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Archive for July 22nd, 2016

Madigan, Justice Department & State Attorneys General Sue to Block Aetna Acquisition of Humana

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on Madigan, Justice Department & State Attorneys General Sue to Block Aetna Acquisition of Humana

Nationwide Lawsuit Challenges Consolidation in the Health Insurance Industry Over Competition Concerns that Would Harm Patients


CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with the U.S. Department Justice (DOJ) and attorneys general from seven states and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit to block a proposed acquisition by Aetna Inc. of Humana Inc., alleging the transaction would increase concentration and harm competition across the country.


Madigan, DOJ and the other attorneys general filed the merger challenge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today. The lawsuit alleged that the merger – valued at $37 billion – would substantially reduce Medicare Advantage competition in more than 350 counties in 21 states, including 35 counties in Illinois, affecting more than 1.5 million Medicare Advantage customers in those counties. Before seeking to acquire Humana, Aetna had pursued aggressive expansion in Medicare Advantage. Aetna, the nation’s fourth-largest Medicare Advantage insurer by membership, has nearly doubled its Medicare Advantage footprint over the past four years. Humana is the nation’s second-largest Medicare Advantage insurer by membership.


“This proposed merger would substantially lessen competition for Medicare Advantage patients across the country, including tens of thousands of patients in Illinois,” Madigan said. “With fewer options, costs for Illinois residents will inevitably increase.”


Joining Madigan and DOJ in filing today’s lawsuit were attorneys general from: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.


While the focus of Madigan’s office is on the competitive concerns related to Medicare Advantage, the lawsuit also alleges that Aetna’s purchase of Humana would substantially reduce competition to sell commercial health insurance to individuals and families on the public exchanges in 17 counties in Florida, Georgia, and Missouri, affecting more than 700,000 people in those counties. The lawsuit alleges that by buying Humana, Aetna would eliminate one of its strongest and most capable competitors in these markets.


Aetna Inc. is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. It is the nation’s third-largest health insurer. It operates in every state and the District of Columbia, and provides health insurance to 23 million people. In 2015, Aetna reported $60 billion in revenues.


Humana Inc. is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the nation’s fifth-largest health insurer, operates in every state and the District of Columbia, and provides health insurance to 14 million people. In 2015, Humana reported $54 billion in revenues.


Bureau Chief Robert Pratt is handling the case for Madigan’s Antitrust Bureau.




BYP100 Organizers Shut Down Entrance to CPD Homan Square ‘black site’

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on BYP100 Organizers Shut Down Entrance to CPD Homan Square ‘black site’

BYP100 in coordination with the #LetUsBreathe Collective and the Movement for Black Lives, #FreedomNow Day of Action are taking action to shut-down the Chicago Police Department (CPD) – Homan Square “black site” in Chicago to demonstrate the urgency in investing in new alternatives and divesting from police systems that violently oppress Black people.


Homan Square is home to CPD’s interrogation “black site” where over 7,000 people, predominantly Black were disappeared and interrogated without proper legal counsel or contact with family. People detained are shackled and held for hours or days in the Homan Square CPD warehouse. Homan Square is one of CPD’s many human rights violations against the Black community. The CPD police state and Chicago City Council legislators have continuously harmed and destabilized North Lawndale, the Black community in which Homan Square resides.


Together, we’re organized to demand that our lives, our communities and our futures be made a priority. The U.S. legislative and law enforcement systems have continually participated in violently destabilizing and harming Black communities. This violence began with chattel slavery then changed its form to Jim Crow and mass incarceration.

From Chicago to Oakland, New Orleans to New York City, Black people live under police occupation everyday. Black folks who are poor, women, formerly incarcerated, working class, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming, differently abled, and/or undocumented are particularly vulnerable to police violence and hyper-surveillance. As a people living in Black bodies, state-sanctioned violence is always a clear and present danger.  This must end. 

Among the many measures we believe are needed: 

·     We demand all local, state and federal budgets to defund the police and invest those dollars and resources in Black futures.

·      We demand an end to mass incarceration and punitive accountability systems.

·     We want reparations for chattel slavery, Jim Crow and mass incarceration. 

·     We want to end all profit from so-called “criminal justice” punishment – both public and private.



Black people deserve to live with human dignity. We are building a movement rooted in people who understand why we must fight.  We are constantly at risk of experiencing anti-Black violence by state and its accomplices.

Today, we are putting ourselves at risk to take power over our futures because we know that our liberation will not be handed to us, we have to build it ourselves.

