Chicago

THE WORD | Jennifer Hudson Headlines Gala That Raises $1.1 Million For Music Education At Ravinia

Nearly 800 guests attended the black tie gala (attire was optional ) hosted by Ravinia's Women's Board which preceeded the Ravina Festival concert. The event was held to support the festival and its Reach Teach Play education programs grossed more than $1.1 million, making it one of the most successful in the 53-year history of the event. 

Chicago's own Oscar- and Grammy- winning Jennifer Hudson made her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut, headlining the concert.

"There was a raw excitement when Ravinia first introduced Jennifer Hudson to our audiences in 2011, and for tonight's gala we welcomed back a masterful artist in full control of her adoring audience and her phenomenal talents," said Ravinia President and CEO Welz Kauffman of Highland Park, who booked this gala and all Ravinia concerts. "As she said onstage, Jennifer often comes to Ravinia as an audience member to watch our headliners perform, and it's that love of music that makes her connect so beautifully with an audience. This was an event people will be talking about for years." Via broadwayworld.com

According to broadwayworld.com It was Ravinia's Women's Board that initiated Ravinia's education programs more than four decades ago, and the all-volunteer board remains the largest supporter of Reach Teach Play, which now serves more than 85,000 people each year. 

THE WORD | FAMOUS YOUTUBER FOUND DEAD

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The New York Police Department confirmed on Tuesday that a body found on the evening of June 24 has been positively identified as Daniel Desmond Amofah also known as Etika, a famous youtuber. Amofah was 29 years old. He had been considered missing since June 19, when authorities found and recovered his belongings, including his cellphone and identification. Prior to Etika being found, earlier this week he posted a video stating that he was sorry for not letting the people who care in & that it was too late. Then that is when days later Erika’s body was found.

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May Etika rest In Peace ❤️Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Amofah 🙏🏽

THE WORD | MAN BEING DEPORTED ESCAPES ICE AGENTS AT O'HARE, CATCHES CAB AFTER USING RESTROOM!

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A 32 year old male (Radu Anghel) was being deported and escaped immigration agents by sneaking out of a restroom during a layover at O'Hare International Airport.

Anghel, slipped past two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on June 10 at the airport's international terminal as he was being transported from Texas back to his home country of Romania. He came to the states on a work permit but did not return to his home country when the work permit expired.

When officials realized that Anghel had escaped they call for police officials to be at stand at each exit, it it was to late. Anghel had already got away. The police are still searching for Anghel.

THE WORD | Dreezy Joins PUMA As Newest Ambassador For Classic Summer Kicks

“PUMA has been a stamp for stylish and comfortable clothes since I can remember. You are what you wear, and PUMA is clean and respected.”

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The Chicago rapper Dreezy made her debut with PUMA in the brand’s latest CALI Bold campaign, Monday (June 17). The footwear apparel giant hand-picked the hip-hop star as its vibrant new face not just because of her incredible fashion sense, but as a means to further incorporate music with fashion and sports—a hybrid culture PUMA prides itself on fostering more and more today.

THE WORD | Chicago’s R&B Singer Ann Marie Inks a Deal With Interscope Records

Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records. Ann Marie took social media and provided this message and video for her fans.

Ann Marie was discovered by rapper and co-founder of City Entertainment Group Mikkey Halsted in 2017 after he met her at a G Herbo concert in Chicago.

“Management was just the best fit for Ann and me, because I wanted to be as hands-on as possible and knew she’d be huge really fast,” Halsted says.

Ann Marie is known for records such as Little Secret ft YK Osiris and Handle It. Ann Marie meshes ‘90s and 2000s-era R&B with contemporary sounds, in a way consistent with Ella Mai, and H.E.R., and she’s been lauded by the hip-hop and R&B press as well as Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.

According to Variety Interscope senior director of A&R Caroline “Baroline” Diaz, who also signed DaBaby, made contact early. “She’s a rare combination of singer/songwriter that speaks for a generation and whose sound is already resonating beyond her Chicago roots,” she says.

