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Sheltering Arms Senior Services and Neighborhood Centers join forces P3

Houston’s Leading Black Information Source Volume 80 | Number 36

NATIONAL

TSU law grad Presided over Casey Anthony trial Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.

P4 ENTERTAINMENT

Patti LaBelle

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86400 Movement

Houstonian inspires others to make a difference

Countersues

P8

SPORTS

Jimmy Wynn Training Center opens

P10 CHAG’S PLACE

Houston Area Urban League EOD Gala Co-Chairs Genoria Boykins and Sherman Lewis

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WEEK OF JULY 7, 2011 | FREE

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Tom Joyner places blame Radio host Tom Joyner has some harsh words for two other outspoken African Americans, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. Joyner blames the two for creating a climate that allowed journalist Mark Halperin to call President Barack Obama an offensive name on national television. Though Joyner is “appalled” by Halperin, he says he’s even more “disgusted” with Smiley and West. H Page 4

Romeo is multi-talented As an entertainer, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Romeo is a young man of many talents. He received high marks for his performances on “Dancing With the Stars,” and appeared in the movie, “Jumping the Broom.” He attends the University of Southern California, and played on the championship basketball team. He also started a foundation to help other youth.

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DEFENDER | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011

ontheweb

Stay Connected! Experience the Defender on the world wide web.

The Cartoon of the week Paresh Nath, The Khaleej Times, UAE

In The Book Corner

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A Black People’s Collective Account of America’s Antebellum South and the Aftermath by Anthony W. Neal

Each historian chose different words to convey [the same] message about the slave owners: The majority of Southern planters were good people who were morally concerned… As I read those textbooks,it dawned on me that I was not the intended audience.

News & Opinion Super Rich: Russell Simmons’ Real Wealth

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Question of the Week

Automotive highlight

Is Tom Joyner right, that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West are to blame for the name calling of Pres. Obama?

2011 NISSAN XTERRA PRO-4X SUV

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Discover the

Smart DeciSion HCCfacultyfacts.org

New Look, New Size, New Content, New Attitude

At HCC, our faculty knows the theory yet applies the practice of real-world experience in the very same classroom.

Designed for your convenience, the new Defender is packaged in an easy to handle tabloid size, with a colorful contemporary flair featuring more content as we celebrate 80 years of service to the African-American community. The new Defender logo with the large star reflects that “You Are the STAR.” Each week you are invited to share your opinions and comments on our stories and the issues confronting our city on the defendernetwork. com. Let your voice be heard and invite others to join you. Look for the Defender at community locations, Krogers, Fiesta, Gerlands and soon CVS pharmacies.

We are preparing students to be the next generation of thinkers and doers.

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&

Dr. Carla Tyson-Howard

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WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011 | DEFENDER

newstalk

Agencies join forces to

serve seniors By Aswad Walker Defender

Sheltering Arms Senior Services and Neighborhood Centers recently announced a business combination that will enhance services provided to seniors in the greater Houston area. The two organizations – with combined service legacies spanning more than 200 years – are joining forces to benefit the rapidly growing population of adults 55 and older. Sheltering Arms currently provides programs that include case management, caregiver support services, subsidized home care, weatherization and utility assistance, and the city’s first Alzheimer’s adult day center. Neighborhood Centers’ programs include health promotion and prevention programs. As a combined entity, agency members feel confident that Houston seniors will be protected under an all-encompassing umbrella of services. According to Lynne Cook, executive director of Sheltering Arms, achieving a “comprehensive continuum of care” for seniors was a primary goal of the two agencies. “Sheltering Arms and Neighborhood Centers share the same values and vision when it comes to caring for seniors,” Cook said. “ “By combining our business operations, we can achieve a primary goal: serving a larger population of seniors with the quality services they need in the most

cost-efficient manner possible.” Angela Blanchard, president and CEO of Neighborhood Centers, described the move as a smart one. “The non-profit sector is appropriately applying smart strategies – including business combinations designed to make maximum use of investors’ dollars – in withstanding this tough economic

climate,” Blanchard said. “The synergies achieved in our business combination with Sheltering Arms will clearly work to the advantage of a growing number of seniors who will require our services.” Blanchard pointed out that Houston’s demographic trends clearly point toward increasing demands for senior services, a fact reflected in national numbers. Accord-

ing to the U.S. Census Bureau, the nation’s population of seniors could grow by 40 percent over the next five years. “The business combination we are announcing today helps Houston prepare for the age-related realities of tomorrow,” Cook said. Details of the business combination are being finalized by committees of key individuals drawn from both organizations. The United Way of Greater Houston invests in both Sheltering Arms and Neighborhood Centers. Cook and Blanchard noted that as the two agencies consolidate staff and business operations, the business combination is expected to yield significant cost savings. Established in 1893, Sheltering Arms provides an array of home and community-based services that allow seniors to remain independent and living in their own homes. It also serves as the lead agency for Care for Elders, a partnership of more than 80 local organizations committed to improving the care and services provided to older adults in Harris County. Neighborhood Centers, founded in 1907, works to build vibrant communities with programs and services that promote educational attainment, financial well-being and engagement for 250,000 people throughout the Texas Gulf Coast area.

localbriefs Texans must prove citizenship to renew driver’s licenses An immigration-related provision passed by the State Legislature will become law by the end of the year. Under the Senate Bill 1 provision, Texans must prove U.S. citizenship or legal residence before they can renew or obtain a state driver’s license. Opponents of the measure said it will force undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for years to either drive without licenses or face possible deportation. They also believe it will lead to ethnic and racial profiling. Bill supporters said it would help combat criminal activity and terrorism by illegal immigrants.

