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GARY CRUSADER 1-14-2017 .qxp_Sheriff 9/8/07 2007 1/12/17 5:50 AM Page 1

Blacks Must Control Their Own Community

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VOLUME LV NUMBER 38 —SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017

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The night Yes We Can, became Yes We Did

THE PRESIDENT OF the United State Barack Obama is joined on the stage in Chicago by first lady Michelle Obama, their oldest daughter Malia and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. The Obamas and numerous other members of his administration were in Chicago for his farewell address to Americans on January 10, 2016 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. By Dezimon Alicea Back in 2008, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama made a visit to Gary, IN. The venue was the Gary Roosevelt High School. Many people did not know much about the senator from Illinois, but they clamored and screamed from their seats, “Yes, we can; yes, we can!”

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Emerson’s greatness lives on through its students (See story on page 8)

With excitement, the room erupted. The same can be said today in 2017. Eight years have passed, the venue has changed, but the reaction from the crowd is still the same. Individuals clamored to fill seats as President Barack Obama made his final address to the American people. “My fellow Americans,” were the first words to project from the Harvard Law

graduate. Many times, this phrase was met with opposition, but Tuesday night there was something different in his voice. There was a sense of urgency to unite. Different colors and different creeds from all over the nation gathered in the spirit of oneness. Obama’s message— much like it was in ’08—petitioned people to hope again. The sea of people stood and listened intently to

every word that came from his mouth. Emphasis was made on our veterans, race relations, health care, and unemployment. At some points, I did not know if I was attending a rock concert or a presidential address. Throughout his speech, the chant of ‘Four more years!’ roared through the crowd, causing Obama to take a brief (Continued on page 2)

Governor Holcomb Signs Executive Orders Day 1 New Position to Attack Indiana’s Drug Epidemic Hours after taking office, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed 11 executive orders, including one that creates a new position to lead Indiana’s efforts to curb the drug crisis: Indiana’s Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. The executive order makes official one of Governor Holcomb’s priorities outlined last week as part of his Next Level Legislative Agenda—to attack the state’s

drug epidemic. “Since 1999, Indiana has seen a 500 percent increase in drug overdose deaths. This is an epidemic tragically affecting Hoosiers from every walk of life in every part of our state,” Governor Holcomb said. “This new position will provide the urgent and concerted attention required to effectively reduce the impact drug addiction is having on families, individuals and children.”

Governor Holcomb named Jim McClelland as Indiana’s first Executive Director (Continued on page 3)


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The night Yes We Can, became Yes We Did (Continued from page 1) pause. Those chants which rang louder and louder were expressed by Black and white; Muslim and Asian; gay and straight; Christian and Buddhist—all came together as one to express their support of the first African-American president and his administration. Hope was the foundation Obama ran on eight years ago, and hope was the theme of the night. Next to me, I could see hope in the eyes of those watching. Some tears filled their eyes and in others a certain level of pessimism was evident. Not really sure what to expect from the new administration coming in the next few weeks, but Obama held his head high and addressed the skepticism of those who are wondering about the future of our nation. That same hope he made others believe in, he stressed is still pre-

BARACK OBAMA, GESTURES to the thousands of supporters as he delivers a farewell speech that highlighted the goals and accomplishments of his presidency. The theme of his address was hope and at times chants of “four more year” indicated that was the hope for some.

THE NUMBER OF people attending President Obama’s farewell speech in Chicago was not diminished by the unseasonably warm but rainy weather for this time of year. Throughout his speech the crowds were brought to their feet with loud clapping, cheering and often times chanting of various slogans from President Obama’s campaign. sent; it still resides within each of speare play—full of emotion, purpose and driven by passion. us. Thousands packed into the Mc- He didn’t avoid the tough issues Cormick Place to hear Obama. either. Obama faced the critics Celebrities, politicians, support- head-on while reflecting on the ers, and friends were among those work he’d done with his adminiswho attended. One specific per- tration. “The unemployment rate is son Obama acknowledged was his wife, Michelle, who for the past near a ten-year low. The unin25 years has supported him and sured rate has never, ever been lower. Health care costs are rising his endeavors. “Michelle did something spe- at the slowest rate in 50 years,” cial. A new generation sets its said Obama. He pointed out the sights higher because it has you as drastic changes made by his ada role model. You’ve made me ministration without majority A SAD OCASSION made happy by the cheering from the thousands that packed Chicago’s proud. You’ve made the country support. McCormick Place to hear the President’s farewell address. Smiling as he waved to the many proud.” A lot has happened in the past supporters of the Obama Administration is from l-r: Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, At times, the POTUS’ farewell eight years. The iPhone has gradMalia Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and President Barack Obama. speech reminded me of a Shake- uated from the 3G series to the 7. Robert Downey, Jr. has reprised the role of Iron Man four times in theaters, and the once mighty dictator, Fidel Castro, has made his transition to the next life. But, one thing remains: Chants of “Yes, we can!” can still be heard. Obama hats and shirts are still being sold on street corners and the spirit of hope is still spreading strong among the American people. Just like a lot has happened in the past eight years, a lot can happen in the next four to eight years. Before Barack Obama made his final exit from the platform as this nation’s 44th president, he spoke piercing words to AS THE FAMILIES of both the president and the vice president exit the stage in Chicago, the President makes one last wave to the ears of the people who were the thousands of people that came out to hear his farewell speech. The crowds cheered for a while even after they were no longer listening. He reminded us that visible. In order to attend this event many of his supporters had to wait in long lines the Saturday before to obtain a ticket with we should hope, not in a political temperatures only getting as high as 19 degrees. From left to right: Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle party, not in a governmental system, but to hope in one another. Obama, President Barack Obama and his daughter, Malia Obama. 2

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Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

