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Archive for July 14th, 2015

Senator Hunter to Press Charges Against White Cops

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Driver has to pay $2,210,00 to get car back

By Chinta Strausberg

As if burying her two nephews, who were shot while sitting in a rented car in the Auburn Gresham community were not enough, Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd) late Tuesday night said she is calling for an investigation into the inappropriate behavior of two white policemen who arrested one black man attending the funeral and impounding the car of his white female friend.

After attending the funeral of her nephews, Willie Lee Hunter, 31, and his brother, John Lee Hunter, 25, at the Gatling’s Chapel, Hunter held the repast at Mr. G’s Supper Club on 87th and Justine Streets, and that is where the trouble began.

Hunter said they had to leave the club by 6 p.m. and at 5:55 p.m., she said the police “had grabbed some of the people in one car who had come from Missouri and had them spread eagle on the car. I went outside to see what was wrong. The car was parked in Mr. G.’s parking lot.

“A white girl and two black men were sitting in the car. The white girl owned the car. Some worked at the same company my nephews worked at. They came to the funeral to pay their respects to their co-workers,” Senator Hunter said.

When she asked one officer what was going on, she said in essence he told her to go away….that he was working on this. “The white girl was crying saying they had done nothing wrong.”

Hunter said after the police ran a background check on the passengers, and they allegedly found a warrant for one of them, Maurice Johnson, 24, whom they arrested. However, they also impounded Alyson Hodler’s car. She now has to pay $2,210.00 to retrieve her 2011 Chevy Impala, and she had to miss two days of work. “I can’t get to work without my car,” she told this reporter. “I feel so distressed over this.

Hunter watched the police as they searched the passengers and Hodler’s car and when they came across the Hunter brother’s obituary, she said, “one of them start chuckling.” She said the officer told Hodler and her friend to get their belongings out of the car and to give them her car keys. A female cop drove away with Hodler’s car. The sergeant claims he found drugs in the car—a charge Hodler flatly denies. She did say that Johnson had a small amount of marijuana on his person but no drugs were in her car.

When Hunter again asked what was going on, she said the sergeant “put his finger in my face and said, “You are the one who passed this law and all we are doing is implementing the law.” Hunter added, “He was clearly out-of-control.”

“When a black female sergeant came to the scene and asked what was going on, she too was brushed off by this white sergeant,” recalled Hunter. She said the policemen were from the 22nd police district.

When the white sergeant told Hunter he was asked to patrol this area, Hunter said, “Yes, because I am the one who contacted City Hall and requested attention for the wake, burial and the funeral and the repast. I made the request. If there was going to be any trouble, I wanted to make sure there was security.

“I don’t appreciate that officer putting his finger in my face. He was talking as if he were pissed off in implementing the law, but the law says you are to write a ticket not arrest someone for having marijuana,” she said. Hunter said she later found out that the warrant for Johnson was for an old traffic violation he thought had been cleared up. He is out on bond.

“I am filing an official complaint with the Internal Police Review Authority (IPRA),” vowed Senator Hunter.  “The state law says they were supposed to write a ticket for the marijuana.” She wants to know the specifics of the charges especially the allegation that “narcotics” were found in the car. “I was there when they searched that car,” she said. “I saw no narcotics taken out of that vehicle.”

“This is some of the reasons why these young men don’t trust the police because they don’t tell the truth and do anything to cover themselves,” Hunter said. “The police need to release this girl’s car, waive the impounding fee, drop the charges against Johnson and apologize for their conduct. I will be making an official complaint in the morning.”

When contacted, a police official said, “Once a complaint has been filed, it will be an investigation.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Senator Kirk Statement on the Iran Nuclear Agreement

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement today after the United States and other world powers announced the completion of a nuclear agreement with Iran:

“I am gravely concerned that the nuclear agreement will condemn the next generation to living with an Iranian nuclear power in the Persian Gulf and ultimately endanger the security of the United States, Israel, and other regional allies over the long term.

“This agreement will enrich and empower Iran, the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, because it will dismantle the international sanctions regime against Iran, give Iran back over $100 billion in frozen assets, and lift a U.N. arms embargo that has banned Iran from buying and selling conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.

“Worse, this agreement will pave Iran’s path to nuclear weapons because it requires Iran to take temporary and reversible steps that keep it at the threshold of acquiring nuclear weapons, and will allow Iran to obstruct and veto inspections at suspect nuclear facilities instead of imposing zero-notice nuclear inspections anytime and at any place in Iran, including military sites.”

Background on Iranian Terrorism and Sanctions Relief:

President Obama Grants Commutations

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama granted commutations of sentence to 46 individuals.

