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Archive for November 21st, 2011

Cook County State’s Attorney and law enforcement partners announce arrests in Pre-Holiday Investigation targeting widespread retail theft

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on Cook County State’s Attorney and law enforcement partners announce arrests in Pre-Holiday Investigation targeting widespread retail theft

More than 50 people have been arrested and face charges in a pre-holiday undercover investigation that targeted organized retail theft rings, whose members are stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise from retail outlets throughout Cook County ranging from large suburban shopping malls to high-end boutiques along North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced. 

Operation “Whoville,” targeted individuals as well as persons operating in organized retail theft crews, who work together to steal product from retailers at great cost, and then pass along the stolen goods to major “fencing” operations who resell them for significant untaxed profits throughout Cook County and in neighboring counties and states.  According to investigators, the crews generally work in groups and they designate a time and location for the thefts, targeting retail outlets to shoplift particular merchandise.

The month-long intelligence and enforcement operation was coordinated by the State’s Attorney’s Regional Organized Crime Task Force (CCROC), a group of law enforcement and retail partners formed by State’s Attorney Alvarez last year to combat the growing crime of organized retail theft and fencing.   The investigative partners in the operation include the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agency, the U.S. Marshal’s Service, the Chicago Police Department, the Orland Park Police Department, the Schaumburg Police Department and the South Barrington Police Department.  The operation also received major support from private sector retailers including Target, JC Penney, Sears, Sam’s Club, Wal-mart, Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret, The Gap, Banana Republic, Abercrombie, Dominick’s, Jewel, CVS, Toys R Us, Meijer and Macy’s. 

The operation, which began in mid October, involved a series of separate covert undercover sting operations at the Orland Square Mall in Orland Park, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and several stores along North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.  Stings were also conducted at large stand-alone retail stores as well.  As part of the stings, investigators from the participating agencies worked undercover at the locations to conduct covert surveillance on theft crews and professional shoplifters known as “boosters” and to move in and make arrests immediately after the thefts had occurred.  A major part of the operation also involved the collection of data and intelligence information on theft crews or boosters and their patterns, which will be analyzed and shared between the members of CCROC for use in future prevention and enforcement.    

A total of 59 offenders were arrested during the course of the operation and investigators estimate the total amount of merchandise recovered in the operation to be in the tens of thousands.   Merchandise recovered included name brand clothing, jewelry and cosmetics, over-the-counter medicines, baby formula and DVDs.  A crystal vase, valued at $5,200 was also recovered after being stolen from an upscale boutique at 900 N. Michigan Avenue.

Since the CCROC task force was formed last year its membership has grown to more than 800 participating law enforcement agencies and private sector retailers who are working to increase the prosecution of large-scale organized retail theft and fencing operations and sharing resources and intelligence throughout the Chicago Metropolitan Area and in neighboring states to prevent the crime. 

State’s Attorney Alvarez pointed out that organized retail theft and fencing has a direct impact on consumers on many levels, including driving up consumer prices and presenting potential dangers to consumer health and safety.  She also noted that the crime causes an extensive loss of much-needed sales tax revenues in the county and the state. It is currently estimated that Illinois loses $77 million in tax revenues each year as a result of organized retail theft and fencing.   

Alvarez said her office will continue to work with task force partners to crack down on this crime and she said that operations such as this should send a message to retail theft crews that they are being watched, particularly as the holiday shopping season approaches. 

“We intend to continue to use the intelligence we have gathered to be active and aggressive in the investigation and prosecution of this crime,” Alvarez said.  “Those that receive the greatest benefit will be the consumers of Cook County, who take a direct hit in their pocketbooks as a result of these crimes.”

Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland  Security Investigations in Chicago, lauded the unique law enforcement partnership between federal, state and local agencies. 

“Recognizing that partnerships are essential, HSI is pleased to join forces with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to disrupt and dismantle organized retail crime organizations and the illicit proceeds they generate,” said Hartwig. 

Orland Park Police Chief Timothy McCarthy said such partnerships are crucial for local police agencies, particularly for communities such as Orland Park with large shopping venues.

“Local police agencies are always being asked to do more with less, particularly in these trying times, and this partnership is crucial in helping our agency continue to effectively tackle the problem of retail theft on behalf of the citizens of our community,” McCarthy said.

Among those arrested in the operation were:

Phillip Mazurek, 65, of Skokie, who was arrested Nov. 18 in a sting in Chicago at 900 N. Michigan and charged with felony Retail Theft.

