Friday, December 28, 2012

ALD. JASON ERVIN MARRIES MELISSA CONYEARS


A Good Meal Was Had By All



 Pastor Ira J. Acree & members of Greater St. John Bible Church stand ready to serve community residents a delicious home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)


Pastor Ira J. Acree in his official apron is in charge of the turkey at the Greater St. John Bible Church Thanksgiving feast for the community. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)































Children enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner at Greater St. John Bible Church, 1256 N. Waller Ave. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)















Pastor Eduardo Spragg & volunteers at Hamlett-Isom C.M.E. Church, 5446 W. Division St., prepared a delicious home-cooked Thanksgiving feast for the community. (Photo by Brad)

WALLS MEMORIAL C.M.E. CHURCH CELEBRATES HARVEST FESTIVAL

ALD. MITTS GIVES OUT 1,500 TURKEYS TO FILL WEST SIDE TABLES


NEW MT. PILGRIM WELCOMES AMBASSADOR ERTHARIN COUSIN TO THANKSGIVING FEAST


MT. OLIVET M.B. CHURCH BRINGS EARLY THANKSGIVING TO AUSTIN


The congregation of Mt. Olivet M.B. Church, 5642 West North Avenue, held its annual Pre-Thanksgiving Feed for its community on Saturday, November 10. They hosted more than 200 guests and had enough food, thanks to the generosity of Roeser’s Bakery, Mario’s Butcher Shop, Peoria Meats, Honey Baked Ham, Eli’s Cheesecake, Mary Kay Consultant Gloria Lewis, and Norma Bedingfield. Thanks are also extended to the William V. Banks Grand Lodge, Lillian Gill Grand Chapter, and Marie Mayfield Grand Youth Court for their support. Pastor Windol Jenkins and Sister Josephine Jenkins & family thank all the members of the Mt. Olivet family for their energy and hard work. A special Thanksgiving Worship Service is being held at Mt. Olivet at 8:00 AM Thursday. Everyone is invited to join and participate.


True Faith Primitive's 37th Anniversary

Elder Lonney Davis, Pastor of Mt. Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church, delivers the main address at the 37th anniversary commemoration for True Faith Primitive Baptist Church. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)



Pastor James O. Hampton of True Faith Primitive Baptist Church & First Lady Joann welcome Pastor Lonney Davis, Sr., of Mt. Pilgrim Primitive Baptist Church & First Lady, Rev. Cole & First Lady of Holy Zion M.B. Church, and Elder & Mrs. Davis to the 37th anniversary celebration of True Faith, 4859 W. Chicago Ave. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)











Pastor James & First Lady Joann Hampton of True Faith Primitive Baptist Church, with their eldest daughter & son-in-law Jamie & James Wilson, and granddaughter at the church’s 37th anniversary. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)


Mount Moriah Women's Conference

Mt. Moriah First Lady Yvette Streeter with Evangelist Yvonne Geralds addressing the Women’s Conference Nov. 17 in Broadview.


Minister Verlinda Nelson & Minister Wanda Sharp participating in the Women of Purpose 2012 Conference presented by Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of Christ, 1454 S. Kolin Avenue.

 



Sis. Mary Thomas, one of Mt. Moriah’s original Church Mothers guides participants into the Women of Purpose Conference in Broadview.

