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Feds halt attempt to move elections New hope for expanded bus service




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“Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience” Georgia Regents University’s Reese Library will host the exhibit on January 18, 2013

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Aimee Sanders joins Frails & Wilson Law Firm Frails & Wilson is pleased to announce that attorney Aimee Pickett Sanders has joined the Firm as an Associate. Ms. Sanders is a graduate of the University of Georgia, School of Law. She served as a federal law clerk and an attorney for an international law firm in Atlanta, GA; she was also affiliated with a national law firm in Columbia, SC. During law school, Ms. Sanders traveled to Brussels, Belgium and became certified in European Union law; thereafter, she stayed and interned with an international law firm. She was also honored to be named Southern Bankruptcy Leadership Institute’s Distinguished Law Student and achieved significant success in the advocacy arena, garnering a best brief award and coaching a moot court team to a regional championship. Ms. Sanders was recently married to, Kester Sanders, who is a native of Augusta, GA. Among other volunteer and civic activities, Ms. Sanders is an active member of The Junior League of Augusta and the Augusta Chapter of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys. She has also been selected to participate in the YLD Leadership Academy, Class of 2013.

Augusta Mini Theatre Presents

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The Parents of Tabatha Tutt vs. D.J. Smoke Aimee Sanders Ms. Sanders engages in general practice with an emphasis on domestic litigation, personal injury and business law. Frails & Wilson is located at 211 Pleasant Home Rd., Suite A-1, Augusta, GA 30907; 706-855-6715; Fax 706-855-7631.

AUGUSTA Augusta Mini Theatre, Inc. Community Arts and Life Skills School will present “The Parents of Tabatha Tutt vs. D.J. Smoke” starting January 18 – February 18, 2012 with performances at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. The performance will take place at the Judith Simon Drama Studio located inside the Augusta Mini Theatre, Inc.  Admission for adults is $12, children and students, $10 and $8 for youth groups/organizations with ten or more.  “The Parents of Tabatha Tutt vs. D.J. Smoke” is a one-act play that asks, who is responsible for raising children: Parents or such outside forces as edited and unedited songs played on the

radio and underground? Tutt’s parents challenges and sues a local D.J., whom they blame for their daughter’s poor choices. “This play takes a look into the current issues youth and parents face with the negative imagery and lyrical content widely available to them via television and radio,” said Tyrone J. Butler, executive director of the Augusta Mini Theatre, Inc. “Our youth encounter issues such as this daily and this play was written to help them positively tackle these types of challenges.”  Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Augusta Mini Theatre at 2548 Deans Bridge Road, Augusta, GA 30906, calling (706) 722-0598 or

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

AUGUSTA Incoming freshman to Augusta State University who graduate in four years will become the inaugural class the new Georgia Regents University. The consolidation of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities is official following Monday’s approval of a resolution by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to form Georgia Regents University.  “Today marks an important milestone for Georgia Regents University,” said GRU President Ricardo Azziz, who today was appointed to lead the consolidated university. “I am thankful for the trust the regents have placed in us and the partnership, support and active engagement exhibited by our faculty, staff, students, alumni, volunteers and friends throughout this consolidation process.”  Following approval of a recommendation to consolidate the two univer-

Sales & Marketing Phone: 706-394-9411 New Media Consultant Director of Photography Vincent Hobbs

sities at its January 2012 meeting, the regents approved the new university’s mission statement in May and the name Georgia Regents University in August. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, a regional accrediting body for higher education institutions, affirmed the regents’ recommendation when it voted to approve the consolidation at its annual meeting in December. The new  university includes nine colleges, nearly 10,000 students, more than 650 acres of campus, nearly 150 buildings, more than 1,000 full-time faculty, approximately 5,600 staff, an integrated health system and a growing intercollegiate athletics program. It’s economic impact will be nearly $1.3 billion. The inaugural class of GRU will enroll in this fall.  For more information, visit www.

email: Ben Hasan Frederick Benjamin Sr. Vincent Hobbs

urban•pro CITY


By Frederick Benjamin UrbanProWeekly Staff Writer AUGUSTA Proponents of expanded bus service in Augusta learned that increased funding as a result of the onecent transportation sales tax (TSPLOST) may be headed to Augusta — and very soon. The unexpected windfall will result in the city’s share of “discretionary funding” which may be available as soon as March of this year. These funds may be used 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

line for a share of $800 million in expected revenue over the next 10 years. According to Grantham, minority participation in any proposed transportation projects will be written into the bid process and that Augusta-Richmond’s engineering department will be in charge of the process. City members who attended the session including commissioners Alvin Mason, Bill Lockett, and Marion Williams wanted to know if there were any guarantees in place to 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

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

mandates. Commissioner Mason wants to expand bus service further into South Augusta.

