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ABL Celebrates Tavern Month This May  

Thursday, April 19, 2012 5:00:28 PM

 ABL Celebrates Tavern Month This May  

Local Independent Businesses Reflect America’s Rich Tradition of Hospitality  
 
Bethesda, MD – April 30, 2012 – This May, America’s Beer, Wine and Spirits Retailers encourage everyone to celebrate Tavern Month by supporting 
America’s local bars and taverns.  In addition to responsibly providing an array of innovative and cherished brands 
and products, America’s bars and taverns provide jobs to millions and a setting for camaraderie, friendship and 
hospitality like no other.  Tavern Month is a chance to raise awareness of the history and 
future of these local businesses in communities large and small across the United States. 
 
Even before George Washington bid his Revolutionary War troops farewell at Fraunces Tavern, Americans have
 celebrated their lives with their friends and neighbors at their local tavern.   Representing the best of America’s
 community spirit, the locally‐owned tavern is at  owned tavern is at the core of America’s character.   
 
Many owners of these businesses have worked for years, even decades, to build 
a home away from home.  They remain some of the last locally‐owned 
businesses in their communities’ downtown area, and their owners quietly work hard to give back, providing 
millions of jobs, entertaining tens of millions of patrons each year, and giving to thousands of charities 
throughout the country. 
 
“America has celebrated its rich history at the local tavern,” said ABL executive director John Bodnovich.  
“Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize the role that these places play in their communities and the 
fact that they provide much more than just the products they sell.” 
 
Bar and tavern owners continue to place a strong emphasis on responsible service by training employees and 
incorporating programs to promote responsibility.  By utilizing technology and working with enforcement and 
regulatory groups, licensees are doing their part to continue a tradition of responsibility.   
 
“When constructing a solvent plan for combating alcohol misuse issues, there is no one better to consult than 
a beverage licensee,” said Bodnovich.  “Working day in and day out to responsibly serve their customers and 
communities, they understand the accountability that comes with their businesses and they take it very 
seriously.”  
 
America’s retailers of alcohol sales are in many ways the face of the beverage alcohol industry to the 
consumer.  Staunch supporters of the Three‐Tier System, ABL and its members continue to oppose any threats 
to the stability of the alcohol industry.  
 
Taverns & Bars Celebrate “Tavern Month” This May                       2  
 
What makes local bars and taverns special is the unique nature of the places themselves.  They are a reflection 
of their community, their customers, and the fiercely independent proprietors who reflect themselves in their 
business.  Be it the corner pub, a trendy lounge, or a family‐owned and operated tavern, you won’t find any 
two the same.   
 
“In the face of homogeneity and uniformity in parts of America’s eating and drinking culture, America’s 
independent bars and taverns remind us of the individuality and uniqueness of our cultural history in 
hospitality,” said Bodnovich. 
 
“This May, we’re raising a glass to the more than three hundred thousand independently‐owned bars and 
taverns in the United States, to the people who work hard to keep their doors open, and the millions of good 
jobs they provide in their communities.” 
 
This is the 59  consecutive year bars and taverns have celebrated Tavern Month with American Beverage 
Licensees, the largest national trade association dedicated to supporting and promoting beverage alcohol 
retail community.  ABL is joined by its state and local bar & tavern association affiliates to spread the word 
that May is Tavern Month…Let’s Celebrate!  
 
About American Beverage Licensees (ABL)  
American Beverage Licensees (ABL) is the preeminent national trade association for alcohol beverage retailers.  Its members are 
comprised of on‐premise and off‐premise licensees who provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and annually infuse millions of 
dollars into the American economy.  To learn more about ABL, visit www.ablusa.org. 
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Illinois: Durbin: Restrict liquor sales in East St. Louis 

Monday, April 16, 2012 2:18:17 PM

He calls on mayor to take action in senator's hometown, now labeled 'most dangerous city in the U.S."™

Source: Associated Press

Apr 12th

His birthplace newly mocked as "a hellhole" on "Saturday Night Live," U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin doesn't find anything funny about East St. Louis' spiral from the vibrant place he once knew to the withering, poverty-stricken one now considered America's most dangerous city.

