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Archive for June 18th, 2015

21-Year-Old White Man Opens Fire in Black Historical Church in Charleston, South Carolina During Bible Study, Killing 9

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Update: Suspect has been captured in Shelby, N.C., and is in custody

FBI  has identified suspect as 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof

NAACP and National Urban League Respond to Charleston Church Mass Shooting Incident


NAACP’s Response:

Baltimore, MD/Charleston, SC — On Wednesday, June 17, nine parishioners were shot at Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina — the oldest AME church in the South. The shooter is described as a white man in his twenties and remains at large.  Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen and Mayor Joe Riley have described the incident as a hate crime.  AME Church Elder Rev. Norvel Goff asks for prayers for the families and stands with the police in finding justice for these hate crimes.   Subsequently, the NAACP has released the following statement:

From Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President & CEO:

“The NAACP was founded to fight against racial hatred and we are outraged that 106 years later, we are faced today with another mass hate crime.  Our heartfelt prayers and soul-deep condolences go out to the families and community of the victims at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church.  The senselessly slain parishioners were in a church for Wednesday night bible study. There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture.  Today, I mourn as an AME minister, as a student and teacher of scripture, as well as a member of the NAACP.

The NAACP South Carolina State Conference and Charleston Branch have been working on the ground—with police and the community to bring this case to a close.  We remain vigilant while the local police and FBI investigate this hate crime and bring the shooter to justice.”

National Urban League’s Response:

Urban League’s Morial: Pray for Victims of Charleston Shooting

NEW YORK — Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, released the following statement on the Charleston, S.C., church shooting:

“Our thoughts and prayers this morning are with the people of Charleston, S.C., where a gunman viciously murdered nine people during a prayer meeting.

“It’s always difficult to comprehend what motivates this type of hate crime, but it seems especially horrifying that it should occur in a place of worship, where people go to seek peace.

“We ask the nation to join us in a weekend of prayer the families of the victims, the devastated community, and the law enforcement officers who seek the killer.  We must confront undercurrent of violence and fear that still permeates our culture, and seek a path to peace.”

Prayer Vigil to be Held Today in Chicago for Charleston, S.C. Church Shooting Victims

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

A prayer vigil/meeting is being held today, Thursday, JUNE 18, 2015, 12 noon, at the Greater Institutional African Methodist Episcopal Church, headed by Rev. Dr. Walter B. Johnson, Jr., at 78th and Indiana, to pray for the 9 victims gunned down at the Emanuel. A.M.E. Church.

Speaking on behalf of Rev. Dr. Albert D. Tyson, III, pastor of the St. Stephen AME Church, Rev. Paul Jakes, pastor of the New Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church, confirmed that the topic of today’s prayer vigil  will be on the Charleston, SC. Shooting.

“All faiths are moved by this,” said Jakes who confirmed that Dr. Tyson knew all of the victims and is “very shaken by their deaths.”

For further information, call Rev. Paul Jakes at: 773.531.2031.

Arrested Trauma Center Protesters Go to Court Today

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Community leaders, and University of Chicago students and Alumni and allies will hold a Press Conference, June 18, 2015, at 555 W. Harrison at 8:30 a.m.


CHICAGO, IL – On June 18, nine community leaders, University of Chicago Students and Alumni, who were arrested at a peaceful sit-in on June 3rd, will go to court. The University is charging the protesters with trespassing, mob action and resisting arrest. The protestors were demanding a meeting a University President Zimmer to discuss the University opening a needed south side trauma center.

The sit-in, at the University Administration building, lasted two and a half hours before the University called the fire department to ax through drywall, break windows, and saw through doors in order for police to arrest the protestors.

The arrested protestors will hold a press conference before the court date to explain why they engaged in a peaceful sit in and explain the movement that has come together to push for their charges to be dropped. It is rare for a University to pursue such strong charges, particularly against its own students and Alumni. “This campaign has been going on for five years. Instead of agreeing to a meeting, University President Zimmer had us arrested and detained for 45 hours, this goes completely against the University’s so called value of free and open dialogue” said Victoria Crider, a leader of Fearless Leading by the Youth.