•    Jerry Allen Bailey – Charlotte, NC
Offense: Conspiracy to violate narcotics laws (crack) (Western District of North Carolina)
Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 2, 1996)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Shauna Barry-Scott – Youngstown, OH
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Ohio)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 18, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Larry Darnell Belcher – Martinsville, VA
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute marijuana (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Dec. 15, 1997)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    John L. Houston Brower – Carthage, NC
Offense:  Distributed cocaine base (“crack”) (Middle District of North Carolina)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (June 22, 2002)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Nathaniel Brown – Orange Park, FL
Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine (more than five kilograms) and cocaine base (more than 50 grams); distribution of cocaine base (two counts) (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Aug. 1, 2002)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Norman O’Neal Brown – Hyattsville, MD
Offense:  Distribute quantity of mixture or substance containing a detectable amount cocaine base (crack), aiding and abetting (five counts); possess with intent distribute quantity of mixture or substance containing detectable amount of cocaine base (crack), aiding and abetting (District of Maryland)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 15, 1993)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Joseph Burgos – Chicago, IL
Offense:  Distribution of cocaine; use of a communication facility in the commission of a felony (Northern District of Illinois)
Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $200,000 fine (Sept. 2, 1993)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Clarance Callies – San Antonio, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute in excess of 50 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”); possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”) (Western District of Texas)
Sentence: 240 months imprisonment; 8 years’ supervised release (Mar. 25, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Anthony Leon Carroll – Tampa, FL
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; 5 years’ supervised release (Sept. 3, 1999)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Juan Diego Castro – Laredo, TX
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute a quantity in excess of five kilograms of cocaine (Southern District of Texas)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 1, 2002)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Joe Louis Champion – Houston, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 376.9 grams of cocaine base (crack); aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute 376.9 grams of cocaine base (crack) (Southern District of Texas)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $4,000 fine (June 19, 1997)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015, and the remaining balance of the fine remitted.

•    Cedric Culpepper – Orlando, FL
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; 4 years’ supervised release (Nov. 15, 2004)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Walter R. Dennie – Gary, IN
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine (two counts) (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 25, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Steven D. Donovan – Oak Creek, WI
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; interstate travel to promote distribution of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine (Eastern District of Wisconsin)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 16, 1992)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Romain Dukes – Chicago, IL
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base, “crack”; distribution of cocaine base, “crack” (two counts) (Southern District of Iowa)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 1, 1997)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Tony Lynn Hollis – Knoxville, TN
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute 26.5 grams of cocaine base (Eastern District of Tennessee)
Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (June 8, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Alex William Jackson – Mineral, VA
Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; 60 months’ supervised release (Dec. 22, 1999); amended to 240 months’ imprisonment (June 25, 2008)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Jackie Johnson – Townsend, DE
Offense:  Possession with the intent to distribute more than 50 grams of a cocaine base (District of Delaware)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 30, 2007)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Jerome Wayne Johnson – Fort White, FL
Offense:  1. Cultivation of marijuana plants (Middle District of Florida)
2. Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence: 1. 60 months’ imprisonment, 5 years’ supervised release (June 25, 2003)
2. 20 years’ imprisonment, concurrent to sentence imposed above, 10 years’ supervised release (May 27, 2004)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Willie C. Johnson – Steele, MO
Offense:  The defendant did knowingly conspire to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base; the defendant did knowingly distribute cocaine base; the defendant did knowingly possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base (Eastern District of Missouri)
Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Feb. 18, 2005); amended to 168 months’ imprisonment (Feb. 12, 2015)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Mark Anthony Jones – Boynton Beach, FL
Offense:   Distribution of cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 28, 1999)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Roy Larry Lee – St. Petersburg, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (enhanced penalty); distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base (two counts) (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 3, 1990)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Kenneth Lorenzo Lewis – Charlottesville, VA
Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Nov. 17, 2000)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Douglas M. Lindsay, II – Newberry, SC
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and cocaine base (District of South Carolina)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Dec. 20, 1996); amended to 293 months’ imprisonment (Mar. 4, 2015)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Kevin Matthews – James Island, SC
Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (District of South Carolina)
Sentence:  232 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 11, 2004)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Marlon McNealy – St. Petersburg, FL
Offense:  Conspiracy to commit racketeering (two counts); conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; knowingly and intentionally distributing 50 grams or more of cocaine base (three counts) (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Aug. 18, 1993)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Brian Nickles – New Orleans, LA
Offense:  Distribution of more than 50 grams of cocaine base (two counts) (Eastern District of Louisiana)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 28, 2004)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Jermaine Lee Osborne – Roanoke, VA
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of cocaine base (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 2, 2006)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Marcus H. Richards – Miami, FL
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (June 13, 2005)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Patrick Roberts – Detroit, MI
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute controlled substances (Eastern District of Michigan)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 8, 1999)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Bryant Keith Shelton – Kissimmee, FL
Offense:  Distribution of cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Apr. 1, 2003)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Ezekiel Simpson – St. Louis, MO
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Eastern District of Missouri)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 3, 2005)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Katrina Stuckey Smith – Montrose, GA
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (Middle District of Georgia)
Sentence:  292 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (July 20, 2000); amended to 240 months’ imprisonment (Apr. 2, 2008).
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    James Marion Stockton – Martinsville, VA
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base; possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Western District of Virginia)
Sentence:  420 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 27, 2003)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire November 10, 2015.

