April , 2019

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Archive for February, 2015

President Obama Meets With African American Civil Rights and Faith Leaders

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Meets With African American Civil Rights and Faith Leaders

President Obama met with African American civil rights and faith leaders to provide an update on the Administration’s priorities as described in the State of the Union. The meeting was also an opportunity to have a dialogue with the leaders about the issues facing their communities, including criminal justice, education, health care and economic development. The President highlighted the upcoming release of the report by the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and emphasized the  work of the Task Force leading to the report’s creation. The President also spoke about his efforts to work with a broad bipartisan coalition to continue to reform the criminal justice system and the significance of doing so for the country. The President noted the upcoming anniversary of the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative tomorrow and the progress made by the initiative with over 150 elected officials, cities and tribes having accepted the community challenge. The President and leaders also agreed to work together to find ways to strengthen our nation’s voting laws and reduce any barriers that prevent Americans from voting. The leaders in attendance agreed to continue their outreach to their communities and to work with the Administration on its efforts to implement its initiatives.

Those in attendance included:

  • Cornell Brooks, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Sherrilyn Ifill, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (NAACP LDF)
  • Marc Morial, National Urban League (NUL)
  • Spencer Overton, Interim President and CEO, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
  • Catherine Pugh, National Black State Legislators
  • Al Sharpton, National Action Network (NAN)
  • John Boyd, President, National Black Farmers Association
  • Ron Busby, President, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
  • Edwin Bass, COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc.
  • Bishop George Battle, Jr., African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • Reverend Traci Blackmon, Christ The King United Church of Christ
  • Reverend Kip Banks, Sr., Interim General Secretary, Progressive National Baptist Church
  • Reverend Jesse Bottoms, Jr., National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. of the Northeast Region
  • Bishop Charles Ellis, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
  • Michael McBride, PICO’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign
  • Reverend Samuel Tolbert, Jr., National Baptist Convention of America
  • Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Ebenezer Baptist Church
  • Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Skinner Leadership Institute

People v. Drew Peterson Court Operational Plan

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on People v. Drew Peterson Court Operational Plan

Judge Richard Brown and Sheriff Shannon Wolff have set the following rules and regulations for members of the media and the general public seeking to attend the People v. Drew Peterson preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. on March 3, 2015. Note: These rules and regulations are set primarily for the purposes of the preliminary hearing and are subject to change at the discretion of the Judge and Sheriff as this case proceeds.

Media Attendance

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Office is working to accommodate as many credentialed media outlets as possible on the day of the preliminary hearing, though space is limited due to the size of the courtroom. Media will be selected by a random lottery drawing conducted by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.

Outlets that wish to attend the hearing must submit an email to mpossley@atg.state.il.us by 3 p.m. Friday, February 27, 2015. Emails must include the reporter’s full name, media outlet, and desk and cell phone numbers. The Sheriff will conduct the drawing, and media requestors will be notified by end of business Friday, February 27, if they have been selected in the random lottery.

General Public Attendance

The Randolph County Courthouse opens to the public at 8 a.m. Members of the public who wish to attend the hearing must report to the 4th Floor of the Courthouse by 8:30 a.m. on March 3, 2015, to submit their names to the Sheriff’s Office to qualify for a random lottery selection.

At 9 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office will conduct a random lottery and notify the selected entrants.

Courthouse Entrance and General Access

All media and members of the general public must enter main courthouse doors on the northeast side of the building and proceed through security.

Reporters and crew must present valid press credentials upon entrance. Media credentials must be visible at all times.

No electronics, including cell phones, laptops, cameras or other audio or visual media equipment, are permitted inside courthouse. Please note: This policy may be amended in the event of a trial for members of the media covering the case. Options are being reviewed for possible overflow room space and use of electronics in this area for credentialed media outlets.

For the preliminary hearing, photos, video or audio recording will not be permitted anywhere in the courthouse.

Proper attire is required – no offensive/prejudicial clothing.