The community’s demand for trauma care was sparked by the death of Woodlawn youth leader Damian Turner, and is led by the Woodlawn-based Fearless Leading by the Youth, along with the Kenwood-Oakland Community Organization, Students for Health Equity at the UofC, National Nurses United, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, University Church and Kenwood Church, and many allies.

The South Side is currently a trauma desert for adults, meaning that victims of shootings and other serious injuries must be taken over ten miles away, to the Near North Side or south west suburbs. The call for trauma care is also supported by a new study by the Illinois Department of Public Health which states that longer travel times to a trauma center increases the likelihood of dying, the study also states that the U of C is best positioned to expand access to trauma care, and that the U of C could further raise the age limit of their pediatric trauma center.

National Medicare Fraud Takedown Results in Charges Against 243 Individuals for Approximately $712 Million in False Billing

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell announced today a nationwide sweep led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force in 17 districts, resulting in charges against 243 individuals, including 46 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings.  In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) also suspended a number of providers using its suspension authority as provided in the Affordable Care Act.  This coordinated takedown is the largest in Strike Force history, both in terms of the number of defendants charged and loss amount.

Attorney General Lynch and Secretary Burwell were joined in the announcement by FBI Director James B. Comey, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and Deputy Administrator and Director of CMS Center for Program Integrity Shantanu Agrawal, M.D.

The defendants are charged with various health care fraud-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud, violations of the anti-kickback statutes, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.  The charges are based on a variety of alleged fraud schemes involving various medical treatments and services, including home health care, psychotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, durable medical equipment (DME) and pharmacy fraud.  More than 44 of the defendants arrested are charged with fraud related to the Medicare prescription drug benefit program known as Part D, which is the fastest-growing component of the Medicare program overall.

“This action represents the largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the Department of Justice, and it adds to an already remarkable record of enforcement,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “The defendants charged include doctors, patient recruiters, home health care providers, pharmacy owners, and others.  They billed for equipment that wasn’t provided, for care that wasn’t needed, and for services that weren’t rendered.  In the days ahead, the Department of Justice will continue our focus on preventing wrongdoing and prosecuting those whose criminal activity drives up medical costs and jeopardizes a system that our citizens trust with their lives.  We are prepared – and I am personally determined – to continue working with our federal, state, and local partners to bring about the vital progress that all Americans deserve.”

“This Administration is committed to fighting fraud and protecting taxpayer dollars in Medicare and Medicaid,” said Secretary Burwell.  “This takedown adds to the hundreds of millions we have saved through fraud prevention since the Affordable Care Act was passed.  With increased resources that have allowed the Strike Force to expand and new tools, like enhanced screening and enrollment requirements, tough new rules and sentences for criminals, and advanced predictive modeling technology, we have managed to better find and fight fraud as well as stop it before it starts.”

According to court documents, the defendants participated in alleged schemes to submit claims to Medicare and Medicaid for treatments that were medically unnecessary and often never provided.  In many cases, patient recruiters, Medicare beneficiaries and other co-conspirators allegedly were paid cash kickbacks in return for supplying beneficiary information to providers, so that the providers could then submit fraudulent bills to Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary or never performed.  Collectively, the doctors, nurses, licensed medical professionals, health care company owners and others charged are accused of conspiring to submit a total of approximately $712 million in fraudulent billing.

“The people charged in this case targeted the system each of us depends on in our most vulnerable moments,” said Director James Comey.  “Health care fraud is a crime that hurts all of us and each dollar taken from programs that help the sick and the suffering is one dollar too many.”

“Every day, the Criminal Division is more strategic in our approach to prosecuting Medicare Fraud,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “We obtain and analyze billing data in real-time.  We target hot spots – areas of the country and the types of health care services where the billing data shows the potential for a high volume of fraud – and we are speeding up our investigations.  By doing this, we are increasingly able to stop schemes at the developmental stage, and to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the country.”