And with backing from ministers and prosecutors, Illinois' senior senator has had enough.

Calling into fresh question Mayor Alvin Parks Jr.'s governance of the predominantly black city, Durbin on Wednesday delivered his latest full-throated challenge for Parks to limit liquor sales that the senator believes fuel violent crime and smother the southwestern Illinois city's desperate bid to rehab its sullied image.

"I'm proud of this city," Durbin told reporters outside a church where he joined state and federal prosecutors and ministers who met to discuss the liquor restrictions and the city's troubled state.

"East St. Louis has been down, and now it wants to stand up. And this is just the beginning."

The Democrat, whose return to his native city was heralded by one preacher as "providence," wants Parks to order that the open-all-night clubs close at 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends. Parks has honored the request after certain spates of killings, only to reverse himself out of concern that the restrictions could cost the struggling city of 27,000 residents vital tax revenue.

Parks, who did not attend Wednesday's gathering, has blamed drugs, criminals with guns and people retaliating -- not liquor -- for the problem, rebuffing months of Durbin's demands in what has been their escalating spat over sovereignty. Parks has not returned telephone messages left this week by The Associated Press.

Wednesday's meeting came just two days after a 31-year-old man was gunned down outside a local lounge. Parks said he was told the gunman was chasing Thomas and simply caught up with him outside the lounge.

"It's very easy to say if the clubs had been closed, this wouldn't have happened," Parks said in a statement. "The initial findings in this situation indicates that this young man was going to be killed somewhere. It just happened that it was outside of this club."

The latest killing adds to the troubling mosaic that is East St. Louis, where many shops resemble fortresses, protected by iron bars.

Other storefronts are boarded up, showing no glimmer of the days when the city where Durbin was born in 1944 was a thriving home to glass makers and other industrial companies before the exodus of white residents in the 1960s fanned its decline. The city, where the population is now 98 percent black, was once called home by Miles Davis, Jimmy Connors, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Katherine Dunham, but now is more defined by its corruption and decay.

And the violence is undeniable.

FBI statistics show East St. Louis is the nation's most dangerous city, "and second place isn't even close," southern Illinois' U.S. attorney, Stephen Wigginton, said after attending Wednesday's forum. The city's homicide rate last year was 109 per 100,000 residents -- more than 20 times the national average of just five per 100,000, he said.

Still shedding population -- the city lost 4,500 residents between the 2000 and 2010 censuses -- East St. Louis is now among the nation's poorest cities. The per-capita income is just $12,047, compared to the state average of $28,782. Four of every 10 locals live in poverty, dwarfing Illinois' 12.6 percent, according to 2010 census data.

All of it has made the city an easy target. In its opening skit last weekend, NBC's "Saturday Night Live" parodied Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney pandering to East St. Louis' Chamber of Commerce.

"You know, Ann and I have lived and traveled all over the world, but I'll let you in on a little secret," said the caricature Romney, played by Jason Sudeikis. "The only place that has truly ever felt like home is right here: East St. Louis, Illinois."

"Are you crazy? This is a hellhole," actor Kenan Thompson retorted as East St. Louis' mayor. "Yes, we hate it here," a female character chimed in.

Parks, after seeing the skit Monday, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his was a proud city with a bright future but with "a lot of things to overcome and a lot of challenges facing us."

Durbin also waved off the SNL skit, saying: "People can make jokes all they want. But it's no joke when people are getting gunned down."

Bernadette Bowens, a lifelong East St. Louis resident working as a caretaker to the elderly, said forcing the nightclubs to close earlier is misguided and wrongly places blames on the owners.

She had equal disgust for the city's diss by "Saturday Night Live."

"That was terrible. I mean, come on. East St. Louis is not so bad, and they made the mayor look like a joke. That's ignorant," she said outside Wednesday's meeting site, where she hoped to chat with Durbin. "We're living in the city, not in the dump. It's really embarrassing."

 

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Illinois: Mayor says problem liquor stores a 'cancer,' proposes crackdown 

Thursday, April 12, 2012 5:53:39 PM

Source: Sun Times

BY FRAN SPIELMAN AND STEFANO ESPOSITO

Apr 12, 2012 02:21AM

With Chicago's murder rate up 60 percent over last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday launched a coordinated crackdown aimed at shutting down liquor and convenience stores that serve as magnets for crime.