Police hunt thieves targeting Southeast Houston churches Local police continue to look for the thieves who stole caged-in air conditioner units from five churches in Southeast Houston. One house of worship, Evangelist Temple Church of God in Christ, lost $50,000 in units. To escape the heat, members held services at Cullen Baptist Church. Other churches hit included Revolution Worship Center, which suffered $100,000 in damages, and Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church. Thieves cut through fences and locks to access the units. Evangelist Temple Bishop Rufus Kyles said it was “unthinkable” that someone would take $50,000 in property to get maybe $1500.

Poll finds Texas Democrats could have shot at U.S. Senate seat Results of a recent poll by Public Policy Polling show that Democrats might have a chance at winning the seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Though Republicans are thought to have a head start in the race, independents polled favored Democrats in every match-up, indicating they could eke it out if they find a strong enough candidate or draw a weak opponent. Though Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has not formally announced a campaign, he is considered the strongest candidate. On the Democratic side, there is a movement to draft Tommy Lee Jones, the Oscar-winning actor from Texas.

HUD offers program for homeowners

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a new program to help homeowners prevent foreclosure. The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) provides mortgage payment assistance to eligible

homeowners who have lost a job or are underemployed due to the economy or a medical condition resulting in a drop in income of at least 15 percent. Assistance covers past-due mortgage payments, as well as a portion of the homeowner’s mortgage payment

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for up to 24 months and up to $50,000. The application deadline is Friday, July 22. Interested homeowners can find more information by visiting www. findEHLP.org or by calling the tollfree EHLP hotline at 855-346-3345.

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DEFENDER | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011

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national

Tom Joyner says:

Smiley, West at fault

T

Defender News Services

he recent comments by journalist Mark Halperin about President Barack Obama prompted radio host Tom Joyner to lash out at author/commentator Tavis Smiley and philosopher/activist Cornel West. Halperin, an MSNBC analyst and Time Magazine editor, was suspended by the network after comments he made on the show, “Morning Joe.” While discussing an Obama press conference, Halperin said of the President: “I thought he was a d--k yesterday.” Writing in his blog, Joyner said he was “appalled” by Halperin but “disgusted” by Smiley and West. “These two have done much worse than what Halperin has done because they set the tone for it, opened the door to it, and must take much of the blame for creating a climate that would make a white, professional journalist feel comfortable verbally and vulgarly attacking the first Black president of the United States,” Joyner said. Joyner also said he thought Smiley and West “did something even worse” than call Obama an offensive name. “…If a Black person tells a racist joke in front of a racist or laughs at one, it won’t be long before the racist begins to fire off a couple of his own,” Joyner said. “Mark Halperin and others are no different. They hate the president because he is Black, and Tavis and Cornel, by not having the sense to not give them the opening they waited for, went all in…” Two years ago, Joyner and Smiley parted ways when Smiley resigned as a commentator on the “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” Smiley, who faced a backlash from Joyner’s listeners when he criticized then Senator Obama, said he resigned because of fatigue and a busy schedule. As for Halperin, he apologized to Obama, his MSNBC colleagues and viewers. “My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it,” he said.

TSU law grad presided in Anthony trial Defender News Services

Judge Belvin Perry Jr., a 1977 graduate of Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, has been the presiding judge in the highly publicized Casey Anthony trial. A jury in Florida recently found Anthony not guilty of first degree murder. Caylee Marie Anthony was a child from Orlando whose disappearance in 2008 attracted national media attention. Her mother, Casey, was indicted on charges of felony murder, though she continued to maintain her innocence throughout her trial. The child’s skeletal remains were discovered six months after she was reported missing by her grandmother, Cindy Anthony. Ninth Judicial Circuit

Chief Judge Perry oversees the court system of one of the state’s busiest jurisdictions, which now has 65 judges. He is also actively involved with statewide funding for the court system and heads up the Florida Innocence Commission, a panel looking into wrongful criminal convictions. Prior to taking the bench as a circuit judge in 1989, Perry served as an assistant state attorney within the Ninth Circuit. Perry also serves as the chair of the Trial Court Budget Commission for the state court system. He has been instrumental in establishing the Sanctioned to Read program, citing a “direct correlation between juvenile crime and academic success.” Sanctioned to Read is an individualized, highly motivational, diagnostic and prescriptive reading program. Perry is a member of the Florida Bar, the Texas Bar Association and the Orange County Bar Association, and is chairman of the Florida Innocence Commission, which examines the causes of wrongful conviction in the state.

U.S.briefs NAACP Legal Defense Fund celebrates 70th anniversary Civil rights leaders, members of Congress and activists joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund at its 70th anniversary celebration at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Since 1940, the LDF has considered itself America’s legal counsel on issues of race. Through advocacy and litigation, LDF focuses on issues of education, voter protection, economic justice and criminal justice. LDF also encourages students to embark on careers in the public interest through scholarships and internship programs. “We’re the country’s first civil rights law firm,” said John Payton, current LDF president and director-counsel.

