February , 2019

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Archive for March 28th, 2014

Six-Million Signed Up Already for Obamacare; Deadline Nears – Enroll Today

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The deadline to apply for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (“ Obamacare”) is March 31, 2014. If you have not enrolled in ACA, enroll today or before the pending deadline.

March 31 is the last day to enroll for a taxpayer-subsidized health plan through the new online markets or exchanges. You can find Affordable Care Act plan comparisons at the following links:





Obamacare is making traction. As to date, 6 million people have signed up for Obamacare through the marketplace.

Remember, your health is your number one priority. There’s peace of mind in having quality, affordable health care for you and your family. You could also be eligible for financial assistance.

Sign up for ACA before the deadline.

Kirk, Durbin Ask for Meeting with BP Following Oil Spill in Lake Michigan

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Explanation of Cause, Impact on Lake Michigan and Prevention Efforts Needed

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) asked for a meeting with BP after oil from BP’s Whiting Refinery in Indiana spilled into Lake Michigan earlier this week. Specifically, Senators Kirk and Durbin asked for a report about the cause of the spill, an analysis of the impact of the Whiting Refinery’s production increase on Lake Michigan and information on what is being done to prevent future spills.

“Any unanticipated spill is cause for concern, but given the Whiting Refinery’s recent expansion of its operations to double the amount of heavy oil sands being processed, this spill raises questions about the long-term safety and reliability of BP’s new, expanded production at Whiting.  It is in all of our best interests, including Lake Michigan and the communities and industries that rely on [the Lake’s resources], to ensure that this greater processing capacity will do no harm to Lake Michigan,” wrote Senators Durbin and Kirk.  “We urge you to explore every avenue to expeditiously recover any spilled oil, remediate the damage where possible, and minimize future threats the Whiting Refinery poses to this irreplaceable resource.”

Text of today’s letter is below:

March 27, 2014

Mr. John Minge

CEO, BP America Inc.

501 Westlake Park Blvd

Houston, TX 77079-2604

Dear Mr. Minge:

We are deeply concerned about this week’s oil spill at the BP Whiting Refinery on the shore of Lake Michigan.  We would appreciate meeting with you to discuss BP’s plan to manage the potential public health and environmental threats to surrounding communities related to the contamination of Lake Michigan.

Any unanticipated spill is cause for concern, but given the Whiting Refinery’s recent expansion of its operations to double the amount of heavy oil sands being processed, this spill raises questions about the long-term safety and reliability of BP’s new, expanded production at Whiting.  It is in all of our best interests, including Lake Michigan and the communities and industries that rely on it, to ensure that this greater processing capacity will do no harm to Lake Michigan.

While the cause of the spill has been determined and efforts are underway to clean up the oil, we remain troubled by certain aspects of the incident:

  • Four days after the spill, BP has only now given estimates on the amount of oil that was spilled.  However, more detail about its chemical composition still needs to be provided.  This information is critical for authorities as they attempt to asses any potential harmful effects caused by the spill.  When does BP expect to release this data?
  • Lake Michigan provides drinking water to more than seven million people and several Illinois towns intake their water from locations that are near the spilled oil.  What is BP doing to ensure the drinking water for these cities has not been contaminated?
  • Current clean-up efforts have focused on oil sitting on the surface of the Lake.  What has been done to determine how much oil might have settled on the floor of Lake Michigan?  What assurance is BP prepared to give that all the oil is removed from the Lake?

Lake Michigan is a critically important ecosystem, not just for Illinois, but for the entire Great Lakes region.  Protecting the Lake must be a priority.  We urge you to explore every avenue to expeditiously recover any spilled oil, remediate the damage where possible, and minimize future threats the Whiting Refinery poses to this irreplaceable resource.   We look forward to meeting with you to discuss these concerns.


Richard J. Durbin

United States Senator

Mark Kirk

United States Senator

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Issues Consumer Warning

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Illegally manufactured Mexican-style cheese causing foodborne illness

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is warning people about the dangers of consuming illegally manufactured cheeses. Health officials are reporting around 100 cases of salmonellosis in 13 counties believed to be linked to consumption of an illegally manufactured Mexican-style cheese. A sample of the cheese obtained from the home of a person who became ill tested positive for Salmonella. IDPH is working with local health departments to identify the manufacturer of the contaminated cheese.

“We’re concerned that people who consume this manufactured cheese may become sick from Salmonella,” said Dr. Hasbrouck.  “It is important for you to check the labeling to make sure the product was made by a licensed dairy manufacturer – even if you purchased the cheese from a grocery store.  If you become ill after eating Mexican-style cheese, contact your health care provider and your local health department.”

