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Archive for April 18th, 2013

Senator Kirk responds to Senate vote on Public Safety & Second Amendment Rights Protection Act

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Senator Kirk responds to Senate vote on Public Safety & Second Amendment Rights Protection Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement yesterday regarding the Senate vote on the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act:

“I am disappointed that the Senate could not come together to support a bipartisan proposal that would reduce gun violence and protect law-abiding gun owners, but American voters are the ultimate judge of today’s result.”


Yesterday, Senator Kirk met with the families of Newtown affected by the gun violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A photo of the meeting can be found here. Senator Kirk, along with Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) are the lead co-sponsors of the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, which aims to close loopholes in the existing background check system, reduce gun violence across the US, and save lives while defending law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment rights. The Senate failed to pass the measure by a vote of 54-46. 

CTA officials vow to hire blacks for $425 million Red Line project

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on CTA officials vow to hire blacks for $425 million Red Line project


And officials say: ‘Fronts need not apply’


By Chinta Strausberg


While $425 million Red Line South Reconstruction project may temporarily disrupt the surrounding communities, CTA officials have committed to hiring African Americans for both jobs and construction contracts but issued a warning to potential fronts that they need not apply.

Recently speaking before about 100 people at the Quinn AME Chapel, 2401 So. Wabash, the site of an underground railroad headed by Rev. James Moody, CTA officials along with the Chicago Urban League announced that there are still jobs available for this Cermak-Chinatown to 95th/Dan Ryan project that starts in May of this year.

Those wanting a job on this project should call the Chicago Urban League at: 773.285.5800. “We definitely want the hiring to reflect the community,” said Gerald Nichols, CTA’s community liaison. “We don’t want go out there and see if there are 15 jobs that 5 are African Americans. It’s got to be reflective.”

 “This leg of the CTA first opened in 1969 when Richard Nixon was president and a gallon of gas cost .35-cents a gallon,” said Nichols.

Officials from the CTA attended the meeting as a result of inquiries made by the Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.), headed by Clarence Wood, and business icon Ed Gardner who is demanding that 50 percent of the public works jobs go to African Americans.

Wood told the audience, “There are some long-term goals that we all must ask and that all of you have raised today. We will begin to work on those issues and we will be holding some meetings to deal with those issues….

“All of the kinds of things that have been raised here today that we don’t believe will happen, it is in our best interests and our responsibility to mobilize and organized to make sure that they do happen. We cannot expect systems that have not worked for the black community to work for the black community unless the black community insist that those systems work on our behalf,” Wood said.

“C.O.A.L. is committed to seeing this project be successful with the goals of hiring more African Americans both as workers on the project and as contractors or sub-contractors, but we also have a long term goal that of ensuring that unions are challenged as to their hiring practices, making sure they train people so that they move through the apprenticeship to the journeyman’s program and are available to work on the kinds of jobs we have here,” said Wood.

“One of the things that we do have to do is to establish some firms that can be the prime contractors on these types of jobs so that we are not always reliant on firms from out of the city or firms that are not minority or black-owned businesses,” said Wood vowing to focus on this goal.

Asked when will the project begin, Nichols said the shutdown of the Red Line Reconstruction project would occur on Sunday, May 19, 2013, from 22nd Street to 95th Street. “We will be putting in new rails, new ballast (the stone material that holds the ties in place), and we’re going to tear up the entire drainage. We’re rebuilding from the ground up, and it’s going to take five-months to do it,” he explained.

CTA’s goal is to improve travel time and convenience for the South Side riders. Some of the stations will get new canopies, others are scheduled to get painted, bike racks and lighting.

Having been built in 1969, Nichols said there are a number of slow zones along the Red Line. “In some areas you can go on a bike and go faster than some of our trains…. We are going to be putting in new elevators at three stations, Garfield, 63rd Street and 87th Street to make our entire line along that corridor…” compliant.

Shari Runner, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Community Development for the Chicago Urban League which has been working with the CTA to ensure “they have the proper amount of minority participation on the contracting side as well as on the hiring side.”

