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Archive for May 13th, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden Honor the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama and Vice President Biden Honor the National Association of Police Organizations TOP COPS

Vice President Joe Biden: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the White House.  I especially want to welcome my old friend, Tommy Nee, and Bill Johnson and everyone in the National Association of Police Organizations.  Ladies and gentlemen, let me begin by saying congratulations to all of you assembled behind us.

It’s a genuine honor to be in the presence of the “best of the best.”  Each year you guys come down here — and, Tommy, you bring down the best — and you’re an inspiration.  You’re not only an inspiration to us, but you’re an inspiration to all your fellow law enforcement colleagues all across the entire country.

And the President and I, we recognize the bravery that you display simply by putting on that shield every morning.  That, all by itself, is an act of bravery.  Strapping on your sidearm, kissing your husband or your wife goodbye at the door, walking out knowing — because most of you are experienced — knowing that you don’t know with any degree of certitude what’s about to greet you.  You have no idea — except some of it may not be good.

The officers we have here today have been singled out for going above and beyond the call of duty, and we commend each and every one of them.  And from my perspective, there’s no greater honor that a law enforcement officer could have than being recognized and nominated by his fellow officers — because you all know what real courage is.  You all know what kind of steel in your spine it takes to make the decisions that the men standing behind me have made.

We also know that there are thousands and thousands of more law enforcement officers out there on the job today and every day who are taking risks that are hard for ordinary people to imagine.  They take risks to protect the community, protect the people they don’t know, protect people they’ve never met.  But they go out there and you all do it anyway, regardless of whether or not — where they’re from, who they are, whether you know them or not.

And today is a day for them as well, all those officers — a day that every man and woman in uniform should feel extremely proud — proud of themselves, not just the men and women standing behind me.  Today is a day the entire community of police officers should understand that America appreciates what you’re doing, that this President and I appreciate what you’re doing.

We owe the families, because every single day, as I said, you kiss your husband or wife goodbye, your son or your daughter, you know there’s that little, nagging feeling inside you — that nagging feeling that I wonder what’s going to be meeting them today.  And that’s a sacrifice.  It’s a sacrifice that goes without adequate recognition.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my great honor and privilege to present to you a man who fully recognizes that sacrifice, who’s committed to law enforcement in his bones.  And every action he has taken as President has been designed to protect those of you behind the shield, and the shield in front of the families that they represent.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my honor and privilege to present to you the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

President Barack Obama: Thank you, everybody.  It is a great honor to be here — one of my favorite events that we do every single year.  And let me start by thanking Joe Biden not only for being a great Vice President — which he is — but also being a lifelong friend of law enforcement.  Now, he and I have a special reason for loving law enforcement, because we have the unusual privilege of being surrounded by law enforcement every minute of every day.  (Laughter.)  And they also protect the people we love most in the world — our families.  So we’re incredibly grateful to them and to all the law enforcement officers who serve and protect families and communities across the nation every single day.

Some of the public servants who make sure America’s police officers have what they need to do their jobs are also here today, and I just want to recognize them briefly.  First of all, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is here. Attorney General Eric Holder is here, as well.  Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is here.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank everybody from the National Association of Police Organizations, including your outstanding president, Tom Nee.

But, most of all, we’re here to welcome and congratulate our guests of honor, America’s Top Cops of 2014, and to thank their families — their spouses, moms, dads, sons, daughters who love and support these heroes every single step of the way.  So give them a big round of applause. We know it takes a lot of courage to be a cop, but it also takes a lot of courage to love a cop — (laughter) — and to send them off to work every single day with a hug and a prayer for their safety.  So all of you are heroes in my book, as well.

The 53 officers, detectives, patrolmen, special agents, and troopers that we celebrate today are America’s Finest — the best of the best.  They hail from different parts of the country, and different events brought them here today.  But they share one important thing in common.  When the moment came — when the shooting started, or a bomb went off, or a hostage was taken, or a child screamed for help — they did not hesitate.  They went into action.  They ran toward the danger — not away from it.  And they risked their lives to save the lives of others.

