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Archive for November 24th, 2011

Pfleger: Pray for parents of murdered children this Thanksgiving Day

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Pfleger: Pray for parents of murdered children this Thanksgiving Day

Parents must face empty table chairs


By Chinta Strausberg


Flanked by more than two dozen supporters, Father Michael L. Pfleger said before you begin to eat your traditional holiday dinner Thursday remember the children who have lost their lives to gun violence for they represent the empty chairs, “unable to attend, victim of gun violence,” parents must face as the nation celebrates yet another Thanksgiving.

At a press conference held at Saint Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Place, Pfleger was joined by a number of parents and anti-violence groups including Colleen Daley, executive director, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), Annette Nance-Holt, mother of slain Blair Holt, Ron Holt with the CAPS program, UCAN, a representative from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Chicago Crime Commission, Sandy Lewis representing Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Tony Land representing Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown, and many parents who lost children to gun violence like Pam Bosley a member of Purpose Over Pain who lost her son, Terrell.

Nance-Holt lost her son on May 10, 2007. He was shot while aboard a CTA bus. A gang member shot into the bus and Holt shielded a girl from the bullets and was slain.  With tears rolling down her face, Nance-Holt said, “It doesn’t get any easier” as the years go by. “I wish I could bring their children back as well as my own so we wouldn’t have to deal with this but that wouldn’t be.

“Families in Chicago, across the United States will have empty chairs sitting at the table,” she said breaking down in tears. “Our children just did not” die from natural causes or terminal or brief illnesses. “They were murdered,” she said. “They were children and deserved to live a full life.” Instead, parents of murdered children will have to stare at empty chairs this Thanksgiving.

Bosley spoke of the number of unsolved cases “because people are not snitching. They are not telling what is going on.” Her son was shot in 2006 while coming out of church.  “My son stumbled back in church and nobody said anything,” she said. His case is still unsolved.

According to Bosley, in 2006, there were 385 young people shot in Chicago. Their ages ranged from 16-26. In 2007, there were 345 people shot. In 2008 when 16-year-old Derrion Albert was beaten to death, Bosley said 393 people were shot. In 2009 when Deontae Smith, 19, was killed, there were 350 killed. In 2010, she said there were 345 killed, and in 2011 as of September, 350 were shot. She blames people for not telling, people who honor the “Code of Silence” that allows murders to get away with their crimes.

“It’s time for us to take a stand,” Bosley said referring to years ago when she said, “we had nosey neighbors. We need that to come back. We have to tell” when they see a crime committed.

Pfleger also displayed a red cloth covered table of four that included a black and purple bunting cloth draped over one of the chairs. It symbolized the death of hundreds of children who have died due to gun violence in the Chicago area.

“We want to remember all of the children who have been slain due to gun violence over the years particularly this last year, and all those unsolved cases where children who were killed but no one prosecuted,” said Pfleger.  “I don’t care how many officers we have around our schools, until we stop the easy access to guns, until we stop the proliferation of guns, we’re never going to stop this violence.”

Pleger said 30,000 people a year are killed in America by gun violence. “That should be a shame and a scandal to our country.” Referring to the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Pfleger said “over a week ago, a man with an assault weapon shot into the White House of the United States of America. A bullet lodged in one of the windows of the White House. There has been very little conversation about this assault weapon that shot against eight football fields…and reached the balcony.

“Why are assault weapons not banned in America? Why are assault weapons still allowed in this country? We can’t stop talking about guns? We must stop easy access to guns in America and we must ban assault weapons in America….”

Daley spoke of the proposed conceal and carry bill being pushed by some lawmakers. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act with a vote of 272-154. It requires states to recognize the right to carry licenses from other states similar to driver’s licenses. However, an amendment that would have extended this to Illinois was not included in the final passage. H.R. 822 is now in the Senate.

Daley said, “We must come together and make sure this legislation does not pass out of the Senate.” “We urged everybody to reach out to Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and ask them to vote ‘no.’” Daley said she has since learned that the bill will be attached to a defense-spending bill.

Asked how he felt about the conceal carry bill reportedly being appended to a defense bill in the senate, Pfleger said, “That seems like the only thing they care about in America is defense. We don’t care about violence. We don’t care about poor people…. We don’t care about people sleeping under bridges, but boy you talk about defense and everybody rallies around it. “Well, we’re talking about defense about our children,” Pfleger told reporters. “

“I don’t hear anybody talking about guns not from the White House all the way down to the City Council,” Pfleger said earlier mentioning he has not heard of this topic since former Mayor Richard M. Daley left office. “We need police. We hear about more security cameras and that’s great. We need more security cameras, but if you have a gun, you’re going to use it.”

Pfleger wants everyone to speak about against guns including the President all the way down to city government. “Our children are dying in our streets. We should be speaking about guns and I’m wondering why the silence. Are we so damn afraid of the NRA in America? To hell with the NRA,” he said.

