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Archive for December 23rd, 2014

Attorney General Holder Announces U.S. Adult Correctional System Population Has Dropped to Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Attorney General Holder Announces U.S. Adult Correctional System Population Has Dropped to Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade

In New Video, Attorney General Hails Finding as ‘Significant Milestone’ That Shows Crime and Incarceration Levels Can Be Reduced at Same Time

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the number of persons under the supervision of adult correctional systems in the United States has fallen to its lowest level since 2003.  This finding is highlighted in a study to be released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

According to the study, an estimated 6,899,000 persons were under the supervision of adult correctional systems at year end 2013, down from 6,940,500 at year end 2012. The decrease of 41,500 offenders in 2013 resulted in the number of persons under correctional supervision falling below 6.9 million for the first time since 2003.

The Attorney General called the drop a “significant milestone.”

“While we clearly have much more work to do, it is my hope that we are witnessing the start of an overall trend that will continue – and accelerate – as our reform efforts take full effect,” the Attorney General said. “As I have said many times, we cannot incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.  That’s why we need to focus on commonsense sentencing reforms and on proven, evidence-based solutions like diversion programs for those convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses.”

The complete text of the Attorney General’s video message is below:

“The Department of Justice is dedicated to ensuring that America’s criminal justice system is as fair, as efficient, and as effective as possible.  That’s why, in August of 2013, I launched the “Smart on Crime” Initiative – a targeted effort to enhance the way we charge, sentence, and release individuals in order to end this country’s overreliance on incarceration and to promote efforts that give people the tools they need to return to their communities and lead better and more productive lives.

“In the six years since President Obama took office, we have made important progress in fighting crime and advancing our long-term criminal justice efforts.  In fact, during this Administration, overall crime has decreased by over 15 percent, while overall incarceration has decreased by nearly 9 percent – the first time these two critical markers have declined together in more than 40 years.  And just two months ago, I was able to report that over the past year, the federal prison population declined by roughly 5,000 inmates – the first decrease we’ve seen in many ‎decades.‎

“Today, I can announce that the number of persons supervised by U.S. adult correctional systems – in prison or jail, or on probation or parole – fell below 6.9 million individuals at the end of 2013.  This drop leaves the United States with the smallest population under the authority of adult correctional supervision in nearly a decade.

“This is a significant milestone.  It is highlighted in a study to be released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.  And while we clearly have much more work to do, it is my hope that we are witnessing the start of an overall trend that will continue – and accelerate – as our reform efforts take full effect.

“As I have said many times, we cannot incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.  That’s why we need to focus on commonsense sentencing reforms and on proven, evidence-based solutions like diversion programs for those convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses.  We are seeing this approach take root in states across the country, as more and more governors and legislatures recognize that incarceration must be used to punish, deter, and rehabilitate—not merely to warehouse and forget.  And here in Washington, D.C., I am proud to work with leaders in Congress from both parties to advance this vital conversation and bring about a paradigm shift in the way our nation approaches criminal justice.

“Of course, I recognize that these are challenging issues, and the changes we seek will not occur overnight.  But I am dedicated – and the Department of Justice is committed – to an ongoing effort that strengthens our criminal justice system; lives up to our founding ideals; and builds the safer, more just society that all Americans deserve.”

The full video of the Attorney General’s message is available at http://www.justice.gov/agwa.php.

Law Enforcement, IDOT Make Final Push to Save Lives in 2014, Roadside Safety Checks Planned Over Holidays

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Law Enforcement, IDOT Make Final Push to Save Lives in 2014, Roadside Safety Checks Planned Over Holidays

New Episode of “The Driving Dead” Premieres Friday as Holiday Travelers are Reminded to Drive Sober and Buckle Up

SPRINGFIELD, IL – A final, end-of-the-year push begins to lead Illinois to far fewer motor vehicle fatalities than last year and the lowest annual fatality totals since 2009. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police (ISP) and more than 230 law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in this comprehensive effort to save lives on Illinois roads at a time of year that can be one of the most deadly.

