WBEZ | News http://www.wbez.org/news Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en EPA pushes for 'smart thermostats' as way to limit pollution http://www.wbez.org/news/epa-pushes-smart-thermostats-way-limit-pollution-113254 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_800640016224.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made an impassioned push Thursday for homeowners to adopt Wi-Fi-enabled &quot;smart thermostats&quot; as a way to limit carbon pollution and improve public health.</p><p>Besides noting the devices save consumers money, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy cast the technology in grander terms, saying it offered an easy way for people to &quot;stand up&quot; and meet &quot;our moral responsibility&quot; to do something about the smog that leads to climate change, premature deaths and asthma attacks.</p><p>&quot;Even if you don&#39;t care about the climate or believe the science &mdash; which we can argue about later &mdash; do it anyways. Just humor me,&quot; she said to laughter and applause at an appearance in&nbsp;Chicago. &quot;You know why? Because you&#39;re going to save money. ... But let&#39;s not forget that behind that saving money are thousands of lives.&quot;</p><p>McCarthy spoke at an event launching the nation&#39;s largest incentives program to encourage the use of the technology. Under the program, utility companies in northern Illinois have joined together to offer homeowners rebates of up to $120, about half the cost of the devices, which allow users to control cooling and heating programs from their smartphones, tablets and computers.</p><p>The goal is to get 1 million of the thermostats installed in northern Illinois homes within the next five years. The rebate applies specifically to Nest and ecobee thermostats. <a href="https://youtu.be/CmvX6YgAqMI?t=7s" target="_blank">Companies including Honeywell also make Wi-Fi-equipped thermostats.</a></p><p>It is considered smart technology because besides being linked to wireless Internet service, the thermostats &quot;learn&quot; costumer behavior and adjust settings accordingly. Motion sensors detect when someone is home and automatically dial back heating and AC usage when no one is home.</p><p>Most people already have traditional programmable thermostats. But studies have shown only about half of users actually program them because of poor design and complicated settings. Commonwealth Edison, the electric utility for&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;and northern Illinois, found in a study that its customers were wasting about 38 percent of their cooling expense as a result.</p><p>The new generation of smart thermostats that have emerged in the past few years offer a simplified interface via apps for smartphones and other mobile devices. They also compile a trove of data and present it back to customers in a monthly report with suggestions on how to save more.</p><p>If the Illinois program reaches its installation goal, it could capture $80 million to $120 million in customer savings and eliminate 700,000 metric tons of carbon pollution a year, said Howard Lerner, director of the Environmental Law &amp; Policy Center, which pushed for the program.</p><p>The average user can save about $130 a year on bills, Lerner said. Combined with the rebate, that means the device could pay for itself in as little as a year.</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/epa-pushes-smart-thermostats-way-limit-pollution-113254 Amazon takes aim at Etsy with new craft site http://www.wbez.org/news/amazon-takes-aim-etsy-new-craft-site-113253 <p><p>Amazon is firing yet another shot at a competitor. This time it&#39;s a mega-artisanal shot, at Etsy &mdash; the popular craft site. The e-commerce giant on Thursday launched Handmade, a new marketplace for, well, handmade goods. This could be wonderful news for the artisan movement, or terrible news for Etsy, its staunchest supporter to date.</p><p>Valerie Nethery got a message out of the blue, from Amazon. &quot;They emailed me directly. I&#39;m not sure how they found me.&quot;</p><p>She&#39;s runs a little shop called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lilyemmejewelry.com/about" target="_blank">LilyEmme</a>, and guesses &quot;maybe they found my Instagram, or maybe word of mouth.&quot;</p><p>Or maybe through&nbsp;<a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/LilyEmmeJewelry">her page on Etsy</a>.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/torchwork-8fc73b4454f008b4994535624ace5cb8ce12ea58-s1200.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 600px;" title="Valerie Nethery's LilyEmme Jewelry is among the first artisanal stores to be featured on Handmade, Amazon's new marketplace. (Courtesy LilyEmme Jewelry)" /></div><p>Nethery sells 14-karat gold jewelry that&#39;s handmade and ethical, using eco-friendly stones such as moissanite and ethically sourced conflict-free diamonds.</p><p>She&#39;s sold enough on Etsy (and through her own advertising) to make this her full-time job. And like many small-business owners, she wants to grow. So she couldn&#39;t ignore that email.</p><p>&quot;Well, it&#39;s Amazon,&quot; she says. &quot;It&#39;s such a big company. I really am passionate about what I do, so &mdash; I wanted to be at the forefront of something that I knew was going to be really big.&quot;</p><p>Amazon Handmade went live Thursday and Nethery was among the first artisans showcased on it. She says so far, she hasn&#39;t seen a flood of orders but a few inquiries asking how quickly LilyEmme can get items out and what options are available for custom orders.</p><p>Amazon is giving artisans a very seductive offer: a chance to reach more than&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&amp;node=8445211011" target="_blank">240 million Amazon customers</a>&nbsp;globally. The store debuts with about 80,000 items from 5,000 sellers.</p><p>Amazon&#39;s definition of&nbsp;<a href="http://services.amazon.com/handmade/handmade.htm" target="_blank">definition of handmade</a>&nbsp;is quite strict. Items have to be completely factory-free &mdash; no help at all from manufacturers or a kit.</p><p>Etsy, the incumbent,&nbsp;<a href="https://blog.etsy.com/news/2015/the-next-phase-of-responsible-manufacturing-at-etsy/" target="_blank">lets its artisans use that extra help</a>&nbsp;to scale up. Vanessa Haim, a business owner who&nbsp;<a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/Dopedoll" target="_blank">sells on Etsy</a>, says it&#39;s unclear which business will woo and retain more sellers &mdash; and buyers &mdash; over time. She asks, &quot;Well, are people going to now just want to go to Amazon for these kind of products?