April , 2019

A national real estate website this week named Rogers Park as the top neighborhood in Chicago ...
CHICAGO, IL – Ten-year-old Samuel Love, the fourth grade student at Beasley Academy Center, 5255 ...
Institute of Museum and Library Services Announces National Finalists CHICAGO, IL – The National Veterans ...
CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Division of Banking, ...
NAACP Chairman’s Award to be Presented to Harvard Law Professor Charles J. Ogletree Jr. at ...
CHICAGO, IL— Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced charges against a Cook County man for ...
Collections include $101 million recovery for state pension systems CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General ...
CHICAGO, IL - The 50th Chicago International Film Festival, North America’s oldest ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to work with local ...
(From the Weekly Newsletter of Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League)   This ...

Archive for March 26th, 2015

Chicago Police Department Hit For Hiding Records About Officers Engaged in Perjury and Other Misconduct

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Chicago Police Department Hit For Hiding Records About Officers Engaged in Perjury and Other Misconduct

State’s Attorney Alvarez Shields Dirty Cops From Prosecution, Says Suit

CHICAGO, IL – A civil rights attorney here filed suit against the Chicago Police Department today for stonewalling his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests aimed at gathering more evidence about lying while under oath by two police officers, Allyson Bogdalek and Dominick Catinella.

“The public has a right to know when prosecutors try to convict citizens with the testimony of dishonest police officers and whether Anita Alvarez refused to prosecute a police officer who confessed to a crime for political gain,” said Jared Kosoglad, the plaintiff in the suit, 2015-CH-04993. The CPD has refused to answer Kosoglad’s FOIA requests.

According to the suit, “On July 24, 2012, Officer Allyson Bogdalek, Star # 18598, confessed to Cook County State’s Attorneys that she committed perjury, destroyed evidence, and conspired with her partner, Officer Dominick Catinella, Star # 12936, in the criminal case of State of Illinois v. Ranceallen Hankerson, Case No, 10-CR-11882.”

Despite having a confession to perjury, a Class 3 Felony punishable by two to five years in prison, the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ office declined to prosecute Bogdalek. Catinella, who alleged intentionally destroyed evidence, a Class 4 Felony punishable by up to eight years in prison, also was not prosecuted. The CPD took no disciplinary actions against either officer.

“Prosecutors from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office sought to prosecute in connection with this incident, but Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez personally intervened and prevented any charges from moving forward,” said today’s suit.

Allyson Bogdalek has been a defendant in three federal civil rights cases:  Martinez et al. v. City of Chicago, et al., 09-cv-5938 (judgment entered in May 2014 against Chicago for $650,000); Aldridge v. Haggerty, et al., 09-cv-07975 (trial in favor of defendants February 2011); and Martinez v. City of Chicago, et al., 14-cv-369 (case set for trial before Judge Dow in January 2015). Kosoglad has represented the Martinez family for seven years in both of their suits..

“That Alvarez’s office may be using the testimony of officers known to perjure themselves and destroy evidence without telling criminal defendants would be a widespread Due Process violation,” said Kosoglad.

“There is an ongoing and widespread pattern of FOIA violations by the CPD, an agency that is itself charged with enforcing laws,” said Kosoglad’s attorney, Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law.  “It shouldn’t have to take lawsuits like this to get the city to respond to FOIA requests and turn over public records.”

Alvarez has been widely criticized for rarely prosecuting corrupt officers and politically connected individuals, such as Richard Daley’s nephew Richard Vanecko, while pursuing politically motivated prosecutions, such as against “The NATO 3” youths caught up in a CPD “terrorism” investigation and prosecution widely derided as entrapment. Last year a large group of prominent former judges and prosecutors wrote an open letter to Alvarez condemning her for the perjury prosecution of Willie Johnson, a double-murder witness who was himself shot nine times, for later recanting his testimony.

Kosoglad owns and manages Jared S. Kosoglad, P.C., a boutique civil rights law firm that represents victims encountering misconduct in the criminal justice system, police brutality, false arrests, and malicious prosecutions. He has successfully represented numerous victims of police misconduct in Chicago over the last ten years.

