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Tickets Now on Sale for Southland Film Festival Oct. 13 to 15

Chicago Southland Film Festival organizers at GSU.
Chicago Southland International Film Festival organizers at GSU. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

University Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- ‘The Shame of Chicago: The Segregation of an American City’ explores the origins of the city’s wealth gap between its Black and white residents and will be one of the films featured at this year’s Chicago Southland International Film Festival (CSIFF) from Oct. 13 through 15. Tickets are now on sale.

With the five-part documentary, Director, community activist, and Chicago native Bruce Orenstein blazes a trail and shines a light on injustices in Chicago’s real estate market that began after World War II.

The latest episode, ‘The Chicago Plan,’ will be featured on Oct. 15—the second day of the festival—and opens with crackling Black and white footage. Elizabeth Wood, the first executive director of the Chicago Housing Authority, states flatly: “Negros have lived in a state of fear and isolation, and this is the shame of Chicago and the nation.”

‘Shame of Chicago’ is one of the many powerful films to be showcased during the Feature Film Competition of the GSU festival, which opens on Oct. 13.

Another film with a Chicago connection is ‘Mustang Saviors’, directed by Chicago native David Glossberg. It tells the inspirational story of an equestrian ranch in Northern Illinois helping veterans overcome the toll of war through horse training.

Previously included in the 2020 virtual festival during the COVID19 pandemic, CSIFF is very excited to have Mustang Saviors back for an in-person screening on Oct. 14 as part of the Feature Film Showcase.

Other Chicago films include: ‘SymBionic’, ‘The Guitar Thief’, ‘Yellow Polka Dot’, ‘Bump in the Night’, and ‘Avoesis’ and reflect genres from documentary, to comedy, to horror.

The U.S., Brazil, Australia, Poland, Canada, France, Spain, and Iran will be represented in films sure to make theatergoers laugh, cry, and question life.  Subject matters include LGBTQA+ relationships, a comedic perspective on at the nation’s rental market, and the trauma of loss. The full schedule of programming is available here.

CSIFF Co-founder Josh Young said he is thrilled to bring such a diverse program to Chicago’s southland.

“Our audience will once again get to enjoy incredible films from around the world that they likely won’t be able to see anywhere else,’’ he said.

The festival launches on Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. with a kickoff cocktail party and opportunities to meet fellow filmmakers and enjoy refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres in the E Lounge at GSU, an intimate venue that sits adjacent to GSU’s incredible Visual Arts Gallery.

The festival continues with a series of feature, short, and student film showcases. New to the fest this year is a filmmaking workshop in partnership with festival sponsors at Pixquid. The workshop will focus on film distribution for independent filmmakers.

This is the fifth festival and is being offered in a hybrid format. All films selected will be shown in person at Governors State University’s F1622 Amphitheater. Films selected for the Short Film Competition will also be available virtually from Monday, October 17 through Sunday, October 23. Festival Tickets and passes are available now. Visit the website here then click the “Attend the Festival” button to visit the ticketing site Eventive Virtual.

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Marian Catholic High School Hosts Open Houses, 8th Grade Shadow Day

Open Houses are Tuesday, Oct. 4 & Sunday, Nov. 6

8th Grade Super Shadow Day is Monday, Oct. 10

Sophia Janquart, Daniel Kasperan, Sandra Morgan
Campus Ministers Sophia Janquart and Daniel Kasperan assist Theology teacher Sandra Morgan hang work from Juniors in Dominican Way. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Marian Catholic High School is hosting two open houses and a shadow day in the coming weeks.  The first open house is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.; the second will be held on Sunday, Nov. 6 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.  These open houses provide potential students and their families with an opportunity to meet the principal, teachers and other school leaders; tour Marian Catholic’s state-of-the-art campus; and receive information about financial aid and enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year.

