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Archive for April 17th, 2017

DC Black Leaders Frustrated With Local Elected Officials

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
Washington DC elected officials out of step with African American leaders attempts at progress

DC Board of Elections
Washington, DC (BlackNews.com) – DCs Mayor Bowser, Council Member Anita Bonds, and DCs Attorney General Racine, have not shown support for the proposed Recovery Act for Living Descendants of American Slaves, which does not depend on government funding, and seeks compensation from former entities that used slave labor or participated in slavery.DCs Attorney General, went further last week and filed an opposition to have the proposed DC Recovery Act to be on the ballot for voters to determine if it should become law.At the Board of Election Hearing last week, African American leaders, John Cheeks and Jerry Owens of the United States Citizens Recovery Initiative Alliance (USCRIA.Com) Attorney Malik Z. Shabazz, Amy Jenkins, and others, in a capacity filled room, spoke in support of the proposed law, also supported by Congressman John Conyers though he did not attend; in attempts to have the Boards approval for the proposed law to be placed on the ballot.Malik Shabazz Esq of Black Lawyers for Justice stated, We hope that all barriers are soon crossed so to clear a path for his [ for Mr. Cheeks] referendum to be placed on the ballot for 2018.”

Amy Jenkins, The DC Recovery Act attempts to make whole living descendants of African American slaves, and for this we will fight for recovery under the DC Recovery Act. She pointed out that the Constitution was created by white men who favored land owners and themselves and did not allow Africans to vote.

Jerry Owens: The DC Recovery Act is indeed the rising tide that will lift all ships,

After hearing supporters, the Board Chairman determined a decision was not to be made at this Hearing because of concerns by board members and the Attorney General, the Act may be unlawful. The Board gave Mr. Cheeks and his counsel time to submit a brief defending the legality of the proposed law to be placed on the ballot.

DC Mayor and DC Council Members are also out of step with Mr. Cheeks efforts in the courts to improve contracting opportunities for African Americans, by ending a 20-year virtual monopoly of District road construction contacts by alleged racketeering Fort Myers construction companies controlled by the Rodrigues-Shrensky families.

Cheeks attempts, in Court, to open bidding on road construction contracts to fair and open competition which would need procurement reform, that would allow African Americans opportunities to obtain District construction contracts has not had the support of the Mayor, and Council Member Anita Bonds, despite the fact Mr. Cheeks publicly stated a sizeable amount of Court settlement proceeds would be used to assist African Americans and others in the District of Columbia.

. Both of these African American elected officials appear to have ties and loyalty to Fort Myer even though Fort Myer was to pay $900,000 for discrimination which resulted in lower wages for African Americans and harassment of minorities according to the Department of Labor.

Mayor Bowser recently demonstrated her loyalty to Fort Myer, when she allegedly had two government employees fired who refused to give contracts to Fort Myer, according to Court documents filed by the employees. City Council Member, Mary Cheh initiated and is continuing investigative hearings behind closed doors concerning the Mayors involvement

Further exacerbating African American unemployment in the city, the Mayor has not enforced legislation requiring Fort Myers companies to hire required amounts of Washington, DC employees, which would likely be African Americans. Only a small fraction of Fort Myers labor is from DC, most are from Maryland and Virginia.

Both Mayor Bowser and Anita Bonds are on public record of receiving sizeable campaign donations from Fort Myer. Anita Bonds is also a former executive of Fort Myer.

It appears African American elected officials are at odds with African American leaders and may have differing objectives, in pursuing social progress for African Americans.


Photo Caption: Left to Right: Malik Shabazz., Amy Jenkins, and Roussan Etienne. Jr. presenting arguments before the Board of Elections



State Senators Biss, Collins to Discuss Apparent Racial Bias in Car Insurance Industry Today

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

ProPublica investigation exposing disparities based on ZIP code prompts new legislation


CHICAGO, IL  – Illinois State Senators Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) this morning will discuss troubling new revelations of apparent racial bias by car insurers that charge higher premiums to Chicago-area customers who live in predominantly minority neighborhoods.


The senators, longtime champions of racial and economic justice, also will introduce legislation to bar the kind of discrimination that was exposed in an April 5 joint investigation by ProPublica and Consumer Reports.


They will be joined by representatives of numerous Chicago organizations that advocate for racial and economic justice and were troubled by the findings.


