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April 2008 Archives

April 2, 2008

3rd Grade Terrorists

Unfortunately we’ve become accustomed to hearing about terror plots by al-Qaida and others that want to cause death, destruction and chaos. But I think it’s safe to say this terror plot wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

A group of 3rd graders from Waycross, Georgia were caught plotting to attack their teacher.

These are some of the materials police confiscated.

The 9 boys and girls brought a broken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape and other items to school. They even went so far as to assign each other jobs, like covering the windows and cleaning up afterward. The 8, 9 and 10 year olds planned to knock the teach unconscious with a crystal paperweight, tie her up with the handcuffs and duct tape, then stab her. There was no mention of killing her, but police say they certainly could have done it accidently, which is why they’re taking this case so seriously.

Why did they want to do this to their teacher? They were apparently mad at her because she scolded one of them for standing on a chair.

School officials found out about the plot after another student tipped them off that a girl had a knife. Two of the students have been arrested and a 3rd one is expected to be arrested soon. Prosecutors plan to charge the 9 and 10 year old girls that brought the knife and paperweight with bringing weapons to school. They, along with an 8 year old boy who brought the duct tape will also be charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault.

As it seems with all stories like this, the teacher says these children are “considered pretty good kids” and “weren’t known as troublemakers.”

I say troublemakers have to get their start somewhere and it looks like this is where it begins, in 3rd grade. Hopefully the kids will be punished severely enough by police and parents that they will be detered them from the bad path they’re headed down.

More Deadly Lessons

Chicagoans once again woke up to the the news that a school-aged youth had been shot and killed. 18-year-old James Bush was shot once in the chest about 6:35 p.m. near West 110th Place and South Racine Avenue.

A Chicago Public Schools spokesperson says Bush was a student at Morgan Park High School until February.

More than 20 CPS students have been killed violently this school year.

Starting Monday, April 7th, CLTV will air special programs examining school violence issues.

“Deadly Lessons” is a live interactive program airing each weeknight evening the week of April 7. CLTV anchor/reporter Gaynor Hall is the program host. CLTV anchor/reporter Monica Schneider is a contributing reporter.

“I am a product of the Chicago Public Schools. That education helped me to get where I am today,” said Hall, a graduate of Whitney Young High School. “But too many kids are not getting the chance live their dreams, because of violence. We need to start a dialogue to address the tough questions. What is going wrong in our communities? What needs to be done to fix these deadly problems?” Hall said.

Parents, students, gang experts, school administrators and education experts are among those scheduled to appear on the programs. Viewers will be able to participate through telephone calls and through commentary on the cltv.com news blog. You can also send us an email at cltvdesk@tribune.com.

Invited guests include Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, the father of slain Julian High School student Blair Holt and, Father Michael Pfleger.

The Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association, recently honored a prior “Deadly Lessons” special hosted by Tonya Francisco in the spring of 2007, in the Best Series/Documentary category.

CLTV is available on Comcast cable throughout the Chicago area. The 24-hour news channel recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

Air schedule:
Monday, April 7 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Live)
Tuesday, April 8 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Live)
Wednesday, April 9 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Live)
Thursday, April 10 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Live)
Friday, April 11 5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Live)

Deadly Lessons: This is completely ridiculous....

Are you outraged?

Last month, 8 Chicago Public School students were shot and killed. That's an average of 2 students gunned down, per week.

Just this week, two teenagers (who were not currently enrolled in school) were killed by gunfire.

Are you outraged, yet?

You should be.

Some of the kids who attend schools in Chicago's toughest neighborhoods are afraid to go to school. Kids aren't able to be kids, because they're worried about violence and gangs. If you think this doesn't affect you, because it's not happening in YOUR neighborhood...think again. Every time a child dies, we are losing someone who could have made a great contribution to our world.

What is going on here?

From guns to gangs and parental responsibility. Next week, we're taking on the issues on CLTV. Join us weeknights live at 5pm for "Deadly Lessons."

Got an opinion? We want to hear from you. Email your thoughts to cltvdesk@tribune.com

April 3, 2008

Baby Daddy Drama?

photo courtesy NY Daily News

Oprah Winfrey called it a “new definition of what diversity means for everybody.”
In an interview on her show Thursday, a transgender man who is pregnant told the nation he always wanted a child and considers it a miracle. People Magazine first picked up Beatie’s story and has a full spread on him on newsstands Friday, April 4th.