The enforcement crackdown will coincide with the premiere of the latest episode of IDOT’S website series “The Driving Dead”, which will be available beginning Dec.19 at TheDrivingDeadSeries.com. The first video in the series, featuring Michael Rooker from the popular TV show “The Walking Dead” and the smash hit movie “Guardians of the Galaxy,” was unveiled this summer and has received more than 640,000 views on YouTube.

The videos show the zombie-filled adventures of Rooker and other characters, who find themselves in situations depicting the dangers of driving impaired and not buckling up. You can connect with “The Driving Dead” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date news and behind-the-scenes looks at the series.

The statewide enforcement effort also features the familiar messages of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” to remind motorists of the consequences of bad driving behavior. Holiday motorists can expect hundreds more roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and other police saturation patrols looking for impaired drivers and seat belt law violators from now through Jan. 1.

In 1920, the first year motor vehicle fatalities were recorded, 728 people died on Illinois roads. In that year, vehicle-miles traveled totaled an estimated 3.46 billion miles. Just two years later, annual fatalities already increased to more than 1,000. Nearly a century later, annual fatalities again fell below 1,000, even though annual vehicle-miles traveled increased 30-fold in that time to105 billion each year. In 1920, Illinois’ annual motor vehicle fatality rate was 21.03 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2013, that rate was 0.94.

Illinois has an opportunity in 2014 to make even more history by recording one of its lowest annual motor vehicle fatality totals ever, with a chance at achieving an all-time, modern-day low. As of December 17, 2014, 878 people have lost their lives on Illinois roads, which is 78 lower than the same timeframe in 2013.

During the 2013 Christmas holiday (6 p.m. Dec. 24 to 11:59 p.m. Dec.25), two people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Illinois. Both fatalities involved a drinking driver. Over the last five years in Illinois (2009-2013), 38 fatalities occurred in Illinois during Christmas, 11 of which (29 percent) involved a drinking driver.

To see the latest information on motor-vehicle fatalities, visit


President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC –  President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:

  • Sally Q. Yates – Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Dawn Halfaker – Member, Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Incorporated
  • Mary Minow – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

President Obama said, “I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America, and I am grateful for their service.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:

Sally Q. Yates, Nominee for Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice

Sally Q. Yates is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, a position she has held since 2010.  She is also the Vice Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee.  Previously, Ms. Yates served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2010, the Chief of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section from 1993 to 2002, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989 to 2002, all for the Northern District of Georgia.  She also served as Acting U.S. Attorney for that office in 2004 and from 2009 to 2010.  She began her legal career as an associate at King & Spalding.  She is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has received numerous awards with the Department of Justice, including the Urban League Champion of Justice Award and the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award.  Ms. Yates received a B.A. and a J.D. from the University of Georgia.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Dawn Halfaker, Appointee for Member, Board of Governors of the United Service Organizations, Incorporated

Dawn Halfaker is CEO and President of Halfaker and Associates LLC, a firm she founded in 2006.  Ms. Halfaker has also served on the Board of Directors of the Wounded Warrior Project since 2006 and was elected chair in 2011.  She serves on the Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Employment, Training, and Employer Outreach and the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on the Readjustment of Veterans.  She served as a military liaison to the House Armed Services Committee in Congress in 2005.  Ms. Halfaker served as a Military Police Officer in the U.S. Army from 2001 to 2005.  In 2004, she was wounded in combat and was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for her service.  Ms. Halfaker received a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.A. from Georgetown University.

Mary Minow, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

Mary Minow is an Adjunct Professor at the San Jose State School of Library Science and at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.  She is also an author, attorney and a consultant, and has been advising libraries nationwide about legal issues such as free speech, privacy, and copyright since 1998.  Ms. Minow manages the Stanford Copyright and Fair Use site and in 2004 founded the LibraryLaw blog.  She has served as a Member of the National Museum and Library Services Board since 2010.  Ms. Minow is on the board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center and is Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the California Library Association.  She was President of the California Association of Library Trustees and Commissioners in 2002.  Ms. Minow received a B.A. from Brown University, an M.L.S. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a J.D. from Stanford University.

