Morning drive podcast and news roundup: refugees in, hospital may be out and the wiener wars day two

August 16, 2011

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Chicago's top headlines, piped straight to your earbuds.

The federal court debate over hot dogs continues today, as testimony begins in the trial between Kraft and Sara Lee. Check back here for the latest news on the wiener wars.

Cook County wants to close Oak Forest Hospital and turn it into an outpatient center. The Health Services Review Board will meet today to discuss the plan. They denied an earlier request in May. The Illinois Department of Public Health warns that closing Oak Forest Hospital will increase shortages of intensive care and long-term care beds in an already underserved neighborhood.

Chicago principals aren’t sold on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new merit pay program. The mayor announced Monday that $5 million donated by local philanthropists will pay bonuses for principals who meet targets for test scores, attendance, school culture and other measures. The head of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association reacted coolly to the idea of bonus money, however, saying while money is nice, it is not the motivator people think it is.

After a stage collapse over the weekend that killed five people, the Indiana State Fair reopened Monday with a memorial service to remember the victims. Meanwhile, organizers of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, IL say safety issues they encounter are handled on a case by case basis. Over the past weekend, rides were shut down at the Illinois State Fair and streets cleared within minutes of getting high wind alerts.

Despite not typically endorsing candidates, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin threw his weight behind Tammy Duckworth in her bid for the 8th district congressional seat. Durbin recruited Tammy Duckworth for a 2006 congressional bid, but the Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient lost that election to Republican Rep. Peter Roskam. 

The Uptown neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side is an established hub for refugee resettlement. It’s home to many social service and resettlement agencies, and refugees often opt to live nearby. But recently, more refugees are choosing to bypass Chicago altogether and head to the north and northwest suburbs instead. Those communities are discovering these new populations in their schools, and suburban educators are adjusting to meet the unique needs of their newest arrivals.

White Sox open a home series against Cleveland tonight. The Cubs beat the Astros last night in Houston for their third straight win (winning streak!).

Sunny, highs near 84 today. Going to be a nice one. 

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