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Archive for November 4th, 2011

Brothers, wrongfully imprisoned for 20 Years, to be released from Menard Prison at 11 a.m. today

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Menard, IL – James Harden and Jonathan Barr, brothers wrongfully sent to prison as teenagers, are expected to be released from Menard Prison at 11 a.m., today (Friday, Nov. 4) after over 20 years in prison.  Both were wrongfully convicted of murder and rape due to police-coerced confessions and testimony by other then-teenaged defendants.   

After DNA testing linked a serial rapist to the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old southwest suburban girl, a Cook County Circuit Court judge yesterday set aside the convictions of Robert Taylor, James Harden and Jonathan Barr, who were convicted of the crime by confessions now known to be false.  All were teenagers when arrested, and are represented by the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project, the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth with private attorney Jennifer Blagg and the Innocence Project.  

The State’s Attorney’s Office in court yesterday said that it would be filing papers soon to vacate the convictions of Robert Lee Veal and Shainne Sharp who were also wrongfully convicted of the crime.

A Press Conference will be held at 11:15 AM, Friday, Nov. 4th, outside of the Prison’s Main Entrance, 711 Kaskaskia Street, Menard, IL

Background

On November 19, 1991, Cateresa Matthews, a 14-year-old student at Rosa Parks Middle School in Dixmoor, IL, went missing.  Her body was discovered 19 days later on a footpath in a residential neighborhood near Interstate 57 in Dixmoor.  She had been raped and shot in the mouth.  Nearly a year after the murder, the Illinois State Police interrogated Veal, a 15-year-old student from the same school.  After 5 hours in police custody, Veal signed a written statement implicating himself, Taylor (15), Barr (15), Harden (17) and Sharp (17).  After 4 hours in custody, Taylor also signed a written confession.  Two days later, after 21 hours in custody, Sharp did the same. 

In June 1994, before any of the teenagers were tried, the Illinois State Police crime lab identified a lone male DNA profile from sperm recovered from the victim’s body.  Even though all 5 defendants were excluded as the source of the semen, the prosecution pushed forward rather than seeking the source of the semen recovered from this young victim.  Based on doubts about the truthfulness of the confessions, a juvenile court judge refused to charge Barr and Taylor in adult criminal court, a decision later reversed by an appellate court. Veal and Sharp pled guilty to first-degree murder and received a 20-year sentence (they were eligible for release just 7 years from the date of their pleas) in exchange for agreeing to testify against Harden, Barr and Taylor.  Over the next 2 years, all 3 were convicted, and each was sentenced to at least 80 years in prison.  All subsequent appeals were denied, including a post-conviction request for DNA testing. 

In August 2009, James Harden, through the University of Chicago Exoneration Project, again sought DNA testing, a request later joined by Robert Taylor through the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth and private attorney Jennifer Blagg as well as Jonathan Barr through the Innocence Project.  For more than a year, the Dixmoor Police Department claimed that it was unable to locate the DNA and was threatened with contempt of court for failing to respond to a subpoena.  Eventually Judge Michele Simmons ordered the Dixmoor police to allow counsel to view the evidence storage areas and log books for themselves.  In short order, the Department informed the lawyers that they had finally located the evidence.  DNA testing uncovered a full male profile that was entered into the national DNA database of criminal offenders, matching serial violent offender Willie Randolph.

At the time of the crime, Randolph, 33, lived in the victim’s neighborhood and had recently been released on parole after serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery.   He was apprehended by authorities on April 12, 2011.  Police questioned Randolph, whose semen had been found in the victim’s body, about the murder, and he denied having sex with Matthews.  Subsequently, defendants’ attorneys located another woman who says she was also raped by Randolph at the same exact location.

Brothers Barr and Harden were just 14 and 16 when Matthews was murdered.  Neither Barr nor Harden confessed to the crime and have always maintained their innocence.  Their father, James Harden, Sr., provided an alibi at each of their trials, testifying that he was home with the boys on the alleged day the victim was murdered.  Barr and Harden’s mother and father both passed away while they were incarcerated.    

Taylor was also just 14 at the time of the murder.   After a relentless interrogation, he signed a written statement confessing to the crime.  He recanted soon thereafter but was convicted at trial based on his statement and the testimony from Veal and Sharp.  Taylor plans to live with his father, Robert Taylor, Sr., who has stood by him throughout his two-decade fight to clear his name.  