According to Runner, there will be about 250 track work positions and the required minority hiring number is about 50. “We’re actually pushing them to hire more than the required minimum on this job.” She believes there will be about 125 positions for the station work. “The minority minimums are something like 15 to 20,” she said.

Runner said these are union jobs and that they will be paid union rates.

Omar Brown, general manager of Diversity for the CTA, explained “If you’re specifically looking to work on the Red Line, you have to go to the Red Line, but the CTA has several different positions open including flag man, track man, customer service assistance, part-time bus operators, bus servicers and mail car servicers. Those positions are open and on our website.” Brown said the CTA is hiring from 40-50 people each week.

The CTA’s website is: www.Chicagotransit.com.

Asked about the impact on the communities along the Red Line, Runner said, “The people who are going to be impacted the most by the shutdown of the rail line are in certain areas that line the footprint of the Red Line. Those people who use the Red Line are the ones we’re trying to get the hiring done from. Those are the zip codes we’re looking at.”

Mary Person, CTA compliance monitor for the Red Line project, said she would be doing site visits, will be constantly in touch with the primes and monitor their certification. “We are the ones that monitor and make sure that there are no pass-through’s or fronts.”

When asked how will he ensure there are no fronts on this massive project, Brown made it clear that the CTA would not tolerate any front companies.

“The fronts actually starts in the beginning when you certify a firm. To ensure there are no fronts, you beef up certification. When you certify a firm, they really are who they say they are and they have the capabilities and the ability to get the work done and they’ve done prior projects. That is the first step in eliminating fronts is to certify firms that have actually can do and have done the work,” said Brown. He will have people on site to ensure there are no fronts. “We are not tolerating any fronts,” said Brown referring to questions about phony firms.

And Person, who is one of three compliance officers, said her team would be on site checking ID’s, trucks including examining their payrolls. “We keep in constant contact with our prime contractors.”

Craig K. Wimberly, chair, Public Policy for the Coalition of African American Leaders (C.O.A.L.), said what is critical is that “we have to manage the expectations of our community. All of the work we’re doing is good work, and it is going to push the CTA to meet its targets….

“We have to focus on the longer term to change some policies and practices like the city, state and the county but also to build our businesses so that they can…not fight over set asides. I think the community is ready for that,” said Wimberly. “This is a good start for the community working together to hold folk accountable to make things happen.”

Ernest Sawyer, who is one of the construction management firms on the Red Line project, said, “There is a lot of unemployment in the community. People are suffering and need jobs, and I think more involvement of the contractors letting the community know who they have hired and where the opportunities are and how they can access those opportunities would help a lot.”

Sawyer, who’s firm is working with the construction management firm in terms of managing the project in construction between the CTA and the contractor, would like for the CTA to bring their contractors to the community.

During this reconstruction project, the Red Line will be completely shut down after Roosevelt Road to 95th Street for five months. Upon completion, travel time will reportedly be reduced by 20 percent per round trip. There will also be new elevators at Garfield, 63rd and 87th Street stations.

Allaying fears that African Americans may get shortchanged on this expansive project, Brown said there are two primary contractors, F.H. Paschen Company and Kiewit Track both being DBE participants but there are African American sub-contractors partnering with each company.

For the Kiewit Track Company, (goal 28%) the DBE participants are: AGB Security from Harvey providing security services, E. King Construction from Chicago providing trucking and hauling of miscellaneous material and equipment, Gaffney’s Protective Maintenance, Inc., from Batavia, furnishing and installing DC cable and termination, installation for DC switches, furnish and installing rail chairs; GW Peoples, from Arlington, VA, doing railroad track construction; Folashades Cleaning Services from Lansing, doing cleaning services; Production Distribution from Chicago supplying lighting fixtures cable disconnect switches conduit and contact rail; Target Electric, Inc., Oak Forest, Furnishing and installing signal cable AC cable and duct; Terrell Materials Corp, Chicago, Removing and reinstalling drainage and duct bank and Trim’s Trucking, Inc., from Harvey semi dump hauling and trucking.

