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CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS FEATURED STORY: United States President Barack Obama (pictured above), America's first Black president, speaks to the City Club at the Convention Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Obama said during his 35-minute speech that trickle-down economics does not work and that middle class economics does work. The president said that nationwide unemployment is down, that the country has more job openings since 2001, and that the federal deficit has been cut by two-thirds since he took office in 2009. "America is coming back," said Obama. Cleveland Urban News.Com was among the media selected to cover the political forum that was limited to some 500 City Club members and their guests, and a handfull of elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and U.S. Reps. Marcia L. Fudge (D-11) and Marcy Kaptur (D-9).

CNN reports on decision of Italy Supreme Court on appeal of murder conviction of Amanda Knox, Knox comments

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Rome (CNN)-A tearful Amanda Knox said she is glad to have her life back after an eight-year legal drama that gripped the United States, Britain and Italy.

 

Knox made a brief statement after Italy's Supreme Court overturned her murder conviction late Friday.

 

She was prosecuted after the semi-naked body of British student Meredith Kercher, 21, her throat slashed, was found in November 2007 in the apartment the two women shared.

 

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's Italian boyfriend, was convicted as well. He was cleared along with Knox on Friday night.

 

"She was my friend ... she deserved so much better," Knox said of Kercher.

 

Knox had been facing 28½ years in prison. Now she can seek a normal life.

She was in the United States when the decision was announced in Rome and issued a statement, saying she was "relieved and grateful."CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY AT CNN.COM

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 March 2015 08:02

The Cleveland Clergy Alliance, activists, judges to rally at noon on steps of Cleveland City Hall on March 28, 2015 as to police killings, legal system injustices, community input on DOJ report consent decree, By Cleveland Urban News.Com

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By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com, and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper and newspaper blog.

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com,

Tel: (216) 659-0473, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Cleveland Clergy Alliance, an organization of 25 different greater Cleveland area religious groups led by the Rev. Lorenzo Norris, a community activist and senior pastor at Concord Baptist Church in Cleveland, will host a justice for all rally at the Free Stamp and on the steps of Cleveland City Hall in downtown Cleveland at 601 Lakeside Avenue noon on Saturday, March 28.

Organizers told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper, that they are expecting a large crowd.

The theme of the faith-based initiative, that also includes community activists, is "life, liberty, empowerment, education, and justice for all."

The focus of the event, say organizers, is Cleveland police killings of unarmed people, mainly Blacks, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and legal system injustices in general.

Also at issue is community input as to the current process of the negotiations of a consent decree between the city of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice as to a scathing report released last December against the largely White Cleveland Police Department. That report found systemic or institutional problems in the Cleveland Police Department, including illegal excessive force killings, and police harassment of innocent women, children, and the mentally ill.

The list of speakers, according to organizers, is as follows: Carol Steiner of  the grassroots group Puncture the Silence, Genevieve Mitchell of the Carl Stokes Brigade, Kathy Wray Coleman of the Imperial Women Coalition and Cleveland Urban News.Com, Black on Black Crime Vice President Al Porter, Abdul Qahhar of the Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, South Euclid Judge Gail Williams Byers, Yvonka Hall of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition,  Michelle Larde of the Cuyahoga County Social Welfare Council, Rev. Dr. Andrew Clark, Rev. Stanley Miller, and Kimberly F. Brown of the Brown Report Media.

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 March 2015 18:46 Read more...

East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton to push for a merger of his city with Cleveland as a group of residents simultaneously seek his recall, all five East Cleveland council members support the recall and are against a merger

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By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com, and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper and newspaper blog.

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com,

Tel: (216) 659-0473, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

EAST CLEVELAND, OHIO-East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton (pictured) has decided to push for a merger of his largely Black impoverished suburb with neighboring Cleveland, also a majority Black city that struggles financially, but is not, like East Cleveland, purportedly on the verge of possible bankruptcy.