Collins also has introduced legislation to bar insurance companies from using credit scores as a factor in calculating car insurance rates, a practice that is allowed in Illinois.


  • Read the ProPublica-Consumer Reports investigation here: http://bit.ly/PPCarIns

What:  Chicago news conference with state senators Daniel Biss and Jacqueline Y. Collins

Dory Rand, president, Woodstock Institute

Ken Franklin, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308

William McNary, co-director, Citizen Action/Illinois

Katelyn Johnson, Action Now

Representatives from Reclaim Chicago, Our Revolution, Workers Center for Racial Justice, and Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation


When:                  10:30 a.m. Monday, April 17


Where:                 James R. Thompson Center, 15th floor media briefing room

100 W. Randolph St., Chicago


Rep. Stratton Passes Legislation to Study State’s Law Enforcement Records

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 CHICAGO, IL – As advocates nationally look to reform the criminal justice system, Illinois State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, recently passed legislation out of the House that would study Illinois law enforcement’s antiquated system of record keeping.
“Within the criminal justice system, there are so many moving parts, so it’s important to take a step back and take a snapshot of where we are right now,” Stratton said. “We need to look at the efficiency of our record system and _4031773163as more local systems move towards electronic records to what extent is an over-reliance on paper slowing down the system as a whole?”
The Stratton-introduced House Bill 3879 calls for the state to identify the law enforcement agencies still operating on paper systems. Even in 2017, many law enforcement agencies still have not moved to digital or electronic storage. The study would identify all law enforcement agencies who do not have electronic records to better allow policymakers to create a pathway for these
Caption: Stratton speaking on the House floor recently. Stratton passed legislation in March that would study law enforcement agencies that still use paper records.counties to digitize their records in the future.
“Even in 2017, many law enforcement agencies still have not moved to digital or electronic storage or information sharing,” Stratton continued. “Having a more efficient system is one factor for creating a more just system.”
House Bill 3879 passed unanimously in the House and now heads to the Senate.

NAACP Statement on “Intentionally Discriminatory” Texas Voter ID Law

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Baltimore – NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement on Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos’ ruling that SB 14 intentionally discriminates against African-American and Latinos.


“The NAACP applauds today’s decision by Judge Gonzales Ramos holding – once again – that Texas’s current photo identification law, SB 14, was enacted with racially discriminatory intent in violation of the United States Constitution.


With the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit already having affirmed Judge Gonzales Ramos’ prior ruling that SB 14 discriminates against African-American and Latino voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, today’s decision hopefully represents the final nail in the coffin for this despicable, disenfranchising law.  The Texas NAACP State Conference originally filed litigation challenging SB 14 in 2013.


The U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to withdraw its longstanding allegation that SB 14 was enacted with racially discriminatory intent serves only to demonstrate the willingness of some public officials to play politics with the most sacred and foundational right in our democracy – the right to vote.  But the NAACP and its partners will oppose most strenuously any effort to make voting more difficult for our fellow citizens, no matter what their color or political persuasion.  We congratulate our Texas State Conference and its litigation partners for their steadfast and immovable advocacy.”


The NAACP and its more than 2,200 branches across the country are working to strengthen our democracy by increasing civic participation and eliminating voter suppression. The NAACP state conference leadership, national field team, as well as out branches continues direct action, voter mobilization and public education. Using our Washington Bureau and communications department, we will continue call on the millions of supporters and members of the NAACP to support our legislative efforts to combat voter suppression, including passage of the Voter Empowerment Act and Voting Rights Advancement Act. Meanwhile, our Youth and College Division continues its amazing and important work of training and equipping millennial leaders to increase the level of civic engagement in communities across the country. The hard work of improving our democracy continues.


Illinois Treasurer Frerichs Pushes to Reunite Illinois Residents with $2.8 Billion in Unclaimed Property

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Thousands of Illinois Residents Have Cash or Property to Claim; New Names Reported Every Year


SPRINGFIELD, IL – A statewide newsprint advertising push began this week to reunite Illinois residents with approximately $2.8 billion in unclaimed property, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today.

Frerichs drew attention to the advertising blitz to reassure residents that the unclaimed property effort is legitimate. The treasurer’s office never charges money to search and return unclaimed property.

“This money does not belong to the State of Illinois. It belongs to Illinois residents, businesses and local governments and we want to make every effort to return it,” Frerichs said. “With the state’s current fiscal challenges, getting this money out to the community is more important than ever.” 

