WBEZ | cell phone http://www.wbez.org/tags/cell-phone Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Police may be 'reluctant to engage' in viral video age, DEA chief says http://www.wbez.org/news/police-may-be-reluctant-engage-viral-video-age-dea-chief-says-113641 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ap_05101901396-1-_wide-aba1b8b04eb11c5a89a39503b2fb0bab98e43883-s1200.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration said the police may be &quot;reluctant to engage&quot; for fear &quot;rightly, or wrongly, that you become the next viral video,&quot; adding a new voice to the debate over public scrutiny of law enforcement.</p><p>Chuck Rosenberg told reporters at a pen and pad session in Washington Wednesday that &quot;I think there&#39;s something to&quot; the concept known as the Ferguson effect, which maintains that police have stopped engaging with the public in the same way as scrutiny of their interactions with minorities increased over the past year.</p><p>Rosenberg said the issue deserved more study and better data. And he offered praise for FBI Director James Comey, who first raised the idea in a pair of speeches in Chicago in recent weeks. The White House has pushed back on that idea.</p><p>&quot;I think Comey was spot on,&quot; Rosenberg said. &quot;It&#39;s hard to try to measure. It&#39;s a hard thing to grasp ... We&#39;re not entirely sure what&#39;s going on and we ought to try and figure it out.&quot;</p><p>Rosenberg spoke as the DEA unveiled a new 2015 Drug Threat Assessment. Cocaine use has declined, but abuse of methamphetamine, heroin and opiod substances still pose a big problem across the country, the assessment said. Overdose deaths are now the nation&#39;s leading cause of death by injury, tallying more than 46,000 annual fatalities and surpassing car accidents and firearms incidents, the DEA said.</p><p>The DEA leader said he attributed a spike in violence in some big cities this year to &quot;roiling and violent&quot; heroin markets, the widespread availability of firearms and finally, more &quot;trepidation&quot; among police officers.</p><p>As a longtime federal prosecutor, Rosenberg said he understood and even approved of efforts by the Obama administration and Congress to reduce the disparity in punishment among criminals who traffic in powder cocaine and those who deal with it in rock form. Those punishments have had a disproportionate impact on African Americans and Hispanics in the justice system. But Rosenberg said he&#39;d prefer to step back and see how those changes are working before further relaxing mandatory minimum sentences first imposed during the War on Drugs.</p><p>Rosenberg said the recent early release of about 4,300 convicted drug offenders was &quot;not going to keep me up at night&quot; but that he&#39;s worried about whether there are enough resources to support those people when they leave institutions.</p><p>&quot;Do cities around America really have the resources to take more mentally ill folks, more jobless folks? I don&#39;t know. That&#39;s what worries me,&quot; he said.</p><p>Turning to the fight against drug abuse, Rosenberg said he&#39;d pursue a mixture of traditional enforcement, demand reduction and community outreach, and more diversion efforts and partnerships with doctors and pharmacies.</p><p>&quot;The notion that we&#39;re going to prosecute our way out of this or jail our way out or enforce our way out of this is a joke,&quot; he said.</p><p><em>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/04/454642463/police-may-be-reluctant-to-engage-in-viral-video-age-dea-chief-says" target="_blank"> via NPR</a></em></p></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 14:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/police-may-be-reluctant-engage-viral-video-age-dea-chief-says-113641 Madigan, Quinn finally connect on pensions http://www.wbez.org/news/madigan-quinn-finally-connect-pensions-107586 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/quinnPension.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn says he finally got in touch with House Speaker Michael Madigan. The governor said he&rsquo;s called a meeting to address pension reform.</p><p>After last week&rsquo;s disappointing end to the legislative session, Quinn tried to meet with legislative leaders to address what he calls the top issue facing the state - pension reform.</p><p>But Quinn said Speaker Michael Madigan doesn&rsquo;t have a cell phone and couldn&rsquo;t be reached.</p><p>On Friday, Quinn said he had a &ldquo;pleasant&rdquo; conversation with Madigan earlier that day and there will be a meeting on Monday.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m telling our legislators, &lsquo;Stop meandering. Forge an agreement that I can sign into law so we can resolve this problem,&rsquo;&rdquo; Quinn told reporters Friday at an unrelated news conference announcing an honorary street name for Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick.</p><p>Quinn has called lawmakers back to Springfield for a one-day special session on June 19th. But it&rsquo;s not yet clear how negotiations over pension reform will have changed by that time or what legislators will be voting on.