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Archive for April 1st, 2014

Cook County Judge Dismisses Petition Against Boeing Filed by Chicago Law Firm

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

As predicted, the Petition for Discovery that was filed against Boeing in the Malaysia Airlines crash was dismissed Friday on the court’s own motion on the grounds that “the petition exceeds the scope of allowable discovery.”

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kathy M. Flanagan, also the judge who dismissed two similar petitions last year filed by the same Chicago law firm, again dismissed this action against Chicago-based Boeing.  Judge Flanagan, Supervising Judge of the Motions Section of the Law Division in the Circuit Court of Cook County, is assigned all aviation cases.

Robert A. Clifford, veteran aviation attorney who has handled numerous international and national aviation crashes, has been speaking out the past week against the “premature filing” by the law firm in Chicago that again filed a Petition for Discovery on March 25 despite no remains of the wreckage of the missing aircraft.  Boeing manufactured the 777-200ER airplane on which the 239 passengers were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that has gone missing for more than three weeks.

Several countries, including the United States, have been conducting an intensive search for the vanished aircraft, and although rescue workers have sighted and retrieved what they call “suspicious items,” at this writing nothing has been proven to be debris from the missing plane.  The plane went missing March 8 during a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital.

In Judge Flanagan’s four-page Memorandum Opinion and Order, she based her ruling on Illinois Supreme Court Rule 224 which “permits discovery for the sole purpose of ascertaining the identity of one who may be liable in damages (emphasis supplied).”  She went on to write that, “The Supreme Court Rule 224 petition exceeds the allowable scope of the rule, and must be dismissed.”

Supreme Court Rule 224 is a procedural tool that has very limited application and Judge Flanagan points out that it is inappropriately used in a case such as this when one of the potential parties already is known.  “Once there is sufficient information to identify at least one potential defendant, then the correct procedure is to file an action at law for damages…,” Judge Flanagan wrote.  The Judge also points out in her Order that the appointment of a special administrator under Rule 224 is inappropriate and unnecessary.

Judge Flanagan also took issue with the law firm that brought yet another improper petition in an aviation crash; she noted that she dismissed “similar Supreme Court Rule 224 petitions” against respondents in fatal airplane crashes involve Lao Airlines and Asiana Airlines.  Lao Airlines Flight QV301 crashed into the Mekong River last year killing all 49 aboard on its way to Laos on Oct. 16, 2013.  It was a turboprop ATR-72-600.  Asiana Airlines Flight 214 slammed into a seawall at San Francisco’s airport  killing three people and injuring 181 others last year involved a Boeing 777-200ER.

“Both of those petitions were assigned to this Court and on each occasion, this Court entered memorandum opinions and orders dismissing those petitions as having been improperly brought.  Despite these orders, the same law firm has proceeded, yet again, with the filing of the instant petition knowing full well that there is no basis to do so.  Should this law firm choose to do so, the Court will impose sanctions on its’ own motion,” Judge Flanagan wrote.

For further information or to speak to Bob Clifford, please contact Clifford Law Offices’ Communications Partner Pamela S. Menaker at 847-251-4877 or 847-721-0909.


President Obama Signs North Carolina Disaster Declaration

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in the State of North Carolina and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe winter storm during the period of March 6-7, 2014.

Federal funding is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe winter storm in the counties of Alamance, Caswell, Davidson, Davie, Granville, Guilford, Orange, Person, and Randolph.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Elizabeth Turner as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

March Madness

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By William Spriggs

The Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled in favor of the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA)  in determining that the scholarship football players at private Northwestern university had the right to form a union.  Courageous leadership by Kain Colter of Northwestern and CAPA founder Ramogi Huma led to this victory. Now everyone is crying in their beer because the discussion has focused on athletes being paid. But, CAPA is about all that unions do: giving voice to the workers.

Too little attention is focused on issues of player safety and health in the media storm following the ruling. For instance, almost no mention has been made of the new $1 billion TV contract for the NCAA and the lack of long-term health assistance to former players who have been injured. And, few reporters have read the decision to understand the facts presented: including “voluntary” meetings extending beyond the four hours a day of required practice allowed by NCAA rules, organized practices between 7:50 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday that clearly conflict with scheduled coursework and travel time to and from games, not included in the NCAA count of time players spend. In all, players spend 40 to 50 hours a week on football during the fall semester of classes.

