April , 2018

Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike Opens at Goodman Theatre Steve Scott directs ...
High School, Community College, University/College, Pre-med and Post-Baccalaureate Students Invited to Attend at NO COST ...
CARBONDALE, IL —  Heading into the Fourth of July weekend, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila ...
Abraham Lincoln acquaintances listed in census Illinois Secretary of State and State Archivist Jesse White announced ...
(From the Better Business Bureau)      CHICAGO, IL - Many students are off for summer break and ...
Congress Still Must Act In Response To National Outcry NEW YORK - National Urban League President ...
Letter to Secretary McDonald Follows VA Inspector General Report Confirming Delays in Care for Veterans ...
Were you an alumni of DuSable High School between 1956-1960? The DuSable Class of 1960 ...
The parent company of Yellow Cab company filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, March 18, 2015) hours ...
CHICAGO, IL – As we head into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Illinois ...

Archive for the ‘News and Blogs’ Category

Only African Americans Arrested Under Mississippi Gang Law: Race & Justice News

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

From the Sentencing Project


Gang Enforcement

Only African Americans Arrested Under Mississippi Gang Law


From 2010 through 2017, everyone arrested under Mississippi’s gang law was black, reports the Jackson Free Press. According to the Mississippi Association of Gang Investigators, 53% of verified gang members in the state are white. However, the Administrative Office of the Courts confirmed that all 97 individuals arrested under the gang law between 2010 and 2017 were black. State Public Defender Andre de Gruy suggested that the state would benefit from a racial impact analysis of the existing law: “[A] provision could be crafted to review the racial impact annually.” A recent bill to increase penalties for gang-related crimes and gang recruitment, Senate Bill 2868, failed to win approval in a Mississippi Senate Committee in part due to concerns about its disparate racial impact. State Senator Brice Wiggins, the bill’s sponsor, dismissed concerns about racial disparities, saying: “It’s not a Republican, Democrat, black or white (issue).”


Columbus, Georgia Prosecutors Excluded Black Jurors from 1970s Death Penalty Cases

Columbus, Georgia prosecutors routinely excluded African Americans from juries in death penalty cases involving black defendants in the 1970s, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Describing them as “slow,” “ignorant,” “con artist” and “fat,” these prosecutors marked a “B” or an “N” next to prospective black jurors’ names on the jury lists. Whites were identified with a “W” and ranked as more desirable jurors. These practices were revealed in a motion filed on behalf of Johnny Lee Gates, who is now serving life without the possibility of parole for a 1976 rape and murder. Gates’ legal team is arguing for a new trial because these discriminatory practices prevented all four African Americans in the jury pool from being selected in his case, just as they excluded most black jurors in the six other death penalty cases involving black defendants in the 1970s.

(Prosecutors’ notes from Gates’ 1977 trial show that all four black prospective jurors, marked with an “N” in the notes, were struck. Each name also has a “1” to the left of it, indicating that prosecutors scored them as the least desirable. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

“Every person accused of a criminal offense has the right to a fair trial that’s free of race discrimination…Mr. Gates’s trial was undermined by race discrimination from the start” said Gates’ lawyer, Patrick Mulvaney. The Muscogee County District Attorney’s Office has argued that Gates’ claim should be rejected because he is relying on just seven capital cases and is not showing systematic exclusion of blacks “in case after case, whatever the circumstances, whatever the crime and whoever the defendant or victim may be.”

Black Defendants Disproportionately Convicted by Louisiana’s Non-Unanimous Juries

On average, Louisiana sends one person to prison every five days on the decision of a divided jury—a practice that disproportionately impacts African Americans. The Advocate’s analysis of nearly 41,000 prospective jurors in nine of the state’s busiest courthouses found that jury pools were whiter than their communities, with juries picked from them being whiter still. What’s more, the 10-2 rule for jury decisions—requiring only 10 jurors to reach an agreement for a conviction—systematically disadvantages black defendants. Among 933 felony trial convictions across six years, 43% of convictions came over the objections of one or two jurors when the defendant was black compared to 33% of convictions for white defendants. African Americans accounted for three-fourths of the convictions examined. “In a justice system dominated by plea deals,” reporter Jeff Adelson and colleagues explain, “thousands more Louisiana defendants take deals minimizing their prison time rather than risk the often massive consequences of a guilty verdict.”

