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Archive for July 25th, 2012

U. S. Black Chamber makes ‘Game Changer’ move for black economy

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS


By Hazel Trice Edney  



WASHINGTON, D.C. (TriceEdneyWire.com) – Ron Busby appeared reflective as he sat at the mahogany board room table at Industrial Bank, a Black-owned establishment, based in North West Washington, D.C. Busby, the president/CEO of the U. S. Black Chamber Inc. (USBC) then summed up his thoughts in one sentence:


“This is a game changer,” he declared.


Amidst an economic downturn that has pulverized segments of the Black community with record unemployment and loss of wealth across the nation, Busby had just opened a U. S. Black Chamber account with Industrial. The deposit was a calculated move to start a new relationship that he hopes will spread into a national movement that will strengthen Black financial institutions and ultimately uplift the community at large.


“I believe that Industrial has a success story that is unequaled,” he continued in the interview. “And if you really look at the statistics in reference to not only Industrial, but other minority and Black-owned banks, you’ll see that they are in our communities; they lend money to our businesses as well as our local communities. And so, for the average reader across the country that’s going to pick this up, I think it is game changing because now you have a national organization that’s not just talking about a solution but is actually actively participating in the solution.”


The USBC deposit was in fact another significant stride in the history of the 75-year-old Industrial. The bank started with six employees and $192,000 in assets in 1934 and now has 150 employees and more than $333 million in assets. With Industrial Bank pioneers Jesse H. Mitchell, founder, and B. Doyle Mitchell Sr., president, adorning the board room wall in portraits; Busby underscored the significance of the new business partnership.


“This will be our primary bank,” Busby said. “We will probably do about a half million dollars of business a year that will run through this particular bank.”


The 4-year-old Black Chamber, Inc. boasts about 108 chambers in 22 states and 240,000 members – mostly Black-owned businesses. The ultimate strategy, if it works as outlined by Industrial President/CEO B. Doyle Mitchell Jr., would benefit the community.


“The more deposits we have, the more we’re able to lend out,” Mitchell says. “In order to grow, you’ve got to have deposits.”


Mitchell, also chairman of the National Bankers Association (NBA), envisions a spread of the movement. “I do see it as a partnership, but I also see it as an encouragement to other Black national organizations and Black companies to do more business with each other because I think we trail everybody in trying to do business with each other and keeping money in our own communities. I think with the U. S. Black Chamber being the top notch organization that they are, I think it’s a big leadership step for them and for Ron to take that initiative.”


Mitchell and Busby both serve on the Small Business Administration’s Council on Underserved Communities, where they first began this conversation. They have concluded that – in addition to government initiatives – the African-American community must step up its activities to revitalize itself. To make that happen, Mitchell and Busby are strategizing with Michael Grant, president of NBA, which has a membership of 37 mostly Black-owned banks.


“This can be the catalyst to get other national organizations to see how important it is that we harmonize; synergize, and energize our efforts,” says Grant as he listed several major Black organizations. “At the end of the day, all of these organizations have constituencies that go all over America, all of these organizations handle money and their members handle money… You start with the leadership of these organizations and you say ‘Listen, we need to do a better job at harvesting our own wealth. Yes, we want to look to politicians to do things and yes we may ask the corporations to be more fair about their hiring and their contracting and so forth, but what are we supposed to do?'”


Grant continued, “To me, I don’t think that we should keep asking others and passively sitting back and waiting for others to deliver for us. We should be proactive and aggressive about making sure that economic opportunity exists in the Black community. So, all of us are national organizations; we’ve already got people; we’ve already got constituents, right? We’ve already got resources. So, let’s set the example.”


A “national action plan” in this regard will be announced July 27 during the USBC’s School of Chamber Management conference at Georgetown University in D.C., Busby says.


In a nutshell, the plan is described as a strategic national movement in which Black chambers – and ultimately Black businesses and Black organizations – will be encouraged to open accounts in Black banks. Among the initial cities are Phoenix, Ariz.; Austin, Texas; Atlanta, New York City, and Detroit, Busby said.


“And so we’re going into those six cities and saying, ‘Okay, here’s your local Black bank. We need to make sure that they’re successful as well. We need to move as many of our loans, our bank accounts, our savings accounts into Black-owned banks.'”


