|Friday, October 2, 2015|
|Durham County Jail Lockback|
According to Inside-Outside Alliance, Durham County Jail has ended its lockback of prisoners. Read their statement here.
|Thursday, October 1, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 10/2|
Unemployment increased for 72 counties in North Carolina last month, while 81 counties still have more unemployed workers than before the Great Recession, according to the N.C. Justice Center. Yet legislators voted to reduce food assistance for the unemployed in the latest budget. “Ninety-one counties had more than one jobless worker per job opening in August,” said Alexandra Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the N.C. Justice Center. "There are simply too few jobs for those who want to work. Without food assistance, North Carolinians will not be able to meet their nutritional needs or spend those dollars locally."
Gov. Pat McCrory signed several bills this week, but the main one that got everyone’s attention was the bill that moves the state’s presidential primary and general primary to March 15. “There were specific concerns I had with the original version of the bill, and the General Assembly agreed to make revisions to address those concerns,” McCrory said. “This bill as signed increases the transparency for the general public and members of the media.”
High school students will be able to take driver’s education after all. Legislators restored the funding for this school year so classes will resume for Wake County schools in November.
|Friday, September 25, 2015|
|Tough week for CIAA players|
It’s been a tough week for CIAA football players. First, Virginia Union’s Donte Gross was carted off to the hospital in last Saturday’s Gardner-Webb game. Then Winston-Salem State freshman Marquise Gaddy was injured during practice Wednesday. Gross is out of the hospital, while Gaddy was still in with a spinal injury.
• He ain’t heavy…and he ain’t my brother. Just when you think you’ve heard and seen it all. In what has made national news, former Alabama State football coach Reggie Barlow and university trustee Herbert Young got into an all-out brawl during a deposition in a wrongful termination lawsuit Barlow has filed. The audio is making the rounds and it’s a doozy. Talk about a cat, uh, dogfight! You have to hear it for yourselves.
• Partnership: The SIAC and NFL have entered into agreement that creates training and development opportunities for minorities seeking a career in NFL officiating. The NFL will provide the conference with technical assistance in hosting clinics, as well as feedback on SIAC games.
“Two years ago, the SIAC was very proud to become the first NCAA conference to provide four outstanding young women with the historic opportunity to officiate a college football game,” Commissioner Greg Moore said. “This agreement represents a natural extension of our league’s demonstrated commitment to increasing the number of professional opportunities in intercollegiate athletics to individuals who otherwise would not have them.”
• On the SWAC end: Jackson State running back LaMontiez Ivy is 57 yards shy of 1,000 after just three games. Ivy rushed for over 300 yards in his past two games, including 357 against Southern. Southern’s Lenard Tillery and Willie Quinn are No. 1 and No. 2 in conference scoring. Jaguars WR Wille Quinn has the longest pass from scrimmage this season – an 89-yard TD bomb against Mississippi Valley State.
In the Go Figure department, Alcorn State had 14 interceptions last season. To date, ASU has zero.
HBCU TV games this week:
Fayetteville State at Virginia State: Saturday, noon, check local listings
Morgan State at Howard: Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN3
Howard vs. S.C. State, Saturday, 2 p.m., Aspire
|Thursday, September 17, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 9/20|
Did you know: Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s loss to South Carolina State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge is the SWAC’s fifth straight in the series? What does that say, if anything?
This year the SWAC will administer instant replay in select televised games. The MEAC has been doing it for several years now.
TV games this week:
- Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m. – Hampton vs. Howard, ESPNU, the AT&T Nation’s Classic
- Sept. 19, 7 p.m. – Jackson State at Southern, ESPN3
- Sept. 19, 2 p.m. – Winston-Salem State at Tuskegee, ESPN3
- Sept. 19, 2 p.m. – 2004 Pioneer Bowl game between Shaw and Tuskegee, Aspire
Howard has hired former HBO boxing executive Kery Davis as its athletic director. Davis, 37, spent 14 years at HBO, where he helped put together bouts for Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and more.
