HBCU Virginia State University in Financial Trouble as Enrollment Falls

virginia state university 350x261 HBCU Virginia State University in Financial Trouble as Enrollment Falls

HBCU Virginia State University in Financial Trouble as Enrollment Falls (Phot credit: Wikipedia)

Virginia State University is in trouble as enrollment falls by “550 students this year” and the historically black university is “facing a $5.3 million shortfall, including a $2.4 million reduction in support.”

“I think Virginia State is in trouble,” Terone B. Green, who serves on the board of visitors, told the Times Dispatch on Thursday.

As a result of the drop in enrollment, VSU has closed residence halls, reduced its dining operation and cut back on maintenance.

 

Norfolk State University, Virginia’s other public HBCU, is also facing financial difficulties. St. Paul’s College closed last year.

 

Aunt and Uncle Charged in 2-Year-Old Kamarri Lewis Shooting Death

kamarri lewis 350x213 Aunt and Uncle Charged in 2 Year Old Kamarri Lewis Shooting Death

Aunt and Uncle Charged in 2-Year-Old Kamarri Lewis Shooting Death (WSB-TV Video Screengrab)

JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL: The aunt and uncle of 2-year-old Kamarri Lewis have been charged after he was found shot to death in a Stone Mountain, Ga., home Monday.

Police say Alexia Thomas, 23, and Detray Shiver, 25, were charged with child cruelty and reckless conduct in the shooting death of Kamarri Lewis. They were also charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, WSB-TV reports.

Shiver was also charged with tampering with evidence after the gun allegedly used in the shooting death was found in a storm drain.

Alexia Lewis was supposed to be babysitting Kamarri, while his mother was at work. She told police she was asleep.

The #Economist Apologizes for Book Review Saying Slavery Wasn’t All Bad

slavery in america 350x263 The #Economist Apologizes for Book Review Saying Slavery Wasnt All Bad

Economist Apologizes for Book Review Saying Slavery Wasn’t All Bad (Photo Credit: Attribution Unknown)

The Economist is under fire after it published a review of Edward Baptist’s book, “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Makinng of American Capitalism,” on Thursday, claiming the book unfairly portrayed slave owners. Wow, I don’t think the slaves were lazing around on plantations like they were on vacation at a Sandals resort in the Caribbean. Give me a break….unfair portrayal of slave owners?

The line that irked many:  “Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites are villains. This is not history; it’s advocacy.” Um, the last time I checked, the word “slave” doesn’t mean privileged.

The Economist issued an apology Friday morning.:”There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil.”

The outrage against The Economist sparked the hashtag “#economistbookreviews.” One person tweeted: “Had Ms Stowe properly described the abode as ‘Uncle Tom’s Mansion,’ so much civil disruption might have been avoided.”

Too bad we don’t know the name of the genius who wrote the article, since like many articles in The Economist, it was unsigned.

Here are some of the tweets slamming The Economist:

Award-Winning Comedian Joan Rivers Dies at Age 81

joan rivers1 350x235 Award Winning Comedian Joan Rivers Dies at Age 81

Comedian Joan Rivers Dies at Age 81 (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

JOAN RIVERS DIES:  Comedian Joan Rivers dies at age 81. She was hospitalized last week after going into cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure on her throat.

Rivers daughter, Melissa, said:  “My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh … I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Melissa Rivers said her mother died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, The Wrap reports.

NBC New York reports NYC health officials have opened an investigation into Yorkville Endoscopy, the clinic where Joan Rivers stopped breathing during a throat procedure on Aug. 28.

NeNe Leakes to Play Wicked Stepmother in Broadway Version of “Cinderella”

nene leakes 350x210 NeNe Leakes to Play Wicked Stepmother in Broadway Version of Cinderella

NeNe Leakes to Play Wicked Stepmother in Broadway Version of “Cinderella”

Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes to play the wicked stepmother Madame in the Broadway version of “Cinderella” for five weeks in November. She will take over for Sherri Shepherd on Nov. 25.

