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Sat04192014

News

Judge upholds election of Kevin Johnson in Black Mayors’ rift

mayor 600WASHINGTON – After intense internal fighting, court battles and competing board of directors that have characterized Sacramento, Calif. Kevin Johnson's term as president of the National Conference of Black Mayors since last May, his first month in office, a judge has ruled decidedly in Johnson's favor, effectively firing Executive Director Vanessa R. Williams and nullifying all actions of the rump board challenging Johnson's right to remain in office.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Christopher S. Brasher issued his ruling in Atlanta last week.

"We're gratified that the court has validated the election of our leadership and vindicated our efforts to take the necessary steps to restore accountability and fiscal integrity to this venerable and critical organization," Johnson said in a statement. "Now we can move forward by taking the actions that will address any outstanding problems we have in order to ensure that the NCBM will benefit current and future mayors and their constituents."

In some ways, it may be a Pyrrhic victory for Johnson. He is limited to one term, which expires in May. Johnson is also vice president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is a leading candidate to become president of the group in June.

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AAA’s April Warning: Avoid distractions while behind the wheel

disstracteddriver 600In recognition of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, AAA is warning drivers to avoid any activities that divert attention from the primary driving task.

"While we've made substantial progress in the past few years by raising awareness about risky driving behaviors, the simple fact is that distraction continues to be a significant contributing factor to deaths and injuries on our roadways," said AAA Traffic Safety manager, John Pecchio. "We all should take personal responsibility for focusing on driving rather than on dangerous distractions."

Distractions are responsible for vehicle crashes leading to more than 3,000 deaths and 387,000 injuries in 2011, according to the most recent data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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In the South, the Obamacare debate continues, even as law insures thousands

obamacare 600FRANKFORT, Ky.—In one of the poorest areas of Appalachia, about 2500 people have signed up to get health insurance over the last six months – a number that represents more than a tenth of Clay County's residents.

One hundred and twenty miles way, the county's state senator, Robert Stivers, is laying out his plans to gradually gut the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky, which provided his constituents with insurance. The soft-spoken 52-year-old Republican is hardly a fiery Tea Party type: he first joined the state legislature back in 1997 and slowly rose through the ranks to become the state Senate president. In a mid-March interview in a small room just off the floor of the Senate in Kentucky's Capitol building, Stivers acknowledged that Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear had handled the rollout of Obama's health-care law smoothly in this state and that some people in his district now have health insurance for the first time.

Stivers, though, is unmoved. The Affordable Care Act, he says, is "unsustainable" in the long run. If Republicans can gain more seats in the state legislature here over the next year, he said, they will look to peel back Kentucky's participation in the health-care law by limiting the expansion of Medicaid in the state.

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The Iconic Living Legends Award

firstblackmayor 600The Iconic Living Legends Awards Ceremony and Exhibit – scheduled to coincide with National Women's History Month – was held recently on Langston University's Oklahoma City campus.

The Iconic Living Legends Award salutes women who have had an iconic impact on the progress of women. This year's honorees included Lelia Foley-Davis, who became the first African-American woman elected mayor in the United States when she was elected mayor of Taft, Okla. on April 3, 1973.

During her acceptance speech, Foley-Davis took the audience back in time for a glimpse of the past and then reflected on the success and progress that she said so many have had a hand in fostering She brought to life episodes of difficulty and depression, detailing barriers created by whites and blacks. She also emphasized how hard people worked to overcome the obstacles.

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African Americans locked out of housing market

Credit 600WASHINGTON – As the housing market recovers a new report by the Urban Institute shows that African-American borrowers "have been disproportionately shut out of the market."

According to the report titled, "Where Have All the Loans Gone? The Impact of Credit Availability on Mortgage Volume," the share of African-American borrowers was 6 percent in 2001 but fell to 4.8 percent in 2012. By contrast, the share of white borrowers increased more than 3 percent from 2001 to 2012 and now account for 71.2 percent of mortgage loans.

From 2001 to 2012, the number of loans that went to African-American borrowers decreased by 55 percent while the number of loans to whites dropped 41 percent, with most of the losses occurring after 2005.

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No such thing as too much love

tarrin mcghee_600Is it possible for your baby to become too attached to you?

That's the question many parents may find themselves pondering at some point during their child's first years. Mothers and fathers can often confuse being attentive to a newborn or toddler's needs with smothering or spoiling the child.

There is a widespread sentiment that too much warmth and affection will lead to a child who is too needy or 'clingy'. But according to experts, this notion is false.