With Power and Love,


NAACP Honors 101st Spingarn Medalist Ohio Native Awarded for Decades of Civil Rights Work at Home and Abroad

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on NAACP Honors 101st Spingarn Medalist Ohio Native Awarded for Decades of Civil Rights Work at Home and Abroad

CINCINNATI, OH – The NAACP National Board of Directors along with NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks announced Ohio native, the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones as the 2016 NAACP Spingarn Medal recipient. Judge Jones is the 101st recipient of the Spingarn Medal.


Judge Jones was awarded the Spingarn Medal at the annual dinner that closed out the Association’s annual convention in Cincinnati. Named for NAACP co-founder and leader Joel Elias Spingarn, the medal is presented annually to the man or woman of African descent and American citizenship who has made the highest achievement during the preceding year or in consideration of an overall body of work by an individual.


Jones, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, succeeded Thurgood Marshall as general counsel for the NAACP in the 1970s before serving as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for 24 years. Jones also fought to overturn racial discrimination against black people across Africa in the 1990s, working with Nelson Mandela and others to write a new constitution for South Africa following the Apartheid era.


“Nathaniel Jones is a pioneer who has never failed to stand for the rights of people denied a chance to be a part of the process,” said Roslyn A. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors. “His distinguished career serves as inspiration to our thousands of youth leaders working to end the profound segregation that continues to exist in our society to this day.”


From 1969 to 1978, Jones’ work for the NAACP took him to the Supreme Court multiple times, where he argued for affirmative action in public and private sectors, challenged efforts to maintain segregated schools in jurisdictions across the United States, and successfully defended the NAACP against attempts by Mississippi businesses and officials to bankrupt the organization through civil lawsuits brought by the targets of mass boycotts and protests in that state.


“From the era of Reconstruction onward, American history shows that for every advancement in civil rights, there follows a nasty backlash of foot-dragging, reprisals and denials of the freedoms that were promised,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. “Judge Jones’ work should inspire us all to remember that the most important efforts in pursuit of equality are required after victory is declared.”


In addition to co-founding the NAACP in 1909 with a broad coalition of religious, business, labor and civil rights leaders, Joel Elias Spingarn served as chairman, treasurer and president of the organizations between 1913 until his death in 1939. He established the medal award in 1915 to honor outstanding achievements by black people in a time when they were not allowed to hold basic rights under American law.


Past Spingarn Medal recipients include former NAACP leaders W.E.B. Du Bois (1920), Walter White (1937), Thurgood Marshall (1946) and Julian Bond (2009), artists like Duke Ellington (1959), Sammy Davis Jr. (1968), Maya Angelou (1994) and Sidney Poitier (2015), and political leaders like Martin Luther King (1957), Jesse L. Jackson (1989) and Colin Powell (1991).


For more information about the Spingarn Award and a full list of past recipients, visit http://www.naacp.org/pages/spingarn-medal.


United States Seeks to Recover More Than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on United States Seeks to Recover More Than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than $1 billion in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.  Today’s complaints represent the largest single action ever brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

Attorney General Lynch was joined in the announcement by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe and Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

According to the complaints, from 2009 through 2015, more than $3.5 billion in funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates.  With today’s complaints, the United States seeks to recover more than $1 billion laundered through the United States and traceable to the conspiracy.  1MDB was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people.  Instead, as detailed in the complaints, 1MDB officials and their associates allegedly misappropriated more than $3 billion.

“The Department of Justice will not allow the American financial system to be used as a conduit for corruption,” said Attorney General Lynch.  “With this action, we are seeking to forfeit and recover funds that were intended to grow the Malaysian economy and support the Malaysian people.  Instead, they were stolen, laundered through American financial institutions and used to enrich a few officials and their associates.  Corrupt officials around the world should make no mistake that we will be relentless in our efforts to deny them the proceeds of their crimes. ”

“According to the allegations in the complaints, this is a case where life imitated art,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “The associates of these corrupt 1MDB officials are alleged to have used some of the illicit proceeds of their fraud scheme to fund the production of The Wolf of Wall Street, a movie about a corrupt stockbroker who tried to hide his own illicit profits in a perceived foreign safe haven.  But whether corrupt officials try to hide stolen assets across international borders – or behind the silver screen – the Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that there is no safe haven.”

