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Capacity Auction Will Mean Higher Electric Billsposted August 27th, 2015
You won’t find a key part of your electricity costs in your monthly bill, but you will notice an increase in the bottom line. The state recently completed the annual ‘power capacity’ auction for electricity generation companies. A watchdog group says an average customer will pay more each month as result of the auction. The Citizens Utility Board’s Jim Chilsen says an auction for central and southern Illinois has already created higher bills. He tells WDCB News it’s hard to understand, because Illinois has an abundant supply of power. Chilsen says Illinois is awash in electricity, the state is actually a net exporter of electricity. He says everyone learned the laws of supply and demand in Econ-101. Chilsen says you would think prices would be going down for consumers in the state, and instead there have been a series of rate increases. The auction rewards power companies that can meet power demand in any weather conditions. Chilsen says there’s no evidence that supply is or should be a factor in the ‘capacity cost’ during the winter months.
Turtle Island and Cyrus Chestnut Come Together For "Jelly, Rags and Monk"posted August 27th, 2015
The string jazz ensemble, Turtle Island Quartet is joining forces with renowned jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut to celebrate the musical connections between Jellyroll Morton, Scott Joplin and Thelonious Monk. The program titled “Jelly, Rags and Monk” will make its world premiere this Saturday at Ravinia. Turtle Island Quartet founder David Balakrishnan tells WDCB News Chestnut really wanted to explore the evolution of ragtime and jazz. "Jelly, Rags and Monk" is part of the Turtle Island Quartet’s year-long 30th anniversary celebration. The program will be performed for the first time ever Saturday Ravinia.
Struggle For Gender Equality Continuesposted August 26th, 2015
Wednesday marks the 95th anniversary of one of the most significant victories in the women’s rights movement, the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The change gave American women the right to vote. Dr. Connie Mixon is a political science professor and the director of urban studies at Elmhurst College. She says women have made a lot of progress since 1920 … but much remains to be done. Mixon tells WDCB News women are still fighting for equality in the workplace. Women on average make 77-cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts
Meteorologists Have Plenty To Remember This Weekposted August 26th, 2015
The 10th anniversary of hurricane Katrina will generate a lot of attention this week. But, 15 years earlier another storm directly affected Northeast Illinois. This Friday will be 25 years since the Plainfield tornado that killed 29 people and devastated the Will County community. College of DuPage Meteorology
professor Paul Sirvatka still studies the storm. He tells WDCB News despite its strength, the 1990 storm caught forecasters off guard. Sirvatka says meteorologists expected large hail and maybe some damaging winds, so there was a severe thunderstorm watch issued for that day. He says there was something in the environment that the storm latched onto and quickly spun up a very large tornado that stayed on the ground for a half hour. Sirvatka says the Plainfield tornado and hurricane Katrina should serve as a constant reminder of the power storms can unleash. He says warning systems are much better today than they were 25 years ago, but the technology only works if people react to the warning.
Rauner Sings Legislation That Makes Civics a Requirement For Illinois High School Studentsposted August 25th, 2015
A new law will make civics education a requirement for all Illinois high school students. But a longtime proponent of the new mandate says most schools won’t have to change much. The McCormick Foundation’s Dr. Shawn Healy was the chairman of the Illinois Civics Education Task Force that recommended the course requirement. He says there were some concerns about creating an unfunded mandate at a time when many districts are strapped for funding. But Healy tells WDCB News many high schools already have classes that meet the civics requirement. Healy says the McCormick Foundation and other organizations will be providing resources to those districts that will need to create a new civics course. Ilinois was one of ten states that didn’t have a civics education requirement for high school graduates.
Paramount Theater Earns 16 Jeff Award Nominationsposted August 25th, 2015
This year, for the first time in the history of Chicago’s theater awards, the Paramount Theater was eligible for recognition. The Aurora based theater made the most of the opportunity, it earned more nominations for ‘Jeff Awards’ than any other Chicago area theater. Tim Rater is the Executive Director at Paramount. He tells WDCB News the nominations are an affirmation of the good work Paramount is doing. Rater says he and his team thought they were putting on great shows, but to have someone else say the shows are among the best in Chicago is really exciting. He says the nominations created quite a buzz around the Paramount offices, and he expects it will continue until the awards are handed out in early October. Three of the four shows in the Paramount’s last ‘Broadway Series’ were nominated in the ‘best large musical’ category. The shows---Tommy, Les Miserables, and Mary Poppins were also recognized with 13 other ‘Jeff Award’ nominations.
