March , 2019

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Archive for October, 2011

Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Support Pill Mill Crackdown Legislation

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Lawmakers Support Pill Mill Crackdown Legislation

Bill increases prison sentences, fines for pill mill operators

Washington, DC – During the 23rd annual National Red Ribbon Week to promote drug abuse prevention, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the United States Senate and House of Representatives have come together in support of legislation that will combat the nation’s fastest growing drug epidemic – prescription drug abuse.  United States Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) have joined Congressmen Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Edward Markey (D-MA) in introducing the Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011 in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 1065) and Senate (S. 1760).  This legislation would crack down on “pill mill” operators by doubling the prison sentence and tripling the fines for illegal distribution of controlled substances.  In addition, any assets seized from violators would be used to fund drug treatment programs and state drug-monitoring databases that collect information on prescription drugs prescribed and dispensed.

“Drug abuse is devastating communities in my state, whether it’s preventing employers from being able to hire or tearing families apart. Today in my state, I held a roundtable discussion on drugs and our economy and we brought together folks on all sides of the issue: treatment, education, law enforcement, prevention, business and labor,” Senator Manchin said. “We all agreed that prescription drug abuse is one of the biggest problems plaguing our communities and our nation, and I pledged to take the commonsense ideas and values that were shared back to Washington to help solve this national epidemic. And this bipartisan piece of legislation is the kind of idea that will help make sure our employers can get back to hiring and the people of West Virginia and America can have strong, drug-free communities.” 

“Prescription drug abuse is rising. Drug fatalities have surpassed motor vehicle deaths, largely due to prescription drug overdoses,” Sen. Kirk said. “This bipartisan legislation makes common-sense reforms to the Controlled Substances Act that will help save lives from prescription drug overdoses. I am pleased to join Sen. Manchin and our House colleagues, Congressmen Buchanan and Markey, in introducing this bill.”

“I am thrilled to have Senator Kirk and Senator Manchin join me in this bipartisan effort to crack down on prescription drug abuse nationwide,” said Buchanan.  “Pill Mills have turned my home state of Florida into the nation’s warehouse for deadly narcotics…claiming seven lives a day.  Now, more than ever, we need to shut down these so-called “pain clinics” that bring untold misery to our children, our families, and our communities.”

“Doctors earn their medical licenses to prescribe drugs, not to peddle them. Yet ‘pill mills’ are spurring an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in communities, doctor’s offices, and homes across the country,” Rep. Markey said. “This bi-partisan legislation will help curb the growing problem of prescription drug abuse by cracking down on the healthcare providers who prescribe medically unnecessary painkillers. The bill will also support law enforcement officials on the front lines of this battle to identify pill mills and shut them down. I thank Senators Manchin and Kirk for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with them to pass this critical legislation that will save lives across the country.”

Today, two-and-a-half times more Americans abuse prescription drugs than use cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined. “Pill mills”, or doctors, clinics, and pharmacies that prescribe and/or dispense prescription narcotics irresponsibly, inappropriately, or for non-medical reasons, are a growing part of our nation’s surge in prescription drug abuse. Pill mills are pain clinics that dispense prescriptions, often without physical exams or medical record assessments.  Pill mill doctors generally let patients choose their drugs, treat ailments only with pain medication and direct patients to “their” pharmacies.

In addition to doubling the prison sentence and tripling the fine for pill mill operators, the Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011 would reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs, such as Vicodin, to provide law enforcement with greater tools to monitor their distribution and decrease access for people using them for non-medical purposes.  Reclassifying these drugs would have several benefits, including preventing patients from re-filling a hydrocodone prescription without a visit to the doctor.

Hunter: Consumers can feel much better about ComEd bill

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Hunter: Consumers can feel much better about ComEd bill

Springfield, IL – Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter, Majority Caucus Whip (D-Chicago) voted in favor of a measure that improves the Electric Grid Modernization bill, also known as the “Smart Grid” bill. Hunter said that consumers will greatly benefit from the tightened restrictions on ComEd and Ameren. 