Jailed former mayor writes book, can’t receive profits Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is releasing a book titled, “Surrendered: The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Malik Kilpatrick!” A judge, however, ordered the book’s publishers not to pay any money to Kilpatrick, his family members, agents or others. Instead, profits from the book will go into an escrow account, part of which will go toward restitution he owes the city as part of a 2008 criminal plea. Recently granted parole, Kilpatrick will be released from jail by July 24. He was charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and probation violation.

Florida county approves 4-day school week to save money After a $24 million cut to next year’s operating budget, the Marion County School Board in Florida voted to approve a four-day school week for the county’s schools. Students will receive three-day weekends starting in the fall of 2012. They will attend school either Monday through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday, with an additional 75 minutes tacked on each day. One day less a week will save on water, energy and transportation costs. A downside is longer class days and possibly too much time between lessons, causing regression in learning. Superintendent Jim Yancey said making the switch would save around $4.5 million.

VOLUME 80 • NUMBER • 34 JULY 7 - 13, 2011

Publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles Editor Von Jiles Associate Editors Reshonda Billingsley Marilyn Marshall Art Director Tony Fernandez-Davila

Columnist Yvette Chargois Sport Editors Max Edison Darrell K. Ardison Contributing Writer Aswad Walker Webmaster Corneleon Block

The Defender newspaper is published by the Houston Defender Inc. Company (713-663-6996.. The Defender audited By Certified Audited Circulation. (CAC). For subscription, send $60-1 year to: Defender, P.O. Box 8005, Houston TX 77288. Payment must accompany subscription request. All material covered by 2011 copyright. (No material herein may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher).

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defendernetwork.com | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011 | DEFENDER

Official Court Notice

Children who lived, stayed, or visited at public housing in New Orleans before Feb. 17, 2001, might qualify for money from a $65 million settlement fund. Settlements have been proposed in a class action lawsuit about whether children were injured by lead at Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) public housing developments. People who qualify must register by October 20, 2011 to receive future settlement notices and to get a claim form to ask for a payment. If you are included you may object to the settlements, or ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the settlements. The Orleans Parish Civil District Court in Louisiana authorized this notice. The Court must decide whether to approve the settlements before money is paid to those included.

Who’s

included?

You qualify as a Class Member if, before February 17, 2001, you were damaged by lead present in the Iberville, Florida, Lafitte, B.W. Cooper, St. Bernard, Desire, Guste, Fischer, St. Thomas, or C.J. Peete/Magnolia public housing development and either: (a) You filed a lawsuit against HANO and/or C.J. Brown Property Management, Inc., C.J. Brown Public Housing, Inc. and/or Ventana Property Management, Inc., Ventana Public Housing Management, Inc. and/or the City of New Orleans saying that you were hurt from exposure to lead at one of the HANO public housing developments; or (b) You have or can get medical documents or other evidence showing you were lead poisoned, specifically a document that shows you had an elevated blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dl) of whole blood, or higher, when you were six years old or younger and you were born on or after December 12, 1987. Register, and get more information, including a Detailed Notice, at www.HanoLeadSettlements.com—or— by calling toll free 1-888-768-2043.

What

do the settlements provide?

A $65 million Settlement Fund will be set up. After deducting money for lawyers’ fees, expenses, and other settlement costs, the fund will pay valid claims from an estimated 10,000 or more Class Members. If you are a Class Member, the exact amount of money you might get will be based on how bad

your injuries are, and other factors, for example, how long you lived, stayed, or visited at HANO housing, your blood lead level, how long your elevated blood lead level lasted, the medical evidence you have or can get, your medical treatments and bills, and the total number of valid Claim Forms received after the settlements are approved. The settlements do not mean that the defendants did anything wrong.

How

do you ask for a payment?

First, you must register before October 20, 2011 at the website or by calling the toll-free number. If the Court approves the settlements, Class Members who register will receive another Notice with a Claim Form. The Claim Form will tell you what you need to prove your claim and receive a payment. You will need evidence, for example a test result that shows you had an elevated blood lead level (>10 µg/dl) when you were six years old or younger and proof you were born on or after December 12, 1987, so you should start now to find these documents.

What

are your other options?

You may object to the settlements if you think the Court should not approve them. The Detailed Notice explains how to object properly before the October 20, 2011 deadline. By that deadline you may also ask to speak at a Fairness Hearing the Court will hold on December 21, 2011. At the Fairness Hearing the Court will consider whether to approve the settlements, and how much to pay the Class lawyers. They will ask the Court for fees and reimbursement of their expenses totaling up to 45% of the Fund, plus $15,000 each for the five named Plaintiffs and five Class Representatives who provided service in the class action. Significant administration costs are required by the settlements, and will also be deducted from the Fund, but the total cannot be known until Claim Forms are processed. For more information on this case (Billieson v. City of New Orleans, et al, No. 94-19231) call toll free, see the website, or write to Billieson Notice Administrator, P.O. Box 2010, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2010.

