with these work outs that require them to take time their mind of their studies and focus on their mind and body.

Students can feel a sense of community by participating in these classes, as well as improving physical and mental wellness, fitness experts said.  These benefits can increase students’ chances for academic success. Continue reading

Homeless youth activists rally against budget impasse

By Kayla Daugherty
Video by Ryan Connelly Holmes

James Ivory describes himself as many things: a college student, a musician, an activist and a father. But because of the social services he received through a homeless shelter, he no longer needs to include “homeless” in that list.

Ivory is one of the thousands of Illinois youth who have found themselves on the street, without a place to eat, sleep or work. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless reports that an estimated 20,205 Chicago Public Schools students were homeless during the 2014-2015 school year. They were among the 125,848 Chicagoans who were homeless during that period.

Though Ivory is no longer homeless, the 25-year-old came to a recent rally at the Thompson Center in support of social services funding for homeless youth. The rally, sponsored by the Coalition, drew more than 100 individuals hoping to prove to Gov. Bruce Rauner that homelessness is a huge issue in Chicago and that his proposed social service budget cuts will harm people in dire need of help.

Ivory, along with others who are still homeless, talked about their experiences on the streets.

“I think that the normal person doesn’t understand what it’s like to be really hungry,” Ivory said. “Hunger, loneliness—those things are very depressing.”

The young people who spoke showed that there is no one reason for homelessness. Some young men were kicked out of their homes after coming out as gay, bisexual or transgender. Some with criminal records said they had difficulty obtaining and keeping a steady job. Others just fell on hard times—losing a job or being in a serious accident—and were sent into a devastating downward spiral.

Upcoming vote to restore money

Illinois has gone four months without a state budget, and a vote is scheduled in the House on Senate Bill 2046, which would restore social service funding cut in Rauner’s budget.

(Ryan Connelly Holmes/Medill)

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