Some are taking this as a teaching moment to reflect on access to higher education more broadly. During March Madness, some of the ironies are in full display. UCLA, with a storied history in college basketball, made it to the round of 16 this week in the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. Less noticed is that this past fall, UCLA admitted onlyb 48 male African American freshmen. Many of the universities we see on television in March show basketball teams with great diversity. Yet, their broader study body does not look so diverse.

To young African-American men, in particular, is there little wonder then that sports appear to be the real ticket? Currently, the U.S. Department of Education is touting rules that ironically will benefit these same schools, as if they were models in developing the talent America needs for its future given that the majority of Americans born this year are of color and 20 percent of American children are poor. The scorecard the department envisions does not reward the schools doing the heavy lifting outside this limelight.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are responsible for about one in five African-Americans who earn baccalaureate degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. That is why, Payscale.com shows that the starting salaries of baccalaureate holders from HBCUs like Prairie View A&M University, Tuskegee University and North Carolina A&T State University are higher than for many of the schools in the Sweet 16 like the Universities of Arizona, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Tennessee and Iowa State University, Michigan State University and Baylor University.

Howard University, Spelman College, Xavier University of Louisiana, Hampton University, Florida A&M University and Morgan State University are the top six in the nation in producing black workers who will go on to earn doctorates in the STEM fields. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a distant member of the leaders, in 12th place.

Yet, the Education Department is pursuing a scorecard slanted to be a model for universities with huge endowments and already high tuition like MIT. That model doles out discounts to some students who need help paying tuition and saddles many with debts. The model does not scale up to handle large numbers of slots for students who qualify for Pell grants-which max out at $5,645 a year. Among top schools, Harvard and MIT look good for having 20 percent of their students eligible for Pell Grants. At Tuskegee, 64 percent of students get Pell Grants, as it is high for most HBCUs. But without the $32 billion in endowment of Harvard or the $11 billion endowment of MIT, and without being able to charge tuition rates of around $43,000 like Harvard and MIT, it is a huge challenge to provide assistance to such a large number of students without the means to pay; and leads to rising debt for others.

The other solution is for America to commit to dramatically increase investment in our colleges-publicly endow them-to make access to college an American right-not leave access to the vagaries of past inequalities and the elites who aren’t measuring up in delivering access or diversity on the necessary scale.

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

Miami Heat to Give Away $25,000 in Scholarships to Local Florida Students

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
The deadline to apply is Saturday, April 5, 2014

Miami, FL (BlackNews.com) — The Miami Heat and BankUnited are offering $25,000 in scholarship funds to high school seniors attending Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe or Palm Beach schools. Scholarship applications are available each school year and recipients are awarded in May. Students with financial needs are giving priority.

This will be the eighteenth year that the Miami Heat has offered scholarships. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and outstanding community service. Applicants will also be required to submit a 500-word essay.

Scholarships include the following:

* Three (3) $5,000 HEAT Scholarships
* One (1) $5,000 Dr. Jack Ramsay Scholarship
* One (1) $5,000 Alec Kessler Student-Athlete Scholarship

This year’s application deadline is Saturday, April 5, 2014.

For more details and/or to apply, visit:

To search hundreds of other 2014 scholarships, visit:

NAACP Applauds Appointment of New NYPD Inspector General

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP’s Statement on Appointment

Washington, DC – New York City has appointed its first inspector general for the New York Police Department. Philip Eure, who is currently head of the District of Columbia Office of Police Complaints, will be responsible for ensuring that the city’s police department follows the law when it comes to controversial tactics like stop-and-frisk.

From Hazel N. Dukes, President of the NAACP New York State Conference:

“After decades of advocacy, the NAACP is pleased to know that there will be an inspector general charged with overseeing the nation’s largest police force,” said Hazel N. Dukes, the President of the NAACP New York State Conference. “We look forward to working with Mr. Eure to increase police accountability and improve community police relations, both of which are key components to increasing public safety for every community in our great city.”

From Dr. Niaz Kasravi, NAACP National Criminal Justice Director:

“Creating greater accountability, rebuilding the public’s trust and improving relations between communities and law enforcement is long overdue after decades of stop and frisk abuses and other forms of racial profiling in New York City,” said Dr. Niaz Kasravi, Criminal Justice Director for the NAACP. “New York has the opportunity to become a national model for implementing effective change. We applaud Mayor DeBlasio for working to improve policing practices by appointing the city’s first ever inspector general.”