Chuck Spruell's turkey Raffle


FATHERS WHO CARE HOST ANNUAL THANKSGIVING FEAST AT MAY ACADEMY


ELECTED OFFICIALS & BUSINESSES UNITE TO GUARANTEE FESTIVE THANKSGIVING FOR LAWNDALE FAMILIES IN NEED

We say good bye this week to our Intern, KaSondra Edwards


CHICAGO JOB CORPS STUDENT OBTAINING GRAPHIC DESIGN TRAINING AT THE VOICE NEWSPAPERS

My name is KaSondra Edwards. I am 23 years old and originally from Colorado, but I came to Chicago from Topeka, Kansas, to attend the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center. I was looking for work when I was asked about my interests in careers by a gentleman who often talked to me about my future. He was a little worried when I told him that I was interested in Graphic Design and told me he didn’t think being an artist was a good idea, career-wise. I told him there were plenty of businesses needing Graphic Designers. I had used Photoshop CS2, but I felt that I could get better with the software involved. I like to draw manga style, a Japanese animation and comic style. I post my work on DeviantArt.com and experiment with tools and formats. I would spend many nights in front of my computer screen, sleepless and running on Pepsi, lining different characters I created. I loved working on it and finding effects and filters, the pen tool, different brush styles and layers.

I am assigned to THE VOICE Newspapers, where I have the opportunity to apply what I am learning in the classroom at the Paul Simon Job Corps Center and put it to use in real-life business situations. Plus, I am learning additional skills, making me even more proficient in my trade. I like working for THE VOICE and I especially like my mentor there, Jeff Potter, who is very understanding and points out useful shortcuts. 
Chicago is vast and the culture here is varied. It is a great experience. I may not know about everything going on it this city – part of me thinks that is impossible – but, I find it all exciting. Joining the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center to study Graphic Design was one of the most practical decisions of my life. It was all worth it!

The Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center is one of 125 vocational career training campuses nationwide operated by the U.S. Department of Labor. It is located at 3348 South Kedzie Avenue. The Chicago Job Corps Center offers nine career training courses, including: Carpentry, Painting, Bricklaying, Certified Nursing Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Materials Handling, Computer Service Technician, Office Practice, and Graphic Design. Training is offered without cost and job placement services are provided. The Job Corps is open to men and women ages 16-24. Dormitory housing is available free to students wishing to live on campus. Meals are provided free, also. Students without high school diplomas are required to take courses leading to graduation or GEDs. These, too, are offered free on center. Free childcare services are also available on center and program graduates can attend Chicago City Colleges tuition-free. For information on applying for admission to the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center, call Beth Allen at 773/890-3131. New students are admitted weekly as space permits and free tours are conducted every Friday. No reservations are required.

Good Reason to have Good Teeth

Dr. James Poulos of Madison Pine Dental Clinic, 5470 W. Madison St., and his Administrative Assistant Sally Sunshine Rowan present Thanksgiving turkeys to 30-year patient Johnny Grays and 20-year patient Albert Alexander. Dr. Poulos gave out 30 turkeys to brighten the holiday for his senior patients. (Photo by Brad)



THE VOICE PRESENTS WEST SIDE COMMUNITY-BUILDERS AWARDS AT MACARTHUR’S RESTAURANT

Monday, December 17, 2012

REGINA LEWIS & ASHUNTI HOUSE MARK 20 LIFE-CHANGING YEARS



In 1992, Regina D. Lewis took action to provide West Side residents in crisis with the social service assistance they need to repair their shattered and dysfunctional lives. She knows what they need both in direct services and spiritual support to improve their situations because she has been where they are. Regina is a former offender who won her personal battle for sobriety. She calls herself “A Diamond in the Rough.”

Regina founded Ashunti Residential Management Systems, Inc., with emergency housing and assistance, addictions treatment, childhood and adolescent mentoring and counseling, employment preparation and job placement services, plus referrals for educational help and medical care. Along the way, Regina launched Ashunti Transportation and Ashunti Catering Company to provide employment opportunities and make money to help fund Ashunti Community Resource Center and its array of services to clients in need.

Ashunti maintains several locations in Chicago’s West Side Austin and North Lawndale communities, including Centers at 4909 West Huron Street and 4350 West 16th Street, Nefertiti House, and Adom House.