Additionally, students currently enrolled in 8th Grade can learn first-hand what a day in the life of a Marian Catholic High School student is all about by attending our 8th Grade Super Shadow Day on Monday, Oct. 10. On this day, each 8th Grader will shadow a current Marian Catholic student for the full day.

For more information about these events, the Catholic High School Entrance Exam on Saturday, Dec. 3, and enrolling at Marian Catholic High School, visit the admissions website at www.marianchs.com/admissions. send an email to our admission team at [email protected]  or call the school at 708-755-7565.

This news was provided by Marian Catholic High School.

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Déjà Vu in SD 163: Board President Takes Another Shot at Getting Wife a Job

Board Member Judy Hawthorne, Board President Walter Mosby, and Superintendent Caletha White at July's board meeting.
Board Member Judy Hawthorne, Board President Walter Mosby, and Superintendent Caletha White at July’s board meeting. Board member Hawthorne is the niece of Board President Mosby. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- It’s déjà vu all over again in School District 163. The wife of Board President Walter Mosby and aunt of board member Judy Hawthorne is on the agenda again for consideration for a job in the district, this time as a “12 Month Secretary,” according to the SD 163 website. Board member Judy Hawthorne is the niece of Board President Walter Mosby. This will be the second time in two months that Belinda Mosby’s name is on the agenda, the last time for a higher-paying position as the district’s Grants and Budget Coordinator.

Apparently undeterred by the failure of the board to approve his wife’s hiring in July, Board President Mosby is set to preside over another session that will consider employment for his wife. In July, board member Randall White argued that board members should be able to hire their family members because it had been done in the past and the board has a policy that allows for such practices. He said in July that not hiring Belinda Mosby would be the equivalent of throwing Mr. Mosby “under the bus.”

Mr. White’s argument, in effect, is circular. We paraphrase it thus:

It’s okay for board members to hire family members because we, the board members, said it is okay for us to hire our family members.

Should the Board of Education agree to hire Belinda Mosby at Monday’s meeting, nothing would stop the superintendent from moving Ms. Mosby to the Grants and Budget Coordinator position she did not receive in July — or a similar higher-paying job. That’s because board approval is not required for employees to be reassigned after they are hired, thus creating a “back door” for Ms. Mosby to land the higher-paying position she was denied two months ago.

Why It Matters

School District 163 does indeed have a policy that allows for nepotism, the hiring of the relatives of board members. ”For the purposes of this section, a relative is defined as a child, parent, grandparent, sibling, niece, nephew, cousin, spouse or partner of the aforementioned relatives who is connected to another in that regard by way of a legal relationship or member of the same household,” the policy states. So it’s okay for board members to hire their relatives, correct? It is, after all, “policy.”

Except that the Board of Education sets policy for the district. That’s the task of elected officials. By creating a loophole where board members can hire their relatives, other applicants are excluded. So you, the person reading this article, your relatives, neighbors, and friends have a lesser chance to find employment in the district. Others may be more qualified, but a policy of nepotism introduces one key qualification that others lack: being related to a board member. Born to the wrong family? Too bad. You don’t get the job.

The Village of Park Forest has a strict anti-nepotism policy which asserts that the “employment of family can cause various problems, including charges of favoritism, conflicts of interest, family discord and scheduling conflicts that work to the disadvantage of the Village, its employees and elected officials.”

The ordinance in Park Forest cites the following potential problems a policy of nepotism, officials being permitted to hire family members, presents:

  1. Residents may believe that the related person was employed not on the basis of merit but rather on the basis of the relationship with a current employee or elected official. Whether correct or incorrect, such perception may weaken the credibility of the Village.
  2. Submission of an application by a related person creates the risk that other members of the Village may feel pressured to act favorably on the application out of loyalty and the need to work with the related member, rather than on the merits of the application.
  3. Those who have supervisory authority over a related person may feel reluctance to properly evaluate or discipline that employee, particularly when the person conducting the evaluation or administering the discipline reports directly to the related employee.
  4. The related person may be privy to confidential information maintained by the related employee that they would not typically have access to.