The DBE’s for F.H. Paschen Station (goal 40%) are: Apex Elevator, from Dolton, providing elevator work, Bridgeport Steel, Chicago, steel fabrication, Darryl’s trucking, Richton Park, Trucking; Dynamic wrecking & Excavation, South Holland, Excavation and Demolition, Garth Construction, Chicago Heights, Masonry, site preparation, traffic control; Glass Mgmt. Architectural Glass, Westmont, Aluminum Store Front & Skylight; Kate’s Detective Services, Chicago, Security; Livewire Electrical Systems, Inc., Oak Forest, Retrofit Station Lighting; M Cannon Roofing Schaumburg, roofing; Shawn Brown Enterprises, Inc., Chicago, abatement; Target Electric, Oak Forest, retrofit station lighting and Vision Painting & Decorating Service, Inc., Chicago, Paint and Lead Abatement.

According to Nichols, the Red Line South Reconstruction project is not the last CTA initiative. “Right after we finish this Red Line in October, we’re going to be doing the 95th Street station and that’s going to be another $240 million that we’re going to put out here on the South Side of Chicago. Right after that, we’re going to put another $188 million on Wilson Avenue….”

The state and local funding provided the funding for this project.

To accommodate the thousands of riders along this route, CTA officials say they will offer alternative travel options to minimize the impact of these closures.

But during this construction period, Paula Robinson, managing partner for the Bronzeville Community Development Partnership, is looking for long-term opportunities from the Red Line shutdown. She is developing a hospitality hub at the 55th Station where the busses will all shuttle in.

“That shuttle station is going to increase from 1500 commuters a day to 15,000 a day and while there is going to be a big bottleneck and a lot of angry people, we see it as an opportunity to turn it around and say, ‘welcome to Bronzeville,’ and get our tour busses and our youth looking for summer exposure to the hospitality/travel industry so we become those greeters to what is Bronzeville’s western gateway,” said Robinson.

And, Michelle Vance Ingram, an employment placement specialist for the Community Assistance Programs (CAPS), provides job readiness within the community. “Our motto is to create a community workforce.” She has three offices, in Chatham, in Roseland and in Chicago Heights. “I have been sending a lot of our job trainees to the Chicago Urban League, and we have also been involved in the apprenticeship program with CTA for ex-offenders.”

Ingram wants to get ex-offenders jobs on the Red-Line project along with the long-term unemployed. “We need to get them ready to be able to compete to get a job,” she said.

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.

Illinois House unanimously passes Bill designed to prevent “Pill Shoppers” from aiding Meth criminals

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Illinois House unanimously passes Bill designed to prevent “Pill Shoppers” from aiding Meth criminals

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded House lawmakers for their unanimous support of a bill to prevent so-called “pill shoppers” from purchasing pseudoephedrine for individuals barred from buying the key ingredient that is used to manufacture methamphetamine. House members voted 118-0 today to send House Bill 806 to the Senate.

The measure amends the Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act by making it illegal for individuals to knowingly purchase pseudoephedrine or ephedrine on behalf of meth manufacturers. The amendment strengthens the so-called “pill shopping” violation, making it a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent conviction.
Madigan said the change is necessary to keep meth precursors out of the hands of meth cooks, who often turn to “pill shoppers” to buy cold pills on their behalf due to previous convictions that bar offenders from purchasing pseudoephedrine. The Attorney General stressed that the amendment will not impact lawful buyers of pseudoephedrine. They will still be able to obtain pseudoephedrine-containing medications within the current limits set by Illinois law.
“We must be aggressive in adapting to how meth manufacturers skirt the law to make this dangerous drug,” said Madigan. “The bill gives law enforcement a necessary tool to prosecute pill shoppers who are paid to evade laws on the sale of pseudoephedrine in Illinois.”
Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), a longtime supporter of tough methamphetamine laws, sponsored the legislation in consultation with Attorney General Madigan’s office.
“Despite our best efforts, meth addicts constantly find new ways to circumvent the law,” Bradley said.  “Attorney General Madigan and I have worked before to address various issues pertaining to meth’s disastrous effects on families and society, and I welcome this opportunity to do so again.”
Attorney General Madigan has long worked to combat the scourge of meth use and production in Illinois, passing tough laws, including the 2006 Methamphetamine Precursor Control Act, that cracked down on the sale of pseudoephedrine and strengthening penalties for those convicted of meth-related offenses.

