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Archive for March 7th, 2017

Trump’s’ New Revised Immigration Executive Order “…Looks Like a Duck, Walks Like a Duck, and Sounds Like a Duck…”

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP: Inadequacy of President Trump and Federal Response to Hate Crimes

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP’s Statement:


In President Trump’s first speech to Congress, he finally condemned a recent swath of hate crimes, while also using xenophobic and racist rhetoric to promote devastating and divisive policies. The past few weeks have seen a number of hate crimes including this weekend’s shooting of Sikh American, Deep Rai, bomb threats and cemetery desecration in the Jewish community, the shooting that murdered Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot, the burning of a number of mosques, and other crimes against peoples of color. President Trump neglected to recognize any anti-Muslim crimes, and has been exceedingly slow to respond to acts of hate. This non response and continued use of antagonizing language and messaging is promoting the increased incidence of hate based destruction, assaults, and loss of life.

Further, by verbally tying immigration to “lawless chaos,” pushing forward with the construction of a southern border wall, demonizing the Muslim community and refugees, and announcing a new office to assist only victims of crime perpetrated by immigrants–even though immigrants are less likely to commit crime, devaluing American citizens and fracturing our country by pitting communities against one another. We call on the President and the federal government to cease the use of racist rhetoric, be more responsive and aggressive in denouncing race, gender, and religiously hate motivated crimes and violence, and to investigate, charge and be true and diligent advocates for encouraging unity and strength in all communities.


The WKKF “America Healing Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative,” is a unique partnership of 12 leading national organizations all dedicated to racial equity and racial healing. As racial equity Anchor Organizations, we have been long-term partners with the Kellogg Foundation in exposing structural inequities and barriers to opportunity in communities, remedying them and helping heal racial wounds. We recognize the detrimental impacts that this narrative and these policies will have on our communities, and all communities of color.


Below WKKF Anchors remark on the need for awareness, vigilance, and true community building. The Anchors strongly believe in dismantling the false narrative surrounding the belief in the racial hierarchy permeating America’s history and current reality. To create a true multiracial democracy, we must demolish this belief system which buttresses structural racism and exacerbates racial inequity.


Advancement Project

“Donald Trump’s campaign platform of xenophobia and racial hatred quickly became instituted as the administration’s policy. His prolonged silence on racism-driven killings in Kansas is but the latest in a long list of shameful acts that further dehumanize and devalue the lives of people of color. From hiring a white supremacist as lead advisor, to attempting to ban Muslim immigration, to creating a bureau of anti-immigrant propaganda, Trump is embracing the very worst of America’s history of racism into a full government assault on the value and lives of people of color. But Americans are coming together, standing together and fighting back together, recognizing our values of dignity and love are strong. We will continue to resist against hateful policies and those who seek to undermine our inclusive democracy.” – Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project’s national office.


Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Last week’s tragedy was not unlike the 1982 murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin who was killed by out-of-work Caucasian autoworkers who blamed Japan for their employment situation. Chin, like Kuchibhota and Madasani, was targeted due to xenophobia and racism. This is not just a tragic loss in our community, but another alarming event that adds to the recent rise of violence and hate speech against people of color. Racism, xenophobia and any other hate filled actions have no place in our country, our communities or our laws and policies.



“The surge in hate crimes targeting many of our most vulnerable communities — from transgender men and women, to our nation’s immigrants, to the Native community, to Jewish Americans — has brought so many individuals to action. We have seen Muslim groups volunteering to repair the vandalized Jewish cemetery in St. Louis; New Yorkers have stood up to accompany neighbors on daily subway commutes. Yet from our President, we have heard only a few words – and they are not nearly enough. Not only does his refusal to investigate these attacks send an all too clear message, but his continued efforts to implement discriminatory policies against these very communities are contrary to the core values of acceptance and equality in our country. We, the people of this great nation, are better than these orders, this hateful language and these attacks – and it is time for our president to do his part and represent all Americans.”

— Heather McGhee, President of Demos


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Opposing Anti-Semitism isn’t the exclusive ethical jurisdiction of American Jews and neither is Islamophobia the sole responsibility of Muslim-Americans. The burden and responsibility of addressing American xenophobia is the inclusive moral responsibility of all Americans. We call upon President Trump and the Justice Department to vigorously investigate and take action against these hate crimes and work to ensure the full protection of all Americans.”

–Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP.