For information regarding services provided by Ashunti Residential Management Systems, Inc., call 773/277-1200. For Ashunti Transportation, call First Transit at 877/725-0569, 773/379-6984, or 773/379-6981. For Ashunti Catering Company, call 773/277-1200.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Concert at Fisk University

Pastor K.L. Gayton (right) of First New Life Baptist Church thanks the planning committee for arranging the Fisk University Choir concert: Taneshia Hill, Canentra Williams & Arielle Johnson. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

 

First New Life Baptist Church presents the Fisk University Choir in concert. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)



WALKING IN THE SHEKINAH GLORY HOSTS INSPIRING MEN’S CONFERENCE

ONE-STOP TIRE SHOP OPENS ON MADISON STREET – FIRST OF THREE NEW BUSINESSES

Friday, December 7, 2012

HISTORIC MERCY SEAT BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW AUSTIN CHURCH

 Pastor Mac McCollum calls upon God to bestow His blessings on the new Mercy Seat Church being built, making it successful and bountiful in carrying out the Lord’s mission. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

 Rev. Johnny L. Miller praises the congregation of Mercy Seat for continuing its historic tradition of service to Christ and to His people. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

 The church leaders & planning committee at the Mercy Seat groundbreaking. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

 Ald. Jason Ervin congratulates Pastor Levelle Brown, Sr., & the congregation of Mercy Seat for their perseverance and determination in building a new church at 411 N. Long Ave., in Austin. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)


Rev. Levelle Brown, Sr., Pastor of Mercy Seat M.B. Church, calls the groundbreaking for the new building a great day for the Lord. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

Greater St. John Gets a Commiunity Builders Award


THE VOICE Newspapers Publisher Isaac Jones presents the West Side Community-Builders Award for Faith In Action to Reverend Ira J. Acree, Pastor of Greater St. John Bible Church, 1256 N. Waller Ave., for utilizing his religious teachings to improve the quality of life in his community. The award is presented annually by THE VOICE Newspapers. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

ONE-STOP TIRE SHOP TURNS INTO A HAUNTED HOUSE FOR HALLOWEEN

The One-Stop Graveyard Maze of the Living Dead. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)



One-Stop Tire Shop is transformed into a haunted tunnel of horrors for Halloween, complete with witches, zombies, and ghouls. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)
 Inside the Asylum of Dead Batteries at One-Stop Tire Shop, 5829 W. Madison St. on Halloween. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

One-Stop Tire Shop’s Happy Zombies on Halloween. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)


Kevin Jones and his daughter make it through the haunted maze. She says it wasn’t scary because she was with her daddy and she got candy! (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

ST. ANGELA STUDENT WINS NATIONAL GRAND PRIZE IN PARALYZED VETERANS ESSAY CONTEST

Ja-Marea Welch, 8th grade student in St. Angela Elementary School’s O’Rourke Prep, is congratulated by language arts teacher Sarah Miller for winning a Veterans Day trip to Washington, D.C., to receive the National Grand Prize from the Paralyzed Veterans of America for her essay telling a personal story about a veteran who has made a difference in her life. (Photo by Brad)



A’mere Dale, 8th grade student in O’Rourke Prep at St. Angela School, is congratulated by Sister Maryellen Callahan & language arts teacher Sarah Miller for being named a Finalist in the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence Poetry Competition. (Photo by Brad)



Harmonie Givens, St. Angela 4th grade student with her art teacher, Mrs. Lauren Fiorentino. Harmonie is a Finalist in the Paralyzed Veterans of America poster contest. She illustrated her uncle, who served in the Middle East with the United States Army. (Photo by Brad)



ABIGAIL WEBER, MAY ACADEMY 2nd GRADE TEACHER, WINS PRESTIGIOUS EDUCATION AWARD

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hopewell Primitive Baptist Celebrates an Anniversary

