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Lee Edwards

Stories by Lee

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Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Releases Preliminary Report

The Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform released a preliminary report that frames its process and progress on lowering the Illinois prison population by 25% by 2025.

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CPS Summer Bridge Program Thrives at Fiske Elementary School

Chicago Public School’s (CPS) Summer Bridge program this year is housed at Fiske Elementary School, 6020 S. Langley Ave.

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3rd District CAPS Meeting Aimed at Strengthening Partnership with Community

Chatham, South Shore and Woodlawn neighborhood residents in Chicago, recently met with high ranking 3rd Dist. Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers during the 3rd District Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) All Beats Beat Meeting at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Dr.

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) community celebrated a victory decades in the making over the weekend following, the U.S. Supreme Court voting 5-4 in favor of same sex couples’ right to marry nationwide.

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CPS Extends Safe Passage Program to 140 New Schools

The Chicago Board of Education (CBOE) approved the expansion of its student safety initiative, Safe Passage, to a record high 140 schools beginning this fall.

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Village of Dolton Ordinance Gives Residents Recall Power

The Village of Dolton’s Board of Trustees recently approved the passage of Ordinance 15-022 giving residents of the village the power to recall elected officials during the 2016 election.

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The National Newspaper Publishers Association Welcomes New Leadership

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) elected new leadership at the 2015 NNPA Annual National Convention held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, 400 Renaissance Dr., Detroit, Mi.

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Cullen Jones ‘Makes a Splash’ in Chicago by Teaching Youth to Swim

Two-time Olympic swimming gold medalist, Cullen Jones, recently gave free and reduced cost swimming lessons at Foster Park, 1440 W. 84th St. in Chicago, for “Make A Splash”, an initiative presented by the USA Swim Foundation (USF) and Philips 66, aimed at lowering nationwide drowning death rates.

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NNPA Celebrates 75th Anniversary and Prepares for Future

Members of the historic National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) celebrated the organization’s 75th anniversary at the 2015 NNPA Convention held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, 400 Renaissance Dr., Detroit, Mich.

Gov. Rauner Responds to State Dems' Proposed Budget

The Ill. House of Representatives Democrats proposed a $36 billion budget for fiscal year 2016 (FY2016) in May in response to Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround” budget released in Feb. that included deep cuts to social services.

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Lisa Morrison Butler Appointed as New Dept. of Family and Support Services Commissioner

Lisa Morrison Butler, will replace outgoing City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner, Evelyn Diaz, upon confirmation by the Chicago City Council, effective Aug. 1, 2015. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel nominated Morrison Butler as Diaz accepted the position of President of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights.

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Urban Prep Academy seeks Charter Renewal from CPS Board

Urban Prep Academy, president and CEO, Tim King, lobbied for the school’s charter renewal during a Chicago Public School’s (CPS) Board of Education meeting last week at CPS headquarters, 42 W. Madison Ave., as his students stood alongside of him.

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The Black Mall and Cultural Connection 360 Host Juneteenth Celebration

The Black Mall and Cultural Connection 360 are celebrating the 150th anniversary of African Americans' “Independence Day” otherwise known as “Juneteenth.” The day of remembrance is designed for the entire family at Culture Connection 360, 400 W. 71st St., on June 19 beginning at 4 p.m.

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Mayor Emanuel Nominates Lori Lightford to Chair the Chicago Police Board

Lori Lightfoot, will be the next chair of the Chicago Police Board (CPB) replacing, Demetrius Carney. Lightfoot was recently appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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World of Soul Motorcycle Community Takes Lead on College Tours

Imagine this. A motorcycle enthusiast or “biker”, who organizes Historically Black College and University (HBCU) tours for inner city kids. No need to imagine, because it is really happening, thanks to Terry Hardy, founder and President of World of Soul Motorcycle Community (WSMC), an organization he founded in 2008.

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Juvenile Temporary Detention Center Conditions Comply with Federal Lawsuit

U.S. District Judge John Holderman recently ruled that the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC), 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., has compiled with the rulings of a federal lawsuit filed against it by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU) to improve its operations and conditions there. The ACLU first filed the lawsuit in the case of Jimmy Doe v. Cook County in 1999.

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Ill. State Democrats Release New Budget Proposition

Ill. House of Representatives Democrats proposed a $36 billion budget for fiscal year 2016 (FY2016) on Monday. The budget would avoid nearly $5 billion in spending cuts present in Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s $32 billion “Illinois Turnaround” budget released in February. According to Article VIII - Section II of the Illinois Constitution, the governor is required to prepare and submit a state budget to the Ill. General Assembly (IGA) for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget sets forth the estimated balance of funds available for appropriation at the beginning of the fiscal year, the estimated receipts, and a plan for expenditures during the fiscal year. The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

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Rashaun Hill: Remember his Name, Admire his Family

Keep your ears and eyes open for Rashaun Hill, 14, a freshman and basketball player at Carver Military Academy (Carver), 13100 S. Doty Ave., Chicago. Chances are, you’ll be hearing a lot about him real soon. Hill stands 5’7” and was the star player at Alice L. Barnard Elementary School, 10354 S. Charles St., Chicago, and averaged roughly 30 points per game by the end of last season. He also played in the American Athletic Union (AAU) competitive basketball league for the Mac Irvin Fire.