When he met last week with a group of high school students, he asked them how many could get a gun today. “Every single one of them said they could get them today. Some kids can’t get a textbook in their classroom, but they can get a gun on the street. We can put all of the police we want to on the streets, but as long as guns are a part of our wardrobe in America, as Dr. King says, “When you are in a moment of rage, you will use a weapon no matter how much you say you won’t.”

Pfleger said he understands the Second Amendment. “The NRA won’t touch guns because they work for gun manufacturers and the number one consumer of guns are criminals. So you stop criminals from getting guns? It’s bottom line money.  It’s all about business. The gun manufacturers and the NRA would rather let our children die than to lose their salaries. I say it’s time for the gun industry to have a recession.”

Referring to an Indiana gun event, Pfleger added, “It shows you the sickness of where our country is at. They are giving away guns as door prizes on Black Friday. The first 800 people will get certificates many will get free guns. We are going to give out bullets. We won’t give out food for hungry people, but we’ll give out guns because the NRA has bumped our heads so much to think we need a gun to be safe in America. The more guns the more unsafe we are,” Pfleger said.

His eyes passing over the red-cloth table, Pfleger said, “This table is just a visual of what all of these parents are realizing this Thanksgiving…these empty chairs, and I ask everybody sitting down at their Thanksgiving tables throughout this city this Thanksgiving to remember these parents.

“Remember parents are going to sit down and realize at their Thanksgiving table” their children are gone forever. “Pray for them. Pray for their strength. Pray for their healing, but after you get finished praying for them, after you get up from your Thanksgiving table, do something to stop this violence,” said Pfleger.

A number of parents who lost their children to gun violence gave their testimonies including Father Pfleger who also lost a son to gun warfare.

Pfleger adopted a son, Lamar, 8, in 1981 and a second son, Beronti, in 1992. In 1997, Pfleger became the foster father to Jarvis Franklin, 17, who on May 30, 1998 was caught in the crossfire of a gang fight and died. Pfleger told reporters his son’s killer has never been caught. Last year the Chicago Police Department’s Cold Case unit confirmed they would reopen the case.

Alice Norris’s daughter,  Rolanda LaKeisa Marshall, 14, was killed in 1993 in a drive-by shooting on the West Side. Her mother said Marshall had just graduated from grade school and was looking forward to her freshman year. “She was sitting in a restaurant. They shot up the restaurant and she was killed.”

Since her daughter’s death, Norris said she has been working with Father Pfleger and his anti-violence campaigns, the Illinois Handgun Against Violence, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and others “because it was very devastating to my family,” the mother said. “She is truly missed.”

Marshall was a “very gifted student. She was a straight ‘A’ student during grammar school. She had perfect attendance. She had been to the University of Illinois in their scholar’s program and the Northeastern in their gifted program.  She also attended the DuSable Museum’s gifted program. She was truly talented. She was a dancer, a singer, a cook, a teacher, a poet and a writer,” her mother recalled.

When asked what Thanksgiving means to her without her daughter, Norris said, “Usually, I can get through the holidays, but it’s usually the day after because I still have to be strong for my family.” She has two other children and is a grandmother. “I’m pretty strong on Thanksgiving, but it’s the day after Thanksgiving and after Christmas” that bother’s her.

“I have now lost a child. My husband and my mother have passed away so none of the holidays mean what they used to mean to us, but some how we get through them. My family is very supportive of me. It means that we have an empty chair at our table and some how some of the life leaves out because we all know there is an empty space not only my daughter” but for the others she lost.

“This gun violence and kids killing kids, I don’t understand it and never will in a million years. It seems like in our country these kids are expendable,” said Norris. She is opposed to the gun conceal bill. “We have stood toe-to-toe with the NRA and with the legislators we asks not to pass this bill.”

Tonya Burch testified about the murder of her son, Deontae Smith, 19. He was killed on August 1, 2009 at 61st and Green Streets.

Gloria Padron said her son, Anthony Padron, 15, was killed seven-years ago. “The case is still unsolved,” she said. “Please help us solve this case,” she said with tears flowing down her face.

Thomas Lee, the father of Thomas Lee II, 20, was shot on August 13, 2008. He died an hour later. His son was at a Harvey store. “He never had a confrontation with anyone. He never spoke to anyone. The police believed it was a car jacking. A man pulled a gun on my son. My son grabbed the gun. There was a tussle and my son got shot in the stomach. “He said the killer has never been caught.

Also attendance was another mother, Catherine Wriddley, who lost her nephew Leon Hammond was killed last year on the West Side, also lost two brothers who were gunned down in 1989 and 1992 also on the West Side. “Gun violence has been in our family for years,” she said.

To raise a child, Wriddley said, “it takes a village and the village is gone. We have to bring back the village mothers and the village aunties where we care about one another.”  “We have to learn to be givers as God has commissioned us to do. If we can’t give, we can’t receive….

