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Archive for August 11th, 2011

CONSUMER ALERT: Illinois Attorney General Madigan calls for national recall on dangerous Fuel Gel products

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on CONSUMER ALERT: Illinois Attorney General Madigan calls for national recall on dangerous Fuel Gel products

Prompted by Serious Burn Accidents in Illinois, Madigan Also Pushes for Ban on Product Sales 


Chicago, IL ─ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to immediately recall all fuel gel products in response to alarming reports of consumers in Illinois and across the country who’ve suffered severe burns in accidents involving fuel gel. Madigan also called on the CPSC to immediately ban the sale of fuel gel products and urged consumers to stop using the dangerous items.

“Recalling these items one by one won’t cut it,” Attorney General Madigan said. “In the midst of the summer season, many of these fuel gel products are already in people’s homes and backyards. We need to work quickly to alert consumers about the extreme dangers they pose.”

Earlier this summer, the Attorney General alerted consumers to the risk of severe and even life-threatening burns when using fuel gel products. The CPSC soon after recalled one fuel gel product made by Napa Home & Garden Inc. The company has since pulled its products from store shelves, but fuel gel products by other manufacturers, including BirdBrain, Inc., Windflame Inc. and Jason Metal Products Inc., continue to sell online and in stores around the country.

Fuel gel is poured into a firepot or similar vessel for use as a decorative flame or outdoor light. Madigan said reports have shown injuries resulted when fuel gel spilled or was poured into a pot in attempt to light or re-light the flame, causing the product to explode into a fireball. When the gel contact’s a person’s skin, it reacts similarly to napalm, making it nearly impossible to extinguish. Victims and witnesses indicate that traditional ways to put out a flame, such as dropping and rolling, don’t work. The flaming gel ignites other materials and does not stop burning.

The Attorney General said her office has received accounts of three fuel gel-related accidents in Illinois, and dozens of other injuries have been reported around the country. In the Chicago suburbs last year, a 3-year-old girl was critically injured when a firepot containing fuel gel manufactured by BirdBrain Inc. spilled, causing severe burns to her head and face. Last month, a Chicago man suffered serious and extensive injuries when fuel gel manufactured by BirdBrain exploded, causing burns to his face and arms. Madigan said a mother of four from downstate Illinois was also reportedly burned when a fuel gel product exploded at a backyard birthday party.

With the three known accidents in Illinois involving the BirdBrain brand, Madigan today subpoenaed the Ypsilanti, Mich.-based company, asking for any incidents reported to the company and for its Illinois sales and distribution information.

Madigan urged Illinoisans to immediately stop using fuel gel products. Any consumer who has suffered an injury in a fuel gel-related incident should immediately contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Attorney General also encouraged consumers to sign up for automatic recall notifications via email through the CPSC at www.cpsc.gov. Consumers seeking more information can also contact Madigan’s Product Recall Hotline at (888) 414-7678, TTY (800) 964-3012 and (866) 310-8398 for Spanish speakers.


U.S. Senator Kirk issues Lake Michigan Report Card: Lake receives overall Grade of “C”

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on U.S. Senator Kirk issues Lake Michigan Report Card: Lake receives overall Grade of “C”
Offers an in-depth analysis of Lake Michigan’s environmental condition and how to improve its health
 Chicago, IL – United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill), Co-Chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, released the 2011 Lake Michigan Report Card. The Report Card evaluates six primary concerns important to the health and prosperity of Lake Michigan: beach water quality, sewage pollution, mercury contamination, water levels, cleaning up Superfund polluted sites, and invasive species.

“While we have made progress in some areas, Lake Michigan is still challenged by invasive species, sewage dumping and far too many closed beaches,” Sen. Kirk said.  “This report reflects the need to ban sewage dumping while cleaning up polluted harbors and blocking invasive species from the Lake.” 

The Lake Michigan Report Card issues each of the six primary environmental concerns a letter grade reflective of the concerns’ severity:

  • Beach Water Quality – D

The number of beach advisories and closings on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois has remained above 500 per year over the last 5 years. These closures are a persistent threat to public health and result in millions of dollars lost revenue. In response,  Congress should enact the Beach Act to improve contamination warnings and assessment to lower the number of beach closings.

  • Sewage Pollution – C

Although sewage pollution has been on the decline, more than 24 billion gallons of raw sewage are still being dumped in to the Great Lakes each year. Sewage dumping contributes to beach closures and threatens the safety of our drinking water. To address this issue, Senator Kirk and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) have introduced S. 147, the Great Lakes Water Protection Act, which would ban sewage dumping in the Great Lakes by the year 2031.