National Council of Asian Pacific Americans

“Srinivas Kuchibhotla and his wife Sunayana Dumala came to this country to pursue the American dream and the noble ideals it stands for,” said Christopher Kang, National Director of NCAPA. “When a shooter yelled ‘get out of my country’ and killed Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani, he shattered this dream, and Dumala was forced to ask, ‘Do we belong?’ The answer, unequivocally, must be yes. Our nation is a nation built by immigrants, that will not be divided, and that stands up to hate, bigotry, and xenophobia. Our nation is the nation of Ian Grillot, who was shot and injured as he defended the principle that ‘everybody is an equal.’”


National Council of La Raza

‘Last November NCLR joined other civil rights groups to urge the President-elect to immediately address the growing wave of threats and violence targeted to ethnic and religious minorities. The recent murder of an Indian immigrant in Kansas and the desecration of Jewish and Muslim places of worship and cemeteries represent just the tip of the proverbial iceberg,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.  “It’s extremely troubling, then, that press reports suggest the Trump administration plans to cease monitoring of the dangers posed by white nationalists and other domestic extremists,” Murgía concluded.


Poverty & Race Research Action Council

After rhetoric and executive orders that encourage racism and xenophobia, the administration’s attempts to distance itself from the recent surge in hate crimes is irresponsible and alarming. These acts of violence will be a source of tragic and senseless pain for many years for the families and communities involved. As we try to heal and build communities focused on inclusion and acceptance we must speak out against hate at every opportunity.

— Philip Tegeler, Director of Poverty & Race Research Action Council


Race Forward

“A nation of true unity is one in which human beings are no longer targeted, threatened, and killed because of the color of their skin, the god they worship, or where they come from. President Trump’s condemnation of this latest wave of hate crimes holds little weight unless followed by concrete actions to protect our communities most vulnerable to violence. Only then can this Administration send a clear message that in America, every life is sacred regardless of who it belongs to.”

— Rinku Sen, President & Publisher, Race Forward and Colorlines



State Senator Harper Backs Measure to Provide Tax Relief for Working Families

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – In an effort to provide needed tax relief to middle-class families, Illinois state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is sponsoring legislation that would double the Earned Income Tax Credit.


“Working families need tax relief. That’s why I’m supporting an extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which will increase take home pay and will help uplift the middle class,” said Harper. “The best way to create jobs in Illinois is by first increasing the disposable income of consumers so that they more money to spend on the things they need each day.”


Harper is sponsoring House Bill 2475, which would double the value of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit over the course of five years, raising the value of the credit by 2 percent every year. Each 2 percent increase would put an estimated $44 million back in working families’ pockets. Additionally, the U.S. Conference of Mayors indicates that every $1 returned to taxpayers through the Earned Income Tax Credit generates between $1.50 and $2 in economic activity, helping local businesses grow.


The measure is a key element of an economic reform agenda recently introduced by House Democrats this year. Harper and her colleagues are pushing for reforms that grow the economy while also strengthening the middle class. Rather than padding the profits of corporations by reducing middle-class wages and slashing the rights of Illinois’ workers, Harper and the House Democrats are working to level the playing field for small and medium-sized employers, raise the minimum wage, invest in education at all levels and outlaw taxpayer-funded incentives for businesses that outsource local jobs.


“We need to make sure that we do everything we can to put working families first,” said Harper. “I will continue to fight for local families and businesses by supporting policies that lift up the middle class and provides them with meaningful tax relief.”


Better Business Bureau Identifies Top Scams Using New “Risk Index;” Home Improvement and Fake Check Scams Head the List

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New algorithm identifies cons that are riskiest to consumers: men more vulnerable than women, and young adults at highest risk


There is no doubt that scams have gone high tech, but the riskiest scam is the face-to-face home improvement scam, with fake check scams running a close second, according to the new BBB Risk Index, a sophisticated analysis that goes beyond volume to look at the risk each scam type poses.



The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust (BBB Institute) kicked off National Consumer Protection Week with its inaugural BBB Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, which provides comprehensive insight into scams based on the more than 32,000 reports made to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016.

Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois president and CEO Steve Bernas says “These new cutting edge numbers reveal the scams that are striking our consumers and businesses the hardest, allowing us to focus local efforts to best protect and alert our local communities.”


As with earlier BBB Institute research, there were some real surprises within the data: men were more vulnerable than women in seven of the top ten scam categories; and consumers 18-24 are the most likely to lose money to a scam. New information uncovered in this analysis is that younger consumers have a lower median loss than people in their top earning years, partly because the types of scams aimed at older consumers tend to have higher median losses. While seniors also tend to lose more money than Millennials when they are scammed, they fall for scams far less often. And the biggest takeaway is that no one is immune from the risk posed by scams.


