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CHICAGO, IL —The Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Phil Blackwell and other religious, community and ...
         By Juanita Bratcher        Chicago Heights, IL -  Journalist Chinta Strausberg, a journalist of more than 33 ...
Alexandria, VA (BlackNews.com) -- For the second consecutive year, The Boeing Company tops the National ...
CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Theological Seminary’s Center for Black Faith and Life, Charles Shelby Rooks ...
WASHINGTON, D. C. – More than a dozen rallies have been scheduled from coast to ...
Senate approves legislation reinstating Rauner’s “Good Friday” cuts SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State ...
CHICAGO, IL— Five community members and concerned citizens have been arrested following a blockade of the ...
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a budget deal that will ...
The Baltimore FBI Safe Streets Task Force is asking for the public’s help in solving ...
CHICAGO, IL – Federal, state and local health care professionals, along with community organizers, educators ...

Archive for April 11th, 2016

Black Male Summit Addresses Media Influence on Identity

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
By Marc H. Morial
President & CEO, National Urban League

Today, I join African-American leaders and scholars from around the country for the 9th Annual Black Male Summit at the University of Akron.

The Summit is a national platform for best practices and innovative strategies focusing on cradle-to-career success for African-American males. The focus this year is the crucial issue of how the media affects black male identity.

More than 50 years ago, Malcom X lamented, “This is the press, an irresponsible press,” he said. “It will make the criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” The media’s treatment of victims of police violence, from Michael Brown and Eric Garner to Sandra Bland, demonstrate the truth of his words all these decades later.

The National Urban League’s signature Urban Youth Empowerment Program (UYEP) and Project Ready are making strides in improving outcomes for young black males. UYEP provides work readiness preparation, internships and on-the-job training to youth ages 16-24 who are not in school and are seen as “at-risk.” The program has been successful in reduce the risks that these young people face, such as long-term unemployment and incarceration. Project Ready helps 8th-12th grade students make academic progress, benefit from cultural enrichment opportunities and develop important skills, attitudes and aptitudes that will aid in their transition from high school and position them for post-secondary success. Thousands of students across the nation are succeeding in college and careers thanks to their Project Ready Experience.

As we work together to continue the progress of our young brothers, I thank the University of Akron for the honor of addressing this inspirational gathering. Follow the Summit on Twitter and engage with the participants by using the hashtag #UABMS.

Federal Grand Jury Criminal Indictments Announced

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

TULSA, Okla.— The results of the April 2016 Federal Grand Jury were announced today by Danny C. Williams Sr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

The following individuals have been charged with violations of United States law in indictments returned by the Grand Jury. The return of an indictment is a method of informing a defendant of alleged federal crimes which must be proven in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt to overcome a defendant’s presumption of innocence.

Angela Harden. Theft from Indian Country in Excess of $1,000. Harden, a non-Indian, 45, of Claremore, is charged with stealing over $1,000 of personal property belonging to an Indian. If convicted, she faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case.

Jason Scott Leach. Embezzlement from a Labor Organization. Leach, 32, of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, the former President of the United Steelworkers of America Local 13-669, is charged with nine counts of embezzlement. From April 2013 to September 2014, he allegedly stole over $2,500 from the labor organization. If convicted, he faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards is the investigating agency.

Jeremy Paul Leach. Embezzlement from a Labor Organization. Leach, 35, of Locust Grove, Oklahoma, the former Secretary-Treasurer and Recording Secretary of the United Steelworkers of America Local 13-669, is charged with 12 counts of embezzlement. From July 2013 to October 2014, he allegedly stole over $3,000 from the labor organization. If convicted, he faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The United States Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards is the investigating agency.

Chrisostomo Isias Navarro-Chicaj. Reentry of Removed Alien. Navarro-Chicaj, 32, is charged with having returned to the United States unlawfully after being deported in October 2013 from Houston, Texas. If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the investigating agency.

