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Friday

The FBI released details on more than 5.4 million criminal offenses reported via the National ...
  From: The Chicago Teachers Union   Mayoral control again proves to be failed policy; state board's findings ...
New Book “Are We There Yet?” Discusses Major Challenges Facing Black Community; Offers Inspiring Solutions ...
A hearing on the Chicago Police Torture Reparations Ordinance in a special session of Chicago ...
Search Your Name at IllinoisTreasurer.gov   SPRINGFIELD, IL – Bidders paid $73,000 for 8,000 pieces of commemorative ...
  By Benjamin Todd Jealous President & CEO of the NAACP   The United States has five percent of ...
  Local communities pass Car-free Day resolutions                                                                               (News from the Active Transportation Alliance)             Thousands of people ...
PEORIA, Ill. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today issued the following statement after TSA ...
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez recognized local law school students during a recent ceremony ...
Black Hollywood Comes To Dallas; Join the biggest names in the entertainment industry for a ...

Archive for September 19th, 2014

Juanita’s Perspectives: Some Words Said Are Just So Outright Remarkably Dumb and Stupid

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

 

By Juanita Bratcher

Publisher & CEO of CopyLine Magazine

Some words said are just so outright remarkably dumb and stupid that all you can do is shake your head in disbelief and wonder seriously about the mindset of the person making the statement. Take for instance, one of the dumbest statements, in my opinion, was made in an article that appeared on Examiner.com’s website, reportedly made by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville).

According to the article, ”GOP Rep. calls Obama an ‘enemy’ of the United States,” written by Robert Sobel, Westmoreland was quoted as saying: “I think our enemy stands on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

 

The Examiner article stated: “Speaking to a crowd at the Cobb County Republican breakfast, The Huffington Post reported on Monday that Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Grantville) spoke about the investigation of the attacks at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the recent rise of the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria and how the White House has handled each situation. “I think our enemy stands on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,” Westmoreland stated to a thunderous applause from the crowd at hand. The crowd on hand also broke out in laughter when Westmoreland referred to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as “ruthless and senile.”

Such a statement made by Westmoreland, or anyone else for that matter, is disgusting and disrespectful of the President and the Office of the Presidency. How dare one calls the president an enemy when they know it’s an outright lie before the words part their lips.

Some things are better left unsaid. There’s a saying by Mark Twain: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Content in Wikipedia stated that this isn’t the first time Rep. Lynn Westmoreland has used controversial language in describing the president. Back in 2008, The Los Angeles Times reported that Westmoreland called President Obama and First Lady Michelle “uppity,” a word that has a deep racial history. The congressman reportedly back-tracked on his statements, claiming he didn’t understand the historical context.

Westmoreland, who was first elected in 2004, is running for re-election in the November 4, 2014 general election. He won the primary election on May 20, 2014.

According to Wikipedia, Westmoreland, a Georgia Republican, has no degree beyond a high school diploma.

Wikipedia: “He grew up in metro Atlanta. He has no degree beyond a high school diploma. He attended Georgia State University, but dropped out to work in a family construction business in which he later became an executive.”

It also stated that Westmoreland led a group of congressmen who opposed the 2006 renewal of certain provisions in the Voting Rights Act that require nine Southern states and a number of counties (mostly in the South) to obtain Federal permission for certain changes to election law or changes in venue. Westmoreland and his colleagues claimed that it was no longer fair to target their states, given the passage of time since 1965 and the changes their states had made to provide fair elections and voting. Despite Westmoreland’s objections, a strong bipartisan majority renewed the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years without changes.[10]

Did the Georgia Republican ”made-up lie” give red meat to his supporters? Or was it just another way to try and suck-up attention?

One thing’s for sure, though, Westmoreland’s statement was so outright remarkably dumb and stupid.

Juanita Bratcher is an Award-Winning Journalist, the Publisher of www.copylinemagazine.com and the author of several books, songwriter and poet. She has been a Journalist for more than 38 years covering politics, education and a wide-range of other topics.