 Here’s more from Broadway.com:

Directed by Mark Brokaw, the production brings to the Broadway stage for the first time the tuner that originally aired as a TV special in 1957, starring Oscar winner Julie Andrews. ThisCinderella features a completely re-imagined book by Douglas Carter Beane and additional Rodgers and Hammerstein songs originally composed for other musicals.

I am sure NeNe Leakes will be thrilled to get away from the rachetness of “RHOA” for five weeks. Wonder what, if anything, gossip queen Wendy Williams has to say about this? LOL.

Jay-Z’s Foundation Teams Up with State Department for College Study Abroad Program

jay z 350x242 Jay Zs Foundation Teams Up with State Department for College Study Abroad Program

Jay-Z’s Foundation Teams Up with State Department for College Study Abroad Program (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Rapper Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter and his mother, Gloria Carter, are doing some great things for young people through their foundation — The Shawn Carter Foundation. According to a recent press release from the U.S. Department of State, the foundation has increased its support for study abroad scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with financial need through the State Department’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Here’s more from the State Department:

The collaboration between the Shawn Carter Foundation and the Gilman Program supports the State Department’s goal of expanding opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds to study abroad and the foundation’s efforts to broaden the horizons of its scholars. Here are the recipients:

  • Merissa Anderson, a first-generation college student from Glenwood, Illinois, who is majoring in biology at Eastern Illinois University, studied in Beijing, China, this summer.
  • Jazmin Gonzalez, a first-generation college student from the Bronx, New York, studying history and Arabic languages and literature at Bard College, studied in Rabat, Morocco, this summer.
  • Clinton Langston Jr., a first-generation college student from the Bronx, New York, who is an arts student at City University of New York, Hostos Community College, studied in Paris, France, this summer.
  • Adrian Morris, a first-generation college student from Los Angeles, California, studying political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, studied in Madrid, Spain, this summer.
  • Elvia Ramirez-Vidal, a student from Washington, D.C., studying political science and Latin American/Caribbean studies at Temple University, studied in San Jose, Costa Rica, this summer.
  • Sydnee Leuellyn, a student from San Marcos, California, who studies sociology at California State University, San Marcos, will study in Johannesburg, South Africa, this fall.

I wish more celebrities were getting involved in causes such as helping students broaden their horizons. It will only help for a more competitive U.S. workforce. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Congrats to Jay-Z and Gloria Carter on this alliance!

Henry Lee McCollum & Leon Brown Convicted in 1983 NC Murder, Freed After DNA Tests

henry lee mccollum 350x265 Henry Lee McCollum & Leon Brown Convicted in 1983 NC Murder, Freed After DNA Tests

Henry Lee McCollum [pictured] & Leon Brown Convicted in 1983 NC Murder, Freed After DNA Tests (Photo Credit: NC Prison)

If you think justice is blind, think again. Henry Lee McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, who spent 30 years on death row for a 1983 murder in North Carolina, were ordered freed by a Robeson County court, after DNA evidence implicated Roscoe Artis, a sexual predator with a history of rape and murder. Superior court judge Douglas B. Sasser vacated their convictions and ordered their release.

The half-brothers, who are mentally-disabled, were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in rural North Carolina in 1983. The exoneration of the brothers shows how the system treats black men, who can be imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, simply on the basis of false or coerced confessions. Thank God DNA testing is available.

Mr. McCollum was 19, and Mr. Brown was 15, when they were picked up by police in Red Springs, a small town in the southern part of the state, on the night of Sept. 28, 1983. Earlier, the body of Sabrina Buie, who had been raped and suffocated with her underwear, had been discovered in a soybean field.

No physical evidence tied the youths, both African-American, as was the victim, to the crime, but someone had apparently cast suspicion on Mr. McCollum. After five hours of questioning with no lawyer present and with his mother weeping in the hallway, not allowed to see him, Mr. McCollum told a story of how he and three other youths attacked and killed the girl.

“I had never been under this much pressure, with a person hollering at me and threatening me,” Mr. McCollum said in a recent videotaped interview with The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. “I just made up a story and gave it to them so they would let me go home.”

After he signed a statement written out in longhand by investigators, he asked, “Can I go home now?” according to an account by his defense lawyers.

