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Former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb will be the guest speaker at an event that will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 10, at Thatcher Woods Pavilion, 8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest.


Former CEO to tell how Whole Foods began

The former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market will be the guest speaker at an event being hosted by area Rotary Clubs.

Walter Robb will attend the event that will take place from 6-8:30 p.m. Jan. 10, at Thatcher Woods Pavilion, 8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest. The topic of his speech is “How it all Began: The Story of Whole Foods.” The company began selling organic and natural food in 1980, and in later years changed the American grocery store industry. Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991, and in 2010 was named co-CEO. Since selling Whole Foods to Amazon, Robb has become an investor, mentor and adviser to the next era of food companies. One of the issues he has focused on is reducing food waste.

Tickets are $25, and may be purchased at

Sponsoring the event are the Rotary Clubs of Maywood-Proviso, Oak Park-River Forest and Cicero Berwyn Stickney. The moderator for the evening will be Hermene Hartman, the founder and editor of N’Digo magazine.


Wolves (real ones) coming to Northerly Island

Northerly Island will go to the wolves and other animals during the upcoming Polar Adventure Days. Attendees will be able to tour Northerly Island (with snowshoes if there’s snow) and see animals like wolves and Siberian huskies while drinking cocoa and enjoying snacks, courtesy of the Chicago Park District.

There will be a raffle and giveaways, and there will be supplies for winter-themed crafts. The events will be held from 12-4 p.m. Jan. 26 and Feb. 23 at Northerly Island, 1521 S. Linn White Drive.

The event is free, though parking is limited and will cost $3.

Museums offer free admission on certain days

Chicago has riches upon riches in its museum, and shares them by offering free admission on certain days to Chicagoans and all Illinois residents. Here is a roundup of museums that encourage visitors to come for free. But read the list closely, some of the offers expire in February.

  • Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave.: Illinois residents of any age can enjoy free admission year-round from 5-8 p.m. on Thursdays.
  • Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st St., Brookfield: Free admission offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 28.
  • Chicago Children’s Museum, 700 E. Grand Ave.: Admission is free for youngsters 15 and under all day on the first Sunday of every month.
  • DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place: Free admission every Tuesday, all year long. Children under 5 always get in free.
  • The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive: Free days in 2019 are Jan. 21, April 5-7, May 2 and June 26-28. Admission is also free for the entire month of February. 
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave.: Illinois residents can skip the admission fees every Tuesday, year round.
  • Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive: Free days for Illinois residents are Jan. 9-10, Jan. 14-17, Jan. 21-24 and Jan. 28-31; Feb. 4–7, Feb. 11–14, Feb. 19–21 and Feb. 25–28.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2400 N. Cannon Drive: Thursdays are free for Illinois residents but they are encouraged to make a donation upon entry.
  • Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive: Free admission for Illinois residents offered on Jan. 17-21 and Feb. 1, Feb. 4-8, Feb. 11-15, Feb. 18-22 and Feb. 25-28.
  • Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St.: Free admission offered on the second Tuesday of every month.


New year, new laws are on the books

In 2018, more than 250 new laws were passed in Illinois. Here is a small sampling of some of the laws that went into effect Jan. 1.

Rear-facing seats for youngsters: Children who are under the age of 2 years old have to be in rear-facing seats when in a vehicle. Also, children under the age of 8-years-old must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system. There are exemptions in the law. The rules would not apply if a child weighs more than 40 pounds, is taller than 40 inches, or is traveling in a vehicle weighing more than 9,000 pounds.

Preparing for the worst: At least once a year, schools will need to have active shooter drills that are led by law enforcement. Students have to be present for the drills. The drills need to take place within 90 days of the first day of the school year.

New gun laws: Family members or police may ask a judge to order a person’s firearms be taken away temporarily if they believe the person is a threat. Also, when buying a firearm in the state, a person will have to wait 72-hours before completing the purchase. Previously when people were buying long guns such as shot guns or rifles, they only had to wait 24 hours. Handguns already had 72-hour waiting period.

Fashion for hunters: In addition to wearing orange, people who are hunting may now wear pink in order to keep safe. State law requires hunters to wear blaze outerwear and caps for certain types of hunting, including firearm deer hunting. Proponents of the bill said pink can be easier to see in the woods, which makes it a safer option for hunters. Pink camoflauge has been popular for years with female hunters.

Nursing moms and jury duty: Moms who are nursing their child may now be excused from jury duty at their request.

Preventing sexual harassment: Companies that want to do business with state government, or companies in the EDGE tax credit program, need to have policies on how they address sexual harassment complaints. The new protections come during a time when the #MeToo movement highlighting how common sexual harassment is in workplaces.

That message on Facebook: Unwanted messages sent via social media can now be considered stalking behavior, under a new law. That same new law also allows businesses, schools and places of worship to seek no-contact orders against stalkers.

Black history in post-secondary education: Community colleges and other public institutions of higher education in Illinois will be required to offer courses studying black history.


–Cook County News Briefs–