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New America Media By Anthony Advincula Felipe Sousa-Rodríguez is waiting to hear news this week that ...
The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded grants totaling $5.7 million to ...
  Nationwide (BlackNews.com) - National Law Group co-founders, Carlos E. Moore, John A. Moore, Trent A. ...
Falls upcoming projects also include Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera and The Ice Man Cometh ...
WASHINGTON, DC — Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday in response ...
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  (A Message from the Better Business Bureau)    Chicago, IL - Work-at-home scams rise and fall along ...
Guidelines and application materials are now available online for the Illinois Arts Council's Ethnic & ...
CHICAGO, IL -- On Saturday, August 9, there will be a peaceful and somber candlelight ...

Archive for February 23rd, 2018

Chicago Teachers Union: Trump Proposal to Arm Teachers is Appalling

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Teachers and students should be armed with social workers, trauma support, wrap-around services and adequately resourced classrooms for youth already struggling with dire consequences of gun violence and economic hardship.

 

CHICAGO, ILThe Chicago Teachers Union issued the following statement today in response to President Trump’s proposal to arm teachers. CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey can be cited for attribution:

Since the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre, more than 200 school communities have been traumatized by gun violence, most recently in Parkland, Florida. President Trump has proposed addressing this wave of tragedy by arming teachers. We could not more strongly disagree – unless President Trump intends to arm teachers and students with social workers, school counselors, trauma services, wrap-around supports and adequately funded classrooms. He should arm Chicago’s public school teachers and students with school libraries with librarians, robust athletic programs, enrichment programs in art, music and culture – all of the components of a full and rich educational experience that are currently denied to the bulk of our students.

Putting a gun in a teacher’s hand will neither address nor ameliorate gun violence. Many of our schools are already militarized, with metal detectors and armed guards, including off-duty Chicago police officers, empowered to arrest students on the spot. Yet the daily lives of our students, teachers and support staff are routinely punctured by the sounds of sirens and gunshots. As teachers, we contend almost daily with the devastating news that another student’s father, aunt, sibling – or that very student – has been cut down by gun violence. In a five month span last year, seven Henderson elementary school students were shot or wounded by gun violence. And Henderson’s experience is not unique. In 2012, 29 current or recent Harper High School students were shot. Eight died. Today, Harper is slated for closure, after more than $7 million – 74% – in cuts since that bloody year. That kind of disinvestment – like Trump’s proposal to ask the teachers of seven-year-olds to pack pistols — moves us in the wrong direction.

Trump’s proposal will only intensify rather than de-escalate gun violence, just as Mayor Emanuel’s school closures will not solve – and may instead exacerbate – gun violence in Englewood and in our city. In urban cities like Chicago, where income inequality is growing, we need to end the economic violence that drives street violence. Unfortunately, we lack the leadership at the local, state and national level to take proven steps to unpack the root causes of violence, ease the trauma of survivors, and reduce the likelihood of further tragedies. Trump’s appalling ‘proposal’ demonstrates that he is not only out of touch, but that he – like so many corporate politicians – cares more about protecting the interests of his donors than our children.

We understand the anguish of Parkland’ students, and we support our students’ right to make common cause with the Stoneman Douglas high school community – and with every community marred by violence. Our youth intimately grasp the gravity of the danger they face – and they deserve the right to take a public stand to demand safety, security and support.

Families Could Act on Gun Violence Warning Signs Under Raoul Measure

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

 SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) helped advance a measure Wednesday that puts in place a system for families to report individuals who pose a risk of using a gun to commit a violent crime.

Raoul, the legislation’s chief co-sponsor, argued during the Senate Executive Committee against a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association who now represents a group of gun dealers.

“In order to stem the unacceptable tide of gun violence in our country, we have to attack the problem from every angle,” Raoul said. “Again and again, we hear that there were warning signs before a mass shooting. If we can do even one thing to prevent these tragedies, we absolutely must.”

The Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act allows a family member or a law enforcement officer to alert the courts that they believe an individual poses a significant risk of self-injury or danger to the public and has access to a firearm.

If the court agrees, a judge can require that person to temporarily turn over any firearms in his or her possession.

Raoul will introduce a companion bill that would allow schools, churches and places of business to grant similar orders of protection against individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others.

Senate Bill 559 passed the Senate Executive Committee and will move to the Senate for further debate.