“When we give love, then we can receive it, but love is what is missing in our equation today.  We want it. We think love is something you buy at the store, a pair of gym shoes…but we don’t see kids as being kids and loving them with an embrace and a hug. It’s trying times and we have to put some love where all the hate is and that is the only thing that” will bring peace to a society seemingly numb with the level of violence.

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.

Andy's Seasoning's CEO, Katherine Anderson, dies at 79

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Andy's Seasoning's CEO, Katherine Anderson, dies at 79

Katherine Anderson

St. Louis, MO (BlackNews.com) — Andy’s Seasoning’s CEO Katherine Anderson died Monday evening due to complications associated with a year-long illness. She was 79. Mrs. Anderson is credited with expanding the Andy’s Seasoning (Andy’s) brand and with successfully navigating the firm through a tumultuous financial period following the abrupt death of her husband, Reuben Anderson – the firm’s former CEO who died in November 1996.

Forced to seize the leadership reigns at Andy’s, Mrs. Anderson quickly transitioned from St. Louis City Worker to CEO of Andy’s multi-million dollar operations. Mrs. Anderson prepared for the daunting task by working day and night. During the day, she learned the business while meticulously overseeing the firm’s operations. In the evening, she attended business management classes and strengthened her business acumen.

Bolstered by faith and a supportive staff, Mrs. Anderson elevated Andy’s Seasoning to new heights. In addition to achieving significant sales increases in all segments of its seasoning and breading business, under Mrs. Anderson’s leadership Andy’s reached a milestone of 25 years in business in 2006 and completed a 15,000 square feet expansion at its facility at 2829 Chouteau Avenue.

Andy also continues to fulfill the promise Mrs. Anderson made decades ago when she told employees Andy’s will bless them as Andy’s is blessed.

In a message to employees – Larry W. Lee, Mrs. Anderson’s son and successor, shared the following on her behalf: “My mother’s desire was to let each of you know individually and personally how much she appreciates your service and your helping her build this company. She asked that we continue the legacy of Andy’s by working hard to ensure Andy’s survival and growth so you will have a job for as long as you want a job at Andy’s.”

In a separate statement, Lee said on behalf of the family that “Katherine Anderson was the most giving person our family has ever known. She did immeasurable good and helped people in the most quiet unassuming way. She was candid, never held a grudge, and was an outstanding matriarch. She imparted wisdom and instilled the principles of hard work, punctuality, and honesty. We were blessed to have her and her presence will be missed.”

Mrs. Anderson was an involved community member and ardent supporter of charitable causes. She served on the board of Gateway Classic Sports Foundation and formerly served on the Board of United Way. She was a member/affiliate of the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE), St. Louis Minority Business Council (SLMBC) and St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association.

Visitation is Sunday Evening from 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. at Austin A. Layne Mortuary at 7733 Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, Missouri, 63121. Funeral services will begin at 11 A.M. on Monday, November 28, 2011, at Agape Christian Center, 2410 Gardiner Drive, Moline Acres, 63136.

Urgent Scam Alert: Beware of fake complaint E-Mail claiming to be from Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Urgent Scam Alert: Beware of fake complaint E-Mail claiming to be from Better Business Bureau

Chicago, IL – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns businesses to beware of a malicious e-mail claiming to be from the BBB about a complaint filed against a company. The BBB does not send complaints out as attachments.


The phishing email is sent from multiple e-mail addresses and has in its subject line a nine digit complaint number. BBB Accredited and non-Accredited Businesses have been targeted and some consumers have also received the e-mail.


The body of the e-mail states the company has received a complaint and asks the company to respond by directing the e-mail recipient to a link shown as our national website at http://www.bbb.org; this, however, is a disguised link to a third party website. 


The BBB advises any business that receives this e-mail to take the following steps:

  • Do not click on any links or reply to the message,
  • Completely delete the message from your inbox,
  • Run a full virus scan immediately on your computer if you did click on any links.

If you receive an e-mail from the BBB about a complaint filed against your business and need assistance in determining whether or not it is legitimate, contact the BBB serving Chicago and northern Illinois at (312)832-0500 or info@chicago.bbb.org  


Phishing e-mails are a common way for hackers to get at your personal information or break into your computer.


“Don’t click on any links or open any attachments to e-mails until you have confirmed that they are not malicious. E-mail addresses that don’t match up, typos and grammatical mistakes are common red flags of a malicious phishing e-mail,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Also beware of unsolicited e-mails from companies with which you have no association. Make sure you have current antivirus software and all security patches have been installed on the computer.”


For more information on phishing and how to keep your computer safe, visit www.bbb.org


Below is an example of this phishing e-mail; do not click on the links or reply to the sender.