The BBB Risk Index measures risk along three dimensions:

  • Exposure (how likely are you to be exposed to the con?)
  • Susceptibility (if you are exposed, how likely are you to lose money?) and
  • Monetary loss (if you do lose money, how much is it likely to be?).


Exposure X Susceptibility X Monetary Loss = Risk Index


Based on the BBB Risk Index, the riskiest top five scams overall (U.S. and Canada combined) are:

Home improvement scams (bbb.org/homescam)

Fake checks and money orders (bbb.org/fakecheckscam)

Employment scams (bbb.org/employmentscam)

Online purchase scams (bbb.org/webpurchasescam)

Advance fee loan scams (bbb.org/loanscam)

[Download the full report at bbb.org/RiskReport]

The BBB Risk Index is a paradigm shift in how to calculate the true impact of different scams. In the past, virtually all involved organizations used volume alone to create “top scam” lists, but this approach ignored two other equally critical factors: the susceptibility of the population and dollar losses. For instance, the scam most reported to BBB Scam Tracker in 2016 – by far – was the tax scam. However, consumers are savvy to this con and rarely fall for it, so it did not even make the BBB Risk Index’s top ten. Employment scams were three times as risky for consumers as tax scams, and ranked #3 on the BBB Risk Index.


“Scams erode trust in the marketplace, and BBB Scam Tracker was created to advance BBB’s mission by protecting consumers and ethical businesses,” notes Genie Barton, president of the BBB Institute. “Scammers damage the reputations of the well-respected brands they spoof, and they slow commercial growth by making consumers hesitant to do business online. Every dollar stolen by a scammer is a dollar not spent with a reputable business that has competed fairly to earn those dollars.”


Home improvement scams, ranked #1 on the BBB Risk Index, was the only category in the top ten to rely on in-person contact. Because of the highly personal nature of this scam – someone literally at your doorstep – the exposure rate was low but the susceptibility rate and the median loss were both very high, making it the riskiest scam of all.


Fake check scams (bbb.org/fakecheckscam) take on a variety of approaches, but all rely on the fact that consumers assume that when a check “clears” their account and funds are made available, they are in the clear to spend those funds. In fact, it may take several weeks for a fake check to be detected and returned, and that includes cashier’s checks and money orders. The BBB Institute also notes that fake checks are used in about 30-40% of employment scams, and appear frequently in other scams, as well. Whenever a consumer is asked to deposit a check and then send funds back out for any reason, that’s a big red flag, according to BBB.


The full report is available at bbb.org/RiskReport. Consumers and businesses are urged to report all scams to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker, whether or not money is actually lost.


ABOUT THE BBB INSTITUTE: The BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust is the educational foundation of the Council of Better Business Bureaus and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Its goal is to connect targeted consumer populations to BBB services, promote consumer awareness and financial literacy and advance business ethics in the marketplace. The organization offers in-person training, print and digital educational resources, scholarships and recognition programs that promote ethical enterprise and fraud prevention across North America.


ABOUT BBB:For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.


Search our databases anytime and at no cost to help you find trustworthy businesses and important consumer information at http://ask.bbb.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or add us onInstagram




Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Hosts 26th Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) hosted a Desert Storm Remembrance ceremony at the Illinois State Capitol Rotunda in Springfield today. The ceremony honored all Desert Storm veterans and paid tribute to the Illinois Heroes who lost their lives.


“Today we come together to honor the brave men and women who fought for their country during the Gulf War,” said IDVA Director Erica Jeffries. “Every service member who fought relentlessly during this war are true heroes.”


Governor Bruce Rauner also proclaimed February 28, 2017, as Desert Storm Remembrance Day in Illinois in memory of all the heroes who died in the attack on Desert Storm, and in tribute to all the men and women whose sacrifices made the world safer for liberty and freedom.

COL Lance Koenig has been the Chief of Staff for Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois since July of 2015. COL Koenig has over 29 years of active commissioned service, mainly as a logistics officer, in support of Airborne, Armor, and Special Operations forces.  During Desert Storm he was a Maintenance Platoon Leader for the 511th Military Intelligence Battalion which was part of 7th Corps.  His unit entered Saudi Arabia at the port of Dharan, convoyed 24 hours to a tactical assembly area in the desert where they established camp until several months later the ground assault kicked off and they maneuvered with 7th Corps into Iraq until the cease fire was called.   He was awarded a Bronze Star for his role in this operation.

