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Archive for December 31st, 2011

Ministers to offer a reward in fatal police shooting, ask public not to honor ‘code of silence’

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Clergy/Community Leaders Seek to Assist Police in Finding Killers of Police Officer Clifton Lewis

 

Chicago. IL – Faith and community leaders of Austin will hold a press conference at 10 a.m., Saturday, December 31, 2011, in front of the M&M Convenience Store, 1201 N. Austin Blvd., where Chicago Police Officer Clifton Lewis was murdered last Thursday, to offer a reward and urge the public to work with the police in apprehending the killers.

“We are appealing to the public to not honor the “Code of Silence” that only gives cover to criminals,” said Rev. Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church of Austin. “We are asking the public to call 911 if they know the identity of the shooters, and we are urging them to work with the police.”

Ministers of the LEADERS Network will offer a cash reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who committed this crime.

“Our community stands united against crime and violence. We will work together with the police to get the perpetrators of this crime off the streets” stated Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch, pastor of New Mt. Pilgrim church and Chairman of the Board of the LEADERS Network

“Chicagoans can’t become complacent with recent statistics that crime is down. Justice must be served in this wicked, barbaric and senseless crime. The community must assist in apprehending the conspirators of this murder.”  Added Pastor Cy Fields of New Landmark Church and president of the LEADERS Network.

“We’ve had to comfort this family personally today. It truly is a heartbreaking tragedy of epic proportion. I urge all of Chicago to keep this family in your prayers” stated Rev. Acree.

1859 slave sale document from Lincoln’s home county in Kentucky is artifact of the month for January

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2011 1 COMMENT

The painful capstone to the Artifact of the Month displays from the recently acquired Taper Collection at the Lincoln Presidential Museum

 

Springfield, IL – A commissioner’s sale document which advertises the 1859 sale of three slaves in Abraham Lincoln’s place of birth in Hardin County, Kentucky is the artifact of the month for January 2012 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM).  This is the last in a series that has featured key items from the Taper Collection recently acquired by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.
 
The hope of Lincoln and others that slavery might wither away as the nation expanded westward proved horribly wrong.  When Lincoln was a young man, a slave was sold on average every four minutes; by the 1850s, it was every three minutes, and trying to slow or end this tragedy led Lincoln to re-enter politics, at first with little success.  A further irony:  Lincoln’s family had known the man conducting the 1859 sale of the two women and one little boy.

“That slaves were being sold in the place of his birth – Hardin County, Kentucky – accented his personal sorrow as well as the nation’s deepening ideological rift,” said ALPLM Lincoln Curator James Cornelius.  His father had moved the family to Indiana when Abraham was seven, in part because they could not compete in a slave state.  “Then, as president, Lincoln had to send men into war to save the Union, and to end these sales and all they meant — two separate but equally difficult decisions for Lincoln.”

The commissioner’s sale document will be placed on display January 3 and taken off display after Tuesday, January 31.

    The artifacts of the month are displayed in the central case in the Presidential Museum’s Treasures Gallery and include interpretive text explaining their significance.  These displays also highlight the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation’s Permanent Home Campaign.  The $27 million fundraising drive, established to ensure that the 1,500-item Louise and Barry Taper Collection remains together as a collection and is preserved in perpetuity for the benefit of the public, began in 2008 and continues through 2013.

The story of the January 2012 artifact as told by the ALPLM’s Lincoln Curator may be viewed at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBuUNd8nQyI.  A podcast may be accessed at:  http://www.alplm.org/blog/2011/12/slavedocument/.

    The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, offers monthly artifact sponsorships entitled “An Evening of Wine, a Nibble of Cheese, and A Hint of History.”  The private events, hosted by a Lincoln historian, highlight a featured artifact from the Taper Collection and include light hors d’oeuvres and wine for a select number of guests.  For more information on how to become a sponsor or to donate to the Permanent Home Campaign, contact Phyllis Maynerich at (217) 557-6250 or pmaynerich@alplm.org.  Event sponsorships are tax deductible as allowed by law.       