—– Original Message —–

From: alert@bbb.org


Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:28 AM

Subject: Complaint # 22127769


ab logo



The Better Business Bureau has received the above-referenced complaint from one of your customers regarding their dealings with you.

The details of the consumer’s concern are included on the reverse.
Please review this matter and advise us of your position.

As a neutral third party, the Better Business Bureau can help to resolve the matter. Often complaints are a result of misunderstandings a company wants to know about and correct.

We encourage you to use our ONLINE COMPLAINT system to respond this complaint.

The following URL (website address) below will take you directly to this complaint and you will be able to enter your response directly on our website: www.bbb.org


Homewood District 153 Board President receives Thomas Lay Burroughs Award

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Homewood District 153 Board President receives Thomas Lay Burroughs Award

Shelly Marks presented with statewide honor by ISBE
at education conference in Chicago


Homewood, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) selected Shelly Marks of Homewood School District 153 as the 2011 recipient of the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award, which annually honors an outstanding school board president in Illinois. Marks has served nine years as president of the Homewood 153 Board of Education and 19 years total on the board.

“Shelly Marks stands out as an incredible leader in Homewood District 153,” said Gery J. Chico, chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education. “Her district demonstrates high levels of learning, which requires not only the dedication of teachers and parents, but also the support and guidance someone like Shelly provides.”

Like many school districts in Illinois, Homewood has faced increased financial stresses in recent years. Marks and the school board are credited with prioritizing assets for high quality staff and educational interventions, which have made an impact on student learning. On the 2011 ISATs, 90 percent of students in the district met or exceeded state standards in math and 86 percent of students met or exceeded the standards in reading. That is despite spending less per pupil than the state average.

Homewood District 153 has also managed to cut its achievement gap in half since 2006. This comes with a growing population of minority and low-income students in the district. Marks has been specifically applauded for advocating early childhood education as a means to level the educational playing field for every student. She is also credited with implementing a successful districtwide diversity program called Homewood SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity).

“In these times of limited resources, it’s not easy to do the right thing by students while still being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. Yet Shelly has managed to do that on our school board for the past 19 years,” said Homewood School District 153 Superintendent Dale Mitchell, who nominated Marks.

Described as a “highly visible, very approachable presence in the schools” in her nomination for the award, Marks demonstrated her strong leadership skills this past year as the school district presented its first tax referendum since 1992. After much work to raise awareness about the district’s needs, the referendum passed with 80 percent of the vote.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve on the school board and to have an impact on the children, providing the education they need to be good citizens and adults,” Marks said. “I feel very lucky to serve in Homewood. We have a community where everybody does what’s best for the students.”

Shelly Marks and her husband, Steve, have two sons, Aaron, 25, and Jeffrey, 23.

ISBE created the award for school board presidents in 1991 to honor Thomas Lay Burroughs who served as chairman of the State Board of Education and the Board of Education for the Collinsville School District. The award recognizes extraordinary educational leadership at the local level, including leadership:

·         on behalf of improved student learning and educational excellence;

·         in resolving a crisis or major difficulty; and

·         on behalf of equal education opportunities.


Marks received the Thomas Lay Burroughs Award on Sunday, Nov. 20, during the joint annual conference of the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Administrators and Illinois Association of School Business Officials in Chicago.

Illinois Sec'y of State Jesse White targets holiday shoppers abusing Disability Parking Laws at Malls

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Illinois Sec'y of State Jesse White targets holiday shoppers abusing Disability Parking Laws at Malls

Announces Safe Driver Advisory Council to Consider Tougher Penalties for Violators


Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that he has directed the Secretary of State Police to conduct a statewide enforcement effort to crack down on people who illegally park in accessible parking spaces at local malls, which kicks off on Black Friday, November 25th.  In addition, White is having his Safe Driver Advisory Council, which was established this month, to consider ways to improve the disability parking program and target scofflaws.

Secretary of State Police will be out enforcing the provisions of the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg as well as at malls in Rockford, Springfield and Marion on November 25th, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season and the busiest shopping day of the year.  Other enforcements will take place during the holiday season in Chicago and the suburbs as well as across the state of Illinois.

November has been declared as Accessible Parking Awareness Month in Illinois.

“Our mission is not to give tickets, but to ensure the parking spaces are available to those who need them,” White said.  “My message today is simple-if you don’t belong there-don’t park there.”

In addition, White announced he will instruct his Safe Driver Advisory Council, which was established by the General Assembly earlier this month to consider ways to improve the disability parking program, strengthen penalties and target repeat scofflaws. The council, which is meeting in January, will look at toughening penalties for those who abuse the program.  White has asked the council to look at $2,500 fines for those using a deceased person’s placard, increased fines and longer suspensions.

The fine for illegally using a placard or disability license plates without the authorized holder of the placard or disability license plates present is a maximum of $500.  In addition, violators can be subject to a 30-day administrative driver’s license suspension from the Secretary of State for the first offense.