Since January 2015, the Illinois Treasurer’s office has paid out more than $250 million to the public.

The Illinois treasurer’s office is the custodian of unclaimed property including lost bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds, and unpaid rebate cards. Items are surrendered after private entities tried for at least five years to locate the owner. For example, if an individual forgot to pick up a final paycheck, the employer typically would attempt to contact the individual before surrendering the paycheck to the treasurer’s office. Once surrendered, the treasurer’s office continues to locate the individual through direct mail, telephone calls and events. State law also requires newspaper advertising to occur twice each year in every county. Given the evolving ways residents consume news and advertising, the treasurer’s office will incorporate digital and social media channels to inform the public.

Because thousands of items are surrendered each year, residents should check every six months. Visit www.illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH or call 217.785.6998.

The IRS is Now Using Private Debt Collectors

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Do you have a debt with the IRS that’s more than two years old? If so, you might be getting a letter from the IRS about your account being transferred to a private debt collector. This new program only applies to taxpayers who have had an IRS debt for years, and who were previously contacted about it by the IRS. Here’s how it will work – and how to spot a scam.

If your debt is put into this program, the IRS says you will get two letters. The first letter will come from the IRS and will say which private debt collection company your account has been assigned to. The companies are: CBE, ConServe, Perfomant, or Pioneer. The second letter will come from the private debt collection company assigned to your account. Both letters will include the tax amount owed, the name of the private debt collection company assigned, and a taxpayer authentication number that is unique to you.

But here’s how you can tell you’re dealing with the actual debt collector, not a scammer.

  • The private debt collectors working with the IRS will never ask you to pay them directly. Instead, they’ll tell you to pay electronically at IRS.gov/payments, or send a check, made out to the US Treasury, directly to the IRS. Anyone who says they’re collecting for the IRS and asks you to make a payment over the phone is a scammer.  Whether they’re asking you to pay by credit or debit card, electronic check, wiring money, or a prepaid or gift card – don’t do it.
  • These debt collectors will never use robocalls or pre-recorded messages. You’ll always speak with a live operator.
  • They’ll always use the authentication number that was in your letters.

Not sure you owe the IRS money? Ask the collector for a written “validation notice,” which says what you owe and to whom. You also can go to IRS.gov/balancedue to check your account balance. If your account balance says zero, you don’t owe money and should not be getting calls.

To learn more about this new process, check out the IRS’s site. And remember: all debt collectors have to follow the law.  Know your rights, and tell the FTC if you spot a problem.

Pharmacist Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Pay Healthcare Kickbacks

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Tampa, FL – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Carlos Mazariegos (40, St. Petersburg) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.


According to court documents, Mazariegos was a licensed pharmacist who co-owned Lifecare Pharmacy in Pinellas County with his business partner, Benjamin Nundy. In 2014, Mazariegos, Nundy, and Dr. Anthony Baldizzi, a licensed physician, agreed that Lifecare would pay Baldizzi illegal kickbacks for prescriptions of compounded medications written by Baldizzi and filled at Lifecare. In May 2014, Mazariegos, acting on behalf of Lifecare, entered into a marketing agreement with Centurion Compounding Inc., a marketing firm located in Pasco County that employed sales representatives to market compounded medications, specifically creams for pain and scars, to beneficiaries of health care plans, especially TRICARE. These compounded creams typically ranged in price from approximately $900 to $21,000 for a one-month supply.


Between May and November 2014, Centurion directed patients that it had recruited and the physicians within its network to send all of their compounded creams prescriptions to Centurion. Centurion then transmitted these prescriptions to Lifecare to be filled. Mazariegos, Nundy, and the principals of Centurion agreed to pay illegal kickbacks to Baldizzi equal to approximately 10% of the after-cost amount of each claim paid by TRICARE and other health care benefit programs as a result of compounded medications prescriptions written by Baldizzi and filled by Lifecare, for Centurion-recruited patients. For example, in December 2014, Mazariegos wrote a check to a car dealership for $71,900, funded with the proceeds from the operation of Lifecare, to pay for a BMW for Baldizzi in partial satisfaction of the kickbacks owed to him.


Lifecare received approximately $5.3 million from TRICARE for claims made for compounded medications prescribed by Baldizzi resulting from this illegal kickback relationship. Mazariegos and Nundy also billed Medicare $1,064,729 for compounded medications that Lifecare made with bulk powder ingredients when they knew that Medicare only reimbursed for such medications when they were made using crushed tablets.