“I probably don’t do this job at any other place than Howard,” Davis told The New York Post. “It was an opportunity to work at a school with a rich tradition and legacy people in the arts, in civil rights and in every other industry.”
More SWAC news:
- Southern’s Willie Quinn was named the SWAC’s and STATS FCS National Player of the Week after scoring three touchdowns on a punt return, a kickoff return and a TD pass to lead the Tigers to a 50-13 win over Mississippi Valley State.
|Tuesday, September 15, 2015|
After an eight-year career marked by controversy, Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez announced his "retirement" today. Lopez will leave the Durham Police Department at the end of the year. Read Lopez's resignation letter here. (Link has been fixed.)
|Wednesday, September 2, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 9/1|
Are you ready for some football?
The HBCU TV season kicks off Thursday night with Alcorn State vs. Georgia Tech at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN 3.
The SWAC has four televised games this week. In addition to Thursday night, Grambling takes on California Sept. 5, 4 p.m. on PAC-12 Network; Alabama A&M vs. Cincinnati Sept. 5, 6 p.m. on ESPN 3; and Arkansas Pine-Bluff vs. S.C. State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Sept. 6, 2:30 p.m. on ESPN.
In the CIAA, Lincoln (Pa.) vs. Cheyney is Saturday, 1 p.m. on ESPN 3, and Livingstone vs. Benedict Saturday, 4:30 p.m. on Aspire Network. (YAWN!)
Game change: The Sept. 12 game between Hampton and Richmond has been changed from 6 p.m. to noon.
Let’s get it on!
|Monday, August 31, 2015|
|Jerry Mack at Durham Sports Club|
Coach Jerry Mack does have a sense a humor. At a recent appearance at the Durham Sports Club, Mack told a joke before his speech. I’m paraphrasing here.
A man went to the doctor and was told he had a year to live. “What am I going to do?” he asked. The doctor said “Do these three things: Give all your money to charity; move into the back woods of the country; and marry the first woman you see with nine kids.” The man asked “Will this cure me?” The doctor replied: “No, but it will be the longest year of your life.”
Of course, once the first football game hits, it’ll be hard to get some coaches to say 10 words let alone tell a joke.
Mack was a lot looser at his second club appearance. That’s what winning will do. While in the first year, all you can do is talk about what you “hope” will happen; the second year you can actually brag about your accomplishments.
Mack said one key to the Eagles success last year was developing relationships with the players, coaches and administrative staff. That’s a mistake he made as a 28-year-old defensive coordinator.
“You have to develop relationships with your players to get them to do what you want them to do,” he said. “And your employees, you have to let them know you care about them and their families.”
Mack said he lost a lot of friends when he became NCCU’s head coach. That meant he was bombarded with job applicants, but he didn’t let friendship sway him. It was all about being the right fit for the job. He recalled how he lost out on two head-coaching gigs at Louisiana Lafayette and Troy universities because he was told he wasn’t “the right fit.”
“We want people to come to our program that fit what we’re trying to do,” he said. “I think the future is bright at NCCU.”
|Thursday, August 27, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 8/21|
Governor Pat McCrory signed more bills into legislation this week. Among them is Senate Bill 675, which lengthens the time between parole hearings for sex offenders. Inmates previously could receive a hearing annually. Now, they’ll have to wait at least two years.
Novo Nordsk Pharmaceutical Industries announced Wednesday that it will create almost 700 jobs at a new manufacturing facility in Johnston Count. The company says it will invest from $1.2 billion to $1.7 billion over the next five years. Novo currently employs over 700 people at its insulin production plant in Clayton.
