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December , 2018
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Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute Commend the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) -- Elaine ...
Pollster: “The South Side Black community will determine this race” By Chinta Strausberg A poll of 806 ...
Five plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning writers Subscribe to Steppenwolf's  landmark 40th season and see five not-to-miss ...
By Edna Kane-Williams     On April 3, 1968, nearly five years after his famous "I Have ...
  CHICAGO, IL - Make Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria ...
Veteran Chicago producer pens global anti-youth violence anthem, vows to support CEASE Fire with proceeds CHICAGO, ...
WASHINGTON, DC - President Obama nominated Judge Beth M. Andrus, J. Michael Diaz, and Kathleen ...
New Artistic And Executive Directors Also Announced CHICAGO, IL -  Following a successful fifth ...
To Be Equal#26  By Marc H. Morial, President and CEO National Urban League   “The arc of the moral ...
  Following Governor Rauner’s budget address, members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will hold a ...

Archive for November 19th, 2013

Madigan announces $17 million settlement with Google

Posted by Admin On November - 19 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Google Settles Claims with Attorneys General Over Tracking Consumers’ Surfing Habits

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with 37 other attorneys general to announce a $17 million settlement with Google Inc. to resolve claims that it circumvented privacy settings on Apple Safari browsers enabling advertisers to gather information and track users’ surfing habits.

The settlement addressed allegations by Madigan and the attorneys general that in 2011 and 2012 Google evaded default privacy settings on Apple’s Safari web browsers, which were set to automatically block all third-party cookies on behalf of users. If cookies are enabled, it allows advertisers and any third party to monitor and track a user’s web surfing habits. Despite Google’s stated policy that cookies were blocked by default on Safari browsers, Google took active steps to circumvent those privacy settings and enable cookies on Safari browsers without users’ knowledge or consent.

“Google was actively tracking users’ web traffic without their authorization,” Madigan said. “This settlement will ensure that Google restricts its data collection practices and provides better information to users about how to manage their browser settings.”

As the operator of the most popular free search engine on the Internet, Google generates revenue primarily through advertising. Through its DoubleClick advertising platform, Google sets third-party cookies—small files set in users’ web browsers—that enable it to gather information about those users, including, depending on the type of cookie, their web surfing habits. Apple’s Safari browser is set by default to block third-party cookies, including cookies set by DoubleClick to track a user’s browsing history. From June 1, 2011 until Feb. 15, 2012, Google altered its DoubleClick coding to circumvent those default privacy settings on Safari, without users’ knowledge or consent, enabling Google to set DoubleClick cookies on users’ Safari web browsers. Google disabled this coding method in February 2012 after the practice was widely reported.

Madigan and the attorneys general alleged Google’s practices violated state consumer protection laws and related computer privacy laws. Under the settlement, Google has agreed to injunctive relief that requires it to do the following:
  • Not deploy code to override a browser’s cookie blocking settings without the user’s consent unless it is necessary to detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues.
  • Not mislead users about how they can use any particular Google product, service or tool to directly manage how Google provides advertisements to their browsers.
  • Improve the information it provides to users regarding cookies, their purposes and how they can be managed when using Google’s products or services and tools.
  • Maintain systems designed to ensure the expiration of the third-party cookies set on Safari web browsers while their default settings had been circumvented.
Joining Madigan in yesterday’s settlement were attorneys general from: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Van Hise handled the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

JFK’s Civil Rights Legacy- 50 Years of Myth and Fact

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 JFK’s Civil Rights Legacy- 50 Years of Myth and Fact

New America Media
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

There’s been as much myth as fact regarding John F. Kennedy’s civil rights legacy in the more than fifty years before, during and especially after his assassination on November 22, 1963. In the days before he delivered his now famed presidential inaugural address on Friday, January 20, 1961, two of his principal advisors Louis Martin and Harris Wofford battled hard to get Kennedy to add two words “at home” to a pivotal sentence in his speech that addressed human rights.