Now, I got a chance to spend a little time with these guys before they came out here.  When you talk to them — and this has been true every time we’ve done this, every single year — they’ll always say, I was just doing my job, insisting that they didn’t do anything extraordinary.  And they’re right about one thing:  There are heroes in every force, in every city, in every town across the nation.  And everyone standing up here owes something to police officers who aren’t here, somebody who pushed them to do their best and had their backs when they needed it.  So this is also a celebration for all law enforcement who are doing their jobs out there bravely and diligently, and we want to thank them for keeping us safe.

Having said that, even if these guys won’t admit it, there is something special about these guys.  This is the sixth year that I’ve welcomed Top Cops to the White House, and every year, their stories are incredible.  There are no exceptions.

There’s somebody on the loose here!  (Laughter.)  Oh no!  She was making a break for it.  (Laughter.)  That was great.  Did you see her?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, I saw her.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  She was moving.

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  She could move quickly.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Here are some of the reasons these officers are here today.

Surviving a violent ambush in the pitch-black woods while confronting an escaped felon convicted of sexual assault.

Engaging in hand-to-hand combat to take down someone seen trying to blow up a gas station near a major international airport.

Storming an underground bunker to rescue a kidnapped five-year-old boy.

Braving a hail of gunfire to protect victims of domestic violence.

One of these officers, in protecting the public, took out a suspected cop-killing bank robber with what was described as a one-in-a-million shot.  Another stopped a shooter by returning fire through the windshield of his patrol car — while making sure to wear his seat belt.  (Laughter.)  One jumped a fence during his own Father’s Day celebration when a boy screamed that someone was trying to kill his mom.  He saved both the mother and her son — and now that little boy says he’s thinking about becoming a cop as well.

And there are officers here who were in the thick of two attacks last year:  the shooting at the Washington Naval Yard and the bombing at the Boston Marathon.  On those awful days — and we all remember them — amid the smoke and the chaos, the courage of these officers shone through.  And their quick thinking and level-headedness undoubtedly saved lives.  Their willingness to put themselves in danger to protect others answered the prayer of Americans watching all across the country.

So heroism like this can come with great sacrifice.  Some of the officers here today sustained serious injuries in the line of duty.  They were shot or stabbed.  Some lost friends, even a partner.  Some are still recovering.

There’s one person who should be here today but isn’t — Officer Dennis Simmonds of the Boston P.D.  Last year, Officer Simmonds was injured in an explosion during that gun battle after the Boston Marathon bombing.  And just a few weeks ago, he died while on active duty.  Dennis’s partner, Officer Jean Gerard Jean-Louis, is here.  So are members of his family, including his parents, Dennis and Roxanne.  And our sorrow at your loss is matched only by our gratitude for your son’s service and sacrifice.  I told the family before I came out here he will not be forgotten.

So what these officers do is dangerous.  They do it because it’s important.  Maintaining the public safety is the foundation of everything that is good that happens every single day in America.  It’s why parents can send their kids to school and adults can head off to work, and community centers and houses of worship can open their doors to one and all, and businesses can start and thrive.  And that’s why people can cast their votes and express their views without fear.  It’s one of the reasons people travel and do business in these United States.

And that’s why Americans everywhere owe a debt to our nation’s law enforcement.  And we have to do our part by making sure all of you have the resources and protections and support that you need to do your job well.  That’s our end of the bargain.  That’s what I’m going to keep on fighting for every day that I have the honor of serving as your President.  And that’s what Joe Biden is going to work every day as long as he has the honor of serving as your Vice President.

So on behalf of all the American people, thank you.  There are people alive today because of you.  You may not even know their names, but we do, and we’re proud of you.

God bless you.  God bless your families, and God bless the United States of America.  Please give them a big round of applause.

