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Archive for June 1st, 2012

$180.3 Million Verdict for three men injured in Grain Elevator Explosion in Downstate Illinois

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 3 COMMENTS
Robert Clifford, Kevin Durkin and Colin Dunn obtain $112 million of record $180.3 million Verdict in Federal Court in St. Louis

 

ST. LOUIS, IL – Robert A. Clifford, Kevin P. Durkin and Colin H. Dunn, partners at Clifford Law Offices, led the trial team that obtained a record $112 million verdict on (Friday, June 1 2012) on behalf of two men who were burned in a grain elevator explosion in downstate Illinois owned by ConAgra Foods.  Also part of the trial team was Brad L. Badgley of Belleville, Illinois.  The jury returned a verdict of $41.5  million in compensatory damages and $34.3 million in punitive damages for John W. Jentz.  The jury also returned a verdict of $2.9 million in compensatory damages and $33.3 million in punitive damages for Robert Schmidt.

Following a one-month trial in federal court in St. Louis before Judge Michael J. Reagan, the jury returned a verdict in 10 hours on behalf of Jentz of St. Peter, Minnesota, and Schmidt of Hutchinson, Minnesota.  The two men were among those working in the ConAgra grain facility in downstate Chester, Illinois, on April 27, 2010, when it exploded in flames, burning Jentz on 70-75 percent of his body.   He was airlifted by helicopter from the scene and spent months recuperating in the hospital. 

He suffered disabling injuries and has undergone numerous surgeries and skin grafts. Attorneys for the severely injured man contended that the grain bin had not been properly cleaned in nearly 20 years and that despite an unusual odor, smoke and unusually high temperatures in the bin, they did not take proper precautions for the workers.

 “Mr. Jentz and the workers on the scene were not properly instructed as to what was going on in the hot bin,” Clifford said following the verdict.  “Company officials knew the seriousness of what was happening and never conveyed that information to their workers or provide them with the proper precautions so that they would avoid injury.  The jury’s verdict in compensatory and punitive damages speaks for itself.”  The jury found Jentz one (1) percent at fault and Schmidt was determined not to be at fault in the tragedy. Jentz was awarded $1 million in additional punitives by the defendant Westside Salvage, Inc.

 A third man was injured in the incident, Justin Becker, who was represented by other counsel.  He received one-third of the $100,000,000 in punitive damages that the jury awarded to be divided equally between the three men.

A PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD WITH JENTZ AND SCHMIDT AND THEIR ATTORNEYS, ROBERT A. CLIFFORD, KEVIN P. DURKIN and COLIN H. DUNN MONDAY at 10:30 A.M.  IN CHICAGO AT CLIFFORD LAW OFFICES, 120 N. LASALLE ST., 31ST FLOOR, CHICAGO.  VIDEOS OF THE SCENE AND THE VICTIMS WILL BE SHOWN. PHOTOS WILL BE AVAILABLE.

The concrete grain bin that exploded while the three workers were taking out equipment was used to store wheat middling pellets, feed for livestock, which is part of the process of making flour from wheat.  ConAgra’s headquarters are located in Omaha, Nebraska. 

For further information, contact attorneys Robert Clifford at 312-899-9090 or 312-758-9090, Kevin Durkin at 312-485-4503 or Colin Dunn at 312-758-7008.  Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela Menaker can be reached at 847-721-0909.
______________
Case Nos.: 3:10-CV-474-MJR-PMF; 3:10-CV-952-MJR-PMF; 3:11-CV-391-MJR-PMF
For further information, please contact Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela Menaker at 847-721-0909 or 847-251-4877.
www.CliffordLaw.com
www.CliffordAviationLaw.com

Attorneys for Plaintiffs, John Jentz and Robert Schmidt:
Robert A. Clifford, Kevin P. Durkin, Colin H. Dunn
Clifford Law Offices
120 N. LaSalle St., 31st Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

312-899-9090
and
Brian L. Badgley, P.D.
Brad L. Badgley
26 Public Square
Belleville, IL 62220

618-235-1000

Congressional Black Caucus and Black Clergy Occupy the Vote

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Weekly Newsletter of Marc H. Morial,

President and CEO of the National Urban League)

 

This week, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus met with several hundred clergy leaders from the Conference of National Black Churches to discuss new voting laws and their potential impact on African-American voters.
 
At a time when the hard-fought right to vote is threatened across the country by regressive and discriminatory laws, churches have a role to play in educating voters, helping them to register and finding a way to get them to the polls on Election Day.
 
