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December 2012 Archives

For whom did bells toll after Sandy Hook?

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NC Daily LIfe.jpg
Mike Abel, left, keeps count as Mike Webb, both with Henderson County Central Services, rings the Henderson County Historic Courthouse bell 26 times at 9:31 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 in Hendersonville, N.C., in honor on the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary. (AP Photo/The Times-News, Mike Dirks)

Those in charge of ringing bells in mourning a week after the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., had to make a decision: How many times should the bells chime?

Most bell ringers chose 26, the number of victims by the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary.

That's the number Gov. Pat Quinn chose when he asked organizations to ring bells 26 times in honor of each victim.

But around the country, some people decided to ring their bells 28 times, also marking the deaths of the shooter and his mother.

In Newton, bells at the town hall and most churches pealed 26 times Friday morning. But in at least one church, they chimed 28 times.

CTA, Metra 'vulnerable,' could soon lose riders

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Doug Whitley.jpgChicago's transit systems are in for a "pretty tough year" next year, and could start losing as many as 20 percent of their riders because of failing infrastructure, a DePaul University professor says.

Joseph P. Schwieterman, director of the Chaddick Institute and professor in the DePaul University Graduate School of Public Service, said there "are really scary signals" that the system is starting to fall apart even as it enjoys a "tremendous year" with lots of riders.

Schwieterman helped to research a study released Monday titled "Tending to Transit: The Benefits and Costs of Bringing Public Transport in the Chicago Region into Good Repair" that was commissioned by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber President and CEO Doug Whitley said state and federal programs that provided money for transit capital improvements both are about to expire. Chicago area transit systems need about $2 billion a year in steady investment, he said.

Court battle over old Prentice Hospital delayed

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The court battle over the future of the Old Prentice Women's Hospital has been postponed until Jan. 11.

Northwestern University wants to knock the building down to make room for a research facility, but preservationists won a temporary stay on demolition.

Today, Cook County Judge Neil Cohen said oral arguments on a city motion to dismiss will be heard on Jan. 11.

Lawyer Michael Rachlis, a spokesperson for the Save Prentice Coalition, said the architecturally significant structure "is safe for now."

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Ralph Martire.JPGNo one should be surprised these days whenever the state reports new budget deficit numbers.

At least, that's what they think over at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

Since 2000, the CTBA each year has modeled what state spending and revenues would add up to over the succeeding five years.

"So far, but for changes in law, our estimates of where the deficit would be and that other stuff has been within 1 percent every year," CTBA Executive Director Ralph M. Martire says. "That's a pretty good margin of error."

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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