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NAACP Chicago South Side Discusses Report to Prevent Police Brutality

Racial profiling. It’s a hot topic and a problem that is constantly debated locally, nationally, perhaps even internationally, yet there never seems to be a rock solid solution or answer to the issue.

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Whitney Young H.S. Ranked Fourth in U.S. News & World Report Illinois High School Ranking

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, 211 S. Laflin St. in Chicago, is the fourth best high school in the state according to the 2015 U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of Illinois best high schools. Ten other Chicago Public Schools (CPS) appeared on the list where six of them were ranked in the top 10.

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Spike Lee, Pfleger Defend “Chiraq” Film and Call for Peace

Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Spike Lee and Faith Community of St. Sabina Pastor, Father Michael Pfleger, were joined last week by community stakeholders in the courtyard of St. Sabina, 1210 W. 78th Pl in Chicago, for a press conference in support of the major motion picture, “Chiraq.” The film underscores the gun violence plaguing Chicago and is under fire from elected officials and local residents because of its title which likens several of Chicago’s neighborhoods to war zones in Iraq.

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The Boys & Girls Club of America Induct its Newest Hall of Fame Members

There are now nine new Hall of Fame members of the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA). The inductees were honored during BGCA's 25th Annual Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony held at the Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

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Local Program Developers Launch Mobile Game Brand

Get excited mobile game enthusiasts! James “Quake” Cottrell, founder of Quake Studios, a production company that creates independently financed films, special effects, and video games, has just created a mobile platform video game called “Project Fly”, as the first featured release of his Project Fly brand.

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Chicago Bears Star Kyle Long and UnitedHealthCare Partner to Aid St. Malachy Students

UnitedHealthcare (UH) donated a $22,000 grant to the Dreambuilders Foundation (DF) to fund a summer renovation project of Ellen Gates Starr Park, 2306 W. Maypole Ave. in Chicago. St. Malachy School’s, 2252 W. Washington Blvd., uses Starr Park as its primary playground.

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Illinois Utility Companies Unite to Warn Customers about Scam Artists

Three of Illinois’ largest utility providers recently united to warn their customers about an influx of scam artists posing as utility workers. ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas held a press conference at the Austin Senior Satellite Center, 5071 W. Congress Pkwy., in Chicago to discuss the crisis and solutions.

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Cook County Sheriff Supports Bill to Remove Low Level Offenders from Judicial System

Low-level offenders may soon be spending less time incarcerated thanks to Ill. Senate Bill 202 (SB 202), a piece of legislation that Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart is sponsoring. The bill, otherwise known as the Accelerated Resolution Court Act, shortens the length of time low-level offenders spend in the Cook County judicial system.

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Chicago Urban League Prepares to Send High School Students to China

The Chicago Urban League (CUL), in collaboration with American Airlines (AA) and the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), is coordinating its third annual Student Mission to China for Chicagoland high school students. CUL launched an online crowd funding campaign to sponsor 20 prospective students’ expenses for the two week voyage.

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Chicago Department of Public Health’s FoodBorne Chicago Program Recognized

The Chicago Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) FoodBorne Chicago program is a winner. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation recognized the initiative as one of the Top 25 programs during this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition held at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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Advocate Trinity Hospital Partners with American Stroke Association to Fight Strokes

May is American Stroke Month (ASM). That is why Advocate Trinity Hospital (ATH), 2320 E. 93rd St., a primary stroke care facility, and the American Stroke Association (ASA) have teamed up to raise awareness about the of warning signs of a stroke through a series of initiatives and programs.

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State Rep. Bob Rita to Hold Public Hearings on Gaming Expansion in Illinois

Ill. State Rep. Bob Rita (Dist.-28) is holding the second of two public hearings on gaming expansion in Illinois on May 11 at 10 a.m. in the conference room on the 6th floor of the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St.

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Young Women’s Leadership Charter High School Celebrates 15 Years of Success

The Young Women’s Leadership Charter High School (YWLC), 2641 S. Calumet Ave., the only all-girls public school in Chicago recently celebrated its 15th year anniversary during the school's annual fundraising luncheon at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

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Original Soul Vegetarian Offers Health Conscious Mother Day Brunch Alternative

If you are looking for somewhere untraditional to enjoy a Mother’s Day meal, then read on! Original Soul Vegetarian (OSV), 203 E. 75th St., will open its doors for its annual Mother’s Day vegan brunch buffet beginning at 10 a.m. starting at $25 per person on May 10.

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Chicago Bears First Round Picks Plans to Produce on the Field and in the Community

At the 2015 National Football League (NFL) Draft, the Chicago Bears chose West Virginia University (WVU) wide receiver, Kevin White, as their first pick. The Bears were seventh in line in terms of the 32 NFL teaming choosing new players during the draft.

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ComEd Training Facility Construction Underway

ComEd has begun construction on a new smart meter/grid training facility that will allow invaluable hands-on training opportunities for its employees. The new $25 million structure is located at 3536 S. Iron St. in Chicago and will cover nearly 190,000 sq. ft. once completed in 2016.