Loevy & Loevy is the largest civil rights law firm in the Midwest and has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country over the past decade and frequently represents the public in FOIA litigation.

VIDEO: Kirk Amendment Holds Iranian Regime Accountable

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on VIDEO: Kirk Amendment Holds Iranian Regime Accountable

Kirk Displays Names of 290 American Citizens Murdered by Iran-Sponsored Hezbollah Terrorists

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) spoke on the Senate Floor to urge his colleagues to support his amendment to hold the Iranian terror regime responsible if it cheats on nuclear agreements with the United States.  Kirk Amendment #545 to the Senate budget resolution, S. Con. Res. 11, supports the bipartisan and uncontroversial principle of re-imposing waived sanctions and imposing new sanctions if Iran cheats on the interim nuclear deal or a final nuclear deal.

Senator Kirk read the names of 13 people from Illinois who were among the 290 American citizens murdered by Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorists. Kirk has posted online the names and images of these American victims of Iran.

“In the memory of these 290 Americans we want to make sure we carry out a sense of the Senate that expresses our views that if Iran cheats on this agreement, there should be sanctions. I call on all Members to back the bipartisan Kirk-Menendez effort to hold Iran accountable during these negotiations.”

Video of Senator Kirk’s speech can be viewed here. The text of Senator Kirk’s amendment is available here.

Additional Background:

The bipartisan and uncontroversial principle of imposing sanctions on Iran if it cheats on nuclear deals is embodied in Section 208 of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill co-authored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

Section 208 of the Kirk-Menendez Iran legislation would immediately re-impose waived sanctions and impose new sanctions on Iran if the president cannot certify to Congress that Iran is full compliance with nuclear agreements with the United States and its negotiating partners.

On January 29, 2015, the Senate Banking Committee passed the Kirk-Menendez Iran legislation in a strong bipartisan 18-to-4 vote, in which the Committee carried all 12 Republicans and 6 out of 10 Democrats.

Twelve Democratic Senators wrote a letter to President Obama on January 26th in support of the Kirk-Menendez legislation, vowing: “After March 24, we will only vote for this legislation on the Senate floor if Iran fails to reach agreement on a political framework that addresses all parameters of a comprehensive agreement.”

As of March 25, 2015, Iran has failed “to reach agreement on a political framework that addresses all parameters of a comprehensive agreement.”

Iran is a theocratic dictatorship that sponsors and exports terrorism, egregiously violates human rights, has worked with terrorists to kill more Americans than the Islamic State, and now has a decades-long record of cheating to get nuclear weapons-making capability.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky: Home Care Workers Deserve a Raise!

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Rep. Jan Schakowsky: Home Care Workers Deserve a Raise!
Jan Schakowsky
Across the US, nearly 5 million people support themselves, and their families, as home care workers.  In Illinois, 163,000 workers count on these jobs to put food on the table.

These are the people that take care of us and our loved ones when we need it most.

But many home care workers can’t earn enough money to make ends meet.  Nearly half of home care workers rely on government assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid.

Home care workers deserve better.

Read Jan’s Op-Ed calling for higher wages for home care workers here.

NAACP Calls for Thorough and Fully Transparent Investigation into UVA Incident

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on NAACP Calls for Thorough and Fully Transparent Investigation into UVA Incident

Baltimore, MD – The NAACP national office joins the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP and the NAACP Virginia State Conference Youth & College Division (VaYCD NAACP)  in supporting Virginia Governor McAuliffe in his call for an immediate investigation into the beating of Martese Johnson, 20, a University of Virginia student and a member of the UVA Honor Committee and the Alliance.

Martese Johnson, a third year student at the University of Virginia, was “flung to the ground” by Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents outside Trinity Irish Pub last Wednesday, March 18th. Mr. Johnson was charged with public swearing/intoxication and obstructing justice, according to court records.  The NAACP is deeply disturbed by the incident at the University of Virginia that left an unarmed young man, who did not appear to be resisting arrest, bloodied and bruised by the hands of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents.

