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Archive for October 10th, 2014

Consumer Alert: Madigan Issues Warning About Ebola Email Scams

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Consumer Alert: Madigan Issues Warning About Ebola Email Scams

CHICAGO, IL– Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan alerted Illinois residents of several possible email scams tied to the Ebola outbreak.

Madigan’s office has received emails titled “People being quarantined” that purport to be an “Ebola Pandemic Update” and include a link to view a so-called “civilian crisis protocol.” The email may contain links that could infect a user’s computer. Another email offered a “surplus personal protection kit” for $29 that alleges to provide infection defense specifically for members of emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies.

Madigan urges Illinoisans to be on the lookout for these types of unsolicited or suspicious emails. Consumers who receive such emails should delete them immediately. Do not open or click on any links in the email.

“We suspect these emails are the handiwork of scammers seeking to take advantage of people’s understandable fear and anxiety surrounding this international public health risk,” Madigan said. “It’s extremely important that you delete these messages and instead consult legitimate resources for more information about prevention measures underway.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is posting regular updates regarding the federal government’s response to the outbreak, including tips on how to minimize the risk of infection, and the Illinois Department of Public Health recently announced its protocol in the event of a suspected Ebola case in Illinois.

Beware of Charitable Scams Tied to Ebola

Attorney General Madigan also urged Illinois residents to exercise caution when donating to charitable aid efforts tied to the Ebola outbreak. Con artists may seek to exploit the crisis for their own personal profit.

Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations are required to register each year with the Attorney General’s office. To assist potential donors in making wise giving decisions, the Attorney General’s office provides important financial information about charitable organizations such as income, expenditures, and programs. You can also check out the following resources to learn more about specific charities: IRS Select Check, BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and Foundation Center.

To best ensure that your donation will be used for its intended purpose, Madigan suggested the following tips:

  • Ask how much of your donation will go to the charity and how much will be used to pay fundraising costs. Solicitors must give you this information if you ask.
  • Pay close attention to the name of the charity. Some fraudulent charities use names that sound or look like those of legitimate organizations to mislead you.
  • Ask detailed questions about the charity. Donate only when your questions have been answered and you are certain your money will be used according to your wishes. Ask questions like whether the charity is registered with the Illinois Attorney General’s office and what percentage of the money the charity takes in goes to fundraising, administration and charitable programming.
  • Do not pay in cash. For security and tax record purposes, pay by check. Be sure to write the full official name of the charity on your check—do not abbreviate.
  • Request written information. A legitimate charity will provide you with information outlining its mission, how your donation will be distributed, and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.
  • Do not donate if the solicitor uses high-pressure tactics, asks for cash payment or insists on sending someone to pick up your donation. These are all hallmarks of a scam.
  • If you receive an email or text message asking for a donation, confirm that the request is from the charity, and not an imposter, by contacting the charity or visiting its website.
  • Be cautious of “look-alike” websites. These fraudulent websites will often ask for personal financial information or may download harmful malware into your computer.
  • Don’t assume that charity recommendations on Facebook or social media have already been vetted.  Research the charity yourself.
Madigan encouraged donors to report suspicious solicitations to her office’s Charitable Trust Bureau by calling (312) 814-2595. To report any potential scam to the Ebola outbreak, contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau at 1 (800) 386-5638 (Chicago), 1 (800) 243-0618 (Springfield), and 1 (800) 243-0607.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist Kristof to Speak on Global Engagement

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist Kristof to Speak on Global Engagement

EVANSTON, IL — Columnist and human rights advocate Nicholas Kristof will speak on the importance of cultivating engaged and competent global citizens at Northwestern University’s Evanston campus at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 13.

His talk, titled “Why Students Should Care About The World and Change It,” will be held at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St. A book signing will follow.

Kristof, an author and veteran New York Times reporter who has been honored for his writing and humanitarian work, has traveled to all 50 states and around the world, including more than 150 countries, every Chinese province and every main Japanese island.

His writing often reflects the mission of many departments and organizations at Northwestern that advocate global experiential learning, said Penny Nichols, an associate professor of instruction in Spanish at Northwestern.

A March New York Times column “Go West, Young People – and East!” for example, “nicely summarized what we have been telling the students: study abroad and learn another language,” Nichols said.

Kristof’s newest book, “A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity,” co-authored with his wife, New York Times reporter Sheryl WuDunn, echoes the same sentiments and has been described as “a road map to becoming effective global citizens.”

