The Columbia Chronicle

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Olympic Village may close lakefront

April 13, 2009

If Chicago is chosen to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, large portions of the city's lakefront path could be closed to the public for about a month because of plans for a private beach for athletes ...

Not playing games

By Kelly Rix

April 6, 2009

International Olympic Committee officials touched down in Chicago on April 2 to take a closer look at the city's bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. While most of the city rolled out the red carpet for the visitors, some Chicagoans protested instead.At 5 p.m. on April 2, several hundred protesters turned out to voice their opposition to the Olympic bid at Federal Plaza, 50 W. Adams St., drawing attention from the swar...

Charter schools earn A+ in progress

By Sean Stillmaker

April 6, 2009

Parents, teachers and community members have strongly argued against Chicago Public Schools’ Renaissance 2010 initiative. Their arguments are varied and motivated to do what’s best for the children.The recently released performance report by CPS, however, indicates Renaissance 2010 schools not only have positive increasing progress but also exceed results of district schools.The Renaissance 2010 plan for CPS was launc...

Sex workers seek equal rights

By Spencer L. Roush

April 6, 2009

In 33 years of working the streets, one former prostitute was arrested 186 times, suffered multiple stab wounds, was periodically homeless, encountered corrupt police officers, developed a drug habit and was raped numerous times.Leeanna Majors, 54, said this was all part of the job. In fact, these are the experiences many sex workers live with each day on the streets—but all of this may be changing. Advocacy groups like the Ch...

Parking fee increase angers Chicagoans

By mlekovic

April 6, 2009

Chicago residents are dismayed over the parking meter price increases and are reacting by vandalizing meters and boycotting street parking in the city.Across the city, parking meters have been jammed, painted over and broken. These acts show frustration and rebellion of Chicagoans against Chicago Parking Meters, LLC (CPM) and their new prices. The parking meter debacle not only affects motorists, but businesses, business owner...

Metra saves on fuel costs

By Ashley Badgley

March 30, 2009

Chicago's major rail system, Metra, provides commuters from all over Chicagoland with easy access to the city. Now, Metra may have found a way to avoid major fuel costs.The rail line could save an estimated $50 million in diesel. The savings could mean more money spent on infrastructure and keeping the rail system in good condition.Metra set a record and provided riders with 86.8 million trips in 2008, said Metra spokesperson Michael Gilli...

Chicago running season begins in a shuffle

By Ashley Badgley

March 30, 2009

Chicago’s running season is in full swing, and runners from all over the Chicago area are training for events in the warm weather.The Shamrock Shuffle, which took place on March 28, is the second largest annual race in Chicago and draws more than 30,000 participants each year, according to race director Carey Pinkowski.“For 30 years, the Shamrock Shuffle has been a kick-off to the running season,” Pinkowski said. “I’ve ...

State earns ‘D’ on mental health

By Bethany Reinhart

March 30, 2009

Despite ongoing efforts by mental health care professionals to improve Illinois' mental health care system, the National Alliance of Mental Illness issued the state a grade of a ‘D' on its 2009 report, "Grading the States: A Report on America's Health Care System for Serious Mental Illness," released on March 11. This comes as a slight improvement from its 2006 report that issued Illinois an "F."Christine Armstrong, public ...

Chicago baseball fans wanted

By Sean Stillmaker

March 30, 2009

Baseball season has begun, and Chicago will take some time to unite the sport’s most vital element—its fans.Baseball fans are welcomed to join the second annual Play Ball, Chicago, an event celebrating the state’s major and minor league baseball teams on April 2 at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.A singing contest will be held, and the winner will sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,”...

Illinois to recognize Pluto as planet again

By Bethany Reinhart

March 16, 2009

Illinois legislators recently took time away from overtly pressing issues to pass a resolution that reestablishes Pluto as the ninth planet-at least in Illinois.On Feb. 26, the state senate voted in favor of reinstating Pluto's planetary status. The resolution came in response to a 2006 ruling by the International Astronomical Association that reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet instead of a full-fledged planet.In a stat...

Civil union bill making strides

By Ashley Badgley

March 16, 2009

Several Illinois lawmakers are hard at work to make civil unions legal in Illinois.If passed, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Bill will provide protection of property, visitation rights and other basic allowances couples receive upon marriage, though the couples would not be legally married.State Rep. Greg Harris introduced the bill to state legislatures and said it is aimed to protect and support ...

Illinois congress debates legalizing medicinal cannabis

By Sean Stillmaker

March 16, 2009

Julie Falco has lived with multiple sclerosis for 30 years. She has suffered severe pain, depression and at one point even contemplated suicide. Her doctors prescribed an assortment of medication, but none of them helped ease her struggle and function normally until she started using medical cannabis.“[Medical cannabis] helped bring all that pain down to a manageable level so I can get through a day and live a better life...

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