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Archive for July 24th, 2015

Caught on Tape: Iowa Cops Shoot Black Bystander 5 Times, Then Lie About It

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Just-released security tape shows cops lied after they shot Jovan Webb, who survived April 5th police shooting

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Attorneys for Jovan Webb, a black Waterloo, IA resident, filed suit in federal court against the City of Waterloo and some of its police officers for unlawfully shooting him five times on April 5th. In a statement to the press shortly after the incident, police falsely claimed that Mr. Webb drove towards one of their officers, striking him with the car, which is allegedly why they shot him.

However, just-released video footage and witnesses’ statements show that Mr. Webb, a bystander, posed no threat to the officers. He should not even have been considered a suspect in the incident for which they had been called to the scene.

Mr. Webb ended up with five police bullets in his body, but they did not charge him with any crime.

On April 5, 2015 fisticuffs broke out between patrons at the New World Bar and Grill at 504 Riehl Street in Waterloo, IA. Mr. Webb and a friend of his were at the business his passing an exam to get a CDL license, but neither of them knew any of the combatants, nor did they participate in the fight.

Mr. Webb went outside of the New World Bar and Grill and watched the brief fight. Waterloo police were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the fight was over and the combatants had left. Mr. Webb got into his car, and according to the suit, “Soon after getting into his car, a man wearing civilian clothes knocked on the driver’s side window of Mr. Webb’s car with a black object. On information and belief, the man who knocked on Mr. Webb’s car was a Waterloo police officer and he singled out Mr. Webb because of his race. Mr. Webb pulled out of his parking spot to get away from the man, who he did not know.

“The man, now believed to be one of the Defendant Officers, chased after Mr. Webb as he was pulling out of the parking lot. Running alongside the passenger side of Mr. Webb’s car, this Defendant fired multiple shots from a firearm into Mr. Webb’s car. Trying to escape this attempt to kill him and fearing for his life, Mr. Webb drove out of the parking lot.”

One or more officers shot Mr. Webb five times – twice in his arm, once in his chest, and twice in abdomen. Despite having surgery, Mr. Webb still has two bullets in him that cannot be removed without potentially causing further injury.  He suffered a painful collapsed lung and he still has a breathing machine to help him breathe. Doctors had to make an incision from his chest to his lower abdomen and removed part of his intestine.

Despite being severely injured, Mr. Webb drove himself to the hospital, followed by Waterloo police officers, where they handcuffed him upon his arrival. Medical personnel had to insist that the officers release the handcuffs so that the severely-injured man could receive treatment. Despite their extreme violence towards him, Waterloo Police did not charge Mr. Webb with any crime.

One of the police officers being sued, Thomas Frein, has used excessive deadly force against at least one civilian on a prior occasion and yet received no discipline from his superiors for his actions.

Mr. Webb is represented by Mark Loevy-Reyes of the Chicago-based civil rights law firm, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy has just released a videotape of the police attack on Mr. Webb which can be viewed here.

Loevy & Loevy is the largest civil rights law firm in the Midwest, has offices in Chicago and Boulder, and has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country over the past decade. Copies of the suit, Jovan Webb v. City of Waterloo, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00066, can be found here.

Fired Police Cmdr. Calls for U.S. Justice Dept. Probe on Demands to Fix Police Abuse Reports

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

By Chinta Strausberg

Allegedly fired for refusing to change the conclusion of his police brutality cases that did not support officers, former Cmdr. Lorenzo Davis Wednesday said he is calling for a U.S. Justice Department probe of the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) which out of 400 police shootings only one officer was found guilty.

“I believe it is a crime to change reports when the evidence points to wrongdoing and you are told to change it to something else,” the 23-year veteran told this reporter. When Davis was ordered to change his conclusion, he said, “I told him (his superior) that would be falsifying a report and that is obstruction of justice.”

Davis said he will not be a part of a “cover up,” and believes the U.S. Justice Department is best suited to investigate the IPRA rather than an internal investigation or even the city’s Inspector General who like the police superintendent is appointed by the mayor.  “The U.S. Justice Department is neutral. In Chicago almost everyone owes their job to the mayor or some politician,” said Davis including the man who fired him, Scott Ando, IPRA’s chief administrator, who could not be reached for comment at deadline.

