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Archive for January 8th, 2014

Motorists urged to slow down; Roads remain snow packed and icy statewide

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Motorists driving too fast for dangerous conditions

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reminded motorists to slow down when travelling during the severe weather conditions. Road conditions are improving in some areas, but the majority of roads throughout the state are still snow and ice covered. Blowing and drifting snow remains a problem, and the extreme low temperatures reduce the effectiveness of the salt being spread by IDOT winter weather crews. Motorists are still encouraged to stay home and avoid travel until roads are clear and safe.

“Motorists need to heed to our advice and slow down on Illinois roadways,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “The roads are snow packed, extremely slick and dangerous. If motorists have to travel today, please take it slow, buckle up, avoid distractions and allow plenty of extra time. We want everyone to make it to their destination safely.”

IDOT winter weather crews will continue to be on the job as necessary to plow and salt to help ensure roads are clear and passable. For those who have to travel, check www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest road closures and road conditions. Most roads have re-opened, but there are still some road closures throughout the state due to snow and ice. The severe weather has also encouraged Amtrak to cancel a number of state supported trains. To find out if your train was cancelled, visit www.Amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

The National Weather Service forecasts dangerously cold temperatures with strong winds to continue to cause extensive blowing and drifting snow throughout the day. Historic cold temperatures are expected throughout Illinois for the next several days with temperatures ranging from 5 to 16 below zero, wind chills ranging from 25 to 35 degrees below zero and winds of 20 to 30 mph through Tuesday.

Currently, IDOT has 1,755 trucks assigned to snow duty across the state, and nearly 3,700 full- and part-time employees available to help ensure roads are clear and passable. IDOT will continue to monitor the weather and plan accordingly.

Drivers are reminded to exercise caution when snow and ice affect roadways, and IDOT advises travel only when absolutely necessary during winter storms or when temperatures are extremely low. During the severely cold weather expected, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that Illinois residents limit exposure to cold temperatures, dress in layers, check in on others who may need additional assistance, keep vehicles in good repair, and bring pets indoors. For a list of warming centers in Illinois, visit http://www2.illinois.gov/KeepWarm/Pages/warmingcenter.aspx.

Other safety tips to remember:

· Allow extra time for travel during the winter months.

· Don’t crowd the plow – a snow plow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.

· Be aware that black ice can form on roads that appear clear and the unseen ice can be treacherous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shady areas – all are prone to black ice, which is often invisible.

· Always keep your gas tank at least two-thirds full to help prevent the vehicle’s fuel line from freezing.

· Do not travel during bad weather unless absolutely necessary – if you do have to make a trip, check the forecast and make sure someone is aware of your travel route and schedule.

· Always carry an emergency car care kit that contains jumper cables, flares or reflectors, windshield washer fluid, a small ice scraper, traction material, blankets, non-perishable food and a first aid kit.

· Carry a few extra blankets in your car, and perhaps an extra coat to ensure protection in case of a breakdown.

· Carry a cell phone and dial *999 for roadway assistance in case of emergency (but remember using handheld phones while driving is illegal if it is not an emergency situation).

· Always wear a seat belt, front seat or back – it’s the law.

Check travel and road conditions routinely before any trip. You can get road condition information by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368), Illinois Tollway information by calling 1-800-TOLL-FYI or online at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and click on the “winter road conditions” icon.

Flu activity increasing in Illinois – widespread

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

It’s not to late to vaccinate

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Flu activity is increasing daily across the country and here in Illinois. Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is urging people who have not yet received a flu vaccination this season to get one now.

“It is not too late to get a flu shot,” Dr. Hasbrouck said. “Flu activity typically peaks in January, but can run into April. Getting vaccinated now can help protect you from the flu in the coming months.”

IDPH is currently reporting widespread influenza activity in Illinois with 122 flu-related intensive care unit hospitalization and six flu-related intensive care unit deaths. IDPH expects to see an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths.

