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Fact Checking Ads: Susana Medoza And The Window Washers Union

CHICAGO (CBS) — Every day new campaign ads are popping up from the candidates for Chicago mayor.

The union that represents window washers said mayoral candidate Susanna Mendoza needs to come clean about her record on labor.

The organization put out a new digital ad that claims Mendoza deserted them while on strike. But are the allegations true? Here are the facts.

A new digital ad from SEIU claims Susanna Mendoza chose to support one of her donors rather than window washers last year during a 17-day strike.

It can’t be called a sellout but it looks to be true because it seems a calculated choice. Records show since 2014, Mendoza accepted $30,000 from Neal Zucker, owner of Corporate Cleaning Services, the city’s biggest window washing firm.

That includes $10,000 after the strike ended in September and another $3,000 donated on Christmas Eve.

The 200 window washers got plenty of support from Democratic politicians, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker and 30 aldermen.

Mendoza claims, due to her relationship with Zucker, the union asked her to broker a settlement, but later told her to butt out. However, SEIU insists Mendoza told them, the window washers’ demands were irrational.

Meantime, the SEIU is definitely standing with mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle. She received a half-million dollar donation from the union on Wednesday.

Mendoza insisted the contract deal she tried to put through would have paid window washers more than the contract they eventually signed.

Still, after the window washers flap, Mendoza received no further contributions from the SEIU. However, Mendoza has received big bucks from several other unions, including $500,000 from the laborers union, $122,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers and $110,00 from the operating engineers.

Apple Watch Fall Feature Triggers False Emergency Calls At Ski Areas

VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s a feature on the new Apple Watch that is designed to save lives. However, the smart watch is creating some frustration among emergency dispatch centers in ski resort towns across Colorado.

Dozens of false, accidental Apple Watch fall calls are being cataloged, according to information obtained exclusively by CBS4.

The new Apple Watch Series 4 offers users a free equipped technology capable of detecting when someone has fallen. The problem is when skiers hit the slopes they forget to turn off the service. The Christmas and New Year’s holidays brought thousands of visitors to the High County, and apparently, many of them received new watches from Santa.

apple watch sos Apple Watch Fall Feature Triggers False Emergency Calls At Ski Areas

(credit: CBS)

Vail and Summit County first responders treat the 911 calls from the watch as a real emergency each time, sending crews to GPS locations provided by the watch.

Marc Wentworth with the Town of Vail says they are well aware of the challenges.

One 911 call from an Apple Watch obtained by CBS4 to the Vail Dispatch demonstrates what dispatchers are encountering. The 911 operator first hears a robot voice before the watch user gets on the call and says “he is okay.”

But many users fail to realize the call has been made. While this person continues skiing, emergency responders are on a “wild goose chase to find them.”

Apple officials credit the watch for saving numerous lives. The company says the function can easily be disabled when someone is doing an activity like skiing or karate when they may fall, but don’t need medical attention.

The new technology is a game changer for senior citizens who may need help and are unable to call. Here’s how it works: If a person wearing the watch takes a hard fall, a message on the watch face prompts the person wearing it to select “Emergency SOS” or “I’m OK.”

If the user is motionless for 60 seconds afterward, the watch automatically places a call to emergency responders, and sends a message to local dispatch with the location according to Apple’s website.

According to Apple’s website, a gyroscope inside the watch allows it to analyze the wearer’s “wrist trajectory and impact acceleration.”

The function is disabled when the watch arrives from the manufacture but it appears many users either turn it on by mistake before hitting the slopes or forget to disable it.

Vail first responders say the challenge is knowing if the person has activated for a real emergency fall or a simple mistake and is unaware the call for help has even been sent.

“If that call comes in and we are in the middle of an accident with 50 or 60 phone calls on the accident, those calls are coming in people that actually have emergencies are being put on hold to answer these 911 calls that aren’t,” said Vail dispatch supervisor Bonnie Collard.

Summit County Dispatch says they received 10 to 12 false fall calls in recent weeks, but one call was for an actual victim who did need medical assistance.

Summit Rescue Group volunteers were requested for three of those calls with the Summit County Sheriff and local emergency responders responding to the rest.

LINK: Apple Watch Fall Detection

NWI Trailer Fire Leaves One Dead

Chicago (CBS) — One person was killed in a Merrillville trailer fire Wednesday.

Around 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, Hobart police responded to a fire on the 7100 block of Mississippi Street in Merrillville.

Witnesses who live in a house on the property told police they have a relative who lives in the trailer and that they knew there were space heaters and an electric blanket inside the trailer.

The Hobart Fire Department extinguished the fire and found the remains of one person, who has been identified by the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

Officers on the scene will review surveillance video from the residence to determine if there was any suspicious activity around the time of the fire.

The state fire marshal will assist in the investigation into the cause of the fire.

‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

DENVER (CBS4) – The Broadway musical “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” is the story of a young man coming of age in New York City and how the people around him influence his future. The touring production is playing at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts through January 20th.