"These locations often harbor drug dealers and street gang members and become a cancer on the community," the mayor told the first graduating class of police recruits since he took office.

"By taking aggressive enforcement action, we can send a clear message that the streets of Chicago belong to the children and the law-abiding residents of Chicago - not drug dealers and gang bangers."

Until now, Emanuel said the city has relied on consumer complaints before moving to suspend or revoke the licenses of liquor and convenience stores.

Under the new and coordinated approach, City Hall will no longer wait for a major incident, such as a shooting, to trigger enforcement action.

Information will be pulled from 311 calls and from all city departments involved with enforcement including Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, Police, Streets and Sanitation, Health and Buildings.

Whenever there's a string of problems, arrests or a pattern of complaints against an establishment, the city "will move to revoke the liquor license and any other city business licenses," officials said. The city may also ask the Illinois General Assembly to "strengthen legislation so the city's authority in this area is strong," officials said.

Since 2008, the city has revoked the licenses of 105 businesses that fall into the convenience store or liquor store category.

But the coordinated crackdown can't come soon enough for South Side Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd).

She's been trying to shut down at least two problem establishments in her ward since her 2007 election without success because a so-called "deleterious impact" ordinance that requires residents to work with business owners is "anemic."

"When the community identifies things we want the owner to do to make the store a better neighbor - hiring security, putting up cameras or stop selling certain products - sometimes they cooperate and sometimes they don't," Dowell said.

"When the owner didn't cooperate in one case, we had to get neighbors to petition to close it. But because of the location and the vacant land around it, were weren't able to meet the [signature] requirement. Meanwhile, the store is still a problem. Last summer, there was a shooting in the lot adjacent to the store."

Dowell said shootings are not the only problem at liquor and convenience stores. So is loitering, public drinking and gambling.

"People go in and get their alcohol and hang out on the street drinking their 40-ounce. It's frustrating," she said.

"... They contribute to a poor quality of life on many of our commercial corridors and act as a hindrance to additional investment," she said. "Some of them have been identified for selling loose cigarettes and expired food products. When you begin to look at all those things together - 311 calls, aldermanic complaints and petitions - the city can move to close down these stores. We should be more aggressive."

One of the stores Dowell has targeted for closure is Calumet Food and Liquors, 315 E. 43rd, although she did not list any specific complaints against the store.

On Wednesday, security guard Tyrone Watson defended the store, saying, "We apply everything they ask us to do. We call police. We make complaints, we go to court. If there is any type of illegal activity, I report it to 911."

Watson did acknowledge there is drug-dealing from time to time outside the store. But manager Ray Fakhouri said the store can't be responsible for what happens on "the streets."

"Whatever happens outside, I cant control it. I have to watch my back. I have four kids at home. I cant go outside and stop what I'm doing."

He added: "It is unfair. This place has been here 35 years and we've never had any problems with nobody. They asked us to stop the selling the cheap wine. And of course we did that. . Whatever they ask, we do it. "

A police officer outside the store said things have improved since the store hired security six months ago.

Customer James Thompson, 39, a carpenter from Bronzeville, said it would be a mistake to close stores like Calumet.

"It's a positive aspect to the community," he said. "If we lose it we have to walk a mile to the next store. If they shut it down, what would they replace it with?"

Sam Joudeh - owner of Jamaica Food and Liquor at Cottage Grove and 42nd- said he's also been targeted by Dowell's office who he said falsely accused him of selling loose cigarettes.

"I believe she don't want no liquor stores around here," Joudeh said Wednesday, standing outside his store.

Joudeh said he's been a law-abiding merchant in Bronzeville for 20-plus years and is "100 percent" behind the mayor's efforts to cut crime. To illustrate his point, he produced a folder, with a yellowed Chicago Sun-Times article about an award he received in 1996 from the city's Human Relations Commission.

But just then, a man who claimed to own four condominiums above Joudeh's store interrupted Joudeh's conversation with a Sun-Times reporter, barking: "You attract the scum of the earth! You sell crap!"

"What crap? What crap?" Joudeh replied angrily.