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Democrats Search for the Next Obama By Stacy M. Brown (NNPA Newswire Contributor) She’s a lawyer by trade and an accomplished politician who in November became just the second African-American woman to become a U.S. Senator. He’s considered a favorite to become the next head of the Democratic National Committee. Senator Kamala Harris of California and Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota are among the new movers and shakers of the Democratic Party. But, are they the next Barack Obama? That’s what many Democrats are wondering. Obama’s meteoric rise was first detected in 2004 — four years before stunning the world to become the first Black president. He’d given a powerful keynote at the Democratic National Convention and then went on to win election to the senate later that year. America’s 44th president is now completing his second and final term in the Oval Office and his

Senator Kamala Harris party is in a state of disarray after Hillary Clinton’s disappointing loss to Donald Trump in November. The unexpected and epic loss means that Democrats have four years to come up with the right candidate, someone who might just be African-American or a woman. Harris and Ellison are among the names political watchers have bandied about along with New Jersey’s Corey Booker and even CNN contributor and former

White House aide Van Jones. “Barack Obama will be a hard act to follow,” said Riley H. Rogers, the mayor of Dolton, Illinois, which is just south of the president’s hometown of Chicago. “Everything came into alignment and facilitated Obama’s victory.” Rogers, who was selected as a floor delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., said that Obama is a brilliant and unique individual who came at the right time, but he believes there are others who can ascend to the national stage and become leaders. “There are some bright stars in the Democratic Party such as Senator Napoleon Harris and Congresswoman Robin Kelly,” Rogers said. The 6-foot-3 and 250 pound Harris, a former pro football player and current Illinois state senator, made news recently when he was ambushed by four men as he was delivering a pizza for a franchise that he owns. Harris survived the attack and helped police track down his assailants, who were later linked to a murder. Kelly succeeded Jesse Jackson Jr.

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter honored with ‘Distinguished Hoosier’ award Lake County Prosecutor Bernard A. Carter was among Indiana Governor’s Drug Task Force members honored with Distinguished Hoosier Awards recently by outgoing Governor Mike Pence. The award recognizes Prosecutor Carter among “individuals who give their time and talents out of an abiding sense of responsibility commitment and concern for others.” Said Prosecutor Carter: “I am pleased to be a recipient of this honor. It was a pleasure to serve with this productive group of legal and medical scholars. During our term, we visited and communicated with citizens all over this great state. We as a task force made great recommendations to Governor Pence to battle this significant drug crisis.” Prosecutor Carter holds the distinction as the first elected Black judge in Lake County; the first elected Black Prosecutor in the his-

Bernard Carter tory of both Lake County and the State of Indiana; and the first elected Black President of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council for two

terms. A Gary native, Carter was elected as Prosecuting Attorney in 1994 and continues to hold that position since that time. The Prosecutor’s office represents the State in all criminal cases in the County courts. Responsibilities include screening of cases, representing the State in cases before grand juries, prosecuting cases in all criminal courts in the County, investigating special white collar and economic crimes, advising police and citizens on criminal matters, and performing special services in matters such as child abuse, non-support, worthless check, welfare fraud, gang crimes, and consumer fraud cases. The Governor’s Drug Task Force held its final meeting in early December, 2016 and its work laid the foundation for a permanent Indiana Commission to Combat Drug Abuse.

The Northwest Indiana Ecumenical Committee will host the 48th Annual Ecumenical Service 11 a.m. Monday, Jan 16 at the West Side Leadership Academy, 900 Gerry St. (auditorium). Doors open at 10 a.m. The yearly gathering honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s theme is “The Call to Stand Tall and Serve.” The audience will hear from Congressman Pete Visclosky, Senator Eddie Melton, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and Dr. Cheryl Pruitt. Keynote speaker is Bishop Dale L. Cudjoe, pastor of Christ Temple Church (Holiness) USA. Choirs and winning essayists will also share in the celebration. Rev. Pharis D. Evans is the president; Rev. Dwight Gardner is the General Chairperson. www.garycrusader.com

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

Rep. Keith Ellison as the Illinois lawmaker in the House of Representatives and she’s been mentioned throughout the Chicago area for more than a decade as a potential star. Rogers, a member of the African American Mayors Association, said there’s a need for someone with new ideas and leaders with a vision. “Not just the same ideas of the past,” he said. “The next elected official who captures that energy can be successful, but it won’t be easy.” Several others noted that Corey Booker, who was on the short list for vice president under Clinton before she chose Tim Kaine, has to be considered as a rising star. “There’s Kamala Harris and Senator Corey Booker who has risen to fame because of his youth, fresh ideas and political intellect,” said Jasmine Burney, a Floridabased political consultant and

founder of the online community, “Chicks ‘n Politics.” Burney continued: “Booker possesses the same hope that Obama had when he was first introduced to us during his first DNC speech, which mirrored a speech Booker gave this past summer at the DNC. Booker has proven to have the political stamina needed to take on a seat in the United States Congress when there have only been a total of nine [African-Americans] in that seat in U.S. history,” she said. “Now, there are 10 with the addition of Senator Kamala Harris who is only the second AfricanAmerican woman in United States history to hold that seat,” Burney said. “Harris is paving the way for many minorities to follow as she currently employs the only African-American Legislative Director in the Senate. She’s reaching back as she climbs and training a team around her for a successful term and possibly a move to the next level of leadership.” Much is to be said about rising stars who aren’t already holding an office, Burney noted, adding that Van Jones and Angela Rye both fit that mold. “Both are political commentators and they each lead political firms that focus on an array of issues from technology to environmental justice,” she said. “Their depth on the issues make them a real asset as advisors, cabinet members or even high-profile seats in the future.”

Governor Holcomb Signs . . . (Continued from page 1) for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement. McClelland retired in 2015 as CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, where he spent 41 years working to elevate the lives of Indiana’s most vulnerable populations. As Executive Director for Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement, McClelland will serve as the chairman of Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse, coordinate and direct the drug-related activities of nine Indiana state agencies, and measure results and outcomes of state programs to reduce addiction. McClelland will report directly to Governor Holcomb. In addition to creating this new position, Governor Holcomb has laid out several other goals this legislative session designed to attack the drug epidemic, including giving local communities the authority to establish syringe exchange programs, enhancing prevention

Eric Holcomb with limits on opioid prescriptions, and creating tougher penalties for those who commit pharmacy robberies. Governor Holcomb signed a total of 11 executive orders.