The Louisiana Senate recently passed a bill that would place a constitutional amendment on the fall ballot for voters to determine whether to maintain the practice of non-unanimous juries. The only other state to allow split verdicts in felony cases, Oregon, demands unanimity for murder cases.


Jails in Indian Reservations Provide Inadequate Healthcare

Many federally funded jails in American Indian reservations lack in-house nurses or other medical staff, leaving corrections officers scrambling in emergencies “to determine whether to send an inmate to the hospital, or provide basic care themselves—sometimes with unfortunate consequences,” reports Mary Hudetz of The Associated Press. For instance, authorities at a jail in Tuba City, AZ (in the Navajo Nation) booked an individual with tuberculosis without a proper medical screening, which triggered an outbreak at the facility. When the jail was constructed, Lynette Bonar, the chief executive of a nearby hospital, recounts being told that “there were no federal dollars available for caring for them in house.”

For over a decade, the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General has urged the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to arrange for the Indian Health Service (a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services) to post nurses inside the jails. The BIA, which manages about a quarter of all jails on reservations, and the tribes that have federal contracts to operate the rest all rely on Indian Health Services or tribal health clinics to provide medical care. Currently, “People aren’t really getting health care, and they’re not being screened for communicable diseases,” explained Bonar.

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Scammers target Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

By Drew Johnson
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Consumers are reporting a new imposter scam — this time the callers are pretending to be with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). According to reports, the callers are telling people they may be entitled to money, and they are asking people for their personal information to determine if they are eligible. It’s a scam.

Currently, the callers are using spoofed phone numbers with New York area codes. They are asking for information ranging from Social Security numbers, mailing addresses, and bank account numbers, to medical histories and proof of whether a person worked in the 9/11 exposure zone.

If you get a random call with questions about your claim with the Victim Compensation Fund or your potential for eligibility, hang up immediately. The VCF may call you, but it will never ask for your full Social Security number. If you are uncertain whether a caller is from the VCF, hang up and call the VCF directly at 1-855-885-1555.

If you encounter a similar call, hang up and report it to the FTC. And spread the word to your friends, family, and community. It may help someone avoid a scam.

Illinois Is 2018’s 9th Most Gambling-Addicted State – WalletHub Study

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS
From:  Diana Popa

With Americans losing over $100 billion through gambling each year and the Kentucky Derby soon to kick off, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Most Gambling-Addicted States along with its Kentucky Derby Facts & History infographic.

In order to call out the states where gambling addiction is most prevalent, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 19 key metrics. The data set ranges from presence of illegal gambling operations to lottery sales per capita to share of adults with gambling disorders.

Gambling Addiction in Illinois (1=Most Addicted, 25=Avg.):
  • 25th – Gaming Machines per Capita
  • 21st – Lottery Sales per Capita
  • 9th – % of Adults with Gambling Disorders
  • 1st – Gambling-Related Arrests per Capita
  • 5th – Legality of Sports Gambling

For the full report, please visit:

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a phone, Skype or in-studio interview with one of our experts. Full data sets for specific states from the Most Gambling-Addicted States report are also available upon request.

Diana Popa
WalletHub Communications Manager
(202) 684-6386

More from WalletHub


Processing of Second Installment Property Tax Bills

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Some questions have arisen in recent days regarding position reductions in the Board of Review and the ability of the Board of Review to complete its tasks so that second installment property tax bills can be distributed on time. Please find below information and context. As needed, attribute to me as chief spokesperson for the Office of the President.


