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If You Only Have a Weekend in Chicago, Do This, Eat Here and Don't Go to Bed Early

Tue, 2014-04-15 08:10
When you only have one weekend to explore a new city, it's important to make every moment count -- but at the same time, you don't want to run yourself ragged. So when you have just 48 hours in Chicago, let this be your guide to a fun-filled (and delicious!) weekend.

Friday: Assuming you arrive in Chicago after work on a Friday, fuel for a jam-packed weekend with the city's most iconic food: deep-dish pizza. Chicagoans will never stop debating which eatery has the best deep dish but two solid contenders are Lou Malnati's, which bills itself as "the oldest family name in Chicago pizza," and Giordano's, which says its stuffed pizza recipe has evolved over 200 years. Which is the best? You be the judge... but don't deny yourself a slice (or three).

After dinner, head over to The Second City for a show. The comedy company spawned some of the funniest people on TV and in movies today -- Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Mike Myers, Stephen Colbert and more -- so you never know whether the people you see onstage in Chicago will grace a screen near you sometime soon.

Saturday: Start the day with a cup of strong Intelligentsia Coffee; the Chicago-based company has seven locations in the city. From there, head over to Millennium Park early to get your typical tourist shots before the hordes descend. After all, you can't leave Chicago without taking a cheesy photo at the Cloud Gate (better known as "The Bean").

From the park, walk over to The Art Institute of Chicago. Go ahead and recreate your favorite scenes from Ferris Bueller's Day Off -- including a staring contest with Georges-Pierre Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte -- then enjoy work by iconic artists including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georgia O'Keeffe, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky and many, many more.

Grab a quick bite at one of the Art Institute's three dining establishments before heading over to The Field Museum for an afternoon of science and natural history exploration. Visit Sue, the most complete T.rex skeleton ever found, see some extraordinarily well-preserved mummies, take a virtual trip to the South Pacific and walk through 4 billion years of life on Earth in "Evolving Planet."

If you have time, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium are just next door to The Field Museum and absolutely worth visiting.

You'll be hungry for dinner at this point. For Saturday night dinner, plan ahead and make reservations at Girl and the Goat, helmed by Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard. The menu is divided into three sections -- Vegetable, Fish and Meat -- with additional listings for bread, oysters and, of course, goat. If you have eating pants, wear them... and don't leave without trying at least one of the kitchen's creative desserts.

It's not time to turn in yet. Make your way uptown to the Green Mill Jazz Club to hear the sounds of 1930s and '40s Chicago brought back to life. A little dancing should close the night off nicely.

Sunday: Start your last day in Chicago with a hearty breakfast. Perennial Virant in Lincoln Park does an upscale breakfast menu that includes irresistible homemade doughnuts; for a more casual experience, check out Eleven City Diner in the South Loop.

After breakfast, take a trip to Wrigley Field; tours are available. Next door, Wrigleyville Dogs serves authentic Chicago-style hot dogs: an all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun and topped with yellow mustard, chopped onions, relish, a dill pickle spear, sliced tomato, sport peppers and a sprinkle of celery salt.

After all this eating, you'll want to stretch your legs. Chicago is an incredibly walkable city and one of the best stretches for a stroll is along Lake Michigan, where the water reaches out as far as the eye can see. On hot days, look for sunbathers and swimmers along the shore.

Alternately, check out the shops and eateries in Wicker Park northwest of the Loop. There's everything from secondhand clothing stores to name-brand designers; refuel at The Wormhole Coffee, which has a DeLorean parked inside for added atmosphere.

Before heading to the airport, take the time to step out onto the Willis Tower Skydeck for an incomparable view of the city. Once the tallest building in the world, it's now second only to One World Trade Center as the tallest building in the United States.

Before you know it, a weekend in Chicago is gone -- and you've barely scratched the surface of America's Second City. Oh well, you'll just have to return...

Did I miss your favorite spot? Fill us in!

Equal Pay for Equal Work a No-Brainer, Right?

Tue, 2014-04-15 04:49
Last Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked -- for the third time -- the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill proposing to close the pay gap between men and women. The goal of the bill -- the attainment of equal pay for equal work -- seems like a no-brainer, right? Women with the same job, and same qualifications, as men deserve to be paid the same. They do not deserve to be discriminated against in salary on the basis of gender. Seems obvious. And yet not a single Republican voted in favor of the Act, and many Americans no longer know what to think, either.

The problem is that the message has been greatly muddled, twisted, and usurped, mostly for political gain. Equal Pay has become less a noble, unquestionable goal than a political talking point. Democrats argue that wage disparities persist, pulling out the oft-cited figure that women, on average, earn 77 percent to a man's dollar. They accuse Republicans of failing the bill in favor of "more important" political agendas.

Republicans say the bill is simply a Democratic ploy to distract from the disappointment of Obamacare; that it's been against the law to pay a woman less than a man with similar experience in the same job since the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Paycheck Fairness, they say, would make it impossible for employers to tie compensation to work quality, productivity, and experience. Lawsuits would increase. And, well, look, they point out: Even women in the Obama White House earn 88 percent of their male counterparts, according to study conducted by the American Enterprise Institute.

It's undeniable that women are losing ground. A study released earlier this week from the Pew Research Center reported that after decades of decline, more mothers -- nearly 30 percent -- are staying at home to raise children, a 6 percent increase since 1999. But these aren't quite the women we often think of as stay-at-home moms, the ones choosing to rebel against the Sandberg manifesto and "opt out," or who can rely on well-paid husbands to foot the bills. The women represented in the increase are younger, less likely to be white, more likely to be foreign-born, and less likely to be college educated. They're staying at home in increasing numbers not by choice, but because they can't find work -- or the work they find isn't well compensated enough to cover the necessary childcare. Perpetuating the cycle is the fact that, as Pew also reports, women are more likely to experience family related "career disruptions." They fall behind when they take time out to raise kids. They return to the workplace at a disadvantage.

Whether women earn 77 cents to the male dollar, as the Obama administration sticks to, or the figure is closer to Pew's findings of 84 cents for most women and as high as 93 percent for younger women, it's clear that the playing field is not equal. It's also clear that disparities are indeed related to gender. Recent cases have shown that women who ask for pay increases often don't get them. What they get instead: negative reactions. A 2007 study found that women who asked for raises were perceived as demanding. Men, meanwhile, faced no backlash. Even Republicans concede that gender discrimination is no myth, and have offered an amendment to the Paycheck Fairness Act that would address the opportunity gap and prevent employers from retaliating against workers who share salary information.

Which means that both parties want the same thing. So what's the problem? The problem, of course, is politics. And unfortunately nothing will happen until Democrats and Republicans agree to make Equal Pay a fairness issue rather than a political one. In the meantime, it's women who suffer.

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Nahshon Shelton Pulls Out Submachine Gun, Threatens To Kill Over Soda Tax, Police Say

Tue, 2014-04-15 03:50
A Chicago man was apparently so angry over a tax on soft drinks he allegedly pulled out a submachine gun and threatened people with it, police say.

