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Archive for October 17th, 2014

Scammers Exploit Consumer Fears About Ebola, Warns Better Business Bureau

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Scammers Exploit Consumer Fears About Ebola, Warns Better Business Bureau

CHICAGO, IL – It’s an indisputable fact that scams follow the news. Whether it’s a natural disaster, manmade crisis or health related scare, scammers will seek profit. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is joining government agencies in alerting consumers about scams that are related to the Ebola virus.

The fear of this deadly disease has moved scammers to act quickly. “It’s the fear of the unknown that can cause consumers to act almost irrationally, buying untested products that will give them no more protection than if they’d done nothing Those are the kind of products you will find offered on the internet,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Health officials maintain that Ebola is not spread through casual contact and the risk of contracting the virus in the United States is very low,” Bernas added.

Scammers taking advantage of the situation have just one goal and that is to separate people from their money. Bernas noted, “It’s a different kind of emotional plea fear, anxiety, and even greed.”

The FTC states, “Scam artists are making unsubstantiated claims that products containing everything from silver to herbal oils and snake venom can cure or prevent Ebola.” Both the FTC and FDA say that these claims are completely false and have issued a warning letter to Natural Solutions Foundation to make that point.

What should consumers be on the lookout for?

  • Charity Scams – Con artist will solicit for donations to fake charities. Be aware of solicitations from obscure nonprofit groups claiming to provide relief for Ebola victims. Before committing, check out the organization at bbb.org.
  • Stock Scams – Crooks will pitch the stock of companies that have supposedly found a cure, sell special hazardous materials suits or had a breakthrough or some other solution to fight the virus. Stock scams often aim to get people to buy shares of companies in which the crooks have an investment. The stock’s price rises with demand. After the stock rallies the crooks dump their shares for a profit. Before investing, do your research especially if you are hearing about the company through unsolicited pitches.
  • Identity risk – Be careful about any unsolicited email messages you might receive regarding Ebola. Such messages could contain malware. If you click on a photo, video or attachment, you could trigger malware that might track your keystrokes to learn passwords, financial account numbers or other personal information.
  • Ebola cures – Scammers will try to sell all-in-one products that will cure a wide range of illnesses, quick fixes and “All Natural” cures that can contain untested, hidden or dangerous ingredients and “Miracle” cures which are generally only found buried in print ads, TV infomercials or on internet sites.

BBB advice for not becoming a victim of an Ebola-related scam:

  • Remember there are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to prevent or treat Ebola. There are experimental Ebola vaccines and treatments under development but they are in the early stages of product development and are not available to the public.
  • Be on guard if you receive press releases or emails from an unknown sender touting a company’s stock.
  • Remember that even if a stock is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that doesn’t mean it has been investigated by the agency.
  • Don’t fall for name-dropping relationships with familiar sounding charities, companies, government agencies, or medical facilities. They may be fake.
  • If making a donation, ask if the money actually goes to the charity. Don’t be pressured into making a donation. Ask for written materials. Don’t make a contribution using cash or a pre-paid debit card.

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

Jesse White Honors Illinois First Hispanic Federal Judge, Chicago Fire Commissioner and Others

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Jesse White Honors Illinois First Hispanic Federal Judge, Chicago Fire Commissioner and Others

Illinois Secretary of State  Jesse White hosted his office’s annual National Hispanic Heritage MonthCelebration on Wednesday,  October 8th at  the James R. Thompson Center,  highlighting the historiclegacies of Illinois’ first Hispanic federal judge Ruben Castillo and other distinguished leaders.

Pictured with Secretary White are (from left to right) White Sox radio broadcaster Héctor Molina,nonprofit organizer Roberto Armendariz, broadcast journalist Sylvia Perez, Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix (WRTO-AM/Univision),  community leader Elba Aranda-Suh, Stacey Baca (ABC 7 News) and Chicago FireCommissioner Jose Santiago. Baca and Félix emceed the event. Castillo (pictured below with SecretaryWhite) was the keynote speaker and received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Parents Benefit From Head Start Program

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Parents Benefit From Head Start Program

Enrollment in Head Start influence their parents’ education

  • Parents who enroll 3-year-olds in Head Start see their own educational advancements
  • Pattern especially strong in African-American parents
  • One of first studies to look at the effects of Head Start on parents
  • Findings suggest Head Start may be ideal platform to promote parents’ education

EVANSTON, IL – Head Start programs may help low-income parents

improve their educational status, according to a new study by Northwestern University researchers.