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SPIRITUAL RETARDATION IN AMERICA A big story that has surfaced recently involves four African American youths, ages 18–24, who held a mentally challenged white youth in bondage while they tortured him. The perpetrators are now in custody and will stand trial for the dastardly act. Allegedly, they shouted racial epithets at their captive, and used the name Trump while abusing their victim. Interestingly, the teen was a friend of one of his attackers and was in Chicago visiting him. The young man eventually escaped, and is now recovering from non-life-threatening injuries, but he will undoubtedly suffer psychological damage from the experience. This was a terrible act by any standards of morality. Even though this is a true story, a lot of African Americans can’t help but recall a situation some time ago where white teens invited two Black friends to a gathering and ended up torturing and killing them. Admittedly, there was publicity around the situation, but it seems that the outcry around this most recent event is overkill. Though both acts were egregious, the Black teens SEEM to be getting far more attention than their white counterparts, even though their victim was not killed, as were the Black teens who were victimized by their white friends. The truth of the matter, however, is that two wrongs don’t make a right. We can’t blame every outrageous act on president-elect Donald Trump, but we can acknowledge the fact that his reckless xenophobic rhetoric has helped set the tone for an increasing degeneracy among the American populace. On the other hand, we must also admit the fact that general decency in America has been eroding for quite a few years. Ultimately, the blame for all of the evil mayhem in our country (and our world) boils down to spiritual retardation. This is the real problem! For example, one of the young ladies implicated in the attack on the white youth allegedly went downstairs to her neighbor’s home, who had complained about the noise, and verbally abused the woman and allegedly stole items from her home. That was an example of spiritual retardation! The climate in this country (and around the globe) is increasingly volatile, as shown by the growing numbers of random attacks on citizens in public places. People are stirred up, frustrated, and they are taking it out on those who have nothing to do with their circumstances. We are becoming an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth society. No one wins in that kind of scenario. And the sad fact is that we stand to get further involved in retaliatory behavior, since our incoming political leader, the most powerful man in the free world, advocates the use of that strategy. One of the reasons that people feel emboldened to behave in a manner that is selfish and, actually evil, is because people have been convinced that there will be no repercussions. A great number of people have completely embraced a materialistic outlook on life and refuse to believe that anything else exists; they refuse to believe that you reap what you sow. One of the things exacerbating this situation is the behavior of religious and political leaders who are blatant advocates of materialism. People have been known to complain about leaders who have prosperity as a goal, without connecting the dots between people’s actions and the responsibility that we all have for one another. Whatever affects one group on this planet will affect everyone else, one way or another. Snowballing crime in urban areas causes people to move away, leaving those behind with few resources. Whites who want to rid the world of Blacks and others, are showing deep, deep spiritual retardation, in that it takes all kinds to keep the world productive. A need for diversity is real, and those who do not understand this run the risk of making it bad for everyone. Just ask someone who survived the decimation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the last World War. If something like that should happen again, there will be greater consequences because more nations possess nuclear weapons. Yet, some of the world’s current leaders are still willing to play footsie with the notion of an arms race. Heaven forbid if the spiritually retarded camp wins out. If it does, the biblical admonition of “The fire next time” just might come true. A luta continua. 4

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Trump Labor Secretary Is Evil Dear Editor: CEO Andrew Puzder, Trump's nominee for Labor Secretary, is evil. He treats his Carl's Jr and Hardees fast food workers as slaves – paying poverty wages, never pays for overtime, wants to allow abusive employers to have complete dictatorship over employees. He will not enforce the labor laws of this country. Puzder is a terrible choice for Labor Secretary. Thank you, Joseph Zefran Chicago, Il

The public is owed a full set of answers Dear Editor: I really am not satisfied with how long it is taking the Gary Community School Corporation board and the Illinois Central Bus Co. to give us a full accounting of the school bus crash

last week. While I don’t expect an instant analysis, it does seem like whoever is investigating this incident has had enough time. Thank God no children were on board when the school bus crashed into the house, but that does not absolve the district of explaining to all of us what happened. Hopefully, all parties are taking their time and doing a highly thorough investigation. Even if that is the case, everyone involved should be aware the longer it takes to inform the community, the more it looks like there might be some sort of cover up. I want to give the driver and the district every benefit of the doubt. Even with that mindset, I still can’t help but wonder did the driver suddenly become ill, was he or she drinking, or was it the fault of the driver of the car that crashed into the school bus. As residents and supporters of the district, I think we need to know the identification of the driver and whether any sort of disciplinary action will be taken against him or her. In my opinion, the smart thing to do would have been to send an email or some sort of communication to parents advising us of the incident. Again, I know there was no one on the bus when it crashed into the house on Vermont, but it is an unusual event. All unusual events involving school buildings, school personnel or school equipment need to be made public

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

as soon as possible. That should be a priority with the district administration. I also believe all of us should be concerned about the issue of liability and who pays for damages to the house. Will it be the bus company or the school district? Because we live in a time when people are so eager to sue, even if (Continued on page 15)

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GARY CRUSADER 1-14-2017 .qxp_Sheriff 9/8/07 2007 1/12/17 5:50 AM Page 5

