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May , 2018
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Mayor Harold Washington and Cook County Board President John S. Stroger, Jr.   READ THE BOOKS; BUY ...
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Falls continues his career-long exploration of Eugene O'Neill, directing the comedy Ah, Wilderness! Plus Annie ...
One of men saved still wonders why he paid the ultimate price   By Chinta Strausberg   For the ...
Josh Stumpenhorst teaches language arts and social science at Lincoln Junior High School in District 203 ...
LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury has named a Jamaican man in an indictment ...
Fireworks Show Sponsors Reminded to Check Credentials of Fireworks Vendors SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department ...
Joanie Schultz directs the Chicago Premiere of the Broadway Smash Sensation, March 8 – April ...
With three compelling poetry books on the market, Katherine K. Walker is poised ...
EFAB recommends raising per-pupil Foundation Level to $9,204   SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Education Funding ...

Archive for July 4th, 2014

Emergency Rally and March in Chicago Saturday to Demand End to “Collective Punishment” of Palestinians

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — A diverse coalition of Chicagoland Palestinians, along with members of other student, faith-based, human rights and other social justice groups, will hold a rally and march to protest Israel’s increasingly escalating attacks on Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza. The protesters will also march to two prominent Chicago media sites – the Chicago Tribune on Michigan Avenue and the CBS Chicago Newsroom on Washington St. to stress their demands for fair coverage of these attacks.

The rally will be held Saturday, July 5, 2014, at  Water Tower Place Park, 180 E. Pearson, in Chicago, from 3-5 p.m. They will walk to the Daley Plaza at 4 p.m.

Speakers include members of the Palestinian community and their supporters

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations have said that Israel’s actions against Palestinian citizens since the disappearance of the three Israeli youths on June 12 amount to collective punishment, which is against international law. The protesters are calling for an end to Israel’s collective punishment and violence against Palestinian men, women, and children. The protesters also demand that mainstream media outlets end biased reporting that only covers the Israeli youth who have been killed, while ignoring the more than 10 Palestinians killed since the Israeli army operations began.

Background:

Since the deaths two weeks ago of three Israeli youth in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army has engaged in a brutal campaign of collective punishment against the Palestinian people, heavily bombing the Gaza Strip, raiding West Bank towns and villages on a scale not seen in years, arresting and detaining hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children, and reinstating the practice of punitive home demolitions, which had been abandoned after the Second Intifada. Last Friday, Palestinian citizens of Israel gathered at the entrance to Umm al-Fahm, one of the largest Arab towns inside the pre-1967 lines, to protest against Israeli attacks in the West Bank and were violently dispersed by police, who deployed tear gas and stun grenades.

On July 2, after thousands of Israelis marched through the streets of Jerusalem chanting ‘death to Arabs’, the charred and mutilated body of 17-year old East Jerusalem resident Mohammad Abu Khdair was found in a forest near Jerusalem, a likely victim of a revenge killing. Israeli forces have killed at least nine other Palestinians during the past two weeks, including at least three children.

Endorsed by:

American Friends Service Committee

American Muslims for Palestine – Chicago
Anti-War Committee – Chicago

Chicago Islamic Center

Jews for Justice in Palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace – Chicago

Palestinian American Council

Palestinian Comity Center

Palestine Solidarity Group – Chicago

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Chicago network

US Palestinian Community Network – Chicago

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1479409155627269/

Sec’y of State White Urges Motorists to Celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend Safely

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Message to Motorist – Don’t Drink and Drive

Secretary of State Offices Closed Friday for Independence Day

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reminded motorists who are celebrating our country’s independence to be sure to drive safely by not drinking and driving this Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“Drunk driving results in death and injury on our roadways every year,” White said.  “Let’s keep the roads safe by making sure our drivers are sober.”

  • In 2013, 33 percent of the fatalities, six out of 18 deaths, were alcohol-related during the 4th of July holiday in Illinois.
  • In 2012, 50 percent of the fatalities, two out of four deaths, were alcohol-related.  Eighty-six percent of all drivers arrested for DUI that year were first offenders.
  • According to the National Highway Transportation Administration an average of one alcohol-related fatality occurs every 53 minutes.
  • A DUI conviction can cost the driver more than $16,000 in legal fees, court costs and insurance.

Secretary of State Police will be conducting DUI patrols during the holiday weekend, said White.

White suggests those participating in celebrations involving alcohol take public transportation, a cab, or designate a sober driver.  White also reminds drivers to use safety belts.

Secretary of State Offices Closed Friday for Independence Day

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all Driver Services facilities and offices will be closed Friday, July 4, 2014, in observance of Independence Day.

