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Congresswoman Fudge gets standing ovation at 105th NAACP convention, voting rights is center stage, Vice President Joe Biden to speak, new NAACP President Cornell Brooks makes debut, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo among corporate sponsors

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Pictured are U.S. Rep.Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden


By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-n-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473

Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper. ( / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.comLAS VEGAS, Nevada- U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio Democrat and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, got a standing ovation on Monday at the 105th Annual NAACP Convention in Las Vegas as voting rights was the focus of the gathering of Civil Rights advocates.

Billed under the theme 'All In For Justice and Equality,' Wednesday is the final day of the convention, and Vice president Joe Biden will speak at 11 am.  But neither President Obama nor First Lady Obama are among the attendees or speakers there, which is rare since America's first Black president took office in 2009 and won a second four-year term in 2012.

"Vote like your life depended on it, vote as if the lives of your children depended on it," said Fudge during her speech at the  Mandalay Bay Resort and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada where the five-day convention that began on July 19 was held.

The congresswoman, whose district includes parts of the predominantly Black major metropolitan city of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs, gave a  get-out-the vote presentation as the November election nears with select gubernatorial and Congressional seats open for grabs across the country, including the race for governor in Ohio.

A former Warrensville Heights mayor and past national president of Delta Sigma Theta Inc, Fudge has been out front on voting rights at the federal level and at home in her majority Black 11th congressional district, one of 16 congressional districts in the battleground state of Ohio. Most of her constituents live below the poverty line and the federal lawmaker is outright unnerved with the trend by state legislatures in several states in passing voter suppression laws in rapid numbers, including in Ohio where a federal judge earlier this year struck down a state law that denied early voting three days before general elections as unconstitutional.

Many of the convention goers were attorneys, some were academicians, a few on program were judges and politicians, and others simply were longtime loyal members of the nation's oldest and most renowned Civil Rights organization. Forums ranged from health care, to education, to the mass incarceration of Black men, many of whom are denied adequate legal representation due to poverty, and racism, says the NAACP.

Other program speakers include Journalist and TV One Political Commentator Roland Martin,  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock, and U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Bernice Donald.

Among the performers were Regina Bell and Ruben Studdard.

Newly installed National NAACP President Cornell Williams Brooks, who succeeds Benjamin Jealous, made his debut on Saturday, the opening day of the convention,  and told a crowd of thousands that the NAACP is in the midst of a "revolution reconstruction period."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 18:07

Russell estate Attorney Terry Gilbert thanks community activists around 137 shots deadly Cleveland police shooting settlement, gives exclusive interview to Cleveland Urban News.Com, says "the fight is really just beginning"

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Pictured are Cleveland police shooting victims Malissa Williams and Tim Russell (in sweat shirt), and Russell estate attorney Terry Gilbert ( in suit), a Cleveland area Civil Rights and constitutional lawyer widely known for settling record breaking Cleveland police excessive force cases.

By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-n-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog, Tel: (216) 659-0473 Kathy Wray Coleman is  a community activist and 20 year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper. ( / (

CLEVELAND, Ohio- The city of Cleveland has reached a settlement in a notorious Civil Rights and  police excessive force case, likely the worst in city history, where unarmed Blacks Malissa Williams, 30, and Tim Russell, 43, were gunned down the night of  Nov. 29, 2012 with Cleveland police slinging 137 bullets.

Among the host of defendants named in the two lawsuits are police, all of them at issue sued in both their professional and personal capacities, and the city of Cleveland.

The fatal shooting followed a high speed car chase that began in downtown Cleveland and ended in the parking lot of Heritage Middle School in neighboring East Cleveland.

The settlement was reached on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio before federal district court Judge Dan Polster, who put a gag order on the parties to the case and their attorneys, one that will not truly be settled until probate court resolves several claims to the estates of the two shooting victims, something that attorneys for the plaintiffs say could take weeks or even months.

"The next step is probate court," said Civil Rights and constitutional attorney Terry Gilbert, in an exclusive interview on Monday with Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leading digital Black newspaper.

Gilbert represents the estate of Russell's son, now 18.

David Malik and Tyrone Reed, also Cleveland area attorneys, represent the Williams family in the lawsuit.

