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BusINess » Family

Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Shannon Burhans

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

(Photograph by Tony V. Martin.)

Like anyone who runs a small independent business and has young children, Shannon Burhans stays very busy. Paid vacations are hard to come by. When her young children aren’t in school, they’re probably with her—and need rides to sports or gymnastics practices.

That would be enough for most people, but not Burhans, who for the last seven years has run The eState, a jewelry, memorabilia and antiques shop in Portage, with her husband Dave. Throughout those years, the 38-year-old mother of two also volunteered for a dizzying array of positions in four organizations: the Portage Chamber of Commerce, the Portage Kiwanis club, Safe Sitter and the Portage Parks and Recreation Foundation.

“I really enjoy doing community service,” says Burhans, who’s originally from Schererville and went to Lake Central High School. Last year, she was named “Distinguished Club President” by Kiwanis International, which is dedicated to “changing the world, one child and one community at a time.” Burhans is the immediate past-president of the Portage club. She’s also served as the club’s secretary and vice-president, and is currently chair of its membership committee.

She also coordinates the club’s Dictionary Project, which she created while serving as vice president in 2006. Each year, the club fundraises to purchase dictionaries that are given to all third graders in Portage Township schools. “Most of us have the internet, so you wouldn’t think a dictionary would be such a big deal,” says Burhans, who lives in Portage. But children like having their own dictionary. “Every one of those kids is extremely grateful—they’re using it, they’re interested.”
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For vacationers, it’s another scaled-back summer

In this file photo taken May 25, 2007, Sid Moreno, of Moorpark, Calif., prepares to drive off the lot in a 29-foot motor home at Expedition Motor Homes in Calabasas, Calif., before heading for a Memorial Day vacation. High unemployment, stock markets in retreat and other indicators of a fragile economy help explain why, on the cusp of the Memorial Day holiday weekend 2010, travelers are planning their trips cautiously. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

In this file photo taken May 25, 2007, Sid Moreno, of Moorpark, Calif., prepares to drive off the lot in a 29-foot motor home at Expedition Motor Homes in Calabasas, Calif., before heading for a Memorial Day vacation. High unemployment, stock markets in retreat and other indicators of a fragile economy help explain why, on the cusp of the Memorial Day holiday weekend 2010, travelers are planning their trips cautiously. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Last Memorial Day, Ronald Dolly spent the long weekend in Miami Beach with two friends. This year, the destination is the same, but the quarters are closer: 11 people, two cars, one hotel room.

“There are a lot of us, so it will be a lot cheaper,” Dolly, a student from the Atlanta area who studies health care management, said Friday. He figured the trip would work out to an average of less than $40 per person.

Welcome to another scaled-back summer of travel. More people will hit the road than did last year, but their budgets will be even tighter than in 2009, thanks to persistently high unemployment, stock markets in retreat and the fragile economy.
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Prices something to be thankful for this year

Dyer resident Lena Roach browses for a turkey last Tuesday at the Jewel in Dyer. The American Farm Bureau Federation annual informal price survey of the classic holiday foods indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year’s $44.61 average. The drop in commodity and crude oil prices have led to lower wholesale food and retail costs, according to a Purdue University agricultural economist. (Photograph courtesy of Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

Dyer resident Lena Roach browses for a turkey last Tuesday at the Jewel in Dyer. The American Farm Bureau Federation annual informal price survey of the classic holiday foods indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year’s $44.61 average. The drop in commodity and crude oil prices have led to lower wholesale food and retail costs, according to a Purdue University agricultural economist. (Photograph courtesy of Kyle Telechan/The Times.)

An average per-person cost of $4.46 makes this year’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner a tad cheaper than in 2008.

The American Farm Bureau Federation annual informal price survey of the classic holiday foods indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year’s $44.61 average.

“Consumers are benefiting at the grocery store from significantly lower energy prices and the effects of the economic slowdown,” said Jim Sartwelle, an economist for the federation, in a statement. “Again this year, the cost per person for this special meal is less than a typical ‘value meal’ at a fast-food outlet,” he said.
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BusinessWeek names Tinley Park, Ill., ‘Best Place in America to Raise Kids’

(Getty Images; Photo illustration by Amber Siegel.)

(Getty Images; Photo illustration by Amber Siegel.)

Tinley Park, Ill., has been named the “Best Place in America to Raise Kids” by BusinessWeek, a national honor for the town announced last week. The magazine highlighted schools, low crime, parks, affordable houses and easy access to jobs as reasons Tinley Park stood out from 800 other communities being considered for the distinction.

Of the 800 communities across the nation analyzed by the magazine, Tinley Park garnered the highest scores in factors important to families with children. “Of course, we’ve known for years that our Village is a great place for families—a wonderful town in which to live, work, play and raise children—but it’s exciting that our Village is recognized now by a national and highly respected magazine that specializes in understanding what makes a place highly livable and special,” said Mayor Ed Zabrocki.

This is the fourth year that the publication has researched towns across the country, analyzing such factors as school performance, affordability, safety, cost of living, air quality, job growth, racial diversity and accessibility to local parks, ball fields, zoos, recreation centers, museums and theaters.

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Women on pace to be majority of union workers

Women are on track to become a majority of unionized workers in the next 10 years, signaling their growing clout in the labor movement.

The shift, outlined in a report Tuesday from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, could see organized labor focus more intensely on issues important to women as unions look to broaden their ranks and wield greater political strength in the next election cycle.

“When you have a majority of women in the labor movement, issues like work-family balance, paid sick days and paid parental leave become more important,” said John Schmitt, an economist at the left-leaning think tank and one of the authors of the report.
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