Nahshon Shelton, 36, is accused of menacing employees and customers at a beauty supply store after trying to purchase a $1.79 two-liter of Pepsi on Saturday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

When told he'd have to pay a $.22 tax on the soft drink, Shelton allegedly pulled a .22-caliber submachine gun out of a Gucci bag, saying “I’m going to shoot you in the head three times,” and “I’m going to smoke your ass.”

The incident was reportedly caught on surveillance video.

Once arrested, Shelton allegedly claimed that because this "is my neighborhood, I’m tax exempt,” DNAInfo Chicago reported.

“Man, you know what, I’ll keep it real. I had to put them in their place," Shelton allegedly said.

Shelton's gun had one round in the chamber, eight in one magazine and five more in a second clip, Assistant State’s Attorney Claire Savaglio told the Chicago Tribune.

Shelton is being held without bail.

10 Things To Watch In The NHL Playoffs

Mon, 2014-04-14 23:05

Here's a look at 10 things to watch when the NHL playoffs begin Wednesday with a new format, some stars returning from injuries and renewed rivalries:

NEW LOOK: Forget what you knew about how teams matched up in the playoffs. When the league went from having six divisions to four this season as part of its realignment, the plan for postseason was also altered. Two wild cards were added in each conference and at least half the first-round series were guaranteed to have teams face division opponents.

IN THE EAST: The Atlantic Division-winning and defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins will face the wild card Detroit Red Wings in the opening round. The team that advances will face the division's second place Tampa Bay Lightning or third place Montreal Canadiens. The Metropolitan Division-champion Pittsburgh Penguins will play the wild card Columbus Blue Jackets and the winner moves on to face the division's second or third-place teams, the New York Rangers or Philadelphia Flyers.

OUT WEST: The Pacific Division-champion Anaheim Ducks are set to match up with the wild card Dallas Stars, the fifth team in from the Central, in the only interdivision series. The winner will play the Pacific's second place San Jose Sharks or Los Angeles Kings. The Central champion Colorado Avalanche face the wild card Minnesota Wild and the team that advances will match up with the division's second- or third-place teams, the St. Louis Blues or defending Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks.

ON THE MEND: The Blackhawks expect to have Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the lineup when they play at St. Louis on Thursday after each had long layoffs to heal injuries. Kane has been out since hurting his left knee March 19 — against the hard-hitting Blues. Tampa Bay might have to get to the second round to have goaltender Ben Bishop on the ice. Bishop has been out since last week with an upper-body injury and isn't going to be re-evaluated until early next week. "It's unfortunate, not just for our team, but for Ben," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "He's had a great run with us this year." Tampa Bay has to hope Anders Lindback, who has played in one playoff game previously, makes the most of his opportunity to play in net.

BUCKLE UP: One of the many intriguing matchups in the opening round has the 2012 Stanley Cup champion Kings against the Sharks for the third time in four postseasons. The Kings eliminated the Sharks in Game 7 of the second round last year after being eliminated by them in Game 6 of an opening-round series in 2011. Los Angeles and San Jose have played 22 times the last three years, including the playoffs, and each has won 11 of those games. "We figured we were going to see them at some point," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said. The Rangers and Flyers, whose arenas are about 100 miles apart, have met many times in the playoffs in the past, but not since 1997 when Philadelphia got past New York in five games and went on to lose in the Stanley Cup finals.

PRESIDENTIAL PRIVILEGE: Boston had the best record in the regular season, giving the franchise its first Presidents' Trophy since 1990. The Bruins can be pardoned for not being too cocky about their chances because they lost three of four matchups this season against the Red Wings, who are in a 23rd straight postseason. "All of the pressure is going to be on them," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said. "They've got to win, we're not supposed to. We've got to make it as hard as possible on them."

CROSBY'S CHANCE: Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy for the first time since he really was a kid, scoring a league-high 120 points during the 2006-07 season as a 19-year-old, second year pro. Crosby crushed the competition in scoring, reaching the 100-point mark for the fifth time in his career to finish 17 points ahead of Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf. "There's so much more to his game than just scoring, but it is pretty amazing to see," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said.

WELCOME BACK: The Stars are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Columbus is still playing for just the second time in its 13-season history and first since 2009. The Avalanche are playing among the league's best after three years of missing the postseason. The Lightning are back in the 16-team tournament for the first time since 2011. Dallas forward Tyler Seguin was in the postseason the previous three years in Boston, and he's got advice to share with teammates: "A big thing with the playoffs is, you've got to hate the other team."

SELANNE'S SWAN SONG: Ducks star Teemu Selanne plans to retire after this season, ending a 21-season run that includes a Stanley Cup in 2006. The 43-year-old "Finnish Flash" averaged less than half a point per game for the first time in a decade. Selanne has become a supporting player on a talented team that should advance for the first time since 2009.

WOE CANADA: The hockey-crazed country north of the U.S. border is represented by only one team — Montreal — in the playoffs. It has been 41 years since that was true and back then, the Scotty Bowman-led Canadiens won one of their NHL-record 23 championships.


AP Sports Writers Fred Goodall, Josh Dubow, R.B. Fallstrom and AP freelance writer Dan Scifo contributed to this report.


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NCAA Lobbies College Administrators To Make Student Athlete Unions Sound Awful

Mon, 2014-04-14 19:10
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA contends that unionization by college athletes could lead to fewer scholarships and championships as well as a drop in academic support and career counseling.

In a set of talking points issued to school leaders late last week, college sports' largest governing body urged school leaders have a unified voice on the topic that could dramatically alter college athletics. This document includes some traditional points of emphasis for the NCAA — that school leaders want athletes to focus on their classwork, the NCAA has liberalized rules to allow athletic departments to purchase items such as suits and members continue to work on legislation to provide money to cover the full cost-of-attendance.

But the NCAA also warned that "scholarships would be cut or eliminated. The number of championship experiences would be dramatically reduced. Smaller sports would lose funding."

It also said support services such as academic support, career counseling and tutoring could all be "cut significantly or eliminated."

"Do we really want to signal to society and high school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education, which will benefit you for a lifetime?" the NCAA memo reads. "That's not the message I want to send."

The talking points were issued as the National Labor Relations Board weighs a decision by a regional NLRB official clearing the way for football players at Northwestern to form what would be the nation's first union for college athletes. The NCAA, Big Ten Conference and Northwestern all oppose the move, and the school has appealed.

A player vote is planned on April 25 and the topic has dominated college athletics for weeks amid speculation that the effort, along with antitrust and other lawsuits against the NCAA, could change the very nature of amateur sports.

The NCAA said the talking points were provided as a guide or starting point for school officials to share their own views.

"As a membership organization, it is our responsibility to provide accurate and timely information on matters impacting college sports," spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Monday in an email. "Our members requested facts and data on pay-for-play because there was so much misinformation in the media, based in part on public statements from those who are advancing the union movement and those who have brought suit against the NCAA."