Lawyers were on hand to help guide the clergy members about the law. As Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Emanuel Cleaver – himself a United Methodist pastor – said, “The day is over when they could just stand in the pulpit and say ‘Go vote. It’s your duty.’ They’ve got to now be equipped with some sophisticated information to help inspire a turnout and protect parishioners from some of the schemes that are out there.”
 
Since last year, at least 15 states have passed, and 38 states are considering regressive voting laws, including photo identification requirements, restricting voter-registration drives by third-party groups, curtailing or eliminating early voting, eliminating same-day registration and disenfranchising convicted felons who’ve served their time.
 
The new laws could deny as many as 5 million people – most of them minorities, elderly or low-income – the right to vote.
 
We enthusiastically applaud the CDC and the black clergy for their vital efforts to OCCUPY THE VOTE. To register to vote, find a polling place, report a problem or get answers to voting questions, call the Voter Empowerment Hotline at 1-866-MYVOTE-1.
 
It’s your right, your voice, your vote.

Mokena Business may be illegally using the BBB’s name and logo to mislead consumers

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) is considering action against a business in Mokena, Illinois that may be improperly representing itself as a BBB-Accredited Business and providing inaccurate information to area consumers.

 

The online Business Review for Eco Improvement, 12860 W 184th Place, Mokena, Illinois 60448-8398, appears to be from the BBB but it is, in fact, an imitation of a copyrighted BBB Business Review. While this fictitious Business Review alleges that Eco Improvement is a BBB-Accredited Business with an A+ rating, Eco Improvement is not Accredited and currently holds a F rating.

 

“We contacted Eco Improvement of Mokena, Illinois with our concerns,” stated Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and northern Illinois. “In addition, we sent the business correspondence demanding it immediately cease misleading consumers with inaccurate information that illegally uses the Better Business Bureau name and logo.”

 

Eco Improvement’s website developer, the site’s internet service provider, and appropriate search engines have been warned of this activity.

 

“We have also contacted the Illinois Attorney General’s office,” Bernas stated. “Because of the purposeful and very specific use of the Better Business Bureau name, logo, Business Review format and letter-grade rating, all of which are protected by copyright laws, we are considering legal action against the perpetrator.”

 

Consumers should only trust BBB Business Reviews obtained via the BBB website, www.bbb.org. Additionally, consumers may call the BBB at 312.832.0500 to verify a business’s rating and Accreditation status.

 

Eco Improvement’s actual BBB Business Review may be accessed for free at http://www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/home-improvements/eco-improvement-in-mokena-il-88483436

 

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez responds to General Assembly’s passage of House Bill 1907

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

“The Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law (RICO)”

 

 Alvarez’s Statement:

 

 “There is no question that we need new ideas and solutions to attack the problem of gang violence and today the Illinois General Assembly took dramatic action to combat a crime that is plaguing far too many of our communities.

I commend the General Assembly and its leadership for the bipartisan support and passage of House Bill 1907, a Bill drafted by my office to help local prosecutors attack gang violence in a new and revolutionary fashion by targeting gang leaders and the organized structure of street gangs.

I offer special thanks to our Bill’s Sponsors State Senator Tony Munoz and State Representative Michael Zalewski. I also want to thank Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the leadership of the Chicago Police Department for their steadfast support and partnership.

I look forward to working with Governor Pat Quinn on this important public safety initiative and respectfully request his support as this legislation moves to his desk for signature.”

 

Judge orders wrongfully convicted man released after 24 Years in prison

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago learned that James Kluppelberg — wrongfully imprisoned 24 years for a crime that he did not commit — will be released from the maximum security Menard, Illinois Correctional Center at approximately 12:30 PM today, Thursday, May 31.
 

CHICAGO, IL –  A Cook County Judge vacated the conviction of James Kluppelberg, who was wrongfully convicted of starting a deadly fire that killed 6 and injured another on March 24, 1984 at 4448 S. Hermitage. The court ordered the release of Mr. Kluppelberg, who is represented by the Exoneration Project at the University of the Chicago Law School and Mr. Karl Leonard of Winston & Strawn LLP.

Mr. Kluppelberg was wrongfully convicted of 6 counts of murder and 3 counts of arson on March 22, 1990 and sentenced to a term of natural life. To date, Mr. Kluppelberg has spent 24 years in prison for the crime despite always maintaining his innocence. Mr. Kluppelberg will be released just in time to celebrate his 47th birthday as a free man. 