Kristof and WuDunn were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1990 for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement. Kristof also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for commentary. He has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist many times.

In addition to the Global Languages Initiative, the event is sponsored by the Council on Language Instruction, the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies, the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, the Office of International Program Development, and the Study Abroad Office.

The event is free and open to faculty, staff, students and the public. For more information, contact Penny Nichols at pen@northwestern.edu.

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

Preckwinkle Unveils FY 2015 Executive Budget Recommendation to County Board

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Preckwinkle Unveils FY 2015 Executive Budget Recommendation to County Board
No new taxes, fines or fees for second straight year

Continuing her efforts to promote fiscal responsibility and streamlined governance, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle presented her Executive Recommendation for the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget to the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Preckwinkle’s proposed budget contains no new taxes, fines or fees for the second consecutive year, continues the transformation of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System (CCHHS), takes a strategic approach to real estate management, holds the line on positions (which remain 8% below the start of the administration), and works to improve public safety.

Requiring tough choices and compromises, the $3.99 billion budget is the product of months of collaboration between commissioners, elected officials, County departments, union officials and the public. Like previous budgets presented by Preckwinkle, the FY 2015 Executive Budget Recommendation focuses on long-term fiscal strength, structural changes at all levels of government to increase efficiency and limiting expenditure growth.  Notably at the end of Preckwinkle’s first term, the County will have less in borrowing than she inherited when she assumed the presidency.

“We had many tough decisions to make, but I am pleased to present a budget with no new taxes, fines or fees,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.  “In the past four years, we have solved for more than $1.4 billion in combined budget deficits and returned $1.5 billion to taxpayers by rolling back the sales tax. We are spending sensibly, creating a culture of responsibility and working toward a sustainable financial future for the County.”

The President’s budget closes a $168.9 million shortfall that was projected in June:

·       A total of $48.8 million in cost reductions are included in the FY 15 budget

·       Revenue exceeding preliminary budget expectations as well as reimbursements from the State of Illinois contributed $36.6 million

·       Enhancements to the management and enforcement of revenues and payments to vendors contributed an additional $22.5 million

·       The $61.1 remainder of the County’s preliminary shortfall was solved through cost reductions and an increase in federal reimbursements for CountyCare members

The President’s office worked closely with the health system to continue to reduce local taxpayer funding of the system. CCHHS will continue to expand CountyCare to new populations, adapt to a changing marketplace and improve patient services. In 2015, the County is providing $164 million for CCHHS operations, down 58% from $389 million when Preckwinkle took office.

“With the president’s continued support, we have been able to maintain our mission as a safety net, while improving its financial stability in a competitive marketplace,” said Dr. John Jay Shannon, CEO of CCHHS.  “We will expand CountyCare, improve the patient experience, which along with safe, high quality care will allow us to position CCHHS as a provider of choice.”

Preckwinkle reiterated her commitment to working with all of the criminal justice stakeholders in the County to lower the jail population by reducing the reliance on pretrial detention for non-violent offenders.

“Maintaining the jail is an incredibly expensive enterprise. Every year, taxpayers pay over $381 million to operate our jail system. We know that the best way to bring down the cost of the jail is to bring down the jail population.” Preckwinkle stated. “A smaller detained population will allow for a smaller jail campus. This year, in partnership with the Sheriff’s Office, we will be demolishing two administrative buildings and consolidating the jail campus. As we see declines in the jail population, it is our responsibility to make sure there is the same downward trend in staffing levels and overtime rates.”

As part of a commitment to streamline operations, Preckwinkle is consolidating the efforts of the Departments of Facilities, Real Estate and Capital Planning under a new Bureau of Asset Management. This new cabinet-level office will allow the County to create building-by-building budgets to produce savings, improve energy use, and leverage available assets to spur economic development.

Challenged by Preckwinkle to reform and improve the grant application and management process, Cook County has been awarded $850 million in grants since she took office. The Fiscal Year 2015 recommended grants budget stands at $221 million representing a 36 percent increase from Fiscal Year 2014. Excluding economic stimulus funding, Preckwinkle has doubled County grant dollars since 2010.

Understanding that pension reform is critical to protecting the retirement security of workers and the interests of taxpayers, Preckwinkle plans on continuing her efforts to work with the state legislature on an equitable and financially sound pension reform package. Absent changes, the pension fund will become insolvent in 20-25 years. The Pension Fund has accumulated a total of $6.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, which she believes cannot be passed to future generations.

