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  Durbin introduced Bipartisan Bill to give flexibility in Drug Sentencing on Aug 1   WASHINGTON, D.C. – ...
Nation’s Most Diverse Orchestra Chooses Two Career-Ready Conductors to Launch Groundbreaking Conductor Training Program Chicago, IL ...
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) -- The African American community was once viewed as the ...
New York, NY (BlackNews.com) -- The highly popular Wendy Williams Show is looking ...
Surprise announcement recognizes teacher for her success as role model for students and peers    JOLIET, IL ...
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced an ...
Encourages Illinoisans to send message of thanks to service members   Chicago, IL – Standing below the historic Chicago ...
S. 800 Improves Rehab Following Stroke or Major Trauma Endorsed by the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition WASHINGTON, ...
  Gas costs, tight lending environment weigh heavily on nation’s entrepreneurs     Washington, DC - Today the George ...
 Active Transportation Alliance statement in support of HB 3972    Tomorrow's vote on HB 3972 could be ...

Archive for November 17th, 2010

$55 Million Settlement For Illegal searches at Cook County Jail

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
 
Largest-ever settlement of its kind
 
 
 
Chicago, IL ― In the largest-ever class action settlement of its kind, Cook County and its insurers yesterday agreed to pay $55 million to settle a lawsuit over illegal strip-searches conducted at the county jail.
 
At least 1/4 million people jailed between January 30, 2004 and March 30, 2009 are eligible to share in the settlement of the suit filed by the civil rights law firm, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law (www.Loevy.com).  Those who believe they may be eligible are encouraged to go to the new www.cookcountystripsearch.com website to learn how they can get compensation.
 
“This settlement puts an end to the cruel and shameful hazing that the Sheriff’s Department allowed in that jail every night.  The public should expect the jail to use strip searches only when appropriate and only in a professional manner,” said Michael Kanovitz, a partner at Loevy & Loevy. 
 
In February 2009 a federal judge faulted the Jail for strip searching people who were awaiting bail on minor crimes like traffic violations.  He also found that the jail would perform the searches by needlessly humiliating the detainees with group strip searches of upwards of 100 people at a time standing shoulder to shoulder in unsanitary conditions. 
 
He also noted that “Bodily fluids were often present during the male group strip searches…including vomit, diarrhea, and blood…”  Over 400 class members also submitted affidavits attesting “that the guards used insults or abusive language during strip searches.  These included insults about body odor, anatomy, sexual orientation, and race.”
 
In August of 2009, a jury found that the Sherriff Thomas Dart was liable to the class for allowing the abusive strip searches to continue for years after he took office.
 
The settlement provides for payments to each class member who submits a timely claim.  Plaintiffs’ attorneys will also be suing two of the County’s insurers (both owned by AIG) that refused to contribute to the settlement. 
  
Copies of the suit brought by Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, Kim Young, et al. v. County of Cook, et al., No. 06 C552, the plaintiffs’ statement of facts and their brief can be found via a button on the www.Loevy.com website labeled “Young Strip Search Class Action.”  Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law is the largest civil rights law firm in the Midwest and prior to this had won more than $150 million in jury verdicts for its clients.
 

Attorney General Madigan files legislation in Springfield to ensure integriity of Foreclosure Process, Protect Homeowners

Posted by Admin On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan has  filed legislation designed to reform the foreclosure process to protect homeowners. Madigan’s legislation is the first of its kind in the country to address revelations that major banks and mortgage giants recklessly “robo-signed” foreclosure fillings across the country. The bill would significantly tighten the requirements for affidavits filed in foreclosure proceedings to ensure their accuracy.

 Sponsors of the bill during the General Assembly’s fall veto session are state Sen. Jacqueline Collins, and state Reps. Marlow H. Colvin and Mary Flowers, all of whom have worked closely with Madigan’s office in recent years to increase the protections for Illinois families facing foreclosure.

 “Too often, Illinois families are struggling to pay their mortgages because banks put them into risky loans that they did not understand and could never afford. Now, we must make sure that banks are not violating the law as they try to take these families’ homes away,” Attorney General Madigan said. “This legislation is designed to ensure that banks and loan servicers cannot cut corners or ignore homeowners’ rights in the foreclosure process.”

 The legislation was prompted after major loan servicers across the country, namely GMAC/Ally, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, admitted their employees signed inaccurate foreclosure documents in court. These employees may have approved thousands of foreclosures without personal knowledge of the facts involved and without verifying underlying loan information.