Women’s Business Development Center Hosts Free Webinars in January

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Women’s Business Development Center Hosts Free Webinars in January

CHICAGO, IL – The Women’s Business Development Center will offer free webinars  in January.

Webinars to be offered include:

·         January 6, 2015, Noon – 1 p.m., “Grow Your Business with WBDC: An Intro to Services”
This interactive networking session is for prospective and established business owners who are looking for assistance in pursuing government or corporate contracts, need financing for business growth, or need general business guidance.

Registration: http://goo.gl/SMxX8h

·         January 6, 2015, 4:00 – 4:45 p.m. and January 21, 2015, Noon – 12:45 p.m.

“Finding Your Way When You Are Stuck: Working Your Way Through Growth Analysis Tools”

This webinar introduces business owners to GrowthWheel®, a new curriculum offered by the Women’s Business Development Center. After participating in this free orientation session, business owners use a GrowthWheel® tool to self-assess where they are in 20 areas related to four key challenges:  an attractive business concept, lasting customer relations, profitable operations, and a strong organization. GrowthWheel® is a hands-on, owner driven, action-oriented way of analyzing these issues, while working with a certified WBDC business advisor/coach.

Registration for January 6: http://goo.gl/iPuzsp

Registration for January 21: http://goo.gl/dddJGh

·         January 20, 2015, Noon – 12:30 p.m., “GrowthWheel Series: Is Your Business Idea Clear?”

While the objective of a business is to make money, its mission is very different from that. Is the mission of your business clear to you? To your customer? Join this webinar to learn how to: 1) Build a broad, clear mission statement that resonates with you and your customers and provides value; 2) Utilize a tool to help you formulate the company’s purpose and mission in the world; 3) Utilize a tool that will help you hone your description of your business idea, to make it easier to sell and receive feedback on your idea; 4) Describe your idea more fully and concisely.

Registration: http://goo.gl/78lgaf

·         January 27, 2015, Noon – 1 p.m., “Mentoring: Learning Appropriate Expectations”

During this seminar, business owners can learn how a mentor/protégé relationship can work for their business.

Registration: http://goo.gl/KnR5yd

·         January 30, 2015, Noon – 12:30 p.m., “GrowthWheel Series: How Well Do You Know Your Customer?”

By trying to understand who your customers are, you can become better at designing your products/services. And, you get better at communicating with them as well. Join this webinar to learn how to: 1) Get a better understanding of your customer by building typical profiles; 2) Analyze what the customer is thinking, feeling, doing and where they are going; 3) Analyze five areas of your customers’ current situations to be able to better determine their needs in relation to your product/service; 4) Figure out your next steps to better plan and adjust your communications, based on customer needs.

Registration: http://goo.gl/raaIQw

For further information about these or other WBDC workshops, visit http://www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477. Now in its 28th year, the WBDC provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance in Spanish and English. More information is available at www.WBDC.org.

November Unemployment in Illinois Falls to 6.4 Percent

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on November Unemployment in Illinois Falls to 6.4 Percent

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois employers added +2,300 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent despite more people looking for work, 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 last time the rate was lower was in June 2008 when it was 6.3 percent. It was 9 percent in November 2013.

“Key economic points in November show our economy continues to move forward. More people are working and re-energizing their job search and employers say they have vacancies to fill,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “We must continue to match the unemployed with current opportunities and identify the barriers that prevent workers from being hired.”

Employers added +298,700 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois in February 2010. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+127,200); Education and Health Services (+65,800); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+42,900); and Leisure and Hospitality (+38,500). Government remains the job‑loss leader, shedding -24,700 positions during the same period.