For more information, contact: Carmen Taylor, President Virginia State Conference – NAACP  (757) 329-7321, (804) 677-8349

President Obama Marks the Fifth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on President Obama Marks the Fifth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

South Court Auditorium

Remarks by the President Marking the Fifth Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama:  Thank you.  Thank you so much, everybody.   Everybody, have a seat.  Thank you, Doctor, for that introduction.  I want to thank Sylvia Burwell, our outstanding head of Health and Human Services.  We’ve got some wonderful members of Congress here today who helped make this happen.  And I want to offer a heartfelt thanks to all of the top medical professionals who are here today.  We’ve got hospital leaders, we’ve got health care CEOs, doctors, patients, advocates, consumer groups, Democrats and Republicans, who have all come together and spent time and effort to make the Affordable Care Act, and America’s health care system, work even better.

What your efforts have meant is the start of a new phase, where professionals like you and organizations like yours come together in one new network with one big goal, and that is to continue to improve the cost and quality of health care in America.

A lot of you have already taken steps on your own.  The American Cancer Society that’s represented here is committed to teaching its members about how new patient-centered approaches can improve cancer care.  Governor Markell of Delaware, who’s here, has set a goal of having 80 percent of his citizens receive care through new and improved payment and delivery models within five years.  And Dr. Glenn Madrid, of Grand Junction, Colorado, is using a new care model that allowed him to hire case coordinators and use better technology so that patients have access to him 24/7.  I don’t know when that lets him sleep — but his patients are sleeping better.

And these are examples of efforts that show we don’t need to reinvent the wheel; you’re already figuring out what works to reduce infections in hospitals or help patients with complicated needs.  What we have to do is to share these best practices, these good ideas, including new ways to pay for care so that we’re rewarding quality.  And that’s what this network is all about.

In fact, just five years in, the Affordable Care Act has already helped improve the quality of health care across the board.  A lot of the attention has been rightly focused on people’s access to care, and that obviously was a huge motivator for us passing the Affordable Care Act — making sure that people who didn’t have health insurance have the security of health insurance.

But what was also a central notion in the Affordable Care Act was we had an inefficient system with a lot of waste that didn’t also deliver the kind of quality that was needed that often put health care providers in a box where they wanted to do better for their patients, but financial incentives were skewed the other way.

And so the work that we’ve been able to do is already spurring the kinds of changes that we had hoped for.  It’s helped reduce hospital readmission rates dramatically.  It’s a major reason why we’ve seen 50,000 fewer preventable patient deaths in hospitals.  And if you want to know what that means, ask Alicia Cole, who suffers — Alicia is right here — who suffers the long-term effects of a hospital-acquired infection.  And she is here today because she doesn’t want anybody else to endure what she has.  And it’s preventable if we set up good practices, and financial incentives, reimbursement incentives, are aligned with those best practices.

So making sure that the Affordable Care Act works as intended, to not only deliver access to care but also to improve the quality of care and the cost of care, that’s something that requires all of us to work together.  That’s part of what the law is all about.  It’s making health coverage more affordable and more effective for all of us.  And in a lot of ways, it’s working better than many of us, including me, anticipated.

Wherever you are, here’s why you should care about making this system more efficient, and here’s why you should care that we keep the Affordable Care Act in place.

If you get insurance through your employer, like most Americans do, the ACA gave you new savings and new protections.  If you’ve got a pre-existing condition like diabetes or cancer, if you’ve had heartburn or a heart attack, this law means that you can no longer be charged more or denied coverage because of a preexisting condition, ever.  It’s the end of the discrimination against the sick in America, and all of us are sick sometimes.

If you don’t have health insurance, you can go online to the marketplace and choose from an array of quality, affordable private plans.  Every governor was given the option to expand Medicaid for his or her citizens, although only 28 have chosen to do so — so far.  But after five years of the ACA, more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained health care coverage — 16 million.  In just over one year, the ranks of the uninsured have dropped by nearly one-third — one-third.