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation supports the educational and cultural programming of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; fosters Lincoln scholarship through the acquisition and publication of documentary materials relating to Lincoln and his era; and promotes a greater appreciation of history through exhibits, conferences, publications, online services, and other activities designed to promote historical literacy.

New laws backed by Illinois Attorney General Madigan take effect Sunday, January 1, 2012

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2011 2 COMMENTS

 

Chicago, IL — New laws to crack down on repeat methamphetamine offenders and to strengthen the Illinois DNA database are among the measures initiated by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the 2011 legislative session that will take effect Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.

“My efforts in Springfield this year will help ensure law enforcement authorities in Illinois have better tools to keep our communities safe – from serious violent offenses against women and children and the dangers of meth production to white collar crimes that defraud taxpayers,” Attorney General Madigan said.

House Bill 1908 requires that repeat meth offenders must have a prescription to purchase or possess products containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth ingredient. The law targets the rise of “small-batch” cooks who obtain small, legal amounts of ingredients to make meth for their own use or a quick sale.

House Bill 3238 will significantly strengthen the state’s DNA database by requiring all sex offenders registered in Illinois to provide DNA specimen, regardless of their conviction date or the state in which they were convicted. It also requires DNA collection from offenders arrested for the most serious violent crimes after they are indicted or after a court finding of probable cause. The law will strengthen authorities’ ability to identify and convict offenders of egregious crimes and increase their ability to avoid wrongful convictions.

House Bill 3237 amends the Prevailing Wage Act to make violations a felony and to prohibit those with criminal convictions from working on taxpayer-funded public projects for a period of four years. The new changes should increase enforcement and, as a result, bring about greater compliance and help to prevent fraud on public bodies.

Senate Bill 2027 broadens the definition of the crime of forgery to include various ways a document can be altered to ensure individuals who create such documents cannot escape criminal liability.

Better Business Bureau Checklist for winterizing your home

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2011 1 COMMENT

 

Chicago, IL – Year after year, people look for ways to save money on heating their homes. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) is offering a checklist for homeowners to safely prepare their homes during the winter months and perhaps save a few dollars in the process.

 

“High heating costs are a problem each winter for cash-strapped consumers,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It makes good economic sense for consumers to winterize their homes; a small up-front investment increases the energy efficiency of a house and reduces overall heating costs in the long run.”

 

The following is a BBB home winterizing checklist:

  • Caulking and weather stripping. To prevent air leaks, homeowners should inspect the caulking around windows and doors and check for cracking and peeling. In addition, ensure that doors and windows shut tightly and no cold air is coming in due to worn down weather stripping.
  • Furnace. Furnaces older than 15 years might be due for a replacement. For newer furnaces, make sure the filter is clean and the thermostat is working properly.
  • Heating ducts. Ducts should be cleaned once every two years. Homeowners should also consider adding insulation to any exposed ductwork in order to prevent losing heated air.
  • Emergency kit. When a winter storm strikes, an emergency kit should have all essential materials in one handy place. An emergency kit should include flashlights, candles and matches, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a battery-powered radio. Create the same emergency kit for the car as well, including a couple blankets.
  • Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors.  Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and installing fresh batteries. Homeowners should consider replacing smoke alarms older than 10 years.
  • Gutters and ridge vents. Gutters should have been cleaned to prevent any clogs that would cause rainwater to back up and freeze, making the gutters expand and crack. The ridge vents need to be cleaned as well in order to help prevent stagnate air.
  • Windows. Window screens should be taken down and replaced with storm windows; they provide an extra layer of protection and keep the house warmer.  Investing in a window insulator kit is an inexpensive option to keep out drafts as well.

For more advice you can trust and free referrals on home maintenance and saving money this winter, visit BBB online at www.bbb.org

A young man battles an office full of malevolent puppets in the Ruckus Theater’s upcoming world premiere of Little Triggers

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2011 1 COMMENT

Allison Shoemaker directs a cast of eight actors and puppeteers in Dan Caffrey’s new play at the Side Project Theatre, starting January 12

 

Chicago, IL – The Ruckus Theater is making some noise with its upcoming world premiere production of Little Triggers by Daniel Caffrey, directed by Ruckus Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker. Martin battles an office full of malevolent puppets as he navigates the terrors of his office job and his creative writing. Kevin Lambert stars as the office hero, alongside a cast of Chicago theater favorites and Ruckus regulars. Little Triggers is performed at The Side Project Theatre January 12-Feburary 12, 2012. All performances are at 8:00pm. Preview tickets are $10. General Tickets are $15. A complete performance schedule including dates, times, and tickets prices appear at the end of this release.

