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First lady Michelle Obama speaks on Drink Up effort on Tuesday. File Photo. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Michelle Obama to donors: Write 'biggest, fattest check' you can

North Riverside firefighters Derek Zdenovec (left), Austin Nicholl, Rich Gray and Jason Williams attend the village board meeting Thursday night. They all oppose plans to privatize the fire department. | Schmidt/Sun-Times

North Riverside puts plan to privatize fire department on hold

A controversial plan to privatize North Riverside’s fire department was put on hold Thursday while the village continues to negotiate with the firefighter’s union. A vote on the issue had been expected at a special meeting Thursday night, according to Trustee H. Bob Demopoulos. But Mayor Hubert Hermanek Jr. said a vote on privatization was not planned for the meeting. “Whoever told you [there was a vote] was wrong. We’re in negotiations,” he said.

President Barack Obama addresses a crowd at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in Los Angeles on Thursday. | Ed Crisostomo/Orange County Register/Pool photo

Obama takes on ‘corporate deserters’ in push to close loophole

President Barack Obama called companies that re-incorporate overseas to avoid taxes “corporate deserters” on Thursday, stepping up a drive to close a tax loophole that could affect deals already in the works for Walgreens and AbbVie, two giant firms headquartered in Chicago’s suburbs.

Tweeted by @richardbranson ("Tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at @virgin!.)

Seeing Richard Branson in a tub offers clarity

Richard Branson is taking a bath. Or was, 23 minutes ago. I know this as a fact because he tweeted a photo of himself, in the tub, discreetly shielded by bubbles, thank God. “Right now I’m delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath,” he wrote. Oh wait, “had” — the bath might be over by now. In fact, by the time you read this, the bath is certainly over. Let’s start again. Richard Branson took a bath.

 

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.

Amer Ahmad, 39, fled to Pakistan after pleading guilty last year to public corruption charges in Ohio. He has admitted in Pakistani court that he forged documents to flea to his parents’ homeland. He remains jailed in the city of Lahore. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Feds seek to extradite Emanuel's ex-comptroller from Pakistan

Federal prosecutors are seeking to extradite Amer Ahmad, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former City Hall comptroller, from Pakistan, where Ahmad fled — using a fake passport — after pleading guilty last year to public corruption charges in Ohio.

What's different in Israel this time

Israel begins another day of Operation Protective Edge, its assault on Gaza, the country also faces an ending that’s going relatively unnoticed around the world: Shimon Peres leaves public office this week after a lifetime of political involvement

The Cook County Jail in 2013. File Photo. | Chandler West/For Sun-Times Media

Cook County Jail keeps a neighborhood quiet

The massive compound that is the Cook County Jail bears down on the Little Village neighborhood of South Sacramento Avenue between 26th and 31st streets. A towering concrete slab walls off the inmates’ exercise yard from the neighborhood, though from the right angle residents can see basketball hoops in the yard. From a certain vantage point, inmates can see the residents, too. To live here means the sights and sounds of the jail, a 96-acre facility, are not at all bothersome.

Gov. Quinn press conference is halted after a teen attending the event collapsed. The boy was hospitalized and later released.

Teen collapses at Quinn event

A Chicago teenager has been released from the hospital after appearing to faint at a campaign event where the Illinois governor ended up kneeling over him and holding his hand before an ambulance arrived.

 

Gov. Pat Quinn ends his news conference on a jobs training program with a wave of his hand at the Dawson Technical Institute last week. (AP File Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Quinn disagrees with aides who tied Maywood mayoral race to NRI

SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday he disagreed with the judgment of former top aides who let an upcoming mayoral race in Maywood dictate how they divvied up anti-violence grant dollars in 2011 under his now-tarnished Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

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.