Lot A, Lot D, State Street and Taylor Street are designated passenger vehicle parking areas available to the press and public on a first-come, first-served basis. Consult attached map of the area.

Lot B and Buena Vista Street located behind the courthouse are designated parking areas for Randolph County employee parking only. The press and public are prohibited from parking in these areas.

Lot C is designated as a foot access-only area for the press and public. Lot C will be barricaded, and the press and public should remain behind the barricade for safety reasons.

Lot E is a privately owned lot being made available to the press for additional parking. Lot E is the closest area to the courthouse where news vans and other large vehicles may be parked if necessary. Lot E is fee parking only. Contact (618) 826-5021 for fee amounts and additional information.

Additional Information

This information and subsequent updates can be found on www.randolphco.org. Additional questions concerning courthouse operations, parking, and logistics should be referred to Randolph County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Deputy Donnie Krull at DrewPetersonCourt@randolphco.org or (618) 826-5484 Ext. 504.

Is Al Sharpton in Big Trouble? Historic $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Him, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on Is Al Sharpton in Big Trouble? Historic $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Him, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable

Al Sharpton

Washington, DC — The National Association of African American Owned Media (NAAAOM) and Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc., on Friday, February 20, 2015, filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable, Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, former FCC commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, NAACP, and The National Urban League for conspiring to and engaging in racial discrimination in contracting against 100% African American-owned media in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. section 1981.

The lawsuit states that Comcast and its proposed merger partner, Time Warner Cable, have engaged in long-term racial discrimination in contracting with 100% African American-owned media companies. Comcast, in particular, conspired with governmental regulators, including Baker, and non-media civil rights groups and so-called leaders, including Sharpton and the NAACP, to continue such discrimination in connection with its 2010, $36 billion acquisition of NBC-Universal. The suit further states that of the over $25 billion spent annually by Comcast and Time Warner Cable on cable channel carriage fees and advertising, less than $3 million is spent with 100% African American-owned media companies.“I had no choice but to file this lawsuit,” said Byron Allen, Chairman and Founder of Entertainment Studios Networks. “Everyone talks about diversity, but diversity in Hollywood and the media starts with ownership. African Americans don’t need handouts and donations; we can hire ourselves if white corporate America does business with us in a fair and equitable way. I was proud to tell Brian Roberts (Comcast’s Chairman and CEO) to his face this weekend, that we have filed a $20 billion suit against Comcast. Our lawsuit seeks to stop Comcast’s Jim Crow policies and collusion with our elected officials in order to continue its exclusion of 100% African American-owned media.”

He adds, “I have grave concerns that the only African American FCC commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, who was the deciding, favorable FCC vote on the $36 billion Comcast-NBCU merger and whose father, Representative Clyburn, has taken donations from Comcast and AT&T, will again fail us, as her former colleague, Meredith Attwell Baker (former FCC commissioner) did by voting for the NBCU merger and, 90 days later, taking a highly paid, executive job with Comcast. With President Obama and the FCC bought and paid for, they have left 100% African American-owned media with no choice but to fight for our rights. This is a defining moment for Mr. Roberts – Wall Street and D.C. regulators are watching to see if he’s smart enough to fix this problem, or dumb enough to fight to maintain his company’s indisputable, indefensible and unacceptable racist business practices. With this suit and the AT&T/DirecTV suit, as well as many others to follow, NAAAOM and I intend to stop these corporate racist atrocities and the resulting, African American financial genocide today. This is not the America I am going to leave to my children.”

“Comcast and Time Warner have too long avoided launching 100% African American-owned cable channels or dedicating any of their huge advertising budgets to 100% African American-owned media companies,” said Mark DeVitre, President of NAAAOM. “These companies sell their services to, and receive billions from, African American consumers, yet offer them no channels which they truly own. Not only is this counter to Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s obligations to the public under the First Amendment, but as we say in our lawsuit, the purposeful ways in which they go about discriminating against 100% African American-owned media companies is a clear violation of their civil rights. NAAAOM intends to shine a bright light on this institutionalized racism until the discrimination stops.”