Busby points out that the strategy is actually a part of the USBC’s “solution-oriented” mission statement, which deals with supporting African-American businesses and banks based on five pillars:


*Advocacy: Fighting for legislation, programs and policies that promote small business growth.


*Access to capital: Creating avenues “by which Black businesses can gain greater access to credit, capital and other financial instruments.”


*Contracting: Helping members “gain access to business opportunities” in private and public sectors.


*Entrepreneurial training: Assisting Black business leaders in achieving “stellar performance and growth through entrepreneur and business management training.”


*Chamber development: The growth and expansion of new chambers around the nation.


The new strategy will focus mainly on three of the pillars. They are access to capital, contracting and entrepreneurial training, Busby said.


Throughout history, Black leaders have attempted various economic strategies to strengthen the Black community as whole, most of which have failed. Grant explains that the greatest hurdle to this movement will be galvanizing the masses in the same direction and convincing people to think about community rather than just about their own organizations or households.


“The civil rights movement was the last time that over time we came together and we all got some kind of agreement – if you will – on one accord about what we wanted. The civil rights movement ended up changing a lot of people’s minds and attitudes because the reward was so close in front of them,” Grant said. “If you want to change behavior, you have to use positive reinforcement so that rewards for the new behavior are strong enough.”


Economist Julianne Malveaux lauds the plan but says prospective participants must ask hard questions in order to hold the banks accountable.


“This is a very welcome move because only one in 10 Black dollars goes into Black entrepreneurs and Banks. So, whereas a dollar may turn over seven or eight times in other communities that invest in themselves the African-American community’s dollar may turn over only once; then go right out. So, the Black Chamber is modeling what Black folks supporting Black folks should be,” Malveaux said.


However, the success of the movement will be contingent upon whether Black banks are serious about spreading the wealth in Black communities.


“There are a series of questions that people who are changing accounts will have to ask. And those are questions that minority banks will have to answer. Like, for this support, what are you offering? Is this support simply rhetorical or does this mean more lending in the Black community? Does it mean more opportunity for our young people? Does it mean more employment for our young people?”


Grant concludes, “The burden is on all organizations; including the Black bankers too…It’s a two-way street. When you think about all the things our banks could do in their communities to help strengthen those communities, that burden is on us as it is on everybody else. What can we do to grow wealth in our community? All of us have a responsibility. Nobody’s exempt.”


Farrakhan, FOI march for peace in South Shore

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Resident says, ‘You have to sneak in your own house’


By Chinta Strausberg


Flanked by hundreds of Fruit of Islam (FOI) men, Nation of Islam Leader Minister Louis Farrakhan took to the streets late Monday night spreading his love to South Shore residents in a community beset with drugs, gangs and violence in what Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) called a “recipe for something that is not good” with one man revealing you have to sneak in your own house to avoid being shot.

The same scenario took place in 130 cities across the nation where the FOI and their leaders applied street heat in urban areas where violence is escalating, according to Leonard Muhammad, Farrakhan’s chief of staff.

But, locally walking alongside Farrakhan in the 7500 block of Kingston with an army of his FOI was Ald. Harris who said Farrakhan called her and volunteered to come to the South Shore community. “I think it is great. I think the Minister is out here touching a community that is sick, embracing a community and trying to find out what the issues are… asking the people who are in the most need and in the most pain. Tell me about your pain…your struggle.

“I think that it is just tremendous to have somebody come in at his level to come in and come down to the community,” Harris said. “It is a very difficult and challenging community because you have so much social issues, high crime, high poverty and when you put all of those together, it’s a recipe for something that is not good.

“We’ve got to figure out how to embrace the community and it is a litany of issues, but he is the first one to come down and try,” Harris said. When asked what was the unemployment rate, Harris said it hovers around 23 percent.

One of the many people who met Farrakhan was 60-year-old Robert Mitchell who lives in the area. “It was a beautiful experience just to shake his hand. He’s a good guy. He’s needed to stop this killing and maybe it will do some justice for these people because it’s unreal the way an what people are doing.”

As an example, Mitchell referred to a man who was simply waiting at a nearby bus stop “and he gets shot down. That’s unreal,” Mitchell said referring to the shooting at 75th and Phillips Streets “and for no reason.”

