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State Matching Grant program helps 691 districts repair and improve facilities               SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois ...
By Rev. Harold E. Bailey President of Probation Challenge & PCC Network A recent MSNBC report ...
(From Cuafe Chi) Letters to Editors CHICAGO, IL - On Dec. 13, 2013, BJB Properties evicted ...

Archive for May 15th, 2014

Community Protests for Trauma Center as University of Chicago Preps Obama Library Bid

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Week of Action will Demand University of Chicago Open Trauma Center

CHICAGO, IL – As the University of Chicago prepares their bid to host the Obama Presidential Library the Trauma Center Coalition will hold protest rallies every day next week to demand the University of Chicago open a trauma center. A press conference will be held May 19 at 9.a.m. at 58th St.and S. Maryland Ave. where speakers will urge the University to open a trauma center and announce protests they will hold later this week.

Speakers will include a Pastor will speak about a prayer vigil to be held on Tuesday 5/20. A representative from National Nurses United will speak on a nurses action on Wednesday 5/21, and a Doctor will speak on a doctors action to be held on Thursday 5/22. A University student, and a mother of a victim shot just blocks from the University, will speak about the community protest march to be held Friday 5/23 where she will deliver a personal letter to President Obama asking him to urge the University to open a trauma center.

Victoria Crider, a high school senior, who goes to school just seven blocks from President Obama’s house, says “we are marching this week because we want the President to know that the University of Chicago should not get the honor and prestige that comes with the Obama Library when they are neglecting the needs of black and brown communities on the South Side.”

Ms. Crider notes that “President Obama has tried to stop gun violence and create opportunities for young black men, meanwhile the University of Chicago sits in the center of a gun violence epidemic on the South Side and has shown that it does not value black life, by refusing to open a trauma center and save the lives of the young black men dying at their door.”

The week of action also comes after the University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer, the highest paid University president in the country earning $3.4M per year, last week announced that the University has launched a $4.5 billion dollar capital campaign. Despite this capital campaign and the University of Chicago Hospital’s $782 million dollar endowment, they claim they do not have the resources to open an adult trauma center. Exactly one year ago Kenneth Polonsky Dean of the University of Chicago Hospital said that the University hospital would support a regional solution to the lack of a south side trauma center, however, they have done nothing to make this happen.

“We are protesting this week because its unfair for this community not to have a trauma center, its heartless,” says Sheila Rush, whose son Damian Turner was caught by a stray bullet in 2009 four blocks from the U of C but was taken 10 miles away to Northwestern where he died. The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by Damian’s death. The call for trauma care is also supported by new research by Dr. Marie Crandall of Northwestern Hospital on “Trauma Deserts” which shows that longer travel times to a trauma center increase your likelihood of dying.

The Week of Action is being organized by the Trauma Center Coalition, which includes of Fearless Leading by the Youth, Students for Health Equity and the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization and allies.

facebook event pages:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1441585432752310/

https://www.facebook.com/events/1412964022306386/

Palestinian Americans to commemorate 66 years of dispossession by educating public about Palestine

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Chicago chapter of the American Muslims for Palestine will mark 66 years of the Nakba and refugee status by handing out informational materials at Daley Plaza in Chicago from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 15, 2014.

The Nakba is Arabic for ‘catastrophe,’ and commemorates the events that took place between 1947 and 1949 when Jewish militias and terror groups killed 13,000 Palestinians, forced 75 percent of the Palestinian population — 750,000 people — from Palestine and destroyed more than 500 villages to make room for the new state of Israel.

“We want people to know that the Nakba still continues today in the Israeli apartheid policies that result in the military occupation of Palestine, the restriction on freedom of movement, the demolition in thousands of Palestinian homes and the random arrest and detentions of thousands of political prisoners, including 700 children, every year,” said Nida Sahouri, AMP-Chicago chapter chairwoman. “We Americans fund this with our tax dollars. We just want people to know the truth so one day they will pressure Congress to approve a more fair and balanced foreign policy in the Middle East.”

