A jury on Tuesday found former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder in the 2018 shooting death of Botham Jean, a black man, in his own apartment.
Guyger mistakenly entered Jean’s home in the same apartment complex and immediately assumed he was a burglar.
Jean was sitting on the couch, watching television and eating vanilla ice cream.
Guyger testified through tears while shaking her blonde hair, Jean walked towards her in a manner she deemed malevolent.
Guyger claimed she feared for her life, an excuse cops are trained to use before firing their service revolvers. She fired, shooting him in the heart. He died later at Baylor Medical Center.
The jury could have found Guyger guilty of murder, manslaughter or acquitted her.
After Judge Tammy Kemp read the verdict, loud cheers erupted throughout the court building. Guyger, who had been fired by the police department following the shooting, sat stoically. She later wiped tears from her eyes. Jean’s family traveled from his native St. Lucia for the two-week trial, cried tears of joy. Allison Jean, Botham’s mother joyfully raised her hands in the air.
Guyger faces five to 99 years in prison.
Although some view Guyger’s conviction—a white woman cop convicted of murdering an unarmed black man— as a milestone. It is and it isn’t.
In 2016, Betty Shelby, a former Tulsa, Oklahoma, cop shot to death Terence Crutcher, an unarmed motorist. Crutcher had his hands raised in air after his car had broken down alongside the road. A jury found her not guilty of manslaughter. Shelby went to work for another police department.
In another deadly shooting by police of an unarmed black man in Sacramento, California, police officers returned to duty after not being charged in the murder of Stephon Clark.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and the FBI found insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges against Terrance Mercadal and Jaret Robinet in the shooting death of Clark who was standing in his grandmother’s backyard holding a mobile phone which the cops took to be a pistol. The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office issued the ruling September 27.
Mercadal and Robinet shot Clark, the father of two, seven times on March 18, 2018. However, an independent autopsy showed that Clark was shot six times in the back.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
Dr. Lonnie Bunch III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, sat down for an exclusive interview with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The two discussed Bunch’s timely new book, “A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump.” “I [initially] saw this journey to build a museum that could help bridge the chasms that divide us as a ‘fool’s’ errand,’” Dr. Bunch said. The book outlines the multitude of challenges Bunch faced when pursuing the construction of the historical museum. Those challenges included choosing the location; architect; design team; and the collection of unique pieces of African American artifacts. He added that the museum was “an errand worthy of the burdens.” Available from Smithsonian Books on the organization’s website and at Amazon.com, “A Fool’s Errand” is a tour de force of Bunch’s personal and political accomplishments. During the intimate video-taped interview inside the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the two visionaries also tackled topics that ranged from the Transatlantic Slave Trade, their shared North Carolina families’ histories, the writing legacy of author James Baldwin, and the contemporary vitality of the Black Press of America. “The relevance and inclusion of the Black Press in events such as this one, show the continued significance of the Black Press,” NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards, said after the interview between Chavis and Bunch. “The Black Press is alive and well, and we will continue to be the daily recorders of our history across the globe. Although we’ve seen many changes within our industry; these changes are bringing better opportunities for the Black Press,” Richards said.“So, we are honored that Dr. Lonnie Bunch has chosen to include us as a part of this important national media event,” she said. While in graduate school, Bunch desired to write a dissertation about the Black Press, he said. However, naysayers told him the Black Press was unimportant. He said that theory quickly was proven wrong. “I knew it was,” Bunch said. “I think the Black Press has always been the guardian of our community. It’s always been the place where facts are found that are not told in other places. It’s a place where you can understand the richness of the community. “What I love about the Black Press today is that it’s a place that reminds people of the power of the African American community… the Black Press is critically important. “What [The Black Press] does is it reminds us that there are many different lenses to understand a story. If you don’t have the lens to the African American community, where are you going to find your story? For me, the Black Press is crucial not for the past, but for the future,” Bunch said. Bunch said he sought out to obtain a building that would reference the spirituality, resilience, and hope that have been key elements within the African American community. Elements he said that have shaped America’s identity in ways most Americans do not understand. He said the revolution in South Africa reinforced his belief that history is an effective tool to change a country by embracing the truth of a painful past. The museum opened three years ago to much fanfare, with former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, among others, in attendance. “To some, visiting the museum allows them to find hope … that the current poisonous political partisanship and racial antipathy will one day be overcome,” Bunch said. A historian, author, educator, and curator, Bunch has enjoyed a career of near unapparelled success. Bunch has held numerous teaching positions, including American University in Washington, D.C. (Bunch’s Alma Mater); the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth; and the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Bunch was elected in 2017 to become a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He’s also the recipient of the President’s Award from the NAACP, and the Impact Leader Award from the Greater Washington Urban League. Last year, the Phi Beta Kappa Society presented Bunch with the Phi Betta Kappa Award for Distinguished Service to the Humanities and the National Education Association honored him with the Award for Distinguished Service to Education. Earlier this year, Bunch was appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the first African American to hold that position in the organization’s 173-year history. He oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers. Now, with “A Fool’s Errand,” Bunch said he has a simple message to convey.“History matters,” he told Chavis. “You can’t understand yourself or the future without looking back. History is an amazing tool to live your life. More than anything else, it challenges you to be accurate,” Watch the full interview between Dr. Chavis and Dr. Bunch here at BlackPressUSA.com.
