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Archive for May 14th, 2015

11th NAACP Leadership 500 Summit to Convene Social Justice Leaders to Discuss Race in Politics

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on 11th NAACP Leadership 500 Summit to Convene Social Justice Leaders to Discuss Race in Politics

National NAACP event to be held in Orlando, FL, Memorial Day weekend

NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock will host the 11th Annual Leadership 500 Summit over Memorial Day Weekend at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida. The summit is a venue for young and mid-level career professionals and thought-leaders to engage with each other and with the NAACP. This year’s theme is, “Race in Politics!”

The summit is the brainchild of NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock, the youngest person to hold the position.

In attendance will be NAACP National Board Chairman Roslyn M. Brock; Ed Gordon; Mayor of the City of Newark, The Honorable Ras Baraka; Singer, Songwriter, American journalist and syndicated columnist, Roland Martin; Pianist AVERY Sunshine and many more!

Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors:
“I am proud to have led the charge for eleven years—working to cultivate the next generation of social justice leaders.  Through outreach to innovative leaders and professionals, the NAACP is introducing and grooming a younger cadre of professionals and thought leaders to help lead the NAACP.  This conference will provide current and aspiring leaders opportunities to hone their leadership and professional development skills while connecting them with their peers who share a passion for social justice and making meaningful impacts in their community. We look forward to convening in my home state of Florida to discuss “Race in Politics” and to continue the rallying cry among our youth that “Black Lives Matter.” Courage will not skip this generation.”

As our nation grapples with the issues of racial profiling and police brutality, participants will attend two and a half days of workshops, interactive panel discussions and general sessions that deal with criminal justice reform, issues of economic parity and wealth creation; civil rights; health and wellness as a business imperative; education; and environmental justice. The Town Hall Meeting this year is titled “Black Lives Matter – Race in Politics in Our Lives” and will be live streamed—go to www.L500.org for live streaming and more information.

Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel
9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL 32819
May 21-24, 2015
For a full schedule, visit http: http://www.l500.org/.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

Expert Says Blacks Still Gamble With Insurance Privilege

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Expert Says Blacks Still Gamble With Insurance Privilege

South Holland, IL – After more than 40 years in the industry, insurance entrepreneur and expert Thomas E. Crosby says that too many blacks still take too many chances without coverage, because they think insurance is a  “rip off.” Crosby explains that is a mistake. “People who need insurance and do not have it also feel  victimized twice when they have to pay to buy the car or furniture they already had.”

Crosby entered the insurance industry in 1974 because he wanted to see more African Americans benefit from better information and more choices. He later founded The Insurance Exchange, a  brokerage now based in the Chicago suburb of South Holland, IL. He established his company to give  customers more appropriate selections instead of presenting the products of just one insurer. Now, he  also reminds people that “insurance is a privilege, not a right.”

Crosby adds that the real “rip off” is the insurance fraud that occurs across all races and cultures of policyholders. Two auto-related examples include not telling the truth about a teenage driver in the  household and using a false address for lower rates. Other examples include providing false  information to receive benefits or payouts. “Overall, insurance fraud costs more than $30 billion each  year and leads to higher premiums,” Crosby explained.

Crosby observes that many blacks have no renter’s insurance, the minimum driver’s insurance and are paying too much for the wrong kind of home insurance. “And if we haven’t checked our own insurance  recently, we may be unprepared to investigate the types of life or health coverage that our parents  have, until it’s too late,” Crosby said.

The Insurance Exchange has licensed agents in several states around the U.S. and is welcoming more. Crosby celebrated his 40th year in the industry by hosting a banquet at a local DoubleTree Hotel last  fall. He also received a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama.

As an insurance brokerage, The Insurance Exchange offers automobile, home, life, health and commercial insurance products from many of the nation’s most established companies, including Blue  Cross/Blue Shield, Chubb, Grange, The Hartford, Travelers, Safeco and many others.

Interested parties are invited to call (708) 597-8731 or visit www.insxchg.com for more information.

