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Park Forest Honored Mike Jordan at Recent Meeting

Mike Jordan honored in Park Forest
Mike Jordan expresses his gratitude after the Village of Park Forest honored him on his retirement. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Village of Park Forest honored Michael “Mike” Jordan as he retired from a sterling four-decade career. If you live in or around Park Forest, you likely know the Mike Jordan we speak of. Not that other guy, but our own, the red-haired Irish man always reaching out a friendly hand to introduce himself or introduce you to whoever he might be speaking with at the time.

Mike and his wife Patty are two of the friendliest people to grace our Downtown. He operated Mike Jordan State Farm for 29 years in Park Forest. A proclamation from the Village Board notes, “In the 1990’s when Park Forest’s central business district was on the verge of blight, Mike Jordan’s State Farm office was an important presence as the Village worked toward redeveloping the DownTown.” Mike also served on the Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) since 2003, “a post that he held for nearly 20 years,” according to the proclamation.

Mike Jordan, Tom Mick, Joe Woods, Maya Hardy
Mike Jordan shakes hands with Village Manager Tom Mick as Trustee Joe Woods and Maya Hardy look on. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

The full proclamation read by Mayor Jonathan Vanderbilt follows:

WHEREAS,  Mike Jordan has been in the insurance industry for more than 4 decades. In particular, his business as a State Farm Agent has been affiliated with the Park Forest business community for 29 years. He built his career after graduating from Illinois State University in 1979 with a degree in Business Administration and Management; and

WHEREAS,  from the outset of his work in the insurance industry, Mike Jordan worked hard to provide excellent customer service. Because of this diligence, his positive reputation grew as did his client base; and

WHEREAS, since his arrival, Mike Jordan along with his wife, Patty, and his team, have been integrally involved in Park Forest. In the 1990’s when Park Forest’s central business district was on the verge of blight, Mike Jordan’s State Farm office was an important presence as the Village worked toward redeveloping the DownTown; and

WHEREAS, to assist the Village in the critical work of revitalizing a nearly vacant Downtown Park Forest, Mike was appointed to the Economic Development Advisory Group (EDAG) in 2003. It was a post that he held for nearly 20 years. Almost immediately, his business acumen and experience were instrumental in reviewing applications for development incentives. His thoughtful review contributed to eighteen applicants receiving incentives, who then created and/or retained two hundred and fifty-two jobs; and

WHEREAS,  Mike Jordan earned the Park Forest Business Person of the Year award in 2012. This recognition was based on longstanding sponsorships or support of community partners such as Park Forest Youth Baseball, St. Irenaeus Church, Aunt Martha’s, School District 227, and many different resident events in Park Forest; and 

WHEREAS,  Mike was a faithful participant and supporter of the Village’s marketing efforts to increase shopping in the DownTown. His State Farm office regularly co-hosted events and provided prizes. Of particular note, Mike was a tremendous ambassador for DownTown Park Forest as prospective merchants looked to locate in DownTown Park Forest; and

WHEREAS,  Mike provided succession planning and for a smooth transition of the State Farm office. The State Farm office at 308 Forest Boulevard will remain open in DownTown Park Forest and continue to provide an invaluable service to Park Foresters and the region.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mayor Jonathan Vanderbilt, and the Board of Trustees of the Village of Park Forest, Cook and Will Counties, do hereby proclaim that the most warmest appreciation be extended to Mike Jordan on the occasion of his retirement. BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that best of wishes are offered as he now pursues other enjoyments in retirement with his wife Patty.

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Park Forest Music Fest Line-Up Announced

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- As it has every year since 2011, the Main Street Music Fest will take the stage in conjunction with the 66th Annual Park Forest Art Fair on Saturday, September 17.

While the Art Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the Music Fest is from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday only, in Downtown Park Forest at Main and Cunningham Streets.