  • Mercury Contamination – Incomplete

High levels of mercury have been shown to cause serious nerve disorders, particularly in children. Unfortunately, there is not currently enough scientific data collected from Lake Michigan to accurately grade mercury contamination levels. The EPA must update its mercury tests annually, to report on the trend of mercury contamination in the Great Lakes.

  • Water Levels – D
Water levels are of enormous importance to the lake’s ecosystem, boating, navigation, and fishing. Lake Michigan water levels have steadily declined over the past 25 years. Congress should respond by resolving any disputes holding up the Harbor Maintenance Act.
  • Cleaning up Superfund Polluted Sites – B
Polluted Superfund “Areas of Concern” surround the Great Lakes. For example, the US and Canada recognized Waukegan Harbor as such an area after Outboard Marine Corporation dumped PCBs in the harbor. Waukegan Harbor is the only area of concern in Illinois. PCB remediation and cleanup efforts began in 1990 and full restoration of Waukegan Harbor is now within reach. 
  • Invasive Species – C

Keeping invasive species, particularly Asian carp, out of the Great Lakes is a top priority. Asian carp has yet to be found in the Great Lakes, but spawning populations are present within 150 miles and eDNA results positive for Asian carp have been found above the barrier. Last month, three consecutive eDNA samples for carp were found in Lake Calumet, above the barrier, which was designed to keep the carp out. The Army Corps of Engineers should take every effort to up the voltage at the three electric dispersal barriers as a further deterrent for carp.

Sen. Kirk’s Lake Michigan Report Card gives the overall health of Lake Michigan a “C”. Sen. Kirk has vowed to work with his colleagues in Washington towards advancing the solutions set forth in the Report Card. Click here to view full report. 

“There have been great strides in the last few years to enhance the restoration of natural habitat, reduce pollution and combat invasive species, but it is clear that we still have along ways to go,” Sen. Kirk said.

Senator Kirk unveiled the Lake Michigan Report Card this morning at the Shedd Aquarium. The Shedd Aquarium has been a long-time local leader in environmental education and beach cleanup efforts and, through the “Keep the Great Lakes” campaign, the Shedd Aquarium has impacted over 25,000 people with public outreach activities.

BBB warns consumers of businesses misrepresenting themselves as government agencies, charging for free services

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on BBB warns consumers of businesses misrepresenting themselves as government agencies, charging for free services
(A Message from the Better Business Bureau)
 Chicago, IL – The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) is warning consumers to beware of websites and businesses claiming to provide assistance with immigration services. The BBB recently became aware of an increase in operations claiming to provide passport, citizenship and immigration services, in particular the website www.usaimmigrationsupport.com


In July alone, the BBB received 32 complaints filed by consumers which eclipses all other months this year. The BBB has a total of 46 complaints since January 2011 when consumers began contacting the BBB in earnest with their concerns. In 24 of those complaints, consumers allege US Immigration Organization, the business that operates the website www.usaimmigrationsupport.com, misrepresented itself as a government entity. The BBB has turned this information over to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office for their review due to the increasing number of complaints being received.


“Immigrants who may speak little to no English can easily fall prey to unscrupulous businesses” said Steve J. Bernas, president, & CEO serving the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Businesses are willing to take advantage of anything from a language barrier to someone who is short on time, and scam innocent people out of their money.”


“Consumers have spent anywhere from $75 to hundreds of dollars on these services, thinking they were receiving official assistance with their passport, visa, and naturalization applications”, Bernas noted. “In return, they received only the applications that are free and easily accessible through the federal government.


“It is very important for people to fully read and understand any website and its disclaimers before doing businesses on it,” the BBB president stated. “This is particularly necessary when a person is seeking assistance involving personal identification or government programs. There are operations whose intent is to deceive people into thinking the business is something it is not, so people send money and the business also gains access to information about their identities.


Joe Moffa of Oakbrook, Ill., found US Immigration Organization during a search online. He says, “The site looked official; I thought it was a government site. I filled out the form and it asked for $149. I supplied my checking account number and bank routing number. The form said I would get something in a week or two. I did not get anything but when I got my bank statement it showed they had taken the $149 from my account. I tried to call them but could not get through to anyone.”


In the wake of similar activities around the country, the Federal Trade Commission has created multi-lingual educational materials for consumers. These tools can help educate consumers to avoid immigration scams and provide the means to file FTC complaints and report suspected scams or fraud.