NCAA President Mark Emmert has been a longtime opponent of a pay-for-play proposal for college athletes, repeatedly pointing out the complexity it would create for Title IX compliance and whether a starting quarterback should be "paid" more than a backup kicker or a volleyball player. Just last week at the Final Four, Emmert expressed concern about unionization, too.

This document, however, urges school leaders to join the debate by discussing other potential problems.

"While advocates of professionalizing college sports make their arguments seem simple, they're not," according to the document. "The negative impact of turning these students into paid employees would be vast."

Emmert has supported legislation that would provide money beyond the allowable limits for tuition, room and board, books and fees and a provision to give athletes access to as much food as other students on campus as well as unlimited snacks in and out of season.

This document reiterates those points.

"Our members believe in addressing some of the legitimate concerns that critics have raised, like providing the full cost of attendance - to help pay for that trip home or to grab a movie and dinner - particularly for those students with limited economic means," it said.

But overall, the NCAA is opposed to unionization and is asking school leaders to speak with a unified voice.

"Yes, we need to re-evaluate some of the current rules," the document said. "But completely throwing away a system that has helped literally millions of students over the past decade alone attend college is absolutely not the answer."

This Is What The World's Most 'Perfect' Marijuana Would Feel Like

Mon, 2014-04-14 18:16
Marijuana users really enjoy strong weed, but would prefer that it came without paranoia, memory loss and impaired ability to function. That's according to a new report from the Global Drug Survey in partnership with The Huffington Post, which anonymously surveyed more than 38,000 users around the globe.

All marijuana is not created equal. Effects can vary depending on the plant variety, cultivation, processing and blending. Cannabis has two major plant types -- indica and sativa -- and hundreds of hybrid strains with different characteristics. It's produced in forms that include dried flowers, oil and wax.

The survey asked users what they'd like in a "perfect cannabis." The results show that the "global dominance of high potency [marijuana] leaves many users far from satisfied," the researchers say.

So what would the effects be of perfect pot -- or "balanced bud" as the Global Drug Survey calls it?

Users want their cannabis to be strong and pure. And they want it to have a distinct flavor, and to impart a high marked by greater sensory perception, allowing them to "comfortably" speak to others with more giggles and laughs, while giving them the "ability to function when stoned," according to the Global Drug Survey report.

Users report they don't like some side effects of strong marijuana, including hangover feelings, paranoia, harmful effects on the lungs, feelings of becoming forgetful, an urge to use more, and feelings of being distracted or preoccupied, according to the survey.

Responses to the Global Drug Survey:

"There appears to be a paradox in the way people describe their perfect cannabis," the Global Drug Survey report says. "This is because most the effects of being ‘high’ are due to THC, but higher doses of this drug are associated with more negative psychological effects. So while they want a preparation with overall more pleasurable effects, they also describe wanting less of the negative effects that are also due to THC such as sedation, munchies, memory impairment, restlessness. It might well be what they are describing is a high potency THC containing preparation balanced by CBD which is missing from many current strains."

Currently, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use and more than a dozen other states are considering legalization in some form. With all that interest and all those regulated marketplaces, growers and sellers can tap into users' preferences with the Global Drug Survey data and help design a better plant.

The Global Drug Survey bills itself as the world's biggest annual survey of drug users. This year, 79,322 people from more than a dozen countries participated in the anonymous online questionnaire.

Because the Global Drug Survey does not involve a random sample of participants, its results cannot be considered representative of any larger population. "Ultimately, the only people that this study (like so many others) can definitively tell you about are those who have participated," the researchers say.

Jenny McCarthy Claims She Is 'Pro-Vaccine' In Sun-Times Op-Ed

Mon, 2014-04-14 16:32
Noted anti-vaccination advocate Jenny McCarthy is describing herself as "pro-vaccine" now.

McCarthy, "The View" co-host who has campaigned against vaccinations due to a widely discredited alleged link to autism, claimed in a Saturday op-ed in the Chicago Sun-Times that she has been "wrongly branded" for years when it comes to her position on the matter.

In the column, McCarthy said she's been labeled as "anti-vaccine" due to "blatantly inaccurate blog posts about my position" that were "accepted as truth by the public at large as well as media outlets (legitimate and otherwise), who have taken those false stories and repeatedly turned them into headlines."

"This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted," she continued. However, her column still left room for the idea that vaccines are dangerous, and McCarthy wrote that she agreed with a blogger who described being in a "gray zone" when it comes to believing vaccines are completely safe for children.

In the op-ed, McCarthy referenced a 2009 interview with Time magazine's Jeffrey Kluger, in which she also denied that she was trying to eliminate vaccines. In that interview, McCarthy said she was actually "demanding safe vaccines" and working to "reduce the schedule and reduce the toxins."

Kluger, however, pointed out in an open letter published Saturday that McCarthy left several key quotations from the 2009 Time story out of her Sun-Times missive -- including "if you ask a parent of an autistic child if they want the measles or the autism, we will stand in line for the f--king measles."

Kluger characterized McCarthy's op-ed as an attempt to "whitewash her anti-vaccine stand:"

Jenny, as outbreaks of measles, mumps and whooping cough continue to appear in the U.S.—most the result of parents refusing to vaccinate their children because of the scare stories passed around by anti-vaxxers like you—it’s just too late to play cute with the things you’ve said. You are either floridly, loudly, uninformedly antivaccine or you are the most grievously misunderstood celebrity of the modern era.

McCarthy's Saturday column was published despite Susanna Negovan, the Sun-Times "Splash" publisher and editor, promising when McCarthy was first brought on as a blogger for the publication that she would not "be writing about vaccines or giving medical advice."

Former doctor Andrew Wakefield attempted to connect vaccinations and autism in a 2008 paper that was found to be "an elaborate fraud" by the British Medical Journal. Wakefield's medical license was subsequently revoked. The idea of a link has also been discredited by scientific studies.

A recent study found that efforts by public health groups to counter the myth that there's a link between vaccines and autism could actually be backfiring and leading more parents to choose not to vaccinate their children.

Parents who are opting out of vaccination, public health officials say, are likely contributing to a resurgence of preventable diseases like the measles and whooping cough in the U.S.

Bed Bugs Find New Homes In Honolulu Ambulances

Mon, 2014-04-14 15:29
Bed bugs have benefitted from a resurgence, plaguing the nation over the last several years. The little bloodsuckers settle everywhere from schools to movie theaters.

And now it seems, at least in Honolulu, bed bugs are overtaking a new territory: ambulances.

Although specific numbers are not available, EMS crews in Honolulu say they encountered several hundred patients last year with bed bugs, according to a new report from local news station, KITV.

The city's paramedics are treating more patients than ever and finding the bugs on calls about two to three times a week, EMS public information officer Shayne Enright told The Huffington Post.

“One just happened, actually, on my last shift when the person didn't even realize that he had bed bugs,” paramedic Jojo Abuan said to KITV.