November job growth was led by Manufacturing (+3,600); Construction (+2,100) and Leisure and Hospitality (+1,900). Retail Trade declined -8,700. In November, the number of unemployed individuals declined -7,900 (1.8 percent) to 421,000. Total unemployed has fallen -332,500 (-44.1 percent) since the unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent in January 2010. The labor force grew by +16,500 (0.3 percent) to 6,547,000.

Unemployment data are from a survey of households. Jobs data are from a survey of employers.

Other economic indicators show labor market improvement. The independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Index reports that Illinois employers advertised for 214,000 jobs in November and 85 percent sought full-time work. Employers consistently have advertised for more than 200,000 positions each month in 2014.

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 and Resunate. Resume Builder provides step-by-step instructions to create an effective resume which is immediately matched to existing help wanted ads seeking those skills. Resunate scores the resume against a specific help wanted ad and offers suggestions to improve the resume before applying for the job.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits. 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.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Non-farm Jobs – by Major Industry


  • 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/CurrentEmploymentStatstics/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/Illnois_Chicago_Metropolitan_Area_Unemployment_Rates.aspx

Pulitzer Prize Finalist Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo Now in Rehearsal at Goodman Theatre

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Pulitzer Prize Finalist Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo Now in Rehearsal at Goodman Theatre

Chicago Director Kimberly Senior Makes her Goodman Debut with this investigation of modern women’s choices, January 17 – February 22

CHICAGO, IL -  “It’s that 40-something thing when you start thinking about the life not lived.” Three generations of women balance choice, reality and expectations in the Chicago premiere of Rapture, Blister, Burn, Gina Gionfriddo’s “smart, funny and lightning-paced look at feminism” (New York Daily News), which began rehearsals this week at Goodman Theatre. Celebrated Chicago director Kimberly Senior makes her Goodman debut direct from her first Broadway show—Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced, which originated in Chicago and was recently named among The New York Times’ Best Theater of 2014. Rapture, Blister, Burn runs January 17 – February 22, 2015 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Monday, January 26). Tickets ($25 - $81; subject to change) are on sale at GoodmanTheatre.org/Rapture, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is the Major Corporate Sponsor and PwC LLP and United Scrap Metal, Inc. are the Corporate Sponsor Partners for Rapture, Blister, Burn. Bella Bacinos is the Opening Night Party Sponsor.

“We are thrilled to work with Kimberly Senior, who is making a long-awaited Goodman debut after much success in Chicago and lately on Broadway, to bring this timely play to the Albert stage,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “She has assembled a magnificent cast and design team for a piece that is one of the most exciting and entertaining new plays in many years, examining a variety of heady questions with warmth, intelligence and sly humor. Rapture, Blister, Burn will be appreciated by anyone who has ever negotiated the tricky tension between one’s ideals and reality.”

Senior is a resident director at Writers Theatre, an associate artist at TimeLine Theatre and a founding member of Collaboraction. In Chicago, she has also worked at Northlight Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Next Theatre, American Blues Theatre and Redtwist Theatre.

“I love thinking of the play’s two main characters as the same woman who made completely different choices; I feel like I’m both of them. I’m a mother of two kids with a house in Evanston, but I was also just in New York directing a play. Am I trying to have it all? Can you have it all? I love the show’s dialogue about that because we have to be present in our own lives,” said Senior. “I’ve always dreamed of directing at the Goodman and have been working for 20 years to make this happen. The Goodman belongs to our city, so it’s a joy to be a part of this production.”

