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See page 8.

La. Grammy party, page 3

Missing Teen with son, page 5

DrumRoll, page 7

Grants available for Black businesses, page 11

DrumLine, page 12

Wealth Watchers, page 14



ISSN 1937-2019 Published bi-monthly in Baton Rouge EDDIE PONDS, Publisher CARRIE PONDS, Assistant Publisher LESLIE D. ROSE, Assistant Managing Editor CAMERON JAMES, City News Manager Graphic Designers Traneshia Jones Ezekiel Wright Photographers Yusef Davis Belinda Stansbury Reporters and Contributing Writers ZENOBIA REED CANDACEJ.SEMIEN CRYSTAL JENKINS LINDA JOHNSON KIARA LEWIS CRYSTAL BROWN KAMEKO THOMAS


News deadline: Mondays at 6pm The opinions found in the DrumCall section reflect the ideas of the writer and are not endorsed by the editors or publishers of THE DRUM. Submissions to THE DRUM may be edited for space and clarity and are published at the discretion of the editorial staff. Phone: (225) 927-3717 Email: Facebook: TheDrumNews Member of New American Media, Louisiana Black Publishers Association, National Newspaper Publishers Association, The Jozef Syndicate, and the Louisiana Press Association

The Drum Newspaper is distributed, in part, to locations in Baton Rouge through Runner’s Courier Services. © 2014 Ponds Enterprises LLC

Drum Tweets Thank you for following our tweets: @RenaissanceBR @KarenJeanHood @bjeansonne @mznetworker @ScorpioInc Follow @thedrumnews on Twitter and /thedrumnews on Facebook.

JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014

EVENTS Computer Training Mirror of Grace Outreach 921 N. Lobdell Blvd., Suite E All classes start at 6pm Power Point - Wednesday, February 12 Excel (Part 1) - Tuesday -February 18 Excel (Part 2) - Wednesday -February 19 Web Design - Monday - February 24 Pre-registration is required. Contact: (225) 300-4528. Free.

ronmental Issues. Free. ONLINE:

Meet Mrs. Rosa Parks Saturday, February 15, 2pm West Baton Rouge Museum 845 N. Jefferson Avenue, Port Allen In this moving performance about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, audience members will watch as onlookers as a bus rolls by, while some audience members will become active participants riding on the wheels of change as the bus driver or as passengers sitting alongside “the mother of the Civil Rights Movement,” Mrs. Rosa Parks, who ignited the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Contact: (225) 336-2422 Online:

The Gathering of Writers and Readers Feb. 22, 8:30am Hemingbough 10101 Hwy. 965, Saint Francisville Invited writers include Wiley Cash (author of New York Times bestseller, A Land More Kind Than Home and the forthcoming, This Dark Road to Mercy); Anne Butler (Local Saint Francisville author and historian); Rheta Grimsley Johnson (nationally syndicated columnist and author); and Julie Kane (former Poet Laureate of Louisiana). Ernest Gaines, nationally known author from New Roads, Louisiana and a recent National

Together Louisiana: 2014 Statewide Issues Conference Saturday, February 15, 10am Shiloh Baptist Church 85 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive A statewide gathering of faith and community from across our state for analysis and education on key that will be dealt with in the 2014 legislative session. Civic Academies” Covering: Payday Lending in Louisiana, The State Budget (and its tax giveaways),Crime& Mass Incarceration in Louisiana Healthcare, the Uninsured & Medicaid Expansion, Higher Ed / K - 12 Education Funding Work, Wages & Economic Inequality in Louisiana and Wetlands & Envi-

Louisiana Photography Society Meeting Thursday February 20, 7pm Baton Rouge Garden Center Located within Independence Park at 800 Independence Blvd All photo enthusiasts are invited to come out and learn tips to better their photography skills. Free.

Medal of Arts winner, will be present. Ticket price includes refreshments, individual presentations by the authors, moderated panel discussions, book signings, a luncheon featuring regional cuisine, and a dessert buffet featuring local cooks’ favorite recipes. Select books by participating authors will be available for sale throughout the day. Tickets: $35 Zulu Coronation Ball Friday, February 28, 6pm The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center 900 Convention Center Blvd. New Orleans Crowning of King Garren Mims Sr and Queen Georgette Mims. Grammy Award Winner Patti LaBelle will be the featured entertainer along with performances by Rebirth Brass Band, Irvin Mayfield, Mint Condition, DJ Jubilees, and Captain Charles & Friends. In honor of the late Nelson Mandela, the official 2014 Zulu Parade Theme will be “Zulu Salutes Nelson Mandela”.



NATIONAL Stuffing teen’s Lt. Gov. Dardenne brings party to the Grammys body deemed ok

Faith Ford, second from left, and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, second from right, with the Hot 8 Brass Band and Wild Magnolias Mardi Gras Indians.Photo by Collin Young-Wolff The Life & Times Of...The Hot 8 Brass Band is up for a Grammy in the best regional root music album category, competing with Richard’s Le Fou and Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience’s Dockside Sessions. Simien also was scheduled to perform but his Los Angeles arrival was delayed by weather. Other Louisiana artists nominated this year are Allen

Toussaint, Hunter Hayes, Terence Blanchard, Bishop Paul S. Morton, Bobby Rush and PJ Morton. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne gave an audio-visual presentation tracing Louisiana’s history of musical luminaries and influences. Louisiana has sent a nominee to the Grammy Awards every year since 1960 and at least nine annually since 2000, he said afterward.