According to the lawsuit, Comcast and Time Warner, who are currently in the process of merging into one of the world’s largest media companies, make major cash donations to non-media civil rights organizations in order to buy their approval of the companies’ discriminatory business practices as it relates to African Americans. The lawsuit states that these organizations, which are not media/channel owners, are paid for their endorsements with cash and other consideration, like Sharpton’s low-rated, nightly series on MSNBC, and that these endorsements also include their signatures on Comcast-authored “Memoranda of Understanding” (MOU) which proscribe a “minority” consideration process for the launch of African American channels. Even though Sharpton and others signed such an MOU which enabled Comcast to get its $36 billion NBC-Universal merger approved by the FCC and DOJ, the MOU has not resulted in the launch of any 100% African American-owned cable channels. Instead, they launch channels fronted by African American celebrities but financed and actually owned/controlled by white-owned media and Comcast insiders.

“As with our clients’ lawsuit against AT&T and DirecTV, this action further calls into question how these giant media corporations deal with 100% African American-owned media. We are looking forward to our day in Federal Court, and to explaining to the judge and jury the discriminatory way Comcast and Time Warner, as well as AT&T and DirecTV, have operated their businesses and how they work with government regulators and non-media civil rights organizations to hide their institutionalized racist behavior. 100% African American-owned media companies, including my clients, have been egregiously harmed and we look forward to obtaining justice for them,” said Skip Miller, partner at Miller Barondess, LLP in Los Angeles and lead trial counsel for the plaintiff.

The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court, Central District of California, can be accessed at:

About Entertainment Studios
Entertainment Studios, Inc. owns seven 24-hour HD cable networks: PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV and JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV. The company also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 37 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Entertainment Studios provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners. Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded the company in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Denver, and Raleigh. For more information, visit www.es.tv

NAAAOM’s mission is to eliminate racial discrimination and secure the economic inclusion of truly 100% African American owned media through fair contracting and equal treatment practices. For more information, visit www.NAAAOM.com

Source: Blacknews.com

Photo: Rev. Al Sharpton

Kirk Condemns ISIS Kidnapping of Hundreds of Assyrian Christians

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on Kirk Condemns ISIS Kidnapping of Hundreds of Assyrian Christians

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) released the following statement condemning the Islamic State (ISIS) for attacking Assyrian Christian villages in Syria’s Hassakeh province and kidnapping more than 200 Assyrian Christians, including women, children, priests, and the elderly:

“The Islamic State’s ongoing atrocities against Assyrian Christians remind us that terrorists pose an existential threat to religious and ethnic minorities throughout the Middle East.  Yet while the Administration repeatedly talks of working with regional allies to destroy ISIS, it has yet to articulate and implement a serious strategy to achieve that important goal.  In the meantime, innocent people are suffering and dying on an unconscionable scale.”

Wilson to Launch Website on who to Support for Mayor

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on Wilson to Launch Website on who to Support for Mayor

Bishop Porter unveils Black agenda

By Chinta Strausberg

While pressure continues to mount on former mayoral candidate Dr. Willie Wilson to either throw his support behind Mayor Rahm Emanuel or the second runner-up, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Wilson Thursday told this reporter he has to first hear from his supporters.

And, a prominent bishop has released a “Black Agenda” a sort of litmus test of support for the African American community on which mayoral candidate is worthy to be endorsed.

So as not to be a perceived as a political dictator, within the next two-weeks Dr. Wilson will be putting up a new website seeking the advice from the 49,612 people who voted for him.

That’s important to Wilson, 66, a self-made millionaire and president/CEO of the very successful syndicated gospel show, “Singsation,” who came in third place in last Tuesday’s mayoral race with 10.64 percent of the vote. For the first time, there will be a mayoral run-off because Emanuel failed to get a 50 plus 1 vote.