1-888-768-2043 www.HanoLeadSettlements.com

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DEFENDER | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011

coverpage

86400 Movem

Houstonian inspires others to By Aswad Walker Defender

Though authors may dream big, it is very rare that a book grows to achieve movement status. That was the lofty and seemingly unrealistic goal of author Lavaille Lavette for her new book “86,400: Manage Your Purpose to Make Every Second of Each Day Count.” Yet, just months after its release, “86,400” has taken root across the country as a bona fide movement inspiring a growing number of individuals and institutions to use their time more efficiently in order to better serve their communities. Lavette, a former special advisor to the U.S. secretary of education, who over the years has conducted numerous time management trainings, began to explore the concept of purpose management after one week of hearing an MIT professor, recording artist and several ministers refer to a day in its smallest form – 86,400 seconds. “The idea of 86,400 seconds became an instigator that gave me renewed energy to commit to being more conscious of my time, to spend it wisely, and to develop the tools to help myself and others go beyond managing their time to managing their purpose. Time is limited, but purpose has no limits,” said Lavette. Reflecting on her own personal experiences of life getting in the way of her higher purpose, Lavette was convinced that with the 86,400 concept, she was onto something that could speak to and touch untold lives. “86,400 is a movement that sprung out of necessity because when you start talking about purpose management, most people are fully engaged in two of our three main purposes. We are already engaged in the purpose of family and we all are engaged in work or career whether you’re doing a great job or not. “The one that falls short is being of service to community. This movement sprung out of the necessity to get people engaged and involved in that third purpose,” said Lavette. She is on a mission to help people see that they do have time, even amid their busy schedules, to make a difference. Her movement of service and purpose has taken various forms nationally. “At the University of Houston the 86400 movement is going to be part of a class where students will engage in a project to create a public awareness campaign around being of service to others. The 86400 organization at Long Beach College chose the foster care system as their platform focus, providing

life skills training and workshops for kids about to exit out of the foster care system. “At UCLA the 86400 group focuses on children’s literacy. And at Columbia, we’re working with the social work department,” added Lavette. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, New York University, the University of Connecticut, Louisiana State University, Arizona State University, and Georgetown University are just a few of the other colleges whose faculty and students are already on board the 86400 train. However, Lavette’s movement is not limited to universities. “We’re in communication with school districts in Los Angeles, Houston, Baton Rouge, New York, Hartford, Phoenix, Birmingham, Atlanta, Chicago, and DC, planning outreach events and projects where we take the 86400 rally – featuring music, talks, contests and high energy activities – to get youth excited about community service,” said Lavette, who hopes her work with younger minds will expand into servant leadership institute. Lavette’s 86400 Movement already has strong roots in Houston. In an effort to encourage children to read more – for enjoyment, enlightenment and self-improvement – she founded the 86400 Book Club for Kids. “The 86400 Book Club children, ages six to 12, read and discuss great books monthly on Fox 26 Morning News. There is an interactive website (www.myfoxhouston.com) where kids at home can find out about featured books as well as other books, write reviews, recommend their favorite books and more,” said Lavette. Phillip Prather, a Rogers Middle School (Pearland) seventh grader with aspirations of one day playing in the NBA, sees tangible benefits to being part of the Book Club. “It gives me more time to read by myself,” said Prather. “And I get to share my thoughts on the

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ment

o make a difference Force behind The 86400 MOVEMENT By Aswad Walker n PAST OCCUPATIONS

• Special Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Rod Paige, U. S. Department of Education, 2001 – 2005 • Co-founder of Every Child An Author, (ECAA) Class-by-Class, School by School. ECAA is on a mission to make every child in America a published author, one grade level at a time. • Stock Broker • Real Estate Agent • HISD Administrator • Special Consultant to the Consulate General of Angola • Entrepreneur • Teacher • Political Speech Writer • Hip hop Manager • Founder of American Statements Clothing Company EDUCATION • Southern University, Bachelors in Mathematics and Accounting • Texas Southern University, Masters of Education Plus Principalship Certification

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n BORN Opelousas, LA n PERSONAL ADVICE TO THOSE SEEKING SUCCESS “Be of service to others. Develop a mindset of service. When you put being of service to others in the forefront you end up benefiting ten-fold.” n SERVICE • Serves on the board of directors of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Aspiring Youth Foundation, Foxshire Foundation • Founding Board Member and the first President of the Houston-Luanda Sister City Association • Involved in a number of international charitable ventures in Africa • Formed the 86400 Book Club for the homeless in partnership with The Bread of Life Ministry n

MANTRA “Every second is a gift.”

he Houston area for over 80 years

w

LAVAILLE LAVETTE

books with others.” Calvin Wong, a book club member from St. Thomas Episcopal School, concurs with Prather. “Reading the different books is pretty fun, and I like teaching younger kids about the fun of reading,” said Wong, also a seventh grader. “The focus of the movement is young people, starting in middle schools, high schools and colleges. We can show adults how to do it, but how we really make a difference and see some change is to start with the young,” said Lavette. Still, Lavette has plans to expand the movement to include workshops and events for parents, professionals and other adults to help them better manage their careers and home life. “With the 86400 Movement we’re building on what we already have. Most think you need a movement because you’re lacking or that something is all bad or broken; and that’s not true. Regarding community service, there are many people and organizations doing great work. We just need more people, more help. It’s about increasing the effort,” said Lavette. Lavette’s movement goals, according to her website, are to “create a platform for social action, help individuals realize their full potential and serve as active members of their community, provide opportunity to implement positive ideas that will build strong communities, offer life-changing activities that inspire individuals to fearlessly pursue their purpose, dreams and compassionately change the world, and to sensitize youth and adults about social issues.” “It’s a grassroots movement, not a movement from a corporate office. It’s not structured like that. 86400 is meant to be active in each community. That’s why it looks different in each area, because they have different needs. The service focus comes from wherever that passion is among the students at that school, university, community. I’m just the facilitator,” explained Lavette. “The book lays out how the 86400 concept helped me get on track with my career and be of better service to others as well,” shared Lavette. Lavette hopes the movement will awaken people’s consciousness to look at how they are living their lives, become conscious of the limited resource of time, and recognize that what happens across the street or around the globe affects us all. “Hopefully, this movement will have a positive effect on your everyday living conditions and inspire individuals to better use their time and better manage their purpose. When you have a society of better managers of purpose you can’t help but to have a society that is better for everyone,” said Lavette. For more information visit www.86400movement.com.