Nearly half Black men arrested by age 23 Nearly 50 percent of Black men and 40 percent of white men are arrested at least once on non-trafficrelated crimes by the time they turn 23, according to a new study published in the January 2104 issue of the journal “Crime & Delinquency”. The peer-reviewed estimates didn’t rely on arrest records but instead on an annual federal Bureau

of Labor Statistics survey of about 7,000 young people who answered questions each year from 1997 to 2008 on a range of issues

— including if they had ever been taken into custody for something other than a traffic offense. Self-reported crimes ranged from underage drinking to violent assaults. The authors found that by age 18, 30 percent of Black men, 26 percent of Hispanic men and 22 percent of white men have been arrested.

By 23, those numbers climb to 49 percent for Black men, 44 percent for Hispanic men and 38 percent for white men. Among women, 20 percent of Blacks, 18 percent of whites and 16 percent of Hispanics were arrested at least once by age 23.

VALDOSTA, G A .—STATE regulators concluded that a Valdosta, Georgia funeral home broke no laws when it used newspapers to stuff the dead body of 17 year-old Kendrick Johnson. Johnson was found dead last year inside a rolled up gym mat at his school. His family filed a complaint with the Georgia Board of Funeral Service last year after newspaper w a s found in the place of his missing organs w h e n the body was exhumed for a second autopsy. Johnson’s parents, who are fighting to have their son’s death declared a homicide after authorities concluded it was a freak accident, said they were outraged and found the funeral home’s use of newspapers to be disrespectful. Attorneys for the Johnson family released a letter from the board saying it found Harrington Funeral Home broke no state law. However, the board also noted that using newspaper to fill a body cavity is not considered a “best practice” Please see BODY, PG 4


JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014

BODY cont. from page 3 and that other materials are “more acceptable than newspaper,” The Valdosta Daily Times reported. It’s still unclear what happened to Johnson’s internal organs after the GBI autopsy. The GBI has said it returned the organs to the body before sending it to the funeral home. But the funeral home has said the organs were missing when the body arrived. An attorney for Harrington Funeral Home, said its owners were “certainly happy” with regulators’ finding that it did nothing illegal. A $10,000 check offered to anyone with credible information in the death of Kendrick

Johnson was returned last tuesday after a a 90 expiration date. Students at Lowndes High School discovered Johnson’s body Jan. 11, 2013, inside a rolled up gym mat propped against the wall beside the bleachers. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner concluded he died from positional asphyxia, meaning his body was stuck upside down and he was unable to breathe. Sheriff’s investigators concluded Johnson got trapped in the mat while reaching for a gym shoe that had fallen inside.

ExxonMobil to pay $2 million ExxonMobil Ordered to must pay $2.329 million in a settlement ExxonMobil must pay $2.329 million in a settlement, announced by the state’s Dept. of Environ-mental Quality last August and finalized early this month, to address violations from 2008 into 2013 at its greater Baton Rouge facilities. The settlement was DEQ’s biggest with any company last year. But critics question whether the agreement was large enough or even appropriate. Exxon was cited with many infractions at its refinery and resin-finishing and chemical plants in East Baton Rouge Parish and its tank-farm facility in West Baton Rouge. Early this month, DEQ said the settlement was approved following a public review period late last year and was signed by state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell in December. In addition to paying a civil penalty of $300,000 to DEQ, Exxon under the agreement must spend no less than $1 million on Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures or SPCC projects at its Baton Rouge complex and will fund beneficial environmental projects or BEPs totaling $1.029 million. In terms of funding, the top four BEPs approved under the settlement are $400,000 for a Groundwater Reduction Project to trim the company’s groundwater usage; a $250,000 donation to DEQ to improve its Early Warning Organic Chemical Detection System; a $100,000 donation to the East

Baton Rouge Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness/ Local Emergency Planning Committee to implement the ExxonMobil North Baton Rouge Emergency Preparedness Initiative; and a $100,000 donation to Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge for weather proofing and air tightening of homes, especially those next to ExxonMobil facilities. In the settlement, Exxon also agreed to a $50,000 donation to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for groundwater-conservation awareness in East Baton Rouge Parish; a $50,000 donation to DEQ to fund the agency’s Expanded Age Distribution and Vehicle Population Data Project on emissions in Louisiana; a $29,000 donation to the Louisiana Foundation for Excellence in Science, Technology and Education, or LaFESTE, for the Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition; a $25,000 donation to Baton Rouge Green Association Inc.’s NeighborWoods project near the refinery; and $25,000 payment to install a meteorological station at the company’s Baton Rouge refinery complex.