Driver Services facilities that are normally open Tuesday through Saturday will reopen for regular business on Saturday, July 5, 2014.

All Monday through Friday Driver Services facilities will reopen for regular business on Monday, July 7, 2014.

Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com, to locate the nearest Driver Services facility and the hours of operation. In addition, drivers can use the website to change an address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license plate stickers by mail.

Fourth of July and Summer Safety Health Tips

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – As we head into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck reminds us of the following health tips to help avoid injury and illness during the summer.

“We want everyone to stay safe while celebrating the holiday and throughout the summer.  I encourage all Illinois residents to use and share these tips for a more enjoyable summer,” advised Dr. Hasbrouck.

WATER AND SWIMMING SAFETY – whether at the beach, on the lake or in a swimming pool, use safety precautions.

  • Supervise young children around water
  • Always use life jackets and secure personal flotation devices
  • Avoid alcohol while supervising children and before or during swimming, boating, or waterskiing
  • Shower before you enter a swimming pool and do not swim if you have diarrhea
  • Be aware of the local weather conditions and forecast, especially watch for thunderstorms with lightening
  • Know and obey the posted warnings about beach conditions
  • Pay attention to lifeguards and posted instructions
  • Prevent access to water when pool is not in use

SUN AND HEAT – protect yourself against sunburn and heat illness.

  • Never leave anyone, including pets, alone in a closed, parked vehicle
  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outside
  • Increase your intake of fluids – drink more liquid than your thirst indicates; avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loosing-fitting clothing
  • Be aware of heat exhaustion symptoms: heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin, pale or flushed complexion, and fast and shallow breathing
    • If present, be sure to move the person to a cooler place; remove or loosen tight clothing; apply cool, wet cloths; and give cool water to slowly drink
  • Be aware of heat stroke symptoms – hot, dry skin, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high body temperature, confusion/dizziness and slurred speech
    • If present, be sure to call 911; quickly cool the person in a cool bath or wrap wet sheets around them; if the victim refuses water, is vomiting or shows a decreased level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink

FOOD SAFETY – for cookouts and picnics, temperature is key to avoiding foodborne illness.

  • Wash hands and keep surfaces clean
  • Make sure all meat and poultry are properly cooked
  • Use a clean plate and utensils when taking food off the grill
  • Keep hot food hot and cold food cold
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and if you have doubts, throw it out

Know the symptoms of most types of food poisoning, which include severe cramps, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.  Symptoms can begin from 30 minutes to three or more days after eating contaminated food.  If symptoms are severe or last longer than two days, contact a doctor or health care provider.

TICKS AND MOSQUITOES – camping, hiking or in your own backyard, guard against insect illnesses.  Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus and ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and other serious infections.

  • WEAR INSECT REPELLENT. Apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions.
  • Avoid being outside during prime mosquito-biting hours, dusk to dawn
  • Avoid tick-infested areas, such as the woods and high grasses
  • Remove ticks attached to the body using a pair of tweezers and call your health care provider if you develop a rash, fever or body aches during the 1 to 3 weeks following a bite
  • Check with a veterinarian about preventing tickborne diseases in pets as they can carry ticks into the home

For more information about summer safety, check out our “Summer? No Sweat.  A Summer Survival Guide” at www.idph.state.il.us/public/books/summtoc.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

IDOT Suspends Non-Emergency Road Work to Improve Traffic Flow for Independence Day

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Agency Details Lane Closures to Aid Motorists’ Travel Plans

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With thousands of motorists traveling on state roadways over the Independence Day holiday weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended where possible to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. IDOT is also providing advance notice of lane closures that will be in place for the holiday week to aid motorists’ travel plans and boost safety.

Starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 3, IDOT will suspend all non-emergency roadwork throughout the holiday period and open up all lanes where possible through midnight Sunday, July 6. Some construction zones will have lane closures in effect, depending on the projects.

IDOT is urging motorists to slow down, obey posted speed limits and drive with caution through work zones. Holiday travelers are reminded that work zone speed limits are still in effect wherever they are posted, even where no construction workers are present.

IDOT Highway District 1:

COOK COUNTY

Harrison Str. closed between Halsted and Des Plaines. (Bridge over I-90/94) detours are posted.  Halsted str. Bridge reduced to two lanes between Van Buren St. and Harrison St. (bridge over I-290)

North Ave over Salt Creek; traffic reduced to 2 lanes in each direction.

Cumberland Avenue over I-90; traffic reduced to 2 lanes in each direction.