IDPH recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccination. Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people. To help protect those most at risk for serious complications caused by the flu, it’s important that everyone be vaccinated.

Seasonal flu is responsible for severe illness and death every year, but who is most affected each season can vary depending on the predominant circulating virus. So far this season, 2009 H1N1 viruses have been most common. The 2009 H1N1 viruses have circulated as a seasonal flu virus worldwide since it emerged in 2009, causing a pandemic.

During the pandemic, younger adults and children, particularly people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women, were harder hit by H1N1 compared with adults aged 65 and older. If the H1N1 virus continues to circulate widely, illness may disproportionately affect young and middle-aged adults this season.

People at high risk for serious flu complications include: people with underlying chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or neurological conditions; pregnant women; those younger than 5 years or older than 65 years of age; or anyone with a weakened immune system. This year, however, some who people have been severely ill with complications have been younger individuals with no underlying health problems.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, but it is not typically associated with respiratory flu. People with flu symptoms should stay home 24 hours after the fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). Antiviral drugs can make illness milder, shorten the length of illness and may prevent serious complications.

Flu vaccines are available in many doctor’s offices, local health departments, health clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers. For additional information about flu vaccinations and availability in your area, contact your local health department or visit http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/vaccination/index.html and enter your zip code into the Flu Vaccine Finder tool.

To reduce the spread of flu, it is also important to practice the 3 C’s –

Clean – properly wash your hands frequently

Cover – cover your cough and sneeze

Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick

More information about influenza can be found at http://www.idph.state.il.us/flu/index.htm.

Providing health guidance and information to the public aligns the Illinois Department of Public Health with its strategic plan to become the state’s trusted public health authority, a place where Illinoisans can turn for health information and education. For a copy of the strategic plan, visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf.

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

NOMINATIONS SENT TO THE SENATE:

Henry J. Aaron, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Social Security Advisory Board for a term expiring September 30, 2020.  (Reappointment)

Henry J. Aaron, of the District of Columbia, to be a Member of the Social Security Advisory Board for a term expiring September 30, 2014, vice Jeffrey Robert Brown, term expired.

Debo P. Adegbile, of New York, to be an Assistant Attorney General, vice Thomas E. Perez, resigned.

Cynthia H. Akuetteh, of the District of Columbia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Gabonese Republic, and to serve concurrently and without additional compensation as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe.

Larry Edward André, Jr., of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Counselor, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Steven Joel Anthony, of Virginia, to be a Member of the Railroad Retirement Board for a term expiring August 28, 2018, vice Jerome F. Kever, term expired.

David J. Arroyo, of New York, to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for a term expiring January 31, 2016, vice Elizabeth Courtney, term expired.

Tamara Wenda Ashford, of Virginia, to be a Judge of the United States Tax Court for a term of fifteen years, vice Mary Ann Cohen, retired.

Leslie E. Bains, of New York, to be a Director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation for a term expiring December 31, 2015, vice William S. Jasien, term expired.

Alfredo J. Balsera, of Florida, to be a Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy for a term expiring July 1, 2014, vice Elizabeth F. Bagley, term expired.

Alfredo J. Balsera, of Florida, to be a Member of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy for a term expiring July 1, 2017. (Reappointment)

Robert C. Barber, of Massachusetts, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Iceland.

Tommy Port Beaudreau, of Alaska, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior, vice Rhea S. Suh.

Colleen Bradley Bell, of California, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Hungary.

David Michael Bennett, of North Carolina, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2018, vice Thurgood Marshall, Jr., term expired.

Timothy M. Broas, of Maryland, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Thomas A. Burke, of Maryland, to be an Assistant Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, vice Paul T. Anastas, resigned.

Dwight L. Bush, Sr., of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Kingdom of Morocco.

Leslie Ragon Caldwell, of New York, to be an Assistant Attorney General, vice Lanny A. Breuer, resigned.