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

Voting Rights challenge succeeds

Feds say voting change hurts blacks By Frederick Benjamin UrbanProWeekly Staff Writer

State representative Quincy Murphy expressed satisfaction that the U.S. Justice Department objected to the attempt to move city elections from November to July. Photo by Vincent Hobbs

AUGUSTA The most recent buzz on the voting rights front is the recent objection by the U.S. Department of Justice to proposed changes that would move Augusta’s city elections (mayor and commissioners) from November to July. The measure, which was supported by local delegation member Barbara Sims, was purported to apply to all consolidated governments in the state, but it clearly targeted Democratic hotbed Richmond County. In a letter dated Dec. 22, 2012, the Justice Department notified the state of Georgia that provisions in Senate Bill 92 which Governor Nathan Deal signed into law last spring did not pass muster. The Justice Department concluded that the state had not “met its burden of showing that the proposed changes has neither the purpose nor will have the effect of deny-

ing or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color or membership in a language minority group.” The Justice Department explained that Augusta would have been the only “municipal-style” government in the state that would have been compelled to change its nonpartisan elections from November to July. The state had argued that Richmond County was not specifically mentioned in the bill. The Justice Department, which reviewed documents, resolutions and statements provided by local politicians, civil rights organizations and activists, concluded that there was clear evidence that moving the elections from November to July would disproportionately effect African Americans. “Our analysis . . . indicates that moving AugustaRichmond’s mayoral and commissioner elections from

November to July would have a retrogressive effect on the ability of minority voters to elect candidates of choice to office,” the letter states. State Representative Quincy Murphy said that members of the delegation had been working in support of the challenge since August 2012. The federal agency went further and suggested that the intent of the legislation was discriminatory. It cited the large African American concentration in Richmond County and the importance of voter turnout. The Justice Department also referenced the fact that the Augusta-Richmond commission passed a resolution asking that the elections not be moved. The state can ask the U.S. Attorney General to reconsider, otherwise it must let the Justice Department know what its intentions are.

UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 10-17, 2013

TSPLOST funds could be key to expanded bus service

UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 10-16, 2013


Women elected to top posts on Richmond school board

Venus Cain

Helen Minchew

AUGUSTA For the first time ever, the top posts on the Richmond County Board of Education will be held

by two women. At it first meeting of the new year, school board trustees elected Venus Cain, president and Helen Minchew vice president of the local school board. Cain, a former vice president, was elected 8-1 at a January 5 organizational meeting. The pair must guide the school system through the continuing budget short falls which have remained a challenge for the past several years. New challenges are on the horizon

as the state prepares to implement new provisions for funding charter schools. It is widely believed that funding those independent entities will further erode funding for the state’s public schools. The pair agreed that school safety and student achievement remain priorities for the school system. The promotions also mean an increase in pay for the two trustees. Cain will receive $8,000 and Minchew will receive $7,400. Regular board

members receive $6,800 a year. The president sets the agenda, presides over the board meetings and represents the board in official functions. Cain said she would like the board to look at ways to restore the roughly B four furlough days planned for the e rest of this school year, although the F slash in state funding and budget f demands may prevent that. a The next board meeting will be s held on January 15.

5 s l w p K C r t

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Martin Luther King Jr.