Here’s the background;
34-year old Thomas Beatie, a one time pageant queen, says he decided to become a man 10 years ago, taking testosterone treatments and having breast surgery to remove glands and flatten his chest. He says he kept his reproductive organs knowing he wanted a child one day. That one-day happened 6 months ago when his wife Nancy inseminated him using a syringe of sperm from a donor bank. Beatie says he stopped taking testosterone 2 years ago, and his hormone levels are normal. The happy couple also says their roles in raising the child won’t change. Nancy will be mommy Thomas will be daddy.

What his doctor says;
First, Beatie says he was turned down by several other doctors before Dr. Kimberly James, a doctor in the couple’s Oregon town, decided to pick Thomas up. Dr. James says the baby is totally healthy, and it is a normal pregnancy.

Arguments of course have erupted over this story.
Some are wondering if they are bringing the child into a healthy environment or will their be confusion because daddy gave birth. Others are wondering why the couple are parading themselves before the media and seeking out attention. To that, the couple has said they wanted to release the news on their own terms, instead of having it spread after the baby is born. By the way.. it’s a girl.

Whether good or bad, I want to hear your thoughts on this story.

April 4, 2008

Find a new train, we're apparently on the wrong track

According to a new CBS News-New York Times poll, 81 percent of Americans believe the United States is on the wrong track.

Folks, I was driving home when I heard that on the radio Thursday afternoon and I nearly drove off the road. Not because of the number itself... but because of what I heard next: That's the worst the number's been since it was first asked nearly 20 years ago.

Are we really that pessimistic as a nation or is it the reality?

Let's take a look through the New York times.

There is this article Friday that shows employers cut 80,000 jobs across the country in the month of March.

Then, there's this article that shows a significant increase in the use of food stamps, and their equivalents, as those people lose their jobs and can no longer afford to eat.

Both of those were published the same week as a statement from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke which sounded decidedly uncertain if the U.S. could avoid a recession and another poll showed that a majority of the world's nations have a negative view of the United States--for the first time.

It's truly a lot to wrap your head around when you think what goes into "being on the wrong track."

Certainly we all have our own perspective. Is it the economy on the whole, the housing crisis, the Iraq and Afghanistan war, or is it because some of the more than 1,000 people surveyed for the poll had just lost their job?

For me, it shows that "perception" is everything. A track is what we make of it.

Nearly 140 years after the first Trans-Continental railroad was completed here, maybe it's time that we start off to build a better, more modern track--one that will alter our perception and get us out of an old rut.

Mixed Martial Arts Coming to CLTV!

CLTV leaps head first into the world of mixed martial arts with CombatWire. CombatWire TV takes a hard look at the Chicago MMA scene. Want to learn the secrets of the country's best fighters? You'll find it all on CombatWire TV!

The program airs at 10pm and midnight on Tuesdays and Fridays starting May 6 only on CLTV. Hosts Jim Lynam - from Q101 - and Felice Herrig - A pro fighter - take you from inside the ring to behind the scenes with information, training tips, and interviews. Combatwire.com officially launches later this month. Until then, check back to CLTV.com for news and updates on CombatWire TV.

Continue reading "Mixed Martial Arts Coming to CLTV!" »

Deadly Lessons: Honoring the Dream

Today is the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's assasination.

Considering the fact that 22 Chicago Public School students have been murdered so far this school year, I think Dr. King's message of nonviolence is more relevant now than ever.


Dr. King delivered his final speech "I've Been to the Mountaintop," the day before he was killed.

"Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today."

Forty years later, those words still hold true. Our young people have to choose between nonviolence or nonexistence. Too many kids are losing their lives, before they can even begin to live.

Join us on Monday as we begin our special weeklong series "Deadly Lessons." Every night at 5pm, we will examine the violence plaguing our communities and search for solutions.

Email your thoughts to us at cltvdesk@tribune.com

April 7, 2008

Deadly Lessons: Why is this Happening?

