Archive for Front Page News

Civil Confrontation Takes Place At School Board Meeting

By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer

About 125 people lined the aisles during Wednesday, May 27, Kansas City Public School Board meeting in an effort to get the Board to cease all negotiations with Academie Lafayette officials over a proposed plan to turn Southwest Early College Campus into a Charter school that would be run by Academie Lafayette.
The concern rests with what many people feel is the Board’s blatant disrespect for the community by not listening to or engaging the community in the process.
“The community has already let it be known that we are not in support of turning Southwest into a charter school. How many times do we have to say that for the board members to listen,” one of the protesters told THE CALL.
“I don’t have a problem with Lafayette wanting a high school, but I have a problem with the way that they will go about it. I don’t like them setting up an exclusive private school funded by taxpayers under the guise of a charter school. The board thinks that we work for them not the other way around,” the protesters stated.
“They act like we don’t exist and this is their rodeo. That is taxpayer money. That’s our money and we demand to have a say so in how it is spent. Plus, why are they focusing so much energy on this particular plan. They should be focusing on some other aspects as well. Not just satisfying people who live on Wornall,” the protester concluded.
Dr. Wallace Hartsfield II, who helped organize the civil confrontation said that the group is not opposed to innovation, but are opposed to the process.
“Those who have preceded me have spoken regarding the deleterious implications of the so-called innovative efforts being proposed to improve KCPS.  Let it be made clear, we are not against the idea of and need for innovation.  We are, however, opposed to innovation that threatens the well being of currently enrolled KCPS students and viable district programs,” Dr. Hartsfield said.



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Cristo Rey Kansas City Family Celebrates a Trifecta of Graduates

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Starting even before birth, Aaliyah, Aleathea and Alexus Williams were distinct individuals. To legions of people that they have encountered along the road to high school graduation, they always will be the Williams triplets.
Members of Cristo Rey Kansas City’s Class of 2015, the sisters are stand-outs not only because they are triplets but also because they are contributors.
While each student is required to perform 80 hours of community service over four years of high school, the Williams sisters volunteered 503 hours. From sports teams to student government, Rotary Interact Club to National Honor Society, each found interests to follow at Cristo Rey.
Like 100% of their Cristo Rey classmates, the girls have been accepted to college. Armed with a variety of scholarships, Aaliyah, Aleathea and Alexus also are Kauffman Scholars. Starting with the program in the sixth grade, the triplets benefitted from years of resources, support and the promise of college scholarships. With financial support from Kauffman Scholars and other scholarships totaling more than $200,000 for four years of college, the triplets most definitely are college bound.





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Cleveland Police Officer Acquitted Of Murder

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CLEVELAND (AP) — A police officer who climbed onto the hood of a car after a chase in 2012, and fired repeatedly at its unarmed occupants, both of them black, was acquitted of manslaughter on Saturday, May 23,  by an Ohio judge.
The trial of the white officer, Michael Brelo, following harrowing episodes in communities such as Baltimore, Staten Island and Ferguson, Mo., played out amid broader questions of how the police interact with African Americans and use force, in Cleveland and across the country.
Officer Brelo, 31, was one of 13 officers who fired 137 rounds at Timothy Russell and his passenger, Malissa Williams, who were killed after a chase through the area on November 29, 2012. Officer Brelo fired his Glock 17 pistol 49 times, including at least 15 shots after he reloaded and climbed onto the hood of Russell’s 1979 Chevrolet Malibu and the other officers had stopped firing.
The chase started downtown after reports of gunfire from the car; prosecutors said the noise apparently was the result of the car’s backfiring. More than 100 officers pursued the car for more than 20 miles at speeds that reached 100 miles an hour. They began firing when the car was stopped and cornered.
A Cleveland police officer who climbed onto the hood of a car after a chase and fired repeatedly at its unarmed occupants in 2012 was acquitted of manslaughter on Saturday by an Ohio judge.
While Officer Brelo did fire lethal shots at the two people, testimony did not prove that his shots caused either death, according to the ruling of Judge John P. O’Donnell of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. “The state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Michael Brelo, knowingly caused the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams,” he ruled.


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