House Bill 3036 is a trailer bill to Senate Bill 1652, which was passed earlier this year but vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn. Senator Hunter voted in favor of Senate 1652 but is pleased to see that consumer protection is more highlighted in the new measure.

“After the massive outages experienced in the Chicago-area earlier this year and seeing the success of Smart Grid technology in other areas in the nation, I believe that an update in the technology is desperately needed,” Hunter said. 

Because fully upgrading to smart grid technology could take several years to complete, House Bill 3036 ensures that equal funding is provided maintaining current system upgrades.  Performance metrics in ComEd’s Northeastern Illinois region will also be enacted to reduce outages by 20 percent.  If performance metrics within the legislation
are not achieved, utility companies will be penalized. 

“ComEd and Ameren also promised to create thousands of jobs, which will boost the economy,” Hunter continued.  “The measure requires certain jobs be created to see this project through, but for every one of those jobs not created, the company will face a penalty of $6,000.  House Bill 3036 makes sure they keep their word or suffer financial loss.” 

The measure passed the Senate and now moves to the House for further

Better Business Bureau Alert: Facebook Lottery A Scam

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau Alert: Facebook Lottery A Scam

(A Message from the Better Business Bureau)


Chicago, IL – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns a bogus email supposedly from Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is popping up in emails. The email claims the recipient is the winner of $1 millions dollars in a 2011 Sweepstake sponsored by Facebook.  

The lottery emails are not from Facebook, and the BBB warns recipients not to click on the link in the email to claim the prize. The link could lead to malware – harmful or malicious programs – being downloaded to the recipient’s computer. Also, the recipient might receive an email reply from a scammer with instructions to wire thousands of dollars up front as some sort of fee to claim the non-existent prize.

The phony Facebook lottery email makes the following claim; your details(e-mail address) falls within our European representative office in Amsterdam, Holland, as indicated in your play coupon and your prize of US$1,000000 will be released to you from this regional branch office in England.”

Recipients are asked to click on a link to claim the prize, and are told to keep the information confidential: “For security reasons, we advise all winners to keep this information confidential from the public until your claim is processed and your prize released to you … ANY BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY ON THE PART OF THE WINNERS WILL RESULT TO DISQUALIFICATION.”

The BBB offers these red flags that an email may be a scam:

  • Businesses do not email consumers out of the blue to say consumers have won a lottery prize.
  • The names of well-known businesses and individuals are often
  • used in lottery scams to give the impression of a real lottery, even though there’s no connection to the named businesses or individuals.
  • Prize winners would not be asked to click on a link in an unexpected email in order to claim a prize.
  • The demand for confidentiality is a ploy to keep recipients from turning to someone they trust for advice, or checking with authorities.

Anyone who receives scam email can report the email to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the BBB urges consumers and businesses to guard against online scams. To learn about current scams, check out the BBB Scam Source at  


“Occupy City Hall” protesters demand that Mayor Emanuel respects 1st Amendment Rights

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on “Occupy City Hall” protesters demand that Mayor Emanuel respects 1st Amendment Rights


Peace and social justice activists upset at Chicago police harassment of Occupy Chicago and verbal threats against those planning to protest the May 2012 G8/NATO summits launched a non-violent action dubbed “Occupy City Hall” yesterday at the intersection of LaSalle and Jackson.  The action included a march on City Hall.

In light of the City’s arrests of peaceful Occupy Chicago protesters exercising their 1st Amendment rights last Saturday night and the Saturday before that, activists demanded that the City drop all the charges against the protesters.  During and after the arrests, senior CPD officers and other city officials repeatedly remarked that the City’s arrests of over 300 were a dry run for crackdowns on anti-G8/NATO protesters next May.

On a parallel front, since July anti-war organizers in the Coalition Against NATO / G8 War and Poverty Agenda (“CANG8”) have delivered letters and attempted to meet with the city regarding respect for the 1st amendment rights of protesters during the NATO and G8 summits that will take place in Chicago in May 2012.  Their first communications were met with silence, and then repeated calls to city officials in charge of the permitting process were met with a run-around and then with continued silence.