The title Rapture, Blister, Burn is taken from lyrics in Courtney Love’s “Use Once and Destroy,” which associates love with heroin addiction. Twenty-one-year-old college student Avery (Cassidy Slaughter-Mason) isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with her life, and the 40-something women around her—Gwen (Karen Janes Woditsch), a stay-at-home mom, and Catherine (Robin Weigert), an unmarried, in-demand scholar—don’t seem thrilled with their life choices. Gwen dropped out of graduate school years ago to chase domestic bliss, but now spends her days nagging her passive, porn-watching husband—and Catherine’s ex-boyfriend—Don (Mark L. Montgomery) to further his career, and dreading the day her children grow up and leave home. Catherine’s seemingly enviable career consumes all her energy, and she’s now begun to wonder if there isn’t some “wisdom in the natural order. In creating a new family to replace the one you lose.” Meanwhile, Catherine’s mother Alice (Mary Ann Thebus), who came of age in an era when women rarely set goals outside the domestic realm, can’t suss out whether women today are better off, or just more confused. The creative team includes Jack Magaw (sets), Emily Rebholz (costumes), Jennifer Schriever (lights) and Richard Woodbury (sound). Briana J. Fahey is the production stage manager. Jonathan L. Green is the dramaturg. Casting is by Adam Belcuore.

SPECIAL EVENTS (all events take place at Goodman Theatre unless otherwise noted)

Artist Encounter with Kimberly Senior

Sunday, January 25 at 5pm | $5 general public, FREE Subscribers, Donors, students

Artist Encounters bring together audiences and Goodman artists in an intimate environment for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Join director Kimberly Senior as she discusses the process of bringing Rapture, Blister, Burn to life.

College Night: Pizza and Play

Wednesday, January 28 at 6pm – preshow reception; 7:30pm – performance | $10 with promo code COLLEGE (must redeem with valid student ID)

Enjoy pizza, pop and the opportunity to mingle with other students and meet the Goodman artists before a performance.

Women’s Night: “Women on Fire”

Wednesday, January 28 at 6pm – preshow reception at Petterino’s; 7:30pm – performance | $75

Women’s Night is part of Goodman Theatre’s Civic Engagement Series of thought-provoking and entertaining audience engagement events. Hosted by the Goodman’s Board of Trustees, Women’s Board and Scenemakers Board, the series is designed to deepen our engagement with the community and open up the broad range of work on our stages to diverse groups.

Free PlayTalks

Fridays, February 6, 13 and 20 at 7pm

One hour prior to select performances, members of the Goodman’s artistic staff present interactive in-depth talks to give patrons a deeper understanding of the work they are about to see.

CONTEXT: The Third Wave: Women, Men and Feminism

Monday, February 16, 6:30pm | FREE, though reservations are required at GoodmanTheatre.org

CONTEXT engages the community in conversation about issues raised within the Goodman’s plays and how they resonate in today’s culture. This discussion on Rapture, Blsiter, Burn explores how we use a feminist lens to critique our world and the choices we make amid cultural shifts brought on by technology, globalization and practices of resistance around the world.

Free Post-Show Discussions

Stay late for discussions about the play with members of the artistic team every Wednesday and Thursday evening throughout the run of the show.

Black Men Run Launches the First Mobile Running/Fitness APP Conceived, Designed and Developed by African Americans

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Black Men Run Launches the First Mobile Running/Fitness APP Conceived, Designed and Developed by African Americans

Available now for the iPhone in the Apple AppStore

Black Men Run App

Atlanta, GA (BlackNews.com) – The release of the Black Men Run running app for the iPhone in the Apple AppStore is a groundbreaking moment for not only fitness, but also technology. With its innovative and cutting edge design the Black Men Run app offers exclusive features that cater to all runners and provides a welcome alternative to existing running/fitness applications. Along with letting users track all aspects for their runs (distance, pace, splits, etc.) users will notice a lot of small nuances that don’t exist in mainstream running applications like streaming radio stations and exclusive DJ mixes.

The Black Men Run app is socially tied to the larger Black Men Run community and users will be rewarded for using the app with special contests and exclusive product offerings. The app also has a unique functionality that allows the user to adjust the skin (color/design) of the app to match their Black Men Run merchandise and a leaderboard where runners can see how they stack up again other runners creating a friendly competition.