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following column is a gossip column. We ask that items contained herein be judged by individuals that read it as such and not as documented facts gathered by the news-gathering personnel of this publication. STILL TRYING TO BUST A MOVE Word reached Nosey about a fallout from last week’s City Council Meeting that there was a shouting match led by 6th district councilperson LaVetta Sparks-

hopes of having the finance posi- ernor-elect Eric Holcomb will portion restored to her. tend. Hopefully, he will show himself to be a governor for all of Indiana, -Noseywhich includes Northwest Indiana. Right now we don’t know anything A HEALTH SITUATION about him—Not A Thing. It’s like he just showed up and people voted for Nosey hears that St. Anthony him. When Trump put Pence on the Hospital has been looking at ac- ticket, Nosey hopes Holcomb’s role quiring Methodist Hospitals. Also, expanded from Lt. Governor in name Nosey hears that the majority of only to prepare him for this role. the hospital staff including doctors -Noseyare opposed to St. Anthony’s proposal. While Methodist Hospitals REMEMBERING OTHERS boasts NorthLake and Southlake, ON MLK DAY both are laboring under dire conYet again we find ourselves reditions. They don’t feel that St. covering from a very sad tragedy Anthony will be a good fit for in Gary as we begin to celebrate them. Word is that the Methodist something that is supposed to be Hospitals are engaged in conversa- joyous. MLK’s birthday is overtion with the University of Chicago shadowed by the recent death of Hospitals and several other hospitals. three children. Right now we are Stay tuned. still trying to figure out who did it. -NoseyEvery time we get an opportunity to celebrate we are saddened by an STILL ON HOLD event like this tragedy. We can We are waiting to see what the Gov- never take things for granted be-

is a good thing for Gary. I’m just saying. -NoseyAND THE DRUM MAJOR IS?

Mayor Karen FreemanWilson cause you can be gone in a minute. Ron Brewer, Karen Freeman-Wilson and others have given their condolences but at the end of the day there are three people gone that never got a chance to live. Are we doing all that we can for others? That’s why taking the time to do community service on the same day we remember Dr. King

Does anybody really care who will be named the next Drum Major at the 38th Annual MLK Memorial Breakfast presented by The Gary Frontier Service Club, Inc.? Well apparently a lot of folks do. Nosey heard several members of the Gary Frontiers Service Club have been casually interrogated by some of Gary’s finest about who the person might be. Considering the honor recognizes people for their service to others it’s going to be hard to figure that one out with the current Marchers. Good Luck figuring that one out. They are all great examples of Dr. King’s mandate from which the award was created.

LaVetta Sparks-Wade Wade and her cohorts after an unsuccessful attempt to wrest the presidency from Ron Brewer. Sparks-Wade and her cohorts are now going after Mary Brown in an attempt to get her removed from

Mary Brown the council. In addition, SparksWade was removed from her position as finance chair, a position that has been given back to Mary Brown. Sparks-Wade is very vocal on social media pleading her case to have Brown removed in the

Ron Brewer www.garycrusader.com

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

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Organization receives first B Corp certification in Indiana There is a new designation for a corporation that has more to do with being a good business than it has to do with how a corporation pays its taxes. American College of Education (ACE) was recently certified a B Corp and they are the first and only Certified B Corporation and Benefit Corporation in the state of Indiana. B Corp is a movement to redefine success in business as companies who aren’t just the best in the world, but the best for the world. The corporate structure aligns the best interest of business with those of society to create businesses that are built to last. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 2,000 certified B Corporations across 130 industries in 50 countries working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. “We pursued third-party B Corporation certification and reincorporated as a Benefit Corporation because we wanted to make a public commitment to maintain our ideals and our mission," said Shawntel Landry, Ed.D., provost and interim president of ACE. "We’re dedicated to making smart and innovative decisions with our students’ needs–not our bottom line–in mind. We’ve demonstrated this commitment to our students

About American College of Education

Business as a Force for Good. About B Lab

and alumni since our inception, but we’re making the same commitment to be socially conscious to our employees and local communities as well. It is fundamentally who we are.” Through its commitment to innovation and fiscal responsibility, ACE is leading the way in making higher education accessible, affordable and highly responsive to the needs of working professionals in a modern world. ACE believes that the more educators learn, the more their students learn. ACE has already begun the process of demonstrating its commitment to social responsibility through partnerships with non-profit organizations, which provide services or materials to

educators and schools in their local communities across the country. Through event sponsorships, donation drives, and an office policy allowing employees to wear jeans for a donation, ACE has contributed more than $15,000 in scholarships, donations and sponsorships, a commitment they will more than double in 2017. Due largely to the college’s emphasis on creating efficiency and cost reduction through technology, more than 13,000 educators have received the graduate education they need to be stronger and more empowered educators for their students, most without additional debt from their graduate program.

Founded in the digital age, American College of Education delivers affordable, online graduate degree programs and professional development programs for educators across the U.S. American College of Education is dedicated to the belief that educators should have the opportunity to receive advanced degrees affordably, without having to incur substantial debt. American College of Education offers opportunities for students to earn degrees from a regionally accredited college that expand their knowledge and aid in the acquisition of new skills and methods from a highly credentialed and experienced faculty. Learn more at www.ace.edu. About Certified B Corporations Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. There are more than 1,996 Certified B Corporations from over 130 industries and nearly 50 countries with one unifying goal – to redefine success in business. B Corporations are leaders of the global movement of People Using

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for goodTM. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity. B Lab drives this systemic change by: Building a global community of Certified B CorporationsTM who meet the highest standards of verified, overall social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability; Promoting Mission Alignment using innovative corporate structures like the benefit corporation to align the interests of business with those of society and to help high impact businesses be built to last; Helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors, and institutions Measure What Matters, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact—and the impact of the businesses with whom they work— with as much rigor as their profits; Inspiring millions to join the movement through storytelling by B the Change Media. For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net, www.bimpactassessment.net, www.b-analytics.net and www.benefitcorp.net.

