Cheryl Corley http://blog.wlrn.org en Subminimum Wages For The Disabled: Godsend Or Exploitation? http://blog.wlrn.org/post/subminimum-wages-disabled-godsend-or-exploitation The president recently signed an <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/12/executive-order-minimum-wage-contractors">executive order</a> raising the minimum hourly wage to $10.10 for workers employed by federal contractors — including those with disabilities.<p>That's a victory for disabled workers who can make just pennies per hour at so-called sheltered workplaces.<p>While some call sheltered workshops a godsend, others say they are examples of good intentions gone wrong.<p>Sertoma Centre, located in Chicago's south suburbs, is one such organization. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:31:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 31216 at http://blog.wlrn.org Subminimum Wages For The Disabled: Godsend Or Exploitation? States, Lawmakers Want Feds To Use New Math For FEMA Calculations http://blog.wlrn.org/post/states-lawmakers-want-feds-use-new-math-fema-calculations It's no question the weather's been brutal for some communities, including Washington, Ill., a town of 15,000 in the central part of the state. When a tornado <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/17/245817868/tornadoes-in-illinois-cause-severe-damage" target="_blank">ripped through the area</a> last November three people died and more than a thousand homes were damaged.<p>Displaced residents recently filled the pews at a local church for a town meeting. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 07:49:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 30499 at http://blog.wlrn.org States, Lawmakers Want Feds To Use New Math For FEMA Calculations Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA http://blog.wlrn.org/post/latinos-wary-all-out-push-sign-aca All throughout the country, supporters of the Affordable Care Act have worked to reach the uninsured, holding health fairs and putting ads on TV and radio.<p>The push continues to get as many enrolled as possible, especially Latinos — the most uninsured group in the country.<p>Illinois has taken its show on the road with its Road 2 Coverage statewide mobile tour. In Chicago, Jose Munoz points to Road 2 Coverage's huge RV plastered with the Illinois marketplace slogan — "Get Covered Illinois" — parked outside the field house at Humboldt Park. Sat, 29 Mar 2014 16:51:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 29992 at http://blog.wlrn.org Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers http://blog.wlrn.org/post/commuters-ditch-cars-public-transit-record-numbers During the morning rush at Chicago's Union Station, commuter trains pull in, the doors open and a crush of people, newspapers and coffee cups in hand, pour off like a flood.<p>Financial analyst Nader Kouklan says he makes the trip from the suburbs to Chicago's downtown every day.<p>"It's easier and just a faster way to get to work, rather than having to deal with the traffic of the morning commute," Kouklan says.<p>Law student Amalia Romano rides Chicago's Metra line, too.<p>"I take it because I don't want to pay $16 to park every day," Romano explains.<p>Romano and Kouklan are among the incre Sat, 22 Mar 2014 13:37:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 29626 at http://blog.wlrn.org Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers Move To Honor Prohibition-Era 'Untouchable' Hits A Snag http://blog.wlrn.org/post/move-honor-prohibition-era-untouchable-hits-snag Eliot Ness, the famed Prohibition-era agent often credited with bringing down the empire of Chicago mobster Al Capone, is perhaps best known to many from fictional portrayals on the big and small screens.<p>Although Ness is a legendary figure, some politicians are debating whether the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Washington should bear his name.<p>Ness began his career as a Prohibition agent in 1926. Four years later, he was the special agent in charge of going after Capone's bootlegging operation.<p>U.S. Sens. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 21:04:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 29067 at http://blog.wlrn.org Move To Honor Prohibition-Era 'Untouchable' Hits A Snag As a Test Gets Phased Out In Chicago, Some Boycott Its Final Year http://blog.wlrn.org/post/test-gets-phased-out-chicago-some-boycott-its-final-year Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>It's testing time in Illinois today. Hundreds of thousands of students began taking state tests in math and science but some students, parents, even teachers are refusing. At dozens of schools in Chicago, they're staging a boycott, saying the tests don't matter. As NPR's Cheryl Corley reports, it's part of a growing national debate over measuring student performance.<p>UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Boycott the ISAT. Let things be. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 21:18:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 28729 at http://blog.wlrn.org Flagging Down Taxi Drivers To Sign Up For Obamacare http://blog.wlrn.org/post/flagging-down-taxi-drivers-sign-obamacare Dan Ware has been driving a taxicab in Chicago for more than a decade, but he still doesn't have what many jobs offer: health insurance.<p>"I'm without health coverage," he says.<p>And that's not unusual, says Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair. "What we know in Chicago is that around 70 percent of taxi drivers are uninsured," Choucair says.