The cost to keep the bugs at bay isn't cheap and Honolulu's growing problem is prompting the city's Department of Emergency Services to ask for more funding. The price to fully decontaminate an ambulance, which is done by specialists at Ecolab, Inc., is about $2,000, according to Enright. Honolulu's EMS crews are trained on what to look for and how to disinfect their rigs -- last year, the city's ambulances went through only four or five full decontaminations -- but the recent rise in incidents is a challenge.

“We’re never going to not transport a patient that has bed bugs,” Enright told HuffPost. "We clean the ambulances as if the next person getting in is a family member. We take every precaution to keep the vehicles safe for the public."

Bed bugs have not been proven to spread disease, nor are they considered to be a public health hazard -- unless bite sufferers are allergic or become ill as a result of misusing pesticides. However, they can cause financial hardships and negative effects on mental health when trying to eradicate a stubborn infestation.

Like Honolulu's EMS crews, rescue workers around the country are trained to keep an eye out for the pests and on how to contain them. Each of Honolulu's 20 ambulances, for example, carry preventative tools, according to Enright, including an environmentally friendly pest spray, plastic containment bags for patients that zip up to their necks, and Tyvek suits which can be worn by patients or paramedics.

In order to educate the public and alleviate the problem, Honolulu paramedics will begin handing out pamphlets to patients in locations known to have bed bug infestations.

According to Orkin Pest Control, Honolulu was ranked at 45 last year in the top 50 U.S. cities with bed bugs. Chicago came in first, followed by Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio. Rescue workers and firefighters have been battling bed bug infestations in their vehicles, substations and fire houses, across the nation including parts of Florida, Ohio and South Carolina.

36 People Were Shot In 36 Hours In Chicago

Mon, 2014-04-14 13:26
A 17-year-old girl killed Friday afternoon was among at least 36 people wounded in gun violence over the weekend in Chicago.

Gakirah Barnes, 17, was shot multiple times in the upper body Friday afternoon in the city's Woodlawn neighborhood. She died about two hours later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in what was the first of four gunshot fatalities citywide over the weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Barnes' mother, Shontell Brown, told the Chicago Tribune her daughter is the latest victim of "an ongoing war" playing out on Chicago's streets.

“This is something that has become all too normal to everybody, and it needs to stop," she told the paper.

Later Friday, 34-year-old Shannon Mack was fatally shot inside a car in South Shore, DNAinfo Chicago reports. Mack was pronounced dead at the scene.

DNAinfo reports 32-year-old Corey Brownlee and 20-year-old Joshua Martinez were fatally shot in separate incidents on the city's south and southwest sides early Sunday.

In another shooting, 24-year-old mother of two Jasmine Martinez was shot in the head and chest while driving in Humboldt Park early Sunday. Martinez was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, where she remained hospitalized Monday, ABC Chicago reports.

The Tribune notes a total of at least 36 people were shot in as many hours over the weekend -- between late Friday and early Sunday -- while temperatures in the city soared to 80 degrees, the warmest weather the city has seen since last October.

While he did not comment on whether the summer-like temperatures were a factor in the high weekend violence, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement distributed to media outlets that "no one will rest until everyone in Chicago enjoys the same sense of safety," NBC Chicago reports.

"While Chicago continues to see reductions in crime and violence, there's obviously much more work to be done and we continue to be challenged by lax state and federal gun laws," McCarthy said.

The weekend's surge of violence in Chicago follows another bloody weekend during which 27 people were shot, including a 16-year-old high school sophomore who was killed.

Chicago police posted the lowest homicide total for the first quarter of the year since 1958 earlier this month, but the number of shooting incidents in the city has been steadily rising in recent weeks.

Man Accused In Rape Of Toddler Breaks Down Door To Get To Victim: Police

Mon, 2014-04-14 11:41
A Chicago-area man accused in the rape of a toddler broke down a door in order to get to the victim, prosecutors said.

Demetrio Campbell, 27, faces charges of predatory criminal sexual assault and home invasion after he allegedly attacked a 4-year-old girl last week.

Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office, said Campbell at first tried to lure the toddler and her older sister, who were playing outside a Calumet Park home.

When the girls ran inside the house and locked the door, he allegedly chased after them and kicked in the door, according to CBS News.

Two other people were in the residence, and Campbell ordered one of them to get out of the house. That person left and contacted police. Unfortunately, help didn't come in time. Campbell allegedly raped the little girl in a bedroom.

When police arrived, they found the suspect smoking a cigarette inside a closet. He was arrested and held without bond in Cook County Jail.

The suspect's grandfather, Charles Campbell, told the Chicago Sun-Times that his grandson has a history of "mental issues," but didn't think him capable of harming a child.

“His mind is not too good... He just talks crazy,” Charles Campbell told the newspaper. "Something must have snapped."

Demetrio Campbell has two prior felony convictions for burglary and aggravated robbery, according to WLS. He has been ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

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32 Reasons It's Completely Worth It To Put Up With Chicago's Miserable Winters

Mon, 2014-04-14 10:38
This post is part of HuffPost's Good News USA series, which showcases both past and present ways cities across the country have created a positive impact worldwide and within their own communities.

Chicago is the sort of city that always seems to come alive in the warmer months.

But after the brutal winter the Windy City endured -- its coldest ever, by one measure -- no one can blame Chicagoans for having a particularly serious case of spring fever this year.

Now that Chicago has finally strung a couple of days in the 60s together, we thought it was time to remind the world why Windy Citizens resist the urge to pack it up and move somewhere tropical every winter. These are just some of the many reasons why it's worth all that polar vortex pain.

Gun Violence Is a Public Health Issue -- Doctors Should Treat It That Way

Mon, 2014-04-14 09:51

The American College of Physicians has just released a survey covering attitudes of its members towards gun violence. This was the second survey conducted by the ACP on medical attitudes towards guns, the previous having been published in 1998. In the earlier survey, while 90 percent of the respondents believed gun violence to be a public health issue, less than 20 percent stated that they engaged in prevention counseling with patients. The feedback from the most recent survey was similar; most physicians consider gun violence an even bigger medical problem than they did previously, but a majority still do not consider themselves willing or able to intervene with patients who present evidence of being at risk for violent behavior with guns. In fact, three-quarters of the respondents said there was a need for more education of physicians to help them counsel patients in firearm injury prevention.

The survey results reported by the ACP are similar to feedback about guns from other medical specialists. In 2013 The American College of Emergency Physicians also published a survey on how emergency physicians felt about gun violence patients and, like the ACP, found that the vast majority of emergency physicians had never been formally trained regarding firearm safety counseling and did not believe that patients would see them as credible sources for counseling about guns.

Gun violence is a public health issue for which physicians have not developed very clear guidelines for counseling and/or treatment. In fact, there is no medical agency or association that has even issued a protocol for identifying patients who might be at risk for gun violence, either as perpetrators or victims. While we know everything about gun violence victims after they are shot, physicians do not have the knowledge to intervene appropriately before the violence takes place. Lacking the kinds of treatment guidelines that exist for other public health issues like obesity, smoking or substance abuse, physicians are forced to pretend that gun violence as a clinical issue doesn't exist.