Kennedy meant the human rights fight that the U.S. waged internationally against Communism. The “at home” referred to the battle for civil rights in America. Kennedy reluctantly added the words. That reluctance typified the wariness that Kennedy had in making civil rights a centerpiece of his presidency.

The myth and fact about his civil rights legacy came jarringly together in the quip from his wife and widow Jackie Kennedy on his assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, ”He didn’t even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights.” Jackie in the national trauma after his murder understood that Kennedy’s place in history would be even more firmly established if he were seen as the civil rights president, rather than a president who was forced under extreme duress to champion civil rights.

In the decade before he won the White House, Kennedy said almost nothing about civil rights. In 1957, as a senator he voted against the 1957 civil rights bill. His opposition has been spun two ways; one cynical, one charitable. The cynical spin is he opposed it to appease Southern Democrats because he had an eye on a presidential run in 1960. The charitable spin is that he thought the bill was too weak and ineffectual. Three years later though he ignored the angry shouts from Southern Democrats and lobbied for a forceful civil rights plank in the Democratic Party’s 1960 platform.

During the presidential campaign he publicly pledged to end segregation in federally subsidized public housing “with the stroke of a pen.” Despite a mass campaign for him to keep his promise, he foot dragged for months in signing the order. This was not hypocrisy, or racial faint heartedness. There was a brutal political calculus at work. In 1961, Southern Democrats, all staunch segregationists, had an iron grip on the House. They held 11 of 19 committee chairmanships and in the Senate two-thirds of its standing committees. Kennedy did not have anything near a governing mandate to prod, cajole, and arm twist Southern racial obstructionists in Congress following his nail bite, squeaky 1960 presidential election win over Richard Nixon. But if he had would he? The answer is probably a no. His expertise, passion, and focus then were on foreign policy, more particularly, trying to contain, if not best, the Soviet Union on everything from the nuclear arms race to influence in emerging Third World nations.

The bloody desegregation clashes at the University of Mississippi and the bloody assaults on freedom riders in Alabama, however, could not be ignored. But even here there was a hard political calculus that struggled side by side with the moral calculus. African-American voters made a major difference in his narrow election win over Nixon, aided in large part by a massive black voter shift to him in direct response to his famed phone call to Dr. Martin Luther King’s family following King’s jailing in Georgia for contempt of court stemming from a civil rights protest. Kennedy had a keen eye on the black vote and its potential to be a crucial factor in future national elections. That included his almost certain reelection bid in 1964.

The tipping point was the spectacle of women and children beaten, hosed, and gassed by brutal white cops in Birmingham in 1963. The barbarous scenes were beamed globally, that and the eloquent heart wrenching letter and appeal by Dr. King from his Birmingham jail cell propelled Kennedy to do what he had long been urged to do and deliver the definitive statement on civil rights. He did on June 11, 1963.

He piggybacked on the words and sentiments King expressed in his letter about rights, justice, inequality, and the moral and political shame and disgrace to the nation of racial bigotry. King and civil rights leaders applauded Kennedy’s words. But King also saw more political pragmatism than moral outrage in it. He quipped that he was “battling for the minds and the hearts of men in Asia and Africa.” This was probably true. Yet the equal truth was that it didn’t much matter whether Kennedy was motivated by pragmatism or idealism, crisis or conscience, he had spoken, and this marked the major turning point for the nation on civil rights.

If Kennedy had lived would he have fought hard for passage of the 1964 landmark civil rights bill, or been stonewalled by his party’s racists, and forced to accept a watered down bill? An assassin’s bullet insured that that question would remain forever unanswered. Fifty years after that horrific November day in Dallas, Kennedy’s civil rights legacy is an enduring and deserved fact, despite the many myths surrounding it.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KTYM 1460 AM Radio Los Angeles and KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson.