“Health care fraud drives up health care costs, wastes taxpayer money, undermines the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and endangers program beneficiaries,” said Inspector General Levinson.  “Today’s takedown includes perpetrators of prescription drug fraud, home health care fraud, and personal care services fraud, three particularly harmful types of fraud plaguing our health care system.  This record-setting takedown sends a message to would-be perpetrators that health care fraud is a risky way to line your pockets.  Our agents and our law enforcement partners stand ready to protect these vital programs and ensure that those who would steal from federal health care programs ultimately pay for their crimes.”

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations are part of the Health Care Fraud Prevention & Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), a joint initiative announced in May 2009 between the Department of Justice and HHS to focus their efforts to prevent and deter fraud and enforce current anti-fraud laws around the country.  Since their inception in March 2007, Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged over 2,300 defendants who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for over $7 billion.

Including today’s enforcement actions, nearly 900 individuals have been charged in national takedown operations, which have involved more than $2.5 billion in fraudulent billings.  Today’s announcement marks the first time that districts outside of Strike Force locations participated in a national takedown, and they accounted for 82 defendants charged in this takedown.

*********

In Miami, a total of 73 defendants were charged with offenses relating to their participation in various fraud schemes involving approximately $263 million in false billings for home health care, mental health services and pharmacy fraud.  In one case, administrators in a mental health center billed close to $64 million between 2006 and 2012 for purported intensive mental health treatment to beneficiaries and allegedly paid kickbacks to patient recruiters and assisted living facility owners throughout the Southern District of Florida.  Medicare paid approximately half of the claimed amount.

In Houston and McAllen, Texas, 22 individuals were charged in cases involving over $38 million in alleged fraud.  One of these defendants allegedly coached beneficiaries on what to tell doctors to make them appear eligible for Medicare services and treatments and then received payment for those who qualified.  The company that paid the defendant for patients submitted close to $16 million in claims to Medicare, over $4 million of which was paid.

In Dallas, seven people were charged in connection with home health care schemes.  In one scheme, six owners and operators of a physician house call company submitted nearly $43 million in billings under the name of a single doctor, regardless of who actually provided the service.  The company also significantly exaggerated the length of physician visits, often times billing for 90 minutes or more for an appointment that lasted only 15 or 20 minutes.

In Los Angeles, eight defendants were charged for their roles in schemes to defraud Medicare of approximately $66 million.  In one case, a doctor is charged with causing almost $23 million in losses to Medicare through his own fraudulent billing and referrals for DME, including over 1000 expensive power wheelchairs and home health services that were not medically necessary and often not provided.

In Detroit, 16 defendants face charges for their alleged roles in fraud, kickback and money laundering schemes involving approximately $122 million in false claims for services that were medically unnecessary or never rendered, including home health care, physician visits, and psychotherapy, as well as pharmaceuticals that were billed but not dispensed.  Among these are three owners of a hospice service who allegedly paid kickbacks for referrals made by two doctors who defrauded Medicare Part D by issuing medically unnecessary prescriptions.

In Tampa, five individuals were charged with participating in a variety of schemes, ranging from fraudulent physical therapy billings to a scheme involving millions in physician services and tests that never occurred.  In one case, a licensed pain management physician sought reimbursement for nerve conduction studies and other services that he allegedly never performed.  Medicare paid the defendant over $1 million for these purported services.

In Brooklyn, N.Y., nine individuals were charged in two separate criminal schemes involving physical and occupational therapy.  In one case, three individuals face charges for their roles in a previously charged $50 million physical therapy scheme.  In the second case, six defendants were charged for their roles in a $8 million physical and occupational therapy scheme.

In New Orleans, 11 people were charged in connection with $110 million in home health care and psychotherapy schemes.  In one case, four individuals who operated two companies – one in Louisiana and one in California – that mass-marketed talking glucose monitors (TGMs) across the country allegedly sent TGMs to Medicare beneficiaries regardless of whether they were needed or requested.  The companies billed Medicare approximately $38 million for the devices and Medicare paid the companies over $22 million.

