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Archive for June 25th, 2014

Wrongfully Convicted “Dixmoor 5” Reach $40 Million Settlement With Illinois State Police

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – A $40 million settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the “Dixmoor 5” – five men wrongly convicted as teenagers and who spent decades in prison for a rape and murder they did not commit.

Attorneys for the five men will hold a news conference at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago.

The settlement was reached with the Illinois State Police, one of the defendants in a suit filed in 2012 and seeking damages for the gross injustices the men suffered.  The case continues against the Village of Dixmoor, which has not agreed to settlement terms.

The suit alleged that Illinois State Police and the officers with the south suburban Dixmoor Police Department unconstitutionally coerced false confessions from three of the men—who were all teenage boys at the time—leading to the wrongful conviction of all five in the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year old Cateresa Matthews.  DNA evidence ultimately identified the true perpetrator, a convicted sex offender with no connection to any of the wrongfully convicted men, and in 2011 prosecutors finally withdrew charges against the Dixmoor 5.

News Conference Details

WHEN: 9 a.m. Wednesday

WHERE:  Lobby of the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, 219 S. Dearborn St.


·         Representing Jonathan Barr: Peter Neufeld and Alexandra Lampert of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, New York City, and John Stainthorp of the People’s Law Office in Chicago

·         Representing James Harden: Jon Loevy and Russell Ainsworth of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, Chicago;

·         Representing Robert Taylor: Locke Bowman, Executive Director of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, Chicago;

·         Representing Shianne Sharp: Jon Erickson and Michael Oppenheimer of Erickson & Oppenheimer, Ltd., Chicago; and

·         Representing Robert Veal: Henry Turner of the Valorem Law Group, Chicago.

U. S. Black Chambers Inc. Holds School of Chamber & Business Management Networking Opportunities; White House Briefing

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Guest Registration Deadline: Tuesday, July 1.

The U. S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) annual School of Chamber & Business Management, is set to draw hundreds of small businesses and economic leaders from around the nation for sessions on business growth and development; management; procurement, and solutions for economic inequality.

“When the wealth gap starts to increase, access to capital starts to decrease and the unemployment numbers stay on the rise. Therefore, entrepreneurs are paramount for America’s success,” says USBC President Ron Busby. “We will be addressing each of these issues and more with our attendees leaving with an action plan that can be implemented through the 115 chambers in 125 states and over 240,000 businesses across the country that we represent.”

Enlightening business sessions, high-powered networking events; plus a White House briefing* are on the agenda.

The USBC, based in Washington, D.C., is a nationwide association of more than 100 self-sustaining, viable Black Chambers and small business associations. With a goal of economic empowerment, USBC provides these chambers and associations with resources and initiatives for developing and growing Black enterprises. Registered guests are welcome.

The USBC School is a premier educational summit for building the skills needed to successfully manage and grow chambers of commerce and businesses. This is the only event of its kind, and is one that brings together the best of chamber leadership, corporate partners and public policy makers from across the country, all in one place, and at one time.

The following are some of the featured sessions:

  • Wednesday, July 9th Luncheon Keynote:  Cheryl Pearson McNeil, Senior Vice President, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement
  • Wednesday, July 9th Closing Remarks: Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., President/CEO, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
  • Thursday, July 10th Luncheon Keynote:  Sheila Johnson, Founder, Salamander Resorts and Hotels
  • Thursday, July 10th, Angela Rye, Founder and Director of IMPACT, will moderate the “Women in Business” panel
  • Thursday, July 10th, Derek Dingle, SVP/Editor-in-Chief, Black Enterprise will moderate the “Doing Business with Corporate America” session with panelists Ron Parker, President, Executive Leadership Council, and former SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns, Founder, L&L Consulting
  • Friday, July 10th, Advocacy Day – White House Briefing from 2pm – 4pm.

For more details on itinerary and registration fee, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/ptefqj2

Key sponsors include Wells Fargo, Marriott, Google, Walmart, MGM Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, IBM, MyWireless, Verizon, American Express OPEN, AT&T, and Mobile Future, Diageo, NACA and more…

*Participation in White House briefing contingent upon timely deadlines and registrations.

For more information, contact: David Smith, 202-552-2956, David@usblackchambers.org

Kirk Leads 10 Senators in Letter to President Demanding Answers on Guantanamo Release

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

President’s Actions Defy Both the Law and Recommendations of His Own Executive Order-Authorized Panel

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, along with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent a letter to President Obama expressing their strong concern regarding the release of five high value prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. This release, the Senators wrote, defies Section 1035 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the recommendations of a panel of experts established by President Obama’s Executive Order 13492.