ST. ANGELA SCHOOL DEDICATES O’ROURKE PREP IN HONOR OF LATE PRINCIPAL

    St. Angela School, 1332 North Massasoit Avenue, recently dedicated the O’Rourke Prep for 6th, 7th & 8th graders in Cunningham Hall of the Catholic elementary school. The ceremony was held on the one-year anniversary of the sudden death of St. Angela’s Principal Mary Kay O’Rourke of a heart attack. She was the first lay principal of the school.
    O’Rourke Prep is designed to prepare middle school students for high school, college, and careers by separating them from primary level students. O’Rourke Prep students are assigned to three houses as homerooms: Notre Dame House, Marquette House, and Northern Illinois House. Plans are for students to visit each of these universities on an upcoming college tour. They are also expected to complete community service projects as upper class students.
    St. Angela School is an amazing success story in Chicago Catholic education, having risked closing when the sponsoring parish closed and enrollment dropped to nearly 100 students, close to the level at which the Archdiocese decides to close schools. The staff vowed to fight to keep St. Angela open. In the intervening years, enrollment has swelled to 400 students during a severe recession and at a time when many parochial schools are closing. St. Angela is acclaimed for consistently high standards, students winning prestigious awards and honors, and success at placing graduates in top high schools. Austin parents have made a commitment that their children receive high quality educations to ensure success in life, even if it means sacrificing to pay tuition to obtain it.
    For information regarding course offerings, financial assistance, and enrollment, call 773/626-2655. Mrs. Geralyn O’Rourke Lawler is St. Angela’s Principal.

ELLA FLAGG YOUNG SCHOOL CELEBRATES A FESTIVE HALLOWEEN

Friday, November 9, 2012

#2 MT. PLEASANT CELEBRATES PASTOR LESTER MINTER’S BIRTHDAY IN SONG

5TH ANNUAL LSC MEET & GREET

MT. OLIVET WOMEN'S DAY EVENT

COPS SWEEP AWAY VICE LORD & GANGSTER DISCIPLE

 
    Chicago Police recently executed search warrants and conducted a coordinated round-up of Vice Lord and Gangster Disciple street gang members operating a lucrative narcotics sales conspiracy at and around California Avenue & Jackson Boulevard on Chicago’s West Side. The mission was launched because of increasing incidents of gun violence in the neighborhood related to the narcotics sales.
    Narcotics Division officers, with assistance from the 11th District, took 17 of 22 targets into custody. Police recovered a quantity of heroin, crack cocaine, and cannabis, plus approximately $1,000 in cash. During the course of the investigation, police conducted covert video surveillance and made undercover controlled narcotics purchases from targets of the mission. Several of the narcotics buys took place within 1,000 feet of a school in the community.
    Charges against targeted offenders include drug-related crimes, including Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Delivery of Cannabis. Chicago Police continue to seek additional identified offenders and the investigation remains ongoing.

If it’s something’ weird an’ it don’t look good, Who ya gonna call? GANGBUSTERS!


COPS HAUNTING ZOMBIE DOPE DEALERS AT MAYPOLE & LEAMINGTON

    Declaring “Gang and narcotics activity plays a large role in the violence in our communities,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy unleashed gangbusters on the neighborhood of Maypole & Leamington Avenues in Chicago’s Austin community. Narcotics Division officers arrested 14 targeted offenders and the investigation remains ongoing.
    Superintendent McCarthy emphasizes that profits from drug sales buy guns used by gangbangers committing the violence that has driven this year’s murder rate above last year’s. “We will be relentless in our pursuit of those engaging in such activities,” McCarthy pledges.
    The 4 Corner Hustlers street gang, blamed for a recent plague of violence, controls narcotics sales in the area of Leamington & Maypole.
    “Drug markets diminish the quality of life in our communities and it is our mission to dismantle these drug markets and put the perpetrators in jail,” declares Narcotics Division Commander James O’Grady.
    Surveillance and numerous undercover narcotics buys enabled officers to identify 18 targets responsible for the sale of narcotics at this location. Additionally, police executed five search warrants. A majority of the identified targets are documented gang members, including nine convicted felons and one parolee. Fourteen are in custody.
    During the course of their investigation, Narcotics Division officers, working with the assistance of the Austin District and a Gang Enforcement Team, seized quantities of heroin, crack cocaine, and cannabis with a total estimated street value of nearly $20,000. Also taken in the sweep were a firearm, two vehicles, and cash.
    Charges against offenders include Delivery of a Controlled Substance and Delivery of Cannabis. Police are seeking additional identified offenders as the investigation continues.
    Austin Commander Barbara West is maintaining increased patrols around Maypole & Leamington to prevent gang members from re-establishing drug sales at this location.