A major focus moving forward will be County-led efforts to generate regional economic development. The Chicago Metro Region was recently designated as one of the nation’s 12 Manufacturing Communities and the County is now pursuing a pool of $1.3 billion in future federal funding. In September, Preckwinkle announced the Metro Chicago Exports program which will bring together Cook County, Chicago and the six collar counties in an effort to combine efforts and resources to improve local exporting efforts.

“We are heading in the right direction but must do more,” Preckwinkle added. “I am committed to pursuing criminal justice reforms that cut costs and free up resources, pension legislation to ensure the County’s long-term financial stability and regional economic development that creates jobs and opportunities for our residents.”

Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley, Chairman of the Finance Committee, commended President Preckwinkle’s continued work to present responsible and comprehensive budget solutions.

“President Preckwinkle has pushed for fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency in each budget she has presented to the Cook County Board,” Daley said. “This budget is another example of the President’s commitment to creating long-term financial stability, not running away from tough decisions and pursuing her vision for a better Cook County.”

Maintaining her commitment to transparency and accountability, President Preckwinkle has posted all budget information to the Cook County Budget website, allowing the public to review budget documents and engage with the President’s Office directly.  There will also be public hearings held on the 2015 budget over the coming weeks.

To view the Budget website, please go to cookcountyil.gov/budget/

Public hearings scheduled to discuss Civic Education Task Force

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Public hearings scheduled to discuss Civic Education Task Force

Public invited to participate in hearings to discuss task force’s report

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Students, educators and interested citizens are invited to offer their feedback as a new task force reviews civic course requirements and social studies learning standards in Illinois.

The review is part of an ongoing effort to update Illinois Learning Standards that began in 2010 with the state’s adoption of new English language arts and math standards, followed by physical education in 2013 and science standards earlier this year. The focus has now shifted to reviewing art and social studies standards as state officials work to ensure benchmarks are updated in all subjects for a comprehensive education.

Beginning next week, the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education will host a series of public hearings to discuss its recent report submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly.

“We are excited and eager to continue to revamp learning standards in Illinois,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “The civic education public hearings offer an excellent opportunity to bring people together to discuss one of the key components of a well-rounded education.”

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) established the task force to analyze the current state of civic education, examine civic education inside and outside of Illinois, define best practices, and make recommendations to the General Assembly as called for under Public Act 098-0790.

The task force, made up of legislators and a diverse group of representatives, conducted four monthly meetings last spring and consulted current research and policy on civic education in order to develop the report submitted to Governor Pat Quinn and the General Assembly in May. The task force report defines civic education and makes recommendations regarding civics course requirements, revisions of social studies standards in Illinois, project-based/service-learning requirements for students, licensure/professional development for civics teachers, and student involvement in elections.

“Our task force made a series of recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly in May intended to strengthen the state’s civic education system,” said Shawn P. Healy, chair of the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition and the Civic Learning and Engagement Scholar at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “The upcoming public hearings are an excellent opportunity for students, teachers, school leaders, parents and community members to have their voices heard and ensure that all Illinois youth graduate high school college, career and civic ready.”

Public hearings are scheduled for the following dates:

·         4-6 p.m., Oct. 13,  University of Illinois at Chicago – Student Center East, Room Illinois B, 750 S. Halsted St., Chicago

·         4-6 p.m., Oct. 15, Willowbrook High School, 1250 S. Ardmore Ave., Villa Park

·         4-6 p.m., Oct. 21, Lanphier High School, 1300 N. 11th St., Springfield

·         4-6 p.m., Nov. 6, Carbondale Community High School, 1301 E. Walnut St., Carbondale

Each hearing will invite comments from attendees. Those who are unable to attend a hearing may submit comments via email at CETFR@isbe.net until Nov. 7.  All comments will be included in the final report submitted to the General Assembly at the end of the year.

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.

Three-Day October Multi-Arts Festival Celebrates Return of Hothouse, The AACM@50 and Composer Don Cherry

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Three-Day October Multi-Arts Festival Celebrates Return of Hothouse, The AACM@50 and Composer Don Cherry

Old and New Dreams: Hothouse Festival Updates

CHICAGO, IL – On Friday October 17, the acclaimed non-profit arts organization HotHouse will kick off its OLD AND NEW DREAMS FESTIVAL at the Promontory in Hyde Park.

The OLD AND NEW DREAMS FESTIVAL is the culminating event in HotHouse’s year-long series that explored immigration, migrations, exiles and transmutations of borders in a multi-disciplinary arts context.

