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Data Shows A Growing Number of Homeless Children In DuPageposted April 24th, 2014
DuPage County has a total population of just under one-million people, so the problems of fewer than 1500 barely make it on the radar. The DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care is a coalition of service providers that is taking notice. The group says the number of homeless continues to climb from one year to the next, and now it reports a growing number of homeless children. Carol Simler is Director of DuPage PADS. She tells WDCB News thenumbers may be small, but they carry a big cost. Simler says people are using hospitals as their doctor of choice, they're making poor choices in the community and in the correctional system and all those decisions cost local taxpayers. She says the Continuum of Care's statistics are far from complete because they don't include people who are living with friends and relatives or those who are in transitional housing programs. Simler says the number of homeless school aged children in the county jumped from just under 270 in 2006 to nearly 13-hundred in 2013. She says efforts to help parents break the cycle of homelessness is the best way to insure children have a place to go at the end of the day.
Supreme Court Hears New Media Argumentsposted April 24th, 2014
(graphic courtesy Edward Lee)
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week that puts a new media start-up at odds with the country’s television broadcasters. Aereo uses a network of antennas to capture ‘over the air’ signals and then retransmits them to wireless subscribers. Broadcasters say the system violates copy write law. Chicago Kent Law School professor Edward Lee says a lower court sided with the broadcasters. Lee tells WDCB News the Supreme Court justices were clearly struggling Tuesday with how to apply existing law to new technology. He says you see a number of justices were trying to figure out a way that even if they agree Aereo's service might violate to transmit clause of the public performance law how can they craft a ruling that doesn't put a number of existing services in jeopardy. Lee predicts the U.S. Supreme Court will side with Aereo based on the fact that justices asked broadcast attorneys more questions. He says research shows the side that fields fewer questions tends to prevail in the high court.
Howard Dean VIsits DuPageposted April 23rd, 2014
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean spoke at Benedictine University yesterday. The one-time Presidential candidate delivered a presentation on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Dean acknowledges the troubled roll-out of the health insurance marketplaces last fall. He says those early website glitches could cost Democrats in November. The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee tells WDCB News it’s unlikely either party will be able to take control of Congress next year. As far Dean’s own political future, he says “never say never” but as of right now he’s supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Watchdog Wants Limits to Transfer of Juvenile Cases To Adult Courtposted April 23rd, 2014
Prosecutors across Illinois frequently decide to transfer a juvenile case to adult court shortly after police arrest a young person. The Chicago based Juvenile Justice Initiative says that is just one of the problems with the state’s ‘automatic transfer’ law. The group’s Betsy Clarke says researchers looked at more than 250 Cook County cases where prosecutors transferred juvenile cases to adult court. She tells WDCB News the law has a great impact on minority children. Clarke says of the cases reviewed there was only one white child affected during the three year research period. She says the majority of the young people who had cases transferred to adult court are inner-city children that live in close proxemity to the detention center in Chicago. Clarke says automatic transfer is a huge waste of resources. Clarke says adult courts focus almost exclusively on punishing instead of rehabilitative offenders. The Juvenile Justice Initiative wants lawmakers to limit a prosecutor’s ability to automatically transfer juvenile cases to adult court.
White Encourages Organ Donationposted April 23rd, 2014
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White doesn’t just oversee the state’s organ donation program, it’s also a very personal issue for his family. The Chicago Democrat’s sister is the recipient of a donor organ. White visited College of DuPage this week as part of a tour to encourage young people to take part in the state’s donor registry. The Secretary of State tells WDCB News his goal is to no longer have to promote the registry. He says he looks forward to the day and time when the office won't have to get involved in organ donation because there will be so many people who have already signed up that the Secretary of State's Office won't have to promote the program. White says every organ donor can save or greatly improve the life of as many as 25 people. Eight years ago Illinois adopted a ‘first person consent’ organ donation system. The change means family members can’t over-rule someone decision to be an organ donor after they die. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says the change has helped meet the demand from people on the waiting list for a lifesaving transplant.
Earth Day Is Every Day For The Conservation Foundationposted April 22nd, 2014
Efforts to reduce pollution and other planet friendly initiatives get their time in the spotlight today. But for many organizations Earth Day is just another day in their year-round push to improve the environment. For 42 years, the Naperville based Conservation Foundation has worked to preserve open space and improve water quality in the region’s rivers and streams. Foundation CEO Brook McDonald tells WDCB News beyond today there are plenty of chances for people to act locally. He says this time of year there's an 'eco-event' just about every weekend. McDonald says many communities sponsor Earth Day and 'green' fairs to show residents what they can do to make a difference. The Conservation Foundation will be at four events across the region this coming weekend alone. McDonald says the Foundation created its ‘Conservation at Home’ program to show people how they can make a difference. He says there are so many ways for people to ‘act locally’ and they are things that are incredibly affordable.
Republican Leaders Rally For Immigration Reformposted April 21st, 2014
Many of the state’s leading Republicans, including the party’s gubernatorial candidate will take part in an immigration reform rally tomorrow. Bruce Rauner, former Governors Jim Edgar and Jim Thompson and former, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert will be at the event at the Chicago Club. College of DuPage Political Science professor Dr. David Goldberg says immigration reform is an issue that appeals to voters from both parties. He tells WDCB News the latest push for reform comes from traditional Republicans. Goldberg says there are both self-interested political considerations for Rauner and in a larger sense an acknowledgement that the system is broken. He says you can take partisanship out of the debate and anyone can recognize that the system is broken and needs reform. Goldberg says increasingly the issue is being cast as something that is good for business. The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition organized Tuesday’s rally as part of a national effort to encourage Congress to approve reform legislation.
State Bike Plan Is a Step Forward for Alternative Transportationposted April 17th, 2014
Typically when you think of the Illinois Department of Transportation you think of roads, bridges, highways, and railroads. But this week the agency released a state bike plan. Ron Burke is Executive Director of the Chicago based Active Transportation Alliance. The group advocates on behalf ofcyclists, pedestrians, and alternative transportation projects. Burke tells WDCB News the plan represents a changing attitude among transportation agencies. He says I-DOT and other transportation planners recognize that the region's streets need to be 'complete streets.' Burke says that means they work for everyone whether you are driving, riding a bike or walking. He says I-DOT’s own research shows more people would use their bike for short trips if they didn’t feel threatened by traffic. The plan calls for developing more protected bike lanes…more sidewalks and improved crossings.
Combination Storage Unit and Ultimate Man Cave Coming To Napervilleposted April 17th, 2014
The Naperville City Council recently gave the green light for an unusual condo development just north of I-88. Iron Gate Motor condos is a first of its kind facility in Illinois, it offers a mix of storage unit, private garage, and ultimate man-cave. Developer Tom Burgess says the 160 units include a designer garage with heated floors and a loft space to give the owners a place to hang out. He tells WDCB News the ‘motor condos’ are primarily designed for people with collector cars. Burgess says the spaces are a place to keep a special vehicle away from the dings of bicycles, wagons, and lawnmowers. He says they also offer a refuge for people to share their hobby with like minded individuals. Preliminary work on the project is already underway and Burgess expects the first ‘motor condos’ will be complete by late summer. He says more than half of the units are already sold with most owners buying more than one.