Wilson, who funded his own campaign with a $1 million check, said he never got into the mayoral race to fatten his own coffers or those of his friends unlike the mayor he says continues to give contracts to his supporters.

While Wilson has met with the mayor and Garcia, when asked which candidate would he support, Wilson said, “I am for anybody for except the mayor but when I said that I was running in the primary. I am also obligated in fairness that I should hear from those who voted for me.

“If I went and did what I felt, that would not be right. I need to get the opinions from the people who voted for me,” Wilson told this reporter. “That would not be right…,” he said explaining he doesn’t want to be like other politicians who don’t get input from the citizens.

“I will make a decision who I will support within ten-days,” Wilson said.

When contacted, former mayoral candidate Robert Shaw warned that jumping aboard the Garcia band right away is not the way this process is going to go.

“Some conversations have to take place,” said Shaw. “We just can’t go out there and jump up and give people our vote.  The candidate that serves the black community best is the one we should look at.”

But, when asked if the black community will forgive Emanuel for closing 50 schools mostly in the black community or for his red light program or make history by supporting Garcia who could be the first Latino mayor, Bishop Claude Porter, chairman of the Interfaith Illinois, Inc., is taking this process a step higher.

“I think the black community will come together and re-evaluate both sides of the situation and make an intelligent decision who they will support,” Porter told this reporter.

“There have been a lot of activities concerning the losing of the schools,” said Porter. “We know that was a bad move and saying he would do more by putting more police on the streets. The black community needs to evaluate who is going to follow the agenda that is being put out there to take care and look out for our best interest.”

“We have a black agenda that has been put out there. We need to look at that agenda and see who will adopt the interest of the black community,” Porter stated.

When asked how would the community know if they were not once again getting empty political promises just to secure their votes, Porters said, “We had that recently with the governor’s race” …empty political promises. “

“We have to look very closely at what people are telling us. We have to demand that they stick to what they’re talking about; otherwise they would be one-term….”

Reminded that blacks are the largest voting bloc in Chicago, Porter said, “We have over more than 600,000 registered right now…. We have the controlling vote, and we have to make sure we utilize that now and stop being put on the sidelines as if we don’t count.

“We need to rally around each other,” Porter said. “We’re all leaders and we have to look at it that way.”

Porter said Wilson “is going to be a broker in this situation. I am proud of what he has accomplished. He is doing a great job and I believe he will speak out the same way we’re talking….”

Porter’s Black Agenda includes a demand to reintroduce vocational training in CPS, turn the closed schools into “viable community enhancement centers needed for occupational training, more contracts for blacks, a holistic plan to reduce crime, increase funding for mental health, increase youth voting, plan to retain homeowners, establish micro loans so blacks can open up fresh food stores in desert areas, and a number of other business demands that would include blacks.

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

Reparations Not Black Sites – Rally for the Runoff!

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on Reparations Not Black Sites – Rally for the Runoff!

CHICAGO, IL – On election day, this city sent a message. The most marginalized members of our communities are suffering because of shuttered schools, closed clinics and unchecked police violence. On Monday, March 2, Chicagoans will gather at 6 P.M. in Daley Plaza to echo the message that was sent by Tuesday’s election results – Chicago has had enough, and this city will hold its leaders accountable!

Mayor Emanuel has long been dismissive of police violence, refusing to support the reparations ordinance for survivors of Chicago Police torture and allowing violent cops to remain on the street. The recent revelation of a black site interrogation and detention center in Chicago only adds insult to injury. This mayor faced stiff opposition to his polices in the months and weeks leading up to election day and the results make the will of the people clear: we will not tolerate business as usual.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel must answer for his indifference, say community organizers. “The cycle of brutality must be broken. The education component of the reparations ordinance will force the real history of the Burge torture cases into our public schools,” says Kelly Hayes. “The reparations ordinance will provide care and compensation to those tortured under former CPD Commander Jon Burge. This is how real change begins: with truth and accountability.”

