Attorney General Eric Holder Announces $124 Million Community Police Hiring Grant

Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) announced on Monday a $124 million hiring grant in the latest of the Justice Department’s goal to improve the quality of police forces nationwide. Alongside Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director Ron Davis, the pair enacted the grant in support of strengthening community policing.The grant will fund around 950 officers at 215 law enforcement agencies across the nation. The grant money is especially focused on three key areas: increasing community policing; bolstering crime reduction; and increasing public safety.

Both Holder and Davis issued statements regarding the grant, detailing the finer points and emphasizing its grand goal of supporting officers already in place in these communities as well as new hires by way of securing salary and crime reduction efforts.

From Attorney General Holder:

“These targeted investments will help to address acute needs – such as high rates of violent crime – funding 75 percent of the salary and benefits of every newly-hired or re-hired officer for three full years,” said Attorney General Holder. “The impact of this critical support will extend far beyond the creation and preservation of law enforcement jobs. It will strengthen relationships between these officers and the communities they serve, improve public safety and keep law enforcement officers on the beat.”

From Director Davis:

“The COPS Office is pleased to assist local law enforcement agencies throughout the country in addressing their most critical public safety issues,” said Director Davis. “Funding from this year’s program will allow many cities and counties to focus newly sworn personnel on issues related to violent crime, property crime and school safety.”

Referred to as the COPS Hiring Program, the grants will be awarded to state, local, and also tribal law enforcement agencies to hire or rehire from within the communities they serve. As explained by Holder, up to 75 percent of the entry-level salaries and basic benefits of full-time officers will be funded over a period of 36 months. The local agencies must match a minimum of 25 percent local funds with the federal maximum of funding capped at $125,000 per officer.

Grant award recipients for the 2014 portion of the program were selected for plans they submitted regarding strategies, exhibiting a financial need, and the rates of violent crimes in their communities.

COPS has provided funds to more than 125,000 officers serving 13,000 national agencies to date. It has also funded several organizations over the years with more than 700,000 people receiving training via its programs. Those individuals include government leaders, community organizers, and police officials among others. The COPS program is in its 20th year, providing more than $14 billion in hiring efforts among national agencies.

Learn more about the COPS Hiring Program here.

article by D.L. Chandler via newsone.com

THEATER REVIEW: Craig Grant, aka “muMs”, Sets His Life Story to Hip-Hop in “A Sucker Emcee”

“A Sucker Emcee”: Craig Grant, also known as muMs, in his show at the Bank Street Theater. (Credit: Ruby Washington/The New York Times)

Like Jean-Jacques Rousseau set to a hip-hop beat, Craig Grant offers his confessions in “A Sucker Emcee,” produced by the Labyrinth Theater Company. While a D.J. (Rich Medina) moves between two turntables, scratching and spinning, Mr. Grant tells the story of his life in rhymed couplets.

Mr. Grant, also known as muMs, speaks in a gentle growl with just a trace of a native Bronx drawl, though he can send his voice swooping up and down the social register. Dressed in Nikes and a T-shirt proclaiming “The Truth,” he spends most of the show near the front of the bare stage, lips pressed close to a microphone.

Though he’ll occasionally speak as his mother, his father, a friend or a teacher, he spends most of the piece as simply himself, narrating youthful screw-ups with fondness and exasperation.

In some ways his story is standard bullet-point autobiography. He begins with his volatile Bronx childhood, darts through some dissolute college years, chronicles his subsequent ups and down as a rapper and actor (best known for his role in the HBO prison drama “Oz”) and finally returns, with hard-won maturity and grace, to the borough of his birth. So far, so familiar. But what adds urgency and fierce pleasure to the monologue, directed by Jenny Koons, is his debt to music. D.J.’s, it seems, saved Mr. Grant’s life. “Before hip-hop, I couldn’t speak,” Mr. Grant recalls. The music gave him a voice, a place, a future, helping him to “turn all that hate into a dance and a chant.”