|Friday, August 7, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 8/7|
As of Aug. 7, 15 former SWAC players were vying for a job in NFL camps. They are:
Alabama A&M: Frank Kearse, Redskins; and Robert Mathis, Colts
Alabama State: Isaiah Crowell, Browns; Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks; Greg Jenkins, Jaguars; and Terren Jones, Bills
Jackson State: Rico Richardson, Titans
Grambling: Larry Donnell, Giants; and Jason Hatcher, Redskins
Southern: RaShaun Allen, Seahawks; and Arthur Miley, Panthers
Texas Southern: Tray Walker, Ravens
Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Terron Armstead, Saints; and Isiah Ferguson, Rams
For women only. Fayetteville State football will host its inaugural “Football 101: Women’s Clinic” Aug. 8 at 1 p.m. While I applaud coaches who want to involve more women, especially the casual observer, into its program, it’s still just a little condescending. Yes, PROBABLY more men know a little bit more about football than women, but that doesn’t make them experts. Besides, who cares whether a coach runs a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense? When the clock strikes 0:00, the home team better have more points than the visitor.
|Thursday, August 6, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 8/6|
Gov. Pat McCrory wasted little time in naming a replacement for Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos. Rick Brajer was presented Wednesday in a press conference. Brajer is chief executive officer and director of Pronerve. He starts Aug. 17. McCrory was seen leaving Wos’ press conference with tears in his eyes. So were a lot of other folks – tears of joy!
Bills. Bills. Bills. McCrory on Friday signed several bills into law, including:
– HB 134: exempting minors from prosecution for solicitation of prostitution
– HB 562: amends several firearm laws
– HB 774: authorizes a medical professional that is not a doctor to monitor lethal injections
– HB 678: keeps debt collectors more in line with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Read them all at email@example.com.
Where do you live? Livability.com has named Durham the second-best college town in the country. “With its economy once rooted in agriculture, Durham now has a thriving science and technology sector due to Duke University and other area colleges,” it says. “A citywide transportation system helps students and residents connect to major attractions and entertainment destinations…and with more than 20 galleries and studios, Durham’s art scene rivals those found in larger cities.” Take that Raleigh! Manhattan, Kansas, is No. 1.
Better and better. The Durham Performing Arts Center just keeps moving up in rankings. The DPAC is now No. 2 in attendance rankings (2,712) behind Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The top five shows of last fiscal season (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015): Wicket, The Phantom of the Opera, Kinky Boots, Newsies and Motown: The Musical. Five of its top 15 concerts were by black artists with the Boss Lady Diana Ross coming in at No. 1. Others were Erykah Badu (No. 3), Maxwell (No. 5), The Temptations & The Four Tops (No. 12) and the Isley Brothers (No. 14).
Facebook: Well, this is embarrassing. Our Facebook page is currently down. We are working on the problem, so don't start any rumors of our demise – AGAIN!
|Thursday, July 23, 2015|
By Thomas Mills
If the North Carolina Republican Party is attacking William Barber, then Barber is winning. Barber’s not on the ballot and he’s not an officer of the North Carolina Democratic Party. He’s head of the North Carolina NAACP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advocates for the interests of African-Americans.
The GOP’s pathetic broadside against Barber fell flat. They tried to discredit Barber and the Moral Monday movement that he leads by accusing him of taking money from labor organizations. The accusation, even if it was true, is weak. But the fact that it’s not makes the GOP look foolish and petty.
WRAL debunked their claims in a fact check that said N.C. GOP Chair Hasan Harnett and spokesman Ricky Diaz “both made statements that aren’t fully backed by the evidence at hand.” In other words, they lied.
It’s not just the party that’s going after Barber, and he’s not the only target. Sham news organizations are trying influence public support in the voting rights trial being held in Winston-Salem.
A new front group called “Jones and Blount” tries to pass itself off as a legitimate news outlet, but it’s little more than a Fox News-like organization that puts a Republican spin on current events. They characterize the trial and the more than 3,000 protesters as being inflated by “out-of-state protesters” with the lawsuit being funded by George Soros.
Most ridiculous, though, is their characterization of the voter suppression laws as being passed to prevent voter fraud. No, they weren’t. They were passed to make it more difficult for people who disagree with Republicans to vote.
