Previous month:
March 2013
Next month:
May 2013

April 2013

Third defendant in FAMU hazing case pleads no contest to felony hazing and manslaughter

Caleb Jackson, one of the defendants in the felony hazing and manslaughter case in the death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion pleaded no contest today.

Jackson has been incarcerated due to a probation violation since he was arrested almost a year ago. In the November 19, 2011 hazing incident, Champion sustained multiple bodily injuries that lead to his death.


ACND Prep Senior Receives National Piano Guild Scholarship

Archbishop Curley Notre Dame senior, Celestyn Angot, wins the Mildred E. Allen Memorial Scholarship as part of the 2012 National Piano Guild auditions.

Miami, FL…April 16, 2013…Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep senior, Celestyn Angot has received the Mildred E. Allen Memorial Piano Scholarship. This award is presented to the top performer in the grades 9-10 piano performance category as part of the National Piano Guild auditions.

Celestyn is an honor roll student and has studied piano for 11 years with Mrs. Montane. In 2008, she received a gold medal in the Monsignor Edward Pace High School Academic Olympics in piano and theory. She also received the Paderewski Gold Medal following the 2011 National Piano Guild auditions. She earned a Diploma in Social Music in 2011 and High School Diploma (in music) in 2012, and has been selected three times to perform in the Chopin Foundation Concert for Young Pianists.

At ACND, Celestyn is a member of her school choir “The Knightingales,” and member of the drama club playing in past school productions the role of Mrs. Potts in “Beauty and the Beast” and Princess Amneris in “Aida.” She is the president of the National Honor Society, vice-president of Student Council, and plays varsity volleyball.

“Celestyn has always been a great student and hard worker and is in the top of her class,” commented ACND Principal Douglas Romanik commented. “She is a great performer whether it be piano or vocal. Celestyn is a great example of ACND's mission to educate the whole person: in the arts, athletics, academics and spiritual.”

Celestyn, who will graduate in May, plans to pursue a medical career and minor in music.

FL police sergeant fired for Trayvon Martin shooting targets

Sgt. Ron King of the Port Canaveral, Florida Police Department was fired Friday after an internal investigation into his offering paper shooting targets in the likeness Trayvon Martin, to two fellow officers at a shooting range. Trayvon is the Miami Gardens teen fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, FL last year. Martin's parents recently settled out of court with the neighborhood homeowners association for an undisclosed amount.

King has since posted a video on YouTube indicating the allegation was a lie and that he and Trayvon Martin's family are pawns in an incident backed by ulterior motives of his accusers.

Watch and listen for yourself. Do you believe King? Check out the video at this link -

Deltas screen film on Tulsa race riot

The Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will present a free screening of the documentary of "Before They Die" on today, April 13, 2013, at 12 noon at Jackson Senior High School, 1751 NW 36th Street, Miami, FL 33136.
The 1921 massacre of an unknown number of blacks and destruction of a thriving community in Tulsa, Oklahoma called Greenwood is the subject of this important film. Don't miss it.

The Bawse finally apologizes but don't be fooled

The women's focused organization, Ultra Violet, successfully convinced Reebok to dump rapper Rick Ross as a celebrity endorser because of vile lyrics about rape in the song U.N.E.N.O.

Ross's denial…then lame attempt at an apology only fanned the flames of outrage. It was not until his money was cut that he issued a real apology. The sincerity of his words is another issue but hopefully someone understands the misogyny must stop not because a celebrity's pay is cut but because it's wrong to disrespect women.

Since Ross apologized, there should be a line of other folks in the music recording and music marketing process who greenlighted the song who should be apologizing also. Ross has the right to include the offensive lyrics in the song he wrote and lots of folks have the right to not but it either. Unfortunately too many young impressionable people will but it anyway. It's easy to rag on Ross but don't forget the others, especially corporate executives, who had a part in the release of Ross's song.


Judge in Spence-Jones re-election hearing under fire

It appears that Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones may have been thrown another life line in her plans for re-election in the November.

Judge Jorge Cueto who recently ruled MSJ ineligible for a third term, had previously and unsuccessfully investigated MSJ on corruption charges. It's baffling that Judge Cueto would risk his integrity; but he did.

FAMU presidential search postponed until 2014

On Thursday the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees decided to postpone its presidential search until January 2014. Citing the need for leadership stability while addressing the University's accreditation probation issue as the main reason for delaying such an important decision.

Dr. Larry Robinson
For sure, lobbying for the person to fill the permanent position is in effect. Although he agreed not to apply, based on comments from some FAMU stakeholders, including the leadership of the FAMU National Alumni Association, it appears Interim President Larry Robinson just might be the front runner for the permanent position, at least right now.
Don't count out FAMU/FSU alum and former Senator Al Lawson and his supporters who want see him in as FAMU president also. The rumors from the street committee are that Lawson is also a strong contender for Charlie Crist's running mate should Crist be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in 2014.
Stay tuned to the FAMU presidential search process as there are surely other candidates to surface by January 2014.
FAMU alums should be sure to attend the upcoming national alumni convention, May 16 - 19, in Broward County, to discuss the presidential search and other important topics. For details, go to

Michelle Spence-Jones denied third term re-election

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto ruled City of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones ineligible to seek re-election for the District 5 seat for a third term. The lawsuit was filed by former Commissioner Rev. Richard Dunn. City Attorney Julie Bru and Spence-Jones will likely appeal the judge's ruling.


FAMU Competes in Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

From left to right: FAMU students Aubrey Upshur, Lila Mandela, Kimberlyn Elliott and Baysha Bernales are competing in the 24th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge in Los Angeles.

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida A&M University (FAMU) along with 48 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are participating in the 24th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), April 6-10 in Los Angeles. The HCASC is the only annual academic competition held between the nation’s HBCUs. FAMU is just one of the “Great 48” participating schools preparing for the two-day tournament that tests their skills in world history, science, literature, religion, the arts, social sciences, popular culture and African-American history.

To date, the FAMU Honda Campus All-Star Challenge team is the only team to win seven national championships and has received more than $500,000 in scholarships since the beginning of the tournament.

Vivian Hobbs serves as the coach. This is Hobbs 23rd year serving as coach. This year’s team members are as follows:
Baysha Bernales, a junior majoring in physics from Hawthorne, FL.; Kimberlyn Elliott, a freshman majoring in history from Gainesville, FL; Aubrey Upshur, a junior majoring in newspaper journalism from Philadelphia, PA; and Lila Mandela, a senior majoring in mathematics from Tallahassee.
Hobbs expressed her excitement about this year’s competition.

“This team is unstoppable,” Hobbs said. “We are a family. They have been spending countless hours in preparing for this competition. Some of my former champions have been assisting them.”

Since 1989, nearly 100,000 HBCU students have participated in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge, and Honda has awarded more than $7 million in grants to the participating HBCUs. These grants have enhanced student programs and the college experience for students.

Colleges and universities from Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Illinois, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, Pennsylvania and New York are slated to participate in this year’s challenge. In addition to receiving an all-expense paid trip to Orlando to compete, each participating institution will receive grant money for their college or university.

For more information on the Honda Campus All Star Challenge and a list of the 48 participating HBCUs, visit