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A group of Chicago cab drivers are showing off their sexy side, to raise money for a lawsuit against the city.

Sales of the calendar will fund a federal lawsuit against the city of Chicago to determine if cab drivers are self-employed or employees for the city.

If a judge rules drivers work for the city, they would have to be paid at least minimum wage.

For more information and how to buy, log on to

Six meetings are being held this month to help people who are still having problems with their Ventra cards.

The RTA and the CTA will help customers activate cards and transfer balances from existing fare cards.

The first two meetings are Monday, December 16.

  • One is 10 a.m. to noon at the Carter G. Woodson Library auditorium, at 9525 S. Halsted Street.
  • The second is from 2 to 4 p.m. at Truman College’s Novar Hall, Room 3426, 3rd floor, 1145 W. Wilson Avenue.
  • The third is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Forest Park Library in Forest Park.
  • The fourth is noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, at 2102 W. Ogden Avenue in Chicago.
  • The fifth is 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the RTA Board Room, 16th floor, 175 W. Jackson Blvd.
  • The last is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Southwest Regional Center, 6117 S. Kedzie Avenue.

Karen Thomson is the executive director and founder of Literature for All of Us, a not for profit that serves some 500 at risk students in the Chicago area.

With a masters in English from Northwestern University, the soft spoken , former Evanston stay at home mom, started the organization in 1997, after leading a book group for single mothers who’d dropped out of  high school. When she gave the young women books and poems to read, the books had a profound effect on them.

“It had become a writing circle, not just a reading circle.  They were proud of what they said and done,” she said.

Years later she sees the same reaction with her book groups today. The girls at the Sinclair Campus of the Peace and Education Coalition Accelerated high school,  like her first group, have been through a tremendous amount of turmoil in their young lives.

Karen Thomson, she’s one of Chicago’s Very Own.

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CDPH is hosting five Vaccinate Illinois Week events where Chicagoans can get a free flu shot, including a special family-focused vaccine clinic with entertainment and prizes at Ford City Mall on Dec. 14 from noon to 5 p.m.

  • Dec. 9              Mexican Consulate            204 South Ashland Avenue        9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 12            Little Village Council          3610 West 26th Street            10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 13            City Hall                          121 North LaSalle Street           9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Dec. 14            15th Ward                       3045 West 63rd Street            10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dec. 14            Ford City Mall                   7601 South Cicero Avenue       Noon to 5 p.m.

For more info, go to:

TCF National Bank announced Wednesday that it will close 37 branch locations inside Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago area.

TCF Bank said it will continue be the primary banking partner for Jewel-Osco, maintaining 118 branch locations in other grocery stores throughout the Chicago area. Ina news release, TCF says it “supports Jewel’s growth strategy and will continue to partner on ways that benefit our mutual customers.”

TCF Bank also announced the expansion of its ATM network in the Chicago area with the addition of 52 new machines that will be located at CTA ‘L’ stations.

Following these additions, TCF will have approximately 156 branch locations and more than 270 ATMs throughout the Chicago area.

Here’s a list of the TCF Bank locations to close:

3644 S. Archer Ave., Chicago
966 Route 59, Antioch
1400 21st St., Zion
2401 Route 12, Spring Grove
3220 Chicago Road, South Chicago Heights
1276 N. Main St., Crown Point, Ind.
17705 S. Halsted, Homewood
747 Indian Boundary Road, Chesterton, Ind.
805 Joliet St., Dyer, Ind.
763 E.162nd St., South Holland
12803 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights
885 E. Belvidere Road, Grayslake
150 W. Main St., Barrington
547 W. Liberty St., Wauconda
4222 Elm St., McHenry
696 Northwest Hwy, Cary
145 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock
1501 E. Algonquin Road, Algonquin
411 N. Greenbay Road, Wilmette
2031 Main St., Wheaton
3630 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
370 N. DesPlaines, Chicago
119 Randall Road, Batavia
652 Kirk Road, St. Charles
375 Randall Road, South Elgin
177 E. Roosevelt Road, West Chicago
465 N. Route 47, Sugar Grove
800 N. Main, Elburn
220 W. Peace Road, Sycamore
4650 W. 103rd St., Oak Lawn
3128 W. 103rd St., Chicago
234 E. Veterans Parkway, Yorkville
3795 Orchard, Oswego
475 N. Nelson Road, New Lenox
199 Brookforest Ave., Shorewood
2051 Ridge Rd., Minooka
2021 E. Laraway, New Lenox


There’s a new website that’s soliciting ideas from Chicagoans on where to put 175 new Divvy bike stations.

The stations are scheduled to be added to the system next year and Mayor Emanuel is taking suggestions about locations.

People can make suggestion at this website:

Since its launching last summer, the bike share system had provided more than 725,000 trips for Chicago residents and visitors, who’ve ridden a total of more than 1.7 million miles around town.

More than 130,000 Divvy daily passes and 11,000 annual memberships have been sold.

On the website, Chicagoans can make suggestions for locations and provide feedback on site suggestions others have made.

For more information, log on to

“All of the scarves are named after the girls that created the designs.”

The girls Anne Sweeney is referring to live in Nairobi, Kenya, refugees displaced by war.  Many of them have been abused, most have lost their families.

The women  spend hours making each unique and exquisite  scarves by hand.

The scarves are part of the Maisha Collective, the income generating project of Heshima Kenya, a non profit Sweeney co-founded  in Nairobi in 2008.

Until recently, the scarves were only sold online.

Then boutique owner Niala Conte saw them. “And I love the colors and the style and it’s very much my style,” she said.

Niala thought they’d be perfect in her boutique on Chicago’s Gold Coast. Niala is the first Chicago retail store to carry these scarves.

The partnership  is helping to generate interest in a crisis that’s 8,000 miles away.  Shoppers who frequent this area will now know the stories behind the scarves.  And knowing that people are interested in their work, helps to empower these young women.

Niala’s Conte and Anne Sweeney are two of Chicago’s Very Own.

For more information visit

An investigation is underway into what caused a roaring fire at a former hotel and current church in Gary, Indiana.

The flames broke-out at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday at the corner of 8th Avenue and Washington. Several fire departments fought the blaze, and kept it from spreading to a nearby school.

The three-story building is the site of the former plaza hotel, and “God’s House of Prayer.”

No one was hurt or killed.

“Our focus has been on helping people, the homeless, those that are oppressed, don’t have anyone to stand up with them and stand up for them,” said Pastor Atte Askew, of God’s House of Prayer.

To contact the church on ways you can help, call 219-730-4115

You’ve probably seen gigantic fire hydrants all over Chicago.

They’re part of the 100 Club of Chicago’s great Chicago Fire Hydrants public art project to raise money for families of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Joe Ahern, CEO of the 100 Club, and artist Ken Klopack  spoke with WGN News about how you could become an owner of one of these works of art.

For more information, log on

Doctors at the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center performed successful kidney transplants Wednesday involving multiple donors and recipients from two families.

Rhonda McClarn of Chicago received a kidney from Megan Randall of Michigan.  In turn, McClarn’s son, Tevin Hamilton, donated a kidney to Randall’s mother.

Doctors performed the surgery using robotics and said there were no apparent complications.

The two families were paired together after tests showed family members were not a match for each other.

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