Attorney General Madigan Files Lawsuit to Stop Illegal Rollback of New Neutrality

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
 

Madigan & 22 Attorneys General Fight to Protect Rule Set to End April 23

 

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 22 other attorneys general filed a multistate lawsuit to block the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) illegal rollback of net neutrality rules after the FCC officially published its so-called Restoring Internet Freedom Order, effectively killing net neutrality on April 23.

 

The attorneys general re-filed their petition today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against the FCC and the federal government after the FCC moved to dismiss a protective petition previously filed by the states on Jan. 16.

 

“I will continue to fight to protect net neutrality from the FCC’s ill-advised attempt to put corporations ahead of the American public’s right to access free information,” Madigan said. “We won’t allow this administration to control what Americans view and access online.”

 

The repeal of net neutrality would have dire consequences for consumers and businesses in Illinois and across the country that rely on a free and open internet – allowing internet service providers to block and slow the quality of certain content and charge consumers to access certain sites.

 

In December 2017, Madigan and a coalition of attorneys general urged the FCC to delay its vote in light of widespread reports that millions of comments regarding net neutrality were submitted under fraudulent or stolen identities. Madigan and the coalition stressed the importance of public participation and encouraged the FCC to cooperate with investigations by law enforcement agencies. Madigan also called on the FBI to investigate the sources of the fraudulent comments.

 

Previously, in July 2017, Madigan led a coalition of 14 attorneys general in submitting comments to the FCC opposing the proposed rollback of the critical net neutrality protections. Madigan argued that the FCC must ensure open access to the internet and the continued equal access to all content providers, which can only be upheld through the principles of an open internet.

 

Joining Madigan in filing the lawsuit are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

 

A copy of the filing can be found here.

 

 

South Florida Doctor Sentenced in Medicare Fraud Scheme

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Dr. Salomon Melgen was sentenced to 17 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release by the U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra in West Palm Beach, Florida.  This sentencing is the culmination of a multi-year investigation, which was followed by an eight week jury trial in April 2017 that resulted in Melgen’s conviction on 67 counts of health care fraud and related charges.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Miami Field Office; Shimon R. Richmond, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG); Patrick Fletcher, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Inspector General (RRB-OIG); and John F. Khin, Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), made the announcement.

            Melgen, an ophthalmologist who specialized in the treatment of retinal disorders and who had practiced in Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties for many years until his arrest in 2015, engaged in a scheme to defraud the Medicare program and other health care benefit programs, by, among other things, falsely diagnosing Medicare patients with macular degeneration and then performing and billing for excessive and medically unnecessary tests and procedures, which included injections of expensive drugs and laser treatments.  These tests and procedures resulted in Melgen’s receiving tens of millions of dollars in reimbursement from the Medicare program alone during the six-year period of January 2008 through December 2013.

In sentencing Melgen, Judge Marra found that the intended fraud loss was over $70 million and the actual fraud loss to Medicare was $42 million.  In addition to the term of incarceration, the defendant was ordered to make full restitution to Medicare.   Losses to other insurance companies and to individual patients will be determined at a future hearing.

“In perpetrating his multi-million fraud scheme on health care benefit programs like Medicare, Dr. Melgen showed complete disregard for what was best for his patients and abused their trust for his own personal financial gain,” stated U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg.  “Dr. Melgen has been held responsible for his egregious fraud scheme.  Today’s sentence should serve as a reminder that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners remain committed to bringing those who illegally divert the community’s tax dollars to justice, regardless of their professional position.”

“The reprehensible conduct of Salomon Melgen is a disgrace to the medical profession,” said Robert F. Lasky, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami.  “Not satisfied with being a successful ophthalmologist committed to treating his patients’ legitimate medical conditions, Melgen devised a scheme to enrich himself by defrauding Medicare and other benefit programs to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.  The FBI will not relent in its pursuit of Medicare fraudsters – including greedy doctors.”

“Salomon Melgen callously took advantage of patients who came to him fearing blindness,” said Shimon Richmond, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. DHHS Office of Inspector General’s Miami Region.  “Instead of treatment, they received medically unreasonable and unnecessary tests and procedures that victimized his patients and the American taxpayer.  Today’s sentencing is a stark reminder that the OIG and our partners will not tolerate Medicare fraud and will not rest in our efforts to protect patients in their time of need.”