Mr. Medina provides backing beats to Mr. Grant’s chants and sometimes helps him pay more direct homage to the heroes of his youth — KRS-One, Rakim, the Sugarhill Gang. Even when the show threatens to turn into some sort of lecture demonstration, it’s still pretty good fun, with Mr. Medina illustrating each style and technique while Mr. Grant narrates and occasionally threatens some B-boy moves.

Even when the story ends with Mr. Grant’s returning to the Bronx and caring compassionately for his aging mother, the beat and the applause don’t stop.

HEALTH: Five Superfood Smoothie Recipes

assorted fruit smoothies

Forget your go-to strawberry and banana smoothie combo and sip on something healthy AND exciting this fall!  Thanks to antioxidant-rich berries, nuts and green tea, these five recipes are packed with superfood power.

To Make:  In the order listed, place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.  If you are using frozen fruit instead of fresh, only use 3/4 cup of ice.

1. Berry-Cherry Chiller

1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup pitted and halved cherries
1/2 cup lowfat plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sip Tip: Pure vanilla extract has less calories than flavored syrup, so try not to substitute.

2. Island Mango Madness

1 cup ice cubes
3/4 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks
2 tablespoons canned pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
Pinch cayenne pepper

Sip Tip:  The mango does not need to be soft. Continue reading

R.I.P. American Book Award-Winning Writer J. California Cooper

J. California Cooper in 1987. (Credit: Ellen Banner)

J. California Cooper, an award-winning writer whose black female characters confront a world of indifference and betrayal, but find kinship there in unexpected places, died on September 20th in Seattle. She was 82.  A spokesman for Random House, her publisher, confirmed her death. She had had several heart attacks in recent years.

Ms. Cooper won an American Book Award in 1989 for the second of her six story collections, “Homemade Love.” Her short story “Funny Valentines,” about a woman in a troubled marriage who repairs an old rift with a cousin when she moves back home, was turned into a 1999 television movie starring Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine.

Writing in a vernacular first-person style, Ms. Cooper set her stories in an indeterminate rural past permeated with violence and the ghost of slavery. The African-American women she depicts endure abandonment, betrayal, rape and social invisibility, but they survive.

“Some Soul to Keep” (1987), her third collection, includes over-the-back-fence tales. One story tells of two women who become close friends after one woman’s husband dies and the other’s leaves. They learn that long-lived rumors of their dislike for each other had been fabricated by their husbands. Another story is about a blind girl who is raped by her minister, gives birth to his son and raises him alone because, she explains, he makes her forget she is blind.

Ms. Cooper’s 1991 novel, “Family,” one of five she wrote, is narrated by the ghost of a slave woman who committed suicide before the Civil War and who follows the lives of her descendants as they mingle and procreate in a new interracial world, marveling at how “from one woman all these different colors and nationalities could come into being.”

Ms. Cooper was clear about the religious values that informed her stories. “I’m a Christian,” she told The Washington Post in 2000. “That’s all I am. If it came down to Christianity and writing, I’d let the writing go. God is bigger than a book.”

In an interview on NPR in 2006, she said, “What I’m basically trying to do is help somebody make some right choices.”

Continue reading

Kenyan Dennis Kimetto Sets World Marathon Record of 2:02:57 in Berlin

Dennis Kimetto

Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto has broken the marathon world record in Berlin, winning the race in a time of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds.

The 30-year-old shook off fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai with just under three miles remaining to become the first man to run a marathon in less than two hours and three minutes.

Mutai, who finished second in 2:03:13, also broke the previous record.

“I feel good because I won a very tough race,” said Kimetto.

“I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record.”

Men’s marathon world record decade-by-decade

Year Time Athlete Course
1947 2:25.39 Suh Yun-bok (Korea) Boston
1958 2:15.17 Sergei Popov (Soviet Union) Stockholm
1969 2:08.33 Derek Clayton (Australia) Antwerp
1988 2:06.50 Belayneh Dinsamo (Ethiopia) Rotterdam
1999 2:05.42 Khalid Khannouchi (Morocco) Chicago
2008 2:03.59 Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) Berlin
2014 2:02.57 Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) Berlin

The previous world record had been set on the same course 12 months ago by Kimetto’s compatriot Wilson Kipsang, who ran 2:03:23.