Before the night was done, Mr. Brown, told that his half-brother Henry had confessed and facing similar threats that he could be executed if he did not cooperate, also signed a confession. Both of them subsequently recanted at trial, saying their confessions had been coerced. Oddly, the other two men mentioned in Mr. McCollum’s confession were never prosecuted. Source: NY Times

What’s equally shameful is that as recent as 2010, the NY Times reports, Henry Lee McCollum’s booking photograph was used on campaign flyers by the North Carolina Republican Party to accuse a Democrat of being soft on crime, according to the News & Observer. How many more people are sitting on death row, thanks to unscrupulous and dishonest cops and prosecutors? The state of North Carolina should compensate these two men for the 30 years of their lives they lost.

Watch Henry Lee McCollum jailhouse interview:

Patti LaBelle’s Crab Cakes Coming to Your Grocery Store’s Frozen Section

patti labelle 1 350x258 Patti LaBelles Crab Cakes Coming to Your Grocery Stores Frozen Section

Patti LaBelle’s Crab Cakes Coming to Your Grocery Store’s Frozen Section

Entertainment legend Patti LaBelle is one busy woman. Not only is she signed to appear in five episodes of “American Horror Story,” she’s about to hit the frozen food section in a store near you. Patti is readying to launch her crab cakes, named, Patti Cakes, in grocery stores nationwide.

Patti’s line of sauces and marinades are currently being sold at Walmart, Kroger and several other supermarkets. Next on the agenda after the PattiCakes launch will be her foray into the restaurant business. Um, if Paula Deen can clog up the arteries of her fans, I am sure Patti LaBelle can find a market for her healthier-fare. She recently shared, “I’m opening some restaurants.”

Ms. LaBelle is also working on her first jazz album, slated to be released this fall.

 

 

Dr. Michael Baden to Perform Autopsy on Mario Deane Who Died in Police Custody

mario deane 350x358 Dr. Michael Baden to Perform Autopsy on Mario Deane Who Died in Police Custody

Dr. Michael Baden to Perform Autopsy on Mario Deane Who Died in Police Custody

Famed pathologist Dr. Michael Baden will perform an autopsy on Mario Deane, who died while in police custody at the Barnett Street Police station in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The family of the slain man postponed the autopsy until they could retain the services of an independent pathologist.

Dr. Baden told reporters at Donald Sangster International Airport, “I am concerned about deaths in police custody,” the Jamaica Observer reports.

Baden continued, “We have had a serious problem in the United States, and I have been involved for 35 years in investigating deaths through actions in police custody. And the [relatives] here are very concerned about the death of their son, and I think that’s a legitimate concern, and [I am going to] try and see if I can provide any answers as to what happened.”

Mario Deane was severely beaten by fellow inmates after he was arrested on Aug. 3 for possession of a small amount of marijuana. He was allegedly denied bail after he was overheard voicing his dislike of the police. Deane was later taken to Cornwall Regional Hospital, where he died three days later, after he was allegedly beaten by inmates.

The police initially told doctors at the hospital Mario Deane had fallen off a bunk. Clearly that was far from the truth. Six police officers have been suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation. The beating death sparked widespread protests in Montego Bay, as many demanded the truth.

Cee Lo Green Briefly Deletes Twitter Account After Controversial Rape Comment

cee lo green 350x231 Cee Lo Green Briefly Deletes Twitter Account After Controversial Rape Comment

Cee Lo Green Deletes Twitter Account After Controversial Rape Comment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cee Lo Green briefly deleted his Twitter account after tweeting a controversial rape comments. This comes days after Green pleaded no contest to felony rape for slipping a woman ecstasy without her consent.

Green tweeted:  “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!” and then, “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.”

Cee Lo Green, a former coach on “The Voice,” admitted deleting the tweets after getting into a heated Twitter-spat with fans. He tweeted:  “yes I did. I will not allow that negative energy to loiter on my time line u still got it so keep it! I’m deleting this too.”

Well, those tweets are still around, having been captured.

CeeLo Green is back on Twitter as of Tuesday night, claiming the comments attributed to him were idiotic and untrue. Sounds like that cancelled show forced the half-ass apology, if you can even call it that.