The Senators also expressed concern with the remaining 149 Guantanamo Detainees, and requested that none of these prisoners be released until further notice and a full investigation of the exchange is conducted.

A copy of the letter is below:

June 19, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

We write to express our strong concern with your decision to release five high value prisoners from Guantanamo Bay– defying both Section 1035 of the Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the recommendations of at least one panel of experts established by your own executive order.

On January 27, 2009, you issued Executive Order 13492, which described a process for a “prompt and thorough review of the factual and legal bases for the continued detention of all individuals currently held at Guantanamo.” This executive order established the Guantanamo Review Task Force, an inter-agency panel chaired by the Attorney General. Members of the task force included the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Homeland Security; Director of National Intelligence; and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The final disposition of the review was reported on January 2010 and recommended that 48 detainees, including the five individuals recently released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, warranted continued detention under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. No publicly available decisions of subsequent review boards, including the Periodic Review Board established by your Executive Order 13567, indicate that the assessment of these five individuals haschanged.  The Wall Street Journal reported on June 10, 2014 that the intelligence community believes at least four of the five detainees would or were likely to rejoin the fight in Afghanistan. It is deeply concerning that in releasing these individuals, you overrode the recommendations of at least one panel of experts that you called on to guide national security decision-making.

On December 19, 2013, the Senate passed the FY14 NDAA and you signed it into law seven days later. As you know, this legislation included a 30-day congressional notification requirement for detainees transferred from Guantanamo Bay to foreign countries. This law was not followed ahead of the transfer of Khair Ulla Said Wali Khairkhwa, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, and Mohammad Nabi Omari.

In your decision to release these individuals, we are further concerned about the increasing recidivism rate among Guantanamo detainees. According to the Director of National Intelligence, an additional four former Guantanamo detainees were confirmed of rejoining the fight between July 2013 and January 2014, raising the combined suspected and confirmed recidivism rate to 29%. On June 16, 2014, Spanish authorities detained Lahcen Ikassriena, former Guantanamo detainee, who is believed to have led a recruitment cell for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, further raising concern about the actions of former detainees.

Contradictory to your own advisory committee, and without observance of Public Law No. 113-66, five senior Taliban leaders were released and many will likely return to the battlefield.  None of the remaining 149 detainees should be released without a full investigation of the process by which the five detainees were released outside of the legal process.


President Obama to Award the Medal of Honor

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

On July 21, 2014, President Barack Obama will award Ryan M. Pitts, a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.  Staff Sergeant Pitts will receive the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a Forward Observer with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, in the vicinity of Wanat Village in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on July 13, 2008.

Staff Sergeant Pitts will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.  He and his family will join the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.


Staff Sergeant Pitts separated from the service on October 27, 2009 from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  He currently lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, where he works in business development for the computer software industry.

Staff Sergeant Pitts enlisted in the Army in August 2003 as a Fire Support Specialist (13F), primarily responsible for the intelligence activities of the Army’s field artillery team.   After completion of training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and follow-on parachutist training at the U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Camp Ederle, Vicenza, Italy, as a radio operator with the 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade where he deployed to Afghanistan.  His final assignment was with the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment “The Rock”, 173rd Airborne Brigade as a Forward Observer which included a second combat tour to Afghanistan.

At the time of the July 13, 2008 combat engagement, then-Sergeant Pitts was a Forward Observer in 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment 173rd Airborne Brigade as part of Task Force Rock. His heroic actions were performed at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, in the vicinity of Wanat Village in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

His personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal w/ “V” Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal w/ three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal with Bronze Clasp and two Loops, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Two Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon with Numeral “4”,  NATO Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Valorous Unit Award, Combat Action Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Parachutist Badge.



The Medal of Honor is awarded to members of the Armed Forces who distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry above and beyond the call of duty while:

  • engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
  • engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The meritorious conduct must involve great personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his or her comrades and must have involved risk of life. There must be incontestable proof of the performance of the meritorious conduct, and each recommendation for the award must be considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.

ReMARCs: Freedom Summer – Then And Now

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Marc Morial

President & CEO, National Urban League

This month marks 50 years since the seminal events of Freedom Summer helped shift the national mood around the fight for civil rights in America.