Referring to Ando, Davis said, “He wanted me to change my report to justify the shootings and other acts of brutality (excessive force). He wanted me to justify or exonerate the police officers or find that the allegations against them were unfounded. He wanted me to say the acts did not happen or the officers used the proper acts of force.

“He told me in person,” said Davis. “He pulled out a policy, and he began to change the policy of IPRA that said everything had to come through him…that I could not investigate a shooting.” Davis said his superior allegedly told him that he could not turn in a report that stated police officers “fired their guns improperly” without Ando’s approval.
“I told him I cannot change my findings because that is what the evidence showed,” Davis said. “I refused to change my findings or conclusions; so I was fired.”

Davis said he was given a performance rating that was marginal when his last rating was excellent. When Davis wrote a rebuttal to his poor performance rating, on July 9th he said Ando called him into his office and told him, “That I was always trying to show I was more experienced, more intelligent and better than everybody else. He then said to me, ‘You’re done.” Davis said Ando had told him before that he was an “at-will” employee and that he could fire me at any time. He told me if I did not change my findings, that I would be fired.”

Davis said this is the first time he has ever been fired and feels sad leaving behind a lot of friends and especially his team. Saying he has had a lot of jobs with the city, Davis said he was never bothered about losing that job. “I was doing my best. I was trying to improve the Chicago Police Department and at the same time to make sure citizens who were victims of abuse had some redress for their grievances.”

“There are other things I can do and have other plans to stay involved in police oversight. Now, I will be working outside of the system,” Davis said.

Davis, a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where he majored in American history, took education courses at Chicago State University and graduated from the John Marshall School of Law, once taught school for more than six-years including at Dunbar. He was transferred to Hubbard High School which then was all white. “We were trailblazers to integrate the schools,” he said referring to the influx of black students.

Davis was then transferred to Roberto Clemente, an Hispanic High School and then was sent to Amundsen High School, but it was during a time when there were annual school strikes and one year the school said there wasn’t enough money to pay me. At that time, I had five kids and it was Christmas. That was the last straw.” He became a policeman in January of 1981 having passed the exam long before he became a teacher.

“I went to 1111 South State Street and asked where was my application, and an officer went to a file cabinet marked ‘returned mail.” Davis said he started working with the police department in January of 1981.

He has been a tactical officer, a detective, a sergeant, a commander of hundreds of policemen in the 15th District, taught law at the police academy, former commander of Area one (formerly called Area Central), was commander of Miscellaneous Detective Division that included cold cases, fugitive apprehension and financial crimes and was commander of public housing among other titles. He retired in 2004.

An over achiever, Davis went back to school and earned his Master’s science Criminal Justice degree at Chicago State University and in 2008, applied for an investigator position with IPRA. In 2010 he was promoted to supervising investigator but fired on July 9, 2015 for allegedly refusing to change his police abuse report in favor of accused officers.

Davis said his being fired for doing his job and refusing to change his reports that would have exonerated officers accused of  police abuse “violates my civil rights which is why I want the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the IPRA,” he told this reporter.

Contacted late last night, Larry Merritt, a spokesperson for IPRA, had this to say: “This is a personnel matter, and it would be inappropriate to address it through the media. IPRA is committed to conducting fair, unbiased, objective, thorough and timely investigations of allegations of police misconduct and officer-involved shootings.

“Chicago is fairly unique among major cities in that there is an independent civilian investigative agency, separate from the police department, which independently investigates serious allegations of police misconduct as well as officer-involved shootings, and we take our important role extremely seriously. IPRA objectively investigates a complaint, determines the facts, reaches a finding and makes a recommendation for discipline when a complaint is sustained.

“All IPRA officer-involved shooting investigations, and investigations of misconduct for which a sustained finding is recommended, are reviewed by a Supervising Investigator, a Deputy Chief and the 1st Deputy Chief before the report containing the recommendations is given to the Chief Administrator, who, pursuant to the IPRA ordinance, makes a disciplinary recommendations to the Police Superintendent. The review process includes internal discussions at all levels of review to ensure the findings reached are accurate and meet the burden of proof, which is a preponderance of the evidence,” the statement concluded.

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.