Simon continues work to increase access to fresh food for all Illinois families

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Simon continues work to increase access to fresh food for all Illinois families

SPRINGFIELD, IL – An advocate for rural communities, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon urged farmers’ markets to join her in fighting food deserts in Illinois. Simon urged markets to apply for a federal grant to purchase wireless machines that accept debit and credit cards, and Link cards. The machines enable low-income residents to purchase fresh, locally-produced food sold at farmers’ markets.

To date, 31 markets have received the Illinois Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project grants coordinated by Simon’s office, and most of the markets will start accepting Link cards this spring. One of the newest recipients, EP!C Market, of Peoria, discussed its expansion plans during today’s Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC) meeting in Springfield.

“All Illinois families should have access to fresh, local foods,” said Simon, who chairs the GRAC. “With so many Illinoisans currently receiving food stamp benefits, expanding Link access is good policy. I encourage markets to apply for the federal funding that is helping us bring healthy, local food to our underserved communities.”

EP!C market provides employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Approximately 40 individuals currently work in the greenhouse, and plants are sold at local retailers. The organization looks forward to adding an outdoor garden, doubling the number of workers. EP!C will hold its first outdoor farmers’ market in May.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the Illinois EBT Wireless Project,” said Vice President of Development Kristen Berchtold. “It will make EP!C market more attractive and accessible to a broad customer base, and will enable us to provide more employment opportunities and vocational training for those we serve.”

Through Simon’s EBT wireless project, Illinois farmers’ markets receive free wireless machines that enable consumers to pay with debit and credit cards, or with Link cards. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of Midwestern farmers’ markets accepting Link cards increased by around 65 percent between 2011 and 2012. Chicago alone saw a 56 percent increase during that period, meaning more low-income families can purchase fresh produce at farmers’ markets.

Applications for the EBT wireless project are still being accepted. For more information, please click here.

Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports partners with Chicago Bear Charles Tillman for Charles Tillman’s Celebrity Pro Bowler Tournament Wednesday, June 5

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports partners with Chicago Bear Charles Tillman for Charles Tillman’s Celebrity Pro Bowler Tournament Wednesday, June 5

Event to Raise Funds for the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation Which Provides Opportunities and Resources to Ill Children and Their Families 

Evening to Feature Bowling, Dining and Celebrating with Current and Alumni Chicago Bears and Other Celebrity Guests

ROSEMONT, IL – After a successful event and partnership in 2012 raising more than $160,000, Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman will again partner with premier entertainment venue Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports for the second Charles Tillman Celebrity Pro BOWLer Tournament, presented by Meijer. This exclusive event will take place Wednesday, June 5,  from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to support the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation.

Before the June 5 fundraiser takes place, Kings will honor the Chicago Bear with a $10,000 charitable contribution, as a testament to his continued efforts on behalf of critically and chronically ill children in the greater Chicago area. Kings has saved a portion of every bowling shoe rental over the past year to benefit the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation.

While this check presentation is not a public event, we do welcome press to the presentation as well as a photo opportunity with Charles Tillman on the morning of Tuesday, April 30 at 11am.

Since its founding in 2005, the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation has improved the lives of more than one million Chicago-area children. All of the money raised from the partnership with Kings and the Pro BOWLer Tournament will fund continual and expanding care for these children.

“Kings has been very generous and supportive of the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation and I am thrilled to be hosting this event with them again,” said Tillman. “People are going to have fun; who wouldn’t? This is the perfect way for my teammates and friends to come together for a good cause.”

