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Archive for March 9th, 2012

Kirk, Durbin, Delegation call on President to provide federal relief for Southern Illinois Counties

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation sending a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief to the five Southern Illinois counties affected by severe storms and tornadoes last week. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow cities and counties to apply for federal reimbursements to help pay for storm damage repairs.
“In the early hours of February 29, severe storms and tornadoes tore through the southern part of our state,” the Illinois members wrote. “Preliminary damage assessments indicate that damage was done to homes, businesses, buildings, trees, utility poles, electrical service, and transportation routes in these counties. The economic impact on the community as a result of businesses being destroyed is severe and the demand for state and local government resources for emergency response, debris removal, and the repair of public property is extraordinary. Taking care of the needs of the people is of utmost importance.”
Yesterday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent a letter to President Obama requesting a major disaster declaration for five counties in Southern Illinois – Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union, and Williamson – due to the storms and tornadoes that ravaged the counties leaving local governments, charitable organizations, voluntary agencies and evacuees taking on the initial costs of the disasters.
Members signing on to today’s letter include Representatives Judy Biggert (R-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Robert Dold (R-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Don Manzullo (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Bobby Schilling (R-IL) Aaron Schock (R-IL), John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Walsh (R-IL).
The full text of the letter is below:
March 8, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. President:
We write to support Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s request for a federal disaster declaration for the State of Illinois as a result of deadly tornadoes and severe storms that occurred February 29 through March 2, 2012. Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson Counties are affected. Governor Quinn has already declared these counties state disaster areas.
In the early hours of February 29, severe storms and tornadoes tore through the southern part of our state. High winds caused damage to homes in Randolph and Union counties. Around 5 o’clock in the morning, an EF4 tornado touched down in the City of Harrisburg in Saline County and an EF3 tornado touched down in the Village of Ridgway in Gallatin County. Sadly, seven people in Harrisburg lost their lives as a result of the tornado. Hospitals in the area reported seventy-two tornado- and storm-related injuries. Severe damage occurred along the entire tornado path.
Preliminary damage assessments indicate that damage was done to homes, businesses, buildings, trees, utility poles, electrical service, and transportation routes in these counties.  The economic impact on the community as a result of businesses being destroyed is severe and the demand for state and local government resources for emergency response, debris removal, and the repair of public property is extraordinary. Taking care of the needs of the people is of utmost importance.
This impact of this disaster on the affected counties is compounded by its proximity to devastating floods that struck less than a year ago. Gallatin, Saline, and Williamson counties were still recovering from the major flood disaster declared in April 2011 when this deadly tornado struck. Saline County suffered far more damage from the recent tornado than it did from the dramatic flooding of last April, when it was declared a federal disaster.
Governor Quinn has determined that this incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and local governments.  Supplementary federal assistance is necessary. We urge you to approve Individual Assistance and Small Business Administration disaster loans for Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson counties. We also urge you to approve Hazard Mitigation Assistance for all counties statewide.
We respectfully request that you make the necessary declaration so that people in these five counties can receive the assistance they need to remove debris and repair damage. We thank you in advance for your timely consideration of this important request and stand ready to assist in any way appropriate.

State’s Attorney announces charges in 1986 murder case

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Bond was denied for a man charged in connection with a 1986 murder on Chicago’s West Side, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

James Tanner, now 49, has been charged with First Degree Murder in connection with the 1986 fatal stabbing of Norma Jean Kelley, who was 46 at the time of her murder.

The charges against Tanner are the result of new DNA testing of evidence from the case that was initiated as a result of the ongoing efforts of the Chicago Police Department’s Cold Case Unit working in cooperation with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.  A DNA profile that matched Tanner was found on several pieces of evidence found at the crime scene, resulting in the charges against Tanner in this case.

According to prosecutors, in November of 1986, Tanner and Kelley had an argument, during which Tanner stabbed Kelley.  Tanner left the scene on his bike and Kelley’s body was found a short time later.

Tanner is currently being held in Cook County Jail on unrelated charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  Tanner has a previous murder conviction from a 1989 case and is wanted on warrants from North Dakota in connection with check fraud cases.

Tanner’s next court date is March 29 at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.

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

New book offers inside look at Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Iowa Caucus defeat

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 “Defeat at Waterloo: Fighting on the Front Lines” by Amanda V. Wilkerson shares a compelling portrait of a modern political organization in action

Kissimmee, FL (BlackNews.com) — Defeat at Waterloo: Fighting on the Front Lines (ISBN 1468141163) by community activist, political organizer and FAMU Alumni Amanda V. Wilkerson shares a firsthand account of Hillary Clinton’s historic 2008 presidential run as seen through the prism of her defeat at the Iowa Caucuses.

As a young, African American female political activist, Wilkerson represents a key group of organizers and influencers that shaped the 2008 presidential cycle. Seeking to speak to others like her who spent time campaigning or are considering future political engagement, she offers a candid and moving account of the tense weeks leading up the Iowa Caucuses, a turning point that foreshadowed Barack Obama’s eventual nomination. Passionate, humorous and well informed, the book reveals the highs and lows on the front lines of political activism.