•    Bart Stover – Ashland, OH
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine; use of a communication facility to facilitate the commission of drug trafficking offense, aiding and abetting (Northern District of Ohio)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 12, 2005)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Robert Earl Thomas, Jr. – Houston, TX
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (Eastern District of Texas)
Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (June 29, 1999)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Bruce Todd – Atlanta, GA
Offense:  Distribution of at least 50 grams of crack cocaine (Northern District of Georgia)
Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Mar. 3, 2003)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Jeffery Jerome Toler – Pensacola, FL
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (June 13, 1996)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Donald Vanderhorst – Charleston, SC
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of five kilograms or more of cocaine and 50 grams or more of cocaine base (District of South
Carolina)
Sentence:        240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 15, 2006)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    James Nathan Walton – Thibodeaux, LA
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Western District of Louisiana)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Sept. 16, 2004)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Telisha Rachette Watkins – Charlotte, NC
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (Western District of North Carolina)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Oct. 25, 2007)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Dunning Wells – Fort Myers, FL
Offense:  Unlawful possession of a firearm; distribution of a quantity of cocaine; possession of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Middle District of Florida)
Sentence:  502 months’ imprisonment; six years’ supervised release (Feb. 20, 1992)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Kimberly A. Westmoreland – Columbus, OH
Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base; carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Southern District of Ohio)
Sentence:  180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Jan. 21, 2004)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    James Rufus Woods – Leasburg, NC
Offense:   Possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) (Middle District of North Carolina)
Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 23, 1998)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    John M. Wyatt – Las Cruces, NM
Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute marijuana (Southern District of Illinois)
Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $500 fine (Aug.  30, 2004)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

•    Robert Joe Young – Joppa, AL
Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine; possession with the intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine; use of a firearm during and in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession with the intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing cocaine; carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; endeavoring to influence and impede the administration of justice (Northern District of Alabama)
Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 5 years’ supervised release (Dec. 16, 2002)
Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on November 10, 2015.

New NNPA Chair: ‘We’re Going to Flex Our Muscles’

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
By Hazel Trice Edney





(TriceEdneyWire.com) – When America’s first Black newspaper was published on March 16, 1827, Black people were still enslaved. Nearly two centuries later, the issues of Black America – though not as severe as human bondage – are still urgent and continue to undermine America’s promise of freedom and justice for all.

This is the reason that 21st century Black newspapers remain focused on “pleading our own cause” as was expressed in the first editorial by abolitionists Samuel Cornish and John B. Russwurm in the Freedom’s Journal. The editorial concluded, “Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentations, in things which concern us dearly.”

In this regard, Denise Rolark Barnes, the new chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, says the federation of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers will continue to – not only thrive – but grow as it begins its 75th year. With most newspapers in an economic struggle industry wide and Black newspapers enthralled in a historic battle against advertising discrimination, Barnes says NNPA’s new leadership team will encourage a keen focus on issues that continually plague Black communities, while initiating strategies to expand.

“Housing, the large foreclosure rate, the issue of the lack of police-community relations, the unwarranted deaths of young Black men at the hands of police, the big issue of Black on Black crime – We need to take responsible positions on all of these issues because this is what our community looks for, but this is also what I think our advertisers will be looking for. They want us to take a stand on these issues,” says Barnes in an interview with the Trice Edney News Wire. “I’d just say look out because we’re going to flex our muscles. And we’re looking forward to doing our jobs on a broader scale and speaking stronger. And I know the publishers are prime for it.”

The flexed muscle of the Black Press recalls the powerful logo made famous by the historic Richmond Planet. The newspaper’s banner carried a drawing of “a flexed, muscular black arm with lightning bolts radiating out of its clenched fist”, as described by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer Newspaper for more than 20 years, was given the leadership charge by her fellow publishers in a June 19 election held during the NNPA Annual Convention in Detroit. As publisher, she follows in the footsteps of her father, the late Calvin Rolark, who was widely known as a business and community leader as well as publisher of the Informer, which he founded more than 50 years ago.

