Rep. Alcee Hastings Will Close Out Annual Dr. King Celebration

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference will present Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings who will close out the annual week-long Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Palestine Missionary Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, located at 3619 E. 39th street. The event is free and open to the public.
The keynote speaker will be Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida.
Rep. Hastings is the senior member in the House Committee on Rules. He is the ranking member on the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, which deals with legislation regarding relations between Congress and the Executive Branch.
Congressman Hastings is also the ranking democratic member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe U.S.
Helsinki Commission, charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries.
Read More in The Call

Annual Martin Luther King Celebration Begins January 6

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City will host its annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration beginning Saturday, Jan. 6, and ending on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
The celebration begins on Saturday at 7 p.m, with the Gospel Artist Tribute held at Victorious Life Church, 3400 The Paseo. Artists will include Stellar award winner Bishop Jason Nelson, Isaac Cates and Ordained, Eric Ashby and VP3. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available online at the SCLC website
On Sunday, Jan. 7 at 3:30 p.m., an Interfaith Service will be held at the Community Christian church, 4601 Main St. The keynote address will be given by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., one of America’s most influential religious leaders.
A litany of those involved in the Interfaith service will represent Protestant, Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, Baha’I, and Sikh faiths. Music will feature The Soulful Phase Ensemble, music from the Jewish Tradition, The Kansas City Girls & Boys Choirs, Tim Whitmer and Millie Edwards.
This event will also honor Melissa Robinson, president of the Black Health Care Coalition and Board President of the Kansas City Public Schools, who will receive the 2018 Evelyn Wasserstrom award. This event is open to the public at no charge. For more information, please visit or contact Arlana Coleman (913) 522-7526.
The MLK celebration continues Tuesday, Jan. 9, with the Rev. Dr. Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson Community Luncheon at the Sheraton Crown center, 2345 McGee.
Keynote speaker will be Leonard Pitts Jr. renown newspaper columnist, and author who also will host a book signing.
Also during the luncheon, The President’s award will be presented to Phil Glynn, president of Travois and The Community Service award will be awarded to Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, former Jackson County Executive and current 4th District City Councilwoman. Tickets for the luncheon are $60 and are available online at
On Friday, Jan. 12, at 8 a.m. at the Kauffman Conference center, 4801 Rockhill Road, high school students from the Greater Kansas City area will gather for a Youth Leadership Development workshop. This “invitation only” event will feature Rahiel Tesfamariam, Founder and Publisher of Urban Cusp and District Attorney Mark Dupree.
On Saturday, Jan. 13, at 9 a.m., the celebration continues with the annual scholarship prayer breakfast, hosted at the College Basketball Experience, 1401 Grand Blvd.


Read more in The Call!

City Records 149 Homicides; Highest Since 1993

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
At THE CALL’s presstime the city has recorded 149 homicides, which is the highest since 1993 when the City recorded 153 homicides.
The highest number of homicides was 153 in 1993 when the crack epidemic first hit Kansas City.
Officers were called to a residence in the 400 block of Jackson in regard to a shooting. Police found Gregory Warrior, 23, of Kansas City, Kas., was located at Independence Ave. and Cleveland. He was transported to a local hospital where he died. A male suspect was taken in to custody at the residence. He was the city’s 147th homicide.
On Christmas Eve the City recorded its 148th homicide Police were called to the 300 block of Garfield Avenue and found a gunshot victim, who died hours later at a hospital.
The City has posted 104 homicides by means of a handgun; four have been by means of a rifle; three have been by means of a shotgun and 17 have been by means of an unknown firearm.
Easy access to firearms is a contributing factor in the increased number of homicides. Many local activists and elected officials have spoken out against  the easy access to handguns state-wide and city-wide.
Handguns, rifles and shotguns alone account for 128 of the City’s 148 homicides.
The other causes of homicides include nine homicides by means of a knife; five have been by means blunt force by hands or feet and five  blunt force trauma by object.
Read more in The Call!