Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

A state probe found State Fair Director Amy Bliefnick sought and accepted at least $540 in free beer tickets during the 2012 State Fair from the vendor in charge of beer sales. Bliefnick accepted at least 120 beer tickets from the vendor and gave them to state officials and her staff, as well as state fair volunteers and visitors, according to the report released Monday. | AP Photo

Ethics panel raps state fair directors for beer ticket freebies

Teen girls need a little Zumba

Zumba is the perfect exercise for teenage girls. If I ran the world, Zumba would be a required part of their high school gym classes. If I had a teenage daughter (the good Lord spared some female that role), you can bet she’d be up there moving right alongside me and the rest of the class.

Pallbearers load 11-year-old Shamiya Adams' casket onto a caisson following a funeral service at Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park on Saturday. (File Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Alderman knocks Emanuel for not attending Shamiya’s funeral

A West Side alderman criticized Mayor Rahm Emanuel Monday for failing to attend Saturday’s funeral for 11-year-old Shamiya Adams, the latest innocent victim of Chicago’s never-ending gang violence.“He should have been there,” said Ald. Jason Ervin (28th).  Kelley Quinn, the mayor’s communications director, was taken aback by Ervin’s criticism. “The mayor spoke to Shamiya’s mother, Shaneetha Goodloe, during a visit last week and explained that he had longstanding plans with his son on Saturday,” Quinn wrote in an email to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

 

States that didn't expand Medicaid are in the wrong

This week marks the 49th anniversary of two of the most important “big government” programs ever — Medicare and Medicaid.

On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed these two critical health care programs into law. At the signing ceremony, LBJ handed the first two Medicare cards to former President Harry Truman, who had called for the program years before, and his wife, former first lady Bess Truman.

Ald. Edward Burke, chairman of the City Council Committee on Finance, hosts a public hearing last year. The committee is expected to approve a $1.2 million settlement in a police shooting case on Tuesday. File Photo. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times

$1.2 million for family of H.S. sports star gunned down by police

Chicago taxpayers will spend $1.2 million to compensate the family of a high school sports star with good grades who was shot in the back by an off-duty police officer. The settlement, expected to be approved by the City Council’s Finance Committee on Tuesday and by the full Council on Wednesday, stems from the Sept. 11, 2009 shooting death of 17-year-old Corey Harris.

 

Three Ways ACA is affecting Business

More often than not, when healthcare reform is brought up, the impact and the interests of businesses are lumped together, as if each faces with the same challenges as the next.

President Barack Obama speaks to participants of the Presidential Summit for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in Washington, Monday, July 28, 2014, during a town hall meeting. | Getty Images

Obama: Female oppression crippling parts of Africa

President Barack Obama spoke out Monday against gender oppression in Africa that he said is "crippling" parts of the continent, urging young leaders there to empower women and eliminate traditions like female genital mutilation and violence against women.

Ald. Rey Colon (35th) on Monday refused to discuss the circumstances of his DUI arrest last week on the Eisenhower Expressway. | Sun-Times Media File Photo

Ald. Rey Colon arrested on Eisenhower Expressway; accused of DUI

Ald. Rey Colon (35th) said Monday he’s hired an attorney after being pulled over by Illinois State Police last week for allegedly driving drunk on the Eisenhower Expressway.

In this July 24, 2014, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. | AP

After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

Who is benefiting from the Lawndale Diabetes Project?

Gerry Allen, a resident of North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side, suffered for years with unmanaged diabetes. But, thanks to an expanded community health initiative launched in April 2012 between a local hospital  and an insurance provider, he did something he thought he’d never do.

Chicago-based architect Jeanne Gang, shown in front of the Aqua Tower her firm designed, will be part of the design team for the new museum filmmaker George Lucas wants to build along Lake Michigan. | Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Team of architects for Lucas museum includes Aqua Tower designer

Beijing-based Ma Yansong and Chicago’s Jeanne Gang are teaming up to design George Lucas’ new interactive lakefront museum. Gang will design a bridge that will connect the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art from its proposed site on Chicago’s Museum Campus to Northerly Island, officials announced Monday. She and her firm, Studio Gang, also will lead the landscape design for the museum. Ma’s work includes the Absolute Towers in Canada — nicknamed the “Marilyn Monroe” towers for their voluptuous curves.