Dangerous Conditions at Gale Elementary – Chicago Light Brigades Demands CPS Take Action

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Dangerous Conditions at Gale Elementary – Chicago Light Brigades Demands CPS Take Action

Letters to Editors

CHICAGO, IL – Last year the mayor and CPS claimed that closing fifty schools would free up funds to improve education at other schools. At Rogers Park’s Gale Math and Science Academy, the children have been waiting for years for such a moment.

Some 30 languages are spoken at Gale, which serves almost 500 young people and is named for former Chicago Fire Department chief Stephen F. Gale. 18% are special education students, several coming from nearby assisted living facilities where they manage severe physical challenges. 97% of the school’s students come from low or very low income families. Whatever else is happening in these children’s lives, Gale and its staff are there for them.

We realize that crime is a major concern in our community, but we believe community safety begins with safe schools and quality education. Members of the Chicago Light Brigade have done what we can to support the students at Gale, through mutual aid and community involvement, community efforts alone cannot undo the damage that CPS has inflicted upon Gale, and many other elementary schools. We have attended LSC meetings, painted walls, held a book drive, and collected musical instruments for the students at Gale, but we cannot address the hazardous conditions that exist at this school. Only CPS can do that.

Gale now faces a $310,000 funding cut.

We know that CPS and others may try to use the release of this information as an excuse to shut down yet another public school, but we believe that tolerating such an action would be tantamount to allowing CPS to euthanize a patient due to injuries that they themselves inflicted. Their goal appears to be to drive away enough parents and students to justify closing the school completely. This targeted neglect must not be tolerated.

Gale’s management team has been pushing for repairs, in some cases for years. But CPS has continually ignored them. The list of issues includes:

· Fire Alarm system not working properly

· Leaking roofs in both buildings, and the greenhouse

· Peeling lead paint contamination and airborne lead dust

· Non-working security cameras, both inside and outside the school

· Defective burglar alarms

· Defective intercom system

· Damaged water pumps

· Non-locking doors in girls bathroom stalls

It is time to undo the damage caused by CPS leadership by canceling enrollment-driven funding cuts, and to bring the school up to current CPS standards. A school system that spends 9 million dollars on new furniture for its offices, as CPS did recently, can invest a few hundred thousand dollars in repairs to keep our community’s children safe.

When fire safety has ignored, in years past, the consequences for our children have been tragic. This ongoing neglect brings to mind tragedies such as the Our Lady of Angels fire in 1958, which killed 92 students and three nuns, as well as the 2006 residential fire that killed six children in north Rogers Park. As Light Brigade member Babur Balos said, upon seeing documentation of the neglect at Gale, “Our children deserve a safe space to learn and grow. What do they think can grow in a building with toxic paint falling off its walls, and fire alarms that don’t work?”

We demand that CPS stop wasting millions on office furniture, and other frivolous expenditures, and invest in our youth. It’s time for a change in priorities. As Light Brigade member Kelly Hayes stated, “CPS needs to worry about lead testing before it worries about standardized testing. Our children deserve a safe and healthy learning environment.”

For more information on conditions at Gale, Chicago Light Brigade’s mutual aid efforts, and sharable photos of conditions at Gale, please visit: ChicagoLightBrigade.org

Topinka Celebrates Asian American Youth Leadership

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Topinka Celebrates Asian American Youth Leadership

Comptroller honors 14 young community leaders, organization

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on honored 14 young Asian American leaders for their commitment to service and community as part of her office’s celebration of Asian American Heritage Month.

Nominated by members of Topinka’s Asian American Advisory Council, the honorees included students and young professionals that have distinguished themselves through service and leadership. Their accomplishments include: overseas mission work; tutoring younger students; volunteering at soup kitchens; working with the developmentally disabled; strengthening Asian American civic and voter engagement; providing language assistance to elders; and academic excellence.

“Our honorees for youth leadership have accomplishments in fields all across the board,” Topinka said. “They have set the stage for a lifetime of service and excellence. Their dedication and ‘go-getter’ attitude is an asset not only for the Asian American community, but our entire state.”

