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November , 2018
Thursday

Threats of retaliation and reports of harassment for absentee ballots causes community outrage CHICAGO, ...
The Martha's Vineyard HFAS Arts Festival will take place over four days from Thursday, August ...
  AG Madigan & Sen. Daniel Biss Applaud Passage of Senate Bill 1351 to Better Illinois ...
By Emma Fletcher Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC What would you give for a turnkey ...
This week, President Obama discussed Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which began November ...
CHICAGO, IL - United States Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today released the following statement regarding Senator ...
BALTIMORE — The NAACP, the nation’s foremost civil rights organization, along with other prominent African-American ...
     Legislation requires President to certify that classified data or technology provided to Russia would not ...
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will ring in the New Year with the ...
New America Media By Anna Challet When Amber Cavarlez was in high school ...

Archive for the ‘Other News’ Category

Illinois Tollway Employment Officer Honored by Chicago Defender 2014 “Women of Excellence Awards” Program

Posted by Admin On April - 1 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Officer (EEO/AA) Lisa G. Williams has been named an honoree of the 8th Annual Chicago Defender “Women of Excellence Awards” program for her dedication and exceptional contributions to her profession, as well as for her community and charitable involvement.

The awards program, established by the Chicago Defender newspaper and sponsored by State Farm, will honor Williams by recognizing her as one of 50 exemplary African-American women from various professional, civic and community organizations at a ceremony to be held on April 17 at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago.

“On behalf of the Illinois Tollway, I congratulate Lisa for this well-deserved recognition,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “I’m very happy that Lisa’s achievements here, as well as her charitable efforts, are being recognized with such a prestigious award.”

Founded in 1905, the Chicago Defender is a weekly publication whose core mission is to empower the African-American community in the Chicago metropolitan area. According to the publication’s website, the “Women of Excellence Awards” were created in 2007 as a way to celebrate “local African-American women who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements and participation in community service.”

Williams was recognized for ensuring fair employment practices, increasing diversity and for her efforts in mentoring minorities and the disadvantaged through her many duties at the Tollway. In addition to being the agency’s EEO/AA Officer, she serves as the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator and Ethics Officer. After six and half years working in Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau, Williams joined the Illinois Tollway in 2010 with the assignment by Executive Director Kristi Lafleur to improve the diversity of the agency’s workforce.

“This is a great honor for me, but none of the Illinois Tollway’s accomplishments would have been possible without the strong support of all of our employees, our senior leadership, our executive team and our Board of Directors,” said Williams. “I am especially fortunate to work with two strong role models for women today, Executive Director Kristi Lafleur and Board Chair Paula Wolff.”

Williams and her staff have worked to enhance the representation of people of color and women by increasing access to jobs through aggressively and proactively reaching out to communities of color, ensuring the hiring and selection process remains fair and accessible to everyone and promoting an inclusive internal culture. She is pleased to receive the award in recognition of her work from a respected publication and to join a group of influential honorees who are dedicated to community and professional advancement.

As an active member of the Hyde Park community where she resides, Williams often organizes fundraisers, food drives, fair trade festivals and events to promote diversity awareness.

About the Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 286 miles of interstate tollways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) and the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80).

G-7 Leaders condemn the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial of Ukraine

Posted by Admin On March - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

G-7 Leaders Statement follows:

We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission, join together today to condemn the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in contravention of Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter and its 1997 basing agreement with Ukraine.  We call on Russia to address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations, and/or via international observation or mediation under the auspices of the UN or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.  We stand ready to assist with these efforts.

We also call on all parties concerned to behave with the greatest extent of self-restraint and responsibility, and to decrease the tensions.

We note that Russia’s actions in Ukraine also contravene the principles and values on which the G-7 and the G-8 operate.  As such, we have decided for the time being to suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion.

We are united in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its right to choose its own future.  We commit ourselves to support Ukraine in its efforts to restore unity, stability, and political and economic health to the country.  To that end, we will support Ukraine’s work with the International Monetary Fund to negotiate a new program and to implement needed reforms.  IMF support will be critical in unlocking additional assistance from the World Bank, other international financial institutions, the EU, and bilateral sources.

Sexy, Provocative, hilarious, Venus in Fur, David Ives’ Broadway Triumph, makes its Chicago debut, Directed by Joanie Schultz

Posted by Admin On February - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Goodman Theatre’s March 8 – April 13 run includes special events: $10 College night (March 12), Fantasy Night (March 20), Women’s Night (March 27), and unique Workshop with Early to Bed (March 31)


CHICAGO, IL – “In love as in politics, one partner must rule. One of them must be the hammer, the other the anvil.” Venus in Fur, Chicago native playwright David Ives’ “smart, sexy, sinister comedy” (Vogue), is now in rehearsals for its March 8 premiere at Goodman Theatre, helmed by Joanie Schultz who “has emerged as one of the city’s strongest, most stylistically adaptable directors” (Chicago Sun-Times). As previously announced, Rufus Collins (Broadway’s To Be or Not To Be and The Royal Family) portrays playwright/director Thomas and Amanda Drinkall (Strawdog Theatre Company’s Great Expectations and Measure for Measure at the Goodman) portrays Vanda, the actor auditioning for him.  Venus in Fur runs March 8 – April 13 in the Albert Theatre (opening night is Tuesday, March 18). Tickets ($25-$86; subject to change) are on sale now and can be purchased at GoodmanTheatre.org/Venus, by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 North Dearborn). Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is the Major Corporate Sponsor and United Scrap Metal, Inc. is the Corporate Sponsor Partner for Venus in Fur.