Willow Road from IL 43 (Waukegan Road) to I-94, there will be one lane in each direction open to through traffic.  That includes the traffic on IL 43 (Waukegan Road) at Willow Road.

Morgan St. closed between Van Buren St. and Harrison St. (bridge over I-290).  Also there are lane closures EB on (at 1-290) Congress at Halsted and WB from Canal to Halsted.

Permanent closure on North Ave @ Des Plaines River Bridge(Thatcher Ave) – Westbound lane 3, traffic will be reduced to two lanes westbound approximately 0.3 of a mile westbound.

Cambridge Dr. over W Branch DuPage River is closed, detour is posted.

Syracuse Ln over the W Branch DuPage River is closed, detour is posted.

Cornell Ave from IL 64 to Armitage Ave in Melrose Park is one way northbound, detour is posted.

L 83 from Kedzie to Western/Dixie Highway, going east & westbound, one lane open in each direction; and Western to Kedzie going north & southbound, one lane open in each direction.  (Posen, IL)

US 30/IL 56 over IL 47 will have one lane open in each direction.

Cornell Ave, from IL 64 to Armitage in Melrose Park is one way northbound.

US 20(Lake St.) from Oak Ave. to Park Ave. in Bartlett and Streamwood.  Both eastbound lanes will remain open.  Only one westbound lane will remain open during stage one.

County Line Road over I-55 bridge rehabilitation and ramps, SB bridge will be closed and traffic crossover to NB bridge with one lane NB, and one lane SB; with one NB ramp lane partially closed with barricades on one side. Approach with caution.

The SB Bishop Ford ramp to Stony Island/103rd St is closed until Sept. 15, 2014 and a detour to 111th street is set-up. This is part of contract 60J12, I-94 (Bishop Ford Expy) at Stony Island Interchange project.

IL 83 over the S&S and I&M Canals have (2 lanes closed) one lane only NB for through traffic.

West Lake Avenue at Greenwood Road in Glenview.  West Lake Avenue and Greenwood Road will be closed to through traffic.  There is a posted detour to follow.

Arlington Park Commuter Drive from Rohwling Road to Metra Station in Rolling Meadows.  Eastbound Commuter Drive is closed to traffic.  There is a posted detour for eastbound traffic to follow.  Westbound Commuter Drive remains open to traffic.

US 20(Lake St.) from Oak Ave. to Park Ave. in Bartlett and Streamwood.  Both eastbound lanes will remain open.  Only one west bound lane will remain open during stage one.

Bridge rehabilitation and ramp construction on I-94/90 (Kennedy Expressway) at Ohio Street) located at the Ohio Street Interchange in Cook County. Ramp partially closed with            barricades on one side – enter with caution.

Intersection Improvement at Western and US 30 in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields in Cook County. Traffic will be reduced from 3 lanes to 2 lanes on US 30 and from 2 lanes to one lane on Western. The right turn lane is closed in both directions on Western.

DUPAGE COUNTY

IL 53 – Roadway reconstruction from Army Trail Rd to Elgin O’Hare Expressway in Addison & Itasca.  One lane open in each direction for NB & SB Rte. 53 at the Lake St. intersection.  EB and WB Lake St at IL 53, 2 lanes open in each direction.  Outside of the Lake St. intersection all lanes open.

IL route 38 has permanent closures leaving one lane in each direction from Kirk Road to east of Kress Road in Geneva and West Chicago.  (Kane and DuPage Counties)

IL 59, between Diehl Road and New York/North Aurora Road there will be two lanes open in each direction utilizing the median as one of the lanes.  There will only be a single lane of traffic open in each direction under the BNSF RR.

IL Route 19/Irving Park Rd. will be closed at the Canadian Pacific Railroad, just east of York Rd. in Bensenville to allow for the erection of structural steel for the new railroad bridge that will carry Canadian Pacific Railroad over IL Route 19/Irving Park Rd.

To clarify the closure and detour routes as follows:

IL Route 19/Irving Park Road will be closed to all through traffic between US Route 12/45/Mannheim Rd. and York Rd. IL Route 19/Irving Park Rd. will be open for local traffic only between US Route 12/45/Mannheim Rd and South Access Rd. (to O’Hare Airport).

Eastbound IL Route 19 traffic will be detoured to go north on York Rd./Elmhurst Rd., then east on IL Route 72/Touhy Ave., then east on IL Route 72/ Higgins Rd. then south on US Route 12/45/Mannheim Rd.

Westbound IL Route 19 traffic will be detoured go north on US Route 12/45/Mannheim Rd., then west on IL Route 72/Higgins Rd., then west on IL Route 72/Touhy Ave. then south on Elmhurst Rd./York Rd.