Mitchell referred to yet another shooting of a man who was on his way home. “He gets gunned down on 79th Street for no reason. The guy doesn’t do anything to anybody. He’s got a family. Why? I don’t understand that. It ain’t going to solve a problem. The only thing it’s going to do is (bring) death.”

Saying it wasn’t this way when he was younger, Mitchell painted a somber picture of life in 2012 in South Shore and pointed an accusatory finger at the youth who are allegedly battling for street control to sell their illegal drugs.

“Everything has changed because the younger guys are taking over. It’s become drug infested. They are trying to control different blocks because of drugs, and if you don’t buy nothing from him they will jump on you and beat you up.”

Asked what if you are not into drugs, Mitchell said, “They still don’t care. You still have to buy from them for what reason I do not know.” Because he works nights, Mitchell said he has to walk around with a knife or have his wife pick him up accompanied by his dog. “You have to sneak in your own house,” to avoid getting shot.  “I’m serious,” said Mitchell.

Life in South Shore is just that bad according to Laura Kandred, a 28-mother of four girls, Minister Farrakhan’s presence won’t deter the level of violence in South Shore.  Asked why are people killing themselves, Kandred said, “I am tired of the violence. My kids can’t even come outside where we pay our taxes.  I wish it would stop.

“I think we need more people out here, and we need more community residents out here to look out for each other,” said Kandred. “We need both. I’m out here looking with mine and I’m looking out for others out here,” she said.

Vivian Brown, who has lived in the community for eight-years, said she doesn’t think her community is as bad as other areas of South Shore.

Father Michael L. Pfleger, who last Sunday announced Farrakhan would be marching today, praised him for taking the fight to end violence out in the streets.

It was on July 6th during an interview with WVON’s Cliff  Kelley that Ministeri Farrakhan vowed to take to the streets each Monday at 7 p.m.  Flanked by 300 FOI, Farrakhan took to the streets in the Auburn-Gresham community passing out a leaflet

That read: “Let’s Build Unity and Stop the Violence.” He also asked the youth to take the Million Man March pledge that is a code of conduct for both their private and workplace life that calls for “atonement, reconciliation and responsibility.”

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.

Columbia Links teens gather 500 signatures for Obama’s Jobs Bill

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS
CHICAGO, IL – As thousands of teens free of studies this summer look for work, high school students in the Columbia Links teen journalism and news literacy program at Columbia College Chicago are sending petitions signed by 500 youth ages 16 – 24 to lawmakers to urge passage of the Obama Administration’s American Jobs Act, Pathways Back to Work (S.1861), announced Links Executive Director Brenda Butler.
The petitions address the lack of summer jobs for teens.  Researchers at Northeastern University, Center for Labor Market Studies in Boston, have projected a seasonally adjusted employment rate of only 26.8 percent for teens this summer nationally.  In 2011, the Center found the teen employment rate was just 27.5 percent, the lowest in 42 years, down from just below 50 percent in 1999-2000 and from 36 percent in 2007.
The jobs situation is even bleaker for minority students.  High school students in the Links program last summer found that since 2010 in Chicago, just 10 percent of African-American teens and 19 percent of Hispanic teens were employed, according to the American Community Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau as compiled by the Center at Northeastern.
The signed jobs petitions were delivered recently to the offices of U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Congressional Reps. Judy Biggert, Peter J. Roskam and Aaron Schock.  “Teens want and need to work,” Butler said.  “They need jobs to make ends meet, and to help pay for their education, with college and training programs beyond high school upon them.”
Darronte Matthews, 18, a former Links student and graduating senior from King College Preparatory High School in Chicago, couldn’t find a job last summer.  He’s applied online for this summer, but hasn’t been called for an interview.  “The jobs are going to adults who are getting laid off in the recession and don’t have skills for other jobs.  So they get the entry level jobs we need,” he said.  Near Matthews’ home, at 87th and the Dan Ryan I-94, the Best Buy just closed, making it even tougher, he added.
Last summer, Links students produced the R_Wurd Magazine that featured the cover story, “Not Hiring:  The Plight of Jobless Teens.” In addition, to raise awareness of the teen unemployment rate in Chicago, Links held a town hall meeting in November, which resulted in launching the signature-gathering initiative. 
The American Jobs Act, sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would create employment and training opportunities for jobless workers, including those who have exhausted unemployment benefits or who have insufficient work experience to qualify for unemployment.  Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has introduced a similar bill, H.R. 3425, in the House of Representatives.
If passed, the Act would provide a total of $5 billion for jobs and training for disadvantaged youth and young adults.  Around $3 billion would fund training and employment opportunities specifically for disadvantaged youth, and $2 billion would subsidize employment programs for unemployed, low-income adults.
In addition, as early as 2007, Illinois State Representative Esther Golar (D- 6th District) and Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd District) sponsored a state teen jobs bill, H.B. 3631, which passed the General Assembly in 2010.  However, Rep. Golar says that due to the state’s debt, no funds have been appropriated for the 20,000 teen jobs that the legislation provided for.  “Teens need to have a work history to compete today.  They are competing with college graduates for entry level jobs,” she said.
The Columbia Links program gives Chicago teens a voice, and helps them to change their communities, Butler added.  Attempting to blunt the lack of teen jobs somewhat in a “learn and earn” initiative, teens who submit an application and are accepted into one of the three yearly Columbia Links academies earn a stipend for their work. Teen articles, videos and applications for the Links program are on the website, www.columbialinks.org.
For more information on the teen jobs petitions, please contact Brenda Butler, Columbia Links, at 312/369-8993, or on teen unemployment data from Northeastern University, Center for Labor Market Studies in Boston, please contact Professor Andrew Sum, 617.373.2242, or Jack Wuest, Executive Director, Alternative Schools Network, 312.259.2360.
Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to nearly 12,000 students in over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit www.colum.edu.