Cleveland has a population of roughly 375,000 residents, and is about 60 percent Black.

East Cleveland has a population of some 17,000 people and is amount 98 percent Black

Cleveland has a 17-member city council, and East Cleveland has a five- member city council.

Both cities are governed by a charter.

"We are against any merger with Cleveland, all five city council members, including Council President Barbara Thomas,  and all five of us support a recall of Mayor Norton," East Cleveland City Council member Mansell Baker told Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper.

Meanwhile, a group of disgruntled residents has began collecting the roughly 1,000 signatures needed to place a recall measure on the ballot against Norton, a second term mayor, who is Black like Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, a three-term mayor also pushing the merger.

Jackson, himself, could face a recall if necessary signatures are collected by May 1 as his opponents, led by Cleveland NAACP Attorney Michael Nelson Sr. and Black Contractors Group Leaders Ken Bender and Norm Edwards, have promised.

"I have an obligation as an elected official to do whatever I can to insure the best quality of life for the community now and in the future," Norton told the Cleveland Plain Dealer for a story published on March 26. "Even if it means giving up my current position as mayor."

Also in the mix is George Forbes, a former Cleveland NAACP president who was once a powerful Cleveland City Council president, and who is the legal counsel and a key decision maker at the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's most well known Black print newspaper with distributions in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

Both Forbes and the Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest newspaper, favor a merger.

By next week, Norton and his supporters will begin collecting voter signatures in East Cleveland to place on the ballot a measure asking East Cleveland voters to approve a six-member commission of three members from each city to hold merger talks. If East Cleveland voters agree to the commission, Cleveland City Council would thereafter approve or disapprove, the former of which is more probable, sources have said.

If a commission for merger talks is granted by both East Cleveland voters and Cleveland City Council, the commission would have 120 days to agree to a merger plan , or in essence a merger, that would subsequently be placed on the ballot in both cities for voters to either approve or reject.

East Cleveland is headed towards bankruptcy Norton says, as taxes have eroded in recent years due to a decline in businesses and heighten poverty. Only about 30 percent of the residents own their homes.

Norton's opponents, including East Cleveland School Board President Una H.R. Kennon, say that Norton, and not finances, is the problem.

Outspoken  city councilman Nate Martin has said that Norton has allegedly been promised a big time job if he hands East Cleveland to Cleveland. Norton denies the allegation.

The city of Cleveland would be in line to apply for additional federal grant money if a merger succeeds. This is due to what would result in an increased population.

Also a retired East Cleveland judge  who leads the Black Women's Political Action Committee of greater Cleveland, Kennon has said that city leaders, other than Norton, do not want their public school system merged with Cleveland, a public school system controlled by the mayor per state law.

What leaders of both cities can agree on, however, is that standardized test data from the Ohio Department of Education places both school districts at the bottom, though an unconstitutional public school funding formula devised by the Ohio state legislature that relies heavily on property taxes and gives more money to rich school districts is a major factor, data show.

Last Updated on Saturday, 28 March 2015 20:56 Read more...

Community activists women to host the 2nd Anniversary of the Cleveland East 93rd Street Murders Rally and Vigil on Thursday, March 26 at 4:45 pm. The serial killer of the women is still at large, daughter and twin sister of the victims to speak

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From the Metro Desk of Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Community activists and victims family members will host the Second Anniversary of the East 93rd Street Cleveland Rape and Murders and Stop Violence Against Women Rally and Vigil at 4:45 pm on Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the intersection of East 93rd Street and Bessemer Avenue on Cleveland's east side. (From downtown Cleveland at 55th Street take Kinsman Avenue to East 93rd Street, make a right and go about a mile  and a half to Bessemer Avenue). For more information contact the Imperial Women Coalition  at 216-659-0473.