This anti-nepotism policy in Park Forest was strengthened in 2019 to include all professional city/village managers/administrators who are not official members of ILCMA/ICMA, closing a potential loophole that might exist if an incumbent chose to forego membership in ILCMA/ICMA, an organization that has a strict code of ethics.

School District 163 Needs an Anti-Nepotism Policy

All of the points listed above for Park Forest apply to School District 163 as well. Simply change the word “Village” above to “District” and it is obvious why jobs should be awarded based on merit alone — and why family members of those hiring should be excluded.

“As Village Manager, I’ve hung my hat on the Illinois City Manager’s Association’s code of ethics where professional village managers want to avoid any appearance of impropriety,” Village Manager Tom Mick said in 2019. “The Village has prided itself in being what I call a meritocracy where we hire people for what they know and not who they know. This approach is clearly in the best interests of Park Forest residents and the employees who work for the Village.”

School District 163 officials would do well to abolish the current policy that allows board members to hire families. Board members may have been free to arrange for the hiring of family members in the past, but who knows what assurances or deals might have been pledged in the past outside the public eye? Justifying the continuation of a policy of favoritism-by-relation because “they got to do it before us” is not fair at all.

Opportunities for employment must be based on merit alone, not on the cloudy assertion that someone’s child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, or any other type of relation is somehow more qualified than the person whose only fault is that they were born into the wrong family.

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Extended Medicaid Coverage for Postpartum Care in Year-End Funding Bill: Rep. Robin Kelly Leads the Call

Postpartum Care
(MGN)

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Today, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (IL-02), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, led 25 members of the Congressional Black Caucus in issuing the statement below calling for increased investments in affordable, accessible postpartum maternal health care, following the CDC’s release of new data showing that more than 80% of maternal deaths in the U.S. are preventable:

“Maternal Mortality Review Committee Data released by the CDC this week shows that more than 80% of pregnancy-released deaths are preventable. That is shameful. Cause of death varies by race and ethnicity and Black women are disproportionately dying. More than half of these deaths occur between one week and one year after giving birth and yet there are states that still do not provide 12 full months of postpartum coverage under Medicaid.

“We have known that maternal mortality is worsening. We have known that Black women experience certain complications more. We have known that Black women have diminished access to maternal health care, especially after delivery.

“The time for lip service is over. As a result of the Dobbs decision, more women and girls will be forced to give birth, and we will see more mothers dying.

“We must act now. We must extend postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 full months after delivery in every single state. Saving lives should not be optional. We urge our colleagues to include this vital coverage in the year-end spending bill to save the lives of women across the country.”

Joining Rep. Kelly in this effort are: CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty; Reps. Troy Carter; Terri Sewell; Shontel Brown; Al Green; Eddie Bernice Johnson; Anthony Brown; Kweisi Mfume; Bonnie Watson Coleman; Lauren Underwood; Marc Veasey; Alma Adams; G.K. Butterfield; Donald Payne; Lisa Blunt Rochester; Sheila Jackson Lee; Yvette Clarke; Barbara Lee; Gregory Meeks; Ritchie Torres; Lucy McBath; Donald McEachin; Nikema Williams; Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick; and Jahana Hayes.

This news is from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office.

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LIHEAP: Illinois Utility Assistance Program Now Accepting Applications

LIHEAP

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Governor Pritzker recently announced the opening of the state of Illinois’ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Families can now apply by:

  1. Visiting helpillinoisfamilies.com
  2. Contacting their local agency
  3. Calling 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages

LIHEAP provides one-time payments directly to energy providers on behalf of recipients. All families who meet the qualifications and provide proper documentation will receive support until funding is exhausted. Families who earn up to two-times the federal poverty level are eligible to receive support through LIHEAP.