Voter fraud is just a Republican dog whistle to rally the racist wing of their base behind the bill. Republicans never mentioned voter fraud until Barack Obama was elected president. Republicans strategists came up with the idea to limit access to the ballot box, but they used racism to build popular support for suppression laws. The implication is that Obama is not a legitimate president because only through stealing an election could a black man have been elected president of the United States. Hence, voter fraud becomes the code term.
Regardless of whether the bills are found constitutional or not, the evidence of intentional voter suppression is overwhelming. Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly said the measures were necessary because “early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game.” Pennsylvania House Majority Leader told Republicans that voter ID laws would allow (Mitt) Romney to win the state.
And now, N.C. Board of Elections member Paul Foley is caught working with GOP leaders to eliminate an early voting site that historically voted heavily Democratic. That’s fraud. And all of these people claiming they’re trying to protect the integrity of elections? They’re frauds.
|CIAA Media Day|
Shaw coach Robert Massey must be feeling the heat. Massey didn’t mince words at Thursday’s CIAA Media Day. “We’ve got a lot to prove. We plan to be competitive and we’re trying to make sure that when you come to Durham, you’re coming to our home stadium. And to our players, if you can’t ride, you can’t play. And that’s all I have to say.” That was plenty. Looks like the heat will be on the players as well.
St. Augustine’s coach Michael Morand was a bit more diplomatic. “We’re looking to improve and score more than the 19 points we did last year. Offensively and defensively, we have some guys coming back that’s going to help us learn how to win some football games.” Morand said more but those darn free ads kept popping up on the video stream right in the middle of the coaches’ conversations. Then when they came back, their speech was over. Typical.
But enough of Elizabeth City State coach Waverly Tillar’s speech was heard, and he didn’t disappoint. Take it away coach:
“We’ve been down the last couple of years. 4-6 don’t sit too well with me and we’re going to do something about it. Things are about to change this year as we chase Virginia State. Our slogan is ‘Our Backs Against the Wall.’
“The walls of Jericho, they came tumbling down. All of you who think that you’re in the land of milk and honey and unconquerable, got news for you, the mighty Vikings won’t take seven days to bring the walls down. By the power and hands of the mighty Vikings, those walls will come tumbling down.
“The great walls of China came tumbling down. …Behind the wall was a legendary Chinese coach. Every year he told people what he was going to do and how many games he was going to win, but every year he lost every game. His name? WinOneSoon is the legendary coach.”
Thank you coach, as always.
Predicted order and preseason team:
Elizabeth City State
Johnson C. Smith
2015 Preseason All-CIAA Football Team
TE AJ Mundle, ECSU
OL Addison Hayes, VUU
OL Jhamil Haley, VSU
OL Jac’que Polite, WSSU
OL Justin Nester, BSU
OL Kristjan Brown, FSU
WR Jalen Hendricks, LC
WR Jaivon Smallwood, VSU
QB Drew Powell, LC
RB Roderick Davenport, SAU
RB Kavon Bellamy, VSU
PK William Johnson, WSSU
KR Antonio Huff, ECSU
DL Anthony McDaniel
DL Michael Bloomfield
DL Ray Prosise, VSU
DL Kemaree Alcorn, CU
LB Austin Jacques, JCSU
LB Joseph Blanks, VUU
LV Brandon Lynch, VSU
DB Curtis Pumphrey, VSU
DB Darion Thomas, VSU
DB Brion Robinson, TLU
DB Rodeshawn Joseph, VUU
P Christopher Palmer, BSU
PR Antonio Huff, ECSU
|Tuesday, July 7, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 7/8|
The SIAC will soon have another full-time member. Central State, which had a partial membership with football, will be granted full status in the fall. CSU had competed in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in its other sports, but ended its affiliation with the conference last month.
“Joining the SIAC is a great opportunity for CSU. The SIAC provides additional exposure for Central State and enhances the collegiate and academic experience,” President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said.