Mayor Harold Washington, A Legacy Celebrated

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The Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee, headed by Ms. Josie Childs, is hosting “A Legacy Celebrated” 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 So. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.

The reception kicks off at 6 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m.

Some of those being honored include the late Civil Rights activist Bill Berry, former executive director of the Chicago Urban League who Mayor Washington often referred to as “truly a giant.”

The Chicago Community’s 150-voice choir will debut a premier performance of a musical presentation in honor of Mayor Washington.

Mayor Washington was quoted in the Chicago Tribune as saying; “Bill Berry was a man for all seasons. He was truly a marvelous friend and ultimately responsible for my victory as mayor of Chicago.” Mr. Berry headed Mayor Washington’s steering committee for his first campaign.

The honorary co-chairs for the event are former Judge Leslie South, daughter of the late WVON radio’s co-founder Wesley South, Betsy Berry, widow of Bill Berry and Thomas Coffey, chairman of the Haymarket Group.

General admission tickets are $35, $25 for group sales of 10 or more and $125 for the reception and admission.

For further information, please contact Ms. Josie Childs, chairman of the Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee at 773.643.4828.

“Chicago is one city. We shall work as one people for our common good and our common goals,” said Mayor Harold Washington – 1922-1987.

Illinois Tollway Employment Officer Honored by Chicago Defender 2014 “Women of Excellence Awards” Program

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DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer (EEO/AA) Lisa G. Williams has been named an honoree of the 8th Annual Chicago Defender “Women of Excellence Awards” program for her dedication and exceptional contributions to her profession, as well as for her community and charitable involvement.

The awards program, established by the Chicago Defender newspaper and sponsored by State Farm, will honor Williams by recognizing her as one of 50 exemplary African-American women from various professional, civic and community organizations at a ceremony to be held on April 17 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.

“On behalf of the Illinois Tollway, I congratulate Lisa for this well-deserved recognition,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “I’m very happy that Lisa’s achievements here, as well as her charitable efforts, are being recognized with such a prestigious award.”

Founded in 1905, the Chicago Defender is a weekly publication whose core mission is to empower the African-American community in the Chicago metropolitan area. According to the publication’s website, the “Women of Excellence Awards” were created in 2007 as a way to celebrate “local African-American women who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements and participation in community service.”

Williams was recognized for ensuring fair employment practices, increasing diversity and for her efforts in mentoring minorities and the disadvantaged through her many duties at the Tollway. In addition to being the agency’s EEO/AA Officer, she serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and Ethics Officer. After six and half years working in Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau, Williams joined the Illinois Tollway in 2010 with the assignment by Executive Director Kristi Lafleur to improve the diversity of the agency’s workforce.

“This is a great honor for me, but none of the Illinois Tollway’s accomplishments would have been possible without the strong support of all of our employees, our senior leadership, our executive team and our Board of Directors,” said Williams. “I am especially fortunate to work with two strong role models for women today, Executive Director Kristi Lafleur and Board Chair Paula Wolff.”

Williams and her staff have worked to enhance the representation of people of color and women by increasing access to jobs through aggressively and proactively reaching out to communities of color, ensuring the hiring and selection process remains fair and accessible to everyone and promoting an inclusive internal culture. She is pleased to receive the award in recognition of her work from a respected publication and to join a group of influential honorees who are dedicated to community and professional advancement.

As an active member of the Hyde Park community where she resides, Williams often organizes fundraisers, food drives, fair trade festivals and events to promote diversity awareness.

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).

New Line of Multicultural Books, Dolls and Accessories

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Double Dutch Dolls launches exciting new line of books, dolls and accessories for today’s multicultural girl

Marietta, GA (BlackNews.com) – The growth in children of color has surpassed the majority. Still, the availability of products, specifically books and dolls targeting multi-cultural children is extremely limited. There are few multi-cultural storylines that feature tween/teen girls and a limited number of dolls available in the market that effectively capture the beauty of the multi-cultural girl.

To find dolls created in the essence of the multi-cultural girl requires extensive hours of searching and a variety of vendors and websites. Finding books that capture the attention of young girls and feature characters they can relate too is yet another challenge. Introducing Double Dutch Dolls- a brand that blends the true beauty of today’s girl with books, dolls and accessories that are trendy, hip, and fashionable. Double Dutch Dolls is a quality, product line that fuses beauty, fashion and style with a multi-cultural flare.