Another weekend in Chicago and two more teenagers are murdered.

One of the victims is 18 year old Albert Vaughn, a senior at Julian High School. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat.


Tonight on CLTV, we begin our weeklong series "Deadly Lessons." We're opening the dialogue with school officials, community leaders, and students, in an effort to figure out why this is happening.

Join us tonight at 5pm as we take a closer look at the violence problem and the effect it has on families. We're talking with Ronald Holt and Denise Reed - two parents who have lost children to gun violence. We'll take your phone calls live on the air, and you can also email comments to us at cltvdesk@tribune.com

April 8, 2008

Deadly Lessons: Tuesday

Another day...more violence.

Three teenagers were shot in separate incidents overnight. Two of them remain hospitalized from their injuries.

Where does this end?

Will more gun control laws help curb the violence?

Tonight on Deadly Lessons we're taking on the gun control debate.

Our guests will be Father Michael Pfleger from St. Sabina's Church and gun rights activist, Shaun Kranish.

We're taking your phone calls and posting your blog responses. Join us tonight at 5pm on CLTV.

Here's CLTV's Monica Schneider with an overview of the problem.

April 9, 2008

Deadly Lessons: Wednesday

Why do kids join gangs? What is gang-life really like?

The sad reality is that some Chicago students are afraid to walk to school because they're afraid to cross into gang territory. After last month's shooting of 18 year old Ruben Ivy outside Crane High School, hundreds of students didn't show up for school because they feared gang retaliation. As a result, police officers and parents started escorting teens who live in the ABLA homes to Crane.

Tonight on Deadly Lessons, we're continuing the discussion with a closer look at gang activity. Tio Hardiman from Ceasefire and mental health expert, Dr. Carl Bell will join us live in the studio. We'll also hear from a young man who joined a gang, and now wishes he could take that decision back.

This is your opportunity to voice your opinion on this critical issue.
Tune in to CLTV at 5 pm.
We'll take your phone calls live on the air and we'll post some of your blog responses.

Deadly Lessons: Thursday

Tonight on Deadly Lessons...we'll hear from the students. What do they think about the violence killing their classmates? What are their hopes for solutions?

The advanced television class at Kelly High School on Chicago's Southwest side put together a group of students for a roundtable discussion on the issues.

School board president, Rufus Williams, and two high school students will join us live in the studio.

This is your opportunity to weigh in. We'll take your phone calls live on the air and we'll also post some of your blog responses during the show.

Join us tonight at 5pm on CLTV, as we continue this critical discussion.

Mixed Martial Arts on CLTV - First Pictures are in ...

We just finished one of our first shoots for the new MMA show "combatwire" on CLTV. Check out the photos with Bas Rutten and our hosts Jim Lynam and Felice Herrig.

Learn more about the show by clicking here.

Continue reading "Mixed Martial Arts on CLTV - First Pictures are in ..." »

Combatwire - Felice's First Takedown!

Watch as Felice takes down Jim's producer Fat Lou during Wednesday's Q101 morning show!

Learn more about combatwire by clicking here.

Continue reading "Combatwire - Felice's First Takedown!" »

April 10, 2008

Deadly Lessons: Friday

Tonight we will wrap up our weeklong Deadly Lessons series with a discussion about solutions to the violence. We'll also take a closer look at the programs that are working to reach young people.

Monica Schneider profiles one such program:

Chicago Public Schools President and CEO, Arne Duncan, will join us during the show. Diane Latiker, the founder of Kids Off the Block, will also join the discussion and we're taking your phone calls live on the air.

We want to know what you think.

Are there enough programs and activities to keep teens occupied after school? What more can CPS do to protect our children? We'll post some of your blog responses during the show.

Join us tonight at 5pm on CLTV for Deadly Lessons.

April 11, 2008

Deadly Lessons: Where do we go from here?

This week on Deadly Lessons, we talked about parenting, guns, and gangs. We heard the students speak out, and we discussed solutions.

We opened the dialogue on the violence that's gripping Chicago's young people, but we barely scratched the surface. The truth is the issues are complicated, and there is no easy answer.

So, where do we go from here?

I think each and every one of us has to find a way to make an impact. 23 Chicago Public Schools students killed is 23 too many.

