A program intended to attract black males to the teaching profession has been praised by Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby and others. It offers a free college education to black males interested in becoming teachers. The “Call Me Mister” program is sponsored by Clemson University under the direction of Roy Jones.

Under the program, prospective applicants have the option of attending one of four historically black colleges in South Carolina free of charge:  Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College and South Carolina State University. A dozen junior colleges in the state are also participating in the program, for students who require a two-year degree before transferring to a four-year college. For more information, call 1-800-640-2657.


Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be on his way to secure the Republican nomination for president but questions about his religious-based beliefs on race and posthumous baptism could prove problematic. Romney is a Mormon and his campaign is putting aside Mormons’ apparent belief that blacks and other dark-skinned people are cursed. There are also questions about their practice of baptizing dead people, including Jewish Holocaust victims, Adolf Hitler and serial killers. This debate has made me think about the fact that I have never seen any blacks around Romney. Then, too, what are his beliefs about black and brown-skinned people? Just as then U.S. Sens. John F. Kennedy and Barrack Obama did when running for president, Romney must address these concerns — and quickly.

Palm Beach County

Famed attorney Gloria Alred is calling on Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe to prosecute conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh over on-air insults. Limbaugh made the remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke after she testified before Congress about the need for employers and institutions to pay for contraception. Fluke testified in support of national healthcare policy that would require her Catholic school to cover her birth control prescription. Among other things, Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” on the air from his broadcast studio in Palm Beach County where he also lives. Alred wants Limbaugh prosecuted under an 1883 state law that makes it a misdemeanor to publicly question a woman’s chastity.

Broward County

Kenwood Deveaux, 26, of Hallandale Beach, has been arrested on possession of child pornography charges. Authorities say Deveaux, who lives directly across the street from a park, had more than 250 images that are described as “unspeakable.” Deveaux, who is an illegal immigrant from the Bahamas, is being held on 250 counts.

Steven Mulhall, 21, is charged with stealing the nameplate from the door of Broward Circuit Court Judge Michael Orlando’s office. Authorities say Mulhall stole the nameplate on Feb. 23. A picture of it was then posted on a friend’s Facebook page. Book ’em Danno!


Jason Forman, the attorney representing 63-year-old terminally ill inmate Kenneth Steffen, filed a habeas corpus motion in federal court seeking his release from a Miami prison. Steffen was arrested in 2003 for allegedly selling prescription pain killers to undercover Broward Sheriff’s detectives on two separate occasions. The combined number of pills reached the threshold for drug trafficking. In 2005, his first attorney, whose area of practice was aviation and who had no criminal law experience, negotiated a plea agreement for what he believed was 18 months of jail time; the charges could have resulted in up to 30 years in prison. The plea agreement was revoked after Steffen was charged with driving without a license in his native state of Oklahoma. Broward Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Imperato sentenced him to 15 years in prison and Forman filed the motion asking the federal court to intervene. His motion was pending before U.S. District Court Judge William J. Zloch but a court magistrate has sent the motion back asking Forman if he wants to exhaust his remedies under state law before seeking federal intervention. Meanwhile, Steffen’s health is deteriorating while he endures this outrageous penalty imposed by Imperato which amounts to a death sentence.

Lineten Belizaire was accused in the murder of two women and a six-month-old boy in the Somerset Apartments in Lauderdale Lakes but has now been released from custody. A grand jury declined to indict Belizaire in the shooting death of Octavia Barnett, 21, Natasha Plummer, 25, and Plummer's infant son Carlton Stringer Jr. on Jan. 15. Broward Circuit Judge Carlos Rebollo ordered his release but prosecutors are still investigating the killings and could bring additional evidence before the grand jury.

Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade College student Joaquin Amador Serrapio Jr., 20, has pleaded not guilty to threatening President Barack Obama on Facebook. Serrapio posted the threats two days prior to the president’s recent visit to the University of Miami, Secret Service officials said. He was arrested Feb. 24 and has not been released on bail. "Who wants to help me assassinate Obummer while he's at UM this week?" one of his postings read. Another said: "If anyones going to UM to see Obama today, get ur phones out an record. Cause at any moment im gonna put a bullet through his head and u don't wanna miss that! Youtube!" His attorney said it was all a mistake and that his client wants to apologize.

There is no surveillance video of a Homestead police officer’s shooting of 16-year-old Danny Cruz, according to several sources. Cruz was shot and killed after police were called to a Chevron gas station while he was attempting to return an item he had just purchased. The clerk said she spotted a gun on him and called police and Cruz was killed after officers arrived. A gun was found in his coat pocket but police have not released additional details while the shooting is being investigated by Miami-Dade Police.

Photo: Elgin Jones