The fine for parking in an accessible parking space without a parking placard or disability license plates can be as much $350.

Secretary White urged people to report abuse of accessible parking spaces by calling 217-785-0309.  Callers should be prepared to report placard and license plate numbers as well as locations of vehicles.  People can also report abuse via the Secretary of State’s website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com and complete the Parking Program for Persons with Disabilities Abuse Complaint Form.

There are over 577,030 placards and approximately 82,050 disability license plates in Illinois.

TimeLine Theatre Company names 9 new Associate Artists

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on TimeLine Theatre Company names 9 new Associate Artists


 TimeLine Theatre Company announced the addition of nine new Associate Artists — Will Allan, William Brown, Aaron Carter, Andrew Carter, John Culbert, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, Ann Wakefield and Alex Weisman.Working closely with TimeLine’s Company Members, Associate Artists contribute to TimeLine’s short-term and long-term artistic programming and growth. Associate Artists serve as non-voting advisers in artistic planning and are encouraged to propose and promote artistic programming ideas and to enhance the work culture and environment of TimeLine. With a collaborative spirit and active participation, Associate Artists demonstrate passionate commitment toward TimeLine’s mission, vision and values.”Each of these new Associate Artists has made enormous contributions to the work on TimeLine’s stage, and they also have been leaders off stage, making TimeLine a better place to work and a more distinguished organization,” said TimeLine Artistic Director PJ Powers. “Now they will play an important role in shaping the next phase of TimeLine’s artistic growth, as we expand programming, develop more new work and reach a broader audience. We couldn’t be more proud to have these fine artists help us bring TimeLine’s mission to life and serve as ambassadors in the community.”

These individuals join an already distinguished group of Associate Artists that includes Brian Sidney Bembridge, Eva Breneman, Robert Coleman, Louis Contey, Charles Cooper, Julia Eberhardt, Ana Espinosa, Terry Hamilton, Andrew Hansen, James Keister, Alex Wren Meadows, Keith Parham, Lindsey Pate, Mark Richard, Maren Robinson, Cheney Tardio and Mike Tutaj.


Will Allan‘s TimeLine credits include playing Scripps throughout the sold-out, six-month run of THE HISTORY BOYS, as well as working as the assistant director for IN DARFUR. His recent Chicago credits include DARTMOOR PRISON and Robert Falls’ critically acclaimed production of THE SEAGULL at the Goodman Theatre, ROMEO AND JULIET and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at First Folio Theatre, THE GOAT OR, WHO IS SYLVIA? with Remy Bumppo Theatre (Equity Jeff Award – Outstanding Production), A SEPARATE PEACE at Steppenwolf Theatre and RED NOSES at Strawdog Theatre. He has also worked with Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Children’s Theatre and American Theatre Company. He is a graduate of North Central College in Naperville, Ill., and also studied at the Moscow Art Theatre School. He can next be seen in RED at the Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio, followed by the world premiere of E.L. Doctorow’s THE MARCH, adapted and directed by Frank Galati, at Steppenwolf.

WILLIAM BROWN has been working at TimeLine for more than 10 years. Recently he co-wrote and directed the world premiere of TO MASTER THE ART, a play that TimeLine commissioned. He also previously directed the Midwest premiere of NOT ABOUT NIGHTINGALES (Non-Equity Jeff Awards – Production and Direction) and the Chicago premieres of HALCYON DAYS and PARAGON SPRINGS. Recent directing credits include HEARTBREAK HOUSE and the world premiere of Brett Neveu’s OLD GLORY at Writers’ Theatre, where he has directed many other productions, including AS YOU LIKE IT, ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST and OUR TOWN. At Northlight Theatre he directed his own adaptation with original music of SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (After Dark Award; also a partnership with Doug Frew). He has directed numerous productions at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis., is the Associate Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, and directed A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Goodman Theatre for many years. He received an Equity Jeff Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his portrayal of Henry Kissinger in NIXON’S NIXON and the Chicago Tribune named him Chicagoan of the Year for Theatre.

AARON CARTER appeared on stage at TimeLine in A CRY OF PLAYERS and has served as dramaturg for A HOUSE WITH NO WALLS and THE FRONT PAGE. He is currently the Literary Manager at Steppenwolf Theater Company. Previously, he served as Literary Manager at Victory Gardens Theater, where he played a key role in the IGNITION Festival and was involved in the productions of THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, YEAR ZERO, LOVE PERSON and LIVING GREEN, among others. As a new play developer and dramaturg, Aaron has worked with many theaters and labs including WordBRIDGE, the Kennedy Center, Route 66 and Chicago Dramatists. Aaron also teaches courses in playwriting, dramaturgy and dramatic literature at Northwestern University, DePaul University, Roosevelt University and Grinnell College. Aaron graduated from Ohio University with an MFA in Dramatic Writing where he studied under Charles Smith and Erik Ramsey. As a playwright, Aaron’s work focuses on race, faith and obscure performance skills. His latest play, START FAIR IN THE COMMON RACE, was presented in a workshop production in the “What’s Next Lab” at Next Theater in Evanston. Aaron’s work also appeared in Theater Seven’s Chicago Landmark Project.