“The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, Office of Inspector General is committed to fighting Medicare fraud, waste and abuse and is proud to be part of this collaborative effort with the FBI, HHS-OIG, DCIS-OIG and OPM-OIG,” said Inspector General Martin J. Dickman. “The sentencing of Dr. Melgen sends a loud and clear message that combating Medicare fraud is a top Federal law enforcement priority and unscrupulous Medicare providers will not be tolerated.”

“This sentencing demonstrates the effectiveness of our joint investigations to pursue corrupt health care providers who defraud Federal health care programs,” stated Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office.  “DCIS is committed to preserving the integrity of DoD’s TRICARE program which serves America’s Warfighters and their families.”

Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, HHS-OIG, RRB-OIG and DCIS.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Roger H. Stefin, Carolyn Bell and Alexandra Chase.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Karen Boykin-Towns Elected Vice Chair of NAACP National Board

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
boykintowns2018BALTIMORE — The NAACP elected Karen Boykin-Towns as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors at its annual board meeting on February 17 in New York. She replaces former board Vice-Chair Derrick Johnson, who was named NAACP President and CEO last October.“Karen Boykin-Towns is an amazing talent that the NAACP is honored to have as its Board Vice-Chair,” said Leon W. Russell, NAACP Board Chairman. “She brings a level of accomplishment in the public and private sector, breaking glass ceilings and serving as a model for women of color everywhere,” added Russell.An NAACP life member, Mrs. Boykin-Towns was the Chair of the Board’s National Health Committee and President Emeritus of the Brooklyn, NY Branch.Currently Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Pfizer Innovative Health, her career spans 20 years and she served as the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer. In that role, she was instrumental in implementing a global strategy that resulted in Pfizer being recognized as a leader in including diversity and inclusion as a competitive advantage in its operations in over 100 countries. In 2016, she was named by Savoy Magazine as one of the “Top Influential Women in Corporate America.”

Prior to joining Pfizer, Mrs. Boykin-Towns’ served as Deputy Director of the New York State Senate Democratic Conference. She also served as Legislative Director and later Chief of Staff for Senator David Paterson—Paterson went on to become the 55th Governor of the State of New York.

Mrs. Boykin-Towns holds a MBA degree from Baruch College/Zicklin School of Business of the City University of New York (CUNY) as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Mount Saint Vincent where she graduated with honors.

Mrs. Boykin-Towns is married to Darryl C. Towns and they reside in Brooklyn, NY with their two daughters Jasmine and Trinity.

Read more about Mrs. Boykin-Towns here.

Black Women’s Empowerment Network Launching in Houston

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


Dimples & Diamonds Black Women's Empowerment Network

Savannah, GA (BlackNews.com) — Dimples & Diamonds will be hosting “The Queen’s Table: Houston Edition” on March 10, 2018 to launch its newest chapter. “We are definitely excited to finally spread the sparkle of sisterhood, unity, faith and love in the Bayou City!,” says founder, Katamara Summerville.

Wanting to fill a personal void of not having an outlet of positive women to surround herself with, Katamara Summerville decided to host a small meet up in February of 2016 to bring together like-minded women in her hometown. A little over a dozen women answered the call and traveled from both far and near to attend. Off the success of that event, came the inspiration to host a pajama party. “The Ultimate Sleepover” was a girl’s night of fun where the invited women participated in activities to release and let their hair down. The pictures from this event circulated on social media and the rest is history.

What started out as a “Waiting to Exhale” moment at an Airbnb in Savannah Georgia, has become one of the fastest growing women’s empowerment networks in the US. Dimples and Diamonds is now a global empowerment network of women who stand bold in faith while in pursuit of purpose. With chapters in Savannah GA, Atlanta GA, Jacksonville FL, Charlotte NC, Baltimore MD and the newest chapter launching in Houston TX, Dimples & Diamonds hosts curated brunches, workshops, and retreats to help women overcome obstacles in motivate them on their journey into purpose.

They don’t just host events but experiences where women can network with other positive and ambitious women from diverse backgrounds. At these events, they have created a safe space for women to grow while sharing their goals and challenges. Attendees leave refreshed, renewed, recharged, and equipped with the tools necessary to reach their full potential.

With successful and sold out stops across the East Coast, Dimples & Diamonds is headed out west to host “The Queen’s Table: Houston” which will be held on March 10, 2018 at 5:00pm in the opulent 51fifteen Cuisine and Cocktails located inside the Saks Fifth Avenue Galleria. As one of D&D’s signature events, “The Queen’ Table” (previously hosted in both Savannah and Charlotte) is an evening of royalty where the women in attendance release hindrances and are crowned for purpose.

