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2013 The CSRA’s FREE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER VOL.3 NO.17

ENTERTAINMENT JANUARY 2 - 8, 2014

TOP PHOTO OF 2013 Legendary singer Melba Moore performs with J.A.M.P. (James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils) during their 3rd Annual Concert held at the Augusta Museum of Natural History in July. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

Eddie Bussey 706-772-9800


2 UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2- 8, 2014

NATIONAL NEWS World’s first legal recreational marijuana sales begin in Colorado By John Ingold The Denver Post

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2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Edition ON JANUARY 16, 2014

Call Ben Hasan at 706-394-9411 or email: bzhasan54@ yahoo.com

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UrbanProWeekly LLC Mailing Address: 3529 Monte Carlo Drive Augusta, Georgia 30906

Publisher Ben Hasan 706-394-9411 Managing Editor Frederick Benjamin Sr. 706-836-2018

Sales & Marketing Phone: 706-394-9411 Photography and Social Media Courtesy of Vincent Hobbs

DENVER In a historic swirl of commerce and cannabis, the world’s first stores licensed to sell marijuana legally to anyone 21 or older opened in Colorado on Wednesday. From Telluride to Denver, thousands of people cheerfully stood in lines for hours to buy legal marijuana after presenting nothing more than identification. Marijuana activists hailed the day as a watershed in their effort to overturn anti-cannabis laws. Store owners — several of whom said the turnout exceeded even their own ambitious expectations — feared running out of supply. Police reported no problems with the crowds, and government officials marveled at the calm. Overall, the day went as marijuana activists had hoped it would: In the most extraordinary way possible, it was ordinary. “I’ve been waiting 34 years for this moment,” enthused Chrissy Robinson, who arrived at one store, Evergreen Apothecary in Denver, at 2 a.m. to be among the first in line. “I’ve been smoking since I was 14. No more sneaking around.” At least 37 stores across the state were fully licensed and opened to sell marijuana to anyone 21 or over for any purpose, according to official lists and Denver Post research. Sales could commence at 8 a.m., and activists — who campaigned for the marijuana-legalization measure whose passage in November 2012 made the sales possible — arranged a ceremonial “first purchase” at the Denver store 3D Cannabis Center. The store used to be called “Denver’s Discreet Dispensary,” so the name change speaks to the rapid evolution of Colorado’s marijuana industry, which began in earnest only about four years ago. 3D Cannabis Center owner Toni Fox watched the clock carefully as the hour approached and dozens of reporters and photographers crowded into one of her store’s tiny purchasing areas. “It’s 8 a.m.,” she said. “I’m going to do it.” The first customer was 32-year-old Sean Azzariti, an Iraq war veteran who campaigned for marijuana legalization and said he uses cannabis to alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Under a canopy of cameras, Azzariti bought an eighth of an ounce of the marijuana strain Bubba Kush and a package of marijuana-infused candy truffles. “We did it!” a beaming Azzariti said at the end of the purchase. The cost was $59.74, including $10.46 in tax. At the bottom of the receipt was the message “Thank you for your purchase!”

email: Ben Hasan bzhasan54@yahoo.com Frederick Benjamin Sr. editor@urbanproweekly.com Vincent Hobbs coolveestudio@gmail.com


UrbanProWee

key portion of Voting Rights Act as outdated STORIES The CiTy Voting Rights challenge succeeds Feds say voting change hurts blacks Supreme Court voids ACLU voting rights lawyer key portion of Voting disappointed in decision Rights Act as outdated ensure adequate minority participation. While no such assurances were forthcoming, the prospects of increased funding that could be used for public transportation was seen as encouraging. According to Grantham, the amount of Augusta’s share of discretionary funds could be as high as $5 million. Commissioner Bill Lockett, a champion for public transportation, has said that he

2013

Top 10

State senator Hardie Davis, along with other members of the Richmond County delegation, met with city officials on Tuesday (Jan. 8) to discuss their needs and to help explain the millions of dollars in transportation funds which will begin pouring into Richmond County as early as March 2013. Photo by Vincent Hobbs mandates. Commissioner Mason 4 wants to expand bus service further into South Augusta.

UrbanProWeekly • JUNE 27 - 30, 2013

wants the current company that handles public transit out of the picture, citing noncompliance with contract

He has always maintained that public transit is there to serve the people and not make a profit.

Obama ‘deeply disappointed’ by the 5-4 Supreme Court ruling on the landmark civil rights legislation. Justice Ginsburg, in dissent, decries ‘hubris’ in ‘demolition’ of the Voting Rights Act.

IN THE NEWS

Laughlin McDonald, ACLU voting rights attorney

ing or abridging the right to November to July would have AUGUSTA The most recent buzz on vote on account of race or a retrogressive effect on the the voting rights front is the color or membership in a lan- ability of minority voters to elect candidates of choice to recent objection by the U.S. guage minority group.” The Justice Department office,” the letter states. Department of Justice to proState Representative posed changes that would explained that Augusta would move Augusta’s city elections have been the only “munici- Quincy Murphy said that (mayor and commissioners) pal-style” government in the members of the delegation state that would have been had been working in support from November to July. The measure, which was compelled to change its of the challenge since August supported by local delega- nonpartisan elections from 2012. The federal agency went tion member Barbara Sims, November to July. The state Veteran ACLU civil rights was purported to apply to had argued that Richmond further and suggested that Laughlin McDonald, the intent of the legislation all consolidated governments County was not specificallyattorney speaking from his Atlanta was discriminatory. It cited in the state, but it clearly mentioned in the bill. toldAfrican UrbanProWeekly The Justice Department,office, the large American targeted Democratic hotbed which reviewed documents,onconcentration in Richmond Richmond County. Tuesday that he was disCounty andin the the importance In a letter dated Dec. 22, resolutions and statementsappointed Supreme 2012, the Justice Department provided by local politicians, of voter turnout. Court’s historic ruling that guts The Justice Department notified the state of Georgia civil rights organizations the 1965 Voting Rights that 3 that provisions in Senate Bill and activists, concluded that also referenced the fact Act. “At leastMcDonald, the courtcomagrees the Augusta-Richmond 92 which Governor Nathan there was clear evidence thatLaughlin ACLU that voting discrimination mission passedattorney a resolution Deal signed into law last moving the elections fromvoting rights asking that theMcDonald elections notsaid. spring did not pass muster. November to July would dis-still occurs,” be moved. The Justice Department con- proportionately effect African“We’re going to work along state can ask U.S. cluded that the state had not Americans. withThe congress to the develop a “Our analysis . . . indi- Attorney General to recon“met its burden of showing State representative Quincy Murphy expressed satisnew preclearance formula. 1. a judgment condemnation; actthe of proposed blamingchanges or condemning sternly; 3. ansider, official reprimand faction that the U.S.involving Justice Department objected to 2. thethe cates that moving Augustaotherwise it must let that McDonald, attempt to move city elections from November to July. the Justice to Department know any has neither the purpose nor Richmond’s mayoral andAccording Photo by Vincent Hobbs changes that what its intentions are.happened will have the effect of deny- commissioner elections fromvoting By Frederick Benjamin UrbanProWeekly Staff Writer

UrbanProWeekly • MARCH 7 - 13, 2013

Edition LJanuary OCAL NEWS10 Analysis

U.S. Justice Department rules that changing city elections from November to July would diminish black voter participation. ACLU voting