President Obama’s Statement on Congressional Authorization to Train Syrian Opposition

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

More Than 40 Countries, Including Arab Nations, Will Assist In the Fight Against ISIL

Good evening. Today, the United States continues to build a broad international coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. As part of the air campaign, France will join in strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq. And as one of our oldest and closest allies, France is a strong partner in our efforts against terrorism, and we’re pleased that French and American servicemembers will once again work together on behalf of our shared security and our shared values.

More broadly, more than 40 countries — including Arab nations — have now offered assistance as part of this coalition. This includes support for Iraqi forces, strengthening the Iraqi government, providing humanitarian aid to Iraqi civilians, and doing their part in the fight against ISIL.

Here at home, I’m pleased that Congress — a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans, in both the House and the Senate — have now voted to support a key element of our strategy: our plan to train and equip the opposition in Syria so they can help push back these terrorists. As I said last week, I believe that we’re strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together. And I want to thank leaders in Congress for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this urgent issue — in keeping with the bipartisanship that is the hallmark of American foreign policy at its best.

These Syrian opposition forces are fighting both the brutality of ISIL terrorists and the tyranny of the Assad regime. We had already ramped up our assistance, including military assistance, to the Syrian opposition. With this new effort, we’ll provide training and equipment to help them grow stronger and take on ISIL terrorists inside Syria. This program will be hosted outside of Syria, in partnership with Arab countries, and it will be matched by our increasing support for Iraqi government and Kurdish forces in Iraq.

This is in keeping with a key principle of our strategy: The American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission; their mission is to advise and assist our partners on the ground. As I told our troops yesterday, we can join with allies and partners to destroy ISIL without American troops fighting another ground war in the Middle East.

The strong bipartisan support in Congress for this new training effort shows the world that Americans are united in confronting the threat from ISIL, which has slaughtered so many innocent civilians. With their barbaric murder of two Americans, these terrorists thought they could frighten us, or intimidate us, or cause us to shrink from the world, but today they’re learning the same hard lesson of petty tyrants and terrorists who have gone before.

As Americans, we do not give in to fear. And when you harm our citizens, when you threaten the United States, when you threaten our allies — it doesn’t divide us, it unites us. We pull together, we stand together — to defend this country that we love and to make sure justice is done, as well as to join with those who seek a better future of dignity and opportunity for all people.

Today, our strikes against these terrorists continue. We’re taking out their terrorists. We’re destroying their vehicles and equipment and stockpiles. And we salute our dedicated pilots and crews who are carrying out these missions with great courage and skill.

As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be more proud of their service. As I told some of our troops yesterday, the American people are united in our support for them and for their families. And as we go forward, as one nation, I’d ask all Americans to keep our forces and their families in their thoughts and prayers. Thanks very much.

Tech Support Scam Continues To Claim Victims Warns The Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Microsoft tech support telephone scam was brought to the attention of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) over a year ago. Since that time phone complaints have hit peaks and valleys. Currently, the BBB is experiencing a new peak in the number of calls regarding this scam.

Most callers to the BBB report receiving calls from individuals with very thick accents who tell them Microsoft has been notified that there are errors or viruses on their computers that need to be removed. Not only are consumers complaining about the scam calls, but also the volume of voicemails being left on their phones. Some report as many as five or six calls per day.

“This scam is international in scope,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “The Federal Trade Commission reports that scammers have tricked tens of thousands of computer users globally.”

With the exception of a few variations, the calls are the same. The scammer instructs the targeted victim to download a program that would allow remote access to their computer. Once access is gained, the scammer directs the computer owner to the systems event log. The event log shows common errors and warnings which are typical for most computers, but are enough to convince the owner there is a problem.

The scammer then offers to fix the problems for a fee which can range from approximately $200 – 400.

Who becomes a victim? According to Microsoft, “cybercriminals often use publically available telephone directories to find their victims.” With the information found there and often guessing the type of operating system the computer runs, the criminals are able to gain their victims trust.