April 14, 2008

It's the economy, stupid

More bad economic news today. One in seven mortgage holders worry they may soon fail to make their monthly payments and even more fret that their home's value is shrinking, according to a new Associated Press poll showing widespread stress from the nation's housing crisis. Are you one of them?

CLTV is planning a series of live call-in shows about the economy in Chicagoland and we want to hear from you.

What issues would you like to see us cover? What issues are you facing? Let us know.

April 15, 2008

Blue Line breakdown!

We working on a developing story. While train service is back up now, A CTA Blue Line train broke down right near the Clark/Lake station this morning around 8:10am. Hundreds of riders on three Blue Line trains were evacuated from the subway Tuesday morning, but there were no immediate reports of serious injuries, officials said.

At least one passenger reported being stuck in the subway for as long two hours. Riders on more than 16 train cars were led out of the subway exits by Fire Department paramedics and firefighters, Fire Department spokesman Rich Rosado said.

Here's some of our raw video of people getting evacuated:

Here is CLTV's Aaron Baskerville on the scene:

Here's a phone interview with James who was stuck underground for a couple of hours:

Here's RedEye's Kyra Kyles talking to CLTV's Monica Schneider about the situation:

April 16, 2008

Let your feet do the walking

Most of us were fortunate as children.

We were loved by family unconditionally and had a safe place to go... we called it home.

There are, of course, exceptions.

Shelter, Inc., based in Arlington Heights, has helped thousands of children in the Northwest Suburbs by taking them into their care and giving them that love most of us took for granted.

On Saturday,April 19th, Shelter, Inc is hosting its second 5k walk and Kidz dash to raise money it needs to keep the programs going.

CLTV is a media sponsor and I will be joining many of my coworkers to show our support.

I truly hope you can make it out on Saturday morning.

For more information, please click this link to Shelter, Inc.

Thanks for taking the time!

Sean Lewis

Money Talks

Gas and food prices are high.
The housing market is in a crunch.
Companies are cutting jobs, and consumers aren't spending like they used to.
The economy is struggling.
We want to help you figure out how to maneuver during these tough times.

CLTV is going to dedicate a week of programming to the issues affecting your wallet.
We're assembling a panel of experts to answer your money questions.

But we need to hear YOUR ideas. What economic issues concern you the most?

Let us know.

April 18, 2008


***Update: CLTV will carry an OEMC news conference live momentarily (11am) where the city will talk about the quake***

Were you jolted awake shortly after 4:30 this morning, wondering what the heck was going on? You're not alone.

Tremors from a moderate earthquake centered in southeast Illinois rattled people awake across the Chicago area Friday morning, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or significant damage, authorities said.

The earthquake, which measured 5.2 on the Richter Scale, struck at 4:36 a.m. near the town of West Salem, Ill., about 60 miles northwest of Evansville, Ind., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. An initial estimate of the magnitude put it at 5.4, which would have matched the strongest earthquake recorded in the region.

Here's what some of our viewers said about their experience:

Name: Helen Kalantzis

Comments: Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I were awakened by the earthquake in Inverness, IL this morning. Our headboard was rattling for about 15-20 seconds and our dogs immediately wanted to jump into our bed! Before the quake, our dogs were awake and seemed very scared which was very strange.

Name: Diana Huff

Comments: I felt the earthquake this morning. It woke me up by hearing my perfume bottles on my bedroom dresser rattling crazily and my bed start shaking. Wow! I thought I was expericing the movie "The Exorcist".

Gail Okrie

(Live in Lisle) I was watching television news and thought my dog was having a seizure of some sort. Felt the tremor (odd shaking of the bed) for what I thought was approximately a minute. Another one of our dogs was up and about wanting to get out of the house. "Puppy" hid under a bed and still is acting too quiet.

Yondi Morris

I woke up this morning because my bed (in Chicago) was shaking, almost violently. I thought I was dreaming, so I went to use the bathroom and walked around my apartment just to make sure all was well. Nothing looked out of the ordinary, so I got back in the bed. I was shocked when I woke up this morning to the news story of an earthquake!!! I mean, we live in the Midwest. I never hear of earthquakes in the Midwest!!!