Outstanding West Side Corporate Citizen PINE VALLEY RESTAURANT EARNS WALMART COMMUNITY-BUILDERS AWARD FROM VOICE NEWSPAPERS

BETHLEHEM UNITY CELEBRATES 1st ANNIVERSARY OF PASTOR BILL EVANS

PARADE FOR JESUS LARGER THAN EVER DESPITE CHILLY WEATHER

REV. IRA ACREE CONCLUDES SUMMER MARCHES FOR PEACE

MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD TO CELEBRATE LIFE OF MARY ELLA “GYPSY” MOORE

    A memorial service for Mary Ella Moore, known as Gypsy, was held at JLM Abundant Life Center on October 18 to celebrate the vibrant life of an active West Sider who died October 14 at age 56.
    She was born May 7, 1956, to Joseph Moore, Sr., and Dorothy Bellamy Moore in Ashtabula, Ohio, the third of eight children. The family moved to Chicago in 1962 when she was 6. She graduated from Mulligan Elementary and attended Crane High School.
    In 1979, she was introduced to the world of fashion. She described herself as “a baldhead girl who wore scarves and big earrings,” earning her the nickname “Gypsy.”
    She became an entrepreneurial designer of leather clothing and accessories, including belts and jewelry. In 1993, after 15 years of designing and selling her own creations, Gypsy launched a project teaching leather crafts to children of Bethel New Life, Franklin Park, Agape Youth Center, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Homan Square, Garfield Park, and LaFollette Park. She operated a shop selling her creations and taking orders for custom items in the lower level of Homan Square.
    In 2003, she became Executive Director of Third Gear Youth Leadership Organization, the foundation established by her son, NBA Basketball player Linton Johnson III. The goal was to assist children to succeed in their journey through life.

ANGRY AUSTINITES PROTEST US BANK CLOSING DIVISION STREET BRANCH

    US Bank enraged senior citizens living at Beth-Anne Residence, citizens of North Austin, and elected officials for its unilateral decision to close its branch in the professional office building at 4909 West Division Street. The branch is located adjacent to the Beth-Anne senior residential apartments and assisted care facility. Many of the residents do not have cars or are handicapped, restricting their ability to travel and conduct their banking. The US Bank branch is also convenient for residents of the surrounding neighborhood.
    US Bank announced there is insufficient business at the branch to warrant keeping it open. The branch is slated to close November 16. The closest US Bank branches are located at Madison Street & Austin Boulevard and North Avenue & Austin, over a mile away from the Division Street branch.
    A loud demonstration at the branch was held October 13, organized by Northwest Austin Council, local clergy, Alderman Emma Mitts, and Beth-Anne seniors. Alderman Mitts complained that US Bank officials were disrespecting her and her constituents by refusing to return her calls to discuss the matter.
    A Beth-Anne resident waved a stack of petitions with signatures she collected protesting the bank closure. Former newspaper publisher and civil rights activist Chuck Harris quoted W.E.B. DuBois and declared US Bank’s action to be “pure and simply racist!”
    Stephen Robinson, Executive Director of Northwest Austin Council, and Alderman Emma Mitts urged US Bank customers to close their accounts. “If they are abandoning us, we will abandon them,” Mitts declared.
    Several years ago, an official of US Bank told THE VOICE Newspapers that US Bank never wanted branches in Chicago’s West Side African American Austin community, but that they built the branch at Madison & Laramie only to win approval from banking regulators to open a US Bank facility in the Loop.
    US Bank also earned the wrath of Austin leaders when Park National Bank was closed and given to US Bank, which had no history of serving urban and minority communities. US Bank refuses to advertise its services in local African American newspapers.
    State Representative La Shawn K. Ford tells THE VOICE Newspapers that the credit union with an office in the Division Street building has signed a lease for the US Bank space. However, the credit union has sporadic hours, also refuses to advertise its services, and community leaders say it is too small and limited to effectively replace a real bank.