James Harden is represented by Tara Thompson of the University of Chicago Law School Exoneration Project.  Robert Taylor is represented by Joshua Tepfer, Laura Nirider, and Steven Drizin of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth as well as private attorney Jennifer Blagg. Jonathan Barr is represented by Co-Director Peter Neufeld and Staff Attorney Craig Cooley of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law.

27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Nominees Announced During Live Telecast on GMC

Posted by Juanita Bratcher On November - 4 - 2011 2 COMMENTS

 

Vashawn Mitchell leads with 10 nominations, followed by Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and Deitrick Haddon

 

Special Honorees John P. Kee, Vy Higginsen and Dorothy Norwood Also Announced

 

stellar awards 2Nashville, TN (BlackNews.com) — Nominees for the 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards, gospel music’s biggest night of the year, were revealed in last Saturday’s special one-hour live telecast from Nashville’s NorthStar Studios, “The Stellar Awards Nomination Concert and Announcements” on Atlanta-based GMC Network. The Stellar Gospel Music Awards is the first and only annual nationally-televised awards show honoring African American gospel music artists.

With nominations revealed in twenty-nine categories, emerging gospel star Vashawn Mitchell led this year’s nominees, earning an impressive ten nods for his work on his 2011 release Triumphant, including “Artist of the Year” and “Male Vocalist of the Year.”

Veteran superstars Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin tied with six nods for their respective projects Something Big and Hello Fear. Groundbreaking artist Deitrick Haddon’s latest CD, Church on the Moon, earned five nominations.

In addition to the individual nominations of the top artists, their team members also scored nominations for the projects: Director Christian Heuer received a nomination for Mary Mary’s music video, Walking, and Warryn Campbell received a nomination for Producer of the Year for Mary Mary’s album Something Big; Songwriter Darius Paulk received a nomination for Nobody Greater, sung by Vashawn Mitchell; and Denise Trotman and Greg Gilligan received a nomination for the recorded music packaging on Kirk Franklin’s Hello Fear.

The live announcement show was led by the evening’s hosts, Christian comic Akintunde and Stellar Award-winning gospel artists Trin-i-tee 5:7. They were joined by Isaac Carree, William McDowell, Y’anna Crawley and Brian Courtney Wilson, who delivered stirring performances. Additionally, Stellar Award-winning artist James Fortune made a surprise guest appearance.

The show’s producers, Central City Productions Founder/Chairman Don Jackson stated, “Last year marked our first live nominee announcement on the GMC television network and today’s show was another huge success! It is very appropriate and fitting to celebrate the nominees of Gospel’s biggest night through praise and worship because everyone is a winner here today.”

The 27th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards Show will be hosted this year by gospel legends Dorinda Clark Cole and Marvin Sapp and taped before a live audience on Saturday, January 14, 2012. The telecast is scheduled to air in national syndication from January 21, 2012 to February 26, 2012 on the GMC and local markets around the country.

The show will feature star-studded performances by James Fortune, Kirk Franklin, Jessica Reedy, Earnest Pugh, Richard Smallwood and Vision, Martha Munizzi, LeAndria Johnson, Lecrae, Canton Jones, Kim Burrell, Da’ T.R.U.T.H., Fred Hammond and Ricky Dillard among others.

In addition to recognizing the year’s most outstanding contributions in the genre, The Stellar Awards also bestow special honors upon individuals whose names are synonymous with greatness throughout distinguished careers in the gospel arena. During this year’s ceremony, Vy Higginsen, founder of Gospel for Teens will be recognized with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award; Dorothy Norwood will receive the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award; and John P. Kee will receive the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award for his historical contributions to the industry. Other special categories were also revealed, highlighting the top radio stations serving urban Gospel music audiences.

It was also announced that a Public Voting for the Gospel Announcer of the Year and Internet Radio Station of the Year will be available online from October 29, 2011 through November 15, 2011 by visiting www.thestellarawards.com. Viewers can also log on to www.Facebook.com/stellarawards and follow Twitter.com/@TheStellars for show updates.

The live taping at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN is open to the public and tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.com/). Ticket prices range from $55 – $200. In addition, balcony seats are available for students for $35. For additional details, visit the Stellar Awards website (www.thestellarawards.com).