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entertainment

DEFENDER | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011

LaBelle countersues over Houston airport scuffle The suit also claims that LaBelle’s guards responded with a degree of necessary force. King’s attorney, John Raley, dismissed LaBelle’s suit, saying it was, “the same false story they told the police.” While Raley said his client did have a few

By AFRO Staff

Singer Patti LaBelle is countersuing a West Point cadet who claims that she ordered her bodyguards to beat him outside Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport in March. In her suit, the R&B star claims the scuffle began after the cadet punched her son in the face and spewed racial slurs at her. According to the Associated Press, the incident occurred when cadet Richard King, 23, was waiting to be picked up by his family at a terminal. King alleged that shortly thereafter, three of LaBelle’s bodyguards attacked him for no reason. King’s suit was filed in early June and names LaBelle, her bodyguards, including her son, and two others as defendants. LaBelle’s countersuit, which was recently filed in Houston, claims that King was drunk and provoked her first at the terminal. “King directed profane and racial slurs towards LaBelle,” the suit said. “When LaBelle’s son [Zuri Edwards] heard the profanity and racial epithets, he informed King that the woman in the limousine was his mother. Without warning or provocation, King violently and deliberately punched Edwards in the face.”

King’s suit was filed in early June and names LaBelle, her bodyguards, including her son, and two others as defendants.

classifieds 

 

                       

                        

                     ���         

 

                        

                

                                                   

                                                                                                                                              



                                                                                                                   

  

 

Singer Patti LaBelle

drinks prior to the incident, he said King was not inebriated. Following the altercation, King was suspended from West Point for at least a year. Both suits are seeking unspecified damages.

 

 

                                                              

           

                                                      ���       

     

                                           

                                 

                     

                        

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WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011 DEFENDER

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entertainment

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Romeo a man of many talents

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By Kam Williams

orn in New Orleans on Aug. 19, 1989, Percy Romeo Miller Jr., aka Romeo, is an entertainer, actor, entrepreneur and philanthropist. The son of businessman and music mogul Percy “Master P” Miller, he has sold over 10 million records as a multi-platinum music artist. Romeo has also been awarded a Grammy and an American Music Award, and was named one of the Five Sexiest Men in the World in 2010. He’s the CEO of the multi-million dollar record company No Limit Forever, and became the youngest entertainer to top the Billboard charts at the age of 10. A humanitarian and philanthropist, Romeo has dedicated his life to giving back to the communities and helping at-risk youth with his foundation Urban Born. His acting credits include his television show “Romeo!” on Nickelodeon, “The Defenders,” “The Cape,” and he starred in the movie “Honey” with Jessica Alba. Romeo is also majoring in business and film at the University of Southern California. As a freshman, he helped the school’s basketball team make USC history by winning their first PAC 10 championship. Romeo appreciates the importance of education, which is why he remains at USC while pursuing his entertainment and business career opportunities. Here, he talks about recently co-starring in the romantic comedy “Jumping the Broom” and about capturing the hearts of young and old as a contestant on the hit ABC reality series “Dancing with the Stars” this past season. KW: What

interested you in doing Dancing with the Stars, especially after your father fared so poorly on the program during the second season? R: I wanted to do this show to show our future generation not to be afraid to fail. More and more kids are dropping out of high school and letting their dreams slip away because of failure. I felt that this show was the perfect opportunity for me to step outside of my comfort zone and take an unknown journey with my fans. I did “Dancing with the Stars” for the kids and my charity. And FYI, my dad taught me all of my dance moves. KW: Did you have to get in shape for the show, and how challenging did you find learning the choreography? R: Coming straight from playing Division 1 Basketball at USC, I was in terrific shape. But after doing the show, I was in even better shape. My vertical jump went from 39 inches to 42 inches, and my cardio and footwork was better then ever. Being a perfectionist, I made the choreography a lot tougher because I wanted every dance to be perfect. I’m a very fast learner, but becoming a ballroom dancer was definitely the most difficult task in my life yet. I definitely respect dancers a whole lot more now. KW: Tell me a little about the charity you played for. R: People may not know that I’ve gone to regular

school through my whole career. Education has always been the rock in my life, and I think that every kid should have the proper education and that experience. School for me has been like the real world in a bubble. Everything about school and education has built me to be the man that I am today, and I wanted to share that with our future. With UrbanBorn.org I do a lot of “Read to Achieve” events and I go to a lot of underprivileged schools to express the importance of education. The kids are the future and I just want to let them know that somebody cares. KW: Speaking of school, how have you enjoyed USC? R: College is some of the best times a kid can have. You’re able to make mistakes and learn from them without being babied by your parents. USC was the perfect school for me because I was able to be a regular student on campus. KW: Tell me a little about “Jumping the Broom” R: Jumping the Broom is magic in a movie. It’s kind of like watching a real life fairy-tale. This movie will make you laugh, cry, and love. All-star cast, great acting, great movie. KW: What message do you have for young people who believe in instantaneous success without hard work or sacrifice? R: That’s a myth. Anybody who you see that’s successful has a story. You just may not know it. The key to success is hard work. And when it’s your time, you have to make the best of it. KW: What’s the biggest lesson in business that you have learned from your dad? R: If you make 2 million you really made 1 million. If you make 50 million you really made 25 million. KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps? R: Be prepared for the ups and downs, and remember that God will never give you anything you can’t handle. Always stay true to yourself and surround your self with positive people. It’s very simple: hard work pays off and patience is a virtue. Also get your education because no one can ever take that away from you.