Additionally, notes Bernas “This scam targets everyone, but senior citizens often become victims more readily because they are home to answer the phone.”

That was the case with Judith O’Day, a senior citizen in Durand, IL. She took the call and says “because I had received alerts on my computer, I thought what they were telling me was true.” She says “They convinced me to buy the “Silver Plan” a lifetime anti-virus program for $177.78.” After talking with her credit card company she found that she was lucky and had not lost any money even though she had provided her date of birth and credit card number.

How should you protect yourself if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft:

  • Never provide personal or credit card information to a stranger.
  • Even though the caller claims to be from Microsoft, do not purchase any software or services.
  • If there is a fee associated with the service or subscription, simply hang up the phone.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless it is a support team with whom you are a customer and can confirm that they are legitimate.
  • Take the callers information down and report it to local law enforcement officials and the Federal Trade Commission.

For more tips, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First West Nile Virus Related Deaths Reported in Illinois

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Cooler temperatures do not mean we’re out of the woods yet

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the first West Nile virus related deaths in Illinois for 2014.  Two residents in northern Illinois who became ill with West Nile virus in late-August and early September have died.

“Although we’ve seen a cooler and wetter summer, which has resulted in less West Nile virus activity, these deaths show the virus is circulating and can cause death,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Even with the cooler temperatures we’re seeing now, until the first hard freeze, you still need to protect yourself against mosquito bites and possible West Nile virus infection.”

To date, West Nile virus positive birds, mosquitoes and/or human cases have been reported in 47 counties.  The first human case this year was reported on August 8th in a Cook County man in his 30s.  So far this year, 15 human cases have been reported.

For the 2013 season, 117 residents were diagnosed with West Nile virus and 11 people died.  Last year the first death was reported September 13, 2013.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.  Common West Nile virus symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.  Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.  However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.  In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.  People older than 50 are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus.

The best way to prevent West Nile disease or any other mosquito-borne illness is to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and to take personal precautions to avoid mosquito bites.  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 – In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report dead birds and 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 on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm.  Surveillance numbers are updated every Wednesday afternoon http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnvsurveillance14.htm.

Avoiding the Freshman 15 Can Have Long-Term Health Benefits

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

By Dr. Michele C. Reed

Recently, thousands of African-American students started college for the first time and lots of big changes are headed their way. Life away from home includes a whole host of new responsibilities like arriving to class on time, getting good grades, meal planning on a limited budget and the list goes on.

One of the biggest challenges during this time is avoiding the “Freshman 15” – the amount of weight college students are said to gain in their first year. Obesity is a critical issue in the African-American community, especially for women. Making unbalanced food choices might taste good for a moment but can lead to a long-term struggle with weight. Choices made during this time can put students on the road to a healthy and active future or lead them on a path to bad health.

Here are a few tips for eating and exercising that will set your student up for success.

  1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If in a rush, grab a piece of fruit, cereal, oatmeal or a handful of nuts (keep a breakfast option in the room). Or get up a little early and stop by the dining hall for a bite to eat. Eating breakfast gets the metabolism going and helps curb hunger and overeating later on in the day.
  1. Take the Long Way
  • Get more exercise by going the long way to and from class or walking or riding your bike instead of taking the bus. Also, find the gym or recreation center on your campus where using weights and cardio equipment is usually free.
  1. Eat Fruits & Veggies
  • Yes, eating fruits and veggies while away at college is still required. While they probably don’t have Big Mama’s collard greens or green bean casserole, the dining hall has great options. Add veggies to an omelet or pizza or grab a few pieces of fruit from the dining hall for the room or backpack.
  1. Mini-Size the Mini-Fridge
  • The mini-fridge has limited space and so does the dorm room. Mini-size popular food and drink items to fit in the fridge (and diet). A few options like fruit cups, small bottles of water, jars of soup, cups of yogurt, Coca-Cola mini cans of soda and others can help keep off the extra pounds.
  1. Buddy Up
  • Grab girlfriends, frat brothers or new roommates and get moving! Set a time each night to work out together, take the long way to the dining hall or join a fitness class at the student center. Having an accountability partner to go on the health journey with can help keep things on track.