Note that SSHC is not an agency to contact for LIHEAP Application. Below are agencies to contact for Cook County, Will County, and Kankakee County in Illinois:

COOK COUNTY
Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA)
(800) 571-2332
https://www.cedaorg.net/

WILL COUNTY
Will County Center for Community Concerns
(815) 722-0722
https://www.wcccc.net

KANKAKEE COUNTY
Kankakee County Community Services, Inc.
(815) 933-7883
https://www.kccsi-cap.org

How To Apply

Please visit helpillinoisfamilies.com to fill out and submit an online Request for Services form. After your Request for Services form has been submitted, await an email or phone call from your local agency to review and confirm your eligibility and to determine the amount of your LIHEAP benefit.  If you need assistance with completing and submitting your Request for Services form, contact the call center at 1-833-711-0374 for live support. 

You can also apply through your local agency directly. Please refer to the “Where to Apply” to locate the appropriate local agency for your county.

To obtain the status of an application you can use the web link https://liheap2020.ilenergyassistance.com/customerinquiry/
or call the Help Illinois Families Call Center at 1-833-711-0374.

When:

The LIHEAP application period is September 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023, or until funding is exhausted.

FAQs for more information

Income Eligibility:

If your household’s combined income for the 30 days prior to application (gross income, before taxes are deducted) is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level*, as shown in the chart below, you may be eligible to receive assistance. If you rent, and your heat and/or electric is included in the rent, your rent must be greater than 30% of your income in order to be eligible to receive assistance.

2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines for 200% of Poverty for 2023 Program Year

Family Size30 Day IncomeAnnual Income
1  $2,265$27,180
$3,052$36,620
$3,838$46,060
$4,625$55,500
$5,412$64,940
$6,198$74,380
$6,985$83,820
$7,324$87,892

 *Program Year 2023 Income Guidelines are based on Federal Poverty Guidelines and State Median Income. The state reserves the right to adjust these levels based on the availability of federal appropriations.

Documentation to Prove Eligibility:

What documentation do I need to prove eligibility? For each household member, please have the following documents ready for your local agency to verify your eligibility:

  • Proof of past 30-day income through paystub, check or copy of check showing fixed income amount (e.g. SSA, VA, DHS benefits), or other proof of documentation for any income source,
  • Copy of most recent heat and electric bills issued within the last 30 days (if energy directly paid for).
  • Social security card or ITIN for residents who have them. Residents without ITIN or SSN can still apply and your Local Administering Agency will advise accordingly).
  • A copy of rental agreement (if renting) showing that utilities are included, the monthly rental amount and landlord contact information.
  • Proof the household received TANF or other benefits, such as Medical Eligibility or SNAP, if receiving assistance from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

This information is directly from the State of Illinois.

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THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE at The Drama Group

PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE cast
THE PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE cast. (photo supplied)

Chicago Heights, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Drama Group is very pleased to be celebrating and kicking off our 91st season with a rollicking comedy, THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE directed by Tyler McMahon.

Show times for SPELLING BEE  are 7:30 pm beginning Friday, September 30, October 1, 6, 7, and 8; Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm October 2 and 9.

The Drama Group now has a ticketing service!  We are now using BookTix Ticketing and Livestreaming. All tickets are available by going to The Drama Group BookTix website dg.booktix.com, where you will be directed to set up your account with “The Drama Group-BookTix Box Office.”

Based on concerns regarding the current state of COVID-19, and out of concern for the health and safety of our theatre audiences, members, staff, and actors, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the following policy;

Audience members will not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test. While in the building, everyone will be required to wear a mask. All staff and cast members will need to show proof of vaccination.

SYNOPSIS – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

The cast of the show portrays an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents who vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter, and one speller leaves!   

At least the losers get a juice box.

Note to the Community

As part of The Drama Group’s ongoing Community Outreach programs, we are inviting the cast, patrons, active members, and audience to donate school supplies, and art supplies, age-appropriate which will be delivered to the Chicago Heights Middle School after the run of the performances. Boxes will be set up in the lobby of the Drama Group Studio building during “Hell Week” and all the performances. Donations can be dropped off in the evenings of September 25 through October 8.