Andrew Owens, 22, of Chicago, who was arrested Oct. 18 in a sting at the Woodfield Mall and charged with felony Retail Theft. 

Della Nicholson, 46, of Chicago, who was arrested Oct. 27 in a sting at the Orland Park Mall and charged with felony Retail Theft.

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

South Side Preacher vows to stay atop closed motel for 21-days to protest violence

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on South Side Preacher vows to stay atop closed motel for 21-days to protest violence

Launches $450,000 economic fund


By Chinta Strausberg


Having succeeded in “Operation Shutdown” where he closed a controversial South Side motel, Rev. Corey B. Brooks, Sr., pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago, has vowed to remain on top of that shuttered motel in a tent for the next 21-days beginning today where he will not only preach the word, but call for an end to violence.

But that’s not all. Brooks is also launching a $450,000 campaign Brooks needs to buy the shuttered motel so he can bring economic development, jobs and housing to Woodlawn.

Why would a preacher stay atop a closed motel for 21-days, live in a tent and not come down until he raised $450,000 even if it snows?

Just like he purchased the old roller rink at 6620 S. King Drive now the home of his spacious new $4.5 million church, Brooks has vowed to stay on top of the motel roof until he raises $450,000 he needs to buy the controversial shuttered Super 8 Motel, once named “The Climax Hotel” whose name was changed only because of public pressure.

Brooks moved into the old roller rink five-years ago thanks to a $4.5 million loan from the old Shore Bank now called Urban Partnership Bank but that was approved well before the recession.

However, because of today’s economy, Brooks said, “besides the recession, banks are not taking greater risks like they used to. It’s hard enough for us to pay this mortgage let alone adding more debt. I don’t want any more debt…. Our goal is to buy cash for this building,” he said referring to the motel.

The 42-year-old father of four, who was first called to the ministry at the age of 19, is fired up over his new mission this time using a different kind of pressure. He wants his latest venture to be a collective effort and is making an appeal to all of Chicago to be a part of a social and economic change in the Woodlawn community that he says has the infamous title of being “the number one murder capital” in Chicago.

Referring to the 20th Ward, Brooks said, “For this summer, our ward has been the number one ward for young black males being murdered under the age of 25. Out of all of those murders, I’ve done ten other funerals here at our church this summer including today which was probably the most awe struck today.”

Referring to the funeral of the much loved 17-year-old Carlton “Tu-Tu: King-Archer that was held at his church on Saturday, Brooks said, “the people who shot this young man shot at the kids coming into the funeral today. We had police everywhere. This is the worst I’ve ever seen.”

At the end of the King-Archer funeral, Pastor Brooks said, “At the end of the worship service, I felt led that there were four young men who had guns. I asked them to leave them here today. At the end of worship, the police came up to us with some bags. They had received four guns that they collected after the funeral.”

Asked his reaction to the guns, Brooks said, “It was bitter sweet. I am glad that they did leave them. I’m glad that they had enough sense to be led to leave the guns, but it saddens me that people bring guns into the church without any regard to God or God’s people or anything about Christ. I’m glad that they left them, but at the same time it just breaks my heart that we’ve gotten to that point in society.”

According to Brooks, in his ward there are four gangs that have carved out territories. “When people are economically deprived, they try to invade other areas to make more money. You have one gang shooting another gang and then there is retaliation. You have videos and Facebook messages being made about who is going to be killed or who is going to get killed. It’s been perpetuating itself.

“As a church, we are saying ‘enough’ and since no news media is coming out for the death of these young men maybe I can get them to come out for a church trying to make a change in the community. My going on top of the motel is about bringing attention and awareness about what is going on in our neighborhood,” explained Brooks.

Instead of accepting that tainted title of his community being the “number one murder capital” in Chicago, Brooks will be climbing a ladder and literally taking his message to the motel roof top and like Moses, he says he’s not coming down until he gets the funds he needs to bring economic and social development back to Woodlawn.

“Our purpose is to galvanize everyone around a cause and to bring attention” to the problems of his community” he says includes ending violence that continues to take so many young lives. “My heart is broken over this violence. We have to do more to help our children, and we’ve got to come outside of our churches and use all the resources we have….

“We have educational, social and spiritual issues. We’ve got to figure out ways to attack these things and collaborate and work together to attack them not just the church but social and non-profit organizations,” said Brooks.

His message to the gangbangers who are killing the youth is simple. “I am going up on the roof to get them to stop killing one another. I am going up on the roof to show them someone does care about them….”