Dr. Michele C. Reed is a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician in the Long Island, New York area. Her expert opinion has been featured in many publications including Ebony Magazine, Heart & Soul Magazine, the New York Daily News and others. She is also a consultant to food and beverage companies like Coca-Cola. More insights from Dr. Reed can be found at www.askdrmichele.com.

IEMA Joins NOAA Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Initiative

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Recognizes Agency’s Commitment to Improving Preparedness for Extreme Weather, Water and Climate Events

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEM joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Initiative.  Through the initiative, NOAA formally recognizes partners who are improving the nation’s readiness, responsiveness and overall resilience against extreme weather, water and climate events.

“Illinois is no stranger to severe weather disasters,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “As we’ve seen in disasters both here in Illinois and across the country, personal preparedness is key to saving lives.  We’re pleased NOAA recognizes our commitment to promoting preparedness throughout Illinois and are proud to serve as a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador.”

As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, IEMA will promote preparedness messages and themes to the public and its partners; collaborate with NOAA on events and outreach opportunities; share success stories of preparedness and resiliency; and continue to serve as a change agent and leader in partnership with NOAA.

“IEMA shares NOAA’s vision of building a weather-ready nation,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s National Weather Service.  “Working together we will provide useful and relevant information to communities, businesses and individuals to help them become ready, responsive and resilient to extreme weather and water events.”

Since 2010, IEMA has promoted monthly preparedness themes through annual statewide campaigns, including severe weather preparedness each March; lightning safety awareness in June; and winter storm preparedness each November.  IEMA also has a statewide personal preparedness broadcast campaign through the Illinois Broadcasters Association’s Public Education Partnership (PEP) program.  The campaign, which began in 2008, features more than two dozen radio and TV spots.

In addition, the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov) is a one-stop shop for preparedness information.  Preparedness tips and situational updates during disasters are also available through the Ready Illinois Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter page (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois).

City/Suburban Clergy Coalition Backs Sen. Durbin Snubs GOP ‘Ice Cream Politics’

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Snubs GOP ‘ice cream politics’

By Chinta Strausberg

Fed up with the misinformation that the community was getting over the re-election of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bishop Simon Gordon Monday held an informational forum at his church, Triedstone Full Gospel Baptist Church, 1415 W. 104th St., where they officially endorsed his re-election bid.

After breaking bread during the breakfast meeting, Bishop Gordon held a meeting where he told the Senator and his peers how he was highly offended at Illinois Senator Jim Oberweis’ ice cream politics.

He told of being accidently invited to a meeting Oberweis held at Sweet Holy Spirit Church headed by Rev. Dr. Bishop Larry D. Trotter who last August endorsed Oberweis over Senator Durbin. Pastor Corey Brooks also endorsed Oberweis.

Gordon, who grew up in the Robert Taylor Homes, said he will not be fooled and will not mislead his people. When Trotter mentioned that Oberweis brought cream to his parishioners, he was highly offended and very angry.  One of the ministers asked Oberweis how many ice cream stores were located in the African American community and he told them at 95th and Kedzie, which is Oak Lawn, 159th and Torrence, which is the River Oaks Mall and the Forest Preserve.

A shocked Bishop Gordon told Oberweis those stores were not located in the African American community and his lack of knowledge about that was a clear signal of his “disconnection between how he employs his services for jobs and his relationship with the community.”

And, Bishop Gordon had some sharp words for Oberweis’ rolling up in front of Trotter’s church with an ice cream truck. “The one thing I have to say about ice cream is that it melts in the summertime and it’s messy…. We do not need to be trading food for votes.”

Drawing the picture between Oberweis and Durbin even clearer, Bishop Gordon said Oberweis spoke glowingly of being opposed to the Affordable Care Act where in Illinois alone more than 640,000 people now have health care. Durbin works closely with President Obama to make that bill a reality.