Consumers to receive over $17 million, thanks to CFPB Dodd-Frank Reform Act violations hold credit reporting agencies accountable By Charlene Crowell Millions of consumers who were duped into paying fees for their own credit scores will soon receive more than $17.6 million, thanks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Affected consumers can expect to receive notification letters in the mail. TransUnion and Equifax, two of the nation’s largest credit reporting agencies, sold credit scores, credit reports and credit monitoring services to consumers although the “credit scores” sold were not typically used by lenders to make credit decisions. As a result, what consumers paid to these two firms was of questionable value. As credit scores are often cited as the basis for many consumers of color to either be denied access to credit or be charged higher than average interest rates, it is likely that many will also be eligible for restitution. TransUnion must now provide restitution of $13.9 million to affected consumers, while Equifax’s cost of restitution is $3.8 million. Assessed fines on the violations will 6

add additional costs of $3 million to TransUnion and $2.5 million for Equifax. “TransUnion and Equifax deceived consumers about the usefulness of the credit scores they marketed, and lured consumers into expensive recurring payments with false promises,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Credit scores are central to a consumer’s financial life and people deserve honest and accurate information about them.” Both TransUnion and Equifax are charged with violations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act from 2011 to 2014 and included: • Deceiving consumers about the value of the credit scores they sold; and • Deceiving consumers into enrolling in subscription programs. In its advertising, Equifax falsely claimed that credit scores and credit-related products were free. In the case of TransUnion, the cost was promised to be only $1. What neither made clear to consumers was that unless the ‘service’ was cancelled during its 30-

SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2017

Charlene Crowell day trial period, consumers would be charged a recurring fee – usually $16 or more per month. Additionally, Equifax violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires a credit reporting agency to provide a free credit re-

port once every 12 months and to operate a central source – AnnualCreditReport.com – where consumers can get their report. Until January 2014, consumers getting their report through Equifax first had to view Equifax advertisements – another illegal act. By law, such advertising is allowed after consumers receive their report. Beyond the costs of restitution and fines, CFPB will now hold Equifax and TransUnion accountable for changes in the way they operate. From clearly informing consumers about the nature of the scores they are selling to consumers; to providing simple, easy to understand information on how to cancel the purchase of any credit-related product, and ending billing and collection payments for any recurring charge once a consumer cancels the service. The two final enforcement requirements are probably the most important of all: 1. Before enrolling a consumer in any credit-related product with a negative option feature, TransUnion and Equifax must

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

obtain the consumer’s consent; and 2. Truthfully represent the value or usefulness of products sold. “We applaud the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for taking strong and vigorous actions against TransUnion and Equifax to protect the interests of American consumers,” said National Consumer Law Center staff attorney Chi Wu. “In addition to obtaining tens of millions of dollars in relief for consumers, this consent order will protect consumers from being ripped off in the future over deceptive credit monitoring products and sales practices.” For more information on credit scores, visit CFPB’s web at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/aboutus/blog/what-you-need-know-understanding-why-offers-your-credit-scoreare-not-all-same/. Charlene Crowell is the communications deputy director with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene. crowell@responsiblelending.org. www.garycrusader.com


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Job well done Mr. Obama: You made us proud…and better CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION By Vernon A. Williams Cynics may dismiss it as a coping mechanism, but in many ways, we should be ecstatic to receive “citizen” Barack Hussein Obama back to civilian life instead of melancholy over the end of the greatest presidency in

Vernon A. Williams modern U.S. history. We all knew that it could not last forever. Though we hoped for a better ending, it is what it is. The challenge of the next administration is even more reason to celebrate that Mr. and Mrs. Obama will remain major influencers on the world stage – only now with out the shackles of protocol. So if you shed tears, make them tears of joy; that this nation rose to the moment not just once in 2008 but again in 2012 to set all

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other considerations aside and do what was best for us as a nation, that the term of the first African American leader of the free world embodied compassion, principles and competency. President Obama served longer without a scandal in or around his administration than any of his predecessors - dating back decades; even though he was constantly under the microscope, easily the most closely watched and scrutinized presidency ever. We should never forget that Mr. Obama came into office at one of the most devastating points in American history – beginning with an economy beyond depressed. Couple that with a posse of Republicans whose pledge before he took his first oath of office was to vehemently oppose any measures that Obama proposed – despite the adverse effect on Americans. Never forget that the number one objective of Republican lawmakers unashamedly was to assure that Mr. Obama would be a oneterm Commander in Chief. They failed miserably as he won re-election by a wider margin than his initial conquest. Now let us acknowledge the obvious. Were there actions by the president with which we disagreed? Absolutely. Were we always in agreement with Mr. Obama’s priorities? Not at all. Were there times when we thought he should have been more forceful and less conciliatory? Without a doubt. He is man – consequently, flawed. Given the monumental responsibility the president embraced, his performance was exemplary – light years ahead of those who pre-

President Barack Obama ceded him in the Oval Office. For those persuaded only by the facts, we conclude with just 10 of literally hundreds of accomplishments of the Obama Administration: • Repair of a shattered economy. Created more significant and consistent job growth ever – creating a total of 3.7 million new private sector jobs and signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. • Achieved significant health care reform. After five presidents failed over the past century, successfully implemented universal health insurance in 2010 covering 32 million uninsured Americans, including coverage of pre-existing conditions, mandating experimental measures to cut health care cost

Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

growth. • Led turnaround of the auto industry. Injected $62 billion in federal money to revive the flailing auto industry- resulting in more than 100,000 American jobs. In 2011, the Big Three automakers gained market share for the first time in 20 years. • Boosted fuel efficiency standards. Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025; decreased dependency on foreign oil and helped to drop gas prices at the pumps. • Maintained integrity of Supreme Court. Nominated and obtained confirmation for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic to serve, in 2009; and Elena Kagan, the four woman to serve in 2010 replacing David Souter and John Paul Stevens. • Passed Fair Sentencing Act. Responding to a long-standing inequity in the judicial system, signed legislation in 2011 to reduce sentencing disparity between crack versus powder cocaine possession from 100 to 1 to only 18 to 1. • Expanded Hate Crime protection. Enacted law that broadened existing hate crime protection to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender, or disability in addition to race, color, religion, or national origin. • Payment to Wronged Minor-

ity Farms. Signed 2009 Claims Resolution Act to provide $4.6 billion for Black and Native American farmers who the government cheated out of loans and natural resource royalties in years past. • Flexed U.S. international muscle. Ended the war in Iraq; withdrew significant troops from Afghanistan; toppled Moammar Gaddafi; forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to accept reform; led U.S. capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. • The “X” Factor. There is no way to quantify the difference Mr. Obama has made on the mindset of African Americans. Children from the humblest beginnings can now share the audacity of hope. His incredible spouse Michelle Obama set the bar higher than any ensuing First Lady is likely to ascend. Here in the end, the nation owes the Obamas a debt of gratitude for a job well done. We are all better for it! CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: vernonawilliams@yahoo.com.

