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Archive | Weekly Features

First Inductees Into Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame Honored

Posted on 03 March 2012 by The Florida Star Online

The first three inductees into Florida’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame were named on February 29, 2012

Former Florida Senator Claude Denson Pepper (1900-1989), Mary McLeod Bethune (1875-1955), and Charles Kenzie Steele (1914-1980 were all inducted postmortem. Pepper sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment. Bethune created a school for black girls that later became Bethune-Cookman University. Steele protested segregation and helped organize the Tallahassee Bus Boycott.

Florida Representative Alan Williams sponsored the bill that created the state Civil Rights Hall of Fame. Florida is America’s first.

“The legacy built by these inductees is one we must carry today. We carry it now in our state’s history. We must carry it with everything that we do,” said Williams.

The text of the bill

Provides for establishment & location of Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame; provides for selection of hall-of-fame members by Governor upon recommendations by Florida Commission on Human Relations; provides criteria for such recommendations; authorizes commission to set time periods for nomination & selection of hall-of-fame members; assigns responsibility for certain hall-of-fame costs.

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Jacksonville Hosts U.S. Conference of Mayors

Posted on 03 March 2012 by The Florida Star Online

Mayor Brown Leads Conference as Chair of the Metro Exports and Ports Task Force.

Mayors from across the county convened in downtown Jacksonville for a three day-conference on ports and exports. As Chair of the Metro Exports and Ports Task Force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Mayor Alvin Brown led several discussions on topics such as global competition for U.S. ports and port modernization.

“I think it has been good for the city to have the mayors come here and talk about an issue that is important not only for Jacksonville, but for cities all across the country,” said Mayor Brown. “It also speaks to the importance of focusing on the importance of ports and exports to put people back to work.”

Mayors, port officials, and city officials from more than 40 cities were represented. Mayors in attendance included Vice Chair of
the Metro Exports and Ports Task Force, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Second Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Mayor Villaraigosa, who is also the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said he was impressed by Mayor Brown’s leadership at the conference.

“We want cities to understand the new markets are abroad. Eight out of ten markets, the growing economies, are not here,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “They are in Asia, Latin America and other places. We have to take our goods, our American made goods, and sell them in those countries. That is going to be a big shot in the arm to our economy and Alvin Brown, your mayor, knows that.”

Paul Anderson, Chief Executive Officer for JAXPORT, said the conference will have a positive impact on Jacksonville and national ports.

“The (U.S. Conference of Mayors) understands the issue of infrastructure and the importance that will play in our country growing in a global marketplace,” said Anderson.

During the meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unveiled a report that said exporting from metro areas has the potential to grow significantly by 2020. In Jacksonville, exports are expected to jump by 68 percent, from the $1.9 billion in market value recorded in 2010 to $3.2 billion projected in 2020.

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Jacksonville Musician Attends Whitney Houston’s Funeral

Posted on 25 February 2012 by The Florida Star Online

<em>Formerly played drums for Cissy and Whitney Houston</em>

<img class="wp-image-1597 alignnone" title="erics_brown_cissy_houston" src="http://www.thegeorgiastar.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/erics_brown_cissy_houston.jpg" alt="" width="516" height="455" /><br clear=all><em>Erics Brown and Cissy Houston</em>

By Frances Calhoun Bradley
Photo by Erics Brown

Erics Brown was devastated when he heard of thedeath of friend, Whitney Houston, in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the GrammyAwards, February 11, 2012.

Brown, a Jacksonville native, played drums for Cissy and Whitney Houston for 23 years and 14 years, respectively, during the New Hope Baptist Church Gospel Choir’s Sunday radio broadcasts. He described his relationship with the Houstons as family-like, referring to the elder Houston as "mother" throughout the interview.

Brown received a phone call from a grieving Cissy Houston requesting his attendance at the funeral.  Only guests with invitations were allowed through the many checkpoints approaching the church, with security provided by Newark and military police through the area. Although Brown walked into the funeral with the family, he was asked to move to another area near Bishop T. D. Jakes and Rev. Jesse Jackson, when it was clear there was not enough seating for the immediate the family. A repast was held on the 22nd floor of the Newark Center, where guests were required to show repast tickets to gain entry.

According to Erics, an invitation to the funeral did not guarantee entry to the repast. He was seated at a table across from Whitney’s Bodyguard co-star, Kevin Costner and his wife.

Pictures were allowed at the repast (but not inside the church). Browns snapped many of the celebrities in attendance, i.e. Oprah, Gayle King, TylerPerry, Angela Bassett, Viveca A. Fox, Brandy, Derek Luke, and JenniferHudson.