Tim Schmeling (Orland Park)
My wife and I both woke up from the earthquake. When we got up this morning we noticed five cracks in our walls mostly in the living room and dining room area. I have attached a couple of photos of the two worst cracks. So far, I have not noticed any other damage.

Tell us your story in the comments section below. Send us your picture at cltvdesk@tribune.com. Upload your video at http://chicagolive.com.

April 21, 2008

Think Before You Speak

It seems these days, anyone with a microphone and an audience is speaking before thinking and apologizing later.

Comedian Bill Maher is the latest causality of the “foot in mouth” syndrome. He’s the host of “Real Time” on HBO. On his April 11 show, he went on a bit of a rant about Pope Benedict coming to America. Maher was critical of the way he felt the Catholic Church was being treated in light of the priest sex abuse scandal.

Maher said “If you have a few hundred followers and you let some of them molest children, they call you a cult leader. If you have a billion, they call you Pope.”

Listen to Maher's entire monologue.

Maher later apologized but now several Catholic groups are calling for his resignation. The American Life League has even set up a Web site asking people to cancel HBO until Maher is fired.

Maher isn’t the only public speaker to have to apologize for an inappropriate comment he or she made while on the air.

There’s the infamous “nappy headed hos" comment from Don Imus about the Rutgers Women’s basketball team.

And CNN host Jack Cafferty calling China’s goods “junk” and its leaders a “bunch of goons and thugs.”

Or the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman’s suggestion that some younger golfers should “lynch [Tiger Woods] in a back alley.”

And the MSNBC reporter who was suspended for saying Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign had “pimped out” Chelsea Clinton to drum up superdelegate votes.

Some of the comments may have been gaffs, but the others I’m not so sure. The first thing everyone learns in “TV 101” is think before you speak. That leads me to believe some of these people are willing to risk pissing off one group in hopes of getting attention (ratings) from an even bigger group.

April 22, 2008

Wine: The Cheaper the Better

Good news for snobby wine drinkers during these trying economic times. “The Wine Trials,” a new book by food critic Robin Goldstein finds you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a good wine.

Goldstein got 500 volunteers (experts and everyday drinkers) to do a blind taste test of 540 wines, priced between $1.50 and $150, then rate them on a scale of bad, OK, good and great.

100 wines under $15 rated higher than the more expensive brands. For example, a $9.99 bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut outscored a $150 bottle of Dom Perignon. A bottle of “Two-Buck Chuck” outperformed a $55 bottle of Stags’ Leap Artemis. Several box wines even made it into the top 100.

And to further prove that people are hung up on price tags, scientists from Caltech and Stanford did a separate wine study earlier this year. Volunteers were asked to try Cabernet Sauvignon priced at $5, $10, $45 and $90. The catch was there were only two kinds of wine, they were just marked with different prices. Newsweek reports:

The $90 wine was presented at its real price as well as marked down to $10, while the $5 bottle was also marked up to $45. The results were surprising: price appeared to dictate pleasure. The wine drinkers liked the $90 bottle best, the $5 bottle least. When the same volunteers were offered sips without price data, though, they preferred the $5 option.
Once again, perception becomes reality. But the reality is, we are dealing with some tough economic times, so go with what tastes good to you. If a bottle of Boone’s Farm or Arbor Mist floats your boat, the rest be damned if they don’t like it.

Taking prostate cancer prevention into your own hands

This may offend some... but it may help others.

A study by Australian researchers is making some news again because it shows that frequent masturbation may actually help men cut their risk for developing prostate cancer.

According to the report, it is believed that carcinogens may build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer, and 1,250 men who had not.

They found that men who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to get cancer. Men who ejaculated more than five times each week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer.

The study also says that intercourse may actually not be as effective because of a risk to contract an STD.

The report points out that the prostate produces a fluid that is incorporated into ejaculation, which activates sperm and prevents them from sticking together.

Studies on animals have shown that carcinogens like 3-methylchloranthrene can be harbored in the prostate. Frequent ejaculation encourages the cancer-inducing fluids to "flush out."

I found this announcement interesting and wanted to do some more research on other research.

One group that this announcement might affect is clergy in the Roman Catholic Church. If the Australian research is correct, Catholic priests would be at higher risk for prostate cancer.