According to Chuck Sabey, Park Forest Cultural Arts Supervisor, five bands will perform throughout the day beginning with the LondonKay Experience at 11:30 a.m.

woman singing holding a microphone in her hand
The LondonKay Experience will kick off this year’s Music Fest in Downtown Park Forest. (Photo VOPF)

Lead singer LondonKay and her cover band will perform a variety of rock, pop, jazz and neo soul. LondonKay has performed at Vintrendi Wine Company in Park Forest as well as with numerous local and national artists, including Barbra Streisand and the band Heart.

group of five men standing behind a xylophone
The Raíces Latin Jazz Quintet performs on September 17 at the Park Forest Music Fest (Photo VOPF)

At 1:15 p.m., Raíces Latin Jazz returns to Music Fest with a tribute to the classic mambo and jazz of the 1950s. Led by group founder and Chicago percussionist Ruben Alvarez, this is the group’s first public appearance since the release of their new self-titled album.

Two men standing next to each other, both holding guitars
Neal Alger and Sean Cantorna form Blend Acoustic which is performing at this year’s Music Fest. (Photo VOPF)

Blend Acoustic takes the stage at 3 p.m. with guitarists Sean Cantorna and Neal Alger playing classic rock and pop from the sixties to now. Both performers have toured widely and are well known throughout the Chicago area. Alger is a Park Forest native who graduated from Rich East High School.

Man singing with both hands holding microphone
An American Prayer (with vocalist Rick Lisak shown) will take the Music Fest stage at 4:45 p.m. (Photo VOPF0

Next up at 4:45 p.m. is An American Prayer, a Doors and Jim Morrison tribute band, performing some of the biggest hits of the 1960s including “Riders on the Storm,” “Light My Fire,” “Love Me 2 Times,” and “People are Strange.”

Closing out the evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. is Fredi Taylor Featuring Nu Source Band performing classic and contemporary R&B hits. Starting her musical career in Chicago churches, Taylor is a renowned vocalist who has appeared with well-known musicians across the country. Taylor was scheduled to perform at the final Main Street Nights in August which was canceled due to inclement weather.

Sabey noted that there will be some chairs available for the audience, but people are welcome to bring their own chairs or blankets. Concessions will be available at the Art Fair adjacent to the Music Fest.

2022-main-street-music-fest-1

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Park Forest Art Fair Celebrates 66th Year

Green sign with image of wild grass along the edge
Park Forest Art Fair returns September17-18 (Image Tall Grass Arts Association)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Art Fair, hosted by the Tall Grass Arts Association, will be celebrating its 66th year in Downtown Park Forest on September 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

““This is the second oldest juried art fair in the Chicagoland region and it has maintained its quality over the years,” said Art Fair Chairman Janet Muchnik. “It attracts a great variety of talents, some new artists and many who have exhibited continuously for years. Visitors to the fair will see ceramics, sculpture, photographs, paintings in many media, jewelry, and hand-blown glass.”  

The artists hail from all over the Midwest including Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and, of course, Illinois.  The artist traveling the greatest distance is stone sculptor Gedion Nyanhongo from Phoenix, Arizona. This year TGAA is pleased to introduce eight new artists:  Cecile Derel a glass artist from Chicago; Donald Hyson a woodworker from Winnebago; Lia Jackson a painter from Chicago Heights; Maine Lee a metal sculptor from Park Forest; Lauren Rapinchuk a photographer from Oak Park; Penny Shnay a photographer from Park Forest; Ken Swanson a printmaker from Racine, Wisconsin and Taryn Takacs a photographer from Highland, Indiana.

For four years in a row, the Park Forest Art Fair has won the national “America’s Best Art Fair Awards” competition sponsored by ArtFairCalendar.com, the #1 website for art fair event listings.  Named as one of the “Best Overall Art Fairs”, the survey recognized Park Forest Art Fair as one of the best small, juried, fine art fairs in the country.

As a not-for-profit event with a huge volunteer force, costs to artists are very low. “Consequently, they can sell their works at very reasonable prices. This is the fair where people can buy originals for very reasonable prices.”

A special feature of the fair is the Kids Art Alley which offers a variety of hands-on craft activities. The Village of Park Forest will host a Music Fest on the Saturday of the fair.

Food vendors will be on site including Poppin’ Plates, Exquisite Pound Cakes, Flaming Hotties, Terrel’s BBQ and Southland Caterers.

The Grande Prairie Singers will be performing on Sunday at 12 p.m. on the Village Green followed by the Art Fair awards ceremony at 1 p.m.