The man, who wouldn't give his name, said he lives in the neighborhood.

"I want this place closed," he said. "He doesn't sell food. He sells junk, garbage."

"I want you to go inside and see the junk we sell," Joudeh said, before the other man walked away.

 

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Alcohol sharpens the mind, research finds 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:47:10 PM

Men who drink two pints of beer before tackling brain teasers perform better than those who attempt the riddles sober, scientists have found.

Source: Daily Telegraph

By Matthew Holehouse

11 Apr 2012

In findings that will be toasted by pub quiz aficionados, researchers found drinkers got more test questions right and were quicker in delivering the right answers.

It is thought alcohol hinders analytical thinking and allows 'creative' thoughts that might otherwise by stifled to take root, allowing test subjects to come up with more imaginative solutions.

Psychologists at the University of Illinois set 40 healthy young men a series of brain teasers. They involved being given three words, such as coin, quick and spoon, and coming up with a fourth word that links the three - in this case, silver.

Half the group drank the equivalent of two pints of beer before doing the tests, while the rest carried them out sober.

The drinking group solved nearly 40 per cent more problems than the others, and took an average of 12 seconds compared to the 15.5 seconds needed by sober subjects.

Writing in the journal of Consciousness and Cognition, they said: "The current research represents the first demonstration of alcohol's effecet on creative problem solving."

Author Jennifer Wiley told the Daily Mail: "We tested what happens when people are slightly merry, not when people drink to extreme.

"The bottom line is that we think being too focused can blind you to novel possibilities, and a broader, more flexible state of attention is needed for creative solutions to emerge."

 

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Restaurant industry looks for change in health care law 

Friday, April 06, 2012 2:10:58 PM

Source: NRN

By Paul Frumkin

March 27, 2012

As the Supreme Court moves into its third day of hearings on the constitutionality of the landmark health care law, many in the restaurant industry are nursing hopes that the 2-year-old law either will be overturned or at least altered to become more business-friendly.

Industry associations and restaurateurs have argued for the past several years that The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 could cut deeply into earnings, force operators to raise prices, eliminate jobs and slow growth in an already economically challenged environment.

While the court considers four key questions pertaining to the constitutionality of some elements of the act, at the heart of the debate is the law's central requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance or be subject to a fine - referred to as the individual mandate. However, in the event the individual mandate is indeed struck down as being unconstitutional, the court also agreed to hear another argument addressing whether the law can survive in its abridged form - known as the severability issue.

The National Restaurant Association filed an amicus brief in January throwing its support behind the argument that the entire act should be struck down if the court rules that the individual mandate should be removed. The NRA argued that a health-care law shorn of the individual mandate would drive up employer's costs for insurance.

Michelle Neblett, the NRA's director of labor and workforce policy, said the association felt it was necessary for the court to consider that the restaurant workforce demographics "and the characteristics of most restaurant employers means the industry would be subject to a particularly negative impact if the individual mandate is severed from the rest of the act."

The brief maintains that the foodservice industry is made up chiefly of small employers, and "Congress's goal of helping small employers provide health coverage would be impeded by the large increase in the cost of health care coverage, which would result if the rest of the Act stands without the individual mandate requirement.

"If the act is implemented without the individual mandate, however, it would affirmatively place small employers, and their employees, in a worse position than they were before passage of the act," the brief argues.

If the law does not compel healthy, younger employees - who comprise a large portion of the industry workforce - to buy insurance, many will choose not to be covered, Neblett said. "And taking healthy people out of the insurance pool drives up the rates for everyone."

While the court continues to hear arguments, other associations are weighing in on the health care issue. Rob Green, executive director of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, said: "On the one-year anniversary of the enactment of the new healthcare law, we rang the bell about the damaging impact the law's employer mandate and related penalties will have on chain restaurant operators and their small business franchisees.

"Two years in, the industry still doesn't have relief from the most pressing challenges created by the law. First and foremost, we continue to ask how chain restaurant employers - who operate on exceedingly thin profit margins - will be able to afford to comply with the law while still trying to create jobs and contribute to economic growth," he said.

