10-10-11: After School Matters sees paycuts, abandoned pets, the economy and Canadian Thanksgiving

October 10, 2011

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Hosted by Alex Keefe and edited by Elliott Ramos

In today's episode: How pets are faring during the economic downturn; more financial news about After School Matters; Bears.

This week the DuPage County Board is expected to vote on new rules about where places of worship can locate. The changes would allow houses of worship into all zoning districts by right, unlike before. However, they would have to follow new requirements for larger lot sizes, access to major arterial roads, use of public water and sewer lines and they would be limited as to how much of the land could be covered by building. They also would no longer be allowed to purchase and use single-family homes as worship spaces.

A new analysis shows that legislation to overhaull Illinois' electricity grid was one of the most heavily lobbied bills in recent memory.  The Better Government Association said power companies Ameren and ComEd and opponents spent $1.3 million to lobby the bill, which was eventually vetoed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

It’s early. The primary elections are almost six months away. There is a lot of time left for candidates to wave around their resumes in front of voters. There’s also lots of time for candidates to wave around their opponents’ garbage: corruption allegations, DUIs, sex scandals, you name it.

WBEZ's Sam Hudzik asked a few candidates if they plan to go personal on some choice nugget in their opponents’ pasts. They each hedged, leaving the door at least a little bit open. 

Rosie O'Donnell is scheduled to make her debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network Monday. The New York native recently bought a house in Chicago and now she moves into a second new home: Oprah's Harpo studios in the West Loop.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is coming to Chicago. Rahm is breaking out the dinnerware.

After School Matters has been in the news quite a bit lately.  The city of Chicago may have given preferential treatment to the non-profit founded by Mayor Richard Daley's wife, according to a new report from Chicago's inspector general Joseph Ferguson.  The  uncovering has prompted Mayor Emanuel to review a city program that funnels public money to non-profits.

Chicago's premier after-school program offers needy high school students paid apprenticeships—20,000 of them this year alone. While the overall budget pie is the same this year, the slice of that pie going to teen stipends is a lot thinner. WBEZ's Linda Lutton reports.

In the face of ongoing economic misery - for people and dogs alike - luxury items keep the pet-product industry growing. Meanwhile, real estate agents are finding abandoned pets in foreclosed homes.

Bears are heading to Detroit today.

In today's weather, it's mostly sunny with highs around 79 and lows reaching 59.

Morning Drive is wishing everyone a happy Canadian Thanksgiving! To celebrate, we recommend the Poutine.

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