The Ceremony included a memorial service for the Illinois Fallen Heroes with assistance from the Illinois Living History Detachment. Taps was played by Ben Story from Bugles Across America. 

Chicago Communities Defend the Right to Protest, Say No to Trump’s Executive Order on Policing

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

On February 9th, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that declares war on protest and dissent. Under the title, “Preventing Violence Against … Law Enforcement Officers,” Trump is letting out the leash for his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to attack anyone that protests against police crimes; stands up to raids and deportations by ICE; raises their voices at airports against customs officials detaining immigrants from Muslim countries; or places their bodies in the way of sheriffs to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Jeff Sessions was exposed during confirmation proceedings for his racist actions and beliefs. As head of the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), Sessions is the chief law enforcement officer in the U.S. But this is a man opposed to the Voting Rights Act, as well as legislation protecting LGBTQ people and undocumented workers. With free rein from Trump’s recent executive order, we can expect Sessions to execute this new edict in the most racist unconstitutional and oppressive manner, to unleash even more state violence against dissent, and to criminalize the Black Lives Matter movement, the Indigenous Peoples’ movement at Standing Rock, the struggle for Immigrant rights and all progressive people’s movements.

A protest to Defend the Right to Protest, Oppose Trump’s Racist Executive Order on Policing will be held at the Federal Plaza, Dearborn & Adams, Chicago, today, March 7th, 2017, from 5:00pm to 7:00 p.m.

Police crime survivors and families, community members, along with groups, churches and organizations including; Black Lives Matter – Chicago; Trinity United Church of Christ; Arab American Action Network; U.S. Palestinian Community Network; Black Lives Matter Women of Faith: American Indian Center; AnakBayan – Patriotic Filipino Youth; National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON); Trans Liberation Collective will be in attendance.

According to organizers, the president is whipping up his base with his speeches about the rise in murders of cops; the rate of violent crimes, especially crimes by undocumented immigrants; and incidents of terrorism by Muslims. All of these are lies, but his calls for law and order are a dog whistle to go after all his targets. The truth is that the statistic that is out of control is police brutality and murders of Black, Chicano and Latino youth, and Native people.

Racist and Political Repression must be met by our Resistance. Fortunately, there is already a powerful movement in the streets – and the airports – of Chicago, standing up to the assaults coming from Trump’s White House. The anti-Trump protesters stand on the shoulders of the movement against police crimes, against Rahm and Rauner we have been building in communities for years.

Last year, the movement in Chicago had compelled the DOJ to come here and investigate the Chicago Police Department. The DOJ report established an arsenal of facts proving CPD, the Mayor’s office, and City Hall as well to be racist, corrupt, and unwilling to hold the police accountable when they murder and brutalize the Black and Latino communities.

Attorney General Sessions will deep-six the report including the 90 some cases of police crimes filed in the federal complaint brought by the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression. Sessions will remove the slight brake on police crimes generated by Consent Decrees. Holding police accountable in Chicago will only be accomplished by community control.

We defend the right to protest!
We say no to the Executive Order on Policing!
We demand enforcement of the Voting Rights Act!
We demand prosecution of the criminal cops in Chicago!
For more information contact: Frank Chapman 312-513-3795 email: fchapman@naarpr.org 


Violent Bank Robber Sentenced to 37 Years

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Local/Federal Law Enforcement Partnerships Work

External shot of the Humboldt, Tennessee bank in which an attempted bank robbery and shooting took place on March 18, 2015.

A March 2015 attempted robbery at this bank in Humboldt, Tennessee resulted in the shooting of a bank manager. A joint law enforcement investigation resulted in a lengthy prison term for the perpetrator.

It was every bank employee’s worst nightmare—being threatened at gunpoint by an individual demanding entrance to a bank vault. The employee in this instance, who was one of the bank’s managers, told the man she was unable to open it, so he shot her and fled.

The violent and brazen attempted bank robbery took place early in the morning on March 18, 2015 in the small Tennessee town of Humboldt, located approximately 90 miles northeast of Memphis. The perpetrator, Dominic Williams, was apprehended and charged with the crime—and as a result of the joint investigation by the Humboldt Police Department (HPD) and the Memphis FBI Field Office, he was sentenced last month to 37 years in federal prison.