During the initial investigation, the police determined that the fire was an accident. Four years later, a witness avoided prison time on burglary and theft charges by falsely claiming that he watched Mr. Kluppelberg go back and forth to the scene of the fire from an attic window. Aerial photographs showed that the view from the attic window was blocked by another building.  In addition, a former Fire Department employee, Francis Burns, theorized that the fire was started by igniting a pile of newspapers or rags and that alleged burn patterns demonstrated that the fire was an arson.  The witness has since admitted that he lied, and advances in science have proven that Mr. Burns’ arson theory is impossible.  Students working with the Exoneration Project also uncovered evidence that another person may have been involved in starting the fire, evidence that had not been previously disclosed to Mr. Kluppelberg.

“Mr. Kluppelberg is overjoyed to be coming home,” said Gayle Horn, an attorney with the Exoneration Project.  “We would also like to thank the State for recognizing that Mr. Kluppelberg’s conviction could no longer stand in light of the new evidence that he has secured since his trial.”

For more information:

Gayle Horn, Eva Nagao, UChicago Law School Exoneration Project, 773-573-4155, tthompson@law.uchicago.edu

Karl Leonard, Winston & Strawn, 312-558-3709, KaLeonard@winston.com

Foundation work helps to reverse social plights, perception of African-American men and boys

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 3 COMMENTS
group Trice Edney Communications
 

By Kimberly N. Alleyne

 America’s Wire Staff

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Concerned about the plight of African-American men and boys, several philanthropic organizations have launched initiatives to improve opportunities for them to succeed. Some programs address the structural bias that leaves these men more likely to be incarcerated, jobless and disproportionately affected by other social disadvantages.  

One of every 15 African-American men is in a U.S. prison or jail compared with one of every 36 Hispanic men and one of every 106 white men. Moreover, scores of African-American men are affected by chronic unemployment, lack of education, poverty and poor health outcomes.

Organizations such as Open Society Foundations, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and local and regional foundations are working to assist African-American males.

 

Shawn Dove, campaign manager for the Campaign for Black Male Achievement sponsored by Open Society Foundations, recalls that media stories about the plight of black men in 2006 spurred discussion on how the foundation could engage.  

 

“I thought, ‘How can we, a foundation that supports open society values, and believes in a democratic society, as a foundation, not be at the forefront of these issues?’ ” he says. “When we launched, there was not an equivalent on a national level.”  

 

The program began in June 2008 and was to be a three-year campaign. But 18 months in, Dove says, George Soros, chairman of Open Society Foundations, and its board were impressed by the work, expanded the budget and agreed to make it ongoing. Since 2008, it has spent $29.6 million funding 94 organizations working on educational equity, strengthening family structures and increasing work opportunities. Grantees are in Chicago, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Jackson, Miss.

 

“We are responding to long-term systemic and structural barriers facing the African-American community, specifically black men and boys,” Dove says. “An adequate response is not a three-year or five-year commitment. An adequate response is generational commitment so that direct services and policy advocacy are bridged.”

 

Dove maintains that to adequately address challenges faced by African-American men, “we need an endowed social corporation that can focus on these issues for the long haul.”

 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s work in this regard dates to the early 1990s when it launched a Men and Boys of Color initiative that included grants and creation of opportunities for black males. For more than 20 years, Kellogg has been in the forefront in supporting initiatives such as Community Voices, which started the nation’s first health clinic for men in Baltimore, addressed flaws in local juvenile justice systems and assisted ex-convicts in re-entering communities in numerous cities.

 

“Both explicit and unconscious bias affects young men and boys of color in particular, denying them equal opportunities to succeed in their communities, says Dr.Gail C. Christopher, Kellogg’s vice president for program strategy. “At the Kellogg Foundation, a critical objective for our racial healing and racial equity strategy seeks to remove structural and implicit barriers that limit their success. Achieving and sustaining racial equity requires strong systems of accountability, and as importantly, success requires uprooting a belief system of racial hierarchy.”  

 

Last September, Kellogg sponsored “Too Important to Fail,” Tavis Smiley’s PBS report on health and education disparities among African-American boys. The foundation also funded a University of North Carolina project, the Promoting Academic Success initiative, which worked with families, schools and communities to improve academic achievement of African-American and Latino children in Lansing, Mich., and Polk County, Fla.  

 

Under its America Healing Initiative, the foundation funds many organizations, such as the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, that engage in efforts to address the challenges faced by black males. One grantee, the Opportunity Agenda, recently released a report on perceptions of black males in the media. The report seeks to educate media makers, educators and others on how negative images of black communities perpetuate negative stereotypes.  

 

A significant part of the challenge is improving educational opportunities for African-American men. With its College Bound Brotherhood program established five years ago, the Mitchell Kapor Foundation helps black youths and men achieve success by equipping them to pursue a college education. Based in San Francisco, the program provides grants to community-based organizations offering college preparedness programs in the Bay Area.  