The founder of Black Men Run, Jason Russell, who helped to design the application is enthusiastic about the opportunity to promote the mission of a “Healthy Brotherhood” in the mobile/digital space and hopes to bring in a large number of potential new runners to the activity that he loves. Mr. Russell states “I have been using other running apps for years racking up thousands of miles with no tangible rewards.” The Black Men Run is looking to change that trend in future releases actually rewarding users with “BMR Points” that can be used for a variety of items and discounts. Mr. Russell goes on to say “It will also be exciting to see how users enjoy the social media interaction that the app allows and hopefully you will start to see Black Men Run app screens replace those from Nike+, MapMyRun, RunKeeper, etc. in your social media news feeds.”

From a technology standpoint, the Black Men Run app is a game changer since it is first running/fitness app created for a running group that was conceived, designed, and developed by African Americans. Diverse Mobile, an Atlanta, GA based mobile application development shop, created the application in house with feedback from members of Black Men Run. The CEO and Lead Developer for Diverse Mobile, Mr. Brian Roberson, stated that “Like Black Men Run was founded out of necessity, the BMR app was built with that same sense of urgency”. Brian goes on to say “With the fact that global high tech companies like Apple, Google, and Twitter have been releasing extremely disappointing numbers around African Americans in IT, it was our job to show that we can build technologies that reach the masses having a positive impact on our community and the beyond.” Mr. Roberson believes that “While the Black Men Run app is cutting edge and can compete with any running app on the market; the story around an African American male creating a mobile application for an African American male oriented running group is the biggest takeaway. It is time for minorities to develop the skill set to create applications for us and by us”.

A sampling of the Black Men Run app features are listed below:

* Track all details of your run including distance, pace, mileage time splits, and run history.

* See your name in lights on the Black Men Run leaderboard to see how you stack up against other runners from around the country.

* Obtain “BMR Run Points” for running with the app that are redeemable for merchandise, contest entries, and one of a kind prizes available ONLY to people who use the application.

* Track calories burned during your workout based on your weight to provide the most accurate results.

* Stream 5 HBCU radio stations that include Savannah State, Tennessee State University, Morgan State University, Alabama A&M, Clark Atlanta University, and live HBCU sports broadcasts from the Heritage Sports Radio Network.

* Access your iPhone music library and playlist during runs and stream exclusive DJ mixes (BMR Radio) during your runs directly from the app.

* QR code scanner for additional BMR point collection opportunities at national races and events.

* Ability to instantly share run information that includes map, location, and distance on Facebook and Twitter.

* Voice selection (Male or Female) to motivate you during your runs.

* One click access to purchase Black Men Run merchandise.

* View/track weather and temperature during your run along with viewing a 3 day forecast.

* Ability to find BMR group runs in your city and add them to your calendar.

* Ability to view Black Men Run training tip videos by an RRCA Certified Coach through the app. New videos added frequently.

* Ability to purchase in app skins to change the background color of your BMR app.

Future releases of the Black Men Run app will include city/team based running challenges, an In-App chat room creating a social network of runners and development tying the app to Apple’s HealthKit. The Black Men Run app will be integrated with HealthKit allowing users to share fitness information with participating physicians. This connection and the information exchange that will occur positions the BMR app as the primary mobile gateway to health and wellness for its users. Diverse Mobile has also started to create an extension for the Black Men Run app to work with the Apple Watch upon release of the hardware in 2015.

The Black Men Run app can be found in the Apple AppStore by searching for “Black Men Run” or clicking this link – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/black-men-run/id879979855?ls=1&mt=8 .The Black Men Run app is currently available for the iPhone only and can be downloaded by anyone interested in improving their health/fitness. The goal of the app is not only for our runners to log miles but to create healthier families and communities.
About Black Men Run
Black Men Run Inc. is an independent running group focused on the mission to promote a healthy lifestyle among African American males through participation in recreational running activities. Black Men Run Inc. is not affiliated with any other running organization and the Black Men Run logo is the sole property of the organization. All questions should be directed to info@blkmenrun.com. Research shows that among Blacks age 20 and older, 44.4% of men have cardiovascular disease and in 2009 Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) caused the deaths of 21,051 Black males. Black Men Run believes that running/jogging can change these alarming trends and are here to encourage African American males to get out and be active. Studies have shown that running on a regular basis not only benefits individuals from a physical standpoint but also increases mental sharpness. Additional benefits of running on a regular basis are boosts in confidence and reduction in stress levels and depression.