Photo by: Teresa Potasiak

The True Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Revealed in New Book

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on The True Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Revealed in New Book

Book of Jeremiah

Cleveland, OH (BlackNews.com) — Susan Williams Smith, an author, ordained minister, and former mentee of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., presents an honorable and comprehensive picture of Wright as a man, an African American, a patriot, scholar, and pastor in her new book – The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

Smith first met Wright when she was a student at Yale Divinity School. She had heard him preach a stirring sermon, but it was at a dinner with him and the president of Yale that evening that she “became fascinated with this man and his work, and knew his ministry was something of which I wanted to be a part.” She asked Wright then and there if she could become an intern at his church, Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ.

With some help from the United Church of Christ denomination, Smith was able to serve at Trinity, first as an intern, then as associate pastor upon her graduation from Yale. After Trinity, Smith went on to pastor a church in Ohio for 22 years. When Wright and Trinity were maligned during the debacle of the 2008 election, Smith recalled, “I felt in my spirit a need to at least try to tell the story and to embrace those who had embraced me, by writing this book.”

Smith clearly points out several things The Book of Jeremiah is not: it’s not a biography of Wright (he was reticent about granting interviews for it); it’s not a history of Trinity; and it’s not about the relationship between Obama and Wright. It is, however, an attempt to show what Wright’s ministry was, by showing what he preached and why, connecting his words to the historical and cultural context out of which he and those to whom he preached came. She compares and relates his prophetic voice with the prophetic voices of biblical and modern-day prophets, in the hope of revealing the true Wright, the man she knows, to whom there is much more than a couple of 30-second sound bites.

Richard A. Wing, senior minister at First Community Church in Columbus, Ohio, offers praise for the book, stating, “Smith has brought witness, honor, and gratitude to Wright, her mentor. He is among the most misunderstood people in our time. Today’s persistent covert racism warns us of that which seems never to go away, even with our best efforts. Read this book and weep, swear if you must, and then get going. We have work to do.”

“I applaud this outstanding work,” said Frank Thomas, Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. “The overarching and monumental significance of its contributions is that the African American church will not allow one of its princes to be defined by sound-bite media and cable news narratives. We love and respect the ministry and lifelong contribution of Wright. Let the truth be told!”

Susan Williams Smith lives in Columbus, Ohio. She earned her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and her D.Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Book Details:
The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
by Susan Williams Smith
ISBN 978-0-8298-1935-9

Order from UCC Resources www.uccresources.com, your local bookseller, or Amazon.

For author interviews and review copies, contact Aimee J. Jannsohn, Marketing Manager, The Pilgrim Press, phone: 216-736-3761, email: jannsoha@ucc.org

Photo Caption: Bookcover

ReMARCs: Celebrating Mother’s Day — Every Day

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on ReMARCs: Celebrating Mother’s Day — Every Day
Opening ReMARCs

By Marc Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

Mother’s Day is celebrated the second Sunday of every May, but in reality – mothers should be celebrated each day.

This year, I am especially proud that my mother, Sybil H. Morial, a teacher and community and civic activist, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Xavier University on this Mother’s Day.  Like so many mothers, she has served as a role model for my siblings and me, but also for an extended community.

It is often easy to take mothers for granted.  They are always there – to pick us up when we fall, to wipe our eyes when the world tells us we aren’t good enough, to encourage us when we are ready to give up, to celebrate our successes and to reel us in when we begin to stray from our home-grown values.  Quite simply, mothers have an irreplaceable role that serves as the foundation for who we grow to be, and while they encourage us to higher education, they teach us that our first degree – the one in common sense – will be necessary throughout our lives.