The executive committee elected alongside her also includes publishers who are well-entrenched leaders in various communities: First Vice Chair Karen Carter Richards, Houston Forward Times; Second Vice Chair Francis Page, Jr., Houston Style Magazine; Treasurer Janis Ware, Atlanta Voice and Secretary Shannon Williams, Indianapolis Recorder.

“Many of us are second generation publishers. We’re fairly young and are committed to the legacy that was left by those who started in this industry. We understand what our responsibilities are and we’re looking forward to continuing to make a difference through the stories, the photographs, and the editorials that you’ll find in Black-owned newspapers,” said Barnes.

She ticked off several initiatives foremost on her mind that the association must explore in coming months and years in order to expand and strengthen its membership. Among them are:

* Since NNPA operates off of sponsorships and advertising, there must be new ways to help corporations understand the value of Black newspapers. That will be a major effort now through a national advertising sales team currently being established.

* Increase, solidify and grow online presence in order to engage readers who may not readily pick up newspapers. Currently, the two NNPA websites are NNPA.org and BlackPressUSA.com. Most NNPA member newspapers also have their own individual websites. The NNPA Foundation, which includes the D.C.-based NNPA News Service and Blackpressusa.com, run by Editor-in-chief George Curry, has a separate board.

* Create genres through which readers can exchange opinions and thoughts surrounding the issues and articles in Black newspapers.

* Consider broadening the NNPA membership base to fully include those newspapers that only publish online as well as helping to bring back members that may have become defunct due to economic difficulties.

* Provide greater support and service to newspapers that are evolving into multi-media companies.

* Support the staff of the national office, also based in Washington, D.C., in order to maximize the success of the policies set by the board.

Barnes’ term as chair is two years, after which she could run for a second two-year term. The executive committee heads a 22-member board of directors, including representatives of five regions. The board establishes policy and directives for the Washington, D.C. headquarters, which is led by NNPA President/CEO Benjamin Chavis.

Chavis’ stature as a former member of the recently pardoned historic Wilmington 10 as well as his civil rights leadership as former NAACP executive director, has raised the visibility of the organization to a new level over the past several years. Barnes, who replaces former chair Cloves Campbell of the Arizona Informant, says she will build on the new growth forged by Campbell during his four-year tenure.

“NNPA for so long didn’t have a president and didn’t have a staff; therefore the publishers were actually involved in the day to day management of the association. Now, we have the benefit of both of those, the president, the staff and the National Office. And so, the board now can get back into the business of creating policy,” she said.

The fact that the NNPA national office and chair are now both located in the nation’s capital is an additional advantage from a standpoint of infrastructure, she said. Amidst the home of the federal government, the U. S. Congress, she says she will work the relationships garnered by her and her father over 50 years for the maximum benefits for NNPA.

“We serve as the voice for the Black community; we speak truth to power, we influence legislation and I think when folks see that we’re still an integral part of our community because of the positions that we take on behalf of our community, it will show that we have the kind of value that’s worth investing in,” Barnes says. “Some may not always appreciate the positions that we may take. But, it’s not about liking what we do. It’s being respected for what we do.”

She concluded, “We give you stories about communities that are working hard to support their families, to build communities, to contribute to this nation and to the world and I don’t ever see a day – to be honest with you – where the Black press will not play that critical role in this country and across the world.”
Photo Captions: (Top Photo) Denise Rolark Barnes, new NNPA chair.  PHOTO: Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News Wire

(Bottom Photo) New NNPA Chair Denise Rolark Barnes responds to audience after the June 19 election. Standing behind her is NNPA President/CEO Ben Chavis. PHOTO: Roy Lewis/Trice Edney News wire

Munger: State Payroll Processing Complete for July 15

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Employee pay continues uninterrupted

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger on Monday announced that her office has finished processing payroll for July 15, ensuring that all state employees will receive their scheduled paychecks without interruption.

The action comes after a St. Clair County Court last week granted Munger’s request to pay all state employees in order to comply with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and avoid potential fines totaling three times the amount of missed payrolls.

“Paying all state employees is the right, legal, and fiscally responsible thing to do and I appreciate the Court’s authorization to move forward,” Munger said. “We are simply compensating workers for services they are already providing the state and ensuring that we are in compliance with federal law. To do otherwise would not only cause hardship to tens of thousands of employees and their families, but also make the state vulnerable to staggering penalties that we cannot afford.”