Photo Caption: Screenshot

Governor Quinn Recognizes First Program to Help Military Veterans Use their Training to Achieve a Nursing Degree

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on Governor Quinn Recognizes First Program to Help Military Veterans Use their Training to Achieve a Nursing Degree

Bridge Program at Joliet Junior College Could Help Veterans Save Dozens of Credit Hours and Thousands in Tuition and Fees

JOLIET, IL – Governor Pat Quinn congratulated Illinois education leaders at Joliet Junior College on establishing the first “bridge program” in the state to help veterans turn their military training into a high-demand career. The bridge program, set to launch at the college in March 2015, offers veterans with relevant healthcare experience a quicker, more affordable way to get a practical nursing license. This is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to support veterans and service members by ensuring they have access to training, education, and opportunities that help them thrive during their transition to civilian life.

“We have a duty on the home front to take care of our veterans when it comes to education,” Governor Quinn said. “A good education leads to a good job, and we know that employment is key to a veteran’s successful transition home. Veterans come home with a variety of specialized skills – military medics, for instance – and it’s important to harness their talent and apply it toward existing demands for skilled labor. It’s critically important that we give veterans this opportunity.”

Joliet Junior College, College of DuPage and Illinois Central College will each offer the eight-week, six-credit bridge program, which addresses differences in competencies between the Basic Medical Technician Corpsman program and those of a practical nursing program. Upon completion, student veterans will be awarded a Practical Nursing Certificate and be eligible to sit for the Practical Nurse Licensing Exam. Training requirements will be reduced from approximately 1,600 hours to 250 hours, or from 42 to six credit hours, which will save eligible veterans more than $12,000 in tuition and fees.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, there will be a nine percent demand increase for LPNs and Vocational Nurses in Illinois through 2020, representing an estimated 2,115 additional jobs, and the bridge program is designed to help veterans fill these evolving workforce needs.

In February 2013, Governor Quinn issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to identify overlaps and gaps between military training and state licenses, and to propose ways to allow military training and education to be considered for state licensure requirements. Today’s event announcing the first of many military bridge programs is the result of that Executive Order, and features cooperation between the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the National Governor’s Association, U.S. Department of Defense, Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education, state licensing agencies, and participating schools.

“As the nation’s first public community college, I think it is fitting that Joliet Junior College be the first in the state to offer this program” said Mary Beth Luna, JJC interim dean of health professions and emergency services. “The collaboration between the other colleges involved, the Board of Nursing, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education was instrumental in making this a reality. We were able to acknowledge the rigorous training these medics received in the military and tailor the program to fill in the gaps.”

“We are very excited that these programs are coming on-line and being offered to qualified veterans,” Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Acting Director Rodrigo Garcia said. “The challenge of getting these bridge programs created was an interesting and dynamic process, and we are grateful to all the parties involved. We thank them for their cooperation, diligence, and focus on helping our veterans.”

In October 2013, Governor Quinn announced that Illinois had been selected for a special program to help those leaving military service attain certification for in-demand civilian careers. The Veterans Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy, formed by the National Governors Association (NGA), assisted six states, including Illinois, to create clear pathways for veterans to obtain state-level credentials for certain law enforcement and health care careers. Part of the NGA special program included a $46,500 grant, as well as a state-level system to learn best practices and capitalize on the success of others.

For more information on the bridge program and other accelerated credentialing opportunities for veterans, visit:  www.veterans.illinois.gov/statelicenses.