With this major Festival, HotHouse is celebrating its return to the local presenting arena and publicly announcing its plans to rebuild a new home for its cultural enterprises.

HotHouse is also using the occasion of this Festival to pay homage to one of its most steadfast institutional collaborators – The Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians (AACM), on the cusp of their 50th Anniversary. HotHouse has been the primary presenter of music performed by the individual members of the AACM for over 25 years.

An all-ages, free community event on Saturday, October 18 (from noon to 3pm) will feature: DJ Ayana Contreras spinning vintage AACM vinyl records, film screenings, and AACM member Douglas Ewart leading a participatory oral history project.

The weekend’s activities will also pay tribute to the composer and musician Don Cherry for his enormous contributions to “world music” and groundbreaking achievements as an artist. A piece specially choreographed in Cherry’s honor will be performed on Saturday night by Amansu Eason and dancers from the acclaimed Muntu ensemble.

Other homages to Cherry include the world premiere of the Chicago Underground Duo’s partnership with legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders (headlining Saturday night) and appearances by Rajanstani Sufi masters Lahka Khan with world-renowned Chicago percussionist Hamid Drake.

Additional Festival premieres include the debut concert appearance of Classic Black, led by acclaimed story teller Shanta Nurullah, the US debut of Amsterdam-based trio Oliver’s Cinema, and the highly anticipated return to Chicago of tenor saxophonist David Murray.

Replete with unusual pairings, Chicago debuts the long-overdue appearance of major jazz artists. OLD AND NEW DREAMS should be heralded as a spectacular entry in the fall calendar of arts and culture events. The entire lineup represents a snapshot of the kind of artists and endeavors HotHouse championed in its long history as a nationally recognized cultural leader.

HotHouse presents the OLD AND NEW DREAMS FESTIVAL at Promontory (5311 S. Lake Park, Chicago)

Friday October 17: Doors open at 7pm for Concert at 8pm

Saturday October 18: FREE Community Programs from Noon to 3pm
Saturday October 18: Doors open at 7pm for Concert at 8pm
Sunday October 19: Doors open at 1pm for Concert from 2 to 4pm
Tickets $22-$40 & Information: hothouse3.0@gmail.com, www.hothouse.net

NAACP President and CEO Meets With Iconic Civil Rights Leader Rev. Joseph Lowery

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on NAACP President and CEO Meets With Iconic Civil Rights Leader Rev. Joseph Lowery

BALTIMORE, M.D. – On Thursday, October 9, 2014, NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks met with Rev. Joseph Lowery in a closed meeting. Rev. Lowery, affectionately known as the dean of the Civil Rights Movement, has fought against prejudice and discrimination for more half a century.

Rev. Lowery is known for organizing successful protests against segregated buses and public accommodations in the South. In 1957, Rev. Lowery joined Martin Luther King, Jr. and others in organizing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In recent years, Rev. Lowery received media attention for his role in the first inauguration of President Barack Obama. In 2009, Rev. Lowery received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award of the United States.

Pioneer Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Trailblazer Comer J. Cottrell, Jr. Dies at 82

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Pioneer Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Trailblazer Comer J. Cottrell, Jr. Dies at 82

The passing of a legend

Comer Cottrell Dies

Plano, TX (BlackNews.com) — Pioneer entrepreneur, philanthropist and trailblazer Mr. Comer J. Cottrell, Jr., one of the country’s most prolific African-American businessmen, died Friday, Oct. 3 at the age 82 at his Plano, Texas residence. Starting with a modest investment of $600 and broken typewriter, he built a multi-million dollar empire Pro-Line Hair Products and forever changed and revolutionize the hair care industry.

Pro-Line Hair Products would be the vehicle that would establish Mr. Cottrell’s legacy but it also allowed him to expand his sharp business acumen across other categories and industries to create jobs and opportunities for African Americans and others that might not have existed.

Mr. Cottrell was also co-founder of the Black Business Association of Los Angeles and he often said, “I value the ‘Golden rule’ above all other principles. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This was his guiding principle as he soared to even greater success.

He was ultimate entrepreneur, and always recognizing a good investment, Mr. Cottrell became the first African American to become part owner of a major sports franchise the Texas Rangers baseball team, he was very instrumental in making that organization one of the most profitable in major league baseball.