STATE NAACP critical of Tangipahoa failing schools

Police seek community help finding missing teens,16, infant


BY THE DRUM Staff Reports

THE DRUM Publisher

AMITE—BLACK LEADERS ARE highly critical of Tangipahoa Parish School Board in the direction in which the long running law suit against the board and the large amount of tax payer money is being wasted. Community leader and elective official Iram Gordon of Kentwood expressed her feeling to the school board in a recent board meeting for the lack of support for the schools in Kentwood. Former Kentwood High principal Ann Smith who represents that area as a board member disagreed with Gordon Smith said,” I appreciate the board and Mr. Kolwe for what there are doing for the entire parish. The north end has not been left out.” School Board member Brett Duncan agreed with Smith, stating she led the effort to have a new $15 million O.W. Dillon Elementary School built, and millions of dollars for renovations for Kentwood High. Pat Morris president of the Greater Tangipahoa Please see STUDY, PG 5

Fired N.O. teachers win in appeal THE LOUISIANA FOURTH CIRcuit Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that an estimated 7,000 teachers and school employees were wrongfully terminated post Hurricane Katrina. Teachers filed suit against the Orleans Parish School Board and the Louisiana Department of Education after they lost Please see TEACHERS, PG 13

BY THE DRUM Staff Reports

TANGIPAHOA PARISH SHERIFF DANIEL EDWARDS is asking for your assistance in locating three runaway teens. Briannica Foster, 16, and her infant son Jordan Foster, 9 months were last seen on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Briannica Foster ran away from her Tangipahoa home and took Jordon with her. Kiana Robertson, 16, of Independence, and Aquaila Singleton, 16, of Independence, have both been missing since December 2013. Robertson and Singleton are believed to be together in the Baton Rouge area. Singleton is also known as Bird and Aquaila Mosley. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of these teens or the infant is asked to please contact sheriff’s office at (985) 902-2014 attention Detective Suanne Guaraggi.

Audit leads to city cleanup BY LESLIE D. ROSE

THE DRUM Assistant Managing Editor

BAKER—CITY COUNCILWOMan Joyce Burges, District 3, said she doesn’t want citizens of Baker to be overly concerned with what may seem to be broken financially within the city. Her comments came after the city’s 2012-2013 annual audit’s findings caused the Louisiana Legislative Auditor to issue a “disclaimer of an opinion”. A disclaimer of opinion means the financial status Please see STUDY, PG 5


JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014

FAILING cont. from page 5 Parish Branch NAACP (GTPBNAACP) field questions Tangipahoa Parish School Board on the state of schools in Tangipahoa Parish, because those who question what happening say are many times, calls go unanswered and not returned from many at schools and in the administration, she said. We are going to bring heavy, heavy pressure on our Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer. We renew our campaigner for a trained educator as superintendent. We emphasize it is not a race thing, it is about quality education. Our current superintendent cannot provide leadership as an educator. He is not one. This should now be obvious. His leadership is putting the Parish deeper in the hole in the desegregation case and the failure of schools to meet State standards cannot be ignored It is obvious, he does not have a plan and he doesn’t have the slightest clue as to what to do. St. Tammany has “A” rated schools, while Tangipahoa Parish is saturated with “D” and “F” rated schools. The (RSD) Recovery School District is right around the corner. They are taking over schools and turning them over to private charter school corporations from outside the state, removing control from the local school board and from local parents.

RSD is not only giving the schools to these out of state private corporations, it is also giving these private corporations control of the property paid for with local tax dollars. The Parish cannot afford to keep the current superintendent in charge and had better get its local education house in order before it is too late. I promised those asking the questions, I would relay them tonight. Again, it is not personal, but it is about the business of education for all of our children that is at stake now: • Why are our school leaders saying that the Magnet Programs are working, when the majority of their student populations, namely Black students, are failing miserably according to standardized tests, which is the only reliable tool that parents have to hold schools accountable? • Is Mark Kolwe gong to treat Catherine Leblanc and Maureen Terese the same way he treated Marquita Jackson when

Affordable Healthcare Act classes offered considering the drastic declines performance? • Would we say that the “schools are great, and are working” if they were majority white and were failing (White kids in overwhelming numbers scoring below-proficient on standardized tests? • Do not kids need to score a certain mark on the “standardized” ACT Exam to be eligible to attend a university in good standing? • Do not we want Black kids to be able to score well on standardized exams so that they can go to college? Ladies and gentlemen of the Board, the GTPB NAACP feels that these are legitimate questions that deserve answers, and should no longer be ignored. This is not about personal agendas, nor vendettas. It is about the future of every child in this school system. We can do better. We MUST do better.

SEVEN EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS ABOUT the Affordable Care Act at East Baton Rouge Parish libraries through March. The Affordable Care Act 101 program will offer oneon-one assistance from specially trained federal navigators and certified application counselors who will help local residents evaluate the available health insurance coverage that is available through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. There will be an educational video and a presentation on the Affordable Care Act, followed by a question-andanswer session. The ACA navigators and certified application counselors will provide private assistance to individuals to help them understand the health insurance options and to determine the best plan. February classes are Thursday, Feb. 13, 6, at the Zachary Branch Library, 1900 Church Street; Thursday, Feb. 27, 6pmat the Delmont Gardens Branch Library, 3351 Lorraine Street.