Local health departments in Boone, Cook (including the city of Chicago), DuPage, Fayette, Kane, Lake, LaSalle, Macon, Marion, McHenry, Vermillion, Washington and Will counties have reported to IDPH since July 2012 around 100 cases with the same strain of Salmonella believed to be associated with this cheese. The average age of people who have become ill is nine-years-old and a third of all the cases have been hospitalized.

Anyone with information about illegally manufactured cheese should contact their local health department for follow up. Without this information, it will not be possible to prevent further illnesses. People who become ill after eating illegally manufactured cheese, should keep the cheese for possible testing.

Many cases have reported consuming Mexican-style cheese obtained from worksites, including factories, and at train stations, from street vendors and from relatives and friends. The cheese is not labeled and is often wrapped in aluminum foil. IDPH recommends that people who have Mexican-style cheese in their home, but cannot clearly identify the product was made by a licensed or regulated manufacturer, should not eat the cheese.

While Salmonella bacteria cannot be detected by sight, taste or smell, it can cause illness, including fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most individuals can recover on their own in 3 to 5 days. The infection can be more severe in young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune system.

IDPH advises against buying or consuming cheese that is suspected to be made by an unlicensed dairy manufacturer. IDPH encourages consumers to always purchase milk and dairy products made by licensed dairy manufacturers. Legitimate Mexican-style cheeses are available in the refrigerated case at retail stores and in most cases, label information specifies the legal name of the product, the name and address of distributor or processor, quantity of contents, an ingredient statement, and nutrition facts.

For more information about Salmonella log on to www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbsam.htm.

Providing essential health information during illness outbreaks is one way IDPH is continuing its mission of protecting health, improving lives 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.

Unemployment Falls in Local Areas Across the State

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Chicagoland Lowest Unemployment Since 2009

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan Area















Davenport-Moline-Rock Isl.









Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI












St. Louis (IL-Section)



* Data subject to revision.

CHICAGO – Local unemployment rates fell across the state in February and the rate in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metro Division fell 0.8 percentage points to reach 9.0 percent, the lowest it has been since 2009, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Not seasonally adjusted data compares February 2014 to February 2013.

Illinois businesses added jobs in four metros. Largest increases: Lake-Kenosha (+2.7 percent, +10,300), Champaign-Urbana (+1.6 percent, +1,700), and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+0.8 percent, +28,000). Largest decreases: Bloomington-Normal (-2.1 percent, -1,900), Danville (-2.1 percent, -600) and Peoria (-1.8 percent, -3,300). Much of these decreases continue to reflect a temporary slowdown in global manufacturing demand. Industry sectors recording job growth in the most metros: Leisure and Hospitality (nine of 12), Wholesale Trade (seven of 12).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year. The February 2014 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 9.4 percent and 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in February and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Historically, the state unemployment rate is higher than the national rate.

Total Non-farm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – February 2014

Metropolitan Area



Over-the-Year Change

Bloomington-Normal MSA




Champaign-Urbana MSA




Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metro Div.




Danville MSA




Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA




Decatur MSA




Kankakee-Bradley MSA




Lake County-Kenosha County Metro Div.




Peoria MSA




Rockford MSA




Springfield MSA




Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA




*Preliminary **Revised

Alpha Phi Gamma Lambda Chapter Partners With Jackets For Jobs Women’s History Month to Support President Obama’s Initiative

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Detroit area men seeking employment to benefit from the 100s of suits donated by the Detroit chapter fraternity


Detroit, MI (BlackNews.com) – Ms. Alison Vaughn, founder/CEO of Jackets for Jobs, proudly partners with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Gamma Lambda Chapter, at a clothing drive held in honor of her work helping men and women in their quest to gain employment. The event was held on March 8 at the Alpha House on Detroit’s west side in the midst of Women’s Day month.In the U.S., Women’s History Month is an annual declared month worldwide that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Primarily, the donations received were men’s suits to support JFJ men’s division. The APA, 107 year-old organization, continues to carry out its mission to develop leaders, promote brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for communities.

JFJ, now in its 14th year is a nationally recognized non-profit organization based in Detroit, maintains its mission providing career skills training, employment etiquette and professional clothes it receives from a number of supporters throughout the nation to provide men and women with the assistance they may need to enter or reenter the work force.

“My Brother’s Keeper” was recently launched by President Barack Obama, some believe, and is one of the most prolific initiatives of his administration. The MBK initiative is striving for a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to build ladders of opportunity and unlock the full potential of boys and young men of color.

He notes by the time young men of color hit fourth grade, 86 percent of African American boys and 82 percent Hispanic boys are reading below proficiency levels — compared to 54 percent of white fourth graders reading below proficiency levels. Both are more than six times more likely to be victims of murder than their white peers — and account for nearly half of the country’s murder victims each year.

JFJ and APA have long been doing the work in the Detroit area that benefit men, women and kids facing tough circumstances and fully embrace the MBK concept. JFJ was brought into being from a desire to help families transition from welfare to employment.

