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Archive for November 11th, 2011

Lt. Gov. Simon urges Congress to support military children

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Lt. Gov. Simon urges Congress to support military children

Simon backs federal Impact Aid for North Chicago schools


Chicago, IL – On Veteran’s Day, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon urged Illinois members of Congress to maximize federal education funding for school districts serving Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago.

In a letter sent to the delegation today, Simon asked U.S. House members to support legislation that would allow the five elementary and high school districts that serve Great Lakes families to continue pooling their student cohorts to qualify for a higher rate of federal Impact Aid.

Impact Aid is designed to help cover the cost of educating students whose families live or work on federally owned, property tax-exempt land, such as military bases. Without the legislation, North Chicago-area schools could lose millions of dollars.

Simon serves as the Governor’s point person on education reform and is the chair of the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee. The legislation is supported by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

“As we celebrate Veterans’ Day and honor those who have served and are serving our country, it is important that we support their families as well,” Simon said in the letter.

The federal Impact Aid funding would benefit all students in five public school districts serving Great Lakes: Glenbrook High School District 225, Glenview School District 34, North Chicago District 187, North Shore District 112, and Township High School District 113.

More than 35,000 U.S. Navy recruits pass through Great Lakes’ doors each year, joining an additional 13,500 students who attend training schools on the base annually. About 2,000 children of Great Lakes personnel attend public schools in the area.

As chair of the military base committee, Simon coordinates the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois, and also provides advice and recommendations for base retention, realignment and reuse efforts.

The military base committee was established in 2005 in response to nationwide base closures, and it continues to coordinate local, state and federal action on retention, realignment and reuse efforts.

Music Institute of Chicago honors extraordinary legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., welcomes Brotherhood Chorale

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Music Institute of Chicago honors extraordinary legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., welcomes Brotherhood Chorale

8th Annual FREE Martin Luther King Celebration: January 15 at Nichols Concert Hall 


The Music Institute of Chicago honors the extraordinary legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at its eighth annual celebration of the legendary civic leader, featuring the renowned Brotherhood Chorale of the Apostolic Church of God. This free concert takes place Sunday, January 15 at 5 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.

The 180-member male choral group, led by conductor Brian C. Rice, will again perform an electrifying program of repertoire offering traditional and contemporary gospel and jazz arrangements. 

Admission is free; all contributions that evening benefit the William Warfield Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Music Institute of Chicago, which annually offers need-based financial assistance for minority students. William Warfield, famed operatic baritone, was a longstanding member of the Music Institute’s board of trustees. This concert is generously sponsored by Schaefer’s Wines, Foods and Spirits.

About the Brotherhood Chorale

The nationally recognized Brotherhood Chorale was founded in Chicago in 1969 with less than 30 members. Under the guidance of its current and visionary director, Brian Rice, the Brotherhood Chorale has built an impressive repertoire and grown to approximately 180 members. In addition to performing every fourth Sunday for service, the choir sings outside the church and has been featured at the South Shore Cultural Center and the Chicago Civic Orchestra, among others.

About the Music Institute of Chicago

The Music Institute of Chicago believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music. As one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation, the Music Institute offers musical excellence built on the strength of its distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services. Founded in 1931 and one of the oldest community music schools in Illinois, the Music Institute is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, the Music Institute’s world-class music teachers and arts therapists provide the highest quality arts education to more than 5,000 students of all ability levels, from birth to 101 years of age at campuses in Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Winnetka, and Downers Grove. The Music Institute also offers lessons and programs at the Steinway of Chicago store in Northbrook and early childhood and community engagement programs throughout the Chicago area and the North Shore. Nichols Concert Hall, an education and performance center located in downtown Evanston, reaches approximately 14,000 people each year. The Music Institute of Chicago’s community engagement and partnership programs reach an additional 6,500 Chicago Public School students annually. The Music Institute offers lessons, classes, and programs through four distinct areas: Community School, The Academy, Creative Arts Therapy (Institute for Therapy through the Arts), and Nichols Concert Hall. 

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is free. For information visit musicinst.org or call 847.905.1500 ext. 108.                                                           

Better Business Bureau warns of scams targeting veterans and military personnel

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau warns of scams targeting veterans and military personnel

(Message from the Better Business Bureau)


Chicago, IL – Veterans Day honors those who served our country. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when scammers come out to take advantage of our veterans and active duty personnel, cautions the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB).

