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Expanding and elaborating on its presentation of hip-hop artists in February 2014, The Dance ...
  Ongoing Operation recovers $70 Million in unpaid Sales Tax to the State   CHICAGO, IL— Illinois Attorney ...
Today, April 24, 2014, at 2 p.m., "Game Changers" will Announce Blueprint ...

Archive for January 9th, 2014

President Obama issues statement on the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Says without Social Security, nearly half of seniors would be living in poverty

Obama’s statement:

As Americans, we believe that everyone who works hard deserves a chance at opportunity, and that all our citizens deserve some basic measure of security.  And so, 50 years ago, President Johnson declared a War on Poverty to help each and every American fulfill his or her basic hopes.  We created new avenues of opportunity through jobs and education, expanded access to health care for seniors, the poor, and Americans with disabilities, and helped working families make ends meet.  Without Social Security, nearly half of seniors would be living in poverty.  Today, fewer than one in seven do.  Before Medicare, only half of seniors had some form of health insurance.  Today, virtually all do.  And because we expanded pro-work and pro-family programs like the Earned Income Tax Credit, a recent study found that the poverty rate has fallen by nearly 40% since the 1960s, and kept millions from falling into poverty during the Great Recession.

These endeavors didn’t just make us a better country.  They reaffirmed that we are a great country.  They lived up to our best hopes as a people who value the dignity and potential of every human being.  But as every American knows, our work is far from over.  In the richest nation on Earth, far too many children are still born into poverty, far too few have a fair shot to escape it, and Americans of all races and backgrounds experience wages and incomes that aren’t rising, making it harder to share in the opportunities a growing economy provides.  That does not mean, as some suggest, abandoning the War on Poverty.  In fact, if we hadn’t declared “unconditional war on poverty in America,” millions more Americans would be living in poverty today.  Instead, it means we must redouble our efforts to make sure our economy works for every working American.  It means helping our businesses create new jobs with stronger wages and benefits, expanding access to education and health care, rebuilding those communities on the outskirts of hope, and constructing new ladders of opportunity for our people to climb.

We are a country that keeps the promises we’ve made.  And in a 21st century economy, we will make sure that as America grows stronger, this recovery leaves no one behind.  Because for all that has changed in the 50 years since President Johnson dedicated us to this economic and moral mission, one constant of our character has not: we are one nation and one people, and we rise or fall together.

Roadway conditions improve statewide; Winter weather crews begin clean-up process

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

All state roads are open; Crews prepare for more snowfall in Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that road conditions have improved statewide, however, some roadways are still snow and ice covered, mostly eastern Illinois. Currently, all state-maintained roadways are open. IDOT winter weather crews will continue to plow and salt to ensure that roads are clear and safe for motorists.

“We have made significant progress with the slightly warmer temperatures and we are starting to see major road improvements throughout the state, but roadway segments are still dangerous in some areas,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider.

“IDOT winter weather crews are completing work on primary state routes, moving to secondary routes and starting the clean-up process to prepare for the next anticipated precipitation. Due to blowing and drifting snow and scattered slick spots, motorists should continue to use extreme caution when traveling as those isolated slick spots tend to sneak up on drivers.”

The National Weather Service forecasts light snow and a chance of rain and freezing drizzle in areas statewide as the week progresses. A slight potential for flooding exists in some areas this weekend, due to increasing temperatures, melting snow and expected rainfall.

For those who must travel, check www.gettingaroundillinois.com for the latest winter road conditions and road closures. Current closures, as of Wednesday afternoon, include the Fairmont Avenue Bridge over I-55/70 in Collinsville, the Brussels and Kampsville Ferries and the Homestead rest area (NB).

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.

NAACP applauds Federal Guidance Package that improves school discipline policies

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(From the NAACP press)

The U.S. Department of Education in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice today released a school discipline guidance package that will assist states, districts and schools in developing practices and strategies to enhance school climate, and ensure those policies and practices comply with federal law.

The NAACP has been on the frontlines of closing the school to prison pipeline. In November of 2013, the NAACP’s Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chapter brokered a historic collaborative agreement on school discipline with Broward County Public Schools, law enforcement and its community partners to end the school to prison pipeline wreaking havoc in communities of color.

Our work in Broward County establishes proven alternatives to arrest for misdemeanor infractions by students that include common sense approaches such as counseling and mentorship. The guidance package released today expands on this approach.

Each year, significant numbers of students miss class due to suspensions and expulsions for minor infractions of school rules. The new guidance package, like the NAACP’s collaborative agreement in Broward County, provides resources for creating safe and positive school climates, which are essential for boosting student academic success and closing achievement gaps.