Chicago Dancing Festival Ready For Year Nineposted August 24th, 2015
Some of the most prestigious local and national dance companies have participated in the Chicago Dancing Festival over its nine year history. The annual celebration of dance starts up again this week. Chicago Dancing Festival co-founder Jay Franke says the event has grown every year since its inception nine years ago. He tells WDCB News the goal was to create an inclusive festival that encourages area residents to come watch. The ninth Chicago Dancing Festival starts tomorrow with an opening night performance at the Harris Theater. The fest ends on Saturday night with a special program at Pritzker Pavilion.
Sanders Gains Ground But Still Faces Challengesposted August 24th, 2015
Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is gaining ground on Hillary Clinton, but she still holds a commanding lead in most polls. Still, the Vermont Senator is generating online buzz and packing theaters and arenas across the country when he speaks. College of DuPage Political Science professor Dr. David Goldberg says Sanders’ candidacy is shaping the campaign season. He tells WDCB News Sanders has a big hill to climb, but he’s resonating with a wing of the Democratic Party. Goldberg says Sanders is speaking to a number of issues that are not being addressed in the national political discourse. He says the campaign is generating some momentum because he's talking about issues that other people are not and doing so with some fire that attracts interest. Goldberg says Sanders pledge to not take money for PACs and corporate donors could stop the campaign’s momentum in its tracks. He says the independent, running as a Democrat will have a hard time winning with small donations alone.
Metra Shows Police How Common Crossing Violations Areposted August 21st, 2015
Operation Lifesaver says every three hours a train hits a car or pedestrian at a grade crossing somewhere in this country. This week Metra worked with police across the region to increase enforcement of crossing safety laws. Police sat in the locomotive of commuter trains Wednesday morning to get a sense of what engineers see. The agency’s Meg Reile says the exercise led to nearly 50 tickets and warnings for pedestrians and drivers. She tells WDCB News the problem is remarkably common. Riele says from January to May of this year, Illinois had 13 incidents where a train hit either pedestrian or vehicle because of a grade crossing violation. During that period Cook County accounted for nearly half of accidents at grade crossings. An unfortunately large portion of the accidents involve people trying to commit suicide. During Wednesday's exercise, Reile says police were able to prevent a suicide in Hinsdale.
Pantries Shift Priorities For 'Back To School'posted August 20th, 2015
The Naperville based Loaves and Fishes food pantry is shifting gears as children head back to school. During the summer months, hunger issues are intensified when school aged children don’t have access to free or reduced price lunch programs. Loaves and Fishes President and CEO Megan Selck says the goal is to make sure young people have the fuel to succeed in school. She tells WDCB News the pantry makes a slight changes in its focus during the school year. Selck says during the school year the quantity of food the pantry supplies may not be as important because kids are in school and have access to meals. She says the quality is a priority in the months ahead. Selck says there is another shift at the pantry at this time of year, it has an abundance of fresh produce. She says clients can have as many avocados, squash, and zucchini as they want now when they visit Loaves and Fishes.
State Senator Tom Cullerton Frustrated, But Optimistic About State Budgetposted August 20th, 2015
Illinois’ budget impasse hasn’t shut down state government, but it has left many residents confused and frustrated. Villa Park state Senator Tom Cullerton recently launched a series of townhall meetings to reach out to constituents. He says the voters in his west suburban district have questions about the budget situation. Cullerton tells WDCB News he’s frustrated with the situation … but also feels there’s still reason for optimism. Cullerton was in Springfield yesterday, where he voted along with 37 other Senators to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a union arbitration bill. That override bill now goes to the House, Cullerton says it’s unclear if there’s enough support there for it to pass.