“It is disgraceful that those who are among the most dedicated and selfless of our public servants would be targeted by scammers, but they are,” said Steve J. Bernas, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Our military consumers need to be aware of common scams aimed at them and ways to avoid becoming a victim.”

Veteran’s scams can take many forms. The BBB warns of the following types of scams that may put veterans at risk of fraud or identity theft.

Scams to Watch For:

  • Look out for firms that target veterans and charge them for products and services they can receive free or at lower cost elsewhere, such as military records and forms.
  • Be cautious of scammers who contact veterans saying that they need to update their credit card information or other records with the Veterans Administration. The scammers then use this information to commit identity theft.
  • Hang up on fraudsters calling themselves veteran’s advocates who try to convince veterans that they can get more benefits by transferring their investments into an irrevocable trust, which often contains unsuitable investments.
  • Military Loans: Flashy offers promising “up to 40 percent of your monthly take home pay,” “guaranteed loans,” “instant approval,” “no credit check,” “all ranks approved,” often come with sky-high interest rates and hidden fees designed to bilk borrowers out of cash and may damage financial security.
  • Housing: Ads promising military discounts and too-good-to-be-true incentives often use stolen photos of legitimate rental properties to bait renters out of security deposits via money transfer schemes.
  • Cars: Low-priced vehicles posted on classified ad websites tout discounts for military personnel, or claim to be from soldiers who need to sell fast because they’ve been deployed. Schemers convince buyers to wire money; however, vehicle data is stolen and the car does not exist.
  • Veterans For Hire: This scam targets our younger veterans. Scammers pose online as representatives of government contracting firms. When veterans contact them for a job, they ask for a copy of the veteran’s passport before they can officially offer them a job. There is no job to offer and the con artist now has personal information that can be used for identity theft.
  • Watch out for questionable charity appeals that raise funds on behalf of military organizations. Visit www.bbb.org/charity for a list of nationally soliciting charities to make sure any charity you’re interested in donating to meets BBB’s Standards.

The BBB advises service members, veterans and all consumers never to give personal identification information (Social Security, bank account, military identification or credit card numbers, etc.) to anyone who contacts them by phone or e-mail, and to be wary of any solicitations that involve purchasing something or transferring money. Consumers can check out businesses and charities for free at www.bbb.org

For more information on keeping yourself and our veteran’s safe, visit www.bbb.org

PETAL et al. Adds Three More Free Video Game Design and Development Workshops to this Year’s Final Agenda

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on PETAL et al. Adds Three More Free Video Game Design and Development Workshops to this Year’s Final Agenda

By Juanita Bratcher

Attendees at PETAL et al’s training workshops got their game on…and liked it

After four successful training sessions on Video Game Design and Development in Chicago and South Holland, IL, PETAL el al. will hold three additional workshops focusing on Graphics & Animation for Video Games, Music & Sound Effects for Video Games, and Script Writing for Video Games.

A survey to get feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly gratifying to PETAL et al. administrators when learning from attendees that the training sessions were deemed meaningful, educational and entertaining. At times interactions between team members working on projects together brought out the “kid” in them, especially when putting story boards and game ideas together (they were split up in teams during the Script Writing session).

The next training session, a four-hour workshop, will be held Saturday, November 12, at the Avalon Library, 8148 S. Stony Island Ave., in the East Conference Room, from Noon-4 p.m. Pamela McMillan, President & CEO of PETAL et al., will give an overview of PETAL et al.’s training agenda, and Clarence McMillan, PETAL et al.’s Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, will teach Graphics & Animation for Video Games.

Attendance is already filled for the Music & Sound Effects session, scheduled for Saturday, November 26, from 1-5 p.m. That class is being taught by Michele McMillan, one of Chicago’s top notch programmers, and Samuel Piazza, an outstanding Musician & Sound Engineer. This class is for those who are interested in creating video game music and sound effects, and who like to create video games as well as soundscapes.

Currently, there is one seat available in the Graphics & Animation for Video Games class and two seats available in the Script Writing class.

Sonya Bratcher, Events Coordinator & Writer for PETAL et al., will teach a two-hour workshop on Script Writing for Video Games, December 3, from 3-5 p.m. This will be the final training session for 2011.

Classes are limited from eight to twelve people, unlike previous sessions that were open to about 30 people. This is done in order to give participants more attention to their projects. Invariably, these skills can be used for websites and animated movies as well.