A performance calendar and details about the special events in conjunction with the production follows.

“Laced with David Ives’ characteristically sharp humor and satiric insights, Venus in Fur is a true original: hilarious, challenging, at times unnerving and completely unpredictable,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “I am delighted to welcome back director Joanie Schultz, who began her relationship with the Goodman as our Michael Maggio Directing Fellow several seasons ago.  Since then she’s become one of the most highly sought after young directors in town, and I know that she will bring her distinctive gifts to this smart and funny play. And while you’re laughing, you may find yourself reassessing your own views of the eternal tensions that define romantic relations between men and women.”

Based on the 1869 novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch—for whom “Masochism” was named—Venus in Fur’s critically acclaimed Broadway run was hailed as a “suspense-packed” (New York Times), “electric” (Entertainment Weekly), “wildly intelligent and sometimes frightening” (New Yorker), “madly funny” (Wall Street Journal) and a “time-tripping game of cat and mouse” (Bloomberg). When Vanda (Drinkall) arrives hours late to an audition for a play based on a nineteenth century erotic novel, the director, Thomas (Collins), is less than impressed. But Vanda’s surprisingly masterful performance of the script flips Thomas’ expectations and initiates a tango for dominance between them. As the audition unfolds, both actress and director morph into Sacher-Masoch’s alternately tortured and bemused lovers, switching roles on a dime and exploring shifts in power and the blurring of identities.

“The novella crackles with the friction of two buttoned-up people in an erotic power play; that sure sounded dramatic to me,” said playwright David Ives, who has authored the one-act comedies All in the Timing and Time Flies, as well as adaptations of older plays including The School For Lies (a reworking of Molière’s The Misanthrope) and Georges Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear. “Chicago is my beloved home town, and I’m thrilled that Venus in Fur will be playing at the Goodman—where I went to the theater for the first time. I hope the Goodman’s audiences have as much fun watching the play as I had writing it.”

Director Joanie Schultz creates a new production for the Chicago premiere of Ives’ play. “We want to let the audience in on how much the imagination of theater really transforms everything in the room—not just the actors, but also the space, the sounds, and how real life and imaginary life start running together,” said Schultz. “The rehearsal room is not the most glamorous place—coffee gets spilled, everybody’s eating their salad, there’s sweat—and yet there’s this magical thing that happens there which makes it beautiful. We endow the objects that we use in the theater with power: a rehearsal room becomes a palace, a chair a throne, a paper cup becomes fine china. We’re using the design to help the audience see these things the way actors are seeing them.”

Schultz and her Tony Award-winning set designer Todd Rosenthal (Luna Gale, A Christmas Carol) based the world of the play on many rehearsal rooms, including the two at the Goodman. Jenny Mannis (Teddy Ferrara, Animal Crackers) designs costumes, Keith Parham (By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Sweet Bird of Youth) designs lighting and Mikhail Fiksel (Buzzer, New Stages festival) designs sound. Joseph Pindelski is the dramaturg and Alden Vasquez is the production stage manager.

Better Business Bureau reminds consumers to use care when vacation planning

Posted by Admin On February - 7 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – As freezing temperatures continue, many people are looking for relief by planning vacations. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) advises consumers use care when making plans through travel agencies, as you should whenever pre-paying any business for a service or product.

Written complaints about travel agencies remain steady. However, the BBB reports that consumer inquiries about travel agencies were significantly higher in 2013 than they were in 2012. Inquiries for 2013 totaled to 3685 compared to 2324 from 2012, or an increase of 59 percent.


“Making travel arrangements through an agency can make planning a vacation less stressful but that also depends on who you use,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Checking out different agencies and making sure they are reputable is very important. This way you can have confidence in securing the plans and bookings, and getting what you pay for.”


The Better Business Bureau offers these tips when booking with a travel agency:


  • Compare services and do not feel pressured. Be wary if you feel pressured to make an immediate decision or if there is a statement that an offer is good “only if you act now.” Compare the services, fees and travel costs from a number of travel agencies before selecting the most attractive package.
  • Be cautious about telephone, letter or postcard solicitations. Be careful of travel solicitations claiming you’ve won a “free” trip, or can get “special discounts” on hotels and airfares.
  • Pay with a credit card. You can get some protection when using a credit card to purchase travel services. If you don’t get what you paid for, contact the credit card company and attempt to get the charges cancelled.
  • Consider investing in travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide protection in the event of an accident, an illness, lost luggage, or a cancelled or interrupted trip. Read the insurance contract to understand coverage and exclusions. Investigate trip cancellation policies and determine what they cover to see if they would be worthwhile to purchase the insurance.
  • Always check the business first. Check out the reputation of the travel agency before doing business with them. Check out free BBB Business Reviews for valuable information.
  • Get it in writing. Don’t rely on verbal promises from a travel service. Request copies of any brochures and contracts before purchasing your trip package, or making any reservations.