Friday, November 2, 2012

True Way of Life Community Breakfast

Bishop Willie Benson III & First Lady with the Planning Committee for the True Way of Life Community Breakfast. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

Bishop Willie Benson III, Pastor of True Way of Life Church, 3949 W. Lake St., welcomes guests to a Community Breakfast. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)

HAMLETT-ISOM MUSIC MINISTRY CELEBRATES 57th CHOIR ANNIVERSARY



Hamlett-Isom C.M.E. Church, 5446 West Division Street, celebrated two milestones in late August: the welcoming of Reverend Eduardo Spragg as their new Pastor, and the 57th Choir Anniversary. Reverend Spragg brings an exceptional teaching and preaching background from his position as Presiding Elder of the Southeast Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin Episcopal District of the C.M.E. Church. In addition, Reverend Spragg has served for 23 years as a Chaplain in the U.S. Armed Services. He carried God’s Word as a missionary in countries around the world.

Coinciding with the arrival of Pastor Spragg to Hamlett-Isom C.M.E. Church was the congregation’s celebration of its Music Ministry under the leadership of Minister Francis Haggins, and the 57th Anniversary of the church choir, under the direction of Shirwan Dye, with organist Louis Marshall and percussionist Randell Montgomery. Guest churches at the anniversary celebration were: Jubilee C.M.E. Church, St. Andrew’s M.B. Church, and Bray Temple C.M.E. Church.

Rev. Robert Lockett, 19th Anniversary!

The congregation of New Greater True Light M.B. Church, 5401 W. Chicago Ave., recently saluted Rev. Robert Lockett & his First Lady on his 19th anniversary as Pastor. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)


Smile for Change

Dedicated volunteers with SMILE for CHANGE enlisted the support of Rolling Clean Car Wash & Detailing, 5817 W. Corcoran Place, who donated a portion of each carwash to a fund to K.O. breast cancer and aid Monica Phillip. To contribute, log onto: SMILEforCHANGE.org. (Photo by Brad)


NASCAR DRIVER TIA NORFLEET HEADLINES 5th NORTH LAWNDALE HISTORIC CAR SHOW



By Tanya Harris

Tia Norfleet, the only African American female professional race car driver on the NASCAR circuit and daughter of famous auto racer Bobby Norfleet, made a special guest appearance at the 5th Annual Route 66 Historic Car Show presented by Lawndale Christian Development Corporation.
Norfleet, 25, has been licensed to race since 2010, but has been surrounded by cars and part of the racing world all her life with her famous father, auto racer Bobby Norfleet. She talked about her struggle to attract sponsors because of her refusal to sign with an alcoholic beverage company.
Tia spent the day talking with children and local residents about her life and career, accompanied by her proud father.

PARENTS, TEACHERS & KIDS OPEN AUSTIN LIBRARY’S NEW CHILDREN’S SECTION



The Austin Branch Library, 5615 West Race Avenue, held an Open House October 10 to officially dedicate its new Children’s Section. The festive event for parents, area school teachers, and especially kids, featured story time with Children’s Librarian Shelley Hughes reading books and directing children in a variety of activities related to the stories being read.