 “As Illinoisans lose their homes, we have to continue to fight to put the law on their side so they don’t once again become the victims of fiscal gluttony,” said Sen. Collins.

 The bill would ensure the integrity of foreclosure documents filed and that lenders are complying with the requirements of federal loan modification programs. It would also make sure each homeowner knows the amount they owe, who owns their loan, the terms of their original loan and whom they can contact. Specifically, the proposed legislation would:

  • Ensure affidavits filed as part of the foreclosure process contain a detailed description of how the person who signed the affidavit has personal knowledge of the facts, including what he or she did to verify that the amount owed is accurate.
  • Require that banks verify in writing all efforts they have undertaken to keep the homeowner in the home, including loan modification efforts.
  • Require that banks provide a detailed summary of the borrowers’ payments to ensure the borrowers know why the foreclosure is happening and can contest the foreclosure if the banks’ payment history is inaccurate.
  • Require that a bank prove that it holds the loan and has the right to foreclose.

“This legislation continues our aggressive work to implement laws that provide homeowners with assistance while holding lenders accountable,” said Rep. Colvin.

“If banks and mortgage companies cannot produce the proper paperwork to verify a foreclosure needs to take place, they shouldn’t be kicking Illinois homeowners out of their homes in the first place,” said Rep. Flowers. “It is up to the state, with this legislation, to step in to protect these vulnerable residents.”

The legislation is part of the Attorney General’s response to the recent foreclosure document scandal. Madigan also has asked Washington lawmakers to support the re-introduction of legislation drafted by U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., to permit bankruptcy court judges to reduce principal amounts on mortgages and thereby save homes.

Immediately following reports questioning the integrity of foreclosures filed nationwide, the Attorney General issued letters to GMAC/Ally, Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase along with 23 other major loan servicers who work in Illinois demanding a halt to all pending foreclosures in Illinois, including post-foreclosure sales and evictions, unless they were able to demonstrate the filings were accurate.

Madigan, along with the 49 other state attorneys general and 37 state bank and mortgage regulators, is also continuing a multi-state probe into the servicers and foreclosures filed in courts across the country. In Illinois, the filing of false court documents could be a violation of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and other laws.

Attorney General Madigan has been at the forefront of protecting Illinois homeowners during the mortgage foreclosure crisis and holding Wall Street banks accountable. In 2008, she led a nationwide $8.7 billion settlement with Countrywide over its predatory lending practices. The Attorney General has also filed suit against both Wells Fargo and Countrywide alleging widespread discrimination against African American and Latino borrowers, causing them to pay disproportionately more for their mortgages than other borrowers.

In Springfield, Madigan played a principal role in working to pass the High Risk Home Loan Act of 2003 and drafted the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act of 2006, which was designed to deter scam artists from preying on vulnerable homeowners on the verge of foreclosure. The Attorney General also initiated and drafted the Illinois Homeownership Protection Act, a law that took effect in 2008 to tighten controls on brokers and lenders to prevent consumers from being unwittingly locked into questionable loan terms. In 2008, Madigan also initiated the Illinois Homeowners’ Rights Act.

 Madigan urged homeowners to visit her website, www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov, for resources available to assist homeowners in crisis. Included on the site is her Illinois Mortgage Lending Guide, a resource manual containing step-by-step instructions for those struggling to make their loan payments and a list of HUD-certified counseling agencies that offer default counseling services. Homeowners who do not have easy access to the Internet should call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline at 1-866-544-7151 to receive the guide by mail.

Senator-Elect Kirk supports Senate GOP Earmark Moratorium

Posted by Admin On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, DC – Senator-Elect Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement regarding his vote to support a Senate Republican Conference earmark moratorium:

“During our campaign for Senate, I pledged to oppose wasteful spending in Washington, starting with our broken earmark system.  Today, we make good on that pledge.  While many Congressional funding requests are worthwhile, some do not pass the laugh test.  We need serious reforms to ensure the integrity of federal funding.  Taxpayers deserve no less.  I urge our Democratic colleagues to heed the call of the American people and join our effort to cut wasteful earmark spending.”

In 2008, Senator-Elect Kirk became the first member of the House Appropriations Committee to swear off earmarks.  He previously offered amendments in the House to cancel funding for the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere.” 