“I wanted to offer insight on the inner workings of Hillary’s run for president from the perspective of a young African American activist,” says Wilkerson, “It’s for countless counterparts who, like me, tossed caution into the wind to run buck wild after their dreams, even the unpredictable political ones that despite the outcome of their work they keep faith in the process and the politics.”

An electoral event where voters meet in precinct caucuses in all of Iowa’s 1,784 precincts and elect delegates to the corresponding county conventions, the Iowa Caucuses represents the first major hurdle of a presidential nomination and hold significant national consequences. Clinton’s defeat in Iowa raised strategic and circumstantial obstacles to her run that eventually led to Obama’s nomination.

Defeat at Waterloo: Fighting on the Front Lines is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.

About the Author:

Amanda V. Wilkerson is an educator, community activist and political organizer dedicated to defining and exploring the pathology of African American civic engagement. Her work includes serving as the vice president and secretary of a local chapter of College Democrats, an inaugural board member of Campus Progress, director of Student Lobbying, Iowa field organizer for the Hillary Clinton Presidential Committee, African American outreach organizer for the Hillary Clinton Presidential Committee, advance team member for the Hillary Clinton Presidential Committee, field organizer for Florida for Obama, creator of Potluck and Politics and executive director of Activist in Action. Wilkerson teaches U.S. history at a local middle school in Kissimmee, Fla. This is her first book.

For more details, visit www.amandawilkerson.org.

Photo Caption: Bookcover

The Sentencing Project and The Southern Coalition for Social Justice to host Advocate Training Conference, “Ensuring Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice System”

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The Sentencing Project and The Southern Coalition for Social Justice will host an Advocate Training Conference, “Ensuring Racial Justice in the Criminal Justice System”, March 22,  2-3 p.m. EST.

To register for the program, RSVP to advocacy@sentencingproject.org!

This training will feature advocates engaged in developing state strategies for ensuring racial justice in the criminal justice system. The conference call agenda includes:

•  History of the Racial Justice Act in North Carolina;
•  Advocacy strategies that led to passage of the Racial Justice Act;
•  Implementation and political environment following enactment; and
•  Highlights from other states — Missouri, Texas, Iowa, and Vermont — where legislation has been introduced to eliminate racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

 More than 60% of people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their early 30s, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the “war on drugs,” in which two-thirds of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color.

Presenters are:

•  Daryl Atkinson, The Southern Coalition for Social Justice;
•  Darryl Hunt, Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice;
•  Malcolm Hunter, Center for Death Penalty Litigation;
•  Nicole D. Porter, The Sentencing Project; and
•  James Williams, Co-Chair, Racial and Ethnic Bias Task Force of North Carolina.

Simon advocates for Rockford Women’s center

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Touts strip club surcharge to restore critical funding, protect jobs


ROCKFORD, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon visited a Rockford crisis center on Friday morning to advocate for legislation that would restore funding to sexual assault prevention agencies.

Simon said Senate Bill 3348, which passed out of committee earlier this week, would require all live adult entertainment facilities that permit alcohol consumption to pay a $5-per-patron fee. The funds would be distributed to community-based sexual assault prevention and response organizations, such as the Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Inc., which has been forced to cut jobs as state funding decreased by $60,000 in recent years.

“We need to keep the doors open and people working at crisis centers in Rockford and across the state,” said Simon, a former Jackson County prosecutor and founder of the Southern Illinois University School of Law’s domestic violence legal clinic. “Senate Bill 3348 is a responsible way to restore funding to agencies that provide critical services to women, educate our children, and train law enforcement agencies.”

Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Inc. provided free crisis intervention and counseling services to more than 1,000 adult and child survivors of sexual assault and sexual abuse in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties last year. The center reaches about 15,000 students and community members annually through prevention education training, in addition to providing professional training to health centers and law enforcement agencies in the tri-county area.

“We are stretched as far as we can stretch,” said Maureen Mostacci, the center’s executive director. “Our clientele is increasing about 10 percent each year, while our state funding and our staff levels are going down. Senate Bill 3348 would provide a reliable funding source that will allow us to continue helping women and families.”

The legislation has received support from dozens of rape crisis centers; the Illinois Department of Human Services; R.T. Finney, President of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police; and Dr. Richard McCleary, a University of California-Irvine professor and leading adult entertainment business researcher.

Last year, the Texas Supreme Court upheld legislation that funded crisis centers through a $5 entrance fee at strip clubs that permit alcohol. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge of that decision, effectively opening the door for other cities and states to purse similar measures. California is among the states seeking legislation; it is considering a $10-per-patron fee.

As the economy recovers, many are still seeking low income housing

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Popular Low Income Housing Web Site Receives Record Number of Visitors


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Many economists agree that the U.S. economy is slowly recovering, but housing issues continue to plague many families across the country. According to the Low Income Housing Authority, their web site traffic at www.LowIncome.org continues to grow and last month received an all-time record number of visitors.