Hughes has been on staff at the Austin Library since March, after five years at the Roosevelt Branch on Taylor Street. She directed the reorganization of the entire Children’s Section, including moving all children’s books into the main Children’s Reading Room and lowering bookshelves to more convenient heights for young readers. All out-of-date reference works and books in poor condition were removed and replaced.

The purpose of the Open House was to show off the new facilities and make parents and teachers aware of the library’s services and programs for young people. Ms Hughes set up activity stations at the Open House, including Worm Races (a tracing game for young children), bookmaking, Fall Word Search, If You’re a Monster and You Know It (making foam rubber monsters), story time, and refreshments.

Among the library’s staff for young people is Mr. Williams, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher who is a specialist in math and science. He is the Certified Teacher in the Library, providing homework help and assistance with science projects. He is available at the library Monday through Thursday, 3:00 PM to closing.

In addition, the library offers the No Commitment Book Club for young people ages 9-14. They meet once a month and kids can participate whether they have read the featured book or not. For meeting times and the book being discussed, see Ms Hughes.
There is a Book Nook with comfortable chairs away from the bustle of the Children’s Reading Room for people to study and read without distractions. An After School Art Project is offered in the activity room for children 7-14 years old. The library has computers dedicated specifically for children’s use.

Pre-School Story Time is offered free for children ages 3 to 5 and their adult caregivers on Thursday mornings in November and December at 10:30 AM. Register in person at the library or call 312/746-5038. Mother Goose on the Loose is provided free for infants and toddlers on Saturday, November 3 and December 1 & 15, at 10:30 AM for children to age 5 with adult caregivers. It uses music, movement, and nursery rhymes to introduce pre-literacy skills to young non-readers. Register in person or by phone at 312/746-5038. JoAnne Grant is the Branch Manager of the Austin Library.

NEW LANDMARK CONGREGATION CELEBRATES 11th ANNIVERSARY OF PASTOR CY FIELDS

Pastor Cy Fields with his wife and two daughters celebrate his 11th pastoral anniversary at New Landmark M.B. Church, 2700 West Wilcox. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)


Special guest speaker for the service celebrating Pastor Cy Fields’ 11th anniversary leading New Landmark M.B. Church is Pastor John L. Belsen, Sr., of First Baptist Church of Melrose Park, Florida. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)


GREATER GARFIELD PARK M.B. CHURCH CELEBRATES 57th ANNIVERSARY

Dr. Johnny L. Miller Leads Revival

Rev. Willie Southworth, Pastor of True Story M.B. Church, 4211 W. Division St., & First Lady Marsha welcome Rev. Dr. Johnny L Miller, Pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, to lead a revival. With them are Rev. Thomas Woods & Rev. Rushell McElroy. (Photo by Marilyn Hampton)


REPORT FROM ALDERMAN EMMA MITTS

U.S. Bank’s Nov. 16 Austin Bail Out Leaves Fewer  Neighborhood Financial Options

Saturday, October 13, 2012 Community Rally & Press Conference To Express Consumer Concerns


Banking is big business - - but apparently, according to U.S. Bank - - just not on the city’s west side in Austin. Perhaps you’ve heard the news? They are officially ‘bailing out’ on Austin - - and right before the holidays, and as of the effective date of November 16, 2012, the U.S. Bank branch at 4909 West Division will forever shut its doors to the community. 

Why? That is among the many questions I and many others are still waiting to be answered. 

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 12:00 noon, I joined forces with the Northwest Austin Council and the South Austin Coalition, local clergy, residents, seniors and others to oppose the upcoming scheduled November 16th closing of the Austin branch of U.S. Bank, which for a few more weeks, is located at 4909 West Division. 

When I first learned about the possibility of the closing, I immediately sprang into action to determine what could be done to avert this situation, saving jobs and needed services, at the urging of my constituents. While I was not contacted directly by the financial institution before word spread throughout the community, I stood in support of the community’s desire to retain this financial institution in the area.

