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Archive for October 7th, 2012

send a sympathy card?

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Fewer people are sending paper greeting cards, a worrisome challenge for the nation’s top card company. Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark Cards Inc. announced last week it’s closing a Kansas plant that produced a third of its signature product. Hallmark is shedding about 300 jobs as it shifts work to two other plants. Hallmark and companies like it are dealing with a cultural shift in which consumers are increasingly choosing cheaper and quicker ways to communicate. Hallmark says that over the past decade, the number of greeting cards sold in the U.S. has dropped from 6 billion to 5 billion. An industry trade group puts the figure at 7 billion. Hallmark executive Pete Burney says competition in the industry is “formidable” and that consumers have more ways to connect digitally.

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Private space mission tonite

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

A lot depends on the weather but if all goes well tonight, the first privately contracted supply mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to get under way. California-based SpaceX will attempt to send a Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab and its three-member crew. It’s already done it once, but that was considered a test flight, not part of a $1.6 billion contract with NASA for a dozen resupply missions. Liftoff is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. EDT. Forecasters put the odds of acceptable weather at 60 percent. Thick clouds and rain are the main concerns. The Dragon is also scheduled to bring back used equipment and experiments. Unlike Russian cargo ships, the Dragon parachutes to earth for recovery. This newest Dragon will haul about 1,000 pounds of food, clothes and gear, including ice cream. The capsule will remain docked to the space station for most of October.

 

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Chicago Marathon

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia set a course record in winning the Chicago Marathon Sunday morning. Kebede pulled away late and was all alone, waving to the crowd as he approached the finish at Grant Park and crossing the line in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 38 seconds. That easily eclipsed the previous mark of 2:05:37 set by Kenya’s Moses Mosop last year and was more than enough to beat countryman Feyisa Lilesa. On a cool morning that seemed made for a course record, Kebede came through.

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Wreath across America

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Christmas means everything is decked in festive colors. Should soldiers at rest in Forest Lawn cemetery have wreaths as well? Attorney Gary Gearhart and Toni Lucas think so. They represent “Wreaths Across America” – a nationwide effort to adorn soldier’s graves with wreaths. Gearhart said four hundred soldiers graves were covered last year. However, it was discovered there are actually seven hundred such at the cemetery. It’s hoped a wreath will be available for each of those graves this holiday season. The effort costs thousands of dollars, so Gearhart and Lucas are asking for funds now. Later, they’ll assess how much their donations will help to meet their goal. Lucas said corporate donations are welcome. If you want to donate, make your check and address your envelope to “Wreaths Across America”, 1147 Tonti LaSalle.

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Vote registration deadline

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in time for the November 6th general election. Cook County Clerk David Orr says his office is “seeing a surge in registrations” and he hopes it will continue.

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Pets and emergencies

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Illinois emergency management officials say residents should think about their pets when planning for a disaster. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says that it will be working to increase awareness of pet disaster preparedness throughout October. IEMA Director Jonathon Monken says if pet owners have a kit and a plan their pets will stay safe.

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Meningitis outbreak

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Health officials say the death toll in a rare fungal meningitis outbreak across several states has risen to seven. In updated figures posted to its website Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak has spread to more than 60 people across nine states. Minnesota and Ohio are the two latest states to report confirmed cases linked to a steroid produced by a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts. The steroid has been recalled, and health officials have been scrambling to notify anyone who may have been injected with it. The New England Compounding Center has said it is cooperating with health investigators to determine the source of the infections.

 

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Burgoo Festival in Utica

Posted by wlpo on October 7, 2012

Burgoo Stew for lunch today? Several thousand will as they visit Utica for the annual Burgoo Festival sponsored by the LaSalle County Historical Society. Luceille Werner sits on its board. Werner says additional space and vendors have been added. A new “Burgoomeister” is in charge of this year’s stew, whose recipe is kept secret. Volunteers stop by to help stir the mix every few hours. Music plays all day on the museum grounds and the entire grounds will be open. Burgoo Stew will be served starting at 10:30

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