The cases announced today are being prosecuted and investigated by Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams from the Fraud Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and from the U.S. Attorney’s Offices of the Southern District of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of Texas, Central District of California, Eastern District of Louisiana, Northern District of Texas, Northern District of Illinois and the Middle District of Florida; and agents from the FBI, HHS-OIG and state Medicaid Fraud Control Units.

In addition to the Strike Force, today’s enforcement actions include cases brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices of the Southern District of California, Southern District of Illinois, Northern District of Ohio, Western District of Kentucky, District of Maryland, District of Connecticut, District of Alaska and the Southern District of Georgia.

A complaint or indictment is merely a charge, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The court documents for each case will posted online, as they become available, here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents-and-resources-june-2015-medicare-fraud-strike-force-press-conference.

The Affordable Care Act has provided new tools and resources to fight fraud in federal health care programs. The law provides an additional $350 million for health care fraud prevention and enforcement efforts, which has allowed the Justice Department to hire more prosecutors and the Strike Force to expand from two cities to nine. It also toughens sentencing for criminal activity, enhances provider and supplier screenings and enrollment requirements, and encourages increased sharing of data across government.

In addition to providing new tools and resources to fight fraud, the Affordable Care Act clarified that for sentencing purposes, the loss is determined by the amount billed to Medicare and increased the sentencing guidelines for the billed amounts, which has provided a strong deterrent effect due to increased prison time, particularly in the most egregious cases.

Source: Department of Justice

Foreign Lottery Scam Steals $80,000 from West Suburban Man, Leaving Him Homeless

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Losing $80,000 going for the big win is a terrible lesson to learn. In the case of a West Suburban man, falling victim to a foreign lottery scam turned out to be disastrous. While fake sweepstakes and lottery scams have been around for years, people continue to get cheated out of money by them. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers to watch out for these ways that thieves steal money.

In many cases, you get a fake check in the mail. In others, you get a phone call stating that you won a large amount of money, and all you need to do is send in a small payment to redeem the grand prize. Legitimate sweepstakes do not make you pay a fee to receive a prize.

Lee Williams, a retired man from Aurora, recently fell victim to a fake lottery scam. “They have been calling me for years and telling me that I won millions of dollars. I kept giving them more money and they kept telling me that they still need more in order to get me my prize winnings. I have spent what adds up to $80,000. I have asked questions, I’ve asked for proof–they always have some kind of answer but no money for me. I’m 73 and was a commodities broker. Now I have nothing and I am in a homeless shelter. I only wanted the money to leave something for my daughters and grandchildren. I know I won’t get my money back, I just want to warn other people.”

“When someone tells you that you’ve won millions in a lottery, it can seem like a solution to all your problems,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Many lose thousands of dollars that can permanently damage their lives.”

Avoid falling victim to a lottery or sweepstakes scam by being aware of these red flags:

  • You win a contest you never entered. You need to buy a ticket or complete an application to participate in a contest or lottery. Whether it’s by phone or mail, scammers seek out their targets. Verify that it is a legitimate business by doing research on the company.
  • You are offered ‘too-good-to-be-true’ prizes. It is almost always a large sum of money, but there is always a catch. Scammers attempt to make it sound easy to claim your prize. The reality is it is very unlikely that someone will give away large sums of money with no strings attached.
  • You have to give personal information. Anytime someone tries to get your bank account number, Social Security Number or other sensitive information, that should be an automatic red flag. There is also no need to access financial information, like a credit card number in response to a sweepstakes promotion.
  • You have to pay to win. Don’t be blinded by the promise of a large sum of money in the future. If they are asking you to give them money first, that’s a red flag. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s illegal to ask you to pay or buy something to enter or increase your odds of winning. Legitimate prizes do not come with processing fees, and taxes are paid directly to the Internal Revenue Service after winnings are collected.
  • You have to wire money or use prepaid debit cards. If you are asked to use these transfer methods in order to get a prize or any other large sum of money, that is a major red flag. It’s difficult to track these types of transactions, so you will have little to no way of getting your money back.