State Senators Hold Hearing on Lack of South Side Trauma Center

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CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will host a hearing on the lack of South Side trauma centers on Wednesday, November 20 at 11 a.m. in the Michael Bilandic Building, 160 N LaSalle, room C600.

A press conference will be held prior to the hearing at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Bilandic building, featuring mothers, youth, community leaders, nurses, and doctors who have been advocating for south side trauma care for over three years and who will be giving testimony at the hearing. Testimony at the hearing will also include Dr Gary Merlotti, trauma director at Mt Sinai hospital, representatives from The Illinois Department of Public Health and Dr. Marie Crandall of Northwestern hospital. This hearing comes in response to new research she published on “Trauma Deserts” which shows that longer travel times to a trauma center increase one’s likelihood of dying.

The pre-hearing press conference is organized by the Trauma Center Coalition, composed of Fearless Leading by the Youth, Southside Together Organizing for Power, Students for Health Equity, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and RISE. The campaign has also received support from Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Ill., who introduced legislation this past July that would help hospitals across the country create trauma centers, including in his own South Side Chicago district.

Also, hundreds of community members, nurses, Faith Leaders and University of Chicago students will protest lack of South Side trauma center in a Coffin March Protest, carrying coffins and flowers to the University of Chicago Hospital to demand that the University of Chicago Hospital commit to working with other Chicago medical institutions to open an adult level 1 trauma center on Chicago’s South Side, Wednesday, November 20 at 4:15 p.m. at 61st Street & Cottage Grove Avenue, at 4:15 p.m.

This past May, University of Chicago Hospital Dean Kenneth Polonsky publicly agreed to collaborate with other hospitals to open a South Side trauma center. Six months later, there has been no follow-up. Protesters will deliver a coffin, representing the lives lost in Chicago to systemic healthcare injustice, to the University of Chicago Medical Center. Adult level 1 trauma centers are the only facilities certified to treat injuries resulting from severe gunshot wounds or car accidents but the south side of Chicago, where these injuries are common, does not have one.

The Coffin March Protest is organized by the Trauma Center Coalition, composed of Fearless Leading by the Youth, Southside Together Organizing for Power, Students for Health Equity, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and RISE. The campaign has also received support from Congressman Bobby Rush, D-Ill., who introduced legislation this past July that would help hospitals across the country create trauma centers, including in his own South Side Chicago district.

Cutting Food Assistance Is More Than Morally Wrong

Posted by Admin On November - 19 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

By William Spriggs

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (the value of all goods and services in the economy) figures show GDP per person is $53,211. That’s per person, not per family. Those figures also show we annually spend $2,797 per person on food-that’s $233 per person a month. After netting out imports, we sell nearly $14 billion in food overseas. Clearly America is a wealthy nation that is fully food secure.

So the issue is not America’s resources of income and land, it is our choices in the distribution of our resources. Presumably, this value proposition was settled when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Food Stamp Act into law, with support from the labor movement.

To be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a family must have a total income (including any other federal assistance) that is less than 130 percent of the poverty line (except in six states with limits up to twice the poverty level); for a family of two adults and one child, that means income below $25,389 a year.

The maximum benefit for a family of three fell from $526 to $497 a month on Nov. 1. Low-income families tend to be either old or young. And young families happen to be where most of America’s children live. So, there are some 21 million children who currently are fed, in part, by SNAP benefits. That is almost one in four U.S. children.

In 2009, when Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it boosted the maximum SNAP benefit to help families during the worse labor market since the Great Depression. But that boost was set to expire at the end of October 2013, in hopes the labor market would have recovered. The labor market has not recovered. There are still 1.5 million fewer payroll positions in America today than in January 2008. This means that unemployment is real; it is not the result of people being lazy in looking for work.