The study is one of the first to examine whether a child’s participation in the federal program benefits mothers and fathers – in particular parents’ educational attainment and employment.

“Studies on early childhood education programs have historically focused on child outcomes,” said study lead author Terri Sabol, an assistant professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. “We asked whether there could be beneficial effects for the parents,” said Sabol.

Head Start is the oldest and largest federally funded preschool program in the U.S. From its inception, the program was designed to support both children and parents facing economic hardship. It currently serves more than one million children below the poverty line, just under half of all eligible children, and it receives almost $8 billion in annual funding.

In 1998, Congress mandated an evaluation of Head Start, called the Head Start Impact Study, a randomized trial of more than 4,000 children, ages 3 and 4, newly entering the Head Start program. Findings from that study indicate that Head Start had less of an impact on children’s academic and social development than expected. Although participating in Head Start led to short-term improvements for children, these began fading by kindergarten, continuing through the third grade.

“In our study, we asked whether there could be a separate story for parents,” said Sabol, an expert in research, practice and policy in early childhood education. “Head Start may provide the ideal place to promote parents’ education via a network of parents and staff, in addition to information and referrals to postsecondary educational opportunities.”

Head Start also may help parents manage their work-school-family balance by providing an affordable, safe place to send their children while they go to work or school.

The researchers used the gold standard data from the Head Start Impact Study (HSIS), a randomized trial, to examine the effect of Head Start on parent outcomes rather than on child outcomes.

The study found that parents of 3-year-olds in Head Start had steeper increases in educational attainment, but not their employment by the time their children turned 6 years old, compared to the parents in the control group, whose children were not assigned to Head Start. The pattern was especially strong for parents who were African American and for parents who had at least some college experience but no degree.

“Parents who had some college but no degree were particularly likely to increase their own education due to their children’s participation in Head Start. This suggests that Head Start is particularly helping families who have the motivation to improve their education but need extra support,” said Sabol.

The researchers did not find effects among parents whose children entered at age 4. This may be due to the fact that the 3-year-olds had the opportunity to stay in the program for two years, rather than one. It’s also possible that the parents who enrolled 3-year-olds were different from those who enrolled them at age 4. The children who started at age 3 had parents with higher levels of education at baseline.

The study, “The Influence of Low-Income Children’s Participation in Head Start on Their Parents’ Education and Employment” was published in the current issue of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Sabol coauthored the study with P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, the Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern. Chase-Lansdale, the associate provost for faculty at Northwestern, is one of the nation’s leading researchers on two-generation educational interventions for young parents and children. Her research is currently studying programs that provide services to promote parent education and employment to improve family well-being.

“Parents with young children enrolled in Head Start are very motivated to expand their children’s life chances. This study illustrates great potential for Head Start programs to be a platform for expanding parents’ own educational opportunities,” said Chase-Lansdale.

The majority of research on Head Start focuses solely on children’s cognitive and social outcomes rather than on the impacts on parents. This study finds that Head Start leads to improved parent educational attainment by the time children are in kindergarten.

“We hypothesize an interconnection between the learning of parents and children. Parents who see their child doing well might be inspired to improve their own education and employment,” she said.

“This is a very positive story for Head Start,” said Sabol. “The program may not only affect children, but parents as well.”


