Bar Owner Arrested for Growing Marijuana

(WIFR) UPDATE: The owner of a Rockford bar where police say more than 1,100 marijuana plants were found has been arrested.

Police say 46-year-old Greg Kowalski faces charges for manufacturing and delivery and growing the marijuana plants. On Thursday, officers found the stash inside the old Fatty McGee’s bar after being called there for an attempted burglary.

Attention Illinois voters, it's time to give a damn.

People who live and vote in Illinois, please take a moment to read this and then act.

I know that people are probably concerned about the budget cuts but might not necessarily understand exactly what is at stake here, so let me share how Gov. Rauner’s proposed budget changes will affect actual people in our communities.

My clients receive in-home assistance necessary to keep them out of nursing homes. They have physical disabilities that prevent them from doing things like cooking meals, doing laundry, cleaning, going to the grocery store. They’re not sick enough to require round-the-clock care but they just need some help in order to live safely and independently at home. If these budget cuts pass, over half of my clients will lose their services. Out of 28 people on my caseload, only 9 will remain in the program. The others will be left struggling to care for themselves and in some cases, their families. A current client with a disabled foster daughter wondered incredulously how she will be able to care for both herself and her foster daughter without assistance. Sadly, I have no answers for her.

So please, PLEASE, if you are registered to vote in Illinois, call your state representatives and ask them to stand against Governor Rauner’s budget cuts. Peoples’ lives are at stake. You can use this link to find your state representatives and their contact info: http://tinyurl.com/k9k6n7y

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URGENT TO ANYBODY LIVING IN THE DEKALB ILLINOIS AREA OR NEARBY!!! These two cats, Cami and Chris (left and right respectably) need a home for a couple of months until the owner (my boyfriend) can come pick them up. Long story short, the owner moved down to Savannah GA and left these two cats underneath his friends care until he could come back up. But his friends landlord recently found out and told him he needs them out by tomorrow (03/06/15). They are both females, and Cami is actually Chris’s mom. Chris is also actually up for adoption, so even if you can’t take both of them in it would be great to give this cat a forever home!! Neither of them are fixed but like I said they are both female so they won’t spray. ALSO the owner can help out with money for food and litter. EVEN IF YOU AREN’T IN THE AREA PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST!!! This is urgent and these kitties shouldn’t have to be put in a shelter or let out in the streets because of circumstances beyond our control!! Any help is needed and appreciated!!

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Women Who Changed Free Expression: Marjane Satrapi

Happy Women’s History Month! All through March, we’ll be celebrating women who changed free expression in comics. Check back here every weekday for biographical snippets on female creators who have pushed the boundaries of the format and/or seen their work challenged or banned.

Anyone who’s read Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel memoir Persepolis is already familiar with the key events of her early life. Growing up in Tehran during the turmoil surrounding the Islamic Revolution, Satrapi experienced abrupt changes that curtailed the secular lifestyle she and her intellectual parents had enjoyed prior to 1979. Always rebellious and bluntly inquisitive, she began to act out even more in school and in public after her favorite uncle was killed in prison. For her own safety, Satrapi’s parents sent her alone to attend high school in Austria when she was 14, in 1984. She returned to Iran at 18 and obtained a Master’s degree in visual communication from Tehran’s School of Fine Arts, but found the prospect of remaining in the country under the repressive regime untenable. In 1994 she moved to Strasbourg, France, where she continued to study art, and on to Paris three years later.

Satrapi often regaled her friends in France with stories of her surreal childhood, and they in turn introduced her to comics including art spiegelman’s Maus. She had been dabbling in children’s picture books without success, but spiegelman’s work proved that illustrated books could treat more serious subjects. Satrapi decided to try her hand at a graphic novel memoir, and produced Persepolis in four volumes between 2000 and 2003. They met with immediate critical and popular acclaim in France, and were translated and collected into two volumes for the U.S. market in 2003 and 2004. In 2007 she co-wrote and directed the animated movie based on the comics, which tied for the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, won two French Césars, and was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

While it’s hardly surprising that both the books and movie have been banned in Iran, Persepolis has also seen more than its fair share of trouble in U.S. schools, where parents and administrators have objected to profanities and depictions of torture. Most spectacularly, Chicago Public Schools officials made a confused attempt in March 2013 to remove the book from all classrooms due to “graphic language and content that is inappropriate for children.” They allowed it to remain in AP classes for 11th and 12th graders, but now require 8th-10th grade teachers to undergo extra training before they can use it in class. The book remains banned in 7th grade CPS classrooms. In 2014 there were two more school challenges to Persepolis in quick succession: one in the Three Rivers School District in Oregon, and another in Illinois in the Ball-Chatham district, where a review committee unanimously decided that it would not be removed from classrooms.

Contributing Editor Maren Williams