And, once he has razed the motel, he says there will be a new beginning at 6625 South Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive that will include building an educational facility that may be their Master’s Academy or a day care center, a social component that includes counseling services along with an economic arm that includes a chain restaurant, like Panera’s, small businesses and on the second through fourth floors condos.

While he currently has a contract to purchase the land, Brooks said it is presently owned by Venod Patel. Brooks negotiated the contract with Patel and two Chicago banks that hold the title to the land. The closing date is December 30, 2011, which is why Brooks is using the next 21-days starting today to raise $435,000 having put down $15,000 towards his goal.

“I will be calling different pastors, politicians, city officials to come up and do an interview on top of the motel to support what we are doing, and I will ask them to leverage their families, their friends, their circles of influence to give,” said Brooks.

And, his congregation is leading by example. “The members of our church will be doing a campaign called ‘Project Hood Helping Others Obtain Destiny’ where each will ask their friends and family to support this financial campaign.

The campaign starts today and like Moses, Pastor Brooks said he is not coming down from the rooftop until his call for an end to violence and funding for his social and economic projects have been achieved.

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.

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide seeks volunteers for 2012 season

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on AARP Foundation Tax-Aide seeks volunteers for 2012 season



Washington, DC – AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free, volunteer-run tax preparation and assistance service, is seeking volunteers across the country to help taxpayers who are seeking assistance preparing and filing their 2011 tax returns. Volunteers do not need to be an AARP member or retiree to participate.


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers receive free tax training and are reimbursed on a limited basis for qualified program-related expenses. They help taxpayers at sites around the state, learning new skills while giving back to countless communities.


“Since 1968, we’ve assisted nearly 50 million people in preparing and filing their tax returns,” said AARP Foundation Vice President Bonnie Speedy. “We could not do it without our hundreds of volunteers, who make an indelible mark on the communities they help.”


Last year, tens of thousands of AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers helped over 2.5 million taxpayers across the country.


For more information on how you can join the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide team, visit our Web site at www.aarp.org/tavolunteer8 or call our toll-free number, 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277). Deadline for application is December 15, 2011.


AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is a program of AARP Foundation, offered in conjunction with the IRS.

Illinois Attorney General and Knox County State's Attorney respond to sentencing of Nicholas Sheley

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on Illinois Attorney General and Knox County State's Attorney respond to sentencing of Nicholas Sheley

Statement from prosecution on sentencing of Sheley


Chicago, IL ─  Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Knox County State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer issued statements following Judge James Stewart’s sentencing Nicholas Sheley to natural life in prison for the June 28, 2008 murder of Ronald Randall, 65, of Galesburg. Judge Stewart also imposed a 30-year sentence for Sheley’s conviction for aggravated vehicular hijacking and a sentence of seven years for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. In September, a Knox County jury found Sheley guilty of the three charges.

In response to the sentence, Attorney General Madigan made the following statement:

“Life in prison is the only appropriate sentence under Illinois law for this heinous crime committed by Nicholas Sheley. The terror and grief he caused for Mr. Randall’s family and the entire Galesburg community will take a lifetime to heal. Today’s sentencing ensures that Nicholas Sheley will pay for what he did for the remainder of his life.”

Knox County State’s Attorney Pepmeyer added:

“This prosecution was an outstanding example of total team effort. All police agencies and lab personnel in all jurisdictions contributed to the successful outcome obtained today. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Attorney General Madigan and her outstanding assistants who were invaluable in this prosecution. Finally, today was the Randall family’s day. They expressed heartfelt sentiments, suffering and emotion relative to the senseless loss of their loved one.”

State’s Attorney Pepmeyer requested the assistance of Attorney General Madigan’s office in prosecuting Sheley. Working with State’s Attorney Pepmeyer, Assistant Attorneys General Michael Atterberry, Bill Elward, Steven Nate and Stephen Plazibat handled the case for Madigan’s Criminal Enforcement Division.

Sheley remains incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections awaiting the start of his trial in Whiteside County next year for the murders of five people in June 2008 in the spree that preceded his killing of Randall.

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announces additional episode order of top rated series, “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announces additional episode order of top rated series, “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”


Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is picking up 10 additional episodes of the new family docu-series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” (a total of 18 episodes for the first season), it was announced today by Sheri Salata and Erik Logan, presidents, OWN. The series, which debuted on October 15, has since shown strong ratings growth week-to-week becoming the network’s highest rated program in the key female 25-54 demo.