Cuba Gooding, Legendary R&B Singer, to Present Two “Sweet Soul of the 70’s” Benefit Concerts in Orlando During Florida Classic Weekend

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Cuba Gooding, Legendary R&B Singer, to Present Two “Sweet Soul of the 70’s” Benefit Concerts in Orlando During Florida Classic Weekend

A portion of proceeds will go to Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman Universities

Cuba Gooding

Orlando, FL — Cuba Gooding, long-time lead vocalist of the legendary Grammy-nominated R&B/pop ensemble The Main Ingredient, will present two “Sweet Soul of the 70’s” benefit concerts at the Bob Carr Theater, formerly the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in downtown Orlando on Thursday, Nov. 20 and Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Artists that will perform include, Cuba Gooding & The Main Ingredient (Everybody Plays the Fool), Peaches & Herb (Reunited), Bloodstone (Natural High), Delfonics (La Means I Love You), and Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes (The Love I Had). JoJo, radio personality from Star 94.5 and comedian Tight Mike, will co-host both shows. Tickets are on sale now at $80, $120, and $150 (VIP).

A portion of the proceeds from both concerts will be donated to Florida A&M University and Bethune-Cookman University. Both school’s football teams will battle that weekend in the famed Florida Classic. Partnering with Gooding to promote the two concerts are the City of Orlando, Cox Media Group Orlando, and The Bob Carr Theater. “It’s vital that I find ways to help the young people at both FAMU and B-CU succeed,” said Gooding, who lives in Flagler Beach, Florida. “I’m aware of the historic significance of these great Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the contributions they’ve made to the world. So, I feel that bringing historic recording artists to Orlando to help uplift the two historic universities is the right thing to do.”

Gooding is no stranger to making history. As lead vocalist of The Main Ingredient for more than four decades, he has charted such hit songs as Everybody Plays the Fool, Just Don’t Want to be Lonely, Spinning Around (I Must be Falling in Love), You’ve Been My Inspiration, I’m so Proud, Rolling Down a Mountain Side, Happiness is Just Around the Bend, and more. As the spokesperson for Time Life’s Sweet Soul of the 70s’ national and international infomercials, Gooding was called “The Ambassador of Sweet Soul of the 70s music.”

Joining Gooding in Orlando are other legendary recording artists, inclusive of Peaches & Herb (Let’s Fall in Love, Love is Strange, Shake Your Groove Thing, I Pledge My Love, and their No. 1 worldwide hit Reunited), Bloodstone (Never Let You Go, Outside Woman, We Go a Long Way Back, and their signature song, Natural High, which reached No. 10 on the Pop Chart), Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes (If You Don’t Know Me By Now, The Love I Lost, Wake Up Everybody, Bad Luck, and their No. 1 single, Hope That We Can Be Together Soon), and Grammy-winning recording artists The Delfonics (La La Means I Love You, Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time, Hey Love).

To purchase tickets for the “Sweet Soul of the 70’s” two benefit concerts in Orlando, log on to www.sweetsoul70sconcert.com or DrPhilipsCenter.org, or call 386-338-3103.

Photo Caption: Cuba Gooding, Sr.

County Board President Preckwinkle Urges Public Participation in Upcoming Budget Hearings

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on County Board President Preckwinkle Urges Public Participation in Upcoming Budget Hearings

Maintaining her commitment to government transparency and accountability, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is encouraging the public to participate in a series of upcoming hearings on the recently proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

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.

“An engaged citizenry is an essential part of the budget process,” Preckwinkle said. “I am proud to present a balanced budget with no new taxes, fines and fees, and welcome public input. By attending a hearing or submitting a question, residents can play an important role in the budget process.”

Preckwinkle is soliciting public input at four meetings throughout Cook County in October. Organized and directed by Cook County Finance Chairman John P. Daley, the meetings provide residents with the opportunity to have their voices heard and learn more about the proposed budget unveiled on October 9.

“These hearings are designed to provide the public with an opportunity to weigh in on the County budget,” Daley said. “I am looking forward to hosting these meetings and receiving feedback from residents.”

Anyone interested in speaking at a public hearing is encouraged to register at surveymonkey.com/s/H5YVLLK.  Speakers will be allowed three minutes to address the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Speakers with written testimony or any additional materials for the committee to consider are asked to bring 20 copies and email any remarks to cookcounty.board@cookcountyil.gov.

In an effort to allow the public to review budget documents and engage with her office directly, President Preckwinkle has posted all budget information to the Cook County Budget website. She is also encouraging residents to submit questions directly to her by visiting cookcountyil.gov/budget/tell-toni/

or tweeting @ToniPreckwinkle using the hashtag #CCBudget2015.