Nundy is scheduled to plead guilty to engaging in a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud at a hearing on April 26, 2017.


A grand jury returned an indictment charging Baldizzi with conspiracy, healthcare fraud, receiving health care kickbacks, and engaging in illegal monetary transactions. The case is currently set for trial in May 2017.


This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, the Defense Investigative Service, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mandy Riedel and Megan Kistler.

Source: FBI

Illinois State Fair Adds To Its Diverse, Dynamic Grandstand Line-Up

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

New This Year: Fair to offer free admission with purchase of Ticket Package – Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster April 29th


SPRINGFIELD, IL – The hottest concert line-up of the summer is nearly complete as State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon announces four more nights of entertainment at Grandstand for the 2017 Illinois State Fair.  One final concert announcement is still pending at this time.  Meanwhile, tickets for this blockbuster lineup will go on-sale Saturday, April 29th via Ticketmaster, and at the Emmerson Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Monday, May 1st.  

The Illinois State Fair will open the eleven day showcase with a FREE concert in the Grandstand.  On Thursday, August 10, all fairgoers with paid admission to the fair will be treated to a free concert by the classic rock group Foghat.  Best known for their hit songs “Slow Ride,” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” the group has earned eight Gold records, one Platinum record and one Double-Platinum record.  The group, formed in 1971, continues to tour each year and release new music on a regular basis.

Chase Rice will be the headlining act on the Grandstand stage on Friday, August 11th.   Chase Rice is a singer/songwriter who has toured the world with the likes of Kenny Chesney and Dierks Bentley.   While he may be best known for his hit songs “Ready Set Roll,” and “Everybody We Know Does,” Chase Rice is also a talented songwriter.  Rice co-wrote the song “Cruise” which was recorded by Florida Georgia Line and was dubbed the best-selling country digital song of all time in the United States in January 2014.     Opening for Chase Rice will be Runaway June and Chris Cavanaugh.

On Saturday, August 12th, the acapella group Pentatonix will wow fairgoers with a performance on the Grandstand stage.  In just five years, Pentatonix has sold more than six million albums in the United States alone.  The Grammy award winning group has performed in front of sold out shows across the globe, collaborated with legends such a Dolly Parton, and was featured it a network television Christmas special.

Returning to the Illinois State Fair Grandstand on Sunday, August 13th is country music superstar Brad Paisley.   The singer/songwriter is a member of the Grand Ole Opry Hall of Fame and known for songs such as “Crushin’ It,” “Today,” and “Riverbank.”  Paisley received rave reviews on his 2005 Illinois State Fair performance, and he has since gone on to win numerous Grammy Awards, appear in national television commercial campaigns and hosted television award programs.  Opening for Brad Paisley will be Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant and Lindsay Ell

Monday, August 17th will once again be a FREE concert in the Grandstand. The sounds of the 60’s will once again fill the air when Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone performs on the Grandstand stage.   The self-proclaimed ‘Original British Invasion Band’ is best known for hits such as, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter,” and “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am.”  The group has seen success at the top of the charts overseas and here in the United States.  The group previously appeared in various movies and on television shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, Dean Martin Show, and Jackie Gleason Show.

On Wednesday, August 16th the legendary group Alabama will perform on the Grandstand stage.  The band broke a record that may never be duplicated by any musical genre by releasing 21 straight number one singles.  The trio has 43 number one singles to their credit, nearly 200 industry awards, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and an exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame.  The band, while still cranking out hits, has inspired many of today’s brightest stars, including Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Ed Sheeran and Jon Bon Jovi.  Fairgoers of all ages will enjoy singing along with Alabama classics such as “Song of the South,” “I’m In a Hurry (And Don’t Know Why),” and “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas (You Gotta Have a Fiddle in the Band).”   Opening for Alabama on Wednesday, August 16 will be Neal McCoy

Also scheduled to perform at the 2017 Illinois State Fair is singer/songwriter/dancer Jason Derulo.  The 27-year-old has already sold over 50 million singles worldwide and has worked alongside a variety of artists ranging from Demi Lovato to Snoop Dogg.  Jason Derulo is best known for his songs “Talk Dirty,” “Whatcha Say,” and “Want to Want Me.”   In addition, Derulo was honored in 2011 as BMI’s Songwriter of the Year.  He has penned hits for artists such as Lil Wayne, Pitbull, Sean Kingston and others.  Opening for Derulo on Thursday, August 17th will be up and coming artist from St. Louis, Chel.      