Denny’s partners with the magic Johnson Foundation to provide Scholarships to Minority College Students

Posted by Admin On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

 


April Kelly-Drummond, director of Corporate Diversity for Denny’s, and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman and founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, poses with April Kelly-Drummond, director of Corporate Diversity for Denny’s, at the12thAnnual Taylor Michael’s Scholarship Program Conference in Los Angeles, hosted by the Magic Johnson Foundation. Under the theme the “Executive in You,” this year’s four-day program provided an opportunity to celebrate, educate, entertain and empower 100 students from around the country. Denny’s Corporation donated $20,000 towards student scholarships and hosted fundraising events at local restaurants.

“Denny’s is proud to partner with organizations like the Magic Johnson Foundation to help support the educational goals of young people and we congratulate this year’s scholarship winners,” said April Kelly-Drummond. “We recognize that education plays a critical role in an individual’s future success and for a decade we have been helping ensure youth have the support they need to graduate.”

Founded in 1998, the scholarship was named in honor of Taylor Michaels, the inspiring Chief Operating Officer for Magic Johnson Enterprises who passed away earlier that year. Students selected to participate demonstrate a strong potential for academic achievement but face socio-economic conditions that could hinder them from reaching their full potential.

“The Magic Johnson Foundation makes a difference in the lives of young people across the country,” said Towalame Austin, President of the Magic Johnson Foundation, “We provide students not only with an avenue to succeed, but also the assistance necessary to continue their dreams of earning a college degree.”

The Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program offers financial support, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. The program also provides students with mentor and internship programs, as well as attendance at the annual leadership conference, and test preparation classes for students interested in pursuing graduate degrees. In addition, all entering freshmen are provided laptops.
About the Magic Johnson Foundation:
The Magic Johnson Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, was established in 1991 to raise funds for community-based organizations focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention. The Foundation has since expanded its mission to develop programs and services that address the broader educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities throughout the nation. For more information, log onto www.magicjohnson.org

About Denny’s:
Denny’s (NASDAQ: DENN) is America’s largest full-service family restaurant chain, serving classic American food and every day value 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Based in Spartanburg, S.C., Denny’s currently operates 1,600 franchised, licensed, and Company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guam, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand. For further information about Denny’s, including news releases, franchising opportunities and investor relations, visit www.dennys.com.

More than 400 Journalists and well-wishers from around the globe attend NAM’s 40th Anniversary Party

Posted by Admin On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Ruby Anniversary was a Jewel of a Night November 12  at City View in San  Francisco                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 Over 400 people attended the Anniversary Reunion Party of Pacific News Service/New America Media to honor four decades of alumni of PNS and NAM and their youth programs. The party, marking a coming together of old and new– a “media fusion” as one guest called it — as journalists from the first two decades heard about and embraced those from the last two decades, was held on November 12 at Metreon’s City View in San Francisco.

Dining on a buffet of six cuisines from local ethnic restaurants, journalists and guests from many points on the globe mingled amongst the elegant backdrop of The City’s skyline. Running the length of the first hall was an interactive timeline featuring much of the award-winning news service’s history. Light projections and a jazz trio added to the evening’s ambiance.

“Journalism is about trespassing borders, and that’s both the legacy and the future of PNS and NAM,” commented noted author Richard Rodriguez (Hunger of Memory) who delivered the evening’s keynote.

“Seeing so many alumni come together to celebrate what we were and what we’ve become—it inspires us for another 40 years,” said Sandy Close, the organization’s executive director.
  
The evening was MC’d by feisty journalist, author and former-NAM TV show host Emil Guillermo. State Senator Mark Leno presented a proclamation of appreciation from the State of California, noting, to the delight of the audience, that although the Golden State was running of out of funds, they “would always have money to provide for the frames that encase (their) proclamations.” Gavin Newsom, The City’s mayor, sent over a declaration of his own, proclaiming November 12 as New America Media day.

Reminiscences, some hilarious and some sentimental, spanning the breadth of PNS’ forty years were offered by a dozen alumni (including Renee Montagne, Clark Norton, Frank Viviano, Mary Jo McConahay, Louis Freedberg, Joan Walsh, Ruben Martinez, Charles Jones, Stanley Joseph, and Dori Maynard). Thuy Vu, a founder of Little Saigon Radio, came from Houston to speak as a representative of NAM’s ethnic media partners.  Also offered was a song by NAM’s longtime receptionist Sister Teresa Anne Coronas. The trip down memory lane culminated in a short video of looking at the NAM of today, with greetings from the current staff.