Sometimes you just need for the dominoes to fall your way. Lynn University released head women’s basketball coach Niki Washington, who was hired as associate head coach at Bethune-Cookman. Meanwhile, Furman assistant coach Julia Huddleston takes the job at Lynn, opening up a spot on staff. Ergo, Lincoln (Pa.) head coach Jessica Kern gets the call. Bye. Bye.
The CIAA office has a position for assistant director of communications and media relations. The job description is three pages long and has more duties than a gopher. I don’t know how much it pays, but whatever it is, IT’S NOT ENOUGH! See for yourself, here
|Thursday, June 25, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 6/24|
Governor Pat McCrory signed two bills Wednesday to support veterans and military families. Bill 478 waives the 12-month residency requirement for non-resident veterans and others to receive education benefits for in-state tuition. And Bill 43 extends the time period from 90 days to a year in which a retired or discharged veteran can be regularly employed and his application for a CDL.
McCrory also signed 12 bills into law. A few are:
- SB 7 allows food stands to provide tables and chairs for customers while eating on the premises.
- SB 621 authorizes the DMV to send renewal notices via email after receiving car owner’s consent.
- SB 488 will help the state better collect child support payments.
Now, what about expanding Medicare now that the ACA is NOT – I repeat NOT – going away. Get over it, and let’s move on!
Ellis Hankins, former executive director of the N.C. League of Municipalities, has announced his candidacy for the District 16 seat in next year’s primary. D-16 includes west Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and surrounding areas.
After losing a federal lawsuit, Cameron Village Library has agreed to allow religious meetings in its meeting room. After twice denying Liberty Counsel’s application for space, the nonprofit filed a lawsuit. The fact that it had to even go to court is shameful. Why would a library, of all places, try to sensor free speech?
|Friday, June 5, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 6/5|
Get ready to become a one-sticker car owner. Instead of having two stickers on your license plate – one for the month and one for the year – DMV will now only print one sticker that includes both the month and the year. The company says the change will save money. Our renewal fees won’t go down, however.
How much bigger is North Hills going to get? Allscripts plans to build a 12-story tower and will be moving its 1,000 employees at North Hills. Evidently developer Kane Realty can do no wrong with the city council, no matter how much traffic and congestion it brings to the Six Forks Road area.
Are you one of those drivers who always push the envelope when it comes to on-street parking in Durham? Well, if caught, you’re going to have to pay double. Beginning July 1, the tickets will rise from $10 to $20.
Some bills signed by Gov. Pat McCrory this week:
• HB 113 increases the penalty for the commission of certain sex offenses committed against a student by school personnel. It also requires education institutions to obtain a list of employees who are registered sex offenders.
• HB 294 makes it a criminal offense to provide a cellphone to a delinquent juvenile in custody.
• HB 595 allows active and recently departed veterans to use their military police experience and training toward a N.C. Law Enforcement Officer Certification.
But the biggest McCrory signature was giving pardons to former death row inmates Henry NcCollom and Leon Brown. Now, show them the money!
|Friday, May 29, 2015|
|Sports news and notes, 5/29|
Stacy Danley, former athletic director at Alabama State, had the last laugh against his employer. An Alabama judge awarded Danley $140, 216.87 in his wrongful termination lawsuit. Judge James Reid also dismissed a counterclaim by ASU that accused Danley of unapproved travel expenses. Danley was fired in 2012.
• Play ball! Texas Southern (31-17) will face Texas A&M (45-11) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. This is the Tigers first trip to the tourney since 2008. The MEAC’s Florida A&M will travel to Florida for a Friday matchup. The Rattlers are making their first-ever tourney appearance. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
• Hoops Classic. Former N.C. Central players Emanuel Chapman, Alfonzo Houston and Jordan Parks will reunite to play in the 2015 Gotham Hoops Classic at Adelphia University in Garden City, New York, on Saturday. The Classic showcases top players before professional scouts, fans and media. Joining them from the MEAC are Norfolk State’s Malik Thomas, and Coppin State’s Arnold Fripp, Jahvari Josiah and Michael Murray.