And young people-in particular-have been hit hardest. Among the key age groups for young parents, the share of 20- to 24-year-olds who are employed is at 61.8 percent, down from 69.3 percent in January 2008; and for those 25 to 34, the share holding down jobs has fallen to 74.6 percent, down from 79.6 percent in January 2008.Top of Form

Bottom of Form

House Republicans have voted to cut SNAP, shifting the blame for the weak economy onto young workers and the weight of the costs on our children by ignoring policymakers’ failures to get the economy running. In a nation so rich it can export food, this is morally wrong. Rather than pass plans to hire teachers to restore our children’s classroom sizes, or hire construction workers to fix our broken roads and bridges, Republicans argue it is better to cut federal spending on things like SNAP to get the federal budget in order. Some Republicans think federal deficits are morally wrong because deficits leave bills for our children.

These same Republicans fought President Barack Obama hard to keep tax cuts in place for the wealthiest people on the planet, ignoring that those tax cuts make the federal deficit larger. And no moral calculus says we should starve our children of food and education today to save them as weaklings for the future.

This is more than morally wrong. It is bad economics. The Consumer Expenditure Survey gives a deep view of America’s consumption patterns. An interesting fact in that data is that among families in the income range to qualify for SNAP, they all consume on average $20,000 to $25,000 a year. This makes sense, as it would be hard to imagine how someone could eat, be clothed and have shelter and not spend at least $20,000 a year. This means at that income level, they do not save, they spend every dollar. Cuts in their SNAP benefits mean they will have to cut something else to continue eating.

This is not a cut simply to families struggling with an economy that is not producing enough jobs and wages that are barely keeping pace with inflation. It means pulling millions of dollars out of the economy. This means less sales revenue for small businesses selling clothes or shoes or children’s books. And fewer buyers mean less need for sales clerks, meaning fewer jobs.

The current economic policies of lowering the deficit by half, boosting corporate profits to record highs and breaking Dow Jones average records for stocks has not meant relief on Main Street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard or César Chávez Way. We need to strengthen policies that help everyone.

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs. Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142

Social Entrepreneur Dr. Raye Mitchell hosts historic meeting with U.S. Ambassador/Consul General of Ethiopia to launch program empowering women and girls in Ethiopia and around the world

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Ethiopia’s Ambassador Zerihun Retta was so impressed with the presentation of Dr. Raye Mitchell and Helen Kassa (age 14) that he declared, “They are a “dynamic duo” and a pair that will change the world for women and girls not just in Ethiopia, but around the world. “

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA РDr. Raye Mitchell and her 14-year-old prot̩g̩ Helen Kassa are on a mission to promote gender equality around the world and to improve access to education on a global basis. Their goal is to change how the world thinks, views and invests in preparing women and girls to be global leaders. On November 9th, the two achieved an epic milestone in their journey forward when the Honorable Ethiopian Ambassador Zerihun Retta and the Honorable Deputy Consul General Essayas Gota met with San Francisco Bay Area-based Dr. Raye Mitchell and young Helen Kassa.


During the private dinner hosted by Dr. Mitchell at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, the two social entrepreneurs unveiled their strategic project for improving access to education, leadership training and STEM training for women and girls throughout the world, including Ethiopia. As part of their project, entitled Leadership Journey for Change, and in support of Ms. Kassa’s foundation, Giving Hope to Kids Like Me, the two will travel to Ethiopia in June 2014 to provide training and support to students in rural Ethiopia.  AmbassadorZerihun Retta and the Honorable Mr. Essayas Gota (Deputy Consul General) were both enthralled in the ladies’ captivating presentation.


This highly successful diplomatic meeting is a significant step forward for Dr. Mitchell and Ms. Kassa as they work toward creating change for women and girls on a global level and moving beyond charity based projects to skill based engagement. Honorable Zerihun Retta stated, “I applaud Dr. Mitchell’s initiative to empower girls through leadership. I am calling upon the New Reality Foundation and GURLS Lead, a Global Leadership Organization to work in partnership with us in the ongoing effort of improving the participation of women on the leadership ladder.”