In the early morning hours of that March day, the bank manager left her house and walked to the carport to get to her car. Williams, who had been hiding in front of her vehicle, stood up and, pointing the gun at the manager, asked if “she wanted to die today.” He forced her into the driver’s seat and demanded that she drive to her bank. Once at the bank, he had her unlock the doors—no one else was in yet—and told her to get money from the cashiers’ drawers, but the drawers were empty at the time. He then demanded that she open the night drop vault, and when she didn’t, he simply shot her through the chest and ran off.

The victim, who had played dead after she was shot, was able to call 911 and give a detailed description of her attacker—she also calmly kept pressure on her wounds while awaiting help. And arriving bank employees and other witnesses notified the HPD.

Shortly after arriving on the scene, the HPD police chief saw a suspicious person about a block or so away stripping off some clothing and throwing it into a dumpster. The man was taken into custody, and the FBI was called.

HPD personnel secured the crime scene, and the Memphis FBI’s Evidence Response Team processed it. Members of the Violent Crime Task Force from FBI Memphis’ Jackson Resident Agency responded as well, interviewing the suspect and witnesses and searching the suspect’s home. And fingerprints from Dominic Williams were taken and sent to our Criminal Justice Information Services Division, where analysts linked them to prints taken from an individual by the same name who had committed similar crimes in California as a gang member and had served time in state prison.

The handgun used during a March 18, 2015 violent bank robbery in Humboldt, Tennessee was recovered by investigators underneath leaves in an alley.

This gun—used by Dominic Williams to abduct and then shoot a bank manager—was recovered by investigators in an alley underneath some leaves.

“A strong working relationship was fostered with the Humboldt Police Department that day, and it remains positive to this day.”

Case agent, FBI Jackson (Tennessee) Resident Agency

All evidence was immediately recovered in or near the bank, except for the gun. The interview team was able to get the suspect to draw a map of where he discarded the gun when he fled the scene—and investigators were able to retrieve it.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Williams, who had recently relocated to Tennessee, used computers to research open source information on bank employees. He also surveilled employees, keeping track of their comings and goings to and from the bank. The bank manager he ultimately focused on lived just a short distance from the bank.

The evidence against Williams was overwhelming—including the court testimony of the woman he nearly killed—and he pleaded guilty in August 2016. According to the FBI case agent from the Jackson Resident Agency, the victim “had learned that the bullet missed her vital organs by the smallest of margins, but she would later recover and continue working hard for the citizens of Humboldt.”

The case agent also said that a member of the Humboldt Police Department worked with Bureau personnel throughout the investigative process and was a crucial member of the team. He added, “A strong working relationship was fostered with the Humboldt Police Department that day, and it remains positive to this day.”

This case is just one example of the many investigations conducted every day in communities across America where the FBI joins forces with its law enforcement partners to get dangerous criminals off the streets.

FBI Releases New Bank Robbers Mobile App

FBI Releases New Bank Robbers Mobile App

The FBI launched a mobile version of its Bank Robbers website to make it easier for smartphone users to view photos and information about bank robberies.

Source: FBI

Fairfield University’s Inspired Writer Series Returns for Spring Semester

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

FAIRFIELD, Conn. –  Fairfield University’s Inspired Writer Series returns for the spring 2017 semester with a diverse roster of distinguished authors, each of whom will offer insight into their creative process and their most recent publications during a series of six interactive book discussions. Each 7 p.m. event is free and open to the public and presented in part by the University’s MFA in Creative Writing and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Initiated as a companion to the University’s MFA program, the Inspired Writer Series celebrates the program’s concentrations in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry with a rotation of exemplary guest authors. The Spring 2017 line-up features a dynamic combination of award-winning authors, MFA alumni and University faculty whose works span a wide array of topics and genres.

“The MFA author series brings together a community of every age from both on and off campus, who love the world of books and writing,” said Fairfield University Director of Community and Lifetime Education Elizabeth Hastings. “The notion that a finite number of words can produce worlds that educate us, lead us to inquiry, allow us to travel vicariously and experience a wealth of emotions through the craft of writing is one all book lovers embrace joyfully.”

On Thursday, Feb. 23, the first of three faculty discussions at the University’s Downtown Bookstore, 1499 Post Road in Fairfield, starting with English Professor Dr. Elizabeth Boquet, discussing her efforts to combat violence with peaceful pedagogy in her latest publication, Nowhere Near the Line: Pain and Possibility in Teaching and Writing. On March 2, MFA Program Director Sonya Huber addresses the nature of living with chronic pain and an invisible disability in Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System, andon March 30,Catholic Studies Professor Dr. Paul Lakeland explores the role of imagination in the face of mystery with his latest book,The Wounded Angel: Fiction and the Religious Imagination.