If you’re a woman, you can no longer be charged more just for being a woman.  And you know there are a lot of women. Like more than 50 percent. Preventive care, like routine checkups and immunizations and contraception now come with no additional out-of-pocket costs.

If you’re a young person, you can now stay on your parents’ plan until you turn 26.  And if you want to turn that new idea into a business, if you’re going to try different jobs, even a different career, you now have the freedom to do it because you can buy health care that’s portable and not tied to your employer.  Most people have options that cost less than 100 bucks a month.

If you’re a business owner — because when we put forward the Affordable Care Act, there was a lot of question about how it would affect business; well, it turns out employer premiums rose at a rate tied for the lowest on record.  If premiums had kept growing at the rate we saw in the last decade, then either the average family premium, paid by the family or paid by the business, would be $1,800 higher than it is today.  That’s 1,800 bucks that businesses can use to higher and invest, or that’s 1,800 bucks that stays in that family’s bank account, shows up in their paycheck.

If you’re a senior — more than 9 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved an average of $1,600 on their prescriptions, adding up to over $15 billion in savings.  There were fears promoted that somehow this was going to undermine Medicare.  Well, it turns out the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by 13 years since this law has passed.

And, relevant to the topic today, we’re moving Medicare toward a payment model that rewards quality of care instead of quantity of care.  We don’t want the incentives to be skewed so that providers feel obliged to do more tests; we want them to do the right tests.  We want them, perhaps, to save — to invest some money on the front end to prevent disease and not just on the back end to treat disease.  And so these changes are encouraging doctors and hospitals to focus on getting better outcomes for their patients.

As we speak, Congress is working to fix the Medicare physician payment system.  I’ve got my pen ready to sign a good, bipartisan bill — which would be really exciting.  I love when Congress passes bipartisan bills that I can sign.  It’s always very encouraging.  And I want to thank everybody here today for their work in supporting new models of care that will benefit all Americans.

But the bottom line is this for the American people:  The Affordable Care Act, this law, is saving money for families and for businesses.  This law is also saving lives — lives that touch all of us.  It’s working despite countless attempts to repeal, undermine, defund, and defame this law.

It’s not the “job-killer” that critics have warned about for five years.  When this law was passed, our businesses began the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record:  60 straight months, five straight years, 12 million new jobs.

It’s not the fiscal disaster critics warned about for five years.  Health care prices are rising at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years, which has helped cut our deficit by two-thirds since I took office.  Before the ACA, health care was the single biggest driver driving up our projected deficits.  Today, health care is the single biggest factor driving those projections down.

I mean, we have been promised a lot of things these past five years that didn’t turn out to be the case:  death panels, doom.  A serious alternative from Republicans in Congress.

The budget they introduced last week would literally double the number of the uninsured in America.  And in their defense, there are two reasons why coming up with their own alternative has proven to be difficult.

First, it’s because the Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it — based on conservative, market-based principles developed by the Heritage Foundation and supported by Republicans in Congress, and deployed by a guy named Mitt Romney in Massachusetts to great effect.  If they want to take credit for this law, they can.  I’m happy to share it.

And second, it’s because health reform is really hard and the people here who are in the trenches know that.  Good people from both parties have tried and failed to get it done for 100 years, because every public policy has some trade-offs, especially when it affects one-sixth of the American economy and applies to the very personal needs of every individual American.

And we’ve made our share of mistakes since we passed this law.  But we also know beyond a shred of a doubt that the policy has worked.  Coverage is up.  Cost growth is at a historic low.  Deficits have been slashed.  Lives have been saved.  So if anybody wants to join us in the spirit of the people who have put aside differences to come here today and help make the law work even better, come on board.

On the other hand, for folks who are basing their entire political agenda on repealing the law, you’ve got to explain how kicking millions of families off their insurance is somehow going to make us more free.  Or why forcing millions of families to pay thousands of dollars more will somehow make us more secure.  Or why we should go back to the days when women paid more for coverage than men.  Or a preexisting condition locked so many of us out of insurance.