The ACP survey was followed by a Policy Position Paper in which the organization listed nine recommendations to help prevent gun violence and only the first two recommendations covered practice and counseling methods for physicians to follow in treating patients. The other seven recommendations covered the usual legal/legislative solutions that have been advanced by every advocacy group that promotes policy initiatives to reduce gun violence.

Everyone should debate and support common-sense legal and legislative solutions to the problem of gun violence, but you don't need four years of medical school followed by internship and residency to figure out how to advocate against guns. What only physicians can bring to the debate is exactly what they are not doing now, namely, using their unique skills and their equally-unique relationships with patients to deal with gun violence as a medical issue for which interventional counseling might yield significant results.

Don't get me wrong. It's easy and perhaps even a little arrogant for me to stand outside the medical profession and tell doctors what they should do. Between patient care, insurance forms, electronic medical records and God knows what else defines the modern clinical workload, physicians certainly have full plates and I don't want to heap on anything more. But in a paper published in 2013, Shannon Fratteroli and colleagues pointed out that the greatest value of joining clinical treatment to advocacy in discussions about gun violence is the fact that physicians are trained to communicate with patients about fear and are "accustomed to helping people manage their fear of disease and death." As so much of the current gun debate is generated by fear -- fear of crime, fear of violence, fear of government -- physicians should bring their clinical experiences in managing fear to this debate and thus provide patients with sound and effective alternatives to picking up a gun.

Chicago Sun-Times Gets Rid Of Reader Comments For Now

Mon, 2014-04-14 08:57
The Chicago Sun-Times has temporarily turned off reader commenting on its website's articles until it can figure out how to stop the "negativity," "racism" and "hate speech" that floods its pages, the Sun-Times Media Group announced.

Managing editor Craig Newman wrote in a post Saturday that the "tone and quality" of the reader comments often results in "an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing," and the staffers are "sick" of it.

"The world of Internet commenting offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and the exchange of ideas," Newman wrote. "But as anyone who has ever ventured into a comment thread can attest, these forums too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content."

The Sun-Times stressed that it is not "doing away" with comments forever, but that they are taking time to create a new system for commenting that will include a more efficient way to monitor comments and "foster a productive discussion."

Still, critics and bloggers came down on the media group for making the move rather than just moderating comments more strongly.

Something fundamentally wrong when publishers think solution to bad comments is completely killing them

— Amanda Zamora (@amzam) April 13, 2014

Shutting off dialogue with @SunTimes readers strikes me as wrongheaded and backward-thinking: @kylehillman @jongraef

— Robert Feder (@RobertFeder) April 14, 2014

"Sun-Times kills comments until it can fix ‘morass of negativity, racism, and hate speech’"- so until the internet stops being the internet?

— SKO (@StartKyleOrton) April 14, 2014

@DavidOrmsby you can't be an online media service and then Shut off commenting because some people are mean. @Suntimes

— Kyle Hillman (@kylehillman) April 12, 2014

Publisher and editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times Jim Kirk responded to the criticism on Sunday, telling blogger Robert Feder that the company hopes their readers will be patient while they work towards a fair system.

"We are researching a number of options that allow for the exchange of opinions and ideas," Kirk said. "Our goal is to develop one that treats everyone fairly. We believe a new system will encourage even more readers to engage with us. We are asking our readers for patience during this process.”

(h/t: Poynter)

If You Have A Mac, Memorize These 13 Keyboard Tricks

Mon, 2014-04-14 08:02
If you're going to spend your life with your hands hovering over a keyboard, you might as well do it right. Or at least make the experience as tolerable as possible.

And while most Mac users the know basic keyboard shortcuts -- command + "X" to cut, command +"V" to paste, etc. -- there are so many more life-altering, time-saving tricks to be discovered. Let us lead you into the light.

1. If your boss walks by while you're reading this article, press...

Command + W quickly closes the current tab on your web browser, which is helpful if you're trying to sneak in a cat video (or worse) at work.

2. If your boss walks by and basically everything you're reading is incriminating, press...

Command + H hides the current application and all of its windows. Because, let's face it, sometimes more than one tab can be incriminating.

3. If you're drowning in a sea of windows...

Command + Option + M minimizes all your windows so you can create the illusion of a fresh start. But remember, "starting over" really just adds to the mess.

4. If you need to cut through the clutter, press...

Command + F3 pushes all your open applications out of the way so you can actually see your desktop, so you can procrastinate dealing with impending application overload.

5. To become a tab-scrolling expert, press..
COMMAND + 1 (and so on)

Command + a number helps you easily scroll through the respective tabs in your web browser, so you can quickly see what you need and, more importantly, click out of what you don't.

6. If you're kind of picky about your computer volume, press...

Option+Shift+F11+F12 will lower or raise the volume in smaller increments than the typical volume symbols. WHO KNEW?

7. If you need to add a little psychedelic flavor to your day, press...

Control+Option+Command+8 reverses the colors on your screen. Now try going back and forth real, real fast. You will be transfixed.

8. If you don't want to watch the entire hour-long YouTube Video of your niece's dance recital, press...
1, 2, 3 (and so on)

1, 2, 3 will advance the video to 10 percent completion, 20 percent completion, 30 percent completion, respectively (and so on and so forth). Take that, little niece.

9. If you frequently write words like "antidisestablishmentarianism," press...

Option+Delete deletes entire words so you don't have to hold down the delete key forever. Unfortunately, there is not a keyboard shortcut to ending your insufferable wordiness.

10. If your vocabulary isn't quite as advanced, try...

Control+Command+D will define any highlighted word. Look at you, all literate now!

11. If formatting copied text drives you insane, try...

Control+Command+V pastes your copied text without including its formatting. Your formatting problems have now been disappeared.

12. If you're a fast reader or a little spastic, try

Command+Up and Command+Down will make your scroll jump. This command will have you hopping through the text for a speedier, if not slightly erratic, reading experience.

13. If the feeling of the sun on your face has been permanently replaced with the feeling of your retina display on your face, try...

Control+Option+Command+Eject quickly shuts down your computer so you can get outside, you crazy, pasty kid! No, but seriously, go the heck outside.

Lunar Eclipse To Bring 'Blood Moon' On April 15 (VIDEO)

Mon, 2014-04-14 07:26
What exactly is a "blood moon," and what's its connection to a lunar eclipse?

Skywatchers will find out on April 15, as the first total lunar eclipse of 2014 kicks off a series of four blood moons expected to grace the night sky over the next year and a half. Just check out the new NASA video above to learn more.

Total lunar eclipses are sometimes called "blood moons" as they can present "a dramatically colorful appearance, ranging from bright orange to blood red,” Fred Espenak, an astronomer with expertise in eclipses, told The Washington Post.

The dramatic colors are the result of dispersed light from the Earth's sunrises and sunsets falling on the face of the moon.