The evening ended with a tribute to NAM’s late co-founder Franz Schurmann by his former student, Ted Alden, a scholar-journalist now with the Council on Foreign Relations, and a moving love-song “Wang Bu Liao” sung by Taiwan radio celebrity Kay Wang Levanthal (NAM’s current marketing director).

Pacific News Service was founded in 1970 by two UC Berkeley professors, Franz Schurmann and Orville Schell, with the idea of bringing alternative perspectives about the US war in Vietnam to the American news media. Four years later, former China Editor for the Far Eastern Economic Review and founder of The Flatlands newspaper, a voice of inner-city Oakland, Sandy Close became Executive Editor broadening the original mandate to tell the stories and amplify the voices of people and communities from South East Asia to South Central Los Angeles.

Over the years, Pacific News Service has been an incubator for a new generation of reporters, writers, artists, photographers and researchers, giving them a sharper sense of where to look and how to see beyond the corridors of power to the margins of society.

In 1996, PNS founded New America Media, the nation’s first and largest network of ethnic news service, to create an inter-ethnic news exchange between and among African-, Asian-, South Asian-, Caribbean-, Indigenous-, Middle Eastern-, and Latino-American communities as well as with “new” and “old” media portals. More info at newamericamedia.org.

The 40th Anniversary Reunion is supported by the generosity of The Westin St. Francis, Comcast, PG&E, The California Wellness Foundation, Jan Masaoka, East Bay Regional Parks District, The Tides Foundation (at the recommendation of Vincent McGee) and the Werner-Kohstamm Family Giving Fund. The evening was produced by Winslow & Associate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier: Chicago Children’s Theatre winding up to hit it out of the park with World Premiere of “Jackie and Me”, February 8 through March 27, 2011

Posted by Admin On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Dan Gutman’s Time Travelling Baseball Adventure about Jackie Robinson, adapted by Steven Dietz, directed by Derrick Sander’s, Next on Deck for Chicago’s #1 Children’s Theatre 

 

Chicago, IL – The awe-inspiring story of Jackie Robinson, the courageous athlete who broke baseball’s color barrier, will be brought to life on stage next February when Chicago Children’s Theatre premieres Jackie and Me, a time-travelling adventure by acclaimed playwright Steven Dietz, based on the popular children’s novel by Dan Gutman.

Jeff Award winner Derrick Sanders will direct Chicago Children’s Theatre’s world premiere of Jackie and Me, the company’s much anticipated follow-up to its hit 2007 production of Honus and Me, and a fresh, new theatrical offering for February/Black History Month.  Casting for Jackie and Me includes Kamal Angelo Bolden (Chad in Victory Gardens/Teatro Vista’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity) as Jackie Robinson, Tyler Ross as Joey Stoshack, with Tracey Bonner (Rachel), Patrick De Nicola (Ant), Ron Rains (Dad), Vanessa Greenway (Mom), Sean Cooper (Flip) and Charles Stransky (Branch Rickey).

Performances of Jackie and Me are February 8 through March 27, 2011 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 North Dearborn St., Chicago.   Press opening is Friday, February 11 at 7 pm. 

Tickets are $25 for children (ages 17 and under) and $35 for adults.  Tickets will be available through CCT’s website, chicagochildrenstheatre.org, or the ticket hotline, (866) 811-4111,
8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.   Discounted group rates are available through GroupTix by calling (773) 327-3778 or by visiting GroupTix.net.  Jackie and Me is recommended for children ages 8 and older.

In Jackie and Me, Joey Stoshack is a headstrong young boy with a special talent for time travel.  When Joey is assigned to write a report on an African American who has made an important contribution to society, he uses his special ability to go back to New York City in the year 1947 to meet one of history’s greatest baseball players, Jackie Robinson.  Joey plans on writing a prize-winning report, but he doesn’t plan on a trip that will forever change his view of history and his definition of courage.

Babe Ruth changed baseball.  Jackie Robinson changed America.  

Until 1947, only white players were accepted in the major leagues, but on April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson was called up to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and became the first African-American to play in baseball’s major leagues in the modern era.  Robinson, mainly a second baseman, though he also played at first and third, was named Rookie of the Year for 1947 and went on to appear in six World Series in ten seasons with the Dodgers (1947-56).  Other major league teams soon followed Brooklyn’s lead and hired black players of their own.  Robinson’s stellar play, and his role in breaking the color barrier, led to his 1962 induction as the first African-American in baseball’s Hall of Fame.  In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s first year with the Dodgers, Major League Baseball permanently retired Robinson’s uniform number, 42.   He is the only baseball player ever to have been so honored.