Economists confirm that reducing gender inequality in education is a vital part of promoting economic development on a global basis. The failure to educate girls limits economic growth in the developing world by wasting human capital. As a result, the United Nations has set the target of eliminating gender disparity in education at all levels by 2015, as one of its Millennium Development Goals. “We will go to Ethiopia in June 2014 to connect with the emerging community of women and girl leaders in business, social change, STEM and other sectors. We want to learn from and lend to their vision to succeed. We want to nourish their entrepreneurial spirits and preparedness,” said Dr. Mitchell.


In a personal thank you note to Dr. Raye Mitchell, Ambassador Retta wrote, “Saturday’s occasion signals the fruition of both the dedicated efforts of Helen had exerted in trying to realize her long cherished vision of Giving Hope to Kids Like Me and a manifestation of Dr. Mitchell’s commitment to bring the importance of girls and girls of color as the next generation of leaders, globally.” The Ambassador further stated, “We were all inspired by the topics raised and energized by the opportunity it provided to meet the interest of our community and particularly young girls. I was fascinated by young Helen’s maturity and aspiration to be a change agent in bringing opportunities to those in need.”


Dr. Mitchell and Ms. Kassa thank Congressmembers Barbara Lee, Michael Honda and John Garamendi for facilitating introductions. The two ladies look to expand their diplomatic relationships to other countries and welcome introductions to potential partners, corporate sponsors and individuals that believe in the dream of gender equality and access to educational opportunity for women and girls on a global basis.


About Leadership Journey for Change:


Leadership Journey for Change is a project of GURLS Lead, a Global Leadership Program (formerly known as G.U.R.L.S. Rock), a global leadership-training initiative of The New Reality Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. As a social entrepreneur program, GURLS Lead is meeting the needs of the talented, academically driven, and motivated to lead and serve the next generation of global leaders looking to build their skills. GURLS Lead provides a forum to nurture and train the next generation of game changers, innovators, and global leaders.  “GURLS” stands for growth, unity, respect, leadership, and success. To learn more about getting connected to Leadership Journey for Change and GURLS Lead, visit gurlslead.org and thembaseries.org.


About Dr. Raye Mitchell:

Dr. Raye Mitchell is a “Top-idea Maven,” real-life “fixer” and innovation expert who helps ordinary people create breakthrough impacts. A successful entertainment attorney and graduate of Harvard Law School, Dr. Mitchell is now acclaimed as an award-winning humanitarian and social entrepreneur recognized for her contributions for mentoring girls and young women to become global leaders and innovators. Dr. Mitchell is also co-founder of “The M.B.A. Series Executive Development Program,” which provides leadership training for people aged 12-40. She is the author of several books, most recently “The Laws of the New Game Changers: How to Make Breakthrough Impacts That Take You Forward.” To learn more about Dr. Mitchell, visit www.rayemitchell.com.


ABOUT HELEN KASSA:

Fourteen year-old Helen Kassa is an emerging global leader who, at age eight, started a foundation program called Giving Hope to Kids Like Me, a project focused on increasing access to education for youth around the world, starting with a small village of children in rural Ethiopia.

Photo Caption: Mr. Essayas Gota (Deputy Consul General), Dr. Raye Mitchell, Helen Kassa and Ambassador Zerihun Retta

2014 Bill Gates Scholars Program will give away 1,000 scholarships to talented minority students

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Applications are now being accepted. The deadline for submission is January 14, 2014

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Every year, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program selects 1,000 talented minority students to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The program provides scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

Administered by the United Negro College Fund, the program was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 1999, it has funded the education of more than 16,000 students, awarding them more than $614 million dollars to pay for tuition, fees, books and housing.

Individuals selected as Gates Scholars will receive funds in an amount to be determined based on their financial need. The amount determined will be based on the cost of tuition, fees, books and living expenses for the 2013-2014 academic year, as well as the availability of grants and other scholarships reported on the financial aid award letter. The average scholarship award in the 2000-2010 academic years was $11,000 per student.