The upcoming eclipse will be the first in a lunar eclipse tetrad, the term for four consecutive lunar eclipses. It will begin at 2 a.m. EDT on April 15 and will be visible for most skywatchers in North America.

The first eclipse of the year is well placed for observers throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to watch with the naked eye.

The other lunar eclipses in the upcoming tetrad will fall on October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015; and September 28, 2015.

Dozing Through 'The Great Moving Right Show'

Mon, 2014-04-14 07:08
The greatest danger currently facing all of us in America, and particularly progressives, is one of drift. As an economy, the United States is drifting along a low-growth path that is acclimatizing all of us to levels of unemployment which only a decade ago would have been treated as an outrage. As a society, the United States is drifting towards levels of income and wealth inequality so large that, if left unchallenged, will soon become irreversible. And as a political system, the United States is drifting towards a Republican sweep of both the House and the Senate in November unless the democratic left acts now to reverse what is in truth a carefully orchestrated and heavily funded great moving right show.

Those of us of a progressive predisposition are drifting towards a political defeat of historic proportions -- one underpinned by an economic and social settlement of a highly conservative kind -- and we are doing so with what would appear to be only the slightest sense of alarm. If that is true, we do now need to wake up, and do everything we can to stop the drift.


The political drift is understandable. The idealism briefly mobilized by the Obama candidacy in 2008 against the backdrop of an unpopular war and an unprecedented recession has long gone, washed away by the moderation of Obama the president and by the steady post-recession pressure on the job security and living standards of Democratic voters. Any generalized faith among particularly young Obama supporters that the levers of power in Washington could be deployed for progressive ends by our first African-American President has been rendered mute by the gridlock of divided government and by the intransigence of Republican opposition to each and every one of his policies, no matter how moderate those policies turned out to be. And the resulting White House horse-trading of big gains for minor ones has taken the gloss off a presidency that once promised so much, by restricting the capacity of even as gifted a politician as Barack Obama to use the presidential bully pulpit to articulate a convincing alternative progressive vision.

It is conservatives who are enthusiastic for politics now, not progressives -- that is how much has changed since 2008 -- and that conservative enthusiasm constitutes a real and present danger not just to the Affordable Care Act but also to what still remains of the legacy of both the New Deal and the Great Society. The fate of minimum labor rights, of Social Security, of Medicare and Medicaid -- all that also hangs in the balance as America goes into its next electoral cycle. So this is no time for understatement. Right now the democratic left in America is being seriously outplayed. Progressives are losing both the public argument and public support. We have to understand why, and we have to do something about it.

Why are we losing support? We are losing public support in part because there is currently so much money flowing against us, as the Supreme Court repeatedly opens the sprocket through which the funds of conservative billionaires so easily flow. We are losing public support in part because the Republicans, sitting in power in the House, are able to block one progressive initiative after another, so generating an impotence in Washington which further alienates people from government, reinforcing the very antipathy to public policy on which conservative Republicanism feeds. And we are losing public support in part because what progressive leadership there still is in Washington is either preoccupied by the wider responsibilities of office or rendered invisible by the mainstream media's almost total focus on the daily pantomime of Congressional deadlock. Mix into that lethal political cocktail the additional fact that so many of the senators now struggling for re-election are themselves on the conservative wing of the Democratic coalition, and it becomes even clearer why the November elections could be a progressive wipe-out. It could be a complete wipe-out to the degree that one uninspiring Democratic office-holder after another is rejected in favor of an even more conservative Republican opponent by a mid-term electorate seriously reduced in size by the unwillingness of so many Democratic supporters to vote at all.

We cannot let that debacle happen without trying to prevent it; which is why the fight-back has to start now. Starting in November will be far too late. The current Republican onslaught of ideas and money has to be challenged throughout the summer and the fall -- challenged with ideas and money of our own. Progressive ideas need to be widely reasserted, the better to encourage the flow of Democratic money and activism. The American electorate needs to hear again, in every corner of the public debate, progressive arguments that undercut core Republican claims and progressive ideas that project a clear and superior alternative social and economic compact. Potential American voters need to hear again arguments and ideas, that is, which collectively constitute an equivalent great moving left show.


Good shows need a good script. This one could use at least the following.

Markets, left to themselves, work well when everyone within them has equal purchasing power. But when that basic equality of consumer power is missing, unregulated markets simply privilege the rich and intensify the inequality that corrodes their inner working. If Republicans genuinely want markets to work well, they should join us in creating a level playing field for all the participants.

In any case, even when markets do work well, not all of them are the same and not all services are properly bought and sold. Labour markets (markets in which people sell their skills) are not the same kind of markets as those for the commodities people then make; and because they are not, they require different kinds of regulation. Some services (not least the provision of decent health care) are not best distributed by price. You shouldn't buy and sell things that are more properly available to everyone by right.

The current Republican Party resistance to effective federal regulation runs counter to the fundamental truth that, for long-term democratic health, public policy should always take precedence over private monopoly. Public goods are vital to the public good. Even Adam Smith recognized that such public goods required their public provision; and what was good for Adam Smith ought to be good for those who follow him.

Trickle-down economics simply does not work; and because it does not, the most effective route back to full employment and rising living standards -- given our contemporary economic conditions -- is not through a growth strategy that further empowers the rich. It is through a growth strategy based on greater income and wealth equality. Greater equality is currently an economic as well as a moral imperative.

Equal pay for equal work, as part of a sustained assault on the gender gap, is more than a morally desirable objective -- though it is certainly that. It is also a key element in a vitally needed resetting of the balance between work and life in contemporary America, and as such is by far the most effective way currently available to us to immediately strengthen the American family. You don't strengthen families by underpaying women.

Nor do you strengthen American employment by exporting jobs overseas. A strong American middle class requires a strong American manufacturing sector. Low-paid service employment simply will not cut it. Nation-building at home needs to precede nation-building abroad; and

Climate-change denial is a conservative luxury that we can no longer afford. No adequate economic strategy can or should ignore the appalling environmental consequences of excessive business de-regulation. The route to long-term and secure growth has to be a green route, and it is a route whose time has come.


Each of these central progressive assertions needs to be developed and justified by detailed arguments relevant to them alone. In the months to come, my contribution to creating and sustaining a great moving left show will be focused on that task. I hope that others will contribute too, adding to the list of progressive assertions and developing the arguments to sustain each. Conservative and libertarian voices have been allowed to frame public discourse in Obama's America for too long. The few progressive public intellectuals on which we now regularly rely -- the Paul Krugman's, E.J. Dionne's and Harold Meyerson's of this world -- have carried the burden alone for too long. It is time for the entirety of the Democratic Left to stir itself, and to be heard again.

These arguments are more fully developed in David Coates, Answering back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments. New York: Continuum Books, 2010.

First posted with full academic citations at

Southwest Plane Diverted After Unruly Passenger Tries To Open Door Midflight, Witnesses Say

Mon, 2014-04-14 00:50

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California-bound Southwest Airlines flight was diverted to Omaha, Neb. after witnesses said a passenger tried to open a door midflight.