CENSURE

rights lawyer disappointed in decision

election procedures. In a statement from the the Voting Rights Act into WASHINGTON The court said Congress White House, President the 21st Century,” said Carrie The US Supreme Court struck down a central por- must demonstrate that the Obama said he was “deeply Severino, chief counsel of tion of the Voting Rights law’s requirements are nec- disappointed” by the court’s the Judicial Crisis Network. “It is absurd to use limited Act Tuesday, ruling that essary to address problems action. “Today’s decision invalidat- federal dollars scrutinizing Congress overstepped its that exist right now, not authority when it reautho- problems that existed 40 ing one of its [the VRA’s] core minor changes to voting proprovisions upsets decades of cedures in Alaska when we rized the landmark civil years ago. “Our country has changed, well-established practices could be prosecuting actual rights law in 2006 for an and while any racial discrimi- that help make sure voting instances of voter discrimiadditional 25 years. The majority justices said nation in voting is too much, is fair, especially in places nation and intimidation,” lawmakers relied on out- Congress must ensure that where voting discrimination she said. The Voting Rights Act has dated criteria tied to his- the legislation it passes to has been historically prevabeen called the most suctoric civil rights abuses in remedy that problem speaks lent,” he said. cessfulon civilthe rightslandlaw in US to current conditions,” Chief Tom Perriello ofCourt the Center the 1960s and 1970s rather Obama ‘deeply disappointed’ by the 5-4 Supreme ruling than conditions as they exist Justice John Roberts wrote for American Progress said history and the crown jewel of the civil rights movein the majorityJustice opinion. Ginsburg, the court in had dissent, ignored thedecries today in the US. rights legislation. mark civil ‘hubris’ in In a dissent, Justice Ruth reality of discrimination in ment. But jurisdictions long In a 5-to-4 decision, the ‘demolition’ of the Voting Rightssaid Act.the the country. subject to its provisions Bader Ginsburg high court said Congress “The majority overruled complained that they were had failed to demonstrate majority decision “can hardly beingVoting unfairly singled out described as an exemplar a In bipartisan commitment to the that current conditions jus- be Rights Act into election procedures. a statement from the WASHINGTON an outdated forof restrained and moderate liberty provided inde- based tify the extraordinary remthe 21ston Century,” said Carrie The court said Congress White and House, President The US Supreme Court mula fashioned Congress cover to partisan edy under theaVoting chief by counsel of must demonstrate that the fensible Obama said he was “deeply Severino, struck down centralRights por- decisionmaking.” nearly a half-century ago “Quite the opposite,” across the country to the Act of forcing Judicial Crisis Network. requirements are nec- efforts disappointed” by the court’s tion(VRA) of the Voting certain Rights law’s when racial discrimination Justice Ginsburg said. rig elections,” Mr. Perriello state and local governments “It is absurd to use limited Act Tuesday, ruling that essary to address problems action. in voting was scrutinizing entrenched a fit now, word not for said in a statement. to obtain pre-approval dollars that existis right “Today’s decision invalidat- federal Congress oversteppedfrom its “Hubris and pervasive certain of the the opinWashington before imple- today’s changes to in voting proproblemsdemolition that existed 40 ingOthers one of praised its [the VRA’s] core minor authority when it reauthoparts of the country. VRA.” ion. “Today’s decision brings menting any changes to their cedures in Alaska when we years ago. provisions upsets decades of rized the landmark civil “Our country has changed, well-established practices could be prosecuting actual rights law in 2006 for an and while any racial discrimi- that help make sure voting instances of voter discrimiadditional 25 years. The majority justices said nation in voting is too much, is fair, especially in places nation and intimidation,” lawmakers relied on out- Congress must ensure that where voting discrimination she said. The Voting Rights Act has dated criteria tied to his- the legislation it passes to has been historically prevabeen called the most suctoric civil rights abuses in remedy that problem speaks lent,” he said. Tom Perriello of the Center cessful civil rights law in US the 1960s and 1970s rather to current conditions,” Chief than conditions as they exist Justice John Roberts wrote for American Progress said history and the crown jewel in the majority opinion. the court had ignored the of the civil rights movetoday in the US. In a dissent, Justice Ruth reality of discrimination in ment. But jurisdictions long In a 5-to-4 decision, the subject to its provisions high court said Congress Bader Ginsburg said the the country. “The majority overruled complained that they were had failed to demonstrate majority decision “can hardly that current conditions jus- be described as an exemplar a bipartisan commitment to being unfairly singled out an outdated forof restrained liberty Act andunconstitutional. provided inde- based tify the extraordinary rem- lations, Thereonhave always been as welland as inmoderate facilities, Rights AUGUSTA mula fashioned by Congress decisionmaking.” coverattorney to partisan edy underU.S. the District Voting Rights legal obstacles. and transportation. fensible Plaintiff’s Ben persistent Senior Judge activities half-century ago “Quite the theJuneopposite,” effortscited across country to nearly Act (VRA) H. of forcing In theapast, there has been During 17 hear- Allen “a the world of progDudley Bowencertain has racial Justice Ginsburg rig elections,” Perriello state andthat local strong ``feardiscrimination factor,’’ about hearing, it became said. clear ress” that has Mr. been made awhen ordered thegovernments 49-year-old ing in voting was prematurely. entrenched “Hubris is a offitthe word for in saidthe in aensuing statement. to obtain pre-approval the case all sides dispute years since ending desegregation lawsuitfrom be that and Richmond pervasiveCounty in certain today’s of the Others praised theofopinWashington before imple- felt board thatdemolition it was time for the implementation the The closed. parts of the country. VRA.” ion. “Today’s decision brings menting any changes to their of education must vote to let The order follows a June the school system to move lawsuit. Over the past couple of school board attorney Pete 17 hearing where all parties ahead without being under decades, other attempts to Fletcher ask the courts to involved in the 1964 deseg- the court order. end the order. According to Bowen, the end the lawsuit have not regation lawsuit had an The school system had The two sides have strugopportunity to show cause demographics of the system why the suit should not be have flipped since the filing gled to meet since 1964, always been very close to of the lawsuit, with black when the first lawsuit was ending the lawsuit. closed. The system is guided by a It has been 49 years since students now making up 75 filed, and 1972, when the black superintendent and black the filing of Robert L. Acree percent of the district and courts forced integration. Bowen’s recent hearing and white administrators. v. the Richmond County whites accounting for 21 perEven before the judge’s cent. had been unprecedented in Board of Education. proactive move, the trustThe ruling follows a this case. In his ruling, Judge Bowen For years, the system has ees could have ordered Mr. indicated that the district major shift in the area’s has successfully correced electoral process after this be desegregated, but it had Fletcher to petition the U.S. Court always to release announcement that been tounconstitutional. the two parties in District past ills and had achieved week’s There have been lations, as well as in facilities, Rightsup Act AUGUSTA Richmondlegal County schools Supreme Court ruled the dispute toattorney make a move desegregation in theJudge stu- the obstacles. activities and transportation. Plaintiff’s Ben persistent Senior U.S. District court supervision. 1965 lift cited the court order. dent, teacher staff popuIn the past, there has been During4 of thethe June 17Voting hear- to Allen “a world of prog- from Dudley H. and Bowen has Section ordered that the 49-year-old ing hearing, it became clear ress” that has been made a strong ``fear factor,’’ about desegregation lawsuit be that all sides of the dispute in the ensuing years since ending the case prematurely. felt that it was time for the implementation of the The Richmond County board closed. of education must vote to let The order follows a June the school system to move lawsuit. Over the past couple of school board attorney Pete 17 hearing where all parties ahead without being under decades, other attempts to Fletcher ask the courts to involved in the 1964 deseg- the court order. end the order. According to Bowen, the end the lawsuit have not regation lawsuit had an The school system had The two sides have strugopportunity to show cause demographics of the system why the suit should not be have flipped since the filing gled to meet since 1964, always been very close to of the lawsuit, with black when the first lawsuit was ending the lawsuit. closed. The system is guided by a It has been 49 years since students now making up 75 filed, and 1972, when the black superintendent and black the filing of Robert L. Acree percent of the district and courts forced integration. Bowen’s recent hearing and white administrators. v. the Richmond County whites accounting for 21 perEven before the judge’s cent. had been unprecedented in Board of Education. proactive move, the trustThe ruling follows a this case. In his ruling, Judge Bowen For years, the system has ees could have ordered Mr. indicated that the district major shift in the area’s has successfully correced electoral process after this be desegregated, but it had Fletcher to petition the U.S. past ills and had achieved week’s announcement that been up to the two parties in District Court to release desegregation in the stu- the Supreme Court ruled the dispute to make a move Richmond County schools from court supervision. dent, teacher and staff popu- Section 4 of the 1965 Voting to lift the court order.

June 27 Edition

U.S. Supreme Court voids key Voting Rights Act preclearance requirement for Deep South states. Ruling is clear setback for civil rights activists.