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ACT Report: Many African-American students inadequately prepared for postsecondary education

act 600Nearly all African-American students report that they aspire to earn a postsecondary degree, but most are inadequately prepared to succeed in their first-year courses in college, degree or certificate programs, according to a report released today by ACT.

The report, The Condition of College & Career Readiness 2013: African American Students, shows that only 10 percent of African-American 2013 high school graduates met at least three of four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, compared to 39 percent for all ACT-tested graduates.

The research-based ACT College Readiness Benchmarks specify the minimum scores students must earn on each of ACT's four subject tests (English, mathematics, reading, and science) to have about a 75 percent chance of earning a grade of C or higher in a typical credit-bearing first-year college course in the corresponding subject area. ACT research suggests that students who meet the benchmarks are more likely than those who do not to persist in college and earn a degree.

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The ‘tanning of America’ spreads to film and television industries

whoswatching 6002013 was a banner year for diversity in the movies, both on-screen and in audiences.

In a year that saw the success of films such as "Lee Daniel's 'The Butler,'" "12 Years a Slave," and "Best Man Holiday," the MPAA reports that minority attendance also saw a surge.

Black movie attendance jumped by 13 percent in 2013, with 170 million movie tickets being sold to African-American filmgoers. And though African-Americans only make up 12 percent of the U.S. population, they made up 13 percent of the movie-going audience in 2013. (Latinos, who make up 17 percent of the population, accounted for 25 percent of movie ticket sales.)

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Extra time for some to finish health care enrollment

healthcare 600The Obama administration has announced that extra time will be granted after the March 31 deadline for consumers to complete enrollment in an insurance plan under the health care law, the Associated Press reports.

"We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone," Health and Human Services spokesman Aaron Albright told AP.

Officials told AP that extensions will be allowed on the honor system, requiring only that applicants attest that special circumstances or complex cases prevented them from finishing their enrollment by March 31.

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Publishers Charles Tisdale and M. Paul Redd honored by former peers

publisher 600WASHINGTON – Two legendary publishers – Charles Tisdale of the Jackson Advocate in Mississippi and M. Paul Redd Sr. of the Westchester County Press in New York – have been posthumously inducted into National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation's Distinguished Black Publishers' Enshrinement.

They were honored here last week during Black Press Week's annual observance. The ceremony is reserved for stalwart publishers who have significantly contributed to the legacy of the Black Press.

Benjamin Todd Jealous, former executive director of the NNPA Foundation and immediate past president of the NAACP, gave remarks about each honoree.

 

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Nielsen announces external affairs appointments

nielson 600(BlackNews.com) – Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, has expanded roles of Cheryl Pearson-McNeil to senior vice president, U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, and Don Lowery to senior vice president, Government Affairs.

Both teams are part of Nielsen's External Affairs group. Pearson-McNeil is a National Newspaper Publishers Association columnist whose columns appear periodically in The New Tri-State Defender.

"I am pleased to announce Cheryl and Don's expanded roles," said Karen Kornbluh, executive vice president External Affairs. "Elevating our presence and enhancing our reputation and influencer relationships with multicultural communities and government officials is vital to our growth and our ability to effectively serve our diverse clients and their needs."

 

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Parents of Hadiya Pendleton ‘still mourning’

mourningparents 600WASHINGTON – After a long day of travelling, then networking on Capitol Hill, Nathaniel and Cleopatra Pendleton returned to their downtown Washington, D.C. hotel and dressed for a dinner in their honor. Later that evening, they shook hands and smiled for photographs as they accepted the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year Award, an accolade they earned as a result of their work against gun violence in the aftermath of their 15-year-old daughter's death. They shared the honor with the parents of Jordan Davis, a black teen killed in Jacksonville, Fla.

"We are mourning still. We still wake up every day and have to determine what to do, whether what we're doing is right for us," Cleopatra says. "So many people want to see something positive come from this, a lot of people came to us and said we need to do something. They empowered us."

Not as much as the parents have empowered Black America.

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First Lady travels to China and invites young people to participate

FirstLadyChina 600First Lady Michelle Obama, who headed to China on March 19th, continues her official visit this week, with the trip set to conclude on Wednesday.

"Over the past five years as First Lady, I've traveled around the world – to countries like Mexico, India, South Africa, Ireland and others across Africa, Asia, Europe and South America – and China is another important stop on this journey," Mrs. Obama posted on whitehouse.gov. "With more than 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous country on earth, and it plays an important role on the world stage."

Our lives here in America are connected to the lives of people around the world, she said.

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