Extreme Cold Settles in on Chicago Area Following Dangerous Winter Conditions...

Monday morning brought near-record breaking low temperatures to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, with temperatures falling to minus 13 degrees at one point. Temperatures began to slowly rise after the sun rose, but frigid temperatures still plague the city. Chicago public schools remained open on Monday despite the freezing temperatures, but 270 other schools in the area closed, leaving children at home with parents. The closures prompted many parents to bundle up their children and set out for indoor fun at the city’s museums. The Lincoln Park Conservatory was filled with families seeking respite from the cold. People have speculated as to why Chicago-area schools closed on Monday, but most believe it was a matter of making children wait for the bus. “I think the main reason was the transportation department didn’t want to pick up the kids from the bus stop,” said Verity Cusik, a parent. Although temperatures climbed a little bit on Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service has continued to issue cold weather alerts in several states, Illinois included. After the intense storm that brought winter to the U.S. in full force last week, the nation is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of its citizens. Nearly 40 million people visit Chicago every year, but the winter storm left many of those visitors stuck in airports and unable to leave over the weekend. Chicago’s heavy snowfall has forced airlines to cancel more than 1,300 flights out of O’Hare International Airport over the last two weeks. For commuters, the only option was to deal with the frigid temperatures and drive carefully. Those commuters who travel by train may have experienced more significant delays, as nearly every Metra line was running late as a result of the weather. In weather this cold, Metra...

Rubicon Announces Waste and Recycling Partnership With City of Atlanta...

Rubicon Global recently announced a public-private partnership with its host city, Atlanta, GA, that will assist the city in advancing its environmental leadership through recycling and waste technologies. The ultimate goal of this partnership is to use technology to help improve the city’s residential recycling and waste services. Rubicon’s proprietary cloud-based platform is being used as part of the initiative, which will run for six months. Michael Allegretti, Director of Public Policy for Rubicon, explained in a statement that the company is constructing a new ideal for the waste and recycling industries. He said one of their goals is to realign incentives in a manner that operates “away from landfills and in favor of more sustainable communities.” In addition to utilizing Rubicon’s technological services, the partnership will help gather and distribute valuable data to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. One of the biggest benefits is that Rubicon’s technology will allow for real-time updates on topics such as landfill diversion and recycling rates. Approximately 69% of steel is recycled in the U.S. every year, but improvement is the key to the future. Not only does working with Rubicon provide the city with valuable data, it allows the city the possibility of cutting costs while helping climate change efforts and still supporting local growth. The partnership is also the first of its kind for Rubicon. The company hopes that it will open the gateway to work with more cities in the future for waste collection. Rubicon might have revenues stretching into the hundreds of thousands, but compared to industry giants like Waste Management, the company is still just getting started. Rubicon Global co-founder and CEO Nate Morris has expressed excitement about the partnership not only for the company’s growth, but for the positive impact it could...

Insurance Companies Launch Programs Rewarding Holders With ‘Smart Home’ Devices...

We truly are living in a golden age of technology. Although they used to seem like a sci-fi concept, so-called smart homes are quickly becoming commonplace, if not yet the norm. The Internet of Things allows us to be in control of just about every single appliance in our homes through a computerized device. Voice activated systems like Google Home and Amazon Echo allow us to unlock our doors, turn on some music, or dim our lights on command. Smartphone applications allow us to do the same thing, but they can also work remotely — just in case you forgot to close the garage door when you left the house, or want to turn on your slow-cooker while you’re in a meeting. While the commercials advertising these “smart” devices and the convenience factor are extremely compelling, an often overlooked component of the smart home movement is how this could affect insurance policies. There hasn’t been a lot of coverage on the topic, but many insurance agencies are testing pilot programs that offer incentives to those who have a connected home. Some companies are subsidizing the cost of smart devices or offering better terms and conditions in relation to their coverage. The number of these pilot policies increased from 9% to 22% from 2014 to 2015, and is only expected to grow as this calendar year comes to a close. In the U.S., there is no insurance policy that will cover all of your connected home devices across the board, but some companies will give you a more enticing regular policy if you have a home connected with smart devices. But in the U.K., an insurance company describes itself as the first connected home insurance provider in the kingdom. Neos is set to launch soon, and plans to expand...