“As big believers in Dan’s work and the power of theatre to transport, challenge, and surprise us, we of the Ruckus couldn’t be more thrilled about Little Triggers and its remarkable cast of puppet and humanoid life forms,” said Ruckus Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker. “The play brings to life fears of unfriendly foreign beings and things that go bump in the night, along with the terror that accompanies staring down one’s adult life and knowing art and practicality don’t always mix.”

Once upon a dark and blustery Christmas Eve, a young man named Martin (Kevin Lambert) sits waiting. He’s already said goodnight to his boss, Mr. Bahnson (Rob Grabowski) and the office is almost quiet. In the corner of the office, a printer spits, smokes and hisses in a way that would seem malevolent if Martin didn’t know better. He waits for the repairman (Neal Starbird), and watches the clock tick, and wonders what it is that he’s doing with his life. Little does he know that before the evening’s out, a series of mysterious strangers, including a mysterious character from his past (Derek Van Barham), will force him to confront his ideas about success, happiness, and failure–and they’re starting with what’s hidden in the back of his drawer. In Little Triggers, Martin has to find the through-line for his story, and he had better do it fast, because the snow won’t stop falling, and the printer’s out for blood.

Playwright Dan Caffrey is the Artistic Director of Tympanic Theatre Company, which he founded in 2006 after moving to Chicago. As a playwright, his work has been produced by ARFTCO, Chicago Dramatists, Dramatis Personae, Dream Theatre, Hobo Junction, Infusion Theatre, MOB Productions, The Rough House, Tympanic and WildClaw. This year, his play Orange Orbs opens Tympanic’s 2011/2012 season. He has directed for Tympanic, iO and the side project, and helmed The Ruckus’ world premiere musical Escape from the Haltsburg Boys Choir. He occasionally acts, appearing this year in Brooke Allen’s [REDACTED] series and in The Ruckus’ workshop of Dumb Angel, and is a Staff Writer for the music publication Consequence Of Sound (consequenceofsound.net).

Director Allison Shoemaker is the Artistic Director of The Ruckus Theater, which she founded in 2006 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Directing credits for The Ruckus include 15 Minutes, The Gay American, Heist Play and Brooke Allen’s [REDACTED] series. In addition to working with playwrights as a director and dramaturg, Allison has created Play (for Tell It & Speak It & Think It & Breathe It), Three Lennon Fugue (The Mill Theatre), Mercatorie (ElvisBride 3D), and rock and roll madcap happenings for the band Not Blood, Paint. She appeared in Scott T. Barsotti’s Jet Black Chevrolet (Curious Theatre Branch), and will direct for Tympanic Theatre’s Deliver Us From Nowhere and the storytelling series You’re Being Ridiculous. When not fighting for truth, justice and the right of the playwright to revise in the rehearsal room, Allison writes things; her work has appeared in Contrary, Commonline, The Pedestal, Admit2, Barnwood and 42opus.

The cast of Little Triggers includes Kevin Lambert as Martin; Rob Grabowski as Mr. Bahnson; Neal Starbird as The Man in Coveralls; and Derek Van Barham as The Old Man in Floss. Puppeteers include Stevie Chaddock Lambert, Jennifer Roehm, Liz Goodson, and Suzanne Keyes. Creative team includes Scenic Designer Clay Barron; Puppet Designers Casey Bentley, David Krofta, Frank Sjodin, and Ashley Ann Woods; Lighting Designers Christine Grodecki and Janna Webber; Sound Designer Palmer Jenkins; Technical Director Ruth McCormack; Costume Designer Ashley Ann Woods; Stage Manager Lizzy Powers; Assistant Stage Manager Ellie Wasserman; Fight Choreographer Chris Acevedo; Dramaturg Matt Test; Associate Artistic Director Joshua Davis, Production Manager/Assistant Director Brian Ruby, and Casting Director Timo Aker.

