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Cantigny Celebrate's Robert McCormick's Birthdayposted July 29th, 2014
It’s easy to drive by Cantigny on Roosevelt Road in western Wheaton without really noticing the more than 500 acre park. The Chicago based McCormick Foundation oversees the operation of the park. Diane Gutenkauf is Director of the McCormick Mansion. The house was Chicago Tribune Publisher and Editor Robert McCormick’s home. Wednesday the park’s offering free admission to celebrate McCormick’s birthday. Gutenkauf tells WDCB News the event is an attempt to raise awareness. She says for many years Cantigny didn't do a lot of self-promotion, but now thinks it's time to get out there and let people know what it is and what it has to offer. Gutenkauf says Robert McCormick left the entire property to the people of Illinois and the McCormick Foundation want to share the gift with more people. A number of events are planned for throughout the day on Wednesday. Cantigny is home to the McCormick Mansion and garden and a museum that chronicles the history of the Army’s First Division.
Cubs Owner Visits Kane County Cougarsposted July 29th, 2014
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts visited the Kane County Cougars yesterday. The Cougars are the Cubs’ single-A minor league affiliate. Ricketts spoke to a crowd of around 50 people as part of an event sponsored by The Executives’ Club of Chicago. He talked about the team’s long-term commitment to winning and the future of Wrigley Field. WDCB News Reporter Gary Zidek has the story.
Watchdog Group Sues IHSAposted July 28th, 2014
A push to increase transparency of the agency that oversees High School sports in Illinois has taken another turn. The Better Government Association filed a lawsuit this month to gain access to documents government agencies are required to make public. The Illinois High School Association argues it isn’t bound by the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Matt Topic is a government transparency attorney representing the BGA. He doesn’t deny IHSA incorporated as a private, non-profit organization. But Topic says in the past it has claimed to be entitled to certain immunities and legal defenses that are only available to government actors. He says in a previous lawsuit IHSA said it was organized for the purpose of conducting public business. Topic tells WDCB News, if IHSA is going to claim ‘government actor’ status it must also comply with the FOIA laws. Some state lawmakers also want more openness from IHSA, a legislative hearing on the issue is planned for September.
Weekend Tour Highlights Energy Efficient Homesposted July 25th, 2014
The increasing cost of staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter has many people looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. This weekend the Illinois Green Building Council is giving Chicago area residents a chance to get some ideas. The Council’s Jason LeFleur says the ‘Green Built Home Tour’ highlights the energy saving aspects of 17 homes from Crystal Lake to Chicago’s Southside. He tells WDCB News the homes are scattered across the metro area to allow people across the region to sample building and design innovations. LeFleur says there are common elements that many of the homes on the tour share so visiting just a few will give people a number of efficiency ideas. He says visitors will see a number of technologies that can be implemented in other homes. LeFleur says all the homes on the tour were built…or in some cases are being built to meet national energy efficiency standards. This year’s ‘Green Built Home Tour’ includes several “zero energy” homes that produce more power than they need on a monthly basis.
Reform Advocate Downplays Appellate Court Rulings on ACAposted July 24th, 2014
A pair of contradictory appellate court rulings raise new questions about the Affordable Care Act. One court ruled against federal subsidies in states without a health insurance marketplace, the other ruling came down in favor of the credits. Jim Duffett is Executive Director of the Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care. He tells WDCB News the decisions shouldn’t have an immediate effect on anyone in Illinois. Duffett says anyone who currently has health insurance and is currently receiving tax credits will continue to receive them. He says it's important for Illinois residents to rest assured those benefits will continue. Duffett thinks opponents will continue to mount attacks on the federal health care law for many years to come. Ultimately, he thinks some changes are needed for the law; but it offers a good framework for insuring better access to care.
Report Documents A Surge In Childhood Povertyposted July 23rd, 2014
More Illinois children are living in what researchers say are ‘areas of concentrated poverty.’ The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report shows more than 20% of the state’s children live at or below the poverty line. Larry Joseph is a researcher at Voices for Illinois Childern. He tells WDCB News the annual report points to a troubling trend. Joseph says in 2012 the child poverty rate in Illinois was 23%...up from 16% in 2005, before the start of the recession hit. He says analysts continue to see the lingering effects of the economic downturn on children and families in every part of the state. The Kids Count report estimates 347,000 Illinois children live in neighborhoods where the poverty rate is more than 30%. Joseph says growing up in poverty can adversely affect a child’s health, academic achievement, and possibility for economic success as an adult.
Leaders Discuss Current And Future Water Issuesposted July 22nd, 2014
Leaders in Chicago took part in a one-day clean water summit Monday. The Water Environment Federation and World Business Chicago hosted the event as part of its ‘Great Water Cities’ series. Federation President Sandra Ralston says the summit looked at issues of fresh water supply and the importance of infrastructure to support clean water. She says Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made updating water mains and antiquated sewer lines a priority. Ralston hopes the summit will get people and communities to change attitudes about water. She says more and more of the country is realizing that when groups talk about waste water, it's not really waste. Ralston says it's still a valuable resource that must be recovered, treated and re-used. Ralston tells WDCB News people across the country need to be much less cavalier about water supplies. She says serious drought in Texas and California illustrate the challenge of meeting demand in many regions of the country.