Posts tagged with "The New York Daily News"

Chicago’s famed Second City improv theater is up for sale

October 9, 2020

Following a social-media tumult sparked by a series of racially accusatory tweets posted by former performer and employee Dewayne Perkins, Second City’s co-owner, Andrew Alexander, told staffers last June that he was apologizing for his “many failures as a steward of an important cultural institution” and stepping away from one of Chicago’s most famous and internationally influential theaters, The New York Daily News reports.

In particular, the Daily News said, Perkins had criticized Second City prior’s reluctance to fundraise for the Black Lives Matter movement without also financially supporting police-related causes.

Three onths later, on October 6, a Los Angeles-based investment bank has put the whole institution up for sale, the Chicago Tribune states. Second City is a mainstay of Chicago’s famed theater scene but also is a for-profit, live-entertainment operation devastated by a forced closure.

What we are seeking is critical re-investment in the business that will allow us to continue to grow in the right ways and with the right resources while remaining an oasis of speaking truth to power and providing vital human connection in an increasingly complex world,” Alexander said in a statement released by the bankers, Houlihan Lokey.

 “I do think the plan to sell the whole company presents the opportunity for Second City to continue to succeed well into the future, ensuring financial stability,” he told the Tribune.

Stability has hardly been Second City’s byword, of late. In June, a group of alumni and former staffers took to social media and released an “open letter” to the comedy theater that issued a series of demands—mostly relating to issues surrounding Second City’s relationship with racial equity, diversity and inclusion.

Alexander’s exit was part of the theater’s coordinated response to that letter, although he also had many supporters among Black alumni of the theater, some of whom said they had not been heard. In recent weeks, the theater has cast itself as having learned from past mistakes. The statement put out in support of the sale reflects such language.

Privately held throughout its 61-year history and located at 1616 N. Wells St., Second City is co-owned by Alexander and D’Arcy Stuart, although its president, Steve Johnston, also has a small equity share.

In essence, Alexander and Stuart have decided that rather than try to sell about half of the institution, it makes more sense to market the entire operation, especially since Alexander has exited the business and moved out of state.

A source close to the theater said that such an arrangement was logical, given the theater’s ongoing closure due to the pandemic and the consequent total collapse in box office revenue (and many continued expenses) now falling on one main owner. It remains possible, the source said, that only Alexander’s share will sell. But that would depend on the desires of buyers.

No price has been formally mentioned but a source said informal internal conversations have focused on the region of $50 million.

Research contact: @chicagotribune

One ‘bad egg’: Woman deliberately coughs on $35,000 worth of food at market

March 20, 2020

One woman has proven herself to be “at the very bottom of the U.S. food chain” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her so-called prank at a Gerrity’s Supermarket in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, has cost the grocery store $35,000 in discarded stock, The New York Daily News reports.

On Wednesday, March 25,  the shopper deliberately coughed all over the store’s produce and on parts of the bakery and meat cases—forcing management to throw all of the contaminated merchandise away so that other customers would not be exposed to possibly contaminated food.

“Today was a very challenging day,” Gerrity’s Supermarket co-owner Joe Fasula wrote on Facebook.

According to Fasula, the woman responsible was known by police to be “a chronic problem in the community.” Although they do not believe that she actually was infected with the novel coronavirus, out of an abundance of caution they worked with the local health inspector to get rid of everything she coughed on.

After getting her out of the store and contacting authorities, more than 15 employees worked to clean and disinfect the areas she had  visited.

One thing is for sure, we will have the cleanest display and freshest produce anywhere in northeast[ern] PA,” Fasula wrote.

Research contact: @NYDailyNews

Digesting the latest facts: Early symptoms of COVID-19 include queasiness, upset stomach

March 23, 2020

The latest information about the novel coronavirus might be particularly hard to swallow. Until now, we’ve been looking for symptoms of fever and cough—but recent word on the disease indicates that it might start with an upset stomach, The New York Daily News reports.

Nearly half of the patients hospitalized in Wuhan and the wider Chinese province of Hubei, where the fast-spreading sickness was initially discovered, suffered from digestive issues, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Researchers analyzed data from 204 people diagnosed with COVID-19 who were admitted to three different hospitals in the region between January 18 and February 28. The average age was 55. According to the report, 48.5% of those patients said their “chief complaint” was digestive problems, including upset stomach, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“Clinicians must bear in mind that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, may be a presenting feature of COVID-19, and that the index suspicion may need to be raised earlier in these cases rather than waiting for respiratory symptoms to emerge,” wrote investigators with the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19.

Most people diagnosed with the coronavirus have respiratory symptoms, including a cough and difficulty breathing — but 7% of the patients analyzed did not have any such problems at all.

Researchers noted patients with digestive symptoms also typically waited longer to seek treatment than those without them, the Daily News noted.

“We’re so focused on a cough and fever, but it’s possible there are people with digestive symptoms that are not being tested,” said Dr. Brennan Spiegel, editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

He told NY1 that, while the study is only preliminary, it highlights a need to re-evaluate testing criteria so medical officials can move faster to diagnose and quarantine patients.

“People with digestive symptoms in Wuhan presented for care later, on average two days later, compared with those who didn’t have digestive symptoms, because they didn’t suspect they had COVID-19.”

Research contact: @NYDailyNews

Bloomberg wins Dixville Notch vote as New Hampshire goes to polls in primary

February 12, 2020

Just after midnight in the tiny city of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire—a township located close to the Canadian border with a population of 12, as of the 2010 Census—Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg scored a big win by garnering just three votes out of the total five ballots cast by residents.

That’s a big deal in Dixville Notch, which started voting at midnight in the 1960s—and 70 years later, still retains the title of the first town to count its votes in the nation’s first primary election, The New York Daily News reports..

Of the other candidates on the ballot, Joe Biden got one vote and Bernie Sanders scooped another. No one voted for President Donald Trump, although the state’s open primary system means voters can choose which party contest to vote in.

“I believe Mike Bloomberg can win the presidency in November and get things done in a way I feel good about,” a resident told the Daily News after casting his ballot for Bloomberg. He said he had never voted for a Democrat before.

Indeed, this is the first time in recent memory that all the votes in Dixville Notch were cast for candidates from one party.

Bloomberg is not on the New Hampshire Democratic primary ballot because he entered the race too late to file for it. All three votes for him were write-ins, and his campaign is not anticipating any significant number of votes statewide.

According to the Daily News, the tiny community has a less-than-stellar record of predicting the outcome of the primary. Hillary Clinton won with four votes in 2016 but went on to get demolished by Bernie Sanders. In 2012, President Barack Obama tied Mitt Romney with five votes each.

Research contact: @NYDailyNews

Editor’s note:  Bernie Sanders took the lead in New Hampshire, with 25.7% of the vote (71,090 votes); Pete Buttigieg came in second with 24.4% (57,706); and in a surprising show of strength, Amy Klobuchar placed third, with 19.8% (57,706 votes) with nearly 96% of the votes counted.