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

#FreeDay: The #LetUsBreathe Collective Celebrates Juneteenth & Commemorates the Legacy of Rekia Boyd

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – The #LetUsBreathe Collective continues its mission of remixing the art of protest by celebrating Juneteenth with #FreeDay – a jubilant service parade beginning near the site where unarmed Black woman Rekia Boyd was killed by off-duty CPD Officer Dante Servin. This Friday marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day, when slaves in the deep South finally got the news of their liberation, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Many Black folk feel like celebrating Independence on the 4th of July is problematic, because though Blacks fought and died in the Revolutionary War, we weren’t really free for another century,” says #LetUsBreathe Public Relations Coordinator Jennifer Pagán. “Juneteenth honors the history of Black liberation work in America, and we use this day to lift up Rekia Boyd because of how her legacy is catalyzing contemporary Black liberation work in Chicago and nationwide.” #FreeDay is a follow-up to the Collective’s #RememberingRekia action on Memorial Day. The action will connect teens to youth resources with the message to “Maximize their freedom” as CPS “liberates” its students for the summer. The event kicks off at 15th & Albany, just blocks away from Collins High School, where one of its alumna Rekia Boyd was shot in the back of the head after a noise complaint.

The Juneteenth celebration will include a traveling open mic and service parade, where demonstrators engage the community with pop-up performances, food & book giveaways, political education break-outs, and neighborhood clean-up. “We’re continuing our critique of racially disproportionate police aggression by highlighting that though we’ve celebrated Black liberation for 150 years, many Black youth are still not free,” says #LetUsBreathe Co-Director Damon Williams. “And because North Lawndale is a community directly impacted by police violence and mass incarceration, we want to wrap that critique in love, joy, art, and service.”  #FreeDay continues #LetUsBreathe’s mission of blending arts and activism to bring about change.

On June 18th, the #LetUsBreathe Collective will join BYP100 and other activist organizations in demanding that Officer Dante Servin be fired at the CPD Board meeting at Police Headquarters. A petition demanding his termination will be circulated during the #FreeDay parade.

WHAT: The #LetUsBreathe Collective leads #FreeDay, a remixed approach to protest that celebrates Juneteenth and commemorates the legacy of Rekia Boyd.

WHEN: Friday June 19th, 2015
2pm-8pm

WHERE: Douglas Park (starting at 15th St & Albany)

WHY: Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. As CPS releases its students for the summer, the #LetUsBreathe Collective invites North Lawndale teens to celebrate their freedom with peace, creativity, and connection to youth resources.

WHO: In the wake of a militarized police response to the public outcry over the death of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown, the #LetUsBreathe Collective formed as a fundraising initiative to bring tear gas protection and remedies, medical and hygiene supplies, and water bottles to Ferguson protesters. Beginning in August 2014, the #LetUsBreathe Collective launched an ongoing series of donation deliveries to support the frontline resistance. #LetUsBreathe teamed up with Lost Voices, a Ferguson youth protest group that vowed to camp out in the protest area until Darren Wilson was indicted. In an effort to deepen the conversation beyond mainstream media’s one-dimensional coverage, #LetUsBreathe produced Lost Voices Live, a hybrid of theater, protest, and live storytelling featuring Ferguson protesters and Chicago arts activists, and Lost Voices: A Ferguson Story, a documentary film bearing witness to this resistance movement, to be used as educational tools to mobilize youth activism nationwide. The #LetUsBreathe Collective works in collaboration with the Black Youth Project (BYP100), Black Lives Matter, HandsUp United, and Chicago Artists Against Injustice. It serves as an incubator for innovative activism to provoke critical dialogue and bring about social change for communities of all backgrounds.