For more information on consumer and travel tips, visit www.bbb.org

Restoring Opportunity for All: President Obama’s Weekly Address

Posted by Admin On February - 3 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC— In this week’s address, the President discussed the goals he laid out in the State of the Union address to expand opportunity for all so that every American can get ahead and have a shot at creating a better life for their kids.

Remarks of President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address, February 1, 2014.

This week, I delivered my State of the Union Address. Today, here’s the three-minute version.

After four years of economic growth with eight million new private sector jobs, our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in more than five years.  And with the economy speeding up, companies say they intend to hire more people this year.

But while those at the top are doing better than ever, average wages have barely budged.  Inequality has deepened.  Too many Americans are working harder and harder just to get by.  And too many still aren’t working at all.

Our job is to reverse those trends.  It’s time to restore opportunity for all people – the idea that no matter who you are, if you work hard and live up to your responsibilities, you can make it if you try.

The opportunity agenda I laid out on Tuesday has four parts. This week, I took them on the road.

Job one is more new jobs: jobs in construction and manufacturing, jobs in innovation and energy.

In Wisconsin, I talked with plant workers at GE about part two: training more Americans with the skills to fill those new jobs.

In Tennessee, I talked with students about part three: guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education, from early childhood, through college, and right into a career.

And with steelworkers in Pittsburgh, and retail workers in Maryland, I laid out part four: making sure hard work pays off for men and women, with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health insurance that’s there for you when you need it.

These ideas will strengthen the middle class and help more people work their way into the middle class.  Some of them will require Congress.  But wherever I can take steps to expand opportunity for more families on my own, I will.  I’m going to ask business leaders, education leaders, and philanthropic leaders to partner with us to advance these goals.

And every single day, I’m going to fight for these priorities – to shift the odds back in favor of more working and middle-class Americans, and to keep America a place where you can always make it if you try.

White House Announces Additional Guests in the First Lady’s Box — State of the Union Address

Posted by Admin On January - 28 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – In addition to the six individuals previously announced, the following individuals will be seated in the box with the First Lady, Dr. Biden and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, at the State of the Union Address. More guests will be announced in the lead-up to the President’s State of the Union Address tomorrow night.

The guests who have been invited to sit with the First Lady represent the stories of millions of Americans across the country, who are working hard to better their communities, improve their own economic outcomes and help restore opportunity for all.

Information about these guests and news about the State of the Union is available at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.

Aliana Arzola-Piñero (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
2013 Kids State Dinner Attendee

Aliana Arzola-Piñero, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is in fourth grade at the Colegio Puertorriqueño de Niñas. Aliana is an avid reader and gymnast who loves to cook with her grandma, something she’s done since she was two-years-old. She participated in the 2012 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge sponsored by the First Lady. While she didn’t win, she worked hard, tried again, and her perseverance paid off as she proudly represented Puerto Rico at the 2013 Kid’s State Dinner hosted by the First Lady. Her winning recipe “Yummy Eggplant Lasagna Rolls,” incorporates the “My Plate” guidelines. Aliana has worked hard to translate her experience visiting the White House into concrete steps to benefit her community, championing healthy eating and an active lifestyle for kids.

Cristian Avila (Phoenix, AZ)
DREAMer, “Core Faster” and Voter Engagement Coordinator, Mi Familia Vota

Cristian Avila, 23, was brought to the United States with his younger brother and sister when he was nine-years-old. Though Cristian became an All-American scholar by 7th grade and received a full scholarship to a private Jesuit high school, he was limited by his undocumented status. Last year he received temporary relief from deportation through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The 23-year-old Arizona resident started volunteering with Mi Familia Vota, a non-profit Latino civic engagement program, at the age of 16, and he was one of the core fasters in the Fast for Families demonstration late last year at the foot of the Capitol, which the President, Vice President, First Lady and Cabinet and Administration officials visited. After 22 days, he passed on the fast to others but has continued to push Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform.  Cristian is fighting for commonsense immigration reform so he can one day join the US Marine Corps and serve our country in uniform.

Mary Barra (Detroit, MI)
Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company

Mary Barra was named Chief Executive Officer of General Motors effective January 15, 2014. In this role, she leads the company’s overall efforts to strengthen GM globally as an industry leader in automotive design and technology, product quality, customer care and business results. She is also a member of the GM Board of Directors and the first female CEO in the company’s history.

Barra began her career with GM in 1980 as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. In 1990, Barra graduated with a master of business administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business after receiving a GM fellowship in 1988. Barra has held a number of positions with GM, most recently as executive Vice President, Global Product Development, Purchasing & Supply chain – in this role she was responsible for the design, engineering, program management, and quality of GM vehicles around the world.