It was June 1964 that this seminal campaign, also known as the Mississippi Summer Project, brought thousands of civil rights activists and volunteers together – mostly white college students from the north and Black Mississippians – to the state to primarily bring national attention to the disenfranchisement of African Americans and to register them to vote.  Unfortunately, today we are facing and fighting new battles in this old war against voting rights – one in which we had been declared victorious.

During Freedom Summer, which was the culmination of concentrated voter registration efforts in the South happening since 1961, one of the most shameful acts of violence during the Civil Rights Movement occurred.  Three civil rights workers – a Black volunteer named James Chaney and his white co-workers, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner – were murdered.  The brutality of this incident sparked a wave of national outrage and attention that resulted in increased support for the Civil Rights Movement and ultimately helped to spur congressional action with the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the subsequent Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Ironically, last summer, the Supreme Court of the United States launched its own tragic attack on voting rights with a specious ruling that declared Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, or, as Congressman John Lewis observed, that “put a dagger in the heart” of the law.  As we celebrate 50 years since the Freedom Summer campaign that prompted a nation to act, we must move forward in its spirit of vigilance and discontent.  Increased efforts by some states to enact new voter ID laws and other restrictive measures demand that we not just commemorate Freedom Summer, but that we also continue to defend and protect what President Johnson called “the first right and most vital of all our fights” – the right to vote.

Caller ID Spoofing Scams Are On The Rise, Says Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Consumers have reported receiving calls which appear to be from local area businesses; however, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) believes the calls are coming from overseas scammers in disguise. Callers have purchased lists of cell and home phone numbers and are using robocall capabilities to randomly dial. Using a technique called “spoofing”, scam artists attempt to trick customers into thinking a legitimate Chicago area business is calling. BBB is advising consumers to use caution when providing information over the phone.

Here’s how the scam works: Your phone rings and the number looks familiar. When you answer the call a computerized voice claims to have methods to lower your credit card interest rates, which of course, means they require a credit card number.

“Technology has provided many new options for scammers,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “The callers attempt to gain your trust in hopes they can trick you into handing over important financial information by stealing names and phone numbers of companies you’re familiar with.”

Balaji Subramanian from Chicago says, “I got a call and my caller id said Chicago Police Department. The lady said that I had a federal complaint against me and that I had not filed my taxes properly.  My taxes were done by an accountant so I knew that wasn’t true. The lady told me to call another number and even though I was suspicious I called. There was no answer so I left voice mail. A man called back and said he was from the Federal Crime Enforcement Network. He started to ask me questions but I cut him off and refused to answer.”

Here are some tips to avoid caller ID scams:

  • Never give out any financial information. If you did not initiate the call, do not provide bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you have thoroughly done your research and verified the caller.
  • Don’t rely on caller ID. Scammers can use technology to make it appear as though their calls are coming from legitimate businesses or organizations.
  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right to you, end the call.

For more information on scams, visit bbb.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

NAACP Testifies Before Congress, Holds Rallies Nationwide to Protect Voting Rights for All

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

One year after the Shelby County v. Holder decision, nation’s largest civil rights organization cites dangers of Americans losing their right to vote in 2014 solely because of their race or English-language proficiency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) today told the Senate Judiciary Committee that eligible voters are now more likely to be disenfranchised and discriminated against. In addition, NAACP branches in Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, South Carolina and other states are holding rallies to mobilize community members to protect the right to vote.

Reverend Francys Johnson, NAACP Georgia State Conference President testified that since Shelby, “We are witnessing the wholesale elimination and changing of polling locations; significant changes in the methods of electing school board, town and city council members; a rush to move to at-large districts; and limiting early voting that have the purpose or effect of denying or abridging the right to vote.”

As an example of the difference in Georgia, Johnson described how the town of Athens with a population of over 118,000, almost 30% of whom are African American, considered eliminating nearly half of its 24 polling places, and replacing them with only two early voting centers—both of which would be located inside police stations.  Community members raised concerns that the location of the new centers would intimidate some voters including those of color.

Dr. Johnson’s prepared testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee is available here.

In July 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, single handedly freezing the use of Section 5, and thus allowing jurisdictions to pass and implement election laws unchecked. Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, nine states and approximately 41 other jurisdictions were required to submit election law changes for pre-approval before implementation.

“The elimination of Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 has opened the door to all sorts of mischief inside our Nation’s sacred voting box, and as such we risk the disenfranchisement of whole segments of our society,” said Lorraine C. Miller, NAACP Interim President and CEO. “ The right to vote for all is under threat and the time to act is now.”