While Oberweis said he promotes school vouchers, Bishop Gordon said, ”We are not ignorant to the fact that our schools are funded by the tax base of the homes and business in the area. That is the challenge with the voucher system.”

Gordon said, “Please don’t bring us unfinished ideas and promote them in the campaign as if they are possibilities.”

And, when Oberweis told the clergy at Trotter’s church he was not a politician, Gordon said he was stunned since he was trying to defeat Senator Durbin. “We at least need someone who has an acumen for public policy,” said Gordon. Bishop Gordon said they came together to set the record straight before he November 4th election in embracing Senator Durbin.

Pastor Walter P. Turner III, president of the Minister’s Conference of Chicago and Vicinity, introduced Senator Durbin praising him for his work on the Affordable Care Act and for Durbin’s, along with Congressman Robin Kelly, Rep. Danny K. Davis, worked to help black churches remain open. Given the tough economic times, Turner said many churches have had to close their doors.

Turner also talked about voter suppression and pointed to the GOP as the designers of that plan. “That is what Republicans are trying to do all over again that our community does not vote. Senator Durbin has waged a fight to try to break down that barrier and deal with voter suppression.”

Referring to both Oberweis and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner, Turner said, “They want to get rid of, eliminate the minimum wage. Senator Durbin is helping to raise it to another standard…,” Turner said thanking Durbin for his support. “He stands for what we believe in.” Apostle Carl White also spoke highly of senator Durbin.

Durbin touched on a number of topics including his love for Africa. Pointing to the many flags posted around Gordon’s sanctuary, Durbin said the third one represents Ethiopia the cradle of civilization.

But he also told the minister how after meeting with construction and union he has renewed his fight to get more African Americans hired.

Pastor Turner also introduced Mike Frerichs, who is running for Illinois State Treasure under the Democratic banner.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Photo by Chinta Strausberg

13,800 Jobs Pushes Illinois Unemployment Rate Down to 6.7 Percent

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois unemployment rate fell in August for the sixth consecutive month to reach 6.7 percent while employers created +13,800 jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The data is seasonally adjusted.

The drop from 9.2 percent one year ago marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.7 was in July 2008 when it was 6.6. Also, there are +40,600 more jobs than one year ago.

“Five months of job creation coupled with increased help-wanted advertising indicate a bit of momentum as we head into the Fall,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “It is not surprising that fewer people are looking for work given retirement trends, although it does underscore that more needs to be done to give the long-term unemployed the skills necessary to secure meaningful employment.”

Since 1976, the monthly Illinois rate has averaged 0.6 points higher than the national rate. August marks the second consecutive month that the state rate has hit that benchmark. Illinois last did so in Spring, 2012.

The unemployment rate also is in line with other economic indicators. First-time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in August, the number of monthly claims was at its lowest level since 1998. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Index show that Illinois employers in August advertised for nearly 225,900 jobs and 84 percent sought full-time work.

To apply for these jobs, go to Illinoisjoblink.com, the state’s help-wanted internet job board managed by IDES. Illinoisjoblink.com features Resume Builder. Resume Builder intuitively asks questions about skills and work experiences to create a resume designed to pass through computer filters that employers use to sort job applicants. Once built, the resume is immediately matched to help-wanted ads that seek the worker’s skills. Multiple resumes can be built to highlight different skills and experiences.

August job growth was led by Leisure and Hospitality (+5,000), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+4,300), and Professional and Business Services (+3,300). Other Services (-1,800), Education and Health Services (‑1,700) and Financial Activities (-300) declined.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000. This includes periods of economic expansion and contraction.

Notes:

  • Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2009-2013 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.
  • Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.  For not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail, go to http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/CurrentEmploymentStatistics/I_SA_CES_Illinois_Jobs_2000_to_Current.xls “Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Illinois_Chicago_Metropolitan_Area_Unemployment_Rates.aspx

Madigan: Former Williamson County Employees Indicted on Charges of Theft, Official Conduct

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS
Three Former County Clerk Officials Indicted for Stealing $84,000 in County Funds

CHICAGO, IL– Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced charges against three former officials of the Williamson County Circuit Clerk’s Office for theft of more than $84,000 in county funds for personal profit.

