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State Budget Stand-Off Continues With No End In Sightposted October 7th, 2015
Illinois has gone almost 100 days without state budget. Democrats in the legislature are at odds with Governor Bruce Rauner over a spending plan for the current fiscal year. McCormick Foundation political scholar Dr. Shawn Healy says both sides have dug in their heels and believe they’re winning the public opinion battle. Healy tells WDCB News there are some political ramifications starting to take shape as the stand-off enters its fourth month. Last week, Rauner said the budget impasse “could go on a while”. But he also told reporters that negotiations between he and Democratic leaders are taking place.
DuPage Foundation Creating DuPage Arts Councilposted October 7th, 2015
There are nearly 40 communities in DuPage County, in nearly all those cities and villages there is an ‘arts’ scene. From tiny exhibit spaces to world class galleries, from theaters for a few hundred to those that seat a thousand, and from poets to playwrights, all exist in the county. The DuPage Foundation is working to develop a first ever, county wide Arts Council. The Foundation’s Barb Szczepaniak tells WDCB News the idea is to cover all arts to benefit all arts. She thinks the many arts groups in the county want to work together. Szczepaniak says a choral group isn't necessarily competing with a performing arts group or visual arts gallery space. She says when representatives of them met to discuss arts in the county they realized they could be working together without hurting each other's fund raising abilities. Szczepaniak doesn’t think the DuPage Arts Council will be a funding source for performances or exhibits; but she says it will coordinate the various arts groups and opportunities to experience the arts across the county.
Young Lawyers Aim to Curb Distracted Drivingposted October 6th, 2015
For decades, public safety advocates, law enforcement officials and educators have warned teenage drivers of the dangers of driving under the influence. There’s a growing push to educate teenagers of the risks associated with distracted driving. The Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section is launching a new education program at high school students. Chicago attorney Matt Passen tells WDCB News some motorists still don’t think the dangers of distracted driving apply to them. Volunteer attorneys with the Chicago Bar Association’s will be going to high schools throughout the Chicago-area with a presentation that aims to change attitudes towards distracted driving.
EPA Imposes Stricter Rules For Ozone Pollutionposted October 6th, 2015
High ozone levels are a problem for people with asthma, COPD, and other respiratory problems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency updated the air quality standard to reduce the effect of the pollutant. The American Lung Association of Greater Chicago’s Mike Kolleng says every five years federal regulators review the scientific data and adjust the rule. He tells WDCB News the change offers protection for the most vulnerable people. Kolleng says any time the country makes the standards more protective everyone benefits. He says the Lung Association is very happy the standards are more strict, but also thinks it's important that EPA constantly upgrade the standards. Kolleng says researchers say there is evidence for an even tougher standard is warranted. But he says this is a good step forward in the ongoing fight to improve air quality for all people.
C-MAP's Plan for Route 53 Extensionposted October 2nd, 2015
For more than 20 years there has been debate over extending Route 53 north into Lake County. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has developed a strategy to move the project forward. C-MAP planner and policy analyst Jason Navota says the agency’s holding two open houses later this month to let people review the plan. He tells WDCB News this could be the last, best chance to move the idea forward. Navota says there has been good progress and there is a consortium people and groups that have been involved over the past four to five years. He's hopeful the concept will move forward to the next stage. Navota says there are still mixed feelings about the project among Lake County residents, but there is growing support. He says the Route 53 extension isn’t nearly as polarizing as it was just a few years ago. C-MAP will hold two open houses in Lake County so residents can review the plan.
Rauner Closes State Museum...Lockport Gallery Stays Openposted October 1st, 2015
The latest victim of the state’s on-going budget stalemate is the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, and its satellite galleries. The facilities closed Wednesday, although the employees are still supposed to report for work. Lockport Mayor Steve Streit is working to keep open what has been a State Gallery in his community. Streit tells WDCB News the Lockport facility is unlike the other satellite state museums. He says the difference is, the state doesn't own the building that houses the gallery. Streit says the city's been paying the rent on the space and covering the insurance for the building. Lockport organized an exhibit called 'The People's Show' this summer with work from Chicago area artists to illustrate the importance of the gallery to its downtown. Streit says as far as he knows the items people donated to preserve Illinois culture and history over the years are now locked away in storage. He says Lockport will continue to program exhibits at the gallery despite the Governor’s move to close it.
Glen Ellyn Library Hosts 3D Design Challengeposted October 1st, 2015
A suburban library is encouraging area residents to experiment with 3D printing. The Glen Ellyn Public Library hosting its first ever 3-D Design Competition. Librarian Christina Keasler says 3D printers have been around for decades, but have become increasingly more accessible over the past few years. She says the innovative technology is a great tool for teaching a STEAM-based curriculum which focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math. The Glen Ellyn Public Library has offered 3D printing courses for the past two years. She says initially all of the class attendees were teenagers, but now kids as young as six are coming to experiment with the 3D printer.
First Ever Chicago Museum Week Set to Kick Offposted September 30th, 2015
A group of Chicago museums hopes to generate some additional attention with a new seven day campaign that starts tomorrow. Twelve of the city’s most influential cultural institutions are participating in the inaugural Chicago Museum Week. David Deyhle is one of the co-chairs of Chicago Museum Week. He tells WDCB News the campaign is modeled after some of the city’s other successful one-week initiatives. Participating museums will be offering a mix of free admission, discounts and special programming over the course of seven day period.
Retailers Adopt 'Chip & Sign' Systemposted September 30th, 2015
In Europe, credit cards contain a chip that requires consumers to enter a four digit pin every time they make a purchase, in person or on-line. Starting tomorrow, U.S. consumers will have to insert a chip enabled credit card into a reader and sign to make buy things at brick and mortar retailers. University of Illinois-Chicago computer security professor Dr. Robert Sloan says ‘chip and sign’ is a first step toward increased data protection. But he tells WDCB News it’s only a ‘half-way house’ and won’t affect online credit card fraud. Sloan says 'card present' fraud is using a forged a credit card, he says putting the chip in the card makes it much harder to fake a card. He says the change should drive that portion of credit card theft to near zero. Sloan thinks the U.S. financial industry pushed this interim step to keep people from keeping plastic in their wallet instead of learning a new PIN. The Nilson report suggests the cost of credit card fraud more than doubled in the past 15 years.