The Southern Uprising Tour rolls into Springfield on Friday, August 18th featuring four fan-favorite country performances.  Headlining the tour at the Illinois State Fair will be Montgomery Gentry. The group has become one of the most identifiable duos in country music with more than a decade of hits, concerts and accolades under their belt.  The award winning duo is known for hits such as “Something to be Proud of,” “Where I Come From,” and “Hell Yeah.”  Meanwhile, few artists have left a more lasting mark on America’s musical landscape than The Charlie Daniels Band.

As an outspoken patriot and road warrior, Charlie Daniels has transformed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.   Daniels is best known for songs such as, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “In America,” “Uneasy Rider,” “The South’s Gonna Do It,” and “Long Haired Country Boy.”  Rounding out the Southern Uprising Tour will be performances from The Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws.

Building on the successes from last year, the Illinois State Fair is bringing another heavy metal band to the Grandstand.  On Saturday, August 19th fairgoers will have the opportunity to see Five Finger Death Punch perform on the Illinois State Fair’s biggest stage.  The band recently wrapped up an Arena Tour where fans raved about the band’s over-the-top production value and crowd pleasing sets featuring songs like, “I Apologize,” and “Wrong Side of Heaven.”  The band is also a supporter of the Badge of Honor Memorial Foundation often raising funds to help survivors and departments of officers who have been killed in the line of duty.   Opening for 5FDP will be All That Remains and Nonpoint.

Closing out the 2017 Illinois State Fair on Sunday, August 20th will be Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, John Mellencamp.   The iconic classic rocker has been cranking out hits and performing in front of live audiences for the last 40-years.  While most known for songs like “Paper in Fire,” “Small Town,” and “Pink Houses,” Mellencamp was among the founding members of Farm Aid.  The annual event, co-launched by Willie Nelson and Neil Young, helps make people aware of the issues facing farmers and how those issues impact the entire nation.  Opening for John Mellencamp will be Carlene Carter.

Ticket prices for each of the shows are listed below.  Please note, ticket prices have been adjusted for the Friday, August 11th Chase Rice concert.

Thursday, August 10:  Foghat / TBA
Free Concert – General Admission

Friday, August 11:  Chase Rice / Runaway June / Chris Cavanagh
Tier 3 – $13 / Tier 2 – $18 / Tier 1 – $23 / Track – $23 / VIP – $33

Saturday, August 12: Pentatonix / TBA
Tier 3 – $32 / Tier 2 – $37 / Tier 1 – $42 / Track – $42 / VIP – $52

Sunday, August 13:  Brad Paisley / Dustin Lynch / Chase Bryant / Lindsay Ell
Tier 3 – $45 / Tier 2 – $50 / Tier 1 – $55 / Track – $55 / VIP – $65

Monday, August 14:  Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
Free Concert – General Admission

Tuesday, August 15:  TBA

Wednesday, August 16:  Alabama / Neal McCoy
Tier 3 – $38 / Tier 2 – $43 / Tier 1 – $48 / Track – $48 / VIP – $59

Thursday, August 17:  Jason Derulo / DJ / Chel
Tier 3 – $19 / Tier 2 – $24 / Tier 1 – $29 / Track – $29 / VIP – $39

Friday, August 18: Southern Uprising Tour featuring Montgomery Gentry / The Charlie Daniels Band / The Marshall Tucker Band / The Outlaws
Tier 3 – $15 / Tier 2 – $20 / Tier 1 – $25 / Track – $25 / VIP – $30

Saturday, August 19:  Five Finger Death Punch / All That Remains / Nonpoint

Tier 3- $17 / Tier 2 – $22 / Tier 1 – $27 / Track – $27 / VIP – $39

Sunday, August 20:  John Mellencamp / Carlene Carter
Tier 3 – $42 / Tier 2 – $47 / Tier 1 – $52 / Track – $52 / VIP – $62                                                  

This year, the Illinois State Fair will offer a dynamic deal that allows fairgoers to create their own Grandstand concert experience.  The Score with More ticket package allows fairgoers to customize their visit to the Illinois State Fair by selecting three or more concerts to attend plus receive free gate admission for each concert.  Fairgoers cannot duplicate concert selections when personalizing their package. The price for the Score with More package will be dependent upon each fairgoer’s concert selection.  This exclusive offer sets aside a limited number of track tickets for each concert.   Special Note:  All ticket packages must be purchased by phone or in person on the Illinois State Fairgrounds by July 31st.   This offer is not available via Ticketmaster.