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Emerson’s greatness lives on through its students Students running through the halls scattering to their classes before the late bell rings, instruments blasting from the music room. And, voices in the school auditorium could be heard as preparations were being made for the fall review. These were the sounds synonymous with Emerson School of the Visual and Performing Arts here in Gary, IN. But now, the only sounds you hear are those of spray paint cans outside as people come and vandalize the once shining light in the city. Like many other schools in Gary, Emerson was closed due to budget cuts and molding issues. If you ask someone about Emerson VPA, the response you get may vary. Some may say it was a thriving and innovative new school in the Gary community. Back in 1909, when the school first opened it was; it housed an auditorium, gymnasium and even a zoo. One of the first schools of its kind in the nation. Since then, Emerson has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. But, to a young girl born and raised here in Gary, Emerson was much more. “Emerson was a place that opened my eyes to entertainment and dancing,” says Asia Dickens. Asia graduated from the performing

edge to every young person that comes into her doors. But, Asia remembers a time when this was all a dream. As a junior at Emerson, Asia was accepted into an 8-week program at Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City. Upon graduation of high school, Asia saw herself as a resident in New York. By then, the entertainment bug had taken a bite out of Ms. Dickens and she was hooked. She lived in New York for 2 years before returning back home to Gary. Asia will be the first to tell you, this transition wasn’t easy for her. Leaving the “Big Apple” and coming back to her hometown was a humbling experience. Asia began teaching with the South Shore Dance Alliance, and through one of her students she found some encouragement. Briana Robinson, was accepted into the Julliard School of the Arts in New York. This news lit a fire under Asia, and forced her to take the pen out and write the story to her own destiny. Asia landed a job with the Luvabulls, the professional dance team of the Chicago Bulls soon after that. This was the first step in walking towards her dreams. The raw talent in which Asia possessed could not be

ASIA DICKENS GOT her inspiration to dance professionally and to eventually open a dance school in Gary from attending the former Emerson School of the Visual and Performing Arts in Gary, which is now known as the Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy. Photographed above are some of Dickens’ students in her new dance studio, Asia’s Dance Factory, located at 3737 Broadway. space and found herself at the Hud- school, it was a culture. It created an hearsal space. But, beyond that Asia son Campbell Fitness Center in undeniable energy. Now, that same just wants to build greatness in each Gary. Again, she was faced with the culture and energy can be felt at student she comes across. Asia is same problem; she needed more Asia’s dance studio. Students flood changing the culture of this city, one space and wanted to have the flexi- the different rooms practicing dance student at a time. bility to have classes on her terms moves and proper techniques. Asia and times. Thus, Asia moved (on hopes to make her studio a hub in For more information about Asia’s the Northwest Indiana region, Dance Studio and programs, confaith), to her own building. Although Emerson is closed and where any producer or artist who tact 219-670-7916, or online at moved into Wirt High School in needs dancers can find them right www.asiasdancefactory.com. Asia’s Gary, any Emersonian can tell you here in Gary, IN., The studio also studio is located on 3737 Broadway that Emerson was more than a can be used as a multipurpose re- Gary, IN.

Asia Dickens arts school in 2003, and remembers her days there as though they were yesterday. Her strong roots in Gary come from her experiences as a student attending Emerson School. Asia can be found at her new dance studio on Broadway in Gary. She is a teacher of dance, but to the young people she comes across, she is more that an instructor; she is a confidant, mentor and friend. In 2016, Asia attained a building on 3737 Broadway. Here, in this building she is able to pour her wealth of dance knowl8

ignored. Before Facebook and Instagram, there was a nifty social media site called MySpace. It was there, that MTV producers found Asia and asked her to be on the hit show MADE. Asia was also asked to work with national recording artist Ciarra. A traditional 9-5 wasn’t cutting it for Asia, she created Asia’s Dance Factory in 2012. Through this program, she would teach many students the language of dance. Classes were held at Banneker school in Gary. She began to outgrow that

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Ivy Tech Community College honors local student leaders Thirteen students from Ivy Tech Community College’s Northwest region were among those honored recently through the Ivy Tech Student Leadership Academy. A total of 160 students from across the state were recognized at a ceremony Dec. 9 at the Conrad Hotel in Indianapolis. The Ivy Tech Student Leadership Academy is a leadership development program designed specifically for Ivy Tech students. SLA provides students with an opportunity to further develop their leadership and professional development skills, while learning more about the history and traditions of the college. This statewide program has a standard structure and curriculum that is offered to students through the region in which they are enrolled. “The Student Leadership Academy is a unique program in the sense that select students from across the state receive a shared leadership experience,” Uzoma Obidike, director of Student Life, Development and Leadership, said. “Every SLA student brings value to the program and they all learn from each other. The academy continues to receive more applications each year, which shows that

ley Brooks, Julie Burton, Mitchell Chmielewski, Kelly Davidson, Tamara Golden, Crystal Grasso, Christine Madrigal, Miguel Molina, Kyle Sanchez, Christina Sears, Jacob Williams and Annastesia Workman. Each SLA graduate received a specially designed medallion that they will be permitted to wear during commencement. In addition, they will receive a scholarship for a threecredit-hour course that can be used

KHEF Board Member to keynote MLK event in Ohio

DONTAE HAMPTON, WHO is studying accounting, was one of 14 Ivy Tech Northeast students to participate in the statewide Ivy Tech Student Leadership Academy leadership development program. Ivy Tech students are invested in their leadership development.” The students were chosen through a competitive application process, with more than 600 students applying. Students from each region were