The Chicago chapter also will host its annual outdoor Nakba commemoration and Palestinian heritage event from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17, outside Universal School, 7350 W 93rd St., in Bridgeview. The event will include a Palestine Parade, authentic Palestinian cuisine, a bazaar, folk dancing and songs, and bread, freshly baked on traditional ‘taboon,’ or ovens.

Read AMP’s statement on the Nakba.
Read Nakba Fact Sheet.
Download AMP’s booklet: The Nakba: Preserving our Narrative.

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national, grassroots organization based in Palos Hills, IL. It’s mission is to educate the public about issues related to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage. For more information, go to www.ampalestine.org or contact Media Director Kristin Szremski at 708.717.4180.

Kirk Responds to Allegations of Secret Waiting Lists at Hines VA Medical Center

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)  released the following statement regarding allegations that officials at the Hines VA Medical Center in Chicago use secret waiting lists to conceal long wait times for veterans seeking medical care:

“I am concerned about credible reports of secret wait lists at Hines VA, similar to the lists used in Phoenix. Sharon Helman, the current Phoenix VA Director responsible for overseeing the secret wait lists and neglect of veterans’ care, was also the Director at Hines from February 2010 to February 2012. The Inspector General should immediately broaden its investigation to include Hines VA and to deliver a swift and immediate report.”

Father and Son Convicted in 2011 Murder Plot

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A father and son who carried out a plan to shoot and kill a Chicago woman over a romantic relationship were both convicted of First Degree Murder, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Devin Bickham Sr., 42, and Devin Bickham Jr., 23, were convicted by separate juries of First Degree Murder for orchestrating a fatal ambush on Chervon Alexander, 29, who was shot and killed while she sat in a car in River Forest.  Both men are scheduled to be sentenced next month.  A third defendant, Cardell Taylor, 38, was also charged in the case and is currently awaiting trial.

According to prosecutors, the victim and Bickham Sr. were involved in a dating relationship and had planned to get married.  However, Bickham Sr. was already married to another woman.  To avoid being found out, Bickham Sr. devised a plan to have his son and Taylor carry out the murder.

According to prosecutors, on the night of July 11, 2011 Bickham Sr. drove the victim to the Dominican Priory Park in River Forest in his 2005 Buick and they parked their vehicle.  At approximately 10:20 p.m., Taylor arrived at the scene armed with a handgun and fired several shots into the passenger side of the car, striking the victim multiple times.  Taylor then fled the scene in a silver Chevrolet Impala with Bickham Jr. serving as the getaway driver.

Both men were arrested by responding Forest Park Police Officers within a mile of the crime scene.  A search of the Impala revealed a .38 caliber handgun and several witnesses were able to place the car at the scene of the crime.

Through extensive interviews and an examination of the defendant’s cell phone records police discovered that Devin Bickham Sr. had planned and arranged the murder and all three men were charged in connection with the plot.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys James McKay, Russell Baker, and Thor Martin as well as the Forest Park and River Forest police departments for their work on the case.

Lt. Governor Simon to recognize “2013 CNN Hero of the Year” Chad Pregracke

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Simon pushing to increase environmental awareness, volunteerism

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In an effort to promote volunteer opportunities and encourage environmental awareness, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will recognize “2013 CNN Hero of the Year” Chad Pregracke during the river coordinating councils meeting on Wednesday in Springfield.

“Chad Pregracke is a shining example of someone dedicating himself to an important cause and making a difference,” said Simon. “I am excited that our river council members will have the opportunity to meet with and be inspired by Chad. All of us value our rivers – Chad is someone who has put those values into action.”

Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters when he was just 23 years old to clean up the Mississippi River around his home in East Moline. Since founding the non-profit in 1998, his crew and over 70,000 volunteers have collected over 7.5 million pounds of debris from rivers in Illinois and around the country. Simon noted that Living Lands & Waters has numerous volunteer opportunities like river cleanups, the MillionTrees Project and Adopt-A-River Mile program.

Simon chairs three River Coordinating Councils charged with the mission of reviewing state and federal programs that impact the watersheds and working with local communities to raise awareness of and address watershed issues. For more on Living Lands & Waters and information on how to volunteer please click here.