The Eutaw City Council acted on some non-controversial agenda items and pushed the others where there is disagreement and more time is needed for a resolution to its next work session.
At the beginning of its meeting, the Council heard a presentation from Deborah Henderson, U. S. Census Recruiting Specialist for Greene County indicating that jobs are available for census takers for the 2020 Census. These short-term jobs pay $15.50 an hour with a mileage allowance of 58 cents per mile. Henderson said that the U. S. Census was looking for 100 applicants from Greene County. Persons interested may call: 1-855-JOB-2020 or check on line for information and applications.
The Eutaw City Council approved an application from Love’s Truck and Travel Center for a license to sell beer and wine.
The Council approved accepting a $24,000 grant from ADECA for police equipment including computers, cameras and tasers. This grant has no matching funds requirement.
The Council also approved a travel request for City Judge, Josh Swords to attend a Fall Conference, September 26-28,2019 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Attorney Zane Willingham, in response to questions from Council-members at last week’s working session, reviewed various personnel policies from the Employee Handbook with the City Council especially dealing with overtime pay.
Willingham said the personnel policies are clear that part-time employees are not entitled to holiday pay. He also explained that overtime pay is only accrued and should only be paid when an employee actually physically performs more than forty (40) hours of work in a weekly period. This means that vacation, sick leave, holidays, administrative leave, PTO hours are not considered hours worked when computing overtime.
To clarify these policies, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution stating, “Should you be required to work on a holiday, or if your regularly scheduled day off falls on a holiday – you will be given an alternate day off. You must be given an alternate day off within the same fiscal year.”
The Eutaw City Council voted to approve paying bills that were most needed from a list that was presented. In a previous meeting $200,000 was allocated from the bingo funds earmarked for Branch Heights roads to pay current bills. After these payments were made, using the $200,000, some critical bills remain to be paid.
Council members asked Mayor Steele to prioritize the bills that needed to be paid. The Mayor urged using more bingo funds to make these payments. Some of these decisions were referred to the next City Council Working Session.
Mayor Steele asked the Council to approve purchase of a generator, costing $44,763, through FEMA to use at the City Hall in times of emergency when no electricity is available. This FEMA purchase requires an $11,192 match from city funds. The Mayor wants to use bingo funds to pay the match. This decision was tabled for discussion at the next working session.
Councilman Carpenter brought up the issue of raises for city staff. The Mayor said some staff received a raise because they were promoted to a supervisory position. The Mayor said he was not sure there was enough funding to provide all staff with a raise. The Council said some adjustments in pay were needed for staff with CDL, Heavy Equipment Operator and other skill certifications. The Council then voted to hold a Special Called Meeting to deal with staff salary adjustment on Monday, September 30,2019 at 6:00 PM at City Hall.
Mayor Steele reported that he purchased an air compressor for $7,500, which was put to work fixing water leaks in Branch Heights and other locations. The Mayor says he still needs to purchase a small tractor for use in street repairs.