Attorney General Madigan Calls on Phone Carriers to Offer Call-Blocking Technology to Customers

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called on five major phone companies to offer call-blocking technology to their customers. In a joint letter to the chief executives of the carriers, Madigan and 43 other state attorneys general highlighted a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule clarification that allows the phone companies to offer customers the ability to block unwanted calls. The clarification also verifies that federal law does not prohibit offering the services.

In the letter to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile and CenturyLink, the attorneys general stated, “Every year, our offices are flooded with consumer complaints pleading for a solution to stop intrusive robocalls. Your companies are now poised to offer your customers the help they need.  We urge you to act without delay.”

Despite coordinated efforts by Madigan’s office, other state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Illinois residents continue to report robocalls to their homes, even when residents have placed their numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” registry. The calls frequently originate from scammers in foreign countries, using technology to hide their location and identity, which makes enforcement efforts against them difficult.

In response to this problem, phone carriers had previously claimed they could not offer call-blocking services. At a July 2013 hearing before a Senate subcommittee, representatives from the US Telecom Association and the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) testified that “legal barriers prevent carriers from implementing advanced call-blocking technology to reduce the number of unwanted telemarketing calls.”

“The FCC has now made it clear that phone companies can help consumers avoid these unwanted, annoying, and sometimes expensive calls,” Madigan said.  “We will continue to press these phone carriers to give their customers what they have been asking for – a way to stop these calls before they ever come through.”

Madigan said call-blocking options already exist for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service (NoMoRobo.com) and Android cell phones (Call Control), and the phone carriers should move quickly to implement and inform their consumers of these options.

Last September, Madigan and 38 attorneys general called on the FCC to allow phone companies to utilize call-blocking technologies. The FCC chairman endorsed the request in late May, and the FCC voted to pass the rule clarification on June 18.

Joining Madigan in signing today’s letter are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

The letter is Madigan’s latest step to address the growing problem of robocalls targeting Illinois residents. Previously, the Attorney General called on four leading U.S. phone carriers to implement call-blocking technology. And in 2011, she led an effort to defeat federal legislation that would allow phone carriers to place automated robocalls on cell phones and force customers to pay for the unwanted calls.

Madigan encouraged Illinois residents to better protect themselves from unwanted calls by signing up for the FTC’s Do Not Call registry. To register, visit https://donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236).

State’s Attorney Issues a Consumer Alert Regarding Travel Providers

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Most of us will be looking for some rest and relaxation during the summer and fall seasons by taking much anticipated vacations and seasonal getaways to our favorite destinations.

If you intend to use a travel agent or tour promoter to handle your vacation arrangements, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez advises consumers to do their homework before selecting a company to plan your trip.  Consumer complaints about unscrupulous travel providers are frequently received by the State‘s Attorney’s Consumer Fraud Unit and State’s Attorney Alvarez recommends that consumers take precautions to avoid facing hidden or undisclosed costs or inferior services.

“Most travel companies are operated honestly and professionally, but as in any profession, consumers need to be aware of the best practices that they can use to avoid falling victim to a scam and to ensure that their well-earned vacation is as successful and satisfying as it can possibly be,” said Alvarez.

The State’s Attorney’s Consumer Fraud Unit recommends that travelers consider taking the following steps before purchasing services from a travel agent or promoter.

*BUSINESS CHECK: Obtain the travel company’s name and physical address from the advertisement or website in question.  Check the reputation of the travel service, especially out-of-state businesses.  Contact the Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois (www.chicago.bbb.org or 312-832-0500) to obtain a reliability report about the travel agency or tour operator.  Search for on-line reviews of the travel provider and the accommodations.

*RELAX: Don’t feel pressured by requests for an immediate decision or a statement that an offer is good “only if you act now.”  Compare the offers of a number of travel services before selecting the most attractive package.

*USE A CREDIT CARD: You can partially protect yourself by using a credit card to purchase travel services.  If you don’t get what you paid for, contact the credit issuer, in writing, and attempt to get the charges reversed.  In general, you have sixty (60) days to dispute a credit card charge, and this time period begins to run when you receive the credit card statement.