Cook County has been able to produce property tax bills in a timely basis for the past six years. It is the obligation of all the property tax agencies — the Assessor, Clerk, Treasurer and Board of Review — to ensure that this continues. Recent reports that the Board of Review may not be able to meet this obligation are troubling. A Board of Review spokesperson is quoted as stating the agency’s staffing was cut by 20% in FY 18 and that as a result, the Board of Review may not be able to meet its deadlines. The actual reduction in positions was 14.6% and was a direct result of the revenue lost from repeal of the Sweetened Beverage Tax. Further, most of the position reductions swept from the Board of Review were vacancies. Those positions swept amounted to 11 out of more than 1,000 vacancies that were swept county-wide due to the revenue loss; layoffs at the Board of Review amounted to eight out of 328 layoffs county-wide.


We made it very clear to separately elected officials that the loss of about $200 million in revenue, without a replacement, would result in staffing reductions throughout Cook County. That these staffing reductions took place should not have been a surprise. Almost six months have passed since the beverage tax was repealed, plenty of time to make any needed adjustments to meet deadlines for timely release of the tax bills. We trust that all the property tax agencies will continue their good faith work to meet deadlines and ensure tax bills get out on time. 


-Frank Shuftan

Director of Communications

Office of the President

(312) 603-3323—desk

(312) 343-6480—mobile



Attorney General Madigan Files Lawsuit Against Suburban Express

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


Attorney General Alleges Transportation Company Engaged in Discrimination, Harassmentand Invaded Privacy of Student Customers  


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against a transportation company for discrimination and harassment against customers and their families.


Madigan filed the lawsuit in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois against Champaign, Ill.-based Suburban Express Inc. and owner Dennis Toeppen, alleging that Toeppen and Suburban Express discriminated against customers on the basis of race, national origin and religion, harassed customers with public shame and ridicule, and intentionally compromised customers’ personal information. Suburban Express is a company that provides bus services to students at colleges and universities in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana to the suburban Chicago area and Chicago airports.


According to Madigan’s complaint, Toeppen engaged in discrimination against customers, including a December 2017 mass-marketing email to customers that touted bus rides with, “Passengers like you. You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.”


Madigan’s lawsuit also alleges Suburban Express encourages its employees to avoid certain students who appear not to speak English when distributing coupons for bus services. The lawsuit also alleges Toeppen posted a video mocking students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, complaining that English is not the primary language spoken in one of the undergraduate residence halls offensively imitating an Asian accent.


“Suburban Express and Dennis Toeppen have engaged in illegal discrimination and harassment against college students and their families,” Madigan said. “I am asking the court to take immediate action to prevent further harm to people who have been targeted by Suburban Express and its owner, and my lawsuit seeks to shut this company down for good.”


According to Madigan’s complaint, Toeppen goes to extreme lengths to ban and publicly shame or embarrass customers who have posted negative online reviews, mistakenly tried to use the wrong bus ticket or offended Toeppen in other ways. He responds to negative online reviews by ridiculing and insulting customers, sometimes encouraging potential employers to avoid hiring them or universities not to enroll certain students. Toeppen also publishes web pages attacking individual customers and has published full credit card numbers, bank account numbers and other personal information.


Along with her lawsuit, Madigan also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order asking the court to take immediate action to force the owner of Suburban Express to stop publishing customers’ personal financial information, stop harassment toward customers, and stop forcing them to accept unfair contract terms. Her lawsuit seeks to put Suburban Express out of business.


The case is being handled by the Attorney General’s Special Litigation Bureau and Civil Rights Bureau. The Civil Rights Bureau enforces state and federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination in Illinois and advocates for legislation to strengthen those laws. Madigan encourages people who want to file a complaint to do so online or by calling her Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692.


Bureau Chief Jeanne Witherspoon and Assistant Attorneys General Thomas Verticchio, Elizabeth Hady and Matthew Chimienti are handling the lawsuit for Madigan’s Special Litigation Bureau. Assistant Attorneys General Jeffrey VanDam and Alison Hill are handling the lawsuit for Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau.