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Trinidad and Tobago Kids Showcase Culture In Caribbean’s Premier Cultural Party

Posted on 25 February 2012 by The Florida Star Online

Before the adults hit the streets in an all out dancefest complete with African and Indian influences of one of the world’s most multi-ethnic nations, the children of Trinidad and Tobago took the stage to display culture, heritage and bright colors. Indigenous sounds of soca and steel pan drums were heard as children showcased national pride. Carnivalis one of the Caribbean’s most recognizable events which has spawned similar parades around the world including England, Canada and several US cities such as Miami and New York. (Photos by National Carnival Commission)

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Man Beats Son in the Middle of the Street in the Car

Posted on 25 February 2012 by The Florida Star Online

James Houston

An 86-year-old man was accused of beating his 15-year-old adopted son after parking the car in the middle of the road.

James Houston was driving a white Cadillac and witnesses say they saw him come to a complete stop in the middle of traffic. He then came out of the car and walked around to the passenger side of the vehicle. He opened the door and hit and kicked the passenger, who was his son. He then walked back around the car to return to his seat.

Police went after the Cadillac and pulled Houston over. The boy said that he and Houston got into an argument about money problems. He said Houston grabbed him and the boy pushed his hand away. That is when Houston got out of the car in the middle of the road and started punching him in the face. According to reports, there were some minor bruises on his face and Houston admitted to beating his son.

Houston was arrested and charged with battery.

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Who is the daddy?

Posted on 25 February 2012 by The Florida Star Online

The more important question is, who pays child support?

Mary and Phil were good friends since high Sschool and despite the fact that there was never a romantic relationship between them, they remained close and loyal to each other. When Mary was 20, she had a son by another man and Phil continued to stand byher side despite the fact that she vowed she would never reveal who the child’s father was. Rumor has it that the father was a prominent business man who was married and revealing his identity would create a scandal, but the real father wasnever named.

When the child was a year old Mary began dating Jimmy and a year later they got married. When Jimmy agreed to adopt the child, the child’s father needed to sign a consent for the adoption to proceed in Court. Being the loyal friend that he was, Phil falsely signed a consent to the adoption as if he was the child’s father. By th etime that DCF completed their investigation and background check, it was determined that Jimmy was not eligible for the adoption and the adoption was denied.

Mary and Jimmy got a divorce. Mary applied for support benefits from the state and at that point it was necessary to reveal a father to reimburse the state for support payments to the child. Because Phil did not want to disclose that he had falsely signed a consent claiming to be the father and committed fraud on the Court, hegot stuck with the child support payments. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

Friendship and loyalty are important, but how far should it go?

Bivens Funeral Home
529 Kingsley Avenue, OrangePark, Florida 32073
(904) 264-1233
bivensfuneralhome.com 

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Jaleeah Mo’nae Kelly awarded the 2012 Tiny Miss Heart of the North Florida crown

Posted on 25 February 2012 by The Florida Star Online

Jaleeah Mo’nae Kelly

Jaleeah Mo’nae Kelly was recently awarded the 2012 Tiny Miss Heart of the North Florida crown. Jaleeah is the daughter of Melvylyn Pierce and Johnathan Kelly of Jacksonville. She will enjoy a fun-filled year of making appearances and being involved in her community on behalf of the Miss Heart of the USA organization. Look for her as she participates in events in your local area and be sure to congratulate her on her accomplishments. The Miss Heart of the USA Pageant strives to provide our contestants with the opportunity to have fun, establish lasting friendships, build confidence, and self-esteem. It also encourages them to get involve with organizations in their communities that benefit those in need. Miss Heart of the USA Queens are involved at the local level with many charitable organization.

Jaleeah will represent Duval County at the 2012 North Florida State Miss Heart of the USA, where she will be competing for $2,000 in scholarship money. Winners of the 2012 North Florida State pageant will advance to the Miss Heart of the USA nationals in Orlando, Florida, where they will have the opportunity to compete for a $5,000 Supreme Beauty Scholarship.

The Miss Heart of the USA pageant began as a food drive for a rescue mission whose pantry was low and blossomed into a National Pageant program that has distributed over 750,000 nonperishable food items to nonprofit organizations, collected toys for Toys for Tots, and even collected and distributed much needed baby items for a Women’s Hope Center. Visit www.missheartoftheusa.com.

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Man Charged with Three Felonies for Multiple Robberies

Posted on 25 February 2012 by The Florida Star Online

by Kevin Kim

Jaquez Roland

Police say Jaquez Roland, 34, pulled a gun out on a clerk in a hotel demanding money from a safe. When the clerk wasn’t able to open the safe, Roland tied his wrists and stole his wallet. Two weeks later, he broke into a home and stole an air conditioning unit while the resident was asleep in the room. Hours later that same day, Roland went to rob a liquor store with a gun. He tied the clerk’s wrist and legs and dragged her into a stock room and took money from the cash register and safe. Police were able to later identify the suspect and went to his home. Roland had told a woman in the home to tell the police that he wasn’t there. The officers talked to a pizza man who had just made a delivery to the house and showed them a receipt, which had Roland’s name on it. Roland was arrested and faces three felony charges including the robberies at the hotel and the liquor store. He is also charged with resisting arrest without violence and is being held on $429,000 bail.

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