Check out some Ann Marie Videos:

THE WORD | Checkout Virgil Abloh's New Art Exhibition at the MCA In Chicago

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Creator of the top Urban Brand Off White and men's artistic director for Louis Vuitton Virgil Abloh launched his  first-ever solo exhibition, "Figures Of Speech," of his work will be on display opening Today (Monday, June 10 ) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

The Illinois-born designer, 38, has been creating fashion, objects, furniture, graphic works, painting, sculpture and photography for the last 20 years. Abloh became a household name after working on creative direction for Kanye West’s DONDA firm, where he collaborated with the musician on album covers, concert designs and merchandising.

"I felt the public needed to know more about this artist and why he is important,There are so many ideas embedded in his work and such ambition there. Virgil’s work seems to speak to people from all sorts of different interest groups." Michael Darling, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Chief Curator.

Also Checkout Virgil’s Louis Vuitton creative pop up in Chicago’s west loop.




THE WORD | Lil Durk Is Facing 5 Felony Charges, including Criminal Intent To Commit Murder

On May 29,2019, Lil Durk revealed that he planned to turn himself in, which implied that he was expecting to be arrested by police. According to TMZ the Atlanta Police Department has issued a warrant for the Chicago rapper's arrest.

TMZ says the authorities plan to charge Durk with criminal intent to commit murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and associating with a criminal street gang to participate in a crime. At press time, Durk is not in police custody. WSB-TV Channel 2’s Michael Seiden talked with Durk Derrick Banks’ attorney, who confirmed his client will surrender later Today (May 30).

Lil Durk’s attorney said the charges are in connection with a shooting outside The Varsity a few days after the Super Bowl.

THE WORD| Jason Mitchell Dropped From ‘The Chi’ Season 3, Netflix Film

Rising actor, Jason Mitchell, who received his break out role as Eazy-E in 2015 Straight Outta Compton film has recently been dropped by both his agency, UTA, and management company, Authentic Talent & Literacy Management, in what appears to be “allegations of inappropriate behavior”, as phrased by Deadline. The specifics of the accusations like who and what are unclear to the media, it appears that this isn’t the first issue with his behavior. The Chi co-star Tiffany Boone has previously addressed her concerns with the actor which were later resolved. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Boone previously had difficulty filming with Mitchell. It’s said that Boone felt unsafe working with Mitchell and her efforts to continue working with him have gone so far as to having her fiancé, Dear White People actor Marque Richardson, come to set on several occasions. Ultimately, Boone informed the Fox 21 producers that she could no longer work with him. Aside from Boone, several other actresses from the show came forward with grievances about Mitchell. 

The source also added that along with companies UTA and Authentic terminating him, Mitchell has also been released from an upcoming Netflix film, Desperados, which he was already casted but is now replaced by actor Lamorne Morris. Along with the upcoming film he’s reportedly being released from Lena Waithe’s “The Chi” after they’ve been renewed for a third season. The show commented stating that he’d continue no longer than the current season. It’s unclear as to how, the show will move forward with Mitchell’s character, Brandon, considering he plays a vital role to the shows story line. 

THE WORD | Pregnant Chicago woman found dead; baby found alive but in grave condition

A body was discovered just after midnight Tuesday in a trash bin behind a home on the 4100 block of West 77th Place. The Cook County medical examiner's office identified the body on Wednesday as that of 19-year-old Marlen Ochoa-Lopezi. She was nine months pregnant when she went missing on April 23, and there are now indications that was the day she was killed.

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Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was strangled, authorities said. Police said her baby, who was in grave condition, had been "forcibly removed" from her mother's body. The newborn was found when paramedics responded to a call of a baby in distress April 23, the day Marlen Ochoa-Lopez went missing after arranging to pick up baby clothes from someone she met in a Facebook group, a Chicago fire spokesman said, according to NBC Chicago.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez was nine months pregnant when she went missing after she was last seen leaving the Latino Youth High School were she was enrolled. She had arranged to pick up baby clothes on the day she disappeared, plans she had made through a Facebook group called "Help A Sista Out."