City powerless to Judge closes school curb code violations desegregation lawsuit Commissioners permitted to keep money, keep positions and keep doing business with the city. By Frederick Benjamin Sr. UPW Political Commentary

field, it was clear that, “the fix was in” — no one need worry. And no one did. City attorney Mackenzie left his “prosecutor” hat in the parking lot and guaranteed that the city would bend over backwards just enough to ensure that Messrs. Jackson, Guilfoyle and Smith would not have to deal with any indigestion at their Tuesday evening meal. An impassioned appeal by the Rev. Christopher G. Johnson, chairman and executive director of Augusta’s Interfaith Coalition for the commission, or the mayor, or the GBI or the FBI to do something did nothing but provide the rug under which commissioners could sweep these charges on their way to their shuffling, “toothless,” act of forgiveness. Not only did the commission, as a body, sweep this matter under the rug, it entertained the notion that special exceptions could be made to permit the offending commissioners to continue their enterprise with the city. As it is, they were permitted to leave the building with their ill-gotten booty. Genghis Khan would be envious of the “pay for plunder” deal handed out. However, let’s be clear. Commissioners Alvin Mason, Bill Lockett, Corey Johnson, Bill Fennoy and Williams did not enter into this charade with blinders on. They realized that the commission had few options that Copenhaver and Mackenzie would seriously entertain. At the very outset, Williams and Lockett continued their running feud with the city attorney.

since 2006 could be adversely affected. McDonald represented Augustans in the 2012 special redistricting. Veteran ACLU civil rights attorney Laughlin McDonald, speaking from his Atlanta office, told UrbanProWeekly on Tuesday that he was disappointed in the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that guts the 1965 Voting Rights Act. “At least the court agrees that voting discrimination still occurs,” McDonaldKellie said. Solicitor-General “We’re to released work along Kenner going McIntyre the with congress tothis develop following message week: a new preclearance formula. According McDonald, any Recently, ittohas been reported voting changes that happened that there were citations issued since 2006 could be adversely in an area on River Watch affected. McDonald representParkway where posted speed ed Augustans in the 2012 signage was incorrect. In spethe cial redistricting. interest of fairness to all parties involved, citations that were issued to citizens in the affected area will be identified to determine if they need additional review and consideration. It is important to note that this does not include all citations issued on River Watch Parkway, howRev. Christopher G. Johnson, chairman and executive director Interfaith ever, of weAugusta’s anticipate that those Coalition, requested that the offending commissioners voluntarily step down, apologize that were because to the taxpayers and return any money earned. He also called on theissued sheriff’s office of the error will by beVincent dismissed. and appropriate state agencies to launch an investigation. Photo Hobbs Kellie Solicitor-General Kenner McIntyre “I can’t believe what you’re Guilfoyle and Jackson promtion even exists released for repeat the saying is right and true,” ised “not to do it again,” offenders. Commissioners following message this week:

River Watch Parkway citations to be reviewed

March 7 Edition

AUGUSTA Given its capacity for forgiveness, one wonders how Tom Beck, former Director of Augusta Parks and Recreation, came out on the losing end of his dispute with city commissioners after his alleged violation of the city code. By deciding not to seriously punish commissioners who admitted to multiple violations of the city’s “conflict of interest” statutes, the city sent the message that rank does have its privileges and that it has no appetite to “police its own.” City employees, however, can expect to have receive the harshest of penalties. What’s good for the goose, apparently, is not good for the gander. Perhaps, Commissioner Marion Williams said it best. “Censure? That’s nothing!” He’s right. I don’t think that anyone was really surprised at the outcome of the supposed “ethics hearing” conducted on Tuesday at the AugustaRichmond County commission meeting. At that meeting, commissioners Wayne Guilfoyle, Joe Jackson and Grady Smith were to learn their fate before the full commission for their parts in indisputable violations of the rules. Once again, Commissioner Williams had it right. “This is about money!” But, once it was established that Mayor Deke Copenhaver was in charge of the “penalty-phase” of the proceedings and that city attorney Andrew Mackenzie was to define the boundaries of the playing

Augusta Richmond Commission appears to be unable to punish commissioners who are in violation of city charter by pursuing cityRiver contracts. Watch

Apartments starting at $425

Parkway citations to be reviewed

Williams said. “It is hard to sit here and listen to someone who has mislead us before. I would like for you to excuse yourself.” Lockett continued the dressing down of Mackenzie. “I don’t know where you got your law degree from,” he said before eliciting an admission from the city attorney that a conflict of interest could be a crime. Let’s face it. Here you have three white commissioners, some of whom had already complained loudly of “racism,” accused of violating the city’s ‘conflict of interest’ statutes. They were not going to be thrown to the wolves. The fuzzy calculus that drives the city’s business always adds up to six. Without six votes, whistling “Dixie” would have been about as productive as waiting for this commission to, not only do the right thing, but to give the appearance that it wanted to do the right thing. After affecting just the appropriate amount of contrition and remorse, Commissioners

and accepted their “slap on now know that they can do the wrist” gracefully — even whatever they wish until they Recently, it has been reported thankfully. get caught. And if caught, thatthey there wereusecitations issued But Grady Smith was neicould their “Getther contrite nor remorseful. in Out-of-Jail-Free an area on card. River Watch He basically challenged the Now, where if that’s posted the way the Parkway speed commission — “hit me with game is to be played, who signage was them. incorrect. In the your best shot.” can blame interest to ifall They did, and he continued The of sadfairness thing is that, cityparon his way. caught playing ties employees involved,are citations that were Then, he advised the com- fast and loose with the rules, issued to citizens in the affected mission that he was still they will pay the piper — in areaspades. will be identified to deterdoing business with the city and that he could not guarthe end of the matmine Isifthis they need additional antee that he wouldn’t still ter? and consideration. It is review be doing business with the It is, as far as the city is important to note that this does city 30 days from now. concerned. include issued And as far as the city not is Before all the citations proceedings concerned, that’s okay. The mayor pro tem Corey on began, River Watch Parkway, howvoted 8-1-1 to censure Smith wanted clarification ever,Johnson we anticipate that those and that was that. from Mackenzie that the city thathad were because What the entire matter no issued jurisdiction whenofit the error willtobe underscores is the fact that came anydismissed. felonies or misthere exists a de facto toler- demeanors. ance for commissioners that, Mackenzie agreed that if with a wink and a nod, pay there were any future dislip service to the idea of fol- coveries that placed any of lowing the rules, but who these commissioners on the can violate those same rules wrong side of a law enforcewith impunity or, at least, ment matter, then the approwithout fear of any serious priate authorities would sanctions. have to step in and take In fact, no serious sanc- action.

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June 27 Edition Judge closes school desegregation lawsuit

After nearly 50 years, a federal judge rules that Richmond County schools will no longer be subject to the desegregation court order. Continued on Page 7

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3 UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2 - 8, 2014

for any purpose that the city desires. State transportation official Don Grantham and State Representative Hardie Davis updated the mayor and city commissioners at the Richmond County Legislative delegations day-long meetings with Augusta officials. According to Grantham, because Richmond County and Columbia counties voted in favor of the TSPLOST initiative last year, they are in


UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2- 8, 2014

4

The City

Mayor’s race gains steam Russell making candidate moves; crowded field must anticipate need for runoff election By Frederick Benjamin Sr. UrbanProWeekly Staff Writer AUGUSTA Augusta Richmond County Commissioner Alvin Mason got the ball rolling early by announcing his candidacy for mayor in May of 2013. Former candidate Helen Blocker-Adams followed suit later that month. In August, state senator Hardie Davis announced that he is running. Since then, commissioners Joe Jackson and Mary Davis’ names have been discussed along with that of former commissioner Andy Cheek. However, the one that everyone is talking about is former city administrator Fred Russell. Russell ended his 6-year long stint as city administrator on Dec. 31, 2013 and, so far, has made no public announcement of his intention to run. UrbanProWeekly announced Russell’s plans to run a couple of weeks ago and up to this point Russell has been acting very much like a candidate. UPW has learned that Russell has let his intentions be known to other elected officials and he has been canvassing the area for signs of support. Candidates for mayor and other local partisan and non partisan races may not have as much time to prepare their campaigns as in previous years thanks to a bill that passed the Georgia General Assembly in last year’s session that moved those elections from November to the summer or spring months. Depending on what action the 2014 Legislative session

