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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Woman walks through Chicago’s snow covered streets

Winnetka:

This summer, Winnetka’s Greely Elementary School plans to begin construction on an outdoor learning space for students, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. The space will include a shaded outdoor stage and multiple stations for play among other things. The outdoor space is estimated to cost around $350,000 to construct.

Greely’s administration decided to pursue an outdoor learning space to encourage the students to have fun while learning and be more involved with nature. The teachers and faculty wanted the children to get outside more often and an outdoor classspace fit the bill. They want to create an environment where students can learn about the world around them.

Chicago:

This Winter has been one for the record books. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, this winter has ranked the eighth snowiest winter on record for Chicago.

The snowfall from Tuesday, February 4th, and Wednesday, February 5th, totaled about seven inches. The total snowfall is now over 59.6 inches. This is not incredibly far behind the snowiest Chicago winter on record, 1978-1979, when 89.7 inches of snow covered Chicago over the course of the season.

Following close behind are the winters of ‘77-’78 with 82.3 inches, then ‘69-’70 with 77 inches. The article states that the typical amount of snowfall for Chicago is about 36-37 inches of snow. Given that this winter has been almost double that amount, it goes without saying Chicago has been on overload this year in terms of snow.

National:

It’s no secret that the U.S. students have never ranked first in international tests. According to an article in the New York Times, many business leaders are now getting involved in trying to enhance education in the U.S.

President Obama recently announced his plan to strengthen access to technology for 99 percent of the nation’s students within the next five years. According to the article, the President believes that the technology required for a 21st century education is available in too few of schools. Business leaders from around the country are contributing to the cause and have promised to donate over $750 million.

Certain tech companies are getting involved in the President’s initiative as well. Verizon and Microsoft have both agreed to provide schools with more access to high speed internet as well as provide schools with laptops and tablets. These companies have also offered to train teachers in how to use this new technology in the classroom. Sprint has pledged to provide 50,000 schools with internet access. Apple has agreed to make a donation of $100 million worth of devices for schools who can’t afford modern technology.

International: 

Last week, according to the New York Times, news broke that Libya’s entire arsenal of chemical weapons had been dismantled. For the past three months, the Libyan government and the U.S. have been working together to destroy what remained of dictator Muammar Al-Qaddafi’s arsenal of chemical weapons. As of this week, both the Libyan and U.S. governments are confident in saying that all of the chemical weapons Qaddafi had in his arsenal are destroyed.

An oven-like device was used to destroy the missiles and rounds that were filled with mustard gas. The U.S. feared that these dangerous weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. Also, according to the New York Times report, the use of the oven-like technology has been the basis for the disposal of chemical weapons in neighboring Syria. The missiles were destroyed in the Libyan desert at a location 400 miles southeast of the city of Tripoli.