Glen Ellyn Library Hosts STEAM Fair
posted March 7th, 2014
School districts, educators, parents, and politicians have increasingly embraced the STEAM curriculum concept. The idea is to increase the amount of science, technology, engineering, art, and math into the school day. The Glen Ellyn Public Library is taking STEAM out of the classroom this weekend. Library Director Dawn Bussey tells WDCB News Saturday’s STEAM Fair will offer a variety of hands on exhibits. She says the 'Chi-bots' will show how robots are changing everyday life, College of DuPage will demonstrate electromagnetism, and Fermi-Lab will also have an exhibit of powerful magnets. The event culminates Saturday afternoon with a chemistry magic show. Bussey says the goal of the event is the expose elementary and middle school aged children to new concepts that educate while they entertain. The library developed the event in response to the U-S
Department of Education’s ‘Educate to Innovate’ campaign.
Civic Federation Proposes IL Budget Solution
posted March 4th, 2014
Governor Pat Quinn is scheduled to deliver his budget address in a little over three weeks. Monday, the Chicago-based Civic Federation offered its recommendation on how the state can eventually balance its budget. The Chicago-based government watchdog says Illinois should keep its temporary income tax increase in place for a year longer than initially promised and begin taxing retirement income to dig the state out of a budget hole. Civic Federation president Laurence Msall tells WDCB News he understands the plan may not be politically attractive. The Civic Federation says the state can pay off its five-point-four billion dollars in unpaid bills through a combination of spending controls and additional revenues. He says the plan is based on the presumption the recently approved pension reform bill is upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court.
Business Groups Applaud The Continued Benefit of Electric Deregulation
posted March 4th, 2014
A coalition of the state’s largest business groups says the 1998 deregulation of the Illinois electricity market is a resounding success. The Illinois Manufacturer’s Association, Retail Merchants Association, and State Chamber of Commerce endorsed a report on the issue. It says deregulation saves consumers about $3600 a year on their electric bill. State Chamber CEO Doug Whitley tells WDCB News it also points out an advantage for Illinois businesses. He says Illinois has issues, but energy costs are not one of them. Whitely says the state's business community has definitely been the beneficiary of low cost energy over the last 16 years. He says with all the challenges facing the Illinois economy, this is something the state should celebrate. Whitley says the business community was the first to take advantage of savings related to electricity deregulation. He says the open market started to benefit consumers when voters across the state approved municipal aggregation referenda in the 2012 election.
Complaints About Collections Reveal Patterns of Bad Behavior
posted March 4th, 2014
A consumer watchdog group says a federal agency that grew out of the great recession helps people fight back against aggressive debt collectors. The Illinois Public Interest Research Group tapped into data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a recent report. Illinois PIRG’s Dev Gowda says the ‘Debt Collectors, Debt Complaints’ report details of unfair financial practices. Gowda tells WDCB News research shows third party debt collectors generate the majority of complaints. He says a lot of times collection agencies have misinformation because they are purchasing debt for pennies on the dollar and often go to extraordinary measures to collect it. Congress created the CFPB in 2010 in the wake of the great recession to help identify patterns and problems in consumer credit. Gowda says the agency fields about two-thousand complaints each month about aggressive debt collectors.
Weather Service Asks People To Think About Severe Weather
posted March 3rd, 2014
March, usually means spring weather is just around the corner. But the arrival of warmer weather also means the start of severe weather season in Illinois and across the Midwest. The National Weather service designates the first week of March to raise awareness for the threat of thunderstorms, high winds, and tornados. College of DuPage Meteorology professor Paul Sirvatka
is an expert on severe weather. He tells WDCB News this year’s extreme winter doesn’t give any indication of what the spring may hold. Sirvatka says the fact that this area has had an incredible winter doesn't really give much of an indication for what the spring will bring. He says forecasters know it will continue to be cold for the next week or two, but beyond that it's a little more murky as to what the change of season will mean. Sirvatka hopes you take two things away from severe weather week: one, develop an emergency plan before you need it and two, take cover when
severe weather approaches.
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