For the G8 / NATO summits, the protesters are demanding that Mayor Emanuel publicly commit to giving march permits that allow protesters to get “within sight and sound” of the summits, and that Police Superintendent McCarthy cease making threatening statements against would-be G8/NATO protesters. 

“The G8 and the NATO military alliance are two of the institutions which bear some of the greatest responsibility for the wars and economic violence traumatizing millions of people around the world,” said Pat Hunt of CANG8.  “Previous meetings of NATO and G8 in other cities have seen massive violations of civil rights by police, resulting in millions of dollars of successful lawsuits against the host city governments.  As such, the City should forthrightly commit to upholding the 1st amendment rights of protesters and rein in the verbal threats coming from police brass.”

“In addition to dropping the charges against Occupy Chicago participants, the group is also demanding that the City allow a permanent 1st Amendment encampment for the Occupy movement, just as many other major cities now do.”

For more information about the action, email CCAWR@aol.com

Student Laureates to be honored by Lincoln Academy November 5

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Student Laureates to be honored by Lincoln Academy November 5

Ceremony at Old State Capitol recognizes the top student from each college and university in Illinois


 Springfield, IL  – The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will honor outstanding senior college students and one student from among all of the community college students in Illinois during the annual Student Laureate Convocation at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 5 the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield .

The Lincoln Academy ’s Student Laureate Awards are presented for excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities to seniors from each of the four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities in Illinois .  At the Student Laureate Convocation, each will receive a Student Laureate Medallion, along with an honorarium check and certificate of achievement.  This event will mark the 37th year that students have been honored by the Academy.

 “These students have exhibited a personal commitment to excel as seen by their remarkable academic accomplishments,” said Thomas S. Johnson, Chancellor of the Lincoln Academy , who added, “They serve as role models to other Illinois students.  With hard-working and dedicated young leaders such as these, Illinois and the rest of the nation can look forward to a bright future.”

 Student Laureate Rebecca Ann Kamp of Augustana College will speak on behalf of all the Laureates.  The invocation will be delivered by Susan Koch, Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Springfield , and the benediction will be given by The Reverend Stanley L. Davis, Jr.  The Sangamon Woodwind Consort will provide music, and a luncheon at the Illinois Executive Mansion will follow the Student Laureate Convocation.

The Lincoln Academy , unique among the 50 states, was established 47 years ago to honor Illinois ’ most distinguished citizens with the state’s highest award, the Order of Lincoln.  The 48th Annual Convocation and Investiture of Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois will take place Saturday, April 21, 2012 at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield .  The convocation planning co-chairs are Donald and Wanda Tracy.



School                                    Student                                   Home Town


Augustana College                     Rebecca Ann Kamp                  Rockford , IL                            

Aurora University                       Emma J. Hill                             Alpine, CA

Benedictine University                Lemuel “James” Dahan             Lisle, IL

Blackburn College                      Ruthie J. Kahl                           Bunker Hill , IL                         

Bradley University                      Kathleen M. Clemens                Tinley Park , IL

Chicago State University             Aisha Lynn Williams                  Chicago , IL

Columbia College                       Blair A. Mishleau                      Janesville , WI                          

Concordia University                  Adam E. Carnehl                      Palatine , IL

DePaul University                      Jonae Kates                              Chicago , IL                   

Dominican University                 Marlena Ceballos                      Chicago , IL

Eastern Illinois University            Cassie Lynn Fuller                     Ottawa , IL       

Elmhurst College                        Hannah M. Thompson               Glenview , IL    

Eureka College                           Katelyn G. Rowen                     Moline , IL

Governors State University         Darwin Gordon                         Chicago , IL       

Greenville College                      Joshua D. Cranston                   Seattle , WA

Illinois College                            Meaghan Karaffa                      Girard, IL

IL Institute of Technology          Urba R. Mandrekar                   United Arab Emirates

Illinois State University               Elizabeth E. Flores                     Berwyn , IL      

Illinois Wesleyan University        Lauren Contorno                       Elburn, IL

