Category Archives: Mike Krauser

New Art Exhibit At Shedd Aquarium To Raise Awareness About Beach Trash

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Shedd Aquarium is opening Saturday a new exhibit featuring artwork intended to be thought provoking. Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea features large, colorful sculptures of aquatic animals, created entirely from plastic beach trash.
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Stella the Seahorse – Stella represents 1,600 pounds of plastic removed from a beach. But people dump 8.8 million tons of the stuff into the ocean each year. (WBBM/Mike Krauser)

“Seeing beloved aquatic species made completely out of plastics and debris, such as flip-flops, straws, packing straps, beverage bottles, toothbrushes and millions more pieces of plastic in every color of the rainbow, the sculptures offer guests the powerful message that the ocean’s deadliest predator is trash,” the Shedd Aquarium said in a statement. Unlike any sculpture viewers have probably ever seen, they “have undoubtedly seen most of the things in the sculptures…more than 5 tons of it just in this exhibition—that washed up and were collected on U.S. beaches.” The art installation features colorful sculptures featuring an 11-foot seahorse, a 13-foot-long eel, a 150-pound anemone and seven other gigantic aquatic animals, all made of trash.
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Houston Sea Jelly, 200 pounds – Americans down more than 1,500 bottled waters every second. Refillable water bottles save resources, money―and wildlife. (WBBM/Mike Krauer)

“Scientists predict that if we don’t take action right now, the amount of plastic in our oceans will exceed the amount of fish in our oceans, pound-for-pound, by the year 2050. That’s pretty remarkable,” said the Shedd Aquarium’s Senior Vice President of Global Field Experiences, Cheryl Mell. The Washed Ashore Project started in 2010 after artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi witnessed mounds of plastic trash piling up on beaches along the Oregon coast, according to the exhibit’s website. From there she organized cleanups and used the collected trash to create sculptures of the sea animals most affected by the pollution.

“I hope that they’re impactful to people. I hope that people stop and look and realizes that this is all garbage off the beaches. Yes, they’re made to be a little beautiful, but also horrifying,” Haseltine Pozzi said. Since the project began, 10,000 volunteers have removed more than 38,000 pounds of plastic trash from over 300 miles of beaches, the Shedd said. Ninety-five percent of the debris collected has been used in more than 60 sculptures so far.

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Cleo the Clownfish & Annie Anemone (Credit: Shedd Aquarium)

Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea is a traveling exhibit. It opens at the Shedd Aquarium on Saturday, Sept. 23 with 10 sculptures. Six other art installations will be added in November. The exhibit runs through September 2018. Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea is included with a general admission ticket. Sculptures are located throughout the aquarium.
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Sea Otter (WBBM/Mike Krauser)

Veteran Who Fought Library Attacker Among 18 Carnegie Heroes

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An Army veteran who fended off a mentally ill man who tried to attack a chess class the veteran was teaching at an Illinois public library is one of 18 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, announced the winners on Tuesday. James O. Vernon , 75, was in a conference room at the Morton Public Library with 17 children and four women when 19-year-old Dustin Brown burst in with two large knives on Oct. 13, 2015. “He actually ran into the room yelling, ‘I’m going to kill some people,'” Vernon told the Pekin Daily News days after the attack. The knives were hunting-type weapons with fixed blades about 5 inches long, Vernon said. “I can’t let this happen,” Vernon told The Associated Press at the time. Letting the children and women escape, Vernon then positioned himself between Brown and the door and fended off Brown until police arrived. He suffered two slashed arteries in his left hand and damaged a tendon in a finger. Brown pleaded guilty but mentally ill to charges in the attack and unrelated child pornography counts. He’s serving 32 years in prison. The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was founded and endowed by the late steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer, who died trying to rescue others. The commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. It has given away $39.4 million to 9,971 awardees or their families since 1904. Four of those honored Tuesday died in rescue attempts, including 10-year-old Kevin D. Little Jr ., of Milwaukee, who died from complications of smoke inhalation three weeks after trying to rescue his 2-year-old cousin from the bedroom they shared when their house caught fire on Oct. 20, 2015. Other winners announced Tuesday, with rescues taking place in the hometown of each winner unless otherwise noted: — Kevin L. Hestleton , 44, of Tiburon, California, rescued a woman from a man with a gun and a pair of pruning shears who attacked her in her yard in San Rafael, California in June 2016. — Nathan Michael Stieg , 30, and Jayden Charles Concha , 14, both of Dickinson, North Dakota, saved a man from drowning and unsuccessfully tried to save a man with him when their all-terrain vehicle broke through ice on Lake Sakakawea in Mandaree, North Dakota, in February 2016. — Merrill O. Naylor , 56, of Stephens City, Virginia, saved a 70-year-old woman from burning in her home in November 2015. — Richard William Dorrity , 64, of Livingston, California, saved a passenger from burning in a pickup truck that crashed and caught fire in April 2016. — Michael Lumahang , 39, and Jesse T. Haw , 24, both of Ottawa, Ontario, saved a 12-year-old boy who fell into the Ottawa River while fishing in August 2014. Lumahang drowned. — John Paul Hollyfield , 56, of Accokeek, Maryland, saved a 6-year-old girl from being crushed by an 80-foot tree limb that fell and crushed a slide she was riding on in the Moyaone Reserve in July 2015. — David E. Hammond , 64, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, saved a disabled woman from burning when her house caught fire in July 2016. — Eric W. Edwards , 39, of Lodi, California, saved a man from drowning after he was caught in a rip current in the Pacific Ocean off Watsonville, California in February 2015. — Jamie Alan Hyatt , 34, of Wood Lake, Minnesota, died of asphyxiation while helping to rescue a man who had collapsed in an oxygen deficient tanker-trailer in Granite Falls, Minnesota in January 2016. — Vincent Santaniello , 56, and Harold Shaw , 68, both of Uhrichsville, Ohio, saved a woman after her pickup truck crashed and caught fire in September 2016. — Rene Roy , 55, of Sherbrooke, Quebec, saved a man after his car crashed and burned in August 2016. — Bobby Lynn Arnold , 36, of Onalaska, Texas, drowned helping to rescue a 7-year-old girl who fell off a boat into Lake Livingston in Trinity, Texas, in June 2016. — Tanner Douglas Boslau , 30, of Bend, Oregon, saved a woman from drowning when her inner tube floated dangerously close to a dam on the Deschutes River in August 2016. (TM and © Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Dixon Man Kills Son, 5, Then Himself Amid Child Sex Abuse Probe