Coca-Cola, National Urban League, Partner For Women’s Empowerment

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Coca-Cola, National Urban League, Partner For Women’s Empowerment

The Coca-Cola Company, along with the National Urban League and other sponsors, announced a $1 million women’s empowerment initiative in North America to provide financial literacy, job training, entrepreneurship and business development to women in 10 cities across the United States.

The announcement was made during the ESSENCE Festival, with President and CEO Marc H. Morial, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Founder and President Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Ignacio Salazar, president, SER-Jobs for Progress.

“The ESSENCE Festival brings thousands of people together for one of the most amazing cultural experiences of the summer and this year was no different,” said Lauventria Robinson, vice president, Multicultural Marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “We’ve been the presenting sponsor of the ESSENCE Festival for the last 19 years and we were thrilled to return for the 20th anniversary. Our team shared plenty of ice-cold Coca-Cola with ESSENCE Festival attendees throughout the weekend. And, we helped them create and celebrate unforgettable moments with their friends with our Share a Coke and digital celebration wall activations.”

This year, ESSENCE offered attendees the opportunity to attend a workshop series aimed to empower them to “live their best lives.” The Coca-Cola Supplier Diversity team led several “EMPOWER U” discussions specifically to talk with African-American female entrepreneurs. Terrez Thompson, vice president of Global Supplier Diversity, hosted the sessions, which addressed personal leadership and business development opportunities for Africa-American women and their unique challenges as underrepresented business owners.

At the end of the sessions, attendees enrolled in the The Coca-Cola Company Supplier Training & Empowerment Program, or STEP. This program provides entrepreneurs with content on how to do business with our company. Grammy-nominated artist Tyrese Gibson – who credits the start of his 20-year music career to his iconic 1994 “Always Coca-Cola” commercial – also made an appearance.

Department of Justice Announces New Acting Administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Department of Justice Announces New Acting Administrator of Drug Enforcement Administration

The Department of Justice announced the appointment of Chuck Rosenberg to serve as Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

“Throughout his distinguished career in law enforcement and public service, Chuck has earned the trust and the praise of his colleagues at every level,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “He has proven himself as an exceptional leader, a skilled problem-solver, and a consummate public servant of unshakeable integrity.  And he has demonstrated, time and again, his deep and unwavering commitment not only to the women and men who secure our nation, but to the fundamental values that animate their service.  As Acting Administrator of the DEA, Chuck will play a vital role in the work of this Administration and this Department of Justice to pursue American priorities, protect American interests, and safeguard our way of life.  I can think of no better individual to lead this storied agency, and I have no doubt that his tenure will be defined by the same commitment to honor and excellence that has guided him throughout his distinguished career.  I congratulate him once again on this well-deserved appointment, and look forward to all that he will achieve in the days ahead.”

A veteran of the Justice Department, Rosenberg currently serves as Chief of Staff to the Director of the FBI.  In this role, he works closely with Director James B. Comey and other senior FBI officials on counterterrorism, intelligence, cyber and criminal investigative issues, including with international, federal, state and local law enforcement partners.  He also works closely with Director Comey on management, policy and personnel issues.

“Chuck Rosenberg is one of the finest people and public servants I have ever known,” said Director Comey.  “His judgment, intelligence, humility, and passion for the mission will be sorely missed at FBI.  I congratulate our friends at the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This is good for the entire Department of Justice and the country.”

Rosenberg was presidentially appointed and confirmed as the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia, from 2006 through 2008, and appointed by the Attorney General to serve as the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Texas, from 2005 through 2006.

Rosenberg was hired out of law school through the Attorney General’s Honors Program and has served in numerous positions throughout the Department of Justice, including Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General from 2004 through 2005, Counselor to the Attorney General from 2003 through 2004, Counsel to the Director of the FBI  from 2002 through 2003, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia from 1994 through 2000, and a Trial Attorney for the Tax Division’s Criminal Enforcement Section  from 1990 through 1994.

Rosenberg has also spent time working in private practice as Counsel at Hunton and Williams, from 2000 through 2002, and as a partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP (2008-2013).

During his years as a federal prosecutor, Rosenberg conducted grand jury investigations and has been the lead trial lawyer in many federal prosecutions involving espionage, kidnapping, murder, crimes against children and complex financial fraud cases.

Rosenberg received his B.A. from Tufts University, his M.P.P. from Harvard University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia.

Rosenberg will assume the role of Acting Administrator on May 18, 2015.  He will replace Administrator Michele Leonhart, who previously announced her retirement.

“Michele has devoted her professional career to the security of our nation and the protection of the American people,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “I want to thank her for her 35 years of service to the DEA, to the Department of Justice and to the country, and I wish her well as she embarks on a new chapter in her already extraordinary life.”

Attorney General Madigan: Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Attorney General Madigan: Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Campus Sexual Assault Bill

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan applauded members of the Illinois Senate’s Criminal Law Committee for passage of a measure that will help colleges and universities prevent and address sexual assaults. House Bill 821, sponsored by Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) unanimously passed by a vote of 12-0.

This spring Madigan convened summits around the state to discuss the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, which will set standards to prevent and respond to sexual violence at higher education institutions throughout Illinois.

“It is imperative that colleges and universities respond appropriately to sexual violence,” Madigan said. “Only after more survivors are encouraged to step forward to report these crimes can we succeed in our efforts to put an end to sexual assault.”

“We owe it to survivors of college sexual violence to pass this bill,” Sen. Hutchinson said. “All students should feel safe on our college campuses, and I am committed to sending this proposal to the governor’s desk.”

Studies show that one in five undergraduate women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education has said women between the ages of 16-24 experience the highest rates of sexual assault and rape among women, and about 6 percent of male undergrads become victims of sexual assault. Yet, a U.S. Senate survey last year of 440 four-year higher education institutions found that over 40 percent of the schools had not conducted a single investigation into incidents alleging sexual violence. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is now investigating approximately 100 schools for failure to comply with federal law in preventing, investigating and reporting incidents of sexual assault on their campuses, possibly jeopardizing Title IX funding for those institutions.

The Act will ensure that Illinois colleges and universities:

  • Develop a clear, comprehensive campus sexual violence policy, including detailed incident reporting options and university response guidelines;
  • Notify student survivors about their rights, including their right to confidentiality  and what protections the university can provide to ensure the student’s health and safety, such as obtaining an order of protection, changes in class schedules or campus housing, and the availability of medical and counseling services;
  • Provide a confidential advisor to survivors to help them understand their options to report the crime and seek medical and legal assistance;
  • Adopt a fair, balanced process for adjudicating allegations of sexual violence; and
  • Train students and campus employees to improve awareness and responsiveness to allegations of sexual violence.

The legislation builds on the Attorney General’s work spanning more than a decade to protect survivors of sexual violence and strengthen their rights. Madigan led an effort to significantly increase the number of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in hospitals throughout Illinois and worked to pass legislation to mandate the testing of sexual assault evidence kits. Madigan has funded dozens of organizations that provide critical victim services to survivors and strengthened Illinois law to protect victims of stalking, a crime that is more likely to occur on college campuses that can lead to sexual violence and other crimes.

The legislation will now be considered by the full Senate.

ISBE celebrates the Year of the Volunteer

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on ISBE celebrates the Year of the Volunteer

Local volunteers recognized at monthly State Board meetings

SPRINGFIELD, IL — State Board Members are honoring school volunteers as part of Illinois’ “Year of the Volunteer,” an initiative established by a Senate resolution.  The initiative aims to “engage all generations as participants, planners, organizers and leaders of the volunteer infrastructure.”

“Education and volunteerism naturally fall hand-in-hand,” said Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks. “By recognizing the success and commitment of volunteers throughout our state, we are teaching the next generation about the joy and value of serving others and contributing to make a difference in our communities and our world.”

Each of the State Board’s nine members will honor someone from their own community for their dedication and volunteer service during ISBE’s monthly meetings. At ISBE’s monthly Board meeting today (Thursday), Board Member Lula Ford will recognize fellow Chicagoan Joyce Chapman for her long list of contributions to her community.

Chapman has lived in the historic Pullman neighborhood on the city’s South Side for 46 years. In May 2002, Chapman embarked on a mission to start the Pullman Community Development Corporation. Through her community advocacy one can walk the Pullman north area and see the revitalization. In addition, Chapman is known for her years of service in the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), which promotes community policing. She also currently serves as a chairwoman on the Far South Community Action Council of Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As a member, she works for educational success in the community.

“Joyce has been committed to improving her community for many years in many ways,” said Board Member Ford. “It is an honor to be able to present this award to her, as she is an inspirational volunteer who has made a huge impact in her neighborhood.”

Board member Melinda LaBarre of Springfield recognized Kathy Lamsargis at the March meeting for her extraordinary efforts to share the holiday spirit in Springfield School District 186.

Lamsargis, a retired District 186 reading teacher, started the Gift of Giving program, a holiday charity, in 2000. She collects new and like-new items throughout the year, storing everything from salt and pepper shakers to bleacher cushions in her home. Each December, she sets up the items in schools and lets elementary students select gifts for a friend, family member or loved one for the holidays.  Volunteers then help students wrap and tag the gifts. Lamsargis started the sharing program at Pleasant Hill and Wanless Elementary Schools, which have since closed, and now offers it at Feitshans and Dubois Elementary Schools.

“I feel very honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” said Lamsargis. “I would love to start educating other schools about my endeavor and spread the Gift of Giving throughout the community. I don’t want to keep it as my own project, but educate others about the significance of giving instead of receiving.”

The Senate established the Year of the Volunteer in response to the “Volunteering and Civic Life in America” report by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship that showed only about a quarter of Illinoisans volunteered in 2013. According to Senate Resolution 1002, research shows that “Illinoisans who do not volunteer would like to, but simply do not know how to get connected to service opportunities.” In cooperation with fellow organizations, ISBE urges community members of all ages to explore volunteer opportunities, particularly those related to children and their education.

ISBE supports the initiative in cooperation with Generations Serving Generations, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Illinois Department on Aging, the Serve Illinois Commission, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Senate via Senate Resolution 1002.

For more information on how to take part in the Year of the Volunteer, go to www.serve.illinois.gov.

Senator Joe Seng of Iowa Added to List of Draft Biden Endorsers

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Senator Joe Seng of Iowa Added to List of Draft Biden Endorsers
Draft Biden Movement to Host 40 Grassroots Meetups Nationwide by End of May

Senator Joe Seng who represents Davenport and southern portions of Scott County joins State Sen. Tony Bisignano of Des Moines, state Rep. Jim Lykam of Davenport, state Rep. Mary Gaskill of Ottumwa, and Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz in endorsing Draft Biden 2016’s effort to urge Vice President Joe Biden into the presidential race and intends to sign a letter urging him to run.

Senator Joe Seng, in an editorial submitted to the Quad City Times, pointed out that, “A recent Quinnipiac Poll of likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants pointing out that Vice President Biden has a high favorability rating of 79%,” further adding, “While his presidential polling was 11%, it must be noted that another candidate saw his polling spike up as soon as he announced right around when the poll was taken. With 40% of those polled still undecided, I expect more than a spike when the Vice President announces.”

Catalyzed by positive favorability ratings for the Vice President in such polls, Draft Biden 2016 is planning to organize close to 40 “Nationwide Grassroots Meetups to Draft Joe Biden” scheduled in locations such as Chicago, Washington D.C., and Des Moines at the end of May.  Supporters will host BBQ’s, happy hours, coffees, and house parties to mobilize Draft Biden fans and plan next steps in their respective locales.

“With meetups planned in all the key battleground states, Draft Biden has received positive response from all across the nation. We even have a meetup planned in Alaska. We are focused on building a grassroots movement urging and preparing for him to enter the 2016 presidential race,” said William Pierce, Executive Director at Draft Biden 2016.

Along with a growing list of endorsers and nationwide meetups, Draft Biden 2016 continues its efforts to open its first field office in Iowa, a crucial early caucus state, and has plans to hire an Iowa state director within the next month.

About Draft Biden

Draft Biden 2016, a SuperPAC organized to draft Vice President Joe Biden into the 2016 presidential race, is spearheading the charge to help ensure that Vice President Biden has the necessary amount of support needed to be able to run for President in 2016.

Beginning last month with former staffers and campaign veterans, Draft Biden 2016 is pushing their online petition with supporters and allies. The petition has gathered close to 30,000 signatures so far.

The group’s future plans are to organize in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in anticipation of the Vice President entering the race.

Medley Files Papers in Federal Court to Clear Family’s Good Name

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Medley Files Papers in Federal Court to Clear Family’s Good Name

Vows, “I’ll fight until my last breath”

By Chinta Strausberg

At 88, former CTA board member Howard C. Medley, who is a World War II Purple Heart recipient, Tuesday filed documents in federal court seeking a retrial to clear his family’s good name of charges he never committed.

Filing pro se, Medley filed a petition for Writ of Error Coram Nobis at 219 South Dearborn he believes will prove that he was allegedly denied effective assistance of counsel at his first and second trials in violations of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and that there was insufficient evidence at his second trial which resulted in his conviction.

The issue is Medley’s reluctantly accepting a $22,500 finder’s fee for identifying a potential buyer for a warehouse located at 4800 South Central Park in Chicago. Bob Sperling and Michael Zavis who were limited partners in G&K and CGV partnerships owned it. The warehouse was heavily mortgaged at the Central National Bank and the partnership had lost the sole tenant. They were looking for a buyer.

The warehouse was sold and after refusing several times, Medley accepted the $22,500 finder’s fee, which was paid to his accountant, John Wilson. Medley paid taxes on and donated the rest to the NAACP, the Chicago Urban League and for tickets to Mayor Harold Washington events.

However, sources told this reporter it was the 18 U.S. Code: 666 that is the real culprit. One source, who is skilled in this area, said, “666 has been criticized and even reversed in certain situations. Medley is an Exhibit A why it should be reversed even though Brian Flisk, a businessman who was president of Metropolitan Petroleum Co. who had a $38 million CTA fuel contract, said during the trial he never bribed Medley. Yet, Medley was convicted for accepting a bribe.

“Medley should become the poster child for abolishing 666, and it should be given retroactive to all those persons who have been aggrieved and unfairly convicted, and this statute that bears the name of the devil should be sent back to hell where it belongs.”

Medley’s attorney, James D. Montgomery, did not return this reporter’s calls. He was Medley’s lawyer during his first trial, which ended in a hung jury. Medley hired attorney Stanley Hill for the second trial where he was indicted. Hill is now a sitting judge.

When contacted, Hill said, “I was the one who got Flisk to admit he did not bribe Medley.” Hill said he could not comment further. However, reliable sources familiar with criminal cases said even though Flisk admitted he did not bribe Medley the state used Code 666 and argued that Mr. Medley received a benefit from Flisk and as a result his conduct was influenced by that benefit in his capacity as a CTA commissioner. He too said 666 should be abolished.

Coming from a humble but religious background, Medley lost his parents in 1930 at the age of 3 and was raised by his grandfather who had a favorite scripture, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Neither Medley nor his four children has ever had a police record.

Upon returning from the Navy, Medley worked for the U.S. Post Office for 14-years then began his own business, Medley’s Moving & Storage.” He began to become politically and civilly active and politicians began to reach out to him for support.

Mayor Richard J. Daley appointed him as Chicago Board of Elections Commissioner. That is where he met two lawyers, Robert Sperling and Michael Zavis from the Katen and Muchin Law firm. They were to serve as his advisers. Medley often had lunch with them and a trusting friendship developed, but, after Washington died, Medley’s troubles began.

Medley, then 62, said he relied on his lawyers to clear his name. In fact, he was frightened of the idea of going to prison especially since he had not committed a crime. Medley said Montgomery assured him that the government “had nothing on” but allegedly told Medley not to testify on his own behalf, and he did not introduce the FBI tapes Medley said, “Would have cleared my name. If he had done that, this never would have gone to court.”

In a letter written on Montgomery’s law firm’s stationery dated January 22, 2004, Montgomery wrote President George W. Bush about Medley’s case explaining that Medley had been charged with perjury and bribery.

“During his first trial, the government’s theory was that $25,000 which Medley received for introducing a seller of a warehouse property to a lessee was a bribe paid by the lessee to Medley.

“Medley’s defense was that the warehouse transaction was a genuine one by which lessee entered into a five-year lease with an option to buy for the sum of $6,200,000. The lessee was directed by the lessors to pay Medley a commission of $25,000 from the proceeds of the $400,000 option price. Medley was unaware of the lessor-lessee negotiations,” wrote Montgomery.

However, it was Medley who told Zavis that he did not need a finder’s fee and that his business was prospering. Zavis insisted that Medley take a finder’s fee and suggested he give it to charity or a political action committee. In an effort to get away from Zavis, Medley finally said “OK.”

“He did not owe me, nor did I want a commission for telling someone about his building he had for sale,” Medley said. Each year, Medley gave away huge amounts of money to civic and charitable organizations.

When Medley received the check for $22,500 from his accountant, he deposited it in his bank, “applied it to my income tax and purchased tickets from the NAACP, Urban League, Mayor Washington” and other civil rights organizations.

Medley said later Zavis and Sperling subsequently “admitted to the government prosecutors and the FBI that” Medley “did not want a commission.”

In Montgomery’s letter to Bush, he explained that the lessee was Brian Flisk who was president of a petroleum company that had a $38,000,00 fuel contract with the CTA. Medley was a CTA board member.

“It was this relationship, coupled with Medley’s investigation (at Flisk’s request) of claims in the media that Metropolitan had a phony minority subcontractor and was delivering watered-down fuel that aroused the government’s suspicion that the ‘commission’ must have been the quid pro quo for Medley’s requesting a thorough investigation which led to Metropolitan’s vindication,” wrote Montgomery.

“At the conclusion of the government’s case, Medley rested his case without putting on any witnesses or evidence,” said Montgomery. “We felt that the government’s case was clearly inadequate to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury agreed and was unable to reach a verdict. They voted 8-4 for acquittal on the bribery charge and 11-1 for acquittal on he perjury charge.”

Not satisfied, the government retried Medley. Montgomery wrote that Medley “made the mistake of engaging a lawyer “whose legal experience and fee was substantially less than mine. It was a costly mistake. On the second trial, Medley was convicted of bribery. Unfortunately, the new lawyer failed to produce secretly recorded conversations with Brian Flisk which would have impeached Flisk’s trial testimony and exculpated Medley.”

However, in Medley’s initial trial, Montgomery failed to introduce the FBI tapes as well, and after Medley was released from prison Montgomery asked again to try and get an appeal.

“Unfortunately, Medley had already served his sentence,” wrote Montgomery who said he found new witnesses and transcribed the secret recordings then filed a second petition “in the nature of writ of Habeas Corpus.”

Montgomery explained that “the government prevailed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the Petition. Unlike the Ninth Circuit court of Appeals, the Seventh Circuit will not permit a wrongfully convicted person to challenge his conviction when he is not incarcerated, on probation or suffering a ‘civil disability.’”

Montgomery told President Bush, “There is no question about Medley’s innocence….” “The courts have closed the door to his presenting evidence that would clearly vindicate him. It is my considered judgment that Medley’s indictment and conviction was a deliberately contrived, miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the Government. I further believe that given access to the courts, Medley would be exonerated.”

The FBI tapes clearly has Flisk talking to Buzil saying, “what did I tell ya? Medley didn’t get paid off in this…. The man didn’t get paid off…. Yeah, we paid someone off on the Board. You know that and I know that the only time I went to Medley and asked him for a favor is to get our ass from some unjust charges.”

In an “Anatomy of a Miscarriage of Justice: The Trials of Howard Medley, Montgomery concluded, “Clearly, Medley’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice.”

Professing his innocence, Medley said he never took a bribe of $22,500 adding “That is an insult to me and my family. I have more than that in my petty cash fund…. The U.S. Attorney should not be allowed to withhold exculpatory evidence in order to get fame or monetary rewards.

“The judge said the feds gave the tapes to my lawyer. Why didn’t he submit them? I wrote U.S. Attorney Eric Holder about my case and he said the government was not at fault; rather it was with my attorney. If the government knew I did not commit a crime, why was I indicted”?

Medley said he served 10 months of his 30-month sentence in Duluth, Minnesota where he got a “botched up, unnecessary operation and tainted blood. I am still suffering from that operation,” he said. “I’ll probably be taking that for the rest of my life.”

And, until he draws his last breath on this earth, Mr. Medley said, “I am innocent, and I will fight this unjust conviction to clear my family’s good name.”

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 2015 Go DJ Awards Announced for NRG Center July 20th in Houston, Texas!

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on The 2015 Go DJ Awards Announced for NRG Center July 20th in Houston, Texas!
The second annual Go DJ Awards will be held on Monday, July 20th at The NRG Center in Houston, Texas. The event is expected to exceed the celebrity and media turnout from 2014.

Go DJ Awards

Houston, TX (BlackNews.com) — CEO Craig Williams of the Go DJ Global Coalition & Kurt Agomu0 of Live House Media is officially announcing the date for the years most celebrated Hip Hop Awards in Houston! The second annual Go DJ Awards will happen on Monday, July 20th at The NRG Center. The celebrity-filled red carpet and pre-show performances will kick-off at 6pm sharp with the official award ceremony commencing at 9pm.

“We’re excited to produce this for Houston again. Last year was amazing. Everyone who came out for the event loved it and our red carpet was a blaze with local and globally recognized celebrities. Of course, we cant repeat last year. Were going bigger and better. You never know who may show up,” said Velma Trayham of ThinkZILLA – who is also underwriting, and credentialing the event.

The Go DJ Awards put Houston back on the entertainment map last year. 2015 is going to ensure the city continues to lead the entertainment market by presenting fresh talent. Formal dress attire is required. A special press area will be available for local and national media outlets.

In 2014, sponsors of the Go DJ awards reaped in targeted demographic support and continued relationship building and branding. The event provided immense social media visibility opportunities and over 300k in solid earned media value. With the event now established, the underwriters of the Go DJ awards are expecting the sponsor ROI to double, if not triple. (View News Coverage from last year FOX NEWS BROADCAST)

More information on the event itself, as well as accompanying talent and partnering sponsors, will be made available to the media upon continued publication and RSS feeds from www.GoDJAwards.com. Credentials for this event are available for qualification and reserve as of May 20th.

About ThinkZILLA:
ThinkZILLA PR & Consulting Group is an award-winning firm providing professional public relation services & media campaigns, brand development, event production, and social media services. Their results are guaranteed and we deliver impressive, measurable ROI. The innovative and experienced team at ThinkZILLA proactively collaborates with our clients to cultivate media and business relationships, advancing client brand initiatives on a global scale. For more details, visit www.itsthinkzilla.com

Steppenwolf Extends Critically Acclaimed Production of Rory Kinnear’s The Herd through June 14

Posted by Admin On May - 14 - 2015 Comments Off on Steppenwolf Extends Critically Acclaimed Production of Rory Kinnear’s The Herd through June 14

One week of performances added due to popular demand

CHICAGO, IL – Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced the extension of The Herd, the debut play of Olivier Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear currently playing to critical acclaim in its U.S. premiere production in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre. In a four-star review, the Chicago Tribune raves, “A family drama that sticks with you…this is Steppenwolf acting at its best” and The New York Times says, “a buoyantly entertaining play [that] breathes with real, complicated life.” Directed by ensemble member and Tony Award-winning director Frank Galati, The Herd adds six additional performances, extending the run through June 14, 2015 with the original cast. Tickets ($20-$89) to the added performances are now on sale through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted), at 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org.

Additional performances of The Herd include:

Wednesday, June 10 at 7:30pm

Thursday, June 11 at 7:30pm

Friday, June 12 at 7:30pm

Saturday, June 13, 3pm and 7:30pm

Sunday, June 14 at 3pm (closing)

The “stellar cast” (Chicago Sun-Times) features longtime ensemble members Francis Guinan as Ian, John Mahoney as Brian, Molly Regan as Carol and Lois Smith as Patricia with Cliff Chamberlain as Mark and Audrey Francis as Claire.