Judson University                       Rachel L. Delph                        Dunlap, IL

Knox College                             Lauren M. Smith                       Carthage , IL

Lake Forest College                   Allyson M. Bain                        Vernon Hills, IL

Lake Land College                     Kiersten Kasey                         Ashmore, IL

Lewis University                        Salvatore Ursino                        Park Ridge , IL

Lincoln College                          Jamie M. Kilpatrick                   Normal , IL

Loyola University                       Margaret A. Meza                    Plano , IL          

MacMurray College                   Matthew T. Stock                     Chapin, IL

McKendree University               Michael J. Anderson                  Belleville , IL                 

Millikin University                       Kelsey Nihiser                          Decatur, IL

Monmouth College                     Alexander B. Holt                     Evanston , IL

North Central College                 Emily L. Rademaker                  Cary, IL

North Park University                 Hannah A. Haugen                   Milwaukie , OR

Northeastern Illinois Univ.           Jessica Mamola                         Chicago, IL                              

Northern Illinois University          Nora K. Lindvall                       DeKalb, IL

Olivet Nazarene University         Kyle A. Lowry                          Winamac , IN

Principia College                        Christian Richardson                  Chesterfield , MO

Quincy University                       Kevin R. Hahn                          Peoria , IL

Rockford College                       Samuel J. Randall                      Caledonia , IL   

Roosevelt University                   Rosie E. Hatzilabrou                  St. Charles, IL

St. Xavier University                  Julie Keller                                New Lenox, IL

Southern IL U. – Carbondale      Anthony M. Graham                  Mt. Vernon , IL

Southern IL U. – Edwardsville   Jenna R. Schneider                    Bethalto, IL

Trinity Christian University          Alberto A. LaRosa                    Glendale Heights , IL

Trinity International University    David R. Mackett                      Brookfield , WI             

University of Chicago                 Diamon C. Lockett                    Berwyn , IL

Univ. of IL – Chicago                 Nicholas Flores                         Chicago , IL

Univ. of IL – Springfield             Amanda D. Wilczynski              Compton , IL

U of I – Urbana/Champaign       William A. Tabrizi                     Vernon Hills, IL           

Univ. of St. Francis                    Margaret M. Motto                   New Lenox , IL

Western Illinois University          Laura A. Lins                           Racine , WI

Wheaton College                        Graham R. Smith                       Naperville , IL

Bill allowing pharmacies to track, block sale of key meth ingredient passes House

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Bill allowing pharmacies to track, block sale of key meth ingredient passes House

 Legislation Backed by Attorney General Would Extend Program That Allows Pharmacies to Block Illegal Pseudoephedrine Sales 


Springfield, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded House lawmakers for passing a bill that would help pharmacies and law enforcement crack down on “pill shoppers” seeking to make methamphetamine. House members voted 116-0 to send SB 73 to the Senate chamber.

SB 73 would extend the statewide, electronic program that allows pharmacies to block illegal sales of pseudoephedrine, the key meth ingredient, if the sale would exceed the legal purchase amount. The system has operated since June 2010 and is set to expire in January.

“Meth is a unique drug that, like a virus, continues to mutate and reemerge as a threat in Illinois,” Attorney General Madigan said. “We must ensure that law enforcement has every tool at its disposal to keep this drug out of our communities. This system will help to identify the criminals who are illegally buying and stockpiling pills to cook meth.”

Consumers are currently restricted from buying more than two packages of pseudoephedrine products at a time or products with more than 7,500 milligrams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period, under the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act of 2006. The restrictions cut in half the number of meth labs reported, from 761 in 2006 to 362 in 2007.

But Madigan said meth producers have now adapted to these restrictions by using small, legal amounts of pseudoephedrine to mix meth in two-liter bottles, producing limited but still dangerous amounts of the drug.

The statewide tracking system has served as a key tool for law enforcement fighting the rise of this small-scale production, dubbed “one-pot” or “shake ‘n bake” methods. The system allows authorities to target pill shoppers traveling from pharmacy to pharmacy to purchase legal pseudoephedrine amounts and stockpile the ingredient to make meth using this new method. From June 2010 to the start of October 2011, pharmacies used the system to block the sale of more than 70,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine-based cold medication.