*SOLICITATIONS BY TELEPHONE, POSTCARD, OR LETTER: Be careful of travel solicitations by telephone, postcard, or letter claiming you’ve won a “free” trip or can get “special discounts” on hotels and airfares.  Too frequently you may end up paying something for the advertised “free” trip, and the so called “discounted” tour package may actually be more expensive than if you had arranged the trip from a traditional travel agent or tour operator.

*REDEMPTION OF TRAVEL VOUCHERS OR CERTIFICATES: Be wary of travel offers that ask you to redeem a voucher or certificate, especially from out-of-state companies.  Such certificates and vouchers are usually valid only for restricted times and on a space-available basis.  Added costs for taxes, handling fees, meals, or other conditions of the voucher or certificate may significantly increase the total cost of your trip.

*GET IT IN WRITING: Don’t rely on oral promises from the travel service.  Request copies of any brochures and contracts before purchasing your vacation.

*TRIP CANCELLATION POLICIES: Find out about trip cancellation policies, and get such policies in writing.  In general, under Illinois law, the travel agent or promoter is required to disclose its cancellation policy in the contract or receipt.

*TRIP CANCELLATIONS: In general, under Illinois law, if the transportation contracted for is canceled through no fault by the passenger, the travel agent or promoter must promptly return all monies paid for services not performed and goods not delivered.

*CONSUMER PROTECTION PLAN: Inquire if the travel service has a consumer protection plan to protect against the travel service or provider going out of business. Don’t do business with a travel agency or tour operator unless the company has a consumer protection plan or maintains an escrow account where your deposit is held.

*PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL ORGANIZATIONS: Inquire if the travel agency or tour operator is a member of a professional organization, such as the American Society of Travel Agents, Inc. (www.asta.org or 703-739-2782) or the U.S. Tour Operators Association (www.ustoa.com or 212-599-6599).  Many professional travel organizations maintain standards of conduct for their members, dispute resolution services, and mandatory membership for their members in a consumer protection plan.

If you believe that you are the victim of fraud involving the purchase of travel services, you should contact the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Consumer Fraud Unit.  The Consumer Fraud Unit may be able to help you recover your losses, prosecute the person or business responsible for the fraud, and prevent other members of the public from falling victim to the same scheme.  The Consumer Fraud Unit relies on complaints from members of the public to prosecute individuals and businesses engaged in fraudulent practices.

To initiate a complaint with the Consumer Fraud Unit, please call 312-603-8700 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays.  In some cases, you will be asked to file a written complaint, and in other situations, you may be referred to another government agency, private organization, or resource.  Spanish language service is also available.

Additional advice for consumers and a downloadable Consumer Complaint Form are available in the “Consumer Fraud” section on the State’s Attorney’s website at www.statesattorney.org.

Urban League: Every Child Achieves Act Leaves Children Behind

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

NEW YORK  – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial has issued the following statement on passage of the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177):

“Over the last two days we have borne witness to one of the most critical debates to touch the Senate floor — the future of civil rights protections in education. Today the National Urban League is deeply disappointed that the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (ECAA) in its current form. This law does not include key civil rights protections and will leave children behind.

“At the beginning of the reauthorization debate of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) the National Urban League and 40 other civil rights and education advocacy organizations came together in coalition to advocate and stand a comprehensive bill that includes the priorities of the civil rights community. We stood together to urge Congress to promote equity, strengthen accountability and maintain the federal government’s vital role in K-12 education.

“Education is a fundamental civil right that should be equitable and available to all.  Across the nation students from low-income families, students of color, English learning students and students with disabilities face inequitable education experiences every day. Without inclusion of civil rights protections found in the original ESEA that became law 50 years ago, ECAA in its current form will leave more students behind. As Congress moves to conference they must ensure that every child has the same opportunity to succeed and uphold the civil rights legacy of the ESEA. Members of Congress must include strong accountability, meaningful resource equity and oversight from the federal government to ensure that every child is ready for college and career. Education is a means to economic empowerment. Without a strong educational opportunity, the country’s most vulnerable students will be left without an opportunity to ever succeed.