For those who are interested in video game graphics and animation, and who like to write, draw, and come up with video game ideas, PETAL et al.‘s training sessions will introduce an overview of the skills and education necessary to get into the industry. All participants must register prior to the event on the PETAL et al’s Website: training.petaletal.org.

Participants must bring a photo I.D. on first day of class.

Other Requirements:

A pen or pencil to write and/or draw with
Optional: Laptop (It is strongly suggested that participants bring a laptop so they can follow along.)
Ages: 17-Adult

Pamela McMillan said after the first four sessions they decided to make the class size smaller to give more time to students individually. “Having smaller classes, we will be able to give more attention to students on an individual basis,” she said. “I was ecstatic to see that during the first four training sessions how participants were enjoying themselves and working in teams in a project-based environment. And although video games can be technical, the creativity portion of it tends to bring out the kid in everybody.

“At the start of the sessions, I inform participants that if they thought they were not creative I would prove them wrong. I feel that the brainstorming sessions reminded them that they don’t have to come up with ideas on their own, and when they finally understood how storyboards work and the different resources they could draw information on, it seemed that a lot of creative blocks were removed.”

Editor’s Note: All of the aforementioned training sessions will be held at Avalon Library, 8148 S. Stony Island.

Remembering my cousin, an 18-year-old Englewood War Hero

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Remembering my cousin, an 18-year-old Englewood War Hero

Tune into today, Friday, November 11, 2011, at 5 p.m. to hear from the war hero’s family on WVON’s Cliff Kelley show (1690 AM) or click on: www.wvon.com.


 By Chinta Strausberg


It will be 46-years since my cousin, Army Pfc. Milton Lee Olive III, spotted a live grenade during a search-and-destroy mission in Vietnam, placed the device on his stomach and allowed it to explode saving the lives of four comrades. Forthat act of bravery, he became the first African American to have received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

On October 22, 1965, Skipper, as we called him, was just 16-days shy of his 19th birthday when he decided to save the lives of his comrades, Jimmy B. Stanford, Sgt. Vince Yrineo, John Foster and Lionell Hubbard.  The latter two, both African American, have since died and Yrineo is in a nursing home in Washington State.

But, because of Skipper’s heroic act, all four men have grandchildren today. Stanford told me he used to be a racist until Skipper saved his life. We talk often. He is a changed man who has begun to wonder why did God spare his life on that dreadful day.

Skipper was the only child of Milton B. Olive II, who was related to my paternal grandmother, Zelphia Wareagle Spencer. She and her husband, Jacob Augustus Spencer, who lived in Englewood, raised young Olive from the time he was born. Skipper’s mother, Clara Lee Olive, died giving birth to Skipper who was a breech baby.

Skipper was a privileged child, and his father spoiled him terribly buying his suits and cameras. A professional photographer himself, he taught his son the art of photography at a very young age.

My grandparents sent Skipper to the Fuller Grammar School here in Chicago then to the Copernicus Grammar School not far from where he lived at 6012 S. Loomis in a home his father bought and where my grandparents lived.

He later went to Beale Grammar School and the St. Raphael Grammar School and for the next three-years, he attended the Saints Junior College High School. Skipper was bored and dropped out of high school.

A widower, his father married Chicago Public School teacher Antoinette Mainor. Skipper was not being challenged in school and ran away to Lexington, MS, where his paternal grandparents lived. However, Skipper’s grandmother blew the whistle on him and called his dad. Skipper had joined a Mississippi voter registration campaign, and she feared he would be killed.

She had good cause to be worried because it was on August 28, 1955 that Emmett Till was killed by white men who shot him and mutilated his body to the point it was barely recognizable. Why? They claimed he whistled at the wife of one of the men. Emmett, a Chicagoan, was only 14 and was visiting his relatives in Money, MS.

Fearing that the KKK would kill his son, his father called Skipper and gave him three choices: go back to school, get a job or join the military.

At the age of 17, Skipper enlisted in the regular Army on August 17, 1964. He was a paratrooper and after being injured was awarded a Purple Heart for an act of bravery. When an injured Skipper came back home, he told his father he had to go back and “finish my job.” Skipper was in love with America. When he came home, he would sit on the couch watching TV in his uniform. Other soldiers would go out to a bar but not Skipper. He stayed by my grandmother’s side eating her homemade cookies and watching TV in full uniform.