Schedule of budget hearing times and locations:

·                 Friday, October 17, 2014 at 9 a.m. – Cook County Building, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago

·                 Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – Markham Courthouse, 16501 S. Kedzie Pkwy., Markham

·                 Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – Maywood Courthouse, 1500 Maybrook Ave., Maywood

·                 Monday, October 27, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. – Skokie Courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie

Study Finds Illinois Leads the Nation in Workers’ Comp Insurance Savings

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Study Finds Illinois Leads the Nation in Workers’ Comp Insurance Savings

Oregon Study Analyzes Rates in 50 States & Highlights Sharp Reduction in Illinois Workers’ Compensation Costs

CHICAGO, IL – The administration of Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the Department of Insurance (DOI) announced that a national study has provided additional evidence that Illinois’ historic workers’ compensation reforms are delivering major savings for businesses across the state. The biennial report by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services shows Illinois recorded the sharpest reductions in workers’ compensation insurance premiums in the nation over the last two years.

“Illinois’ economy is making a comeback, and the historic workers’ compensation reforms we enacted in 2011 are a key part of it,” Governor Quinn said. “This new study shows once again that these critical reforms are making Illinois is a national leader in reducing workers’ compensation costs.”

The new study comes just weeks after another report found workers’ compensation costs in Illinois have dropped 19.3 percentage points, for a savings of more than $450 million, since workers’ compensation reforms championed by Governor Quinn were enacted in 2011.

The Oregon study -  http://www.oregon.gov/DCBS/docs/news_releases/2014/workers-comp-rate-study-14.pdf – ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the amount insurance premiums rose or dropped in the last two years. It highlights that Illinois had the steepest reduction in workers’ compensation rates when compared to the median, with an estimated rate drop of 24 percentage points between 2012 and 2014 (see chart below), compared to the national median reduction of only 2 percent.

The report shows Illinois employers workers’ compensation premiums dropped from $2.83 per $100 of payroll in 2012 to $2.35 in 2014. This means hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for Illinois businesses.

“The Oregon study demonstrates that Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums in Illinois have been reduced more than any other state over the last two years,” Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman Michael Latz said. “This premium reduction demonstrates decisively that actuaries have recorded significant savings in workers compensation costs in Illinois since the 2011 reforms.”

Workers’ compensation reform has been a priority of this administration since Governor Quinn took office in 2009. By working with business stakeholders and the General Assembly, Governor Quinn championed historic legislation that reformed the workers’ compensation insurance industry and is allowing businesses to save hundreds of millions of dollars, driving economic growth throughout the state.

DOI has accepted the 5.5 percent drop in the advisory workers’ comp rate for 2015 recommended by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. According to DOI, 70 percent of carriers adopted the advisory rate.

Department actuaries estimate the latest proposed reduction in workers’ compensation advisory and loss cost rates could result in an overall reduction in premiums of up to $143 million in 2015, with the total savings since the reforms were enacted of $458 million.

“We’re pleased Illinois’ workers’ compensation rates have dropped for the third straight year. The decline shows our reforms are working,” DOI Director Andrew Boron said. “The lower rate will mean significant savings for Illinois employers. These savings support business growth and help protect workers.”

The average rate change for the January 1, 2015 rate filing by Industry Groups are as follows:

  • Manufacturing = -5.1 percent
  • Contracting = -4.8 percent
  • Office = -7.6 percent
  • Good & Services = -5 percent
  • Miscellaneous = -6.4 percent

Employers should contact their insurance agent prior to their 2015 renewal date to determine the impact on their premium.

Illinois Leads the Nation in Workers Comp Cost Savings

Chart courtesy of Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services

About the Illinois Department of Insurance;
The Department’s mission is to protect consumers by providing assistance and information, by efficiently regulating the insurance industry’s market behavior and financial solvency, and by fostering a competitive insurance marketplace.  Consumers who have any questions or concerns about their insurance should contact the Department’s Consumer Division at http://insurance.illinois.gov or call 866-445-5364.