Tickets to Little Triggers are $10 for previews and $15 for the run. Tickets may be purchased online at ruckustheater.org or by phone at 773.769.RCKS (7257).

 

About The Ruckus Theater

Founded by an industrious group of Michigan ex-pats, The Ruckus is composed of actors, directors, playwrights, musicians, casting directors, publicity managers, grant writers, baristas, grad students, poets, computer fixers, appointment-makers and census-takers who aim to create a new kind of company—a casteless theater that blends the lines between playwright and actor, audience and company member. The Ruckus Theater is led by Artistic Director Allison Shoemaker, Associate Artistic Director Joshua Davis and a company and ensemble of nineteen.

We’re here to create, to examine, to invent, to explode—to create a ruckus. The Ruckus develops new work and the artists who create that work. Our ensemble breaks down the walls of traditional methods to nurture new plays and challenge exceptional artists. We believe in creating our process for every project from the ground up. We commit to the growth of our ensemble, the artists we collaborate with, and the plays we develop. We aim to deepen the cultural bedrock of our community by giving megaphones to new voices and by making theater affordable. By fostering conversations that rip through the curtain, we aim to lead both artist and audience down an unexpected path with art that doesn’t play by the rules.

See how we make a ruckus all over the internet on our blog, iruckus.blogspot.com; like us at facebook.com/theruckustheater; view our photostream at flickr.com/ruckustheater; follow our tweets at twitter.com/ruckustheater; and spend hours at youtube.com/theruckustheater.

Finalists named for 2012 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Six elite players make final nominee list


San Antonio, TX (BlackNews.com) – The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee has narrowed down its list of nominees to six finalists for the prestigious 2012 U.S. Army Player of the Year Award, including: wide receiver Stefon Diggs (Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Olney, Md.); wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham (Hillcrest High School, Springfield, Mo.); defensive back Tracy Howard (Miramar High School, Miramar, Fla.); offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (Mallard Creek High School, Charlotte, N.C.); defensive back Shaq Thompson (Grant High School, Sacramento, Calif.); and defensive back T.J. Yeldon (Daphne High School, Daphne, Ala.).

The U.S. Army Player of the Year Award is given to the Nation’s most outstanding senior in high school football participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The U.S. Army Player of the Year will be crowned during the U.S. Army Awards Dinner on Friday, January 6, 2012, in San Antonio. The winner will be presented with the Ken Hall Trophy, modeled after Ken “Sugar Land Express” Hall, high school football’s all-time leading rusher.

“These players possess leadership, dedication and strengths similar to Army Strong Soldiers, being named a finalist for this award only underscores their talents,” said John Myers, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command. “These players are outstanding athletes. We congratulate them on their nomination and are proud to have them wear the Army colors.”

The selection process began this fall as players were evaluated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee and by coaches from across the country. Past U.S. Army Player of the Year Award winners include: 2001 – Kevin Jones; 2002 – Lorenzo Booker; 2003 – Chris Leak; 2004 – Adrian Peterson; 2005 – Ryan Perrilloux; 2006 – Mitch Mustain; 2007 – Jimmy Clausen; 2008 – Terrelle Pryor; 2009 – Bryce Brown; 2010 – Dillon Baxter; and 2011 – Demetrius Hart.

For more than a decade, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl has been the Nation’s premier high school football game, serving as the preeminent launching pad for America’s future college and NFL stars. Adrian Peterson, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Lattimore, and Andrew Luck all made their national debuts as U.S. Army All-Americans. The 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl drew a crowd of nearly 38,000 to the Alamodome, and was the most-watched sporting event on television over the weekend, excluding the NFL playoffs.

For more information on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and its related events visit www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com and www.goarmy.com/events/aab or the official Facebook and Twitter pages located at www.facebook.com/USArmyAllAmericanBowl and www.twitter.com/armyallamerican

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