The airline said the Chicago-to-Sacramento plane landed on Eppley Airfield Sunday to "have an unruly passenger removed" before continuing on to its destination. The flight with 5 crew members and 134 passengers arrived in Sacramento about two hours behind schedule.

Once on the ground, a doctor onboard told KCRA-TV he and two other passengers tackled the man in the back of the cabin and restrained him until air marshals escorted him off the plane. Scott Porter said the man "was going to do bad things to the plane."

The airline had no further details about the passenger. A call to the Omaha Airport Authority wasn't immediately returned.

U.N. Climate Panel Highlights Lack Of Action On Rising Temperatures

Sun, 2014-04-13 08:24
BERLIN (AP) — The cost of keeping global warming in check is "relatively modest," but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change said Sunday.

Such gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2 percent a year in 2000-2010, driven by the use of coal in the power sector, officials said as they launched the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's report on measures to fight global warming. Without additional measures to contain emissions, global temperatures will rise about 3 degrees to 4 degrees Celsuis (5 degrees to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100 compared to current levels, the panel said.

"The longer we delay the higher would be the cost," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told The Associated Press after the panel's weeklong session in Berlin. "But despite that, the point I'm making is that even now, the cost is not something that's going to bring about a major disruption of economic systems. It's well within our reach."

The IPCC, an international body assessing climate science, projected that shifting the energy system from fossil fuels to zero- or low-carbon sources including wind and solar power would reduce consumption growth by about 0.06 percentage points per year, adding that that didn't take into account the economic benefits of reduced climate change. "The loss in consumption is relatively modest," Pachauri said.

The IPCC said the shift would entail a near-quadrupling of low-carbon energy — which in the panel's projections included renewable sources as well as nuclear power and fossil fuel-fired plants equipped with technologies to capture some of the emissions.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called it a global economic opportunity.

"So many of the technologies that will help us fight climate change are far cheaper, more readily available, and better performing than they were when the last IPCC assessment was released less than a decade ago," Kerry said.

The IPCC said large changes in investments would be required. Fossil fuel investments in the power sector would drop by about $30 billion annually while investments in low-carbon sources would grow by $147 billion. Meanwhile, annual investments in energy efficiency in transport, buildings and industry sectors would grow by $336 billion.

The message contrasted with oil and gas company Exxon Mobil's projection two weeks ago that the world's climate policies are "highly unlikely" to stop it from selling fossil fuels far into the future, saying they are critical to global development and economic growth.

Coal emissions have declined in the U.S. as some power plants have switched to lower-priced natural gas but they are fueling economic growth in China and India.

The IPCC avoided singling out any countries or recommending how to share the costs of climate action in the report, the third of a four-part assessment on climate change.

Though it is a scientific body, its summaries outlining the main findings of the underlying reports need to be approved by governments. This brings a political dimension to the process.

In Berlin, a dispute erupted over whether to include charts that showed emissions from large developing countries are rising the fastest as they expand their economies. Developing countries said linking emissions to income growth would divert attention from the fact that historically, most emissions have come from the developed nations, which industrialized earlier.

"This is the first step for developed countries of avoiding responsibilities and saying all countries have to assume the responsibility for climate change," said Diego Pacheco, the head of Bolivia's delegation in Berlin.

In the end the charts were taken out of the summary, but would remain in the underlying report, which was to be published later in the week, officials said.

Counting all emissions since the industrial revolution in the 18th century, the U.S. is the top carbon polluter. China's current emissions are greater than those of the U.S. and rising quickly. China's historical emissions are expected to overtake those of the U.S. in the next decade.

The IPCC summary also refrained from detailed discussions on what level of financial transfers are needed to help developing countries shift to cleaner energy and adapt to climate change.

Another IPCC report, released last month, warned that flooding, droughts and other climate impacts could have devastating effects on economies, agriculture and human health, particularly in developing countries.

"The world's poorest nations are in need of economic development. But they need to be helped to leapfrog dirty energy and develop in a way which won't entrench their poverty by making climate change worse," said Mohamed Adow of charity group Christian Aid.

The IPCC reports provide the scientific basis for U.N. climate negotiations. Governments are supposed to adopt a new climate agreement next year that would rein in emissions after 2020.

The ambition of that process is to keep warming below 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 Fahrenheit) compared to today's levels. Global temperatures have already gone up 0.8 Celsuis (1.4 Fahrenheit) since the start of record-keeping in the 19th century.

The IPCC, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007, said the U.N. goal is still possible but would require emissions cuts of 40 percent to 70 percent by 2050 and possibly the large-scale deployment of new technologies to suck CO2 out of the air and bury it deep underground.

"The IPCC is telling us in no uncertain terms that we are running out of time — but not out of solutions — if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change," said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a Washington-based environmental group. "That requires decisive actions to curb carbon pollution — and an all-out race to embrace renewable sources of energy. History is calling."


Karl Ritter can be reached at

People Are Making A Lot Of Money In College Sports, Just Not The Athletes

Sun, 2014-04-13 08:14
When it comes to college sports, a lot of money is at stake.

A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board to allow players at Northwestern University to vote to unionize, coupled with a class-action lawsuit against the NCAA arguing student-athletes should be paid, has shaken the college sports world, threatening to disrupt a multi-billion dollar business.

The NCAA, a nonprofit, has long argued it's an amateur model, the athletes are students first and they are compensated through scholarships.

But that defense is challenged when, after he and his team became the national champions of men's basketball, University of Connecticut player Shabazz Napier opened up about going to bed hungry as a student-athlete.

"We're definitely blessed to get scholarships to our universities, but at the end of the day, that doesn't cover everything," Napier told a group of reporters, adding, "I don't think student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but ... there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I'm starving."

The Most Profitable Teams Make Ridiculous Amounts Of Money

Despite UConn winning the national title in both men's and women's basketball this year, Napier plays for a program that actually loses money. According to FindTheBest, a website that collected data submitted to the Education Department's Office of Postsecondary Education, UConn's basketball program ran $2.36 million in the red in the 2013 fiscal year. (Still, UConn men's head coach Kevin Ollie makes $1.25 million annually.)

However, many other hoops teams collect millions in profit.

Compare College Basketball Programs | FindTheBest

And yet, the real money is in college football.

Most Profitable NCAA Division I-A College Sports Teams | FindTheBest

At Northwestern, where players are considering unionizing, football and basketball are the only two sports bringing in cash -- and no small amount, either. The Illinois school's football program collects $8.4 million in profits annually, while basketball nabs $3.9 million per year, according to FindTheBest.

Northwestern University Sports Programs | FindTheBest

To explain how much money is available, see football powerhouse University of Texas at Austin. If the university paid each of its Texas Longhorn football players a salary based off Texas' minimum wage, amounting to $13,920 a year, it would still leave $80 million of profit on the table, according to calculations using FindTheBest's data on profits. If the same were to happen at Northwestern, based on Illinois' current minimum wage, it would still leave almost $7 million in profit untouched.