A philanthropist at heart, in 1990 he purchased and restored the 131-acre, historical Black institution Bishop College for $1.5 million and renamed it Paul Quinn College. 
 Mr. Cottrell was once quoted, “I would ask myself why me? Why have I been given so much Lord? I believe God knew that I would give back as much as I had been given to those he put in my path”.

Mr. Cottrell served on numerous boards including – the NAACP, National Urban League, YMCA, Dallas Family Hospital, Better Business Bureau, Compton College Foundation, the Texas Board Of Cosmetology, Paul Quinn College, Baylor University Foundation, and Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Cottrell’s life and career has been celebrated and honored by presidents, mayors, governors, celebrities, sports figures and international dignitaries. He has impacted generations of African Americans and his legacy is one that is timeless and will have impact for generations to come.

He’s survived by his wife Felisha Starks Cottrell and their two sons; Bryce A. Cottrell and Lance A. Cottrell, his daughter Renee Cottrell-Brown, sons Comer Cottrell, III, Aaron Cottrell, nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Comer J. Cottrell Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, Paul Quinn College at 3837 Simpson Stuart Rd, Dallas, Texas 75241. For additional information about the scholarship fund, please go to www.pqc.edu.

For more information, contact Roy Brannon at 214-724-6892 or at brannonroy@aol.com

AARP: Three Things You Need to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on AARP: Three Things You Need to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment
Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plan

WASHINGTON, DC – AARP encourages everyone with Medicare to take advantage of this year’s Medicare Open Enrollment period October 15th-December 7th to review their health and prescription drug plans for 2015. AARP wants people to know the Medicare plan changes that can be made, the four things to consider, and how to make changes.

“Whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, don’t miss this seven-week window to make changes to your insurance coverage,” said Nicole Duritz, AARP Vice President, Health Education and Outreach. “If your health and prescription drug needs have changed, or your current plan has made changes, now is the time to make adjustments.”

During Medicare Open Enrollment, AARP recommends that people evaluate their current health and prescription drug coverage. This is the time to make adjustments based on changes in health status, income, lifestyle, or personal preference. For instance, people can add or switch their Medicare prescription drug coverage based on the specific medications they need. Others may want to change plans so that they can continue seeing their doctor or continue going to the same health care center.

Three Things To Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

1. Main Changes You Can Make
Here are three changes you can make during open enrollment:
* Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan
* Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
* Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

2. Consider the “Four C’s”
AARP recommends that people consider the “Four C’s” when reviewing Medicare plan options:
* Cost – Compare monthly premiums, annual deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance.
* Coverage – Review the doctors and pharmacies included in the plan, as well as prescription drugs and other services you need.
* Convenience – Look at the accessibility of doctors, pharmacies, and services in the plans.
* Customer Service – Assess the quality of service a plan provides. Quality ratings are available for most Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan.

3. How to Make Medicare Plan Changes
People can make changes to their Medicare insurance plans during open enrollment by visiting the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan or by calling Medicare at 1-800- 633-4227. Medicare enrollees who want help understanding their options can contact The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (1-800-677-1116) for no-cost personalized health insurance counseling.

Other Helpful Resources
* Medicare Open Enrollment and You – Gives helpful information from AARP to make the most of your Medicare coverage.
* AARP Medicare Q & A Tool – Provides easy-to-understand answers about Medicare. (Available in Spanish at http://bit.ly/1vlSFsD.)
* Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – Provides comprehensive information about Medicare and Medicaid.
* State Health Insurance Assistance Program – Offers free personalized health insurance counseling.

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a bilingual news source. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

IEMA joins nationwide effort to keep people safe online

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Thanks to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, the Internet is almost always at our fingertips.  Combined with computers and laptops in homes, schools and workplaces, it’s easy to see how Americans reportedly spend an average of 23 hours per week online.  While the Internet provides almost limitless opportunities, it also creates risks that can range from mere inconveniences to serious threats such as identity theft, harassment and child endangerment.

Throughout October, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining with local emergency management agencies to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to increase awareness of online risks and what people can do to prevent problems.

“The Internet is part of our everyday life,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “Mobile devices make it easier than ever to shop, search for information, communicate with friends and family and more.  It’s critical that everyone who uses the Internet understands the potential risks and takes steps to protect their personal information.”

Monken said basic tips for staying safe on the Internet include:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For more online safety tips, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.  In addition to cyber safety information, the website is a one-stop location for information about disaster preparedness, what to do during a disaster and steps for recovery after a disaster.