Lake Ridge Head Start earns National NAEYC Accreditation Program recognized among the top in the nation by earning accreditation Lake Ridge Head Start located in Calumet Township has earned accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) – the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children. NAEYC Accreditation is a rigorous and transformative quality-improvement system that uses a set of 10 research-based standards to collaborate with early education programs to recognize and drive quality-improvement in high-quality early learning environments. “We're proud to have earned the mark of quality with commendation in all 10 areas from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards," said Sandi Sweeney, Director. Lake Ridge Head Start's mission, "Teaching Children and Serving Families" is supported by Lake Ridge Schools’ vision of a Pre-K-12 school system. Sweeney added, “Our students participate in project-based learning, which is a part of the Lake Ridge Schools New Tech Model.” Sweeney further commented that the dedication of Educational and Family Support staff to meet the students and famiwww.garycrusader.com

during the spring semester. The goals of the program are to: • Develop students’ leadership skills; • Develop students’ professional development skills; • Develop future student and alumni leaders; • Enhance retention of students from fall to spring semester; and • Increase participants’ pride in the college.

chosen to participate in the co-curricular program, which runs either five or 10 weeks, depending on the region. The students were honored at a luncheon, where they were addressed by Ivy Tech President Dr. Sue Ellspermann. In addition, Sam Centellas, the executive director of La Casa de Amistad from South Bend, provided the keynote address. Area students honored at the event were Nibal Abdelsalam, Ha-

lies' individual needs is what makes the program so successful in its efforts to serve the community. To earn NAEYC Accreditation, Lake Ridge Head Start staff went through an extensive self study and quality-improvement process, followed by an on-site visit by NAEYC Assessors to verify and ensure that the program met each of the ten program standards, and hundreds of corresponding individual criteria. NAEYC-accredited programs are always prepared for unannounced quality-assurance visits during their accreditation term, which lasts for five years. In the 30 years since NAEYC Accreditation was established, it has become a widely recognized sign of high-quality early childhood education. More than 7,000 programs are currently accredited by NAEYCless than 10 percent of all childcare centers, preschools, and kindergartens nationally achieve this recognition. "NAEYC-Accredited programs bring our definitions of excellence for early childhood education to life each day," said Kristen Johnson, senior director of Early Learning Program Accreditation at NAEYC. "Earning NAEYC Accreditation makes Lake Ridge Head Start an exemplar of good practice for families and the entire community." Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

Attorney Barbara A. BollingWilliams, Katie Hall Educational Foundation Board Member and Indiana State President, NAACP will deliver the keynote address on behalf of Chairman and CEO Junifer Hall, JD, MPA, MBA at the “Annual MLK Unity Walk and Program” scheduled for Sunday, January 15, 2017, at 3 p.m. The event is being sponsored by the Black Heritage Library and Multicultural Center in Findlay, Ohio. The Katie Hall Educational Foundation and millions of Americans will celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law Observance on Monday, January 16, 2017, in honor of the civil rights leader’s 88th birthday. Former United States Representative Katie Hall of Gary, Indiana successfully authored and sponsored legislation (H.R. 3706) to observe the birthday of

Barbara A. Bolling-Williams Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday of January. The legislation was signed into federal law by Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America on November 2, 1983; and the first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday Law Observance occurred in January 1986. For more information on the “Annual MLK Unity Walk and Program,” please contact katiehallfoundation@aol.com.

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A Moment to Super Size Your Thinking By Effie Rolfe

destruction. An attempt to hold you back is a direct affront to creation, more importantly, to the Creator. Whatever God has created to come forth through you, must come forth. Never ever conform to fear or selfwill. God’s will is first and foremost. Always. I once heard on the Oprah Winfrey Show that by the time women in Kuwait reach the age of 30 they each have mansions. This is a rich example of the Christian’s life. Deuteronomy 28 states, “We are the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrower, above only and not beneath.” Unfortunately, most of what Christians possess is borrowed. We wear borrowed clothes, sleep in borrowed beds, live in borrowed homes, drive borrowed cars, use borrowed computers, as well as borrow more money

to eat out, vacation, or to pay the bills for the things that are already borrowed. I know that this may sound redundant, but anything that you don’t own is borrowed. We are really slaves to our creditors, whereas, the Bible clearly states to “owe no man nothing but brotherly love.” Pro-verbs 22 states, “…the borrower is servant to the lender.” I remember words in a song by Keith Pringle that asked the following question: Why should I be bound when Christ has set me free? The choice is yours. You don’t have to be bound! You can be free! Don’t leave your life to chance, use up what God has given you—your life depends on it. Imagine freedom, implement your plan and make 2017 the year of more than you have ever imagined.

Lake County Lutherans try again to open new school

What can you imagine? Imagine that.

Imagine 2017 It Can Be Yours! You have your own imagination. Use it to visualize your dreams, desires and God given potential. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is greater than knowledge!” This concept is proven over and over again. To me imagination is being alive and one of the most precious gifts given to man. Imaging without imagination? No way! All that you see begins with imagination. Look at yourself. It was through God’s imagination that we were beautifully formed in His very own image (Psalm 139:14). Imagination literally means to form into purpose or squeeze into shape. God squeezed us into shape for His good pleasure. You are undoubtedly a purposeful