John P. Carlin, of New York, to be an Assistant Attorney General, vice Lisa O. Monaco, resigned.

Michael G. Carroll, of New York, to be Inspector General, United States Agency for International Development, vice Donald A. Gambatesa, resigned.

Brad R. Carson, of Oklahoma, to be Under Secretary of the Army, vice Joseph W. Westphal.

Arnold A. Chacon, of Virginia, a Career Member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, to be Director General of the Foreign Service, vice Linda Thomas-Greenfield, resigned.

Grant opportunity – CVPP Job Readiness Training

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Illinois Community Violence Prevention Program (CVPP) Youth Employment Program (YEP) will support approximately 1,800 youth who will be placed in summer jobs and receive mentoring during the summer of 2014.

To help prepare CVPP youth for their summer employment and future careers, they will be provided job readiness training (JRT), a foundational learning experience that will strengthen their job skills for both current and future employment opportunities.

ILAACP seeks to identify a grantee to deliver a “Training of Trainers (TOT),” up to 80 hours of instruction, to train approximately 170 people using the already-developed JRT curriculum.

An applicant technical assistance session will be held on January 16th. Please register by January 15th at NOON. Request for proposal is due January 31st at 5:00 PM. For more information about this Request for Proposal, please visit http://ilaacp.org/cvpp-rfp/.

On the Heels of Target Breach-BBB Survey highlights consumers’ credit card security concerns

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Consumers responding to a Better Business Bureau survey about identity theft indicated their greatest concern was hackers breaking into a business database and stealing credit card numbers, foreshadowing the massive data breach that hit Target.

“Our recent survey results showed consumers’ concern to be all too real with the revelation of a hacking attack on Target,” explained Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “In today’s world, where credit is often easier to use than currency, consumers are often dependent upon the quality of business data security.”


“This latest theft of credit card data shows that even the largest and most experienced companies can be vulnerable to hackers,” Bernas noted. “While there are a limited number of precautions consumers can take to avoid this type of theft, they now must be extra vigilant in checking their credit card statements and credit reports.”


While the theft of credit card information from Target makes news because of its size, there continue to be everyday threats to your credit card security, explained the BBB president. Among these, he said the BBB survey showed that loss or theft of credit cards or IDs while shopping was the second most worrisome concern.


Use of credit cards for purchases made on the phone or online drew half the concern of the data breach, or physical theft or loss of a credit card. Bernas noted that even though these were far less worrisome in the consumers’ minds, they should be treated with the same concern, since the numbers go into the same company database.


One surprising finding is that people responding to the survey indicated that bills, invoices and personal information thrown out in the trash were considered much less of a potential ID security threat.


“Big data breaches that impact millions of people grab attention,” Bernas said. “However, if you are the person whose credit rating is at risk through a credit card bill carelessly tossed in the trash, then that problem is every bit as important to you as a massive data theft.”


He said it pays to be cautious with all papers that contain personal and financial information. For more information on data breaches please visit the link provided.

P.R.A.Y. hosts its 1st Annual Superbowl Fundraising Party to benefit Youth Football and Cheer Team

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Waldorf, MD (BlackNews.com) — The Potomac River Association for Youth (PRAY) hosts the 2014 1st Annual Super Bowl Fundraising Party on February 2, 2014 to be held at Sartik’s, 7670 Hawthorne Road, La Plata, MD 20646, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. to benefit the Potomac River Blackhawks Football and Cheer Team in the Southern Maryland Regional Area. Tickets to this community event can be purchased online at www.praysports.com.

The new and upcoming organization is preparing early for the 2014 football and cheer season by hosting several upcoming fundraising events to raise monies to purchase new training equipment, new football and cheer uniforms, rental facility costs, travel and administrative expenses that will be incurred to ensure a successful season for the youth in the community. “We want to bring our family and friends together to raise community support, enjoy food, fun, sports and fellowship. In the end, this gives us a chance to enrich the lives of our children and empower them to build self-esteem, self-confidence, and create positive and rewarding memories that will last a lifetime,” says President and Founder, Coach RaShaun Sibley, Sr.

