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Chicago Park District Tests A New Testposted May 29th, 2015
The weekend forecast isn’t for a complete washout, but temperatures will keep all but the heartiest swimmers away from the lakefront. Chicago’s beaches are open for the season and for the first time the Chicago Park District will give people near real-time water quality test results. Natural Resources Director Cathy Breitenbach says it used to take a full day to get test results for the amount of bacteria in the water. But she tells WDCB News the science has evolved and improved. Breitenbach says the way testing was traditionally done is a worker would take a water sample and then try to grow cells in a lab, that system took at least 18 hours to complete. She says now the Park District can look for DNA and get a useful number for the public to gague the healthrisk from swimming in the lake. Breitenbach says the biggest cause of bacteria in the water might come as a surprise, it’s seagull waste. She says is much more of a concern than sewage overflow which is a very uncommon problem on Lake Michigan.
Chicago Authors Spotlight Italian-American Jazz Playersposted May 28th, 2015
Two Chicago-area teachers are putting a spotlight on Italian-American jazz musicians in a new book titled “Bebop, Swing and Bella Musica: Jazz and theItalian American Experience”. Authors Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter taught by day and wrote stories for a local Italian-American publication on the side. Cerro tells WDCB News after a few years of interviewing musicians, they realized there might be enough material for a book. Cerro says they spent over ten years researching the links between the earliest Italian-American jazz musicians and the players of today.
Complicated Situations Involving U.S.,Iran and Iraqposted May 27th, 2015
The clock is ticking for negotiators working on a nuclear deal with Iran. A lot of attention has been paid to the terms of the nuclear inspections. But there are also growing concerns about the economic sanctions being lifted on Iran. North Central College political science professor Dr. Bill Muck tells WDCB News members of Congress and other players in the Middle East are worried about the ramifications of lifting those sanctions. Last week, President Barack Obama signed legislation giving American lawmakers a chance to review any proposed nuclear deal. Muck says he doesn’t think Congress will stand in the way if an agreement is struck between the U.S. and its partners, and Iran.
Former Lawmaker Offers Insight Into Budget Battleposted May 27th, 2015
The General Assembly took steps toward a budget for the coming fiscal year, but a spending plan is still far from final. The plan House Speaker Michael Madigan is pushing spends more than $3-billion more than the state expects to collect next year. He says Governor Bruce Rauner’s call for business reforms as part of the budget process mixes apples and oranges. Former State Senator Kirk Dillard disagrees. He tells WDCB News political issues are frequently mixed into talks about spending. Dillard says he's seen the budget process many times, both as a lawmaker and as an aide to former Governors Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar. He says there are always substanative issues that are in the mix during the budgetary process. Dillard says reforms to improve the business environment ARE budget issues because building business will generate more tax dollars for the state. He says both sides will have to eliminate some of the items from their ‘wish-list’ to pass a budget. The legislature is set to adjourn the spring session on Sunday.
State Agency Warns Of Nurse Shortageposted May 27th, 2015
The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation warns the state faces the possibility of a nurse shortage in the coming years. About 53,000 registered nurses in Illinois answered a workforce study the agency completed last year. It found one third of nurses who are at least 55 years old plan to retire within five years. Alice Johnson is Executive Director of the Illinois Nurses Association. She tells WDCB News there is a renewed concern about a shortage of nurses. Johnson says there was a temporary easing of the nurses shortage because of the downturn in the economy. She says people who had delayed retirement, but since then the economy has rebounded and nurses are again looking to retire. Johnson says two other factors are complicating the anticipated shortage. The Affordable Care Act increased demand for healthcare and nursing schools report a shortage of faculty to train the next generation of nurses.
Museum of Science and Industry Welcomes Robotsposted May 26th, 2015
The Museum of Science and Industry is offering visitors a glimpse into the future of robotics. A new exhibition titled, Robot Revolution, opened at the museum last week. MSI exhibit designer John Llewellyn says over 40 robots from some of the world’s top research facilities have were secured for the exhibit. He tells WDCB News he hopes visitors leave the exhibit thinking differently about robots. Robot Revolution will be on display at the Museum of Science and Industry through January 2016.
Chicago Non-Profit Offers Legal Assistance to Arrested Residentsposted May 26th, 2015
New Survey Measures Renters' Satisfactionposted May 22nd, 2015
Chicago received an over-all grad of “B+” in a new nationwide survey of renters atisfaction. This week, San Francisco-based Apartment List released the resultsfrom its first ever “Renter Confidence Survey”. Many of the country’s most expensive rent cities also had some of the highest satisfaction scores. Chicago rated high in some areas … but below average in several others. WDCB News Reporter Gary Zidek talked to Apartment List Data analyst Max Rosett about the purpose of the survey.