Birthday Edition Jan. 17, 2013 • Call 706-394-9411

A m d s A l t t t r

a a f PURCHASING DISPARITY BACK ON THE FRONT BURNER. t Commissioner Marion Williams makes a point during a recent city c meeting. Even before being elected to the commission, Williams had b championed the implementation of recommendations outlined in the $500,000 disparity study which has largely been ignored by the city. A e A special session will be held on January 14, to discuss the matter. f Photo by Vincent Hobbs O J e t c

p H i l f a C C v

a J “ t u i a T t l b n t T s o i

a A n m f H l a n C

AUGUSTA “Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,” an exciting new traveling exhibition opening at Reese Library on Friday, January 18, examines the challenges faced by African-American baseball players as they sought equal opportunities in the sport beginning in the post-Civil War era. The exhibit opens with a program at 5:30 p.m. in 170 University Hall, featuring a special segment of Ken Burns’ Baseball, followed by a panel discussion. Guest speakers will include former Negro League baseball players, Carl Long and Cliff Layton. Chris Kane, television news anchor for WJBF News Channel 6, will moderate the discussion. A reception and special preview of the exhibition will follow in the Reese Library. In the 1880s, more than 30 African Americans were on teams in baseball’s major and minor leagues. But opportunities diminished as Reconstruction ended and segregation became entrenched as part of American culture. During the 1887 season, league owners agreed to make no new contracts with African-American players. From that time on, until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, baseball was a segregated sport. In response, more than 200 independent all-black teams organized and barnstormed around the country, developing a reputation for a fast-running, power-hitting game. By the 1920s, black baseball had its own successful professional leagues. Negro league baseball grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise and a focus of great pride in the African-American community. Legendary figures such as Rube Foster, Buck Leonard, Oscar Charleston, James “Cool Papa” Bell, Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige thrilled audiences and helped pave the way for integration of the major leagues in the mid-20th century. In 1971, Satchel Paige became the first player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame based solely on his performance in the Negro leagues. In the years that followed, more than 35 players and managers from such powerhouse Negro league teams as the Chicago American Giants, Kansas City Monarchs, St. Louis Stars, Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays have been voted into the Hall of Fame. “We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Autumn Johnson, User Engagement Librarian. “Players in the Negro leagues were some of the most talented and inspiring sports figures of their day. This exhibition shows that, in spite of segregation, black players helped advance the game of baseball in many ways. The Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro league team, were the first to develop a successful lighting system for night games, five years before Major League Baseball played its first night game. They carried their own generators and light stands with them on the road. The exhibition tells many more remarkable stories of players and teams who were shut out of major league baseball, but persevered in a sport they loved.” The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based upon an exhibition of the same name on permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

The traveling exhibition is composed of colorful freestanding panels featuring photographs of teams, players, original documents and artifacts in the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and in other institutions and collections across the U.S. The library is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. Contact 706-667-4912, reference@, or visit for more information. “Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience” will be on display at the Reese Library until February 21.

By the 1920s, black baseball had its own successful professional leagues. Negro league baseball grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise and a focus of great pride in the AfricanAmerican community.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

Birthday Edition Jan. 17, 2013 • Call 706-394-9411

MLK Celebration at Georgia Regents Univ. The Martin Luther King Jr. program will be hosted by the Summerville campus of Georgia Regents University (GRU) on Friday, January 18, at noon in the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. The featured speaker will be Dr. Louis V. Baldwin of Vanderbilt University on “Remembering Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama.”

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Paine College’s Allen Young (L) goes for the rebound against Stillman’s Markeith Madison (R). The Lions defeated the Stillman Tigers 96-90 in their first match at the new HEAL complex gym on January 5. Photo by Vincent Hobbs/UPW


On Tuesday, January 8, the Lucy Laney Lady Wildcats defeated the Harlem High School Lady Bulldogs 78-32 in a game at the Laney gym. (At right) A hotly contesst possession. (Below) Cheerleaders rally the crowd during a basketball game at the Laney gym. Photos by Vincent Hobbs/UPW

UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 10-16, 2013


Library Events Financial Wellness Month Activities For Teens


January 22nd, 23rd & 24th @5:00 January is Financial Wellness Month, a time to put our money and wealth in perspective. But you’re a teen with no wealth, you say? Is the money you received at Christmas burning a hole in your pocket? Do you still have some money from your part-time job that was not spent on post-holiday shopping? Do you just want to learn how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents before you make your first dollar (or fifteen cents for that matter)? Make time this week to come out and talk with a representative from a local consumer credit agency. Watch a few videos aimed at teens and their finances. Check the website for exact times and daily activities and come find out how you can make “a dolla holla.”