The Council said to bring this request to the next working session.
Councilwoman Sheila Smith moved to use some of the bingo funds in the earmarked account for resurfacing the roads in King Village. This motion passed over the objections of the Mayor who said this item was not on the agenda and the expenditure might not be needed based on the City’s overall finances and other more critical needs. While the motion passed, it seemed that this long unresolved issue was headed to the next working session before it is resolved.
Smith also questioned the Mayor about exercise and weight room equipment at the Carver School community center. Steele said this long awaited equipment, donated by the Auburn Cooperative Extension Program, arrived last week and had been set up. Rev. Barton, Director of the Center, will soon send out a press release with information about the hours and usage of this weight equipment by the public.
In the public comments section, Mary Johnson complained about her water being “milky looking”. Mayor Steele said that was an indication that there was air in the lines from repairs and that she would need to run her water until the air came out of the pipes. He promised to send someone to check on the problem. Councilman Joe Lee Powell suggested that the City purchase a supply of bottled water to give to residents when there were problems with the City water system.
At its regular meeting on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the Greene County Industrial Development Authority (GCIDA) received a contribution of $1,000 to advance its work in bringing economic development to the county.
Danielle Kimbrough, Alabama Power public relations officer for west Alabama, at Tuscaloosa, said, “We help bring industrial and commercial customers to our area, which in turn brings jobs, tax revenues and improvement in the overall quality of life. Donations to organizations like GCIDA, allow us to help communities have resources to grow their communities.”
Phillis Belcher, Executive Director of the GCIDA said, “We appreciate the support of companies like Alabama Power Company to assist us in our basic mission of bringing development and jobs to Greene County,”
Belcher pointed out that the GCIDA has a 1000 acre Crossroads of America Industrial Park at Boligee, which is served by Interstates 20 and 59, railroads running north and south and east and west to connect to anywhere in the nation and access to the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway for barge traffic to the Port of Mobile and inland river parts across the nation.
“We have two major industrial companies, located in our Crossroads Park.
These are EPPCo, a petroleum products distributor that has a Waterway port and West Rock, a paper company, which has a warehouse on the interstate highway. We are always looking for new industries to come and locate in our park or other industrial locations around the county,” said Belcher.
Belcher pointed out that the GCIDA has been instrumental in helping to recruit and support Love’s Truck and Travel Store company, to locate its truck stop at the Interstate 20/59 Exit 40, in Eutaw. GCIDA assisted the City of Eutaw in securing over a million dollars in grant and loan support to bring sewage to the Love’s site and make other site and lighting improvements.
“This commercial development will bring 43 jobs and new tax revenues to Eutaw and Greene County. It also opens up the Exit 40 area for other needed development,” said Danny Cooper, Chairperson of the GCIDA.
At Wednesday’s meeting the board heard from Donnie Wedgeworth, owner of Consolidated Catfish Producers, the catfish processing plant on Highway 43 in Eutaw. Wedgeworth stated his interest in working closely with the IDA in future development of his catfish processing business.
At the meeting the GCIDA discussed various projects and prospects that are considering Greene County. A hemp processing company is interested in lease-purchasing the 50,000 square foot Speculative Building, which stands empty in the Crossroads of America Park. A railroad company is negotiating to store railroad cars on a temporary basis on tracks in the park. Other wood products industry prospects have visited the park in the past year to see if it was suitable and useful for their future plans.
Phillis Belcher said, “We have one great challenge remaining to make our Crossroads of America Park attractive to industrial prospects. We do not have a natural gas pipeline serving our industrial park. We have met with many industrial prospects for whom this was a ‘deal breaker’. We need access to natural gas for industries that need gas heat in their industrial processes.
“We have been working on exploring ways to bring natural gas to our Crossroads Park. The nearest gas sources are 15 to 20 miles away and the cost of constructing a large diameter pipeline to serve our Crossroads Park is estimated in the $15-20 million dollar range. We have asked for help from Spire, the gas company serving our area and our state and Federal public officials. The GCIDA is continuing to work on this challenge.”
Sept. 23, 2019 (GIN) – Congolese people seeking a vaccine against the Ebola epidemic could be getting the run-around by the World Health Organization (WHO) which stands accused of rationing the distribution of a drug deemed highly effective against the deadly disease.