The deadline for submission is January 14, 2014.

To apply for the 2014 Gates Millennium Scholars program, visit: www.scholarshipsonline.org/2012/08/the-gates-millennium-scholars-program.html

To find hundreds of other scholarship opportunities, visit:
www.ScholarshipsOnline.org


For more details, contact:
Gates Millennium Scholars
P.O. Box 10500
Fairfax, VA 22031-8044
Toll-Free Phone: 1-877-690-4677


Teen Finance Prodigy promotes business literacy to peers with new book

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In “Common Anomaly,” 16-year-old Evan White gives timely practical financial advice


Voorhees, NJ (BlackNews.com) — Evan White is a teen finance wizard. At the tender age seven, he began looking into all things business after earning his first dollar doing household chores. At age 10, he began watching Bloomberg TV and got interested in the stock market. A year later, he asked his father for a proxy online stock trading account and started investing. Now, at age 16, White teaches teens the basic and fundamental concepts about business construction and business finance in his newly published book, titled Common Anomaly.

Today, with society’s thrust toward financial literacy, parents and educators are deeply interested in teaching children about personal finance and business early in the educational learning process and in the home. However, most books about basic finance and business are too complicated for most teens – many are written by adults, for adults. Hence, White felt the need to publish Common Anomaly with the goal to create a quick read to help teens better understand the basic and fundamental concepts about business and finance.

White asserts that “the business world is very dynamic today and welcoming to all business ideas; teens can be a part of that business growth.” He has proven that getting involved in business today is no longer an opportunity just for adults. Much younger entrepreneurs are interested in starting businesses and getting out there early, with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. Hence, his book addresses new crowdsourcing options for funding new businesses, as well as a general overview on starting businesses, managing general finances, interfacing with the stock market, and understanding new virtual currencies surfacing in the financial space.

With a financial book “written by a teen, for teens,” Common Anomaly makes the complex topics of finance, business and entrepreneurship just a little more comprehensible for young readers. This work introduces both teens and adults to a book that tries to tone down the financial jargons and explain general business and finance in simpler terms, thus, making it “feel” more acceptable as a teaching tool for young people in the digital age.

For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to www.commonanomalybook.com.


About the Author
Evan White is a 16-year-old author who acquired his passion for business, business finance, accounting and investment banking at an early age. He is currently a junior in high school in South Jersey and for the past three years has been elected class treasurer. Other than being a student body officer, he is heavily involved in school activities such as DECA, Mock Trial Association and clubs. Over the past three years, he has attended a number of advanced and challenging business campuses at Columbia University, Vanderbilt University and Rutgers University BizED, which host these opportunities for entrepreneuring youth interested in business. He plans to graduate high school and attend one of the top business schools with a focus in investment banking and finance. For additional information, contact the author’s business desk at 877-279-4483.


COMMON ANOMALY * by Evan White
Business Basics and Fundamentals For Teens
Trade Paperback; ISBN; 978-1-4931-2025-3
e-book; ISBN; 978-1-4931-2026-0

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Governor Pat Quinn to visit Lincoln’s Tomb

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SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will visit President Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

Quinn will visit Lincoln’s Tomb today, November 19, at Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1500 Monument Ave., in Springfield, at 10:30 a.m.

The Governor will be joined by the parents of Army Staff Sgt. Lincoln D. Hollinsaid, a veteran who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedoms.

Madigan warns residents to remain alert for “Storm Chasers” after Tornadoes & Severe Storms

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Attorney General Investigators Assisting Local Law Enforcement to Combat Repair-Related Scams

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Following devastating tornadoes and severe storms that raced across Illinois on Sunday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan urged residents to be on alert for home repair con artists looking to exploit homeowners and local businesses needing repairs due to storm-related destruction and damage.