Entertainer Jammin Jay Lamont Completes Tour with R. Kelly and Tamar Braxton – Now Preparing for the Southern Heritage Classic Weekend

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Jammin Jay Lamont

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Entertainer Jammin Jay Lamont, or known to millions as the Human iPod, has changed the game by taking comedy to another level. He has now taken his talents to the big stage opening for national recording artist at Music Festivals, Churches, Corporate Event and Concert Tours all around the world. Jay Lamont’s secret recipe to his success is his ability to perform in front of any type of audience by adapting his show to the demographics at hand. He’s a clean upscale entertainer that mixes a dash of comedy with a sprinkle of impressions and his amazing vocals to create the ultimate one man stage show. To see why they call him the “Human iPod” check out his trailer at www.EntertainerJayLamont.com.

Who is Entertainer Jay Lamont?
Jay resides in Los Angeles California performing both as an entertainer and singer for the past 20 years. He has performed with national R&B, Hip Hop, Funk and Jazz groups across the country. What makes him so unique is he is a one man showcase requiring only a quality microphone and sound system. Requires No back line, DJ, Band or Tracks. Turn Key, put him on stage and sit back and enjoy the ride as your audience will be amazed from start to finish. So amazing he continues to receive standing ovations night after night no matter wherever he performs. During his off time Jay has been in the studio working on his music with his band. Jay Lamont has recently completed his CD promotional music single release “Night Gear” and DVD comedy project Jammin Jay Lamont live “Back Down Memory Lane” which is now available on his trailer page at www.JamminJayLamont.net.

Where have you seen Jay Lamont?
Jay has performed with in all genres including theme cruise ships, music festivals, casinos, comedy clubs and concert stage all around the world. He has performed on Disney Cruise Lines, BET’s Comic View, Comedy Central, Showtime at the Apollo, Tom Joyner Family Reunion and Fantastic Voyage, Capital Jazz Super Cruise, Festival at Sea, Classic Soul Cruises, Big Easy Comedy Festival, Russell Simmon’s Def Comedy Jam, Byron Allens “Comic Unleashed”, Jamie Foxx presents “Laffapalooza” and Martin Lawrence’s “1st Amendment” and, casino stages all around the country. Jay Lamont is a multi-talented entertainer who has performed with such greats recording artist as Luther Vandross and Roger Troutman, The Gap Band, The O’Jays, Anita Baker, Ledisi, MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly, D.L. Hughley, Tommy Davidson, Nephew Tommy, Lavell Crawford, Ricky Smiley, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, and Jamie Foxx. Recently Jay has performed at the Capital Jazz Festival and on selected tour dates with Charlie Wilson, New Edition and Mary J. Blige.

What’s New for Jay Lamont in 2014?
Jay Lamont has recently completed performing at the Black Academy of Arts in Dallas, the 2014 Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage Cruise and now preparing to go on tour with R. Kelly and Tamar Braxton on the “Black Panties” tour in selective markets. Other events Jay will also be performing are at the 2014 Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis TN performing with the Gladys Knight and Comedy Show with Lavell Crawford, the 2014 Jazz Legacy Foundation Gala, Portsmouth VA, other selective concert tours to be named soon.

For more info or to book Jammin Jay Lamont, contact Prime Time Promotions LLC at (757) 478-9634 or email genemunns@yahoo.com



Common Core a ‘Crystal Stair’ for a Memphis School

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Common Core a 'Crystal Stair' for a Memphis School

New America Media
By Khalil Abdullah

In the last school day before Mother’s Day, 8-year-old Frankie Munthe was eager to share his interpretation of “Mother to Son,” with his classmates. He explained that it’s about “roadblocks,” referring to the poem’s first line: “Well, son, I’ll tell you. Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare.”

Written in 1922 by Langston Hughes during the Harlem Renaissance and now regarded as a classic work, the poem is commonly taught in schools, but students may not encounter it until after junior high or even college. However, the introduction of Common Core State Standards in Tennessee has afforded even elementary school teachers the flexibility to use curriculum in ways that foster critical thinking skills and require students to explain and defend their observations.