Enrique Reyes-Deluna. Reentry of Removed Alien. Reyes-Deluna, 48, is charged with having returned to the United States unlawfully after being deported in February 2011 from Brownsville, Texas. If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement is the investigating agency.

Debbie J. Stockton. Interstate Transportation of Stolen Moneys. Stockton, 60, of Sapulpa, is charged with transporting, transmitting, and transferring in interstate commerce approximately $69,607.45 which was stolen. If convicted, she will face the statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oklahoma Insurance Department are the investigating agencies.

James Wilson. Sexual Exploitation of a Child, Possession of Child Pornography, and Transfer of Obscene Material to Minor. Wilson, 31, of Tulsa, is charged with sexual exploitation of a minor from October 2014 to March 2016; possession of child pornography; and transferring obscene materials to a 12 year old girl. If convicted, the statutory minimum penalty is 15 years in prison and the statutory maximum penalty is not more than 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the sexual exploitation of a child charge; and not more than 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the other two charges. United States Immigration Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations is the investigating agency.

State Rep. Harper Works to Bring Attention and Resources to Illinoisans Facing Rare Diseases

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – In an effort to increase awareness and treatment options for those with rare diseases, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, advanced her first piece of legislation out of committee last week, in hopes that those with rare diseases will soon have the resources they need to get lifesaving treatment.

“Despite the inconceivable technological innovations that have been made in the medical field over the past few decades, symptoms of rare diseases are still often wrongly diagnosed and vital information is not shared with other doctors,” said Harper. “Many lives could be saved if doctors understood how to diagnose and treat these disorders.”

The unpaid task force will be made up of 15 members. The task force will offer recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly on the use of advanced drugs and therapies, legislation that could improve the lives of patients with rare diseases, and screening of newborns for the presence of genetic disorders. Harper hopes this bill will expand access to both diagnoses and treatment that would otherwise not be available.

Rare diseases, by definition, may each impact fewer than 200,000 people, sometimes only impacting a few hundred people. As a result, some sufferers may be isolated and unable to receive the correct diagnoses or treatment. Commonly-known rare diseases that will be looked at in this task force include: sickle-cell anemia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophies, and Huntington’s disease.

“The name ‘rare disease’ makes it easy to overlook, but you’d be surprised to hear how many Illinoisans are affected by rare diseases,” said Harper.” “I want to be a part of making sure that all people suffering from rare diseases can get access to life-saving medication, treatment and accurate information to improve their recoveries and quality of life.”

Harper’s House Bill 4576 was approved by the House Human Services Committee last week.

Senate Black Caucus Takes the Lead on Lead

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Donne Trotter took an important step to ensure that instances of lead exposure like what happened in Flint, Michigan doesn’t happen in Illinois. Currently, it’s legal to re-sale or re-lease a property that is found to have high levels of lead in the paint and other building materials. A measure that passed through the Illinois Senate’s Public Health Committee unanimously would prohibit the reuse of that property until the issue is solved.
“Flint served as a wakeup call, not only for Michigan, but the nation. Illinois does not have to wait for lead poisoning to become a statewide epidemic before it takes action,” said Trotter, Assistant Majority Leader. “We can stave off the ill effects of lead contamination by not allowing property owners to pass along the burden to an unknowing owner or tenant.”
Majority Caucus Whip and member of the Senate’s Public Health Committee Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) also voted for the bill in committee and offered the following comments:
“Low-income and minority communities are disproportionately affected by the side effects of lead poisoning. Aging properties still have lead paint that can cause brain damage for residents. We are taking action today so children in every neighborhood can have access to clean water,” said Hunter.
Other notable members supporting the bill in committee were state senators Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey), Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago).

President Obama’s Weekly Address: Playing by the Same Rules

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Barack Obama highlighted two specific steps the Administration took this week to make sure everyone plays by the same rules. First, in order to help more Americans retire with the security they have earned, the Department of Labor finalized a rule that will ensure retirement advisers compete based on the quality of advice they give rather than acting in their own financial interests. In addition, the Treasury Department took action this week to crack down on corporations that take advantage of inversions, a loophole that allows some businesses to avoid paying their fair share in taxes here at home. These actions underscore the President’s belief that we should continue to build an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules.