POLITICAL ANALYSIS takes, the 2014 Mayor’s race could take place in either May or July. Candidates who want to be proactive will anticipate the legislators’ move and be prepared to qualify as early as March 3 for a May 20 election. If the election is held on July 15, then the candidates have until the end of April to qualify. This will be Helen BlockerAdams’ second run for the city’s chief executive job. Blocker-Adams was defeated and then went on to support current mayor Deke Copenhaver. This will be Commissioner Mason and Senator Davis’ first run for the city’s top office. Both candidates will be working to get their supporters to the polls. As of this post, the candidacies of Jackson, Davis and Cheek are unclear, but the almost certain entry of Russell has elevated this contest to the levels not witnessed since the 2012 campaign for sheriff. The big difference between the upcoming mayor’s race and the previous election for sheriff is that there won’t be any partisan primaries although the race will be county-wide as was the case in the sheriff’s race. Both Davis and BlockerAdams have experience in running county-wide races. Former city administrator Russell is the only mayoral

H. Blocker-Adams

Hardie Davis

prospect that has not run for office in the past, but his extensive city hall experience has garnered him a boatload of publicity — some good and some bad — that should give him a boost in terms of name recognition. A month ago, the pundits had no problem seeing this contest as one that could easily be won by the candidate who appealed most to the city’s majority-black electorate. Prior to the entry of Russell, the odds seemed to favor those candidates with established bases of support in the black community — that would include Mason and Davis. Blocker-Adams’ candidacy was seen by some political observers as the one which could pull strong support from the white community, but the entry of Russell muddies those waters somewhat. The Russell campaign is rife with unknowns. As a white candidate in a normally racially polarized electorate, he would be expected to receive a

Alvin Mason

good share of the votes and money from the white community. His years of association with the downtown development community certainly wouldn’t hurt his chances with those power brokers, but that would not be enough to give him a victory at the polls. He would need significant support from the black community as well. In the coming weeks, all of the candidates will be jockeying for more support. Black candidates will be appealing to their respective bases, but the successful black candidate will have to appeal to white voters as well. White candidates will have to establish some credibility among the black electorate. All indications suggest that there won’t be clear cut after the first round of voting, necessitating a runoff election. If the three black candidates remain in the race, two of them will likely be left out of any runoff election. Russell or another strong white candidate will likely

Fred Russell

be pitted against a black candidate in the winner-take-all runoff election which could occur in either July or as late as August. One of the issues that is sure to surface is whether the candidates will lobby for increased powers of the mayor. As it stands now, the mayor’s duties are largely ceremonial with the real power lying with the commissioners and, by extension, the city administrator. In order for that to change, the city charter will have to be amended. Both Davis and Mason have indicated that they would like to see a mayor with expanded powers. However, neither has moved that desire past the discussion stages. The issue surfaced about a year ago when a host of local elected officials including the sheriff and the solicitor general lobbied for and received pay raises. At that time there was a lot of talk about having the legislature review the salaries of all local officials — including the mayor.

How some local races for 2014 shape up Augusta Mayor

State Senate District 22

Augusta Commission District 2

Augusta Commission District 4

AugustaCommission District 6

Helen Blocker Adams Andy Cheek * Hardie Davis Alvin Mason Fred Russell *

Elmyria Chivers Corey Johnson Harold Jones

Dennis Williams

Rev. Melvin Ivey Sammie Sias Willie C. Peoples

Ben Hasan

* Candidates likely to run but have not yet officially announced

Richmond County School Board Dist. 2 Monique Braswell *


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R.I.P. State Representative Quincy Murphy • Dist. 127 • Democrat

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Quincy Murphy, legislator, politician remembered “. . . I was deeply saddened to learn the news of Quincy’s passing. Augusta and the State of Georgia has lost a good friend, mentor and family man who cared sincerely about those he served, his state and those who could not stand up for themselves. The loss of Rep. Murphy will be felt across the entire State of Georgia, as he was more than just a colleague in the legislature—he was simply ‘Q’. I will always remember Quincy’s steadfast dedication to his family, church and community.” — Senator Hardie Davis (D – Augusta)

August 8 Edition

UrbanProWeekly • AUGUST 15 - 21, 2013

“Quincy Murphy was a good friend and a colleague who I will deeply miss. One of my fondest memories of Quincy was his referring to the new generation of leaders in Augusta as the Joshua Generation. He was a staunch believer in the City of Augusta and shared with me on many occasions how excited he was to see all the great things going on in the city that he loved. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Murphy family as they mourn the passing of a great man and a true public servant.” — Augusta-Richmond County Mayor Deke Copenhaver

ly filled with serving humanity and giving back to the community. As a husband, father, businessman, coach, politician, and family man, Representative Murphy, in the eyes of all who knew him, was a man who gave his best to make others happy. He was never one to seek honor and praise. His favorite words to me were, That’s not me. I’d rather give any day than to receive.”— NAACP Director Dr. Charles Smith, Sr. “I got to know Quincy through my legislative efforts. He was the kind of politician that when he said he was going to do something, you could walk away knowing that it was done,” Boatwright said. “He just had to way of making you feel as though he had put everything else aside to assist with your needs. His love for community was obvious. Anything that involved helping others (Q as we called him) was there and with a smile. Our last time spent was in worship at his church, after he invited me and my cast members from my stage play. His spirit was so on fire for The Lord, and seeing his sincerity here too, made me know just who I had in a friend. He always ended every phone call with ‘you are my friend’.” — Jacqueline Boatwright, a local author and actress

State Representative Quincy Murphy dies while in office prompting others to run for his District 127 House seat.

The CiTy

Sheriff fires deputy for vate Art Collection on view at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum striking teen in custody “Representative Murphy was a true friend and advocate for Paine College. His work and his legacy will always be remembered throughout our campus. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Murphy family.” — Dr. George C. Bradley, Paine College President

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“Rep. Murphy was a kind, compassionate, statesman who worked tirelessly to insure that citizens in the community received the best representation possible, as he spoke up and stood up for constructive and positive resolutions on issues that affected them. On a personal side, he was a leader, friend, and Omega Brother who lived by our motto: ‘Friendship is essential to the soul’. His life was deep-

AUGUSTA Richmond County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian C. McDuffie was terminated from his position with the Sheriff’s Office on Monday, August 12, after an internal review concluded that he used excessive force in attempting to subdue 15-yearold Kyvan James during a neighborhood search for burglary suspects. RCSO deputies had responded to a burglary call in the Pine Place Subdivision when the incident occurred. In McDuffie’s termination letter from Sheriff Richard Roundtree, it was concluded that the officer’s actions were “unjustifiable and will not and cannot be tolerated”, in Brian C. McDuffie was reference to the officer strik- fired this week. ing Kyvan in the head with a metal flashlight, after the teen

n Pro

OMMENTARY

ARTS

Georgia state Rep. Quincy Murphy’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Tabernacle Baptist Church located at 1223 Laney-Walker Blvd., Augusta, GA 30901

was face down on the ground and being handcuffed. “I find that you failed to follow Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) standards as well as departmental policy in regards to use of force,” the letter stated. The excessive force caused “multiple facial hematomas and lacerations and abrasions to his shoulders, back, and neck area”, according to Kenya James, Kyvan’s mom. She said the teen has “both good and bad days” and that Kyvan is experiencing double-vision in his right eye and suffering from increasing migraines. “My main priority is making sure that he is mentally and physically healthy after this ordeal.”

