Tag: Colorado

Korey Wise Of “Central Park Five” Donates $190,000 to Help Fight Wrongful Convictions

Korey Wise (photo via cnews.com)
Korey Wise (photo via cnews.canoe.com)

The University of Colorado’s Innocence Project got a boost and a new name with a $190,000 donation from Korey Wise, a man exonerated in New York City’s high-profile Central Park jogger case.

The program, operated out of CU’s law school, is now named the Korey Wise Innocence Project at Colorado Law. Wise’s donation allowed the student-led volunteer program to hire a full-time director this fall and provides financial support for its investigative work.

The Innocence Project is a national nonprofit with chapters across the country that investigate claims of wrongful convictions. Colorado’s chapter was founded in 2001 under the Colorado Lawyers Committee and moved to the CU law school in 2010.

Wise was 16 when he was tried and convicted as an adult in connection with the 1989 attack and rape of a female jogger in Central Park.

He spent more than a decade in prison and was exonerated in 2002 after another man admitted to the attack and DNA testing confirmed his involvement. The convictions of the four other men accused in the attack were also overturned.

The men, who became known as the Central Park Five, settled with the city of New York for $41 million in 2014.

This is believed to be Wise’s first major philanthropic gift.

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Meteorologist Rhonda Lee, Who Was Fired After Defending Natural Hair, Hired By WeatherNation in Denver

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Rhonda A. Lee (pictured), the woman who was fired from her meteorologist job in Shreveport, La. after defending her natural hair on the station’s Facebook page, has just accepted a job with a national weather channel in Colorado.

Lee announced on her Twitter and Facebook pages that she has accepted a meteorology position with WeatherNation in Denver. “By all accounts, it is my dream job and I am thrilled to be a part of the WeatherNation family,” she said Thursday night on Facebook. Lee told NewsOne that she accepted the position a week ago but wanted to fine tune some particulars before making an announcement.

The offer came soon after the veteran weather woman had lost hope of ever working in television again.
“A month ago, I told my husband that I’m pretty sure I would never work in weather again,” she said. “I had completely lost faith, but in a matter of a week or so, all of a sudden, three people showed interest in me. It was an awakening is what it was. I really had given up.”

Lee had several offers in other markets, including a chief meteorologist position, but went with WeatherNation because it’s a national network that reaches millions of homes. Lee doesn’t know when she will be on-air, but says she will be on Channel 361 on DIRECTV. She, her husband, and their 10-month-old son will be moving to Denver in a few weeks.

More than a year and a half has past since Lee was fired from KTBS 3 News, an ABC affiliate in Shreveport, after she responded to users on Facebook who complained about her natural hairstyle. The station said Lee was fired for violating its social media policy. She has filed an EEOC complaint against the station and is in mediation to resolve her dismissal. Lee said she has no regrets about defending her natural hair and says her dispute with the Shreveport station hasn’t been an issue with her new employer.

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Michelle Howard Becomes U.S. Navy’s 1st Female 4-Star Admiral in its 238 Year History

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ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) — The United States Navy Vice Admiral Michelle Janine Howard earned promotion to the rank of four-star admiral today during a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.  Admiral Howard is now the first female four-star in the 238 year history of the United States Navy.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presided over the ceremony and administered the oath of office.  “Michelle Howard’s promotion to the rank of admiral is the result of a brilliant naval career, one I fully expect to continue when she assumes her new role as vice chief of naval operations, but also it is an historic first, an event to be celebrated as she becomes the first female to achieve this position,” said Mabus. “Her accomplishment is a direct example of a Navy that now, more than ever, reflects the nation it serves – a nation where success is not borne of race, gender or religion, but of skill and ability.”

“Michelle’s many trailblazing accomplishments in her 32 years of naval service are evidence of both her fortitude and commitment to excellence and integrity,” said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations. “I look forward to many great things to come from the Navy’s newest 4-star Admiral!”

Howard, the Deputy CNO for Operations, Plans, and Strategy, will relieve Adm. Mark Ferguson III as the 38th Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) later this afternoon.  Howard is a 1978 graduate of Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1982 and from the Army’s Command and General Staff College in 1998, with a Masters in Military Arts and Sciences.

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Legal Recreational Pot Industry Opens in Colorado

ptionEmployees help customers at the crowded sales counter inside Medicine Man marijuana retail store, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver on Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began retail marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling "Green Wednesday." (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Employees help customers at the crowded sales counter inside Medicine Man marijuana retail store, which opened as a legal recreational retail outlet in Denver on Wednesday Jan. 1, 2014. Colorado began retail marijuana sales on Jan. 1, a day some are calling “Green Wednesday.” (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

DENVER (AP) — Crowds were serenaded by live music as they waited for the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops to open. They ate doughnuts and funnel cakes as a glass-blower made smoking pipes. Some tourists even rode around in a limo, eager to try weed but not so eager to be seen buying it.  And when the sales began, those who bought the drug emerged from the stores, receipt held high and carrying sealed shopping bags, to cheers.

“I’m going to frame the receipt when I go home, to remind myself of what might be possible: Legal everywhere,” musician James Aaron Ramsey, 28, who did some time in jail for pot possession in Missouri and played folk tunes with his guitar for those in line.  Activists hope he’s right, and that the experiment in Colorado will prove to be a better alternative to the costly American-led drug war, produce the kind of revenue that state officials hope and save the government costs in locking up drug offenders.

Just on the first day, prices had already risen to more than $500 an ounce, but it’s too soon to say whether that will hold.  Washington state will open its pot industry later this year. Both states programs will be watched closely not just by officials in other states, but by activists and governments in other countries because the industries will be the first to regulate the production and sale of the drug.

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68 Years After WWII, Former Tuskegee Airman and Female Civilian Military Pilot Meet

Elder James H. Brown and Jane Tedeschi, who both served as pilots during WW II
Elder James H. Brown and Jane Tedeschi, who both served as pilots during WW II, met for the first time on May 17, 2013. Tedeschi had always wanted to meet a Tuskegee Airman, who she delivered planes for as part of her military service, a rarity for women, as it was for blacks, who were pilots. (Photo: Wish of a Lifetime)

Back in the early 1940s, it was almost unfathomable for the collective imagination to conceive of African-American and female pilots, particularly lending their talents to the battle of World War II. And yet, at roughly the same time, programs were developed by the U.S. military that made that seeming improbability a reality.

Elder James H. Brown, one of the prestigious Tuskegee Airmen (the corps of African-American pilots who participated in World War II), and Jane Tedeschi, a former member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) corps, are products of such programs. They challenged the popular stereotypes of the times that promoted the belief that neither black men nor women were fit to be pilots.

While their paths never crossed during the war, Tedeschi had always wanted to meet one of the brave Tuskegee Airmen, some of whom were stationed near the base where she served, and whose exploits she admired.

Tedeschi just recently got to do just that, bonding with Brown for the first time over their unique places in American history.   On May 17, through a partnership between the Brookdale senior living community where Tedeschi resides, and Wish of a Lifetime, an organization that fosters appreciation for seniors by fulfilling life-enriching requests, Jane got her decades-old wish. Sixty-eight years after the end of World War II, Jane, now 93, and Elder, 87, finally had the chance to connect. The result? Mutual appreciation and thanks.

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