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Advocacy group to Sen. Kirk: Live on minimum wage for one week

Americans United for Change on Thursday challenged U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) to live on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for one week.

After paying taxes and covering housing costs, the average minimum-wage employee working full time has just $77 left for one week, according to a press release. Americans United for Change called for Kirk to live on that level of income after he voted in April against discussing a minimum-wage increase.

Anticipating mayoral run, Karen Lewis reschedules Hawaiian vacation

In anticipation of a potential run for mayor next year, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis rescheduled her annual Hawaiian vacation.

Lewis, who usually heads to the Pacific in December, is currently in Hawaii, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Lewis was advised to head west earlier than usual because her regular winter trip would have been just two months before the election.

Chicago’s dirtiest beaches, by rank

Curbed Chicago editor AJ LaTrace recently used Yelp reviews containing the terms “trash” and “garbage” and Natural Resources Defense Council data to compile a list of the Chicago Park District’s dirtiest beaches.

As one might expect, the beaches with the highest numbers of visitors also turn out to be the dirtiest. Montrose Beach, which is frequented by people with dogs and those hosting picnics and barbecues, topped LaTrace’s list.

Karen Lewis: Hulk > Superman

Karen Lewis, the opinionated Chicago Teachers’ Union president who might challenge Mayor Rahm Emanuel in next year’s election, made time for some lighthearted Twitter banter Wednesday night.

Ald. Moreno’s former spokesman headed to the Pacific

Matt Bailey resigned last week from his position as director of legislative affairs and communications for Alderman Joe Moreno (1st) and plans to move to the Marshall Islands.

Bailey, who served in Moreno’s office for seven years, will take his wife and two young children to the Marshall Islands later this month, according to DNAinfo.com. There, he plans to teach high school English and world history in the capital city of Majuro.

No booze on Metra Thursday due to World Cup

Metra won’t allow alcohol on its trains Thursday.

The alcohol ban comes as a result of the large crowds expected to ride Metra trains to the Grant Park viewing party of the United States’ World Cup soccer match against Germany, according to CBS Chicago. Metra typically prohibits alcohol on trains during large Chicago events, like the Blackhawks’ parade last year and the Taste of Chicago.

A boost from the mayor: Emanuel jogs with Chicagoan headed to Wimbledon

Mayor Rahm Emanuel provided a Chicagoan headed to the Wimbledon tennis tournament an early warm up by joining her for a jog Thursday morning.

Emanuel joined 18-year-old Englewood resident Taylor Townsend on a 1.5-mile lakefront run, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Townsend, who defeated the 20th seed at the French Open, was scheduled to leave for Wimbledon later Thursday.

Emanuel named a best-dressed mayor by Vanity Fair

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is widely known for his tenacity as a leader, tackling issues like pension reform, gun violence and education with a cutthroat attitude. Apparently, he also has a good sense of style.

Emanuel recently took the No. 4 spot on Vanity Fair’s list of the world’s 10 best-dressed mayors. Also on the list were Boris Johnson, the mayor of London (No. 1); Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (No. 2); and Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti (No. 7).

Let them bake cupcakes

Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the so-called “cupcake girl” bill Tuesday.

The bill was prompted by the closure in January of 12-year-old Troy resident Chloe Stirling’s “Hey Cupcake!” baking business by the Madison County Health Department due to violations, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The new law allows home-kitchen businesses to operate, as long as they do no more than $1,000 in mothly sales.

Happy trails: DuPage County official embarks on two-day bike ride

DuPage County Forest Preserve District Board Commissioner Shannon Burns on Friday embarked on a two-day bike ride of the county’s bike and jogging trails.

Burns, who started the ride outside of her West Chicago home, said she hopes her trip will shed light on the county’s bike-path network for community members, according to the DailyHerald.com. The pathways run through 145 miles of forest preserve land alone.