Most importantly, mothers come in many different forms – biological mothers, adopted mothers, godmothers, second mothers, mothers-in-law, and on and on.  The incredible women who are “mothers” are everywhere, and their sacrifices, guidance and influence chart the path of generations.  So, today, I say “thank you” to my mother, my wife, my sisters, my friends – and all mothers – who handle the world’s hardest job with undeniable grace, compassion, leadership and wisdom.  You are the backbone of our nation, and I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day – today and every day.

As we continue our push for Congress to raise the minimum wage, click here to see how we can begin to immediately honor 4.7 million working moms every day by giving them a raise.

Illinois State Board of Education announces May 14 meeting in Springfield

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois State Board of Education announces May 14 meeting in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting on Wednesday, May 14, at its Springfield office at 100 N. First St.

All State Board of Education meetings listed on this agenda will be accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Board office no later than the date prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent’s office at the State Board of Education, Phone: (217) 782-2221; TTY/TDD: (217) 782-1900; Fax: (217) 785-3972.

Chairman Chico may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.

State Board of Education Meeting, May 14, 2014

Location: Illinois State Board of Education, 100 N. First St., Springfield

This meeting will also be audio cast on the Internet at www.isbe.net.


9 a.m.

I. Rules Seminar for Board Members

10 a.m.    Plenary Session

I. Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

A. Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II. Public Participation

III. Resolutions and Recognition

A. Brenda Murphy, 2013 Thomas Lay Burroughs Award Winner

B. Dr. Kelly Stewart, 2014 Superintendent of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Administrators

IV. Presentations and Updates

A. The Purpose and Process of Community Engagement for Effective School Board Governance–Illinois Association of School Boards

B. Illinois Center for School Improvement Update

V. Legislative Update

VI. Closed Session

VII. *Superintendent’s Report – Consent Agenda

All action consideration items listed with an asterisk (*) are considered to be routine and will be enacted in one motion and vote.  Any board member who wishes separate discussion on any item listed on the consent agenda may remove that item from the consent agenda, in which event, the item will be considered in its normal sequence.

A. *Approval of Minutes

1. Plenary Minutes: April 9, 2014

B. *Rules for Initial Review

1. Part 228 (Transitional Bilingual Education): Makes several changes, including incorporation of English development standards for English learners in preschool programs; establishing flexibility to school districts in choosing the prescribed screening instrument for English learners who are in the second semester of grade 1 or in grades 2 through 12; requiring that transitional programs of instruction include instruction in English as a second language; and extending the deadline for teachers in preschool bilingual education programs to meet the requirements needed to be fully qualified to provide home language or English as a second language instruction.

2. Part 650 (Charter Schools): Lists requirements for biennial reporting by charter school authorizers; sets forth the process for monitoring authorizers and withdrawing their power to authorize in certain circumstances; establishes standards for high-quality charter school authorizing; and states the forms that must be provided when a school board submits reports of approved applications, revisions or renewals to the State Board.

C. *Rules for Adoption

D. *Contracts and Grants Over $1 Million

1. Illinois Longitudinal Data Systems Data Warehouse

2. ACT, Inc., WorkKeys, National Career Readiness Certificate Program Assessments

3. Intergovernmental Agreement with the Illinois Department of Human Services

4. USDA Foods Warehousing and Distribution Sole Source Contract

5. Advance Placement Test Fee Program Grant

6. Statewide System of Support Request to Fund Fiscal Agents

7. FY 14 Appropriation Transfer from Special Education Personnel to Regular/Vocational Transportation

E. *Targeted Initiative Grants Award Increase

1. Austin Childcare Providers Network

2. Oak Park ESD 97

F. *FY 2013 Statewide Single Audit

End of Consent Agenda

G.  Removal of Lemont-Bromberek Community School District 113A from Financial Difficulty Status

VIII. Discussion Items

A. District Oversight – Monthly Update (Superintendent Koch)

B. Other Items for Discussion

IX. Announcements and Reports

A. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements

B. Chairman’s Report

C. Member Reports

X. Information Items

A. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at http://isbe.net/board/fiscal_admin_rep.htm

XI.   Adjourn

Kino Lorber Acquires all North American Rights to Alex Gibney’s ‘Finding Fela’ After its World Premiere at Sundance

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Kino Lorber Acquires all North American Rights to Alex Gibney’s ‘Finding Fela’ After its World Premiere at Sundance

Finding Fela

New York, NY (BlackNews.com) – Kino Lorber is proud to announce the acquisition of all North American rights to the documentary Finding Fela, following its celebrated world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Directed by Oscar® Winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), the film was produced by Jigsaw Productions, Knitting Factory Entertainment, Okayplayer and Okayafrica.

