Your Must-See News Headlines for Today, October 31

Public school teachers in Chicago have reached a tentative contract agreement with the city to end the nearly two-week strike. But one critical issue is holding up the process.

New wildfires erupted early this morning in California.

And Jeopardy host Alex Trebek says he wishes he had known about his pancreatic cancer sooner and is doing his part to educate others about the symptoms to watch.

Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.

TOP STORY: Chicago Teachers Strike Stretches On Over Makeup Days

The teachers strike in Chicago has stretched into its 11th day as negotiations with the city have again screeched to a halt. The Chicago Teachers Union announced that its members have voted to approve a new tentative contract.

But they’ve reached an impasse with the city over how to make up the lost classroom time. The union wants to add extra school days to the end of the year, to make up for the strike days. Teachers are not paid while they are on strike and the students have lost instruction time.

But Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the contract negotiations did not include making up the lost days. She told reporters, “I’m not compensating them for days that they were out on strike. We’ve given them a historic deal, by any measure. At some point, the negotiations have to end.”

Chicago Teachers Union leaders say the strike will go on until this last demand is met. Under the terms of the new five-year contract, Chicago Public Schools agreed to give teachers a 16 percent raise and to invest $35 million to reduce classroom sizes. The city also promised to add a nurse and a social worker to every school.

The school buildings have remained open throughout the strike in order to provide breakfast and lunch to students who rely on that service. After-school activities had been canceled, but on Wednesday, high school football teams were permitted to resume practicing. The teams need to practice in order to be eligible for state playoffs.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING: New Wildfires Erupted in Southern California Today As Firefighters Gain Ground On the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County

Wind gusts reaching up to 80 miles per hour have continued to fuel the dangerous fire activity in southern California. At least 20 new wildfires have sparked since Wednesday amid the first-ever “extreme red flag warning” issued by the National Weather Service.

The Easy Fire sparked on Wednesday in Simi Valley in Ventura County. It has burned more than 1,600 acres and forced more than 30,000 people out of their homes.

The Hillside Fire in San Bernardino began burning early Thursday morning near Waterman Canyon. The flames have destroyed at least four homes after scorching about 200 acres in less than an hour.

And in Jurupa Valley, officials say the “46” Fire sparked after midnight and has spread rapidly. The fire may have started after a vehicle crashed in the area. The Riverside County Fire Department says the fire quickly burned through 75 acres and has damaged at least four structures.

Meanwhile, in northern California, thousands of people are beginning to go home as the powerful wind gusts finally begin to calm. The Kincade Fire has burned more than 76,000 acres and was about 45 percent contained as of late Wednesday night.

See California evacuation maps here.

WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Alex Trebek On Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis: ‘I Wish I’d Known Sooner’

Longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek is using his platform to spread awareness about pancreatic cancer. He partnered with the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition on a public service announcement that went live online on Wednesday.

In the video published to YouTube, Trebek explained that “in nearly every country, pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer with a five-year survival rate in the single digits. Now, in order to help patients fight and survive this disease, more attention and awareness are needed.”

Trebek was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer earlier this year. He told fans that it was Stage 4. Trebek said in the PSA that he wished he had detected his cancer earlier. “I wished I had known sooner that the persistent stomach pain I experienced prior to my diagnosis was a symptom of pancreatic cancer.” Trebek explained that other symptoms include unexpected weight loss, mid-back pain, new-onset diabetes and the yellowing of the skin.

Trebek is asking fans to wear purple on November 21, which is World Pancreatic Cancer Day, to help spread awareness of the disease.

Trebek has undergone two rounds of chemotherapy since his diagnosis. He says he will continue to host Jeopardy for as long as he is physically able.


world series

The Washington Nationals celebrate after defeating the Houston Astros in Game Seven to win the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park on October 30, 2019 in Houston, Texas.


At least two raccoons took over the third floor of the library at Arkansas State University! A math tutor named Codie Clark told local KAIT-TV that he saw the animals lurking around over the weekend. He said a group of students cornered one of the raccoons as they waited for facility management employees to arrive.

Bill Smith, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, explained that the area has experienced heavy rain recently and that rising streams may have pushed the raccoons out of their natural home. While maintaining a straight face, Smith told the TV station, “They weren’t just looking for higher ground. They were looking for higher learning as well.”

The raccoons were released back into the wild later that day.

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