However, in the book Cancer of the Prostate by Sakti Das, E. David Crawford, it is found that priests actually have a slighter lower rate of prostate cancer than non priests.

Other studies back the Australian researchers.

My question, why do these studies exist at all?

If you're older than a certain age, medical experts--most ALL medical experts--agree that you should get routine prostate exams.

That, along with a healthy diet and exercise has always been touted as the best way to reduce the risk of developing any cancer, including prostate.

How about we spend money on helping people understand better nutrition and not on studies that make some laugh and others uncomfortable.

April 23, 2008

Kids & Plastic Surgery

Children’s books are supposed to be just that, books for children about topics that nurture, educate and help them develop into fine young men and women. I’m not sure if “My Beautiful Mommy” fits the bill.

It’s written by a plastic surgeon for the children of women who have procedures like breast implants and tummy tucks. The author, Dr. Michael Salzhauer says the book seeks to reassure children that the bandages and bruises are temporary and mommy will be prettier when they go away.

It’s meant for kids aged four to seven. The picture book features a plastic surgeon named Dr. Michael and girl whose mother gets a tummy tuck, nose job and breast implants.

I get the concept. Kids will not be scarred for life if it’s explained to them before they see their mother all battered and bruised. But I’m not sure if this book is the best way to soothe their fears.

First of all, I’m not a fan of plastic surgery. I believe in fighting old age with a proper diet & exercise and a serious moisturizing regime.

The concern I have is the body image issues the book will create. Little girls tend to emulate their mothers. If they see their mother “getting fixed,” they may feel the need to “get fixed,” too. Couple that with societal pressures to be “perfect” and their impressionable young minds will be ruined long before they hit their teens. By that time, no one will be able to counter those destructive notions, not even beautiful mommy.

We're in a Cash Crunch!

Gas prices are up. Food prices are up. Companies are slashing jobs, and consumers are cutting back. The economic climate isn't good.


Check out this article from Wednesday's Tribune:

Gas and oil prices pushed further into record territory Tuesday, with retail gas reaching a national average of $3.51 and crude nearing $120 as the dollar fell to a fresh low against the euro.

The national average price of a gallon of regular gas rose 0.8 cent Tuesday, to $3.511, according to a survey by AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Prices in the Chicago area rose to a record $3.726. Prices for diesel—used to transport most food, industrial and commercial goods—also rose overnight to a national record of $4.204 a gallon.

Gas prices are nearly 66 cents higher than last year, when they peaked at a then-record of $3.23 in late May, and have prompted many analysts to raise their estimates of where gas is going to go. "I wouldn't rule out the possibility that we could get to $4," said Antoine Halff, an analyst at Newedge USA LLC.

We want to hear from you. What economic issues are affecting your life?

Post a comment on the blog. Then, join us next week on CLTV for our weeklong series, "Cash Crunch." Everyday at 5pm, we're hosting a live show and we're bringing in Chicagoland's top money experts to answer your questions.

April 25, 2008

Cash Crunch: Record Highs, Record Lows

There's record highs....

In Chicago, the average price for a gallon of self-serve regular hit $3.78 on Friday. Prices at some stations are already well above the $4 dollar mark.

And record lows....

A University of Michigan poll finds consumer confidence in April plunged to its lowest level in 26 years.


Next week on CLTV, join us for our special series "Cash Crunch." Everyday at 5pm, we're bringing in Chicagoland's top money experts to answer your questions on everything from finding a job to finding the best deals. We'll take your phone calls LIVE on the air.

We want to hear from you. How has this troubling economic climate affected your life? Post a message on the blog. Then, join us at 5pm on Monday for "Cash Crunch."

April 28, 2008

Rev. Wright: Prolific Speaker or Hate-filled Fanatic?

He's been the subject of much discussion and debate.
From coast to coast, around dinner tables and from atop bar stools, people have gone back and forth about Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

By now you know he's presidential hopeful Barack Obama's former pastor. And you know he's a minister that has delivered passionate, firey sermons to a huge congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side for more than 30 years.