Upon hearing today’s decision, James said, “I am sorry that he had to lose his job in this fashion, But when you put that badge on, I am going to hold you accountable for your actions.” Earlier in the day, James had addressed the Augusta Public Safety Committee and spoke about her concerns. She shared a few points of her discussion with UPW: “I spoke on the need for diversification within the officers reporting to calls and patrolling. I am not saying one race or nationality is better than the other, but diversification will help bridge the cultural gaps. Proper training is necessary when dealing with the demographics of young men aged 15-25 that

eekly

don’t view law enforcement officers as friends.” “There is an old saying that ‘black people run from the police - and white people run to the police’.” James also expressed that, “the youth have to respect the badge, because the badge is a symbol of authority that deserves to be respected. The person wearing the badge also has to have respect and not abuse that authority. There has to be mutual respect.” Kyvan must still face obstruction charges Two other deputies who responded to the 911 call, Christian Gandy and Jason Payne, were not implicated in the “excessive force” finding by the Sheriff. — UPW Staff written

The CSRA’s FREE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER VOL.3 NO.3

ENTERTAINMENT SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2013

SLUM LORD SLUM LORD? August 15 Edition LEGISLATOR LAID TO REST

Mother of beaten teen asks for mutual respect

RCSO Deputy Brian C. McDuffie was fired after an investigation revealed that he used excessive force in attempting to subdue 15-year-old Kyvan James.

State Rep. Wayne Howard talks with reporters following funeral services for the late Quincy Murphy. Photo by Linda Chisolm Williams State Commissioner Quincy Murphy was laid to rest on Friday, August 9 at a service held at Tabernacle Baptist Church where he attended and was an official. Murphy died on August 2, 2013 after succumbing to cancer at age 60. The packed sanctuary included friends, family and colleagues of the late legislator. Business partner Bob O’Neal recalled their early foray into the world of business. Colleagues, Reps. Barbara Frazier and Wayne

Howard, recalled his character and work ethic. “He was never self-serving,” Howard said. “Of all the conversations that we had, Quincy never discussed or talked about doing something to serve himself. It was always about people.” Murphy served in the state legislature for 11 years. He was born in Atlanta, but raised by his grandmother, Pearl Palmore, in Edgefield County. He moved to Augusta after graduating from North Carolina A&T State University in 1974.

AUGUSTA Recently, Sheriff Richard Roundtree hosted a Cops and Kids Camp. At that event, he told the kids, “It’s our job to keep you safe.” This week, he made good on his claim by firing a long-serving deputy who dismissed that sentiment by using excessive force on 15-year-old Kyvan James who was struck and injured by Deputy Brian C. McDuffie. On Monday, Kyvan James’ mother echoed the Sheriff’s sentiment following her presentation to the Richmond County Commission. Kenya James is a cardiac imaging specialist who is raising two young boys. Keyvan, 15, was injured by Deputy McDuffie. She said that she came to speak to commissioners not to express anger, but to offer some suggestions about how relations can improve between the sheriff’s department and the law-abiding members of the Augusta community. According to James, her son is not a criminal and is dealing with epilepsy. She admitted, however, that he was not blameless. She spoke to UrbanProWeekly about the challenges single mothers face in raising young boys — especially young black boys who are often profiled inappropriately by the community and the police. On the evening that Kyvan was accosted by police after fleeing in fear, she addressed his mind-set at the time.

Kenya James, center, with the two sons she is raising as a single mom. She says that her son’s problem stemmed from the fact that he was afraid and ignorant of the law. “He ran out of fear, not delinquency,” James said. “I introduced him about drugs and sex, but I never taught him how to deal with police officers.” James expressed concern that her son will have difficulty respecting police officers in the future. “He said to me, ‘Mama, I didn’t deserve that’.” She said that she told him that he had to ask himself what he could have done differently. “I’m hoping that we can forge forward. We have to teach these young kids the correct rapport with law enforcement, but law enforcement has to have a rapport with young kids.”

September 19 Edition City Administrator Fred Russell finds himself at the center of a controversy which most of downtown would be labeled a ‘slum’ in order to save money.

The CiTy

Early voting significantly higher for runoff election

Paine College head football coach Greg Ruffin. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

After 51 years, football returns to Paine College

By Frederick Benjamin ple who cast their vote in the and Evans out polled Prince UPW Staff Writer first three days of Early Voting in Jefferson County. on Nov. eral 5. Infund.” fact, the 3-day The early voting results By Bill Levy Loranzo Hammonds, who was an a mile from campus.” AUGUSTA runoff (Mon-Wed) cited are for Richmond Special to UrbanProWeekly total for theJudging by the reaction of above the comDuncan said playing games this fall all-state player at North Augusta If early voting results are exceeds total (90 the votes) for is thefilling County only. munity, team a desire that Early High voting School before playing the 2012 will give the community a chance to any indication, the turnout for entire 5-day period (Mon-Fri) results for Jefferson County AUGUSTA the community wants. season at NCAA Division 1 Florida see what they can expect while giving the December 3 runoff elecearly voting 3 try-out were not available for this in 2012. College football fans of the in CSRA “We for hadthe 247Nov. players in May,” his administrative chance to “practice International tionnot forhave House District 127 fall. Special Election. report. all the will to travel far this Duncan said. “We covered “My mamma got sick,” he said. “I felt the whole operation.” could higher than Paine The candidates are being surveys In the Nov.our 5 election, After bea much 51-year absence, bases. We conducted with Ruffin also sees benefits to playI needPrince to be close to home.” the previous Nov.again 5 Special forced work through the and received total of 1468 College will once be putting a tostudents and alumni theya were The votes red-shirt sophomore said he ing games this season. “It gives us Election. holiday in an which included 20.5 percent team on the field as the Lions willThanksgiving host excited.” expects to be a player that local play- a chance to get better mentally and After the Nov. 5 Special effort to garner more support of Jefferson County. Evans Georgia Prep Academy in their opener Also excited is Greg Ruffin, who ers in the area can resonate with. physically.” Diane Evans and and get their back hired to the asreceived total of 973 votes,out of high school, I was atElection, Laney High School on October 12. It was base recently Paine’s a head Since Paine will be playing club “Coming Brian to facefor polls Dec. 3.Ruffin, Both candiincluding 70 atpercent of the will be Prince the firstqualified of four games Paineon coach. who last coached highly recruited,” he said. “Some play- games this year, most players aren’t each other in the Dec. 3 rundates are Democrats. Jefferson County vote. Both College, which will play this season at Texas Southern is no stranger to res- ers will see that they can stay local.” expected to lose NCAA eligibility. off. In the Special Election, District 127 covers candidates hope to make the club level before playing next year urrecting programs, as he was the The community is expected to benDuncan agrees. Voting in Richmond Richmond and Jefferson inroads in their opponent’s atEarly the NCAA Division II level. head coach for Shaw University that County was low and turnout Counties. Prince, a retired county of residence.“It is a great feeling to be able to efit immediately, as the players will be “This is the right time and this is started football again in 2002 and play in the area you Diane the Prince CSRA. grew up in,” he visible around Evans Brian for the entire election was less military officer, hails from While Prince’s base of supthe right place,” Paine athletic director was on the staff of Lincoln University said. will become part of our comabout 14 percent. Richmond County and Evans, port in Richmond County is ter of support from various“They Jefferson and Richmond.” Tim said. fielded team in 1999 Evans after ahas picked munityThis outreach program,” Duncan Thoughup Duncan said “there are steps InDuncan the first three days of a retiredwhich educator anda passtrong, Richmond County religious week she announced Duncan, wasbegan hiredinin tor, 2011, break. The veteran as also had inthat said. that “We she wanthas to received get them the out at need to be completed” before thelatest Early Votingwho which is from Jefferson County.coach more support Richmond leaders. On some of her with no knowledge that PaineInwas stints at Ouachita University, Lions participate schools, daycares, hospitals, and other in NCAA gamesshe in indiRichmond County on Monday the Special Election (Nov.Baptist County. campaign material endorsement from Georgia considering a football team, Kemper Military College Jackson places in the a member of the (Nov. 18), 97adding people cast their 5) Prince dominated the A weekState ago, 2015 Evansassaid cates that she Southern is “Endorsed WIN List,community.” a progressive womsaid thought and62research went University Tuskegee University. ofpolitical those places obviously Intercollegiate votemuch compared to only peo- Richmond County and precincts that she was awaiting a let- by Athletic pastors Conference, & Ministers inOne en’s action will group. into this decision. “This area is hotbed (for players),” the staff and players are hard at work; be Laney Memorial Stadium. “Dr. (Paine College President he said. “This area is real close to both for the present and the future. “Fans and our students will not George) Bradley had a discussion with South Carolina, North Carolina, Paine College has entered into need to go outside of the CSRA to me about starting a team. We went Alabama and Florida.” an agreement with Laney High watch college football,” Duncan said. to five colleges that have started a He also said he has plenty of local which will allow Laney Memorial “They have a reason to stay on campus (NCAA) DII program within the last connections with coaches in the CSRA Stadium to be the Lions’ home field. on the weekends. It helps provide our twenty years (Lindsey Wilson College, through his various coaching stints. “It is a quality facility,” Duncan said. “It community with a true college experi6 Benedict College, UNC Pembroke, “I never really sought out to (resur- can seat 9,000 people and is less than ence.” Shaw University and St. Augustine rect college programs,” he said. “It University). They opened their books just happened that way. It is not for to us. We saw how the DII module can everyone. It is easy to me.” be profitable.” Ruffin noted that the most difficult 2013 Paine College Football Schedule According to Duncan, the maximum part of the job involved the infrastrucnumber of kids that can be on a foot- ture; getting locker rooms, weight OPPONENT By Frederick Benjamin loudly objected to was the venient for the majorityDATE of the ball scholarship at the NCAA II level rooms, etc. He said it is crucial to UPW Staff Writer decision to close the polling county’s registered voters to Richmond County Board of Elections is 36, though Paine should have sites morelocated remain positive when interacting with at two senior cast their vote. OCTOBER Sanford 12, 2013Loyd, GEORGIA PREP SPORTS ACADEMY Chairman students on its roster. his players and staff. AUGUSTA citizen residences - Peabody Many who voiced opposiOCTOBER Chip 19, 2013 ATLANTA SPORTS ACADEMY “We we may County have about 120 “They of yourtion vibe,” he said. Barbee, Vice-Chairman, Rep. Appointee The think Richmond Apartments andfeed St.offJohn to the changes, cited posplayers,” he said. “The ones that aren’t “You have to remain upbeat.” NOVEMBER 2, 2013 ORANGEBURG TECH L. C. Myles, Secretary, Dem.Appointee Board of Election decided to Towers. sible voter confusion caused on scholarship will be tuition and Ruffin should be aided with his stick with its original plan to Other polling sites which by the many changes NOVEMBER in the 9, 2013 JIREH PREP Sherry Barnes, Rep. Appointee that cover the football enthusiasm theand state elecclosewill some polling sites andoperating will no player’s longer be utilized of nexthaving national Terence Dicks, Dem. Appointee expense, and wedespite shouldcalls be able to chance to play create new ones includes Fire Station No.at8 Paine. on tion cycle. Cited mostGames often are at Laney Memorial High School and will start at 2 p.m. give back tothe the move school’sHighland genOne such player iswasquarterback for itmoney to postpone Avenue, Cokesbury the drastic change from until a later date. United Methodist Church, the July primary elections to state representatives Wayne precinct changes although Howard, Gloria Frazier, state Sias had some recommendaCiting the need to realign the Johnson Center in Cherry May in 2014. the polling sites following the Tree Crossing, Morgan Road Citing possible reduction in senator Hardie Davis and tions for additional changes. Among the changes 2010 Census as well as the Middle School, the Windsor minority voting participation Augusta NAACP president Dr. 2012 court-ordered redistrict- Spring Road VFW and New and disproportionate impact Charles Smith and the Rev. for 2014 is the addition of Diamond Lakes Park as an ing, the Board voted 3-1-1 Life Worship Center. on minority voters, several K.B. Martin. The board also received Advance Voting location. (one abstention) to move forBoard officials argued African-American legtislaAlong with the precinct ward with the plan presented that the changes, which will tors and civil rights advo- input from commission candito the community in a series reduce the number of polling cates voiced their objections dates Sammy Sias and Dennis changes, the local nonpartiof public hearings last month. places in the county from 50 in person and in written Williams. Neither candidate san elections will be held on Among the moves most to 44, will make it more con- documents. They included objected in principal to the either May 20 or July 15.