In April, the series concludes with two final discussions that will be held in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. The first event will feature acclaimed author, screenwriter and filmmaker Gloria Norris, who will read from her darkly humorous yet moving memoir, Kookooland, on Tuesday, April 4, followed by a discussion with five-time New York Times Bestselling Author Jean Hanff Korelitz, who will discuss her latest novel, The Devil and Webster, on April 18.

For more information on the Spring 2017 Inspired Writer Series’ featured authors and books, visit fairfield.edu/authorseries.

Vol. 49, # 119


Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.



Founder of Suburban Tech Company Sentenced to 9 Years for Defrauding Investors out of More Than $9 Million

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL — The founder of a northwest suburban tech company has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for defrauding investors out of more than $9 million.

GREGORY WEBB, 71, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Elk Grove Village-based InfrAegis Inc., was convicted last year on nine counts of mail and wire fraud for fraudulently raising more than $9 million from more than 200 investors. In written materials and telephone conference calls with investors between 2007 and 2012, Webb falsely portrayed InfrAegis as a successful company with growing stakes in the science and technology field. Among other things, Webb told investors that the company had signed or was on the verge of signing billion-dollar contracts with government agencies and municipalities across the world, including Chicago. The company’s products purportedly could protect the public from terrorist attacks by recognizing individuals on the terrorist watch list and instantaneously detecting biological, chemical and radiological threats on city streets, as well as by identifying harmful bacteria and other threats to the world’s food and water supply.

In reality, InfrAegis was not in a position to deploy any of its products because they had never been fully developed or tested, and the company had never signed contracts or even came close to signing contracts for the deployment of its products. The investors, some of whom included Chicago firefighters and other first responders, never received any return on their investment in the company.

U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall imposed the 108-month sentence Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. In imposing the sentence, Judge Kendall described the offense as “egregious,” and noted it was “heartbreaking” to read letters that victims had submitted to the Court.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed a civil enforcement action against Webb and InfrAegis, provided valuable assistance.

“Defendant engaged in a multi-year, multi-million-dollar fraud scheme designed to extract as much money as he could from trusting investors by lying to them,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kruti Trivedi and Rick D. Young argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendant’s actions have had and will continue to have long-term consequences for many of these victims.”

Evidence at Webb’s trial revealed that more than $500,000 was paid to Webb and his spouse between 2007 and 2012. The company also spent more than $800,000 to pay corporate credit cards that were used to charge Webb’s daily living expenses, including charges at restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, tobacco stores, a movie theatre, a sporting goods store, and an Apple iTunes account.

Webb, of Dallas, Tex., formerly resided in Arlington Heights. InfrAegis is now defunct.

Source: FBI

Aurora’s Paramount Theatre Announces All-Black Cast for Jesus Christ Superstar 4/19 – 5/28

Posted by Admin On March - 7 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Everything’s alright: Paramount Theatre presents Jesus Christ Superstar April 19 – May 28

Paramount Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar will be directed by (from left) Ron Kellum. The cast includes Destan Owens (Jesus), Mykal Kilgore (Judas Iscariot), Felicia Boswell (Mary Magdalene), Rufus Bonds, Jr. (Pontius Pilate), Avionce Hoyles (King Herod/Annas) and Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Caiaphas).
AURORA, ILWhat began as a 1970s rock opera concept album became a global stage phenomenon that captured seven Tony Award nominations and countless awards overseas in its 40-plus years.
Jesus Christ Superstar, the beloved rock opera that explores the story and internal struggles of the last seven days of the greatest idol in history – Jesus – is the 2016-17 Broadway Series finale, April 19-May 28, 2017 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.
While thousands of productions have taken the stage in 31 countries, Paramount’s is surely the production the theater community in Chicago and around the country will be talking about.
We already know Jesus Christ Superstar features music by the most successful composer of our generation, Andrew Lloyd Webber, with indelible lyrics by Tim Rice. Hits include “Everything’s Alright,” “Heaven on Their Minds,” “Hosanna,” “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Superstar.”
With nationally recognized director and producer Ron Kellum making his Paramount debut with Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago will be introduced to a director and choreographer whose experience ranges from being an artistic director of Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA to staging major sports spectacles such as last month’s 2017 NFL Pro Bowl halftime show.

