Edgewater condo muzzles Boo, the therapy dog

An Edgewater woman struggling with severe anxiety disorder has filed a federal lawsuit after the condominium complex where she lives placed restrictions on her use of her therapeutic dog named Boo.

Here are some details from the Chicago Tribune:

After struggling for years to control a severe anxiety disorder, Mary Jo Stevens said she finally found solace in an unusual prescription: a fluffy toy spaniel named Boo.

Stevens said her “psychiatric service” animal stymies her frequent panic attacks, often as she sleeps, by lying on her when her breathing becomes erratic.

Not everyone, though, is happy about Boo’s constant presence beside Stevens at the lakefront condominium where she lives. The Edgewater high-rise has a no-dogs-allowed policy, and a manager says the building has tried to accommodate Stevens’ disability by letting her keep Boo. But, Stevens said, she is supposed to hold him in a carrier in the lobby and laundry room, and use a service elevator and side doors as she comes and goes.

Stevens and her husband, Ralph, have filed a federal lawsuit, arguing that stowing Boo in a carrier defeats his therapeutic purpose. Stevens said she needs to keep him close to her body to prevent the panic attacks that she has suffered since she fractured her jaw and injured her spine in a 1999 car crash.

To read the full story, click here: Boo

Loyola basketball players surprised, hopeful after coach’s firing

Jim Whitesell
By Marina Bifsha

Some of Loyola University Chicago’s mens basketball team players reacted with a mix of surprise, sadness and hopefulness for the future with the recent firing of longtime head coach Jim Whitesell.

Loyola recently fired Whitesell after seven seasons on the job.

According to Loyola Student Dispatch, Whitesell’s departure was an effort to upgrade Loyola’s stature in Division I athletics. It recently completed a new $26 million training center for athletes,  Norville Center for Intercollegiate Athletics, and hired a new athletic director, M. Grace Calhoun, who has served as the Associate Athletic Director for Academic and Student Engagement at Indiana University for the last six years.

“After extensively assessing the future of the program, including input from student-athletes and other key stakeholders, I felt a change was in the best interest of the program,” said Calhoun at Loyola Ramblers.

Some players were  surprised by Whitesell’s departure.

“The firing was totally unexpected for me and I think for everyone just because he had a whole extra year on his contract and we didn’t hear any news of it before hand,” said sophomore forward Shaun Adams, 20.

“He had good moments coaching and we surprised some teams that thought they would beat us,” Adams said. “He also cared a lot about our academics; he made us go to study hall quite a bit.”

Other players seem to agree with that change and they believe it will benefit them individually and as a team.

“He was a good coach but very opinionated sometimes,” said junior guard Courtney Stanley, 20. “I believe his departure was part of the change of the athletics program; we have new facilities, a new gym is coming up, and a new athletic director. I think it was a good choice and it will help us win more games.”

Another player had a similar opinion on Whitesell’s dismissal but in a personal perspective.

“He was a different person on and off the court,” said junior guard Jordan Hicks, 20. “His criticism on the court was constructive, but off the court he was a very understanding person. He helped me through personal issues and he was very supportive during my injury time.” 

Calhoun said she wants to move quickly to name a replacement.

Chicago Breaking Sports is reporting that  Loyola has hired former college coach Eddie Fogler to handle their basketball search and are planning to conduct their interviews at the Final Four in Houston next week.

Chicago Breaking Sports says Loyola’s wish list includes Michigan State associate head coach Mark Montgomery, who is also interviewing for the NIU job, and Indiana assistant Tim Buckley. There are also reports that Isiah Thomas is interested in the position, although a source close to the university said he did not believe the school had any interest in the NBA Hall of Famer, who is currently the head coach at Florida International, Chicago Breaking Sports reports.

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Web diva Rebecca Black’s Water Tower Place date just a rumor

By Marco Grittani

Sorry Loyola University Chicago students, Internet pop sensation Rebecca Black apparently won’t be appearing at Water Tower Place.

Over the past few weeks, speculation regarding a potential United States tour from the Friday Internet star has been circulating the web.

Despite images of an online poster listing numerous cities in the United States, including Chicago, Water Tower Place mall insists that  Black is not scheduled to make an appearance April 29.

The Anaheim, Calif. native was signed to Ark Music Factory, a company based in Hollywood that offers young singers the opportunity to gain critical attention by creating and recording a song for them in return of a fee. After recording the song, the company produced a music video for Black, 13, which was in turn posted to the popular video website, YouTube

A few weeks after the music video was featured on the Comedy Central show Tosh.0, the video quickly garnered attention. The video reached 20 million views in under a week and is continuing to receive thousands of views daily. Now with more than 30 million views, Rebecca Black’s single Friday is #27 on iTunes’ best-selling singles list.

With all of this recent media attention, rumors are bound to circulate, one of them being her tour. The phony poster was featured on numerous blogs around the web, and eventually went viral. The poster included an April stop at Water Tower Place in Chicago.

Water Tower Place release an emphatic statement earlier this week that Black was not making an appearance at the mall.

Loyola sophomore Luis Federico, Psychology major, 20, from Bourbonnais, Ill. gives personal insight regarding Black and her made-up tour.

“Even if she were to have a tour around the country, the turn out would probably be really bad,” Federico said. “New, exciting things pop up on the Internet everyday and I think her fame already reached its peak.”

Here’s a link to the poster:  Rebecca Black Tour

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