In 2013, Fortune Magazine named Barra one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” and Forbes Magazine names her one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Barra lives in the Detroit area with her husband, Tony, and their two children.

Governor Steve Beshear (D-KY)
After serving three terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives, and as Kentucky’s Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor, Steve Beshear was elected Governor in 2007. Governor Beshear has worked closely with the Obama Administration to provide affordable health care to the people of Kentucky.  In his second term, the Governor extended access to affordable health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians by expanding Medicaid and setting up a new health insurance Marketplace, “Kynect.” If the remaining states that haven’t expanded Medicaid coverage did so like Kentucky, about 5.4 million uninsured Americans would gain access to health insurance coverage by 2016. Governor Beshear is a native of Dawson Springs in Hopkins County, in western Kentucky. He holds a bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Kentucky and served in the U.S. Army Reserve. He and his wife, Jane, have been married since 1969. They have two sons and three grandchildren.

Tyrone Davis (Winston-Salem, NC)
Fellow with the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps

Tyrone Davis, from Winston-Salem, NC, has been legally blind since the age of nine. Despite his vision loss, he ran cross-country and track in high school, and received a political science degree and Masters of Public Administration from North Carolina State University. He developed an interest in environmental issues during his time as an undergraduate, which led to a fellowship with the Environmental Defense Fund in 2010, placing him at Elizabeth City State University, a historically black university.  His recommendations showed the school how to achieve savings of more than $31,000 a year, resulting in nearly 200 tons of carbon emissions reductions annually. Tyrone’s father owns and operates a small office cleaning service, while his mother is a cost clerk for the county’s school transportation department. He has one younger brother currently attending North Carolina A&T State University. Now in his third year at Elon University School of Law, Tyrone hopes to use his skills to benefit the environment and make communities safer.

Vice Admiral Michelle Howard (Washington, DC)
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans & Strategy

This year, Vice Admiral Michelle Howard will become the first female four-star Admiral in the 238-year-history of the United States Navy, and the first African-American female to achieve four-star rank in the history of the military. She was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate in December. Howard’s initial sea tours were aboard USS Hunley (AS 31) and USS Lexington (AVT 16). While serving on board Lexington, she received the secretary of the Navy/Navy League Captain Winifred Collins award in May 1987. This award is given to one woman officer a year for outstanding leadership. She took command of USS Rushmore (LSD 47) on March 12, 1999, becoming the first African American woman to command a ship in the U.S. Navy. In 2010, she was the Maritime Task Force commander for BALTOPS, under 6th Fleet. Her shore assignments include: J-3, Global Operations, Readiness and Executive Assistant to the Joint Staff director of Operations; Deputy Director N3 on the OPNAV staff; Deputy Director, Expeditionary Warfare Division, OPNAV staff; Senior Military Assistant to the secretary of the Navy; Chief of Staff to the director for Strategic Plans and Policy, J-5, Joint Staff, and Deputy Commander, US Fleet Forces Command. Vice Admiral Howard is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences.

Sabrina Simone Jenkins (Charleston, SC)
Sabrina Simone Jenkins – through obstacle after obstacle – has persevered in getting herself educated, determined to make a better life for herself and her family. Sabrina is a single mother to her teenage daughter Kenya. After serving in the Air Force, Sabrina took classes at DeVry University while working full time, graduating with a 3.7 GPA at the age of 42 – all while caring for ailing family members and becoming seriously ill herself. Sabrina then earned her master’s degree in human resources in 2012. Sabrina is currently saddled with nearly $90,000 in student loan debt, something that will only worsen as she pays for Kenya to go to college. Sabrina’s remarkable resolve through incredibly difficult circumstances brought her to the attention of The Shriver Report, which seeks to highlight the 1 in 3 American women living on the brink of poverty.  The President is determined to help people like Sabrina – Americans who are working hard and doing the right things – get ahead.

Mayor Ed Lee (San Francisco, CA)
Mayor Edwin M. Lee is the son of Chinese immigrants and the first Asian-American Mayor of San Francisco, a position he’s held for more than three years. He previously served as San Francisco’s City Administrator and Director of the Department of Public Works.  In 2013, he hosted a series of town halls to mobilize the Silicon Valley business community in support of immigration reform.  Mayor Lee is also working on a proposal to significantly increase San Francisco’s minimum wage.  In 2012, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a five-year, up to $30 million Promise Neighborhoods implementation grant to support school improvement and revitalize the Mission neighborhood in San Francisco.  Originally from Seattle, Washington, Mayor Lee graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 1974 and Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1978.  He and his wife, Anita, have two daughters, Brianna and Tania.