ANDREW CARTER has appeared in five productions at TimeLine, including THE PITMEN PAINTERS, FROST/NIXON, THE HISTORY BOYS (Equity Jeff Awards – Production and Ensemble) THIS HAPPY BREED (Non-Equity Jeff Awards – Production and Ensemble) and PRAVDA. Other Chicago credits include Paul Granger III in THE HOT L BALTIMORE (Mary-Arrchie Theatre); Harry Bailey in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE AT THE BIOGRAPH! (American Blues Theater); Stephen Dedalus in A DUBLIN BLOOM (Irish Repertory Theatre); and ROSE RAGE, SHORT SHAKESPEARE! A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE LITTLE MERMAID and SHORT SHAKESPEARE! ROMEO AND JULIET (Chicago Shakespeare Theater). Regional credits include Romeo in ROMEO & JULIET (Cardinal Stage Co. in Bloomington, Ind.). On television, he has appeared in BOSS (Starz). Andrew has also designed videos for TimeLine that have been featured in the lobby of the theatre and online.

JOHN CULBERT made his TimeLine debut with his scenic design for THE FARNSWORTH INVENTION. He is the dean of The Theatre School at DePaul University, the alma mater of TimeLine’s six founding Company Members. He has worked extensively at Court Theatre, where recent credits include THE ILLUSION, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, CAROLINE, OR CHANGE and MAN OF LA MANCHA (Equity Jeff Award – Scenic Design). Other recent productions include GREY GARDENS (Northlight Theatre), REGINA (Lyric Opera of Chicago), ARGONAUTIKA (Lookingglass Theatre), ROCK ‘N’ ROLL (Goodman Theatre) and HUGHIE (Long Wharf Theatre, New Haven, Conn.). He has designed productions for the Singapore Repertory, Opera National du Rhin in France, Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J., and Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. Other projects include the lighting design for the Chicago Park District’s Buckingham Fountain.

MILDRED MARIE LANGFORD appeared at TimeLine in IN DARFUR in the role of Hawa. Her other Chicago credits include 13 CLOCKS (Lifeline Theatre); VENUS and THE CRUCIBLE (Steppenwolf Theatre); A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS (Northlight Theatre); ZULU FITS (MPAACT); the world premiere of WAR WITH THE NEWTS and THE OVERWHELMING (Next Theatre); THE TWINS WOULD LIKE TO SAY (Dog & Pony); 12 OPHELIAS (Trap Door); SINBAD: THE UNTOLD STORY, THE GHOST OF TREASURE ISLAND and THE BLUE HOUSE (Adventure Stage); and PROFESSIONS FOR WOMEN (Bailiwick Director’s Festival). Mildred is a graduate of George Mason University and The School at Steppenwolf. She can be seen next in FIVE FLIGHTS with Immediate Theatre Company in November; THE GHOST IS HERE with Vitalist Theatre in January; and in an adaption of Stanislavski’s AN ACTOR PREPARES by Mickle Maher at the University of Chicago in April.

MECHELLE MOE is a founding member of The Hypocrites, and works as an actor, director and teaching artist. She has been featured at TimeLine in THE FRONT PAGE, THE CHILDREN’S HOUR, NOT ENOUGH AIR and PARADISE LOST, and she served as assistant director for WHEN SHE DANCED and as a teaching artist for TimeLine’s Living History Program. Other Chicago credits include The Hypocrites (THE BALD SOPRANO, ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE GLASS MENAGERIE and many others) and Court (WHAT THE BUTLER SAW). She has also worked with American Blues, Griffin, Lifeline, A Red Orchid, Steppenwolf, Writers’ theaters, among others. Mechelle has worked as a teaching artist in Chicago for the past eight years, and currently teaches for Lookingglass, Court, Raven, Lifeline and TimeLine. Mechelle was awarded a Joseph Jefferson Citation for Principal Actress and After Dark Award for her performance as the Young Woman in Sophie Treadwell’s MACHINAL, produced by The Hypocrites. She reprised the role in TimeLine’s Monday night stage reading series to accompany our production of NOT ENOUGH AIR. And she was most recently nominated for Principal Actress for her performance in Griffin Theater’s STAGE DOOR.