Jon Burge began his parole on February 13, 2015, and will collect a city pension. The city spent $20 million dollars defending him — a torturer who’s retirement will be funded by Chicago taxpayers. Yet most of his victims go uncompensated.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel never answered the cry of survivors of police torture by actively support passage of the reparations ordinance. His record on police crime could have been much different. This rally is being organized to remind the mayor and every politician who has a stake in this runoff that they are answerable to the people.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1577913122454903

Black Legend Awards to Celebrate Silicon Valley Icons

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on Black Legend Awards to Celebrate Silicon Valley Icons


Inaugural Event is the cornerstone for the Black History Museum – Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, CA (BlackNews.com) – The Joyner/Payne Youth Services Agency, The Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, and the African American Community Service Agency have joined in a dynamic, collaborative vision to establish a Black History Museum in San Jose by the year 2020.

The purpose of this groundbreaking collaborative is to create an educational institution that will celebrate the genius and contributions of Black People throughout time, starting with Mother Africa, American History and ending with the Silicon Valley.

The Inaugural Black Legend Awards – Silicon Valley Ceremony, that will be held on September 12, 2015, at the Parkside Hall of the San Jose Convention Center, is the foundational event for the official launch of fundraising for The Black History Museum.

Nominations for honorees in the ten (10) categories for the 2015 Black Legend Awards – Silicon Valley have been received. The criteria for selection is someone who has made a significant contribution to the quality of life of Black People and to the general population of people who live in Silicon Valley; and who has provided those services for a minimum of ten (10) years.

During Black History Month through May 15, 2015, tickets to this Inaugural Event may be purchased at a discounted rate of $100 per ticket.

The ten categories are:

Art/Theater/Music Award – Awarded to individuals who have distinguished themselves, had outstanding careers in music, art and theater (TV and Movies) and have used their influence to enhance the lives of people in the Black Community;

Business & Entrepreneur Award – Awarded to individuals who have been employed by Companies and Corporations and created successful businesses and/or services in the community and used their success to enhance the lives of people in the Black Community;

Community Service Award – Awarded to business people and volunteers who created and/or volunteered for non-profit agencies that provided essential services to enhance the quality of life for Black people in the community;

Education Award – Awarded to individuals who had outstanding careers as Teachers, Administrators and Policy Makers who made a significant impact regarding access to and quality of educational services to the community and who enhanced the lives of people in the Black Community;

Health & Medicine Award – Awarded to those Doctors, Nurses, and Health Practitioners who provided healthcare to people in the broader community and enhanced the lives of people in the Black Community;

Law & Justice Award – Awarded to those Lawyers, Judges and Legal Representatives who defended the law and the Constitution and enhanced the lives of people in the Black Community;

Public Service Award – Awarded to those Public Service Employees who provided for the health and safety of the broader community and enhanced the quality of life of people in the Black Community;

News & Documentary Award – Awarded to those Journalists, Historians, Photojournalists Documentarians, Editors and Community People who recorded local black community history & events, as well as the broader community and world events – those individuals who kept the community informed and documented significant events that have enhanced the quality of life in the Black Community;

Spiritual Award – Awarded to those members of the faith-based communities who have led Congregations and Mosques in prayer for peace and salvation and have enhanced the lives of people in the Black Community;

S.T.E.M. Award (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) – Awarded to those individuals who helped produce, enhance and improve today’s social network and those who were instrumental in creating landmark changes in science and technology to enhance and improve the lives of the general public and the lives of people in the Black Community.
The names of the Black Pioneers nominated for the Black Legends Hall of Fame will be released at a later date.
To learn more about the Black Legend Awards, to purchase tickets, make a donation, or to be a sponsor of the Black Legend Awards – Silicon Valley Black-Tie/Red Carpet Ceremony on September 12, 2015, please call 408-320-2111, or visit www.blacklegendawards.org.