With celebrating the Jr. Pee Wee team becoming the 2013 Division II Southern Maryland Conference Championship Runner Up in the first year of the non-profit organization, their goal is to raise over $50,000 for this upcoming 2014 football and cheer season, to have an even better chance of winning the championship next year, by hosting fundraising events, requesting donations and soliciting for sponsors who want to contribute to the building of the youth in the Charles County Maryland area.


About the Potomac River Association for Youth
The Potomac River Association for Youth, under the leadership of American Youth Football, Inc. within the Southern Maryland Conference, is a non-profit 501(c)3 athletic organization comprised of families looking to change the view of organized sports so that all children may participate regardless of capabilities or financial situation. Our mission is to help the child athlete meet their full potential by developing not only their athletic skills but also their self-confidence, character and to mold them into positive community role models. We provide coaching and mentoring for our athletes throughout their lives so that they can succeed not only as players in the rush of the game, but as determined, successful adults in their future endeavors. For more details, visit www.praysports.com


For more information, to purchase tickets or make a donation, contact:
Kisha M. Morris, Secretary
Phone: (301) 643-5484
Email: secretary@praysports.com

Piccolo Theatre welcomes New Year with First Laugh One-Act Festival

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

EVANSTON, IL – This February, Piccolo theatre hosts its inaugural two-weekend festival of one-act plays.  First Laugh One-Act Festival premieres the original work of local and regional playwrights, and joins comedy writing and performance to answer the questions, “what was your first laugh?”  This juried festival features a fantastic prize awarded to the audience favorite, and explores the unique origins of what people find funny.

Each weekend features 3 new plays, beginning with Laughter is Serious Business by Zev Hurwich, Ice Flow by John Green, and Happy 3rd Birthday Siobhan by Liz Calvert on February 7 and 8. The following weekend, February 14 and 15, showcases three additional new work: A Smattering of Perspective by Carl Zeitler, Five 12-Steppers Navigating the Tightwire Away from Jaywalking While Awaiting a Special Appearance by Bill Shatner by Randy Gross, and Work in Progress by Gregory Luick making a total of six world premieres!

First Laugh One-Act Festival runs February 7-8, and February 14-15; all performances are Friday and Saturday at 8PM.  Ticket prices include $20 (adults), and $15 (students). Group discounts are available for all performances. For tickets and more information, call the Box Office at (847) 424-0089 Monday-Friday from 10AM-5PM, or visit www.piccolotheatre.com.

MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive holding T-shirt design contest

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Up to five finalists could win two free registrations to the best bike ride in the Midwest


CHICAGO, IL — Got an idea for an MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive T-shirt? If so, here’s your chance to show off your stellar graphic design skills and get your design on thousands of T-shirts this summer.

Active Trans is launching its second annual T-shirt design contest for MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive—the classic Chicago biking event on the Sunday before Memorial Day that closes Lake Shore Drive to cars and opens it to thousands of people on bikes.

Active Trans is looking for original illustrations that celebrate this special day of biking bliss. Up to five finalists will receive two free registrations for the event, and the final winner will have her or his T-shirt design worn by many thousands of participants during the event and afterwards.

T-shirt design submissions are due February 11 by 11:59 p.m. Active Trans will choose up to five of the best designs, and then open the final decision to an online vote February 24 through March 7 11:59 p.m.

The winner will be announced on Active Trans’ blog later in March. Learn more about how to enter the contest at www.bikethedrive.org/tshirtcontest .

Registration for MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive opens online at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21. You can save $7 by registering at www.bikethedrive.org by February 2 or a total of $9 with a discount code available at MB banking centers (http://www.mbfinancial.com/branch-locator/index/branch-listing.aspx ).