The #LetUsBreathe Collective aims to harness creative capital and cultural production to deconstruct systemic injustice in America and worldwide. A grassroots alliance of artists, journalists, and activists, we use our talents to amplify marginalized voices, disrupt the status quo, offer opportunities for healing and education, and provoke critical thought and dialogue about the intersections of oppression through film, music, theater, poetry, and civil disobedience.


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Senators Kirk, Durbin Resolution Congratulates Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) today introduced a Senate Resolution congratulating the 2015 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

“For the first time in 77 years the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on home ice, clinching their third championship in six years,” Senator Kirk said. “The team’s outstanding season is a reflection of the players’ hard work and the dedication of the entire Blackhawks organization. Congratulations on an impressive playoff run and thank you for bringing the Cup back where it belongs!”

“The goal of every team each year in the NHL is to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, but only one earns the right to do it,” said Durbin. “This week, the Chicago Blackhawks realized their mantra “One Goal,” and brought the Stanley Cup home to Chicago. Congratulations to the players, staff, and the best fans in all of hockey on this triumph.”

Full text of the resolution:

Congratulating the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the 2015 Stanley Cup.

Whereas, on June 15, 2015, the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team won the Stanley Cup;

Whereas the 2015 Stanley Cup title is the third Stanley Cup title for the Blackhawks in 6 years;

Whereas Blackhawks fans at the “Madhouse on Madison” witnessed Duncan Keith and Patrick Kane score show-stopping goals while goaltender Corey Crawford seemed to stand on his head at times, stopping all 25 shots he faced;

Whereas the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup, tying the Boston Bruins for fourth on the franchise list of most titles won;

Whereas the Blackhawks joined the National Hockey League (referred to in this preamble as “NHL”) in 1926 and have a rich history in the NHL;

Whereas the Blackhawks were 1 of the 6 original teams in the NHL;

Whereas the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, and 2013;

Whereas for the first time in 77 years, the Blackhawks fans saw their heroes win the Stanley Cup on home ice;

Whereas the Blackhawks began the playoffs with a double-overtime victory against the Nashville Predators;

Whereas a goal scored by Brent Seabrook in triple-overtime of Game 4 helped the Blackhawks defeat the Predators in 6 games;

Whereas a sweep of the Minnesota Wild followed, setting up a showdown with the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Finals;

Whereas the Blackhawks earned triple and double-overtime victories in Games 2 and 4 on their way to winning the series in 7 games and clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals;

Whereas the Blackhawks followed a familiar pattern in dropping Games 2 and 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but took a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 on home ice on the night of Monday, June 15, 2015;

Whereas in another close contest, Patrick Kane scored a goal that marked the first time either team led by more than 1 goal in the series;

Whereas it was a great night for fans of the Blackhawks and the culmination of a tremendous team effort;

Whereas Antoine Vermette, acquired at the trade deadline, scored 2 game-winning goals in the Stanley Cup Finals;

Whereas Goaltender Scott Darling, when called upon in relief of Corey Crawford, stood tall in net when his team needed him the most against the Predators;

Whereas Duncan Keith was an “ironman”, earning the Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the playoffs while logging more than 700 minutes of ice time in 23 games;

Whereas Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked shots left and right and seemed to be in the right place at all times;

Whereas General Manager Stan Bowman, Head Coach Joel Quenneville, President John F. McDonough, and owner Rocky Wirtz have put together and led one of the greatest dynasties in NHL history;

Whereas the Stanley Cup returns to the City of Chicago and gives Blackhawks fans across the State of Illinois a chance to celebrate championship hockey;

Whereas the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Ducks, and Tampa Bay Lightning proved to be worthy and honorable adversaries and also deserve recognition: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) congratulates the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the 2015 Stanley Cup;

(2) commends the fans, players, and management of the Tampa Bay Lightning for an outstanding series; and

(3) respectfully directs the Secretary of the Senate to transmit an enrolled copy of this resolution to the 2015 Chicago Blackhawks hockey organization and Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz.

