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Daily Whale Staff

Gainer unveils plans to create jobs for teens in Cook County; says doing so will help reduce violence

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-Chicago) on Tuesday unveiled a set of proposals to help combat rising crime rates in Cook County by increasing employment opportunities for teenagers.

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Q&A with Illinois Medical District Commission Executive Director Dr. Suzet McKinney

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Suzet McKinney made a decision to focus her career on the field of emergency response and public health preparedness. 

“I always thought my public health specialty would be maternal and child health,” McKinney said during a recent conversation with the Daily Whale. “But after I completed my public health degree, 9/11 happened. That started a conversation across our country about the importance of public health and how fractured the public health infrastructure was at that time.”

RTA executive director backs proposal for gas tax hike in push for additional public transportation funding

RTA executive director Leanne Redden on Tuesday advocated for a Metropolitan Planning Council proposal to increase funding for transportation by raising the Illinois’ gas tax and vehicle registration fees.

While speaking at a City Club of Chicago event, Redden stressed the need to boost funding for the RTA and its member agencies, the CTA, Metra and Pace. Redden explained there has been a lack of state funding for the RTA in recent years and contended those funding deficiencies can negatively impact the region’s economy in a variety of ways.

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Illinois EPA to resume emissions test notices

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced the resumption of vehicle emissions test notice mailings the agency suspended in December due to the state budget impasse.

According to a press release from the state EPA, the agency’s vehicle emissions testing contractor has agreed to take responsibility for the printing and mailing of the test reminders. The contractor, Applus Technologies, Inc., will take on the new responsibilities at no additional cost to the state.

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Illinois metro areas experience unemployment rate increase in February

Unemployment rates in all of Illinois’ metropolitan areas showed a year-over-year increase in February, according to data the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security released Thursday.

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Chicago and regional partners seek to spur economic development through water innovation

Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week joined several leaders from the Chicago-area to launch “Current,” a water-focused research initiative designed to promote “water innovation” and economic development.

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Metra board approves $64.5 million increase for 2016 capital program

Metra’s board of directors on Wednesday approved a $64.5 million addition to its 2016 capital program, part of which will go towards the replacement of the Fox River Bridge on the Milwaukee West Line.

New additional capital program funding is the result of a $14 million federal grant and additional $11.3 million in federal funding increases, other new capital contributions and a $12 million transfer of funds from the 2015 operating budget. Metra’s revised 2016 capital program totals $251 million in projected spending, the agency explained in a press release Wednesday.

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Q&A with Latino Policy Forum Executive Director Sylvia Puente

Sylvia Puente started her career as an activist at the age of thirteen when she joined her mother on picket lines in support of the United Farm Workers. Over the course of her now twenty-five year career serving the Latino community, Puente has become a leading public policy analyst and expert on issues impacting Latinos.

Thousands take plunge for Special Olympics

Approximately 6,000 people participated in the 16th Annual Chicago Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Chicago at North Avenue Beach on Sunday morning.  For the second year in a row, the participants included Lady Gaga and her fiancé, “Chicago Fire” star Taylor Kinney. 
 

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Q&A with Barrington Hills Village President Marty McLaughlin

After a surprise win in the 2013 election for village president of Barrington Hills over incumbent Robert Abboud, Marty McLaughlin entered office on a mission to clean up the village’s finances.

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