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires the state pay “covered” employees at minimum wage or face fines from the federal government. However, Illinois’ antiquated payroll systems make it impossible to swiftly determine which of the state’s 65,000 employees fall under the designation. Even when the respective employees are identified, the antiquated systems require Comptroller’s Office personnel to manually enter tens of thousands of reductions in pay rate and corresponding changes in deductions and benefits.

Given those realities, Munger and the Governor’s Office of Central Management Services last week asked the Court to allow the state to run full payroll to ensure compliance with the federal law. A Cook County Court initially directed the state to pay only minimum wage for “covered” employees but that decision was later stayed by an Appellate Court. On Thursday, a St. Clair County Court granted Munger’s request to run full payroll, giving her the Court Order she needed to legally move forward.

“While the legal process will continue to play out, I am confident that the Court will ultimately see that paying all state employees is the best and only way to protect the state from significant federal fines,” Munger said. “At the same time, it provides welcome relief to workers across the state, including those on the front line in serving our communities and most vulnerable residents.”

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Keynote Address at The National Organization Of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ 39th Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Good morning – and thank you for the opportunity to be here today.  I want to express my gratitude to Dr. [Cedric] Alexander for that kind introduction, and for his outstanding leadership of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.  I also extend congratulations to incoming NOBLE President [Gregory] Thomas.  I look forward to your leadership of this stellar organization.  I’d also like to thank Chief [Rick] Hite and all the officers of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for hosting us – and this important conference – in their beautiful city.  It’s a pleasure to be among so many extraordinary partners, exceptional colleagues and good friends.  And it’s a privilege to stand with such an inspiring and devoted group of public servants as we work to promote public safety, protect national security, and defend the rights of every individual who calls America home.

It is that vital mission that the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives has advanced for nearly four decades by bringing together law enforcement professionals at every level who are dedicated to ensuring “justice by action.”  This group has made profound, positive and lasting differences in the well-being of our neighborhoods, in the defense of our homeland and in our fundamental approach to public safety in this country.  Through comprehensive training programs, ardent advocacy and innovative thinking, you have enhanced careers while improving – and saving – countless lives.  You have worked to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans, so that women and men of all backgrounds can serve the community and the country they love.  And you have built bridges of understanding to populations in need and at risk, from formerly incarcerated individuals reentering society to the more than 60,000 young people you reach through your mentoring and leadership development programs.

In every case and every instance, you have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the communities you protect, to the high calling you exemplify and to the enduring ideals you uphold.  Over my career in law enforcement – as a federal prosecutor, a United States Attorney and now as Attorney General of the United States – I have deeply admired how you and your fellow officers perform daunting tasks with courage and compassion.  And at every stage along my journey, I have felt your support and guidance, and I thank you for your inspiration.  I recognize the extraordinary leadership and strength of character you must possess in order to serve as “the conscience of law enforcement.”  And I understand the value of your efforts not only to protect our communities, but to engage with our fellow citizens; not only to uphold the law, but to empower those whom it serves; not only to carry out the responsibilities of our profession, but to live up to the moral obligations of our country.

These are not simple objectives – and nowhere are the challenges more clear than in relationships between law enforcement and communities of color.  In such a diverse nation with such a complex racial history, communities of color too often feel like the targets, rather than the beneficiaries, of law enforcement.  Too often, law enforcement officers and executives can feel separated from the communities they serve.  And too often, deeply-rooted tensions, anxieties and mistrust are allowed to fester until they violently erupt.  In recent months, a series of tragedies in cities across the country has reminded us that these breakdowns can have devastating consequences and has awakened this nation to longstanding issues that we have a civic responsibility to address and that NOBLE has long seen and sought to bring to the forefront of public discourse.

After all, the work that you and your members are tasked to do – whether you serve law enforcement agencies or criminal justice practitioners at the federal, state, county, or municipal level – is essential to the safety of our citizens and the defense of our country.  On matters of national security, you serve as our boots on the ground – monitoring the communities you know so well, identifying the seeds of homegrown terrorism and making sure they don’t take root.  You’re keeping watch over threats to our cyber security, safeguarding our information networks against intrusions by state actors and lone-wolf attackers alike.  And you stand on the front lines of our nationwide push to end human trafficking and assist trafficking survivors.

You know better than anyone that doing these jobs well – and serving our communities effectively – requires that we have a durable baseline of trust, respect, and mutual understanding between law enforcement and the citizens we serve.  You know from experience that when officers and residents share reliable and resilient relationships, residents are more likely to help with investigations; victims and witnesses of crime are more likely to come forward; and all of us in law enforcement are better able to assist our neighbors and constituents when they are in danger – or simply in need of a helping hand.  You recognize that the way forward involves both police engagement and community responsibility.  True community policing has long been your hallmark, from the days of the late, great Lloyd Sealy to today.