One report, issued by the Urban Institute, says that up to 40% of all low-income families in the United States continue to experience hardships related to housing. This literally means that millions of people across the country are in bad economic situations, and are likely looking for and/or already living in low income housing and apartments.

To address this, the National Low Income Housing Authority launched their web site in 2010. The site now lists over 50,000 properties in its online database. The available properties are located in all 50 states, most of them concentrated in urban areas.

The web site also offers valuable information, resources, and tips on how to find and apply for low income housing programs, affordable housing programs, and other similar government assistance programs.

For more details, needy individuals and families should visit www.LowIncome.org

Windy City Rhythms’ to celebrate National Tap Dance Day at annual performance

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), the world’s first year-round presenter of American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts, presents Windy City Rhythms, its annual performance celebrating  National Tap Dance Day, May 10 and 11, in association with and taking place at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago. Windy City Rhythms is sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust.


Windy City Rhythms features Chicago-based foot drummers including the CHRP debuts of FootworKINGz and Boom Crack Dance Company as well as M.A.D.D. Rhythms celebrating its 10th anniversary,  Mr. Taps,  Tre Dumas, youth groups from Paul Revere Elementary School and Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School, and CHRP’s resident ensemble BAM! premiering new works.


About Chicago Human Rhythm Project

CHRP’s 2011-12 season is supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Target, The Boeing Company, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation for Arts & Culture at Prince, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Illinois Arts Council, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The Saints, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Jeanette & Jerome Cohen Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg Family Foundation, L&L Hardwood Flooring, The Service Club of Chicago, Arts Work Fund, Leo’s Dancewear, The Seneca Hotel and Suites and generous individual donors.


Founded in 1990, the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) fosters social reconciliation by presenting American tap dance and contemporary percussive arts in world-class and innovative performance, education and community outreach programs. The organization’s vision is to establish the first global center for American tap and percussive arts (The American Rhythm Center), which will create a complete ecosystem of education, performance, creation and community in a state-of-the-art facility uniting generations of diverse artists and the general public.


CHRP has raised more than $700,000 to support the establishment of the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (working title),which will serve as a shared and affordable education, rehearsal and administrative facility for several Chicago arts organizations


Ticket information


Windy City Rhythms takes place Thursday, May 10 at 10:30 a.m. and Friday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago. Tickets are $15-25; visit chicagotap.org or call 773-281-1825. All programming is subject to change.





Republican Early Voting participation up 77% over 2008 primary

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
Early Voting ends Thursday, March 15

Republican voters in suburban Cook County are coming out in larger numbers and represent a greater percentage of early voters for the March 20 Presidential Primary than four years ago, according to Clerk David Orr.

During the first 10 days of Early Voting, 6,270 Republican voters participated — a 77 percent increase over the 2008 primary when 3,545 Republican ballots were cast at this stage in Early Voting.
GOP voters represent 38.1 percent of total Early Voting participation to date. In 2008 after a week and a half of Early Voting, Republican voters represented 19.6 percent of all ballots cast.
Republican Early Voting turnout is also up when compared with the 2010 Gubernatorial Primary. After 10 days of Early Voting in 2010, 3,893 GOP voters participated or 31.8 percent of total ballots cast.
More than 10,000 Democrats have cast Early Voting ballots, or 4,500 fewer than in 2008. Overall Early Voting turnout (16,470) is slightly lower than in the 2008 primary (18,079), but greater than the 2010 primary (12,223).
Orland Park Village Hall is the busiest Early Voting location, with more than 1,000 ballots cast through Wednesday. Visit cookcountyclerk.com to view Early Voting turnout by location.
Early Voting continues through March 15 at 42 suburban Cook County locations and the Clerk’s downtown Chicago office, 69 W. Washington. For more information about hours and locations, please visit cookcountyclerk.com.











Doris Christopher, Founder of The Pampered Chef, to receive BBB Torchbearer Award

Posted by Admin On March - 9 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Doris Christopher, founder of The Pampered Chef, Ltd., Addison, Ill., will receive the Torchbearer Award from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) at the organization’s Annual Dinner Meeting in the Hilton Palmer House Hotel on March 15, 2012. The BBB is honoring Ms. Christopher for her consistent dedication to ethical business practices throughout her career as a highly successful business owner.


“The BBB Torchbearer Award is presented to a person who not only practices but exemplifies business ethics,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau.  “Ms. Christopher is such a person, focusing on ethical and trustworthy practices from the founding of The Pampered Chef in 1980, through the company’s purchase by Warren Buffet in 2002, to her continued involvement today.”


The former home economics teacher, Doris Christopher started The Pampered Chef in the basement of her suburban Chicago home in 1980.  It is best known for its at-home sales parties of professional-quality kitchen equipment by a sales force of “Pampered Chef Consultants.”  In 2001, the year before its sale to Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway operation, The Pampered Chef had sales of $740 million.


Ms. Christopher has been a member of the BBB Board of Directors for 13 years and Board chair in 2005.  Her company received the prestigious Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in 1998.  In addition, she is the Immediate Past Chairperson of the Direct Selling Association, and is the Chairperson of the Direct Selling Education Foundation.

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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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