Andra Rush (Detroit, MI)
Founder and Chairperson, The Rush Group, Detroit Manufacturing Systems

Andra Rush is a descendant of the Mohawk Tribe from the Six-Nation Reservation, and the founder and chairperson of the Rush Group family of companies, which include Rush Trucking, Dakkota Integrated Systems, and Detroit Manufacturing Systems. This consortium of manufacturing, trucking, assembly, and distribution is one of the largest Native American-owned businesses in the country. Rush started her first company, Rush Trucking, in 1984 with only three trucks and successfully grew the company to include 800 tractors and 1,350 trailers. In 2012, Ms. Rush launched Detroit Manufacturing Systems Ltd., LLC (DMS), a joint venture between Rush Group Ltd, LLC and Faurecia. DMS manufactures and assembles automotive interior components in the City of Detroit and grew to more than 600 employees in its first year of operations, the largest new manufacturing employer in the City of Detroit in decades. The company’s first customer was the Ford Motor Company, building interior components for the Mustang and F-150 pickup truck. In 2012, she was appointed to the U.S. Manufacturing Council, which is the principal private-sector advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on manufacturing matters. She was also appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve as a trustee for Michigan’s Children’s Trust Fund. Ms. Rush has a Bachelor of Arts in Nursing (1982) from the University of Michigan. She has three sons.

Amanda Shelley (Gilbert, AZ)
Physician Assistant

For years, Amanda Shelley, a 37-year-old physician assistant from Gilbert, Arizona, was unable to get insurance due to a pre-existing condition. That all changed on January 1, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Two days later, Amanda began having severe pain in her abdomen, which at first she ignored – something she was used to doing because she was previously uninsured. The next day, when the pain became too much to bear, she went to the emergency room and eventually had emergency abdominal surgery. Amanda is one of millions of Americans who now knows the security that comes with quality, affordable health insurance.

Antoinette Tuff (Atlanta, GA)
DeKalb County Bookkeeper

On August 20, 2013, the world learned of the compassion and heroism of Antoinette Tuff, the DeKalb County bookkeeper who prevented a shooting at Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy, an elementary school in the suburbs of Atlanta. Tuff, a mother of one daughter and one son, talked the would-be shooter down, sharing her personal struggles, discussing love and doing her best to connect with him until he surrendered before harming anyone. Now, instead of being known for another tragic school shooting, August 20, 2013 is remembered for one woman’s grace under pressure. The President called Tuff after the ordeal and has said what she did was “remarkable.” Antoinette has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism.

Republican hopeful Bruce Rauner brings campaign to black community

Posted by Admin On January - 22 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Spars with CTU organizer

Dem. Gov. candidate Tio Hardiman rips chicken dinners

By Chinta Strausberg

Billed as a free Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dinner held at Josephine’s Cooking Restaurant, a community forum held late Monday night became quite lively and intellectually challenging when the surprise sponsor, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner,  took on some tough questions from the audience.

Courting the black community, Rauner reached out to long time journalist Hermene Hartman, publisher of N’DIGO, who organized the forum. Hartman said small businesses and the black media need financial help, and Rauner agreed tos upport the African American media saying, “That is a part of our plan.”

According to Rauner, the state of Illinois is dismal. “Businesses are leaving, jobs are leaving, schools are deteriorating, the social services safety net to help our disadvantaged folks are” disappearing, “services are being cut. I don’t think career politicians in Springfield are going to fix it the right way.”

Saying he is “sick and tired of it,” Rauner, a father of six who is very wealthy said he doesn’t need a job. He said many state elected officials make money on the side and that it’s time for a change. Admitting it was a “big decision” to run for governor and that he has never run for office before, Rauner said his youngest daughter urged him not to run because she didn’t want him to go to jail.

“I am running to do four things…get more jobs in every community in Illinois, bring down the tax burden that is chasing our businesses out of state so we can employ more folks, great schools in every community, emphasize education as the most important thing to do, and to put term limits on all the politicians sot hey serve eight-years and then they’ll be gone instead of staying down there for decades….”

Rauner said he and his wife, Diana, president of Once of Prevention, have “dedicated most of our lives to education…especially in Chicago.”

On Charter schools, Rauner said, “I am pushing Mayor Emanuel to do a voucher program throughout the city of Chicago….” Referring to Chicago’s schools and aquestion about the paucity of black businesses, Rauner said, “The educational opportunities for African Americans have been terrible. I think the schools intoo many African American communities are terrible.

“They are not educating our young people…and I also think that many businesses have decided that it’s risky to invest in the black community because of either crime or violence or lousy schools or bad roads, bad infrastructure” may be the reason why businesses don’t come to the black community.

Rauner said he has a plan to “create growth throughout Illinois especially in the communities with the highest unemployment primarily African American communities” including Chicago, Decatur, East St. Louis” he described as“brutally high unemployment and it’s outrageous.”

“Rather than trying to do tax incentives for business because that does not work and ends up being corporate wealthy, I believe if we reduce the regulatory burden on businesses…. Illinois is one of the most hostile states in the nation for business,” Rauner said blaming this for Illinois’ high unemployment rate in the nation. “We need to become more pro-business with our regulations so companies want to come here…,” he said would attract more businesses. He has a detail plan to do that.

But, the discussion between Rauner, who managed state pensions for Illinois andother states, and Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) organizer Brandon Johnson who attended the forum became some what terse with Rauner candidly admitting, “I don’t like the CTU.