“Stolen money that is subsequently used to purchase interests in music companies, artwork or high-end real estate is subject to forfeiture under U.S. law,” said U.S. Attorney Decker.  “Today’s actions are the result of the tremendous dedication of attorneys in my office and the Department of Justice, as well as law enforcement agents across the country.  All of us are committed to sending a message that we will not allow the United States to become a playground for the corrupt, a platform for money laundering or a place to hide and invest stolen riches.”

“The United States will not be a safe haven for assets stolen by corrupt foreign officials,” said Deputy Director McCabe.  “Public corruption, no matter where it occurs, is a threat to a fair and competitive global economy.  The FBI is committed to working with our foreign and domestic partners to identify and return these stolen assets to their legitimate owners, the Malaysian people.  I want to thank the FBI and IRS investigative team who worked with the prosecutors and our international partners on this case.”

“Today’s announcement underscores the breadth of the alleged corruption and money laundering related to the 1MDB fund,” said Chief Weber.  “We cannot allow the massive, brazen and blatant diversion of billions of dollars to be laundered through U.S. financial institutions without consequences.”

As alleged in the complaints, the members of the conspiracy – which included officials at 1MDB, their relatives and other associates – allegedly diverted more than $3.5 billion in 1MDB funds.  Using fraudulent documents and representations, the co-conspirators allegedly laundered the funds through a series of complex transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts located in the Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the United States.  These transactions were allegedly intended to conceal the origin, source and ownership of the funds, and were ultimately processed through U.S. financial institutions and were used to acquire and invest in assets located in the United States.

In seeking recovery of more than $1 billion, the complaints detail the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB’s assets as it occurred over the course of at least three schemes.  In 2009, the complaints allege that 1MDB officials and their associates embezzled approximately $1 billion that was intended to be invested to exploit energy concessions purportedly owned by a foreign partner.  Instead, the funds were transferred through shell companies and were used to acquire a number of assets, as set forth in the complaints.  The complaints also allege that the co-conspirators misappropriated more than $1.3 billion in funds raised through two bond offerings in 2012 and $1.2 billion following another bond offering in 2013.  As further detailed in the complaints, the stolen funds were laundered into the United States and used by the co-conspirators to acquire and invest in various assets.  These assets allegedly included high-end real estate and hotel properties in New York and Los Angeles, a $35 million jet aircraft, works of art by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, an interest in the music publishing rights of EMI Music and the production of the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.

The FBI’s International Corruption Unit and the IRS-CI investigated the case.  Deputy Chief Woo S. Lee and Trial Attorney Kyle R. Freeny of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kucera and Christen Sproule of the Central District of California prosecuted the case.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided additional assistance.

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, to use those recovered asset to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office.  Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov

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Black Money Matters! Entrepreneur Launches Nationwide Program Giving African American Families Their Very Own Personal Accountant

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on Black Money Matters! Entrepreneur Launches Nationwide Program Giving African American Families Their Very Own Personal Accountant

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Long-time entrepreneur and accountant Randy Hughes, via Counting Pennies, his accounting and tax preparation firm based in Orlando, Florida, is now offering affordable and much-needed financial services to urban and low income families across the country. The program, called Black Money Matters, especially aims to give African American families nationwide the opportunity to have their very own personal accountant!Maximizing tax deductionsRandy comments, “Every year, Black people give away thousands of dollars through missed deductions and tax credits. My firm makes sure you get the money and credits that are available for you to take.”In addition, typically, having a personal accountant can be very costly, and is usually only an option for wealthy families. However, Randy comments, “What’s unique about my service is that you don’t have to make six figures to have your own personal accountant. I’m the accountant for the little guy and the middle class worker who can’t afford a big CPA firm, but cares about his money anyway, who cares about his money just the same.”Giving backFar from the pocket protector and mechanical persona that is sometimes associated with accountants, Randy is best known by his colleagues and clients for his outgoing personality and volunteer work. Although not deaf, Randy learned and now speaks sign language fluently, and initially, he approached accounting as a means to underpin his volunteer work which centers a lot on helping the deaf community. He also has been known to heft a hammer on volunteer community-based construction projects in the field.

But with this new initiative, he is specifically reaching out to needy families within the Black community as federal government reports continue to reflect that African Americans suffer the most in the United States from economic hardships.

His experience

After graduating from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland with a Bachelors in Accounting, he worked for Big Four Accounting firm KPMG. Prior to becoming a Controller in the hospitality industry for many years, Randy also gained experience as a loan officer and in health care accounting. He was introduced to tax preparation while working for Jackson Hewitt, and eventually collected certifications in tax preparation at H&R Block and professional bookkeeping at Universal Accounting in Utah.