 

Justin Davis, the foundation’s program coordinator, says it has awarded more than $1 million to organizations. “We also offer an online database, which is a free directory that lists college readiness programs in the San Francisco Bay area community,” he said. “It helps students, parents and teachers.”

 

The program hosts an annual graduation celebration at which college-bound high school graduates are lauded for their achievements. “This year, we are celebrating 150 young black men who are enrolling in college this fall,” Davis says. “This is the only event like it in the Bay Area. Last year, it was standing room only. One of the most powerful images was seeing a stage full of young black men who are going to college. It’s a great thing to see.”

The programs are making an impact.

 

Jordan Johnson, 17, is heading to Morehouse College next fall largely because of his participation in the Young Scholars Program, one 15 organizations that the Kapor Foundation supports through grants from College Bound Brotherhood. Johnson says the program changed his perspective about college.

The Young Scholars Program offers college preparatory and leadership development, plus tutoring, mentoring, cultural enrichment and scholarship assistance. Over the past 10 years, its students have attended colleges and universities such as Texas Southern, Fisk, Cornell and Yale.

“I got involved in the Young Scholars Program my junior year,” Johnson says. “Before I got involved, I thought I was going to a junior college or a two-year college. I didn’t have the professional, social or academic skills to go to a four-year college.”  

 

But the program changed his aspirations. He plans to study business management. “I didn’t think I was going to Morehouse because my GPA is 2.67,” he says, “but the Young Scholars Program gave me hope. I have been accepted to 17 colleges. I have not received any rejections.”  

 

Another organization, Foundation for the Mid South, works to address poverty in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, a region whose 30 percent poverty rate is the nation’s highest. Based in Jackson, Miss., the organization focuses on education, health and wellness, wealth building and community development. The Kellogg Foundation is among funders of its work.  

 

Matthew Caston, a communications fellow at Foundation for the Mid South, asserts that to be successful, more African-American men require better education. For instance, the foundation’s data show that two of three boys of color cannot read at grade level by third grade and that 19.1 percent of black males are unemployed, compared with 8 percent of white males.  

 

“We have found that education is the biggest determinant of success in the areas of incarceration, health and earning. People who are more educated are healthier and have better jobs,” Caston says, adding that reading scores are the biggest determinant for high school graduation and employment. “Males of color in our region are at the bottom in reading scores.”

 

The foundation is working to improve education and economic outcomes for youths of color by assisting parents and civic, community and government leaders in improving the educational system and launching a public awareness campaign about its shortfalls.  

 

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Black Male Engagement (BME) Challengetakes a different approach.

 

Pronounced “be me,” BME piloted programs in Detroit and Philadelphia last year, and its primary mission is to highlight actively engaged black men in those cities. BME is also funded in part by the Open Society Foundation’s Campaign for Black Male Achievement.  

 

“There are many initiatives that show that black men are disengaged, absent or a threat to their communities, but our working assumption is there is nothing to fix about black males,” says Trabian Shorters, vice president/communities program at the Knight Foundation and BME’s spearhead. “BME is not about fixing black males. Black men are assets to their communities, and we are working to respond to the many of them who are engaged and how to get more black males engaged.”  

 

Under the program, African-American men in Detroit and Philadelphia were asked to submit video testimony showing how they strengthen their communities. The 2,083 videos received told many stories about personal journeys that included men helping veterans returning to their community and introducing children to dance instead of street life. The storytellers were invited to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to further their community work.  

 

“So many regular guys go unsung,” Shorters says. “They don’t do this work for a pat on the back, but it is nice to affirm what they do.” BME has awarded $443,000 in grants “to 443 regular, everyday guys,” he adds.

 

Shorters says everyone knows “good guys” who are not part of the dreadful statistics. “I hope that BME creates a network of these kinds of guys, regular guys,” he says. “We want to make it so that if your cousin Joe is a good guy, doing something great for his community, that he can plug into the network and meet other guys like him and find resources to support his work.”  

 

Though many foundations focus their attention on systemic and structural barriers affecting African-American males, the whole “village” carries the burden of success.

 

“This is our unfinished business,” Dove says. “This is not black America’s unfinished business. It is America’s unfinished business.”

 

America’s Wire is an independent, nonprofit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our stories can be republished free of charge by newspapers, websites and other media sources. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at mike@frisbyassociates.com.

 

Photo Caption: College Bound Brotherhood program lauds graduates for their achievements.

