Friday, September 28, 2012


Happy Birthday & a poke in your eye! Chuck Spruell & Walter Tidwell, both pugilists, strike a boxing pose at the birthday party for Chuck at Pine Valley Family Restaurant, 1600 S. Pulaski Rd.

Mr. & Mrs. Fletcher drop in on Chuck’s birthday party. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

Chuck Takes the Cake! Friends surround Chuck Spruell as Louise Harper presents him with a birthday cake at Pine Valley Family Restaurant. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

Friends since high school, Chuck & John Robertson reminisce about old times. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

Professor John Hagedorn, Lawndale activist Valerie Leonard & Sonny stop by to say happy birthday to Chuck Spruell. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

Cindy & Pearl wish Chuck a happy birthday. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)



Ill. Sec. of State Jesse White is joined by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, and Ill. State Police Director Hiram Grau in announcing the busting of an auto theft ring that stole more than 200 vehicles worth $4 million, including Cadillacs, Land Rovers, Mercedes & BMWs. The joint law enforcement effort, headed by the Secretary of State Police, disbanded the illegal operation and arrested 21 offenders.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is warning businesses to beware of a scam targeting Illinois corporations. A firm called Corporate Records Service is contacting businesses in an attempt to collect a $125 fee to fill out and file a corporation’s “Annual Minutes Records Form.” The Illinois Business Corporation Act does not require corporations to file a “Minutes Records Form” or pay such a fee with the state or any private entity.
“The problem is that the form this bogus firm is sending out looks similar to our Secretary of State’s annual report form,” Jesse White says. “We are concerned that companies are filing the form and paying the $125 because they believe they are filing their annual report with us, as required by law.”
    Although the bogus notice states that the fee must be paid by September 21, 2012, there is no fee due to the state for that purpose. The only fee that corporations must pay is the fee that is paid with their annual report. Illinois corporations should be on the alert for this and other similar attempts to defraud them.
    White is recommending that corporations do not reply to the solicitation. The Secretary of State Police and Illinois Attorney General’s Office are investigating this deceptive business practice.
    If a business has questions or wants to report that it has been a victim of the scam, they are asked to contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 312/814-2201.


Linda McWright, Program Director for Clark Park, 4615 W. Jackson Blvd., keeps seniors active and fit with aerobics exercise classes at the Enola A. Dew Residence, 4603 W. Gladys St., and the Elois McCoy Residence, 4650 W. Van Buren St. For information, class schedule, and registration, call Linda McWright at 773/287-7794. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

A man gets his workout in the aerobics class taught by Linda McWright of Clark Park at HSI senior residences. For information, call 773/287-7794. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)

Work it. Work it! Seniors taking part in an aerobics class have fun while they get fit under the direction of Linda McWright of Clark Park, 4615 W. Jackson Blvd. Classes are taught at the Elois McCoy & Enola A. Dew Residences of HSI. For information, call 773/287-7794. (Photo by Walter Tidwell)


On Sunday night, September 2, at 11:10 PM, uniformed police officers responded to a call of a man with a gun in the 1400 block of North Linder Avenue. Responding officers observed the offender, Latimer Mason, 38 years old, in the backyard. They announced their office and ordered Mason to drop his weapon. Instead, he pointed the gun at the officers and one of them fired at the offender, missing him. Mason was then arrested and the gun was recovered.

Latimer Mason, 38, was arrested on the 1400 block of N. Linder and charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer with a Firearm (felonies). He is also charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon (a felony), plus one count of Possession of Ammunition and one count of Possession of a Firearm without a valid FOID (both misdemeanors). He appeared in criminal court Sept. 4.

New Leadership, New Energy, New Spirit FRANCIS SCOTT KEY SCHOOL IS ON THE MOVE!

The Francis Scott Key leadership team with students: (left to right) Pete Retsos, Assistant Principal; Principal Margo Giannoulis-King; and Dean of Students Wendell Smith. (Photo by Brad)
There is new electricity in the air at Francis Scott Key Elementary School, 517 North Parkside Avenue, a feeling of hope and excitement as the new school year opens. Much of the credit for this atmosphere can be credited to the new administration and what they are bringing to Key. Margo Giannoulis-King is the new Principal at Key. She was a Principal Intern last year at Phoenix Military Academy High School and is a member of the UIC Principal Urban Leadership Program with a focus on curriculum design. 

Before moving to Phoenix Military Academy, she taught at Kenwood Academy High School, where she was recognized for her creativity and uniquely innovative style. Ms Giannoulis earned her Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and her Master’s from DePaul. Prior to becoming a teacher, she worked in City Hall organizing the Chicago Farmers Markets and mentoring CPS high school students in government. When Key parents sought her out and urged her to apply for the principalship, Giannoulis firmly declined, emphasizing that she was a high school level administrator and teacher. The parents were persistent and finally convinced her to come to Key. In June, when Ms Giannoulis arrived at Francis Scott Key, she determined immediately that the entire school required a change in culture and climate if students were going to excel. She brought with her from Phoenix Pete Retsos to be her Assistant Principal and Wendell Smith, a former Marine, joined the leadership team from Kenwood Academy as Dean of Students. Thus, a high school structure and focus were put into place by leaders with secondary school backgrounds. 
Even as Francis Scott Key advances, students still like to be kids at recess. (Photo by Brad)

There were also changes in the classroom, with 33% of the 17-member teaching staff new to Key. The instructional style was changed to be more individualized, better serving each child’s needs and comprehension. Giannoulis describes herself as an instructional mentor and takes an active role working with teachers and students in the classroom. Already, Key has progressed from Level 2 to Level 1 in test scores. This year, 78% of 4th graders are reading at Meet & Exceed Levels. The staff is starting Saturday classes for ten weeks from 8:30 to 11:30 AM. The school has a Brain Hurricane Tutoring Program to help students master subject material and advance further academically. The new administration launched a student government and called for elections, coinciding with the national political campaigns. Elections were held Tuesday, following a candidates forum. Cleveland Gidney Clark was elected President. 
Cleveland Clark explains his platform in his run for Key School President at the candidates forum. He won the election. (Photo by Brad)

Key is starting a competitive chess club and other clubs and extracurricular activities usually reserved for the high school scene. The students are enjoying the opportunities and variety of options. Mr. Retsos has a background in musical and spoken word production. He says he is working to develop student talent and is inviting professional performers to the school to expose Key students to a variety of cultural experiences. Currently, Key has 305 students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 8, but Giannoulis says those numbers are rising as word spreads of the improvements at Key. The leadership team at Key puts it bluntly: “All Key students have a right to attend the best high schools and colleges. It is our duty to ensure they qualify and succeed!” For information regarding curriculum offerings and enrollment opportunities at Francis Scott Key Elementary School, call Ms Giannoulis-King at 773/534-6230. 
Candidates for Francis Scott Key Student Government. (Photo by Brad)