Finding Fela will begin its national theatrical run on August 1, with an exclusive Manhattan engagement at IFC Center; the film is also scheduled to open in DC on August 8 (at Landmark’s E Street Cinema), as well as in Los Angeles (at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre), Boston (at Landmark’s Kendall Square), San Francisco (at Landmark’s Opera Plaza) and Atlanta (Landmark’s Midtown) on August 15.

Besides these dates, Kino Lorber is also planning to book Finding Fela in other 75 markets where Fela!, The Musical, attracted huge crowds and sold over 1,000,000 tickets nationwide. A digital, VOD and home media release will follow. The film will also screen at the Bonnaroo music festival (www.bonnaroo.com) on Friday, June 13, where Fela’s son, acclaimed musician Seun Kuti, will appear for a special Q&A and perform before the screening. Other national festival dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life (1938 – 1997), his music, and his social and political importance. This in-depth look at the man who created Afrobeat (a fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) brings audiences close to Mr. Kuti’s fight against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 80s. With his audacious music and a great deal of courage, Fela Kuti helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria, promoted Pan Africanist politics to the entire world and became an inspiration in the global fight for the rights of all oppressed people.

Taking audiences through a multi-threaded journey into the power of art to effect political and personal change, Finding Fela also reveals the creative process behind the Broadway musical Fela!, directed and co-conceived by acclaimed choreographer Bill. T. Jones.

As a committed critic of the legacies of European cultural imperialism, Mr. Kuti became a major political force in Nigerian and African politics – even becoming a Presidential candidate (twice) in the 1980s. His socialist political views and truly subversive life style also lead to a criminal, government-sanctioned attack on his commune in 1977, which lead to his arrest and the death of his 82-year-old mother. Mr. Kuti was eventually released, but his mother’s death shaped the rest of his life.

“I’m very proud of Finding Fela and am delighted that the film will have a robust theatrical release in North America, so that audiences can experience the story and the power of this extraordinary performer and fighter for social justice,” said director Alex Gibney. “As Fela has said, in fighting for a better possibility, ‘music is the weapon.’”

“Finding Fela is not only the definitive documentary on music legend Fela Kuti, but also the most in-depth and comprehensive film about how Mr. Kuti influenced music, politics and art worldwide – and how we’re still coming to terms with his larger-than-life legacy,” said Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber.

Finding Fela also features never-before-seen footage of his major concerts and even of Fela’s funeral. Exclusive talking-head interviews with Femi Kuti (Fela’s eldest son), Yeni Kuti (Fela’s first child), Seun Kuti (Fela’s youngest son), Sandra Izsadore (former Black Panther party member), as well as musicians Questlove and Paul McCartney, form what’s bound to be the most inspirational and high-energy documentary of the summer.

For additional info on Finding Fela or any other Kino Lorber theatrical release, please contact Rodrigo Brandão at Rodrigo@kinolorber.com.

About Kino Lorber:
With a library of 800 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including four Academy Award® nominated films in the last six years. In addition, the company brings over 70 titles each year to the home entertainment market with DVD and Blu-ray releases under its 5 house brands, distributes a growing number of third party labels, and is a direct digital distributor to all major platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Amazon, Vimeo, and others.