In related news, the Gospel Music Channel renewed its agreement to broadcast the Stellar Awards through 2014 as part of a long-term deal announced Friday between the two parties. GMC has telecast the Stellars since 2009. Additionally, the network will also air the live Stellar nominations in 2012 and 2013.

Chicago-based Central City Productions, Inc. (CCP) has produced The Stellar Gospel Music Awards for 26 years. The first show was taped at the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago and The Stellar Awards has since evolved into a premier Gospel event recognizing and honoring African American artists. An original awards show, it has propelled and showcased top Gospel artists and countless television and film stars. The ever-expanding roster of celebrity appearances on the Stellar Awards has included such notable personalities as Lou Gossett, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, The Winans, Clifton Davis, Yolanda Adams, Vicki Winans, Tyler Perry, Aretha Franklin, Idris Alba, Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker and countless others.

“Once again we have an amazing lineup for the 27th Annual Stellar Awards,” said Stellar Awards Producer Barbara Wilson. “As Producer of this show for over 25 years, I am constantly inspired by the wealth of talent out there. My mission is to continue to produce a show that not only entertains our viewers, but touches their souls in a way that only gospel music can do.”
The 2012 Stellar Awards Nominees are:
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
– EARNEST PUGH, EARNESTLY YOURS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– KIRK FRANKLIN, HELLO FEAR, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– MARY MARY, SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

SONG OF THE YEAR
– DARIUS PAULK, NOBODY GREATER – TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL
– DEITRICK HADDON, WELL DONE – CHURCH ON THE MOON, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– KIRK FRANKLIN, I SMILE – HELLO FEAR, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– WESS MORGAN, I CHOOSE TO WORSHIP – UNDER AN OPEN HEAVEN, BOWTIE WORLD MUSIC

MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
– EARNEST PUGH, EARNESTLY YOURS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– ISRAEL HOUGHTON, LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, INTEGRITY MUSIC
– SMOKIE NORFUL, HOW I GOT OVER: SONGS THAT CARRIED US, TREMYLES MUSIC/EMI GOSPEL
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

ALBERTINA WALKER FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR* (*renamed in 2011)
– BEVERLY CRAWFORD, LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES – VOL. 2, JDI RECORDS
– KIM BURRELL, THE LOVE ALBUM, SHANACHIE ENTERTAINMENT – MARTHA MUNIZZI, MAKE IT LOUD!, EPIC MUSIC
– YOLANDA ADAMS, BECOMING, N-HOUSE MUSIC GROUP

GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR
– JAMES FORTUNE & FIYA, I BELIEVE, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– MARY MARY, SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS
– THE RANCE ALLEN GROUP, THE LIVE EXPERIENCE II, TYSCOT MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
– TRIN-I-TEE 5:7, ANGEL & CHANELLE, MUSIC WORLD GOSPEL/MUSIC WORLD

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
– GREATER MOUNT CALVARY RECORDING CHOIR, GREATER MOUNT CALVARY LIVE: AS TOLD BY THE MUSIC MINISTRY, CALVARY RECORDS
– PREASHEA HILLIARD, LIVE OUT LOUD, SOUNDEFX MEDIA/BLACKSMOKE
– TODD DULANEY, PULLIN ME THROUGH, GOLDSTREET GOSPEL MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
– Y’ANNA CRAWLEY, THE PROMISE, ID MUSIC GROUP/UNIVERSAL/FONTANA DISTRIBUTION

CD OF THE YEAR
– JAMES FORTUNE & FIYA, I BELIEVE, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– KIRK FRANKLIN, HELLO FEAR, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– MARY MARY, SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

CHOIR OF THE YEAR
– CHICAGO MASS CHOIR, XV LIVE, NEW HAVEN RECORDS
– MISSISSIPPI MASS CHOIR, …THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MALACO
– RICKY DILLARD & NEW G, KEEP LIVING, LIGHT RECORDS/ENTERTAINMENT ONE
– SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY, REFRESHED BY FIRE, KINGDOM RECORDS, INC.