LINK: For Tickets & Information for “A Bronx Tale: The Musical”

The story is set in the 1960’s and is based on the life of writer/actor Chazz Palminteri.

chazz palminteri  ‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

(credit CBS)

“It really stems from the killing that I saw when I was 9-years-old. A guy got out with a baseball bat, smashed a window, then he was going to hit him again, then Sonny came over and killed the guy,” Palminteri told CBS4.

Sonny is a real life gangster and holds a lot of power in the neighborhood in which Palminteri grew up. The musical is the story of how Palminteri, or the main character “Calogero” navigates a childhood where the mob is romanticized and his own father wants to steer him clear of that life.


“Sonny didn’t want me to be a gangster. Sonny said the same things that my father said to me. It was almost like I was Sonny’s penance, that he wanted to see me be successful,” Palminteri explained.

Those two important forces acting on the main character drives the action throughout the play.

“He has to choose between following the footsteps of his father or following the footsteps of his mentor, who happens to be a mob boss. So there are the outside pressures of dealing with the mob and that whole situation and also upsetting his parents,” said Joey Barreiro, who plays “Calogero.”

closurole ‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

Joey Barreiro plays “Calogero” in “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” (credit CBS)

How does a personal story of witnessing a murder become a Broadway musical? Palminteri first wrote it as a one-man play, was a way to break into show business. It then became a movie starring Robert DeNiro and Chazz Palminteri. From there, Palminteri wrote the book for a musical.

“I thought it could be a great musical. It’s just a great story. You know, a great story is a great story, you can’t deny it,” Palminteri said.

glenn slater ‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

Glenn Slater is the lyricist for “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” (credit CBS)

Alan Menken added the music and Glenn Slater wrote the lyrics, which is not an easy task in a story set in the early 1960’s, focused on gangsters.

“It has tragedy and comedy, everything wrapped up together, and the score has to do all of those things as well. One of the great things about working with Alan Menken is that he is sort of a master of emotional temperature. He knows, like nobody I’ve ever worked with or heard of, to be honest, how to create in a piece of music an emotion. He can nail that. And then my job, working with him, is to stitch together thoughts behind those emotions, so you’re led from one emotion to the next on a very smooth coarse,” Slater told CBS4.

a bronx tale 1 ‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

“A Bronx Tale: The Musical” (credit DCPA)

“A Bronx Tale: The Musical” is not what you expect from a neighborhood mob story, mostly because Sonny is not your typical gangster.

“He’s a very complicated guy, and he’s in this life. He’s sort of fallen into this life of organized crime, but even those guys are real people with longings and tings that they miss in their lives,” said Joe Barbara, who plays “Sonny.”

joe barbara ‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

Joe Barbara plays “Sonny” in “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” (credit CBS)

The touring production of “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” is offering one young actress a great opportunity to mirror her own life. Briana Marie Bell played in the ensemble on Broadway, but has taken on the role of “Jane” in the national tour.

brianna marie bell ‘It’s Just A Great Story’: ‘A Bronx Tale’ Comes To The Denver Stage

Brianna Marie Bell plays “Jane” in “A Bronx Tale: The Musical” (credit CBS)

“She is in an interracial relationship. I am as well, and I am a product of an interracial relationship. And I understand the twists and turns and maneuvering through people who are negative and don’t like the concept of interracial love,” Bell told CBS4.

Health Officials: Safe To Eat California Romaine Lettuce Again

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — An E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown on a Santa Barbara County farm has ended and it is now safe to consume the leafy vegetable raised on California farms, health officials announced Wednesday.

The announcement also lifted a ban on romaine lettuce in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara counties.

From October to December, the E. coli outbreak sickened 62 people in 16 states. No one died, but 25 people were hospitalized. Illnesses were also reported in Canada.

Officials said Wednesday that no new illnesses have been reported for a month.

Federal health officials issued a nation-wide warning not consume romaine lettuce. Tons of harvested romaine lettuce was piled high in landfills in Monterey County and all along the Central Coast as the leafy vegetable disappeared from store shelves and restaurant menus.

On December 13, health officials tracked the outbreak to Adam Bros. Farming, Inc., in Santa Barbara County. They found the same bacteria strain in a reservoir supplying the farm with water.

At the time, a recall was imposed on red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested on the farm. The FDA has been able to confirm that Adam Brothers has not shipped romaine since November 20th and is no longer available for sale.

While the bans have been lifted, romaine harvesting has now shifted away from the Central Coast to winter growing areas, primarily Arizona, Florida, Mexico and California’s Imperial Valley.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286 or email media@cdc.gov. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.

Chris deFaria to Leave Dreamworks Animation, Margie Cohn Named President

In a major shakeup, Chris deFaria is leaving the presidency of Dreamworks Feature Animation Group after two years in the post. He’s being replaced by Margie Cohn, who previously served as president of DreamWorks Animation Television and will now oversee both film and television operations. She will report to Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Pictures, […]