&quot;</p><p>It&#39;s an open question.</p><p>Etsy went public in April and is under pressure from investors to grow. This move by Amazon could cut into Etsy&#39;s bottom line.</p><p>Or, Haim says optimistically, the money Amazon pumps into marketing could make the pie bigger for the handmade industry &mdash; bringing in customers who didn&#39;t know to look before. &quot;Maybe instead of, you know, buying this product new, I can get this maybe handmade,&quot; she says.</p><p>Etsy says in a statement that it has spent a decade learning how to support artisans and sellers in a way that &quot;no other marketplace can.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/10/08/446980229/amazon-takes-aim-at-etsy-with-a-new-craft-site-handmade?ft=nprml&amp;f=446980229" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/amazon-takes-aim-etsy-new-craft-site-113253 Tribune Media considering sale of landmarked headquarters http://www.wbez.org/news/tribune-media-considering-sale-landmarked-headquarters-113252 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_060601048923.jpg" style="height: 379px; width: 250px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="(AP File Photo/Nam Y. Huh)" />Tribune Media has announced it recently hired real estate investment banker Eastdil Secured to explore the sale or find a partner to help redevelop Tribune Tower, which sits on three acres along&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;Michigan Ave.</p><p>In a statement Thursday, Tribune Real Estate president Murray McQueen says the landmarked building and its location along&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s premier retail street is expected to attract interest from &quot;a broad range of private and institutional investors and developers.&quot;</p><p>The 36-story, neo-Gothic building houses the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Tribune and other tenants. The building has 737,000 square feet, but the entire site is zoned for up to 2.4 million square feet.</p><p>Tribune Media spun off its publishing division, including the Los Angeles Times and other daily newspapers, last year to focus on its broadcasting business.</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/tribune-media-considering-sale-landmarked-headquarters-113252 The Latest: Chicago Public Schools mum on indictment http://www.wbez.org/news/latest-chicago-public-schools-mum-indictment-113251 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_902919343426.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The latest on the indictment of former<br />Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, following a federal investigation into a $20 million no-bid contract (all times local):</p><div><p><strong>3:55 p.m.</strong></p><p>Officials with&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools have declined to discuss the indictment of the district&#39;s former CEO, Barbara Byrd-Bennett.</p><p>A statement Thursday from CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner doesn&#39;t mention the charges against the former schools chief.</p><p>The statement says the district is focused, &quot;as always,&quot; on its roughly 400,000 students.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett, a longtime educator, was chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to take over the nation&#39;s third-largest school district in 2012. She left earlier this year amid a federal investigation.</p><p>In July, Emanuel named the city&#39;s former transit chief, Forrest Claypool, as a replacement.</p><hr /><p><strong>3:40 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he was &quot;saddened and disappointed&quot; to learn of the criminal activity alleged in a federal indictment charging his hand-picked former schools chief.</p><p>In a statement Thursday, Emanuel said students, parents, teachers and principals in the nation&#39;s third-largest school district &quot;deserve better.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel chose longtime educator Barbara Byrd-Bennett to lead&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools in 2012. He spent much of his hard-fought re-election bid earlier this year defending his controversial schools decisions and Bennett&#39;s hiring.</p><p>Prosecutors announced the indictment earlier Thursday. It accuses Byrd-Bennett of steering $20 million in no-bid contracts to an education company where she used to be a consultant.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett&#39;s attorney says the former schools chief plans to plead guilty.</p><hr /><p><strong>3:10 p.m.</strong></p><p>An attorney for former&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett confirms that his client will plead guilty to charges in a federal indictment alleging public corruption.</p><p>Chicago-based lawyer Michael Scudder released a statement Thursday saying Byrd-Bennett accepts &quot;full responsibility for her conduct.&quot; The statement says she plans to plead guilty to charges in the indictment.</p><p>Scudder also says Byrd-Bennett will continue to cooperate with the government, including testifying if called upon to do so.</p><hr /><p><strong>3 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;top federal prosecutor says the former CEO ofChicago&nbsp;Public Schools plans to plead guilty in a corruption case linked to a $20 million no-bid contract.</p><p>U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said Thursday that he was authorized by an attorney for Barbara Byrd-Bennett to announce her plans to plead guilty. Fardon didn&#39;t specify what charges would be involved.</p><p>His office announced earlier Thursday that Byrd-Bennett had been indicted on several counts of mail fraud and wire fraud following an investigation into a no-bid contract with SUPES Academy, where she once worked as a consultant.</p><p>Byrd-Bennett stepped down as the city&#39;s top school official earlier this year.</p><hr /><p><strong>2:15 p.m.</strong></p><p>Chicago&nbsp;Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says the indictment on corruption charges involving&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools&#39; former CEO marks a &quot;sad day&quot; for the district&#39;s leadership.</p><p>In a statement released Thursday, Lewis says the union wishes former CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett &quot;well in her legal battles.