Citizens and by-passers gathered to watch as the local fire department and the Livingston Fire Department try to save Family Dollar of Eutaw, destroyed by fire Thursday, September 22, 2017. The official ruling was listed as, a transformer near Church’s Chicken caught fire and then fire spread down the power line to the Family Dollar building.
By Frederick H. Lowe
Special to the Trice Edney News Wire from NorthStarNewsToday.com
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A Las Vegas police officer pointed a gun at Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett’s head and threatened to kill him if he moved after arresting him for no reason on Saturday, August 26. Bennett posted his experience on twitter.
Bennett was walking to his hotel after attending the Mayweather-McGregor fight when he and other members of a crowd heard what they believed were gunshots.
“Like many people in the area, I ran away from the sound, looking for safety,” Bennett said.
Police, however, singled him out, placing a gun near his head, warning him not to move and if he did, he would blow “ ‘my fucking head off,’ ” Bennett charged. The cop ignored Bennett’s pleas that “he had not done nothing.”
Bennett was lying on his stomach and a second cop came over and put a knee in his back, making it difficult for Bennett to breathe. The cop handcuffed Bennett, cinching the handcuffs so tightly his fingers went numb.
What was going through Bennett’s mind is that the cops would murder him for being a black man in the wrong place at the wrong time. “My life flashed through my eyes as I thought of my girls. Would I ever play with them again? Or watch them have kids? Or kiss my wife again and tell her I love her.”
When police learned that Bennett played for the Seahawks, they took the handcuffs off and released him without an explanation or an apology.
The Las Vegas police said the officer arrested Bennett because he was acting suspiciously, two words black men often hear from the police. The cops said Bennett was hiding behind a gaming machine before he jumped over a fence.
As it turned out, there were no gunshots.
The police union, however, wants the NFL to investigate Bennett’s allegations that he was arrested after being racially profiled.
Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, supported Bennett who he said represents the best of the NFL— “a leader on his team and in his community.” Goodell said there will be no investigation.
Bennett has hired a lawyer and intends to sue the police department.
Cydney Lauren Chatters and Donald Wayne Fondel, Jr., both of Lake Charles, LA, were united in Holy Matrimony on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at St. Augustine Catholic Church in New Orleans, LA. Cydney’s Maids of Honor were her sisters, Jodi and Drew Chatters. Donald’s brother David Fondel and friend Joseph Gallien, served as Best Men. Chase Zippert was Ring Bearer and Ava Alfred was Flower Girl. The wedding party included eight bridesmaids and accompanying groomsmen.
Cydney is the daughter of Rachel Zippert Chatters and Benard Chatters of Lake Charles, LA. Donald is the son of Brenda and Donald Fondel, Sr., also of Lake Charles, LA. Grandparents of the groom are Mr. & Mrs. Clarence Mayes and the late Mr. & Mrs. Marion Fondel, Sr. Grandparents of the bride are Mr. & Mrs. Maynard T. Chatters, Sr. and John and Carol Zippert, Publishers of the Greene County Democrat.
Cydney is a Pre-Med graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and is currently a medical school student at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, MS. Donald received his B.S. Degree in Health Science from Dillard University, New Orleans, LA, and his Master’s Degree in Public Health fromTulane University, New Orleans, LA. He is currently employed with Cheniere Energy, Cameron, LA, as Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Donald is a Certified Safety Specialist (CSP) from the American National Standards Institute.
Mike Espy, former Secretary of Agriculture received the Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday night in Birmingham as part of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives’ 50th Annual Meeting and anniversary. Shirley Blakely of Mississippi, Board Chair, joined by other board members and Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director, presented the award. The meeting continued Friday and Saturday at the Federation’s Rural Training and Research Center. More than 500 people attended the three-day celebration. The Federation was founded 1967 by 22 cooperatives and credit unions, arising out of the Civil Rights Movement, who banded together for mutual assistance, training and pooled resources. For more information, see the organization’s website at: http://www.federation.coop.
The annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival features Ole Timey Blues artists on Saturday and Ole Timey Gospel artists on Sunday. There is no contradiction in the appreciation of both. As the elders tell it: The wailing blues tell the stories of our struggles, hardships, heartaches, lost loves and lost lives. The prayerful gospel music lifts the stories of our faith, determination, perseverance and How We Made it Over. Many of the founding festival musicians are no longer with us, including Willie King, Bo McGee, Jesse Daniels, George Conner, members of the Echo Gospel Singers, members of the Tishabee Male Chorus, members of the New Gospel Travelers. Shown above are festival founders Clarence Davis, Lemon Harper, Burlie and Liz Daniels, who, along with many others, will be with us at this year’s festival, Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27 on the Old Courthouse Square in Eutaw, AL.
