Alabama Youth Forestry Camp recruiting participants for June 11-15, 2018 program at Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes

Youth Forestry Camp.jpg

The Alabama Forestry Youth Camp is a five-day experience for high school students interested in conservation and natural resources. It is designed to teach basic forestry concepts through classroom instruction and outdoor activities.
The 2018 camp will be held the week of June 11-15, 2018 at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center, near Epes, Alabama. The program is open to any student, boy or girl, who is at least 15 years old and has completed 9th grade but not yet finished 12th grade.

Students attending will participate in classes covering tree identification, forest management, forest products, wildlife, water quality, urban forestry and forestry history. Many classes will be held outdoors unless weather conditions interfere. Proper outdoor attire is required including good closed toe shoes.
Students will be taught by a staff of professionals in the natural resource fields, who are employed both in the public and private sector. They are provided release time from their jobs to be camp instructors. Students will be housed in dormitories with adult supervision, and adult teaching staff will be available to the campers for study and supervised recreational activities.
The camp will be held at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center, near Epes in Sumter County. Students must be able to handle their own transportation to and from the camp. Directions to the camp and other detailed information will be provided to campers who complete an application form and are accepted or the camp.
Camp Director Justin Jacobs said, “I attended this camp about ten years ago when I was a high school student. It raised my interest in forestry and wildlife. I attended Alabama A & M majoring in forestry. Now I am back as the Federation’s Forestry Specialist working with forestry landowners and running this camp to interest young people in this critical field.”
The camp is co-sponsored with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives by Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension, Alabama A & M University Center for Excellence, Auburn University School of Forestry, Alabama Forestry Commission, U. S. Forestry Service and other partners.
The only cost for the camp is a $30.00 application fee. The camp sponsors cover all other costs for instruction, field trips, meals, snacks, lodging and recreation.
Students who are interested should immediately contact the Federation at www.federation.coop where there is an application form on line. Applications are also available from Justin Jacobs, Camp Director at jjacobs55@hotmail.com, 205/652-9676 (office) or 256/777-4356 (cell).

John Zippert running for State Democratic Executive Committee District 72

zippert552

John Zippert is running for the State Democratic Executive Committee in District 72, which includes parts of Greene, Hale and Perry Counties. He will be on the ballot in the Democratic Primary on June 5, 2018
Zippert is currently the Co-Publisher and Editor of the Greene County Democrat weekly newspaper based in Eutaw, Alabama. He has worked in management and training capacities with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund based at the organization’s Rural Training and Research Center in Epes, Alabama, for the past 50 years and is semi-retired from the Federation.
Zippert serves on the Greene County Health Systems Board of Directors and the Greene County Industrial Development Authority Board.
He is a founding member of the Alabama New South Coalition and serves as its current State President. He serves on the boards of several state and national organizations including the Alabama Council on Human Relations, Rural Coalition, Rural Development Leadership Network and others.
‘I am running for the State Democratic Executive Committee because I want to help reform and revitalize the Democratic Party in Alabama. I want to build on the momentum we gained in electing Doug Jones to the United States Senate in the Special Election last December,” said Zippert.

He continued, “The Democratic Party in Alabama must be part of a fifty state strategy to elect progressive candidates committed to assisting poor and working people make changes that increase fairness, justice and inclusion of all people and share the prosperity of this economy more equitably with everyone.”
Zippert is married to Carol Prejean Zippert, Co-Publisher of the Democrat and Greene County School Board member. They have three children and eleven grandchildren.

Eutaw Primary Kindergarten students create canvas art as end of year activity

Ms. Tammy Anderson’s Kindergarten Class at Eutaw Primary was treated to an end of year arts activity which engaged the students in painting canvas art displays. Anderson selected a butterfly theme to demonstrate to the students that the butterfly transforms before it becomes an adult. “The butterfly evolves as does each child,” explained Anderson. She told the class that each one of them is different with his and her own gifts and beauty, just as the butterfly. “No two butterflies are the same as no two children are the same.” She said. Anderson wanted the students to understand that each butterfly painted would also be different.

