Monthly Archives: September 2017

Ravens’ National Anthem Singer Resigns Amid Protest Reactions


Baltimore Ravens’ national anthem singer Joey Odoms, an African American member of the Maryland National Guard, resigned on Tuesday as the controversy over protests during the song has further contributed to the country’s racial and political divide.

When Odoms was a soldier in Afghanistan, he met Ravens coach John Harbaugh and asked if he could audition to become the team’s next national anthem singer, fulfilling a longtime dream. He’s been with the team since 2014 but feels now that the volatile reaction of Ravens fans to the protests, and his personal support of the protesting players, leaves him in a spot he never signed up for.

“The tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis have convinced me that I do not belong there,” Odoms wrote on Facebook. “Someone once told me to always ‘go where you’re welcomed.’”

Speaking later to WJZ’s Vic Carter, Odoms said that as a member of the military, he is not offended by the players’ protests. “I support the protest personally — I fought for that right, but I don’t like people using people like me to attack those people who are exercising their right.”

He went on to say “If …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Construction Starts On Models Of Proposed Mexico Border Wall

By Elliot Spagat, Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Federal contractors on Tuesday began building prototypes of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, hitting a milestone toward a key campaign pledge.

Construction of eight models in a remote area of San Diego is about three months behind schedule, held up by losing bidders whose protests were eventually denied. A green tarp hanging on a chain-link fence blocked views of the work, which is expected to last 30 days.

Customs and Border Protection may pick several winners, or none. Roy Villarreal, acting chief of the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, said another contractor will evaluate each model, which will be up to 30 feet (9 meters) high and 30 feet long.

“It may not result in a singular winner. It may be a combination of designs being implemented,” Villarreal told reporters next to existing border fencing.

As agents prepared for the news conference, a Mexican man breached the fence, cut his hand and was arrested.

The construction site is about 2 miles (3 kilometers) east of San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing at the end of steel-mesh fence that runs from the Pacific Ocean.

San Diego police and the county sheriff’s department have helped set up a “free speech …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Justices Grant Execution Stay To Consider Juror Racial Basis

By Kate Brumback, Associated Press

JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of execution for a Georgia inmate whose attorneys argue that the 59-year-old black man’s death sentence was tainted by a juror’s racial bias.

Keith Leroy Tharpe, known as “Bo,” was set to be put to death at 7 p.m. EDT Tuesday at the state prison by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital. But the hour came and went as the justices considered his case. Just before 11 p.m. EDT, the court announced the temporary stay.

“I’m glad they’re willing to take the time to consider these serious issues in Mr. Tharpe’s case,” Tharpe’s attorney Brian Kammer said.

The justices will now decide whether to hear Tharpe’s case, but it’s not immediately clear when that decision will be made.

Tharpe was convicted of murder and two counts of kidnapping in the September 1990 slaying of Jaquelyn Freeman.

Tharpe’s wife left him on Aug. 28, 1990, taking their four daughters to live with her mother. Tharpe ignored an order not to contact his wife and during an argument over the phone on Sept. 24, 1990, he said that if she wanted to “play dirty,” he would show her what dirty was, a Georgia Supreme Court …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Congress At Crossroads After Another GOP Health Care Failure

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is at a crossroads after Republicans’ stinging failure to repeal Barack Obama’s health care law. But what’s next — more partisan conflict or a pragmatic shift toward cooperation?

Unless Republicans and Democrats in Congress can work together, and bring along an often unpredictable President Donald Trump, political conflict over health care may spread. Bipartisan talks on legislation to stabilize shaky insurance markets are on again, but time is short and there’s no guarantee of success.

Congress also has yet to renew funding for programs that traditionally enjoy broad support, such as children’s health insurance and community health centers, despite approaching deadlines.

Feelings were raw Tuesday after Senate GOP leaders announced they would not take their latest “repeal and replace” bill to the floor for lack of support. Some lawmakers said it’s still possible to bridge the partisan gap on a limited set of priority issues.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said he would resume efforts to reach a bipartisan deal with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to stabilize markets for individual insurance policies that 18 million people rely on. More than half of those consumers are covered under the health law.

Alexander is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Michigan Man Shot While Sitting In His Car With Family

By Diannah Watson,

A 35-year-old man was shot in the forehead and killed while sitting in his car at a Detroit gas station on Sunday, September 26, 2017.

Fox 2 Atlanta reports that the family of victim Paul Ross says the husband and father was a hardworking and loving person.

According to police, Ross was in his car at around 9 p.m. that Sunday with his 15-year-old nephew and 43-year-old cousin.

His cousin got out of the car to get gas when shots were fired according to witnesses.

Detroit Police Sgt. Andrew Guntzviller stated, “We’re not sure where the shots originated from-we’re still working on that.”

Friends and family are confused at the incident as they don’t recall Ross having any enemies. He enjoyed working at Ford and loved classic cars.

Ross was rushed to the Detroit Receiving Hospital for the gunshot wound to his forehead. He died the next morning.

Officers were unable to use surveillance footage from the gas station as it was “too dark and grainy.”

They do not know if the victim was targeted or just an innocent bystander.

Sgt. Guntzviller is looking for answers saying, “We really need the assistance and any information that you may have.”