<p>That means about 8,000 cabbies could be eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 08:49:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 28689 at http://blog.wlrn.org Flagging Down Taxi Drivers To Sign Up For Obamacare Holidays For Kids Mean Headaches For Administrators http://blog.wlrn.org/post/holidays-kids-mean-headaches-administrators Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>School districts typically build emergency days into their calendars in case of bad weather. But this winter's relentless snow and bitter cold have some schools reeling. Now, administrators are scrambling to find creative ways to make up for lost time, even as they prepare for more severe weather. NPR's Cheryl Corley has that story.<p>CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: What's the most crucial factor when it comes to schools these days? Not tests or transportation or even grades. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:14:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 27838 at http://blog.wlrn.org Lots Of Little Credit Charges Add Up To One Big Scam http://blog.wlrn.org/post/lots-little-credit-charges-add-one-big-scam Would you notice an unexpected charge of $10 or less on your credit card statement? Lots of consumers don't — and scammers count on that, says Steve Barnas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in northern Illinois.<p>But Barnas says the Better Business Bureau is now hearing from consumers across the country about $9.84 credit charges for what look to be very innocuous purchases. But while they may seem legitimate, many are not.<p>"Most of them we're seeing say "customer support" [or] "website support," he says. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 21:52:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 27373 at http://blog.wlrn.org Lots Of Little Credit Charges Add Up To One Big Scam Big Cities See Violent Crime Rates Fall In 2013 http://blog.wlrn.org/post/big-cities-see-violent-crime-rates-fall-2013 Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>At the start of this new year, a number of cities in the United States, including its five largest, have a common story to tell about crime. In 2013, they all saw violent crime rates drop significantly. Some also saw murder rates drop to historic lows. From Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.<p>CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: The sharpest declines in crime last year occurred in New York City and Philadelphia. Los Angeles and Houston saw reductions as well. Fri, 03 Jan 2014 22:31:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 26008 at http://blog.wlrn.org Despite The Headlines, Chicago's Crime Rate Fell In 2013 http://blog.wlrn.org/post/despite-headlines-chicagos-crime-rate-fell-2013 In 2013, Chicago newspapers and television stations kept a daily deadly count, listing those slain each day, most by gun violence. One of the most noted occurred early in the year when <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/31/170736921/shooting-death-of-chicago-teen-ignites-outrage-enters-national-gun-debate">Hadiya Pendleton</a>, 15, was shot and killed about a week after performing at inauguration events in Washington, D.C., with her high school band. Tue, 31 Dec 2013 08:30:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 25823 at http://blog.wlrn.org Despite The Headlines, Chicago's Crime Rate Fell In 2013 Remembering Chef Charlie Trotter, Chicago Fine-Dining Visionary http://blog.wlrn.org/post/famed-chicago-chef-charlie-trotter-dies-54 <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=patbxJVVXfQ</p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 09:42:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 23251 at http://blog.wlrn.org One Way For An Indie Bookstore To Last? Put Women 'First' http://blog.wlrn.org/post/one-way-indie-bookstore-last-put-women-first As recently as 25 years ago, there were more than 100 self-described feminist bookstores in the U.S. — stores focusing on books written by and for women. Like most independent bookstores, though, their numbers have dropped dramatically over the years.<p>Chicago's Women and Children First is among the few feminist stores still standing, and one of the largest. The store opened 34 years ago in 1979. Sun, 27 Oct 2013 21:36:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 22763 at http://blog.wlrn.org Proposed Minimum Sentencing Law In Illinois Faces Scrutiny http://blog.wlrn.org/post/proposed-minimum-sentencing-law-illinois-faces-scrutiny In Illinois, you can face a prison term of one to three years if you use a weapon unlawfully. But you might serve only half that time, or you could get probation or even boot camp.<p>Chicago alone saw more than 500 murders last year, most by gunfire. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the current law is not what's needed to fight gun violence in the city.<p>"In fact, I would like to ... Thu, 24 Oct 2013 07:09:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 22603 at http://blog.wlrn.org Proposed Minimum Sentencing Law In Illinois Faces Scrutiny States Face Language Barriers To Health Exchange Sign Up http://blog.wlrn.org/post/states-faces-language-barriers-health-exchange-sign Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>For millions of uninsured people, Tuesday is a big day. That's when they can start signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But for people who speak little or no English, it may be a difficult process. Illinois, which has one of the country's largest immigrant populations, is working to make sure that language is not a barrier to enroll in. Fri, 27 Sep 2013 20:17:00 +0000 Cheryl Corley 21301 at http://blog.wlrn.org