Of course, players aren't paid a dime, unlike the coaches.

Comparing Coaching Salaries With The Rest Of The Nonprofit World

The head coaches of three football teams -- Texas' Charlie Strong, Alabama's Nick Saban and Arkansas' Bret Bielema -- all collect more than $5 million a year. Six other head coaches make roughly $4 million annually, ranging $3.9 million to $4.8 million, according to USA Today's salary database.

Comparing the salaries of coaches at these "nonprofit" sports programs to those of executives at nonprofits more broadly,
Strong, Saban and Bielema each earn approximately twice as much as the "most overpaid" nonprofit executive, according to the Fiscal Times: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation chief investment officer Laurance Hoagland Jr., who pulls in $2.5 million annually.

The roughly $5 million salary these coaches earn is also 12 times more than the median compensation for nonprofit CEOs in 2012: $417,989, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The Chronicle of Philanthropy additionally said that seven nonprofits paid their chief executives in excess of a million last year, along with 27 other groups that provided pay for 2011. No college president in the country earns as much as these coaches, either.

And that's without even mentioning Duke University's head basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, who makes nearly $10 million a year, or the 34 other millionaire men's college hoops coaches, or the nine athletic directors making a million or more annually.

The Highest Paid Public Employee In All But 11 States Is A College Football Or Basketball Coach

CHART: The highest paid state govt employee in your state. Probably a football coach.

— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) May 10, 2013

Assistant coaches make bank, too.

At UT Austin, a number of assistant coaches and coordinators earn close to half a million a year, according to the Texas Tribune.

And for good measure, let's not forget that while he's not a public employee, NCAA President Mark Emmert makes over $1.7 million annually, for running a nonprofit.

How Do The Ever-Growing Coaches' Salaries Compare To Professors' Pay?

As the NCAA likes to remind people, the players are in school for an education first and are on the team for the love of the sport. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald considers himself an educator, "teaching life lessons." Though coaches teach courses at some schools, this isn't true for a majority of universities known for their athletics, or for Fitzgerald.

College professors have salaries that pale in comparison to the coaches of sports teams. Professors earn between $50,032 and $126,981 annually, according to the American Association of University Professors. Adjuncts, or part-time, non-tenure track instructors, make around $20,000 to $25,000 a year, according to the AAUP.

That pay gap between educators and coaches is also getting worse, and it's not just limited to just basketball and football.

Even the head coaches of NCAA Division I tennis, soccer and golf squads are seeing their pay increase 3 to 4 times faster than the average professor, according to AAUP.

Cross, Frerichs Treasurer Contest Cues up Fierce Clash

Sat, 2014-04-12 14:00
Both the rhetoric and the tactics are heating up in race for State Treasurer, which other than the Governor's race, offers the most potential for drama in Illinois' 2014 campaign season.

While this race may not feature stark ideological differences on social issues, former House GOP Minority Leader Tom Cross and State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) are two well-established pols who are eager to move up and who both have enough political history to make opposition researchers gleeful.

Cross recently went on the offensive after the Governor Pat Quinn's budget address, pinning Frerichs to Quinn's attempt at "doubling down" on the permanent extension of the 2011 income tax hike and generally laying the entire sorry state of the Illinois budget on the "Quinn/Frerichs" leadership of Illinois.

Frerichs' camp counters that Cross is attempting to persuade voters to forget that the former House Minority Leader participated in crafting multiple inflated budgets built on questionable gimmicks over the years. The senator is liberally using the word "hypocrite" to define Cross.

Cross' camp blames Frerichs for the early negative campaign tone, saying that he used his victory speech on primary night to attack Cross for "consistently siding with wealthy and powerful interests in Springfield" and for saying that Cross has "little regard for the middle class."

The early and angry public rhetoric between the Cross and Frerichs camps is undoubtedly the result of a tight race.

The Cross campaign recently released poll results that reveal Cross leading Frerichs 34-30 percent, a lead within the margin of error.

The survey, conducted by GS Strategy Group, found Cross, who is both pro-choice and a supporter of same sex marriage, grabbing an astonishing 21 percent of the vote in Chicago.

That poll, taken March 6 and 7, had an error margin of plus or minus 4.8 percent.

A source in Frerichs' campaign said that its own poll yielded a similar result - essentially a tied race.

But while the public war of words over economic issues is following predictable partisan talking points, an inside source is saying the real drama is heating up behind the scenes.

Frerichs' campaign is reportedly angry that Cross staffers have begun issuing Freedom of Information Requests not only looking for information on Frerichs, but extending their requests to family members in government, including two of Frerichs' brothers who are non-classroom, blue-color employees at the University of Illinois at Champaign.

It is common for opposition researchers to review candidate family members and to tar their opponent with any problematic information. But Frerichs reportedly was unhappy to hear to the news that his family was already being dragged into the fray.

In addition to the FOIA's, Cross' team is considering rehashing an attack line from Frerichs' 2012 campaign for reelection in which his opponent claimed that Frerichs' family moved their trucking business out of state. The business is owned by a distant cousin and the charge is a stretch, but voters often fail to look past the first couple of lines of an attack ad. Frerichs cruised to victory in 2012, but Cross may still think the issue has traction when properly amplified.

The Cross campaign is, however, making it clear that its opposition research operation will avoid any "dumpster diving," saying it will steer clear of any probe of Frerichs' recent divorce settlement.

Frerichs' campaign got off to a rough start when his announcement video featured him touting that he "voted to end free health care for legislators", a measure he actually voted against. But early mistakes are better than late ones, and it is doubtful that it will wound him fatally in the long run.

Still, Frerichs recognizes that he is largely undefined statewide.

"No body knows who the hell we are," said a Frerichs campaign source citing polling data. "An no one knows who Cross is either."

Meanwhile, the Frerichs operation is comfortable with their financial position.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Frerichs reported a significant money advantage over Cross with $800,000 in the bank to Cross' $388,000. And on Tuesday, Frerichs, who had no primary opponent, announced that he had raised $387,000 in the first quarter of 2014 and that he ended with $1,082,000 on hand.

In the first quarter, Cross raised $147,988 in large contributions for his treasurer account and $22,000 for his legislative campaign committee. But he faced a primary opponent and spent nearly $150,000 on broadcast ads, according to one estimate from an ad tracker.

What's next?

Trying to determine the moment when to pull the trigger on advertising to define the candidate and the opponent is the most important question for a campaign. A million dollars is a lot of dough, but that's just a few weeks of a solid TV buy in the Chicago media market.

Still, a pile of unused cash does little for a candidate's poll numbers.

Spend early? Spend late?

That's a key decision that awaits Frerichs.

For observers, only the unfolding campaign drama between Cross and Frerichs awaits.

David also edits, with the help of Capitol Fax's Rich Miller,
The Illinois Observer: The Insider, in which this article first appeared.