It’s a new year, but don’t look for me to employ any of those useless resolutions, as in years past. Instead, I’m making commitments. One of them is to begin spending money and doing business with more black-owned businesses. My intention is to select at least one new, black-owned business every week to patronize. I will also start doing the bulk of my consumer spending with those firms that benefit my family, my community, or me directly or indirectly. For example, I make a living from the South Florida Times, so those companies that place ads, or order subscriptions from the newspaper, will be the first ones I seek out. This may sound crude to some, but other ethnic groups have employed this practice for centuries, and it has fared them better than well. We have to support one another, and it’s time for blacks to stop the whining, and start winning. We spend a lot of money, so why not circulate some of it in our own communities instead of making everyone else rich?
During the holiday rush, we reported the incident of Deerfield Beach Middle School teacher Nelson Smalls, who was sent home after hitting 12-year-old student Hezekiah Jones Jr. in the face with his school-issued radio. The incident is now being investigated by the school district. The student did not suffer any permanent injury, but the child’s father, Hezekiah Jones Sr. said he is considering pressing criminal charges.
St. Ruth’s Missionary Baptist Church, located at 145 NW 5th Ave. in Dania Beach is celebrating its 100-year anniversary by announcing that the Rev. Victor T. Curry, will serve as the church’s interim pastor. Curry already pastors three other churches in Florida, including his flagship New Birth Missionary Baptist Cathedral of Faith International in Opa-locka.
Harold Gene Rector Jr., 42, of Hanceville, Alabama is a father of three and a noted community figure. His email address and screen name: “daddyluvslilpanties” didn’t raise any suspicions, until now. Rector sent child pornography over the Internet to an undercover Boynton Beach detective. The Alabama Bureau of Investigations was contacted and arrested Rector on Monday, where he remained in the Shelby County Jail awaiting extradition to Palm Beach County, where he will face federal charges.
Beverly Robinson, one of the few black college provosts in the state, resigned on Monday from her post at Palm Beach Community College’s west campus in Belle Glade. She is leaving at the end of January to take a job with her alma mater, Albany State University in Albany, Georgia.
Timothy Work, 49, and his 21-year-old daughter, Lisa, of Davie were arrested in Tampa on Monday after they attempted to pay a restaurant tab with a counterfeit $20 bill. Timothy Work is also being held for violation of parole, as well as traffic and other warrants out of Gilchrist County, and has no bond. Lisa Work is being held on $1,000 bond.
ARE WE BUSHED YET?
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has announced he will not run for the U.S. Senate in 2010. The decision comes as the administration of his brother, President George W. Bush, is coming to an end. George W. Bush is viewed by some as the worst president in history. Jeb Bush’s successor, Gov. Charlie Crist, “palled” around the state kissing up to the hapless John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket, as they incited racist crowds against now President-elect Barack Obama. Voters would likely hold Bush accountable for these issues, and it will take time to get so much failure associated with the Bush name out of Floridians’ minds. Bush has also been getting an earful from the coalition of black people with whom he built relationships, who have now left the party or politics altogether over soured relationships with Crist.
Broward County Circuit Court Judge Susan Lebow ruled that two prosecutors, Brad Weissman and Julie Vogel, engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by listening to taped jailhouse phone conversations between murder defendant Luis O. Martinez, 43, of Lauderhill, and his attorney, and then kept their sneaky tactic secret. Martinez is accused of gunning down a man in Lighthouse Point in 2003, and Lebow ruled correctly. She was also right to move the case to another jurisdiction so it can be prosecuted by another state attorney’s office, other than Broward. We cannot tolerate, through excuse or incompetence, those in positions of trust who violate any rule, process, procedure or law.
Broward Property Appraiser Lori Parrish is issuing a dire warning to the municipalities and taxing authorities about another year of falling tax revenue. The tax base in Broward County fell 4.8 percent last year from $175.9 billion to $167.5 billion, and this year Parrish expects at least another 10-percent decrease, which will mean staggering budget cuts. It could also mean some cities like West Park may have to prepare for the possibility of being dissolved. The official numbers will not be known, or set until July 1, but it doesn’t look good. Schools, police and countless other services will be impacted, but Parrish is right, and the time to act is now, because it will be a mess.
Collegiate star and NBA champion basketball player Antoine Walker has seen the best of times, and the worst of times. He was a star on the 1996 University of Kentucky national championship team. He went to become a three-time All-Star forward with NBA Boston Celtics before joining the Miami Heat in 2005 and helping them win the NBA championship in 2006. During these times, he and another NBA player were the victims of an armed robbery in Chicago in 2000. In 2007, he and a relative were tied up and robbed in his house during a home invasion in Chicago. In 2007, the 6-foot-9, 245-pound forward was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, before he joined the Memphis Grizzlies, who bought out his contract and released him this past December. While he is trying to catch on with another team, on Monday of this week he was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail and charged with driving under the influence, after Miami Beach Police pulled him over for driving with his headlights turned off on South Beach. He was released on $1,000 bail.
IT TAKES A THIEF
James Morton, 56, of Wellington, a retired Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent, was charged Tuesday with stealing $455,000 from an elderly friend. Authorities say after Morton retired from the FDLE in 1995, he took a job with a law firm in West Palm Beach. In 2007, it was determined that he had swindled $1.1 million from the firm and was facing prosecution if he did not repay the money. He turned to Harold Murphy, a wealthy 69-year-old friend of more than 40 years, who loaned him $355,000 and later gave him another $100,000. He promised Murphy he would repay the money, but used $325,000 to make a partial repayment to the law firm, and then pocketed the rest, without ever attempting to repay Murphy. Morton is facing two first-degree felony charges of grand theft from a person 65 or older, and it is unclear if he will face charges over the theft from the law firm.