Patricia Moore artist
Patricia Moore has been participating in the Park Forest Art Fair for the greatest number of years, She first exhibited in 1974 and has exhibited in nearly every art fair since then, forty-five years! (Photo: Tall Grass)

A special tribute to the late Patricia Moore will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday in appreciation of her life in the arts and for nurturing the love for the arts in others. That day has been declared Patricia Moore Day by the Village of Park Forest in recognition of her contributions to the village. Some of Pat’s artwork is available in the Tall Grass gift shop with all proceeds going to her family.

The Tall Grass Arts Association Gallery will be open all day on both days of the fair. Both the fair and the gallery are free of charge and are great places in which to purchase art for your home, art to wear, or gifts for friends and family.

More information is available on the Tall Grass Facebook page, at www.tallgrassarts.org or by calling the gallery at 708-748-3377.

This article has been provided by the Tall Grass Arts Association and was revised on September 9, 2022.

list of art exhibitors
List of 2022 Art Fair Exhibitors with new exhibitors shown in bold. (Tall Grass Arts Association)
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SD 163 Board Members Gave Their Children Access to Schools at the Start of the Pandemic

Michelle Obama School of Technology and the ARTS
Michelle Obama School of Technology and the ARTS (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- eNews Park Forest has discovered several instances where children of School District 163 board members were given access to Michelle Obama School, sometimes unsupervised, at the start of the pandemic and beyond, in some cases setting off school alarms. When schools were ordered closed on March 13, 2020, some school board members made exceptions for themselves, members of their families, and friends of their children. Here we outline three of those instances.

While opening a school for the recreational use of children is one of the reasons such facilities exist, such programs are generally official and sponsored by schools, providing teens in particular with an ostensibly safe recreational environment. These instances, however, some unsupervised, do not appear to have been sponsored by the schools at all. Indeed, they could not have been sponsored by District 163 as they happened during the COVID-19 pandemic when schools were closed, and off-limits for students. These instances appear to be times when School District 163 board members simply opened the school for the personal use of their children and the friends of their children for personal use. In one of the cases we outline here, children were alone, unsupervised, and left in a situation where they found themselves facing police alone.

We did reach out to School District 163 Superintendent Dr. Calitha White on August 24 for clarification of district policy regarding the use of schools by board members and their children. Specifically, we asked, does the district have records of children of board members using school facilities? Are school board members permitted to use facilities at their discretion? Might the district have security concerns about juveniles or adults using school facilities in these types of situations? We received a response from Dr. White on August 31, “I have shared your email with our Board of Education President as the media spokesperson for School District 163.”

To date, we have heard nothing from Board President Walter Mosby.

We note that there may have been more instances when school board members gave access to district facilities at the start of the pandemic. We only know of these because of the police response. We also note that no one was arrested, charged, or ticketed in any of these incidents.

Three Incident Reports in the First Year of COVID-19

We begin with incident report 20PF04256 on Friday, March 13, 2020, the day that Governor J.B. Pritzker announced that “all schools in Illinois would close for a period to begin the following Tuesday” due to COVID-19. At this point, we knew next to nothing about the virus that would paralyze the state and nation and lead to refrigerator trailers full of bodies only a month later, and vaccines were only a distant possible hope.

On that evening, Friday, March 13, Park Forest Police responded to Michelle Obama School, 530 Lakewood Boulevard, in response to a call at 6:45 PM regarding six or seven juveniles who had “just barged into door 13 refusing to leave,” according to police.

When police responded the nature of the call changed from “Juvenile Prob” to “Unwanted Subject,” according to police. The report says that School Board 163 member Judy Hawthorne advised that she was inside the school with her son and some of his friends who appeared to be playing basketball, according to police. The report states that although the school was closed for sanitary reasons amid COVID-19, Ms. Hawthorne was in the building along with students she invited, that they were “allowed inside the building because she was a member of the school board,” the report states.

Ms. Hawthorne called for police assistance because a group of students who were not invited attempted to gain entry, according to police.

The report states that school board member Randall J. White, whose name turns up often in these reports, also arrived on the scene and confirmed that “Hawthorne along with students were permitted entry into the building,” the report states. Mr. White asked police to confirm this with “Police Administration and Tom Mick,” according to police.