From August 1964 to October 1964, Skipper was in basic combat training at the U.S. Army Training Center in Fort Knox, KY.

From October 1965 to January 1965, he was in the U.S. Army Artillery and Missile School, at Ft. Sill, OK. From February 1965 to March of 1965, he was in the U.S. Army Training Center, Fort Polk, LA and from April 1965 to May 1965 he was in the U.S. Army Infantry School in Ft. Benning, GA. His last assignment was from May 1965 to October 22, 1965 where he was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam.

On April 21, 1966, President Lyndon Johnson posthumously presented Skipper’s father with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Skipper was the first black to have received this Medal during the Vietnam War. It is the highest honor this nation can bestow on a soldier and according to government officials, it was the third Medal of Honor awarded during the Vietnam conflict.

On June 19, 1966 in Chicago, the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, Stanley R. Resor, Secretary of the Army, Skippers parents and other relatives, dedicated Olive Park, 500 North Lake Shore Drive, in honor of Skipper’s heroic act.

A prominent South Side Church of God in Christ minister was instrumental in convincing the late Mayor Richard J. Daley to name both Olive/Harvey College and Olive Park after Skipper.

Elder Kevin Anthony Ford’s grandfather, the late Bishop Henry Louis Ford, founder of St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 4526 So. Wabash Ave., currently headed by his father, Bishop Charles Mason Ford, was present at the 1966 dedication of Olive Park named in honor of Milton Lee Olive III.

Elder Ford, who also heads the Church’s Community Development Ministries, Inc., shared with me his vivid recollections of that dedication.

“Olive Park was the first phase,” said Elder Ford. “I remember that my grandfather, in conjunction of other leaders and Mayor Richard J. Daley, named the park after Pfc. Olive. I remember that vividly.

“I remember he was noted for his heroic action in saving the other men in his squad by diving on that hand grenade and stopping them from their death. That was considered very heroic, and he became a war hero and someone to be admired for his valor and his selflessness,” Elder Ford said. His grandfather was also key in getting Mayor Daley to name Olive/Harvey College after Skipper as well.

On October 22, 2011, it will be 46 years since Skipper’s death, and on November 7th, Skipper would have turned 65-years old.

The last time I spoke to Skipper’s dad, I simply call Uncle Milton, was in February of 1993.  I was at my Cousin Charlie’s auto parts store. He repeatedly asked me to never let the world forget what his son, his only child, did for this country. Over the years since Skipper’s death he had asked me the same thing, but this time it turned out to be a deathbed wish.

Uncle Milton died in March of 1993 while I was on covering an international crime summit in Jamaica sponsored by Rev. Harold E. Bailey.

I’d like to thank those who lifted up the memory of Skipper especially: President Lyndon Johnson, Mayor Daley, his son, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, then Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, Ald. James Balcer (11th), ex-veteran Rochelle Crump, the late Lawrence Pucci, Tom LaPorte from Chicago’s Water Filtration Plant that sits next to Olive Park, and Rev. Dr. Lewis Flowers for naming a post after Skipper.

During my last talk with Uncle Milton he told me: “I just want people to remember the deeds of Skipper and the other sons of the nation lest they not die in vain.” And on November 7th, Skipper would have celebrated his 65th birthday. Happy belated birthday, Skipper.

To my Uncle Milton, I say to you with the deepest of respect I shall honor your deathbed wish and keep Skipper’s name lifted up to the heavens for as long as I live. Thank you for the many, many hours you shared with me about your son especially during our family reunions in Union Pier and on the phone. Those were precious moment I will never forget.

And, lastly, to Capt. Stanford thank you for sharing your feelings about that fateful day including how before Skipper’s act of heroism you were a racist but now judge people by their hearts and not by the color of their skin. You see, America, the blood Skipper spilled in Vietnam is still healing today.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Author Doris Bibbs shares chilling story of her and siblings growing up with a schizophrenic mother in moving autobiographical novel “Breaking The Glass Cage”

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Author Doris Bibbs shares chilling story of her and siblings growing up with a schizophrenic mother in moving autobiographical novel “Breaking The Glass Cage”


 Sylvia Dickerson has been a devoted military wife to her husband, Frank Dickerson, for ten years, and has been a caring mother to her seven children. Unbeknownst to herself and her loving family, she struggles silently with paranoia traits. One night, while her husband is away for military training, Sylvia becomes engulfed by her illusions and wakes her children in a hysterical fit. The children find themselves caught in an uninviting world as they try to determine where the illusions end and reality begins.


Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — Nearly everyone has had an occasion to observe some abnormal behaviors of persons who suffer from a mental disorder known as paranoid schizophrenia. When in their presence, we find ourselves feeling uncomfortable and even frightened. Imagine what it must have been like for eight siblings growing up with a loving and caring mother who frequently exhibited signs of delusions, auditory hallucinations (hearing voices), and other symptoms that her children found confusing and downright scary. Author Doris Bibbs shares those puzzling and terrifying experiences in her brilliantly-written autobiographical novel “Breaking the Glass Cage” (iUniverse, Inc., ISBN-10: 0595270603, paperback, 190pp).

“Helena, make sure all the children are here,” Sylvia sounded disheartened as she pushed more furniture toward the front door. Helena stood. “No, no Helena,” Sylvia snapped waving the knife, “please get down on your hands and knees. We don’t want the enemy to know we’re here. They will come in and kill us.” Helena fell on the floor and crawled gently on her knees, softly tapping each sibling as if they were playing tag. “Everyone’s here, Mama,” she whispered eagerly looking back at her mother. Her eyes suddenly widen, chills spiraled up her spine as her heart pounded against her chest… Reality for Sylvia seemed to have completely vanished; her mind was back in the year of 1943 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Sylvia could hear people screaming for help, machine guns firing, and bombs hitting the islands of Hawaii.

When Bibbs first expressed her intent to make her family’s story public, she encountered resistance from two of her siblings. Eventually they came around to allow their wounded sister to unload the secret burden that weighed so heavily on her heart.

Sylvia Dickerson was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia – a mental disorder characterized by separation between thought and emotions, delusions, and bizarre behavior. Following Frank’s early military separation, the family left the Hawaiian island where he was stationed and returned home to South Bend, Indiana. Sylvia was flown on a separate plane to South Bend where she was placed in a mental institution. She would remain there until she was emotionally balanced, or stable and in her right mind, before she was able to go home to her family. It was a little over a year before Sylvia would see her children again.

About every three years, Sylvia would stop taking her medication; and every third year, one of her children would have to step up and take responsibility for admitting their mother into the mental hospital. Frank was no longer able to admit Sylvia. The law had changed when it came to admitting a spouse to the mental hospital. No matter what Frank explained to the proper authorities about Sylvia’s behavior, his reason to have his wife committed was refused.

In 1972, after the family relocated to South Carolina and Bibbs’ mom had run her dad back to Indiana, the sheriff collected Bibbs’ mother from her home, placing her in familiar handcuffs to be taken away, and admitted to the hospital yet again.

On January 31, 1973, Frank Dickerson passed on at the young age of 49. He died of stomach cancer and a broken heart. Sylvia Dickerson still lives at the age of 84. She continues on her medication, and resides in a retirement home in South Carolina.

For all of her life, Doris Bibbs watched her mother deal with her mental illness. She did well when on the anti-psychotic medications. But like clockwork, every three years her mom would suffer an ‘episode.’ When explaining her book’s title, Bibbs commented, “The ‘glass cage’ – as I see it – is a world of your own; no one really knows where it begins or the dealings that go on in that world unless you decide to share.” She continued, “My world was kept a secret just as many families choose to keep silent of their dysfunctions. Living with my mother’s mental illness forced me to grow up fast and learn to take life very seriously. This journey prepared me to be a strong woman for when it was time for me to meet life.”

“Breaking the Glass Cage” is a real life story that sadly is shared by millions of families. This captivating book should certainly be considered for holiday gift-giving as it is an intriguing can’t-put-it-down tale, as well as an education in an unfortunate reality that is experienced by for far too many of us.

There are numerous identified mental disorders. Among the most common are Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bipolar (Manic-depressive) Disorder, Major Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Schizophrenia. Tens of millions of people suffer from some form of mental disorder. To learn more about mental illness, treatments and resources in your geographic area, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at www.nami.org or call (800) 950-6264.
Doris Bibbs was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. She was raised in Columbia, South Carolina, where her father retired from the military. Johnson was inspired to write her first novel, based on childhood life, at the age of 40. Reinventing herself, the self-employed mother of two and grandmother of two, Doris Bibbs has dropped the Johnson and is stepping onto a higher level in a new life. She’s telling all of her story, from dealing with the fear of mental illness to breaking the grip of a controlling spirit of fear out of her life. Currently residing near Atlanta, Bibbs is working on the anxiously-awaited sequel to “Breaking the Glass Cage,” titled “Broken Pieces, Shattered Dreams: The Continuation of Breaking the Glass Cage.” Learn more about the author and her book at www.DorisBibbs.com. Doris may be reached at brd_sng@yahoo.com.

