Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Evanston entrepreneur’s ‘mercy’ card helps the needy ]]> Lead story image

If you feel a twinge of guilt in the worst of a Chicago winter when a homeless person begs for food, an Evanston entrepreneur may have come up with an answer. Jed JohnHope, 30, whose family has seen hard times, is creating a “Mercy” gift card that will let donors feel more comfortable giving the homeless choices rather than a handout. The so-called Mercy Card will let homeless people pay for meals with a prepaid gift card good at restaurants that take major credit cards. The cards, previewed at, are expected to go live in March. “Technology already exists … ]]> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 14:14:12 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chamberlain College offers nursing informatics specialty track ]]> Lead story image

As the health-care industry continues to adopt information technology in an effort to improve patient care, an increasing amount of Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree graduates and registered nurses (RNs) are seeking to acquire new skills and competencies in a field that is increasingly experiencing growth: nursing informatics. In essence, nursing informatics integrates nursing science, computer science and information technology to help nurses more effectively acquire, store, retrieve and utilize the mass quantities of health information that are critical to properly work. Informatics is not confined only to nursing schools, either. Professional nurse informaticists are working in a variety … ]]> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 12:33:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ Motorola Solutions’ 3-D headset aids work ]]> Lead story image

Motorola Solutions, the Schaumburg-based maker of walkie-talkies and bar-code readers, is selling a headset computer worn under a hard hat that calls up and displays complex drawings just below the worker’s line of sight. ]]> Thu, 10 Jan 2013 06:19:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ Seeing Braille into 21st century ]]> Lead story image

A Lake Zurich company has played a key role in redesigning a 1950s-era Braille writer into a ‘talking’ LCD-screen device intended to make it easier for people to learn Braille. The new Perkins Smart Brailler, with a “brain” developed by Product Development Technologies, addresses a controversy arising in the blind and visually impaired community: Will the blind and visually impaired become illiterate if they depend on technology such as the Apple iPad to do daily tasks, skipping the often-tedious task of learning Braille? It’s a growing concern as Baby Boomers confront vision loss in middle age, and as a new … ]]> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 06:04:21 -0600 <![CDATA[ Web savvy draws big for college ]]> Lead story image

Ornis Mala honed his computer skills developing databases, specialty apps and software systems at Lake Forest College, a liberal-arts school whose digital media design studies, specialized website portals and Loop-residency internship program reflect the changing needs of today’s workforce. Mala, 23, a native of Kosovo in southeastern Europe, found Lake Forest College by searching the web with help from his high-school guidance counselor. “I looked at professors’ websites and profiles, the student groups’ online postings and the college ‘news’ section of the website,” said Mala, who graduated in May 2011 with a bachelor of arts in computer science and economics. … ]]> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 06:02:54 -0600 <![CDATA[ Formula to get girls into science ]]> Lead story image

Sixteen-year-old Evergreen Park native K’Maja Bell offered an exclusive glimpse into a new e-book about the cosmos at the nation’s yearly gathering of the American Astronomical Society. Bell has gained her expertise working for the past two years as the youngest-ever intern for astrophysicist Kim Coble, studying the cosmos at a level usually reserved for graduate students. “It has opened my eyes to how big the universe really is, and how much is out there we don’t even know,” said Bell, a rising junior at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School and aspiring writer. Coble volunteers to work with young … ]]> Wed, 08 Aug 2012 06:03:29 -0600 <![CDATA[ A stronger ‘innovation ecosystem’ ]]> Lead story image

Students, scientists and researchers in the Chicago area have a new outlet to delve into supercomputing, green energy, the human genome and other hot topics, and to work with manufacturers to try to put the ideas into action. The Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering is settling final details this week before launching the partnership unique to Chicago: Its mission is to combine Argonne National Laboratory’s supercomputing and nanoscale materials prowess with Northwestern University’s engineering, chemistry and materials science specialties to bring research to life in the factory. The institute will also work with the University of Chicago, the University … ]]> Tue, 10 Jul 2012 06:03:23 -0600 <![CDATA[ Under-the-radar job growth ]]> Lead story image