• Somebody grab me a blanket! Former Winston-Salem State football player William Hayes, now with the St. Louis Rams, and teammate Chris Long, went undercover in the homeless community as part of an ESPN feature. The story will air May 31 at 10 a.m. and re-air throughout the day. Said Hayes: “It was the worst night I’ve ever had in my life for sure…My body hurts so bad right now.” See a clip of the feature on our website’s video page.
|Thursday, May 14, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 5/15|
North Carolina is the ninth worst state for working mothers, according to a WalletHub Study. With No. 1 as the best and No. 25 as the average ranking, the state is 36th in percentage of single-mothers in poverty; 37th in length of the average woman’s workday; 38th in female unemployment, 46th in the ratio of female to male executives, and so on.
• Liberty Counsel recently filed a federal lawsuit against Wake County for its public library’s unconstitutional policy. Cameron Village Regional Library, a PUBLIC library, mind you, twice denied the Counsel the right to hold meetings there. According to a Liberty Counsel statement, the library’s director said they did not allow meetings discussing religion.
“Any policy that expressly prohibits meetings based on the religious viewpoint of the program is simply unconstitutional,” Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said. “The Supreme Court has struck down countless attempts by local government bodies to remove religion from the public arena. Of all places, a public library should not only understand but strive to uphold the First Amendment rather than engage in censorship.”
Indeed. Bet if the KKK wanted to have a meeting, nobody would censor it.
|Friday, May 8, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 5/8|
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser for Lane College. Lewis and other NFL and NBA stars will appear June 13 at the Oman Arena on campus. Individual tickets are $100. Contact football coach Derrick Burroughs at (731) 421-7461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Are you ready for some REAL football? The SWAC Football Media Day is July 17 in Birmingham, Alabama. More details coming.
• Movin’ on up. Coppin State sophomore sprinter Alexis Marsh (left) will attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in June. The forum gathers 200 selected student-athletes to explore careers in sports. (Personally, why would anybody want to be anywhere else?) Marsh earned all-conference honors this past season in the 4x400-meter relay.
• Ramblin’ Rams. Winston-Salem State baseball won a record 40 wins this season. The Rams will find out their tournament opponent Sunday at 10 p.m. after the NCAA Selection Show. The Division II championships will be in Cary May 23-30.
• ASU golf stellar. Alabama State’s men’s and women’s golf teams earned automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets won their highest seeding ever at No. 13. The tourney begins May 14 in Indiana. The Lady Hornets are playing in their third straight tourney, which is being held this weekend in San Antonio, Texas.
|Friday, April 24, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 4/24|
The scammers are at it again. Imposters posing as city of Raleigh public utility employees recently tried to gain entry into a home in Rolesville for “water sampling” tasks. Also, several private companies have been placing water sampling door hangers on homes soliciting residents to purchase water filtration systems. They are not endorsed by the city. Always immediately ask for an employee ID from anyone claiming to be a city employee. They also should be driving company vehicles and wearing appropriate uniforms. If you suspect foul play, call (919) 996-4540.
• Overdue honor. The Leonard Medical Hospital and Leonard Medical School have been designated historic landmarks. The properties on Wilmington Street are owned by Shaw University. The hospital is historic for its role in improving health care for Raleigh’s black citizens during the Jim Crow era. The medical school, of course, educated black physicians and other staff.
• Respect the bus. The Senate tentatively passed a bill on Wednesday that would increase the penalty for drivers who pass stopped school buses. In addition to the current criminal offense, drivers would be penalized $500, and not have his vehicle registered if the fine is not paid. Still too easy we say. Unless your butt is on fire, there’s nothing in the world important enough to pass a stopped school bus.
• Pick me. No, me! Six residents have applied for the Chapel Hill Town Council seat left vacant by Matt Czajkowski that expires in December: Kevin Hicks, Adam Jones, Paul Neebe, Michael Parker, Amy Ryan and Gary Shaw. The six will state their case at a special meeting April 27, 6 p.m. at Council Chambers.