Ochoa was supposed to pick up her 3-year-old son from day care later that afternoon, but she never showed up, her family said. Four people remain in custody in connection to the murder.

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THE WORD | PBS Arthur’s MR.Ratburn Gay Marriage Reactions

Monday, May 13 the animated children’s series Arthur entered its 22nd season on PBS Kids. The new season kicked off with a bang! In the episode titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” we learn that Arthur’s teacher — the popular and well educated Mr. Ratburn — is gay.

Throughout the episode Arthur, Buster and their friends attempt to break up his engagement after seeing Mr. Ratburn with a rather “pushy” woman who throughout the episode tells him to “toughen up”. Convinced, that marrying her would make both his life and theirs miserable the kids decide to take action without knowing the woman in question is his sister and not the bride to be. Upon the wedding, the kids are shocked to see him walk the aisle with someone else, yet relieved by how happy the couple appears. The kids decide to abort their plans to soil the wedding, and focus their attention on a bigger problem amongst the couple... the way they dance.

While this episode has been well received by the public, many are simply shocked that the series reached 22 seasons, it does leave some asking is the media pushing the LGBTQ agenda onto kids at too young of an age? Several shows on children’s networks like Disney and Nickelodeon have transitioned into the practice of creating and displaying characters who relate to and are members of the LGBTQ community. While many agree that education on the topic is important and the community presence and identity is needed, the culture asks, is it becoming too much for the children?

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THE WORD | King Louie Hints at New Music, and His Fans React lol

Chicago hip hop artist King Love took social media to announce that he is dropping new music this Friday. King L has been off the grid musically for a while, some believe it’s because of his legal battle with former record label Lawless Inc. King L, recently tweeted about his freedom and his fan reacted.




THE WORD | Black-Owned Urgent Care Center Opens Up In Chicago

Chicago is the home of great things. It’s the headquarter for Whats The Word, the hometown of Chance the Rapper, Derrick Rose and now a Black owned urgent care center. Premier Health Urgent Care is a healthcare facility that just opened up on the Southside of Chicago. In the Hyde Park neighborhood the owners have made a commitment to providing the highest quality of healthcare and affordable services to it clients.

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Pictured above are all six of the doctors who decided to open up the medical center. One owner, Dr. Rutland was quoted saying “We are happy to open an urgent care in Hyde Park because the community needs it. I see so many urban professionals who either delay or go without care because of time constraints. No one has 8 hours to wait in the emergency department for a minor illness or the flexibility to wait 3 weeks because their primary care doctor is booked solid. We are here to help fill that gap,”.

Premier Health Urgent Care is located at 1301 E. 47th Street building #2 Chicago, IL. Office hours are Monday through Friday 10am-7pm.

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This is important and significant to our community. Not only was this medical center put in an urban community but it is own and operated by Blacks. Chicago is a great city and like I’ve said before the home of great people. However, Chicago gets a bad reputation because of the crime that happens here. Hopefully, this ground breaking achievement help bring favor to the city’s name.

THE WORD | Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot meets with Ivanka Trump at White House

Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot arrived at the White House Tuesday, kicking off three days of meetings in the nation’s capital.

She started by meeting with Ivanka Trump at the White House. Lightfoot and the president’s daughter, a senior White House adviser, discussed workforce development, vocational education, economic revitalization, parole reform and crime prevention, among other topics. Lightfoot also met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top congressional leaders.

Lightfoot was not scheduled to meet with the president.

On Wednesday…

The mayor-elect attended a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus with her fundraiser at a government affairs group. Lightfoot encouraged the CBC’s members during a closed-door meeting to visit Chicago during next year’s Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.

“Once I take office, my responsibility is to be the chief ambassador for our great city and make sure that people really know the true nature of what’s happening in Chicago and not just screaming headlines that may be tweeted out by a certain someone,” Lightfoot said at an evening news conference, making a clear reference to President Donald Trump.