State Senators Collins, Jones, Local Business Owners and Civic Leaders Gather to Honor Jackie Robinson West Players This Sunday

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on State Senators Collins, Jones, Local Business Owners and Civic Leaders Gather to Honor Jackie Robinson West Players This Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois State Senators Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) and Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago 14th) will join with business owner Lawrence Calvin D’Antignac and other civic and community leaders to honor the players of Jackie Robinson West this Sunday, March 1, at The Woodshop.

During the presentation, the youth will receive reproductions of “Full Count 3 and 2,” by famed artist Annie Lee. The piece depicts a young boy pitching in a sandlot baseball game.

“This is the perfect representation of how our young Little Leaguers first get introduced to baseball,” D’Antignac said.

Under the leadership of D’Antignac and his wife, Marvita, The Woodshop, which opened its doors in 1974, has become a major dealer and purveyor of African, African-American and Caribbean art.

The event will be held Sunday, March 1, 2015 , 11:30 a.m., at the Woodshop, 441 East 75th St., in Chicago.

Sweepstakes Phone Scam Targets Northern Illinois Residents

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on Sweepstakes Phone Scam Targets Northern Illinois Residents

CHICAGO, IL –  Consumers in Chicago and northern Illinois have contacted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to report receiving phone calls from individuals stating that they have $450,000 waiting for them to claim. Often, the callers say the money is winnings from a sweepstakes or an award from a grant. The BBB warns consumers that these calls are a scam.

Lutina Cooper who lives in the Chicagoland area received a call stating she and her husband were the winners of the Mega Millions Publisher Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. Mrs. Cooper told the BBB, “The caller said his name was Michael Sanchez. He said in order to receive the money, my husband would have to pay $900 to start the process.” The Coopers had considered getting a “Title Loan” on their car in order to pay the $900. Luckily, before they did, they called the BBB.

Helen Nutt of Rockford also received a call. Mrs. Nutt said “He told me his name was William Dunn and was calling from the Federal Consumer Protection Agency and that the Agency got a notice that I had $520,000 from Publishers Clearinghouse that I had not claimed. He gave me a claim number and a phone number to call. The man who answered said I could re-activate the prize by paying 1% of the winnings.”

Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois says, “Consumers need to always keep in mind that to win a legitimate sweepstakes or lottery, there should never be any costs involved. In fact, it is illegal under Federal law to require any form of payment.”

Bernas also noted, “These sweepstakes phone scams tend to occur geographically, moving around to different areas of the country at different times of the year.”

Publishers Clearinghouse who has a yearly sweepstakes says they never ask for money and their “no purchase necessary” message is prominently displayed on all of their promotional materials. Also, the company says all prizes over $10,000 are awarded in person and they never call in advance.

The BBB has these tips to avoid being scammed in one of these calls:

  • Hang up – If you receive any unsolicited call with a story that sounds too good to be true, hang up.
  • Wire Transfers – If you are asked to send money via Western Union, MoneyGram, or using a pre-paid debit card, DON’T.
  • Taxes on your prize – In a legitimate sweepstakes, taxes will be deducted from your winnings or you will pay them directly to thegovernmentGuard your credit card and bank account numbers – No legitimate sweepstakes company will ask for this information. Your social security number may be required for tax reporting purposes if you have won. Don’t provide that information unless you’re absolutely sure that you entered the contest and that you know the company operating it.
  • Be on guard for imposters – Some scammers use company names that are identical or very similar to well-known, legitimate sweepstakes operators. Tell them that you’ll get back to them and contact the real companies to ask if there is any connection.
  • Be wary of offers to send you an “advance” on your “winnings” – Some con artists use this ploy to build trust and get money from your bank. They send you a check for part of your “winnings,” instructing you to deposit it and then wire payment to them for taxes, bonding, or some other phony purpose. The bank tells you the check has cleared because the normal time has passed to be notified that checks have bounced. After you wire the money, the check that you deposited finally bounces because it turned out to be an elaborate fake. Now the crooks have your payment and you’re left owing your bank the amount that you withdrew.
  • Get the details in writing – Legitimate sweepstakes companies will give you written information about how a contest works, including the odds of winning, the value of the prizes, the fact that no purchase is necessary and an explanation that buying does not improve your chances of winning.