Finding Fela – National Theatrical Dates:

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Reassures Illinoisans of Vigilance for MERS-CoV

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Illinois Department of Public Health Director Reassures Illinoisans of Vigilance for MERS-CoV

No spread of MERS-CoV from first U.S. case, but second U.S. case identified

CHICAGO, IL – Although there is no transmission of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) related to the first U.S. case who traveled from Saudi Arabia to Indiana on April 24, 2014, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director LaMar Hasbrouck is reassuring Illinois residents that IDPH, local health departments and health care providers remain vigilant for any new cases of MERS-CoV.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) yesterday announced the second confirmed MERS-CoV case in the U.S. in a person who traveled from Saudi Arabia and ultimately to Florida on May 1, 2014. Similar to the first case, the patient is isolated in a hospital, health officials are following up with close contacts[1] to the patient, and out of an abundance of caution, health officials are notifying people who traveled on flights with the patient.

“While this second confirmed case of MERS-CoV is unwelcome, it is not unexpected and we anticipate seeing additional cases imported to the U.S.,” said Dr. Hasbrouck. “We will continue to watch for additional cases of MERS-CoV and are at-the-ready to conduct laboratory testing should it be needed. I want to reassure Illinoisans that the risk to the general public remains extremely low as MERS-CoV has not been found to spread easily from person to person in community settings.”

On May 9, Health officials verified that the first patient has since tested negative for MERS-CoV, was no longer symptomatic, posed no threat to the community, was considered fully recovered and was discharged from the hospital.

For more information about both MERS-CoV cases in the U.S., and general MERS-CoV information, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html

IDPH continues to implement its Five Year Strategy 2014-2018 to maximize IDPH’s effectiveness, influence and value for promoting wellness, health equity, safety and improved health outcomes. Strategic plan priorities include developing and expanding partnerships; improving data utilization; reducing health disparities; improving regulatory compliance; and branding, marketing and communicating IDPH’s value.


[1]Close contact is defined as a) any person who provided care for the patient, including a healthcare worker or family member, or had similarly close physical contact; or b) any person who stayed at the same place (e.g. lived with, visited) as the patient while the patient was ill.

Attorney General Madigan, FTC & States Announce Settlement to Ban Global Pyramid Scheme, Refund members

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan, FTC & States Announce Settlement to Ban Global Pyramid Scheme, Refund members

Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing Must Surrender At Least $7.75 Million in Assets for Restitution

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement to ban a global pyramid scheme and provide at least $7.75 million in restitution for participants in a joint agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and attorneys general from Kentucky and North Carolina.

The settlement bans Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing (FHTM) from multi-level marketing after it enrolled more than 350,000 program participants – in particular consumers from the Latino community –  throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada in the last four years. The settlement requires the Kentucky-based operation to surrender assets totaling at least $7.75 million for affected participants.

The agreement is the result of a January 2013 lawsuit filed by Madigan, the FTC and the attorneys general, alleging that FHTM deceived its members by claiming that they would earn significant income by selling various products and services if they signed up as FHTM representatives. Participants were required to pay substantial start-up costs and monthly fees to retain their positions with the company.

“This pyramid scheme promised big returns but resulted in significant financial losses for thousands of families in Illinois,” Madigan said.

Consumers paid a $249 fee to join FHTM to sell satellite television service, home security systems, beauty products, and other consumer goods and services. In promotional materials and at recruitment events, consumers were told they could “get rich” if they sold FHTM-affiliated products. But unlike legitimate multi-level marketing programs, FHTM distributors had no incentive to sell products. For example, FHTM distributors only received pennies in commissions for selling multi-year service contracts but received substantial payments for every new FHTM member they signed up. FHTM’s promotional presentations and materials focused almost entirely on recruiting new members rather than selling products.

After conducting its own investigation, a court-appointed receiver determined that FHTM’s main business was to recruit new members and not sell products and services as it claimed, confirming the allegations made by Madigan, FTC and the states. The overwhelming majority of participants – more than 98 percent – lost money in the program. At least 88 percent of members did not even recoup their enrollment fees. To the extent that participants could make any income, it was mainly for recruiting other people into FHTM’s scheme. More than 81 percent of the payments to participants were based on recruiting new members and not for the sale of products or services. At least 94 percent of participants did not renew their membership after their initial year.