Johnson said of Rauner’s position like “right to work because these things are fraudulent and very harmful to black people.” Johnson asked, “If you’re going to make this thing better, how do you reconcile your position juxtapose to the very man (Dr. King) we’re celebrating and your open disdain towards public sector unions? How do you say that you’re going to make Chicago or Illinois better while at the same time demeaning the very entity that made the middle class possible for black people in particular”?

Johnson ,who said many have issues with Gov. Quinn, also asked Rauner about the proliferation of charter schools saying they are a “vehicle for the very corrupt practice that you want to combat in Springfield.” Johnson referred to money taken by UNO and gave other examples of charter schools that are now scandal ridden.

“Why is it when it comes to the black communities that we are not talking about investing in schools that everybody else wants to send their kids to and that the only so called option of choice for our community are these privately run institutions that have not fared any better than the very structure that’s in place,” Johnson stated who is also a teacher.

While disagreeing with Johnson’s last statement, Rauner said, “I am on a mission to improve the schools and to grow job opportunities for everybody in Chicago and around the state.

“I love teachers. I’m a big teacher advocate, but I don’t like the CTU. The CTU is probably the most powerful political force in America. I don’t think there is anything more powerful. The CTU has blocked school reform in Chicago for years, and I’ve been trying to help school reform.

“I believe that quality gets driven by choice and competition,” Rauner said. “The reason why suburban schools are forced to get better because folks in the suburbs can move, and they choose where they live based upon the schools. We live in our community because we like the schools there and we can move if we don’t like them. That’s the competition that forces the suburban schools to getbetter.

“In Chicago, poor families get stuck. They can’t move and they can’t choose their school and so the bureaucracy can afford to have their schools deteriorate and be lousy and those parents and children are abused. That’s wrong. Parents need choice. We need competition to improve the quality of the schools. That’s true…. Competition drives quality.

“When there is no competition and parents have a choice, the school can afford to be lousy and the parents are stuck there. I don’t want parents in Illinois stuck to a failing school. That’s it. It ain’t complicated. My wife and I have donated tens of millions of dollars to try to help improve the public schools in Chicago so parents have choice. I want every parent in Chicago to have choice. That’s what America is about freedom to choose. To me, education is theg reat equalizer…what drives equal opportunity….”

“It’s not American to let our children, any child, get stuck in a failing school while other American kids have good schools. That’s just not what America isabout. That’s why I’m running for governor. It’s not complicated,” said Rauner.

But, Johnson said, “I think that the notion that schools are failing is a notion that doesn’t get addressed in a very broad terms, Bruce. The reason why school sare failing is because they are not being invested in,” he said giving Rauner apiece of paper.

“You’re looking at a piece of paper form the 21st Ward on the South Sidethat shows all of the schools that don’t have the basic resources,” Johnson pointed out. “If you talk about children not being able to read and they don’thave a computer lab, Bruce we have 166 schools that don’t have libraries. We have schools in Chicago that do not offer world language.

“There is a school on 79th and Ashland that did not have a fist grade teacher for ten weeks,” Johnson said. “That’s not the union’s fault. I take issue as a teacher. You cannot separate me from the union. The union is consisted of black people, white people, brown people….

“What we’ve seen in Chicago that corporate reform for this so-called school of choice has caused the greatest decline of black teachers in the history of black teachers,” Johnson said. “Since we have had corporate reform, we’ve nearly lost half of our black teachers. Explain to me how choice and competition reconciles with the fact that we’re losing the very people that make up the middle class.

“What I’m hearing from both political parties is that the only way you can educate ablack child is to bring in a corporately run charter school and none of the teachers get to be black,” said Johnson. “What makes those suburban schools good is because they actually have property taxes that actually work“ and that they are funded.

Johnson told Rauner, “Before we start denigrating our children and our families, let’s invest in the schools that we have. As a teacher, I can tell you” how he did not have the basic resources including teaching in Cabrini Green “with kids come to me without coats, whose parents are trying to survive off the $7.25 anhour that people take issue with.

“We can talk about failing schools, but what we do know is this. Just this yearalone, CPS cut the budget of schools across this district by four percent.Two-thirds of corporations do not pay income taxes in this state. There are awhole lot of fundamentals we can do better on both sides of the aisle,” Johnson said.

“This notion that some how the very man we are celebrating today that stood up forpublic sector unions to demean, the, Bruce, you are not going to win this audience,” Johnsons aid referring to Dr. King’s birthday, life and legacy.“There are a lot of things I think you can woo the black vote with, but you’re not going to woo this audience if you’re going to go after public sector workers which is overwhelmingly black women. It’s why Dr. King stood on that  balcony.”

Johnson asked Rauner “We may disagree on some of those fundamentals about what schools should look like, but I’m asking you do not demean the very essence of what made my father, a union man, his father, a union man. The reason why I got three degrees and was able to make $48,000 a year as a seventh grade teacher was because my father had a public sector job and a pension.”

Saying this is the core issue of the election, Rauner responded. “My grandfather was aunion man. I am not anti-union at all.” Referring to President Franklin Roosevelt, Rauner said he was “probably the most pro-union president in American history. He was against government unions because he said they were organized against the public good.”