Village Manager Tom Mick tells eNews Park Forest that Mr. White had not consulted or confirmed any of this with him ahead of time. Furthermore, Mr. Mick said the Village of Park Forest had no authority and gave no permission to allow school board members to access the building.

All parties left the building while officers were on the scene, according to police.

Second Incident in November 2020

On November 17, 2020, while schools were still on lockdown, police responded to the school again when the burglar alarm went off. This was incident number 20PF18355.

At this time, there was no official Stay-at-Home order, but the Illinois Department of Public Health advised on November 7 that Illinois residents “stay home as much as possible, leaving only for necessary and essential activities, such as work that must be performed outside the home, COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy, and buying groceries.”

Furthermore, no indoor dining was permitted, health and fitness centers were capped at 25% capacity, and face coverings were required at all times. Locker rooms were to remain closed, and hotels had to limit capacity to registered guests.

Specifically, arcades, casinos, rec centers, theaters, and museums were all required to close.

It was at this time that school board member Randall White made an exception for himself.

Police responded and found youths inside playing basketball unsupervised. One of the teens told police that his father, Randall White, was the “commissioner,” and had allowed the teen and his two friends inside the building to play basketball. According to police, Mr. White left the teens inside the building alone and did not specify when he would return. The teen gave Mr. White’s cellular phone number to an officer and that officer notified SouthCom Dispatch.

According to police, Mr. White then showed up after he had been contacted “with another subject.” The report first states that he told dispatchers he was on his way but “refused to give ETA” or a description of the vehicle he would be driving.

Mr. White then entered the building with the other subject and told the responding officer, “All right, officer, have a nice day,” according to the report. Prior to the officer leaving the area, Mr. White was told that the alarm had been activated and needed to be reset, according to police.

Third Incident: Large Basketball Event

A third instance happened on December 27, 2020, at 3:12 PM (incident #20PF20495). By this time, Illinois had surpassed 10 million total tests administered, with nearly 700,000 of them being positive.

On this occasion, police found a “large group inside the building.” The group was a large number of teens taking part in a “basketball event,” according to the report, which one village official described as a basketball tournament. The responding officer found Mr. Randall White on the scene.

Park Forest Police Chief Paul Winfrey told eNews Park Forest that police received a number of complaints from members of the public about this event in particular given the risk of COVID-19 at the time.

COVID-19 At the Time

By this point, Park Forest had seen 21 deceased from COVID-19 and had 1,487 cases since the pandemic began. The combined number of deaths for the region stood at 781, according to our reporting at the time. But as Dr. Timothy Angelotti, MD Ph.D., told eNews Park Forest then, “The problem is it’s not about death, it’s not about the healthy people or the people that get very little illness from this. It’s about the surge that can happen in a hospital setting when you have a whole bunch of people get infected.”

“Our biggest fear, and that’s what people don’t appreciate, that if you want a hospital full of people who are full of COVID then keep doing what we’re doing,” Dr. Angelotti said. “Then all other medical care will go by the wayside until we get control of this. Do you want us to cancel elective surgeries again?”

The incidents outlined here are only three that take us through the end of 2020. There are others as well which we will outline shortly.

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South Holland Man Sentenced to 175 Months in Prison For Bank Robbery

Justice, Albert V. Bryan District Courthouse, Tim Evanson
Justice outside the Albert V. Bryan District Courthouse in Alexandria, VA. (Photo: Tim Evanson – Flickr – CC license)

South Bend, IN-(ENEWSPF)- Keith Kelly, 50 years old, of South Holland, Illinois, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty on his plea of guilty to bank robbery, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Kelly was sentenced to 175 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release. 

According to documents in the case, in October 2021, Kelly walked into a bank in South Bend, Indiana, gave one of the bank tellers a note demanding cash, and indicated he had a gun. He showed the teller a black object under his shirt. Kelly left the bank with cash but was caught by police shortly thereafter with the cash, the demand note, and a plastic gun. Kelly has a lengthy criminal history including 5 prior felony robbery convictions, and he was determined to be a career offender.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the South Bend Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joel Gabrielse and Kimberly Schultz.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This is a release from the United States Department of Justice.