“The effects of meth are devastating, widespread, and way too frequent,” said Rep. Jerry Costello II, the House bill sponsor. “This legislation will create a permanent, statewide PSE tracking system to block bulk  sales of PSE and help curb the production of meth in Illinois.”

Sen. William Haine will sponsor SB 73 in the Senate.

As Attorney General, Madigan has worked to combat the scourge of meth use and production in Illinois, passing tough laws, including the 2006 Precursor Control Act, to crack down on the sale of pseudoephedrine and strengthening penalties for those convicted of meth-related offenses.

Beyond Sport announces program for 2011 Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in Cape Town

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Beyond Sport announces program for 2011 Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in Cape Town


Tony Blair and Michael Johnson to address Cape Town gathering

 South African stars to speak on role of sport, music and film in social change

UNICEF and United Nations to lead Symposium exploring sport’s impact on girls’ education


Beyond Sport revealed the program for the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards, with influential figures from the worlds of sport, business, politics and philanthropy set to gather in Cape Town to explore sport’s role in social change.

Highlights of the four-day programme will include the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, Chairman of the Beyond Sport Ambassadors, and four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson addressing the gathering, bringing their own extensive experience to the table.

On the second day of the Summit, UNICEF and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) will lead a Symposium exploring the impact of sport on girls’ education. Specially invited attendees will continue a dialogue begun at the 2010 Beyond Sport Summit in Chicago, with a focus on the UNGEI report that carried out a mapping of sport and girls’ education.

On the third day of the Summit, a unique panel of South African stars will discuss the intersection of sport, music and film around social change. Actress and television presenter Vanessa Haywood, the musician Danny K, and Lucas Radebe, the former captain of the South Africa national football team, will focus on the challenges currently facing their home country, where a world-class sport and entertainment industry is juxtaposed with some of the globe’s most serious social issues.

The third and fourth days of the Beyond Sport Summit will also see the winners of the 2011 Beyond Sport Awards announced. 35 projects have been shortlisted, covering 18 countries and 22 different sports. They were chosen from close to 400 entries from more than 125 countries that submitted applications to this year’s Awards. The Beyond Sport Award winners will receive a substantial package of business support to help them grow and become sustainable in the future.

Throughout the week, the Beyond Sport Summit will use a combination of networking opportunities, insightful panels, and action-led working sessions to bring together those who use sport as a vehicle to create social impact with influential figures from the worlds of business, government and federations, whose attitudes and decisions can have substantial impact in the field.

Beyond Sport is a global initiative that seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual with the goal to drive positive social change through sport. It is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME Inc and UNICEF.

For the full programme of the 2011 Beyond Sport Summit and Awards, or for more information on Beyond Sport, visit www.beyondsport.org.

Black-owned book publishing company to donate 50% of all its profits for scholarships for students to attend HBCUS

Posted by Admin On October - 27 - 2011 Comments Off on Black-owned book publishing company to donate 50% of all its profits for scholarships for students to attend HBCUS


Charles Gray, CEO of ATuskegeeAudio.com


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — In commemoration with the dedication of the Martin Luther King memorial, ATuskegeeAudio.com, an independent book publishing company, will donate 50% of its profits to send students to Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs).

The ever rising cost of higher education is an ongoing problem parents and students face each year. It is the goal of the web site to help ease the burden for those who could otherwise not afford the high cost of a college education.

While the Pell and Perkins Grants are available to some students these funds are limited. To help try and bridge the gap in this ongoing problem, ATuskegeeaudio.com pledges to offer scholarships to those students who qualify. These scholarships will be offered to undergraduate students no matter their classification.

ATuskegeeAudio.com was formed due to the lack of diversity in stories and fairytales about African Americans. The publishing company will release the first of eighteen finished books, entitled The Mushroom People, on October 25, 2011. It is their mission to build a long and lasting relationship with the system of HBCUs.