NAME CHARACTER HOME

Angel Mirkov

Olive

Bradley, IL

Megan James

Marcy Park

Highland, IN

Kate Wiersama

Rona Lisa Peretti

Homewood, IL

Ethan Sheeley

Dan Dad / Jesus

Schererville, IN

Michael Behrens

Carl Dad / Olive’s Dad

Rochester, IN

Will Knox

William Barfée

Flossmoor, IL

Joe Gomez

Leaf Coneybear

Palos Park, IL

Hailie Lee Zipper

Logainne Schwartandgrubbenniere

Oak Lawn, IL

Jason Hess

VP Panch

New Lenox, IL

Arielle Ware

Michelle “Mitch” Mahoney &    Olive’s Mom

Orland Hills, IL

 
Production Team

Tyler McMahon

Director / Scenic design

Bradley, IL

Regina A Gadotti

Assistant Director / Hair & Make Up

Chicago Heights, IL

Roland Hatcher

Musical Director

Orland Park, IL

Thomas McMahon

Choreographer

Bradley, IL

Michael J Renzi

Set Design & Construction

New Lenox, IL

Barbara Whitney

Paint Chair

Richton Park, IL

Jennifer Larkin

Light design

New Lenox, IL

Steven Lopez

Sound

Chicago, IL

Tyler, Regina & Cast

Props / Décor

~

Andy Leahy

Stage Manager

Chicago Heights, IL

Rose Crockett

Production Manager

Chicago Heights, IL

Meghan Hoyt

Social Media / Instagram

Flossmoor, IL

Diane Kaffka /
Anaya McCoy

Publicity
Cast interviews

Tinley Park, IL
Homewood, IL

Tina Zagone

Marketing / Publicity

Olympia Fields, IL

This article was supplied by The Drama Group.

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South Holland Master Chorale To Present ‘Songs of Celebration’

South Holland Master Chorale
The South Holland Master Chorale. (SUPPLIED)

South Holland, IL-(ENEWSPF)- South Holland Master Chorale will perform a variety of “Songs of Celebration” on two Sundays in October.

The 85-voice community chorale will present the concerts on Oct. 2 at 4 p.m. at First Reformed Church, 15924 South Park Ave., South Holland, and on Oct. 16 at 4 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 8501 Calumet Ave., Munster.

These will be the debut concerts for the Chorale’s new music director, Philip J. Bauman. The concerts will feature music that is long associated with a variety of celebratory occasions, including coronations and weddings to songs that celebrate patriotism, biblical leaders, simple living, and the African-American voice.

Philip Bauman
Philip Bauman

“There are so many ways we incorporate song into our daily life and rituals,” Bauman said. “This concert explores some of those events that have evoked great and lasting melodies and compositions. Great composers such as George Frederick Handel, Aaron Copland, Randall Thompson, and John Rutter are just a few of those contributing to the classic choral literature of our concert.”

While the concert program was created weeks before the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the coming coronation of King Charles III, one of the featured works will be Handel’s Coronation Anthem “Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened,” originally composed for the coronation of King George II in 1727, and used in all subsequent English coronations. Among other works on the program are Peter J. Wilhousky’s classic arrangement of “Battle Hymn of the Republic;” “The Last Words of David” by Randall Thompson; a setting of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” also by Randall Thompson; “Total Praise” by Richard Smallwood; and a stirring arrangement of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by Heather Sorenson.

“I am looking forward to sharing the great work and tremendous talent of this diverse Chorale with the community,” Bauman added. “With more than 80 voices coming together from 38 different communities, all for the love of song, this choir is quite remarkable. It is truly representative of the diverse community it has served for more than 25 years in the Southland and Northwest Indiana.”

Bauman also offered praise for pianist Marilyn Bourgeois, who has served as the Chorale’s accompanist for all those years.