Ms. Kelly Magadan, an artist with Uptown Art of Tuscaloosa, volunteered as instructor for the special occasion. She explained the painting process to the students, describing how color combinations are formed. Each student was provided a canvas, paint and brushes, and before beginning their masterpieces, each student was adorned with a painting apron and beret. Parents were also invited to the special event. Refreshments were provided.

Newswire: Experimental drug gets green light for new Ebola outbreak

Ebola drug.jpg
                                                            Ebola drug vaccination

May 14, 2018 (GIN) – The Ebola virus which took thousands of lives in West Africa has resurfaced in central Africa. This time, health officials are ready to put an experimental drug to the test.

The outbreak, which has caused at least 19 deaths and 39 confirmed and suspected cases, was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Bikoro Health Zone, Equateur Province between April 4 and May 13, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The drug, known as rVSV-ZEBOV, was developed over a decade ago by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba and is now licensed to Merck to help protect people who have not yet been infected with Ebola.

It was proven safe and effective when first used in Guinea in 2015. Some 1,510 individuals were vaccinated between March 17 and April 21. Guinea was declared Ebola virus disease-free on Dec. 29. The trial ended on Jan. 20, 2016.

Others working with WHO are Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Médecins Sans Frontières; and the DRC’s Ministry of Health to introduce the shot, a WHO spokesperson confirmed Monday.

A “ring vaccination” approach around the epicenter of the outbreak in the Congo, will be used. But because Merck’s Ebola shot hasn’t yet won regulatory approval, officials must obtain an importation license, plus establish a “formal agreement on the research protocols,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jašarević told FiercePharma.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the world health body, said the WHO has a stockpile of 4,300 doses of the vaccine in Geneva; the company also has 300,000 doses of the vaccine stockpiled in the U.S.

The “ring vaccination” approach was a strategy used in 1977 to control smallpox. The idea is to vaccinate people who know someone who has been infected and the people who know those people, in an expanding “ring” around the infections.

So far, 393 people have been identified as part of the “ring” around people who are known or suspected to have been infected in the Congo.

Newswire : NAACP Statement on Santa Fe High School Shooting

By Malik Russell, Director of Communications, mrussell@naacpnet.org

NAACP-300x300
BALTIMORE, Md., May 18, 2018 /NNPANewswirePR/ The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s premier civil rights organization, issued the following statement regarding the tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas:
The NAACP mourns the tragic and senseless loss of 10 lives on Friday, May 18 at Santa Fe High School in Texas. In addition to those killed, 10 individuals were also wounded. Nine of the 10 fatalities were students, studying subjects they loved and planning for their future. This is the 22nd school shooting of 2018, according to CNN.
We cannot sit back and allow gun violence to continue to take the lives of our students. The NAACP sends our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims and everyone whose lives they touched. Talk alone is not enough to address the issue of gun violence in our communities and schools; sensible gun reform must become a priority among our politicians and policymakers.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the word are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

Newswire : Stacey Abrams wins Democratic Primary for Georgia Governor

If elected, the former party leader in the state legislature would be the nation’s first Black female governor.

By Daniel Marans, Huffington Post

5b045f391e0000bf048e646c.jpeg
Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia

Stacey Abrams won the Democratic nomination for governor of Georgia on Tuesday, delivering a victory for the national liberal groups and elected officials who backed her historic bid.
If elected in November, the 44-year-old Abrams would be Georgia’s first woman governor and the nation’s first black woman at the helm of a state. She previously served 10 years in the Georgia House, and for much of that time was her party’s leader in the chamber.
Her primary win reflects the increasingly diverse makeup of the state’s Democratic voters, as well as the party’s turn toward a more base-centric strategy.
The landmark nature of her candidacy attracted a surge of national attention and resources that helped her clinch the nomination, according to Kerwin Swint, a Georgia politics expert at Kennesaw State University.
Her nomination “energizes the Democratic Party in Georgia to a large degree,” Swint said.
Abrams defeated former state Rep. Stacey Evans, 40, who ran as a champion of the HOPE scholarship ― a greatly-diminished free public college program from which she benefited.
In the general election, Abrams will face either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle or Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Cagle and Kemp were the top two vote-getters, but neither won an outright majority, so they proceed to a July 24 runoff. to the Politics administration impact you?
A key premise of Abrams’ bid is that in Georgia the Democratic Party no longer needs to cater to moderate white “swing” voters in the state’s suburban and rural areas who have increasingly migrated to the GOP since the 1990s.
It’s a strategy promoted by Californian Steve Phillips, author of Brown is the New White, which argues that Democrats can win with the help of a “new American majority” ― progressive whites, Latinos, Asian Americans and black voters, especially black women.
Seeing a prime opportunity to vindicate his theory, Phillips, whose wife Susan Sandler is heir to a mortgage banking fortune, has boosted Abrams’ bid both with his checkbook and his platform. PowerPAC Georgia, which is associated with Phillips’ nonprofit Democracy in Color, spent $1.5 million on Abrams’ behalf.
That money supplemented Abrams’ own considerable campaign haul of $3 million.
Abrams also benefited from an all-out bombardment of support from major progressive groups, including Democracy for America, the Working Families Party, MoveOn, NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List.Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) campaigned for her on the stump, and both Hillary Clinton and her 2016 presidential primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), endorsed Abrams’ bid.
Abrams also enjoyed the support of nearly every labor union in Georgia, three of its four Democratic U.S. House members and almost every civil rights leader in the state.
She has run on protecting voting rights, expanding Medicaid using Affordable Care Act funds, raising the minimum wage, eliminating cash bail and allocating more needs-based college aid, among other liberal priorities.
But Abrams will need all the help she can get in a state that has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1998. And Republicans do not lack for ammunition to use against her.
For example, they are likely to seize on Abrams having more than $200,000 in personal debt, including $50,000 in back taxes owed to the IRS.
“Georgia is turning purple but it is still a red state and I think she would do very poorly outside metro Atlanta,” Swint said.
“It really depends on how big the blue wave is this year,” he added. “If it’s a tidal wave it could help her chances. If it’s a ripple, probably not.”

Newswre: Obamas sign picture deal with Netflix

Barack-and-Michelle-Obama-650x650.jpg

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama

Northstar News Today Views:

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have signed a multi-year, multi-million agreement to produce films and a series with Netflix, the world’s leading internet-service company.
The Obamas will produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features for the couple’s newly established Higher Ground Productions, Netflix said in a news release.
“One of the simple joys of our time in public service was getting to meet so many fascinating people from all walks of life and to help share their experiences with a wider audience,” said President Obama.
Michelle Obama said, “Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us, to make us think differently about the world around us, and to help us open our minds and hearts to others.”
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the company is happy the Obamas have chosen to make Netflix home for their storytelling abilities. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Netflix has 125 million members in 190 countries.

Newswire : Religious leaders arrested in Capitol while demanding restoration of Voting Rights Act

It’s the second week of the six-week revival of the Poor People’s Campaign.