The humanitarian medical group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) criticized the pace of ongoing inoculations “too slow” and “largely insufficient”
According to MSF, between 450,000 and 600,000 people should have been immunized by now – more than double the actual number.
MSF blamed “tight controls on supply and eligibility criteria” over the vaccine produced by the U.S.-pharmaceutical company Merck. They called for an international, independent committee to oversee vaccination efforts instead.
The WHO dismissed the charge, saying it was only implementing a strategy recommended by an independent advisory body of experts and as agreed with the government of the D.R.C. and partners.”
In the current outbreak, 3,157 cases and 2,108 deaths were reported as of Sept. 19, when the WHO admitted that disease transmission had worsened, with 57 new cases that week, versus 40 the week before. The affected region includes the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, in the northeastern part of the country, near the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
So far, around 225,000 people have received the Ebola vaccination manufactured by the American pharma giant Merck since August 8, 2018.
Another experimental vaccine, manufactured by the US-based firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J), is due to be introduced from mid-October in areas which do not have “active Ebola transmission”, the U.N. health agency said this week.
J&J’s vaccine requires two injections eight weeks apart. The Merck vaccine, estimated to be 97.5 percent effective, requires a single shot.
Congo’s previous minister of health, Dr. Oly Ilunga, strongly opposed using any vaccine but the Merck one, saying people had come to trust it and would be unlikely to accept a new one. He resigned in July after Congo’s president took control of the Ebola response. In his resignation letter, Ilunga cited outside pressure to deploy the J&J product and accused unspecified “actors” of showing a “lack of ethics” over the issue.
Dr. Ilunga was arrested on Sept. 14, accused of mismanaging some $4 million meant for the Ebola response, a claim that his lawyers deny.
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent @StacyBrownMedia
AKA leadertship with HBCU Presidents
For the second year in a row, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women, raised $1 million in just 24 hours during this month’s HBCU Impact Day. The AKA Sorority, Inc. also has agreed to collaborate in the planning for the upcoming 80th-anniversary celebration of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in 2020. Dr. Glenda Glover, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., said the sorority would work with NNPA Chair Karen Carter Richards and NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., during the NNPA’s annual convention June 23-25, 2020 in New Orleans. “When you need to know the positive stories – the real stories – about African Americans, then you understand our dependence on the Black Press for our news,” said Dr. Glover, the international president of AKA and president of the historically-Black Tennessee State University. “It is my honor to be a part of this. Alpha Kappa Alpha has been a partner to the Black Press even right here in Nashville with the Tennessee Tribune,” she said. While the first African American-owned newspaper was founded 192 years ago, the establishment of the NNPA took place in 1940 during a meeting in Chicago. Since its founding, the NNPA has advocated for the Black Press of America and delivering news to millions of people daily and weekly from the African American perspective. The NNPA is the national trade association that currently represents a vast conglomerate of more than 223 Black-owned newspapers throughout the country that comprise the Black Press of America. For her part, Dr. Glover and the AKAs have steadfastly continued to promote support of HBCUs across the nation. Dr. Glover has led that challenge for contributions as part of a four-year $10 million fundraising goal to benefit HBCUs. “As a college president, I need to recognize the need for HBCUs. I need to recognize the operating needs, and the financial needs because we need funds to survive,” Dr. Glover said. “I asked my membership to support this initiative. We galvanized members, individuals, and corporate sponsors. We kept going back again, and again,” she said. “It’s a tremendous feat to raise $1 million in one day, but we knew HBCUs needed to have funding, sustainability, and we have to make sure to secure the endowments of each university,” she said. In February, AKA gifted $1.6 million from their AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund to 32 HBCUs. As an HBCU graduate, Glover said she has dedicated her life’s work to the HBCU community. “I understand the impact personally that establishing an endowment has on a student’s enrollment and graduation prospects,” Dr. Glover said. “The actions of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will go a long way toward ensuring that HBCUs remain open and able to encourage the best black students to choose them as a first option,” she said. AKA began on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. Today, nearly 300,000 members make up the sorority in approximately 1,018 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Liberia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Dubai, Germany, Japan, and South Korea.
By Linda Givetash, David Ingram and Farah Otero-Amad, NBC News
Climate strike rally at Federal Courthouse in Opelika, Alabama (photo by Jim Allen)
Crowds of children flooded the streets of major cities in a global show of force Friday to demand action on climate change, with many young people skipping school in protest and sharing a unified message aimed at world leaders.
Rallies were held across Alabama including Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile and east Alabama at Opelika.
“No matter how many times they try to ignore the issue, you can see every teenager in the area is here,” said Isha Venturi, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from New Jersey who joined tens of thousands in New York’s lower Manhattan taking part in a second “Global Climate Strike.”
“We’re not quiet anymore,” she added, “and change is coming.”
From New York to London and San Francisco to Sydney, Australia, not just children but other groups took part in the strikes, including trade unions, environmental organizations and employees at large tech companies such as Amazon and Google. And their demands were similar: reducing the use of fossil fuels to try to halt climate change.
“As leaders, we’ve failed them,” Halima Adan, 36, of Somalia, said amid the large number of young people in New York, where the city’s 1.1 million public school students were told they could skip classes to attend protests.
Adan, who was in the city for the Peoples’ Summit on Climate, organized by the United Nations Human Rights Office and others, said her own war-torn African nation has felt the effects of “every aspect of [the] climate crisis.”
In a day of coordinated global action, when millions were expected to protest:
• Australia saw some of the first protests kick off Friday morning with organizers estimating that upwards of 300,000 students and workers filled the streets of Melbourne, Sydney and other cities in the biggest protests the country has seen in years.
• New Delhi, India, one of the world’s most polluted cities, saw dozens of students and environmental activists chant “we want climate action” while hundreds marched in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, before staging a “die-in” outside the Ministry of Natural Resources
• In London, thousands of people from infants to grandparents blocked traffic outside the Houses of Parliament chanting “save our planet.”
• Crowds gathered in European capitals, including Berlin and Warsaw, Poland, and African capitals such as Nairobi, Kenya, while organizers said there are some 800 events planned across the U.S.
“The climate crisis is an emergency — we want everyone to start acting like it. We demand climate justice for everyone,” organizers said on one website dedicated to Friday’s protests, adding that there was action planned in more than 150 countries.
A coalition of environmental groups, youth organizations and others using the hashtag #strikewithus have demanded passage of a “Green New Deal.”
The climate strike movement began as a weekly demonstration led by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg in August 2018.
The latest worldwide demonstrations are timed to nearly coincide with Monday’s U.N. Climate Summit in New York, where U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he wants to see governments and businesses pledge to abandon fossil fuels. “We are losing the fight against climate change,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
Anna Taylor, 18, who co-founded the climate strikes movement in the U.K., addressed a crowd in London on Friday that young people are now “desperate.”
Writer Lavinia Richards, 41, said she decided to take the day off work to join the London march when her 6-year-old son, Ruben, asked to join.
“I was pleased that he wants to do the right thing and he’s standing up for what he believes in,” she said. “If these children are brought up to be ethical and responsible, then maybe there is a chance.”
Ruben told NBC News that he wanted to strike in hopes of seeing Thunberg, his role model, and “to save the rainforest and all the tarantulas and the gorillas.”
“Some people think there is going to be a sixth mass extinction, so we don’t really want that to happen,” said Rosa Cormcain, 9, with her group of friends carrying signs that read “there is no planet b” and “don’t be a fossil fool.”
Protesters blocked roads around London’s Parliament, waving flags, beating drums, chanting and singing in the sunshine for hours. At 1 p.m. local time, strikers honked horns, rang bells, blew whistles and cheered in an effort to sound the alarm for action on climate change.
“If we don’t take action now … it won’t be a certain amount of people who will suffer, it will be everyone on this planet,” said activist Al Shadjareh, 16.
Shadjareh and his peers point to warnings from scientists, including an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from last year, that forecast severe consequences for the environment and human life if global temperatures rise more than 2.7 degrees.
More than 2,300 companies around the globe from a variety of industries, including law, tourism and technology, have joined the Not Business As Usual alliance and pledged to support their workers to strike with students on Friday.
Global brands including Ben & Jerry’s and Lush announced they would be closing their stores on the day of the protest.
Thousands of tech workers say they are planning to join the protests in the middle of their workdays, showing a renewed level of political activism in Silicon Valley where software engineers and other employees traditionally haven’t spoken up in public against their bosses.
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said it expected more than 1,600 employees would walk off their job sites to protest what they called the company’s lack of action in addressing the climate crisis. It will be the first strike at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in the company’s 25-year history, according to Wired magazine.
WASHINGTON — After months of tamping down calls for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Tuesday that she’s on board, a move that could upend Donald Trump’s presidency just barely a year out from the 2020 election.
“Today I’m announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry,” the speaker told reporters after meeting with the Democratic caucus Tuesday afternoon. Pelosi said she will direct six House committees to investigate Trump “under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” adding, “The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law.”
While the Judiciary Committee has already begun an impeachment investigation, Pelosi announced that the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Oversight, Ways and Means, and Financial Services committees will now formally join them in a broader inquiry.
The committees’ investigation is just a first step toward impeachment — a majority of the full House would still need to vote on articles of impeachment in order to indict Trump. The Senate is then responsible for holding an impeachment trial, but Republicans are unlikely to pursue one.
Pelosi’s announcement comes amid reports that Trump withheld aid from Ukraine and pressured its president to investigate former vice president Joe Biden’s family ahead of the 2020 election.
Trump’s reaction to the announcement, predictably, was a series of tweets sent from Trump Tower as Pelosi spoke and in the minutes after. In one, he wrote that Democrats “purposely had to ruin and demean” his “important” day at the United Nations “with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage.” He also noted that Democrats hadn’t yet seen a transcript of his call with the Ukrainian president.
Democrats’ messaging on impeachment has been muddled in recent weeks. The Judiciary Committee has begun the formal process of setting up an impeachment investigation, and many of its members have argued since July that the House is already in an inquiry stage. While Pelosi had backed those efforts, she resisted calls for impeachment.
More than 170 Democrats had come out in support of an impeachment inquiry as of Tuesday afternoon, including many members in more conservative districts. Their support for the measure appeared to finally sway Pelosi, who has argued for months that the House cannot pursue an inquiry without having all the facts and has publicly worried impeachment would be too divisive and could lose Democrats their majority.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell of the Alabama 7th District was among those who announced her support for the Impeachment investigation following Speaker Pelosi’s lead.
CNN reported Tuesday afternoon that Pelosi was encouraging her members to state their positions on an inquiry now, in order to make it clear to the public that there is a groundswell of support in the caucus. Pelosi also reportedly said she believes now that the American public understands the issue.
Several Democratic presidential contenders have announced or renewed calls for Trump to be impeached as the Ukraine story has unfolded. And many of the speaker’s allies announced their support for an inquiry Tuesday ahead of Pelosi’s own announcement.
“We cannot delay. We must not wait. Now is the time to act,” Rep. John Lewis of Georgia said on the House floor. “I have been patient as we tried every other path and used every other tool … I truly believe the time to begin impeachment proceedings against this president has come.”
While the full story about Trump’s recent phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains unclear, the Washington Post reported on Monday that Trump put a hold on $400 million in aid to the country in the days before the call. When the two leaders did speak, Trump reportedly pushed for information on Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, who had a seat on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. (Notably, Joe Biden is currently leading the Democratic primary field.)
The House and Senate have been working to get information related to a whistleblower’s complaint, which is reportedly related to Trump’s interactions with Ukraine, but have been stymied by the Trump administration. Pelosi also announced that the House will hold a vote Wednesday to formally condemn Trump’s attempts to block Congress from obtaining the complaint. The Senate passed a (similarly nonbinding) resolution Tuesday afternoon requesting a copy of the whistleblower’s complaint as well.
Trump tweeted Tuesday that he had ordered the “complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine” to be released on Wednesday. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo!,” he wrote.
But Democrats were quick to say that releasing the transcript was not enough, and soon after Trump’s announcement, Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff made an announcement of his own, saying on Twitter that the whistleblower who originally raised concerns about the call wanted to speak to the committee and has requested guidance from the acting director of National Intelligence about how to do so.