Where else can you smile and sway to ole timey blues, enjoy the delicacies of right-off-the grill barbecue and polish sausages, feast on freshly cooked country dinners with assorted pies and cakes and then top it all off with hand churned homemade ice cream.
All this and more is happening at the annual Black Belt Folk Roots Festival on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday August 27 on the Old Courthouse Square in Eutaw, AL.
In its 42nd year of community celebration, the festival will again feature down home blues music, old timey gospel, traditional foods, handmade crafts and special events for the young people.
Saturday’s events are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with Ole Timey Blues and dancing featuring musicians Clarence Davis, The Liberators, Jock Webb, Davey Williams, Russell Gulley, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Jock Webb, Lil’ Jimmie Reed and others.
The handmade crafts available at the festival are traditional quilts and other needle works; baskets from white oak, pine needles and corn shucks. The assortments of down-home foods include soul food dinners, barbecue, fried fish, chicken and skins, Polish sausage, homemade ice cream, cakes and pies; snow cones, Italian ice, and more.
Ole Timey Gospel is reserved for Sunday’s festival beginning at 2:00 p.m. and featuring the The Echo Juniors, The Melody Kings, The Mississippi Traveling Stars, The Golden Gates, New Generation Men of Promise, Sons of Zion, Greene County Mass Choir and many others. “The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is home coming time in the region. Many families, class reunions and social clubs plan their annual activities to coincide with the festival’s schedule,” stated Dr. Carol P. Zippert, festival coordinator. “The festival brings together musicians, craftspersons, storytellers, food specialists, community workers – all who are considered bearers of the traditions and folkways of the West Alabama region,” she explained. “This is a festival where people truly celebrate themselves – their joys and struggles and especially ‘how we made it over,’” Zippert states.
According to Dr. Zippert, the two day festival is open to the public free of charge. The hours are Saturday, August 26, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday August 27, 2:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
The Black Belt Folk Roots Festival is supported in part by the Black Belt Community Foundation, and other local contributors.
The festival is produced by the Society of Folk Arts & Culture. There is no admission fee for the festival events. For more information contact Carol P. Zippert at 205-372-0525;
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund will celebrate its 50th. Annual Meeting on August 17 to 19, 2017. The organization was founded in 1967, by 22 cooperatives and credit unions, arising from the Civil Rights Movement, serving low-income farmers and rural people in the South.
On Thursday evening, August 17, Attorney Mike Espy of Jackson, Mississippi will receive the 16th annual Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award at a fundraising banquet at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Interstate 495 in Birmingham. Estelle Witherspoon was the Manager of the Freedom Quilting Bee in Alberta, Alabama and a founding member of the Federation.
Mike Espy served as the first Black Congressman from Mississippi since Reconstruction, from 1987 to 1993. In 1993, President Bill Clinton selected him to be the first African-American and the first Secretary of Agriculture from the Deep South. Today, Espy heads the Mississippi office of the law firm of Morgan and Morgan and was involved in the Pigford Black Farmer Discrimination lawsuits against USDA.
Espy has worked closely with the Federation in all of his professional pursuits. As a Mississippi Congressman he co-sponsored the “Minority Farers Rights Bill” and helped to get several of its major components, including the Section 2501 Outreach Program, into the 1990 Farm Bill. As Secretary of Agriculture, he worked closely with the Federation on the efforts to bring greater civil rights concern to the department. As a lawyer, he worked closely with the Federation and our members on the Pigford lawsuit.
On Friday and Saturday, August 18 and 19, the Federation’s Annual Meeting will shift to the organization’s Rural Training and Research Center, near Epes in Sumter County. Friday will be a day of workshops, presentations and celebration of the Federation’s half century of work and achievements on behalf of Black farmers and landowners. Friday evening there will be a fish-fry, wild game tasting and other dishes from the regional membership of the Federation.
On Saturday, the Federation will hold a prayer breakfast followed by the organization’s business meeting, which includes reports from the Board of Directors, Cornelius Blanding, Executive Director, and state caucuses of the membership.
Cornelius Blanding said, “For five decades, the Federation has served its membership of Black farmers and other low income rural people across the South. We have held true to our mission and worked at the grassroots level to transform people and communities, many times in the face of racial hostility and economic exploitation, to win a better future with social and economic justice for our membership. I am proud to be part of the continuing legacy of the Federation and hope to lead it into the next half century of progress.”
Persons interested in attending the Estelle Witherspoon Awards Banquet and the 50th Annual Meeting should go to the organization’s website at http://www.federation.coop to register. Information is also available from the Federation’s offices in Atlanta (404/765-0991) and Epes, Alabama (205/652-9676).