The BBB offers tips to individuals looking to obtain legal status in the U.S. while avoiding common scams:


  • Never sign blank documents that may contain inaccurate information
  • Always retain your original documents and only provide photocopies if necessary.
  • Do not make online payments or send money to someone who is not a licensed attorney.
  • Make copies of every document you prepare, submit and keep for your own records.
  • Request a receipt as proof of payment.
  • Check the Illinois Bar Association for licensed attorneys who provide immigration services.
For more advice on fighting fraud and finding businesses and organizations you can trust, visit www.bbb.org 

Chicago man sentenced to 27 years in Valentine’s Day domestic violence assault

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Chicago man sentenced to 27 years in Valentine’s Day domestic violence assault

A Chicago man who broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home on Valentine’s Day and repeatedly stabbed the woman and her daughter with a kitchen knife has been sentenced to 27 years in prison, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Derrick Williams, 49, of Chicago, pled guilty to charges of Attempted First Degree Murder and Home Invasion and was sentenced to 27 years in connection with the Feb. 14, 2009 attack.

According to prosecutors, Williams and the victim had been in a brief dating relationship that had ended nearly one year before the attack occurred. The victim was home with her daughter and son when Williams broke into her apartment and entered the bedroom of the victim where he punched her and began to stab her with a kitchen knife. When the victim’s daughter attempted to stop the attack, Williams slashed her in the face, cutting her from the hairline to middle of her cheek.

Williams then dragged the victim and her daughter to the living room area where he continued to stab the victim about the body. The victim’s daughter and son were able to call police during the attack and the defendant fled the apartment on foot. Chicago police on patrol arrested Williams, who was covered in blood from the attack and still carrying the knife in his back poket.

Williams admitted to stabbing the victim and forensic tests later matched the blood found on Williams’clothing and the knife with that of the victim.

Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Anna Planey of the State’s Attorney’s Domestic Violence Division for her hard work on the case.

Raven Theatre presents special double header weekend: WIGGERLOVER [white boy+black dad=grey areas] and the Game Show…& Stuff

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Raven Theatre presents special double header weekend: WIGGERLOVER [white boy+black dad=grey areas] and the Game Show…& Stuff

Chicago, IL – Raven Theatre will present a zany and hilarious double header weekend of Wiggerlover [whiteboy+blackdad=greyareas] and The Game Show Show… & Stuff,  Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27

Wiggerlover [white boy+black dad=grey areas]

It’s the totally too-good-to-be-true story of one boy’s life in an interracial family in Chicagoland, 1979: part memoir, part editorial, all comedy. Actor/author James Anthony Zoccoli [JAZ] gives a retrospective account of his life growing up as Little Jimmy: a half-Italian, half-Polish kid who wants to be all Black when his White mother gets remarried to an African-American man. Hilarity ensues!

Then, after devoting his youth to crossing racial boundaries and trying to overcome the cultural divide in his personal life, he encounters the irony of all ironies in his adult professional life: having to play a racist character in a major motion picture. More hilarity ensues!

With the election of our first African-American president and the surprising (or revelatory) backlash, the United States has begun a whole new phase of growing pains in its relatively short history. WIGGERLOVER [white boy+black dad=grey areas] is a creative experiment aimed at proving that laughter is the best medicine…even when it comes to social ills.

The one-man show is accompanied by a live deejay and includes family pictures along with other visual aids. The result is a three-dimensional illustration of the point that investigating our identity as people and as a nation can actually be a little bit fun if you take the time to think about it from another perspective. A post-show discussion is conducted after every performance to allow the audience a chance to ask their questions and, more importantly, tell their own stories and share their perspectives too. 

Wiggerlover [white boy+black dad=grey areas]

and The Game Show Show… & Stuff, Friday and Saturday, August 26 and 27

Wiggerlover starts at 8:30 p.m.

The Game Show Show… & Stuff starts at 11 p.m.

All performances take place on Raven Theatre’s West Stage, 6157 N. Clark

Tickets are $20 for Wiggerlover; $25 for The Game Show Show & Stuff.

Free parking is provided in a lot adjacent to the theatre; additional street parking is available

Raven Theatre is handicapped accessible

Tickets/information: www.raventheatre.com or 773-338-2177

For more information including a video preview, visit www.jamesanthonyzoccoli.com.

Online Study for adult smokers who want to quit

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Online Study for adult smokers who want to quit

Adult smokers who want to quit have until August 31 to sign up for Webquit, a free, online smoking-cessation study


Seattle, WA (BlackNews.com) — Adult smokers nationwide who want to kick the habit have until Aug. 31 to see if they are eligible to enroll in WebQuit, a free, online smoking-cessation study (www.webquit.org) being conducted by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

The goal of WebQuit, which began in June 2010, is to improve the effectiveness of online smoking-cessation programs. Study director Jonathan Bricker, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in smoking-cessation research, says that online smoking-cessation programs are improving but still have a very long way to go.