October 3 Edition

Paine College announces its 2013 football schedule for the first time in 51 years. Paine is to play its first game against Georgia Prep Academy.

Election panel votes to close The CiTy sites despite protests polling

UrbanProWeekly • DECEMBER 12 - 18, 2013

State Representative Quincy Murphy listens during a legislative delegation meeting with area leaders at the Augusta Library headquarters in January. Photos by Vincent Hobbs/UPW

UrbanProWeekly • NOVEMBER 21 - 27, 2013

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UrbanProWeekly • OCTOBER 3 - 9, 2013

UrbanProWeekly • AUGUST 8-14, 2013

Top 10 STORIES 2013

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UrbanProWeekly LLC

Publisher Ben Hasan 706-394-9411

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Sales & Marketing Phone: 706-394-9411

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Frederick Benjamin Sr.

editor@urbanproweekly.com Address: Social Media announces Courtesy of The3529Mailing Richmond County Board of Elections that it will follow Frederick Benjamin Sr. Monte Carlo Drive Vincent Hobbs Vincent Hobbs 706-836-2018 Augusta,with Georgia 30906 through its plans to close several polling sites including St. John Towers. coolveestudio@gmail.com

City administrator Fred Russell’s final act in city government will be to unfurl his “golden parachute.” Russell was notified on Monday that his services would no longer be needed after Dec. 31, 2013. How much will he get for walking out the door? Photo by Vincent Hobbs

THE LAST FRED RUSSELL STORY NEWS ANALYSIS

By Frederick Benjamin Sr. UrbanProWeekly Staff Writer AUGUSTA When the smoke had cleared, perhaps the most surprised folks in the building, besides city administrator Fred Russell and his staff, were the seven commissioners who voted to terminate his services after six years at the helm. The decision to fire Russell at Monday’s routine committee meeting was not a well thought out “palace coup.” It was more along the lines of “seizing the moment” — or striking while the iron was hottest. The most asked question in the wake of this “December Massacre” was, what happened in that closed-door legal session that prompted all seven commissioners present to go counter to everything they had been discussing for weeks about the imminent departure of Russell? What was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Each of the seven would tell you, simply, ‘it was time.’ That was it. So why now? Why when the mayor and three other commissioner were away?

Again, it was time. Speaking with three of the seven commissioners who attended that closed session — Marion Williams, Bill Lockett and Bill Fennoy — reveals that none of them expected beforehand that Russell would be summarily dismissed on that day. “I was in total shock. I thought a deal had been struck to let Fred work through 2014,” said Fennoy. Commissioner Lockett said there was no prior intent to lower the boom so quickly. “No, not at all. As you know, Russell and I sat down one-onone and discussed his possible departure,” Lockett said. However, commissioner Williams did not really act surprised or shocked at what had transpired. Instead, he waxed prophetic. “I made a couple of comments last week. I said it was going to be a sad Christmas for some people,” Williams said. Still, there couldn’t have been any certainty that all seven commissioners would vote in unison — something that rarely happens on really critical decisions. And yet, it happened. Divine intervention cannot

be ruled out, at least for one commissioner. “This is God’s doing,” Commissioner Lockett said. Everyone of the commissioners who did the deed will tell you something slightly different about why Russell had to go, but the best anyone could fathom about the sudden timing is that — it seemed like a good idea at the time. Most of the commissioners that voted to fire Russell will admit that there was a consensus among the majority. “It’s amazing that 6 out of 7 were on the same page at the beginning,” Lockett said. “We discussed when it was going to be effective.” That discussion led to the realization that Russell had been given chance after chance and had been given the false sense of security that he would be the final arbiter of his departure. “Everybody agreed it was time for Fred to go. The only question was when,” according to Commissioner Fennoy. It was decided that it was not going to be Dec. 31, 2014 and it was not going to be Jan. 31, 2014. One commissioner said that the termination could have been made effective that day