Madigan warned of home repair scammers who follow media accounts and quickly move into affected areas to take advantage of people. Madigan noted that these “storm chasers” use the opportunity to pressure people into making impulsive, often expensive, decisions about cleanup and construction work. Madigan encouraged local residents and business owners to call local law enforcement agencies and her office’s Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-386-5438) to report any suspicious activity. Investigators with her office, who already have been assisting local authorities in Washington, Ill., since Sunday, will look into complaints received about contractors.

“In the wake of this weekend’s devastating storms, communities face a long recovery process,” Madigan said. “During this challenging time, I encourage area residents to be cautious and on alert for scammers trying to take advantage of people in need of assistance.”

Seven Illinois counties have been declared disaster areas including Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford counties. Attorney General Madigan recommended verifying that contractors in these areas have all necessary licenses, insurance and permits, and she encouraged taking extra caution before making any decisions to repair or rebuild damaged or destroyed property by avoiding rushing into signing a contract or making an upfront payment.

Madigan offered these additional tips to residents and businesses from being duped by dishonest contractors:

  • Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
  • Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
  • Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around for the best deal. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
  • Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
  • Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
  • In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
  • Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or equipment, that should raise a red flag.

Attorney General Madigan reminded consumers that the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act requires contractors to furnish customers with written contracts for any repair or remodeling work costing more than $1,000. A contract must be signed by both the customer and the contractor. The law also requires contractors to carry at least minimum amounts of insurance for property damage, bodily injury and improper home repair. Contractors also must provide consumers with an informational pamphlet entitled “Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights.”

Dos Santos Anti-beat Orquesta LIVE & Cumba Mela’s Atropolis and Thornato from NYC’s Global Underground

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Friday, November 22, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.

Free MP3 Download Inside!

Enjoy this free MP3 Download from DOS SANTOS ANTI-BEAT ORQUESTA

Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta rocks the sounds of pan-Latin American cumbia. Their gritty, grassroots approach captures the “golden age” of streamlined, tight-knit ensembles that shook sweatbox dance floors with raw and fierce energy throughout Latin America in the 1970s—honest dance music with no frills and no fear, anchored by piercing guitars, garage organs, and straight-ahead percussive might.

soundcloud.com/dossantoschi | instagram.com/dossantoschi | twitter.com/dossantoschi

Cumba Mela is an international music collective that explores the boundless world of global bass. Blending a colorful array of international genres and music traditions such as: nueva cumbia, kuduro, samba, afro-latin bass, dubstep, electro, baile funk, balkan-brass, and more. cumbamela.com

Atropolis = 100% original material from a city who has pioneered the tropical/global bass/world music 2.0 sound with Dutty Artz Brooklyn party series, where they showed the world that the crazy mash of cultures in NYC had evolved a counterpart for the cosmopolitan dancefloor, where the crowd was as mixed-up as the music.

Adam ‘Atropolis’ Patridge was born and raised in Queens, New York, one of the most diverse places in America. By age 16 Adam was deep into sounds from Mali, Nigeria, the Balkans, the Caribbean, and South America and living in the meltingpot meant that all those musical communities were nearby. Years later, Patridge has created a fresh-to-death amalgamation of nueva cumbia, dubstep, moombahton, Afro-Colombian house, and kuduro, catching the ears of studied future world music professionals, Dutty Artz label heads Jace “DJ/Rupture” Clayton and Matt Shadetek.

As an accomplished arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Patridge decided to leave his work on commercials to found the Cumba Mela DJ collective. Their “anyting goes” vibe of the collective was exciting and new… as the first party was on a pirated ship docked in a dirty creek in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The ambitious, community-oriented Cumba Mela parties brought in performers, film, food, and visual artists, and reflected Adam’s commitment to making fresh dance music that emerged from the sounds of his native city — a city of immigrants hustling to make old worlds and new worlds dance together (Adam’s own family hails from Greek Cyprus). soundcloud.com/atropolis

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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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