Discover great vacation ideas in your own backyard. Learn what Louisiana has to offer and Pick Your Passion at ©2014 The Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism



DRUMROLL To be included in the DRUMROLL section, submit your accomplishment and photo to Make sure your full name and details of your accomplishment are provided along with a contact phone number. Photos should be sent as .jpeg or .tiff 300dpi files.

The day before the live broadcast of the Grammy Awards, the late Clifton Chenier, Louisiana’s zydeco king, was presented a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Mike Vital and C.J. Chenier accepted the award Saturday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles during the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees Reception. Imprint Counseling Services LLC, located at 204 E. Charles Street, in Hammond, celebrated their Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting with the Hammond Chamber of Commerce On January 24. Imprint provides counseling and mental health services to the greater Hammond community. Jolyn Patton Schexnydre is the owner. ONLINE:

ESPN, the world leader in sports and sports and sports entertainment, needed a band that would complete ESPN The Magazine’s music issue the editors reached out the Grambling State University’s marching band to make the issue complete. One week before December graduation, ESPN requested ten band members to travel to New Orleans on Dec. 23 for a turnaround photo shoot at Tipitina’s. ESPN provided band members and two faculty with a tour bus for the trip. The issue hits the stands Feb. 3. ONLINE: The Rev. Calvin Kimble, of Shreveport, has been appointed the first Black chaplain for the Louisiana State Troopers, Troop G. Kimble is pastor of Lone Star Baptist Church and

has served as chaplain for the Shreveport Police Department for 14 years. Terrance Osborne, 37, of New Orleans, recently unveiled his second official Zulu Poster. Osborne is known for his official NBA Hornets poster and New Orleans Nike Air Force 1 poster. ONLINE:

Pageant judges were Janae Boothe, former Ms. Louisiana, and area leaders Evelyn Bickham, Monica Bertrand, Helen Toliver, and Isaiah Marshall.

Dashira Raby, Amirah Montgomery, and Jacquell Hoyt were crowned queens during the 19th annual Miss Banks Holiday Pagent last month. Raby, is Ms. Banks, Montgomery, is Ms. Banks Jr, and Hoyt, is Little Ms. Banks. The girls were scored on: sportswear, dress wear, and their response to the essay topic “What I like about my neighborhood” and “what I would like to do to make a change.”

Shreveport City Court Judge Sheva M. Sims recently received the Crystal Gavel Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association in recognition for her volunteerism. Sims was also recognized for her monthly Know Your Rights seminar, her support to various HIV/AIDS organizations,

and tutoring students in math at the Shreveport Job Corps Center. Willie C. White III, CEO of the David Raines Community Health Center, was honored with the Eric B Taylor Leadership Award during the 30th annual continuing education conference of the Louisiana Primary Care Association.


JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014

Who to Watch in 2014

Louisiana is home for many talented, intellectual, cultured, and politically savvy people. The staff and publisher of The Drum Newspaper have identified nine people to watch in the new year. We introduce them to you here and encourage you to follow them along with us as we report on how they impact Ponchatoula, Baton Rouge, and the state. These are leaders in entertainment, business, education, and public policy—watch them.

JOYCE C. BURGES, 55 Baker City Council President Hometown: Baker, Louisiana Life Motto: “Treat people the way you would like them to treat you.” Business Motto: “The customer is always right” and “Execute, Execute, Execute” 2013 Accomplishments: Served with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. I had a chance to showcase my book, “Would Someone Please Teach me How to Teach My Child.” My husband and I were recognized by the Exodus Mandate and Frontline Ministries and presented with the Robert Dreyfus Award, an award given annually to people who exemplify high services to humanity in this country. Personal Resolution for 2014: To continue to pursue excellent health including a 4-day exercise plan, a regiment of eating 80% raw foods, and drinking 72-80 ounces of water every day. I feel amazing and have more energy. What to expect in 2014: Efforts to set up K-4 and K-5 learning centers for our children in Baker; fundraising projects to honor young adults for their hard work in school with the Academics List of Excellence in Education Book Scholarship Fund; create a Food Bank for families, form positive partnership with area cities; discussions that lead to the formation of a Youth Center. Business resolution for 2014: To continue to honor God by serving my family and the citizens of District 3, children, churches, etc. in a way that makes all of them proud to know me. Everything in my life that’s valuable I want to share with others. I am so thrilled to know that God has chosen me to do His work….serving people and loving them unconditionally. What are you reading: Who was Rosa Parks by Yona Zeldis McDonough and The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff McKinny What are you listening to: Marian Anderson’s Deep River; The Commodores’ “Zoom”; and The Measure of a Man (audiobook) by Sidney Poitier.