And if that’s your argument, then you should meet somebody like Anne Ha, who is here.  Anne is 28 years old.  Where’s Anne?  There you are.  Anne runs her own business in Philadelphia.  And she thought what many of us think when we’re young — I no longer qualify– that she was too young, too healthy to bother with health insurance.  She went to the gym every day.  She ate healthy, looks great, felt invincible.  Why pay a doctor just to tell her she’s okay?

But then her mom called, as moms sometimes do, and told Anne to get insured against the “what ifs” of life.  What if you get sick?  What if you get into a car accident?  So Anne, dutiful daughter that she was, went to HealthCare.gov, checked out her options in the marketplace.  And thanks to the tax credits available to her under this law, she got covered for 85 bucks a month.  Four months later, Anne was diagnosed with early-stage stomach cancer.  Anne underwent surgery, endured chemo.  Today, she’s recovering.  She looks great.  She’s here with us at the White House.  She invited me to her wedding.  I told her you don’t want the President at her wedding.

“If I didn’t have insurance,” Anne wrote, “my stomach cancer would have gone undiscovered, slowly and silently killing me.  But because I did have insurance, I was given a chance to live a long and happy life.”

And so in September, Anne is going to be marrying her fiancé, Tom.  And she’s convinced him to get covered, too.  And I do appreciate, Michelle appreciates the invitation.  As I said, we have to mag people at the wedding, and it spoils the fun.

But here are two lessons from Anne’s story.  Number one:  Listen to your mom.  Number two:  The Affordable Care Act works.  And it’s working not just to make sure that folks like Anne get coverage, but it’s also working to make sure that the system as a whole is providing better quality at a better price, freeing up our providers to do the things that led them to get into health care in the first place — and that’s help people.  It works.

Five years ago, we declared that in the United States of America, the security of quality, affordable health care was a privilege — was not a privilege, but a right.  And today, we’ve got citizens all across the country, all of you here today who are helping make that right a reality for every American, regardless of your political beliefs, or theirs.  And we’re saving money in the process.  And we’re cutting the deficit in the process.  And we’re helping businesses in their bottom lines in the process.  We’re making this country more competitive in the process.

And it’s not going to happen overnight.  There are still all kinds of bumps along the way.  Health care is complicated stuff.  And the hospital executives who are here, and the doctors who are here, and the consumer advocates who are here can tell you — all the complications and the quirks not just to the Affordable Care Act, but just generally making the system more rational and more efficient, it takes some time.  But we’re on our way.  We’re making progress.

And if all of us summon the same focus, the same kind of courage and wisdom and hard work that so many of you in this room display; and if we keep working not against one another, but for one another, with one another, we will not just make progress in health care.  We’re going to keep on making sure that across the board we’re living up to our highest ideals.

So I very much am appreciative of what all of you are doing.  I’m very proud of you.  And why don’t you guys get back to work?  (Laughter.)  Thank you very much.

Man Who Spent 10 Years in Prison Thanks Reentry Center for his Transformation

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Man Who Spent 10 Years in Prison Thanks Reentry Center for his Transformation

By Chinta Strausberg

He made a bad decision back in 1998 and one that cost him to lose his freedom for an entire decade. Today 45-year-old, Aldolphis Cooper, has completely transformed his life and is now giving back to those who have made wrong choices in their lives.

Once embroiled in a life of armed robbery, one day Cooper just got tired of violating people for economic gain and selfish choices; so he turned himself into the police. That was the best day of his life and one that has led to the complete transformation of the lion into the lamb.

Referring to the years he robbed people, Cooper said “some people say those were my worse years, but as a result, it has led to the best years of my life.”  Emanuel Barr, Outreach Manager, GEO Reentry Services stated, “Mr. Cooper is a changed man.  He works tirelessly to give back to the community.  He volunteers regularly sharing his changes with other returning citizens in the Decatur area.”

“I knew robbing people was not for me,” Cooper reflected. “I knew it was the wrong decision, and I hurt my wife and my mother. That’s when I knew I just had to make a change,” said Cooper.