Muhammad Ali and David Beckham present the Generation Ali Beyond Sport Award

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

David Beckham and Muhammad Ali took to the stage together at the Beyond Sport Summit in London on Tuesday 24th July to present the inaugural Generation Ali Beyond Sport Award. The boxing legend and the former England captain presented the award, which recognises Service, Leadership, and Action in the community, to Matiullah Haidar.

19-year-old Matiullah, who lost most of his family in the conflict in Afghanistan, came to the UK as a refugee. He now coaches sport and supports refugees as a skilled translator. As part of the programme of support that he and his fellow nominees will receive as the founding members of Beyond Sport’s Young Advisory Panel, they will be flown by British Airways to the Beyond Sport United conference, to be held at Yankee Stadium in New York on November 13th 2012.

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 and UNICEF.

For more information on Beyond Sport and the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards visit www.beyondsport.org

A young, Evangelical calls for “Reformation’ in the Black Church

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 3 COMMENTS

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — It is without question that the Black Church has come a long way since the days of slavery and legalized segregation. Through its trials and tribulations, the Church has stood its ground as a social and spiritual resource for African American communities. Yet, with these acknowledgments comes the question of what exactly the Black Church should look like in the twenty-first century.

In his book, Standing True to Our God? A Young, Evangelical’s Perspective on Reformation in the Black Church, J. L. Moore highlights several examples of how facets of the modern black church experience are not reflecting the teachings of Christ and His apostles. In the spirit of love and appreciation for the Black Church in America, he implores African American Christians to strongly consider the need for biblical reformation in five crucial areas:

* Denominational Modification
* The Lost Focus of the Black Church
* The Nature of Biblical Teaching
* The Diversity of God
* The Pauline Principle

Pastor Fred Luter, the first African American President of the Southern Baptist Convention, stated, “I would make this book required reading in every seminary and Bible College in this country! Mr. Moore’s wisdom, insight, research, convictions, and biblical knowledge are evident in every chapter…reform is desperately needed in our churches today.”

According to Pastor Rodney Maiden of Providence Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, “Standing True to Our God? presents a clear understanding of the need for the Church to stand true to the Word of God. In a day and time when many are veering from the Word, Mr. Moore remains true to sound, biblical teaching…”

The Black Church in America is the most victorious institution in the African American community. Yet, when it is compared with sacred scripture, we find that the Black Church is falling short in very significant areas. Nevertheless, there is a message of hope for those within the Black Church who are willing to embrace the call for biblical reformation.

What should the Black Church look like in the twenty-first century according to biblical teaching? Believe it or not, there are stimulating answers to that crucial question.

“I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the New Testament dream. I have a dream, that one day, the Black Church will rise up, and live out the true meaning of its anthem: shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand true to our God.” — J. L. Moore; adapted from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Speech: ‘I Have a Dream’

For more information and to contact Mr. Moore, visit www.jlmoorepage.com.