Read their entire profiles

JOHN G. DANIEL, 56 Executive director Boys Hope Girls Hope Baton Rouge and President/founder JGD Productions and Daniel Karate Group Hometown: Philadelphia, PA 2013 Accomplishments: Executive Director, Boys Hope Girls Hope, John G.Daniel Productions--Opening A Black History Time Capsule with Tony Brown, Unity Day/Daniel Karate Group Events e.g. Unity Day ExxonMobil YMCA 2013, The Advocate Video, “John Daniel, A Sensei, Teaching with A Purpose” What to expect in 2014: Residential girls service, Boys Hope Girls Hope, one-hour documentary on the elements of life success; Unity Day; and Daniel Karate Group expansion to Los Angeles and Philadelphia Personal Resolution for 2014: Keep moving forward! Business resolution for 2014: Reach out to more youth and families Life/business motto: Struggle, Perseverance, Character and Hope What are you listening to? Marvin Gaye’s ”What’s Going On”, “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now”, and McFadden & Whitehead What are you reading? The Book of Five Rings/ Go Rin No Sho, by Miyamoto Musashi

CIERRA FOGAN, 16 Ms. Banks, 10th grade student at Madison Prep Academy Hometown : Baton Rouge Personal Motto: “Dream big. Go far” 2013 Accomplishment: Passed EOC test and Deans List 3.0 honor roll and selected represent my community as Ms. Banks Resolution: Finish this year with 3.5GPA What are you reading: Something like Hope, by Shawn goodman What are you listening to: K. Michelle’s “Can’t Raise a Man”


DAVID A. GRAY, 25 State policy fellow and policy analyst at the Louisiana Budget Project Hometown: New Orleans 2013Accomplishments: Coordinated the Louisiana Coalition for Responsible Lending, which is a group of citizens, faith-based organizations, non-profits and banks that are dedicated to protecting families from predatory payday loans;. produced fact-based research that helped defeat a bill from Gov. Bobby Jindal that would have raised taxes on low and middle-class families; and appointed to the East Baton Rouge Parish Food Access Policy Commission by Mayor-President Kip Holden. What to expect in 2014: Launch of a statewide network of community advocates dedicated to protecting the economic interest of the millennial generation and creation of loan products that offer families’ short-term credit at responsible interest rates and fees. Personal Resolution for 2014: Carve out time each day to grow mentally, physically and spiritually. Business resolution for 2014: Continue to provide sound research and analysis of state fiscal issues to promote economic prosperity, a rising standard of living, and the opportunity for all citizens to reach their highest potential. Life motto: “Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.” -- my late grandmother, Isabella Gasper. What are you listening to? A mix of Israel & New Breed, Gregory Porter, Maxwell, J. Cole, Trombone Shorty, Maze & Frankie Beverley, Luther Vandross, Drake, The Fugees, Nina Simone, and Wale. What are you reading? The Bible, Life Entrepreneurs by Gergen and Vanourek, and 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup; Something Like the Truth blog by Bob Mann, Louisiana Voice blog by Tim Aswell

KEITH RICHARD, 42 Lead Pastor at Elevate Church Hometown: Baton Rouge 2013 Accomplishments: Received MLK Leadership Award What to expect in 2014: Strategizing for the opening of a homeless shelter and resource center Personal resolution for 2014: To be a better vessel to be used for the glory of God Business resolution for 2014: No clichés or catch phrases...Just Action. Life motto: Loving God deeply, makes loving people easy What are you listening to? Jazz What are you reading? Apostolic Fathers by Apostle Burnell Williams and How to Become a Publicity Magnet by Hivilah Malone


MICHAEL MCCLANAHAN, 49 President, NAACP Baton Rouge Branch Hometown: Zwolle 2013 Accomplishments: Became president of the Baton Rouge Branch of the NAACP, took the fight for equality and inclusion for all and especially Blacks to the streets. We marched and file a suit against Turner Industries; supported a suit against City Court; and openly spoke out against discrimination at the State Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. What to expect in 2014: NAACP taking an active role in the educational system and the direction it is headed; taking an active role in the breaking up of the City and annexation of other parts; ensuring the consent decree of the BR police department are fully implemented and shine a spot light on evil and wickedness in and around the Greater Baton Rouge area and hold those accountable who choose to practice and uphold it. Personal resolution for 2014: live healthier; do more evangelizing Life motto: “If I can help someone as I pass this way through word, thought or deed then my living won’t be in vain.”--Dorothy Clay What are you listening to? Richard Smallwood

ERIN R. WHEELER, PH.D., 28 Owner and chief higher education consultant for E_Source Learning Solutions, LLC Hometown: Amite, LA 2013 Accomplishments: Delivering higher education presentations at national conferences across the country. What to expect in 2014: Broader impact of E_Source Learning Solutions on the educational success of students in the tri-parish area. Personal Resolution for 2014: To dream big and ignore the limits. Business resolution for 2014: Collaborate with other emerging businesses to help them reach their goals. Do for others what you want to happen for yourself. Life: “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others strength; mastering yourself is true power.” --Lao Tzu What are you listening to? Electric Lady by Janelle Monae What are you reading? Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg


JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014

WATCH conti. from pg. 9 Louisiana is home for many talented, intellectual, cultured, and politically savvy people. The staff and publisher of The Drum Newspaper have identified ten people to watch in the new year. We introduce them to you here and encourage you to follow them along with us as we report on how they impact Ponchatoula, Baton Rouge, and the state. These are leaders in entertainment, business, education, and public policy—watch them.