By Kira Lerner, Think Progress

Barber and Jackson

 Rev. Barber and Rev. Jackson in protest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Revs. Jesse Jackson, William Barber, and other prominent religious leaders were arrested for demonstrating in the U.S. Capitol on Monday, demanding the restoration of the Voting Rights Act and the end of racial gerrymandering.
Dozens of others were also arrested across the country as part of the second week of protests organized by the revival of the Poor People’s Campaign, a movement that originated in 1968 with Martin Luther King Jr. at the helm. The campaign, a coalition of progressives and faith-based organizations, plans to hold demonstrations and risk arrest every Monday for six weeks.
At a rally ahead of the demonstration in the Capitol Rotunda, Barber drew a connection between systemic racism and policies that suppress voters of color.
“America’s democracy was under attack long before the 2016 election by racist voter suppression and gerrymandering, which are tools of white supremacy designed to perpetuate systemic racism,” he said. “These laws target people of color but hurt Americans of all races by allowing politicians to get elected who block living wages, deny union rights, roll back Medicaid, attack immigrants, and underfund public education.”
Throughout the six weeks, Barber and the other organizers hope to draw attention to the policies and laws that keep 140 million Americans trapped in poverty. On Monday, voting advocates highlighted how racial gerrymandering, voter ID laws, an other suppressive voting measures keep people of color from gaining political power.
Since 2010, 23 states have passed voter suppression laws, the Poor People’s Campaign noted, including redistricting laws and measures that block certain voters from the polls, like cuts to early voting days and opportunities, voter ID laws, and purges of the voter rolls.
Jimmie Hawkins, a pastor with North Carolina’s only African American Presbyterian church, testified in court hearings in 2015 against North Carolina’s voting law that an appeals court later found targeted black voters with “almost surgical precision.” On Monday, he joined the demonstration to argue that lifting Americans out of poverty involves eliminating voting laws like the one overturned in his state.
“Those who have the most to lose when they are not unable to vote should not have barriers placed before them when they try to vote,” he said.
David Goodman, whose brother Andrew was murdered by the KKK 54 years ago next month while he was participating in the Freedom Summer, also spoke at the rally about the voter intimidation and suppression his brother was fighting.
“Here we are, again, dealing with the same issue,” he said, pointing to the Supreme Court which gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. “The struggle for which my brother died for is not over.”
As they marched, two by two, from the Capitol lawn into the rotunda, the demonstrators held signs reading, “Voter Suppression = The True Hacking of Our Democracy” and remained silent because, as Barber and Jackson noted, people in power want them to be silenced.

Eutaw Chief Coleman explains curfew law

Derick.jpg

 

With classes in the county schools ending Tuesday, May 24, 2018, Eutaw Police Chief Derick Coleman expressed a concern that parents need to get more involved with their children. “Now that schools are closing for the summer, all parents should be mindful of their child /children’s whereabouts,” he said.
Chief Coleman explained that curfew laws will be strictly enforced. Juvenile curfew laws are local ordinances that prohibit people of a certain age (usually under 18) from being in public or in a business establishment during certain hours (such as between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.).

Juvenile Curfew Laws and Exempted Activities

Almost all juvenile curfew laws identify exempted activities or exceptions under which juveniles may lawfully be out after curfew. These exceptions will vary by jurisdiction, but typically include the following:
* Minors accompanied by a parent or guardian
*Minors traveling to or from work.
*Minors attending official school or religious events
* Minors running errands under an adult’s instruction
*Emergencies

Punishment for Juvenile Curfew Violations

Punishment for juvenile curfew law violations also varies among jurisdictions, but can often include one or more of the following options:
* Fines (usually increasing for subsequent violations)
* Imposition of community service or required enrollment in after-school programs
* Restriction of driver’s license privileges
* Possible detention in jail or juvenile hall.
* Parents who knowingly allow their children to violate curfew laws may also be subject to fines and other punishment.

Local teen killed in car crash

Jason

A two-vehicle crash at 12:20 p.m. Saturday, May 12, claimed one life and injured another. Jayson Alexander McCollum, 19, of Eutaw, was killed when the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt he was driving collided head-on with a 2005 Chevrolet Silverado driven by John Gregory, 33, of Buhl. McCollum, who was not using a seatbelt, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. Gregory was transported to a local hospital for treatment. The crash occurred on Alabama 39 near the 23 mile marker, six miles west of Eutaw. Nothing further is available as Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate.