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Archive for June 12th, 2015

Phone Scammers Posing as Attorney General’s Office Representatives: Madigan

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Attorney General Warns Phone Scammers Posing as Government Officials Attempt to Con Targets Into Sending Money

CHICAGO, IL — Attorney General Lisa Madigan alerted Illinois residents to a phone scam in which callers pose as representatives of the Attorney General’s office in an attempt to con people into sending money on supposed unpaid fines.Madigan’s office has received several complaints this week from people who have been contacted by scammers pretending to be officials representing the Illinois Attorney General with bogus claims that the call recipients have warrants out for their arrest. Call recipients, some of whom received multiple calls, are told they will be arrested if they do not pay the fines within 30 minutes.

The phone scams “spoof” caller ID devices into displaying what appear to be legitimate calls from the (773) area code in the Chicago area. Scam artists on the other end of the line claim they are representatives of the Illinois Attorney General collecting on a phony debt and instruct their targets to contact the caller within 30 minutes to make payment arrangements in order to avoid arrest by local authorities.

“Someone calling you to demand money upfront is the hallmark of a phone scam, especially if the caller claims to represent a legitimate government agency. My office will never contact you seeking money or threatening your arrest,” Madigan said. “If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately.”

Madigan urged Illinois residents to report the scam to her Consumer Fraud Bureau at 1-800-386-5438 or by visiting her website.

Madigan said this scam is the latest version of what the Federal Trade Commission has termed a “government imposter scam.” Last June, Madigan’s office received complaints of a similar scheme from Illinois residents who had received phony emails from scammers posing as representatives of the Attorney General’s office, claiming the targets owed outstanding debts and could face potential prosecution if they didn’t pay up. In August 2014, Madigan’s office issued an alert after receiving complaints from Illinois residents who had received calls from scammers claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service. Regardless of the tactics in the individual scheme, the goal is always to get the targets to send money.

Madigan urged Illinois residents who receive calls or emails from supposed government agencies to hang up or delete the email and contact the government agency directly to report the correspondence.

NAACP Announces “America’s Journey For Justice”

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Broad coalition of partners including the Democracy Initiative, Communications Workers of America, Common Cause, and Sierra Club Announce 860-mile March from Selma, AL to Washington, DC featuring nationwide demonstrations, teach-ins, and #JusticeSummer campaign

The NAACP, together with a broad coalition of partners, will announce America’s Journey for Justice at a press conference and rally on MONDAY, JUNE 15, AT 10 A.M. AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL 2 LINCOLN MEMORIAL CIRCLE NW, WASHINGTON, DC  20037.

Led by NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, America’s Journey for Justice – a historic 860-mile march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, DC – will mobilize activists and advance a focused national policy agenda that protects the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs, and equitable public education. America’s Journey for Justice will unite partners from the social justice, youth activism, civil rights, democracy reform, religious, not-for-profit, labor, corporate, and environmental communities to call for justice for all Americans under the unifying theme “Our Lives, Our Votes, Our Jobs, Our Schools Matter.”
America’s Journey for Justice will commence on August 1st to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. The march will feature teach-ins along the route, satellite events across the country, and a #JusticeSummer social media campaign – and will culminate in a Washington, DC rally and advocacy day.

Date:                  Monday, June 15, 2015
Time:                10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Place:                Lincoln Memorial, 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037

Speaking program to be announced.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth: Why I’m voting against “fast track”

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Letters to Editors

Add your name: tell Congress that Fast Track is wrong for American workers and manufacturers

From: Rep. Tammy Duckworth

Two weeks ago, Mark Kirk voted to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation – also know as “Fast Track” –  giving up key congressional oversight responsibilities on trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As the House prepares to vote tomorrow on TPA, I want you to know where I stand. I’m voting against this legislation.

Stand with me: tell members of Congress to vote against Fast Track.

I represent more manufacturers than any other member of the Illinois delegation and I know the benefits of trade. But I’ve seen too many past agreements fail to deliver on their promises, hurting American businesses and workers.

Trade agreements need tough, enforceable rules. Right now, Congress is failing to demand standards to hold other countries accountable. That’s especially true for currency manipulation.

In recent decades, the Japanese government, often cited as the second most egregious currency manipulator in the world next to China, heavily devalued its currency, increasing the cost of American goods. As a result, the U.S. tool-and-die manufacturing industry was decimated, affecting communities in my district and across Illinois. I should know: the Eighth Congressional District is home to one of the largest concentrations of tool-and-die makers in the country, and the effects of that industry’s troubles are still being felt.

Mark Kirk had the opportunity to prevent countries like China from devaluing their currency, making their goods artificially cheaper than American products. That’s crucial to keeping other nations from cheating on our trade agreements.

But Kirk voted against cracking down on currency manipulation, instead advancing trade authority without demanding enforceable standards.

Now we need to stop members of the House from making the same mistake before tomorrow’s vote.

Add your name: tell Congress that Fast Track is wrong for American workers and manufacturers:


Thank you for standing with me,


Better Business Bureau Warns Consumers to be Aware of Health Care Scams

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – You can find them everywhere, on the internet, TV, Radio, newspapers and magazines. Ads offering miracle cures are everywhere- On the internet, TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. They offer cures for everything from aging to cancer. The problem is, the ads and cures they claim are not legitimate. They are often untested remedies that can be harmful and can be dangerous for those who are seriously ill. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to stay clear of these false advertisements.

The ads sometimes offer hope to someone who may be in a medical crisis – but it is a false hope. “Often the ads include testimonials from people who say they have been cured of an illness, but that does not prove that a product works,” says Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Many health scams are very serious problems because they target people with chronic illnesses where there may be treatments but no cures.”

Government studies have found that the victims of health care scams are older most often over the age of 65. Falling victim to health fraud can be a life or death issue; as belief in these bogus products can prevent a person from seeking the advice and treatment from health care professionals. The FDA states that if a product claims to cure a wide variety of unrelated diseases, it’s probably too good to be true.

The kinds of ads that are often seen are:

  • Anti-aging therapies – Even though aging is normal this scam emphasizes the value our culture places on remaining young. There are no pills or treatments that can deliver eternal youth. Living a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, exercising, and a good diet are your best bets for aging well.
  • Arthritis remedies – These includes claims that copper bracelets, magnets, special diets or radiation will cure the illness. Victims may believe these “cures” are working because the symptoms of the disease tend to come and go. There are successful treatments for arthritis but you should consult a doctor.
  • Cancer cures – Scam artists pray on the fear of cancer. There is no one treatment that will cure all forms of cancer. The real danger is in believing in one of these false cures because it may delay treatment and the benefits from a proven, effective therapy.
  • Memory aids – Many people worry about losing their memory as they age. Ads offer so-called smart pills, braining retraining exercises and removal of amalgam dental fillings are all examples of untested approaches that claim to help memory.
  • Health insurance – Some companies offer health insurance coverage that promises more than it plans to deliver. Make sure when you plan to purchase insurance that the company is licensed in Illinois.

To avoid becoming a victim look for the red flags in the ads that promise:

  • Quick or painless cures.
  • Claim the product is made from a special, secret or ancient formula.
  • Offer and services are only available by mail or from one company.
  • Use statements or unproven testimonials from so-called patients.
  • Claim to provide cures for a wide range of illnesses.
  • Claim to cure a disease that has not been cured by medical science.
  • Promise a no-risk money back guarantee.
  • Offer an additional free gift or larger amount of product as a special promotion.
  • Require advanced payment and claim there is a limited supply of the product.

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

The Congressional Black Caucus Files Amicus Brief in the North Carolina Supreme Court

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
The Congressional Black Caucus Argues that North Carolina Legislature’s 2011 Redistricting Plan Undermines the Voting Rights Act of 1965

WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) filed an amicus brief in the North Carolina Supreme Court June 11, 2015 urging justices to review the state legislature’s redistricting plan from 2011 on claims of racial gerrymandering and disenfranchisement of minority voters.

“Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have a strong interest in ensuring that claims of racial gerrymandering by the state legislatures are evaluated in a way that is consistent with the Voting Rights Act, especially in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recent decision involving the state of Alabama,” said Representative G. K. Butterfield (NC-01), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Many CBC members led the fight to end the practice of voter disenfranchisement 50 years ago, and we refuse to stand by silently while historical advancements in equality and fairness are reversed, making it increasingly difficult for all citizens to vote and have a voice in America’s democratic process. The CBC is in a unique position to appreciate and articulate the potential consequences of plans, such as the one put forth by the North Carolina General Assembly, to undermine the very purpose of the Voting Rights Act.  Moreover, as members of Congress, we have a responsibility to protect the voting rights of all citizens, but especially for the most vulnerable whose votes have historically been challenged and denied over the course of our country’s history,” he concluded.

To view the amicus brief, visit here.

Since its establishment in 1971, Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) have joined together to empower America’s neglected citizens and address their legislative concerns. For more than 40 years, the CBC has consistently been the voice for people of color and vulnerable communities in Congress and has been committed to utilizing the full Constitutional power and statutory authority of the United States government to ensure that all U.S. citizens have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. To learn more about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit http://cbc-butterfield.house.gov.

First West Nile Virus Positive Mosquitoes in Northern Illinois for 2015 Reported

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has confirmed the first West Nile virus positive mosquito batches reported in Northern Illinois for 2015.  IDPH employees collected a positive mosquito batch on May 21, 2015, in Oak Lawn, and another on May 26, 2015 in Evergreen Park – both in Cook County.

“We have confirmed mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus from Southern Illinois to Northern Illinois,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “Although the county in which you live may not be reporting a West Nile virus positive result, you still need to take precautions  as we’re seeing positive results from across the state.”

Surveillance for West Nile virus in Illinois includes laboratory tests on mosquito batches, dead crows, blue jays, robins and other perching birds, as well as testing sick horses and humans with West Nile virus-like symptoms.  People who observe a sick or dying crow, blue jay, robin or other perching bird should contact their local health department, which will determine if the bird will be picked up for testing.

West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird.  Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.  Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.  However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms.  In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis or encephalitis, or even death, can occur.  People older than 50 and immunocompromised individuals are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile Virus.

The first West Nile virus positive results in 2014 were a positive bird in Henry County collected on May 29, 2014, and a positive mosquito batch in Madison County collected on May 30, 2014.  Last year, 50 counties in Illinois reported a West Nile virus positive mosquito batch, bird and/or human case.  For the 2014 season, IDPH reported 44 human cases (although human cases are underreported), including four deaths.  No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported so far this year.

Although West Nile virus has only been reported in three counties as of today, that does not mean West Nile virus is not circulating your community.  Remember to take some simple precautions to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself from being bitten.  Precautions include practicing the three “R’s” – reduce, repel, and report.

  • REDUCE exposure – minimize being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.  If you go outside during these times, take precautions.   Even if mosquito numbers seem low, it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to transmit the virus.

®    Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings.  Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.

®    Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, such as old tires, buckets and other receptacles, or refresh the water in bird baths, flowerpots and wading pools every couple days.

  • REPEL – when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
  • REPORT – report dead birds to your local health department.  In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government about areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards, and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.

Additional information about West Nile virus can be found by logging onto www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/west-nile-virus.

A Father’s Day Story: One Day I Looked in the Mirror and Much to My Surprise!

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Dr. Charles L. Singleton


Nationwide (BlackNews.com) –  Absolutely, overpowering and spiritual thoughts of complete wonderment and curiosity prevailed.

Yes, a few years ago at age 55, I was alone in a dressing room that had a body-sized and wall-mounted mirror.  Suddenly, I was mesmerizingly shaken and visually astonished by seeing another image appearing in my looking glass; I saw someone else staring right at me. This person, seemingly, was standing quite a distance behind me and across the room. Then, I heard a familiar voice and he mentioned my full name, Charles Louis Singleton, and said, “Come a little closer to see what you can see.”

Frightfully, as I turned around to see if there was another person in the room, a vague voice spoke and his manly image appeared facing me in the mirror.  He shouted, “Oh No, its only you and me!”  He paused and whispered, “Now, will you please move a little closer to see what you can see?” I did … and the man in the mirror looked back at me. Once more he uttered, “Move a little closer to see what you can see.”  I turned around, and to my ghostly shock, there was no one else in the room but me!  And, like a blanket, his reflections from the mirror covered me. Hypnotically, I looked into his partially blind eyes and solemn face and saw years upon years of joy, sadness, sorrow and pain.  I looked at his thick neck, broad shoulders, well-rounded chest, strong hips, powerful legs, a slightly swollen foot, with a disfigured and aggravated little toe.

Pivotally and miraculously, while he was turning around, I saw his back and I yelled, “Sir, who are you?”  He said, Charles, you know me!”  I looked closely again and saw a familiar stance, a balding head and simple smile. I was astound and stunned to see what I actually saw! Frantically, this episodic moment was so unbelievable; the man in the mirror was my dearly-departed and beloved daddy. And, amazingly over time, I had become my father!!!  Therefore, “the moral of this Fathers Day story” is the likeness; legacy and wisdom of our parents are forever with us.

As noted in our Family Journal, my father, Clement Addison Singleton, Sr. (1913-2001), an early resident of neighboring Clubhouse and Givhans (Ridgeville, SC), a Canaan United Methodist Church lay speaker; music ministry pioneer, storyteller and legendary song leader, was truly an extraordinary man, who lived faithfully and encouraged others during his lifetime. His formal education only consisted of him attending Old Beech Hill School in Dorchester County, SC, for 2 years and 1 day.

Occupationally, he was a part-time farmer who worked 29 years, 6 months, and 27 days for the federal government (1942-1972) in Charleston, SC: Works Progress Administration (WPA), Ordinance Depot, Naval Shipyard and Air force Base. Clement A. Singleton, Sr., while employed at the Charleston Air Force Base, successfully recommended several safety techniques for Airmen and civilians who worked on the C-130 Hercules logistics aircraft. Because of his due diligence and attention to details, many military personnel are safer today.  If and when you decide to visit South Carolina, take a historical ride and tour of South Carolina Highway 61 in Dorchester County, Clement A. Singleton, Sr. Highway (www.scgeneralassembly.net/sess115_2003-2004/bills/469.htm).

My father once said, “Age well my friends and remember these words: If you can take the pains of life, you will live.”

Dr. Charles L. Singleton is an author, clinical participant, research and educational consultant. He recently wrote “Participant Perspective: Effects of Exercise Intervention on Aging Related Motor Decline” (Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation, CVNR) Winter 2015 Newsletter, Page 3 at http://varrd.emory.edu

Photo Caption: Dr. Charles L. Singleton (left) and his father, Clement A. Singleton, Sr.

CBC, CHC & CAPAC Urge Senate HELP to Improve Every Child Achieves Act

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – 84 Members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – sent a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act.

The letter, led by the Chairs and Education Task Force Chairs of the Tri-Caucus, as well as Ranking Member Bobby Scott of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, outlines improvements to the Every Child Achieves Act that include: state and school district accountability for all student sub-groups; equal distribution of resources; and transparency in data collection and reporting. The letter also lauds the adoption of amendments that eliminate ineffective assessments and improve quality early education for disadvantaged students.

The text of the letter is below. The full text of the letter with all 84 names can be found online here.


Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Murray:

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)—also known as the Congressional Tri-Caucus—write to share our views on the Every Child Achieves Act, as reported out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on April 16, 2015.  While we oppose this bill in its current form, it is our hope and expectation that outlining our reauthorization principles and areas of concern will result in both robust dialogue and needed improvements to the bill as the deliberative process moves forward.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is a critical civil rights law intended to ensure that all children—regardless of their zip code, family wealth, background, English Language Proficiency, or disability—have the unequivocal right to an equitable education.  While we applaud the current bipartisan bill as an important step toward remedying the flaws of current law through full reauthorization, the bill in its current form does not do enough to protect the historically disadvantaged and vulnerable students the ESEA is intended to serve.  We strongly urge you to consider the following principles in order to improve the legislation and achieve reauthorization of the ESEA that eliminates, not perpetuates, persistent inequities within our nation’s system of public education.  Specifically, we believe the bill must be strengthened to:

1.Hold states and school districts accountable for meeting the academic needs of all students. Subgroup accountability must be strengthened to ensure that the academic performance of disadvantaged students is not masked by averages.  States and school districts must be held accountable for the education of every child.  The law must require timely state action to address inequities where they persist, with federal resources and support provided to the lowest performing schools, including those schools with low-performing student subgroups.  Accountability for low-performing high schools, frequently referred to as “dropout factories,” must be addressed and strengthened.  The language must be improved to ensure that State-determined annual goals are consistent among all student subgroups; that interventions are required when the same student subgroup misses a state-set goal for two or more consecutive years; and that the use of super subgroups is expressly prohibited for the purposes of reporting and accountability.  Lastly, any state-established threshold for student group size (“n-size”) must be clear, transparent, consistent across subgroups, and uniform across states.

2.Require school districts to equitably distribute resources and close the comparability loophole. Reauthorization must address funding inequities in current law.  Resources must be equitability distributed, specifically targeting the poorer schools and students that need it the most.

3.Strengthen, make transparent, and enforce annual data collection and reporting. Specifically, data collection must be cross-tabulated by gender, and be disaggregated by student subgroups, Asian American and Pacific Islander racial subgroups, and English language proficiency levels.  Data must show student performance and must be available and accessible, including expressly requiring that translated resources be provided to families with limited English proficiency.

While the articulated concerns of the Tri-Caucus preclude us from supporting the bill at this time, we commend the committee for adoption of key improvements to the underlying bill that align with Tri-Caucus priorities to promote educational equity.  Specifically, we are pleased with the adoption of:

4.The Baldwin (D-WI)/Cassidy(R-LA) amendment to eliminate redundant and low-quality state and district assessments while empowering states to prioritize quality assessments that measure student performance and academic growth. While assessment data is one important tool in diagnosing and addressing school and student challenges, the high-stakes nature of assessments must be replaced with a climate that fosters growth and support.

5.The Murray (D-WA)/Isakson (R-GA) amendment to improve access to quality early childhood education for disadvantaged students. In many disenfranchised communities, students enter school behind due to lack of access to preschool and pre-kindergarten.  We believe that any reauthorization of the ESEA must prioritize access to early learning to prepare all students for success in elementary school and beyond.  We look forward to building on the bipartisan success of this amendment to ensure improved access to high-quality early childhood education for all children, including children residing in U.S. territories.

The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 must further protect children of historically underserved communities—specifically, children of color, children with disabilities, and children in poverty—so that they can break the cycle of poverty and overcome socio-economic barriers for a brighter future.  We cannot support the bill in its current format, especially considering the lack of crucial subgroup accountability language.  We remain hopeful that continued bipartisan, bicameral collaboration will ensure the principles of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are embodied in any reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.


Judy Chu

Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC)

G. K. Butterfield

Chair, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)

Linda T. Sánchez

Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC)

Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Ranking Member, Committee on Education and Workforce

Raúl Grijalva

Co-Chair, CHC Education and Labor Task Force

Danny K. Davis

Co-Chair, CBC Education and Labor Task Force

Rubén Hinojosa

Co-Chair, CHC Education

and Labor Task Force

Chaka Fattah

Co-Chair¸ CBC Education and Labor Task Force

40th Anniversary Season Begins With World Premiere of John Steinbeck’s Masterpiece East of Eden

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Adapted by tony award winner and ensemble member Frank Galati

Directed by Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney
September 17 – November 15, 2015

Five Plays by Five Pulitzer Prize-winning writers in 2015/16 season

CHICAGO, IL – Steppenwolf Theatre Company celebrates 40 years as America’s longest running, most distinguished ensemble theater with a remarkable lineup of plays in the 2015/16 Subscription Season, all by Pulitzer Prize-winning writers. Kicking off the landmark season is John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, a world premiere adaptation by Frank Galati. Steppenwolf’s deep connection with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author can be traced back to the company’s 1988 production of The Grapes of Wrath, which Galati adapted and directed. The production transferred to Broadway, California and London and received two Tony Awards—Best Play and Best Director—garnering Steppenwolf international acclaim.

Returning to direct East of Eden is Terry Kinney, who also performed in Galati’s production of The Grapes of Wrath. Kinney co-founded Steppenwolf in 1976 with Gary Sinise and Jeff Perry and has directed many notable productions with the company, including John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, The Violet Hour and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in 2000. Kinney’s New York directing credits include the world premiere of Checkers by Doug McGrath, reasons to be pretty and The Money Shot for MCC and Broadway and After Ashley and Beautiful Child at the Vineyard Theatre, among others. He is widely known for his roles in HBO’s prison drama Oz, as well as the ABC series, The Black Box. Recently, he appeared in HBO’s Show Me a Hero and he recurs on Showtime’s new series, Billions. Fellow ensemble members Francis Guinan, Tim Hopper and Alan Wilder, all of whom were in the original The Grapes of Wrath production with Kinney, reunite to perform in the highly anticipated East of Eden world premiere.

Escaping a turbulent past, Adam Trask is determined to make a new start in California’s Salinas Valley. Adam and his wife Cathy settle on a beautiful farm, and soon Cathy gives birth to twins Caleb and Aron. But family history, sibling rivalry and the impending danger of World War One will threaten their little piece of paradise. East of Eden is a sprawling and unflinching story that asks if is it possible to escape the mistakes of previous generations and choose your own course.

The complete cast for East of Eden features ensemble members Kate Arrington as Cathy Trask, Francis Guinan as Samuel Hamilton, Tim Hopper as Adam Trask and Alan Wilder as Dr. Murphy and Mr. Bacon along with Casey Thomas Brown as Aron Trask, Aaron Himelstein as Caleb Trask, Elizabeth Laidlaw as Eva/Mrs. Bacon/Nurse, Stephen Park as Lee, Brittany Uomoleale as Abra Bacon and Dan Waller as Joe and Will Hamilton.

Single tickets to East of Eden ($20 – $89) go on sale Friday, August 7 at 11am. Previews begin September 17, 2015 and the show runs through November 15, 2015 in Steppenwolf’s Downstairs Theatre.

Season subscriptions are currently on sale. Packages start at $100. Student, educator and access discount subscriptions available. To purchase a 2015/16 subscription, visit Audience Services at 1650 N Halsted St, call 312-335-1650 or visit steppenwolf.org.

The production team includes Walt Spangler (scenic design), Mara Blumenfeld (costume design), David Weiner (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (original music and sound design) and Matt Hawkins (fight choreography). Additional credits include Erica Daniels (casting), Malcolm Ewen (stage manager) and Christine D. Freeburg (assistant stage manager).

Title John Steinbeck’s East of Eden

Author Adapted by ensemble member Frank Galati

Director Co-founder Terry Kinney

Featuring Ensemble members Kate Arrington, Tim Hopper, Francis Guinan and Alan Wilder with Casey Thomas Brown, Aaron Himelstein, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Stephen Park, Brittany Uomoleale and Dan Waller

Location                                 Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N Halsted St

Dates                                      Previews: September 17 – September 26

Press Performances: Saturday, September 26 at 3pm and

Tuesday, September 29 at 7:30pm

Opening: September 27 at 6pm (by invitation only)

Regular Run: September 29 – November 15

Accessible Performances    ASL interpretation: Sunday, October 25 at 7:30pm

Open-captioned: Saturday, October 31 at 3pm

Audio-described and touch tour: Sunday, November 8 at 1:30 touch tour, audio-described performance at 3pm

Curtain Times Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30pm.

Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm.

Wednesday matinees at 2pm on Oct. 28, Nov. 4 and Nov. 11

Ticket prices                          Previews: $20 – $54

Regular Run: $20 – $89

Prices subject to change.

20 for $20: Twenty $20 tickets are available for subscription shows on the day of the performance at 11am (Mon – Sat) and 1pm (Sun), by phone only at 312-335-1650. Limit 2 per person.

Rush Tickets: Half-price rush tickets are available one hour before each show.

Student Discounts: Limited $15 student tickets are available online. (Limit 2 tickets. Must present a valid student ID for each ticket). For additional student discounts, visit steppenwolf.org/students.

Group Tickets: All groups of 10 or more receive a discounted rate for any performance throughout the season.

Audience Services Single tickets go on sale Friday, August 7, 2015 at 11am

1650 N Halsted St, 312-335-1650

Online ticketing available at steppenwolf.org

Major support for East of Eden is provided by The Negaunee Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Major support for Steppenwolf’s New Play Development Initiative is provided by The Davee Foundation and the Zell Family Foundation.

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). As previously announced, Anna D. Shapiro will succeed Martha Lavey as Artistic Director at the start of the 2015/16 season. Shapiro began working with Steppenwolf in 1995, joined the ensemble in 2005 and is a Tony Award-winning director. She will serve alongside Managing Director David Schmitz. Lavey, who joined the ensemble in 1993, has served as Artistic Director of Steppenwolf for 20 years and will conclude her tenure at the end of the 2014/15 season, while still remaining an ensemble member.

President Preckwinkle and County Board Honor Military Veterans As Part of Silver Star Service Banner Program

Posted by Admin On June - 12 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and County Commissioners recognized 28 military veterans for their sacrifice and service to nation under the annual Silver Star Service Banner program.

The veterans were saluted for their service in wartime during the Board meeting and at a reception beforehand. To be eligible for the Silver Star Service Banner program, a veteran must have been wounded or become ill while serving in a war zone. The veterans honored today served in conflicts ranging from World War II to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan.

Silver Star Service Banner is a national program run by the not-for-profit Silver Star Families of America. Cook County began participating in the Silver Star Service Banner program in 2008 at the urging of Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy (6th).

“Participating in this program is a way we can acknowledge and show appreciation for the service of these veterans who have sacrificed so much for our nation and our freedoms,” President Preckwinkle said. “I am grateful these veterans have come here today and for the work of our Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs in collaborating with many commissioners to continue our participation in the Silver Star Banner Service program.”

“It is a privilege and a pleasure to honor the brave men and women of the Armed Forces who have given so much for our Country,” said Commissioner Murphy.

Bill Browne, Director of the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), worked with County Commissioners and veterans organizations throughout Cook County to identify recipients for this year’s Silver Star Service Banner program. Preckwinkle created the County’s first-ever Department of Veterans Affairs in 2013 as an outreach mechanism to County employees who are veterans.

The DVA works with more than 100 Cook County employee-veterans and collaborates with veterans organizations in providing information for and helping direct veterans to programs and benefits based on their military service.

The County Board during its meeting approved a resolution honoring the Silver Star Service Banner vets, and all who were present were individually recognized during meeting. The veterans also received several commemorative items.

“Taking time to honor and reflect upon the tremendous sacrifices our disabled veterans have made in the defense of this great nation, is one of the most important things we can do,” said Commissioner Jeffrey R. Tobolski (16th), chairman of the County’s Board Veterans Committee.  “Each level of government has an obligation to our veterans and I am proud of Cook County’s commitment to support those who defended our freedom.”

Three of those who were honored today served in World War II, two in the Korean War, nine served in Vietnam, 10 in Iraq and four in Afghanistan. Seventeen of today’s Silver Star Service Banner veterans served in the Army, three in the Navy, four in the Marines, two in the Air Force and one each in the Air National Guard and the Reserves.

“I am proud to carry on this tradition,” Preckwinkle said. “Cook County is committed to supporting our veterans and recognizing the heroic nature of their service with such programs as the Silver Star Service Banner.”

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