what’sup H Adoring fans endure long wait to catch

H Soulful singer Jill Scott tells how

H African-American museum

When fans heard that Beyoncé was going to make a surprise appearance at a Target event in Harlem, many of them waited as long as five hours to see the superstar. Her appearance only lasted about five minutes, but fans felt it was worth the wait. The event, which took place where her latest album “4” is being sold with special added tracks, benefited about 150 dancing kids from various youth groups. While they were on stage, Beyoncé quietly appeared behind them wearing blonde curls and a bright orange dress. One young fan told CBS News, “She just inspired me now to follow my dreams and do what really makes me happy in my heart.” Although Beyoncé didn’t sing or dance, early-rising New Yorkers got to see her perform on “Good Morning America.”

In 2009, singer Jill Scott gave birth to a son, Jett. She said his birth inspired her to lose weight and taking charge of her health became a priority. “There’s a world of discovery in [my son’s] eyes, and I want to be around to enjoy it,” she said. Scott, who has since lost 63 pounds, said her weightloss regimen includes eating three low-fat meals plus two snacks each day. Three times a week, she does 60-minute cardio and strength-training sessions with her trainer. Her routine includes boxing and biking, which she said has made the journey fun and has helped her keep the weight off. She also takes her son on bike rides. Though she is delighted with her weight loss, she still embraces her curves, saying she would “never be a stick figure.”

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture has received a donation of artifacts from “Soul Train,” one of the longest-running nationally syndicated programs in TV history. Items include the neon “Soul Train” sign and the scramble board. According to the Washington Post, the relics will be part of three of the D.C. museum’s exhibitions, “Musical Crossroads,” “Black Popular Culture” and “Make a Way Out of No Way.” The donation came in time to celebrate the show’s 40th anniversary. The show first aired in 1971, and hosted artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to James Brown to the Jackson 5. Lonnie G. Bunch, museum founding director, accepted the donation “on behalf of every teenager like me who tried but failed to dance like the dancers on “Soul Train.’ ”

glimpse of Beyoncé at Harlem event

motherhood helped her lose 63 pounds

receives artifacts from television’s ‘Soul Train’

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DEFENDER | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011

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sports

Astros open

Jimmy Wynn Training Center By Max Edison Defender

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s the Drayton McLane era in Astros baseball prepares to fade into the sunset, there will be many in the media who will evaluate his regime and critique the highs and lows. One high point under McLane’s watch will be the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy, which opened for business last spring in Sylvester Turner Park in Acres Homes. The Academy helps to promote baseball and softball to the urban population. Recently, an awesome amenity was added to the Jimmy Wynn stands proudly outside the new training facility named in his honor .

Current Astros Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence (in jerseys), join Astros All-Star Jimmy Wynn (center) and wife along with Minute Maid President Mike Saint John (far right) and several others in cutting the ribbon.

Academy and named in honor of one of the Astros most loved and enduring legends – the Jimmy Wynn Training Center. The training

center is a 4,300-square foot, $500,000 indoor facility. It is outfitted with batting cages and practice mounds and will be used for a variety of indoor fitness and skills training. The new facility is possible because of the Grand Slam for Youth Baseball (GSFYB) field refurbishment program. Minute Maid, which made a sizable donation to the new facility, and the Houston Astros teamed up in 2002 to create GSFYB, a community outreach program designed to make it easier for boys and girls to play, learn about and experience baseball. The program seeks to foster self-confidence, involvement, teamwork and fun among area children. Wynn, nicknamed the Toy Cannon, played with the Houston franchise for 11 years and was a three-time All-Star. His number

24 was retired by the Astros on June 25, 2005. For the former team slugger the opening of the facility was a major tribute to his career and local legacy. “This is such a special day for me and my family and something I never expected. God has truly blessed me,” Wynn said. “I believe in the power of baseball and in the great life lessons it teaches. The game has given me so much and I am grateful for the opportunities to remain involved. “Being able to work with kids to teach baseball skills while addressing important life issues has given me great joy and I hope has made a difference to others. This facility is a wonderful addition to the Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy and I am touched and honored to be a part of it all.”

