Correspondent, Chicago
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Oct 14, 2010
via Tales from the Trail

Michelle Obama joins stump on behalf of Democratic hopefuls

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First Lady Michelle Obama shook off the rust and hit the campaign trail – at least the campaign fundraising circuit – ahead of the November midterm elections.

Praising her husband’s accomplishments in just a year-and-a-half in office, she urged supporters to “have his back” by getting out the vote for fellow Democrats so he can pursue promised change with a friendly Congress.

Oct 11, 2010

Nobel labor economist chides “dysfunctional” lenders

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A U.S. labor economist awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday said a “dysfunctional” lending environment has made it hard for small service businesses — the source of most jobs — to finance hiring.

Northwestern University professor Dale Mortensen, whose work focused on labor market inefficiencies that make it difficult for workers to match up to job openings, said employers have fewer jobs to offer and government can do only so much about it.

Oct 4, 2010

Emanuel announces candidacy for Chicago mayor online

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rahm Emanuel announced in an online video posted on Sunday he is running for mayor of Chicago, urging residents to tell him in “blunt Chicago terms” how to make the nation’s third-largest city better.

The candidacy had already been considered a given, especially since Emanuel, 50, resigned as White House chief of staff in a ceremony on Friday.

Oct 3, 2010

Rahm Emanuel announces candidacy for Chicago Mayor online

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Rahm Emanuel announced in an online video posted on Sunday he is running for mayor of Chicago, urging residents to tell him in “blunt Chicago terms” how to make the nation’s third-largest city better.

The candidacy had already been considered a given, especially since Emanuel, 50, resigned as White House chief of staff in a ceremony on Friday.

Oct 1, 2010

Rowling doesn’t rule out another Harry Potter book

CHICAGO, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Author J.K. Rowling told U.S.
television talk show host Oprah Winfrey she cried
uncontrollably when she finished the last of her best-selling
Harry Potter books, but did not rule out writing another one.

“I’m not saying I won’t. I love writing them,” the
45-year-old British author told Winfrey in a videotaped
interview at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland, that
aired on ABC TV on Friday.

Sep 29, 2010

U.S. judges weigh ex-mogul Conrad Black’s appeal

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. judges reviewing former media mogul Conrad Black’s conviction on Wednesday questioned whether jurors found him guilty of depriving shareholders of his “honest services” or of being a thief.

The distinction is crucial to Black’s effort to have his 2007 guilty verdict on three fraud counts and obstruction of justice tossed out based on a Supreme Court ruling that limited the scope of the “honest services” law.

Sep 28, 2010

TV writer among recipients of “genius” grants

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The creator of the acclaimed TV series “The Wire,” a stone carver, and a scientist working to rescue threatened bees were among 23 recipients of $500,000 “genius” grants awarded by a U.S. charity on Tuesday.

Chicago’s John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced its annual list of some two dozen scientists, scholars, artists and musicians surprised with the no-strings-attached stipends to be paid over five years.

Sep 28, 2010

U.S. TV writer among recipients of ‘genius’ grants

CHICAGO, Sept 28 (Reuters) – The creator of the acclaimed
TV series “The Wire,” a stone carver, and a scientist working
to rescue threatened bees were among 23 recipients of $500,000
“genius” grants awarded by a U.S. charity on Tuesday.

Chicago’s John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
announced its annual list of some two dozen scientists,
scholars, artists and musicians surprised with the
no-strings-attached stipends to be paid over five years.

Sep 17, 2010

Oprah picks Franzen’s novel “Freedom” for book club

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Television talk show queen Oprah Winfrey chose Jonathan Franzen’s best-selling novel “Freedom” for her book club on Friday, calling the book “a masterpiece” and setting aside a previous contretemps with the author.

“I am really betting that ‘Freedom,’ by Jonathan Franzen, will end up being for you, as it is for me, one of the best novels you have ever read,” Winfrey said as her staff handed out copies to her studio audience in Chicago.

Sep 16, 2010

Inflation eases for U.S. colleges and universities

CHICAGO, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The cost of running U.S.
colleges and universities rose less than 1 percent during the
last academic year, below the overall rate of inflation for the
first time since 1995, a research group said on Thursday.

The relatively tame 0.9 percent inflation rate for
institutions of higher learning in the fiscal year ending in
June 2010, coupled with average school endowment gains of more
than 12 percent last year, could keep tuition increases in
check, said William Jarvis of Commonfund Institute.

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