Maple St over Spring Brook Creek in Itasca is closed.

KANE COUNTY

EB and WB Indian Trail road over the Fox river is closed to traffic between IL 31 and IL 25, in the city of Aurora. Detour routes are posted.

US 20 over McLean Blvd – traffic change on Interchange reconstruction in Elgin; two lanes open in each direction.

Maple Avenue from Washington St. to L.W. Besinger Drive will have one lane open eastbound only.

US 30/IL 56 over IL 47; traffic reduced to one lane in each direction.

LAKE COUNTY

IL Rte. 131 (Green Bay Road) and Wadsworth Road is in stage 1 detour configuration, with one lane open in each direction.

Grass Lake Road, about one mile west of US Rte. 45 is in stage 1 detour configuration with one lane open only for both EB and WB traffic

Rollings Road, about ½ mile west of US Rte. 45 is in stage 1 detour configuration, with one lane open in each direction.

US Rte. 12/Rte. 59 is reduced to one lane in each direction over IL Rte. 176 in Wauconda through July 2014.

Washington Street from Lakewood Terrace to Ravine Drive, in Round Lake, Round Lake Park, & Hainsville – with one lane open.

Hart Road & Sunset Drive, Village of Round Lake, is in Stage 1 detour configuration, with one lane open in each direction.

McHENRY COUNTY

IL 31 at IL 176 and at Terra Cotta Ave. in Crystal Lake, Nunde Township and unincorporated McHenry County, one lane open in each direction.

Il 31 at IL 120 (North Leg), in McHenry, McHenry County. New lane configuration, one lane open in each direction on IL Rte. 120.

Johnsburg Road from west of Chapel Hill Road to East of Chapel Hill Road, Johnsburg, McHenry County. One lane open westbound on Johnsburg Road. Follow posted detour.

Intersection Improvement at Western and US 30 in Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields in Cook County. Traffic will be reduced from 3 lanes to 2 lanes on US 30 and from 2 lanes to one lane on Western. The right turn lane is closed in both directions on Western.

Prospect St from US 20 to IL 176 in Marengo, McHenry County, one lane open northbound.

WILL COUNTY

Weber Road at Renwick Road – one lane open in each direction.

Division Street over the J & M Canal in Lockport.  Bridge out – detour posted.

Northbound and Southbound I-55 from Bluff Rd to Arsenal Rd for bridge repair in Will County – one lane closed in each direction.  Alternate route is posted.

IDOT Highway District 2:

CARROLL COUNTY

US 52/IL 64 three miles east of Mt Carroll is restricted to one lane for the replacement of two bridges and a culvert. Temporary traffic signals have been installed to control traffic flow at each of the three structures.

HENRY COUNTY

US 6 is closed from Green River Road east of I-80 to Edwards Road. Eleven culverts and one bridge are being removed and replaced. Traffic is detoured on I-80 to IL 82 at Geneseo.

JODAVIESS COUNTY

IL 84 over the Apple River in Hanover is restricted to one lane and controlled by traffic signals while the bridge is replaced.

Canyon Road west of IL 78 is closed for replacement of two culverts. Traffic is using local roads around the two work areas.

ROCK ISLAND

I-74/280 near the east edge of Coal Valley. Traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction as the bridges over Coal Creek are replaced.

IL 192 is closed west of Andalusia at the Big Branch Creek bridge south of Loud Thunder Road. Traffic is being detoured on County roads while the structure is removed and replaced.

STEPHENSON COUNTY

US 20 over the Pecatonica River east of IL 75 northeast of Freeport. Westbound US 20 is restricted to one lane as the bridge deck is being repaired and expansion joints are replaced.

WHITESIDE COUNTY

IL 172 is closed two miles north of Tampico for removal and replacement of a bridge over a drainage ditch. Traffic is detoured on IL 40 and IL 92 south of Tampico.

I-88 at the Albany Road interchange north of Erie. Traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction as the bridge over I-88 is painted.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY

US 20 just east of IL 2 at the south edge of Rockford. Traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction as the bridges over the Rock River are replaced.

IL 2 from Harrison Avenue to Cedar Street in downtown Rockford. Traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction as the roadway is removed and replaced two lanes at a time.

IDOT Highway District 3:

BUREAU COUNTY

I-80, MP 44, Bridge Replacements.  One lane closed in each direction.

GRUNDY COUNTY

Minooka Road Bridge CLOSED over I-80, Bridge Replacement. NO DETOUR POSTED.

IROQUOIS COUNTY

I-57, MP 278, Bridge Painting.  One lane closed in each direction.