The Brennan Center reported that of the 11 states with the highest turnout of African-American voters in 2008, seven have new restrictions in place. In addition, of the 12 states with the largest growth of Latino population from 2000-2010, 9 states made laws making it more difficult to vote.
The bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) would provide common sense solutions to prevent discrimination against all voters regardless of race, including remedies to address current discrimination as it is occurring, an ability to review voting changes in places that have engaged in discrimination in the present and recent past, and better public notification of potential voting changes to enhance accountability.

“We applaud the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for holding today’s hearing on the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014,” said Hilary O. Shelton, Washington Bureau Director and Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy. “We are hopeful the Senate hearing will lift up the current challenges voters – particularly people of color, the elderly, youth and low-income citizens — face across the country, and demonstrate the continuing need for an effective Voting Rights Act voter discrimination prevention provision.”

Citing bipartisan co-sponsors and support from the civil rights community, the NAACP called on House Republican Leaders and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to hold hearings. “The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act made clear that Congress has the authority and obligation to fix the VRA; protecting the fundamental right to vote,” Jotaka Eaddy, NAACP Senior Advisor to the President and CEO and Senior Director of Voting Rights.

“What this Congress does with the Voting Rights Act is the real measure of this Nation’s commitment to free, fair, and accessible elections.  The United States must never again permit racial discrimination to silence our witness of freedom and darken our light of liberty in this world.”

July is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Be The Match® urges African Americans to sign up to save lives

Be The Match

Minneapolis, MN (BlackNews.com) — Josh Biyoyouwei suffered a stroke when he was barely 2 years old. The cause: sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder. Now 7 and wheelchair-bound, Josh faces a high probability that another stroke will strike—unless he receives a bone marrow transplant.For patients battling more than 70 diseases, including sickle cell anemia and blood cancers like leukemia, a bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant can be a cure. Patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry. But like many African Americans in need of transplants, Josh hasn’t found a matching donor.

That’s why Be The Match® is raising awareness about the critical need for more African Americans to volunteer as potential donors this July, which is African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month. Be The Match is the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on saving lives through bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation.

In the last three years, efforts during African American Bone Marrow Awareness Month have added nearly 10,000 African Americans to the national Be The Match Registry®, giving patients everywhere more hope for a cure.

But the need remains great. African American patients still have the lowest odds of finding a matching donor compared to all other populations. They also have the most diverse tissue types, which makes the matching process even more challenging.

This year, Be The Match will host bone marrow donor registry drives across the country, and a special online promo code, “AABMAM,” can be used to join the registry online by visiting Join.BeTheMatch.org/AABMAM. A dedicated landing page (BTMItsOnYou.org) shares the real facts about bone marrow donation—confronting common myths that donation is painful or costly—along with showcasing inspiring stories of real people who have donated bone marrow or received a life-saving transplant.

People like Altonet Fillmore, who answered the call to donate 16 years after she joined the registry as a college freshman. Now 35, Fillmore has a busy life, working in human resources for a Houston health care company and singing on the side. In fact, she’s competed on three national talent shows—Star Search, American Idol and Showtime at the Apollo. When Altonet received the call as a potential matching donor for a patient, she didn’t have any second thoughts. She knew she wanted to donate.

“It was a privilege and an honor to be able to give something that my body makes every day and be able to save a life,” said Fillmore, who donated in the summer of 2013 to a woman battling a rare blood cancer. The two women hadn’t met, but Fillmore couldn’t stop thinking about her recipient throughout the donation process.

“I wanted to talk with her to ease her mind,” Fillmore said. “I wasn’t worried about myself; I knew I would be fine.”

Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of Be The Match, reminds potential donors that joining the registry takes only a few minutes.

“But with that simple step, you could offer a waiting patient the chance at a healthy life that they’ve been waiting for—you could be the only one out of millions who could save that patient’s life,” Chell said. “This is especially important for African Americans. While we are diversifying the registry every day, we need more people from the African American community to join the registry and be committed to donating if called as a match for a patient.”

To get the real facts about bone marrow donation and sign up as a committed registry member, visit www.BTMItsOnYou.org.
About Be The Match
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match® connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit www.BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.

My Strength: Uplifting Book of Poetry Invigorates Readers; Exposing Solace & Peace of Mind

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Written directly from the heart, Debra George serves up an abundance of inspiration in ‘MY STRENGTH: (The book of poems to get through any day!)’. Already garnering five-star reviews, many readers hold the book near and dear as a vital guide to life’s tumultuous emotions. It’s the perfect book for those succumbing to humanity’s hectic downfall.