Charles Tillman’s Celebrity Pro BOWLer Tournament will be an exclusive evening of bowling, dining and celebration. Sponsorships for the bowling teams range from $4,000 to $10,000. Teams are made up of six people and one celebrity guest. Some of the guests from last year’s event included current and former Chicago Bears Gabe Carimi, Chris Conte, Matt Toeaina, Nick Roach, Major Wright, Craig Steltz, Tim Jennings, Anthony Adams, John Tait and Alex Brown; Rasheed Davis of the Detroit Lions; and former NFL players Reggie Smith and Marques Sullivan.

Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports is an expansive bowling, billiards, dining and cocktail venue, located in MB Financial Park at Rosemont, a major new entertainment complex that is home to eight other restaurants and clubs.

“Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports is committed to being an active and engaged member of the community,” said Frank Stryjewski, CEO of Kings Bowl of America.  “There is no better reason to celebrate and socialize than doing it for a great cause, and we are honored to be part of this event for another year.”

Charles Tillman’s Celebrity Pro BOWLer Tournament is sponsored by Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports and Meijer.

About Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation
The mission of the Charles Tillman Cornerstone Foundation is to provide opportunities and resources to children and their families who are in need.  Since 2005, Charles Tillman’s charitable efforts have impacted the lives of over one million Chicago-area children.  For more information, please visit www.charlestillman.org.
About Kings Bowl of America, LLC
 Kings Bowl first opened its doors in 2003 in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. From the start, Kings has focused on rekindling the fun and escape of bowling by creating a memorable entertainment experience, emphasizing good food, cold beer, creative cocktails and great music.  Each Kings location features upscale, retro-inspired décor and executive-chef designed menus brought to life by “best-in-industry” service. With varied entertainment options, themed nights and state-of-the-art audio visual equipment, Kings sets itself apart as an unparalleled social scene for all occasions; be it a family outing, a date night hotspot, a corporate event or the best place in town to connect with friends. Whether one is looking to host an unforgettable party, share a superb meal or catch tonight’s big game, Kings is committed to insuring that when you leave, you’ll be planning to return soon and that you’ll have learned what we’ve known all along…At Kings, “Bowling Becomes You!”

HOURS OF OPERATION:  Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to midnight; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Bowling is priced from $6-6.50.  Shoe rental is available.
Kings is located at 5505 Park Place, Rosemont, in MB Financial Park at Rosemont.  The venue is just east of I-294 at the O’Hare exit and two blocks south of I-90. 

It is also one block from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and 20 minutes from downtown Chicago, with attached covered parking for 8,500 vehicles. To reach Kings via phone, call 847-233-0099.  For more information, visit kingsrosemont.com.

About MB Financial Park at Rosemont
MB Financial Park at Rosemont is a new dining and entertainment district featuring 200,000 square feet of international cuisine, bars, live music and comedy, including Five Roses Pub, Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sports, Adobe Gila’s, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, Zanies Comedy Night Club, Park Tavern, Hofbräuhaus Chicago and a greek restaurant. 
The venues are conveniently located near O’Hare Airport, easily accessible from the City of Chicago as well as suburbs to the north, east and west.  The address is 5501 Park Place, a new looping street situated west of River Road between Bryn Mawr and Balmoral Avenues.  A 20-minute drive from Chicago’s Loop, MB Financial Park at Rosemont is walking distance from the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, the CTA Blue Line Rosemont station and the Akoo Theatre at Rosemont.  Ample, convenient parking is available with 8,500 attended parking spaces just steps from The MB Financial Park at Rosemont. 
About Meijer
 Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 197 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

Cleveland Black Cinema Showcase brings Hollywood to the Midwest on Monday, April 22, 2013

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Cleveland Black Cinema Showcase brings Hollywood to the Midwest on Monday, April 22, 2013


New York, NY (BlackNews.com) – Outspoken Media Group and Society of Urban Professionals are pleased to announce the Cleveland Black Cinema Showcase (April 22nd – 25th 2013) that will commence with a red carpet networking mixer hosted by 93.1 WZAK radio personality Haz Matthews on Monday, April 22, 2013 at Shaker Square Cinemas (13116 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120).