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Dixon man under investigation for child sex abuse shot and killed his 5-year-old son Monday afternoon, before turning the gun on himself, police said. Police said 33-year-old Robert Michaels had been barred from being alone with with his 5-year-old son, Christopher, because he was under investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of another child. Christopher’s mother brought their son to his father’s home on Monday, and she told police father and son went upstairs, and locked her out of the room. She then heard two gunshots, and left the house to get her phone and call 911. Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss said both Christopher and his father suffered gunshot wounds to the head. “Our hearts truly go out to the family members who have suffered this horrific tragedy. Our officers feel your pain,” Langloss said. The chief said it was a horrific scene for officers who responded to the shooting. Those officers have been placed on short-term leave to deal with what they witnessed. “There’s nothing worse for our officers [than] to come into a situation like this, and see such a horrific senseless scene,” Langloss said.

Wildlife Group Rescues 4 Squirrels With Knotted Tails

CHICAGO (CBS) — A wildlife rescue group spent hours Thursday night untangling the knotted tails of four baby squirrels. The squirrels were found in Chicago, and Animal Care and Control notified Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in Barrington. Flint Creek founder and director Dawn Keller said the baby squirrels’ tails might initially have become sticky from tree sap, and they ended up “pulling in opposite directions, because they’re scared.” “As each one pulls, it tightens and hurts the tails of all of them, and so then they panic,” she said. The tails were impossibly tangled and knotted, and the squirrels were pulling and crying, according to Keller. “Believe it or not, we put each of them in a sock, just so that if they moved at all they’d be contained, because it was really like unraveling a puzzle. It was feeling the knot of tails and figuring out which squirrel to move, which location, flipping them around, moving one over the other,” Keller said. It took Flint Creek about 2 ½ hours to get the squirrels free. Each suffered multiple fractures in their tails. They were recovering Friday at the wildlife center.

Therapist Files Lawsuits Against DuPage County For Illegally Seizing Patient Files

CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban psychotherapist has filed two lawsuits alleging hundreds of confidential patient files have been illegally seized by the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office. Robert Moylan work includes court-ordered counseling sessions for some defendants in DuPage County. He is being accused of failing to provide counseling for some patients with DUI cases. Prosecutors alleged he signed off on some sessions, which never occurred. Moylan denies the charges. The records, his lawyer, Greg Kulis said go far beyond those with court-ordered counseling were taken with a search warrant in clear violation of the law. Kulis said hundreds of patient files, maybe a thousand, were taken. “Could be up to 1,000 patients who’s personal notes have been confiscated by the DuPage County State’s Attorney and a lot of these people have nothing to do with the court system. One patient told me over the phone he is talking about his innermost feelings. “The patient should feel that he can open up clearly and openly to his therapist, and now someone else reading their innermost thoughts, innermost feelings to their therapist is really a bad thing,” Kulis said. The state’s attorney’s office has declined to comment.