“I find that they can feel and identify with that poem,” Graham Farnsworth, Frankie’s teacher said of his second grade class, “and things that are higher level. Did they hit that poem like they would in a college class? No. But did they get things out of it? I can still teach the standards but also get them to learn a little bit of something about their history and our history as Americans.” Farnsworth said he was excited as Frankie drew from a sociology segment months earlier to comment on the status of African Americans addressed in Hughes’s poem.

Frankie, only one of four Hispanic students at the predominantly African-American Cornerstone Preparatory School in Memphis, first attended kindergarten at Lester School, physically located at the same site. Lester was targeted as an underachieving school by the state and brought under the state’s Achievement School District, modeled on the Recovery School District in Louisiana. Within five years, the ASD’s goal is to move schools rated within the lowest five percent to within the top 25 percent.

Diana Bey, the Curriculum Development Instructor at Cornerstone, explained that Frankie’s family moved the year after kindergarten, so he spent virtually his entire first grade at another school. Yet, with an open enrollment policy under ASD, Frankie’s mother decided that he would spend his last three days of first grade year attending Cornerstone, just enough days to deem him eligible to return for second grade.

Frankie’s mother, Mrs. Cortes,  decided to re-enroll Frankie at Cornerstone, based on the hope that Bey, who had been Frankie’s kindergarten teacher, would be able to train Cornerstone’s other teachers to transmit the love of learning and high expectations to which Frankie had grown accustomed in her class. An experienced teacher who had home-schooled her children, Bey said she was “doing Common Core before there was a Common Core.”

Though Frankie now commutes, his sincerity in valuing his attendance at Cornerstone speaks to the evident success of a school that faced, and still faces, a difficult transition for some of its students.

Cornerstone came to a community that wanted to retain the legacy of Lester, one of its few anchor institutions, a community that was leery of its school being taken over by Cornerstone, a new institution with which they had no familiarity.

“We had a really rough year, 2012-2013,”Lisa Settle, Cornerstone’s principal acknowledged, “first year in the building; first year in the neighborhood.” Settle said the school expended a lot of effort to communicate to parents, “but we could have done more.” She understands that “parents had a really strong connection to the school as many of them had attended.”

As a parent herself, Settle also empathizes with the day-to-day reality of education. “We have their children eight hours a day.” Still, she said the community has had to face facts. “We’ve got fifth graders. Some of them couldn’t read.”

Settle said everyone knew Common Core was coming. For the school’s current kindergarteners and first grade students, the Common Core instructional methodology with classroom teachers trained under Bey’s critical eye, it is the only educational reality most have ever known. A classroom visit to any grade level easily dispels the notion that the children are not up to the Common Core challenge.

In Katelyn Woodard’s fifth grade class, for example, math instruction that started with division word problems crackled with energy as students vied not only to come up with the correct answer, but to explain the process and theory that underlay their calculations. Woodward said that Common Core requires more planning than she had done prior to its introduction, but once in the classroom, “I’ve never had kids so engaged.”

Bey said Woodard’s experience is regularly shared by other teachers, some of whom are awed “watching second graders solve problems that high school geometry or algebra students might see in their first weeks of school.”

All of Cornerstone’s kindergarteners and first graders are now at reading level and above, a baseline that translates into putting its five-year achievement goals within reach. Yet, though every child as a personalized education plan, one which assesses the academic deficiencies that need to be shored up, obstacles still remain.

For one, teachers had to prepare students to take the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, or TCAP, which measures academic progress as well as work through the introduction of Common Core State Standards. Principal Settle explained that the way “TCAP questions are asked is very different” and teachers have had to use Common Core as a broad framework for instruction while still having to be cognizant of the need to prepare students to do well on the state exams. “We’ve had to each both ways.”

Still, academically struggling students present a thorny dilemma. Settle said that the Achievement School District does not “socially promote” students to the next grade; they must earn advancement. A few students already been “retained” or repeated the same grade. Settle has a watch list and is constantly in touch with the parents of those students, an outreach that supplements parent-teacher conferences as well as the notes teachers send home to parents about the need to strengthen a child’s specific areas of study.

“We have teachers who do phenomenal things, but even if we have teachers who grew students three grade levels – which is astronomical – you’re still at third grade competency and you’re going into sixth grade,” Settle explained.

