Category: Breaking News Written by Kunbi Tinuoye, thegrio
GEORGIA – The African-American Christian community is in shock following the killing of a volunteer staff member at one of the nation’s largest mega-churches.
Police say a gunman opened fire on Wednesday morning inside the chapel of Creflo Dollar’s giant church in metro Atlanta. According to reports, the suspect fled in a vehicle and was still at large after the shooting at World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia.
Authorities are now looking for 52-year-old Floyd Palmer, a former church facilities maintenance employee who resigned from his position in August, citing personal reasons. Eyewitnesses said he calmly walked into the building and fired multiple shots.
It is still unclear how many shots were fired or whether the shooter knew his victim.
“This is a devastating event in the Body of Christ,” said Morris Tipton, director of media relations for the National Baptist Convention. “I am in prayer for the entire situation, the victim, the church family, and the perpetrator. What influenced his mind to the point he felt it necessary to take a life?”
Police say the victim, a man called Gregory McDowell, was a 39-year-old African-American male, a volunteer church member, who was leading the service for about 20 to 25 people at the time. Fulton County Police Cpl. Kay Lester said at a news conference that the slain man was transported to South Fulton Hospital, where he later died.
“I am surprised, horrified and shocked that something like this could happen at my church,” Robert Herbert, a member of World Changers Church for more than 23 years, told theGrio. “This will really rock the church. It’s a time for prayer for the victim’s family,” added Herbert, who is the president of a professional photographer’s network in Atlanta.
“At first I was concerned, that Pastor Dollar had been shot or a child,” 29-year-old Kaniesha Clarke, a member of World Changers, told NBC News. “I’m just really hurt that this happened in our community,” added Clarke, who was walking near the campus after she got word of the shooting.
Clarke’s mother-in-law, Corliss Price, has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. She told NBC News she couldn’t understand how the shooter managed to bring a weapon inside the chapel. “I’m just shocked with this kind of security here, that a man with a suit and gun could get in and start shooting.”
World Changers Church is one of the country’s largest churches and has numerous campuses across the country. Its website states that it serves nearly 30,000 members.
The church is led by the charismatic and high-profile Rev. Creflo Dollar, its founder and senior pastor. Dollar was not at the church when the shooting happened, said Lester at the news conference.
The church holds a mid-week Bible study on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in its chapel. All Wednesday evening services have now been cancelled.
Police are now looking for a black Subaru station wagon with black tinted windows. As a precaution, a few schools in the surrounding areas were placed on a temporary lockdown, but that lockdown has since been lifted.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 15:59
Category: Breaking News Written by thegrio
Former Alaska governor raised eyebrows today with what some would argue was a racially insensitive tweet at President Barack Obama’s expense.
While reacting to the latest revelations on the embassy attack in Benghazi, and the Obama administration’s reaction to it, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee tweeted: “Obama’s Shuck and Jive ends with Bengazi Lies.”
The phrase “shuck and jive” is fraught with unflattering racial overtones as far as many African-Americans are concerned.
Back in January 2008, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who was then a Hillary Clinton supporter and New York’s Attorney General, got into hot water after using the same turn of phrase while criticizing candidate Obama.
”It’s not a TV-crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said. “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference,” he added. “All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”
Cuomo later walked back his remark, saying he meant to say “bob and weave.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:56
Category: Breaking News Written by CNN, Brandon Griggs
(CNN) -- OK, so you probably own a smartphone. If you're a student or someone who travels a lot for work, you almost certainly have a laptop. You may also have a tablet computer, which is great for consulting recipes in the kitchen or watching reruns of "The Office" in bed.
Now you're expected to buy a miniature tablet, too?
Since Apple introduced its iPad Mini on Tuesday, some commenters on CNN, Twitter and elsewhere have expressed skepticism about the need for the new device. The Mini is slightly larger than rival tablets from Amazon and Google and about two-thirds the size of the current iPads. Prices start at $329, or $70 less than a full-size iPad 2 but $130 more than a comparable Kindle Fire HD.
