Archive for Front Page News

What Is At The Center Of The Academie Lafayette Controversy?

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By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

One would certainly like to believe that at the center of the controversy surrounding Academie Lafayette, the Kansas City, Mo., Public Schools and Southwest Early College campus is about the education of all children. But, the reality is  that education may be the least important aspect in this triangle of money, power and racism.
One of the biggest problems that the community has in the proposed plan involving Southwest, Academie Lafayette and the K.C.P.S., is trust. Many people believe that if the partnership happens, Southwest will return to a predominately white school with unlimited resources, giving white youth opportunities for at a quality education that black youth won’t have access to.
Academie Lafayette is one of the most successful Charter schools in the state of Missouri. The French-immersion school has been in existence for about 15 years.
Although students are selected, the Southwest Early College campus has been a sore spot for the  community it surrounds. There have been a number of high profile incidents that been reported at the school. In spite of the diligent efforts of many parents and students who have tried to change the image of the school, the mind set of many of its students are to no avail.
The Stowers foundation recently announced a pledge to cover the $2 million in start-up costs if Academie Lafayette and the K.C.P.S. can agree on a partnership at Southwest Early College campus.
Some people have called THE CALL and inquired as to why Stowers would only put the $2 million up if Southwest was part of a plan that included Academie Lafayette? Southwest currently needs financial assistance with increasing Advanced Placement which helps students with college credits and ensuring a 21st Century learning environment.
The school currently resembles a warehouse, poor lighting, dark and gloomy and in need of updated lockers and several coats of paint.


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Loretta E. Lynch Becomes First Female African American Attorney General

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WASHINGTON – After months of delay and partisan finger-pointing, Loretta E. Lynch won confirmation to serve as the nation’s attorney general, ending months of delay.
The vote was 56-43 in the Senate on Thursday, April 23,. She is the nation’s 83rd attorney general and the first African American woman to hold the position.
Her confirmation easily cleared a procedural vote Thursday. The vote was 66 to 34.
Members of both parties say that despite deep opposition to her nomination by Republicans in the majority, Ms. Lynch, currently the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has at least the minimum number of backers to be confirmed. Five Republicans publicly support her, as do 46 Democrats and independents.
Republicans have essentially not challenged her record or credentials, but have mainly expressed their opposition to Ms. Lynch’s defense of actions President Obama took on immigration last year. Senate Republicans said they exceeded President Obama’s constitutional authority.
“I don’t have any personal disputes with her character or abilities, but it is clear to me that the president should not nominate and the Congress should not confirm an attorney general who advocates positions that aren’t lawful,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, a leading opponent of the president’s immigration policies. “This evidences an unwillingness to enforce the law.”
Democrats have become increasingly incensed about the holdup of the nomination of Ms. Lynch, who was named in November by President Obama as the successor to Eric H. Holder Jr., and Civil Rights activists have also challenged the delay. The path to a vote on her nomination was opened Wednesday by Senate approval of an sex-trafficking measure that Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, said had to be resolved before he would bring up the Lynch nomination.
“Loretta Lynch is eminently qualified to be attorney general,” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. “It should not have taken us so long to bring this nomination up for a vote.” Mr. Leahy added that he “can only hope that Senate Republicans will show her more respect as the attorney general of the United States than she has received as a nominee.”


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After 18 Months, No Answers From Feds In Georgia Gym Mat Death


By Russ Bynum
Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Long after Kendrick Johnson was found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at his high school in south Georgia, those closest to the case remain deeply divided over how the teenager died.
Sheriff’s investigators concluded 17-year-old Johnson died in a freak accident that left him stuck upside down and unable to breathe.
Yet Johnson’s family in Valdosta insist he was killed by classmates, fellow teenagers who are accused by name in a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit Johnson’s parents filed earlier this year.
Federal authorities also launched their own investigation into Johnson’s strange death. Almost year and a half later, they have yet to announce any findings. Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, promised to do “everything in my power to answer the questions that exist in this case.’’ That was on October 31, 2013. Moore’s chief assistant prosecutor, Pete Peterman, said in an email the investigation is still ongoing but gave no other details.
Now a local Civil Rights leader says federal authorities need to close the book on a case that continues to fuel conspiracy theories on social media and has led to threats against people who have not been charged with any crimes.
“It’s just time for the government to shut it down,’’ said the Rev. Floyd Rose, president of the Lowndes county chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, who has long said he sees no evidence of foul play in the teenager’s death. “If they have something, they should say so. If they don’t, they should say so. It’s cost taxpayers too much money and the families too much grief and caused the community too much confusion.’’
Students at Lowndes High school found Johnson’s body in the center of an upright mat January 11, 2013. An autopsy found he died from positional asphyxia, meaning his body was stuck in a position that prevented him from breathing. Sheriff’s investigators concluded Johnson went headfirst into the mat trying to retrieve a gym shoe.
At the end of April, the federal investigation will conclude its 18th month. Meanwhile, rumors about Johnson’s death have boiled over into dueling lawsuits in civil court.



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