Paramount veterans Tom Vendafreddo and Kory Danielson will collaborate as co-music directors in leading the cast and a 14-piece live rock band.

The A-list production design team includes Kevin Depinet, set design; Theresa Ham, costume design; Greg Hofmann, lighting design; Mike Tutaj, projection design; and Adam Rosenthal, sound design.

So what’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happenin’?

Paramount’s Jesus Christ Superstar will feature an all-black cast led by Broadway and regional musical theater veteran Destan Owens as Jesus of Nazareth. Owens’s Broadway credits include Tom Collins in Rent, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Adrian in Smokey Joes Café and Hawker in The Whos Tommy 15th Anniversary Concert.

Principal cast members are Mykal Kilgore (Judas Iscariot), Felicia Boswell (Mary Magdalene), Rufus Bonds, Jr. (Pontius Pilate), Avionce Hoyles (King Herod/Annas) and Lorenzo Rush Jr. (Caiaphas).

The ensemble features (pictured above, top, from left) Stephen “Blu” Allen,
Jos N. Banks, Ciera Dawn, Gilbert Domally, Candace C. Edwards, Jared D.M. Grant, Keirsten Hodgens, (row 2) Mark J.P. Hood, Reneisha Jenkins, Micheal Lovette, Evan Tyrone Martin, Gabriel MuddBrian Nelson Jr., Renellè Nicole, (row 3) Jaymes Osborne, Kafi Pierre, Jon Pierce, Travis Porchia, Camille Robinson, Alexis J. Roston and Jessica Brooke Seals.
“This is an incredible opportunity to unite the retelling of one of the greatest stories with an iconic piece of musical theater through the voices and lens of my community,” said Jesus Christ Superstar director Ron Kellum. “‘Why an all-black Superstar?’ ‘Why not.’ Our responsibility as storytellers is to find ways to represent truth in ways that translate to every audience no matter of color, creed, orientation or status. This will be a soul stirring experience!”
“Wait until you hear the voices singing in the grand finale of this season, presented for you in a powerful new production directed and choreographed by Ron Kellum!” said Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti. “I dare to say it speaks to the state of the art as intriguingly as it does to the state of the union! It is a contemporary thrill ride of a production with a cast as beautiful as the vision of its director!”
Jesus Christ Superstar: Dates, times and ticket information

Previews start April 19. Press opening is Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. Performances run through May 28: Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Single tickets are $44 to $59. The Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is surrounded by affordable parking and new restaurants for pre- or post-show dining.

For tickets, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours prior to evening performances.

Jesus Christ Superstar is rated PG.

About Jesus Christ Superstar

A rock star stands center stage, awash in lights while tens-of-thousands of adoring fans repeat every word he sings. An endless sea of bodies stands for hours shivering in the freezing temps just to say they were there when the new leader of the free world was sworn in. We love and celebrate our idols; we always have…that is, until we move on to our next idol.
Jesus Christ Superstar is not just the story of the last seven days of the greatest idol in history. It’s the story of the close friend who tried to save him and why that friend eventually betrayed him. It’s a story of love and fear, of kindness and greed, of expectations and what happens when those expectations are not met. 
This is an energized rock opera that delves into the internal struggles of those mortals, those humans – including Jesus himself – as they drew closer to one of the most pivotal moments in history. It’s an emotionally-charged journey in which, in the end, each person discovers something about themselves when the stakes are at their highest.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the most successful composer of musicals of his generation and also a breaker of molds for the type. His first collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice was Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a musical based on the Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. The two soon hit on the idea of writing a musical based on the life of Jesus Christ from the point of view of Judas, and, like Joseph, imbued with a strong rock and roll influence. Unable to finance a stage version, Lloyd Webber and Rice did manage to record their show, and in 1970, the album Jesus Christ Superstar went on to sell millions all over the world. The musical version debuted on Broadway in 1971, earning 5 Tony nominations and a Drama Desk Award for Sondheim for “Most Promising Composer.” The 1973 film version remains a 1970s rock opera cult classic.

Behind the scenes: Paramount’s

Jesus Christ Superstar

Ron Kellum (director) is a seasoned director and producer with experience ranging from sports entertainment to theater, film and television. He serves as a senior producer for e2k, co-director for the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii and co-producer for the NFL Pro Bowl United Way Thanksgiving Halftime Show. Kellum produced the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team Launch at Paramount Studios as well as several high-profile press and VIP events for Monster CES in Las Vegas. His directing and choreography credits included Iron Man 2 starring Robert Downey Jr. as well as the musicals Chicago, The Color Purple, A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, Rent, Once on This Island, 5 Guys Named Moe, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Smokey Joe’s Café. He appeared on Broadway in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Chicago, and he toured nationally in Aida, Dreamgirls, Fosse and Chicago. Learn more at ronkellum.com.