ANN WAKEFIELD has appeared at TimeLine in TO MASTER THE ART, THE HISTORY BOYS (Equity Jeff Awards – Production and Ensemble), THE CHILDREN’S HOUR (Non-Equity Jeff Award nomination – Actress in a Supporting Role, Play), GUANTANAMO: HONOR BOUND TO DEFEND FREEDOM and THE LION IN WINTER (After Dark Award). Ann has also worked in South Africa, England and France as an actor, teacher and director. Chicago credits include UNCLE VANYA for Steppenwolf and THE GLASS MENAGERIE for Steppenwolf Young Adults; THE ROAD TO MECCA at Shattered Globe Theatre (Non-Equity Jeff Award – Principal Actress, Play) and ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST at Eclipse Theatre (Non-Equity Jeff Award – Supporting Actress, Play). She has also worked at Court, Remy Bumppo, Lifeline, Shaw Chicago and Interplay theaters, among others. She is on the faculty of The Theatre School of DePaul University, where she has directed several productions for the Chicago Playworks children’s theater series, including TALES AS OLD AS AFRICA, which she wrote and directed.

ALEX WEISMAN made his TimeLine debut in 2009 with the Chicago premiere of THE HISTORY BOYS, for which he received the Equity Jeff Award for Supporting Actor in a Play. Since then, Alex has appeared at the Goodman Theatre (MARY, A CHRISTMAS CAROL), Lookingglass Theatre (PETER PAN), Chicago Shakespeare Theater (MADNESS OF GEORGE III), Porchlight (PUTTING IT TOGETHER) and The Music Theater Company (STATUS: A 48-HOUR MUSICAL), where he is also an artistic associate. He will next appear in THE HOUDINI BOX, a world premiere with Chicago Children’s Theatre. Additionally, he has worked with Sideshow Theatre, BackRoom Shakespeare, American Music Theatre Project and Victory Gardens. Alex is a proud graduate of Northwestern University.


TimeLine Theatre Company, named one of the nation’s Top 10 Emerging Professional Theatres (American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, 2011), Best Theatre by Chicago magazine (“Best of Chicago,” 2011) and the nation’s theater “Company of the Year” (The Wall Street Journal, 2010), was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today’s social and political issues. During its first 14 seasons, TimeLine presented 46 productions, including seven world premieres and 13 Chicago premieres; launched the Living History Education Program, bringing the company’s mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools; and completed each season operating in the black. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 46 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production eight times.

Now playing at TimeLine Theatre:

  • Chicago premiere of THE PITMEN PAINTERS by Lee Hall, inspired by a book by William Feaver, directed by BJ Jones, extended at TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Avenue, through December 18

Still to come in TimeLine’s 15th Anniversary season:

  • Chicago premiere of ENRON by Lucy Prebble, directed by Rachel Rockwell, January 17 – April 15, 2012
  • World premiere of MY KIND OF TOWN by John Conroy, directed by Nick Bowling, May 1 – July 29, 2012

TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers and Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, David Parkes, PJ Powers and Benjamin Thiem. More information about the   company is available at timelinetheatre.com.

Lt. Governor Simon: Time to fill out school efficiency survey

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Lt. Governor Simon: Time to fill out school efficiency survey

 Survey ideas will help Classrooms First Commission improve school efficiency, student opportunity


 Springfield, IL –  If you have ideas on how Illinois school districts can operate more efficiently and enhance learning opportunities, you have a little more than a week to share the cost-saving tips with Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Classrooms First Commission.

An online survey on district efficiency and effectiveness will close Friday, December 2, after eight weeks on Simon’s website. To date, more than 330 parents, taxpayers and educators from 72 counties have submitted input to the Classrooms First Commission. Their comments join the 379 people who attended and 79 who testified at four regional public hearings.

“To all the educators, parents and taxpayers who are concerned about education, we want to hear from you,” Simon said. “This is your chance to tell policymakers how to best spend our limited education dollars.”

 Suggestions submitted to the commission via the online survey include:


  • Elimination of administrative redundancies
  • Greater cooperation between school districts and community colleges and universities to increase dual credit offerings and share administrative costs
  • Greater use of shared service agreements to lower purchasing, transportation and health insurance costs
  • Greater use of technology to lower administrative costs and offer more course offerings to students through distance learning
  • Removing barriers that prohibit school districts from developing efficiencies of their own

 The commission will soon move into the second phase of its study and break into working groups each focused on one of the following topics: shared services, within-district efficiencies, and realignment. Work groups will review the ideas submitted to the online survey, the testimony collected at public hearings and the presentations given at commission meetings.In the third and final phase of its deliberations, the commission will draft recommendations and present them at a round of public hearings in the spring. The final report is due to the Governor and General Assembly in the summer. 

 The survey can be found here or by following the “Education” link at www.ltgov.il.gov.

Minister of Sport to champion South Africa on the International Stage

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Minister of Sport to champion South Africa on the International Stage

Fikile Mbalula, the South African Minister for Sport, will showcase the country’s sporting achievement to a prestigious international audience from the worlds of sport, business, politics and philanthropy when he delivers the keynote speech at the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in Cape Town on Wednesday 7th December.