Carol, a harried matriarch in suburban London has arranged a small family party to celebrate the 21st birthday of her son Andy. But as everyone begins to gather, things go off the rails as two surprise guests pop up—one a newcomer and one all too familiar. And then Andy and his caregiver are running late—very, very late. With a deft comic touch, The Herd introduces us to a spirited middle class clan confronting the possibilities of reconciliation, the power of the past and the irresistible pull of family.

The Herd is the debut play from Olivier Award-winning actor Rory Kinnear. As an actor, Kinnear is well-known for his film roles in The Imitation Game and the James Bond films Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and soon to be released Spectre; in the Showtime series Penny Dreadful and as Bolingbroke in Richard II, part of the BBC miniseries, The Hollow Crown; and on stage in Hamlet and Othello at the National Theatre in London.

Director Frank Galati has been a member of the Steppenwolf ensemble since 1985. He has received nine Joseph Jefferson Awards for his work in Chicago theater. He won two Tony Awards in 1990 for his adaptation and direction of Steppenwolf’s production of The Grapes of Wrath and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1998 for directing the musical Ragtime. He has staged operas for Chicago Opera Theatre, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera House. In 1989, Galati was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay (with Lawrence Kasdan) of The Accidental Tourist and in 2000 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a professor emeritus in the department of performance studies at Northwestern University.

The production team includes Walt Spangler (scenic design), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume design), Keith Parham (lighting design), Josh Schmidt (sound design and original music) and Eva Breneman (dialect coach). Additional credits include Erica Daniels (casting), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager).

Tickets to The Herd ($20 – $89) are available through Audience Services (1650 N Halsted St), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org. Prices are subject to change. 20 for $20: twenty $20 tickets are available through Audience Services beginning at 11am on the day of each performance (1pm for Sunday performances). Rush Tickets: half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show. Student Discounts: a limited number of $15 student tickets are available online. Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket. Group Tickets: all groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org/groups. Accessible performances include American Sign Language interpretation on Sunday, May 10 at 7:30pm, Open Captioning on Saturday, May 23 at 3pm and an Audio Description and a Touch Tour on Sunday, May 24 at 1:30pm (curtain at 3pm). For more information, visit steppenwolf.org/access.

United Airlines is the Presenting Sponsor of The Herd. Allstate Insurance Company is the Corporate Production Sponsor of The Herd. ComEd is the 2014/15 Season Lighting Sponsor.

Free post-show discussions are offered after every performance in the Subscription Season. Steppenwolf is located near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Street, lot and valet parking are available. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance.

Steppenwolf’s 2014/15 season explores the question, How did I get here?, through five stories about losing—and finding—your way. Concluding the 2014/15 Subscription Season is the Chicago premiere of Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (July 2 – August 30, 2015) in the Downstairs Theatre.

Steppenwolf’s 2015/16 Subscription Season includes the world premiere adaptation of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, adapted by ensemble member Frank Galati, directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney (September 17 – November 15, 2015); the Chicago premiere of Domesticated written and directed by ensemble member Bruce Norris (December 3, 2015 – February 7, 2016); the Chicago premiere of The Flick by Annie Baker, directed by Dexter Bullard (February 4 – May 8, 2016); the world premiere of Mary Page Marlowe by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (March 31 – May 29, 2016); and the Chicago premiere of Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by ensemble member Yasen Peyankov (June 23 – August 21, 2016).

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is America’s longest standing, most distinguished ensemble theater, producing nearly 700 performances and events annually in its three Chicago theater spaces—the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat Garage Theatre. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an ensemble of 44 actors, writers and directors. Artistic programming at Steppenwolf includes a five-play Subscription Season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season and two repertory series: First Look Repertory of New Work, and Garage Rep. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Steppenwolf has the distinction of being the only theater to receive the National Medal of Arts, in addition to numerous other prestigious honors including an Illinois Arts Legend Award and 12 Tony Awards. Martha Lavey is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Managing Director. Nora Daley is Chair of Steppenwolf’s Board of Trustees. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre

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