Police Chief Receives Complaints After Officers Saved Man From Overdosing

CHICAGO (CBS) — The police chief in Riverside said he received angry calls after his officers revived a man who probably would have died of a heroin overdose over the weekend. Police Chief Tom Weitzel said his officers have had a few saves using the opioid-overdose antidote, but this was a first.
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Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

On Monday, the day after the most recent case he received three calls – two males and one female. “They did not identify themselves as residents, or not residents, but they were very angry and they wanted to know why I would expense dollars, time and effort to have my officers safe ‘drug addicts.’ And I was just amazed that I received these phones calls and they were very angry,” Weitzel said. First he said grant money pays for it and he said ethically, if a police officer can save a life – and they are almost always there before paramedics – they absolutely should. “It was actually very angry and I thought to myself, I tried to get a word in. I told the one gentleman, ‘if this was your son or daughter, or even a family member or relative, you would not be calling me and you would not be speaking like this.’ They wanted me to direct my officers to stop carrying the Narcan. They were very clear – we should not be doing it, we should not be saving what they determined to be ‘drug addicts.’ And they kept using that word, ‘drug addict,’” Weitzel said. He said there is no politics in saving lives and thinks it’s absurd that people complained.

Pregnant Naperville Woman Robbed Of Wallet, Wedding Rings In Jewel-Osco Parking Lot

CHICAGO (CBS) — A pregnant Naperville woman is asking people to be on the look out for her stolen wedding rings. The incident happened Tuesday outside a Jewel-Osco near 95th Street and Route 59 in Naperville. The woman told police she felt something she thought was a gun jab her in the back, as a man demanded her wallet and rings. The woman has turned to social media asking anyone who might see her rings to contact her and not to resell them. She also said she was too afraid to turn around and look at her assailant’s face, but she did see two people drive away in a maroon car.
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Photo of the victim’s wedding and engagement rings that were stolen. (Photo provided to CBS)

Naperville Police are investigating the robbery. “It was reported that a subject approached the victim from behind and put something up to her back, which she thought was a gun, and was robbed of her rings and her wallet,” said Naperville Police Commander, Louis Cammiso. The woman was pretty upset about losing her wedding and engagement rings. Commander Cammiso confirmed the woman did not get a look at the person and did not see a weapon. She thinks there were two men driving an older maroon car. Police are checking surveillance video.

Warm Weekend Won’t Delay Autumn Ski Jump Competition

Summer-like weather this weekend won’t get in the way of an annual ski jumping tournament in Fox River Grove. For 32 years, the Norge Ski Club has hosted the Autumn Ski Jump. Unlike this winter’s ski jumping championships that had to be postponed due to warm weather and no snow, this event is not dependent on the weather. “The hill which is normally full of snow for the winter tournament is covered in plastic mats, and we wet these mats. It’s almost like a hula skirt material, and it’s almost the same sensation as landing on snow,” club spokesman Charlie Sedivec said. Top jumpers from around the country and from the club will compete in events from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, according to Sedevic. The tournament also will include brats, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn, soda, beer, wine, and other refreshments. Admission is $15 at the gate, or $10 to $11 in advance. To find out how to purchase tickets in advance, click here. Kids under 12 get in free. Parking also is free.

Stolen: More Than 400 Cans Of Red Bull Energy Drink

HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) — The Hammond Police Department is asking the public to take a look at surveillance images on its Facebook page of some prolific theft suspects.
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Hammond, Ind. police are seeking this person in connection with a series of Red Bull energy drink thefts. (Facebook/Hammond, Ind. Police)

WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports. Their alleged crimes include the theft of more than 400 cans of Red Bull energy drink. Police say the suspects have committed numerous thefts at gas stations, convenience stores and other retail outlets.
Sometimes they have been seen with a woman whose image is also posted on the department’s Facebook page. It’s believed they drive an older model Mercedes with a sunroof. Anyone with information is asked to call (219) 852-2981.
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This vehicle is believed to have been involved in the theft of Red Bull energy drinks in Hammond, Ind. (Facebook/Hammond, Ind. police)


Study Finds Chicago Top City People Moved Away From This Summer

CHICAGO (CBS) — The nation’s largest moving company said it has moved more people out of the Chicago area over the past four months than any other major city. United Van Lines said the company examined data from peak moving season – May through August – and found Chicago at the top of cities that people left. “Chicago was the number one place to move away from in our study in 2017. When we look back at our data from our 2016, it was also the top outbound city, and we found it’s closely followed by New York and Boston in both years,” United Van Lines spokeswoman Melissa Sullivan said. Sullivan said the study didn’t gather data on why people choose to leave a particular city. “I can tell you that we’re the mover for about 400 of the Fortune 500 companies, so a lot of our customers are moving for jobs, and we also have a significant number of our customers who are moving for retirement,” she said. The most popular destination cities for the company’s customers were Seattle, Dallas, Portland, and Denver. “We find that people are navigating to the Pacific Northwest, and other places in the Southwest; and leaving places in the Midwest and the Northeast,” Sullivan said. “I think it’s safe to say that a lot of these moves are motivated by job opportunities, or in the case of leaving the Northeast or the North in general – colder climates – people are looking to retire in warmer places.”