Back in March, snipets of some of his old sermons started circulating on the internet. On them he accuses the U.S. government of racism, accuses it of flooding black neighborhoods with drugs and blames the government for 9/11. That has lead many to condemn him, calling him unpatriotic and a hate monger.

Have you ever heard Rev. Wright speak? And I'm not talking about snipets of an old sermon on the internet.

Here's your chance to judge for yourself. This is video of Rev. Wright's entire speech, plus questions and answers at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Monday morning (4/28/07). Please share your thoughts after you've listened to the entire speech. Is Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a prolific speaker or a hate-filled fanatic?

Cash Crunch: Monday

The federal government starts sending out millions of tax rebates today, in an effort to stimulate the lagging economy.

How should you spend your rebate check? How can you make a plan to get out of debt?


Tonight on CLTV, we begin our special weeklong series "Cash Crunch." Money guru, Terry Savage, joins us live in the studio with tips on how to thrive in this struggling economy and she'll answer your money questions.

We want to hear from you!

Post your comments and questions on the blog. We'll show some of your responses during the show. Then, tune in at 5pm for "Cash Crunch" on CLTV.

New Poll: Clinton stands better chance than Obama vs. McCain


An Accociated Press-Ipsos poll out Monday shows that Hillary Clinton has a better chance of beating John McCain in November than Barack Obama.

Clinton leads McCain in the hypothetical matchup 50 percent to 41 percent.

Obama leads McCain 46 percent to 44 percent.

This poll was conducted, presumably, over the course of the weekend... the same weekend that the name Jeremiah Wright was once again in the news.

Rev. Wright was the guest of the Detroit NAACP where he tried to explain, again, the sermon that many of us have heard only portions.

Those "soundbites" from one sermon have come to define months of the campaign for Barack Obama.

Because of those soundbites, Obama made a pivitol speech on race in the United States. He then faced a barage of questions regarding the former preacher from his Chicago church. Being forced to denounce remarks and distance himself from a man he considers family.

This morning I thought, "Are the recent public appearances of Rev. Wright hurting Barack Obama's campaign... again?"

Just as the drawn-out battle for the Democratic nomination is being seen as hurting both Clinton and Obama down the road, keeping Wright as a front-and-center reminder may actually be taking votes away from Obama.

Make no mistake--I don't think this is right.

I can't imagine how I'd feel being held responsible for the words of someone else.

Also, I can't imagine taking 30 seconds of out of an hour sermon and trying to understand the real message.

That's foolish.

Think of only hearing this:

A host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.

When, during the same speech, we also heard this from Franklin D. Roosevelt:

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

If you were to hear that first soundbite, you'd be left with a far different impression than hearing the entire speech that rallied the American people to work through the Great Depression.

As we look at the Rev. Wright and his potential impact on Barack Obama's campaign, remember that Wright is also trying to have people understand that his 30 years of work shouldn't be boiled down to 30 seconds.

Cash Crunch: Tuesday

Home foreclosures have jumped 57 percent since March 2006, according to a new report.

Illinois is one of the states with the highest number of homes going into foreclosure. In Chicago alone, more than 50,000 homeowners are at risk of losing their homes because of the subprime mortgage crisis.

We are continuing our look at the lagging economy with our special weeklong series "Cash Crunch." On Tuesday, we're discussing the housing slump.

Foreclosure expert, Steven Bashaw, and David Hanna from the Chicago Association of Realtors will join us live in the studio. We'll talk about how you can avoid foreclosure and we'll have some tips on selling your home.

Join us Tuesday at 5pm for "Cash Crunch" on CLTV.

We'll take some of your questions and comments during the show. We'll also show some of your blog responses.

April 29, 2008

Combatwire Viewing Party - May 6th

Watch CLTV Tuesday, May 6, at 10pm for Combatwire's premiere episode. We're also having a special viewing party that night at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park.

Come out and meet hosts Jim Lynam(from q101.1's "Morning Fix") and Felice Herrig(her WCL fight airs on Versus May 4.) There will be *FREE* Combatwire giveaways all night. Get some facetime on TV because Combatwire cameras will be taping the fun.

Then at 10pm we'll put the PREMIERE EPISODE of Combatwire on the TVs.

Everyone come out for a good time. Stay tuned for more details.

