- Created on 09 December 2013
Photo by Getty Images
It's Ditka Day in Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says Monday that he's declared it "Mike Ditka Day" in honor of the former Chicago Bears player and football coach whose jersey is being retired.
The Hall of Famer's No. 89 is being retired during a halftime ceremony Monday night when the Bears host the Dallas Cowboys.
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- Created on 09 December 2013
Scott Olson via Getty Images
In a dramatic swing from last week's spring-like feel of days pushing 60 degrees, temps in the Chicago area are expected to plummet to unseasonably cold levels.
Snow was forecast for Sunday afternoon, with extra-cold wind pushing the week's already cold temps even lower. According to the Sun-Times, the wind chill could drop to as low as 15 below zero in some areas by Tuesday.
The coming week will average temperatures in the 20s with highs in only the 30s -- a good 10 degrees lower than average mid-December temps. The mercury in Chicago isn't expected to crack freezing until Thursday, according to the Tribune.
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- Created on 06 December 2013
Photo by AP
Another Chicago 'L' line is getting a massive revamp, this time for the Chicago Transit Authority's Blue Line.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials announced a nearly half-billion dollar, four-year renovation plan for the CTA Blue Line's O'Hare branch on Thursday. The $492 million project, called "Your New Blue," will tackle track and station improvements between the Grand station in River North and the Cumberland station near O'Hare International airport.
The improvements are expected to shave 10 minutes off travel time between O'Hare and the Loop, according to CBS Chicago. Additionally, WGN reports the project will bring continuous 4G cell service to trains along the O'Hare branch.
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- Created on 05 December 2013
Photo by Peoples Gas
Peoples Gas, ComEd, and Historic Chicago Bungalow Association are hosting an energy-efficiency fair this Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Chicago Public Library South Shore Branch (2505 E. 73rd Street). The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents of the community are invited to come out and sign up to receive free energy-efficiency equipment.
The fair's purpose is to help Chicago residents save money on bills, energy and the environment through appliance rebate programs offered by ComEd and Peoples Gas. One of the rebate plans is the Home Energy Rebate Program, which offers rebates for qualifying water heaters, boilers, furnaces, and other energy saving products and services, according to a news release from Bonnie Johnson, manager of public relations for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Customers can apply for a $50 rebate through the program if they have their boilers or furnaces tuned up by a licensed technician, Johnson said via phone.
Another rebate plan is the Home Energy Jumpstart Program, which is provided in partnership with ComEd. Qualifying residents who sign up can have free energy-saving products, including pipe insulation, showerheads, free programmable thermostats and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL), and kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators installed in their homes, the release stated.
Johnson stressed the advantages of having energy- efficiency programs.
"You can save up to 20 percent on your heating bill," she exclaimed. " The shower head is of low value but has high pressure. People can also get their furnaces inspected and it'll keep running efficiently throughout the winter. Come out to the fair, get the information, and sign up for the free energy equipment."
This is the fifth energy fair that Peoples Gas and its partners have hosted. Residents who cannot make this one can attend the last energy fair Saturday, Dec. 14, at Sherman Park Library (5440 S. Racine Ave) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you cannot make that either, visit www.peoplesgasrebates.com or call 855-849-8923, to get more information about the Home Energy Rebate Program and the Home Energy Jumpstart Program.
Representatives from Peoples Gas, the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and ComEd will provide more information about programs and incentives available for Chicago residents at the fair.
In other news, Peoples Gas, ComEd, and the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Incorporated (CEDA) will host a Utility Assistance & Resource Fair, Jan. 11, at the Salvation Army Red Shield Center, 935 W. 69th Street, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Representatives from the respective companies hosting will be on site to assist customers who are struggling with their energy bills. Also, there will be a number of other nonprofit, city, and state agencies present to help with customers.
Qualifying customers can apply for a LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) on site. Customers will also be able to apply for LIHEAP grants if their income is 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. To find out if you meet those guidelines, go to www.aspe.nns.gov/poverty.