Astros president of Baseball Operations, Pam Gardner, expressed the team’s elation over the academy’s newest amenity and namesake. “This beautiful new center is named to honor one of our most beloved alumni, Jimmy Wynn,” Gardner said. “Jimmy travels throughout Houston speaking with parents and youth about how participation in youth baseball can strengthen the mind and body. The Jimmy Wynn Training Center is a fitting tribute to Jimmy’s commitment and dedication to Houston kids and baseball.” Minute Maid President Mike Saint John conveyed his company’s goal in supporting this effort. “A driving force behind Grand Slam for Youth Baseball is to reach as many Houston area youth as possible. We feel constructing the Jimmy Wynn Training Center at the Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy will help meet that goal by providing a first class space for youth to practice and improve their baseball or softball skills and capabilities year round,” Saint John said. Joe Turner, director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, is a proponent of the fitness center and the name it bears. “The new Jimmy Wynn Training Center is a great addition to Sylvester Turner Park and a great asset to the young people who will benefit from it and our park system,” Turner said. “Jimmy Wynn has always been a hero of mine and I am thrilled to know that future baseball fans will learn the great game of baseball at a facility named in his honor.”

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h.s.zone Call Houston ‘Titletown’ Texas

By Darrell K. Ardison Defender It was almost a shutout. Starting exactly one week before Christmas and continuing through the University Interscholastic League’s final event in June, the greater Houston area dominated the Lone Star State’s high school athletic scene like no other school year in recent memory. Underdog Pearland got the ball rolling before 43,321 fans at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Facing No. 1-ranked Euless Trinity in the Class 5A Division I state title game, the Oilers’ overcame early-game jitters against a bigger and faster opponent and rebounded from a 7-0 first-quarter deficit to win a nail biter 28-24. Pearland quarterback Trey Anderson, running back Dustin Garrison, wideout Sam Ukwuachu and a massive offensive line led by center Derek Hoffpauir helped the Oilers keep pace on the massive scoreboard at “Jerry World” with the Euless Trinity juggernaut. Kendall Ehrlich, Juan Trujillo, Dyquan Roberts and Ukwuachu led the Oilers defensively. A key play in the contest came with six minutes, 41 seconds left in the third quarter and Pearland owning a 14-10 advantage. With Anderson appearing to be waiting on signals from the sideline, Hoffpauir snapped the ball and the senior quarterback lofted a 54-yard TD pass to Ukwauchu that gave the Oilers a commanding 21-10 lead. Euless Trinity wasn’t going down without a fight. The Trojans closed to within 28-24 with 6:12 left in the fourth quarter and drove the ball to the Pearland 15-yard line in the final seconds before Pearland forced an incomplete pass on fourth down. Garrison was voted the offensive player of the game after rushing for 121 yards on 28 carries and scoring three touchdowns. The Houston area was held without a state title during basketball season as Hightower, Elsik, La Marque and Beaumont Ozen qualified for the state basketball tournament in the boys and girls’ divisions. North Shore easily won its second consecutive boys Class 5A track and field team championship by amassing 73 points at the state meet to outdistance runnerup Copperas Cove (51).

WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011 DEFENDER

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sportsbriefs Setting the record straight on Seals retirement banquet The Ray Seals Retirement Banquet, set for July 17 at the Houston Marriott Westchase Hotel, is by invitation only. A 46-year veteran of the education and coaching profession, Seals spent the last 23 years as head football coach at Houston Madison High School.

Pitcher Baugh one of five named to Rice Hall of Fame Former Lamar High School standout pitcher Kenny Baugh will be inducted into the Rice University Athletic Hall of Fame during an Oct. 21 ceremony. Baugh was a three-time All-America right-handed pitcher for Rice and compiled a 41-8 record with a 2.72 earned-run average. Five other athletes will join Baugh at the induction ceremony, including Rodrigo Barnes, Bryan Bronson, Candace Leissmeister, Mandy Mularz and Greg Williams. The R Association will also honor Ralph O’Connor with the Honorary R Award and Audrey Ley with the Distinguished R Award. Both were instrumental in the construction and renovation of Rice athletic venues.

State 7-on-7 tournament set for July 14-16 at A&M Brazoswood claims the boys 5A state baseball championship.

Jermaine Authorlee (200), Jaylon Hicks (100) and Devante Davis (triple jump) won their open events and the Mustangs claimed gold medals in the 4X100and 4X200-meter relays. Hicks and Authorlee were joined by Maiketavius Jones and Larry Mcduffey on the relay units to give first-year head coach Garrett Cross a title. The Woodlands advanced to the Class 5A state softball tournament ranked No. 1 in the state and top-ranked nationally by ESPN Rise Magazine. The Lady Highlanders knocked off defending 5A state champion Pearland 6-0 in the state semifinals before taking on Northside O’Connor in the state title game. Before a near-capacity crowd of 1,500 fans at McCombs Field on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, The Woodlands held off O’Connor 7-5 as junior lefthanded pitcher Paige McDuffee struck out the final hitter with the bases loaded. McDuffee was named the championship game’s Most Valuable Player after pitching the distance in both state

tournament games and racking up two hits in the title game while celebrating her 17th birthday. The Houston area championship parade would continue the following week in Round Rock at the boys state high school baseball tournament. Klein and Brazoswood gave the Houston area two of the four berths in the Class 5A state tournament. Lubbock Coronado and Corpus Christi Carroll earned the other two 5A berths. Brazoswood rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the state semifinals against Klein as first baseman William Easter clubbed a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to propel the Buccaneers into the 5A title game with a 4-3 victory. The Bucs didn’t need any theatrics in the championship game against Lubbock Coronado. Brazoswood (34-8) scored three first-inning runs on RBIs from Dalton Perry, Easter and Will Renner to seize control of the game. Renner was 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored in the contest and he was selected championship game Most Valuable Player. Renner’s two-run single in Brazoswood’s five-run fifth inning gave the Bucs an insurmountable 9-3 edge. Brazoswood (34-8) claimed the title with a 10-3 victory in the 5A championship game and finished the season with a 13-game winning streak, including all 12 playoff games. North Shore’s Devante Davis (triple jump) and Jaylon Hicks (100) won gold medals in their specialities.