“The audience is really responding to this program, and the ratings continue to build, which is a great testament to the show,” said Logan. “We’ve all fallen in love with the Montgomery family. You never know what they’ll do or say next. We couldn’t be more pleased viewers are tuning in to enjoy all the fun,” said Salata.

New series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” (Saturdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT) has made ratings waves as the #1 new show on OWN in the key female demo averaging a .38 W25-54, .42 HH and 388,000 total viewers (up +73% W25-54, +17% HH and +13% P2+ versus year ago Discovery Health numbers). It notched a series high this past Saturday, November 12 with a .46 W25-54, ranked #2 in its time period in African American W25-54 and ranked #5 in primetime overall out of 95 ad-supported networks in African American W25-54. On average, African American viewers comprise 60% of the audience, with 6.1 million total viewers tuning in since the series launch.

“Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” featuring a fun-loving African-American family running a popular soul food restaurant in St. Louis, has been praised by critics for its concept departure from the existing climate of reality television brawls and professional athlete baby mamas/housewives drama. A Yahoo TV critic stated “This St. Louis, Missouri family is just like ours. We like and cry with them. We desperately want them to succeed. When they triumph over their foibles we all believe that we can as well. OWN has created a reality show that flies above the riff raff. They have done the impossible.”

With three episodes remaining in their initial run, the cast of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” returns to production in December to shoot 10 additional episodes with the new episodes to debut in the spring. Until then, viewers can catch the remaining episodes on Saturdays at 9pm EST/PST.

About “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” Saturdays, 9-10 p.m. ET/PT
The series follows the loud, loving and musical Montgomery family as they work to expand their family-owned business, one soulful dish at a time. When Robbie Montgomery, a 1960s backup singer and former Ikette, suffered a collapsed lung and had to stop singing, she decided to pour her talents into opening a soul food restaurant. At her popular St. Louis eatery, Sweetie Pie’s, both hilarity and drama are offered up, and now Miss Robbie is preparing to launch a third location with a little help from her son and partner Tim. The series is produced by Pilgrim Films & Television. Executive Producers are Craig Piligian, Tim Brietbach, Jeff Keane, Jenn Duncan and Steve Luebbert.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is a multi-platform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN debuted on January 1, 2011, in approximately 77 million homes on what was the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform, Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.press.discovery.com/us/own. Follow on Twitter @OprahWinfreyNet

Kirk leads letter to fund Yucca Mountain Nuclear Storage Facility

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on Kirk leads letter to fund Yucca Mountain Nuclear Storage Facility


Funding would end block on Yucca as permanent repository of nuclear waste

 31 Senators urge Yucca usage


Washington, DC - In anticipation of the conference committee which will work out differences among the respective versions of the House and Senate-passed Energy and Water Appropriations bills, United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today sent a letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Senate and House subcommittees urging them to support the bipartisan, House-passed language which funds the storage of nuclear waste inside Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.  A continuation of the Yucca Mountain project would be an important step in finding a safe, permanent storage facility for our country’s nuclear waste and critically important for the State of Illinois. 

Illinois has 11 nuclear power plants, more than any other state in the nation. Currently, the spent fuel is stored in dry casks and pools near urban areas and sources of drinking water. At the Zion Nuclear Station, 1,100 tons of waste is stored just yards away from Lake Michigan, the source of drinking water to millions of people. Contamination of Lake Michigan would be devastating to the Great Lakes region.

The situation is similar across the country, with over 65,000 metric tons of nuclear waste stored in 75 temporary locations that threaten cities, suburbs and critical ecosystems essential to the drinking water for millions of Americans. American taxpayers have already invested nearly $15 billion on Yucca Mountain. This letter supports years of science, bipartisan support and billions of dollars to protect American’s water, health and national security.

The text of Sen. Kirk’s letter is below. 

November 18, 2011

Dear Chairmen Feinstein and Frelinghuysen and Ranking Members Alexander and Visclosky:

We write to support the bipartisan language of the House-passed Energy Appropriations bill regarding the storage of nuclear waste inside Yucca Mountain.

When the Executive Branch and Congress chose Yucca Mountain as a nuclear storage facility in 2002, the United States had 47,000 metric tons of waste located across America.  With 9 years of further delay, the U.S. is now home to 38% more nuclear waste, totaling over 65,000 metric tons stored in 75 temporary locations not designed as permanent facilities or locations for radioactive materials.  Dozens of these sites are close to cities, suburbs and critical ecosystems essential to the drinking water for millions of Americans.