Her last public meeting of the day was with DeFazio, the transportation chairman, at his office in the Rayburn building, where Lightfoot said she worked as a young staffer making $12,000 per year after college.

“Where I came from, being here in the big city and really being away from home for a lengthy period of time and being on my own was a very big deal,” Lightfoot said.

On Thursday she met with the Chicago and the rest of the Illinois congressional delegation at lunch and breakfast in addition to one-on-ones with Democratic Illinois Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.

THE WORD | The Obamas Announces New Projects With Netflix

Former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama have a multiyear production deal with Netflix to produce shows and films. The annoucement of what specific content was recently announced 11 months after signing the deal with Netflix.

 “Touching on issues of race and class, democracy and civil rights and much more, we believe each of these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect and inspire us all,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

Here’s an early look at the shows and films the Obamas are planning (Source: NY TIMES)

 

“American Factory,” a documentary that examines life in Ohio where a Chinese billionaire opened a factory in a former General Motors plant and hired 2,000 people. Higher Ground Productions described the film, produced by Participant Media and directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, as “early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.” The documentary was already shown at the Sundance Film Festival, and Higher Ground Productions said it would be its first release.

“Bloom,” a drama series set in post-World War II New York that will explore the “barriers faced by women and by people of color in an era marked by hurdles but also tremendous progress.” It will be produced by Callie Khouri, who wrote “Thelma & Louise.”

 ■A film adaptation of“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,”the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography by David W. Blight. Higher Ground did not announce a screenwriter or any producers.

An adaptation of aNew York Times series, called “Overlooked,” about people whose deaths were previously not reported by the newspaper. The obituaries have been published in a recurring feature in the paper. Higher Ground Productions said it would be a scripted anthology series.

A series based on “The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy,” a book by Michael Lewis.

“Crip Camp,” a documentary film about the origins of the disability rights movement.

“Listen to Your Vegetables & Eat Your Parents,”a half-hour series for preschoolers that will “take young children and their families around the globe on an adventure that tells us the story of our food.”

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THE WORD | Louis Farrakhan banned from Facebook

Facebook has banned the longtime leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan — as well as right-wing figures Alex Jones, Paul Nehlen, Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopolous. This action is a result of the tech giant’s efforts to rid its websites of hate speech and “dangerous” people and organizations.

Accounts were removed from both Facebook and Instagram for violations of Facebook’s policies, the website said in a statement. The Nation of Islam’s Facebook page, however, was still accessible Thursday night and does not appear to have been banned.

Facebook says it has “always banned” people or groups that proclaim a violent or hateful mission or are engaged in acts of hate or violence, regardless of political ideology.

Farrakhan’s official Facebook and Instagram pages had more than 1 million “likes” and followers before they were removed Thursday afternoon. His Twitter account, with more than 336,000 followers, remains active.

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THE WORD | G Herbo Arrested and Charged With Battery After Incident With Baby Mama

G Herbo was arrested yesterday (April 17) in Atlanta for simple battery with his child’s mother Ariana Fletcher. According to the Atlanta Police Department, officers responded to a dispute call and spoke with a woman who said “she was in a verbal altercation with the father of her child when at some point he assaulted her then left the location with their son.” The woman also “sustain[ed] minor scratches as a result of the incident,” according to APD.

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Herbo was arrested and charged after he returned to the location. TMZ reports that Herbo is currently in jail and his bail is set at $2,000. An investigation is ongoing, the Atlanta Police Department says.

THE WORD | ILLINOIS GOVERNOR HOPES TO LEGALIZE WEED, VERY SOON

It won’t be long before Illinois residents are able to smoke it legally, if governor J.B. Pritzker gets his way.

J.B. Pritzker hopes to get a recreational marijuana bill passed before the end of the spring legislative session as part of an ambitious first year plan.

“I think the bill that will get introduced and passed is going to be a very, very, strong good bill,” he said Thursday.