&quot; Lewis says the union is now focused on securing a new contract.</p><p>The union and school district are locked in a tense contract negotiation. During the last round of negotiations, teachers inChicago&nbsp;went on strike for the first time in 25 years.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 16:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/latest-chicago-public-schools-mum-indictment-113251 What just happened to the Speaker's race, in two charts http://www.wbez.org/news/what-just-happened-speakers-race-two-charts-113250 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_35237185790.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>No one knows who will lead House Republicans next, but for now, chaos is reigning among the House GOP. Rep.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/08/446889538/mccarthy-drops-out-of-speaker-race-throwing-gop-leadership-into-chaos" target="_blank">Kevin McCarthy shocked Washington</a>&nbsp;on Thursday when he dropped out of the race for speaker of the House.</p><p>If you aren&#39;t watching Capitol Hill closely, you might not know what the big deal is, or why the GOP is having such a hard time picking a speaker. Here&#39;s a quick rundown of what&#39;s going on.</p><p>McCarthy, the current House Majority Leader, was the frontrunner in the race for the speakership, which John Boehner abruptly resigned a week ago.</p><p>As Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told reporters Thursday, &quot;No other candidate came close to having the 200-plus votes that Kevin McCarthy had.&quot;</p><p>To be nominated for speaker, McCarthy would have only needed a majority of House Republicans&#39; votes &mdash; so 125 of the 248 Republicans who would have voted (true, there are only 247 GOP representatives, but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/08/446839557/mccarthy-poised-to-clinch-gops-nomination-for-speaker-but-its-just-step-1">one delegate</a>&nbsp;from American Samoa would have voted as well).</p><div id="res446978547"><div id="responsive-embed-speaker-election-20151008"><iframe frameborder="0" height="311px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/speaker-election-20151008/child.html?initialWidth=538&amp;childId=responsive-embed-speaker-election-20151008&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fitsallpolitics%2F2015%2F10%2F08%2F446930387%2Fwhat-just-happened-to-the-speakers-race-kevin-mccarthy-in-2-charts%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D446930387" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="100%"></iframe></div></div><p>In other words, McCarthy was assured of winning the nomination. But then the full House would have had to vote to give him the speakership. That&#39;s a much higher hurdle.</p><p>McCarthy had two challengers billing themselves as (more) conservative alternatives &mdash;Jason Chaffetz and Daniel Webster. Webster was endorsed by the Freedom Caucus, a far-right group of around 40 representatives, by many counts.</p><p>Assuming&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/10/06/q-a-how-does-the-house-elect-a-new-speaker">Democrats voted</a>&nbsp;for their own nominee as they have in the past (that is, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi), McCarthy &mdash; with his 200 or so votes &mdash; would have had to try to pick off around 18 people from that 40(ish) group or the other handful of lawmakers he hadn&#39;t already won over.</p><div id="res446978437"><div id="responsive-embed-freedom-speaker-20151008"><iframe frameborder="0" height="320px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/freedom-speaker-20151008/child.html?initialWidth=538&amp;childId=responsive-embed-freedom-speaker-20151008&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fitsallpolitics%2F2015%2F10%2F08%2F446930387%2Fwhat-just-happened-to-the-speakers-race-kevin-mccarthy-in-2-charts%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D446930387" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="100%"></iframe></div></div><p>Now, with McCarthy out, the House GOP is thrown into confusion as it tries to find itself a compromise candidate &mdash; or perhaps a candidate that can just get it through 2017, as some representatives have called for. Given how fractured they are right now, who that might be is anyone&#39;s guess.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/08/446930387/what-just-happened-to-the-speakers-race-kevin-mccarthy-in-2-charts?ft=nprml&amp;f=446930387" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/what-just-happened-speakers-race-two-charts-113250 Dealing with alcoholism in the family http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-08/dealing-alcoholism-family-113249 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy visits FOX News’ “America’s Newsroom” at FOX Studios on October 6, 2015 in New York City..jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A memoir called &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Common-Struggle-Personal-Journey-Addiction/dp/0399173323?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">A Common Struggle</a>,&rdquo; released Tuesday by former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, bears all about his family&rsquo;s health and alleged addictions.</p><p>The portrait of his father, the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, and his mother Joan, breaks what he calls a &ldquo;conspiracy of silence&rdquo; about how alcoholism poisoned the family. Others are disputing the account, including his older brother, Ted Kennedy Jr., a Connecticut state senator.</p><p>Those inner-family disputes are not uncommon, according to&nbsp;Robert Ackerman, an expert on alcoholism and family life. Siblings can have different experiences with a parent&rsquo;s addiction, he says, and in some cases, one sibling may not recognize the problem at all.</p><p>Here &amp; Now&lsquo;s Robin Young speaks with Ackerman about alcoholism and the many ways that it impacts family and children.</p><hr /><p><strong><span style="font-size:18px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><strong>How common is it for one child to say something and another to stay silent?