December 12 Edition

(Mon., Dec.10, 2013). So, this was not a snap decision. “It surprised me that we were able to discuss this thing like adults,” Lockett said. “We discussed, we compromised. I honestly believe it would have been 9-1 [if all the commissioners were in attendance].” But still, why did the vote have to happen that day? Bill Lockett said it best. “We didn’t want Fred to find out.” Why? Because once commissioners are behind closed doors or intoxicated with the air of cooperation and mutual trust, they become different people. But once the leave the meeting and are subject to their normal cycle of negative influences and exchanges with the media. They change their minds about stuff and attempt to control the narrative. No. If this thing was going to happen the way it happened, it had to happen then and there. That’s what experience has proven. Again, to everyone in that room, for whatever reason, that was the correct action to take. Now, the commissioners that didn’t attend the meeting have the luxury of scripting what

they would or would not have done. After the fact, everyone is now criticizing how the affair was stage managed. Now, it’s back to business as usual. How much is Russell going to take with him out the door and who is going to sit in his chair until this replacement is hired? Some commissioners are already reverting to form when they suggest that anyone except the sitting deputy commissioner should take the interim job. If the deputy Commissioner Tameka Allen is not considered automatically for the interim position, something is seriously wrong and the commission could continue going down the wrong path. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Allen would refuse the offer. No one could blame her. However, if she wants to vie for the top spot, she deserves the courtesy of an offer. Will more heads roll? There’s no doubt that a significant number of commissioners want to see city attorney Andrew McKenzie hit the road as well, but it is likely that the majority won’t want the Scrooge tag and McKenzie and others won’t become victims of the “December Massacre.”

Seven Augusta-Richmond Commissioners vote to terminate city Administrator Fred Russell, citing the need to go in a ‘different direction.’

UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2 - 8, 2014

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H A. Ruth Crawford and Bill Cosby at Paine College. B. The Rev. K.B. Martin at community meeting. C. Baruti Tucker at Kwanzaa celebration D. Butch Gallop and Heery personnel at City Hall E. Florence Rae Canady at Trayvon Martin Rally F. GRU basketball forward KJ Sherrill vs. Emmanual G. First Friday Musician H. Sheriff Richard Roundtree on Broad Street I. Black Nativity performance at the Kroc Center Front Cover J. Entertainer Melba Moore at a J.A.M.P. concert

All Photos by Vincent Hobbs

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UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2- 8, 2014

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COMMUNITY CORNER FIRST FRIDAY

January 3 from 5 - 9 p.m. Downtown Augusta. Enjoy live music and shop from local vendors along Broad Street and in the Augusta Common. Discover local restaurants, galleries, retail stores and nightlife. Many downtown businesses have First Friday specials.

GRU to receive diversity award AUGUSTA Georgia Regents University has been selected to receive the 2014 Award for Diversity and Inclusion by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. The award will be presented at the NCAA Convention Association Luncheon on Jan. 16 in San Diego, Calif. “I am both honored and exhilarated by this recognition,” said Kent Guion, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at GRU. “Our office strives for excellence, creativity, and inclusiveness in all of our activities and this prestigious award certainly challenges us to raise the bar even higher.” According to NCAA and MOAA officials, GRU’s office of diversity and Inclusion was selected for this award as a result of the university’s initiatives, community service, and professional development opportunities that foster diversity and inclusion within the intercollegiate athletic community. The university’s diversity and inclusion activities have included an annual summit to foster diversity through community dialogue, partnerships, and a shared framework; the sponsorship and promotion of monthly cultural events across campus; and the presentation of diversity and inclusion information to student athletes and the coaching staff. The office was also commended on its facilitation of Healthy Perspectives program, a nationally recognized a cultural competency training program. The university had more than 9,000 faculty and staff complete the training. “I am grateful for the NCAA and the MOAA for promoting diversity and inclusion as a key priority and equally as thankful for the all the supporters and champions at GRU who have contributed to our success,” said Clint Bryant, Director of Athletics at GRU.

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12 UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2- 8, 2014

U W rban Pro

eekly

HOOPS Richmond County Varsity Basketball • 2013 -2014 Season Nov. 29-30 (Fri.-Sat.)

Cross Creek @ Jefferson Co. (Fri.) ARC, Butler, Glenn Hills, Laney, Josey @ 100 Black Men Classic @ ARC (Sat.)

Nov. 30 (Sat.)

Butler @ Rockdale Co.

Dec. 3 (Tue.)

Laney @ Glenn Hills Greenbrier @ Hephzibah

Dec. 6 (Fri.)

Jefferson Co. @ Cross Creek Westside @ Lakeside Josey @ Savannah High Laney @ Beach High Hephzibah @ Grovetown ARC @ Evans Tournament

Dec. 7 (Sat.)

ARC @ Evans Tournament GAC @ Butler Laney @ Savannah High Josey @ Beach High Lincoln Co. @ Westside Dec. 10 (Tue.) Grovetown @ARC Athens Academy @ Glenn Hills Lakeside @ Westside

VOTE

Harold V. Jones II State Senate District 22 Working Together to Move Augusta Forward

Dec. 13 (Fri.) Cross Creek @ N. Augusta Jefferson Co. @ Westside Josey @ Butler Swainsboro @ Laney Grovetown @ Hephzibah Glenn Hills @ Aquinas

Dec. 14 (Sat.)

Rockdale Co. @ Butler Glenn Hills @ Aquinas Hephzibah @ Geenbrier Laney @ East Laurens Westside @ Denmark/Olar Cross Creek @ Thomson

Dec. 20-23 (Fri.-Mon.)

Westside @ WACO Tourney

Dec. 26-28 (Thu.-Sat.)

ARC, Hephzibah, Josey, Butler, Cross Creek @ Evans Tourney Westside@Baldwin Classic Laney@Colquitt Classic Butler @ Columbia Classic Glenn HIlls @ Nike Int. Westside @ Lake Marion

2014

Jan. 3 (Fri.)

Dec. 17 (Tue.)

Westside @ Hephzibah

Cross Creek @ Burke Co. Josey @ Dublin Hephzibah@ Glenn HIlls Glenn Hills @ Laney

Dec. 19-21 (Thu.-Sat.)

Jan. 4 (Sat.)

ARC boys and girls, Hephzibah boys and girls Glenn Hills girls and boys Josey girls and boys Cross Creek girls and boys Aiken girls, Midland Valley girls, Meadowcreek girls and boys, Calhoun Co. boys, Orangeburg/W. boys @Holiday Round Ball Classic at Paine College

Hardie

DAVIS for Mayor

NE Augusta

Glenn Hills @ Josey Laney @ Butler Thomson @ Westside North Augusta @ Cross Creek

Jan. 7 (Tue.)

Cross Creek @ ARC Butler @ Hephzibah Screven Co. @ Westide Laney @ Harlem Burke Co. @ Glenn Hills


13

Wilkinson Co. @ Josey Laney @ Screven Co. Harlem @ Westside Butler @ Cross Creek Glenn Hills @ ARC Hephzibah @ Burke County

Jan. 11 (Sat.)

ARC @ Westside Butler @ Josey Laney @ Swainsboro

Jan. 14 (Tue.)

Jan. 20 (Mon.)

Glenn Hills @ MLK Invitational Laney boys @ MLK Invitational Laney girls @ Copeland Classic

Jan. 21 (Tue.)

Harlem @ Laney Westside @ Screven Burke Co. @ Cross Creek Glenn Hills @ Hephzibah Butler @ ARC

Jan. 24 (Fri.)

Laney @ Josey Glenn Hills @ Cross Creek Burke Co. @ Butler ARC @ Hephzibah

ARC @ Cross Creek Hephzibah @ Butler Glenn Hills @ Burke Co. Westside @ Harlem Screven Co @ Laney

Jan. 17 (Fri.)

Jan. 25 (Sat.)

Cross Creek @ Hephzibah ARC @ Burke Co. Glenn Hills @ Butler Laney @ Westside Josey @ East Laurens

Jan. 18 (Sat.)

Josey @ MLK Invitational Laney @ Butler Glenn Hills @ Will Avery Classic

Josey @ Laney Greenbrier @ Westside Glenn Hills @ Athens Christian Academy

Jan. 31 (Fri.)

Westside @ Laney Cross Creek @ Glenn Hills Butler @ Burke Co. Hephzibah@ ARC

Feb. 1 (Sat.)

Hephzibah @Westside Dublin @ Josey

Feb. 4 (Tue.)