Analysts agree Apple will probably sell millions of them. But Apple's stock took a dive when the Mini's price was announced, and a search of the blogosphere found less excitement among consumers than what greeted the original iPad or the last several iPhones.
This is the new iPad Mini Apple iPad Mini unveiled: Will it sell?
"Apple sells the same item every year just in different sizes ..." said CNN commenter named JC Nevarez.
Said Marc Georges on Twitter, "There's a woman next to me watching video on her Zune. It is the size of a small brick. In other news, Apple announced the iPad Mini today."
CNN commenter RDNinja wrote, "They've got so many different sizes of iPhones and iPads, why don't they just custom-make every device to the dimensions I ask for when I buy it?"
Consumers could get whiplash from the way phones and tablets have grown and shrunk in size in recent years. Fueled by interest in watching video and playing games, smartphone screens have been gradually getting larger -- from about 3.5 inches, measured diagonally, to almost 5 inches.
Meanwhile, tablets have been getting smaller. The original iPad and its first wave of rivals measured about 10 inches across, but more recent entries such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 have been 7 inches -- small enough to slip into a coat pocket.
The iPad Mini measures 7.9 inches diagonally and is 5.3 inches wide -- pocketable, at least according to this blog.
Blogger Dan Nosowitz, tongue planted in cheek, declared the Mini's trade-paperback size will make it a more highbrow option for e-book lovers than the smaller Kindle Fire, which more resembles a mass-market paperback.
"Wide rectangles are classier than narrow rectangles," he wrote. "My conclusion: the iPad Mini will be for literary snobs, and the Kindle Fire will be for dumb-dumbs who read airport garbage books. Kindle Fire owners will read E.L. James, and iPad Mini owners will read E.L. Doctorow. You heard it here first."
As phones and tablets merge, manufacturers must find that sweet spot between a device that's easily portable and one with a screen big enough not to cause eyestrain after an hour or two.
"It will clearly come down to personal preference," said Ross Rubin, a principal analyst at Reticle Research. "The dividing line has historically been what would fit in a pocket. Also, the traditional ergonomics of holding something next to your face, or holding something in one hand."
The Mini weighs less than half as much as a full-size iPad. In describing it on Tuesday, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said it was about the size and weight of a pad of paper.
"Barnes & Noble and Amazon have known this for a while -- that this size product strikes a great balance of mobility and capability for on-the-go usage, as well as 'single hand use,' which is critical to reading and viewing. This has always been a drawback to the larger iPad. You simply can't hold it for a long period of time," said Robert Brunner, an industrial designer whose firm helped develop Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader.
"As for whether iPad Mini is an addition or a replacement for iPad owners, it's probably both," added Brunner, who has also worked at Apple. "Some crazy people will want both, and some will find its size more compelling for everyday use. Studies have shown that most iPads stay in the home, around the coffee table, but the iPad Mini will be a much more mobile device."
But there's the question of how many gadgets people actually need. Will consumers shell out $329 and up (to $659, depending on storage and connectivity) for a device that's not that much bigger than the smartphone they already own?
Many online commenters say they don't see the point.
"I COULD get the iPad Mini, or I could literally just keep using my iPhone and see no difference," said Krista Doyle on Twitter.
"The iPad (revolutionary when it was released) deserves every bit of praise and success it has garnered thus far. But today, Apple didn't debut an innovative product," wrote Jason Evangelho on Forbes.com. "Today they debuted a clone."
Then again, people in 2010 expressed doubts about the original iPad, calling it little more than a bigger iPod Touch. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Tuesday that the company has sold more than 100 million of them.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:38
Category: News Briefs Written by Ann J. Curley, CNN
(CNN) -- Martin McGowan insisted on going to high school baseball tryouts, despite his mother's worries he wasn't feeling well.