Regarding his company, Randy comments, “Accounting for our customers is a journey, not an appointment; a process, not a paycheck; an experience, not a number. People come back to us and stay with us because of the time we spend with them, the conversation we share, the experience we create, and the relationship we build.”

For more details about Randy Hughes and his affordable accounting/ tax preparation services, visit www.cpennies.com, email him at randy.hughes@cpennies.com, or call his office at (800) 234-1449.


Photo Caption: Randy Hughes, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)



Legendary Division I Coach, Mike Jarvis, to Speak at Alfred Street Baptist Church Men’s Retreat, July 22-24 at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, Maryland

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on Legendary Division I Coach, Mike Jarvis, to Speak at Alfred Street Baptist Church Men’s Retreat, July 22-24 at Sandy Cove Ministries in North East, Maryland

Coach Mike Jarvis
Alexandria, VA (BlackNews.com) — Mike Jarvis, legendary basketball coach, life coach, author, and sports analyst will be the keynote speaker at Alfred Street Baptist Churchs 2016 Mens Retreat: Excellence Without Excuses. Alfred Street Baptist Church is excited to host this phenomenal, empowering, speaker to accompany their very own, dynamic Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley who leads them in worship every Saturday and Sunday.This three day, two night event will include men from all around the DMV (DC, Maryland, and VA) who are both eager and elated to hear Coach Mike Jarvis speak because of his profound career in sports where he built a record of 583-326.The practice of motivating his players has been incorporated into his life which is why Alfred Street Baptist Church invited him to be their keynote speaker for their men. Along with sharing his life skills for success, he will also discuss what it takes to motivate and inspire men both young and old to excel and find their true destiny. After all, this is the man who taught former NBA center, Patrick Ewing how to play basketball upon his arrival to the United States from Jamaica. As a result, Ewing became an NBA All-star and arguably one of best to ever play the game of basketball.Since retiring from coaching, Jarvis spends his time doing book signings and appearances to share words of wisdom with respect to his two bestselling books entitled, Everybody Needs a Head Coach and Skills For Life: The Fundamentals You Need to Succeed, augmented by being an analyst for Fox Sports.

Alfred Street Baptist Church is thrilled to introduce Coach Jarvis to the men who will be in attendance at this one-of-a kind bonding event. He has been a head coach and coached many exceptional all-star players, but notes the most important decision he made occurred on April 29, 2005, when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Head Coach.

We are looking forward to hearing what Coach Mike Jarvis has to say to the men of today, in light of the current circumstances and real issues facing Black men in America. We are confident that he will be able to empower, encourage and educate the men in attendance and provide them with the necessary take away skills needed to be successful in life, said Alfred Street Baptist Church, pastor, Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley. In addition, we will also welcome three spiritually uplifting speakers including but not limited to: Rev. Kevin G. Swann, pastor, Ivy Baptist Church in Newport News, Virginia, Ronald E, Hopson, PHD, associate professor of Psychology and Divinity at Howard University and Dr. Donte Hickman Sr., pastor of Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

There are still a few spaces left to attend this great retreat, including 1 day passes and 1 night passes, visit www.alfredstreet.org to register today as space is limited and going fast. All men in the DMV area are invited to attend. Email men@alfredstreet.org for details or to register.

Follow the Mens Retreat on Social Media through the following:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlfredStreetBaptistChurch/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlfredStreetBC
Instagram: www.instagram.com/alfredstreetbc/

Hashtags: #ASBC #Alfred Street #ASBCMEN

Photo Caption: Coach Mike Jarvis, legendary basketball coach



Hyde Park Art Center Announces Artists Exhibiting in “Ground Floor,” a Biennial Exhibition of New Art from Chicago September 4 – October 16, 2016

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on Hyde Park Art Center Announces Artists Exhibiting in “Ground Floor,” a Biennial Exhibition of New Art from Chicago September 4 – October 16, 2016