For more information, visit www.bbb.org/chicago, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

New Kristoffer Diaz Play, “The Upstairs Concierge,” Premieres March 28 – April 26 in The Owen Theatre

Posted by Admin On February - 27 - 2015 Comments Off on New Kristoffer Diaz Play, “The Upstairs Concierge,” Premieres March 28 – April 26 in The Owen Theatre

Fame and Farce Collide in Kristoffer Diaz’s World-Premiere Comedy, The Upstairs Concierge, Directed by KJ Sanchez March 28 – April 26 in The Owen Theatre

Production includes complementary short films (penned by Diaz and produced by Cap Gun Collective) and “Concierge Consultants” from Hotel Monaco and Hotel palomar

CHICAGO, IL –  Rehearsals begin this week for The Upstairs Concierge, a classic farce with modern themes by Obie Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristoffer Diaz, the “vibrant young playwright” (The New York Times) with a “talented new voice” (The Los Angeles Times). A co-commission with Teatro Vista, The Upstairs Concierge was developed over three years through a series of improvisational workshops and a developmental production in the Goodman’s 2013 New Stages Festival. Director KJ Sanchez, in her Goodman directorial debut, brings together the all-Chicago ensemble cast, including Theo Allyn as Mark Merriman; Sandra Delgado as Shivery Delicious; Alejandra Escalante as Rebecca Oaxaca; José Antonio Garcia as BB; Annie Henk as Dia Hotelman; Tawny Newsome in the title role as Ella Elizondo; Gabriel Ruiz as Harvey; John Stokvis as Kaz; Travis Turner as Royals Guy; and Cedric Young as Jeffrey Hotelman. Headshots and bio information can be found in the Press Room. The Upstairs Concierge runs March 28 – April 26 in the Owen Theatre (opening night is Monday, April 6). Tickets ($10-$40; subject to change) are on sale now and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Edelman is the Major Corporate Sponsor for the Owen Theatre Season. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is the Corporate Sponsor Partner. The Joyce Foundation is the Principal Support of Artistic Development and Diversity Initiatives.

“Kris’ major success with The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety put him on the map as a distinctive and vibrant voice in American theater,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “The Upstairs Concierge is an exciting new play that proudly exemplifies the full cycle of our play development efforts—from early workshop to a developmental production (2013 New Stages festival) to an Owen Theatre production. We’re thrilled to present its world premiere.”

A special grant from the Time Warner Foundation enables Diaz to pen several scripts to accompany The Upstairs Concierge, produced into short films by Cap Gun Collective, a Chicago-based film company. Featuring cast members Newsome, Ruiz and Stokvis, the films function as both stand-alone comedic shorts as well as an invitation for audiences to delve deeper into the world of the play and the imaginations of the creative team and cast. Overall, Goodman Theatre’s New Work Initiatives are supported by The Davee Foundation, The Time Warner Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, The Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, The Glasser and Rosenthal Family, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Joyce Foundation. The Goodman also partners with Kimpton Hotels’ concierges—Sheila Garg, Chief Concierge at Hotel Monaco Chicago and Bobby Gonzalez, Concierge at Hotel Palomar Chicago—to serve as “concierge consultants” on the production, working with Newsome to inform her character.

Goodman Theatre launches a new opportunity for social media insiders to go behind-the-scenes of The Upstairs Concierge for an intimate glance into the process of new play development. On Wednesday, March 4 from 6-7pm, guests sit in on a rehearsal and meet the cast and creative team during a Q&A. Applicants who are interested in applying to be a part of the new program can do so here. Participants will be notified by February 27.