“Quit-smoking websites reach millions of adults 24 hours a day. Unfortunately, these websites have low success rates,” said Bricker, a faculty member in the Cancer Prevention Program in the Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division. “Our study will help us find ways to boost the success rates of quit-smoking websites.”

Study participants will learn new tools for dealing more effectively with urges to smoke. They also will receive step-by-step quit guides and create personalized plans for staying smoke-free.

Participants will be randomly assigned by computer (like the tossing of a coin) to one of two online smoking-cessation programs. The success rates of participants will then be compared. He is hopeful that the study will help adults in their quest to kick the habit.

“Our goal is to try to find what works and what doesn’t; what to include in these programs and how to improve them so they can become more effective,” said Bricker, also a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. Involvement in the study will entail completing online questionnaires, including one 15-minute follow-up survey. Eligible participants must be at least 18 and not currently participating in other smoking-cessation programs, among other requirements.

The study is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute.

To enroll in the WebQuit study or for more information, please visit www.webquit.org
At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, their interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Their researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more details, visit www.fhcrc.org

Casting call by owners of Prisonworld for Families in Conflict

Posted by Admin On August - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Casting call by owners of Prisonworld for Families in Conflict

Cover of Prisonworld Magazine, August issue


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Dawah International, LLC, a multimedia company, is expanding its reach into television and is looking to cast for a docu-style series or documentary to help fight recidivism by helping newly released inmates find resolve with their families. The addition of the new project adds another branch of the company and forges it towards its goal of being established in all forms of media. There is no other form of media that reaches the masses like television. The project is in its earliest stages and is being nurtured for this particular platform by owners, Rufus and Jenny Triplett.

“We are very excited about this opportunity. This comes at a very good time and place in our lives. Sometimes you put your heart and soul into everything and wonder if it’s worth it. Over the past five years we have motivated, educated and inspired thousands of inmates in order to help them better their lives. We have been contacted out of the blue by some very influential people. No, Oprah did not call…but Hollywood did. This can be a great platform and provide lots of healing. Black families are being destroyed by incarceration. Prisons are a business and black men and now even moreso women are the commodity,” says Jenny.

Currently under the multimedia umbrella and sporting the Prisonworld brand is Prisonworld Magazine, an international magazine for inmates, their families, lawyers, activists and organizations alike, Prisonworld Records, a record label that prides itself on collaboration projects that devotes funds to those who have not only been falsely accused but also wrongfully convicted, Prisonworld Radio Hour, a weekly radio show formerly LIVE but now heard in Podcast format in several forums, Prisonworld Blogtalk, an interactive blog that invites you to “free your mind” with varying topics and inmate opinions and Future Entrepreneur Network, a forum that helps educate and empower inmates to start their own businesses.

Rufus comments, “I am such a behind the scenes kind of guy but I give great advice. Although I have never been to prison, I have several family members who have and know what it takes to heal wounds. The saying is that time heals all wounds but it takes more than time. Communication is hard. Forgiveness is hard. Understanding is hard. All of these things are required for resolve and it can happen. Both my wife and I grew up in two-parent households. No one went to prison but yet there was a level of dysfunction. Incarceration only adds to the destruction of the family structure.”

Recidivism is on the rise and the current state of the economy does not help. The cold hard statistic states that every 2 out of 3 inmates who are released return to prison within three years. The CASTING CALL for Prisonworld is looking for inmates who are about to be released but CANNOT go home – for reasons of family conflict with parents, children, spouses, etc. The inmate can be male or female. The story must be true and serious. Inmates can send his/her story to: Prisonworld, PO Box 380, Powder Springs, GA, 30127. Friends and family can send an email with their story.

Rufus and Jenny Triplett are co-Editors-in-Chief of Prisonworld Magazine, which is published by Dawah International, LLC, a multimedia company. The magazine is printed on a bi-monthly basis and has a yearly readership of 350,000. They are co-hosts and co-producers of the weekly radio show the Prisonworld Radio Hour. Jenny is a requested speaker for correctional facilities, non-profit organizations, schools, radio and TV shows and print magazines. Rufus is a member of the group, Likely Suspect, which provides acapella entertainment for the speaking presentations.

For more information about the magazine, log onto www.prisonworldmagazine.com or contact Jenny Triplett at 678-233-8286 or dawahinternationalllc@gmail.com.

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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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