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, J.L. Moore

Simon: Link card users see local food choices double

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

50 farmers’ markets in Illinois to receive federal grant funds


CARBONDALE, IL – Thanks to a federal grant, the number of farmers’ markets in Illinois that accept Link, debit and credit cards could double, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, a local food advocate and chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, announced.  

Simon said 41 farmers’ markets across Illinois each will receive $1,200 grants from the Illinois Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project. Due to popular demand, additional applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The program will enable farmers’ markets to accept Illinois Link cards, which access federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, wirelessly for the first time.  A total of 49 SNAP-certified farmers’ markets and direct-marketing farmers accepted Link cards in 2011, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, up from 15 in 2009. The wireless EBT project could bring the total to 99, or about one-third of farmers’ markets statewide, by this year’s end.

“We expect sales of local foods across Illinois, from urban gardens in Chicago to farms in Alexander County, to increase because of this program. Health benefits will follow,” Simon said. “As a state, we export more than 95 percent of our food dollars. Doubling the number of farmers’ markets accepting Link, debit and credit cards will keep more of those dollars in local communities, while improving the health of our citizens and underserved neighborhoods, at no new cost to state taxpayers.”

The wireless EBT project, funded by a grant from the USDA, aims to expand access to fresh produce for low-income residents and boost sales of local foods. The program will be administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Agriculture with support from the Lt. Governor’s office.

The funding is part of a $4 million nationwide effort by the USDA to increase SNAP use at farmers’ markets. SNAP sales at Illinois farmers’ markets totaled nearly $70,000 in 2011, an increase of over 522 percent since 2009.

 “We’re excited to have this opportunity to improve opportunities for low-income individuals to obtain nutritious foods and to support local farmers,” said USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Audrey Rowe. “SNAP participation at farmers’ markets helps provide fresh fruit and vegetables to families and expands the customer base for local farmers – a win-win for agriculture and local communities.”

Simon and Rowe hosted a media call-in with Connie Spreen, the executive director of the Chicago not-for-profit Experimental Station, and vegetable farmers, Cheryl and Josh Dotson, of Dotson Farms in Beecher. The mother-son team, along with Josh’s wife, Bonnie, sells produce at several farmers’ markets in Chicago.

Dotson Farms began selling at farmers’ markets in 1979, when the operation was owned by Josh’s grandparents. Today the Dotsons sell a variety of tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet corn and 30 other kinds of vegetables at three SNAP-certified farmers’ markets in Chicago: Lincoln Square Farmers Market, Division Street Farmers Market and Pullman Farmers Market.

Since those markets began accepting Link, Josh Dotson has seen sales of his produce increase five percent at Lincoln Square and Division Street, and nearly 10 percent at Pullman which is in a low-income neighborhood situated in what is known as a food desert, or an area without easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

 “Our farm has been selling at farmers’ markets for many years, but we gained access to a whole new set of customers when they began accepting Link cards,” Dotson said. “As a family farm, every new customer makes a difference.”

The 41 farmers’ markets that have been selected are located in 22 different counties across Illinois and range from large operations with nearly 100 vendors and artisans to tiny ventures with less than five farmers selling produce. These markets must obtain certification to accept SNAP benefits through the USDA Food and Nutrition service and sign a contract with the Illinois Department of Agriculture that requires disclosure of sales data, use of the wireless machine on all market days, and participation in required trainings, before seeking reimbursement from the program.

Participating markets will be able to keep the wireless EBT machines, but must absorb the wireless service costs after the project is complete in September 2013 or when their $1,200 grant is expended. Minimal customer service and transaction fees will not be reimbursed by the grant. Markets that are already certified and own an EBT machine can seek reimbursement as long as their certification and EBT purchase happened after November 18, 2011.

“With 1 in 7 Illinoisans currently receiving SNAP benefits, increasing the availability of EBT machines at farmers’ markets makes so much sense: SNAP customers will gain access to the healthiest foods, and potentially millions of SNAP dollars will be redirected toward local agricultural producers, enabling them to invest in and grow their businesses,” Spreen said.   