To date, taxpayers paid over $14 billion to select and study the Yucca facility.  Because the federal government failed to take ownership of nuclear waste as originally promised, the government paid an additional $956 million in legal fees and payments.  The Department of Energy projects taxpayers will have to pay an additional $15 billion in such fees by 2020, with a further cost of $500 million annually if a decision is delayed even further.

The House wisely provided the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with $20 million, $10 million from the Nuclear Waste Fund and $10 million from the DOE departmental administration fund, and the Department of Energy with $25 million to continue Yucca’s license application and technical review.  In addition, the House directed the Commission to preserve all documentation and data with regard to Yucca. 

With billions of taxpayer dollars already spent and the growing age of the temporary storage sites across America, we urge you to support the bipartisan House language.  Taxpayers should preserve Yucca Mountain as an option for the transportation of nuclear waste away from cities and ecosystems across America where the permanent storage of nuclear waste is clearly inappropriate. 


Mark Kirk                        Susan Collins

James Inhofe                  John Thune

Mike Crapo                      Marco Rubio

Charles Grassley             Jon Kyl

John Boozman                John Hoeven

Jeff Sessions                  Kay Bailey Hutchison

Lisa Murkowski                Pat Roberts        

Roy Blunt                        Mike Johanns

David Vitter                     Ronald Johnson

John Barrasso                 Jim DeMint

Daniel Coats                   Johnny Isakson

Richard Lugar                  Olympia Snowe

Michael Enzi                   John Cornyn

Lindsey Graham               Bob Corker

Tom Coburn                     Saxby Chambliss

James Risch

ISBE proposes new rules including student growth to evaluate teachers/principals

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on ISBE proposes new rules including student growth to evaluate teachers/principals

Draft rules result of months of extensive professional advice and public feedback


Springfield, IL — The Illinois State Board of Education proposed new rules that will help transform teacher and principal evaluations in Illinois. The proposed rules will detail the ways in which districts must incorporate into their performance evaluations student growth and a research based instructional framework for reviewing effective instruction and leadership. The rules proposed by the Board will now undergo a 45-day public comment period before being finalized early next year.

“Illinois educators deserve more objective reviews, better feedback, and greater support aligned to their students’ needs,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “These evaluation tools will provide teachers and principals a clearer understanding of how teachers and principals are impacting student learning and what’s happening in their classrooms and schools, while improving opportunities for student growth.” 

The rules come in response to the Performance Evaluation Reform Act of 2010 (PERA) and its subsequent amendments in 2011 by Senate Bill 7, which together require new evaluations to address both professional practice and, for the first time, student achievement growth, and tie the results of performance evaluations to employment decisions such as tenure acquisition and reductions-in-force/layoffs. 

As noted above, districts will be required to incorporate a research based professional framework to evaluate teachers for effective instruction. A recent study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research showed a direct connection between teachers who scored highest in these frameworks and student growth, and that students in the study with the lowest growth were in classrooms led by teachers who scored lower on the frameworks. The Consortium study focused on the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching, which is the framework recommended by the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council, a statutory body comprised of educators from across the State charged with advising the State Board of Education on the development and implementation of these new evaluation systems.

The proposed rules benefitted from the PEAC’s extensive advice.  PEAC held eight forums throughout Illinois in October and November, and gathered online input from the public. In all, more than 2,300 educators offered their views, which, among other things, helped convince the state board to propose a phase in of the minimum 30 percent student growth requirement over the next two years.  Comments at the forums also led ISBE to propose that performance evaluations of school service personnel such as social workers, nurses and counselors need not include a student growth component.

“We were committed to having the voices of practitioners at the table in a meaningful way at the front end,” said PEAC co-chair Laurence Stanton. “The rules will be much stronger and implementation will be much smoother since educators have some real ownership in the recommendations. 

Highlights of the proposed rules include:

  • Student growth must count for at least 25 percent of the evaluation for the 2012-13 and 2013-14, then at least 30 percent starting in September 2014.
  • Starting September 2012, all teachers and principals/assistant principals must be rated as Excellent, Proficient, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory
  • Starting September 2012, all principals will be evaluated with the new system.
  • New teacher evaluations will be phased in, starting with at least 300 schools in Chicago beginning September 1, 2012. The remaining Chicago schools must use the new teacher evaluations by 2013-14.  All schools in the state must use them by September 2016.
  • Tenured teachers will be evaluated at least every other year, however, tenured teachers evaluated as “Needs Improvement” or “Unsatisfactory” must be evaluated the following year.
  • Starting in 2012-13, all evaluators must be pre-qualified and then retrained every five years.