“We‘re in touch with counsel and look forward to the whistleblower’s testimony as soon as this week,” Schiff wrote.
Paul McLeod contributed to this story.
Greene County schools superintendent, Dr. Corey Jones, gave an update on current student enrollment as part of his report to the board at its regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, September 16, 2019. Dr. Jones stated that enrollment at Eutaw Primary is currently at 349; at Robert Brown Middle School 351 and at Greene County High School 296. He noted that since this report was prepared, three more students have enrolled bringing the total school system enrollment to 999.
“The system still has 55 fewer students than last school year at this time,” he said. Dr. Jones explained that his office is still pursuing students, not currently in the system, who were here last year to determine if they have relocated or other circumstances prevail. `“ We are still within the 20 days after Labor Day to enroll students and claim state support; however we will accept students even after that period and do our best to provide them a quality education,” stated Superintendent Jones.
In his update on Assessment & Instruction, Dr. Jones stated that the school system is utilizing the Scantron Benchmark Assessment. He noted the schedule for testing in 2019 includes September 3-16; December 2-13; March 9-3 and March 23-27, 2020. The superintendent also noted the tentative dates for District Student Assessments.
Dr. Jones remarked on the various incentives related to student and personnel motivation at a school; facility preservation and student achievement. The school winning the motivation award for the month will be presented a banner acknowledging the same. The maintenance staff at the school receiving the preservation award will be treated to lunch. Students will receive special certificates of achievement.
Dr. Jones announced that the Greene County School Board received the School Board Member Academy President’s Award 2019 for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardsmanship training, presented by the Alabama Association of School Boards at the annual District 7 meeting in Tuscaloosa, September 9, 2019.
The personnel items recommended by the superintendent and approved by the board included the following.
Employment: Kelvineshia Williams, Science Teacher, Greene County High School; William Mack, Bus Driver, Department of Transportation; Wenonna Peebles, Special Needs Bus Driver, Department of Transportation; Twelia Morris, Secretary, Greene County Career Center.
Employment with 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Andrea Perry, Director; 21st Century Personnel at Eutaw Primary School – Keisha Williams, Lead Teacher; Dominique McDaniel, Teacher; Genetta Bishop, Teacher; Pamela Pasteur, Teacher; Elona Washington, Teacher; Denise Horton, Teacher Assistant. 21st Century Personnel at RBMS – Drenda Morton, Lead Teacher; Vanessa Bryant, Teacher; Katoya Quarles, Teacher; Alisa Allen, Teacher; Annie Howard, Teacher; Raven Bryant, Teacher; Mary Hobson, Assistant Teacher; Pinkie Travis, Substitute Teacher; Ayanna Crawford, Bus Driver; Marcus Steele, Substitute Bus Driver.
The board approved the following administrative items: School Resource Officer Contract; Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported a total distribution of $357,960 for the month of August 2019 from four licensed bingo gaming operations in the county. The bingo distributions for August are contributed by Greenetrack, Inc., Frontier, River’s Edge and Palace. Green Bingo is still not in operation.
The recipients of the monthly distributions from bingo gaming designated by Sheriff Benison in his Bingo Rules and Regulations include the Greene County Commission, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, the cities of Eutaw, Forkland, Union, Boligee, the Greene County Board of Education and the Greene County Hospital (Health System).
Greenetrack, Inc. gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, the Greene County Health System, $7,500.
Frontier (Dream, Inc.) gave a total of $67,500 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, Greene County Health System, $7,500.
River’s Edge (Next Level Leaders and Tishabee Community Center Tutorial Program) gave a total of $71,600 to the following: Greene County Commission, $24,000; Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $9,000; City of Eutaw, $4,500; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $3,000; Greene County Board of Education, $13,500, and the Greene County Health System, $11,600.
Palace (TS Police Support League) gave a total of $151,360 to the following: Greene County Commission, $-0- (no distribution); Greene County Sheriff’s Department, $80,960; City of Eutaw, $24,640; and the Towns of Forkland, Union and Boligee each, $7,040; Greene County Board of Education, $7,040 and the Greene County Health System, $17,600.