Jazmine Trotter, 20, and Christine Malone, 43, both Black and both victims of rape and murder, were found in separate vacant lots less than a mile from each other near East 93rd Street and Bessemer Avenue on Cleveland's majority Black east side, and police found the murdered body of 21-year-old Ashley Leszyeski, who was White, in an open field near East 93rd Street and Anderson Avenue less than a mile from where Trotter and Malone were found. (Editor's Note: Cleveland City Council persons, Black state legislators, community activists, and family members of the victims are among the speakers).

This week marks the second anniversary of the onset of their collective murders.

Malone's body was discovered  by police on March 27, 2013. Trotter's body was found days earlier that same week, and the remains of Leszyeski, who resided on the city's west side, were found in May of that year.

The serial killer assailant of the murdered women is still at large with no major leads, police said. And since their murders more greater Cleveland women have been raped and found dead in large numbers, and there is an increase in rapes and murders in Cleveland this year, data show.

The Malone family is a key organizer of the rally and her daughter, Angelique Malone, is a keynote speaker.

"They have forgotten about our mother," said Angelique Malone, one of nine children of Christine Malone.

The twin sister of Jasmine Trotter, specifically Yasmine Trotter, will also speak, among others.

"Women's lives matter too, and we need to be assured that authorities, including the police, have done everything they can do to find the killer of these women, " said Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads the Imperial Women Coalition, a grassroots activists'group founded in 2009 around the murders of 11 Black women on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland at the home of since convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 March 2015 14:21 Read more...

President Obama speaks to City Club in Cleveland, Mayor Jackson, City Council President Kevin Kelley, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper, Nina Turner, Louis Stokes, others there comment on the speech to Cleveland Urban News.Com

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By Gwendolyn Pitts and Kathy Wray Coleman, Cleveland Urban News.Com and The Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog.Com, Ohio's leaders in Black digital news, Tel: (216) 659-0473, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

CLEVELAND, Ohio-President Barack Obama (pictured) spoke to an intimate group of some 500 members of the City Club of Cleveland and their guests and about a half dozen elected officials at the Convention Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on Wednesday afternoon.

The turnout was the Democratic who's who of greater Cleveland.

Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper, was among a host of media outlets there to cover the event, one in which the 500 available free tickets were swept up in under an hour, City Club organizers said.

The president recognized U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, U.S. Reps. Marcia L. Fudge and Marcy Kaptur, both also of Ohio, and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson before delivering remarks, a 35-minute speech that focused on manufacturing, and what the president dubs middle class economics.

America's first Black president, and a Democrat, Obama also touched on research, education, infrastructure, job growth, Obamacare, voting rights, and the racial unrest around the country relative to arbitrary police killings of unarmed Black men and boys.

"The United States of America is coming back," said Obama, 53, who is currently serving the third year of a second four-year term. "Factories are opening their doors for the first time in two decades."

Obama said that America has more job openings since 2001, that nationwide unemployment has decreased from 10 percent when he took office in 2009 to a rate of 5.5 percent today, and that the ranks of the uninsured have been cut by a third due to Obamacare, his healthcare initiative that is now federal law. And he said that trickle-down economics does not work, that middle class economics does work, and that "the Republicans have been working hard to re-position rhetoric on the economy."

Manufacturing jobs, said Obama, have risen with his economic plan. And the federal deficit, he said, has been cut by two-thirds.

An advocate of free community college tuition, the president said that community colleges need to be linked to high schools and the business community as an effort to enhance educational outcomes.

Obama responded during the question and answer session of the program and said, indirectly, and as to a particular question, that he is well aware of the racial unrest regarding high profile police killings of Black men and boys. They include Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, and the shooting death late last year of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by an anxious White rookie Cleveland cop.

Things will get better, the president said.

"There is nothing this country cannot do," said Obama. "There is nothing Cleveland cannot do."

Mayor Jackson, Cleveland's third Black mayor, told Cleveland Urban News.Com, that the president's speech was timely, and appropriate.

"I think he did well," said Jackson. "He is great at delivering a message in a way that people can understand."

Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Kelley agreed, and said that Obama has a command of the issues, and is aware of what is happening in local level venues such as Cleveland, a largely Black major American city.