The Cleveland Black Cinema Showcase will provide a film forum that offers exclusive theatrical screenings of highly anticipated movies in Black Hollywood prior to their DVD release. The red carpet networking mixer will offer complementary refreshments as well as the opportunity to interface with leading business professionals and entrepreneurs in the greater Cleveland area. The event will begin at 6pm followed by the premiere of the new film Act Like You Love Me starring Essence Atkins, Christian Keyes, Lynn Whitfield, Shari Headley, Glynn Turman, and Denyce Lawton at 7:30pm. Entertainment One will release the film on DVD in 2013.

The Cleveland Black Cinema Showcase will feature other exciting new films such as Apartment 4E starring Nicole Beharie and Christopher Domig. One Village Entertainment will release the film on DVD, as well as across digital platforms in 2013. “One Village is pleased to have Apartment 4E in our line up,” said Brett Dismuke, Sr. Vice President of Acquisitions for RLJ Entertainment (parent company of One Village). “Nicole Beharie’s performance in this film is one of the best I’ve seen – truly a must see!” (Watch the trailer at http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0012djdgbfM_Wp3r2bYjn3gdoIx3k_tkNKbb3WfKTNidWs39tQylFq473am1h9X8s4xWFHoOXzXERpfbgL3uNyWVq8_97FxsGFWZ2iYk4JILEQnSXth2YYH2wIkwJqCLDch8C7k0inHtOFkpetGxCvNIw==).

The faith-based drama 23rd Psalm: Redemption starring Tatyana Ali, Clifton Powell, and Leslie Mills will also make its Cleveland, Ohio theatrical debut at this showcase. Entertainment One will release the film on DVD in 2013. (Watch the trailer at http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0012djdgbfM_WoI6INYNAricfU35PV5dKvjhVgfu40acQh6BiOXtav42oNR618vckYDk_SEP2vuhxjXPN5fjavTR_4Pg8V8Q9IoGEImVb2exKGLMgKFL1pBrySPeEKEQ_-XPTR8J32LalltlHgz7UL13Q==).

This showcase will provide a platform for quality films that are relevant to the African American community. Outspoken Media Group and Society of Urban Professionals are both committed to playing an integral role in the black filmmaking community as well as bringing enhanced entertainment experiences to multicultural consumers. The Cleveland Black Cinema Showcase  will bring an exciting Hollywood experience to the Midwest like never before.

About Outspoken Media Group:
Outspoken Media Group is a New York City based full-service entertainment and marketing company. Outspoken Media Group specializes in film distribution, film finance, and consulting. The company also provides marketing, publicity, digital strategy, and creative services that produce successful branding and marketing initiatives for entertainment and corporate brands.

About Society of Urban Professionals:
Society of Urban Professional Inc. (SOUP) offers premier networking events where professionals in Northeast Ohio can socialize, connect, and enrich their lives both personally and professionally. The SOUP network provides access to a local community of professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders (most between the ages of 25 and 50).

Philips Norelco and Bump Patrol search for the Smoothest Man on Facebook

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Philips Norelco and Bump Patrol search for the Smoothest Man on Facebook


Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) — A man’s competitive nature drives him to try to prove himself constantly in most every aspect of his life: sports, careers, cars and women. To tap this penchant to prove it, Bump Patrol, the No. 1 razor bump treatment, and Philips Consumer Lifestyle, which markets and sells Philips Norelco shavers, have joined forces to create the “Prove Your Smooth” Facebook app campaign, suggesting that a smooth look goes hand in hand with smooth actions. It engages men in a rivalry among friends, while it introduces the new Philips Norelco CareTouch electric razor, a razor that is smooth on skin and tough on ingrown hairs.