I want you to know that I am committed to doing my part.  Bolstering trust where relationships have frayed is one of my top priorities as Attorney General and I pledge to you that the Department of Justice will do everything we can to support the progress that you and all of our communities need and deserve.  Last September, we launched the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice, which is investing in training; advancing evidence-based strategies; spurring policy development; and supporting research that promotes credibility, enhances procedural justice, reduces implicit bias and drives racial reconciliation.  In pilot sites across the country, we are working with community leaders to develop plans for progress, as well as specific strategies tailored to local needs.  And as you may know, I recently embarked on a national community policing tour to showcase some of the outstanding work that law enforcement agencies and community groups are doing all across the country through innovative and collaborative programs designed to advance public safety, strengthen police-community relations, and foster mutual trust and respect.  I’ve already visited Cincinnati and Birmingham, where we had robust and productive discussions with law enforcement officials and a variety of community leaders and stakeholders – and in the coming weeks, I will continue on to East Haven, Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, California.  I am optimistic that these roundtable conversations will help spur the improvements within law enforcement and community organizations that we would all like to see nationwide.  We have a great deal of work to do – but even at this early stage, I have seen promising signs of progress that make me not only hopeful, but excited about where our journey will lead.

When I was in Cincinnati, on the first stop of my community policing tour, I went to Chase Elementary School to observe the city’s Right to Read Program, in which Cincinnati police officers mentor and tutor students.  These young children had regular contact with officers and had formed strong bonds with them.  They saw them as peers and helpers; trusted grownups and cherished friends.  We played “Jeopardy” with the students and reviewed what they had learned.  We talked about what they were doing in school, and what they want to be when they grow up.  I asked if anyone wanted to be a police officer.  And every hand shot up.

I asked them why – what made them want to be an officer?  They told me that police officers keep us safe.  They protect people who need protection.  They get the bad guys.  And then a quiet boy in the back of the classroom raised his hand and said, “Because they are the peacemakers.”

I wish everyone in this country could have witnessed that moment.  I want every American to have a chance to know a law enforcement officer as well as those children do.  I want every American to share the awe that I have always felt for the extraordinary work law enforcement officers perform.  And I want every American to understand that no one pursues this difficult line of work for glory, for fame, or for power – we do it because we are heeding the call of public service; because we want to do our part for our neighbors and fellow citizens; and because we want to make the world a safer, stronger, more peaceful place.

Those of us in this room have a unique opportunity – and a special obligation – to advance that understanding.  I am reminded of the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, who captured the duality of the black experience when he wrote that “one ever feels his twoness.”  I have always believed that the benefit of that internal struggle is a vital perspective on the value of diversity – not to meet a quota, but to expand a worldview; not to set ourselves apart, but to connect with our extended communities.  As men and women of color, we have an opportunity to ensure and to make clear that law enforcement at every level – from the Office of the Attorney General to the officers on the front lines – stands united with all Americans in the pursuit of a safer shared nation, a brighter common future, and a more just society; that we will protect and serve every community, from rural towns to prosperous enclaves to neighborhoods defined by discord and distress; and that we will never settle for trickle-down justice that protects and serves a fortunate few, because we know what that feels like, and we will never condemn another to that fate.  What we will always insist on is nothing less than equal justice; comprehensive justice; justice that “rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”  That is our goal; that is our creed; and that is the lodestar that will set our course – not only today, but every day, in every community across the country.

Now, I have no illusions that, going forward, this work will be easy, or that our long-sought goals will be achieved overnight.  But thanks to faithful public servants like you – the women and men in this room, and your partners across the nation – I also have no doubt about what we can accomplish together.  This country – and certainly this impressive gathering – has never failed to regard seemingly intractable challenges as manifest opportunities.  We have never failed to stand up for what is right in the face of what is difficult.  And we have never failed to look toward the horizon with determination, with courage, and with resolve.  I know NOBLE.  You have always stood at the challenging intersection of our communities’ greatest needs for both understanding and protection.  You have worked all day and well into the night to protect those who fear, to comfort those who have been harmed, and to ensure that all our citizens know the security promised them by those who dreamed the dream of this great country of ours.  You have seen all of this and done all of this because you are the peacemakers – the guardians.  I want you to know that, as you pursue this effort, you not only have my grateful thanks – you also have my full and unwavering support.