“President Obama’s approach in targeting support for young men of color is what we have wanted for quite some time. It takes a village and a nation with the adequate tools to affect the masses, cut off the pipeline to prison and build strong, productive families, Vaughn said. “It begins and ends with our men, and I am honored to work with the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.”

The APA, with more than 700 active chapters sprinkled over the globe, embraces President Obama’s idea of creating opportunities for boys and young men of color. The more society as a whole participates in solving issues that plaque our youth, the more sustainable the nation. We have been observing the work of Ms. Vaughn for several years and wanted to support her efforts to be of service to others,” said APA Detroit president Burke Gaddis. For more information, visit www.gamma-lambda.com

JFJ has been assisting clients with employment for 14 years and has assisted 15,000 plus individuals with employment interview etiquette and professional clothes. The organization has been supported and applauded by ABC’s “The View”, NBC’s “Today Show”, the cast members from the NBC show “The Apprentice” and Oprah’s O Magazine. This JFJ is funded by Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation and is charitable arm of TJ Maxx. For more information, visit www.jacketsforjobs.org.

Photo Caption:
Photo from L to R: Kamau C. Marable, Alison Vaughn, Founder of Jackets for Jobs, Judge Craig Strong & Burke Gaddis, president of Alpha Phi Alpha, Gamma Lambda Chapter

Traci Otey Blunt Recognized Among “25 Influential Black Women in Business”

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

The Network Journal Hosts 16th Annual Women in Business Awards

Traci Otey Blunt

Bethesda, MD (BlackNews.com) — The RLJ Companies today announced that Traci Otey Blunt, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, has been recognized among The Network Journal’s (TNJ) “25 Influential Black Women in Business” award honorees for 2014.

“As the second highest ranking female executive at The RLJ Companies, Traci has the leadership skills, the work ethic and the managerial expertise to become one of the top-ranked female business leaders in this country,” says Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies. “I admire Traci for the creativity, talent and vision that she helps to create at The RLJ Companies and I was proud to recommend her for this prestigious award which recognizes the success and professionalism that women of color bring to the corporate community.”

TNJ Publisher and CEO Aziz Gueye Adetimirin added, “The women we are honoring this year are at the forefront of American leadership and symbolize the diversity and advancement that has occurred across industry lines.”

Honorees are featured in the March/April issue of The Network Journal magazine – www.tnj.com/2014/traci-otey-blunt. The Network Journal, founded in 1993, is an award-winning magazine published quarterly on issues that affect the growth of business and the advancement of African-American professionals in the workplace.

About The RLJ Companies
The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson, is an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust; private equity; financial services; asset management; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, MD, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. Prior to founding The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET). For more information visit: www.RLJcompanies.com

Photo Caption: Traci Otey Blunt, SVP of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at The RLJ Companies

Chicago Environmental Groups Rally in Response to BP Oil Spill in Lake Michigan

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Monday afternoon, an estimated 500 gallons of oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, leaked into Lake Michigan, poisoning the source of drinking water for 7 million people in and around Chicago. The BP Refinery on the lake’s shore has admitted responsibility, but has yet to take sufficient action to ensure the safety of our drinking water and ecosystem.

This serves as further evidence that the reliance on fossil fuels in all its forms has serious and long term effects on the health of the planet and the people who inhabit. This is doubly true in the case of the processing or tar sands that goes on at BP’s Whiting facility. This most current spill comes after years of legal challenges to the Whiting plant that is one of the largest sources of industrial pollution in the nation.

Alternative energy sources are available and we call on our local and federal governments to immediately expedite this transition.  Failure to do so will only lead to further spills and environmental devastation. We don’t want another Deepwater Horizon on the shores of Chicago and yet with this spill BP demonstrates again that they they put their profits above the the lives of the people who inhabit our city and our world.

An emergency action at BP’s Chicago offices has been called by the Global Climate Convergence (GCC) and local environmental groups to demand that BP be held accountable.

The GCC, in conjunction with multiple environmental organizations, issues the following demands:

1.    The EPA immediately begins testing our water to ensure that it is safe to drink, and publishes their findings.

2.    BP is returned to the federal no contract list – which they were removed from only THIS month following their contamination of the Gulf Coast – so that public money does not fund their damage to the ecosystem.

3.    BP may no longer divert resources from the public – eg the use of contracted police officers to prevent citizens from entering the land that has been contaminated- to shield themselves from warranted investigation.

4.    The city of Chicago becomes a green-energy leader by shifting our energy sources to 100% renewables-based.

We believe that this is only the first of many oil spills to come, following the recently initiated processing of tar sands oil, unless we take a stand against such careless corporations.

Join us to defend our planet, our communities, and our water.