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
– AARON LINDSEY, TOMMY SIMS, & ISRAEL HOUGHTON, LOVE GOD,LOVE PEOPLE, INTEGRITY MUSIC – KIRK FRANKLIN, HELLO FEAR, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, DANIEL WEATHERSPOON & RICK ROBINSON, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL
– WARRYN CAMPBELL/ MARY MARY, SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS

CONTEMPORARY GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR
– JAMES FORTUNE & FIYA, I BELIEVE, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC
– MARY MARY, SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS
– TRIN-I-TEE 5:7, ANGEL & CHANELLE, MUSIC WORLD GOSPEL/MUSIC WORLD

TRADITIONAL GROUP/DUO OF THE YEAR
– KEITH “WONDERBOY” JOHNSON & THE SPIRITUAL VOICES, BACK 2 BASICS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– THE RANCE ALLEN GROUP, THE LIVE EXPERIENCE II, TYSCOT MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
– THE SOUL SEAKERS, SOUL SEEKERS II, MY BLOCK RECORDS/MALACO MUSIC GROUP

CONTEMPORARY MALE OF THE YEAR
– DEITRICK HADDON, CHURCH ON THE MOON, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– EARNEST PUGH, EARNESTLY YOURS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– ISRAEL HOUGTON, LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, INTEGRITY MUSIC
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

TRADITIONAL MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
– KEITH “WONDERBOY” JOHNSON, BACK 2 BASICS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– JOHN P. KEE, THE LEGACY PROJECT, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– RANCE ALLEN, THE LIVE EXPERIENCE II, TYSCOT MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
– SMOKIE NORFUL, HOW I GOT OVER: SONGS THAT CARRIED US, TREMYLES MUSIC/EMI GOSPEL

CONTEMPORARY FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

– KIM BURRELL, THE LOVE ALBUM, SHANACHIE ENTERTAINMENT
– PREASHEA HILLIARD, LIVE OUT LOUD, SOUNDEFX MEDIA/BLACKSMOKE
– Y’ANNA CRAWLEY, THE PROMISE, ID MUSIC GROUP/UNIVERSAL/FONTANA DISTRIBUTION
– YOLANDA ADAMS, BECOMING, N-HOUSE MUSIC GROUP

TRADITIONAL FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
– BEVERLY CRAWFORD, LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES – VOL.2, JDI RECORDS
– EVELYN TURRENTINE-AGEE, THERE’S GONNA BE A MEETING, SHANACHIE ENTERTAINMENT
– LASHUN PACE, REBORN, SHANACHIE ENTERTAINMENT
– TWINKIE CLARK, WITH HUMILITY, ARROWHEAD GOSPEL

CONTEMPORARY CD OF THE YEAR
– DEITRICK HADDON, CHURCH ON THE MOON, VERITY MUSIC GROUP
– KIRK FRANKLIN, HELLO FEAR, VERITY MUSIC GROUP
– MARY MARY, SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

TRADITIONAL CD OF THE YEAR
– JOHN P. KEE, THE LEGACY PROJECT, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– MISSISSIPPI MASS CHOIR, …THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MALACO
– RICKY DILLARD & NEW G, KEEP LIVING, LIGHT RECORDS/ ENTERTAINMENT ONE
– SMOKIE NORFUL, HOW I GOT OVER: SONGS THAT CARRIED US, TREMYLES MUSIC/ EMI GOSPEL

URBAN/INSPIRATIONAL SINGLE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR
– DEITRICK HADDON, WELL DONE – CHURCH ON THE MOON, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– KIRK FRANKLIN, I SMILE – HELLO FEAR, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– MARY MARY, WALKING – SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/ MY BLOCK RECORDS

– VASHAWN MITCHELL, NOBODY GREATER – TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR – SHORT FORMAT
– CANTON JONES, GOD – DOMINIONAIRE, CAJO RECORDS
– CHRISTIAN HEUER, WALKING – SOMETHING BIG, COLUMBIA RECORDS/MY BLOCK RECORDS
– MARTHA MUNIZZI, EXCELLENT – MAKE IT LOUD!, EPIC MUSIC
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, NOBODY GREATER – TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR – LONG FORMAT
– DEITRICK HADDON, CHURCH ON THE MOON: PART ONE, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– JERRY PARRIES, BISHOP MORTON CELEBRATES 25 YEARS IN MUSIC, LIGHT RECORDS/ENTERTAINMENT ONE,
– MISSISSIPPI MASS CHOIR, …THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MALACO
– RICKY DILLARD, KEEP LIVING, LIGHT RECORDS/ENTERTAINMENT ONE

TRADITIONAL CHOIR OF THE YEAR
– CHICAGO MASS CHOIR, XV LIVE, NEW HAVEN RECORDS
– GREATER MOUNT CALVARY RECORDING CHOIR, GREATER MOUNT CALVARY LIVE: AS TOLD BY THE MUSIC MINISTRY, CALVARY RECORDS
– MISSISSIPPI MASS CHOIR, …THEN SINGS MY SOUL, MALACO
– RICKY DILLARD & NEW G, KEEP LIVING, LIGHT RECORDS/ENTERTAINMENT ONE

CONTEMPORARY CHOIR OF THE YEAR
– LONNIE HUNTER & STRUCTURE, I’M BACK, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY, REFRESHED BY FIRE, KINGDOM RECORDS, INC.

