Cicero recognized for helping bring internet services to needy families

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Cicero recognized for helping bring internet services to needy families

03-04-14comcastprThree Cicero community organizations were named as among recipients of a $25,000 grant from Comcast to help promote a program that offers low-cost broadband internet services to families and in need.

Dubbed “Internet Essentials” by Comcast, the program provides Internet access to students so they can connect to libraries, computer labs and after-school programs.

Officials at Comcast held a press conference at the Town of Cicero Tuesday to recognize several of the local community organizations and designate Town of Cicero with Comcast’s Gold Medal recognition for its support in promoting the Internet Essentials program.

“Cicero is proud to be one of the select few communities in the country to receive Gold Medal recognition from Comcast for our support,” said Cicero Town President Larry Dominick. “I want to thank everyone who helped spread the word about Internet Essentials and give broadband access at home to families who otherwise may never have been able to get it or enjoy all that benefits that come with it.”

Emilio Cundari, Cicero Town Assessor, opened the press conference with a congratulatory message from Town President Larry Dominick and the Town Board of Trustees.

“We are really proud of this partnership we have with Comcast and the Town of Cicero. It brings great things to our community and needed services to our citizens,” Cundari said.

Cundari also acknowledged students from Morton High School District 201 were also in attendance, and Morton School District 201 Supt. Michael Kuzniewski. Cundari also acknowledged support received from State Senators Martin Sandoval and Steven Landek, and State Representatives Lisa Hernandez, Silvana Tabares and Mike Zalewski.

Comcast Vice President Jack Segal expressed its gratitude to the Town of Cicero for its support and achieving a record signup of residents and students to the Internet Essentials program.

“It is the nation’s largest and most successful Internet broadband program,” Segal said. “Internet Essentials does exactly what it promises to do. … It helps kids with the school work and it helps parents find jobs.”

Segal recognized several organizations and leaders for their support including President Dominick and the Town of Cicero. Also recognized were: Mary Johnson, the executive director of Corazon; Sandra Kokenes, Webmaster and Agency Communication Specialist, Children’s Center of Cicero-Berwyn; Edgar Montiel of the Boys Club of Cicero; and, Donna Adamic, Superintendent of Cicero School District 99.

Segal also announced that families can get up to 6 months of complimentary internet service if they apply for the Internet Essentials Program in the following weeks up to March 18, 2014.

To qualify, applicants must be located in a community where Comcast offers service, such as Cicero, have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, are not subscribed to Comcast Internet services during the past 90 days prior to

applying, and do not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.

Families can apply by going to online or by calling 1-855-8-INTERNET.

Segal said that Cicero had the highest number of applicants approved under the nationwide program.

Photo Caption:

From left: Mike Paulos, Government Affairs Manager; Sandra Kokenes, Webmaster and Agency Communication Specialist, Children’s Center of Cicero-Berwyn; Mary Johnson, Executive Director Corazon Community Services; Edgar Montiel, Assistant Director Boys Club of Cicero; Maria Castro, External Affairs Manager; and Jack Segal VP of Public Relations. Photo Gerardo Lopez for the Town of Cicero.


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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is the Managing Editor of the Illinois News Network online news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley).

In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. He hosted a live weekend Radio Show on WLS AM radio from 1980 through 1991, and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM and shows on WSBC AM in Chicago and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate and his column is feature every Sunday in the Saudi Gazette in Saudi Arabia. He has written for the Jerusalem Post,, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His Chicagoland political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News on several Chicagoland blogs including the and

Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

His personal website is Email him at: [email protected].
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