MB Financial Bank Bike the Drive allows cyclists to enjoy the city skyline and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan on the only day of the year when Lake Shore Drive is open to cyclists and closed to car traffic.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information about the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

MB Financial Bank is a locally-operated financial institution that has been delivering competitive personalized service for over 100 years to businesses and individuals who live and work in the Chicago metropolitan area. MB has locations throughout the Chicagoland area. MB Financial Bank’s holding company, MB Financial, Inc., a financial services holding company which is traded on the NASDAQ as “MBFI.” MB Financial, based in Chicago, has approximately $9.6 billion in assets. Information about MB Financial can be found at www.mbfinancial.com .

State Health Department warns residents about hypothermia and frostbite risk as cold grips the state

Posted by Admin On January - 8 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Even cool indoor temperatures can trigger hypothermia

SPRINGFIELD – As below freezing temperatures hit Illinois, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is reminding residents about two health conditions caused by cold winter weather that can lead to serious injury and even death – hypothermia and frostbite.

“With more arctic weather forecasted for Illinois, it is important to recognize the signs of hypothermia and frostbite, how to treat these conditions and what you can do to avoid them,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “Everyone should take precautions against hypothermia, but infants and the elderly are particularly at risk and should be monitored closely.”

Hypothermia is a drop in body temperature to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or less and can be fatal if not detected promptly and treated properly. The condition usually develops over a period of time, anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Even consistent, mildly cool indoor temperatures of 60 degrees to 65 degrees F can trigger hypothermia.

Infants lose body heat more quickly than adults, and the elderly often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity. IDPH recommends setting the thermostat above 65 degrees F and checking on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to ensure their homes are adequately heated.

Signs of hypothermia include:

Forgetfulness

Drowsiness

Slurred speech

Change in appearance, such as a puffy face

Weak pulse

Slow heartbeat

Very slow, shallow breathing

Coma or death-like appearance, if the body temperature drops to or below 86 degrees F

If you notice these symptoms, take the person’s temperature. If it is 95 degrees F or below, call a doctor or ambulance, or take the victim directly to a hospital. A drop in temperature below 90 degrees can create a life-threatening situation. To prevent further heat loss, wrap the person in a warm blanket. You also can apply a hot water bottle or electric heating pad (on a low setting) to the person’s abdomen. If the person is alert, give small quantities of warm food or drink. Do not give a hypothermia victim a hot shower or bath. It could cause shock. Do not try to treat hypothermia at home. The condition should be treated in a hospital.

Frostbite is caused by bitterly cold temperatures and typically affects exposed areas of the face (cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead), the ears, wrists, hands and feet. When spending time outdoors during cold weather, be alert for signs of frostbite. Frostbitten skin is whitish and stiff, and the area will feel numb rather than painful. If you notice these signs, take immediate action.

To treat frostbite, warm the affected part of the body gradually. Wrap the frostbitten area in blankets, sweaters, coats, etc. If no warm wrappings are available, place frostbitten hands under your armpits or use your body to cover the affected area and seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub frostbitten areas. The friction can damage the tissue.

If you must go outdoors during below freezing temperatures and the wind-chill is below zero, dress properly for the weather.

Wear several layers of lightweight clothing. The air between the layers of clothing acts as insulation to keep you warmer.

Cover your head. You lose as much as 50 percent of your body heat through your head.

Wear mittens rather than fingered gloves. The contact of your fingers keeps your hands warmer.

Wear warm leg coverings and heavy socks or two pairs of lightweight socks.

Cover your ears and the lower part of your face. The ears, nose, chin and forehead are most susceptible to frostbite. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect the lungs from directly inhaling extremely cold air.

You can find more information in the IDPH Weathering Winter booklet at http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/books/weatheringwinter.htm.

Providing essential health information during emergencies is one way IDPH is working toward becoming the state’s leading public health authority, and implementing IDPH’s Five Year Strategy. For a copy of the strategic plan, go to http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf

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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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