Remarks of President Barack Obama:

Hi everybody. Over the past seven years, we haven’t just been recovering from crisis, we’ve been rebuilding our economy on a new foundation for growth – growth that benefits everybody, not just folks at the top. Our businesses have created jobs for 73 straight months – 14.4 million new jobs in all.  We’ve covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance. We’ve helped more Americans afford college, and invested in industries that create good jobs that pay well, like clean energy. And wages are finally rising again.

But there will always be more work to do. And this week, my Administration took two big steps that will help make sure your hard work is rewarded, and that everybody plays by the same rules.

First, we’re helping more Americans retire with security and dignity. Right now, if you go to a retirement advisor for investment advice, some of them don’t have to act in your best interest. Instead of telling you the best way to save your hard-earned money, these advisors can get backdoor payments from big companies for steering you toward investments that cost more and earn you less. As a result, when you retire, you might be missing out on tens of thousands of dollars – because your advisor got paid more to give you bad advice.

If that seems wrong, that’s because it is. That’s why the Department of Labor just finalized a rule to crack down on these kinds of conflicts of interest.  And a lot of Wall Street special interests aren’t very happy about it. But across the country, this new rule will boost working folks’ retirement savings by billions of dollars a year. And it will level the playing field for the many good advisors who do work in their clients’ best interest.

Second, the Treasury Department took action to crack down on big corporations that change their address overseas after acquiring smaller companies, in order to reduce their tax bill here at home. It’s a loophole called “corporate inversion.”  And it means that American companies can take advantage of America’s technology, America’s infrastructure, America’s workers – but then, when it comes to paying their fair share of taxes, suddenly claim they’re not American companies after all. That’s why, this week, the Treasury Department made it more difficult for companies to exploit this loophole and stick the rest of us with the tab.

Together, these steps build on the work we’ve already done to make our tax code fairer and consumer protections stronger. Because I believe that rather than double down on policies that allow a few at the top to play by their own rules, we should build an economy where everybody has a fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.

That’s what this country is all about. That’s what we’ve been working toward these past seven years.  And that’s what I’m going to keep fighting for as long as I’m your President.

Thanks everybody. Have a great weekend.

Former Chicago Cab Driver Sentenced to prison for 2012 Sexual Assault

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

A former Chicago cab driver has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for the brutal sexual assault of a young woman during a2012robbery attempt, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.


AdmonShasho,31, was sentenced to the prison term by Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago.  Shasho was previously convicted of Aggravated Criminal Assault and Attempt Robbery charges for the attack of a22 year-old woman in an alley on Chicago’s North Side as she was walking home during the early morning hours of April 14, 2012.


Judge Stephenson sentenced Shasho to 18 years in prison for the sexual assault plus an additional 4 years for the attempt robbery for a total of 22 years.   The defendant must serve 85% of this prison sentence.


According to prosecutors, Shasho was on duty in his cab when he observed the victim, who was listening to music through the speakers of her phone, walking westbound on Sunnyside Ave.  Shasho parked his vehicle and followed the victim into an alley, where he approached her from behind.


Shasho grabbed the victim and attempted to take her phone, but she yelled and resisted.  Shasho then put his hand over her mouth and told her to shut up because he had a knife.  Shasho then took the victim to the ground and sexually assaulted her.


The victim continued to yell, which resulted in several witnesses calling 911 and one witness coming outside to confront Shasho.  Shasho fled the scene and ran to a nearby park, with the witness in pursuit.  A Chicago Police unit was dispatched to the park and officers apprehended Shasho a few minutes later.  Shasho was then returned to the scene, where the victim positively identified him as the perpetrator.


State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Joy Repella and the Chicago Police Department for their work on this case.