State Senator Raoul to Co-Chair Hearing on Police Body Cameras

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on State Senator Raoul to Co-Chair Hearing on Police Body Cameras

Eavesdropping law rewrite could affect how body cameras, footage can be used

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Buffalo Grove) will co-chair a hearing tomorrow on body cameras —devices law enforcement officers can attach to their uniforms to record their encounters with the public — and how a new eavesdropping law Raoul and others are negotiating could affect their use. The joint meeting of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees will take place tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. in Room C-600 of the Bilandic Building in Chicago.

“As we craft a commonsense, constitutional eavesdropping law, I believe it’s extremely important to have a public discussion about how body cameras and their footage can be used,” said Raoul, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s a matter of striking a balance between privacy concerns and the need to protect officers while also holding them accountable.”

In March, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping statute, one of the nation’s strictest. The law, which is no longer in force because of the court ruling, required anyone making an audio recording of a conversation — even in a public place — to obtain the permission of all parties whose voices could be heard on the recording. That meant a person trying to record a police officer making an arrest on a public sidewalk, for example, could be prosecuted for eavesdropping.

During the spring legislative session, Raoul began negotiating a rewrite of the eavesdropping statute in order to draw a prudent line between public and private interactions.

“With increased nationwide concern about law enforcement accountability, the legal status of the footage from wearable cameras became an important part of the conversation about eavesdropping,” Raoul said. “Many police departments in Illinois would like to deploy body cameras but need to know what the legal landscape looks like before they send officers out onto the streets with them. We’re going to have that conversation in an open manner, so we can get this right the first time.”

State Board of Education Member to Receive NASBE Award

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on State Board of Education Member to Receive NASBE Award

Dr. Vinni Hall to be granted National Public Service Honor on Oct. 17

Vinni-Hall (2)SPRINGFIELD, IL — The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) will present Dr. Vinni M. Hall, Illinois State Board of Education Secretary, with the NASBE 2014 Distinguished Service Award on Friday, Oct. 17. Dr. Hall was selected for the award along with three other state education leaders from around the country. The national award is presented annually to state board of education members in order to recognize exceptional service to public education.

“I admire Dr. Hall’s unwavering dedication and commitment to Illinois students and teachers,” said State Board of Education Chairman Gery J. Chico.  “Dr. Hall sets high goals for public education in Illinois and has devoted her life; both her professional and personal time, to help schools, educators and students perform at their best.”

Dr. Hall lives in Chicago and has served on the State Board since September 2004. With more than 30 years of education experience as both an instructor and administrator in Illinois, Dr. Hall brings her diverse experience, strong commitment to student learning and a valuable perspective to the Board.

Through her work to connect assessments with instruction, advance career and technical education in the state and develop partnerships that support students and their families, Dr. Hall has played a key role in major Illinois education initiatives. Dr. Hall was also instrumental in the adoption of the new Illinois Learning Standards and the newly revised teacher and principal evaluations that now include performance and written components for more meaningful evaluations.

“She is constantly asking thoughtful questions to ensure that the programs and services provided are of a high caliber,” wrote Chairman Chico and State Superintendent Koch in their nominating letter. “Her presence on the board has been unmatched.”

Additionally, as an active NASBE member, Hall has participated in NASBE’s English Language Learners, Early Childhood Education and Career and Technology Study Groups. She was also recently appointed to the School Structure Study Group.

In addition to serving as the Board secretary for the past 10 years, Dr. Hall has attended nearly every regular and many special Board meetings. She has served as a liaison to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Poverty Commission and the Illinois Early Learning Council to where she also serves as a member. Dr. Hall serves on the Illinois State Board of Education’s Diverse Educator Advisory Group as well as the Erikson Institute’s Reducing Achievement Gaps in Illinois Task Force.