Hephzibah @ Cross Creek Burke Co. @ ARC Butler @ Glenn Hills

Feb. 7 (Fri.)

Glenn Hills @ Butler Westside @ Thomson Josey @ Aquinas

Feb. 8 (Sat.)

Dublin @ Laney East Laurens @ Josey

Jan. 28 (Tue.)

Cross Creek @ Butler ARC @ Glenn Hills Burke Co. @ Hephzibah

Major Local Tournaments 100 Black Women Classic, Nov. 25-28 100 Black Men Classic, Nov. 30 Holiday Round Ball Classic, Dec. 19 -21

www.augustatech.edu

UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2 - 8, 2014

Jan. 10 (Fri.)


UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2- 8, 2014

14

U W rban Pro

eekly

FORUM

BETWEEN THE LINES

Carter, Nunn hope to alter Ga. politics DEMOCRATS’ SOUTHERN STRATEGY VIEWS GEORGIA AS NATIONAL ‘BATTLEGROUND STATE’ By Karen Tumulty The Washington Post MACON The two major parties here don’t agree on many things. One of them is that it is only a matter of time before Georgia goes from being a Republican stronghold to a state that is up for grabs. In next year’s elections, Democrats will be looking to speed that process along with a couple of candidates who bring fresh faces and familiar names. They are Senate contender Michelle Nunn, an executive who is also the daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, and gubernatorial hopeful Jason Carter, a third-term state senator who is a grandson of former president Jimmy Carter. Nunn and Carter face tough odds, given that Georgia has not elected a non-incumbent Democrat to any statewide office since the waning years of the last century. But recent demographic shifts suggest a new electoral equation could be forming — and probably more quickly than in muchtalked-about Texas. The face of the state is being changed by an influx of African Americans and Latinos. Although whites accounted for 71 percent of Georgians who voted in the 2004 elections, that share had dropped by nearly 10 percentage points in 2012. Last year, President Obama’s reelection campaign pretty much ignored Georgia, but he still got more than 45 percent of the vote. Of the states that Obama lost to Republican Mitt Romney, Georgia had the second-narrowest margin, behind battleground North Carolina. Democrats say all they need now is more money, better organization and the right names on the ballot — the last of which they believe they have found in Nunn and Carter, who present themselves as affable consensus-builders willing to reach across party lines. “Everybody said it could happen by 2018, but because of these two candidates and the excitement they bring, we’re going to do it in 2014,” said DuBose Porter, who took over in August as chairman of the troubled and underfunded Georgia Democratic Party.

Republicans see the same tectonic shifts at work, though they say the timeline is longer. “In five or six or seven years, this will be a swing state, a real battleground. It will probably be the next Virginia or North Carolina,” GOP strategist Paul Bennecke said. “Our party, for longevity purposes, has to figure out a way to reach out.” At a minimum, the prospect of Nunn and Carter on the ticket — both are expected to win nomination easily — has given Georgia Democrats a jolt of energy, enthusiasm and fundraising potential they have lacked in recent years. The state party raised $150,000 at a Nov. 20 luncheon in downtown Atlanta, at which Nunn and Carter were featured speakers. Nunn collected an attention-getting $1.7 million in the first 10 weeks after announcing her candidacy in July. The money came from more than 6,700 individual donors, including some prominent contributors who normally give to Republicans. Last month, former senator John W. Warner (R-Va.) attended a fundraiser for Nunn; his political action committee contributed $500 to her campaign. Georgia is one of only two states where, at this point, Democrats have even plausible hopes of taking a Senate seat from Republicans in 2014. The other place where they are playing offense is Kentucky, against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. A centrist approach Thus far, Nunn has taken a cautious, centrist approach. She says, for example, that she supports the Affordable Care Act but that she also agrees with Georgia’s junior Republican senator, Johnny Isakson, that penalties against individuals who fail to buy insurance should be delayed until the law is working smoothly. “People are ready for some new leadership and new perspectives and qualities of leadership that are in short supply in Washington,” Nunn said in an interview. “That includes somebody who is a problem-solver and who brings civility and a spirit of collaboration and who is focused on getting things done. Georgia’s

state motto is ‘wisdom, justice, moderation.’ ” Of course, dynastic appeals such as Nunn and Carter represent, are nothing new in politics. The current U.S. Senate roster, for example, includes such political brand names as Begich, Casey, Landrieu, Murkowski, Paul, Pryor, Rockefeller and Udall (twice). A famous political name means that “there will be some people who will be closed to us, and there will be a great number of people who will give us a second look because of it,” Carter said in an interview. “But at the end of the day, all you get is a second look.” Although Nunn’s father is fondly remembered as a brainy and independent-minded senator, his name has not been on the ballot in Georgia since 1990. Michelle Nunn is running as a sort of anti-politician with a story of her own to tell as a founder and now the head of the nation’s largest organization devoted to volunteer service. Among Georgia voters, however, she is still largely unknown. Carl Fambro, 57, a Macon restaurant owner, recalls voting for Sam Nunn because the senator was a strong supporter of the military. “I didn’t know his daughter was interested in politics. I didn’t even know he had a daughter,” Fambro said. Fambro and about a half-dozen other local busi­ ness­peo­ple met with Michelle Nunn on Thursday morning around a table at his Francar’s Buffalo Wings restaurant. It was a low-key event, and Nunn mostly listened, jotting down their concerns and observations — about taxes, health care, burdensome regulations, difficulties obtaining loans — in a three-ring notebook. Nunn didn’t even mention her Senate race until the session was almost over. “I kind of like her. She seems energetic, friendly, really interested in what we had to say,” Fambro said afterward. “I’m sold.” At least as important as anything Nunn brings to the race, she also stands to benefit from the disarray on the other side of the ballot. There

Michelle Nunn are currently more than a half-dozen Republicans vying to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a situation that promises a bruising, expensive primary and almost certainly a runoff. Establishment Republicans worry that Nunn could have an opening, should the party nominate one of the morefar-right contenders, such as Rep. Paul Broun, who has described evolution, embryology and the big-bang theory as “lies straight from the pit of Hell.” “If she could get to run against him, he could be the Todd Akin of 2014,” said University of Georgia political scientist Charles Bullock, referring to the Missouri 2012 Senate nominee, who lost what Republicans considered a likely pickup seat after he suggested that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” Speaking of which, another GOP Senate contender in Georgia — Rep. Phil Gingrey, an obstetrician-gynecologist— revived that controversy this year when he said Akin had been “partly right” about rape. A steeper climb Jason Carter’s route to victory is even steeper than Nunn’s, given that he is challenging an incumbent, Gov. Nathan Deal. Carter announced that he is running on Nov. 7. An early test of his viability will be the fundraising numbers he produces at the end of December. The state senator, 38, portrays himself as pragmatic, even on the ideologically fraught question of whether the state should accept federal funds to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. “The current governor has decided to import all that Washington politics into our

Jason Carter health-care system,” Carter said in an interview. “Our federal tax dollars are going to expand and improve health care in New Jersey and Florida and other places with Republican governors, and Georgia is not getting those benefits. And that’s because the governor is just consumed by the Washington politics of Obamacare.” Given his grandfather’ continued activism, Carter acknowledges that the former president’s name is likely to have little crossover appeal to staunch Republicans. Just last month, the state senator emphasized his differences with his grandfather when Jimmy Carter called for an end to capital punishment. The younger Carter said he supports the death penalty in cases of “heinous crimes, and that won’t change when I’m governor.” Jason Carter also noted that he has an A-rating from the National Rifle Association, an organization that the former president has criticized. “Some super-partisan people will never vote for me, because I’m Jimmy Carter’s grandson, and that will be a barrier,” Carter said. “The vast majority of people think of him as I do, as a good person who has lived his life based on his faith.” But Carter also insisted that the time is right, for himself and Nunn. “This was the state that is sort of next in line as a national battleground, so we’ve got that to build on from a Democratic base standpoint,” he said. “It is a path that is going to require both me and Michelle to do what we’ve done in our lives, to reach out to independents and Republicans of all kinds and demonstrate that we can provide the kind of leadership the state needs.”


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16 UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 2- 8, 2014

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