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Medicaid Funding Cuts Could Limit Services For Allposted February 27th, 2015
The Naperville based Illinois Hospital Association says its members will feel the sting of Governor Bruce Rauner’s plan to slash Medicaid. The Governor wants to cut $1.5 billion in funding for low income health care services. The IHA’s Danny Chun says the group wants to work with the Governor to insure Illinois continues to have a strong healthcare system. He tells WDCB News deep cuts would devastate communities across the state. Chun says it would have a dramatic impact on the services that hospitals are able to provide across Illinois. He says it would also have a tremendous negative effect on the economy in Illinois and in local communities where the hospitals are located. Chun says hospitals are an important part of the fabric of local communities. He says cutting $735-million in Medicaid funding to hospitals could force them to eliminate more than 12,000 jobs across Illinois.
Book Examines Race For Super Batteryposted February 26th, 2015
A new book, with a local connection, takes readers inside the current race to develop a “super battery” that would revolutionize the automotive industry and shake-up the global economy. Author Steve LeVine spent two years researching “The Powerhouse” at Argonne National Laboratory. He came away with a keen understanding of the challenges facing U.S. researchers trying to develop an advanced lithium ion battery. LeVine tells WDCB News a functional super battery would change the geo-political landscape. The U.S. is in a four country race, that includes Japan, South Korea, and China, to develop an advanced battery that would be able to power cars for long periods of time. LeVine was a guest speaker for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Wednesday night, he’ll be at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville Friday.
Time To Stop Debating Existence Of Climate Changeposted February 26th, 2015
College of DuPage Meteorology professor Dr. Victor Gensini wants to quit debating global warming, or what he refers to as global climate change. He co-authored a research paper on the topic that appeared in the latest edition of the Journal Climate Change. Gensini says the scientific community has reached consensus on the existence of the phenomena. He tells WDCB News even though the research looks at small changes, on a global scale a few degrees matter. Gensini says when you think about your body temperature, if you increase it one or two degrees it's a big deal and you'll end up in the hospital. He says people get hung up on the number and ask is a one or two degree increase a big deal, and without a doubt the answer is yes. Gensini says large systems like ocean and forest eco-systems are sensitive to the slight temperature increases. He says while there is consensus that climate change is happening, there is still debate on what’s causing the change.
DuPage's FORWARD Initiative Recognized Nationallyposted February 26th, 2015
One of the country’s biggest public health non-profits recently recognized DuPage County’s anti-childhood obesity initiative. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation included the FORWARD initiative on a nationwide list of 11 successful obesity prevention programs. Project coordinator Becky McFarland says the FORWARD initiative has strived to make the health choice … the easy choice. But she tells WDCB News it’s challenging to try to make changes at the community level. McFarland says there have been some signs of progress. DuPage’s child body mass index numbers dropped two years ago and have leveled off.
Tuskegee NEXT 2025 Project Aims to Train Disadvantaged Youth to Be Pilotsposted February 25th, 2015
A new initiative that aims to provide pilot training to inner-city youth is garnering support from DuPage and Cook County leaders. Both county board chairs, Dan Cronin and Toni Preckwinkle, are supporting the Tuskegee NEXT 2025 Project. The program hopes to help one hundred minority Chicago-area teenagers obtain their pilot license over the next ten years. Wheaton businessman Steve Davis is the chairman of the DuPage Airport Authority board. He came up with the concept for the Tuskegee NEXT Project. Davis tells WDCB News this initiative will provide an opportunity to young people in need of a break. A fundraiser for the Tuskegee NEXTC 2025 Project will take place tomorrow night at the DuPage Airport.
Chicago Ukrainian Leader Not Optimistic About Peaceposted February 25th, 2015
European leaders launched a second round of talks Tuesday with the hope of bringing resolution to the ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Russian backed rebels say they are withdrawing artillery to create the buffer zone called for in an earlier agreement. Independent observers haven’t been able to confirm those claims. Pavlo Bandriwsky is Vice President of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America in Illinois. He tells WDCB News at this point, it’s hard to be optimistic. Bandriwsky says the ink wasn't dry on the previous peace deal and Russians were already sending tanks, rocket launchers and other heavy weapons into the region to support the rebel forces. He says the United States and Great Britain need to a stronger position against the rebel attempts to control Ukrainian territory. He says Ukrainians don’t want to see ‘boots on the ground’ but they do need technical support to combat the Russian backed rebels.
Will Emanuel Avoid Run-off?posted February 24th, 2015
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes to avoid a runoff election, as voters head to the polls today. While Emanuel is considered the strong favorite, his challengers believe Emanuel's handling of some major city issues have left voters wanting a change. He needs more than 50%of the vote to avoid a run-off election April 7th. Emanuel’s challengers include Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, Alderman Bob Fioretti and businessman Willie Wilson. WDCB News Reporter Gary Zidek talked to McCormick Foundation political scholar Dr. Shawn Healy and College of DuPage political science professor Dr. David Goldberg about the incumbent’s chances of avoiding a run-off.
Stronger Housing & Job Markets Prompt More Relocationsposted February 24th, 2015
A competitive job market could result in more “for sale” signs in front of homes in your neighborhood. The Chicago based Challenger, Gray & Christmas says the number of people relocating for a new job in the second half of last year rose to a five year high. John Challenger is CEO of the executive placement firm. He tells WDCB News improvements in two key sectors of the economy are prompting people to take a chance. Challenger says unemployment is very low, so the pool of workers companies can access has shrunk and as result they're having to cast a wider net. At the same time, he says more people find they can get out of a house that for many years was under water financially. Challenger says competition for skilled workers in many areas means job seekers have the advantage over companies that want to fill vacant positions. There are now 70 metro areas across the country where unemployment is below 4%.
Chicago Was Once Center of Film Industryposted February 23rd, 2015
Millions of people all over the world watched as the film industry celebrated its biggest event of the year last night in Hollywood. But southern California wasn’t always the center of the U.S. film industry, for a brief period in the early 1900’s, Chicago was the capital of movie universe. A new book, titled “Flickering Empire” documents the rise and fall of Chicago’s filmmaking fortunes. Authors Michael Glover Smith and Adam Selzer spent years researching the city’s film history. Selzer tells WDCB News the book shines a light on a brief, but still relevant period of entertainment history that’s often overlooked. Thomas Edison, Charlie Chaplin and William Selig are among the colorful characters included in the book. Each played a role in shaping the still developing film industry as it started to grow in the early 1900s.
Rauner's Budget Plan Hits Transit Hardposted February 23rd, 2015
Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to create an economic environment that will attract business to Illinois. But one of his proposed budget cuts could limit the state’s attractiveness to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and corporate headquarters. Regional Transportation Authority Board Chairman Kirk Dillard says Rauner wants to cut more than $100-million in mass transit funding. Dillard tells WDCB News many states are spending more on transit. He says when you're competing for jobs against Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston; and trying to keep young entrepreneurs and recent college graduates in Illinois mass transit it vital. He says, for example, 90% of the employees at the Motorola headquarters in Chicago rely on mass transit to get to and from work every day. Dillard says the Governor’s budget proposal would trim five to six percent from the operating budgets of the various transit providers. He says the Chicago Transit Authority, and Pace’s para transit system, for people with disabilities, will be hardest hit.