TONYA G. ROBERTSON, 42 Executive director , Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge, Inc. Hometown: Baton Rouge 2013 Accomplishments: Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Leadership Awards Inaugural Coretta Scott King Heroine Award; Started new foundation, Fifty Shades of Pink, in honor of my late sister and other breast cancer victims and survivors; led YLA’s new fundraising event “Men are Cooking” and assembled more than 40 men cooks who prepared their signature dishes with wine, revelry, and relevance. What to expect in 2014: My greater is coming! Personal Resolution for 2014: I’m on a journey to my best self..I lost 31 pounds in the last three months of 2013 and as I get healthier physically, I’m seeking the same standard of excellence in all other areas of my life! I have come to truly appreciate the sacred value of life well lived and the secret for me is balance and fortitude..finding time for all the people and things that matter and staying with a goal or commitment until I see it through! There is a standard and for me it is EXCELLENCE! Business resolution for 2014: To refocus, re-energize, reposition, and rededicate myself and The Academy for next level success as we strive to serve more efficiently and profoundly the young people whose lives we touch and whose hands we hold. Our mission work to prepare young African American males for lives of success and substance is being expanded to include others, but not at their expense..the challenge and resolve as we move forward is to find a more excellent way to do all that we’re being called to do. Life motto:“Faith without works is dead” I work and I do it with passion, purpose and a spirit of integrity and excellence What are you listening to: Prince, Jennifer Hudson, Beyonce’, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, upbeat and uptempo gospel ..Donald Lawrence, Yolanda Adams, and Kirk Franklin. What are you reading: Holy Bible, “Toxic Charity” by Robert D. Lupton, The Advocate newspaper, Baton Rouge Business Report, and online publications for foundations and grants

Read their entire profiles

DR. RANI WHITFIELD, 44 Board Certified Family Practice Physician, FAAFP, CAQ in Sports Medicine Organization: On several boards- no specific organization Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA 2013 Accomplishments: Received YMCA Legions Award; discussed the Affordable Care Act on several MSNBC TV, including The Ed Show, Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation; Disrupt with Karen Finney, and Melissa Harris Perry show; featured in the documentary “Soul Food Junkies” by Byron Hurt; served as medical director for the National Association of Free Clinics-Communities Are Responding Everywhere (C.A.R.E.) Clinic in New Orleans where more than 900 individuals without access to affordable, quality healthcare treated by volunteers; released “Get On Tha Bus”, a music project and collaboration with artist Love-N-Pain; featured guest on LPB’s The State We’re In with a monthly segment “Prescription for Health” that addresses health issues and health disparities. What to expect in 2014: Shhhh, it’s a secret, but let’s just say it could be a very good year. Personal resolution for 2014: 2014 will be bigger and better both personally and professionally. However, I don’t place a lot of stock in New Year’s resolutions. I set goals and work towards them. I choose to live by making decisions every single day. I do not wait for the year to end in order to make them. Business resolution for 2014: Better communication and delegating of tasks are at the top of my priority list. With all the changes in medicine lately, it’s fast and furious—organized chaos. In 2014, I need to make sure everyone is on the same page. We’ll do this by ensuring everyone in the practice feels motivated towards the same business goals, participates in setting goals, and takes accountability for their department. Life motto: “All things are possible to him who believes!” What are you listening to: Ian Von’s “Love, Beats, and Guitars”; Dee-1’s “Psalms of David II”; Odissee’s “Tangible Dream”; Taurus Riley’s “Contagious”; and Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” What are you reading: The Three Doctors by Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt; The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander; and Acres of Skin by Allen M. Hornblum



Grants available to small, minority businesses HUNDREDS OF BLACK AND MINORITYowned businesses each year receive such grant funding from various government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Such funds do not have to be repaid, but must be used to either start a new business or enhance an existing one. Others can be used for innovation research. Here are the top small and minority business grant programs available: #1 - The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is a nationwide competition that will award $50,000 in total to six deserving U.S-based entrepreneurs and business owners. Learn more at small_business_grant_contest. html. #2 - The National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) Growth Grants Program allows business owners to apply for a grant useful for financing a particular small business need. Past recipients used their grant for computers, farm equipment, to hire part-time help, marketing materials and more. Learn more at www. national_association_self_employed_nase_business_grants. html. #3 - The Dare to Dream Grant Program encourages students to move through the business creation process by offering business development seminars and up to $10,000 in funding. Learn more at program.html. #4 - The Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition (formally known as the MillerCoors Urban Entrepreneur Series) is an annual competition for minor-

ity business owners sponsored by MillerCoors. Designed to economically empower minority businesses, the program continues to invest in entrepreneurial dreams to empower urban communities. Learn more at opportunities/miller_lite_tap_ the_future_millercoors_urban_ entrepreneur_series.html. #5 - The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several competitive business grant programs, ensuring that the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government's research and development efforts. Learn more at opportunities/sbir_small_business_research_innovation_ grants.html. #6 - The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) organizes various angel investors with the primary objective of supporting minority businesses with mezzanine and second round financing. Learn more at agency_mbda_business_grants. html. #7 - The Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program provides grants to finance the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. The funds can be used for land acquisition, construction, renovation, technical assistance, project planning, and more. Learn more at rbeg_program.html. #8 - The Huggies MomInspired Grant Program awards grants and business resources to moms to further the development of original product ideas and start-

up businesses. Learn more at www. huggies_mom_inspired_grant_ program.html. #9 - The DOT Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is intended to ensure nondiscrimination in the award and administration of DOT-assisted contracts in the Department's highway, transit, airport, and highway safety financial assistance programs. Learn more at www.