Ron Busby, Sr. President & CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. Joins Rev. Dr. Jamal Harrison Bryant, Pastor & Founder, Empowerment Temple Church, to Launch Driving On E

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Campaign being launched to spur economic growth in Baltimore’s Black business community

Baltimore, MD – Ron Busby, Sr., president/CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) and Rev. Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, Pastor and Founder of the Empowerment Temple Church, located in Baltimore, MD come together to announce Driving on E, a Baltimore-based campaign designed to spur economic growth and redevelopment of the city in the wake of recent protests. Local Black-owned businesses, all members of either the USBC or the Greater Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, hardest hit by the city’s unrest will receive marketing and promotional support from June through September from Empowerment Temple Church at no cost to the companies.

Driving on E refers not only to the fatigue that has set in in cities across the country, but also the idea that when there are no resources from which to pull, an inevitable circumstance of consequences spurred from helplessness can erupt into unprecedented levels of anger, and the very worst of ourselves often comes out. The faith-based and business communities have come together to empower the Black community to invest in itself by “buying Black”. Concurrently, businesses are being encouraged to invest in the community by offering training and employment.

“We have spent countless hours talking about the problems of police accountability, and are now shifting the focus to solutions through economic empowerment,” said Ron Busby, Sr. “Only when we recommit ourselves to economically empowering the Black community by both shopping Black and hiring Black, will we see a marked difference.”

Baltimore is just one of the cities involved in Driving on E. The campaign was launched nationally in April, and is two-phase initiative to spur renewal and revitalization in communities impacted by the recent spate of police shootings. In each market, both the faith-based and business communities will work together as an additional marketing tool for small businesses.

“The urgent opportunity before all of us is to squarely face the inequalities woven into our communities,” said Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant” with the strong belief that business development and community development are inextricably linked. By offering these services our goal is to produce immediate tangible results in communities most affected by the protest.”

Twenty-two Baltimore businesses were chosen for this initiative. Among them are: Cherry’s Upholstery; On Point Media Solutions; Land of Kush Restaurant; and Digit All Solutions. Click here for more information on Black businesses in Baltimore and sign up here for updates on how Black businesses can join the USBC’s mobile app.

About the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

USBC is an association of over 115 self-sustaining, viable Black Chambers and small business associations nationwide whose collaboration with strategic partners increases our capacity to serve. We serve our members through our 5 pillars of service, Advocacy, Access to Capital, Contracting, Entrepreneurial Training, and Chamber Development. Through the creation of resources and initiatives, we support African American Chambers of Commerce and business organizations in their work of developing and growing Black enterprises. For more information about the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., please visit our website at usblackchambers.org.

About Empowerment Temple

Empowerment Temple Church opened its doors Easter Sunday, April 2000. Led by its visionary, Jamal Bryant, a spirited third-generation pastor, the church began with just 47 members. Acclaimed the fastest-growing African Methodist Episcopal church in the denomination’s 200-year history, today our congregation has grown to well over 10,000 members with countless others streaming online from around the world! Empowerment’s mission is to “empower people spiritually, develop them educationally, expose them culturally, activate them politically, and strengthen the economically.” Our motto is, “Empowering the World Through the Word.”

ISBE to Rebate School Districts for National School Lunch Program Expenses

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

About $2.4 million available for warehousing and delivery services

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Members of the State Board of Education approved the rebate of up to $2.4 million to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The funds will cover warehousing and delivery service expenses.

“We are proud to administer the National School Lunch Program, as it plays an important role in our schools,” said State Board of Education Chairman James T. Meeks. “The rebates will be a direct benefit for all Illinois schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, which helps our students prepare for learning in classrooms across the state.”

Money for the rebates will come from administrative funds provided to Illinois by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the National School Lunch Program. After expected final approvals, this will be the second year these Federal State Administrative Expense funds will be used to provide rebates to school districts for NSLP warehousing and delivery service expenses incurred during the school year.