Endorsers (in formation): Global Climate Convergence, CAPOW, Tarsands Free Midwest, NEIS, ISO, System Change Not Climate Change, Rising Tide Chicago, Michigan Coalition Against Tarsands, 8th Day Center for Justice, Young Communist League, CPUSA

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/270141553149298

More Info: http://globalclimateconvergence.org/

Phen Kicks Off the 2014 Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

“Black America’s largest prostate cancer education and awareness event”

PHEN Father's Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – The Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN) expects to exceed last year’s reach of 1 million persons during the “Sixth Annual Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” Sunday, June 15 held in partnership with churches nationwide. This is the largest and most visible prostate cancer education and awareness effort with a focus on Black America.

The Rally is held during the churches’ regular worship services where church leaders recognize prostate cancer survivors and family members who have lost loved ones to the disease and call them forward to join hands in prayer for healing and support. PHEN provides educational materials to distribute to the congregations of each church and continues providing online educational support beyond Father’s Day.

“The Annual Father’s Day Rally has proven to be a highly effective outreach initiative for African American families who are the ones suffering most from prostate cancer. We are committed to maximizing our reach and having an impact on saving lives and reducing suffering through this Rally,” says PHEN founder and President Thomas A. Farrington.

The Father’s Day Rally breaks the silence amongst men and families who suffer or have suffered from the disease and opens the eyes of those who have no knowledge of the disease’s devastating impact in the black community.

Last year’s rally had a lasting impact at New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Washington DC where prostate cancer survivors formed small groups after the church asked for prostate cancer survivors to stand during the rally, said Rev. Christopher Starghill, pastor of fellowship.

“As we went through the three [church] services, tears began to blow our minds because we just didn’t know [the disease’s impact] and men began to form connections,” Starghill said. “I was excited to have PHEN present in our worship service.”

Black men die at a rate 2.5 times higher than men of all other ethnic and racial groups in the United States. This disparity led the US Senate, in July 2012, to pass a resolution recognizing prostate cancer to be of epidemic proportions among African American men.

All churches nationwide are invited to partner with PHEN in the fight against prostate cancer by participating in the “Sixth Annual Father’s Day Rally.” There is no charge for churches to participate. Church registration is now open here: www.prostatehealthed.org/churchregister2014.

Prostate cancer survivors play a crucial role in the success of the Rally by mobilizing their churches and communities around the Father’s Day effort. PHEN is appealing to all prostate cancer survivors and their family members to join and help lead the Rally. Survivors are invited to join the PHEN Survivor Network here: www.prostatehealthed.org/phen_registration.php

About PHEN
PHEN was founded in 2003 by Thomas A. Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and author, with a mission to eliminate the African American prostate cancer disparity. PHEN’s ongoing initiatives include: Monthly support group meetings and webcasts; the “Annual African American prostate Cancer Disparity Summit” in Washington, DC; the “Annual Father’s Day Rally Against Prostate Cancer” in partnership with churches nationwide; Monthly E-newsletters on prostate cancer treatments and Clinical Trials, and a PHEN online Educational Television Series.

Tips From The BBB On Using Your Tax Refund Wisely

Posted by Admin On March - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Deciding what to do with a tax refund is an important decision, especially in today’s economy. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to consider a few options that can provide long-term financial benefits.

“Many people receive a large sum of money from their tax returns,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is important to spend your tax return money wisely to have a financially stable year.”

Here are some tips for tax refund recipients:

  • Pay down your debt. Use your refund toward debt relief such as paying off a credit card. You can also apply the refund toward other debts, like a car loan or a home equity loan.
  • Consider savings options. It may be beneficial to put the money into a savings account, CD or retirement fund and allow it to grow. It’s always helpful to have a savings account to draw from if a major car repair bill, medical emergency or other unexpected expense comes along. That way, you won’t have to borrow money and add to your debt-load.
  • Consider investing in your home. Using the money to spruce up your house may add to its property value. For home improvement estimates and other services consumers can use the free can “Request A Quote” for free from BBB Accredited Businesses at www.bbb.org
  • If debt is a problem, consider a credit counselor. Certified consumer credit counseling agencies can assist people who are facing financial challenges and are looking for debt relief. The BBB has free Business Reviews on Credit & Debt Counseling firms in Northern Illinois at www.bbb.org

Bernas noted that if debt is a problem, consider a credit counselor. Certified consumer credit counseling agencies can assist people who are facing financial challenges and are looking for debt relief. The BBB has free Business Reviews on Credit & Debt Counseling firms in Northern Illinois at www.bbb.org

“Consumers need to keep their financial goals in mind,” Bernas stated. “Consider using your tax refund toward these. Put a set of long-term and short-term goals together. You’ll be more conscientious about how you spend your refund and how to use any other extra money that comes your way,” he explained.

For more consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org

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

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