INSTRUMENTAL GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR
– HAROLD RAYFORD, I AM THE INSTRUMENT, TYSCOT MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
– MOSES TYSON, JR., MUSIC REMASTERED & SACRED ORGAN, TYMO RECORDS
– TODD LEDBETTER, MEDITATIONS: HYMNS IN THE KEY OF JAZZ, DAMALJAH
– WINSTON STEWART, SEASON, JOYFUL RECORDS

SPECIAL EVENT CD OF THE YEAR
– BISHOP PAUL S. MORTON, BISHOP MORTON CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF MUSIC, LIGHT RECORDS/ENTERTAINMENT ONE
– JOHN P. KEE, THE LEGACY PROJECT, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY, REFRESHED BY FIRE, KINGDOM RECORDS, INC.
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, MY SONGBOOK, TYSCOT MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

RAP HIP HOP GOSPEL CD OF THE YEAR
– FLAME, CAPTURED, CLEAR SIGHT MUSIC
– LECRAE, REHAB, REACH RECORDS
– LECRAE, REHAB: THE OVERDOSE, REACH RECORDS
– VIKTORY, BIRTH OF A LEGACY: VOL. 1, VIKTORIUS MUSIC GROUP

CHILDRENS PROJECT OF THE YEAR
– PURE N HEART, TEEN PURE IN HEART LIVE, MUSIC2CHANGEU RECORDS
– SANTIAGO & CLAUDE DEUCE, MY DESTINY PLACE – MY IMAGINATION, OPEN RIVERS PICTURES/EAESIS/WORD DISTRIBUTION
– THE VELAZQUEZ FAMILY SINGERS, TEN, Z.A.V.E. RECORDS
– T-REP THE YOUNG PRAYZR, LET’S GO, YUNGSTA GRIND ENTERTAINMENT

QUARTET OF THE YEAR
– KEITH “WONDERBOY” JOHNSON & THE SPIRITUAL VOICES, BACK 2 BASICS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– THE RANCE ALLEN GROUP, THE LIVE EXPERIENCE II, TYSCOT MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
– THE SOUL SEEKERS, SOUL SEEKERS II, MY BLOCK RECORDS/ MALACO MUSIC GROUP

RECORDED MUSIC PACKAGING OF THE YEAR
– CHRISTINA JONES, DOMINIONAIRE, CAJO RECORDS
– DENISE TROTMAN & GREG GILLIGAN, HELLO FEAR, VERITY GOSPEL MUSIC GROUP
– MARTHA MUNIZZI, MAKE IT LOUD!, EPIC MUSIC

– TANNER GARY, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

PRAISE AND WORSHIP CD OF THE YEAR
– EARNEST PUGH, EARNESTLY YOURS, BLACKSMOKE MUSIC WORLDWIDE
– ISRAEL HOUGHTON, LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, INTEGRITY MUSIC
– SHEKINAH GLORY MINISTRY, REFRESHED BY FIRE, KINGDOM RECORDS, INC.
– VASHAWN MITCHELL, TRIUMPHANT, EMI GOSPEL

SPOKEN WORLD CD RECORDING OF THE YEAR
– MARCO THE POET, MARCO THE POET EP, INDEPENDENT
– MICHAEL DIALLO MCLENDON, THE DIALLO EXPERIENCE, SEEDWORKS RECORDS
– SELAH, LOOK AT YOU LOVING ME, PAUSE AND THINK MINISTRIES
– TRUPOETRY, TRUPOETRY, TRUPOETRY
SPECIAL AWARDS — HONOREES/ NOMINEES

THOMAS A. DORSEY MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREE
VY HIGGINSEN

AMBASSADOR DR. BOBBY JONES LEGEND AWARD HONOREE
DOROTHY NORWOOD

JAMES CLEVELAND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD HONOREE
JOHN P. KEE