Former North Carolina Police Sergeant Charged with Using Excessive Force Against an Arrestee

Posted by Admin On April - 24 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

The Department of Justice today announced that Robert George, a former sergeant with the Hickory Police Department (HPD), has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of using excessive force against a female arrestee, and for obstructing justice.

The indictment alleges that on Nov. 11, 2013, George assaulted a female victim, identified in the indictment by the initials C.D., by slamming her face-first to the ground, causing her to suffer bodily injury. The following day, George allegedly wrote a false police report to cover up the offense.

George, 45, of Hickory, North Carolina, was arraigned on these charges in federal court.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Department of Justice Assistant United States Attorney Kimlani Ford and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel.

Source: FBI

Urban League Leaders: Starbucks and Philadelphia Police Must Address Bias, Profiling

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

Marc H. Morial, National Urban League President and CEO and Andrea Custis, Urban League of Philadelphia President and CEO, today issued the following statement regarding Thursday’s incident at Starbuck’s:

“We are encouraged by the ongoing public dialogue surrounding the incident of apparent racial profiling by a Starbucks employee and the police officers who responded. We commend CEO Kevin Johnson for meeting with the men involved, and Mayor Jim Kenney for his quick and thoughtful response.

“We implore Mr. Johnson and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross not to squander this opportunity to foster greater understanding and cooperation among communities.  The patrons of Starbucks who recorded this incident, and who stridently protested as it was happening clearly understood immediately the racial implications that the store employees and responding officers appeared not to understand. This failure of policy and training needs to be addressed at once.

“We stand ready to assist Starbucks and the Philadelphia Police as they look for ways to identify and address implicit bias, racial profiling and incident de-escalation.”


Federal Court Ruling Affirms Chicago’s Welcoming City Policies, Strikes Another Blow to Administration’s Anti-Immigrant Agemda

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the Department of Justice cannot legally withhold law enforcement funding from cities that have refused to enlist their local police in federal immigration enforcement. The court upheld a federal district court’s nationwide injunction in the case.

“We are glad to see the appellate court reaffirm that local communities get to decide the best strategies for promoting public safety without being coerced into fulfilling this administration’s immoral immigration agenda,” said NIJC Associate Director of Litigation Mark Fleming, who along with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. “Our communities are safer when everyone feels they can go to the police for help, rather than fear that any interaction with the police will result in deportation and family separation.”

The City of Chicago sued the U.S. Department of Justice in August 2017 after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he would cut federal Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program funding to “sanctuary” cities that refuse to honor immigration detainers, warrantless requests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to local law enforcement agencies to hold individuals for 48 hours beyond when they normally would be released from local custody. At issue was Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, which limits the city’s police from detaining and transferring individuals over to ICE for civil immigration violations.

The unanimous decision, by a three-judge panel comprised of all Republican appointees, emphasizes that the core issue at hand, and one of utmost importance, is separation of powers. The court states, “If the Executive Branch can determine policy, and then use the power of the purse to mandate compliance with that policy by the state and local governments, all without the authorization or even acquiescence of elected legislators, that check against tyranny is forsaken.”

This decision follows similar victories in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Link to this statement online at: http://immigrantjustice.org/press-releases/federal-court-ruling-affirms-chicagos-wecloming-city-policies-strikes-another-blow

The National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers through a unique combination of direct services, policy reform, impact litigation and public education. Visit immigrantjustice.org and follow @NIJC.

Grantseekers: Chicago Teachers Union Foundation is Accepting LOIs for 2019 Funding Cycle

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS


Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline:

April 30, 2018, 5:00 PM (CT)

Letter of Intent (LOI) Request Guidelines


Grant seekers applying for grant support from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation’s 2019 (July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019) funding cycle are required to submit an LOI (letter of intent) to the attention of grantmaking@ctuf.org with LOI in the subject line. If the proposed project aligns with one or more of CTUF’s four *thematic funding priorities, the applicant may be invited to submit a full proposal. The program officer determines whether or not the proposed project meets the following established LOI guidelines.