Like …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Former High Ranking Atlanta Official Charged In Bribery Case

By Diannah Watson,

A former high-ranking official for the city of Atlanta is facing charges in a bribery scandal.

Adam Smith served the city as the chief procurement officer until the mayor fired him months ago.

He will be going before District Judge Steve Jones at 3 pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, for a hearing. Judge Jones is familiar with cases surrounding the Atlanta City Hall corruption investigation.

A source reported to WSB-TV news that a criminal investigation charge had been filed against Smith. He is being charged with conspiracy. This type of charge is used often when the person in question waives their right to an indictment by a jury.

WSB-TV news was able to get the document stating this:

“Beginning on a date unknown, but from at least 2015 to January 2017, Smith met privately with (an executive with an Atlanta construction firm) on multiple occasions … After most of the meetings, (the executive) paid Smith approximately $1,000 in cash.”

The document goes on to say that during that same time, the executive paid Smith over $30,000 I cash hoping to influence Smith in his role as the Chief Procurement Officer.

Like on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and <a class="colorbox" …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Detroit Flower Shop Owner Shot Outside His Home

By Diannah Watson,

Outside his home on Monday, September 25, 2017, a 32-year-old Detroit flower shop owner was a shot and killed.

Deantai Box went outside of his home, according to family members to get a wheelchair for a friend with cancer. As soon as he stepped out of the house shots were fired striking and killing Box.

“To be killed in cold blood at his home, he did not serve that, “said Chanita Cole Box’s cousin. I’m going to miss my cousin. We were close.”

Family members say that the friend he was getting a wheelchair for was terminally ill.

In an interview with Click On Detroit Wayne Birkutt Box’s cousin said, “This day will haunt the person who did this tragic crime.”

His friends and loved ones have been left in shock because of this.

Box had recently just opened his flower shop Something Unique. His family remembers him as a loving and caring man.

Sharon Jones, another of Box’s cousin had a message for the shooter. “Vengeance is the Lord’s, so you just held yourself in hostage. I’m going to bless you in the name of Jesus because you know what you did was wrong.”

Like on Facebook. Follow us on <a class="colorbox" …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Noose Hanging In Front Yard Of Georgia Home As Halloween Decoration

By Diannah Watson,

In Cobb County, Georgia neighbors are upset about body hanging from a noose in another neighbors front yard as part of Halloween decorations.

The front yard is decorated with tombstones witches, skeletons and a hooded body with its hands and feet tied hanging from a noose.

“I just feel like Halloween is not an excuse to use that kind of symbolism,” says a neighbor who asked to remain unknown.

According to WSB-TV Atlanta, the woman noticed it while out for a walk on Monday, September 25, 2017. Shocked by the decoration, she took a picture and shared it, She was hoping to start a conversation about it as it’s a terrible reminder of lynching in America.

Carl Willis a reporter for WSB-TV went up to the house to see if he could get an answer for the decorations. A man answered saying that it was his roommates. He gave information to contact his roommate but nobody answered any calls.

The anonymous neighbor was afraid to go up and ask saying, “What’s even scarier is people are going to ask, ‘well, did you go up and ask them?’” She continued, “I felt scared to go to their front door because I don’t know what …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Flesh-Eating Bacteria Strikes Missouri City Man During Harvey

By Diannah Watson,

Hurricane Harvey may have gone but the effects of it are still here. One Missouri man who went down to Houston to help in the rebuilding process has suffered from that. While cleaning up he got infected with a flesh-eating bacteria.

The water in Houston is said to have fecal matter and bacteria that is causing flesh-eating bacteria to be come out.

ABC 13 news reports:

A Missouri City man says he contracted flesh-eating bacteria right in his own neighborhood as he was trying to help his neighbors during Hurricane Harvey.

GRAPHIC VIDEO + PHOTO WARNING: Images in this report are not suitable for sensitive audiences. (Click the link above to watch the videos)

With flood waters still rising and a mandatory evacuation in effect, J.R. Atkins hopped into a kayak to check on elderly neighbors who were staying behind during the emergency.

“A day or two before, it was going to be at critical mass,” Atkins said.

Only later did he realize his arm was swelling up.

“That’s not good,” he said.

What started as a mosquito bite on his arm during the flood landed him in the ER before a stay in intensive care.

When he got there, he was quickly diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria, …read more

Source:: Black America Web

Trump Tweets About Puerto Rico Problems, As Feds Rush Aid

By Michael Biesecker & Andrew Taylor, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. ramped up its response Monday to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, even as President Donald Trump brought up the island’s struggles before Hurricane Maria struck — including “billions of dollars” in debt to “Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

The Trump administration has tried to blunt criticism that its response to Hurricane Maria has fallen short of its efforts in Texas and Florida after the recent hurricanes there.

Five days after the Category 4 storm slammed into Puerto Rico, many of the more than 3.4 million U.S. citizens in the territory were still without adequate food, water and fuel. Flights off the island were infrequent, communications were spotty and roads were clogged with debris. Officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month.

Trump himself pointed out some differences between the two states and the island in a series of tweets Monday night.

“Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.”
Trump also noted that the island’s electrical grid was already “in terrible shape.” Still, he promised, “Food, water and medical are …read more

Source:: Black America Web