Thank you, once again, for your remarkable service, your inspiring leadership, and your unshakable fidelity to our most deeply-held values and our highest ideals.  Thank you for holding our safety in the palm of your hand.  I wish you a most productive conference.  And I urge you to keep up the outstanding work.

IL Department on Aging Seeks Nominations for Senior Hall of Fame

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Nomination deadline is August 25; Winners announced later this year


SPRINGFIELD, IL– The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) is seeking nominations for the 2015 Illinois Senior Hall of Fame awards.  The annual award, established in 1994 by the General Assembly, recognizes residents of the state, ages 65 and older who excel in the categories of Community Service, Education, Performance and/or Graphic Arts, and Labor Force. Since its start, 95 people have been inducted into the Senior Hall of Fame.

Nomination forms are available at local Area Agencies on Aging, on the department website at https://www.illinois.gov/aging/HallofFame/Pages/default.aspx, or by calling the Department’s Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966. Nomination forms can be faxed to 217-785-4477 or mailed to:

IDoA Division of Community Relations and Outreach

One Natural Resources Way #100

Springfield, Illinois 62702-1271

Nominations must be postmarked or faxed by Tuesday, August 25, in order to be considered.

Eligibility is based on the nominee’s past or current accomplishments in the category of choice, which excel in one of four categories: Community Service, Education, Performance and/or Graphic Arts, and Labor Force. The candidate must be age 65 or older and a current Illinois resident or a former citizen who lived in the state most of his or her life. Posthumous nominees are also considered.

IDoA will compile a list of nominees then consult with members of the Illinois Council on Aging to determine the award winner from each category.

This year’s winners will be inducted in the Senior Illinois Hall of Fame during a ceremony in the Fall.

Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Breaks Ground on Job Center at Site of Ferguson Unrest

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From the ashes of a Ferguson, Mo., convenience store burned in the unrest following Michael Brown’s death will rise the Urban League Community Empowerment Center.

“I was honored to be present at the groundbreaking of a premier example of the Urban League Movement working in concert with the business community, elected officials and other community-based organizations to change people’s lives,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League. “I congratulate the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and its exemplary President and CEO, Michael P. McMillan.”

St. Louis area companies have contributed $1.2 million toward the effort, meant to give young jobless or underemployed men a month’s training before matching them with area jobs.

The QuikTrip convenience store was destroyed Aug. 10, the day after former police officer Darren Wilson, shot and killed Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Author’s Heartfelt Book of Poetry, an Outpouring of Emotions During Wife’s Terminal Illness, Urges Readers to Strengthen and Cherish their Bonds of Love

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS
Written from the heart and experiences of Guglielmo, ‘I Take Thee, Angela: A Life in Poetry’ comprises frank, raw and ultimately beautiful verses that take their cues from the emotions the author and his wife endured while she was dying from pancreatic cancer. While it was a time of great pain and suffering, Guglielmo admits that their unshakable love for each other brought a unique and powerful kind of solace along with it. Through his words, the author hopes readers will learn to cherish those they love and prosper in every moment they have left together.

New Haven, CT – In 2007, Guglielmo made the harrowing transition from married man to widower. While naturally the most painful experience of his life, Guglielmo held a memory that few can boast; ultimate and unwavering mutual love for the wife he had just lost. While their lives were turned upside down by her illness, the love Guglielmo and Angela shared ultimately became their strongest sustenance.
So deep were these emotions that Guglielmo started transposing them into a series of powerful, uplifting poems. He has now released them to the world in a volume that will compel anyone to redefine their definition of love and truly cherish those who make their life so gifted.
‘I Take Thee, Angela: A Life in Poetry’ may be from one man’s heart, but it’s chock-full of universal truths.
Synopsis:
The poems contained in this work were the result of an outpouring of emotions and feelings that occurred over the two and one-half years of suffering my wife, Angela, endured during her struggle with pancreatic cancer.

So deep and so strong was the love we shared that it was our sustenance during a period when nothing seemed to matter except to overcome the monster that had become such an all-consuming part of our lives.

The lesson I carry away from this experience is to not take for granted the happiness that can be enjoyed during the time that God has given us all to share with one another.

We should all cherish the fact that we are together and love and respect our relationship to the fullest. No one knows what tomorrow may bring.

“Everyone is loved, or has been loved, even if they don’t believe it’s the case,” explains the author. “What makes love so painful is that we eventually have to sever our earthly bonds and take away just the memories we created. Therefore, it’s vital for everyone to recognize and embrace every thread of the love they share with others.”
Continuing, “I hope my work brings all couples closer together to foster stronger love, understanding and compassion. Those who know that the days with their dearest love are numbered will find my book extremely close to their own heart.”
With the volume’s demand expected to increase, interested readers are urged to secure their copies without delay.

