Reporter news: November-December 2009

Reporter Jeff Kelly Lowenstein and The Chicago Reporter were among the recipients of the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform’s Public Service Award for their investigation showing widespread racial disparities in Illinois nursing homes and their human impact.

Editor Kimbriell Kelly, who led the nursing home investigation, and Kelly Lowenstein received the awards at the coalition’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 25.

Kelly Lowenstein and Kelly also discussed the investigation during testimony at an Oct. 22 hearing held by the Illinois Senate’s committee on public health and human services at the Thompson Center.

Publisher Alden Loury and Kelly Lowenstein testified during a subject matter hearing on children of the incarcerated at the Thompson Center on Sep. 18. The Youth and Family Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives, joined by the chairs of the Juvenile Justice, Judiciary II and Prison Reform Committees, convened the hearing in response to demands from the Community Renewal Society’s Civic Action member congregations. For more than three hours, the legislators heard testimony about the need for protocols to protect children during the arrest of a parent, sentencing practices that keep families together, services for children while a parent is in prison, and family transportation and communication during the time of parental incarceration.

The McCormick Foundation has awarded the Reporter a one-year grant for $75,000.

The Reporter’s blog, tcrBLOG at www.chicagoreporter.typepad.com, recorded its four highest-trafficked days since its inception in September 2008. From Sept. 25 through Sept. 28, tcrBLOG logged 3,436 page views, an average of 859 per day. Much of the traffic was generated by the Reporter’s blog entry about the hundreds of cityowned properties within two blocks of proposed Olympic venues Douglas Park and Washington Park.

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