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The Official Magazine of Focused Radio

JAN/Feb 2017

Stars are Shining Bright In the Star Cit y #ExclusiveIndie 1 The Focus

Charts inside



focus points 9. A View from Mecca 11. Cover Story: Stars of The Star City 16. Roanoke Merchant Spotlight 19. Woman Speaks: New Year Same Problem 26. Lifestyle: The Younivercity 30. Fashion: Fashionista Roanoke 38. Exclusive indie

Editor in chief: TommyP content supervisor: Erica Jenkins lead visual artist: naadir love Each month “The Focus” spotlights small businesses, entre“ preneurs, community events, political topics fashion and the arts, we are poised to stay relevant and to influence what people are talking about and doing.

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From the Editor Well the new year is here and we are ready for it. With a new edition of the hottest urban pr of e ssion al publication serving Southwest Virgina and abroad. We are Focused to continue bringing you the hottest stories of the Star City by letting you know what’s happening in the small business sector, non-profit organizations making a difference, independent artists, and just about all entrepreneurs creating new opportunities. We invite you to continue to listen to Focused Radio where we play the hottest music from major artists and #ExclusiveIndie artists you may not have heard of before. We also want you to take part of the technological movement that is making more jobs and avenues for anyone with an idea be able to create a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Thank you for almost 4 years of a dream of a little boy from the Star City that has traveled the world finally feeling comfortable enough about his city to do the things he done in major cities like Atlanta, Virginia Beach, Richmond, Charlotte, and Miami, enough to do them here. #StayFocusedMyFriends TommyP 4 The Focus

Funny, insightful, and the perfect way to get your day started...

Weekday Mornings 8a until Noon only on

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Thanks for the Dream

“...Say that I was a drum major for justice; Say that I was a drum major for peace...� 8 The Focus

A View From Mecca There’s always darkness before the dawn. I remember sitting in the darkness just before dawn in the early hours of November 3rd 2008. I was reminiscing about the previous days, I had been out volunteering with the democratic party going door to door speaking with voters, making sure they were going out to vote, and seeing if people needed rides to the polls. Although uncertain of what the dawn would bring, I headed out to my polling station to cast my vote for the next President of the United States, Barak Obama. I felt excited and hopeful. I wanted to make a difference and to be a part of history. There was no certainty that, “We the people” could do this, but our determination was strong. I asked myself could we do what others said couldn’t be done? Could we make the Impossible Possible? Leaving my home early that morning I could feel my anxiety rising. I had voted before, but I knew just how important this vote would be, so I headed out with my daughter, she wasn’t quite at the voting age, but she wanted to be there. We stopped to pick up her grandmother who would also be voting that day. There we were 3 generations of African American women going to cast our votes for the first black President of the United States of America. Although we arrived very early at the polls the line was out the door and down the street. Cars wee honking, people were smiling and cheering. It felt like a block party. I raised my fist in the air to show solidarity. I felt proud, not just of myself, but proud of our people coming together for the greater good. I must have stood in that line for over 2 hours. Finally it was my turn to cast my vote. I guess there’s no secret who I voted for. Leaving the polls, the other voters in line were giving us pats on the back and shaking our hands, you could see the pride and excitement in their eyes too. Later that night I sat watching the poll results as they came in. We did it! “We the People”, Made history, we voted for change. President Obama chanted to us, “Yes We Can”, and “We” did. Over the past 8 years, i have seen all four of my grandchildren born under the first black President of the United States. They are too young to understand the importance of this history, but I do and as they grow older they will too. Its 8 years later, I hear President Obama on the television, and he says, “The sun will, in fact come out tomorrow”. This was the night a new President was elected. Mr. Donald Trump. I knew why President Obama made that statement, because to me hearing that Mr. Donald Trump would in fact be the next President felt like, the end of time, and to me, it literally felt as if there would be no more sunshine. How could this happen? You can feel the divide in our country. Its very different from 8 years ago. I don’t see the smiling faces, instead I see Protest and rioting. People shouting and Demanding Justice, Equal Rights, Black Lives Matter, Gay lives Matter etc. I feel disappointed , worried and unsure. Its hard to even turn on the television to watch the news. I don’t want to hear or even look at President Donald Trump. I Cant even speak his name without rolling my eyes. I’ve seen people on social media posting that we need to get over it, and to accept Trump as President. Some people even saying to respect him, but I don’t, and I’m not sorry. I don’t feel President Trump respects me or anyone who looks like me. I’m old school, I believe you must give respect in order to receive it. I just keep asking myself how can a person who has openly shown Racist,sexist and bigoted characteristics be elected President of The United States Of America? There’s always darkness before the dawn, well the dawn has come, but I still can’t see the light. 9 The Focus

The processes of blood collection, storage and transfusion owes a huge thanks to Dr. Charles Richard Drew, the African-American doctor who not only pioneered large-scale blood banks during World War II but also envisioned blood drives and the use of refrigerated “bloodmobiles.” During Black History Month, Virginia Blood Services, one of Virginia’s largest blood services provider, will highlight Dr. Drew’s contributions to transfusion medicine. All participating donors at relevant sickle cell mobile drives are eligible to receive a sickle cell awareness shirt, while supplies last. Limit one tee shirt per donor.