Last year, $2.1 million was rebated to 1,064 National School Lunch Program participants, which include public and private schools and residential child care institutions. This resulted in rebating school districts 82 percent of the $2,538,260 spent by participants on NSLP warehousing and delivery services. For this school year, ISBE projects an increase in the rebate coverage.

In the 2014-15 school year, there were 1,120 participants in the National School Lunch Program. The NSLP is a voluntary program available to all public schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions that agree to operate a non-profit program offering lunches meeting federal requirements to all children in attendance.

R&B/Soul Band GJS Prepares for the 41st Annual Jackson Music Awards Nominated in 5 Categories

Posted by Admin On June - 18 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
GFS Roll It Roll It

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – The careers of GJS (Tony Gentry, Nil Jones, Sam Fallie) is an open book filled with producing, writing, playing, and performing with many well-known artist in the music business. All 3 started in various groups and bands around Memphis back in the 80’s and were well aware of each other. Sam was in a vocal group called the Perfectionist, and Nil eventually played with them. Nil’s band then, Streetwave featured Marcus Price, deceased guitarist for the Barkays, and Reginald Pettes, later to be known as Reggie P.

In 2014 GJSs main focus was to create a power group that showcased creativity, showmanship, and musical knowledge. Starting with a mutual love of music, and combining their experiences in soul, blues, R&B, Rock, and Rap, in a short period of time they have created the hit single and line dance song entitled “Roll It Roll It” which has hit number 1 on several music charts for multiple weeks.

Who is GJS:

Tony Gentry played with various bands that heated up the Memphis scene before moving to Atlanta Georgia. At one point Nil and Tony were living in the same apartment complex and would talk music from time to time. Since then Tony has been touring the world almost 20 years as guitarist with the Barkays, as well as the Dazz Band, Con-funk-shun, Slave, Ohio Players, Shirley Brown, Billy Soul Bonds, as well as 8Ball & MJG, Tela, and Al Kapone.

Nil Jones played with the vocal group Kwick for many years. Sam and Nil ended up signed to the Unisound Productions company by the late Allen Jones as writers for the likes of J. Blackfoot, the Barkays, Carl Carlton, Main Attraction, and many more to honed their skills and became an integral part of the sound company. Nil has shared the stage with Eric Gales, Force MD’s, J. Blackfoot and others, and has received several gold and platinum production, musician, and engineering credits which included but not limited to rappers Ma$e, 8Ball & MJG, Shania Twain, and Lil Wayne.

Sam (Mr. Sam) Fallie a singer and songwriter has written for Barkays, O B Buchana, Archie Love, and has had a successful career as a solo artist in the Soul and Blues market with several number 1 songs in those genres. In 2007, Sam won “Best New Artist of The Year” awards from both Daddy B. Nice’s “Southern Soul RnB” and Blues Critic.

Recent News:

(1) Due to the popularity of the Roll It Roll It CD, Born Star Entertainment Records has since released three more singles entitled At the Spot, We Ride and Just Be Mine Tonight which all have climbed the ladders not only locally but around the world.

(2) GJS was recently published in the Frances blues magazine ABS Magazine showcasing how their music has transcended genres and demographics around the world.

(3) GJS has just completed their Roll It Roll It mini tour and now looking to hit the road performing on tour with some of the finest musician in the country.

(4) Finally, GJS will be performing and has been nominated in 5 categories at the 41st Jackson Music Awards.

Promoters, Tour Agencies and Talent Buyers are welcome to contact Prime Time Promotions LLC to submit performance offers for GJS to perform live at their next upcoming event. For more information on GJS go online to www.RollitRollit.com. To see their new music video and learn the Roll It Roll It line dance go to www.RollitRollitLineDance.com. To hear and download their four single releases for FREE, go online to www.ptpmusicworld.com.

For bookings or appearances contact: Prime Time Promotions LLC at (757) 478-9634 or info@PrimeTimePromotions.com

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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