‘I Take Thee, Angela: A Life in Poetry’, from Xlibris, is available now: http://amzn.to/1Tl8g8w.

About the Author:

Guglielmo a.k.a William V. Vincoli was born in Port Chester, N.Y., the youngest of eight children. He was educated in local schools and also attended Indiana University. Retired as Vice President of Greenwich Federal Savings & Loan Assoc. in Greenwich Connecticut, after 31 years. Guglielmo and Angela met in 1951 and were married in 1953. They raised four children. Angela passed away in 2007.

Kirk, Dent Call on President Obama to Nominate a Permanent VA Inspector General to Oversee Scandal-Plagued Agency

Posted by Admin On July - 14 - 2015 ADD COMMENTS

Permanent IG Position Has Been Vacant Since 2013

Pattern of Agency Misconduct and Corruption with No Accountability Needs to Change


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and U.S. Representative Charlie Dent (R-Pa.-15), the chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to nominate a permanent Inspector General (IG) to oversee the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the numerous ongoing investigations into misconduct, mistreatment of veterans, and retaliation against whistleblowers at the agency. Just recently, Acting IG Richard Griffin suddenly retired, leaving the agency with yet another Acting IG and no permanent replacement. The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) has not had a permanent IG since 2013.

“Thousands of veterans across the country have suffered at the hands of corrupt VA bureaucrats, and only a permanent, thoughtful, and aggressive Inspector General can provide the answers they deserve,” Chairman Kirk said. “For too long the VA has gone unchecked. The President needs to appoint a permanent Inspector General as soon as possible to provide consistency and accountability where there currently is none.”

“A permanent, independent leader of the VA OIG focused on protecting the health and rights of our country’s veterans is absolutely necessary if the VA is to move forward in a positive manner and resume capably meeting the needs of America’s veterans. President Obama needs to act with speed and deliberation by making a qualified nomination for a permanent Inspector General of the VA,” said Chairman Dent.

Citing ongoing investigations throughout the country, the chairmen called for an “aggressive and truly independent permanent leader” to be appointed in order to ensure America’s veterans are receiving the care they deserve. The Edward J. Hines, Jr., VA facility in Maywood, Ill., was plagued by allegations of secret wait lists and mistreatment during the eruption of the VA scandal in 2014. Senator Kirk met with whistleblowers and patients who had been affected by the misconduct and poor management at Hines. The VA OIG began an investigation into the Hines facility following these allegations, but the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) deemed the initial investigation deficient and ordered another investigation to be completed within 60 days. More than 150 days later, the OIG has yet to produce the second requested report.

The text of the letter can be seen here and below.

July 10, 2015

The President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As Chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees that fund the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), we are extremely troubled by the lack of permanent leadership at the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the VA.  Richard Griffin’s sudden retirement, after calls for him to be removed, leaves the VA with another Acting Inspector General.  The pattern of inability to hold the VA accountable to veterans is unacceptable and necessitates nomination of a capable, permanent VA Inspector General.

According to the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the VA OIG “is in desperate need of new leadership”.  More troubling is this blunt warning from POGO:  “Instead of being a champion of whistleblowers, [the Acting IG] was part of the VA’s toxic culture of intimidation and retaliation.” The VA IG must ensure that it remains an independent entity dedicated to protecting whistleblowers and carrying out its statutory responsibilities as laid out in the Inspector General Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-452).

The VA OIG’s at times inadequate investigations, long delays in completing reports, and lack of transparency have brought warranted concern and must not be allowed to become a recurring pattern.  In November 2014, for example, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) found that an initial OIG investigation into allegations of secret waiting lists and mistreatment of veterans at the VA Medical Center at Hines, Illinois was deficient and ordered a second investigation to be completed within 60 days. More than 150 days later, the VA OIG has yet to produce the second report ordered by OSC. At the VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin, a March 2014 VA OIG investigation failed to include outside pharmacists’ warnings that the Tomah VA was dispensing excessive amounts of opiates to veterans.  Despite these warnings, the VA OIG continued to rely upon local and regional VA officials to fix the problems and closed the case without issuing a report to the public or to Congress.  The appointment of a permanent Inspector General within OIG would be a significant first step toward ensuring that investigations are properly executed, preventing unacceptable delays on reports in the future, and providing appropriate whistleblower protections.

An aggressive and truly independent permanent leader at the Office of Inspector General can regain Americans’ trust that our veterans are receiving the care and benefits they were promised. We urge you to immediately nominate a permanent IG to provide this new leadership.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Mark Kirk
Charles W. Dent

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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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