For more information, check out the organization via our website at www.dimplesndiamonds.org as well as their social media fan page at www.facebook.com/dimplesndiamonds/.

For more information about this topic, please contact Katamara Summerville at 912-320-8864 or email at dimplesndiamonds@gmail.com.

Phishers send fake invoices

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

By Ari Lazarus

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

 

We’ve recently heard that scammers are recycling an old phishing attempt. In this version, scammers, posing as a well-known tech company, email a phony invoice showing that you’ve recently bought music or apps from them. The email tells you to click on a link if you did not authorize the purchase. Stop – do not click on the link. That’s the new twist on an old scam.

More precisely, you just experienced a phishing attempt – that is, when a scammer uses fraudulent emails or texts, or copycat websites to get you to share valuable personal information. The scammers then use that information to commit fraud or identity theft.

Scammers also use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network – then they install programs like ransomware that can lock you out of important files on your computer.

Here are some tips to help keep your information secure:

  • Be suspicious if a business, government agency, or organization asks you to click on a link that then asks for your username or password or other personal data. Instead, type in the web address for the organization or call them. The link in the email may look right, but if you click it you may go to a copycat website run by a scammer.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments. A scammer could even pretend to be a friend or family member, sending messages with malware from a spoofed account.
  • Set your security software to update automatically, and back up your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Back up your files regularly and use security software you trust to protect your data.

 

Lastly, report phishing emails and texts by forwarding them to spam@uce.gov and filing a report with the FTC.

Stopping Scams Targeting Older Consumers

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The FTC has a long history of protecting people from scams.  As part of its ongoing efforts to protect people in every community, the FTC recently took steps to stop two schemes harming older adults: a tech support scam and a sweepstakes scam.

This latest tech support scam, which appears to impact older adults, has a lot in common with other scams we’ve seen. Some scammers pretend to be calling from the technical support department of a well-known company. Others send pop-up messages warning you about a problem with your computer. They want you to believe your computer is infected with a virus, or that a hacker is trying to access your computer. It’s all a ploy to get you to pay for bogus technical support you don’t need. Find out how you can help someone you know recognize and avoid a tech support scam.

The other operation appears to target older adults with a sweepstakes scam. The companies behind the scam send mailers that make people think they’ve won a $1 million prize (or more!), and that the recipient only needs to pay a small fee to claim it. Find out how you can help someone you know avoid a prize or sweepstakes scam.

If you think you see a scam, talk with someone. Your story could help someone avoid that scam. Then report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint. Your story could help the FTC stop the scammers.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson to Join Black Leaders at Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Celebration

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Rep. Welch Honored With 2018 Friend of Education Award From IEA

Posted by Admin On February - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – To honor his work in supporting the education of the youth of the State of Illinois, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, has been selected to be the recipient of the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Illinois Education Association-National Education Association.

“Since my extensive time working as the Proviso Township School Board President, I have been a tireless advocate for doing the right things and taking proper steps to bringing top tier public education to children everywhere, regardless of their ZIP code or how much money their parents bring in,” said Welch. “It is truly an honor that an amazing, widespread organization like the IEA-NEA chose me as their Friend of Education award recipient.”

The Illinois Education Association is an association of more than 135,000 members composed of Illinois elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty and staff, educational support professionals and others focused on effecting excellence and equity in public education and education policy. Welch has been a strong advocate for school equity, teacher and parental rights and efficient use of appropriated funds to school districts. In 2017, he was a sponsor of a critical measure that appropriates more funds to school districts throughout the state, especially to those who need support the most.

“As a father of two blossoming children, I understand that the steps we take to invest in education today will have a long reaching effect on our society for generations to come,” said Welch. “We’ve taken some strong strides for education and educators in this state, but there is still more to be done. I will continue to be a person that stands with everyday families and makes decisions based on the impacts that those decisions will have on our children’s futures.”

Rep. Welch will be presented with the distinguished award at the annual IEA convention on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Welch represents the 7th House District, which includes portions of River Forest, Forest Park, Maywood, Broadview, Bellwood, Berkeley, Hillside and Westchester. For more information, please contact Rep. Welch’s office at 708-450-1000.

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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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