Community and regional education organizations often seek Dr. Hall’s expertise. She has served as a judge for the Alternative School Film Festival (3 years), Chicago Tribune Essay Competition (6 years), Metra School Safety Calendar, and Healthy School Campaign’s Cooking up Change Competition. She can also be found engaging the community with her remarks and presentations to organizations such as World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA), Parent Teacher Association (PTA), FFA, Illinois Statewide Summit for Bilingual Parents, and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA). Dr. Hall can often be found in the state’s capitol appearing before the General Assembly to support the Board’s recommended budget for K-12 education funding.

Dr. Hall previously served as a consultant to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and the Illinois Center for Education and Rehabilitation. She was also an Associate Professor/Special Education Chair at Chicago State University and Director of the Inclusive Schools Project for Chicago Public Schools. She began her teaching career at CPS in 1967.

The two additional recipients of the NASBE 2014 Distinguished Service Award are Allan Taylor of Connecticut and Patrick “Buzz” Guida of Rhode Island. NASBE is a nonprofit association based in Arlington, Va., that represents state and territorial boards of education. For more information, visit http://www.nasbe.org/.

The State Board of Education consists of nine members who are appointed by the Governor, with consent of the Senate. The Board sets educational policies and guidelines for public and private schools, preschool through grade 12. It analyzes the aims, needs and requirements of education and recommends legislation to the General Assembly and Governor for the benefit of more than 2 million schoolchildren in Illinois.

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.

Photo: Dr. Vinni Hall

Four Chicago-Based Writers – Scott T. Barsotti, Mia McCullough, Bonnie Metzgar and Carlos Murillo – Named 2014/2015 Playwrights Unit Members of Goodman Theatre

Posted by Admin On October - 17 - 2014 Comments Off on Four Chicago-Based Writers – Scott T. Barsotti, Mia McCullough, Bonnie Metzgar and Carlos Murillo – Named 2014/2015 Playwrights Unit Members of Goodman Theatre

CHICAGO, IL – A new crop of local talent joins Goodman Theatre’s artistic team for the 2014/2015 Season. The four Chicago-based writers named to the fifth season of the Playwrights Unit—a year-long residency program designed to support and develop new works—include Scott T. Barsotti, a member of WildClaw Theatre and a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists; Mia McCullough, an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University and a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, whose play Household Spirits appeared in the Goodman’s 2008 New Stages; Bonnie Metzgar, former Artistic Director of About Face Theatre; and Carlos Murillo, the head of the Playwriting Program at The Theatre School of DePaul University, whose plays have been widely produced throughout the United States and Europe.

“Sixteen brand new American plays have emerged over the past five years from the Playwrights Unit, a unique incubator and ideas forum consisting of a handful of Chicago’s most talented writers,” said Tanya Palmer, director of new play development. “The Unit members’ feedback and encouragement of one another is invaluable to the shaping and success of these new works. We are proud to facilitate this artistic development initiative, and look forward to sharing the talents of this remarkable group with our audiences at the final staged readings in the summer of 2015.”

A partnership with Chicago Dramatists, the Playwrights Unit meets twice per month with members of the Goodman’s artistic team to discuss their plays-in-progress and provide feedback for one another. The program includes readings of the playwrights’ works-in-progress at Chicago Dramatists in early 2015, and culminates in summer 2015 with staged readings of their completed works at the Goodman. Playwrights Unit alumni include Anne García Romero, Andrew Hinderaker, Mickle Maher and Laura Schellhardt (2013/2014 Season); Greg Allen, Alice Austen, Ike Holter and Christopher Oscar Peña (2012/2013 Season); Philip Dawkins, Nambi E. Kelley, Elaine Romero and Martín Zimmerman (2011/2012 Season); and Seth Bockley, Lisa Dillman, Laura Jacqmin and Rohina Malik (2010/2011 Season).

The Goodman is grateful to its New Work Sponsors, including The Davee Foundation, Major Supporter of the Expansion of New Stages; Time Warner Foundation, Lead Supporter of New Play Development; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and the Pritzker-Pucker Foundation, Major Supporters of New Play Development;  Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, Major Supporter of New Stages; the Goodman Scenemakers Board, Sponsor Partner for New Stages; The Glasser and Rosenthal Family and the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Supporters of New Work Development; The Joyce Foundation, Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives; Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Festival Sponsor.

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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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