One element that the associations have been addressing at the regulatory level is the government's definition of a full-time employee, and how long the "look-back period" should be to determine who is fulltime and who is part-time. "People are still trying to bring attention to specific issues in health care they find problematic," said Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs for the NRA.

At the same time, some continue to look for ways to overturn the law's employer mandate.

"The Health care law's employer mandate provision is casting a dark shadow with potentially grave consequences over many franchise business owners, creating additional uncertainty about expanding their operations or hiring new workers," said Steve Caldeira, chief executive of the International Franchise Association. "The mandate puts 3.2 million jobs at tens of thousands of franchise businesses at risk, according to an IFA/Hudson Institute study."

Caldeira said the study, which is expected to be presented to the House Ways & Means committee Thursday, shows how the law will impact job creation. "The study shows how the mandate will force franchise small business owners to choose between reducing the number of full-time employees or down-sizing their businesses or both - none of which is a prescription for economic recovery," he said.

In the meantime, restaurateurs are starting to look ahead to 2014 when employers must start offering health-care insurance to their full-time employees, Neblett said.

"There are a lot of conversations going on now," she said. "About one-third of the industry has looked at their costs and planned ahead and made changes to plans. Another third is waiting to see how the [Supreme Court] case and the elections all play out. And one-third are just worried about running their business and haven't thought about it much yet."

 

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Durbin Calls for FDA Investigation Into Energy Drinks 

Friday, April 06, 2012 11:05:26 AM
Targets beverages that contain high levels of caffeine

CSP Daily News |

WASHINGTON--In a letter to the commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has called for an investigation into energy drinks such as Monster Energy, Rockstar and Red Bull, which contain high levels of caffeine and "potentially dangerous ingredients," that are marketed to young people."

Durbin's call for an investigation comes after learning the story of a 14-year-old girl from Maryland, Anais Fournier, who--according to an NBC news report--died last December of a cardiac arrhythmia attributed to caffeine toxicity after drinking two 24-ounce energy drinks in a 24-hour period.

"Consuming large quantities of caffeine can have serious health consequences, including caffeine toxicity, stroke, anxiety, arrhythmia and in some cases death. Young people are especially susceptible to suffering adverse effects because energy drinks market to youth, their bodies are not accustomed to caffeine, and energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and stimulating additives that may interact when used in combination," wrote Durbin. "The glossy marketing tailored to youth has worked--30% to 50% of adolescents report consuming energy drinks."

A 2011 report by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that emergency room visits due to energy drink consumption increase tenfold between 2005 and 2009. The report also found that of these emergency room visits, 45% were young people between the ages of 18 and 25, and 56% were due to energy drinks alone, and not energy drinks used with alcohol, drugs or medications.

In the letter, Durbin called on the FDA to take action to enforce the caffeine levels in energy drinks. The FDA has already instituted a limit on the caffeine levels in soft drinks to .02% or less of the product--about 71mg in a 12-ounce soda; however, energy drinks such as Red Bull contain caffeine levels over the FDA limit, which is not currently not actively enforced for energy drinks.

The agency has the authority to regulate additives in beverages to ensure they are safe for their intended use and when used in combination with other ingredients, and can require manufacturers of energy drinks to provide scientific evidence that ingredients such as guarana, taurine, yerba mate, kola nut and ginseng are safe for their intended use and in combination with caffeine and other energy drink ingredients.

Some energy drinks avoid FDA oversight by being marketed as dietary supplements, since the distinction between dietary supplements and foods with dietary ingredient additives is not always clear, leaving room for some food and beverages to be marketed as dietary supplements in order to circumvent the safety standards required for food additives, Durbin claimed.

Last year, Durbin introduced legislation to make sure that consumers have the information they need to distinguish between products that are safe and others that contain potentially dangerous ingredients which have not been approved by the FDA.

Durbin's Dietary Supplement Labeling Act would also require dietary supplement manufacturers to disclose the known risks of ingredients and display a mandatory warning if the product contains a dietary ingredient that may cause potentially serious adverse events. Labels would also have to include the batch number, which would help the FDA identify and recall contaminated product.