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://www.twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 09:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/madigan-quinn-finally-connect-pensions-107586 Evanston considers banning hands-free devices while driving http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-considers-banning-hands-free-devices-while-driving-97057 <p><p>City Council members in Evanston are considering a proposal that would ban hands-free devices while driving. The ordinance would be one of the toughest cell phone bans in the country, keeping all electronic devices out of driver's hands.</p><p>Ald. Jane Grover (7th) sponsored the proposal, which would amend the current city law that allows drivers to only use hands-free devices. Grover was the sponsor of that ordinance as well, which has resulted in almost 3,000 tickets since it was enacted in 2010. According to Grover, the laws aren't tough enough to prevent accidents from distracted driving.</p><p>"It's the same level of cognitive impairment whether a driver is using a handheld device or using a hands-free device," she said. "There's really no difference in the risk of crashing."</p><p>In December, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a national ban of all electronic devices, especially those that are hands-free. Officials say the level of distraction a driver experiences is the same on a hands-free device as it is on a regular cell phone.</p><p>But the ordinance isn't getting unanimous support from the city council. Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) voted against the bill in committee. She said she voted for the current law, but thinks amending it to include all devices would go too far.</p><p>"I think it will just lead to ill will between taxpayers and the city government in Evanston because it is unenforceable," Fiske said.</p><p>Fiske said she believes creating cell phone bans is the responsibility of the state, not separate municipalities. She said it's less confusing for drivers who travel throughout Illinois. Fiske and her fellow aldermen will be discussing the bill in the coming days, with a vote scheduled for the full city council meeting later this month.</p><p><em>Correction on 03/19/12 at 10:24: An earlier version of this story misspelled Grover.</em></p></p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-considers-banning-hands-free-devices-while-driving-97057 CTA 'Train Tracker' launching in January http://www.wbez.org/story/cell-phone/icois-test-post <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//CTA.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rail commuters in Chicago soon will be able to find out estimated arrival times for trains on all eight of the city's rail lines.&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Transit Authority says a pilot version of the CTA Train Tracker website will be launched in early January. Customers can use the program on computers or cell phones. The train program's debut follows the agency's popular CTA Bus Tracker.</p><p>Officials say estimated arrival times will be generated by averaging travel times of the previous five trains to move along a part of rail track. Customers can get the information by choosing their rail line and then their station.</p><p>The CTA says it plans on making adjustments to improve accuracy.&nbsp; The agency wants customers to provide feedback to help find ways to enhance the program.<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.&nbsp; All Rights Reserved.)</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 03 Jan 2011 15:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cell-phone/icois-test-post LaHood calls for national ban on cell phones while driving http://www.wbez.org/story/cell-phone/lahood-calls-national-ban-cell-phones-while-driving <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//73433730.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. Secretary of Transportation has a couple of priorities he wants the new Congress to work on when it convenes next year. Ray LaHood said getting a transportation bill passed by the August recess is at the top of his agenda. The current one has been extended for two years.</p><p>The Peoria, Illinois native and former congressman said there are a lot of unmet transportation needs across the country.</p><p>&quot;If it were up to me, I would outlaw cell phone use while driving. I just think it's just dangerous,&quot;&nbsp;LaHood said. &quot;You don't have both hands on the wheel, you don't have both eyes on the road and you can't drive carefully when you got a cell phone in your ear. You're not only distracted by the fact you don't have both hands on the wheel, you're distracted by the conversation. You lose track of what's around you while you're driving a 5,000 pound car.&quot;</p><p>LaHood said he also wants to work with lawmakers to approve a nationwide texting ban. Thirty states have already passed anti-texting legislation. LaHood said 5,500 people died last year as a result of distracted driving while more than 450,000 were injured.</p></p> Tue, 28 Dec 2010 12:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/cell-phone/lahood-calls-national-ban-cell-phones-while-driving