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s very common. Several years ago I was amazed when I met adult children of alcoholics whose siblings did not consider themselves to be adult children of alcoholics. There&rsquo;s a lot of different reasons for it &ndash; it runs all the way from your perception, your age, your gender can have a lot to do with it. Daughters of alcoholics talked about their experience very differently than sons talked about their experience. Let me give you an example. Daughters of alcoholic fathers, which is the most common in 60 percent of cases, talked about their dads almost from a defensive point of view, but daughters of alcoholic mothers talked about their moms almost from an attacking point of view. A man can get inebriated and make a fool out of himself in public, but by our cultural standards, he&rsquo;s still permitted to feel masculine. But it&rsquo;s very difficult for a woman to do the same thing.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Can someone really deny that a family member is alcoholic?</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Well yes, we would think after all these years we&rsquo;d have a handle on the concept of denial. One way of looking at it is what&rsquo;s really in it for the person who really does deny. Men coming out of alcoholic families &ndash; boy if it&rsquo;s your mom, we will deny for a much longer time if mom had a drinking problem than if dad had a drinking problem. I denied and protected my dad for years, and finally when I was older I thought about what&rsquo;s in it for me, and I thought, as long as I deny that he was alcoholic, I got to deny that it really hurt me. If I wasn&rsquo;t hurt then I didn&rsquo;t have to do anything about it. And I found out later that that&rsquo;s just not true, it had a huge impact on me. One classic case I saw was one time people came to hear me speak and there were sisters asking all kinds of questions, and the father was alcoholic but had quit drinking, but the older sister went on and on, and the younger sister said, &lsquo;we never realized you were impacted by this&rsquo; and this really quiet mother spoke up and said, &lsquo;you weren&rsquo;t affected, none of you were affected&rsquo; just like that. And you know, mom spent her life trying to protect her children and if her kids were affected, then mom thought maybe she had failed.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On the disastrous nature of anonymity for children of alcoholic parents</strong></p><div>&ldquo;You mentioned Patrick Kennedy and his &lsquo;conspiracy of silence&rsquo;. I&rsquo;ve always talked about, if you&rsquo;re living in an alcoholic family, addiction takes hostages. It puts a whole lid on what you can and can&rsquo;t say in your family, and it starts to put a lid on yourself and pretty soon you find yourself going out of your way to cover up what you live with every day. The stuff that really stands out the most is that it really has an impact in normal human development. Those things you and I should work on as we grow up &ndash; the development of trust, the development of intimacy with other people, a great sense of creativity, a sense of self-accomplishment. When you&rsquo;re second or third to a bottle or to OxyContin, it&rsquo;s very painful. I was aware of this as a kid and I never said anything to anybody but I never felt that I was as good as the other children, like &lsquo;wow they must have come from a really good home&rsquo; and I just was not about to share my home. And it&rsquo;s not just about what&rsquo;s happening to you &ndash; I believe the greatest impact, especially on children, it&rsquo;s not what happened, it&rsquo;s about what they&rsquo;re missing.&rdquo;</div><p><strong>On the terrifying moment of intervention</strong><br />&ldquo;We have absolutely no idea how that parent is going to take it. I wound up with the same thing, I finally got enough nerve to say something to my father when I was a young man and my dad sort of politely told me where to go. The number one thing is, and I believe this more than anything else, that is people and members of an alcoholic family quite simply have a right to recovery. It&rsquo;s as simple as that, whether that person is five or 55 years old. And that right does not depend on whether that alcoholic gets sober, it depends on whether or not you take enough interest in yourself or your children to get help. You can&rsquo;t sit around and wait for somebody who&rsquo;s drug-affected to make a rational decision.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/08/dealing-with-alcoholism-in-the-family" target="_blank"><em> via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 15:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-08/dealing-alcoholism-family-113249 Ex-Chicago Public Schools leader charged with corruption http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Barbara%20Byrd-Bennett%20003%20By%20Bill%20Healy.jpg" style="height: 406px; width: 610px;" title="Barbara Byrd-Bennet. (WBEZ/Bill Healy)" /></div><p>The former head of Chicago Public Schools is facing criminal charges for her connection to a $20.5 million no-bid contract awarded to her former employer.</p><p>The Department of Justice <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/file/782216/download">alleges</a> Byrd-Bennett, 66, steered $23 million to the SUPES Academy and Synesi Associates, in exchange for an expectation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks that were funneled into accounts set up under the names of two of her relatives.</p><p>The no-bid contract was awarded one month after the district voted to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-board-votes-close-50-schools-107294">close 50 public schools</a>, the most ever shuttered in a single year in U.S. history.</p><p>Catalyst Chicago first raised <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/07/20-million-no-bid-contract-raises-questions-about-supes-academy/">questions</a> about the principal training provided by SUPES, reporting that principals felt the sessions were too basic and led by people who knew little about Chicago. Six months later, the CPS Inspector General <a href="http://catalyst-chicago.org/2013/12/supes-academy-contract-under-scrutiny-inspector-general/">opened an investigation</a>.</p><p>In April, news broke that Byrd-Bennett was the subject of a federal probe. Subpoenas were sent to the school district seeking interviews with people who worked with the ex-CEO and records related to SUPES and Synesi Associates.</p><p>The indictment also charges the co-owners of those companies, Gary Solomon, 47, and Thomas Vranas, 34.</p><p>Solomon is charged with 15 counts of mail fraud, five counts of wire fraud, two counts of bribery of a government official and one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.