Illinois State Board of Education Announces Board Video-Conference Meeting for April 13

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL– The Illinois State Board of Education has announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video-conference in Chicago, Springfield, and Marion on Wednesday, April 13.   

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Board office no later than the day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent’s office at the State Board of Education by phone at 217-782-2221, TTY/TDD at 217-782-1900, or fax at 217-785-3972. 

Chairman Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.


State Board of Education Meeting

April 13, 2016

9 a.m.


Chicago Location:        ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor

                                       100 W. Randolph St., Chicago


Springfield Location:   ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor
100 N. First St., Springfield

Marion Location:          HFS Video Conference Room
3419 Professional Park Drive, Marion


This meeting will also be audio cast on the Internet at www.isbe.net.



I.      Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

A.    Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II.    Public Participation

III.   Presentations & Updates

A. College and Career Readiness, Dr. David Schuler, Township High School District 214

B. Every Student Succeeds Act

C. 5 Essentials Update

IV.  Superintendent’s Report – Consent Agenda

A. *Approval of Minutes

       1. Plenary Minutes: March 16, 2016

B. *Rules for Initial Review

     1. Part 30 (Programs for the Preparation of Principals in Illinois): Fixes cross-references to the process for approving educator preparation programs set forth in Part 25, Subpart C, and broadens the type of staff available to mentor principal candidates during their internships.

     2. Part 33 (Programs for the Preparation of Superintendents in Illinois):  Fixes cross-references to the process for approving educator preparation programs set forth in Part 25, Subpart C.

     3. Part 235 (Early Childhood Block Grant): Proposes amendments to establish the requirements for grants for training, technical assistance, and high-quality supports for recipients of Early Childhood Block Grant funding, as well as addresses grants for certain web-based services; these requirements include the eligible entities, application content, criteria for review, and terms and conditions of award.

C. *Contracts and Grants Over $1 Million

     1. Amendment to Request for Sealed Proposals for fiscal year 2017 English Learners Technical Assistance Contract

     2. Renewal and Amendment of Intergovernmental Agreement with Regional Office of Education #51 for Technical Assistance and Professional Development for the new Illinois Learning Standards

D. *Special Education Expenditure and Receipts Report

End of Consent Agenda

V. Discussion Items

      A. District Oversight Update

      B. Legislative Update

      C. Budget Update

      D. Other Items for Discussion

VI. Announcements & Reports

A. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements

B. Chairman’s Report

C. Member Reports

VII. Information Items

A.   ISBE Fiscal and Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at http://isbe.net/board/fiscal_admin_rep.htm)

VIII. Closed Session (as needed)

IX.   Adjourn


Legendary Rock Group to Perform at 2016 Illinois State Fair

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – They are known as one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all time, and this summer you can see them perform LIVE at the Illinois State Fair.  State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon is pleased to announce KISS is bringing its fire breathing, pyrotechnic show to the Illinois State Fair Grandstand stage on Wednesday, August 17th. 

The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States and has exceeded $100 million in record sales to become one of the world’s best-selling bands of all-time.  KISS has performed in the smallest venues, like state fairs, to the world’s largest stages, including the Super Bowl and the Olympics. 

KISS is a rock and roll group that appeals to multiple generations regardless of age or race.  The group’s fans, the KISS Army, travel across the nation and around the world to see the band perform.  Expect to see the KISS Army in full face paint and big hair, walking the streets of the fairgrounds the night this Hall of Fame act takes the stage. 

The band, which is currently comprised of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer, has been performing before sold-out crowds since in 1973.  KISS has countless hit songs, including: “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Strutter,” “Lick It Up,” “I was Made For Lovin’ You,” and “Beth”.


