WBEZ | Orange County http://www.wbez.org/tags/orange-county Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A thrift shop looking for a comeup: Goodwill goes high-end http://www.wbez.org/news/thrift-shop-looking-comeup-goodwill-goes-high-end-113711 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14331902531_d0059073c6_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res455025351" previewtitle="Goodwill is experimenting with boutique-style stores, like this one in southern California, to entice younger shoppers to the brand."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Goodwill is experimenting with boutique-style stores, like this one in southern California, to entice younger shoppers to the brand." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/goodwill-boutiques-2-2-_wide-02fad1d539101288fcea16075e1b10095a9e859c-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Goodwill is experimenting with boutique-style stores, like this one in southern California, to entice younger shoppers to the brand. (Gloria Hillard for NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Like many trendy boutiques, there is a definite minimalist flair. Soft sweaters rest on antique tables and the hardwood floors gleam.</p></div></div></div><p>But this boutique in Huntington Beach, Calif., is owned by a name more well known for treasure hunting than couture shopping: Goodwill.</p><p>&quot;Look at some of these great dresses here. We have Development, which is a great brand, we have Lee &mdash; these are ones kind of more known in the fashion industry than on the street,&quot; says Eric Smissen, the store&#39;s visual specialist.</p><p>He glides past neatly folded skinny jeans and designer handbags to a small rack of dresses, mostly black.</p><p>&quot;Word is getting out, so I think that our more traditional shopper is still here, but we&#39;re seeing a lot more new faces,&quot; Smissen says.</p><p>He says that&#39;s the idea behind the Goodwill boutiques &mdash; to bring in new customers, especially younger shoppers who have fueled the popularity of resale stores like Crossroads Trading Company.</p><p>&quot;We have Joe&#39;s Jeans. We have Paige denim. All those jeans run upwards to $150 plus for a pair. And they&#39;re about $8 to $14.99,&quot; Smissen says.</p><p>Return patron Francesca Saint Cyr&#39;s hopping cart is full. She says the Goodwill Boutique here in Orange County is a great alternative to chain stores and mall shopping.</p><p>&quot;What would you guess this Calvin Klein to be? I haven&#39;t even looked at the price yet, but I know I&#39;m going to be excited. Now I&#39;m going to check out that Gucci bag over there,&quot; she says.</p><p>The merchandise that ends up in the boutique stores is curated by those who have a discerning eye for popular and designer labels.</p><p>&quot;Well, we have this beautiful Coach bag, this navy blue Coach bag with some brass accents. And then, let&#39;s see, some clothing here, we have this really great Michael Kors trench,&quot; Smissen says, rummaging through a large cardboard box of recently donated items.</p><p>Also shopping this afternoon is Sandy Slate. She&#39;s been a longtime traditional store customer.</p><p>&quot;I love it. Looks great. The main thing: it&#39;s clean. It&#39;s clean and orderly,&quot; Slate says.</p><p>Goodwill Industries has more than&nbsp;<a href="http://www.goodwill.org/about-us/">3,000 stores</a>&nbsp;across the country, but only 60 fall into the boutique category.</p><p>Frank Talarico, president and CEO of Goodwill Orange County, says the new stores have been very successful. And he says even though the ambiance is more Abercrombie than thrift store, shoppers and donors should know the original mission is still intact.</p><p>&quot;They can always rest assured, that our Goodwill, for example &mdash; and this is a real and audited number &mdash; is going to take more than 92 cents of every dollar that we raise, regardless of what kind of store we raise it in, and put it right back into programs that serve people with barriers to employment,&quot; Talarico says.</p><p>The traditional store &mdash; where household goods and framed prints share floor space with clothing &mdash; still represents 90 percent of Goodwill&#39;s retail business. The non-profit takes in more than $5 billion in annual revenue.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/08/454998318/a-thrift-shop-looking-for-a-comeup-goodwill-goes-high-end?ft=nprml&amp;f=454998318" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/thrift-shop-looking-comeup-goodwill-goes-high-end-113711 California seeks death for Chicago serial killer http://www.wbez.org/story/california-seeks-death-chicago-serial-killer-93553 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-27/resized Urdiales.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state earlier this year, it spared the lives of 15 men on death row.</p><p>But one of them may not be off the hook.</p><p>Andrew Urdiales, 47, a former U.S. Marine, could be put to death if he is found guilty in the deaths of five women in Southern California.</p><p>The Orange County District Attorney’s office announced this week that it will seek the death penalty against Urdiales if he’s convicted in the murders.</p><p>&nbsp;“We will be seeking the death penalty for the crimes that he committed in California,” Howard Gundy, senior deputy district attorney for the Orange County D.A.’s office, told WBEZ Thursday. “The factors of aggravation, which would call for the stiffest penalty, far outweigh any of the factors in mitigation.”</p><p>Urdiales is now awaiting trial in Orange County for the deaths.</p><p>He was extradited from the Pontiac Correctional Facility in Pontiac, Illinois in late September.</p><p>At Pontiac, Urdiales had been on death row for the murders of Laura Uylaki, 25, of Hammond, Ind., and Lynn Huber, 22, of Chicago.</p><p>Their bodies were dumped near Wolf Lake which straddles the Illinois-Indiana state line near Hammond.</p><p>In 2004, Urdiales was sentenced to death again for the 1996 murder of Cassandra “Cassie” Corum, 21, of Hammond.</p><p>Prosecutors say Urdiales dumped her body in the Vermilion River in Pontiac.</p><p>But the change in Illinois law in March abolishing the death penalty commuted Urdiales’ sentence to life without the possibility of parole.</p><p>Urdiales will be arraigned in Orange County on Dec. 1for the additional five homicides. Of the five homicides, three took place in Riverside County, one in San Diego County, and one in Orange County.</p><p>Gundy said it was decided to consolidate the five cases with the trial happening in Orange County.</p><p>Prosecutors say the killing started back in 1984 when Urdiales was a 19-year-old Marine stationed in Southern California until his discharge in 1991. That’s when he returned to the South Chicago neighborhood where he grew up.</p><p>Four of the five California victims are described as prostitutes ranging in age from 21 to 32.</p><p>His first California victim was 23-year-old Robbin Brandley who had been volunteering as an usher at a concert. Prosecutors say Urdiales wanted to kill a random person so he sought Brandley out following the concert and as she walked to her car. He’s alleged to have stabbed her 41 times with a six-inch hunting blade.</p><p>The case was cracked open in November 1996 when Urdiales was arrested by police in Hammond, Ind., for loitering in his truck near an area known for prostitutes. Police confiscated a handgun which he was not licensed to carry.</p><p>Ballistic testing in April 1997 by Illinois police found the gun confiscated by Urdiales was the same firearm used to shoot and murder three of the victims.</p><p>Urdialeswas soon after arrested for the three murders.</p></p> Thu, 27 Oct 2011 22:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/california-seeks-death-chicago-serial-killer-93553