From NAACP Interim President and CEO Lorraine C. Miller:

“The NAACP applauds Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for taking this giant step in improving the disciplinary policies that impede the educational growth and development of students across the country, particularly in communities of color,” said Lorraine C. Miller, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP. “Like the historic agreement that the NAACP brokered in Broward County, this school discipline guidance package promotes effective discipline policies that help to plug the school-to-prison pipeline and create safer learning environments without excessive expulsions and suspensions.”

From Dr. Niaz Kasravi, Criminal Justice Director for the NAACP:

“Too many children in this country lose too much learning time due to excessive suspensions and expulsions for routine adolescent misbehavior,” said Dr. Niaz Kasravi, Criminal Justice Director for the NAACP. “The collaborative agreement brokered by the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County NAACP Chapter preserved the futures of scores of children who misbehave as young people sometimes do. Today’s discipline guidance package will go a long way in curbing the destructive pipeline that funnels children from school into prison and alters the trajectory of their lives forever.”

From Marsha Ellison, President of the NAACP’s Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chapter:

“Disciplinary policies that rely too heavily on suspensions and expulsions have failed to improve the disciplinary culture of our schools,” said Marsha Ellison, president of the NAACP’s Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Chapter. “For eight years, we worked to close the school to prison pipeline in Broward County. Our success saved Broward County children from the type of disciplinary action that leads to criminal records and prevents them becoming the successful adults they deserve to be. We are encouraged by the steps being taken by the federal government to close the school to prison pipeline for children across the country, just as we did in Broward County.”

Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates Fall in 2014

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Unemployment insurance tax rates for most businesses will fall in 2014 as the state economy improves and more people return to work, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said today. Employers who did not reduce their workforce in 2013 typically will see the greatest savings.

Lower tax rates and stronger tools to stop waste, fraud and abuse were part of 2011 legislation that reformed the unemployment insurance program and contributed to saving more than $271 million in the past two years.

“This is another example of why Illinois is an attractive place for businesses looking to grow,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Falling unemployment insurance rates means employers have more money to hire additional workers.”

Illinois’ Unemployment Insurance taxes make up 0.7 percent of the average employer’s per-employee compensation cost – or seven-tenths of one cent for each dollar paid. Unemployment insurance tax rates generally are separated by business type, such as transportation and warehousing or mining. Each of these nine types is lower in 2014. Minimum and maximum tax rates also are established. In 2014, the maximum tax rate of 8.0 percent is down from 8.4 percent. The minimum rate of 0.0 percent is unchanged. Additionally, there is a .55 percent fund building rate all employers pay. Tax rates in 2014 are applied to the first $12,960 of wages.

Unemployment insurance taxes pay for benefits that workers receive when they are laid off. In Illinois, the taxes support 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Operational funding for IDES – dollars used to pay salaries and utilities, for example – come from federal funds through the U.S. Department of Labor, not from unemployment insurance taxes nor from the state’s general revenue budget in Springfield.

Other factors are considered when calculating an employer’s tax rate, including the Trust Fund balance, the number of workers an employer laid off, and the economic climate of the past three years. The long-standing formula allows better planning for employers and eliminates steep, yearly movement in tax rates.

IDES is the state’s employment agency. In addition to administering the unemployment insurance program, it also manages the state’s hiring board at Illinoisjoblink.com. Job seekers can post multiple resumes to highlight specific skills and target multiple jobs. Employers can use word-search technology, Veteran status and professional licensure to find specific candidates and qualify for tax incentives. There were more than 200,000 Help Wanted OnLine job advertisements in November, 84 percent of which sought full-time workers. Using illinoisjoblink.com to apply for these jobs can help maintain eligibility for unemployment insurance.

Essence Magazine Summer Internship Program’s deadline to apply is January 31, 2014

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Applicants must have a strong interest in issues pertaining to African American women


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The deadline is fast approaching for students to apply for the Essence Magazine Summer Internship program. Every year, Essence Communications Inc. hosts summer interns through the Time Inc. Summer Internship Program. The program is a 9-week paid learning experience where students will receive on-the-job training that will enhance their education and prepare them for a future career in the media industry.

Applicants must have an interest in media and issues related to African-American women to intern at ESSENCE magazine. They are looking for students who are diligent, self-motivated and extremely detail-oriented to take on various opportunities throughout departments in both the Publishing and Editorial divisions.

Interns will receive a bi-weekly stipend, will be assigned to one department but will be exposed to other areas of the company, and are expected to find their own housing. It is suggested that they contact their school’s career center for information on temporary housing in the New York City area. They can contact New York City area colleges and universities to ask about renting a dormitory room for the summer.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2014, and only one application per person will be considered.