All Chorale concerts are free. Free-will donations will be accepted. Audience members are asked to adhere to updated CDC guidelines regarding wearing of masks at the concerts with concern for one’s own health and that of fellow audience members. Chorale singers will be masked during the performances. 

For more information, visit the website at www.southhollandmasterchorale.org, or email [email protected].

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Historic Marker Dedication Ceremony for Underground Railroad Ton Farm Site

Volunteers around the underground railroad historic marker
Volunteers around the underground railroad historic marker. (Photo Supplied)

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The dedication ceremony for the newly installed State of Illinois historical marker at the Ton Farm site will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2022, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Chicago’s Finest Marina, 557 East 134th Place, Chicago. The public is invited to attend the presentation.

The Jan and Aagie Ton Farm was authenticated as an official Underground Railroad station in 2019 by the National Park Service (NPS) and is part of the NPS “Network to Freedom.” The Tons, Dutch immigrant farmers, owned a forty-acre farm at this site. At great risk to themselves, the Tons and other local abolitionists aided escaped slaves, referred to as “freedom seekers,” to reach safety and freedom in the northern states and Canada.

Highlights of the program will include a keynote address by U.S. Representative Robin Kelly from the Illinois second district.

Other speakers will include Professor Larry McClellan and Glennette Tilly Turner, who as educators, historians, and authors are experts on the Underground Railroad in Illinois.

A representative from the NPS Network to Freedom, descendants of the Ton family, and other elected officials are also expected to attend.

Ton Farm underground railroad
This undated photo shows the Ton Farm, located along the Calumet River.

The program will last about an hour. Chairs will be available. Parking is available at the marina.

The dedication is hosted by the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project. Tom Shepherd, the Lead Project Organizer, will serve as presiding officer for the dedication ceremony.

The Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project is a volunteer-driven effort to educate about the community’s significance in the nation’s freedom movement and to promote local development efforts.

Underground Railroad escape routes.
Underground Railroad escape routes. (Supplied by: Toastmasters)

Information on the Ton Farm can be found here in detail and on the Facebook page for Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project.

Recognition and gratitude are extended to Ronald Gaines, owner of Chicago’s Finest Marina; Architreasures, for installation of the marker; the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, for funding assistance; the Illinois State Historical Society, for including the marker in its state system of historic markers; and the South Holland Garden Club and the University of Illinois Extension, for planned landscaping and garden services at the marker site.

This article was provided by the Little Calumet River Underground Railroad Project.

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RTHS Senior Nasir Bailey Wins “Who’s Number One” Wrestling Tournament

wrestler aquatting with one hand on the ground
RTHS Senior Nasir Bailey won his weight class at the recent “Who’s Number One” tournament. (Photo RTHS)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Rich Township High School District 227 Senior Nasir Bailey earned the title of best high school wrestler in the nation in the 138-pound class. On Friday, September 9, Nasir, a Park Forest resident, competed in FloWrestling’s “Who’s Number One” tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and defeated the former top-ranked wrestler, Ryder Block. The event is for top-ranked high school wrestlers across the nation.

Nasir won the match by an 8-4 decision. His coaches say he is a great young man who embodies what hard work and dedication can bring. They also say Nasir acts as a role model to the athletes within the RTHS program and is a great representative of Rich Township.

FloWrestling is part of FloSports, a sports broadcaster and streaming service.

This article is courtesy of Rich Township High School 227.

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Dyer Man Sentenced to 240 Months in Prison for Crimes Against Children

Hammond, IN-(ENEWSPF)- The Department of Justice announced that a Dyer, Indiana man has been sentenced to 240 months in federal prison for crimes against children.

Ronald Ortega, 48 years old, of Dyer, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio on his plea of guilty to possession and production of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Ortega was sentenced to 240 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release and ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.

According to documents in the case, Ortega produced child pornography with two separate victims.  He also possessed child pornography of children, including victims that were under the age of 12.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Dyer Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily A. Morgan.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov 

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