U.S. Bank is the nation’s fifth largest financial institution, with over $353 billion in assets, and the closure of this facility will drastically reduce the available services for many of our most vulnerable groups - - -  especially seniors, homeowners, working  families,  as well as local businesses, churches and organizations whose accounts were held at the U.S. Bank Austin branch. 


Many strong activists and elected officials fought too hard to bring banking services to Austin over the years to just let them fade way now due to some obscure corporate policies. We must fight for our dignity. 

That’s why we march and rally, before holding a community press conference to address our concerns about the abrupt  plans to shutter this convenient banking outlet for many local seniors and home owners in the neighboring area. 

This appears to be a prime example of community disinvestment, and worse, evidently shows a major lack of respect for the customers who embraced their entry into the Austin neighborhood several years ago. 

The 37th Ward Service Office is OPEN AND READY TO SERVE YOU during regular business hours, so feel free to call 773-745-2894 or stop by Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Fridays, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon. Thank you! 

Need a service or have a question? Contact my ward office at 773-745-2894, or send an email: emitts@cityofchicago.org.

Gang Infested Townhouse Torn Down

The block of dilapidated and gang-infested townhouses along Washington Blvd. east of Pine Avenue has finally been torn down after decades of complaints from surrounding homeowners. (Photo by Brad)


COMMUNITY BANK AWARDS CHAMPION GRANT TO SARAH’S INN

Representatives of Sarah’s Inn accept a $1,000 Champion Grant from Bernard D. Headley II & Janel Morales of Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest for services to victims of domestic abuse and violence.

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest has awarded a Champion Grant to Sarah’s Inn. The bank’s Champion Grants assist organizations in providing community outreach programs for low and moderate-income individuals.

The mission of Sarah’s Inn is to stand with victims of domestic violence and their children. Sarah’s Inn serves Chicago’s West Side and 22 near west Cook County suburbs. It is dedicated to providing services addressing the myriad issues of domestic violence.

While offering support and advocacy to clients and their families, Sarah’s Inn provides resources so victims are able to rebuild their lives free from violence. Programs provided by Sarah’s Inn include women’s advocacy support, legal assistance, partner abuse intervention, residential placement, and family art therapy. Information about Sarah’s Inn and its services is available on their website at www.sarahsinn.org.

A Champion Grant in the amount of $1,000 was presented to Regina Botterill, Executive Director of Sarah’s Inn. Also accepting the grant on behalf of Sarah’s Inn were Juliet Yera, Development Director, and Laura Hunneswell from the board of directors. Bernard D. Headley II, Community Lending Specialist for Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest, and Janel Morales, Retail Banking Officer, presented the grant.

Through the Champion Grant, Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest encourages growth and support in economically challenged communities. Champion Grants will be awarded to qualifying organizations throughout the year. The Champion Grant application is available on the Community Bank website: www.cboprf.com.

300 NORTH MASON BLOCK CLUB CONTINUES TRADITION OF MENTORING CHILDREN

Children of the 300 block of North Mason showing off their new backpacks, gifts of their neighbors to encourage success in school. (Photo by Brad)



 Mrs. Doretha Stafford, President Emeritus of the 300 N. Mason block, surrounded by the neighborhood children she has known since birth and helped raise. (Photo by Brad)



Big Time Gamblers: Residents of the 300 block of North Mason playing some wild, high-stakes games of BINGO at the block club party. (Photo by Brad)


The 300 North Mason block club has stood together for many years. Residents of the block continued a long tradition of supporting their children and encouraging them to excel. They held a festive, end of summer block party and gave out 75 backpacks to neighborhood children returning to school.

Doretha Stafford, at 80 years old, is President Emeritus of the block and hasn’t lost any of her fire or drive. Mary H. Austin, another longtime leader, was Coordinator of this years block party, with current block club President, Mrs. Alice Jackson, and Refreshments Planner, Mrs. Minnie Jordan.