For more information, visit www.ATuskegeeAudio.com.

Richmond Free Press makes racial breakthrough in Virginia Supreme Court

Posted by Admin On October - 26 - 2011 Comments Off on Richmond Free Press makes racial breakthrough in Virginia Supreme Court

By Jeremy M. Lazarus


photographer(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Richmond Free Press photographer Sandra Sellars made history when she covered the historic investiture of Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cleo E. Powell on Friday, Oct. 21.

When the prize-winning photographer arrived at the state’s highest court to cover the Powell formal installation, she became:

  • · The first Black newspaper photographer to cover an investiture in the 232-year history of the court, which is located across the street from the State Capitol.
  • · The first woman newspaper photographer to cover a Supreme Court investiture, according to Free Press research.

Overton Jones, a retired Richmond daily editor, agreed that Ms. Sellars was a likely gender history maker in Richmond journalism. “I don’t recall any” woman photographer covering a Supreme Court investiture, said Jones, who worked first for the defunct Richmond News Leader and later for the Richmond Times-Dispatch a total of 55 years, beginning in 1938.
Sellars’ presence will add to the historical significance of the installation of Justice Powell, the first Black female justice elected to the court by the General Assembly.

Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser’s approval of Sellars represents a major victory for the decade-long Free Press campaign to change the court’s guidelines that previously barred photographers from the Free Press and other Black-owned newspapers, as well as those from non-dailies. Earlier, the chief justice, in response to another Free Press campaign, expunged sexist references from the court’s website.

The racial breakthrough in Virginia could – by example – open doors for Black newspapers across the country. Old rules, based on vestitures of racism remain in high courts and state houses around the nation.
The new Kinser guidelines, for the first time, allow a pool photographer for non-daily newspapers and one, as usual, for dailies. Previously, the court only allowed one pool photographer in the courtroom – and that photographer always came from a White-owned daily or The Associated Press.
For the Oct. 21 Powell investiture, Steve Helber, a veteran photographer for The Associated Press, was designated to provide pool coverage for dailies.

The court notified the Free Press of the guideline change in an Oct. 6 email to Raymond H. Boone, Free Press editor/publisher. The email also notified Mr. Boone of the selection of Ms. Sellars to “serve as the pool photographer representing non-daily newspapers.” The email was sent by Katya N. Herndon, the state court’s director of legislative and public relations.

Sellars also represented the 200 newspaper members of the National Newspaper Publishers Association of which the Free Press is a member.

The ceremony took place inside the court’s marbled and pillared courtroom that was packed with more than 250 well wishers. They included U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, Federal Judge Roger Gregory, Gov. Bob McDonnell, Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli, Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, state judges and legislators, family and friends. Another 250 people watched the 80-minute ceremony in overflow courtrooms that received a live feed.

A solemn Justice Powell raised her right hand and put her left hand on the Bible belonging to her late father, Milas Powell Jr., a Bible held by her mother, Mary C. Powell, and husband of 22 years, Alvin L. Dilworth, a Chesterfield County deputy sheriff.

Then her three children proudly helped the trailblazing justice into her black judicial robe.

The court’s policy change stems from a Sept. 19 meeting between Chief Justice Kinser, Justice Powell and Boone, who was accompanied by Ms. Sellars and two other staff members – reporter Jeremy Lazarus and photographer Jerome Reid. At the rare face-to-face between the chief justice and the press, the chief justice also was accompanied by the court’s executive secretary, Karl R. Hade, and Ms. Herndon.

During the cordial, hour-long meeting in the chief justice’s office, the chief justice told Boone that the court was seeking to revamp its coverage policies to improve access to its ceremonies. She outlined the two-photographer policy for ceremonial events in the high court’s small courtroom during the meeting. At the time, she would only say the policy change was under consideration.
The Free Press challenged the court’s ban on the newspaper’s access to ceremonies as a violation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press. Boone also contended that the old policy promoted monopoly journalism.

The Free Press campaign began in 2003 when the state’s first black chief justice, the late Leroy Rountree Hassell, rejected a pledge to the Free Press to cover his investiture after the pledge had tentatively been offered by the court’s staff.