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Gary Man Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison

For Firearm Offense

guilty mgn
(MGN)

Hammond, IN-(ENEWSPF)- Keith Cloudy, 46 years old, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Senior Judge James T. Moody on his plea of guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson. Cloudy was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, on February 18, 2020, during a traffic stop of Cloudy’s vehicle in Gary, Indiana, law enforcement recovered a semi-automatic pistol. Cloudy’s criminal history revealed that he had two prior federal felony convictions, one in 2000 and another in 2015 for possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, and as such he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.            

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Response Investigative Team and the Gary Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys David J. Nozick, Kevin F. Wolff and Michael J. Toth.      

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This is a release from the United States Department of Justice.

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Trust(ee) and Believe!

Being a Trustee is a Full-Time Job

Trustee Joseph Woods
Trustee Joseph Woods. (Photo: VOPF)
Commentary
by Village of Park Forest Trustee Joseph A. Woods

Holding elected office is a lot more involved than one might imagine.

For the most part, the public sees elected officials at various events, and may on occasion catch a glimpse of them in a social media post―or perhaps may tune into a live broadcast of one meeting or another. But behind those occasions, the effective public official spends hours in preparation for the development of public policy that will benefit the citizens whom he or she serves.

Prior to being elected a Park Forest Trustee, I had only a cursory awareness of the commitment required to serve in Office: I knew that the Mayor and Trustees develop the annual Village budget. I knew that the Village Board meets nearly every week in public sessions. I knew that every Trustee serves as a liaison to one or two of the volunteer-citizen commissions. But the amount of time and effort that must be spent in preparation for these activities? Plus the plethora of other responsibilities that are involved… Honestly, I had no idea. And, it’s no wonder that citizens may not know either!

Now, I’m not going to pretend that every elected official is dedicating 24-7 to the fulfillment of duties imposed upon them by holding Office. For everyone is conscientious of his or her duties to the extent that his or her individual commitment dictates. Truth be told though, one cannot do a good job of serving in public office unless hours are spent in preparation, interrogation, and deliberation. And to spend that much time getting ready, one needs to have a sincere dedication to the job and an unwavering commitment to public service.

As a Trustee, I appreciate researching issues to be discussed and acted on at Board meetings. I enjoy seeking input from the people who elected me, as well as from those who did not vote, to best serve the collective interest. I enjoy reporting to citizens on the whys and hows of government operations. I relish the moments spent engaging with Trustees who have served in the past, in order that I understand the genesis of those things in place.

As we move forward, there lies the importance of effective communication in agreement and in disagreement. Trustees wield the responsibility and power of the vote to affect policy for the quality and betterment of their respective communities.

So I may not have expected―when I decided to seek public office―that so much would be involved. But guess what? Even if someone had told me every single aspect, I would have chosen it anyway.

So, what’s it like being a Trustee? It’s like . . . making a difference!

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Matteson, IL Man Sentenced to 77 Months in Prison: Feds

For Firearm Offense

guilty, justice, shadow bars
(MGN)

Hammond, IN-(ENEWSPF)- Javell Thompson, 34 years old, of Matteson, Illinois, was sentenced by United States District Court Senior Judge James T. Moody on his plea of guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Thompson was sentenced to 77 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, on October 24, 2020, law enforcement in Gary, Indiana stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation that Thompson was driving.  During a search of the vehicle, a pistol with an extended magazine was recovered.  Thompson admitted to possessing the firearm.  His criminal history revealed that he has two prior felony convictions, an aggravated fleeing conviction from 2013 and a burglary conviction from 2015, as such, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.            

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Response Investigative Team and the Gary Police Department.   This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Toth.      

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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Rep. Kelly Votes to Pass the Inflation Reduction Act, Sending Historic Legislation to President Biden’s Desk

The US House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act.
The US House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act. The historic legislation now goes to President Biden who is expected to sign it. (MGN)

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Friday, Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02) voted to pass the historic Inflation Reduction Act and send the legislation to President Biden’s desk. The Inflation Reduction Act will deliver landmark investments to lower Illinois families’ costs, create nine million good-paying union jobs, combat the climate crisis and dramatically reduce the deficit.