Governor Quinn has made helping our veterans, service members and their families one of his top priorities throughout his career in public service. He championed numerous veterans’ causes during his service as Lieutenant Governor and Illinois Treasurer. In 2011, Governor Quinn launched the Welcome Home Heroes program to support Illinois service members seeking homeownership.

As Lieutenant Governor, Governor Quinn championed the Illinois Military Family Relief Fund Act, which established a fund to provide grants to families of Illinois National Guard members and Illinois residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. These grants help service members and their families with the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services and other expenses they struggle to afford because a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty. The fund has distributed more than $15.1 million to 29,625 Illinois military families to assist with the financial burden at home when a loved one is deployed overseas.

New Book Chronicles 168 Years of an African American Family – From the Slavery Era to the Technology Age

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on New Book Chronicles 168 Years of an African American Family – From the Slavery Era to the Technology Age

Eric B. Willis, publisher and author, announces the release of his book about his African-American family history, American history, and its use as a genealogical and scholarly reference source

Willis Handbook by Eric B. Willis

Waterford, MI (BlackNews.com) — Panoply House of Publishing, a new self publishing company, has released its first publication. Many have expressed great enthusiasm for Eric B. Willis book release which consists of a richly detailed chronicle of his African-American family over the course of 168 years – between the mid-19th century slavery era in Mississippi and into the technology age of the 21st century throughout the United States.

The 872-page hardcover narrative The Willis Handbook: An Intersection of Genealogy, Memoirs & History of a Black American Family 1835-2003 cleverly intertwines family biographies with related local, state, and national historical events. Additionally, black-and-white and full color photographs, records, maps, and well-documented research create interest for the reader, as well as accountability. Willis has described his first book “like a treasured heirloom meets an encyclopedia.” The book will appeal to people of all ethnicities with a range of pursuits from academic, to genealogical, to regional histories.

“This is a tremendous achievement.” – Dr. Irma Watkins-Owens, Associate Professor of African American Studies and History and former Director of African Studies at Fordham University

“He’s done just an epic piece of tracing his family. He has put years into this. He even has photographs. When I look at some of his workthe things that hes uncovered about his family, its wonderful.” — Darlene Dickson, CEO of Manifold-Grace Publishing House, LLC

About the Author:
Eric B. Willis, a genealogist and freelance writer with over thirteen years of experience, is the founder of Panoply House of Publishing and a member of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Willis lives in Waterford, Michigan with his family. For more information, visit his website at www.panoplyhouseofpublishing.com.

Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Eric B. Willis

NAACP Responds to Presidential Action Normalizing Relations with Cuba

Posted by Admin On December - 23 - 2014 Comments Off on NAACP Responds to Presidential Action Normalizing Relations with Cuba

NAACP President Brooks and Director Shelton  made the following statements:

Cornell William Brooks, President & CEO:
“This bold action is a critical and important new development for millions of Cuban Americans throughout this country, and one we strongly support. We at the NAACP applaud President Obama for his leadership on this issue. The long-standing U.S. restrictions on trade and travel between the United States and Cuba have created tremendous and on-going hardships for the people of Cuba while hurting American businesspeople and travelers. In fact, the continuation of the embargo on trade between the United States and Cuba has proven itself to be counterproductive as it has made the United States the scapegoat for most of the problems facing Cuba today and in many ways strengthened the resolve of the Cuban people to oppose any changes to their current government. Expanding bilateral trade with the Cuban people is one of the most effective ways of influencing change from within Cuba’s society and promoting progress on human rights and democratic rule. ”

Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy:
“Our Association has worked tirelessly for the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States for decades. Over the past 40 years, we have sent several delegations to Cuba to try to promote trade in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors within the confines of the restrictions. For decades, the NAACP has also supported legislation in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House which would, once and for all, overturn the U.S. trade and travel embargos on Cuba. Thus, we are pleased with President Obama’s today and call on Congress and the Administration to work toward the full and complete normalization of relations in the coming year.”

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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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