Changing the scope of restaurant health inspections

In Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood, Joy Yee Noodles failed its city restaurant and food service inspection late last February. City health inspectors found multiple violations at this hot spot for students from the University of Illinois at Chicago, which include unclean food preparation stations and a minor pest problem.

The pan-Asian restaurant located on 1335 S. Halsted Street, managed to fix all of its violations and pass the next inspection in the following week. For Joy Yee and other restaurants in major, metropolitan areas, this repeated pass-fail scrutiny has become inefficient in combating the issues of foodborne illness and product contamination.

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Alderman continues use of campaign donations for personal reasons

Alderman George Cardenas continues to use campaign contributions and taxpayer dollars for property he rents from his own family for over five years, while also paying relatives with these funds.

In 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported in their city council expense database that Cardenas, the democratic alderman of the 12th Ward, used 99 percent of his ward expense limit of $73,280, which is the same amount granted to all 50 wards in Chicago. This money is an allowance from the city, which is a taxpayer-funded account. Paying for the rental space for his ward office – provided by his family at the corner of West 38th Street – was the second largest expense that year. Since 2013, over $40,000 annually has gone toward rent in that same location.

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Sudden but Certain: Genetic health concerns in Asian Indians

Kewalnain Sachdev turned 51 only two days before his first heart attack.

He survived the ordeal, and a couple weeks of recuperation gave Renu Sachdev and their family hope for his recovery.

On the evening of Jan. 12, 2003, Mr. Sachdev’s health suddenly declined, and he could no longer breathe. He was admitted into the hospital with his second heart attack. Like the first time, the situation began to mellow.

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Individual struggles, communal support

Local organizations and families gathered on Sept. 27 at Oak Brook Sports Core for the 20th-annual American Heart Association Heart Walk.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States, and extensive research requires huge donations each year. The AHA has created a unique setting for victims of cardiovascular disease and their family members to come and express their losses in a positive way.

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Downers Grove recycles its Recycling Extravaganza

Nick Santoro sat at a large table, sifting through stacks of paper and several dried out pens in order to keep track of all the local companies he needs to contact in the upcoming months.

As the only staff liaison for Downers Grove’s Environmental Concerns Commission, an influx of requests, applications and general feedback makes its way to him before any of the five commissioners of the committee hear about it.

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Local book sale goes strong for 56 years

Dense rows and stacked boxes of books line the Henry Puffer Elementary school gym with avid readers weaving in and out, looking for the best of the bunch.

Fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks and even volumes of Shakespeare were recycled into the 56th annual used book sale, run by the Downers Grove branch of the American Association of University Women.

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Charter school grabs site for renovation


Noble Network of Charter Schools plans to vacate a portion of a North-South public alley near West Grand Avenue for the continued construction of a new college prep high school, ITW David Speer Academy.

The new school is predicted to open in the fall of 2014 with a class of 300 freshmen entering their first year. The academy focuses on the fields of science, math, and engineering. Noble Network has 14 campuses that serve 9,000 Chicago public high school students.

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Organic, local produce trend migrates to the western Chicago suburbs

Hot, sunny Saturday mornings are a treat when a large glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade is involved. The Downers Grove farmers market was filled to the brim with customers who rise early for produce picked within the last 24 hours. In just one morning, more than a thousand people visited and engaged with their local farmers, then left with fresh produce and maybe even a pitcher of that sweet lemonade.

The Downers Grove farmers market has been an annual event for 24 years. In the past five years, there has been a great rise in the consumer turnout in suburban markets across the nation.

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Optimism in Five-Year Housing Plan

The Chicago Department of Planning and Development worked with the city and third-party organizations to create three initiatives that will be a part of a larger five-year housing plan.

The first-quarter report mentioned almost $45 million helped support over 3,700 units which “represents 45 percent of the 2014 unit goal and 17 percent of the 2014 resource allocation goal.” This means the city’s resources and money were well spent in the first quarter in multiple housing and lot developments, as well as the development locations.

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