The father of seven girls, Cooper said he had a good childhood so he can’t blame his bad boy role on his upbringing. “My dad didn’t stay with us, but we had a great relationship. I was raised by his grandmother and great-grandmother.”

When asked when did he begin to go wrong in life, Cooper said, “I went wrong at the age of 17, hanging out with the wrong crowd…hustling. I was making money. That was the beginning of my downfall when instead of selling drugs, I began using cocaine.”

Cooper didn’t just cocaine the usual way. “ I used to lace it over a reefer,” he confessed. “Back then, they called it a Primo. That was my downfall.  It made you want more and more.” Well, that “more and more” is what got Cooper in deep trouble.

Ashamed at the pain he was causing his family, Cooper turned himself into the police and spent two-years at the county jail before going to prison for his 10-year sentence.

“I got myself together before I went to prison,” he said. While in jail, Cooper recalled, “I already had my mind made up that I was done doing these things.”

When Cooper was released from prison, he was referred to the BI, Inc. now called GEO Reentry Services Center where he was able to get his birth certificate and driver’s license. He was taught how to present himself on job interviews. “It paid off. “ I got a job,” said a proud Cooper.

“Being at that center benefited me in so many ways,” said Cooper. “To this day, I still go back and talk to men and women going through the program. It’s my way of giving back.”

Today, Cooper is a stocker at Family Dollar and a maintenance person for the building.

Out of prison for seven years when asked about Illinois House Bill 2510 and 3929, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-14th) which if passed would ban for-profit reentry companies from doing business with the state of Illinois, Cooper said, “For people like me who want a second chance, if they pass this bill, they won’t have the opportunity I have had to receive information, love and respect.

“It would be a good thing to receive adequate information when they get out. I don’t care if it is for-profit or non-profit. I just want them to get the service they need to turn their lives around,” said Cooper.

“All I want is for them is to have the services and opportunities I had so they can be as successful as I have been,” Cooper stated.

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.

“The Republican Priorities Stand in Stark Contrast to the President’s Plan to Reverse Sequestration and Bring Middle Class Economics Into the 21st Century”: Press Secretary on the Passage of the House Budget

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on “The Republican Priorities Stand in Stark Contrast to the President’s Plan to Reverse Sequestration and Bring Middle Class Economics Into the 21st Century”: Press Secretary on the Passage of the House Budget

President Obama’s Press Secretary’s Statement on the House Budget:

“Budgets are about priorities.  This evening the House Republicans made clear that once again their priority is to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires and return our economy to the same top-down economics that has failed the American people before.  House Republicans voted in favor of locking in draconian sequestration cuts to investments in the middle class like education, job training and manufacturing.  House Republicans also failed to responsibly fund our national security, opting instead for budget gimmicks.

“The Republican priorities stand in stark contrast to the President’s plan to reverse sequestration and bring middle class economics into the 21st Century.  Through critical investments needed to accelerate and sustain economic growth in the long run, including in research, education, training, and infrastructure, the President’s Budget shows what we can do if we invest in America’s future and commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America.

“The President has been clear that he will not accept a budget that locks in sequestration or one that increases funding for our national security without providing matching increases in funding for our economic security.  The Administration will continue to abide by these principles moving forward.”

Bounce TV to Premiere New “Mann & Wife” Sitcom

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Bounce TV to Premiere New “Mann & Wife” Sitcom

Mann & Wife on Bounce TV

New Original Sitcom “Mann & Wife” Delivers Family Friendly Laughs to Primetime on Bounce TV This Spring

Series Premiere Set For Tuesday, April 7 at 9pm ET/8 CT

Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) – Real-life husband and wife team David Mann (“Madea’s Big Happy Family”) and Tamela Mann (“Sparkle”) are reuniting on screen as well as behind-the-scenes as executive producers with the debut of their new family-friendly original sitcom, MANN & WIFE premiering on Bounce TV on Tuesday, April 7 at 9pm ET/8 CT.