CHICAGO, ILHyde Park Art Center (5020 S Cornell) announces the return of “Ground Floor,” the fourth iteration of an ongoing series of biennial programs that feature work by some of Chicago’s most promising emerging talent. Nominated by respected members of the arts community and selected by the Art Center’s Exhibitions Committee, which includes artists Dawoud Bey (Chair), Romi Crawford, Dianna Frid, James Pepper Kelly, Lane Relyea, David Schutter, along with Art Center Staff Allison Peters Quinn and Kate Lorenz, the selected artists are 2015 and 2016 graduates from Chicago’s top-ranked Master of Fine Art programs: Columbia College Chicago, Northwestern University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“Ground Floor” 2016 artists are: Yael Ben-Simon, Kai Caemmerer, Lilli Carré, Adrienne Ciskey, Jeanne Donegan, Lucia Gonzalez Botello, Erin Hayden, Angela Lopez, Gulsah Mursaloglu, Meg Nafziger, Monica Nydam, Allyson Packer, Jeffrey Prokash, Sara Rouse, Anna Showers-Cruser, Leonard Suryajaya, Norman Teague, Orkideh Torabi, Aaron Walker, Eileen Walsh, and Derrick Woods-Morrow.

“Many of the artists in this year’s selection for Ground Floor use the lens of technology and design”, stated Director of Exhibition & Residency Programs Allison Peters Quinn, “to reinterpret, distort, or enhance their abilities expressed in traditional media like painting, sculpture and drawing in exciting ways.”

The committee received more than 125 artist nominations from faculty artists, critics and curators in Chicago. After reviewing submissions from the nominated artists, the committee rigorously narrowed down the submissions to a final list of work that represents the range of dynamic art practices coming out of Chicago today. All selected artists live and work in the Chicagoland area, reflecting the Art Center’s committment to building a strong local community of thriving young artists.

Named for its role in providing a crucial platform for young artists, “Ground Floor” includes:

  • A major exhibition that fills the entire lower level of the Art Center’s 32,000 square feet building
  • An exhibition catalogue that increases the visibility of Ground Floor artists outside of Chicago
  • Critical writing that allows artists to receive valuable, documented feedback about their work and will cultivate new critical voices
  • Professional support for promising Chicago artists—introducing them to curators, critics, collectors, and a public beyond their immediate network
  • A public stage and “next step” for young artists following their graduate degrees
  • A direct pipeline of new talent to local and national institutions, galleries, and curators
  • A destination for the Chicago community to see and learn about artists whose careers we should watch and support

In the spirit of supporting young artists, the Art Center has also commissioned Tempestt Hazel, Chicago-based writer, artist, and curator to author the Ground Floor catalog. The catalog will be released October 2016.

“Ground Floor” alumni from the 2014 exhibition include Evan Baden, whose work is currently on view in the exhibition “The Outwin, American Portraiture Today” at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, Ramyar Vala, participant in the Fifth Annual Exposure Award at the Musee du Louvre, and Tina Tahir, current Art Center artist-in-residence and recipient of the 2016 Arte Laguna Prize.

Hyde Park Art Center is a unique resource that advances contemporary visual art in Chicago by connecting artists and communities in unexpected ways. As an open forum for exploring the artistic process, the Art Center fosters creativity through making, learning about, seeing, and discussing art—all under one roof. The Art Center is funded in part by: Allstate Insurance Company; Alphawood Foundation; Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts; Bank of America; Bloomberg Philanthropies; a CityArts grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Crown Family Philanthropies; David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation; Field Foundation of Illinois; Harper Court Arts Council; Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; Irving Harris Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; The Joyce Foundation; Lloyd A. Fry Foundation; MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; National Endowment for the Arts; Polk Bros. Foundation; The Reva and David Logan Foundation; Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust; and the generosity of its members and people like you.

Cook County Earns Recognition for Its Technology Advances

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on Cook County Earns Recognition for Its Technology Advances

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) today named Cook County one of the Top 10 Digital Counties with a population of 500,000 or more.

The award was announced at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual conference in Long Beach, CA.

The CDG’s Digital Counties Survey provides an annual measure of performance and innovation by counties throughout the U.S. in using technology.

In this 14th annual survey, the CDG and NACo were looking for counties which align technologies with their governmental goals; which save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; which boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; as well as innovate through unique and exciting projects.

In 2015 Cook County invested over $150 million in IT innovation, modernizing aging software and infrastructure for offices throughout the County. Its “Big Four” technology projects – Integrated Justice, Integrated Revenue, Integrated Property and Enterprise Resource Planning – helped set Cook County apart from its peers.

“The Big Four projects represent an unprecedented leap forward for Cook County,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “These major projects, and many others under way throughout the County, are providing residents with a much more efficient, transparent and responsive government.”

In announcing the recognition, CDG said, “Pushing past the mantra of e-government, (Cook) County is focused on smart government that combines transparency, department integration and cybersecurity.”