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Upgrading equipment for the new ADA regulations may qualify you for tax incentives 

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 4:48:29 PM

Upgrading equipment for the new ADA regulations may qualify you for tax incentives
Businesses can take advantage of two Federal tax incentives available to help cover costs of making access improvements for customers with disabilities:
    $  A tax credit for small businesses who remove access barriers from their facilities, provide accessible services, or take other steps to improve accessibility for customers with disabilities.
    $  A tax deduction for businesses of all sizes that remove access barriers in their facilities or vehicles.
A business that annually incurs eligible expenses to bring itself into compliance with the ADA may use these tax incentives every year.  The incentives may be applied to a variety of expenditures; however, they may not be applied to costs of new construction.  All barrier removal must comply with applicable Federal accessibility standards.
Tax Credit:
Small businesses with 30 or fewer employees or total revenue of $1 million or less can use the Disabled Access Credit (Internal Revenue Code, Section 44).  Eligible small businesses may take a credit of up to $5,000 (half of eligible expenses up to $10,250, with no credit for the first $250) to offset their costs for access, including barrier removal from their facilities, provision of accessibility services, provision of printed material in alternate formats, and provision or modification of equipment.
Tax Deduction:
Businesses of all sizes may take advantage of this tax deduction.  Under Internal Revenue Code, Section 190, businesses can take a business expense deduction of up to $15,000 per year for costs of removing barriers in facilities or vehicles.
Tax Incentives in Combination:
These two incentives can be used together by eligible businesses if the expenditures qualify under both Sections 44 and 190.  If a small business' expenses exceed $10,250 for the maximum $5,000 tax credit, then the deduction equals the difference between the total spent and the amount of the credit claimed.

For more information about these tax incentives and the ADA, call the Department of Justice ADA Information Line at: 800-574-0301 (voice); 800-514-0383 (TTY) or visit: http://www.ada.gov/.

Tax Incentives Forms and Publications:  Visit the Internal Revenue Service website at http://www.irs.gov/ or call 800-829-3676 (voice); 800-829-4059 (TTY) to order the necessary business forms and publications:  Form 8826 (Disabled Access Credit) and Publication 535 "Business Expenses" (tax deduction).

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Liquor salesman, 71, fends off attackers in Englewood - with tequila bottle 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 11:54:46 AM
Source: Sun Times
BY KIM JANSSEN
March 22, 2012
The gang of five young muggers probably thought they'd picked a soft target in 71-year-old Willie Whitehead.
But the veteran liquor salesman was armed and ready to fight - with a 750ml bottle of Rancho Alegre tequila.
He didn't spill a drop. But all five attackers were arrested within minutes Wednesday afternoon after Whitehead bravely defended himself, police say.
"I told them, 'Come on with it!,'" Whitehead recalled Thursday, mimicking how he had brandished the fiery Mexican booze above his head after being attacked at the corner of 59th and Halsted around 1:30 p.m.
"I told them, 'I'll hit you with it,'" he added with a chuckle.
The would-be muggers - aged 18, 17, 16, 14 and 11 - had ripped his suit jacket and unsuccessfully tried to snatch his phone and briefcase moments after he completed a sales visit to an Englewood liquor store, police say.
Whitehead said he was briefly surprised by the attack, but that as soon as he held the bottle above his head the muggers "stood down - they were just young."
He managed to get to his car and call police, who arrested Jesse Jackson, 18, Demetrius Shields, 17, and three juveniles, who were all charged with attempted robbery from an elderly victim. Shields and Jackson were Thursday ordered held on bail of $75,000 by Judge Donald Panarese.
Whitehead, who lives on the Southeast Side, said it was the involvement of the 11-year-old that troubled him most. "I've been thinking about him a lot," he said. "He's a baby but I can already see the end he's going to come to ... he's got no discipline and no God."
Whitehead added that he doesn't consider himself a hero, "just blessed." He also escaped unhurt when two gunmen robbed him of his valuables in his garage last year, he said.
He was widowed three years ago but says he "won't consider retirement until I'm 80," and was back at work Thursday. He even sold the bottle of Rancho Alegre he'd used to defend himself.
"It's good stuff," he said.
Still, he wasn't tempted to take a swig after his triumph Wednesday.
"I've got gout," he said. "It wouldn't do me any good."
 