&nbsp;Soloman&#39;s attorney released a statement saying Soloman and his companies have cooperated with investigators. The statement said Soloman was aware that the charges would be announced Thursday and that he&#39;s disappointed with the government&#39;s decision to charge him.</p><p>Vranas is also charged with 15 counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, two counts of bribery of a government official and one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., according to a press release from the Department of Justice. &nbsp;</p><p>Byrd-Bennett <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-schools-chief-resigns-amid-federal-probe-112114">resigned from the top job</a> at CPS in June after taking a leave of absence amid the scrutiny of the investigation.</p><p>The corruption scandal comes as the district is facing a $500 million budget hole that could force more layoffs by Thanksgiving. Current CPS CEO Forrest Claypool <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-board-education-passes-budget-banks-imaginary-money-112740">wants state lawmakers to come through with a bailou</a>t. Claypool is scheduled to speak at a conference of suburban and downstate school districts this afternoon. CPS spokeswoman Emily Bittner has said he will not take questions.</p><h3><strong>Read the indictment</strong></h3><p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" data-aspect-ratio="0.7729220222793488" data-auto-height="false" frameborder="0" height="800" id="doc_39642" scrolling="no" src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/284088055/content?start_page=1&amp;view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-C9KRlEQTJ9HQWAEtPcxU&amp;show_recommendations=false" width="600"></iframe></p><p><em>This story is developing.</em></p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this story.</em></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/ex-chicago-public-schools-leader-charged-corruption-113246 Can't afford school? Girls learn to negotiate the Harvard way: #15Girls http://www.wbez.org/news/cant-afford-school-girls-learn-negotiate-harvard-way-15girls-113240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She&#039;s also trying to figure out how to get to medical school..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res446322603"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Madalitso Mulando studies at the Chinika Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. By fifth grade, the school dropout rate is three times higher for girls than for boys." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-4_custom-077cecb0aaa29cfa3124f09f995f0219cddb455e-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Madalitso Mulando studies at the Chinika Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia. By fifth grade, the school dropout rate is three times higher for girls than for boys. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><p>Madalitso Mulando knew what she needed to finish 10th grade: $150.</p></div></div><p>That&#39;s the cost of tuition at Chinika Secondary School, a public high school in Lusaka, Zambia. Completing 10th grade was part of Mulando&#39;s dream to go to medical school and become a doctor.</p><p>But the 15-year-old&#39;s parents were broke.</p><p>&quot;Yeah, I was alone. I was in my bedroom ... and I started, like, crying because Mom and Dad didn&#39;t have any money,&quot; she remembers. &quot;And I was like, maybe I&#39;ll never go to school again because Mom and Dad didn&#39;t have any money.&quot;</p><p>Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Mulando shares her room with her sister and two nieces &mdash; and a stack of dog-eared textbooks.</p><p>&quot;I like biology,&quot; she says, laughing.</p><div id="res446322759"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Madalitso Mulando brushes off her shoes before heading to school in Lusaka, Zambia. Last year, she missed a whole semester while her parents struggled to scrape together tuition." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-2_custom-005abbe76c82a6dc1c1b7f65b9b9dc29c8a21942-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Madalitso Mulando brushes off her shoes before heading to school in Lusaka, Zambia. Last year, she missed a whole semester while her parents struggled to scrape together tuition. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>For most Zambian schoolgirls, that&#39;s where their education might have ended. Most Zambian families live below the poverty line. Most Zambian schoolkids, especially girls, never make it to 10th grade because their families can&#39;t afford it.</p></div></div></div><p>One might see this as an unchangeable fact of poverty.</p><p>But Kathleen McGinn, a professor of negotiation at Harvard Business School, sees it as a communication deficit. She says Zambian schoolgirls have to advocate for their interests in a way that American high-schoolers rarely need to.</p><p>&quot;In the U.S., it&#39;s illegal to take your kid out of school,&quot; says McGinn. &quot;In Zambia, you have to pay to keep your kid in school.&quot;</p><p>Some programs have tried to remedy this by offering cash grants and other incentives to schoolgirls, but the well-intentioned money always runs out. So, McGinn and her colleagues Nava Ashraf and Corinne Low wondered: Could Zambian schoolgirls stay in school if they received training in negotiation &mdash; a version of the same training given to Harvard MBAs, undergrads and executives? Could techniques honed around an oak boardroom table apply in a slum in southern Africa?</p><p>With the help of the Zambian Ministry of Education and the New Haven-based Innovations for Poverty Action, a research nonprofit, they&#39;re hoping to find out. They wrote a curriculum to teach Zambian high school students the art of getting to &quot;yes.&quot; It&#39;s part of a multiyear research study to see if a week of negotiation training can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.poverty-action.org/study/negotiating-better-future-impact-teaching-negotiation-skills-girls-health-and-educational">help Zambian schoolgirls stay in school</a>&nbsp;and avoid getting pregnant.</p><p><img alt="After a weeklong course in negotiation training, Mulando petitioned relatives to cover her school fees by convincing them that her education was worth investing in." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-3_custom-c686cadd60ae88ddd06c7477375644acf950856d-s300-c85.jpg" style="float: right; height: 413px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="After a weeklong course in negotiation training, Mulando petitioned relatives to cover her school fees by convincing them that her education was worth investing in. (Gregory Warner/NPR)" /></p><p>Earlier this year, we visited a high school in Lusaka, where coach Jean Mwape was leading a discussion with 50 teenage girls crowded into a tiny classroom. The students volunteered for this weeklong negotiation course taught by local university grads.</p><div id="res446322673"><div><div><p>At times, the language sounded like it was ripped from an arbitration manual, which, of course, much of it was.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;Finding out the other person&#39;s interests helps you think of solutions to meet both your interests and theirs,&quot; Mwape says. &quot;OK?&quot;</p><p>The girls were brainstorming ideas on how to ask open-ended questions to figure out what their parents really want &mdash; and how to speak more effectively with them.</p><p>&quot;How can we become better negotiators?&quot; Mwape asks.</p><p>&quot;Practicing!&quot; the students reply.</p><p>Madalitso Mulando took this course two years ago when it was first offered. She found it so useful, she&#39;s back for a refresher, even though it means walking an hour each way from her house in Kanyama slum, past mangy chickens and mobile phone shops on flooded, muddy roads.</p><p>Mulando hops from stone to stone across the huge puddles.</p><div id="res446322499"><div><div><p>She opens a metal gate, slips off her plastic shoes, and she&#39;s home.</p></div></div></div><p>Her house is tidy and spare. The only decorations on the walls are her parents&#39; graduation photos.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mulando fetches water from a tap a short walk from her home. Most Zambian schoolgirls have to advocate for their interests in a way that American high schoolers rarely need to, says Kathleen McGinn, a professor of negotiation at Harvard Business School." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-5_custom-a6829c700fe35c3e6533047f66895ae7688fb324-s600-c85.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Mulando fetches water from a tap a short walk from her home. Most Zambian schoolgirls have to advocate for their interests in a way that American high schoolers rarely need to, says Kathleen McGinn, a professor of negotiation at Harvard Business School. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></p><p>Mulando&#39;s parents care deeply about education. Her older brother and sister went to college, but her mom&#39;s grocery stand closed two years ago. Her father&#39;s hardware store is failing. And, so, one night this January her parents had to tell her they couldn&#39;t afford to pay her $150 yearly tuition.</p><p>This wasn&#39;t the first time this had happened to her. In ninth grade, she missed a whole term while her parents struggled to scrape together tuition. But this time around, Mulando vowed to use her new negotiation skills to do some fundraising with her extended family.</p><div id="res446322448"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Mulando lives at home, in Lusaka's Kanyama slum, with her extended family." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-6_custom-68f0b897a593d52f66d6de7a9ad856b196055c4f-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 300px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Mulando lives at home, in Lusaka's Kanyama slum, with her extended family. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>&quot;I learned a lot in negotiation,&quot; she says. &quot;If you want to ask something, you need to tell them what you want.&quot;</p></div></div></div><p>If she were going to cold-call her relatives, she&#39;d have to be crystal clear about her intention to finish school. Because most schoolgirls do drop out, she would have to prove that she wouldn&#39;t end up just another statistic: that she was worth investing in. She took some deep breaths, as she&#39;d learned in the training, and asked to use her mom&#39;s phone.</p><p>&quot;I first called my cousin,&quot; Mulando says. &quot;I was like, &#39;I passed my grade nine, but it&#39;s kind of difficult to pay my school fees.&#39; &quot;</p><p>Her cousin was impressed enough to send her $55.</p><div id="res446322380"><div><div><p>Then, she called her older sister, who gave her nearly $70. And somehow her parents came up with the last $25.</p></div></div></div><p>But she still needed money for textbooks. So she called the person her mother least wanted her to call: her uncle, Neba Mbewe.</p><p>&quot;I should say I&#39;m in a privileged position to help others,&quot; Mbewe says.</p><p>He&#39;s the managing editor of a big Zambian newspaper. He has helped Mulando&#39;s family financially several times in the past. But he also made it clear that he won&#39;t be their piggy bank. He won&#39;t bail out his nieces and nephews for what he called her parents&#39; business mistakes.</p><p><img alt="According to the World Bank, if girls in developing countries complete high school, there's a better chance they'll earn more and their kids will go further." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-7_custom-bdac9a8acb08e327feac2e0af10a5ecaa6cd87d4-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="According to the World Bank, if girls in developing countries complete high school, there's a better chance they'll earn more and their kids will go further. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></p><p>Mulando&#39;s mother, Dorcus Mulando, says the idea of begging from her older brother was shameful. He&#39;d refused them so many times before. So, when her daughter asked for the phone to call her uncle, Dorcus Mulando simply warned her: &quot;If he says he doesn&#39;t have [the money], don&#39;t get hate.&quot;</p><p>Don&#39;t get hate in your heart, she warned her daughter. Like most of us, she saw the situation as a fixed pie. Her brother had more, she had less. Any act of asking felt shamefully like begging.</p><p>Mulando, though, had learned to see it differently. She&#39;d learned about things like &quot;core values&quot; and &quot;aligning incentives.&quot; This 15-year-old girl didn&#39;t feel she was asking her uncle for money. She was expressing to him how much she desired to finish her education, something he has often encouraged her to do, and what she needed to achieve that goal.&nbsp;It&#39;s a subtle shift, but it made the difference.