Kimetto, who won marathons in Tokyo and Boston last year, had promised to attack the record in Berlin if conditions allowed.

And in weather perfect for long-distance running, with temperatures around eight degrees centigrade, Kimetto kept his promise, staying in the lead group throughout and sprinting to victory and a new world’s best time.

Mutai, meanwhile, believes a two-hour marathon is possible.

“From what I saw today, times are coming down and down. So if not today, then tomorrow,” the 29-year-old Kenyan said. “Maybe next time we’ll get 2:01.”

Mutai had run the fastest marathon in history in 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011, but it did not count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and downhill.

article via bbc.com

Dr. Dre is Forbes’ Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Act at $620 Million for 2014

Dr. DreDr. Dre tops Forbes list of highest-paid hip-hop acts with a total of $620 million earned this year. This is the most money ANY entertainer that has been evaluated by the magazine has earned in one calendar year.

What makes this even more incredible is that Dr. Dre alone made more than all 24 of the people combined on the 2014 list.  Two second-place entries, both tied at $60 million, made 10% of what Andre “Dr. Dre” Young did. But, with that total, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs won’t be cashing any unemployment checks any time soon.

Cash Money claims a large stake in the money game as well, with Drake in fourth place at $33 million, Birdman (Co-CEO of Cash Money) at No. 7 with $24 million, Lil Wayne a hair behind him with $23 million and Nicki Minaj, the only female artist on the list, at No. 11, with $14 million.

The complete “World’s Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts” list follows:

1. Dr. Dre: $620 million

2. Sean Combs: $60 million

2. Jay Z: $60 million

4. Drake: $33 million

5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: $32 million

6. Kanye West: $30 million

7. Birdman: $24 million

8. Lil Wayne: $23 million

9. Pharrell Williams: $22 million

10. Eminem: $18 million

11. Nicki Minaj: $14 million

12. Wiz Khalifa: $13 million

13. Pitbull: $12 million

14. Snoop Dogg: $10 million

15. Kendrick Lamar: $9 million

16. Ludacris: $8 million

16. Tech N9ne: $8 million

16. Swizz Beatz: $8 million

16. 50 Cent: $8 million

20. Rick Ross: $7 million

20. J. Cole: $7 million

20. DJ Khaled: $7 million

20. Lil Jon: $7 million

20. Mac Miller: $7 million

article by Cedric “Big Ced” Thornton via blackenterprise.com

Black Shopping Channel CEO Cleveland Gary Signs $125 Million Deal to Expand TV Viewership

Black Shopping Channel CEO Cleveland Gary

The Black Shopping Channel has announced the successful completion of a deal worth $125 million to expand TV viewership via Comcast, DirecTV, and Time Warner.

Currently, Black Shopping Channel can be seen on Dish Network. As of now, the financing structure is a combination of debt and equity in affiliationBSC with the New York Stock Exchange bank.  CEO Cleveland Gary states that, “The added $125 million to the company’s balance sheet raises the Black Shopping Channel’s market value to a $700 million dollar company and growing.”

Other sources are anticipating 200,000,000 monthly visitors by the end of 2015 for the Black Shopping Channel via their website at www.blackshoppingchannel.com.

The site enables Black business owners to own a free virtual store used to promote and advertise their products and give their business exposure to the high volume of monthly shoppers. Right now, BSC (Black Shopping Channel) is the only Urban television shopping channel that promotes products from Black and small business owners from all over the country. This channel alone is broadcast over national television, seen on DISH Network, cable, and FTA access, as well as 20,000,000 homes throughout the United States.  With this new deal, more people will learn about Black-owned businesses as more small businesses and their products get more exposure.

We will be exposed to more infomercials about black products and services.  So far, blackshoppingchannel.tv can be seen on 16 different network channels. If you want to learn more about how you can get your hands on Black-owned businesses, services, and products, click here at http://www.blackshoppingchannel.com/

article by Joshua D. Copeland via thereelnetwork.net

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