In addition to these general rules, ISBE will develop a state model for teacher and principal/assistant principal evaluations, which districts may choose to adopt in whole or in part. PERA requires that student growth comprise at least 50 percent of the total evaluation in the state models. The Board will consider recommendations for the state evaluation models in December. 

If local Joint Committees of teachers and administrators cannot agree on student growth provisions for teacher evaluations, they must default to the relevant growth section(s) of the state model. The default requirement does not apply to principal/assistant principal evaluations or to teacher evaluations in Chicago, where PERA stipulates that CPS can implement “its last best proposal.”

Complete text of the proposed rules (Part 50 Evaluation of Certified Employees) may be accessed and the public may provide public comment at http://www.isbe.net/rules/proposed/default.htm .

New Philharmonic presents “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve With An International Twist” at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn, Dec. 31

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on New Philharmonic presents “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve With An International Twist” at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn, Dec. 31


Glen Ellyn, IL – Champagne corks will pop on Saturday, Dec. 31, when New Philharmonic and Music Director and Conductor Kirk Muspratt provide a special way to ring in the new with two performances of “Viennese Pops New Year’s Eve with an International Twist” at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Ill.

The program will include a selection of beloved works by Johann Strauss, Jr. including the “Blue Danube Waltz,” “Thunder and Lightning Polka,” “The Egyptian March” and the “Overture to Die Fledermaus.” Additional selections will include Robert Stolz’s “Fruhjahrsparade Marsch,” Sigmund Romberg’s “Stout-Hearted Men,” Franz List’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2,” Percy Grainger’s “Shallow Brown,” and, of course, “Auld Lang Syne.”

The concerts will feature guest baritone Mischa Bouvier, winner of the 2010 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, who has been hailed by the New York Times for his “rich timbre” and “fine sense of line.”

The 4 p.m. performance includes a celebratory glass of champagne, and the 9 p.m. show features pre-show delectables catered by True Cuisine Catering and concludes with celebratory champagne and New Year’s countdown.

Tickets are as follows: Saturday, Dec. 31, 4 p.m.: $55 adult/ $53 senior/ $45 youth;Saturday, Dec. 31, 9 p.m.$65 adult/ $63 senior/ $55 youth.To order tickets or for more information, call (630) 942-4000 or visit www.AtTheMAC.org.

New Philharmonic is a fully-professional, 80-member orchestra that has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for three decades. Under the direction of Conductor and Music Director Kirk Muspratt, named a 2006 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the group gives innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works and strives to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. New Philharmonic is the resident orchestra of the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and performs a complete season annually.

The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, houses three performance spaces, an art gallery and classrooms for the college’s academic programming. This unique facility has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and last year welcomed more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances. The mission of the McAninch Arts Center is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information visit www.AtTheMAC.org.

Mother of missing 13-year-old vows never to give up looking for her child

Posted by Admin On November - 21 - 2011 Comments Off on Mother of missing 13-year-old vows never to give up looking for her child

By Chinta Strausberg


Cherry Beasley, the mother of Lucille Beasley-Brown, 13, said she is continuing to look high and low for her missing daughter she hasn’t seen since November 4, 2011 and that she will never give up looking for her youngest child.

“I have been passing out flyers in stores, restaurants, gas stations, churches and distributed them to people I meet on the street,” said Mrs. Beasley who is a mother of 10.  “I love my daughter. She does not have to run anymore. Please come home and let’s talk.

“My biggest fear is her death,” Beasley said. “I pray that God keeps her and protects her. If she comes back home, I will get help for her. I am talking to pastors who are praying and telling me “to leave it in God’s hands until something happens.”  “Give us another chance. I will never give up looking for you,” she said of her daughter.

Beasley is also busy searching for social programs that could help her. “I don’t want her on the street anymore,” she said. “I love you, Lucille, and I want her to come back home.”

If anyone knows where Lucille Beasley-Brown is, please call Mrs. Beasley at: 773-790-7358 or 911.

Please help this mother find her youngest child and bring her back home safely.

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.


Editor’s Note: This is an update to an article in copylinemagazine.com on November 18, 2011, titled, “Distraught mother of 10 pleas for return of 13-year-old daughter,” by Chinta Strausberg.

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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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