I-57, MP 297, Bridge Deck Replacement.  One lane closed in each direction.

KANKAKEE COUNTY

I-57, MP 300, Bridge Replacement.  One lane closed in each direction.

I-57, MP 310, Bridge Replacement.  One lane closed in each direction.

LASALLE COUNTY

Ill 71, just north of Norway, Bridge Replacement.  One lane open, Controlled by signals.

Ill 170, CLOSED from Grand Ridge / Mazon Road to north of Ransom. Culvert replacements, DETOUR POSTED.

LIVINGSTON COUNTY

I-55, MP 198, Bridge Repairs. One lane closed, Northbound only.

IDOT Highway District 4:

No maintenance closures are scheduled for the Independence Day weekend.  However, we do have some possible flooding issues.

FULTON COUNTY

US 24 west of Little America will be reduced to one lane with traffic controlled by temporary signals for bridge work over Big Sister, and Little Sister Creeks.

Rt. 9 Spoon River (Currently down to one lane – Probable closure and detour to Rt. 95) due to flooding.

HENDERSON COUNTY

Rt. 164 at Gladstone (Probable closure and detour due to flooding. This might also include closure of Rt. 34. When 34 closed last time the detour went up 67 to the Quad Cities).

Carmen Road (Probable closure and detour) due to flooding.

Oquawka Rest Area (Probable closure) due to flooding.

KNOX COUNTY

IL 97, at the Spoon River (near Maquon) is down to one lane, controlled by temporary signals for bridge work.

MERCER COUNTY

Keithsburg Road (Simple closure – No detour available) due to flooding.

PUTNAM COUNTY

IL 71 in Granville will be reduced to one lane with traffic controlled by temporary signals for culvert work.

TAZEWELL COUNTY

Near Morton, the eastbound I-74 ramp to southbound I-155 will be reduced to one lane.

Eastbound IL 116, north of IL 26 will be reduced to one lane for bridge reconstruction. Traffic will utilize a crossover.

IL 9, 2.5 miles west of Mackinaw will be reduced to one lane with traffic controlled by temporary signals. This is for bridge reconstruction.

IDOT Highway District 5:

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

Champaign County Highway 50 (Lake of the Woods Road) over I-74.  County Highway 50 is closed and a marked detour is being utilized.

MCLEAN COUNTY

Business 55 / Veterans Parkway over Interstate 74 southwest of Bloomington. North and southbound passing lanes are closed with barrier in place. A marked traffic pattern is in use.

PIATT COUNTY

IL 10 over Goose Creek just east of Deland. IL 10 will be down to one lane delineated by barrier wall. Traffic signals will be in use to direct traffic.

VERMILION COUNTY

US 150 (Main Street) over the North Fork Vermilion River next to Elsworth Park in Danville. US 150 will narrow down to one lane in each direction with barrier wall in place (normally two lanes in each direction).

IDOT Highway District 6:

CASS COUNTY

IL 100/US 67 over the Illinois River located at Beardstown.  Bridge deck patching reduces traffic to one lane controlled by traffic signals.

CHRISTIAN COUNTY

IL 48 over Bear Creek located 1 mile southwest of Palmer.  Bridge reconstruction reduces traffic to one lane controlled by traffic signals.

LOGAN COUNTY

Interstate 55 over abandoned railroad located 1.1 miles north of Lincoln (MM 131); bridge reconstruction reduces northbound and southbound lanes to one lane.

Interstate 55 over Business Loop 55 and Union Pacific Railroad located 1.9 miles northeast of Lincoln (MM 133); bridge reconstruction reduces northbound and southbound lanes to one lane.

Interstate 55 over abandoned railroad and over Race Street located south of Atlanta (MM 139 to MM 140); bridge reconstruction reduces northbound and southbound lanes to one lane.

Business Loop 55 over Salt Creek located at the south edge of Lincoln; bridge reconstruction closes the road to traffic.

IL 10 over Sugar Creek located 3 miles east of New Holland. Bridge rehabilitation reduces traffic to one lane controlled by traffic signals.

SANGAMON COUNTY

Interstate 72 over Long Point Slough located one mile east of Illiopolis (MM 123); bridge rehabilitation reduces eastbound and westbound lanes to one lane.

IDOT Highway District 7:

CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Interstate 70 just west of Greenup; bridge removal and rehabilitation; stage construction with one lane open in each direction utilizing median crossovers and concrete barrier in place.

EFFINGHAM COUNTY

Interstate 57 southbound at Edgewood; bridge rehabilitation; stage construction with one lane open and concrete barrier in place.