“We applaud the bipartisan leadership of Senators Murphy , Booker, Warren, Coon, Durbin, Hirono, Heller, Kirk, Reed, Baldwin, Brown and Gardner to include civil rights priorities within ECAA. Nearly half the Senate supported amendments that advanced our principles. We look forward to working with these Senators to ensure their inclusion in a final bill.  The National Urban League remains steadfast in its support of a comprehensive bill that includes civil rights priorities and moves the nation towards a more equitable education system. “

Department on Aging and State’s Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Commemorate Medicare 50th Anniversary

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

SHIP is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers


SPRINGFIELD, IL – In commemoration of Medicare’s 50th anniversary (July 30th), the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) would like to encourage Illinois seniors and people with disabilities to learn about services provided by the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP).  This year, marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Amendments to the Social Security Act that established the Medicare program.

“The Department on Aging supports SHIP’s role in assisting older adults and individuals with disabilities make informed decisions,” said Acting Director Jennifer Reif.  “There are more than 250 existing local SHIP offices statewide with 1,000 dedicated counselors who are readily available to assist and educate people about Medicare and available insurance options.”

SHIP is a year round program, not affiliated with any insurance company, and counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance. SHIP counselors in the field make sure seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare are aware of options that can save them money. Counselors educate and answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement, and long term care insurance. Also, SHIP counselors assist beneficiaries with their Part D choices during Medicare’s annual open enrollment from October 15 through December 7 each year.

“The hard work of our SHIP counselors allows the people with Medicare and their caregivers, piece of mind when faced with making the choice on how to receive their Medicare benefits. Medicare has offered so much over the past 50 years, and SHIP will work hand in hand with Medicare throughout the next 50 years to ensure that our citizens are getting the most care from their Medicare benefits,” said Sandy Leith, SHIP Director

The State’s SHIP program serves 82,000 Illinois seniors and people with disabilities annually. You can contact SHIP at 800-252-8966. More information about SHIP is available at:

https://www.illinois.gov/aging/ship/Pages/default.aspx

Next week, to commemorate Medicare’s 50th anniversary, regional Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will host public events in addition to a national event in Washington, D.C. In Chicago, representatives for IDoA and SHIP will participate in a Medicare 50th Anniversary regional roundtable discussion. Beneficiaries, providers, and health experts will reflect on Medicare over the years as well as explore ways to strengthen and improve health care programs.

About the Illinois Department on Aging

The Department’s mission is to serve and advocate for older Illinoisans and their caregivers by administering quality and culturally appropriate programs that promote partnerships and encourage independence, dignity and quality of life. For more information, call the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966 (or TTY for the hearing impaired at 888-206-1327), or log on to the website at www.illinois.gov/aging

Downstate Illinois Still Lagging in Job Growth

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Unemployment Rates Continue Falling in All Metro Areas

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

CHICAGO, IL – June was the 16th month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro area in Illinois compared to a year ago, but job growth is still slow downstate, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Unemployment rates also fell in all of Illinois’s 102 counties for the 14th time in the last fifteen months. Not seasonally adjusted data compares June 2015 with June 2014.

Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metros. The largest increases were seen in: Elgin Metro Division (+1.9 percent, +4,900), Danville (+1.7 percent, +500) and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division (+1.3 percent or +47,900).  Decreases were seen in: Carbondale-Marion (-2.2 percent, -1,200), Peoria (-1.3 percent, -2,400) and Decatur (-1.0 percent, -500).  The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were Retail Trade (nine of 14) Transportation, Warehousing and Public Utilities (nine of 14), Professional and Business Services (eight of 14), and Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 14).

“In looking at the metro data, collar counties gained more net jobs than the total statewide gain. Given the statewide gain of 44,500 jobs total, the rest of the state had a net loss,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “The need for a full statewide recovery remains.”

The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.9 percent in June 2015 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.  Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in June and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.  The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.


Metropolitan Area June 2015 June 2014 Over-the-Year Change
Bloomington 4.6% 5.8% -1.2
Carbondale-Marion 5.7% 6.9% -1.2
Champaign-Urbana 4.9% 6.2% -1.3
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights 6.3% 7.3% -1.0
Danville 6.5% 8.5% -2.0
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 5.0% 6.0% -1.0
Decatur 6.6% 8.6% -2.0
Elgin 5.0% 6.6% -1.6
Kankakee 6.0% 7.9% -1.9
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI 4.7% 6.1% -1.4
Peoria 5.7% 7.0% -1.3
Rockford 6.1% 7.9% -1.8
Springfield 4.6% 5.8% -1.2
St. Louis (IL-Section) 5.5% 7.1% -1.6
Illinois Statewide 5.9% 7.1% -1.2
* Data subject to revision.

Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – June 2015

Metropolitan Area June
2015*
June
2014**
Over-the-Year Change
Bloomington MSA 93,800 93,300 500
Carbondale-Marion MSA 54,100 55,300 -1,200
Champaign-Urbana MSA 104,600 103,400 1,200
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Div. 3,667,600 3,619,700 47,900
Danville MSA 29,600 29,100 500
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL MSA 185,000 186,600 -1,600
Decatur MSA 50,700 51,200 -500
Elgin Metro Division 257,500 252,600 4,900
Kankakee MSA 44,900 44,500 400
Lake County-Kenosha County IL-WI Metro Div. 414,300 409,900 4,400
Peoria MSA 179,000 181,400 -2,400
Rockford MSA 153,500 152,000 1,500
Springfield MSA 112,700 112,900 -200
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA 230,200 232,400 -2,200
Illinois Statewide 5,973,200 5,928,700 44,500
*Preliminary    **Revised

(continued)

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
(percent) for Local Counties and Areas

Labor Market Area Jun-15 Jun-14 Over-the-Year Change
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin IL-IN-WI MSA 6.0% 7.1% -1.1
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metro Division
Cook County 6.5% 7.6% -1.1
DuPage County 5.1% 5.9% -0.8
Grundy County 7.1% 8.7% -1.6
Kendall County 5.5% 6.6% -1.1
McHenry County 5.5% 6.4% -0.9
Will County 6.4% 7.6% -1.2
Elgin, IL Metro Division
DeKalb County 5.0% 6.4% -1.4
Kane County 5.0% 6.6% -1.6
Lake & Kenosha Counties, IL-WI Metro Division
Lake County 4.6% 6.1% -1.5
Cities (with total population of at least 100,000) *
Aurora City 5.5% 7.0% -1.5
Chicago City 6.9% 7.9% -1.0
Elgin City 5.5% 7.1% -1.6
Joliet City 8.0% 9.2% -1.2
Naperville City 5.2% 6.1% -0.9

* Unemployment rates for cities with total population of 25,000 or more can be found at www.ides.illinois.gov/LMI/Pages/Current_Monthly_Unemployment_Rates.aspx

Lake & Kenosha Counties, IL-WI Metro Division

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.7 percent in June 2015 from 6.1 percent in June 2014. The last time the June rate was equal to or lower was in 2006 when it was 4.4 percent. For the month of June 2015, the estimated number of unemployed people in the labor force was 21,800.

Total nonfarm employment increased +4,400 compared to June 2015. Retail Trade (+1,400), Professional-Business Services (+1,100), and Financial Activities (+1,100) reported the largest payroll gains. The Leisure-Hospitality (-2,200) sector recorded the largest employment decline compared to one year ago.


Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metro Division

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 6.3 percent in June 2015 from 7.3 percent in June 2014. The last time the June rate was equal to or lower was in 2007 when it was 5.5 percent. For the month of June 2015, the estimated number of unemployed people in the labor force was 240,100.

Total nonfarm employment increased +47,900 compared to June 2014. Professional-Business Services (+15,300), Educational-Health Services (+14,900), and Construction (+5,800) reported the largest payroll gains. Manufacturing (-4,500) and Financial Activities (-3,400) sectors recorded employment declines compared to one year ago.

Elgin, IL Metro Division

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 5.0 percent in June 2015 from 6.6 percent in June 2014. The last time the June rate was equal to or lower was in 2007 when it was 4.7 percent. For the month of June 2015, the estimated number of unemployed people in the labor force was 16,100.

Total nonfarm employment increased +4,900 compared to June 2014. Professional-Business Services (+1,600), Wholesale Trade (+1,600), and Educational-Health Services (+800) reported the largest payroll gains. The Other Services (-200), Manufacturing (-100), and Financial Activities
(-100) sectors recorded employment declines compared to one year ago.