SMALL MARKET RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
– WDJL 1000 AM Huntsville, AL
– WJNI 106.3 FM Charleston, SC
– KOKA 980 AM Shreveport, LA
– WIMG 1300 AM Trenton, NJ

MEDIUM MARKET RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
– WLOU 1350 AM Louisville, KY
– WPRF 94.9 FM New Orleans, LA
– WENO 760 AM Nashville, TN

– KPZK 102.5 FM Little Rock, AR

LARGE MARKET RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
– WHAL 95.7FM/1460 AM Memphis, TN
– WFMI 100.9 Va-Norfolk-Newpt, VA
– WCAO 600 AM Baltimore, MD
– WMBM 1490 AM Miami, FL

MAJOR MARKET RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR
– WPZE 102.5 Atlanta, GA
– WPRS 104.1 Washington, DC
– KJLH 102.3 FM Los Angeles, CA
– WGRB 1390 AM Chicago, IL
ABOUT CENTRAL CITY PRODUCTIONS (CCP)
The Stellar Gospel Music Awards show is Executive Produced by Don Jackson and Produced by Barbara Wilson for Central City Productions. Founded in 1970 by Don Jackson, Chicago-based Central City Productions is a distributor of original targeted programming to television and cable networks. For more information, please visit www.ccptv.com.
ABOUT GMC
GMC (www.watchGMCtv.com) is America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. The Parents Television Council(TM) recently awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval(TM) to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” GMC was the only television network to receive the highly coveted honor in 2010. GMC can be seen in more than 51 million homes on various cable systems around the country, including DISH Network on channel 188, on DIRECTV on channel 338 and on Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.

Affordable Care Act: Outreach to people of color will be critical

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

New America Media

By Zaineb Mohammed

 

4.7 million uninsured or underinsured Californians are expected to become eligible for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And according to a report published by the Greenlining Institute, most of the newly eligible will be from communities of color.

However, without an effective outreach campaign catered to the needs of ethnic communities, the benefits of the ACA may not reach those most in need.

The report, “How to Ensure the Health Benefit Exchange Reaches all Californians,” outlines the challenges inherent to enrolling people of color in the Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange), a virtual marketplace where consumers will be able to compare the benefits, costs, and services of one insurance option to another. The intention is to, “reduce costs by pooling consumers together in order to increase market leverage.”

The Exchange will take effect in January of 2014.

However, the primary access point for this resource will be online – a cause for concern because access to Internet is less prevalent amongst communities of color.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 81 percent of whites have broadband access at home, as opposed to 76 percent of Asians, 74 percent of Blacks, and only 55 percent of Latinos. Additionally, only 35 percent of Latinos and 39 percent of Blacks use the Internet to access government resources, as opposed to 64 percent of whites.

The disparity in access to digital technology makes the need for customized outreach to communities of color that much more urgent. This is especially critical because according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 57 percent of those who benefit from the Exchange will be from communities of color.

One of the Greenlining Institute’s suggestions to the Exchange board involves the use of smartphones.

Arguing that smartphones are, “the primary means of Internet access for 38 percent of African Americans and Hispanics,” the report suggests that the Exchange board conduct outreach through text messaging, with reminders for users to renew their insurance, complete their applications, or make payments.

But while smartphone campaigns may reach young people of color, elders and immigrants must be reached out to as well.

Carla Saporta, Health Policy Director at Greenlining and co-author of the report, emphasized the importance of involving ethnic media in outreach. “The Exchange needs to utilize community based organizations,” she said.

Another responsibility of the Exchange board is to establish a “navigator” program, to conduct outreach and provide information to consumers. Saporta spoke of the need to include established community members in this program: “We need to hear from the community [because] at this point community voice is not really [being] heard.”

Anthony Wright, Executive Director at Health Access, commented on the importance of the Greenlining report: “It’s important to take lessons from previous efforts. If this is going to work in California, it’s got to work for the diversity in California.”

The report is being sent to the Exchange board and other policy makers in California. Saporta will also be presenting Greenlining Institute’s findings on Friday and Saturday to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

“At this point, the Exchange board has been slow to want to do any type of outreach and education in the community,” said Saporta. “We needed to start doing this outreach yesterday.”

