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DuPage Coalition Taking Steps to Reduce Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teensposted January 28th, 2015
A DuPage coalition established almost four years ago with a goal of reducing teen alcohol and drug use is getting ready to take action. DuPage’s Prevention Leadership Team was born out a need that emerged in 2011 as the county’s heroin numbers began to grow. The DuPage County Health Department’s Jordan Esser is manager of the 38-member Prevention Leadership Team. She tells WDCB News after years of collecting data and planning, the group is moving forward. The federal grant provides funding for five years. Esser says the Prevention Leadership Team will spend that time working on educational resources and policy recommendations.
IDPH Confirms Measles Case In Cook Countyposted January 28th, 2015
In 2013 there were fewer than 200 cases of measles in the United States, last year saw a more than threefold increase. Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Health confirmed a case in suburban Cook County, but says there is no clear link to the western states outbreak. Central DuPage Hospital Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Kevin Most says the nation could see more than one thousand cases of the virus this year. He tells WDCB News there is a common factor in all of the cases. Most says he doesn't know of any cases where someone was vaccinated and got measles in this outbreak. He says the vaccine is a very efficient preventative measure that is 90% to 95% effective. Just 15 years ago, the public health community considered measles to be eradicated in the United States. There’s no indication the virus has mutated, Most says it has been virtually unchanged for a very long time. The state warns patients at the Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights January 12th and 13th may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Announces Programming For Historic Seasonposted January 27th, 2015
Monday, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra unveiled the schedule for its landmark 125th season. The CSO’s 2015-16 season begins in mid-September with a series of performances, including a free concert in Pritzker Pavilion on September 18th. New CSO Association president Jeff Alexander, who is entering his third week on the job, talked about some of the orchestra’s accomplishments from past 125 years. Alexander was chosen in September to replace Deborah Rutter, who led the CSO for eleven years. CSO music director Riccardo Muti talked about the organization’s history and its future. Muti introduced the CSO’s two newly appointed Mead Composers-in-Residence … Samuel Adams and Elizabeth Ogonek. Adams tells WDCB News he’s excited to come to Chicago to co-curate the CSO’s MusicNow concert series.
Website Creates A Way To Explore Transportation Dataposted January 27th, 2015
For years, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning has pushed for improvement and repair of the region’s transportation infrastructure. This week…it launched a website to illustrate the condition of roads, bridges, mass transit and more. ‘Mobility: Engine of our economy’ also shows residents and political leaders the areas that need attention. CMAP’s Tom Garritano tells WDCB News the best way for people to use the site is to just jump in and explore the data. He says the best thing people can do is to look at the roads section. It gives visitors a quick peak at an average days commute from 5:300 in the morning to 7:30 in the evening. Garritana says it provides a quick visualization of the hot-spots on the system. The regional planning agency hopes the online presentation will boost support for a statewide capital spending bill to meet future transportation needs. CMAP is proposing ‘Fund 2040’ to make a renewed commitment to maintain and modernize the region’s transportation infrastructure. Garritano says a quarter cent increase in the regional sales tax could help fund some of the needs outlined on the site.
Crude Price Hurts Some...Helps Mostposted January 26th, 2015
Most consumers are enjoying the six year low in gasoline prices, but there is another side to that coin. Over the past several months the price of oil tumbled on the world market and as result the energy sector’s taking a smaller bite out of consumer spending. Chicago based employment expert John Challenger says companies with large transportation costs are benefiting. But he tells WDCB News what is good for some, is bad for others. Challenger says more and more domestic energy has been found, drilled, and fracked and those industries are beginning to layoff workers. He says Slumberger recently announced it would furlough 9,000 workers. Challenger thinks even if the price inches up a little in the coming weeks, the travel and tourism industries will have a prosperous summer. He says the boost in discretionary income will likely get more people traveling this year.
Sandack Ready To Talk About Financial And Education Reformposted January 23rd, 2015
State Representative Ron Sandack’s legislative priorities include plans to protect taxpayers, improve transparency and government accountability. But the Downers Grove Republican knows those topics aren’t at the top of the ‘to-do’ list for most lawmakers. Sandack tells WDCB News the truth of the matter is, this year everything will take a back-seat to the state’s financial problems. He says Illinois faces significant deficits because of years of over spending and poor planning. Sandack that is unquestionably the most important thing lawmakers have to deal with, and they need to do so in a way that hasn't been done in many years. He also expects State Senator Andy Manar will resurrect his plan to reform education funding during the spring legislative session. Sandack’s willing to talk about reform, but he won’t support any plan that robs money from collar county schools to benefit downstate districts.
PACE Unveils Ambitious Expansion Proposalposted January 22nd, 2015
Suburban bus service provider Pace is rolling out an ambitious proposal that would increase and improve mass transit options in its service area. The proposed “Rapid Transit Network” would include additional arterial routes in suburban communities and bus rapid transit service on local expressways. Pace has applied to a U.S. Transportation program known as “Projects of National and Regional Significance with hopes of receiving some federal dollars to cover the estimated two-point-three billion dollar price tag. WDCB News Reporter Gary Zidek asked Pace’s Patrick Wilmot about the origins of the proposed “Rapid Transit Network”. The U.S. Department of Transportation is expected to make a decision on projects by the end of the year.
'Pay It Later' Budgeting Results In Massive State Deficitposted January 22nd, 2015
Economists at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs say the state has $159-billion in unpaid bills. The latest report from the Fiscal Futures Project says the state’s history of ‘Pay-Later Budgeting’ is responsible for the problem. Report co-author Richard Dye says Illinois is like a person in deep credit card debt. He says the answer is a combination of spending cuts and new revenue; and it will take time to get out of the hole. Dye tells WDCB News there’s no quick fix and that’s another challenge. He says multi-year solutions require an incentive to keep the political bargain together and they also require an amount of trust between everyone involved in the agreement. Dye says the state’s chronic fiscal imbalance has created a $ 9-billion annual deficit. He says that number will grow to more than $14-billion over the next eleven years if lawmakers don’t take decisive.