Madigan announced felony theft and official misconduct charges against Marsha Dickinson, 49, formerly of Marion and the former clerk supervisor; Cheryl Cundiff, 58, of Herrin and a former deputy clerk; and Kelly Trammel, 43, of Marion and a former deputy clerk. Madigan alleged the trio conspired to steal cash bond payments to the office starting in 2008 and continuing through August 5, 2013.

“The defendants took advantage of their positions for personal gain and in turn defrauded county taxpayers,” Madigan said. “This case is another example of my commitment to ensuring public integrity in Illinois government.”

Dickinson, the former clerk supervisor, was charged with seven counts of official misconduct, three counts of theft, one count of conspiracy to commit theft and three counts of forgery. Cundiff was charged with two counts of official misconduct, one count of theft and one count of conspiracy to commit theft. Trammel was charged with two counts of official misconduct, one count of theft and one count of conspiracy to commit theft.

Madigan alleged in the charges that the defendants regularly processed cash payments for bond in their capacity as employees of the Williamson County Circuit Clerk’s Office and conspired to steal the cash payments and sought to conceal the thefts.

The public is reminded that each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Public Integrity Bureau Chief David Navarro, Associate Director Louis Dolce and Assistant Attorneys General Jonas Harger and Eric Rieckenberg are handling the case for Madigan’s office. The Illinois State Police referred the case to the Attorney General’s office after conducting an investigation.

Madigan formed the Public Integrity Bureau and tasked it with using the tools afforded the office within statutory limits to uncover public corruption and enforce state law. Public Integrity investigations have led to the convictions of elected officials, public employees and government vendors – from an elected state representative and county state’s attorney to local officials – who used their positions for personal or political gain.

During her tenure, Madigan’s office also has investigated and prosecuted cases of fraud involving government programs, including public construction projects, child care and in-home care, unemployment insurance and student loan programs, Medicaid and state grants.

Madigan also created the position of Public Access Counselor in her office to serve as a watchdog for public bodies that refuse access to public records. The Public Access Counselor reviews and resolves thousands of public record disputes each year, working to reverse Illinois’ long legacy of a lack of government transparency.

Black Art Gallery Introduces Watercolors On Canvas

Posted by Admin On September - 19 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Scott Robinson designs, Inc. now offers watercolors on canvas

Scott Robinson Designs - The Tease

Tuscaloosa, AL (BlackNews.com) — Artist LaShonda Scott Robinson, President of Scott Robinson designs, Inc. now offers her distinctive watercolors featuring contemporary African American life on canvas. The new collection entitled, “The Canvas Collection: Watercolors on Canvas” is geared toward art enthusiasts who love watercolors but prefer the look and convenience of canvas.

“It is the perfect marriage,” said LaShonda. “Now I can paint with my favorite medium and offer the ease and convenience of canvas. Our watercolors can now be hung with a frame without the weight of glass or hung frameless like oil or acrylic paintings.” The canvases are made of 100% woven cotton manufactured with acid free materials and are 100% archival quality.

“I love painting with watercolors,” said LaShonda. “I am excited to finally be able to offer my works on canvas.”

Scott Robinson designs, Inc. is a black owned on-line art gallery that specializes in contemporary African American Art. Artist and President LaShonda Scott Robinson started selling her watercolors in 2005 when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She started the business as a venue to share her story and her art with the world and to encourage others to continue pursuing their dreams even in the face of adversity.

LaShonda’s paintings are featured in the International Contemporary Artists Art Book Volume VII. LaShonda’s favorite muses are black women. She paints them with dignity, sensuality and strength.

To see the new canvas collection, please visit www.scottrdesigns.com

Also, find Lashonda and her art gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/scottrdesigns

Photo Caption: Watercolor on canvas entitled “The Tease”

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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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