</p><div id="res446323488"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Mulando with her niece, Destiny." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-8_custom-367f665c651ae714246833274813be22e3e464ca-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 600px;" title="Mulando with her niece, Destiny. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></div><div><p>&quot;Now that you&#39;re mentioning it, she was more focused on exactly what she wanted and how that would benefit her,&quot; her uncle recalls. &quot;The minute someone says &#39;education,&#39; that certainly hits a nerve in me.&quot;</p></div></div><p>Did she negotiate well?</p><p>&quot;Excellent,&quot; he says. &quot;She did a good job!&quot;</p><p>Mulando&#39;s uncle shelled out the $25 that she needed to buy all of her books for the year. And Mulando was able to enroll in 10th grade.</p><p>For a poor country like Zambia, these small choices matter. World Bank research shows that if girls in developing countries complete high school, there&#39;s a better chance they&#39;ll earn more and their kids will go further. The choices of teenage girls can have a socioeconomic impact across generations.</p><div id="res446322340"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She's also trying to figure out how to get to medical school." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/zambia-1_custom-27714249e32568b6d2cf8c1568529a704876b2e7-s600-c85.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 399px; width: 600px;" title="Now in tenth grade, Mulando is already planning how to negotiate her tuition for 11th grade. She's also trying to figure out how to get to medical school. (Samantha Reinders for NPR)" /></p><p>For Mulando, making it to 10th grade is only the beginning of a long string of negotiations to come. She&#39;s already trying to come up with a plan for how to pay for 11th grade, not to mention medical school. Still, she believes she&#39;ll be a doctor one day. And by the time her niece, Chichi, is 15, eight years from now, she hopes Chichi will come calling to negotiate with her.</p></div><hr /><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>About This Series</strong></span></p><p><em>In many countries, the decisions teens make at 15 can determine the rest of their lives. But, often, girls don&#39;t have much say &mdash; parents, culture and tradition decide for them. In a new series,&nbsp;#<a href="http://www.npr.org/series/446115168/-15girls?source=blog">15Girls</a>, NPR explores the lives of 15-year-old girls who are seeking to take control and change their fate.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Share Your Story</strong></span></p><p><em>No matter where you live, being a 15-year-old girl can be tough.&nbsp;Tell us:&nbsp;<a href="http://n.pr/1LzkPNo">What was the hardest thing about being 15?</a>&nbsp;Post a photo of yourself as a teen with your answer on Twitter or Instagram, and tag your post with #15Girls and @NPR.&nbsp;<a href="http://n.pr/1LzkPNo">More details here.</a></em></p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/08/446237057/can-t-afford-school-girls-in-zambia-learn-to-negotiate-the-harvard-way-15girls?ft=nprml&amp;f=446237057"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 11:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/cant-afford-school-girls-learn-negotiate-harvard-way-15girls-113240 Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich wins Literature Nobel http://www.wbez.org/news/belarusian-journalist-svetlana-alexievich-wins-literature-nobel-113238 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, during the ceremony for the German Book Trade Peace Prize, which she won in 2013..jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res446842029" previewtitle="Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, during the ceremony for the German Book Trade Peace Prize, which she won in 2013."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, during the ceremony for the German Book Trade Peace Prize, which she won in 2013." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/08/gettyimages-184311419-5bcf64282af1c960d679bb2c7740b110463c8ac9-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 449px; width: 600px;" title="Belarusian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, during the ceremony for the German Book Trade Peace Prize, which she won in 2013. (Daniel Roland/AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><p><strong>Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET</strong></p></div></div><p>Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year&#39;s Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.</p><p>Alexievich won &quot;for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time,&quot; according to the citation for the award.</p><div id="res446847485"><div id="avcontent5355920"><p>On her&nbsp;<a href="http://www.alexievich.info/indexEN.html">personal website</a>, Alexievich explains her pursuit of journalism: &quot;I chose a genre where human voices speak for themselves.&quot; Fittingly, Alexievich prefers to leave the stories to her many interviewees, letting eyewitness accounts shed an unsettling light on tragedies like World War II, the Soviet-Afghan War and the disaster at Chernobyl &mdash; an investigation that has been read aloud in excerpts on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5355810">All Things Considered</a>.</p></div></div><p>For that work,&nbsp;<em>Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster</em>, Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people touched by the massive 1986 nuclear meltdown, which spread radioactivity on the wind across much of Eastern Europe.</p><p>&quot;All of my books consist of witnesses&#39; evidence, people&#39;s living voices,&quot; she told the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/a-conversation-with-svetlana-alexievich-by-ana-lucic/">Dalkey Archive Press</a>. &quot;I usually spend three to four years writing a book, but this time it took me more than ten years.&quot;</p><p>In an interview following the announcement, the Swedish Academy&#39;s permanent secretary, Sara Danius, elaborated on the decision.</p><p>&quot;For the past 30 or 40 years, she has been busy mapping the Soviet and post-Soviet individual,&quot; Danius said. &quot;But it&#39;s not really about a history of events; it&#39;s about a history of emotions.&quot;</p><p>If you&#39;re new to Alexievich&#39;s work, Danius added, she recommends beginning with&nbsp;War&#39;s Unwomanly Face &mdash;&nbsp;a history the Soviet women who fought as soldiers in the Second World War.