After the tryouts, the 15-year-old complained of leg pain and seemed exhausted. He woke up and vomited during the night, Diane McGowan recalled. She gave him medicine for his fever, and he returned to bed, only to wake again, vomiting and complaining of leg pain.
At the emergency room, doctors diagnosed Martin with the flu, and said his leg pain was due to "compartment syndrome," Diane McGowan said.
"Because the muscle has no room between the skin and the bone, it causes pressure on the arteries and veins with your bone, and can eventually cut off the circulation," she said. "So if they had not taken him into surgery ... they might have had to amputate his legs."
Hospitals: Get flu shot or lose job Early flu shots protect you all season
But no one was prepared for what happened next -- Martin died on the operating table that day in 2005.
"What I later found out is that the flu attacks the muscles, and that's why you feel achy when you get the flu," his mother said.
"Because he was so healthy, and because of the exertion he had done the night before, it (the influenza) went thru his system quicker than it would go through a normal child. ... The heart is a muscle, and his heart gave out on the table."
While Martin's complication was uncommon, influenza can produce complications that result in death, including pneumonia, bacterial infection, acute respiratory failure, and encephalitis, even in otherwise healthy children.
His death has been motivation for his mother to work toward preventing such deaths in other children.
Getting children ready for flu season
At the time, Diane McGowan noted, it wasn't recommended that children Martin's age get the flu vaccine -- something she worked to change, lobbying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to increase flu immunization requirements for children and teens.
She is now a volunteer with Families Fighting Flu, a group run exclusively by families who have experienced the loss of a child or a child who has suffered serious complications from the flu. The group receives funding through private donations as well as funding from organizations that include pharmaceutical companies in the form of unrestricted grants.
New research presented last week shows that healthy children, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are at risk of dying from flu-associated causes.
The research was presented at IDWeek 2012, the first conference held by a consortium of infectious disease groups. It examined deaths among children over the past eight flu seasons.
Between 2004 and 2012, 829 U.S. children under 18 died from influenza-associated causes. While many of the deaths occurred among children with underlying health conditions, including neurological disorders, asthma or lung disease, and genetic or chromosomal disorders, 40% occurred among children with no known medical condition, according to lead author Dr. Karen K. Wong of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Healthy children actually died more quickly, according to the research, with a median of four days from symptoms to death. That's compared to a median of seven days from symptoms to death among children with a pre-existing condition.
"Because influenza-associated deaths can occur rapidly in children, prevention is really the best defense," explained Wong, noting that over a third of deaths occurred in children younger than age 5 -- a group known to be at high risk -- and 11% occurred in children younger than 6 months. That's a group that is too young to be vaccinated.
New research raises hopes in quest to find universal flu vaccine
School-based influenza vaccination programs, however, may help prevent the spread of the virus among children and young adults.
In tandem with the new data on pediatric flu deaths, an example of promising new research on flu prevention was presented at the ID Week 2012 meeting.
Results of a school-based program were presented by Dr. Pia Pannaraj, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
"We looked at a proactive approach for how to prevent influenza," Pannaraj said. Her study followed 4,500 elementary school children in eight schools in Los Angeles County during the 2010-11 flu season. Half had a school-based flu vaccination program. The schools without a program served as the control group.
Thirty to 50% of children in the vaccine program schools received a flu vaccine. If any child came down with respiratory symptoms or a fever, cough or runny nose, they were tested for influenza. The process was done for all schools, Pannaraj explained, and included contacting homes of children who were out sick to make sure they were appropriately tested.
"We found that children who were vaccinated were three times less likely to get the flu and missed half the number of school days compared to children who were not vaccinated," said Pannaraj.
"In our schools that had school-based influenza vaccination programs, their rates of influenza overall at the entire school were lower than at school that did not have any vaccination program. And again, also their attendance rates were also much higher than the schools that did not have any vaccination program."