Grant recipients will be provided community kits developed by the Lt. Governor’s office and the Illinois Department of Agriculture that will include training and promotional materials including an EBT implementation guide that explains SNAP regulations, how to use an EBT machine and ways to partner with community organizations to increase the sustainability of a wireless EBT program.

Markets will be required to attend one of three regional trainings that will be held in late August and led by Experimental Station and the Illinois Farmers Market Association. These trainings will be open to any farmers’ market in Illinois that would like to attend. An online presentation will be provided for markets unable to attend one of the trainings in person.

Upon completion of the program, Southern Illinois University Carbondale will use monthly sales data and market surveys to study and measure the impact wireless EBT machines and SNAP accessibility have on overall sales at farmers’ markets and will release findings at the end of 2013 or early 2014.

Additional applications for the Illinois EBT Wireless Project will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, or to apply, visit www.agr.state.il.us or call 217-524-9129.

Illinois EBT Wireless Project Participants

Abundant Market – Tuscola Downtown Farmers Market (Tuscola)

Alton Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market (Alton)

Aurora Farmers Market East (Aurora)

Bartlett Farmers Market (Bartlett)

Bureau County Farmers Market (Princeton)

Carbondale Community Friday Night Fairs (Carbondale)

Central Park Farmers Market (Decatur)

City of Mendota Farmer’s Market (Mendota)

Clark County Farmers Market (Martinsville)

Clinton Area Farmers and Artisans Market (Clinton)

Deerfield Farmers Market (Deerfield)

DeKalb Farmers’ Market (DeKalb)

Discover Sycamore’s Farmers Market (Sycamore)

Elmwood Park Farmers Market (Elmwood Park)

F.R.E.S.H. Farmers Market (East St. Louis)

French Market (Villa Park)

George Washington Carver Farmers Market (Chicago)

Haymarket Square Park Farmers Market (Dixon)

Hinsdale Farmers Market (Hinsdale)

Hopkins Park/Pembroke Farmers’ Market (Pembroke Township)

Huntley Farmers Market (Huntley)

La Grange Farmers Market (La Grange)

Lincoln Square Thursday Evening Farmers Market (Chicago)

Lockport Farmer’s Market (Lockport)

Loyola Farmers Market (Chicago)

Main Street Farmers Market of Olney (Olney)

Morton Grove Farmers’ Market (Morton Grove)

Northbrook Farmers Market (Northbrook)

Old Capitol Farmers Market (Springfield)

Oswego Country Market (Oswego)

Palos Heights Farmers Market (Palos Heights)

Portage Park Farmers Market (Chicago)

Ravinia’s Farmers Market (Chicago)

Ridgeville Farmers’ Market (Evanston)

Seaway Bank Farmers Market (Chicago)

Shelbyville Farmers Market (Shelbyville)

Skokie’s Farmers Market (Skokie)

The Land of Goshen Community Market (Edwardsville)

Trinity United Church of Christ Farmers Market (Chicago)

Twin City Market (Sterling)

Uptown Farmers Market at Weiss Memorial Hospital (Chicago)

State education and health agencies issue reminder for immunizations as students head back to school

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month


SPRINGFIELD, IL — As more than 2 million Illinois students prepare to head back to school, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) encourage parents and guardians to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date. New IDPH rules require students entering sixth and ninth grades this school year show proof of receiving the Tdap vaccine, a booster shot for continued protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly referred to as whooping cough.

“Let’s start the school year off right and keep our children healthy and ready to learn in their classrooms,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Immunizations are easy and protect everyone from diseases that can have serious complications.”

The State of Illinois requires vaccinations to protect children from a variety of diseases before they can enter school. Required up-to-date immunizations for a child entering any grade include diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, rubella and mumps. Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib) is required only for children entering preschool programming.  Hepatitis B is also required for children entering preschool programming, but is not required for children in kindergarten through fourth grades. Hepatitis B is, however, required for students entering fifth grade and above. Varicella (chicken pox) is required for students entering preschool programming through 10th grade.

IDPH cites recent outbreaks of whooping cough, or pertussis, in Illinois as it stresses the need for protection and adherence to its new rules.

“This new requirement for sixth- and ninth-graders comes at a time when we are seeing a substantial increase in pertussis cases here in Illinois and across the country,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “This newly required Tdap booster will help protect students and those around them, including infants, who are too young to be fully immunized.”