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Charter school scams cost Oregon millions Lack of oversight’ in charter schools encouraging education fraud Lauren McCauley, staff writer In the latest incident of charter school fraud, the state of Oregon is going after a pair of charter school con men who reportedly scammed the state out of $17 million. The Oregonian is reporting that Tim King and Norm Donohoe, who ran a chain of taxpayer-funded charter schools under the guise of a nonprofit named EdChoices, “submitted false, incomplete and misleading records about how many students were enrolled in the schools and how they were spending the state’s money. The report continues: The pair opened and operated at least 10 charter schools that went by various and changing names, including Baker Web Academy, Estacada Early College and Sheridan AllPrep Academy. Most were launched under the name AllPrep. They existed under agreements with the school boards in Estacada, Sisters, Baker City, Sheridan, Burns and Marcola,

Incidents of fraud are among the many reasons why the push to privatize education is wrought with the failings of corporatization. but enrolled students from across the state in their online programs. The state provided startup grants of up to $450,000 per charter school. The state Department of Education also paid about $6,000 a year for each student enrolled, relying on the charter school operators to document the number. The state now says those records were “erroneous, false and misleading.” According to a state court filing (.pdf), brought Thursday by the Oregon Department of Justice in Marion County Circuit Court, the pair is accused of racketeering and money laundering from 2007 to 2010 and is being ordered to repay the $17 million plus an additional $2.7 million for breach of contract and attorney fees.

Reportedly, many of the schools closed abruptly when state regulators began asking questions in spring 2010, leaving students and teachers with nowhere to go. Remaining schools have either since closed or continue to operate under new auspices. Evidence suggests this is not the first or last time parents, students and state education boards will be swindled by privatized education. This summer, a renowned Philadelphia charter school mogul was indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. And between 2005 and 2011, the US Department of Education opened 53 investigations into charter school fraud, resulting in 21 indictments and 17 convictions

in states including California, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. “You have so few people keeping track of the charter schools,” said Philadelphia Inquirerreporter Martha Woodall, who has been mired in an ongoing investigation into Philadelphia’s charter schools, regarding the system’s lack of oversight. Incidents of fraud are among the many reasons why the push to privatize education is wrought with the failings of corporatization. As education historian Diane Ravitch writes: The free market works very well in producing goods and services, but it works through competition. In competition, the weakest fall behind. The market does not produce equity. In the free market, there are a few winners and a lot of losers. Some corporate reformers today advocate that schools should be run like a stock portfolio: Keep the winners and sell the losers.

Self-inflicted terrorism

American cultural “norms” ofttimes leads to violence by Lucinda Marshall Consider the following: • 168 children have been killed by American drone strikes during the last seven years. • There were more than  500 deaths in Chicago last year. • More U.S. troops die of selfinflicted wounds than in battle. • Congress failed to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act last year even though VAWA has been proven to be a cost effective way to save lives. You cannot separate these facts, they are intrinsically linked in our culture that glorifies war and violence. A recent romp with my remote control through cable channels illustrated all too clearly that the generation that is just now reaching adulthood has grown up with a staggering amount of violent entertainment that glorifies the use of force. If it isn’t about law and order, it is the Military Channel or a ‘reality’ show about border patrols or cops, never mind the computer games and on and on. This is the generation that grew up with the military freely roaming school cafeterias recruiting our children courtesy of the No Child Left Behind Act under the watchful eye of Homeland Security and being told constantly that we must be vigilant and get the bad guys before