Frankie, who speaks mostly Spanish at home with his mother, has made the other watch list as one of approximately 31 students comprising what Settle soon anticipates will be Cornerstone’s first gifted and talented program.

Bey, on the other hand, has no lack of confidence that her teacher corps will be ready next year as Cornerstone absorbs Lester’s sixth grade class. While many schools look askance at young or new teachers, Bey welcomes Common Core as a way to stimulate them despite her demanding training regimen. “I have conversations with teachers about what our future looks like as instructors and it’s so exciting. I can just see the life blood come into them.”

This Condition Increases Stroke Risk by Almost 500%: Sign the Petition

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
care2 petitionsite actionAlert
action alert!
More than 17 million people in Europe, China and the United States are living with Atrial Fibrillation (AF), the most common irregular heart rhythm. This condition increases risk of stroke by almost 500%.
Please sign the petition today! Add Your Name to Help Fight Stroke

take action

Though AF increases the risk of stroke by nearly 500%, it often goes undetected until a serious complication develops. We need to find a way to detect AF earlier so that we can improve the chances of living a healthy life, even with AF. Sign the Global AF Patient Charter to show your support for awareness of AF and the need to prevent AF-related stroke. Not only does AF increase someone’s risk of a stroke, AF-related strokes are more severe and cause greater disability with a worse prognosis than other strokes. Many AF-related strokes could be prevented by earlier diagnosis, access to appropriate treatment, and improved management. This could save lives and significant healthcare costs. Enhancing knowledge and practices in the healthcare workforce will improve prevention, detection, and management of AF and AF-related strokes. Sign the Charter now to support raising awareness and save lives

care2 Thank you for taking action,

Kayla C. c
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

AARP Board Unanimously Selects Jo Ann Jenkins as New CEO

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Well respected as an innovative and strategic thinker and inspiring leader, Jenkins brings more than 25 years of leadership, management, planning experience to AARP’s top spot.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Board of Directors of AARP, one of the nation’s largest and most powerful nonprofit advocacy groups, has unanimously selected Jo Ann Jenkins (@JoAnn_Jenkins) as its new chief executive officer, to succeed longtime CEO A. Barry Rand on September 1, 2

“After an extensive, thoughtful and deliberative national search, the AARP Board unanimously selected Jo Ann Jenkins as our new Chief Executive Officer,” said Gail Aldrich, Chair of the AARP Board of Directors. “Jo Ann is a seasoned leader and innovator. She has an obvious passion for AARP and she fully embraces the social mission. Jo Ann is an inspirational leader who proactively engages at all levels of the organization and is comfortable operating in the public eye. She has demonstrated experience working across party lines that, coupled with her broad business experience, are essential to AARP’s success at this time. Her in-depth knowledge of AARP, AARP Foundation and ASI (AARP Services, Inc.) provide her with an intimate familiarity with the key business models and operations of AARP.”

“Jenkins’s leadership style models the kind of behaviors that will drive required cultural change including her sense of urgency, courage, willingness to make tough decisions, and ability to align groups to move forward in new directions,” added Aldrich.

“Jo Ann Jenkins has high personal integrity and ethics. She leads by example and sets the right tone at the top for the organization. Jo Ann is also the type of leader who will partner well with the AARP Board,” said incoming board chair Carol Raphael.

Jenkins currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer of AARP, a role she assumed in March of 2013. In this position she has streamlined the organization’s strategic planning, technology and digital operations to enable AARP to devote greater resources to its core mission. She led the development of the new enterprise-wide strategy that includes defining and facilitating operational priorities, as well as maximizing AARP’s mission.

“I am grateful for the trust that the AARP Board has given me to lead this amazing organization,” said Jenkins. “I truly believe that for every member of our society, age and experience can expand your possibilities in life. I feel a great deal of responsibility for ensuring that AARP is here as a trusted ally for people 50+ and their families and that we protect the most vulnerable among us.

“As COO, Jo Ann has done a tremendous job of improving our organizational performance. She led the realignment of our internal operations, adopting an enterprise strategy that encourages greater creativity and accountability,” said current AARP CEO Rand. “Through her leadership AARP has seen major improvements in operational efficiency, financial stewardship and excellence in execution.”