Behind the scenes of Chicago Children’s Theatre’s debut production of Jackie and Me

“It’s such an incredible coup for Chicago Children’s Theatre to be working with Steven Dietz, one of America’s most widely-produced and published contemporary playwrights, on the very first production of his newest children’s play,” said Jacqueline Russell, Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Theatre.   

Since 1983, Steven  Dietz’ twenty-plus plays, including his adaptation of Honus and Me, have been seen at more than 100 regional theatres in the United States, as well as Off-Broadway.   International productions have been seen in England, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, Sweden, Austria, Russia, Slovenia, Argentina, Peru, Singapore and South Africa.   He is a two-time winner of the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, for Fiction (produced Off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company), and Still Life With Iris.  He received the PEN USA West Award in Drama for Lonely Planet, the 2007 Edgar Award for Drama from the Mystery Writers of America for his widely-produced Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (adapted from William Gillette and Arthur Conan Doyle); and the 1995 Yomuiri Shimbun Award (the Japanese “Tony”) for his adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence.   Other widely produced plays include Inventing Van Gogh, God’s Country, Private Eyes, The Nine Variations, Trust, Rocket Man, Halcyon Days, Ten November, and More Fun Than Bowling.  Other award-winning stage adaptations include Force of Nature (from Goethe), Over the Moon (from P.G. Wodehouse), The Rememberer (from Joyce Simmons Cheeka), Paragon Springs (from Ibsen), Dracula (from Bram Stoker), and, with Allison Gregory, Go, Dog, Go! (from P.D. Eastman).

Dan Gutman is the author of many books for young readers, notably his beloved Baseball Card Adventure series including Jackie and Me, Honus and Me, and just released earlier this year, Roberto and Me, about Roberto Clemente.   Besides baseball, he has written about soccer, basketball, bowling and aliens.   His newest series, The Genius Files, debuts in January and is about a twin brother and sister who are traveling cross-country with their parents in an RV while a team of lunatics try to kill them.   Gutman has received 16 state book awards and 37 state book award nominations.  He lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey, with his wife, Nina, and their two children, Sam and Emma.  Visit him online at dangutman.com.

Award-winning director Derrick Sanders – Founding Artistic Director of Chicago’s Congo Square Theatre Company and a Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year in 2005 – also has a national reputation, having directed at countless Chicago, regional and New York theaters.   Recent credits include Jitney, Elmina’s Kitchen and Stick Fly with True Colors Theatre in Atlanta; Top Dog/Under Dog and Five Fingers of Funk at Minneapolis Children’s Theatre; August Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Center Stage; and his Off-Broadway debut King Hedley II for Signature Theatre, for which he received two Lucille Lortel and Audelco nominations.  His production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone received three Jeff Award nominations.  He staged the world premiere of the Jeff Nominated Deep Azure and the BTAA, Black Excellence and Jeff Award winning production of Seven Guitars.  He was also a part of August Wilson’s World premiere productions of Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean on Broadway and at the Huntington Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and the Goodman.  He received his training from Howard University (B.F.A) and the University of Pittsburgh (M.F.A).

 

Chicago Children’s Theatre has assembled an all-star design team for Jackie and Me including Ian Zywica (set), Seth Reinick (lights), Christine Pascual (costumes), Michael Griggs (sound) and Kimberly Morris (props). 

Complete Performance Schedule for Jackie and Me

Previews of Jackie and Me are Tuesday, February 8 at 10 a.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, February 9 and 10 at 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.; and Friday, February 11 at 10 a.m. (only).  Press opening is Friday, February 11 at 7 p.m.  Regular performances Saturday, February 12 through Friday, March 4 are Tuesday through Friday at 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m.; no performances on Sunday.    Beginning Saturday, March 5 and continuing through Sunday, March 27, the weekend performance schedule expands to Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.  Weekday performances remain the same:  Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. 

Tickets to Jackie and Me are $25 for children (ages 17 and under) and $35 for adults.  Tickets will be available through CCT’s website, chicagochildrenstheatre.org, or call the ticket hotline, (866) 811-4111, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.   Discounted group rates are available through GroupTix by calling (773) 327-3778 or by visiting GroupTix.net.  Jackie and Me is recommended for children ages 8 and older.