New York City, New York – With the hustle and bustle of 21st-cenruty life, many replace harmony and happiness with unavoidable chaos. However, a bold and potentially life-changing new book of poetry by Debra George seeks to rid readers of these evils and return them to a refreshing place of balance.
‘MY STRENGTH: (The book of poems to get through any day!)’ brings back the breath of fresh air that millions are craving.
I wrote this for all of those who encounter emotional challenges in their everyday lives. We are all human and experience a spiral of different feelings. Everyone copes with them differently. Relatable reading material gives you a sense of peace.

I hope you feel a sense of fulfillment and ease after reading through the emotion that you are experiencing. Life is too short, and we should never make time for negativity. Instead, we should focus on the positive and be grateful for all that we have.

“Today’s pace of life if frighteningly fast, and few take the time to both recognize and appreciate the meaningful things that really matter,” admits George. “No matter how big or small these things are, they have a unique ability to rejuvenate and revitalize us all.”
Continuing, “My book will remove people from the chaos that is blinding them and make sure that nothing really matters except them and their present state. This will return meaning and peace to all readers.”
To date, readers have flocked in their droves to leave positive reviews. For example, reader Lillian comments, “Debra I love this book it brings so much positive energy to situations of everyday life and the situations we are faced with on an everyday basis. I am so proud of u and this great accomplishment of yours I truly believe this book will inspire many people who sometimes become depressed and feel like there is no hope. I for one will be inspired by this book of poems for a long time so kudos to you for this great accomplishment again GREAT BOOK BY A GREAT PERSON!!!”
Adrian Smith adds, “This book is very inspirational. I deal with people on a daily basics and this book has allowed me to understand people from another prospective. The poems in this book are very detailed and you can feel the emotion as the author references the different emotions. Great book. Can’t wait for the next one. I give this book 5 Stars.”
‘MY STRENGTH: (The book of poems to get through any day!)’ is available now: http://amzn.to/T4Ce6G.
About the Author:
Debra loves writing poetry, music, and dance. She currently resides in New York.

Navy Veteran from Montgomery Honored as Illinois Veteran of the Month

Posted by Admin On June - 25 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

AURORA, IL – On December 23, 1966, Herschel “Lucky” Luckinbill was just that, when shells from hostile North Vietnamese shore batteries ripped through the USS O’Brien, killing two sailors and wounding four others.  Luckinbill survived a near miss, as one of the deadly shells struck near his assigned sleeping berth in the crew quarters on his ship, killing one of the other sailors.

Since his coming to Illinois in 1967, the cities of Montgomery and Aurora have been lucky that Luckinbill continued to serve, not only his fellow veterans, but his community as well, as a coach and volunteer. The State of Illinois agreed with Lisa Garcia, Vice Chair of Aurora’s Veterans Advisory Council, who nominated him, and selected Herschel “Lucky” Luckinbill to be honored as the June 2014 Veteran of the Month at a ceremony at Aurora’s Prisco Community Center on Monday, June 23, 2014.

“Herschel’s contributions to his fellow veterans and his community are hugely impressive,” said Erica Borggren, Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “It’s heartening to see our veterans making a difference and serving long after they set aside the uniform.  He is a wonderful example of what veterans bring back to our communities in terms of a lifelong commitment to serving others.”

Luckinbill was a Machinist Mate on the USS O’Brien (DD-725), a Sumner-class destroyer with a distinguished service record which began in World War II off the Normandy coast on D-Day.  It was during his second cruise on the O’Brien in Vietnamese waters that the ship took three direct hits from North Vietnamese coastal batteries. He completed his enlistment, having earned the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

After leaving the Navy, he entered the construction trades as a Sprinkler Fitter in the Chicago-area Fire Protection industry for 41 years, retiring in 2005. Throughout, he served his fellow veterans through a wide variety of roles, including the successful effort to bring the Vietnam Moving Wall exhibit to Aurora, and as a major fundraiser and escort for Honor Flight, escorting elderly veterans on 25 trips to Washington DC, and serving as President of the Fox Valley Veterans Breakfast Club.  He also served his community as Parade Marshal for West Aurora High School Homecoming Parade and Montgomery Fest, coaching Pony League Baseball for fourteen years, and serving as President of the Oswego Jaycees.

Eva, his wife of 47 years and the Director of the Aurora Public Library, their three children and six grandchildren were all present for the ceremony.

IDVA Director Borggren presented the award, which includes a framed proclamation as well as a state flag, on behalf of Governor Pat Quinn.

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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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