Interstate 57/70 around Effingham; major road reconstruction; stage construction with two lanes open in each direction on 57/70 and one lane open on 57 and on 70, concrete barriers in place.

EFFINGHAM/FAYETTE COUNTIES

Illinois Route 128 just north of US Route 40; pavement and drainage upgrades; stage construction with one lane open, traffic signals and concrete barrier in place.

WABASH COUNTY

Old Illinois Route 1 north of Mt. Carmel; bridge replacement; road closure with no marked detour.

Illinois Route 1 in the southwest part of Mt. Carmel; bridge replacement; road closure with a marked detour.

WAYNE COUNTY

Illinois Route 15 east of Fairfield; bridge rehabilitation; stage construction with one lane open, traffic signals and concrete barrier in place.

IDOT Highway District 8:

Clinton County

IL Route 127 structure over the Kaskaskia River will be closed 2.5 miles south of Carlyle. The road closure is required to replace the structure over the Kaskaskia River and is expected to be completed by October 2014. A marked detour route utilizing Slant Road and IL Route 161 will be in place.

JERSEY COUNTY

IL 16 over Phil’s Creek and IL 16 over Phil’s Creek East Branch west of IL 111 will be reduced to one lane to perform bridge repairs through the fall, 2014.

IL 100 over Otter Creek south of the junction with IL 16 will be reduced to one lane to perform bridge repairs through the fall, 2014.

MADISON COUNTY

I-255 will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Horseshoe Lake Road and I-270 for bridge rehabilitation and resurfacing.

IL-159 Collinsville will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Johnson Street and Mounds Avenue for pavement reconstruction.

IL 143, Pierron, bridge over Sugar Creek, reduced to one lane to perform bridge replacement through fall 2014.

ST. CLAIR COUNTY

I-64 from 18th Street to IL 111, East St. Louis, there will be one lane closed in both the eastbound and westbound directions. Closure needed to perform pavement resurfacing and staged bridge work.

IL 13 under IL 15 near Belleville will be closed. Closure needed to construct new structures.

The IL 15 bridges over IL 13 near Belleville will have one lane closed in each direction of bridges. This lane restriction is needed to construct the new Eastbound IL 15 structure.

IL 13, 1 mile NW of Marissa, will be reduced to one lane.

IDOT Highway District 9:

JACKSON COUNTY

IL 13, east edge of Murphysboro. Bridge construction. Traffic reduced to one lane eastbound and westbound utilizing crossovers.

Old US 51, just north of Cedar Creek Road. Road closed for drainage structure replacement.

MASSAC COUNTY

Old 45. US 45 over I-24 east of Metropolis. Bridge construction. Traffic reduced to one lane in eastbound and westbound directions.

POPE COUNTY

IL 146, four miles east of IL 145. One lane bridge construction. Temporary signals in place.

WHITE COUNTY

IL 1, two miles north of Carmi. One lane bridge construction. Temporary signals in place.

IL 1, three miles south of Carmi. One lane bridge construction. Temporary signals in place.

IL 1, two miles south of Crossville. One lane bridge construction. Temporary signals in place.

“Today, we begin to glimpse the nature of the court’s reaction” – State Senator Raoul on retiree health benefits ruling

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) issued the following statement on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Kanerva v. Weems that a 2012 law altering state retirees’ health insurance benefits violated the Pensions Clause of the Illinois Constitution. Raoul chaired the conference committee that produced last year’s compromise pension reform law, which is now the subject of pending litigation, and negotiated a reform plan for City of Chicago retirement systems.

During the years-long debate over various pension reform proposals, I have consistently cautioned that we must align our actions with the constitution’s protections of state workers and their benefits. However, while we could examine previous decisions and discuss the legal precedents, there was no sure way to obtain guidance from the courts on this matter aside from passing a law and waiting for them to react.

Today, we begin to glimpse the nature of this reaction.

The Illinois Supreme Court has handed down a forceful decision, backed by six of its seven justices. Its powerful affirmation of the constitution’s protection of contractual rights and promised benefits may serve as a predictor of how this court will handle challenges to Senate Bill 1 and similar reform measures.

Today’s ruling did not speak directly to the “police powers” argument that in times of fiscal emergency, the state may be justified in taking extraordinary steps to balance its responsibilities and carry out its duties to all residents. But the court did clarify that in addition to protecting contractual rights, the Pensions Clause insulates public employees from the diminishment of their benefits by the General Assembly.

We must wait for the specifics of future opinions to firmly establish the parameters of a constitutional approach to meeting our obligations and setting our state on a firm financial footing. No matter what those specifics are, I remain committed to a long-term solution that improves our state and protects the rights of our valued public employees.