The Minister for Sport will have chance to reflect on the achievements of recent years and the challenges of the future, including the country’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and its position at the heart of the sport and development field.

Mbalula’s audience will include the likes of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Chairman of the Beyond Sport Ambassadors, as well as international athletes of the calibre of Michael Johnson and many of the world’s leading companies and businesses, alongside the best that South African sport, development and business has to offer, with star names including Oscar Pistorius, Bryan Habana, Natalie Du Toit, Lucas Radebe and many more.

International companies and organisations including FIFA, the NBA, the NHL, NASCAR, the Australian Football League, the Qatar Foundation, SportAccord, UNICEF, PricewaterhouseCoopers, StubHub, Sony, Virgin Atlantic, Populous and many more will also be present for one of the highest-profile international sport and business gatherings in the country’s history.

Fikile Mbalula said: “This country proved once again with the FIFA World Cup that we can stage the biggest events in the world, and we will do the same with the Beyond Sport Summit. Beyond Sport is a hugely powerful global movement and staging the event in South Africa guarantees that we will welcome many of the world’s biggest companies, organisations and high-profile names, and once again showcase our success and our potential. This is a country where we can be rightly proud of our sport, and it is also a country where international business can be confident to invest.”

Tony Blair, the Chairman of the Beyond Sport Ambassadors, said: “One of the reasons I’m connected with Beyond Sport is that I think sport is hugely important in terms of social policy, healthcare and anti-crime policy. I spent ten years as prime minister trying to get the system to accept that sports policy was a mainstream issue. I think what is undeniably true is that the civic society elements in the sports world do a great job, and governments should always try to encourage them and support them. Beyond Sport continues to prove how effective that work can be.”

The Beyond Sport Summit will also see the winners of the 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.

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. Its global partners are 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.

Mother of Hip Hop, MC Sha-Rock, is back and on a mission with a new book and movie

Posted by Admin On November - 24 - 2011 Comments Off on Mother of Hip Hop, MC Sha-Rock, is back and on a mission with a new book and movie


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The Mother of Hip Hop, MC Sha-Rock is back and on a mission with the release of her autobiography entitled Luminary Icon and a movie in the works. Her book depicts a true story of a young female growing up in the 1970’s Bronx, New York, during the ground-breaking years of what is now known as Hip Hop.

Readers will experience the journey of the group, The Funky 4 + 1 More, the young teenagers and entrepreneurs who were coined as Gladys Knight and the Pips of Hip Hop. The group grew to become one of the most influential groups who paved the way for hip hop artists of today.

MC Sha-Rock decided to write her memoirs because she feels whole heartedly that it is her children’s history as well as the world’s history.

In the 1970’s, a young Sharon Green, better known as MC Sha-Rock became the first female pioneer, Luminary MC on the mic. Sure, there were other females out there that could rap, but Sha Rock was the first to pick up a mic at a major party and make a stand for all female MCs to follow.

Ced-Gee of the legendary Ultra Magnetic MCs comments, “She had the realness, Sha-Rock made females relevant…She set the tone so that female MCs would be taken seriously.”

Here’s what others have said:

“But Sha-Rock, I got to give the props to her. She’s not only legendary; she’s a pioneer, an Icon and a female MC. You dudes need to take a lesson from Sha-Rock. She changed my life.” — Darryl “DMC ” McDaniels from the legendary group ~Run DMC~2011

“I just remember the way Sha-rock used to rhyme and shit. It was just mind blowing. I was in love with her and I didn’t even know what she looked like. I was in love with her voice!” — Sean “Puffy” Combs/Peter Rosenberg’s 92Y Tribecca

* Affectionately known and referred to in the Hip Hop community as the Mother of Hip-Hop.

* The innovator of b-girl and fly girl cultures

* Has influenced many major artists including: Deborah Harry of the famous rock group (Blondie), Run DMC, MC Lyte, The Beastie Boys, Q-Tip, LL Cool J, Kurtis Blow, Jay-Z, and Sean “P-Diddy” Combs.

* First female pioneer MC to set the standards and raised the bar for all female MCs in a male dominated arena

* First female pioneer MC to be a part of an all-male Hip Hop group/The Funky 4 +1 More. They were known for being the 1st organized and synchronized Hip Hop group

* First female pioneer MC from the streets of the Bronx, New York, to go full circle in a MC/rap battle.

* First female pioneer MC to use the echo chamber behind her voice.

* First female pioneer MC to have a record deal world-wide.

* First female pioneer MC to introduce Hip Hop to other cultures, nationalities and genres.

* First female pioneer MC, along with The Funky 4, to appear on a national television show, which was Saturday Night Live hosted by Deborah Harry of the group Blondie.
Get to know her:

Luminary Icon, her story, is available on soft cover or as a ebook on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.

Photo Caption: Book Cover

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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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