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DuPage County Seeks Community Inputposted August 29th, 2014
Once every five years, DuPage County has to submit a planning document to the federal department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan outlines and prioritizes how the county will use any Community Development Block grant money it receives. Community Development committee Chairman Sam Tornatore says the county created the ‘Neighborhood Needs’ survey to help build the plan, it’s available online. He tells WDCB News now it’s up to residents and community leaders to respond. Tornatore says the responses will go to the county's community services staff. He says they will use the information to develop the strategic plan for HUD. Tornatore says specific suggestions the county gets may not make it into the plan, but they will help shape future priorities. Over the past 40 years the county’s gotten more than $160-million in HUD money.
Wheaton Group Continues To Fight For Homeless Veteransposted August 28th, 2014
Earlier this week a Chicago based non-profit announced plans to convert two buildings in Joliet into housing for veterans. The project will help meet a need the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans has worked on for nearly 15 years. Bob Adams is President and Co-Founder of the Wheaton based organization. He says homelessness among veterans continues to be a serious problem around the country. Adams tells WDCB News his organization tries to do more than just provide a roof for its clients. He says sometimes the Midwest Shelter helps with utility bills and other monthly costs. Adams says the supportive services help get to the root of the problem for families and individuals. Adams says the Midwest Shelter is currently working to provide a shelter option for female veterans. The organization tries to meet the mental health needs many veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan deal with after they complete their service.
Local Researcher Looks at Bullyingposted August 28th, 2014
A combination of technological advancements and societal shifts has changed the way we define bullying. A generation ago, bullying was almost always “direct”. A bully would torment a victim in hallway or cafeteria at school. But today, the internet, cell phones and social media have given birth to “indirect” bullying … which allows the bully to remains virtually anonymous. And a psychology professor at North Central College says indirect bullying is often worse. Tricia Schacht is developing a prevention program designed to help families cope with bullying in the classroom. She tells WDCB News Reporter Gary Zidek her research has evolved over the years.
Lung Association Raises Questions About 'Vaping'posted August 27th, 2014
The American Lung Association of Greater Chicago is raising questions about an increasingly popular alternative to smoking. Electronic cigarettes allow users to inhale nicotine laced vapor and provide a similar sensation to smoking. Still the Lung Association’s James Martinez says there are issues with the technology. He tells WDCB News there are too many unknowns about e-cigarettes. Martinez says there are about 250 companies that make e-cigarettes, and none of them are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. There is no requirement that manufacturers disclose what is in the liquid they use to deliver nicotine. He says the unknowns are a great concern. Martinez says the US FDA hasn’t approved electronic cigarettes as a method to help people stop smoking. Initial research suggests using the devices may make it more likely that people will start smoking traditional cigarettes.
What S&P 500 Record Level Really Says About The Economyposted August 26th, 2014
For a time Monday, the Standard and Poors 500 index pushed through the 2,000 level for the first time ever. The Dow Industrials also saw strong gains in early trading. Diane Swonk is the Chief Economist at the Chicago based Miserow Financial. She’s hesitant to make too strong of a connection between the Wall Street and Main Street economies. Swonk tells WDCB News there continues to be a disconnect between economic growth and surging stock values. She says the linkages are a little more tenuous than they once were, and the market's strength reflects a lot of support from the Federal Reserve. Swonk says she doesn't like to draw too many conclusions from any short-term market moves, because they tend to be less accurate indications of the overall economy's stength. She says there is still a lot of work to be done to rebuild the nation’s economy. Swonk says corporate balance sheets are in great shape because companies have eliminated debt, but they haven’t started re-investing in the future.
City's Longest Running Music Festival Kicks Offposted August 25th, 2014
The headliners at many of the country’s big jazz festivals are rock and popular music acts. That won’t be the case this week for the Chicago Jazz Fest. The 36th annual event kicks off Thursday at Millennium Park and continues through Sunday. Jennifer Johnson-Washington is Jazz Fest Director at the Mayor’s office of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. She tells WDCB News this is an end of summer tradition in Chicago. Johnson-Washington says Jazz fans look forward to the Labor Day weekend and the concerts from their favorite artists. She says the event is also a great way to introduce new fans to the American artform. Johnson-Washington says the location in Millennium Park makes Jazz Fest a natural draw for tourists visiting the city. But she says the event also attracts jazz fans from around the world.
Are Illinois' Ballot Access Requirements Unfair?posted August 25th, 2014
Illinois voters will have plenty choices to make this November. The Illinois State Board of Elections certified the ballot on Friday. While several referendum questions made it on the ticket, two binding ballot measures didn’t make it. Also absent from the November fourth ballot, Green Party candidates. McCormick Foundation political scholar Shawn Healy and Citizen Advocacy Center executive director Maryam Judar joined WDCB News Reporter Gary Zidek for a roundtable discussion on ballot access requirements in Illinois.