Also back by popular demand, the Illinois State Fair will once again offer Stage Side Parties for each of the Grandstand concerts. An additional $30 ticket will provide fairgoers access to an exclusive pre-show party that includes a food buffet, beer and wine for purchase, entertainment, giveaways and early entry into the concert.  The Stage Side Party is only available to those who have purchased a concert ticket to attend that night’s concert – BOTH concert & party ticket will be required to enter the party tent.   These tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster once tickets go on-sale.To be the first to know about all of the 2017 Illinois State Fair announcements, you can also sign up for email updates on our website www.illinois.gov/statefair.   We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 Illinois State Fair, August 10-20th in Springfield.

11 Outstanding Black Women to be Honored at Harlem Business Gala

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

36th annual Harlem Business Alliance Fundraising Awards Gala celebrates ‘Black Women Did That’ – honoring the brains, grace & power of black women

Saluting: Sylvia Rhone, Jeanne Wardford, Vera Moore, Dyana Williams, Glynda C. Carr, Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Jodie Patterson, Dr. Aletha Maybank and La-Verna J. Fountain


Event Sponsors: Airbnb, Harlem Community Development Corporation, City National Bank and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly


May 3, 2017, 6:30-10:00pm at Mist Harlem


Harlem Business Alliance Fundraising Awards Honorees

Harlem, NY (BlackNews.com) – For the past 36 years, the Harlem Business Alliance (HBA) has honored black brilliance with their annual awards gala. This annual must attend celebration is the pinnacle fundraising event for the non profit. This year’s theme, ‘Black Women Did That’ shines the spotlight on excellence – honoring nine outstanding women, a first for the organization, which traditionally honors both women and men. Saluting the magic, brains, grace and determination of black women, the organization will acknowledge them in the following categories: business, communications, government, community service and newly added science technology engineering, art and math (STEAM). The 36th Annual Harlem Business Alliance Awards Gala is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3rd, 6:30-10:00pm at Mist Harlem (46 West 116th Street). Tickets can be purchased at: https://blackwomendidthat.splashthat.com. Sponsors for the event include: Airbnb, Harlem Community Development Corporation, City National Bank and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly.

This year’s honorees are: Sylvia Rhone (Business Person of the Year, Music Executive Icon) Jeanne Wardford (Chairman’s Award, W.K. Kellogg Foundation), Vera Moore (Entrepreneurship Award, CEO, Vera Moore Cosmetics), Dyana Williams (Percy Sutton Award, Entertainment powerhouse and CEO, Influencer Entertainment), Glynda C. Carr (Government Service Award, Advocate and Political Strategist), Kimberly Peeler-Allen (Government Service Award, Political Fundraiser and Event Planner), Jodie Patterson (Community Service Award, Entrepreneur and Activist), Dr. Aletha Maybank (STEAM Award, Deputy Commissioner for New York City Department of Health) and La-Verna J. Fountain (Woman of Action Award, VP for Strategic Communications & Construction Business Initiatives at Columbia University).

Past honorees include: Marcus Samuelsson (Chef & Restaurateur), Lisa Price (Founder, Carol’s Daughter) and Rhys Powell (President and Founder of Red Rabbit).

Growing up surrounded by strong, intelligent Black women, running thriving businesses and organizations throughout Harlem – Black Girl Magic was always the rule. Not the exception” says Regina Smith, Executive Director of HBA. This year’s theme ‘Black Women Did That’ recognizes the silent power of countless black women who fueled numerous movements from the Underground Railroad, Civil Rights, and to innovations in space, science, arts and entrepreneurship. In recognition of the success and inspiration they have brought to world, the HBA celebrates Black women for all that they do and will continue to do.