Active Transportation Alliance applauds $1 billion investment in CTA's Red and Purple Lines

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

(From the Active Transportation Alliance) 

 

Bringing these train lines into a state of good repair is essential, but enormous challenges remain

 

The Active Transportation Alliance applauds Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for investing in our region’s transit system.

Yesterday’s announcement to allocate $1 billion to improve the Red and Purple Lines is an important step in the right direction, but our region still has a long way to go toward creating the 21st Century transit system our region deserves.

Transit in Chicagoland is significantly underfunded. Demand for transit in our region is increasing, yet we are faced again with possible fare increases and service cuts from CTA and Metra.

Transit riders also contend with slow zones, overcrowded trains and buses, and long waits at stations that are dirty and in need of repairs.

Bringing the Red and Purple Lines into a state of good repair is an essential investment, but enormous challenges still remain. CTA, Metra and Pace together are in need of $24 billion in capital funding to keep our region’s transit system in a state of good repair.

To create a 21st Century transit system, we need to move beyond simply maintaining what we have. We need to expand and enhance service, including extending the Red Line to 130th Street.

Our transit agencies also continue to face operational deficits because of a lack of funding, which has led to annual doomsdays of fare increases and service cuts.

Our elected officials hold the purse strings. Active Trans encourages Governor Quinn and Mayor Emanuel to continue making transit a priority. We must increase investment in transit.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.

Madigan sues two Prepaid Calling Card companies

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Companies Targeted Immigrant Communities, Sold Cards with Up to 50% Fewer Minutes than Advertised and Hidden Fees

 

Chicago, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed two lawsuits against Chicago- and California-based companies for marketing prepaid calling cards to consumers, particularly to immigrant communities, that offer up to 50 percent fewer minutes than advertised and are riddled with hidden usage fees.

“Consumers need to read the fine print on prepaid calling cards,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Their advertising is extremely misleading about the actual number of minutes offered, and they’re loaded with hidden fees that make their value questionable at best.”

Madigan filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Nobel Tel LLC and NTI Inc., a Chicago company. Madigan said the companies targeted marketing at immigrant consumers seeking to make international calls.

The law against NTI, which is located at 4718 N. Kedzie Ave., alleges that the company’s prepaid cards provided an average of 50 percent fewer actual minutes of talk time than the total time advertised. The company sells cards at neighborhood convenience and telecommunication stores in the Chicago area.

Nobel Tel, based in Carlsbad, Calif., sells, distributes and markets to Illinois retailers prepaid cards that are riddled with hidden fees – from hang-up fees to daily usage charges. Madigan’s investigation revealed that some cards misrepresented the actual amount of call time available. The cards’ packaging referred to “units” of time as opposed to actual minutes, where one “unit” represented only a portion of a minute of international talk time.

Madigan is asking the court to prohibit the companies from selling, manufacturing, distributing or marketing prepaid calling cards in Illinois, obtain restitution for affected consumers and impose civil penalties on the defendants for the allegations laid out in each of the complaints.

Assistant Attorneys General Andrew Dougherty and Sarah Poulimas are handling the cases for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

Simon responds to layoffs at Scott Air Force Base

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today pledged to work with state agencies and Scott Air Force Base leadership to identify available resources for 110 civilian employees whose positions at the military facility are being eliminated.

 Simon, who visited the base in September, learned of the cuts Wednesday evening from Col. Michael Hornitschek, commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base. As chair of the state’s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC), Simon offered to work with Col. Hornitschek to identify resources that could help the displaced individuals and the base.

 “Scott Air Force Base is an economic engine in Illinois, and I am disappointed that the Air Force had to make this decision,” Simon said. “As a native of Troy, a community near Scott Air Force Base where many citizens are employed by the base, I understand the social and economic impact these changes will have in the Metro East region and beyond. The state will use its resources to help get displaced workers back on the job.”

Scott Air Force Base announced that 321 positions will be eliminated in response to a Department of Defense directive to freeze civilian job growth. Of those 321 positions, 122 were already vacant, 49 are held by employees who will voluntarily retire or separate from federal service by the end of December, and 40 are employees who will be moved from eliminated positions into other positions. This leaves 110 eliminated, occupied positions with employees who have not applied for incentive programs or for which no matching vacancy has been identified at this time, according to the base.

 As chair of the IMBSEDC, Simon is visiting each of the state’s military installations to learn about the base’s operations, their impact on the state economy and relationship with local communities. The committee was established in 2005 in response to nationwide base closures, and it continues to make recommendations to local, state and federal policymakers on retention, realignment and reuse efforts.