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Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois Announces Establishment of New Wine Education Class 

Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:45:14 PM
Source: Business Wire
Mar 15th
Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois (SWS-IL), a division of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., today announced the establishment of a new wine curriculum designed exclusively for beverage and hospitality professionals entitled From Grapes to Glass.
The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the fundamentals of wine-its production, marketing and enjoyment. From Grapes to Glass focuses on key facets of wine acumen, including: grape growing, winemaking, tasting, varietals, vintages, appellations, and wine sales and service.
Will Conniff, Executive Vice President/General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, said, "It is with great enthusiasm that we launch this wine curriculum to our trade partners. This class creates a solid foundation for a lifetime of wine learning. We could not be more excited about providing this topflight training resource to our customers."
Serafin Alvarado, Master Sommelier and SWS-IL's Director of Wine Education, commented, "From Grapes to Glass allows hospitality professionals to immerse themselves in the fundamentals of wine. This course provides industry professionals with an opportunity to advance their careers by providing a comprehensive understanding of wine along with core service skills."
According to Brian Orlik, SWS-IL's Director of Education and Trade Relations, "From Grapes to Glass provides an excellent baseline for the wine service professional. Our goal for this course was to combine theory and application in an effort to put students in the best position for success while serving tableside."
From Grapes to Glass is a five week program designed exclusively for beverage and hospitality professionals. The inaugural class begins on April 2, 2012 at Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois' Direct Warehouse Sales facility located at 250 N. Artesian in Chicago. Enrollment fee for this program is $150 and includes a text book and wines sampled in class. Participants must be 21 years of age and seating is limited.
To register for From Grapes to Glass please visit: http://southernwine.com/Portals/0/IL_docs/GrapesToGlass/home.htm.
 
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CTA falls off wagon on alcohol ads 

Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:42:53 PM
Source: Chicago Tribune
By Jon Hilkevitch
March 14, 2012
The CTA today ended its 15-year-old ban on accepting advertising for alcoholic beverages in a move projected to generate an extra $3.2 million to the transit agency on its existing ad contract.
The CTA board approved an ordinance amending the agency's advertising guidelines. It will allow advertising for beer, wine and liquor on CTA rail cars and at certain rail stations that are not near schools and other locations, officials said.
The ban on booze ads on CTA buses will continue, officials said.
"We are doing this in a very responsible way," CTA President Forrest Claypool said.
He noted the CTA started 2012 with a $277 million budget deficit, and service cuts and fare increases are still a possibility this summer if negotiations with CTA unions over proposed work rule changes do not lead to up to $80 million in savings.
"We need every single dollar we can get to meet the needs" of the agency and its customers, Claypool said, referring to dropping the ban on alcohol ads that has been in place since 1997.
In another change, political ads and public service announcements by non-profit groups and government agencies will be required to disclose who is sponsoring or paying for the ads, to make it clear CTA is not endorsing any political candidate or viewpoint, officials said.
Language was also added to the CTA ordinance to make it clear the transit agency prohibits ads promoting infidelity, escort services and sexually oriented products or businesses, officials said.
The alcohol ads will be restricted mainly to the downtown area, officials said.
CTA bus shelters operated by JC Decaux under a separate contract with the city of Chicago have carried alcohol ads for years and are not affected by the CTA ordinance.
Titan Worldwide is the CTA's advertising broker. New advertising revenue for the CTA based on introducing alcohol ads is guaranteed at $3.2 million on the remainder of the current three-year contract, officials said.
Titan's total minimum annual guarantee for all advertisements is $57.5 million.
Alcohol ads will not be allowed in rail stations where reduced-fare student riders exceed 7.5 percent of the total ridership, the ordinance said.
The boundaries where alcohol ads will be permitted are Montrose Avenue on the north, Roosevelt Road on the south, Ashland Avenue on the west and Lake Michigan on the east, plus the Sox/35th Red Line station and the 35th/Bronzeville/IIT station on the Green Line, the CTA said.
Alcohol ads on the exteriors of CTA trains will also be limited to 15 pairs of cars, officials said.
The ads will be required to contain a statement on the legal drinking age in Illinois and warnings about the potential dangers of alcohol consumption.
 
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