dot_disadvantaged_business_enterprise_program.html. #10 - The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provides grant funding to small businesses to engage in biomedical or behavioral research/ development that leads to a potential for commercialization. Learn more at ONLINE:


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TEACHERS cont. from page 5 their jobs post-Katrina and then were not given the first notice new job opportunities that arose once schools began reopening. As a result, all tenured employees who were fired after Katrina will be paid two years’ salary by the Orleans Parish School

Board. Teachers who meet certain criteria will also be paid an additional year’s salary by the state of Louisiana. The ruling, passed down by judges James McKay III, Edwin Lombard, Paul Bonin, Daniel Dysart, and Roland Belsome, said it was fair for

the School Board to reduce the workforce post-Katrina. However, the teachers had a constitutionally protected right to be recalled to work as soon as opportunities arose for them to do so. The School Board was legally required to create a “recall list” of teachers who were available to return

and failed to do this. This list should have been used to rehire teachers and staff to fill any openings over the next two years. The ruling applies to all employees who had tenure on August 29, 2005. That list includes principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, office

administrators, secretaries, social workers, and other support staff. Both the school board and the state can ask the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the ruling. ONLINE:

findings provide an opportunity for the city to rebuild and improve on its financial picture. “We are positioning ourselves, as a city, to clean up the financial damages…this is an opportunity to rebuild and improve our financial statement and financial records,” she said. She continued to say that the process of

rebuilding the city to good financial standings will take some time because the financial deficiencies are grave. Legislative auditor Joy Irwin said she will be

available for comment once her report is published within the next three weeks. ONLINE:

AUDIT cont. from page 5 could not be determined because of an absence of appropriate financial records, according to KJ Henderson of Demand Media. Because Baker is required by the home rule charter to appoint an auditor each fiscal year, the Baker City Council voted last year to hire a new auditor and remove Mary

Sue Stages who served as auditor for nearly 50 years. Members of the council said then that fresh eyes needed to be on the city’s finances. Posterwaite and Netterville Firm was chosen to audit the city’s finances for the 2012-2013 fiscal year end which lead to the disclaimer. Burges said the


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JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014


Remembering the life, legacy of Amiri Baraka ON JANUARY 9, old Baraka not with the passonly for his ing of the prolific bold, invenpoet, playwright, tive and iconoessayist, and clastic literary critic Amiri Bavoice, but also raka, one of the as a couraliterary giants of geous social justice activthe 20th century ist. His ideas was called home. MARC MORIAL and work had As we offer cona powerful dolences to his wife, children and family, impact on both the Black we remember the 79-year- Arts and Civil Rights move-

ments beginning in the 1960s. Baraka was best known for his eclectic writings on race and class. He extended many of the themes and ideals of the 1960s Black Power movement into the realm of art, which he saw as a potent weapon of change; and like many good revolutionary artists, he sometimes went out of his way to offend the status

Small business owners play Superbowl daily THE SUPERBOWL. timeouts to adThe NCAA just your plan Championship for success. Game. The NBA But, just like Championship. a long football The longer we season through live, the more of the SEC gauntan awakening we let, you have to have concerning keep your finour basic human ED GASTON ger on the pulse nature. There is of your busione thing that ness team to be arguably is worse than aware of all areas of weakdeath and taxes. That one ness and so you can adjust thing is the process of los- your business game plan ing. The process of losing for success. gives you a deep dark feelFor individuals who are ing that is exactly opposite just starting and dreamto the joy of winning. ing of playing in the game For all the hardworking of business, resources are small business owners who available that will allow are already in the game, it is you to craft a winning game time for you to assess your plan early on in your purbusiness game plan. Unlike suit. the NCAA Championship As with any championgame, you have more than ship season game, a great Please see GAME, PG 16 four quarters and three

quo. He has been variously described as a beatnik, a Black nationalist and a Marxist. But he was first and foremost a writer and social commentator of uncommon skill and insight. His 1963 masterpiece, “Blues People,” which explored the historical roots and sociological significance of the blues and jazz, has become a classic that is still taught in college

classrooms today. Almost every Black and progressive writer and thinker of the 20th century shared a kinship, friendship or feud with Baraka. But, undergirding everything he wrote and stood for was his desire to lift up the downtrodden and disenfranchised, especially in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey. Please see BARAKA, PG 16


Affordable Care Act info excludes facts ONE


AFFORDable Care Act is a program called “Academic Detailing”, in which government contractors visit doctors’ offices, in an attempt to persuade these physicians to use government treatment recommendations. The stated goal of these visits, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which administers the program, is to “promote appropriate prescribing habits, including the cost-effective use of drugs”. This program uses government-sponsored research comparing the OF THE

effectiveness of different treatments, as well as certain controversial recommendations of the United States Preventative Services Task Force. Recent USPSTF recommendations for reduced breast and prostate cancer screenings have drawn fierce opposition from many cancer patient groups, who credit such screenings with saving their lives. The precise data used to “educate” physicians is not made public, nor are there any standards at present, such as in peerreviewed medical journals, which ensure the data is in fact, unbiased. More troubling is that physicians who do not adhere to guidelines