A renowned lawyer who has settled several record breaking Cleveland police excessive force cases, Gilbert is still concerned that excessive force by Cleveland police remains a problem to the Black community and others.

"We have  a lot more work to do to reform the Cleveland police department," said Gilbert, before thanking community activists for their support in bringing awareness around the unprecedented case, which he says also contributed to a timely settlement.

"The presence of community activists on raising awareness of what happen on Nov 29, 2012 has and will be instrumental in seeking accountability by the Cleveland Police Department," he said.

Gilbert said that neither he nor the other attorneys or the parties to the case are at liberty to disclose the amount of the settlement, the judge ordered. And he said that the fight to eradicate excessive force incidents by Cleveland police against the community and for justice for Malissa and Tim and all like them is not over by a long-shot.

"The fight is just really beginning,"said Gilbert.

A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury last month handed down an indictment on two counts of voluntary manslaughter against one of 13 non- Black Cleveland police officers that gunned down Williams and Russell , a celebrated tragedy that has heighten racial unrest in the predominantly Black major metropolitan city.

Prosecutors had sought a two-count murder indictment for Patrolman Michael Brelo, among other charges, but the grand jury opted for the lesser charge of manslaughter. The case is before Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell and Brelo has pleaded not guilty.

Manslaughter is a first degree felony in Ohio that carries a possible prison sentence of three to 10 years.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty told reporters during a press conference on the grand jury indictments  that his office did not recommend any charges against the 12 officers that escaped indictments, 11 White and one Hispanic. That posture has upset community activists who have protested and are demanding that another grand jury convene independent of what they say was prejudice by McGinty and his office.They also want federal charges as well as the firing of the 13 cops that did the shooting.

Some community members and community activists called the grand jury decision and McGinty's refusal to seek charges against the 12 police officers at issue unjust, racist and outright shameful.

"The neo- Nazi's won and it is unbelievable that only one police officer faces felony charges and the other 12 got away with killing two unarmed Black people," said Community activist Pierre Nappier, who had protested over the deadly shooting with Cleveland area religious groups such as the United Pastors in Mission and the Baptist Minister Alliance and  with members of the Cleveland Chapter NAACP and  greater Cleveland grassroots groups including Black on Black Crime Inc, the Carl Stokes Brigade, the Imperial Women Coalition, Revolution Books, Peace in the Hood, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, and the Oppressed People's Nation.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 15:54

Congresspersons Fudge, Ryan introduce bill to address heroin crisis in Ohio, nationally, say heroin deaths in Ohio exceed deaths by car crashes

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Pictured are Ohio 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, who also chairs the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, and Ohio 13th Congressional District Congressman Tim Ryan

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From the Netro Desk of Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Representatives Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Tim Ryan (OH-13) held a news conference in Cleveland on Thursday to discuss H.R. 5136, the Breaking Addiction Act of 2014.  The legislation was introduced by Fudge, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio Democrat and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, and cosponsored by Congressman Ryan, a Nile's, Ohio area Democrat.  It establishes a five-year demonstration project to expand cost-effective, community-based treatment options to address the heroin/opiate epidemic.

Click here to read more about the Breaking Addiction Act. Click here to see a copy of the legislation

“Fatal drug overdoses now exceed motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, " said Fudge. " Heroin alone claims more lives in Cuyahoga County than homicides.

Cuyahoga County is the largest of Ohio's 88 counties and is roughly 29 percent Black. It includes the city of Cleveland and 58 other cities, villages and townships.

"It imperative that we begin to stem this tide, and I am proud to stand with Congresswoman Fudge in support of the Breaking Addiction Act, which takes great strides to provide more individuals suffering from substance abuse with treatment options,” said Ryan.

Fudge said that "this public health threat affects communities in all regions of the country and impacts urban, suburban and rural areas alike."

The Breaking Addiction Act will enable participating states to receive federal reimbursement for Medicaid services provided to all eligible in-patients who receive treatment for chemical substance abuse at a community treatment facility.  It partially waives what is known as the Institution for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion.  The 1965 law that created Medicaid excludes states from receiving federal reimbursement for services provided in an IMD with more than 16 patient beds.  Congress, however,  did not foresee nearly 50 years ago that this exclusion would impede communities’ ability to respond to the rapid escalation of heroin addiction and abuse of opiate-based prescription painkillers.