115 Bourbon Street is Southside Chicago's largest entertainment complex. It's a Nightclub, Sportsbar, Restaurant, Beer Garden and Performance Hall. For more information on 115 Bourbon Street visit them on the web: http://www.115bourbonstreet.com

Combatwire airs on CLTV every Tuesday and Friday, 10pm and Midnight. Look for CLTV on Comcast Cable.

"Deadly Lessons" wins a Lisagor Award

The Chicago Headline Club chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has named the winners of its annual Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism.

On Friday night at a ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel, CLTV's own Tonya Francisco was awarded a Lisagor for "Deadly Lessons" in the best documentary category. CLTV photojournalists Eric Melcher and A.J. Chodora also worked on the program.

"Deadly Lessons" first aired last June after so many Chicago Public Schools students died during the school year including Blair Holt.

Here it is:

Cash Crunch: Tax Rebate Info

We have gotten lots of calls about the economic stimulus payments. So, here's some basic info:

Starting this week, millions of Americans will get tax rebate checks from the federal government. It's an effort to stimulate the lagging economy.

To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and you must file a 2007 federal tax return.

The rebates, which are expected to reach 130 million households, range up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for married couples, plus $300 per child for eligible parents.

The first direct deposits landed in taxpayers' bank accounts on Monday. If you got your income tax refund through direct deposit, you'll get your tax rebate through direct deposit. If you got your tax refund check in the mail, you'll also get your rebate check in the mail. The last two digits of your Social Security number determines when you'll get your payment.

For more detailed information, check out www.irs.gov

Cash Crunch: Wednesday

Wednesday on "Cash Crunch," we are taking a closer look at the job market, as we continue our weeklong series focusing on the economy.

Employment expert, John Challenger, from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas will join us live in the studio to answer your questions on finding a job in this tough economy.

Here's John's top 3 tips for finding a job in a slow economy:

1. Expand and work your network
2. Cast a wider net by looking into new industries and different cities
3. Don't over-rely on the Internet

Join us Wednesday at 5pm on CLTV for "Cash Crunch."

We're taking your phone calls live on the air, and we'll post some of your blog responses during the show.

April 30, 2008

Cash Crunch: Thursday

This week on CLTV, we're taking a closer look at the economy, and how it's affecting your money. Thursday, on "Cash Crunch," we're getting you ready for retirement.

Bob Gallo, director of the Illinois chapter of AARP, and David Wray, president of the Profit Sharing/401K Council of America will join us live in the studio to answer your questions.

We'll take your phone calls live and we will also post some of your blog responses, during the show.

Join us Thursday at 5pm for "Cash Crunch."

Economic Stimulus Checks

The economy sucks! There's no other way to put it. Gas prices are sky high, $20 will barely buy enough food for a family meal, people are losing their homes because they can't pay their mortgage, the city, county and state have all raised either sales, property or other taxes and fees, the airlines are hiking ticket prices and charging people for extra bags, window seats and exit rows. At the same time, companies are cutting jobs and raises, if you get one at all. When will it start to get better? Or at least stop getting worse?

President Bush was asked if it's time to come up with a new economic stimulus package. Something other than the one passed in February. He says no. Instead Bush wants to give the tax rebate checks that began going out this week a chance to work.

But here's the rub. It's going to take until July 11th for everyone to get them. Here's the schedule for people who will have them directly deposited into their bank accounts. It's according to the last two digits of your Social Security number.

00 – 20 May 2

21 – 75 May 9

76 – 99 May 16

If you're waiting on a paper check, you're going to have quite a wait. That schedule looks like this:

00 – 09 May 16

10 – 18 May 23

19 – 25 May 30

26 – 38 June 6

39 – 51 June 13

52 – 63 June 20

64 – 75 June 27

76 – 87 July 4

88 – 99 July 11

The checks will be anywhere from $300 to $1200 dollars depending on your situation. And keep in mind, if you owe the government, have past-due student loans, child support or other debts, they will be deducted from the check.

Please tell me how people who get their check on July 11th are going to have any real or quick impact on the economic? I'm beginning to think Mr. Bush just doesn't care. It seems like he counting down the days until he's out of office and won't have to listen to our cries anymore.


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