</p><div id="res446850646"><blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Interview with Permanent Secretary Sara Danius <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NobelPrize?src=hash">#NobelPrize</a> <a href="http://t.co/hV3If3pzX4">http://t.co/hV3If3pzX4</a></p>&mdash; The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) <a href="https://twitter.com/NobelPrize/status/652081864274870272">October 8, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It has been quite a long time since a nonfiction writer won the Nobel. Not since the heady days of Bertrand Russell and Winston Churchill, over half a century ago, has an author won for a career of work primarily in nonfiction. Alexievich&#39;s prize breaks that long dry spell.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The 67-year-old is the 108th writer &mdash; and 14th woman &mdash; to win the prize. She will receive her medal at a ceremony on Dec. 10.&nbsp;</div><p><strong><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/138350923/voices-from-chernobyl-the-oral-history-of-a-nuclear-disaster#excerpt">Read excerpts of Voices from Chernobyl.</a></strong></p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/08/446840662/belarusian-journalist-svetlana-alexievich-wins-literature-nobel?ft=nprml&amp;f=446840662" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/belarusian-journalist-svetlana-alexievich-wins-literature-nobel-113238 The Carolinas' 'thousand-year' flood follows a rainfall trend across the US http://www.wbez.org/news/carolinas-thousand-year-flood-follows-rainfall-trend-across-us-113237 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rainmap.png" style="height: 344px; width: 610px;" title="A US National Weather Service map shows precipitation levels across the southeastern US on October 4, 2015. White splotches in South Carolina indicate areas with more than 10 inches of rain. (National Weather Service/Advanced Hydrologic Predictive Service)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3142" target="_blank">Twenty-seven inches of rain over five days. More than 15 inches in just 10 hours.</a></p><p>Those are just a couple of the unfathomable amounts of rain that fell in parts of South and North Carolina last weekend in the storm that killed at least 17 people and caused in the neighborhood of&nbsp;<a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EAST_COAST_RAINSTORM?SITE=AP" target="_blank">$1 billion in damage</a>.</p><p>Meteorologists called it a &ldquo;thousand-year event&rdquo; &mdash; meaning a deluge that&rsquo;s likely to happen only once in 1,000&nbsp;years, but they may have to change their odds as the planet warms up. Already this year there have been two such supposedly rare rain events, and many other rainfall records set, in the US.</p><p>&ldquo;Oklahoma and Texas had incomprehensible&nbsp; amounts of&nbsp; rain in May,&rdquo; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wunderground.com/about/bhenson.asp" target="_blank">Bob Henson</a>, a blogger for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wunderground.com/?MR=1" target="_blank">Weather Underground</a>&nbsp;who worked &nbsp;more than 20 years at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder Colorado. &ldquo;The amount of rain in Texas was what you would expect maybe once every two or 3000 years.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=3047" target="_blank">June was the second wettest month on record in Illinois and neighboring Indiana and Ohio set rainfall records that same month.</a></p><p>And don&rsquo;t forget&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-11/big-snow-warming-world-whats">the record amounts of snow that fell on New England last winter</a>.</p><p>And what&rsquo;s going on isn&rsquo;t just the usual clustering you often find among random events.</p><p>When it rains these days, Henson says, it often rains harder.</p><p>&ldquo;That&#39;s been shown through a great amount of research over the last 20 years&hellip; It&#39;s not happening in every single location, but it&#39;s happening in enough places that you could legitimately call it a global trend. The US is in line with that trend,&nbsp; most parts of the US are seeing this happen.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>And Henson says there&rsquo;s a simple connection to climate change. The earth&rsquo;s atmosphere is warming up, and when it gets warmer, he says, the oceans evaporate more moisture into the air. &ldquo;So there&#39;s literally more fuel available to make it rain harder when you have a set up that&rsquo;s creating rain in the first place.&rdquo;</p><p>In other words, warmer temperatures may not be causing such storms, but they are helping feed more water into storm systems.</p><p>The particulars of the storm that battered North and South Carolina were a classic example of random weather events combined with the effects of the upward temperature trend.</p><p>&ldquo;We had a upper-level low-pressure center (that) sat over the southeast for several days,&rdquo; Henson says.&nbsp; &ldquo;That brought in a lot of forcing to pull the air upward and make it rain.&rdquo; And the rainfall was in turn fed by an unusually moist atmosphere in the region.</p><p>&ldquo;You had a ton of moisture available along the East Coast and moisture being funneled in from hurricane Joaquin into the Carolinas.&rdquo;</p><p>The growing number of deluges bring lots of problems with them, but Henson, who wrote his master&rsquo;s thesis on flash flood warnings, says one of the biggest may just be getting people to take the threat seriously.</p><p>He says the heavy rains in the Carolinas were pretty well forecast, and local officials were fairly well prepared, but regular folks still ventured out into the storms when they&rsquo;d been warned not to.</p><p>&ldquo;People simply don&#39;t take moving water seriously a lot of the time,&rdquo; Henson says.&rdquo; How many cases do you see of people driving into floodwaters and then once there, of course the vehicle gets carried off? So it&#39;s a perpetual challenge to make people realize that water in motion can be just as dangerous as, say, high winds.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-07/carolinas-thousand-year-flood-follows-big-rainfall-trend-across-us" target="_blank"><em> via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/carolinas-thousand-year-flood-follows-rainfall-trend-across-us-113237