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Nation of Islam Hosts First Annual Save Our Boys Conference

The Nation of Islam (NOI) will host its first “Boys to Men: Save Our Boys Conference” for African American and Hispanic youth at Mosque Maryam, 7351 S. Stony Island Ave., on May 9. The day-long conference is from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. and is free admission for boys ages 8 through 17.

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The 48th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair Reaches for Higher Heights

On April 23 through 24, the 48th Annual Chicago Business Opportunity Fair (CBOF) hosted by the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. (Chicago MSDC) will once again commence in Chicago.

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BMOA’s 1st Annual My City’s Fly T-Shirt Competition Strives for Non-Violence in Chicagoland

Using fashion as a vehicle to promote non-violence, the Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana recently launched the 1st annual My City’s Fly t-shirt competition.

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Union Station to Receive $7 Million in Funding to Develop Infrastructure and Operating Strategies

Chicago's Union Station, 500 E. Jackson Blvd., is getting a $7 million facelift. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, Congressman Mike Quigley (Dist.- 5), Congressman Dan Lipinski (Dist. – 3), Amtrak and Metra announced the funding initiative which will help develop infrastructure improvements, train operating strategies and will enhance passenger rail service.

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CBA Addresses Fraud and Consumer Protection at Monthly Membership Meeting

It was all about fraud and consumer protection at the Chatham Business Association (CBA) monthly membership meeting held at the QGB Building, 806. E. 78th St, where Atty. Joshua Karsh, and Gloria Gayle, Vice President, Small Business Services, U.S. Bank, were invited to spell it all out.

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Greater Englewood CDC and Blue 1647 Partner to Create Business Accelerator

The Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation (Englewood CDC) and Blue 1647 have partnered to provide a technology based business development accelerator on the fourth floor of the US Bank building, 815 W. 63rd St. that will provide educational training, one-on-one consultation, and operational space to business owners.

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Academy Award-Winning Artist Common Scheduled to Give 2015 Commencement Speech for City Colleges of Chicago

Multiple award wining artist, Common, has agreed to deliver the commencement address at the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) graduation ceremony at the UIC Pavilion, 525 S. Racine Ave., on May 2.

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The 2015 NFL Draft Brings New Elements to Chicago

The City of Chicago and National Football League (NFL) officials are rolling out the red carpet for the first NFL Draft to commence in the city in 51 years. The 2015 NFL Draft will be held at Roosevelt University’s Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy., from April 30 through May 2.

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Black Women’s Expo Thrills and Inspires Visitors

The 21st Annual Black Women’s Expo (BWE) convened this past weekend and was a vast celebration of the African American woman. The event boasted educational seminars, a small business marketplace, and an array of inspirational speakers from March 27-29 and was held once again at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Dr. in Chicago.

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Chicago Transit Authority Expands Second Chance Program

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush (Dist.-1st) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Forrest Claypool announced the expansion of CTA’s Second Chance program, which provides career opportunities and job training for non-violent ex-offenders, victims of abuse, and others who need assistance while re-entering the workforce.

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Simeon’s Boys Basketball Coaching Staff are McDonald’s All Americans

Chicago’s own Simeon Career Academy’s, 8147 S. Vincennes Ave., boys varsity basketball team’s coaching staff will coach the 2015 McDonald's All American® Basketball Games (McDAAG) Boys’ West Team. The 38th Annual McDonald’s All American Games will be held on April 1 at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.

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Chicago Expands Small Business Financing Program

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expanding the city's Small Business Opportunity Center Program (SBOCP), a comprehensive financial service initiative for small businesses, via new centers that will be located throughout the city. The centers will maintain a $5 million budget designated for small business loans, with authorization to loan out up to $250,000 each.

21st Annual Black Women’s Expo Returns

The 21st Annual Black Women’s Expo (BWE) continues its legacy of celebrating African American women and girls. This year’s Expo will once again be held at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., from March 27-29.

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Congresswoman Robin Kelly Releases Report Approving Chicago’s Air Space for Third Airport

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (Dist.- 2nd) released a report that was released to her last week, by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which concludes that the proposed South Suburban Airport would have “minimal impact” on current operations at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, 10000 W. O'Hare Ave., and Chicago Midway International Airport, 5700 Cicero Ave. It also concludes that metro-Chicago airspace is capable of handling a third major airport.

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Gov. Rauner Makes South Side Stop to Push Illinois Turnaround Agenda

Ill. Gov. Bruce Rauner visited the QBG Foundation/Chicago Citizen Newspaper headquarters, 806. E. 78th St., last Friday for a lunch meeting, co-hosted by the Chatham Business Association (CBA) and the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council to discuss the minority economic development section of his Illinois Turnaround Agenda. Over 40 south side Chicago business owners and stakeholders attended.

Chicago Becomes “Model City” for Financial Education

The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability of Young Americans recently presented the Chicago Financial Education Initiative, a first-of-its-kind citywide financial literacy education program, at Ariel Community Academy, 1119 E. 46th St.

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