Rauner said, “There is a difference between a private sector union where you got to compete and businesses can move, you negotiate. There’s competition. In government, they’re no choices. Those schools can’t move. There is no option.The government is locked in. The schools are locked in and if the unions arepowerful, they just drive up the cost and can drive down the quality.”

Rauner said the wealthiest states have some of the strongest government unions, the biggest pensions, the biggest deficits, highest taxes and highest unemployment “because the government unions are increasing the size of government, crushing businesses, businesses are leaving. Businesses have choice.

“When the government gets too big and the government unions make them too big, businesses lose and working families, poor families especially, lose becausethe businesses lose. Not everybody can get a juicy pension working for the government. The families who can’t are hurt by the government union bosses who make the juicy deal…. That’s wrong,” said Rauner.

Johnson said he has to work 34 years and that he has 21-years and five-months before he can retire. “The average pension for a teacher is $43,000 a year. That’s not juicy,” he told Rauner. “That is not what is crushing our government.”

Rauner said the biggest problem with the teacher’s pension “is the administrators who have two and three pensions. That’s wrong. It’s corrupt, and it’s hurting your pension and the taxpayers…. That’s money out of our schools. That’s money outof our taxpayers pockets we could create jobs. That is what I am going to fight.”

Saying education is the core of his campaign, Rauner said, “I want great schools, schools that are competing with each other and to get better and better…. I want many more Whitney Young’s and Walter Payton’s….

“We’ve got to become growth again to be able to get employment and income’s rising and we’ll be able to afford good schools,” Rauner told the audience. “I want tomake Illinois one of the top growth states, top job creating state in the nation. It’s possible.”

Asked by this writer why he wants to roll back the minimum wage from $8.25 to $7.25, Rauner explained, “I do not want to reduce the minimum rate. I made that comment. I was flippant. I was in a forum. Our minimum wage is higher than allthe other states around us and that is hurting our competitiveness,” he explained.

“One of the reasons jobs are leaving Illinois and moving to Indiana, moving to Wisconsin, moving to Missouri and they are moving is because we are not competitive,” Rauner stated. “That was my comment.”

Clarifying his position on minimum wage, Rauner said, “I support raising the minimum wage either by raising the national minimum wage so all the states around us come up to Illinois or higher. Then, we will be on a level playing field and Illinoisis competitive again. If we’re not competitive, we’re not going to have jobs. We’ve got to be competitive.

“I’ll support raising Illinois’ minimum wage itself but in partnership with workers comp…tax reform” Rauner said would be key in attracting more businesses to Illinois then “they can afford to pay a higher minimum wage.

“If we only raise the minimum wage in Illinois and do nothing else, it will hurt many of the people it is designed to help. Watch unemployment rate go up more especially in your communities. Now, it will help some families, but it will hurt a lot of other families and we’ve got to be careful how we do it,” Rauner said.

However,in an interview on Illinois Radio WGBZ (http://altondailynews.com/news/details.cfm?id=108065#.Ut4W2_bnbqS), Rauner said, ““I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage. I think we’ve got to be competitive here in Illinois,” Rauner said. Aftera slew of criticism, Rauner has changed his tune on this issue.

But gubernatorial candidate Tio Hardiman and his running mate, attorney Brunell Donald who attended the forum, disagreed with Rauner’s explanations. “When itcomes down to the minimum wage to roll it back to $7.25 an hour, he said he didn’t mean it the way he said.

“When people flip-flops on something like that it means you’ll be doing moreflip-flopping down the road,” Hardiman said.  “There is no way in the world that people on certain level’s of society make that kind of comment and didn’t know what he was talking about. That was something he probably meant.”

“A lot of elected officials feel they can come to the community and buy chicken dinners for the constituents in the black community while we’re suffering inthe areas of economic development, unemployment, high crime areas and poor schools,” Hardiman said.

“Just having a good conversation talking about you’re going to solve these issues in six or seven years to give you a chance, we need something right now,” Hardiman said. “I would not be in favor of a six or seven-year solution to our problems. Our people are suffering out here in a major way.”

However, Hardiman said, “Seventy percent of the homicides across the state are black-on-black homicides. We need some solutions right now, not next year, not six years from now and you give us a chicken dinner. We don’t need those kinds of solutions.”

Referring to himself and his running mate, Hardiman said, “In the first time in history, you have a qualified black man and black woman running for the highest level office and some of our black elected officials refuse to support” them because he says “they are part of machine politics.

“You have black leaders holding Gov. Pat Quinn up as if he’s really done something for the black community but the numbers reflect a totally different story,”said Hardiman.

“We are number one on the ballot,” said Hardiman referring to Quinn who challenged his signatures. “We won. This can be seen as history in the making, and we need everybody to support us because we stood up to Pat Quinn so imagine what we’lldo for the people.”

Hermene Hartman said this is one of several planned community forums Rauner will host.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Kohl Children’s Museum is ringing in the New Year with two kid friendly New Year’s Parties at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 P.M. on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Entire Wing of the Museum to be Transformed into a Times Square-Style Party with Giant Confetti Drop During Both Celebrations

GLENVIEW, IL – Kohl Children’s Museum is ringing in the New Year with two Times Square-style parties designed specifically for young children with “midnight” celebrations at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at the Museum (2100 Patriot Boulevard). The Museum will transform an entire wing into a huge New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with giant confetti drops at “midnight.”