Note:

  • Monthly 2014 unemployment rates and total non-farm jobs for Illinois metro areas were revised in February 2015, as required by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Comments and tables distributed for prior metro area news releases should be discarded as any records or historical analysis previously cited may no longer be valid.

Comedy Underground Stand-Up Series Streaming Soon on UMC

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Urban Movie Channel to Release Four Volumes of the Comedy Underground Series Featuring Flex Alexander as Part of Fall Out Fridays


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Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — All summer long, UMC Urban Movie Channel, a premium subscription-based video streaming service exclusive to RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) created by Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) recently launched Fall Out Fridays, a full summer of comedy programming including stand-up specials, TV series and comedy movies. Fall Out Fridays will add four volumes of standup comedy titled Comedy Underground Series. Each volume of Comedy Underground Series highlights a celebrity host and three stand-up comedians. Fall Out Fridays will feature the first of four volumes of the Comedy Underground Series featuring Tony Rock, Luenelle, Scruncho and many more premiering Friday, July 24 with the third and fourth volumes hosted by Flex Alexander debuting at the end of August 2015. UMC is available to entertainment seekers free for 14 days at www.urbanmoviechannel.com.

Comedy Underground Series serves as a showcase for both comedians to perform on the big stage, allowing them a chance to become household names while also revealing a behind-the-curtain glimpse at their climb to comedic success. Showcased Comedians discuss life on the road along with their triumphs and tribulations throughout the comedy industry on their quest for national exposure. Comedy Underground Series recently tapped new host Flex Alexander Actor, Comedian, and Star of OWN docu-series Flex & Shanice. The lineup for volumes 3 & 4 include: Alex Thomas, Red Grant, Capone, Kevin Damn Fool Simpson, Jay Lamont and talented newcomer Chastity Washington.

Fall Out Fridays on UMC will also continue to roll out all five seasons of Martin Lawrence Presents: 1st Amendment Stand-up, plus exclusive new bonus episodes of 1st Amendment Stand-up from creator and host Doug Williams. And the laughs dont stop there, UMC plans to keep you falling out with laughter the whole summer long with the premiere of never-before-seen sitcom, Things We Do For Love directed by and starring Alfonso Ribeiro (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Dancing with the Stars) and Tamera Mowry (Sister, Sister and The Real Talk Show); Gary Owens hilarious stand-up special I Agree With Myself as seen on Showtime, and a variety of stand-up comedy specials featuring Kevin Hart, Wanda Sykes, Jamie Foxx, DL Hughley, Charlie Murphy, TK Kirkland and many more.

Comedy films include: Mac & Devin Go To High School (starring Snoop, Wiz Khalifa and Mike Epps), Ganked (starring Kel Mitchell), Laughing to the Bank and even comedy documentaries such as: Phunny Business and I Aint Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac.

Urban Movie Channel is the first Urban focused digital streaming channel devoted to the acquisition of feature films, comedy specials, stage plays, documentaries, music, and entertainment for the African-American and Urban audiences. Unlimited access to the impressive on-demand streaming library is available online via laptops, mobile devices or the Roku platform. Fall Out Fridays programming will include stand-up comedy, movies, and TV series available commercial-free and streaming on-demand for an introductory monthly rate of only $2.99.

Sign-up today for your free 14-day trial offer at www.UrbanMovieChannel.com. To join the conversation follow @WatchUMC #UMCFallOutFridays on Twitter, Instagram, and like us on Facebook (UrbanMovieChannel).

ABOUT RLJ ENTERTAINMENT
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent owner, developer, licensee, and distributor of entertainment content and programming in primarily North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres including feature films and urban with distinct content via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Acacia (fitness), Athena (documentaries), and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, and digital streaming.

Through Acorn Productions, its UK production arm, RLJE owns all rights to the hit UK mystery series Foyles War and is developing new programs. RLJE owns 64% of Agatha Christie Limited, which manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot.

RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its branded digital subscription channels, Acorn TV, Acacia TV, and UMC – Urban Movie Channel, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. Through its proprietary e-commerce web sites and print catalogs for the Acorn and Acacia brands, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers. For more information, please visit www.RLJEntertainment.com.