The letter of Intent should address the following.

Briefly, provide a summary of proposed services. Please include:

1.   Project name,

2.   Goals and anticipated outcomes of the project,

3.   Specify alignment with one or more of CTUF’s thematic areas,

4.   Scope of proposed project services,

5.   Project timeframe,

6.   Population and/or community to be served by the proposed project, and

7.   Funding request amount.

*CTUF’s thematic areas are public education, societal values, professional development for teachers (by invitation only), and restorative practices.

Nursing Home Violations for First Quarter 2018

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2018 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the 2018 First Quarterly Report of Nursing Home Violators is now posted on IDPH’s website.  The report contains additional information about the violations.

The facilities listed below were cited with type “AA” or “A” violations of the Nursing Home Care Act processed during the first quarter of 2018.  An “AA” violation is cited when there is a condition or occurrence at the facility that proximately caused a resident’s death.  An “A” violation pertains to a condition in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious mental or physical harm will result, or has resulted.

The following facilities were cited for “A” violations.
• DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing, a 190-bed skilled care facility in DeKalb was fined $25,000.
• Glenlake Terrace Nursing and Rehab, a 271-bed skilled and intermediate care facility in Waukegan was fined $25,000.
• Glenshire Nursing and Rehab Center, a 294-bed skilled care facility in Richton Park was fined $25,000.
• Grasmere Place, a 216-bed intermediate care facility in Chicago was fine $12,500.
• Manor Court of Peoria, a 50-bed skilled care facility in Peoria was fined $25,000.
• Pleasant View Luther Home, a 90-bed skilled care facility in Ottawa was fined $25,000.
• Ridgeview Rehab and Nursing, 136-bed skilled and intermediate care facility in Chicago was fined $25,000.
• Rochelle Gardens Care Center, a 74-bed skilled and intermedia care facility in Rochelle was fined $25,000.
• Warren Barr Lincoln Park, a 109-bed skilled care facility in Chicago was fined $25,000.
• Helia Healthcare Champaign, a 118-bed skilled care facility in Champaign was cited with an “AA” violation and fined $50,000.

The following facilities were cited for “A” violations.
• Aperion Care Oak Lawn, 134-bed skilled care facility in Oak Lawn was fined $25,000.
• Avantara Long Grove, a 195-bed skilled care facility in Long Grove was fine $25,000.
• Big Meadows, an 83-bed intermediate care facility in Savannah was fined $25,000.
• Cedar Ridge Health and Rehab Center, a 116-bed skilled care facility in Lebanon was fined $25,000.
• Dixon Rehab, a 97-bed skilled care facility in Dixon was fined $25,000.
• Lexington of LaGrange, a 120-bed skilled care facility in LaGrange was fined $25,000.
• Norridge Gardens, a 292-bed skilled care facility in Norridge was fined $25,000.
• Parents and Friends, a 100-bed intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled in Swansea was fined $12,500.
• Rosewood Care Center Alton, a 180-bed skilled care facility in Alton was fined $25,000.
• Rosewood Care Center Rockford, a 120-bed skilled care facility in Rockford was fined $25,000.
• South Elgin Rehab & HCC, a 90-bed skilled and intermediate care facility in South Elgin was fined $25,000.
• United Methodist Village, a 143-bed skilled care facility in Lawrenceville was fined $25,000.
• Villa Health Care East, a 109-bed skilled care facility in Sherman was fined $25,000.
The following facilities were cited for “A” violations.
• Integrity Healthcare of Wood River, a 106-bed skilled care facility in Wood River was fined $25,000.
• Niles Nursing Rehab, a 304-bed skilled care facility in Niles was fined $25,000.
• Providence Downers Grove, a 241-bed skilled and shelter care facility in Downers Grove was fine $25,000.

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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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