Beginning today at www.ProveYourSmooth.com, a man can take the challenge by connecting his Facebook account to the microsite, allowing it to analyze his public profile and social interactions for how they convey his smooth factor. Does he “Like” sports as a participant, or does he like to watch from the sidelines? Does he post photos that generate lots of positive comments? Does he attend many events? Are lots of his Facebook friends women, or just one, his sister?

The website, which also has a mobile version, gathers his information and runs it through a custom “smooth” analysis to generate a score up to 1000 points. A high score means he’s a smooth operator; a low score means he needs to “man up” and work his magic. Each man sees a breakdown of his results and how he could earn more points. He is then encouraged to size himself up against his friends by sending challenges to their Walls on Facebook that dare them to join the competition. All participants are eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win one of five Grand Prizes that includes the combination of a Philips Norelco CareTouch electric razor and a year’s supply of Bump Patrol shave gels and aftershaves, a value of over $100. An additional five men will score a Philips Norelco CareTouch electric razor, and five others will receive the entire Bump Patrol collection. Each of the first 5,000 to enter will receive Bump Patrol samples packs.

The brand alliance targets African-American men, who more commonly suffer from shaving irritation, razor bumps and ingrown hairs since their hair tends to be thick and curly. CareTouch is Philips Norelco’s best shaver for ingrown hairs. Its GentleCut razor heads cut just above skin level to help prevent hair growth below the surface, and its Aquatec technology makes it possible to shave with a shave gel or foam for maximum skin comfort. Bump Patrol’s shave gels lubricate the skin and hair for an easy-glide shave. Its therapeutic aftershaves contain soothing agents, antiseptics, humectants and emollients to prevent and treat skin irritation, which could otherwise lead to razor bumps and ingrown hairs.

In addition to pushing the campaign through both brands’ Facebook pages, the companies will advertise on top African-American websites and on Facebook. The website will link directly to Walmart.com, where the Philips Norelco CareTouch electric razor is exclusively sold.

About M&M Products Company, maker of Bump Patrol
M&M Products Company offers grooming and hair-care solutions for people of color. Once recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by Black Enterprise, M&M owns several brands, including Bump Patrol and Sofn’free. More information on its barber-approved and dermatologist-recommended Bump Patrol products is available at www.bumppatrol.com and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Philips Norelco
Philips Norelco offers a full range of head-to-toe electric shaving and trimming tools for men to look their best, and is the global leader in electric shaving. More information on Philips Norelco can be found at www.philips.com/norelco and on Facebook.


Better Business Bureau warning – Flood victims beware

Posted by Newsroom On April - 18 - 2013 Comments Off on Better Business Bureau warning – Flood victims beware

CHICAGO, IL – Homeowners and businesses who are trying to recover from flood damage due to the extremely heavy rains in the area should be aware so that they do not become victims of unscrupulous contractors.  

“There will be dishonest businesses that will exploit the situation and try to scam homeowners and businesses that are in need of making repairs,” said Steve J Bernas, president & CEO of the BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “While there may be a sense of urgency, we encourage consumers and business owners to carefully consider repair contracts and not rush into making expensive decisions that can aggravate an already stressful time.”


The Better Business Bureau provides a FREE online service called Request a Quote to find local BBB Accredited contractors you can trust at www.bbb.org 

Here are some tips that should be considered if your home or business has been damaged due to rains:

  • Do research – contact the BBB before you hire a contractor and avoid businesses who come to your door with a good deal. Go to our website at www.bbb.org and consider using the BBB’s FREE online service called Request a Quote to obtain estimates, proposals or general information from BBB Accredited contractors.

  • Request bids from two or three different companies.

  • Base all bids on the same criteria.

  • Don’t automatically pick the lowest bid.

  • Do not give into demands to make excessively large down payments. And don’t make full payment until all the work is done to your satisfaction.

  • Determine whether the contractor has the proper insurance.

  • Ask to see any required state or local permits or licenses.

  • Work with contractors who have a verifiable track record.

  • Homeowners should check with local and county units of government to determine if permits or inspections are required.

  • Get all estimates in writing.

For further information on hiring a contractor visit www.bbb.org 

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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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