For more details and/or to apply for the Essence Summer Internship, visit:
www.findinternships.com/2013/10/essence-communications-internship.html

To search hundreds of other 2014 internships, visit:
www.FindInternships.com

Photo Caption: Former intern at Essence Communications


Financial consultant launches national system to help black-owned businesses obtain funding

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Live online business class to be held on Jan 25, 2014 at www.biznessfundingapproved.eventbrite.com



Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Finance experts are elated as Joya O. Johnson, CEO of Positive Minded Sisters (PMS) Financial Services, LLC has finally rolled out her much anticipated Business Finance Suite to help African-American owned businesses obtain funding.

Positive Minded Sisters (PMS) Financial Services, LLC has released a first of its kind cash and credit access system which provides business owners easy access to financing options of all kinds for their businesses. The Business Finance Suite has thousands of financing sources, and more access to money than any other stand-alone system in the world. The finance suite also provides the access to the largest supply of financial products that is available today.

“Access to money has always been one of the biggest challenges a business owner faces,” Johnson says.

“Through the finance suite entrepreneurs can quickly access the cash and credit they need to grow their business.” The Business Finance Suite provides unprecedented access to money for business owners. Virtually every type of known legitimate financing source is available through the suite.

Business Credit is one of many funding options available. The Business Finance Suite provides access to the largest database of vendor and revolving account sources who offer business credit, all with no personal guarantee required. This means business owners can access credit for their business without the personal liability of a personal guarantee.

Plus business credit is available with no personal credit check. So, even business owners hit hard by the change in economy will still qualify. “Our clients can easily be approved for well over $50,000 in business credit within their first 6 months using the finance suite. And this credit is with major merchants business owners frequently use including companies such as Apple, Target, even Wal-Mart,” Johnson said.

Plus business credit is only one of many financing options available. SBA loans including SBA 7a and 504 loans are available as well. Factoring loans, equipment loans, credit lines, merchant cash advances, 401k financing, securities based lines of credit, and many more financing options are all available through the Business Finance Suite. “Now business owners have access to all real cash and credit sources for their business in one place,” says Johnson.

The finance suite also helps business owners with the initial steps of setting up their business to insure they are approved for financing. Business owners can even acquire an excellent business credit score right through the finance suite. And, business owners can secure new financing with one-click access and easy online approvals. Plus one of the main benefits of the finance suite is concierge coaching which is provided by a certified Business Advisor and Finance Officer.

Positive Minded Sisters (PMS) Financial Services, LLC has coaches who help business owners access the cash and credit they need to grow their businesses. These advisors commonly have two decades or more experience in helping business owners obtains capital and build credit.

And, this concierge coaching includes helping business owners all the way through the approval process to insure they get approved and quickly receive their money. The Business Finance Suite has finally given business owners access to the funds they need to grow and expand their businesses.

To learn more about the exclusive Business Finance Suite, interested ones can attend their LIVE online business class on Jan 25, 2014 at www.biznessfundingapproved.eventbrite.com or call 240-542-8518.

Photo Caption: Joya O. Johnson, CEO of Positive Minded Sisters (PMS) Financial Services, LLC

NPR’s Joe Frank returns to Steppenwolf Theatre Company for Murdered By The Mind, March 1, 2014

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Ensemble Member Terry Kinney directs, featuring Musicians Danny Frankel and David Ralicke

CHICAGO, IL – NPR radio personality, author and performance artist Joe Frank returns to Steppenwolf Theatre Company for one night only with his new show Murdered by the Mind, directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney and featuring noted musicians Danny Frankel (percussion) and David Ralicke (saxophone and keyboards) on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 8 pm in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St). Tickets ($28) go on sale Friday, January 10 at 11am at steppenwolf.org.

After full houses for two previous performances at Stepppenwolf (Just An Ordinary Man and Too Close to Home), NPR’s Joe Frank returns to Steppenwolf with an all new evening of spoken word and music. Directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member and co-founder Terry Kinney, Murdered by the Mind is more of the funny, moving and intelligent storytelling you have come to expect from Joe Frank.

Joe Frank’s weekly one-hour radio show airs in Chicago on WBEZ 91.5 FM Sunday nights at 11pm. He began his radio career in 1977 at WBAI in New York and later served as co-anchor of NPR’s All Things Considered in 1978. Over the last three decades he has produced more than 200 radio programs for KCRW and National Public Radio. A Guggenheim Fellow, Frank has been honored with many major industry awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, two Major Armstrong Awards and two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards for Radio Drama. Over the years, Frank’s distinctive approach to making radio has inspired producers around the world to experiment with and stretch the medium beyond traditional boundaries. For additional information, visit joefrank.com.

Title                                         Murdered by the Mind

Author                                      Joe Frank

Director Ensemble member Terry Kinney

Featuring                                 Joe Frank with musicians Danny Frankel and David Ralicke

Location                                   Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre (1650 N Halsted St)

Date & Time                             Saturday, March 1, 2014 at 8pm

Ticket Prices $28 ($15 student tickets)

RED tickets are available to RED members

Groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate

Audience Services 1650 N Halsted St; 312-335-1650; steppenwolf.org

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 43 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work and Garage Rep. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Hawkanson is the Executive Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre and twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr.

Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia L. Fudge’s Remarks on the 50th Anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s Declaration of the “War on Poverty

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge made the following remarks on the 50th Anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s Declaration of the War on Poverty:

“Thank you to my colleague Congresswoman Barbara Lee for her leadership on ensuring we never forget the millions of Americans living in poverty.

“Fifty years ago, President Johnson declared America’s “War on Poverty”. Yet, too many are still living on the outskirts of hope. We are once again coming to ask America to be true to the promissory note that it signed years ago.

“While the programs created in the last 50 years have kept millions of Americans from sinking deeper into poverty, we must do more, not less as my Republican colleagues have suggested.

“This requires us to target resources to programs in poverty-stricken communities; it requires us to maintain unemployment insurance for the millions of Americans who are among the long-term unemployed; it requires us to reject $40 Billion in cuts to nutrition assistance that helps feed hungry families.

“We must remove obstacles for students who are trying to access and complete higher education, such as the new definition of adverse credit keeping thousands of college students out of school.

“We must take a closer, more critical look at policies that contribute to the growing income gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us.

“We must continue the fight championed by President Johnson that would ensure all Americans can support themselves and their families, and have the opportunity to contribute to our economy and to our society. This is how we build upon the progress that has been made over the past five decades, instead of taking action to reverse it.

“I would also like to note that Dr. Martin Luther King’s final message was that ending poverty was a civil rights battle. That message still rings true.

“As Dr. King said, it is much easier to integrate a bus than it is to eradicate slums. It is much easier to guarantee the right to vote than it is to guarantee an annual income. It is much easier to integrate a public park than it is to create jobs. If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty, and the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. He merely exists.

“The fight to end poverty is at the core of who we are as a nation and I believe, is at the core of who most individuals in this nation want to be.

“The Congressional Black Caucus shall not rest until the war on poverty is won. I thank you all for joining us today and for your continued support of our efforts to end poverty in America.”

Secretary of State Offices Closed January 20th for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all Driver Services facilities and offices open Monday through Friday will be closed Monday, January 20th, 2014, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Driver Services facilities that are normally open Tuesday through Saturday will close on Saturday, January 18th, 2014.

All Driver Services facilities will reopen for regular business on Tuesday, January 21st, 2014.

Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com, to change an address, register to become an organ & tissue donor or renew license plate stickers if they have received a renewal form by mail.

Escape the cold with the Chicago Pedway

Posted by Admin On January - 9 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

“Chicago Detours updates user friendly Pedway Map”

CHICAGO, IL – Today Chicago Detours, a cultural tour company, releases the updated version of their Chicago Pedway Map, the most user friendly design of this complex system of passages that connect buildings in downtown Chicago. People can download a copy from the top-rated tour company’s website, or guests on the Loop Interior Architecture Tour, which is offered six days a week, receive professionally printed copies as a gift.

The two-page map, which is designed to be printed and folded into a sort of booklet versus viewed online, divides the extensive Pedway system into sections. It includes helpful details, such as where to access the 40-block-long network of passages, the disparate open hours for different sections, and tips on navigating the system.

New to the 2014 version of this map, which Chicago Detours originally released in November of 2012, are more details on open hours, clarification of the newest part of the Pedway around the Aqua building, better distinction of street-level landmarks, and an overall cleaner design.

Chicago Detours Executive Director Amanda Scotese designed the map as a useful guide that would welcome people into using the system, versus intimidating them from it. While other maps of the Pedway exist, such as the city’s version from early 2013, they do not outline where exactly to access the Pedway, which is one of the most confusing aspects of the system.

“I found from the guests on our Loop Interior Architecture Tour that lots of people are not nearly as nosy as I am!” Scotese explains, “While I am used to just walking into downtown places that I know are open to the public, like building lobbies, people who don’t live or work in downtown Chicago may not so naturally step inside. By marking all stairways and entrances to buildings and passages that connect with the Pedway, our map explicitly delineates where people are permitted to enter buildings.”

The Chicago Pedway system extends more than 40 blocks to connect close to 50 buildings, train stations and underground parking structures. More information about the Chicago Pedway System can be found on the Chicago Detours Blog.

About Chicago Detours

Chicago Detours is a team of educators, historians, artists and storytellers, founded by Amanda Scotese, who honed her skills as a tour professional during the several years she has worked as a tour guide and guidebook researcher with the travel company of Rick Steves. Scotese studied architecture, urbanism, and art history through her interdisciplinary M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. The creative tour company blogs about Chicago architecture and history at blog.chicagodetours.com.

For additional information:
Amanda Scotese
312.350.1131
info@chicagodetours.com
www.chicagodetours.com

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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