Three Chicago-area science and technology whizzes are busy learning their trades in fast-growing careers. Their work ranges from designing a comedian’s interactive stage set to mapping a health plan for trees to figuring out why the universe is rapidly expanding. Their ease at winning projects, internships and jobs reflects little-known growth industries and a new education reality: Young people’s choices of study, training and financial aid are playing a big role in whether they fill menial low-paying jobs or tech-focused, higher-skilled work. Devin Wambolt, a 24-year-old senior at Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy in the Loop, has won attention on … ]]> Wed, 30 May 2012 08:06:34 -0600 <![CDATA[ Local designer picked up by Macy’s on NBC’s ‘Fashion Star’ ]]> Lead story image

Whew! Chicago contestant Barbara Bates finally got a win on last night’s “Fashion Star,” NBC’s reality fashion design competition. After three episodes of being rejected by the buyers from Macy’s, H&M and Saks, Bates finally scored with two casual haltler dresses, snatched up by Caprice Willard of Macy’s. The Sleeveless Printed Halter Shirtdress, $99, has an abstract print inspired by city streets. The Sleeveless Hooded Halter Dress, $79, has the soft feel of a sweatshirt, but with the tailored look of a party dress. Both dresses are available on Macy’ and at Macy’s Herald Square in New York. Most of … ]]> Wed, 04 Apr 2012 12:34:58 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘Girly girl’ gets down, dirty to hunt fossils in Sahara ]]> Lead story image

Chatham native Kaitlin Judkins concedes she was a “girly girl” cheerleader who hated getting dirty or skinning her knee before she found “Project Exploration,” a Chicago non-profit that dinosaur hunter Paul Sereno started so city kids could learn about science in outdoor archeological digs. ]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 08:03:20 -0600 <![CDATA[ New ECC building designed for real world in health care ]]> Lead story image

ELGIN — Bright, spacious, inviting, relaxing — all while echoing a hospital-like environment — were just some of the observations made as Elgin Community College unveiled its new Health and Life Sciences Building to the public. Opened for students and classes for the January semester, the building had its formal grand opening Thursday afternoon. Built for $41 million, the new center is part of a $178 million construction bond referendum approved by voters — by a 35-vote margin — in April 2009. For those working and learning in the new building, having new facilities makes all of the difference for … ]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2012 08:12:11 -0600 <![CDATA[ Mayor: Joliet ‘ready to reinvent itself’ ]]> Lead story image

JOLIET — The city of Joliet is showing it’s “ready to reinvent itself,” Mayor Thomas Giarrante said more than once in a State of the City speech Tuesday. Giarrante pointed to new business coming to town, a leaner city government and public projects in the works during an optimistic outlook on what’s in store for the city. The speech to the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry at the Autobahn Country Club was the first state of the city message given by a Joliet mayor. City managers gave past annual reports during the late Mayor Arthur Schultz’s long tenure. … ]]> Sun, 01 Apr 2012 08:12:58 -0600 <![CDATA[ Girl Scouts’ study shows career stereotypes still prevalent ]]> Lead story image

The Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana offered teams of girls the chance to show their expertise in science and math through Lego Robotics projects that were on display Monday during a two-hour program. The event coincided with a presentation by the Girl Scouts introducing the STEM Advisory Task Force,. ]]> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 08:07:55 -0600 <![CDATA[ City challenges departments with innovation fund ]]>

Chicago city government is turning to its own departments to vie against one another in developing innovative ideas, and it’s setting up a $20 million loan fund as an incentive. ]]> Thu, 09 Feb 2012 10:58:14 -0600 <![CDATA[ Code experts take a crack at upgrading Chicago’s 311 system ]]>

Chicago is one of eight cities to win a competition that brings in a team of software coders who will delve into the Open 311 system. The result is expected to be more data for local software developers to crunch in order to create apps that will help people track city services. ]]> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 08:03:50 -0600 <![CDATA[ Districts proactive in meeting new school lunch standards ]]> Lead story image

LAKE IN THE HILLS — Ten-year-old Denise Bush said the chicken patty sandwich is “mostly my favorite” school lunch. “My mom cooks it, and it’s really good,” she said. Luckily for the pigtailed fourth-grader, that was one of the items on the menu Thursday in the Cool Caf at Lake in the Hills Elementary School, 519 Willow St. And while a chicken patty sandwich might sound unhealthy, the chicken is oven-baked, not deep-fried, with whole wheat breading, according to Scott Rodgers, general manager of Aramark, School District 300’s food service provider. It’s also served on a whole wheat bun, not … ]]> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 10:15:53 -0600