“As Democratic Co- Chair of the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus, I understand the damage substance abuse inflicts upon the state of Ohio and our nation," the congresswoman said.

Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 17:20

Greater Cleveland community to host 'The First Anniversary of the East Cleveland Serial Murders' to remember victims Shirellda Terry, Shetisha Sheeley and Angela Deskins on Saturday, July 19,12:30 pm, intersection of Shaw, Hayden Avenues in E. Cleveland

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By Kathy Wray Coleman

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio- The greater Cleveland community, elected officials and community activists groups will host 'The First Anniversary of the East Cleveland Serial Murders and Stop Violence Against Women and Find Their Killers Rally and Vigil' from 12:30 pm to 2:00  pm on Saturday, July 19, at the intersection of Shaw and Hayden Avenues in East Cleveland. For more information call the Imperial Women Coalition at (216) 659-0473.  Confirmed speakers include the office of Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, victims of heinous violence family members, including the family of E. 93rd Street Cleveland Murder victim Christine Malone, East Cleveland Councilman Nate Martin, Cleveland Ward 6 Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell, East Cleveland School Board Member Tiffany Fisher,  Former Cleveland School Board President and Carl Stokes Brigade Member Genevieve Mitchell, Oppressed Peoples Nation Chairman Ernie Smith, The Rev Pam Pinkney-Butts, Black on Black on Black Crime Founder Art McKoy, Imperial Women Coalition Leader Kathy Wray Coleman, CNN Hero and domestic violence survivor Laura Cowan, Pierre Nappier, Survivors/Victims of Tragedy Leader Judy Martin, Carl Stokes Brigade Member Marva Patterson, and From Victim to Victory Inc President Christine Wilson.

The rally and vigil, said organizers, are to remember victims Shirellda Terry, 18, Angela Deskins, 38, and Shetisha Sheeley, 28, (pictured) and all other greater Cleveland women subjected to heinous crimes.

Terry's body was found in a garage leased to suspected serial killer Michael Madison on July 19, 2013 at the intersection of Shaw and Hayden Avenues in East Cleveland, a neighboring largely Black impoverished suburb of Cleveland, and the remains of Deskins and Sheeley were uncovered the following day in the same vicinity, one in a nearby vacant house and the other in the backyard.

Two of the women live in Cleveland and a wing is named after Terry at the East Cleveland Public Library where she was a student tutor. All three bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags.

"We need the community to come out to remember this tragedy and the victims and their families, and to call for a cease fire on violence against women," said community activist Christine Wilson, who leads From Victim to Victory Inc.

"We call for a moratorium on violence against women in greater Cleveland and elsewhere and we demand more resources to deal with this epidemic in Cuyahoga County," said community activist Kathy Wray Coleman, who leads the Imperial Women Coalition.

Program speakers include victims family members, Black elected officials, anti-human trafficking affiliates, community activists, victims of crime,  and representatives from greater Cleveland women's advocacy groups.

Madison, 36, is in custody on a $6 million bond and awaits trial on numerous charges, including multiple counts of aggravated murder and kidnapping. He has pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 July 2014 05:01

King James' return to the Cleveland Cavaliers inspires Northeast Ohio, LeBron James is a role model, a true leader of men, by Cleveland Urban News.Com Sportswriter Karl Kimbrough

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By Karl Kimbrough (pictured), Cleveland Urban News.Com Sportswriter ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Leaders In Black Digital News . Tel: 216-659-0473

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-“The King,' better known by many as LeBron James, has returned to his original throne in Cleveland, Ohio. “The Decision' over whether to return or not finally came to a happy ending on Friday July 11. Cavaliers' fans were elated. It came four years and three days after James' first 'Decision,' one that saw him take his talents to the Miami Heat.

That infamous day in July of 2010 when James left Cleveland had to be on the minds of Cavaliers' fans, who are use to being spurned, as LeBron's possible return loomed. But after Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert's private plane was spotted in Miami on July 6, speculation grew quickly that Cleveland had gained the lead in the race for one of the nation's most talented basketball player. After July 6 the anticipation for LeBron to announce what team he had chosen grew nationally with each day and each hour, especially after James met with Miami Heat GM Pat Riley on July 9 and would not commit to the Heat.