Prior to being named chief operating officer, Jenkins served as President of AARP Foundation, where she developed and oversaw programs that have improved the lives of millions of Americans, fighting hunger, poverty, isolation, and unemployment among older adults and contributing millions of dollars to disaster relief. In her first two years at the Foundation, Jenkins grew its overall donor base by 90 percent.

In addition to her strong leadership and operations skills, Jenkins also has significant expertise on women’s issues and intergenerational programs. A key AARP Foundation initiative launched under Jenkins is Mentor Up, which encourages young people to engage in service on behalf of older adults and foster positive intergenerational dynamics.

Jenkins came to the AARP Foundation from the Library of Congress, where she served as its chief operating officer. During her 15-year tenure at the Library of Congress, she developed and directed two of its most renowned projects, the National Book Festival and the Library of Congress Experience, the largest and most complex program in its 210-year history. In May 2010, Jenkins was recognized by the technology industry with the 11th Annual Women in Technology Award for her innovative leadership on the Library of Congress Experience. She is also a recipient of the Library of Congress Distinguished Service Award. On May 17th, Jo Ann will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters and address graduates at Washington College’s 231st Commencement.

Earlier in her career, she directed the USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Enterprise, worked at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

She became a member of AARP Services Board of Directors in 2004 and its chair in 2008, completing her service in May 2010. She is on the board of the Congressional Hunger Center. She was a delegate and founding fellow to the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program and a 1999 graduate of Leadership America. She is a Malcolm Baldrige Fellow (2013).

A native of Mobile, Ala., she earned her Bachelor of Arts from Spring Hill College. She is a 1998 graduate of the Stanford Executive Program, offered by the university’s Graduate School of Business.

Aldrich concluded: “The Board would also like to thank Barry Rand for his vision, leadership and stewardship which guided AARP through some challenging and exciting times these past 5 years. AARP is a more vibrant, relevant, and financially healthy organization for people 50+ than it was when Barry joined AARP in 2009. His legacy will be his financial acumen, creation of Life Reimagined, ability to attract quality talent and focus on the changing multicultural demographics of the country. We are grateful Barry will continue to lead AARP until Jo Ann takes the helm on September 1. We wish Barry all the best as he rediscovers what he wants to do in the next chapter of his very distinguished career.”

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

Photo Caption: Jo Ann Jenkins

West Nile Virus Season Begins

Posted by Admin On May - 15 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

State’s Health Chief announces vital public health grants

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As the weather warms up, mosquitoes will soon be flying around. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) began accepting birds for West Nile virus testing on May 1, 2014. To help identify areas in Illinois that are seeing West Nile virus, IDPH awarded West Nile virus prevention grants totaling almost $3 million to 92 certified local health departments throughout Illinois. The annual grants are based on West Nile virus activity surveillance for the previous three years, along with population. Local health departments will use the funding to enhance prevention programs that include collecting birds and mosquito samples for West Nile virus testing, and to control larval mosquitoes. The grants may also be used to provide information to the public and investigate human West Nile virus cases.

“Over the past five years, 507 human cases, including 30 West Nile virus-related deaths, were reported in Illinois,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Our local health departments around the state are on the front lines in the fight against West Nile virus and it is important they have the resources necessary to monitor mosquito activity, take steps to reduce the mosquito population and investigate human infections.”

Predicting what West Nile virus activity we will see this summer is like predicting the weather for the summer. The key factors in determining if we see high or low West Nile virus activity are temperatures and rainfall. Although people usually notice mosquitoes during rainy conditions, those mosquitoes are commonly called floodwater mosquitoes and typically do not carry West Nile virus. In hot, dry weather, mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus breed in stagnant water, like street catch basins and ditches, and multiply rapidly.

As temperatures warm up, remember to take some simple precautions to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself from being bitten. Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel and report.

· REDUCE exposure – avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.

® Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

® Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including water in bird baths, ponds, flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles.

· REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.

· REPORT – report dead birds to your local health department. In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government about areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found by logging onto www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.

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.

http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/StrategicPlan_Final_2014-2018.pdf

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

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