 

 

 

 

State Senator Collins tightens rules to prevent mortgage fraud

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Lenders may not require up-front payments for loan modifications

 

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) has sponsored legislation tightening the regulation of mortgage lenders and protecting borrowers seeking loan modifications or short sales. Senate Bill 4521, now on its way to the governor’s desk, requires lenders to submit to background checks performed by a national industry standards group, increases licensing fees and fines for violators and prohibits lenders from charging homeowners in advance for loan modifications.

“In 2009, I co-sponsored the law that enrolled Illinois in the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry; today, we are taking another step toward an objective, transparent and accountable process for licensing and regulating the lenders who hold so much power in our economy,” Sen. Collins said. “Exercising vigilant oversight in the areas of loan modifications and short sales will be particularly beneficial as we work to slow the rate of foreclosure and protect distressed homeowners from financial exploitation.”

With this law, lenders will have to pay an extra $657 per year for their licenses. The fee had been reduced in 2009; this bill restores the original amount in order to pay for background checks and other expenses of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. SB 4521 also triples the maximum fine for a mortgage fraud violation (increasing it from $25,000 to $75,000) and includes protections for whistleblowers who report fraudulent activity. It clarifies that entities performing loan modification or short sale facilitation must be licensed to offer those services and may not force borrowers to pay up-front for loan modifications.

“We must have a strong mechanism for enforcing the laws that protect borrowers and homeowners,” Sen. Collins said. “Recent history has taught us that some lenders will take advantage of lax regulations. The results can devastate individuals, families and communities. I’m proud of the continued progress Illinois is achieving in the areas of housing and consumer finance as we work for justice in these trying times.”

 

Author aims to help 100 black businesses by giving away 100 free copies of his book, “Black Business Secrets”

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


Chicago, IL (BlackNews.com) — To encourage entrepreneurship amongst African Americans, Dante Lee, author of Black Business Secrets: 500 Tips, Strategies and Resources for the African American Entrepreneur, recently gave away 100 free print copies of his book at the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

The conference was held this year in Chicago, Illinois at the Chicago Hilton on Wednesday, May 23rd – Saturday, May 26th. Lee gave the books away during a book signing at his company’s booth in the Dealmaker’s Expo (Exhibit Hall).

Lee comments, “According to federal statistics, Black business owners are five times more likely to fail in business than their white counterparts. Therefore, my goal is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible to become more successful in business.”

About “Black Business Secrets”
Published by SmileyBooks and written by Dante Lee, Black Business Secrets is dedicated to transforming the devastating Census Bureau statistics that African Americans are much more likely to fail in business than their white, Asian, or Latino counterparts due to lack of fundamental business education, and insufficient economic development and resources. Any entrepreneur of any race can benefit from the book, but the content has been specifically designed to challenge and inspire African Americans because their need is greater. For more details, visit www.BlackBusinessSecrets.com

About Dante Lee
Dante Lee is a 30-year old marketing guru, a PR maven, an award-winning business coach, and a best-selling author. He has been showcased in Ebony magazine, Black Enterprise magazine, MSNBC, CNN, and “The Mo’Nique Show”. His companies, Dante Lee International and Diversity City Media, own several key web properties including BlackNews.com, BlackPR.com, BlackHistory.com, and many more. His offices are in Columbus, Ohio, USA and Metro Manila, Philippines. For more details, visit www.DanteLee.com

About The 2012 Black Enterprise Conference
The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo, held this year in Chicago, attracted more than 1,500 attendees. Entrepreneurs from all over the country came together to take in everything the conference had to offer – from informative sessions, high-powered speakers, and networking opportunities, to essential tools for emerging and established entrepreneurs. Featured speakers included Daymond John, Tavis Smiley, Nadine Thompson, Michael Baisden, and many more. For more details, visit www.BlackEnterprise.com/ec

Photo Caption: Dante Lee, author of “Black Business Secrets”, gives away his 100th free book during a recent booksigning at the 2012 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference in Chicago.
Photo Credit: Nikita Singh Photography

Lt. Governor Simon’s statement on strip club surcharge

Posted by Admin On June - 1 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon issued the following statement regarding the House’s 92-23-3 concurrence to House Bill 1645, Amendment 3, which establishes a strip club surcharge and fee structure to help fund rape crisis centers that have seen state funding decline about 28 percent over the past five years. The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Simon said: “I want to thank all of the advocates who answer rape crisis hotlines and counsel women, men and children who survive sexual abuse and assault. Sen. Hutchinson worked hard on your behalf to negotiate a compromise with the adult entertainment industry and garner bipartisan support for legislation that will help restore critical funding during tough budget times. My thanks also go out to Rep. Feigenholtz who ushered this bill through the House, again with bipartisan support. This is an example of how the process should work. All parties worked together for the good of our state.”

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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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