The Harlem Business Alliance has pledged its service as an advocate for the preservation and retention of Harlem’s business community for over 36 years. Programs include, but are not limited to: Harlem’s first co-working space; first adult stem program; 10,000 entrepreneurs served through programs and services; 2,000 entrepreneurs received one-on-one counseling and over 1,200 workshops. With HBA’s guidance, their client’s small businesses bloomed from concept to tangible product, street vendor to store owner and food enthusiast to food artisan. Disrupt Harlem Code Squad was launched in Fall 2015, the first hyper focused program to connect young adults with entrepreneurship options via technology. Lastly, the HBA acknowledges when you educate a woman, you educate a generation; this inspired the groundbreaking Lillian Project, a tailored entrepreneur incubator for native born African American women.

Share in the magic as we salute ‘Black Women Did That’ at the 36th Annual Harlem Business Alliance Awards Gala, scheduled for Wednesday, May 3rd, 6:30-10:00|PM at Mist Harlem (46 West 116th Street). Tickets can be purchased at: https://blackwomendidthat.splashthat.com. Tweet and follow the event live at #BlackWomenDidThat.

Event Hashtag: #BlackWomenDidThat

About the Harlem Business Alliance
The Harlem Business Alliance (HBA), was founded in 1980 by a group of prominent Harlem business leaders who recognized the void that had resulted from years of disinvestment and abandonment in Harlem and the critical need to mobilize the existing businesses and organizations to come together as a collective voice. Incorporated in 1990 as a class 402 501(c)(3) corporation, HBA has worked diligently to establish Harlem as an economically self-sustaining community. For more information, visit www.hbany.org.

Photo Caption: (left to right) Jeanne Wardford, Dyana Williams, and Jodie Patterson are just three of nine outstanding women that will be honored.



Two Men Charged With $900,000 Interstate Theft Scheme

Posted by Admin On April - 17 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NEWARK, N.J. – Two New Jersey men were arrested for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $900,000 in commercial and residential merchandise from various companies, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Roy Depack, a/k/a “Ray Depack,” a/k/a “Roy Soriano,” a/k/a “John Soriano,” 42, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Louis J. Pobutkiewicz Sr., 39, of Newark, are charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Both defendants were arrested this morning by FBI special agents and postal inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. They appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.

According to the complaint:

Beginning in mid-2014, Depack allegedly engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain merchandise – including Apple computers, iPads, digital scales, a walk-in freezer, a dishwasher, microwaves, gas ranges, refrigerators, ice makers, commercial grade food processors, coin operated commercial washers and dryers, Samsung televisions, Dewalt and Milwaukie tools kits, plasma cutters, and NFL jackets – from at least six different victim companies.

In furtherance of the scheme, Depack called the victim companies and falsely claimed to be a representative of companies that had preexisting business relationships, lines of credit, or accounts with the victim companies. Depack would then direct the victim companies to ship the products to various addresses in Newark, Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, and New York, while the victims billed the companies that Depack was pretending to represent.

At times, Pobutkiewicz would accept the shipments of the fraudulently ordered merchandise. Afterwards, Depack and others sold and attempted to the sell the fraudulently obtained merchandise to pawn stores and others.

For example, on Nov. 21, 2016, Depack called a victim company in Illinois while fraudulently using the name “Greg” and claiming to be a representative of an electric distributor that operates in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio. Depack ordered a power tool kit valued at approximately $1,241.65 and directed the company to deliver the merchandise to an address in Newark that was close to Pobutkiewicz’s residence. The next day, federal agents conducted surveillance near the delivery address in Newark and observed Depack and Pobutkiewicz meet near the delivery address. Afterwards, federal agents observed Pobutkiewicz take possession of the parcel.

Depack used over 100 different telephones numbers to call the victim companies. These phone numbers were often registered in another person’s name. In addition to using different names to place orders, Depack often attempted to use a female voice. The Victim Companies recorded many of these the calls – including the above example – and provided them to federal agents.

When the victim companies rejected his orders, Depack sometimes threatened to cancel business accounts or file lawsuits. In one instance, after a company rejected his order, Depack stated, “I’m gonna come down there with a Louisville Slugger. We’re gonna see what their gonna do now, alright. Thank you.”

In total, Depack and others caused and attempted to cause over $900,000 in financial losses to the victim companies.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. After the initial appearance, Depack was detained. Pobutkiewicz will be detained temporarily pending further proceedings.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy A. Gallagher in Newark, and postal inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, with the investigation.

The charge in the complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Moscato of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense Counsel:

Depack: Stacy Ann Biancamano Esq., Chatham, New Jersey

Pobutkiewicz: Chester Keller Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Source: FBI

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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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