(such as prescribing drugs or medical testing supplies in excess of levels deemed “appropriate” by AHRQ) have been sent letters encouraging them to comply. Ultimately, for patients, it comes down to a matter of trust- who do you trust more to give you unbiased medical recommendations- your doctor with his or her years of training, experience, and knowledge of your personal medical history, or a contractor using closely-guarded data to advance a government agency’s cost-effectiveness policy? JIMMY BURLAND, J.D. Burland & Associates Baton Rouge, LA



READER SURVEY Please complete this survey and mail to 17253 Lavigne Road, Ponchatoula, LA 70454. You may also complete this form online at If you would like to be including in this monthly contests to win free tickets to area events, concerts, and festivals, include your email address _______________________________________________________. Circle your answers: Are you a single male? Male, Single with children Male, Married no children Male, Married with children Female, Single Female, Single with children Female, Married no children Female, Married with children What is your age? 18 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55 to 64 65 to 74 75 or older Are you employed?, seeking employment, or selfemployed? Employed full time Employed part-time Unemployed/Seeking employment Unemployed student Self-employed full-time Self-employed part-time How important is The Drum Newspaper to your decision making? Extremely important Very important Moderately important Slightly important Not important at all

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JAN. 27 - FEB. 10, 2014

GAME cont. from page 14 deal of preparation is required if you want to be successful. Studying your industry, practicing winning methods, and paying close attention to detail will give you an edge and the highest chances of experiencing the thrill of victory rather than the agony of defeat. Constantly monitoring your business game plan, while the game is being played is just part of the game. For example, if you don’t have the funds to cover payroll or if your company’s insurance is not current, it is time for you to call a time out and reassess your game plan. You have a ready supply of coaches and resources available at

your local small business development center. They are available to review your game plan and provide you with proven strategies on how you can take your small business from the bottom of your division home field to the industry playoffs. One small business owner in an industry that involves creativity and high visibility decided to take a time out because profit was minimal and inconsistent. She brought in coaches from her local small business development center and other industry professionals. She provided them with a detailed view of her business and received qual-

ity feedback. After embracing the feedback, she discovered that her operational game plan was flawed and designed to fail. She took the time to run her business and review of other winning strategies in her industry. Then, she discovered that personal relationships mattered and that she needed to increase her visibility by adding a face to her business. She understood that in her industry, beautiful products and intelligent design—in combination—attracted profit. She is now working with that in mind to create a new winning game plan. Keep your business game plan

very close and keep working to improve your chances for success. Practice, plan, and practice again, until you are ready to dominate in the game of business. Remember, champions are forged through strategic game plans. It’s time for you and your business to win. Ed Gaston is vice president of community development for Wealth Watchers Inc. in Jacksonville, Fl. His column is distributed by the Jozef Syndicate. Follow him on Twitter @edsvision.

BARAKA cont. from page 14 As a testament to his broad influence, more than 3,000 people attended his funeral last Saturday at Newark Symphony Hall. The actor Danny Glover officiated and noted Baraka’s influence on his career. Cornel West called Baraka “a literary genius.” Sonia Sanchez read a poem for him written by Maya Angelou. Speaking at the wake the night before, Jesse Jackson honored Baraka as “a creative activist and change agent who never stopped fighting or working for the formula to create social justice.” Born Everett LeRoi Jones, the writer changed his name to Amiri Baraka in 1968 to reflect his embrace of Islam and the philosophy of Malcolm X. He attended Rutgers, Howard and Columbia, served in the Air Force and began his literary career in the 1950s in the Beat poet scene of New York’s Greenwich Village. His one-act play, “Dutchman,” won the Obie Award as the best off-Broadway production of 1964. In 1965, he co-founded the Black Arts Movement in Harlem,

infusing the Black Power movement with powerful artistic voices. His numerous awards and honors include his selection as the Poet Laureate of New Jersey in 2002 and his 1995 induction into the exclusive American Academy of Arts and Letters. Controversy was a mainstay of Amiri Baraka’s career. Ishmael Reed, another provocative poet and contemporary of Baraka recently noted, “ Amiri Baraka was controversial because his was a perspective that was considered out of fashion during this post race ghost dance, the attitude that says that because we have a Black president, racism is no longer an issue, when the acrimonious near psychotic reaction to [Barack Obama’s] election only shows the depth of it.” Amiri Baraka always challenged us to face such uncomfortable truths - and we are better because of it. Marc Morial is president and CEO of the National Urban

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Who to Watch 2014 The Drum (Jan.Feb issue)  

Louisiana is home for many talented, intellectual, cultured, and politically savvy people. The staff and publisher of The Drum Newspaper hav...

Who to Watch 2014 The Drum (Jan.Feb issue)  

Louisiana is home for many talented, intellectual, cultured, and politically savvy people. The staff and publisher of The Drum Newspaper hav...