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New Year’s Eve downtown Roanoke was filled with independent artists entertaining, small businesses out selling, and the people of the city preparing for 2017. These are truly the “Stars of the Star City”

in 1949, the Merchants association of the Roanoke valley dedicated the largest freestanding, man-made star in the world to the city of Roanoke. The thought was that because the mountains look like one big tree, the star would be a symbol of a huge Christmas tree ornament and the businesses of Roanoke would the presents. Years later we see that not only is the star still shining, but businesses are popping up everywhere! 11 The Focus

Being born in Roanoke, you could take for granted that there is a world renowned landmark visible to see daily. When I was downtown for New Years Eve and saw the great bands, businesses and wonderful people, I knew the Star had a bigger effect on the culture here than I even knew. All sorts of stories was told to me as a young boy of the meaning of the huge star on top of Mill Mountain, however I found out that it was actually 12 The Focus

a gift to the city. A Christmas present at that. To show the success of Roanoke’s business sector, the Roanoke’s Merchant Association came together to construct this 100 ft, freestanding, star that would pose as the ultimate Christmas tree ornament. You have to notice the trees year round of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain that comes through Roanoke, so it only made since to decorate the whole mountain with this

huge star. The one thing that many people don’t know is what was supposed to be the presents? The presents were the many businesses that had made Roanoke called by many “little Chicago” in those times because Roanoke was a big, little city. For many years though, you would’ve thought that Santa forgot about this town. Businesses that once boomed 13 The Focus

here like the railroad, downtown department stores, and concert venues had all but left. Buildings downtown were starting to look as though they had never been occupied and most of the people who were looking for nice salaries, big business, and night life, had to go elsewhere. However, in the past two years I can truly say that the “stars” of the StarCity are really starting to shine bright. New businesses like The YOUnivercity Custom Apparel Manufacturers, Delish Sweets and Treats, VIP’s Sports-bar and lounge, are all newcomers to the scene, while stores like Shades of Color and Wes Pughsley and Associates CPA firm have been a staple for decades in the downtown landscape. Technology has really opened the doors for a lot of opportunities. Blue Ridge Towers, one of the only minority owned cell tower companies in the nation took space downtown and truly adding to the economy here. It is safe to say that if you had doubts that Roanoke could get back to days when Gainsboro and “The Yard” was good for people of color, don’t worry anymore. The evolution of business is starting to bring hope to a town that once seemed as though it was on it’s way to extinction.

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Have your taxes prepared by Wesley Pughsley Jr. & Associates and mention the Renaissance Academy, 5% of your prep fee will be donated to this great organization!

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Roanoke Merchant Spotlight

Shades of Color 16 The Focus

Longevity is in Style C oming back from Jersey has been somewhat of a challenge especially when it comes to shopping. However I can always count on Shades of color to have something I want. Whether it be a coat or a pair of earrings, I can count on Pauline to have something that works for me. One thing I didn’t find were shoes so I spoke to Pauline about this and needless to say the shoes will be coming next month. So now everything I need is right there. I’ve known Pauline for the 31 years she’s been downtown and I am very proud of how her business has grown. I have been out and about exploring downtown Roanoke again, I find that the downtown market is lacking trendy cloth-

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ing stores. Now that’s a big deal

to me because I can always go to the downtown areas in other places and find a few places to shop

Shades of Color first opened in 1985 in the heart of downtown market square. Pauline Woods is the only African American woman who has been in business downtown Roanoke for 31 years. What an accomplishment not only to be an African American Woman business owner but to be in business 31 years is definitely a Wow factor and needless to say a powerful achievement. Over the holiday I spent some time observing Pauline and her regulars that come in

her store which I will call her personal style clients. Since Pauline is always fashionable she has those personal clients that look for her to keep them fashionably updated at all times. Those clients are what are adding to the economic boom of Roanoke. New residential spaces are coming up medical facilities are expanding and businesses are opening in the downtown area. That ultimately brings in text money and parking and other revenue streams for the city. Pauline says they still struggle every day with the parking downtown and hope that one day they can have a designated area where the merchants can park whether it is to pay the city or get monthly passes but the merchants definitely need parking since they are The ones who make downtown Roanoke what it is.