“The world is changing and we are now a beautiful rainbow of colors and cultures. Today’s beauty comes in all shades and the Double Dutch Dolls mission is to celebrate the multicultural girl. We have received an amazing outpouring of support from mothers, daughters, grandmothers, granddaughters, aunts, etc. who are excited about our books and dolls. We are thrilled to know that we are touching the lives of young girls.” – K. Charles, Founder, Double Dutch Dolls

Meet 14-year old Kaila Bradley, the fierce fashionista and her identical twin sister Zaria, the classic, cool, braniac. Always together and always dolled up, they are known as the Double Dutch Dolls, and are the stars of a brand new multicultural book series and line of 18” fashion dolls for young girls. Along with their friends Sascha, Alainna, Trinity, and Kadence the girls navigate the ups and downs of middle school friendships, gossip, peer pressure and boys.

“I have some young friends who are reading the first book about the Double Dutch girls; they love the book. They are in the process of saving their money to be some of the first girls in their group of friends to own the dolls. They are very excited about all the dolls, the dolls are really beautiful, and have great story lines.” – Linda V.

The first book in the series, “Double Dare”, now available, introduces all 6 multicultural characters. The second book, “Double Trouble”, available April 22, 2014, continues the exciting adventures of Kaila, Zaria and their friends as they navigate the challenges of being a girl today. The line also includes 18” fashion dolls based on main characters Kaila and Zaria Bradley along with fun accessories. Look for the rest of the Double Dutch Dolls characters coming soon.

Double Dutch Dolls is a new and exciting line of multicultural dolls, books, and accessories for girls. The characters are African-American, Hispanic, Biracial and Multiracial, representing today’s tween/teen girl. For more information about the Double Dutch Dolls, please visit the official website at www.doubledutchdolls.com or email info@doubledutchdolls.com.

Youthful New Midsummer Provides Timely Renewal for Tired Audiences

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
EVANSTON, IL – Piccolo Theatre’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream makes no claim to be a reinvention of “a classic comedy.”  Rather it seeks to interpret a time-honored text by making unexpected connections and immerse audiences in a world that is all at once familiar and foreign.  The “not-your-garden-variety-Shakespeare” approach lifts the veil of dreary winter with warmth, sensuality, and laughter.

The collaborative effort from all departments is what makes this production stand out from others.  Colin Douglas of Chicago Theatre Review (Recommended) says, “Fine direction, excellent acting and lush technical support make this enchanting comedy even more alluring and magical.  Hearing the Bard’s delicious dialogue spoken with such clarity and with complete understanding is a treat, not often found in classical productions these days.” As the last show in Piccolo’s 2013/2014 Season for the Senses, Midsummer tempts the palate with an abundance of creativity.  Hugh Iglarsh of Newcity Stage (Recommended) states: “Piccolo Theatre faces the challenge of staging a play so over-familiar that we no longer notice just how subversive it really is. Director Jason Martin succeeds in giving the old warhorse a healthy dose of youthful energy, presenting a tuneful, acrobatic fairy’s-eye view of what fools these mortals be…The lovers’ escapade among the sprites and hobgoblins brings not just them but us too back into balance with nature, restoring joy and spontaneity to a tired, over-ordered and coercive world.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs through May 3; all performances are Friday and Saturday at 8PM, and Sunday at 3pm. Ticket prices include $25 (adults), $22 (seniors), $15 (students), $10 (children ages 2-10). 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.

New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church to Hold Commemorative Rally in Honor of Dr. King

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Invites public officials, esteemed religious leaders and public to attend commemoration, April 4, 2014

The 46th anniversary date of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be April 4, 2014.

Rev. Paul Jakes, Jr., Pastor of New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church, in reminiscing about the 1968 riots that engulfed communities across the country – and specifically on the West Side of Chicago – said in the aftermath, there were promises made to rebuild “Our communities by re-establishing businesses and local economies.

“Those promises were made to illustrate a commitment to the ‘dream’ and devotion for the people for whom Dr. King fought and died,” said Jakes. “Since Dr. King’s death the question that is before us is, ‘Where are we now?’ “

The Commemorative Rally will be held Friday, April 4, at New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church, 531 N. Kedzie, in Chicago. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; program begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.

Legendary and Prominent Civil Rights Attorney Thomas N. Todd, is keynote speaker at the event.

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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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