Marsha Ellison, president of the Fort Lauderdale branch of the NAACP, has asked city officials to renovate, and then turn over to her organization the former home of the late, great NAACP leader and civil rights icon, Eula Gandy Johnson. The concept would turn the home into a civil rights museum and serve as the headquarters for the branch. Former branch president and City Commissioner Carlton Moore supports this brilliant idea, but it should not be given to this bunch, under any circumstances. They are a cowardly disgrace that should not be allowed to desecrate the memory and legacy of Ms. Johnson, a true and courageous fighter. This branch continues to keep quiet about the blatant civil rights abuses taking place here.
Good Shepherd Ministries has cut its ties to the controversial and embattled Rev. Daniel S. Mundell. Good Shepherd had allowed Mundell to preach, on occasion, at its church in a Hallandale Beach strip mall, but ended the relationship this week. The move came amid accusations that the pastor, who is white, collected millions of dollars from his mostly black parishioners at another church to build a new house of worship, but he never built it. According to his ongoing divorce proceedings, it was during this same time that he purchased a lavish, multimillion-dollar home in Tampa.
In their first time participating in the national chess tournaments in Pittsburgh, the Edison Park Elementary Rooks have won a share of the first-place championship. They also won the Florida state championship last year, and are currently undefeated in the Professional Chess Services Grand Prix league this year. This is nothing short of remarkable, and we have got to recognize the teacher who is coaching these kids.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s is mired in a number of controversies and scandals. Just days ago, Steven Wiesen, 55, a civilian PBSO employee, shot himself in the hand at the department’s armory while unloading his handgun. For some reason, this apparent accident is being treated like a criminal investigation, but we’ll see. Then there are the seven PBSO detention deputies who have been placed on administrative leave, while state prosecutors continue a criminal investigation connected to them in some matter. Once again, Sheriff Rick Bradshaw and company are not disclosing details.
GOSPEL GROUND BLESSING
A special ground blessing ceremony will take place this Saturday, May 24 at the site of the coming Gospel Music Hall of Fame complex in Lauderhill. The cost of the 90,000-square-foot facility is expected to top out at nearly $50 million when complete. The sprawling complex will consist of concert halls, music studios, conference rooms, and eateries. It will also serve as the production studio for the Dr. Bobby Jones Gospel Music Explosion television program.
Michael Noshay, 58, is in custody and charged with shooting Abel Diaz, 20, in a road rage incident in Deerfield Beach. He followed Diaz into a parking lot, where he argued that Diaz was tailgating him. He then pulled out a gun and fired two shots, hitting Diaz in the leg, and fled. An off-duty sheriff’s sergeant witnessed the encounter, followed Noshay, and called back up, which made the arrest. They found two handguns and a half-empty bottle of vodka in the car. Diaz’s injuries are not life threatening.
A Boca Raton man is suing DreamWorks Animation, claiming the studio stole his ideas to create the 2005 movie Madagascar. Joseph Davis of Boca Raton claims California-based DreamWorks’ movie about the adventures of a group of animals that escaped from a New York zoo, only to regret it, is his. The lawsuit claims Madagascar has striking similarities to the Animal's Night Out, a manuscript Davis submitted to DreamWorks in 1999, but for which he was never compensated.
Daisy Black, former president of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, has been elected vice chair of the Miami-Dade Democratic Executive Committee. Black is also the head of the upstart Florida Coalition of Black Voters, which comprises Democrats and independents who are working to force state Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman to address traditional issues that they believe the party has been ignoring. Good luck. Black is a good woman, but she should get out of the former slave party, and become an independent, because they will never listen.
Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion’s district has several golf courses and country clubs in its boundaries. But Eggelletion is a member of the elite and swanky Parkland Golf Club, located in that wealthy horse country of a town, out west. Eggelletion, who has been hampered by a shoulder condition lately, has not returned my calls asking him about the $8,000 annual dues for membership in the club, or why he chooses to spend that amount of money outside of the district he represents. Maybe it’s nothing, but it just doesn’t seem right somehow.
COUNTY CON GAME
Broward County commissioners have come up with a whopping $2 million to help expand a new park in downtown Oakland Park. At the same time, black folk from West Park had to threaten political retribution at a recent commission meeting to get these same commissioners to come up with a few crumbs to keep McTyre Park, located in that area, open.
LAPTOPS FOR STUDENTS
More than 48 students from Deerfield Beach High School have received free laptops after they and their parents completed three hours of computer training at the school. The school district’s technology department, through its Digital Divide program, refurbished the laptops. Digital Divide works to provide students and their families with computers,
and is similar to a program run by award-winning teacher Christopher Gates, at Arthur Ashe Middle School in Fort Lauderdale.
THAT BURNING FEELING
Jacqueline Stevenson, 39, of Delray Beach, is sitting in the Palm Beach County jail, charged with arson and possession of drug paraphernalia, after a pile of clothes caught fire in a home known for drug use. Stevenson denied setting the fire, but this may be another case of a person who needs medical attention to kick a habit. Stevenson will now occupy jail space that should be reserved for violent criminals. We are in a mess, y’all.
Three men, Hayman Sooknanan, James Cason and Rene Robert Dutertre Jr., who were working in the hull of a freighter at Port Everglades died instantly this week when they were overcome by argon gas leaking from a tank. The tank was removed, but the workers could not be revived and several investigations are underway.
MAN KILLS DOG
Michael Jones, 23, is a college student who was on his way to getting a degree until he admitted to killing his neighbor’s barking dog during a Jan. 19 incident. Jones made the admission during questioning by Broward Sheriff’s Office investigators last Friday, May 16. He said the dog’s barking was disturbing his studying for midterm exams, so he shot it several times with a pellet rifle. This guy is now charged with felony animal cruelty and is being held in the Broward County lock up with no bond. Book’em, Dano!
Elgin Jones • EJones@SFLTimes.com