Cast Set For 11th Annual New Stages Festival, October 29 – November 16

Posted by Admin On October - 10 - 2014 Comments Off on Cast Set For 11th Annual New Stages Festival, October 29 – November 16

CHICAGO, IL – Casting is complete for the three developmental productions featured in 2014 New Stages, a free annual festival of new American plays that also includes three staged readings. Approximately one third of the total plays developed in New Stages since its inception in 2004 have received full productions at the Goodman or at a leading U.S. theater, with the Goodman producing an average of one per year. The two current Goodman productions, Smokefall by Noah Haidle and The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, and the upcoming The Upstairs Concierge by Kristoffer Diaz, all emerged from New Stages, as well as: Buzzer by Tracey Scott Wilson, which appears at New York’s The Public Theater in Spring 2015; The Long Red Road by Brett C. Leonard; and Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner, Ruined. New Stages expanded in 2011 to include fully-staged developmental productions—an investment that provides writers two weeks of rehearsal, a design team and six public performances in repertory under a union contract. New Stages runs October 29 – November 16 in the Owen Theatre free of charge, but reservations are required at 312.443.3800, GoodmanTheatre.org/NewStages or the box office (170 N. Dearborn). The Goodman invites theater industry professionals to New Stages over the November 14 – 16 weekend, including all six plays, a Friday night welcome reception, post-show “Lounge Nights” and a Saturday panel discussion. Theater professionals only should email JoePindelski@GoodmanTheatre.org to RSVP and learn about discounted rates at Kimpton, the Goodman’s Preferred Hotel Partner.

“The heart of our new play development strategy at the Goodman is a deep commitment to a playwright over an extended period of time. From commission, to private workshop, to public staged reading to developmental production, we aim to provide the writer with every opportunity to make his/her play the best it can be before a full production, which is always the goal,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Proudly, our efforts in New Stages have resulted in full productions of at least one new play from each of the festival’s past 11 years—including our 2014 opening productions, The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and Smokefall by Noah Haidle. It’s the chance for Chicago to experience—for free—the latest work from some of America’s best playwrights.”

Developmental Productions in New Stages 2014

Feathers and Teeth by Charise Castro Smith | Directed by Henry Godinez | Appears in repertory, October 29 – November 15
Feathers and Teeth is a dark comedy that introduces an exotic creature into a fractured family, and features Jordan Brodess (Hugo), Olivia Cygan (Chris), Carolyn Hoerdemann (Ensemble), Melanie Keller (Carol) and Steve Key (Arthur). Jonathan L. Green is the dramaturg and Kimberly McCann is the stage manager. Feathers and Teeth was first seen as a staged reading in New Stages 2013.

The Magic Play by Andrew Hinderaker | Directed by Halena Kays | Appears in repertory, October 31 – November 15
The Magic Play is a fusion of magic and reality featuring Adam Poss (Diver), Brett Schneider (Magician) and Norm Woodel (Father). Neena Arndt is the dramaturg and Mara Filler is the stage manager. The play was co-commissioned by the Goodman and Roundabout Theatre Company (New York) and developed in the Goodman’s 2013/2014 Playwrights Unit.

Carlyle by Thomas Bradshaw | Directed by Benjamin Kamine | Appears in repertory, November 2 – 16
An exploration of right-wing politics in America through the eyes of an African American Republican, Carlyle features James Earl Jones II in the titular role, as well as Bill Bannon (Clinton/Headmaster/Janice’s Dad), McKenzie Chinn (Anita Hill/Shanequa), Janice O’Neill (Janice’s Mom), Levenix Riddle (Omar/Tyrone/Trayvon), Tiffany Scott (Janice/Sarah), Nate Whelden (Mark/White Guy/George Zimmerman) and Cedric Young (Carlyle’s Dad/Clarence Thomas). Tanya Palmer is the dramaturg, Ariel Zetlina is the Literary Assistant and Kimberly Osgood is the stage manager for Carlyle.

The design team for all three developmental productions includes Kevin Depinet (sets), Christine Pascual (costumes), Jesse Klug (lights) and Mikhail Fiksel (sound). Casting was done by Adam Belcuore.

Three staged readings complement the developmental productions over the course of one weekend, November 14 – 16, including: Women Laughing Alone with Salad by Sheila Callaghan, an examination of gender stereotyping in a world ruled by social media and appearance; Acquainted with the Night by Keith Reddin, a consideration of personal and global devastation; and Ugly by Tracey Scott Wilson, a look at how the feminist movement has evolved and how little has changed.

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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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