Ticket prices for each of the shows at the 2016 Illinois State Fair are listed below:

August 14:  Jake Owen / Old Dominion

Tier 3 – $15 / Tier 2 – $20 / Tier 1 – $25 / Track $25 / VIP – $37


August 16:  Dierks Bentley / Tucker Beathard

Tier 3 – $42 / Tier 2 – $47 / Tier 1 – $52 / Track $52 / VIP – $64
August 17:  KISS
Tier 3 – $49   / Tier 2 – $54   / Tier 1 – $59   / Track $59   / VIP – $74

August 19:  Cole Swindell / Kane Brown / LANco / Jon Langston

Tier 3 – $18 / Tier 2 – $23 / Tier 1 – $28 / Track $28 / VIP – $40

August 20:  Little Big Town / David Nail
Tier 3 – $27 / Tier 2 – $32 / Tier 1 – $37 / Track $37 / VIP – $49

August 21:  ZZ Top / Gregg Allman
Tier 3 – $34 / Tier 2 – $39 / Tier 1 – $44 / Track $44 / VIP – $54

An on-sale date for the above mentioned acts has not been set at this time. 

More details regarding ticket sales, special events, and additional grandstand acts will be released in the coming weeks and months.  Dates for the 2016 Illinois State Fair are Aug. 12-21.

Five Defendants Sentenced for their Participation in a Stolen Identity Tax Refund Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

The last of five defendants involved in a stolen identity tax refund scheme have been sentenced in United States District Court.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement.

According to court documents, from January 2014, through April 2014, defendants, John Mackenley Cesar, a/k/a “Cesar,26, of Miami, Lawrence Bernadel, a/k/a “Bernadel,22, of Tallahassee, Chedlor Dorilus, a/k/a “Dorilus,” 22, of Hollywood, Lubens Inalien, a/k/a “Lubaby,” a/k/a “Inalien, 29, of Fort Lauderdale, and Ariel Ronet Walker, a/k/a “Walker, 22, of Tallahassee, used the same Electronic Filing Identification Number (“EFIN”) at residences located in Broward County and Leon County, Florida, to file approximately 158 fraudulent tax returns with the IRS using stolen personal identifying information (“PII”) that belonged to other individuals.  In order to receive the tax refunds from those fraudulent tax returns, the defendants arranged to have the tax refunds deposited onto pre-paid debit cards, including pre-paid debit cards from H & R Block.   Once the tax refunds were deposited onto the pre-paid debit cards, the funds were used to purchase personal items or were withdrawn from ATMs in Broward County and elsewhere.

During the search of the residences used by the defendants to facilitate the fraudulent scheme, law enforcement recovered over 1,800 names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers belonging to other individuals.  The total intended loss amount from the unauthorized tax filings and PII recovered from the residences was between $1 million and $2.5 million dollars.

Cesar, Bernadel and Dorilus pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286; and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A(a)(1) and 2.  Walker pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286.  Inalien pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 4.

On August 14, 2015, Dorilus was sentenced to 70 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  On December 11, 2015, Inalien was sentenced to 8 months in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release.  On January 22, 2016, Walker was sentenced to 5 years’ probation.  On March 23, 2016, Cesar was sentenced to 58 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.   On March 30, 2016, Bernadel was sentenced to 42 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Cesar, Bernadel, Dorilus and Inalien were also ordered to pay joint and several restitution in the amount of $580,584.  Walker was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $124,631.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Stolen Identity Refund Fraud Task Force, with special commendation to the FBI and IRS-CI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maurice A. Johnson.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on Agreement with BP to Settle for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Posted by Admin On April - 11 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Following the order by U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier to enter the consent decree settling United States of America v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al., Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement:

“The approval of this agreement will open a final, hopeful chapter in the six-year story of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  “Today’s action holds BP accountable with the largest environmental penalty of all time while launching one of the most extensive environmental restoration efforts ever undertaken.  I want to thank everyone who made this outcome possible, including my predecessor, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the federal agencies and states that developed the comprehensive restoration plan.  The Department of Justice will continue to stand with the people of the Gulf as they seek to rebuild and protect the marine life, coastal systems, and beautiful beaches that have made the region a treasured natural resource.”

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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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