ABOUT UMC – URBAN MOVIE CHANNEL
UMC – Urban Movie Channel (urbanmoviechannel.com) launched in November 2014. UMC is a premium subscription-based streaming service exclusive to RLJ Entertainment, Inc. and it is devoted to the acquisition of feature films, comedy specials, stage plays, documentaries, music, and entertainment for African American and urban audiences, with plans to move into future development and production. New titles are added weekly in addition to the more than 150 titles in our UMC library, which include live stand-up performances featuring Academy Award ® winner Jamie Foxx and comedic rock star Kevin Hart; documentaries Dark Girls and I Aint Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac; feature films All Things Fall Apart starring Grammy Award ® winner 50 Cent and directed by Mario Van Peebles, The Last Fall starring budding superstars Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie, and The Colony starring Laurence Fishburne; and stage play productions including What My Husband Doesnt Know by David E. Talbert, who is described by Variety as the acknowledged kingpin of urban musicals. UMC is available on the Roku platform and subscribers can access UMC from their tablet, mobile device and laptop to watch movies from todays most recognizable talent available on demand and commercial-free. Please visit www.urbanmoviechannel.com.


Trusted Health Plan, the Only Black-Owned Medicaid Managed Care Provider, to Speak at National Urban League Conference

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

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Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – Trusted Health Plan, the only Black Owned Medicaid Managed Care Provider in the nation, has been invited to speak at the National Urban League conference. Robin Barclay, (MPH) Executive Director of Business Development and Outreach will join health care experts and policy makers and speak on July 30, 2015, in Fort Lauderdale at the Broward Convention Center.

Ms. Barclay has been a senior executive in Medicaid Managed Care for 30 years. She has led a community hospital, a health plan and served as a health care consultant. Ms. Barclay will discuss challenges black women face in childbirth, heart disease, high blood pressure at the Soul Sister: African American Women’s Health & Wellness forum. She will also discuss Trusted’s goal of closing health care disparities among urban populations.

Today, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the healthcare industry is a nearly $3 trillion dollar market. The National Urban League is a strong voice for health care reform for minorities in urban cities across the country. In 2012, the National Urban League released a report entitled, “The State of Urban Health: Eliminating Health Disparities to Save Lives and Cut Costs.” The report examined the economic impact of health disparities in the United States. The National Urban League has been a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. They suggest provisions that promote community-based prevention and the expansion Medicaid are crucial in reducing disparities and promote healthy behaviors throughout the country.

Trusted Health Plan, a managed care organization located in the District of Columbia, serves 30,000 Medicaid members. More than a year ago, Trusted Health Plan opened a Health and Wellness Outreach Center, the first of its kind in the United States targeting Medicaid beneficiaries. The mission of Trusted’s Health and Wellness Center is to try to enhance its members’ health status. Trusted Health Plan provides on-site health education, physical fitness activities, and nutritional health cooking demonstrations.

“In the first 12 months of operation, Trusted saw 20 percent of its members. We have significantly improved care delivery for our members, including reducing ER visits by 25%, contrary to Obamacare naysayers,” says Barclay. The Affordable Health Care Act allows companies like Trusted to create jobs and meet the growing demands of the healthcare industry.

Trusted Health Plan’s success rest on the vision of the Next Generation of Health Care providers, 35-year old, Thomas Duncan, Trusted’s CEO. His vision is to provide innovation, efficient case management, cost containment, and a proactive approach to driving improved and healthy outcomes.

For more details, visit www.trustedhp.com

Photo Caption: Robin Barclay, Director of Business Development and Outreach at Trusted Health Plan


The State Commission on Criminal Justice & Sentencing Reform to Hold Public Hearing

Posted by Admin On July - 24 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

The State Commission on Criminal Justice & Sentencing Reform will hold a public hearing on its work to safely reduce the state’s prison population by 25 percent in 10 years. The Commission seeks public comment on its Initial Report and testimony on how Illinois can reduce recidivism, improve the state’s prison system, and strengthen criminal sentencing.

Advocates, policy specialists, service providers, people with criminal records, and members of the general public are welcome to testify.

The public hearing will be held Monday, July 27, at Authority Headquarters: 300 W. Adams Street, Building Conference Room, 2nd Floor, Chicago,  from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform website at www.icjia.state.il.us/cjreform2015

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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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