Little League title loss upsets some Chicagoans

By Tim Penman

Chicago residents are disturbed after the Jackie Robinson West Little League team was stripped of its U.S. title Wednesday.

“An adult did something wrong,  not the kids,” said Ray Smith, 27, an audio-visual technician and South Side resident. “To take it away from the kids is absolutely wrong. They won it fair and square no matter what happens,” he said in an interview in the Loop.

The team was found guilty of violating player residency rules by the Little League International tournament committee, which also suspended team manager Darold Butler and placed the team on probation with all victories vacated and its tournament privileges suspended. In addition, Illinois District IV administrator Michael Kelly was removed from his position.

“They won regardless of where they came from,” said Kristine Wuertz, 24, a digital marketing associate from the North Side. “And they did it in a team fashion.”
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CDW Corp. Adjusted Quarterly Earnings Paint Positive Picture

By Bethel Habte

CDW Corp., a Fortune 500 technology solutions provider, reported lower fourth quarter profit than in its year-earlier quarter. Analysts responded positively to the report, however, since the company’s adjusted numbers showed a profit increase in the same period. The market responded with a modest gain for the stock.

By GAAP standards, generally accepted accounting principles mandated by the SEC, fourth quarter profit fell to $51.8 million from $60 million in the year-earlier quarter, a 13.7 percent decrease.

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Criticizing College Athletes: Fair Game?

By Bennet Hayes

They are, quite easily, the five most memorable words of Mike Gundy’s 10-year career as Oklahoma State head football coach. They are also one of the most direct and public condemnations of criticism directed at college athletes.


In unleashing his now-famous “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant in October of 2007, Gundy took a firm stance against the local media’s negative critiques of his former starting quarterback Bobby Reid. Many have questioned Gundy’s true motives in the years since (including Reid himself), but at least outwardly, the message was clear: 18-to-22-year-old college athletes should be shielded from criticism.

If anything, however, the continued evolution of the 24-hour news cycle in the seven years since Gundy’s diatribe has only multiplied the criticism levied at college athletes.

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VIDEO: Hackers analyze government data for civic good

By Laura Furr

Open Gov Hack Night uses civic-minded data analysis, often known as hacking, for the common good.

The group of some 80 Chicago coders, developers and philanthropists meets every Tuesday night at the Braintree offices in the Merchandise Mart to build systems based off public government data.

These systems aim to provide innovative solutions to social issues ranging from pension reform to problems with public transportation.

The group touts that by analyzing government data, hackers can contribute to improving the quality of life in the city.

To learn more about civic hacking and what it means in Chicago, see the video below.

Photo at Top: Hacker Eric van Zanten analyzes his code during an Open Gov Hack Night meeting Tuesday at the Braintree Offices in the Merchandise Mart (Laura Furr/Medill)

For One National Signing Day, Beckman Earns Chicago’s Ear

By Bennet Hayes

Tim Beckman and the Illinois football program are often overlooked in a Chicago market dominated by professional sports. At least for a day, Beckman changed that.

The Illinois coach overshadowed the unveiling of his 25-man recruiting class on National Signing Day last week, with a bizarre attempt to enlist the state’s sports media in his quest to return the Illini to national prominence. Continue reading

E-books boost independent publishing, but aren’t about to replace print

By Elizabeth Elving

There’s something about holding a book – cracking the spine, thumbing through the pages, feeling the weight of it in one’s hands – that is essential to the act of reading itself.

Or maybe there isn’t.

The sale of electronic books skyrocketed after Amazon introduced the Kindle in 2007. E-books went from accounting for .05 percent of adult trade sales in the early 2000s to 27 percent last year. The struggling publishing world was rejuvenated, with independent publishers especially benefiting from what became a simple, low-cost way to expand their market reach.

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From pop-up shops to permanent storefronts

By Mallory Hughes

All of those empty storefronts that plague the city of Chicago will be no more. That’s the goal at least, as pop-up shops spring up in neighborhood after neighborhood.

Storefront, a San Francisco-based company that launched in Chicago in July, specializes in helping retailers, designers and artists nail down short-term leases in prime shopping spots.

The business has been the gateway for about 100 pop-ups in the Chicago area and more than 1,000 in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“Pop-ups are a way to test the market, different neighborhoods in a city, and a chance to get offline,” said Bryan Steel, a member of the Storefront marketing team. Continue reading

Art by Attraction – The Andrew Bae Gallery

By Lee Won Park

As the doors of the Andrew Bae Gallery opened, the crisp sound of bells disturbed the loud ambiance of the city outside.

Located in the busy gallery district on West Superior Street, this gallery carries a surprisingly comforting vibe. A soft, yet very pervasive scent of herbal tea whirled as the entrance door shut close. The light walls are pale, typical of art galleries but the room’s scattered oak pillars echo the look of a traditional Korean household.

“This gallery is 25 years exactly” said Andrew Bae, founder, owner and namesake of the Andrew Bae Gallery, gesturing fondly at the art work.

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VIDEO: Chicago neighborhoods clean up streets after historic storm

By Rachel White

Ten residents have died while shoveling snow in Cook County since the fifth largest winter storm hit Chicago on Jan. 31,  leaving 19 inches of snow across northeastern Illinois.  According to the Cook County Medical Examiner, nine of the ten residents who died were men.

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VIDEO: Study weighs the benefits and disadvantages for children using mobile devices

By Tanni Deb

Many parents introduce smartphones and tablets to their children as a teaching tool. However, a recent study says the educational benefits of mobile devices may come at a hefty price, affecting a child’s social and emotional skills.

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