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The Obama administration is expanding ways to register for the affordable health care program.
To register by telephone, call 1-800-318-2596.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to expand access to mammograms for low-income women.
Though some financial experts wanted the mayor to privatize the city's program for providing the exams, the mayor has elected instead to spend more money to try to fix the troubled program, which had been criticized for allegedly not referring women with abnormal screenings for further tests soon enough and for having unqualified personnel performing the mammograms.
Emanuel pledged Wednesday to spend $200,000 more in city money next year to address the various concerns and expand the program.
"It's all about access," the mayor said during an appearance at Roseland Community Hospital. "It is one of the few cancers which, if you diagnose it early enough, you can actually deal with it. And it is essential that we give people here in the community and the surrounding area access immediately."
The program will continue to be run by the city Public Health Department, despite concerns about the staffing. Anne Marie Murphy, executive director of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, praised the city for increasing funding, but encouraged the Public Health Department "to continue to look for mammography experts" to run the program and said her non-profit agency will continue to work with the department "on quality improvement."
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
Jay Z says he will continue to work with the New York department store Barneys after being pressured to sever ties following a racial profiling scandal.
Barneys is being sued by two individuals who were detained by police after purchasing expensive items at the store. Trayon Christian, a 19-year-old college student, says officers were called by store employees who doubted "how a young black man... could afford to purchase such an expensive belt."
Almost 60,000 people signed a petition urging Jay Z to end his collaboration with the store. The rapper says he will continue to work with Barneys as long as he maintains "a leadership role" in the investigation. Barneys has also quadrupled their donation to Jay Z's charity, the Shawn Carter Foundation.
"I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue," Jay Z said. "I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on."
Barneys says it has "zero tolerance for any form of discrimination" and has hired a civil rights lawyer to review the store's operations.
CTA riders are finding more problems with the new Ventra fare-payment system.
The Ventra transit benefit program uses pretax deductions from commuters' paychecks to make transit fares more affordable. The program could save commuters hundreds of dollars annually, but the Tribune discovered that the program contains monthly "load fees" that could counteract the savings.
The load fees would come in addition to the amount commuters already pay for their transit passes as well as the processing fee charged by third-party administrators.
For now, the load fee will be waived as long as a $10 balance is maintained in Ventra accounts each month. After the first year, however, the load fee would depend on the achievement of program participation goals of third-party administrators.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
The Chicago area was battered by thunderstorms yesterday afternoon that were strong enough to delay the Bears game, but the most damage was done by tornadoes that touched down in central and southern Illinois.
At least 16 tornadoes touched down across Illinois, from the southern tip up to the Will and Cook county borders, leaving six people dead. An EF-2 tornado was spotted near Coal City, where winds reached between 113 and 157 mph.
A lot of damage was done to rural areas like Washington, IL, where entire blocks of homes were obliterated by the tornadoes. A hospital disaster response team set up a triage station in the area where 37 patients were treated, with three still in serious condition as of yesterday.
Gov. Pat Quinn canceled his Monday schedule to visit damaged areas and to see the devastation first hand.
SOURCE: Chicago Sun Times