LeBron would wait until Friday, July 11 at noon to release his decision to the world. Suddenly people all over Cleveland began to act strange. One man was seen walking down the street shouting 'welcome back to the Q' when there was no one within shouting distance of him. Others were seen getting out of their cars and doing a happy dance for no apparent reason, and running down the street with their cell phones in their hands. Thousands changed their plans for the evening to go to their local watering hole to celebrate. Meanwhile, the national focus switched to who The King chose and why. The explanation he gave for coming back to Cleveland will forever be remembered.

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 July 2014 05:04

Bedford judge suspended after charges he ran prostitution ring is protected by Bedford court, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice O'Connor assigned retired judge Suster as stand-in to allegedly continue Jacob's harassment of Blacks, women, with NAACP support

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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, Tel: (216) 659-0473 ( / (


BEDFORD, Ohio- In spite of a suspension of disqualification from the bench last year by the Ohio Supreme Court of former Bedford Municipal Court Judge Harry Jacob (pictured) due to a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury indictment on charges of bribery, tampering with evidence and a host of other felonies, and in spite of other embarrassing charges, including that he boldly pimped Black and other women through a prostitution ring and that he fixed cases, the court's website describes pimp Jacob as an upstanding citizen and community advocate. (Editor's note: Bedford law director and prosecutor Ken Schuman has resigned. He took paid leave in November, some two months before an indictment on soliciting, bribery and theft in office. Also, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican like Jacob, has assigned retired Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Ronald Suster as a $500 -a-day stand-in to allegedly continue Jacob's and the court's illegal harassment of Blacks and women. Suster is accused of issuing illegal warrants, harassing Black women and denying Blacks and women indigent counsel as a high paid visiting judge, among other alleged illegalities, sources say, and with the alleged support of O'Connor. The chief justice is also accused of handpicking and paying retired visiting judges in the Berea Municipal Court, who also deny indigent Blacks counsel and have allegedly said that they are doing what the Ohio Supreme Court has told them to do.  All of this is allegedly occurring with support by attorneys for the Cleveland NAACP, namely Cleveland criminal defense attorneys Michael Nelson Sr. and James Hardman, both getting monies for their law firms from the office of the Cuyahoga County prosecutor and others to allegedly cover up the public corruption, data show. Both Berea and Bedford are suburbs of Cleveland).

In fact, his [Jacob's] court website curriculum vita, if you will, says also that Jacob "has been appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to the commission on continuing legal education and his peers have elected him secretary-treasurer of the Northern Ohio Judges Association."

Asked by Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leading digital Black newspaper, why Jacob is still put out as a judge though he has been suspended for pimping women and other alleged crimes, court personnel directed questions to Clerk of Court Tom Day, also allegedly involved in criminal activity, data show, but still on the job doing in Blacks and others too.

Jacob has pleaded not guilty to all charges and hired prominent Cleveland lawyer Kevin Spellacy to represent him.

The other judge on the Bedford Municipal Court, Brian Melling, is still hanging around too, doing in Blacks and others also, an investigation reveals, and as a White man, like Day, that is accused of thinking that he too, like Jacob, is above the law.

Melling and Day have harassed Blacks that come before the Bedford court, data show,  denying some of them counsel though deeming them indigent, and unless they go along with the program. Sources say that both have been caught bragging that they have the support of area Black leaders and politicians and the Cleveland NAACP, more specifically Cleveland criminal defense attorneys Michael Nelson Sr. and James Hardiman, relative to their anti-Black and anti-Democratic malfeasance. Nelson, say sources, says that he will do whatever it takes to keep monies coming into his law firm, even if he has to sell out the Cleveland NAACP and harass and defame Black women that come to him for help around the public corruption.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 06:52


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"“There is something deeply hypocritical in a society that holds an inner-city child only eight years old accountable for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years before.” ―By Jonathan Kozol, author of 'Savage Inequalities'  and other books on the nation's inequitable public education system

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