Children and their families will enjoy live musical performances, party hat making and horns, parachute play and “Imagination Playground” block play. Children and their families who attend the morning celebration at 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. geared towards the younger patrons (0-3 years old) will be treated to a children’s concert with Jeanie B, while guests of the 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. party, geared towards an older group (4-8 years old), will have a DJ and dance party. Stylists from KidSnips will also be on site to do free party hair styling and temporary hair coloring. All regular exhibits will also be open.

“New Year’s Eve is an exciting time for families and our special celebration allows guests to experience the ultimate celebration to ring in the New Year together,” said Museum President and CEO Sheridan Turner. “2014 is going to be a momentous year at the Museum, with new exhibits and events throughout the next 12 months that we can’t wait to unveil and share with all of our dedicated patrons.”

Tickets are $24 per person; Kohl Children’s Museum members can purchase advance tickets for the discounted price of $14. The Museum will be closed to the public on this date, other than to ticketed individuals. www.kohlchidlrensmuseum.org/nye

About Kohl Children’s Museum
In recognition for its outstanding exhibits and impact on Chicago land families, Kohl Children’s Museum was recently named one of the country’s Ten Best Children’s Museums by Parents Magazine. The Museum was ranked sixth out of more than 300 children’s museums nationwide and was the only Chicago area museum recognized.

Offering 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children age’s birth to 8, the Museum’s mission is to encourage young children to become effective learners through self-directed complex play. Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., in Glenview, Ill. at the corner of Patriot Blvd. and W. Lake Ave. in the newly redeveloped area known as The Glen. The Museum can be easily reached by public transportation, including Pace bus and Metra trains.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website at www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org or call (847) 832-6600. The Museum is open on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Special members-only hours are from Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission prices are $9.50 for children and adults and $8.50 for senior citizens. Children under 1 year old and members are free.

Women, Say No to Unavailable Men

Posted by Admin On December - 5 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

New book urges women to say no to unavailable men

Author reveals the grim side of giving in to forbidden desires


Chicago, IL (BlackNews.com) — Autumn Girl Press announced the re-release of Single Black Female, a cautionary romance by Carrie Carr. It’s been more than two decades since Fatal Attraction sent a quiver down every married man’s spine by dramatically illustrating the consequences of a one-night stand. However, it’s not just married men who should be concerned, but the women they are fooling around with as well.

Single Black Female reminds readers of the consequences of dating unavailable men. The author nails the message by painting a dark tale of “getting a little on the side,” but this time, it’s the other woman that suffers the repercussions, not the unavailable man. The author attempts to answer the question every woman wants to know. “What does it take to keep a man monogamous?” Readers will be intrigued with her findings.

According to a recent survey, only 14% of married men actually leave their wives for their mistress, which should make the endeavor less appealing to the single women on the prowl. Though choices may be limited for the single woman in search of that special man, the author encourages women to rethink their decision before settling for an unavailable man. And although Single Black Female is not nearly as dark as “Fatal Attraction, the message is the same – stay clear of unavailable men.

Single Black Female will enlighten women about the male psyche, provide hope to the single woman in search of romance and inspire women to love and value themselves.


About The Author


Carrie Carr is a novelist and screenwriter. She lives in Illinois.The author would like to hear from women who still choose to date unavailable men for possible inclusion in her upcoming book. Those interested in sharing their views may send their thoughts about why they choose unavailable men to: carriecarr3@yahoo.com. All submissions should be fifty words or less. All submitters will receive a free e-book of Single Black Female, Alternate Version.

Single Black Female, Original Version was just re-released and is available at Amazon.com.

Photo Caption: Bookcover

Pastor Mitty Collier makes public appeal to find missing son

Posted by Admin On November - 5 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Pastor Collier is praying for his safe return

By Chinta Strausberg

An internationally known gospel singer, Pastor Mitty Collier Friday called on the public to help locate her son, ElJess Joseph, 52, a Markham, Illinois resident, who has been missing for two-weeks.

Joseph, a driver for the SCR Medical Transportation Paratransit Services, was last heard from by company officials 13-days ago. His cell goes unanswered, according to Pastor Collier who is desperately trying to locate her son.

Known for her recording, “I Had a Talk With God Last Night,” Pastor Collier is praying that police find her son and that nothing has happened to him. She said it is not like him not to call and to just disappear without contacting her.

“The last time I saw my son was three-weeks ago just before I went to bible study,” recalled Pastor Collier. “He came by my house to see his daughter who lives with me. He did talk to his job on Saturday, but no one has heard from him since.

“I miss my son, and I would like to know where he is,” she said appealing to the public for help. “This is not a common behavior for him, and I want him to come home.”

Anyone who has seen or heard from Mr. Joseph, please call his mother, Pastor Collier, at: 708.868.2091.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Photo Caption: ElJess Joseph

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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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