En Español: Home loan purgatory

Sofí­a Hernández habí­a terminado de servir la cena y se estaba sentando para ayudar a su hijo de 6 años a estudiar para su examen semanal de ortografí­a. Eran alrededor de las 5 de la tarde y su esposo casi llegaba del trabajo cuando ella escuchó a alguien tocar el timbre. Estaba oscuro afuera y Sofí­a, cuyo nombre ha sido cambiado para proteger su privacidad, no esperaba invitados. El perro empezó a ladrar salvajemente y su hijo apenas iba a correr a la ventana para ver quien estaba allí­. Pidiendo que se quedara donde estaba y que terminara practicando sus palabras del vocabulario, ella fue a mirar por la ventana y vio un hombre con una carta.

Home loan purgatory

On a subzero evening in early December, Sofia Hernandez had finished serving dinner and was sitting down to help her 6-yearold son study for his weekly spelling test. It was around 5 o’clock, and her husband was almost home from work when she heard someone ring the doorbell. It was dark outside, and Sofia, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, wasn’t expecting guests. The dog started barking wildly, and her son was about to rush to the window to see who was there. Telling him to stay put and finish practicing his vocabulary words, she went to peer through the window and saw a man holding a letter.

Reality TV creates an ‘unreal world’

The news: In April, a federal judge ruled former Gov. Rod Blagojevich could not leave for Costa Rica to appear on the reality TV show, “I’m a Celebrity –¦ Get Me Out of Here!” Behind the news: Latinos are underrepresented in the top 10 reality TV network programs, according to an analysis by The Chicago Reporter. Latinos have constituted 8 percent of all contestants, though, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, they made up 15 percent of the U.S. population in 2007. Nearly three out of every four contestants have been white, while only two-thirds of the population are white. Black contestants made up 14.5 percent of all casts, though African Americans were 12.8 percent of the population.

Dated roadmap for HIV and AIDS prevention

Agencies working on HIV and AIDS prevention efforts in Chicago have to rely on dated records on the disease’s prevalence while the Chicago Department of Public Health labors to release the latest epidemiological data.

Homelessness jumps among CPS students

The news: A March study by the National Center on Family Homelessness found that one in 50 American children was homeless prior to the current economic crisis. Behind the news: As of February, 11,143 Chicago Public School students–” roughly 2.7 percent of the student body–”were classified as homeless during the 2008-2009 academic year, according to tracking data from the district’s homeless education program. The figure is an 18.3 percent increase from 9,419 recorded during the same period in the previous academic year. The current mid-year number already has topped the 2007-2008 cumulative total of 10,642. “I’m sure by June, we’ll surpass the 12,000 mark.

Latino ranks up in unions

The news: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in March that union memberships in Illinois reached 939,000 after growing by 97,000 in 2008. Behind the news: The racial makeup of Illinois’ unionized workers has changed dramatically over the past decade, with Hispanic membership soaring. From 1998 to 2008, Hispanic numbers swelled by 25.3 percent, climbing from 99,000 to 124,000. During that same period, black participation fell by 19.7 percent, from 213,000 to 171,000. White figures slipped from 767,000 to 735,000, a 4.2 percent loss.