That leaves only about seven weeks for Pritzker to reach his benchmarks when it comes to legal pot and his No. 1 priority, a graduated income tax.

J.B. Pritzker campaigned on a promise to legalize adult use of cannabis in the state. And the Democrat, who said he wasn’t always on board with legalization, said he has tried marijuana.

“I have tried marijuana, you know, in the past,” the governor said. “It’s been a long time.”

He said some of his earliest concerns about legalization stemmed from worries about teen use of cannabis.

“I have teenagers, and I was very concerned, just not knowing. I asked a lot of questions about how does this affect teen use,” Gov. Pritzker said. “And in Washington state — where that was the governor’s big concern there too — they did a very good job of showing there was no increase in teen use.”

As for the concerns of police associations across the state over how law enforcement will be able to determine whether a driver is impaired, he acknowledged there’s no current technology to measure impairment when it comes to cannabis.

“Necessity is the mother of invention, and it’s now clear that with 11 states already with legalized adult use cannabis, there are entrepreneurs out there that recognize that every police department is going to want something,” Pritzker said. 

 “This happened in medical cannabis. You start out and then you figure out this isn’t working out quite as well and you make tweaks along the way,” Pritzker said. “With legislation, nothing is perfect and so yes, along the way, it’ll improve.”

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THE WORD |Dwyane Wade Final Career Game

Dwyane Wade went out in legendary fashion. The Heat star recorded a triple-double during his final career game against the Nets on Wednesday night. Wade finished with 25 points (10/28 FG, 3/13 3PT), 10 assists and 11 rebounds.

"This is an Oscar-worthy script for my last game in my last season," Wade said during a postgame interview.

Wade, who made his second start of the season, played a season-high 36 minutes. He did so in front of his friends and fellow NBA stars LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

"Listen, we couldn't miss D-Wade's last game. This is the last time he's going to be on an NBA floor wearing that Miami Heat uniform, that No. 3. So we're happy to be here supporting him." - LeBron James, LA LAKERS

James added: "He's given so much to this game. [He's] one of the best players we've ever seen in this game from as soon as he came out of Marquette. It's an honor for me to be alongside him for four years and to also be his brother for the last 16 years of my career."

THE WORD | Chicago cops demand Kim Foxx’s resignation over Jussie Smollett case

Chicago’s police union is demanding the resignation of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx after her office’s decision to drop all charges against alleged hate-crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett.

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police and a group of suburban police chiefs on Thursday announced a “no confidence” vote against Foxx due to her office’s handling of Smollett and other felony cases, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

 Michelle Obama‘s former top aide was in contact with the prosecutor in Jussie Smollett’s case, weeks before a grand juryindictedtheEmpireactor on16 countsof disorderly conduct for allegedly making false reports on Feb. 20.

Tina Tchen, who worked as Obama’s chief of staff and now leads the Southern Poverty Law Center, texted with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx amid the investigation. The communication between Foxx and Tchen, who describes herself as a “family friend” of the Smolletts, raised questions after Foxx’s office dropped all felony charges against Smollett.

Since then, the city has gone after Smollett,demanding he repayChicago $130,106 — the cost of the police overtime hours expended in the investigation into his allegations. The actor missed a city-imposed Thursday deadline to pay or face further legal action.

Smollett’s attorney Mark Geragos balked at the city’s demands in a letter dated Thursday and obtained by the Tribune. Los Angeles-based Geragos wrote that Smollett “will not be intimidated into paying the demanded sum.”

THE WORD | Lori Lightfoot is Chicago’s First Black Female Mayor

April 2, 2019 Lori Lightfoot becomes Chicago’s first Black Female Mayor. Lightfoot becomes just the second woman elected mayor, following Jane Byrne, who served one term from 1979 to 1983. She also is the first person elected Chicago mayor not born in the city since Anton Cermak took office in 1931. Chicago also becomes the largest U.S. city ever to elect an openly gay mayor.

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