Jackie and Me in the classroom

To enhance the experience of seeing Jackie and Me, particularly as part of Black History Month studies in February, Chicago Children’s Theatre will post a companion study guide for use in the classroom or even at home with games, activities and exercises designed to help spark frank discussion on the subject of race in America.   Click chicagochildrenstheatre.org  to download these free supplemental educational activities.

Additionally, through a generous grant from the Target Corporation, Chicago Children’s Theatre is implementing a new field trip program during specific performances that will include not only complimentary admission and study materials but also transportation.  This program will accommodate approximately 6,000 students during the 2010-2011 season.

Also on tap for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2010-2011 season

Also in February 2011, CCT will return to Millennium Park with Red Kite Round Up, a unique theatrical experience created specifically for children on the autism spectrum and their families and caregivers.  This will be the second time the company has produced this full scale multi-sensory exploration for children with autism.  Red Kite Round Up will run from February 1 – 20, 2011, in the Pritzker Pavilion Choral Rehearsal Room in Millennium Park.

About Chicago Children’s Theatre

Chicago Children’s Theatre aspires to enrich our community through diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that engages and inspires the child in all of us.  Chicago Children’s Theatre focuses on the production of first-rate children’s theater in Chicago, with top writing, performing and directorial talent and high-quality design and production expertise. 

Led by Artistic Director Jacqueline Russell, Board Chair Todd Leland and Board President Tom Herman, the company is supported by a dynamic Board of Directors comprised of dedicated individuals from the fields of entertainment, philanthropy and business, and a committed Artistic Council of Chicago-based actors, directors, musicians and designers. 

Founded in 2005, Chicago Children’s Theatre strives to provide affordable and accessible theater for families and area school children. To enhance the impact of any given production’s themes, Chicago Children’s Theatre offers educational materials and programs for families and educators.

Chicago Children’s Theatre’s 2010-2011 season is made possible in part by the generosity of its sponsors:   United is the Exclusive Corporate Production sponsor.  ComEd is the Official Lighting sponsor.   Target is the official School Field Trip sponsor.  The Artists in the Classroom program is made possible by a grant from JPMorgan Chase.

For more information, visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org or call 773.227.0180.

Suburban Police Lieutenant indicted in Brutality Case

Posted by Admin On November - 17 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

A Park Ridge Police Lieutenant has been indicted on multiple charges of battery and official misconduct for beating two teen-aged boys who had vandalized his car in an incident that took place in 2006, according to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Jason Leavitt, age 39 and a 16-year veteran of the Park Ridge Police Department, surrendered to authorities without incident, and he was scheduled to appear in bond court at the Cook County Criminal Courts Building yesterday (11/15/10)  to make his initial appearance on the unsealed indictment. Leavitt is charged with three counts of Aggravated Battery (Class 3 felony) and seven counts of Official Misconduct (Class 3 felony).

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of October 28, 2006, when Leavitt was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle. The two 15-year-old victims were in a cemetery in Park Ridge and were shooting at cars with a slingshot as they drove past on Touhy Avenue. The victims struck the defendant’s personal car as he was driving past, shattering his rear window.

According to court documents, Leavitt radioed the Park Ridge Police dispatcher about the incident and chased the victims as they fled the cemetery. Leavitt caught up to one of the victims as he attempted to escape by climbing over a fence and struck him on the back of the head with an unidentified object causing him to lose consciousness.

According to court documents, he then continued beating the victim until a responding police officer pulled Leavitt offf and handcuffed the victim. The defendant struck the victim an additional time as he was being placed in the officer’s squad car.

A short distance away, a second group of responding officers had apprehended the second victim and had handcuffed him and left him lying on the ground on his stomach. Leavitt then traveled to that location and approached the second victim as he lay on the ground and began kicking him in the back of the head causing him to chip his tooth and scrape his chin.

While still handcuffed and in the back of a squad car, Leavitt attacked the second victim a second time and began punching him in the face. The victim attempted to escape the attack by sliding over to opposite side of the car. Leavitt then walked around to the other side of the vehicle, opened the ddoor and continued to punch the victim.

Both of the victims were transported to the Park Ridge police station and where their juvenile cases were later dismissed. The day after the incident one of the juveniles received medical treatment for a concussion.

With the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office began in investigation after learning of the incident in January of 2009.

The state criminal investigation remains ongoing.

Leavitt appeared at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California at 11 a.m. in courtroom 101 where his indictment was announced.

The public is reminded that criminal charging documents contain allegations that are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the state has the burden of proving guilt beyond a resonable doubt.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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