“I am proud to pass the Inflation Reduction Act today to reduce healthcare costs, protect our communities from the present threat of climate change, and to lower costs across the board for American workers and families,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “Democrats have never given up on negotiating this critical legislation because we know how important it is in helping our economy recover and in reducing costs for Americans.”

“With this historic legislation, we are finally enabling Medicare to negotiate drug pricing, capping healthcare costs for seniors, including a $35 per month insulin spending cap and extending ACA subsidies to save an average annual savings of $800 per person. I will continue working to lower costs for my constituents and improve healthcare costs and access for everyone,” said Congresswoman Kelly.

This legislation will bring down costs for working Illinoisans while building a cleaner economic future across the country, taking action to:

  • Lower prescription drug prices: empowering Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs, preventing excessive price hikes, and capping seniors’ out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000.
  • Lower health care costs: reducing approximately 300,000 Illinoisans’ premium costs, including nearly 10,000 constituents of Illinois Second Congressional District, by extending ACA subsidies for three more years, locking in average annual savings of $800 per person.
  • Lower energy costs: saving Illinois families an average of  $1000 per year on their energy bills.
  • Lower the deficit and help fight inflation: making a historic down payment on deficit reduction of approximately $300 billion. 
  • Deliver America’s largest-ever climate investment: supporting domestic energy production, creating nine million good-paying union jobs, and reducing carbon pollution by roughly 40 percent this decade.

According to 126 leading economists – including seven Nobel Prize winners, three former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers, and two former Treasury Secretaries – the Inflation Reduction Act “will fight inflation and lower costs for American families while setting the stage for strong, stable, and broadly-shared long-term economic growth.” 

The Inflation Reduction Act also honors Democrats’ promise: no new taxes on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses. This legislation is fully paid-for by ensuring that large corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share:

  • Strengthening IRS enforcement against wealthy tax cheats.
  • Closing tax loopholes exploited by the wealthiest few.
  • Implementing a 15 percent corporate minimum tax on billion-dollar companies and a 1 percent tax on corporate stock buybacks.

An overwhelming majority of the American public supports the Inflation Reduction Act’s key health care, climate, and inflation-fighting measures.  Data for Progress found that 73 percent of voters back the Inflation Reduction Act, including 95 percent of Democrats, nearly three-quarters of Independents, and more than half of Republicans.

This legislation also enjoys broad support from a wide range of advocacy organizations, including the AFL-CIO, Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, AARP, UnidosUS, Small Business Majority, Protect Our Care, and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Source: Congresswoman Robin Kelly

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Conagra Brands, Inc., Recalls Frozen Beef Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

22-oz. plastic bag packages containing “P.F. CHANG’S HOME MENU BEEF & BROCCOLI” with lot code “5006 2146 2012” and “BEST BY MAY 21 2023”.
22-oz. plastic bag packages containing “P.F. CHANG’S HOME MENU BEEF & BROCCOLI” with lot code “5006 2146 2012” and “BEST BY MAY 21 2023”. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Conagra Brands, Inc., a Russellville, Ark. establishment, is recalling approximately 119,581 pounds of frozen beef products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The product contains egg, a known allergen, which is not declared on the product label. 

The products are labeled as beef and broccoli but contain orange chicken. These items were produced on May 26 and May 27, 2022. The following products are subject to recall [view labels]:

  • 22-oz. plastic bag packages containing “P.F. CHANG’S HOME MENU BEEF & BROCCOLI” with lot code “5006 2146 2012” and “BEST BY MAY 21 2023”.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P115” on the side panel above the nutrition facts. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide and impacts only the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Beef & Broccoli product listed. It does not include any product sold at P.F. Chang’s restaurants.   

The problem was discovered when the producing establishment notified FSIS that it received two consumer complaints that the beef and broccoli package contained a chicken-based product.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.  

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution lists will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Consumers with questions about the recall can contact the Conagra Brands Consumer Care line at (800) 280-0301 or [email protected]. Members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Daniel Hare, Senior Director of Communications, Conagra Brands, Inc., at (312) 549-5355 or [email protected].

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-MPHotline (888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to [email protected] For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.

Source: USDA

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