Tom Vendafreddo (co-music director and conductor) is helming his 12th consecutive musical at Paramount, preceded by In the Heights, Mary Poppins, The Who’s Tommy, Les Misérables (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Oklahoma! (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction)A Christmas Story – The Musical (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Hairspray – The Broadway Musical, West Side Story (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Mamma Mia!, Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Other credits include Company and Sweet Charity (Writers Theatre); On the Town and Godspell (Marriott Lincolnshire); Road Show and Shrek: The Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Spitfire Grill (BoHo Theatre – Jeff Nomination for Music Direction); and Pump Boys and Dinettes (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre). Regional credits include Rent (San Diego Musical Theatre), Odyssey (Old Globe Theatre), Forever Plaid (Chestnut Fine Arts) and It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Cygnet Theatre). As a cabaret artist, he has performed in Chicago, New York, San Diego and Melbourne. In 2014, he became the Founding Artistic Director of the Chicago Artists Chorale, a choral ensemble of working professionals in the Chicago theatre community. He received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Eastman School of Music and a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. tomvendafreddo.com
Kory Danielson (co-music director and conductor) is coming back for his 10th consecutive musical at the Paramount, following Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, West Side Story, Hairspray – The Broadway Musical, A Christmas Story – The Musical, Oklahoma!, Les Misérables and The Who’s Tommy. Other Chicago credits include Assassins, The Full Monty, Loving Repeating, Heathers, Tomorrow Morning (Kokandy Productions); Passion (2014 Jeff Award for Outstanding Music Direction), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Theo Ubique); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Porchlight Music Theatre); Hedwig, Wedding Singer (Haven Theatre); and Zanna, Don’t!, Lucky Stiff, Triumph of Love (The Music Theatre Company). Danielson has also worked with Drury Lane, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Bailiwick and Hell in a Handbag.
Paramount’s Jesus Christ Superstar production team also includes Trent Stork, associate director; Kafi Pierre, associate choreographer; Ethan Deppe, electronic music designer; Katie Cordts, wig, hair and makeup designer; Amanda Relaford, properties designer; R&D Choreography, Vic Bayona and Rick Gilbert, violence designers; Roger Ellis, dramaturg; Hannah Wichmann, stage manager; and Nora Mally, assistant stage manager. 
Jesus Christ Superstar is sponsored by the Daily Herald. Paramount’s 2016-17 Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and The Dunham Fund. Broadway Series Orchestra Sponsor is Rush-Copley Medical Center. Broadway Series Lighting Sponsor is ComEd. Broadway Series Costume Sponsor is Gerald Kia. Jesus Christ Superstar is also sponsored by the Daily Herald.
More about Paramount’s 2016-17 Season
In addition to Paramount’s 2016-17 Broadway Series finale, Jesus Christ Superstar, Paramount’s season also includes Home Free (Mar. 24), Madeleine Peyroux and Rickie Lee Jones (Mar. 25), Golden Dragon Acrobats (Mar. 26),
Riverdance: 20 Years(Mar. 31-Apr. 2, five shows), Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel (Jun. 10, two shows) and Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was… (Jun. 11). Back in 2016-17 is the Classic Movie Monday series, presenting everyone’s favorite flicks on a two-story screen for just $1. Paramount also serves the community with low-cost children’s shows designed to entertain while they educate: Miss Nelson is Missing (Mar. 22) and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Mar. 23).
For subscriptions, single tickets or more information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre,
23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.
About The Paramount Theatre

Inside the historic Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre (ParamountAurora.com) is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named “One of Chicago’s Top 10 Attended Theatres” by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount, located in downtown Aurora at
23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally recognized for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.

The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting portrayed in the art deco influence of the 1930s. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered the public a variety of entertainment, including “talking pictures,” vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for more than 40 years.

In 1976, Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount and closed the theater for restoration. The $1.5 million project restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. On April 29, 1978, the Paramount Arts Center opened, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, café and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount self-produces its own Broadway Musical Series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie.
The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA). ACCA also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue.
The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals. 
For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call
(630) 896-6666.

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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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