We have relentlessly told this generation that guns and violence are the way to solve things, exert power and get what you want. they get us. We have relentlessly told this generation that guns and violence are the way to solve things, exert power and get what you want. Little wonder then that there is an epidemic of troops finding out that being in the military and killing people, especially little children, isn’t at all as cool or righteous as they were led to believe.  And little wonder that there is a gunpossessed murder epidemic in this country.  I simply do not remember when the last time was that I opened my morning paper without finding a report of a murder, or more often than not, multiple murders.  It is a daily event in this country. And we need to hold Congress accountable. That they are more afraid of the gun lobby than of their constituents being killed is

unacceptable. In addition, their failure last year to re-authorize funding for the Violence Against Women Act leaves us with the deadly take-away that as a nation, we do not take violence against women seriously. And year after year, they give the military more and more money while education funding languishes. We have set up a monstrous apparatus for catching ‘terrorists’ in this country.  But let’s get real– taking off our shoes at the airport while a gun show goes on down the road and sending the military into our schools to entice our children to serve their country only to send them into service so pointless and brutal that they take their own lives  and refusing to provide funds to address violence against women amounts to self-inf licted terrorism. And think about this too – If a young Arab man commits mass murder, he is described as a terrorist. If a young man of color commits mass murder in a poor inner city neighborhood, he is described as a dangerous thug. If a young man joins the military and accidentally kills innocent civilians on a bombing run, he is a hero and the deaths are referred to as accidental collateral damage. If a young white man commits

mass murder in the suburbs, we say it was his mental health or his home life. We need to do a reality check of our own situational perceptions in labeling men (and yes it is almost always men and we need to confront that too), who kill and their victims, because regardless of where killing takes place and who pulls the trigger, dead is dead, killing is killing, whether it is children in Pakistan killed by a drone strike or children in a Connecticut suburb killed by a disturbed young man, and the grief of their loved ones is the same, no matter what their skin color is or where they live. We must mourn all of those who have been murdered, and we must strive to end the culture of entitlement and impunity that allows and enables killing, wherever it takes place. We need to think about what we have taught our children. It has very real and very deadly consequences.  And we need to move away from equating punishment with justice.  Doing that requires a massive shift in our thinking and a relentless connecting of dots in understanding the impact of our actions. Copyright Marshall




UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 10-17, 2013



UrbanProWeekly • JANUARY 10-16, 2013


Livin OutLoud

Artistic Commentary Provided by LadyVee DaPoet

The perfect formula for a successful event So, you’re a visual artist, a spoken word artist, a singer, a musician, a comedian, an actor or actress, a model or fashion designer, or just a cool and artistic-minded person… does that automatically mean you have the skills to market and host a creative event? Time’s up! The answer is: NO!! In my experience in the spoken word/art industry, I’ve come across many individuals and sometimes whole organizations that take on the task of hosting monthly or one-time events that are, at best, mediocre or highly unorganized. Just like there is no such thing as a perfect person, there are no such things as “perfect events”. However, an event can be carefully planned, executed, remembered and held in high regard if the people behind the event care enough to take the time to make it quality. In my opinion, the perfect formula for a successful artistic event lies in an old saying: “The right people, doing the right jobs, at the right time”. Let’s break this down to explain a bit further. “The right people” need to be selected to have responsibility to help make the event run smoothly. One person may want all the control and all the credit for the event but that’s a recipe for

a stressed out individual who is more likely to drop the ball when it comes to certain important details. Designating tasks (the right jobs) to people takes a huge amount of trust and experience with that person to know that they have your best interests in mind and are passionate about the goals of the event. Really think about your social circle and determine who would be best for each position: hosting, taking the admission charge, handling the email list or open mic list, taking pictures, setting up equipment, etc. By trusting others and delegating jobs to the right people, it sets a foundation to eliminate a lot of stress and make room to have more fun! When you market your event to the masses, it’s important to determine “the right timing.” For example, you don’t want to announce your event years in advance. People have short attention spans and will forget all about it! You also don’t want to bombard people with countless emails, advertisements, texts, tweets, smoke signals, and carrier pigeons about your event. If people get annoyed by you, they will find somewhere else to be and decline your invitation altogether. Instead, figure out your target audience and market to them about

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together, it will be something that will affect your community in a positive way and not have people waste their time for attending. Once again, good timing is key and very effective when it comes to successful events. It’s the start of a brand new 2013 year. The calendar is a blank canvas slate waiting to be filled with exciting, artistic ventures! Let’s Go!!


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Urban Pro Weekly  

The CSRA 's free weekly - featuring entertainment, arts, news, sports, and political commentary.

Urban Pro Weekly  

The CSRA 's free weekly - featuring entertainment, arts, news, sports, and political commentary.