There will be 128 entries from throughout the Lone Star State converging on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station for the annual 7-on-7 high school football state tournament. Kyle Field will host the event with 64 schools competing in Division I action and 64 schools in the Division II bracket. Houston area schools that will see action include Houston Lamar, Channelview, La Marque, Klein Oak, Montgomery, Langham Creek, Cy Falls, Jersey Village, Manvel, Stratford, Dobie, Cy-Fair, Elkins and Cinco Ranch. Other Houston area schools that will compete include Friendswood, Chavez, Pearland, Klein Collins, Willis, Beaumont West Brook and The Woodlands.

Astros Pence named reserve National League All-Star Major League Baseball announced recently that Astros right-fielder Hunter Pence has been named to the 2011 National League All-Star team as a reserve. For Pence, it is his second All-Star selection, with his first coming in 2009. On both occasions, he was voted onto the team by Major League players and coaches. Pence, who leads the Astros in several offensive categories this season, is hitting .323 in 78 games with 23 doubles, 10 home runs and 57 RBI while posting a .500 slugging pct. He is currently tied for first in the N.L. in doubles, is third in hits (93) and multi-hit games (31), tied for sixth in RBI, fifth in total bases (161), fourth in batting with runners in scoring position (.396) and tied for sixth in outfield assists. His 47 outfield assists since 2008 are tops in the Majors. The 2011 MLB All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. (CT) at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

UH Cougars to honor All-Decade team and fans will vote The University of Houston Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will honor an All-Decade team for the years of 2001-2010 during the upcoming football season. Fans will have the chance to vote for their favorite players during the time period in an online poll at UHCougars.com. The team will be comprised of 25 players, 11 defensive positions, 11 on offense along with a kicker, punter and return specialist. Voting will go for one month beginning July 1 and concluding on Aug. 1. Fifty percent of the votes will come from the Cougar fan nation, with 30 percent determined by a media poll and the remaining 20 from a panel of UH administrators. Fans can vote by logging on to: http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/alldecade-1.html

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DEFENDER | WEEK OF JULY 7 | 2011

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For Event Coverage...visit

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David Mandez, Judson Robinson, III, Doug Guthrie and Gordon Goodman

Dr. Vernus Swisher and Dr. William Harmon

Mr. & Mrs. Winston Watkins, Sr. and Mr. & Mrs. Wrendon Hunt

chag’splace

Gala Co-Chairs Genoria Boykins and Sherman Lewis

Rosalind Moore, Don and Marlena Payne and Debbie Dillard

Dr. William Harmon, Beverly Harmon, Christine Bomsdahl, Ellie Sweeney, Jack Sweeney, Dr. Vernus Swisher

Dr. and Mrs. Winston Watkins, Jr, Ouidell and Wrendon Hunt and Lt. Colonel and Mrs. Willie Hunt

BARRIER BREAKER…….Career and Recovery FORTY-THREE YEARS AND COUNTING……. Resources, Inc. celebrated their 15th annual Barrier The Houston Area Urban League (HAUL) celebrated 43 years of service to this great community by Breaker Awards Luncheon by honoring Ellie and “Changing Lives and Creating Jack Sweeney, publisher and Bright Futures” for thousands president of the Houston Chronicle Join Yvette Chargois of people. During its Equal for their outstanding civic and Events of the Week Opportunity Day Gala, awards were community leadership. Several More photos on defendernetwork.com presented to Fleishman Hillard, of the organization’s “star clients” See Events on KTRK Ch.13’s Crossroads ConocoPhillips Black Employee told their stories of how the with Melanie Lawson Sunday Morning @ 11 a.m. Network, BP America, Occidental organization helped change their Petroleum and Comcast for their lives and put them on the path to outstanding corporate support of the organization. success, including Beverly Webb, Michael Andrews, We salute David L. Mendez, honorary gala chair, Melanie L and Zandria Wine. Dr. Vernus Swisher, Sherman Lewis and Genora Boykins, co-chairs. CEO, and Dr. William Harmon, chairperson of the and Judson Robinson III, president and CEO of board of directors, were all smiles and quite excited to HAUL for a successful event. Congratulations!...... welcome over 400 folks that attended this luncheon.

Star Clients Michael Andrews, Zandria Wine, Melanie Love and Beverly Webb

Ouidell and Wrendon Hunt

Continued success!......... HAPPILY EVER AFTER……..Wilda Ouidell Watkins and Wrendon Perry Hunt were united in marriage at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. The lovely ceremony was performed by Rev. Paul Chovanec and Rev. Eric Hill. Dr. and Mrs. Winston Watkins Jr. and Lt. Colonel and Mrs. Willie Hunt are the proud parents of the couple. An elegant reception was held at the InterContinental Hotel and attended by 300 guests. Wishing you a beautiful future, made up of one happy day after another!....................... KUDOS…….The congregation of Wright Grove Church recently celebrated the 46th anniversary for their pastor, Dr. Leon Ford, and First Lady, Minister Doris Ford. Truly an honor, God bless!.......From Chag’s Place to your place, have a blessed week!

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July 07 2011