Bibbs is reaching out to persons, helping them to learn that forgiveness is a key to being free, which will enable them to move on into the loving, positive, and joist life that God has waiting. She is available for motivational speaking engagements to the general population, and particularly within the mental health community.

To book Doris Bibbs for readings/signings or speaking engagements, contact:
Toni Beckham | 209-832-8020/408-499-3664 c | Toni@PRetCetera.com

Ohio cousins are ready to auction off “The Holy Grail” of Baseball Collectibles

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Ohio cousins are ready to auction off “The Holy Grail” of Baseball Collectibles


Ray Edwards and John Cobb


For over a decade, cousins John Cobb and Ray Edwards have been working to prove the authenticity of their T206 Honus Wagner Card. Their journey has been long and difficult, but the card has been authenticated. Follow them as they prepare for auction.

Cincinnati, OH (BlackNews.com) — Their journey has taken them across the country and to Canada. For 10 long years, cousins John Cobb and Ray Edwards have been trying to proclaim to the world that they are owners of what is known as “the holy grail” of baseball collectibles: The T206 Honus Wagner Card. Cobb and Edwards have thousands of documents archived in binders and stored digitally showing the immense investigative scholarship they have committed to proving the authenticity of their card.

A Matter of Race and Class

The world of sports memorabilia collecting is largely dominated by wealthy white men. Enter into the mix, two working-class African American men, one of which has worked in a family-owned rubbish business part time, a good portion of his adult life, and from that experience became an ardent collector of all sorts of memorabilia Рfrom comic books and iconic LIFE magazines, to Pok̩mon cards and pop culture collectibles Рall meticulously catalogued and crated.

“Why is it so unbelievable given all the years my cousin (John) has been collecting that he wouldn’t come across a valuable baseball card? One of our appraisers, Bob Connelly, said that if he had blonde hair and blue eyes there would be no doubt,” says Ray Edwards. Cobb and Edwards have been accused of theft – no charges were ever filed, and the police have cleared their names. They have had racial slurs hurled at them on the Internet baseball memorabilia message boards; they have been accused of attempting to pass along counterfeit merchandise. There have been home invasions at gun point, and a bankruptcy filing by Edwards and a mild stroke suffered by Cobb. Yet despite the decade of insults to their character and personal set-backs, Cobb and Edwards remain unfazed and unbossed.

There have been supporters along the way, such as antiques dealer, and appraiser Bob Connelly of Binghamton, New York. Connelly was the first to speak out – and on national television about the racism the cousins were experiencing because they were not part of the sports memorabilia establishment. Connelly held an unsuccessful auction of the T206 Honus Wagner Card, and held the card in his safe for 5 years before relinquishing it back to Cobb and Edwards just this year.

Perseverance Endures

At long last the duo found ACA Grading, an authentication service based in Quebec, which labeled the card “authentic”, but did not give it an actual numerical grade because they allowed Cobb and Edwards to be present when the card was evaluated. Martin Brouillard is the Senior Grader of ACA Grading, and Johanne Bergeron was the forensic document examiner. The major grading services have maligned the Cobb/Edwards card and its owners–sight unseen. Yet for all of their bad mouthing, they have and are facing FBI investigations for fraud. Bill Mastro, one of the first graders to declare the Cobb/Edwards T206 a fake, is at the center of an FBI fraud investigation and his Mastro Auctions business no longer exists.

Professional Sports Authentication, PSA’s CEO Joe Orlando firm graded a T206 Honus Wagner card once owned by NHL great Wayne Gretsky, an “8”. His card received this extraordinarily high grade despite the fact that one of the graders says that he knew that the card was trimmed when it was examined back in 1991. The grader’s accusation was also confirmed by a second party and documented in the book, “The Card”.

Due to Edwards’ research, and sheer determination, he sought out experts in the paper and printing industries to conduct forensic tests to determine the authenticity of their card. The paper expert said that the fibers of the card contained no titanium oxide, which proved that the paper was produced in the early 1900s. The printing expert concluded that the card was definitely printed in the early 20th century due to the printing method used, and that it was impossible for anyone to reproduce that type of print today. “Now other card collectors are seeking out people to do forensics on their cards. If it wasn’t for my need to prove the truth about our card, that wouldn’t have happened”, states Edwards.

Although the card remains steeped in controversy, the cousins will remain focused on their goal: to auction off their T206 Honus Wagner Card. At this point, the cousins’ story is worthy of a book deal and a movie, given all its twists and turns and cast of characters. The duo are opened to entertaining offers. “We’ve come this far, no need in turning back now”, says Cobb.
To learn more about the Cobb/Edwards T206 Honus Wagner Card and to see the timeline of events, “like” their fan page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCobbEdwardsT206HonusWagnerCard

To watch a YouTube clip of recent coverage on HBO and ESPN, visit:
About the T206 Honus Wagner Card

It is one of the rarest and most expensive baseball cards in the world. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. It has been reported that Wagner no longer wanted his card to be produced, so when production ended only 57 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public – this information is of some debate. On the 100th anniversary of professional baseball in 1969, Wagner was honored among the greatest players, and was selected as the best shortstop to ever play the game.

Bill allowing pharmacies to block sale of key Meth ingredient sent to governor

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Bill allowing pharmacies to block sale of key Meth ingredient sent to governor

Illinois Attorney General Urges Gov. Quinn to Sign Bill to Extend Program That Allows Pharmacies to Block Illegal Pseudoephedrine Sales


Springfield, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today applauded the Illinois General Assembly for passing a bill that would help pharmacies and law enforcement crack down on “pill shoppers” buying the key ingredient used to make methamphetamine. Senate Bill 73 was sent to the governor this week for his consideration.

Madigan said the legislation 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.

“We must ensure that law enforcement has every tool at its disposal in its fight to keep this drug out of our communities,” Attorney General Madigan said. “This system will help to identify the criminals who are illegally buying and stockpiling cold 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 technique. 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.”

“As a former state’s attorney, I’ve witnessed firsthand how meth dealers are causing damage to individuals, families and the society as a whole. We need to continue to pass laws that help us crack down on these criminals who are corrupting our communities,” said Sen. William Haine, Senate sponsor. “This legislation will give law enforcement the tools they need to put criminals who manufacture and deal methamphetamine out of business.” 

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.

Award-Winning Business Executive and Networking Guru, Juliette Mayers, shares secrets to success with new book

Posted by Admin On November - 11 - 2011 Comments Off on Award-Winning Business Executive and Networking Guru, Juliette Mayers, shares secrets to success with new book


Bookcover and author, Juliette Mayers


Boston, MA (BlackNews.com) — A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking, written by Juliette Mayers, author, award winning business executive and networking Guru, will be available for purchase on Friday, November 4th, 2011 on her website: www.juliettemayers.com and on www.amazon.com. This inspirational book is for black professional women and others who want to build cross-cultural relationships as they strive to excel in today’s dynamic marketplace. In addition to practical networking tips, the book features advice from diverse professionals who have mastered the art of networking.  

A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking covers a range of important subjects for today’s business woman. Topics include advice on building and managing one’s brand, building a strategic and productive network, networking etiquette and maximizing the power of social media. The book will teach woman how to communicate with power, cultivate and maintain positive relationships, and create a compelling plan for success regardless of title or life stage. Ultimately, it encourages women to leverage the power of networking to attain their dreams.

“This book is a powerful resource that will give readers effective networking strategies to success and achieve career and business goals,” says Sheila A. Robinson, Publisher of Career Network and Diversity Woman magazines.

“A must-read book for those looking to accelerate their careers and business effectiveness,” Paul Guzzi, President & CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Author Juliette Mayers is Executive Director of Multicultural Marketing at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. She is an award-winning executive, business strategist, and a passionate community advocate. Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick appointed her to the Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, a state-wide policy making board that advises the governor on workforce investment. A native of Barbados, West Indies, Juliette is married to her husband of twenty years, Darryl Mayers, and resides in the greater Boston area with the couple’s two teen daughters, D’Anna and Danielle.

For book purchases and more information, visit www.juliettemayers.com and on www.Amazon.com. Copies of A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking are available for $14.99 beginning on Friday, November 4th, 2011.

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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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