“It’s been amazing developing The Upstairs Concierge with the Goodman over the last few years; it’s not possible to write a farce alone in a room, and Bob Falls and [Director of New Play Development] Tanya Palmer have let my imagination run wild in putting this together,” said Diaz. “Actors of color don’t often get cast in big, broad, silly comedies. I wanted to write this play for these people and with them. Everyone who participated in its development over the years left a real mark on the play.”

Set in Chicago, The Upstairs Concierge follows Ella Elizondo (played by Newsome, who collaborated with Diaz on the production since the beginning) on her first day of work at The Hotelman Arms, a boutique hotel owned by Jeffrey and Dia Hotelman (Young and Henk). Taking self-sacrifice to new heights, the desperate-to-please Ella has signed on to be the “Upstairs Concierge;” a position that requires her to spend every waking—and sleeping—moment serving her celebrity guests. With a rag tag staff that including two bellhops, Harvey (Ruiz) and Kaz (Stokvis), it becomes hard to keep track of which guests are in which room, which guest is the biggest celebrity and party-loving guests need extra supervision. The creative team includes Todd Rosenthal (set designer), Rachel Healy (costume designer), Marcus Doshi (lighting designer) and Mikhail Fiksel (sound designer). Kimberly Osgood is the production stage manager and Tanya Palmer is the production dramaturg.

Kristoffer Diaz returns to the Goodman, where his play The Upstairs Concierge ran during the 2013 New Stages Festival. Diaz’s full-length plays include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (2011 New York Times Outstanding Playwright recipient, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lucille Lortel Award, Obie Award, Drama Desk nominee and Jeff Award winner for Best Production and Best New Work), Welcome to Arroyo’s and #therevolution, among others. He is a playwright-in-residence at Teatro Vista, as well as a recipient of the Jerome Fellowship, the Future Aesthetics Artist Regrant and the Van Lier Fellowship (New Dramatists). Diaz is also a former member of the Ars Nova Play Group and is currently working on commissions for the Goodman/Teatro Vista and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

KJ Sanchez is making her Goodman Theatre directorial debut. Other Goodman credits include Thyona in Charles L. Mee’s Big Love. Her directing credits include ReEntry (Urban Stages, co-creator); Private Lives and Mere Mortals (Two River Theater Company); The Diary of Anne Frank and Noises Off (Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Water by the Spoonful (Studio Theatre). She is an artistic associate at Cincinnati Playhouse, where she directed Venus in Fur, Seven Spots on the Sun and Joan, the Girl of Arc. Sanchez has also directed at Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE, Round House Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville, as well as over 30 military bases throughout the country and abroad. She is founder/ CEO of American Records and provides the voice of many characters in the cartoons Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!


Social Media Insiders – March 4 from 6-7pm (Apply here)
Artist Encounter featuring Diaz and Sanchez – April 5 at 5pm ($5 general public, FREE Subscribers, Donors, students)
College Night – April 8 ($10 w/promo code COLLEGE; 6pm pre-show pizza party, 7:30pm show, w/student ID)
Audio Described Performance – April 15 at 7:30pm
Post-Show Discussions – Every Wednesday and Thursday evening immediately following the performance


Tickets: www.GoodmanTheatre.org/Upstairs or 312.443.3800 (telephone); 312.443.3825 (fax); 312.443.3829 (TTY/TDD). Box Office Hours are 12noon – 5pm; on performance days, the office remains open until 30 minutes past curtain.
MezzTix – Half-price day-of-performance mezzanine tickets available at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX)
10Tix – Student $10 tickets for any performance; limit four, with valid student ID (promo code 10TIX)
Group Sales – Discounted tickets for parties of 10+ – 312.443.3820
Subscribe – Four-Play Albert Theatre subscriptions start at $90 (GoodmanTheatre.org/Subscriptions)
WILD Card – A flex pass including four mix/match Albert/Owen tickets (GoodmanTheatreorg/WildCard)
Gift Certificates – Available in any amount (GoodmanTheatre.org/GiftCertificates)

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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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