Cleveland, like other big cities, continues to struggle with poverty, unemployment, mediocre public schools, heightened crime, and increased tensions between police and the Black community.

Asked by Cleveland Urban News.Com if the president's visit had anything to do with Cleveland hosting the Republican National Convention next year, Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) Chairman David Pepper said that he did not believe so, but that Cleveland is clearly on the political map, both nationally and internationally.

"Obviously everyone in the world next year is going to be focused on Cleveland," said Pepper.

Former state senator Nina Turner, of Cleveland, now the chairperson of political engagement for the ODP, said that while the Republican National Convention will bring much needed resources to the city, that she is awaiting the public announcement from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on whether she will make a bid for president in 2016.

Democratic political operatives Lynnie Powell and Kent Whitley said that the president's speech was fabulous, and Cordell Stokes, a son of the late Carl B. Stokes, a former Cleveland mayor and the first Black mayor of a major American city, called it "historic."

Retired 11th congressional district congressman Louis Stokes, Carl Stokes' brother and only sibling, and the first Black congressperson from Ohio, told Cleveland Urban News.Com that the country, and the Black community "are blessed to have such a gifted and concerned president."

Other who's who at the political forum include Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, former congressman John Boccieri, Cleveland City Hall Executive Assistant Valerie McCall, Pulitzer prize winning  journalist Connie Schultz, who is married to Sen. Brown, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church senior pastor the Rev. Dr. Jawanza Karriem Colvin, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III and his wife Edwina, Cleveland NAACP Executive Board Member Meryl Tobert Johnson, Charles E. Bibb Sr., and Key Bank Executive Vice President Margo Copeland.

Other U.S. presidents that have addressed the City Club include Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush in 2006.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 March 2015 21:12 Read more...

Tickets for Obama speech in Cleveland, Ohio on March 18, 2015 are all gone, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson to attend, event is sponsored by the City Club, Obama's 3 pm speech to be streamlined on Internet...By Cleveland Urban News.Com

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President Barck Obama and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson (wearing beard)a

 

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog

 

Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 22 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

(www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

CLEVELAND, Ohio-Free tickets for the event sponsored by the City Club at the Convention Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio on tomorrow March 18 at 3 pm of the speech by President Barack Obama on the importance of middle class economics are all gone.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 07:01 Read more...

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The annual11th Congressional District Caucus Parade is Monday, September 2

11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress. waives to the crowd last year at the annual 11th Congressional District Caucus Parade.  This year's parade kicks off on Monday, September 2 on Cleveland's east side at 10:00 am from E. 149th Street and Kinsman Road and ends at Luke Easter Park where the picnic will begin. The event will be replete with political speeches and entertainment from various sources, including local musicians and bands. The well-attended caucus parade was initiated by Democrat Louis Stokes, the retired congressman before Fudge, and the tradition was furthered by the late Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Fudges' predecessor. Stokes was the first Black congressperson from Ohio and Tubbs Jones was the first Black congresswoman from Ohio

Michael Brown attorney to represent family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old whom Cleveland police killed, attorneys call for Mayor Frank Jackson to fire safety director Michael McGrath and former safety director Martin Flask, now a chief assistant to the mayor, attorneys also want community oriented police advisory board and say the family does not trust Cleveland police to indict the White police officer that killed Rice

 

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice along side Benjamin Crump, Leonard Warner and Walter Madison speaks during a news conference in Cleveland

 

Samaria Rice, the mother of Tamir Rice, the 12-year old boy who was fatally shot by police speaks during a news conference at the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland on Dec. 8, 2014. To the left of Samaria Rice is Rice family Attorney Benjamin Crump, who also represents the families of slain Black unarmed teens  Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.  To the right of Sanaria Rice is Akron based attorney Walter Madison, who will assist Crump in the controversial case that has caused racial unrest in the largely Black major metropolitan city of Cleveland. Photo by Aaron Josedczyk—Reuters