In addition to the multi-level marketing ban, the settlement order permanently prohibits Thomas A. Mills, Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing Inc., FHTM Inc., Alan Clark Holdings LLC, FHTM Canada Inc., and Fortune Network Marketing (UK) Limited from misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, including claims concerning how much money people can earn. The order also bans the defendants from selling or otherwise benefitting from customers’ personal information, failing to properly dispose of customer information and collecting any additional money from customers.
The order imposes a judgment of more than $169 million, which will be partially suspended when the defendants have surrendered certain assets at an estimated value of at least $7.75 million for consumer restitution. The full judgment will become due immediately if the defendants are found to have misrepresented their financial condition. People owed restitution under the settlement will be contacted directly by a settlement administrator to begin a refund process.

Black Women Looking to Dominate Hair Industry

Posted by Admin On May - 13 - 2014 Comments Off on Black Women Looking to Dominate Hair Industry

Black Women Looking to Dominate Hair Industry

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — The beauty industry involves black women from all corners of the world as customers, stylists, clinicians, models, manufacturers, spokespersons and more. The ethnic beauty business is a $15 billion business that consists of a 96% African-American customer base, but roughly only 3% of the retailers are African-American.

There has been talk in salons, on talk shows, at events and classrooms on what should be done about the disparities and discriminations in the industry. Some say boycott hair products, while others say boycott Asian-owned stores. However, there has been another group of individuals who have decided to take a more bold approach.

Real Estate investor, Princess Hill, and award-winning competition and master stylist, Kelly Williams, who are long-time friends and Detroit natives decided to open their own beauty supply store in Detroit, Michigan, a city that has been hit harshly by the downsizing of the auto industry and the political scandal of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Hill and Williams contacted Beauty Supply Institute (www.BeautySupplyInstitute.com), a company founded by economic activist Devin Robinson, who opened 3 of his own stores within 18 months almost 10 years ago (after being chased out of one by a golf-club-holding Korean owner for what turned out to be a case false accusation). Robinson also staged a one-week boycott in 2009 against non-black-owned beauty supply stores. Since that time, Beauty Supply Institute has opened almost 70 stores for other black women in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean and have helped to generate over $13,000,000 in gross revenues for urban communities.

Koreans (and Middle Easterners) continue to have a dominant presence in the beauty market. When we asked the Detroit store owners why, they said, “Their communities teach their children from young how to become great merchants. We may know more of the products but they know more about the retail business. This is why we were pleased once we began working with Beauty Supply Institute. They focus so much on running the retail business and it made us extremely prepared to be successful and profitable.”

They went on to say, “No black beauty business owner is immune to the industry disparities and lockouts. Kizure felt it and now we see Carol’s Daughter undergoing a bankruptcy restructuring. But this industry is constantly growing so I doubt these companies will close their doors for good. They are run by smart people and we should ensure we stand behind them as they re-emerge. We are in this business for the long-haul so you can expect to see us pop up more and more stores across the country.”

Hill and Williams are already working on their second store in Maryland.

Devin Robinson (www.DevinRobinson.com), along with George Fraser of Frasernet (www.Frasernet.com), and others will be featured panelist at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on May 19th, 2014 discussing issues in the beauty industry (www.TrichologySummit.com); an event organized by, trichologist and master educator Connie Judge, the founder of the National Trichology Training Institute in Stockbridge, Georgia.

The Beauty Supply Institute will hold its 5th annual Beauty Supply Store Start-Up Summer Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on August 16-17, 2014. The keynote speaker will be nationally syndicated radio host, Michael Baisden.

For media inquiries, contact Roschel Davis at rdavis@beautysupplyinstitute.com or call 404-551-4398.

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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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