New pastor charged with promoting the school After a disappointing enrollment in 2016, leaders of an initiative to open a new Lutheran School in Gary have postponed that opening to August 2017. The Rev. Richard Boshoven, pastor of Trinity Memorial Lutheran Church in Merrillville and counselor to the Gary Circuit of Lutheran Churches says, “This year, the Lutheran School Corporation is working to achieve a 25 student registration for its kindergarten class and another 25 students for the first grade.” From the fire sale of Hope Lutheran Church in Cedar Lake, Lake County pastors have released over $182,000 to form the Ascension Lutheran School in Gary. This will be the first Lutheran School in Gary since the Gary Lutheran School closed in the mid-1970's. Boshoven added that the new school will start with kindergarten and first grade, and will add additional grade levels beginning in 2018. Dr. Jon Mielke, superintendent of Lutheran Schools in the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in Fort Wayne, says, “We have been planning this project for nearly five years and it is exciting for the planners to finally see the school initiative come to fruition.” The Rev. John Albers, who served for a time as pastor of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church in Gary and is now president of the new school corporation, says, “Last year, the school corporation focused on how to create and organize a strong and successful school. This year, we are focusing on how Ascension Lutheran School can help build a great and successful community.” The new school will be hosted by Our Saviour's Church, 1150 West 49th Avenue at Pierce Street, which 10

part of the Master’s plan. Amen, somebody! Let’s talk Bill Gates. He makes an estimated $385,000 a second, which is equal to 23 million dollars a day. Can you imagine that amount of wealth? Maybe, maybe not… After all, your imagination is undeniably your imagination. “…and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Genesis 11: 6) Your destiny is not dependent on what people say or think. God’s plan and purpose concerning your life is specific and individually tailored for you only. (Jer. 29:11). Therefore, any attempts to sabotage or undermine you will boomerang. The Bible refers to this ungodly act as heaping coals of fire upon oneself. Clearly, sabotage at the core is self-

was once the building that was home to the former Gary Lutheran School. That school closed in 1976. Mielke adds, “The idea of bringing a new school to Gary was based on a need to bring a high quality Christian education to that community.” He also says that the new school is unanimously encouraged and sup-

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Effie Rolfe

ported by all Lake County area Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod congregations. Named Ascension Lutheran School, the proposed new Gary institution has received significant boosts and accolades on several fronts. First, it has recognition and accreditation from the National Lutheran Schools,

which arguably has a tougher standard of education excellence than does the Indiana State accreditation. It is also recognized as an Indiana Choice school, which allows parents to use state funds for the education of their children in parochial and private schools. (Continued on page 15)

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© Effie Rolfe is an Author of “Supersize Your Thinking,” Media Personality and Motivational Speaker. You can contact her on twitter.com/ effiedrolfe. Listen to her show daily on urbanpraiseradio.org (2015 Stellar Award Winner for Best Internet Radio Station).

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Future Teachers Flock to New State Scholarship More than 600 Hoosier students have applied for a new college scholarship that pays up to $7,500 annually for 200 individuals who commit to teaching in Indiana for five years after graduation. Authored by House Speaker Brian Bosma, the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship was established with bipartisan support from the 2016 Indiana General Assembly. “We’re encouraged by the overwhelming positive response from aspiring teachers who want to make a difference in Indiana classrooms,” Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said. “The Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship creates an important opportunity to bring more of our best and brightest students into the teaching profession.” A total of 643 students applied for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship with applications coming from 273 high schools in 84 of the state’s 92 counties. About two-thirds of applicants were Indiana high school seniors with the remainder comprised of current college students. “Today’s news is promising as it reflects the interest and excitement of those students looking for a rewarding career in education,” Bosma said. “This also marks a great first step to-

ward our goal of having more of our top-performing students teach in Hoosier classrooms, and I’m thankful for the work of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education to implement and promote this opportunity.” To qualify for the scholarship, students must either graduate in the highest 20 percent of their high school class or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT. To continue earning the scholarship

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (Continued from page 4) the district isn’t liable, we should not be surprised if the homeowner sues the district. That certainly is a bill the district can’t afford if it is somehow found at fault. A lot of us are probably saying the district just can’t catch a break, school closings, financial issues, and now this. Sarah Rogers

Bus company gets it wrong Dear Editor: The idea to make Gary bus stops works of art is about the most dull-witted thing I have heard in ages. Sure, as they stand now the bus shelters are very blah, but putting up artwork is not going to help. The Gary Public Transportation Corp. and the Legacy Foundation in case you haven't heard, are teaming up to offer $1,000 prizes to artists who come up with designs for shelters. The artwork is supposed to reflect the neighborhood where each shelter is located. Before the transportation corp. goes fancy-shmancy, it needs to www.garycrusader.com

in college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 credit hours per year. Next Steps The 200 Next Generation Hoosier

Educators Scholarship recipients will be selected through a competitive process based on academic achievement, a teacher nomination and an in-person interview. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education will review applications and select fi-

nalists by January 31, 2017. Finalists will be interviewed at eight regional sites across the state. Students selected to receive the scholarship will be notified by April 15, 2017. Learn more at LearnMoreIndiana.org/NextTeac.

Lake County Lutherans try again... (Continued from page 10) The Rev. Delwyn Campbell was installed as pastor of the historic St. John's Lutheran Church at 10th Avenue and Taft Street in the Tolleston area of Gary on, January 8. Pastor Campbell is the mission develop-

ment director for the Indiana District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Pastor Campbell will also assume the role of pastor at St. John's and a promoter of the new school. Albers says, “The Gary area already has a lot of successful pre-school pro-

grams and Ascension is opening so these students can matriculate into a new level of high-quality education.” For additional information and student enrollment, call Dr. Susan Zientara, principal at Ascension Lutheran School, at 219-887-5031.

look at replacing the broken plexiglass at some of the shelters, as well as leaky roofs, and realigning some of them so they don’t tilt to one side, It would be great if the areas in front of all of them were kept free of debris. The artwork probably sounded like a good idea at the time, but it amounts to the proverbial lipstick on a pig, Many of them will still be raggedy shelters no matter what kind of artwork goes on them. If it isn’t going to make the buses run more efficiently, or keep them clean and comfortable, then it isn’t any help especially, artwork at the place you have to wait for the bus. Sure, for the first couple of weeks the murals or whatever goes up on the shelters will get a lot of oohs and awws, but after that, crickets. The same people will be at the same stops everyday. Not too long after the artwork goes up, those passengers will barely notice it. Any money spent by the transportation corporation should be spent on improved ridership. This piece-meal approach of adding art really isn’t needed. We need real improvements, not baubles. Tony Rust Blacks Must control their own coMMunity

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