Visit Shades of Color in the Roanoke City Market


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New Year Same Problem This article is dedicated to the Family of Benjamin Nance, I continue to pray for your healing and closure. It started off as a routine evening, except, after picking up my kids I suddenly had an urge to stop and visit a friend of mine. We were stopped at an intersection approximately 2 blocks from our destination, when we started seeing police cruisers, sirens wailing, lights flashing accelerating in the direction we had just come from. The first one, I thought, was probably just trying to get through the lights without having to stop (they do that you know), but as I watched from my rear view, suddenly there were two more coming from the same direction, following the first ones hurried and noisy lead. My stomach began to knot. This wasn’t a traffic aversion, it was something different. We had been at my friend’s house for about 30 minutes when my phone rang. “Hey!!”, the female voice on the other end said, and I repeated back. “What happened to Mike?”, she said. I was completely caught off guard. I had not the slightest clue what she was talking about, I was about to find out. From here everything moved with rapid succession, “What are you talking about? I am completely in the dark”. “I heard that Mike had gotten shot, it’s all over social media!!” At that same moment, my friend was scrolling through her news feed trying to confirm what was being said, and that’s when the mood really changed. As I ended my phone call, I could see the look off distress on my friend’s face. Not only, was the report of a shooting true, but the victim was a family member of my hers. I could see the news of his death sinking in, I couldn’t help but put it all together. The shooting had taken place no more than a mile away from where we were, the police cars must have been responding to the call. What were the odds that I would decide to visit my friend on this night at this hour, to be present when she received such devastating news? What could I say? 19 The Focus


As I stood in the quietness, letting the thoughts rumble around, I just shook my head. Despite the hurt and sorrow this event was causing, the anguish didn’t come from what we didn’t know, it came from what we did know. Another senseless homicide that would probably go unsolved. No explanations, no witnesses, no justice for his family. That is the part that compelled me to write about it. This is the first homicide of the new year for Roanoke City, and it has left a lot of people hurt, confused and angry. However, I hope it will also open a real dialog, even though we as a city are growing in some very positive directions, we still have a great deal of issues to work out, together of course. We can succeed if we just Stay Focused.


Hair, Nails

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#GetThewordout Since March 2014, Faith 4 A Cure and Virginia Blood Services has partnered together to “GET THE WORD OUT” about Sickle Cell Anemia. In order to do so we have used a diverse range of settings, such as: • Higher Education • Faith-based Organizations and forums • Community Engagement • Media/Broadcasting • Health Fairs • Public Service Announcements • Blood Drives At some point in their life, Sickle Cell patients will need a blood transfusion. In many cases blood transfusions are routine treatments. Because of this fact, the primary focus in getting the word out is through hosting blood drives throughout the state of Virginia. It doesn’t just stop here. Faith 4 A Cure is on a mission to create awareness and education not just in Virginia but globally through the use of social media, web presence, radio and television, speaking engagements, educational forums, and much more.

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Annual blood drive hosted by Blue Ridge Association of Sickle Cell Anemia

Saturday, February 11 9:00am – 1:00pm

Pigg River Community Center Route 220 Business – Rocky Mount

To sign up for an appointment please contact Fannie Warren 540-243-1175 or Josephine Edwards 540 483-7151 Or, sign up online at

Walk-ins ALWAYS Welcome!


In the Mix on Focused Radio

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Social Institution for like-minded entrepreneurs, tradespeople, and small business who aspire improvement for themselves and their community. Fueled by forward thinking, creativity and resilience our mission is to provide our members with feasible solutions that will lead them to success.

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Help us continue to increase that number by signing up to donate at a Virginia Blood Services hosted Blood Drive or at a local Donor Center.

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Sabrina’s Place HELP US Raise!!! Help us save Sabrina’s Place. Join us as we sing the Lord’s Praises to raise funds to support the operations of Sabrina’s Place here in Roanoke, Virginia. The benefit concert will be held at Hill Street Baptist Church on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 3:00pm. This program is sponsored by the Missionary Ministry of Hill Street Baptist Church located at 111 Madison Ave NW, Roanoke, Va. 24016. Come and worship with us while the choirs of Hill Street Baptist Church, Maple Street Baptist Church, Shiloh Baptist ChurchSalem, God’s Church of Deliverance Power-Salem, and Morning Star Baptist Church, lift up his name. Also, our special guest, recording artists Nefateria Hash-It’s My Season and The Moyer Brothers-John Word Productions singing praises.

Mission Statement: To improve the quality of life for low-income individuals by promoting affordable water and wastewater facilities, community development, environmental health and economic self-sufficiency. 31 The Focus

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Trevo Gotti

Representing the Star City, Trevo Gotti got a new Mixtape and a video to promote his grind

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Exclusive Indie airplay 1. Crush- Yuna feat. Usher

2. Hard Times- Star-Citi ft Mike Harris and Ally Celestro 3. Leave- Tripp 4. Simple- Treasure Davis ft Kid Ink 5. Experimental - Joon D 6. My Guitar- CraigO Wham 7. Spaceship- Anhayla 8. 5 Minute Man - LV Skinny 9. Icon- Star Citi 10. Love Dr.- T. Soul

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The Focus Magazine January/ February 2017  

The new year has started and the Star city is once again on the rise. New Businesses, independent artist scene, and much more

The Focus Magazine January/ February 2017  

The new year has started and the Star city is once again on the rise. New Businesses, independent artist scene, and much more