August marks National Immunization Awareness Month (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/events/niam/default.htm) which aims to educate people of all ages about the importance of protecting their health by being immunized against infectious diseases.

In addition to immunizations, all students enrolling in kindergarten in a public or private school and any student enrolling for the first time in Illinois (with the exception of preschoolers) must have an eye examination. The eye exam needs to be performed by a licensed optometrist or medical doctor who performs eye exams and is licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. All eye exams must be completed within one year prior to Oct. 15.

Furthermore, all students enrolled in kindergarten and the second and sixth grades are required to have a dental examination.

Also, all children must complete a physical examination prior to entering Illinois schools for the first time, prior to the date of entering kindergarten or first grade, prior to entering sixth grade, and prior to entering ninth grade. The exam includes gender and date of birth; an evaluation of height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, skin, eyes, ears, nose, throat, mouth/dental; cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary, neurological, and musculoskeletal evaluations; spinal examination; evaluation of nutritional status; lead screening; and other evaluations deemed necessary by the health-care provider.

Illinois’ health exam requirements are aligned with recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on adolescent vaccinations, including Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), meningococcal and HPV (human papillomavirus).

Parents and guardians should contact their health-care provider, local health department or pharmacy to schedule an appointment to receive the recommended and required vaccinations. It is important to keep an immunization record card for your child’s entry into school.

IDPH offers a “Parents Guide to Childhood Immunizations” at www.idph.state.il.us/about/pgci.htm. There is also the Illinois Help Me Grow helpline at 1-800-323-GROW (voice and TTY) for additional immunization information. For parents who may not be able to afford immunizations, IDPH lists the Vaccines for Children program, which is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families. For information, call (312) 746-6050 in Chicago or (217) 785-1455 for the rest of the state.

For additional information about immunizations in Illinois, visit:

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MB Financial Park at Rosemont announces second ‘Summer Rockin’ in the Park at Rosement; Four bands to play

Posted by Admin On July - 25 - 2012 7 COMMENTS


August Summer Music Festival lineup – Four Bands to Play at Free Outdoor Music Festival, August 3 & 4.  Food & Drinks available for purchase  



ROSEMONT, IL – After a successful premiere in June of this year, The Village of Rosemont presents another Summer Rockin’ in the Park at Rosemont music festival. Featuring four live bands, food and drink and free admission, the festival will be an eclectic outdoor music festival at MB Financial Park at Rosemont.


The festival will be held on the great lawn in the center of the new MB Financial Park at Rosemont, located at 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. Admission is free and food and drink will be available for purchase from restaurants within the complex. The festival runs Friday, August 3 from 6 – 11 p.m., and Saturday, August 4 from 6 – 11 p.m. Both days feature live music including Mr. Blotto, The Midwest’s Premier Jam Band; Slippery When Wet, a Bon Jovi Tribute Band; Lounge Puppets, an 80’s Arena Band; and American English, the nation’s leading Beatles Tribute Band. A full schedule of performance times can be found below. Outside coolers and pets cannot be brought into the park.


“We could not be more excited for this festival following the incredible turnout for our first Rockin’ in the Park,” said Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens. “We hope to have just as much success this time around, as the people of the Chicago area get to know and love the new and exciting entertainment and dining options in MB Financial Park at Rosemont.”


The first Summer Rockin’ in the Park at Rosemont music festival in June, which featured eleven bands, was a huge success drawing a crowd of 25,000 people for the three day festival.


Festival Schedule


Friday, August 3
6:00 PM – Mr. Blotto (The Midwest’s Premier Jam Band)
9:30 PM – Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi Tribute Band)


Saturday, August 4
6:00 PM – Lounge Puppets (80’s Arena Band Tribute)
9:15 PM – American English (Fab Four Tribute Band)


About The Village of Rosemont, Illinois

Rosemont, Illinois, Chicagoland’s business and entertainment suburb, is conveniently located five minutes from O’Hare Airport and twenty minutes from Chicago’s downtown. Rosemont is home to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, a wide variety of hotel and dining options, the Allstate Arena, the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont, and a host of entertainment and retail venues. Rosemont continues to grow and evolve based on the new vision of Mayor Bradley A. Stephens. MB Financial Park at Rosemont features an array of great dining and entertainment options. For more information visit www.rosemont.com.


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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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