At the time, Justice Hassell did so to maintain the court’s tradition of allowing only one press pool photographer at such events. “I want to keep everything traditional,” he was quoted as saying. During his tenure that ended just before his death last winter, he refused to consider any change to the policy despite repeated Free Press editorials challenging his position.

The Free Press continued its campaign after Chief Justice Kinser took office Feb. 1, only to be rebuffed in seeking to cover the Sept. 1 investiture of new Justice Elizabeth A. McClannahan. Chief Justice Kinser set up the meeting with Boone after he wrote her Aug. 30, protesting the Free Press’ exclusion from the McClannahan investiture and past ceremonies and urging her to lead the change in the court’s press policy.
The Free Press also gained support for its position from the NNPA, Virginia Press Association and the Coalition for Open Government.

A standing ovation resounded as Justice Powell was escorted to the bench by three men she said played important roles in her career success: Norfolk native John Charles Thomas, the first black Supreme Court justice who is now a Richmond lawyer; Richmond state Sen. Henry L. Marsh III of Richmond and Chief Justice Hassell, also a Norfolk native.

In his remarks at the investiture, Gov. McDonnell, a Republican, hailed Justice Powell’s arrival on the court as fresh milestone in the effort to develop “a more perfect union and provide more equal justice.” He noted a black woman on the court could never have been imagined in 1623 when the original colonial court of appeals was created or in 1779 when its successor, the state Supreme Court, was established by the legislature.”What a tremendous day,” he enthused.
He pointed out that Justice Powell was being formally installed, while across the street at the State Capitol, a building designed by slave-holding Thomas Jefferson and built by slaves, filming was going on for a movie about the “Great Emancipator,” President Abraham Lincoln.

Photo Caption:

Richmond Free Press Photographer Sandra Sellars and Free Press Editor/Publisher Raymond H. Boone approach an entrance at the Virginia Supreme Court before she became the first woman and first Black person to photograph, representing newspapers, to cover the Virginia Supreme Court’s Investiture. PHOTO: Jerome Reid/Richmond Free Press

Photo Caption:

Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cleo E. Powell is applauded by fellow members of the court after she is sworn in Oct. 21 as the first Black woman to serve as a justice in the court’s 232-year history. PHOTO: Sandra Sellars/Richmond Free Press

Madigan: Ban use of phone numbers as credit cards

Posted by Admin On October - 25 - 2011 Comments Off on Madigan: Ban use of phone numbers as credit cards


Illinois Attorney General urges FCC to outlaw cramming practice that costs consumers $2 billion a year  



Chicago, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged the Federal Communications Commission to implement a nationwide ban on phone bill “cramming,” a practice that uses unaware consumers’ telephone numbers like credit cards, racking up hundreds of unauthorized charges consumers never asked for or wanted.

Madigan filed comments with the Commission today as it decides how to detect and prevent the practice of cramming, calling for a ban on all third-party billing on local telephone bills.

“Most consumers don’t understand that their phone number can be used as a credit card for products and services that have absolutely nothing to do with their phone,” Attorney General Madigan said. “This scam has become such a persistent problem that it’s costing consumers up to $2 billion a year. It’s clear that the only effective solution is a ban on third-party charges on phone bills.”

In July, Madigan testified before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, urging lawmakers to pass a ban to prevent cramming. In recent years, Madigan said consumers have increasingly reported being scammed online. Internet users report simply submitting their phone number, among other information, for online prize drawings, surveys or free recipes. Weeks or months later, consumers find charges on their phone bill for services they did not authorize or use.

Madigan has filed 30 lawsuits against third-party billing companies and investigated many others. In one lawsuit, a company billed more than 9,800 Illinois consumers for credit repair services. The billed consumers included a county coroner’s office, a Steak ‘n Shake restaurant and a Springfield public library dial-a-story telephone line. For more information or to report being scammed, contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotlines:

Chicago 1-800-386-5438

Springfield 1-800-243-0618
Carbondale 1-800-243-0607

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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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