In Mann & Wife, the devoted couple draws inspiration from their real lives to play newlyweds Daniel and Toni Mann. The series follows the second-chance sweethearts as they laugh and love their way through the ups and downs of life as a blended family, each with two children from previous marriages.

“It was important to show our audience what a modern family looks like,” said David Mann. “We want to give a look at the African American family that’s positive, since there’s so much negative stuff out there.”

Life as they know it is turned inside out when Daniel, a police officer from Atlanta, and Toni, a school teacher from Dallas, meet on a dating site and fall in love. When they decide to marry and Toni moves into Daniel’s house in the Atlanta suburbs, the honeymooners — along with their kids DJ, Tosha, Darren and Terri — all have to adjust to their new lives together. In addition to their expanded brood, they have to deal with David’s overbearing live-in mother and his jet-setting ex-wife.

“We want Black families to learn through watching our show to resolve conflicts through dialogue and agree to disagree, because family is all you have,” believes Tamela Mann. “Mann & Wife is more like our real life than any of the other projects that we’ve done.  In our blended family, there’s no ‘his kids’ or ‘my kids’ — it’s just our kids, our family.”

In the series premiere, Daniel and Toni return home from an idyllic honeymoon and walk into comical chaos. Although Daniel’s mother, played by popular comedic actress JoMarie Payton, has been left in charge, all four of the children are bickering and finding it hard to get along. Meanwhile, Toni lands a substitute teaching job at the same school that DJ attends and Daniel is introduced to a new detective who will be his partner. The show tackles topics such as starting over, parenting and blended families with the humor, heart and authenticity that have made David and Tamela Mann popular family favorites in living rooms across America.

In addition to the show’s stars, Mann & Wife features a vibrant supporting cast: Vivica A. Fox, portraying Michelle, Daniel’s ex-wife; Tony Rock, playing Michael Hobbs, Daniel’s new partner; Tiny Lister as Daniel’s Sergeant; and JoMarie Payton as Lorraine, Daniel’s overbearing mother. Guest stars include J. Anthony Brown, Demetria McKinney, Julissa Bermudez and Rolonda Watts.

The ten-episode, half-hour series was conceived and co-created by David and Tamela Mann, the first scripted series for which they have earned an executive producer credit, along with co-creator, executive producer and series director Roger Bobb.

Mann & Wife allows David and Tamela to show a new audience the incredibly funny, talented, loving and charming couple that they are in real life and that they portray in their characters on the series,” expresses Roger Bobb. “I feel honored and blessed to be able to showcase the talents of my good friends David and Tamela.”

Mann & Wife is the newest original series for Bounce TV, which is the fastest-growing African-American (AA) targeted network on television and has become the #2 most-watched among all AA networks. Bounce TV has grown to be available in more than 85 million homes across 90 markets, 90% of African-American television homes — including all of the top AA television markets — and three quarters of the total television homes in the United States.

“We are officially the go-to outlet for African American family-friendly original programming and so proud to be partnering with the Manns on Mann & Wife,” says Ri-Karlo Handy, VP of Original Programming for Bounce TV. “David and Tamela bring a loyal fan base, years of experience in television and a vision to bring back family programming. We’re supporting them 100%.”

Learn more and watch the trailer at www.bouncetv.com/shows/mann-and-wife/

Photo Captions: (L-R Back Row) David Mann, Tamela Mann, Steven Wash, Jr. and JoMarie Payton
(L-R Bottom Row) Jadah Marie, Lauryn Kennedy Hardy and Amir O’Neil
Photo Credit: Bounce TV/Courtesy of The FrontPage Firm

Attorney General Applauds House Committee Passage of Bill to Allow Video, Audio monitoring in Nursing Homes

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Applauds House Committee Passage of Bill to Allow Video, Audio monitoring in Nursing Homes

SPRINGFIELD, IL –Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded the House Human Services Committee after it passed her proposal to allow nursing home residents and their families to place video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms to help ensure their safety and well-being. House Bill 2462 sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) now heads to the full House for consideration.