If You’re Angry About Hobby Lobby…That’s Because You Should Be

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Organizing for Action

(Letters to Editors)

When the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling came down on Monday, I was speechless.

All I could think about was what this ruling means for American families across the country whose employers now have a say in whether their birth control is covered by their insurance.

We’ve heard from countless OFA supporters who are fired up about it — if you’re angry, that’s because you should be. No one’s boss should be able to dictate their health care.

Right now, folks at the White House are working with champions in Congress to look for a solution to fix what this ruling broke. (There’s more to come on that soon.) The most important thing we can do right now is to keep making our voices heard — on social media, with friends at cookouts this weekend, everywhere.

We put together a graphic that we think sums up how wrong this new reality is — share this image on Facebook and Twitter today:

Raise your voice against the Supreme Court's decision.
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

What became crystal clear this week is exactly who’s willing to stand up for a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions — like Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — who came forward to say they’re going to work to find a solution for the women affected.

It also painted a clear picture of who really couldn’t care less.

Contraception isn’t just a women’s issue — it’s part of millions of American families’ lives.

The court effectively said that some companies can choose which forms of birth control it wants to cover based on no other criteria than what the company’s owners personally feel is acceptable.

If you’re like me, this is pretty straightforward: No one should have their boss deciding which prescriptions are right for them.

Right now, it’s up to the people who are outraged to say so, and keep on doing it.

Share this graphic on Facebook today:

http://my.barackobama.com/Raise-Your-Voice-FB

Or tweet it out:

http://my.barackobama.com/Raise-Your-Voice-TW

Thanks,
Kelly Byrne
National Issue Campaigns Manager
Organizing for Action

Prosecutors Secure Guilty Plea in Theft From Charity

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A former volunteer with a charity that provides toys for children during the holiday season pled guilty and was ordered to pay back the stolen money, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Carol Lisciandrello, 55, of Chicago, pled guilty to Theft and was sentenced to probation and to pay restitution of more than $25,000 to Toys for Tots.

According to prosecutors, between January 2009 and April 2011, Lisciandrello was a volunteer for Toys for Tots, and in her volunteer capacity assisted with the online sales of merchandise to raise funds for the organization.  While managing the online sales, Lisciandrello had those profits go to her Personal Pay Pal account, which she was then supposed to transfer to a Toys for Tots checking account.  Instead, Lisciandrello transferred the funds to a personal debit card, in the amount of $25,494.00 over the two years.

“To steal money from a reputable charity that provides toys to needy children is an unconscionable crime,” Alvarez said. “We are pleased with the outcome in this case that will force this defendant to repay all stolen funds.”

Lisciandrello pled guilty during a hearing today at the Bridgeview Courthouse before Judge Kerry Kennedy, who sentenced her to probation and to pay full restitution to the organization.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Mike O’Brien and Nancy Zarkos as well as the Bridgeview Police Department for their work on this case.

State Senator Collins Applauds State High Court’s Decision in Favor of Protecting Workers

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) issued the following statement on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Kanerva v. Weems that a 2012 law altering state retirees’ health insurance benefits violated the Pensions Clause of the Illinois Constitution:

The Illinois Supreme Court has resoundingly affirmed what I have always known to be true: that our state constitution protects public employees and does not allow state government to break its promises.

In 2012, I voted against the law the high court has now declared unconstitutional, because changing the rules on individuals who have based financial decisions on their constitutionally guaranteed benefits is no way to treat those who have dedicated their lives to serving the people of this state.

I have also refused to support the General Assembly’s attempts to unilaterally diminish the pension benefits due to our teachers, university employees and state employees, placing the burden of Illinois’ financial woes on the backs of faithful public servants.

I am grateful that our judicial system stands firm for the constitution and against abandoning promises when the obligations of our laws become burdensome. I urge my colleagues to broaden the scope of options on the table, honestly examining our corporate tax structure as we revisit the question of public employee benefits and their impact on the budget.

NAACP and Congressional Black Caucus Respond to June Unemployment Numbers

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Job Recovery Maintains Racial Employment Disparities

Washington, DC – The NAACP has released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) June employment report which indicates that for the month of June, the national unemployment rate decreased to 6.1 percent.  The unemployment rate for Asians was 5.3%; for whites, 5.3%; Latinos, 7.8% and African Americans, 10.9%. No data was released on American Indians.

From Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Sr. Director of NAACP Economic Department:

“The 288,000 jobs added this month indicates that the economy overall is beginning to recover. However, black unemployment continues to improve at a much slower pace as public-sector employment lags, in large part due to austerity budgeting. Public workers are a key element of the middle class economy. With the public sector paying more equitably — particularly for workers of color and women– compared to the private sector, and providing benefits necessary for a family’s financial security, this sector must be strengthened to increase job opportunities with higher wages for more Americans.”

(Graph: NAACP)

Note:  The NAACP Economic Department was relaunched in 2011 and currently has four program areas: Fair Lending, Economic Education, Opportunity and Diversity, and Community Economic Development.  The NAACP Economic Department is dedicated to ensuring that “every person will have equal opportunity to achieve economic success, sustainability, and financial security”. Learn more about the NAACP Economic work here.

CBC Chair Marcia L. Fudge’s Statement on the June Jobs Report

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released the following statement on the June jobs report:

“Today’s jobs report shows significant improvement in our nation’s unemployment rate. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent, and unemployment in the African-American community dropped to 10.7 percent, both being the lowest rates since September 2008.  While these numbers are promising, there is still much work to be done to ensure unemployment remains on this downward slope and that the short and long-term unemployed continue to have the support they need.

“The CBC continues working to support and improve both education and employment opportunities that equip people of color and those from low-income communities with the skills needed to compete in today’s job market. Through strong job training programs and by solidifying a pipeline for employers to access the talent in our communities, individuals acquire a broader skill set that also increases the pool of qualified applicants for available opportunities. The CBC also remains committed to ensuring the decreasing employment rate reflects a diversity of workers in jobs with incomes that allow them to provide for their families. The benefits of a strengthening economy should be felt by all Americans. No one should be left behind.”

Award-Winning Director, Writer Alton Glass Makes History at the 18th Annual American Black Film Festival ‘CRU’

Posted by Admin On July - 4 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

‘CRU’ sweeps festival, nabs all awards in nominated categories

Alton Glass
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Celebrated director, writer, producer Alton Glass is no stranger to the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), or the winner’s circle for that matter. At the 18th annual ABFF held in New York City, Glass and ensemble won awards for his engaging and heartfelt drama, “CRU”, making history by winning all nominated categories.The award-winning film “CRU” tells the story of four high school best friends whose lives are dramatically changed after a near fatal accident, and when they reunite 18 years later they discover a set of past and present secrets that threaten to alter the course of their future.

The drama won the following awards in each nominated category:

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Director – “CRU,” Directed by Alton Glass, award and $5,000 prize provided by Cadillac

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay – “CRU,” written by Alton Glass and Oliver W. Ottley III, award and $5,000 prize presented by the Time Warner Foundation

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature – “CRU,” Written by Alton Glass & Oliver W. Ottley III, Directed by Alton Glass, Executive Producer Courtney Triggs, Produced by Danny Green, Alton Glass, Matthew Hatchette and Oliver W. Ottley III, award presented by BET Networks

* Audience Award for Best Film – “CRU,” Written by Alton Glass & Oliver Ottley III, Directed by Alton Glass, Executive Producer Courtney Triggs, Produced by Danny Green, Alton Glass, Matthew Hatchette and Oliver W. Ottley III, award presented by Nielsen

* Grand Jury Prize for Best Actor – Keith Robinson for his performance in “CRU,” award presented by UPTOWN Magazine

CRU stars Keith Robinson, Richard T. Jones, Harry J. Lennix, Melissa DeSousa, Sammi Rotibi, Antwon Tanner, Alison Eastwood and Jermaine Crawford. Glass was overwhelmed with excitement over the history-making accomplishments. “I’d like to thank Jeff Friday, ABFF team, sponsors, my Mom who is my biggest supporter and film-lovers for supporting me and TeamCRU”, says Director/Writer/Producer Alton Glass while receiving back-to-back honors at the ABFF awards ceremony.

For more information on CRU or Alton Glass, visit www.glassrockent.com

About Alton Glass
Alton Glass is an award-winning Director, Writer and Producer who owns Glassrock Entertainment in Los Angeles, CA. His works includes CRU, The Confidant, The Candy Shop and The Mannsfield 12 which received two of the highest honors by winning the Grand Jury “Best Director” and “Best Screenplay” Award in 2007 at the American Black Film Festival.

Follow Alton Glass on his social media platforms:
Facebook: Alton Glass – www.facebook.com/altonglasscru
Instagram: altonglasscru
Twitter: @GlassrockStudio
About ABFF
The ABFF is a four-day event dedicated to showcasing quality films by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that Black content creators and artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the film and television industry. Today it is widely recognized as an important pipeline bringing new Black talent to prominence both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world.

Photo Caption: Director/Writer Alton Glass

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