Oscar Pistorius to team up with Michael Johnson at Beyond Sport Summit

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

 

Two of the world’s most iconic athletes will take to the stage together at the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards in Cape Town in December to address the issue of sport as a tool for social change.

Oscar Pistorius, a four-time Paralympic gold medallist and one of South Africa’s most high-profile athletes, will address the most impressive gathering in the history of sport and development alongside Michael Johnson, the Olympic legend, world-record holder and Beyond Sport Ambassador.

Johnson and Pistorius, who between them have won a total of 16 Olympic, Paralympic and World Championship gold medals, will discuss the role sport has played in breaking barriers in their own lives, and how they can teach that to the next generation as part of the Beyond Sport Summit, to be held in Cape Town between Monday 5th and Thursday 8th December.

Sport’s role as a tool for social inclusion is particularly topical for Paralympic champion Pistorius, who has faced a long-running battle to compete against able-bodied athletes at the Olympic Games. In July the double-amputee ran the qualifying time for the Olympic Games, but this week SASCOC insisted he would have to repeat that performance in the three months before the Games to have any chance of competing.

Oscar Pistorius said: “I am delighted that the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards are coming to South Africa, and I look forward in taking part. The chance to share a stage with a legend like Michael Johnson and consider what sport can do to inspire youth, to increase social inclusion and to help drive social change is a particularly exciting opportunity. I expect the Summit to inspire us all to do more in this field in South Africa and across the world.”

Alongside Pistorius and Johnson, confirmed speakers at the Beyond Sport Summit include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former South Africa national football captain Lucas Radebe, and a host of other star names from South African and international sport, politics and business, as well as representatives from English football clubs Manchester City and Liverpool, the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies – the four teams nominated for Beyond Sport Team of the Year.

Over 300 executives from some of the world’s top companies, including Sony Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank, StubHub, Barclays and more have also confirmed their attendance. Throughout the week, the Beyond Sport Summit will use a combination of networking opportunities, insightful panels, and action-led working sessions to bring together those who use sport as a vehicle to create social impact with influential figures from the worlds of business, government and federations, whose attitudes and decisions can have substantial impact in the field.

The Beyond Sport Summit will also see the winners of the Beyond Sport Awards announced. 35 projects have been shortlisted, covering 18 countries and 22 different sports. They were chosen from close to 400 entries from more than 125 countries that submitted applications to this year’s Awards. The Beyond Sport Award winners will receive a substantial package of business support to help them grow and become sustainable in the future.

Beyond Sport is a global initiative that seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual with the goal to drive positive social change through sport. It is partnered with Barclays Spaces for Sports, TIME Inc and UNICEF.

For the full programme of the 2011 Beyond Sport Summit and Awards, or for more information on Beyond Sport, visit www.beyondsport.org.

First National Candlelighting Ceremony for 200-thousand soldiers of the United States Colored Troops in honor of 150th Anniversary of the Civil War

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

From Civil War to Civil Rights

 

 On November 5, 2011, descendants of black soldiers who fought for the Union in The Civil War will gather at The African American Civil War Museum & Memorial located at 1925 Vermont Avenue in Washington D.C. at 2:00 p.m. to pay tribute to the members of the United States Colored Troops as part of the observances of the 150

Television Personality Cheryl Wills will be delivering the keynote address. She is also the author of “Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale” which is about her great-great-great grandfather’s service during the Civil War. There will also be remarks by Sons & Daughters of USCT Secretary General Asa Gordon, President & National Spokesman of the United African Congress Sidique Wai and Civil War Re-enactments by Willis Phelps, Carol F. Gordon and Museum Curator Hari Jones.

The United States Colored Troops were regiments of the United States Army during the American Civil War that were comprised of African soldiers, many of whom were slaves. First recruited in 1863, the 175 regiments of the USCT constituted approximately one-tenth of the Union Army. At the end of the ceremony, descendants of USCT soldiers will speak the name of their relative and light a candle in their memory.

Who should be the 45th President of the United States?

Posted by Admin On November - 4 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

There’s still time to vote in the Illinois GOP Straw Poll on who should be president of the United States. Voting will take place through November 5. Those interested can vote in person Saturday or Online Saturday until 7 p.m. Central Time @ IllinoisStrawPoll.com.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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