“I have heard from many people about concerns for the safety of their loved ones in nursing home facilities,” Madigan said. “This measure would allow families to take a critical step to protect the well-being and safety of their relatives.”

The initiative stems from complaints Madigan received from families who are concerned for their relatives’ care and security. Madigan’s proposal would allow residents of nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities or their family members to purchase and install video or audio monitoring devices in their rooms.

“This is an important piece of legislation that will help families make sure their loved ones are safe in nursing homes when they can no longer provide the care needed,” said Harris. “I will continue working with my House colleagues to ensure this bill’s strong passage, and I thank Attorney General Lisa Madigan for leading this effort.”

Madigan cited an increasing need for additional safety measures at Illinois nursing homes as the state’s population continues to age. Currently, Illinois has over 1,200 nursing home facilities with over 100,000 residents. The U.S. Census Bureau also estimates that by 2030, 22.3 percent of Illinois’ population will be aged 60 and older, an increase of more than 28 percent from 2012.

Madigan noted that video and audio surveillance could be used as an added tool to help resolve disputes about suspected abuse or negligence. The Illinois Department of Public Health receives more than 21,000 calls annually and responds to approximately 5,000 complaints. During the last quarter of 2014, the Department of Public Health reported 77 licensure violations at 56 facilities.

The main provisions of Madigan’s proposal would:

Allow for audio and video electronic monitoring devices;

Require resident and roommate consent;

Make nursing home residents or their representatives responsible for the purchase, installation and maintenance expenses of the devices;

Prohibit facility retaliation for the use of the devices;

Provide for recordings to be admissible into evidence in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings; and

Provide misdemeanor and felony penalties for any person or entity that intentionally hampers, obstructs, tampers with, or destroys a recording or an electronic monitoring device.

If enacted, Illinois would become the fourth state to explicitly allow electronic monitoring devices to be installed in resident rooms in nursing home facilities.

Morehouse Grad Creates Distinguished Watch For Other Grads

Posted by Admin On March - 26 - 2015 Comments Off on Morehouse Grad Creates Distinguished Watch For Other Grads

C. Howie Hodges and Gregory T. Burrell

Morehouse College men now have a distinguished watch to match their mystique

Hodges Watch Company [HWCo] donated a new watch at the Morehouse Candle in the Dark Gala to benefit general scholarship fund.

Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – Howie Hodges, class of ’82 at Morehouse College, took his commitment to “The House” seriously when he created a trademarked design for a signature watch to be exclusively worn by the formidable Morehouse Man.

Hodges Watch Company (HWCo) donated one of the “luxury hand-assembled” watches to the college to be auctioned at the 2015 27th Annual Candle in the Dark Gala that was recently held in Atlanta, GA. The silent auction winner was Morehouse Alumnus Gregory T. Burrell, class of ’90, a prominent businessman from Philadelphia where he is president & CEO of the Terry Funeral Home.

The HWCo watches are an élite and limited Morehouse College collection where only 350 will be offered for sale. Morehouse gets a percentage of all sales through an approved licensing arrangement.

Watches are custom-made-to-order with a remarkable layered dial of iconic “Graves Hall” crafted from sterling silver, over iridescent mother-of-pearl. All movements are SWISS made and imported by HWCo.

Hodges says, “I have a passion for watches, and I wanted to design and manufacture a “collectable timepiece” that could be passed down from generation-to-generation of Morehouse men and to help my Alma Mater and have fun doing so. And, to remind me of the momentous years I spent on campus.”

For more detail about the various styles of watches in the Morehouse Collection, one can visit the website at www.hodgeswatch.com or contact Hodges at the hodgeswatch@gmail.com
About Hodges
HWCo Founder C. Howie Hodges II is a second generation Morehouse(TM) Man from the Class of 1982 and is the son of the late Clemmon H. Hodges, Class of 1951. Hes married to his college sweetheart Elizabeth “Beth” Jackson Hodges, the eldest daughter of distinguished Morehouse(TM) Alumnus, the late Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., Class of 1956.

Photo Caption: C. Howie Hodges and Gregory T. Burrell

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