The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute focused on technology policy and best practices in state and local government. The Center provides public and private sector leaders with support and actionable insight to help drive 21st-century government.

The Center is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education.

Independent Black Label Artist, Vernon Neilly, Leaps Into Billboard Top 20

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on Independent Black Label Artist, Vernon Neilly, Leaps Into Billboard Top 20

Vernon Neilly
Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) — Boosweet Records, the award-winning independent Black-owned label based in Southern California, a few weeks ago released the new video They Dont Care by Vernon Neilly. The video has since gone viral with millions of views via social media sites, regular rotation on popular television video programs on major networks, as well as independent. The popularity of They Dont Care has helped catapult the new single They Dont Care into the Billboard Hot Singles Charts entering at #12.Vernon Neilly an award winning guitarist/actor himself, carefully crafted the highly controversial music video for the current times showcasing the injustices of the political system, the effects of world terror, the highly polarizing political figures who contribute to the divisive rhetoric being loosely used without regard to the eventual consequences. Vernon fell back on the acting skills that he used in Blockbuster movies such as, Along Came Polly with Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Starsky And Hutch with Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Ben Stiller, and Walk Hard Columbia Pictures.They Dont Care is the first single from the album Outta Time which features an all-star lineup of some of the best and legendary musicians in the world such as Greg Howe (Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna), Victor Johnson (Sammy Hagar, Busboys), Doug Wimbish (Living Colour, Jeff Beck), Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth, Angra), and many others. The appeal of They Dont Care is the reality of chaos that is happening in the world now and it is touching a nerve of consciousness.

The song can be downloaded on iTunes at:

Vernon Neilly is currently endorsed by the following companies, Parker Guitars, Giannini Strings, Digitech Electronics, Xotic Effects, Morley/Ebtech Products, Levys Bags and Straps, Meteoro Amps, Seymour Duncan, and Wampler Pedals.

For more information or media requests, contact Boosweet Records at info@boosweet.com


Photo: Single cover



More Illinoisans Leave Labor Force

Posted by Admin On July - 22 - 2016 Comments Off on More Illinoisans Leave Labor Force

Illinois Job Growth Still Lags Nation; Unemployment rate declines to 6.2%

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in June decreased 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -2,200 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. The decrease in Illinois’ unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the labor force. Job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois -51,500 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“In June, Illinois experienced yet another exodus and over-the-year job growth is still at half the national rate,” Director Jeff Mays said. “As we do our part in expanding services that help jobseekers find work more quickly, structural reforms are necessary to get the state’s economy back on track.”

“We’ve lost more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs over the last year, and replacing those middle class jobs has been an uphill battle due to the high costs facing Illinois businesses,” Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. “Manufacturing has been a critical part of our state’s economy, providing stable, good paying jobs for Illinois families. We need action on structural reforms to Illinois’ dysfunctional worker’s compensation, regulation, and tax systems to make our state competitive and bring solid middle class jobs back to Illinois.” 

In June, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+3,000); Financial Activities (+1,700); and Other Services (+1,500). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Educational and Health Services (-7,300) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,000).


Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +41,300 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+19,100); and Professional and Business Services (+16,700). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines in June include: Manufacturing (-9,100) and Information Services (-2,700). The 0.7 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the 1.7 percent gain posted by the nation in June.


The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June 2016, which increased to 4.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate stood 0.4 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 5.8 percent.


The number of unemployed workers decreased -4.1 percent from the prior month to 409,300, up +8.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +1.9 percent in June over the prior year, but decreased 0.5 percent over-the-month. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.


To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL). IJL recently showed that 55,995 resumes were posted and 173,330 help-wanted ads were available.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry


  • Monthly 2011 – 2015 labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The monthly historical revisions to state labor force estimates reflect new national benchmark controls, state working-age population controls, seasonal factors, as well as updated total nonfarm jobs and unemployment benefits claims inputs.  Illinois labor force data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly Census Population Survey (CPS) and national benchmarking.  For these reasons, comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous state news releases/materials might no longer be valid.

  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available here: Illinois & Chicago Metropolitan Area Unemployment Rates

  • Monthly 1994 – 2014 unadjusted and seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll data for Illinois have been revised. To control for potential survey error, the estimates are benchmarked annually to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports.

  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available at Not Seasonally Adjusted Jobs. “Other Services” include activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.  Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.


About IDES

IDES encourages employment by connecting employers to jobseekers, provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud. Visit the Department’s website at www.ides.illinois.gov for more information and join IDES on Facebook.

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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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