Vitamin D supplements no help for colds, flu
Vaccination of school-age children is important, Pannaraj said, because "children are very capable of spreading the flu. They go to school, they're in their classrooms, they're all together -- they touch each other, touch doors, pass around papers and pencils." They also can go home and spread the flu virus to family members including the very young or the elderly, who can become severely ill.
The entire community also benefits from school-based immunization programs, she said, as it means less time away from work for parents caring for sick children. In addition, parents don't have to take their children elsewhere for the vaccine if they receive it at school.
Another bonus: "In the school where the vaccination rate was close to 50%, we see some protection extended even to those kids who were unvaccinated," she said. "Their rates of influenza were less compared to schools with lower vaccination rates."
There are simple steps that families can take to fight the flu. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccination is critical for people who live with or care for young children or children with medical conditions, to prevent the spread of flu to high-risk children.
Moms can help protect their babies by getting a flu shot during pregnancy. And make sure that family members and caregivers -- including babysitters and grandparents -- are all vaccinated to prevent spreading flu to children too young for vaccination.
While vaccination is the first line of defense, if children do get the flu, prescription antiviral medicines, which include Tamiflu (generic name oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), are recommended by the CDC as treatment to help ease symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness, Wong said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:18
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Progress is being made at the Gateway Marketplace project in Detroit, as drivers on Woodward and 8 Mile Road can now see dirt piling up and construction workers plugging away.
The center — anchored by a Meijer Supercenter, Marshalls department store and K&G Fashion Superstore — is expected to feature 350,000 square feet of retail space on 36 acres of land.
Construction crews broke ground on the project, at the northwest corner of the old state fair property, this past May after spending eight years planning and developing the marketplace.
“Right now, we’re ahead of schedule with paving and curbing, and we started building foundations last week, we’re moving forward with those buildings,” Vince Washington, a field superintendent for the Dailey-Jenkins construction team told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
Washington said in less than two weeks, the outside walls of the Meijer store will be up.
“These block walls are starting, I’ve got five masons that started last week and you’ll start seeing blocks go up in the next few days,” he said. “Meijer is expected to start precast 12 foot high, 22 foot wide panels, you will see over in Meijer. In 10 days, you will have a complete Meijer.”
The Gateway Marketplace is scheduled for completion May 31, 2013.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:00
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
In December of 2006, Spike Lee was hired to write and direct a film about the life of James Brown for producer Brian Grazer. One year later, Wesley Snipes was attached to play Brown, though the actor wouldn't cover any of the Godfather of Soul's famed songs.
"We're doing it together -- it's going to happen," Lee told MTV News in 2009. "I want to hear James Brown’s voice. That’s just my personal taste."
When Snipes got into legal trouble with the IRS, casting turned to Eddie Murphy, who as recently as this year said that Lee's script for the film was "incredible."
"That's a great, great piece," Murphy told BlackTree TV. "I wish it could come together. It has everything and his story is incredible. Imagine how incredible Ray Charles' story was -- and he's at the piano. James is doing splits and running and jump off the wall. Angel dust. Shooting out tires. James' shit is bananas."
Now, however, it appears Lee's version will go the way of his long-planned Jackie Robinson biopic. Deadline.com reports that Grazer has hired Tate Taylor to direct the Brown film, with a script by Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth ("Fair Game"). The new report makes no mention of Lee's involvement at all.
Taylor, who previously directed "The Help," has been looking for a follow-up project to that Best Picture nominee. In June, Deadline.com reported that he was set to write and direct an adaptation of "The Jury," an adaptation of a British miniseries that co-starred Gerard Butler.
In addition to Taylor, Grazer also added Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger as a producer on the film. For more on the film's development, head over to Deadline.com. No word yet on casting, though Murphy is not attached in any official capacity.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:57
Category: Top News Written by Patrick Keating CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:45
Category: Breaking News Written by Fox News
The San Francisco Giants eye their second World Series title in three years, as they kick off the 108th edition of the Fall Classic against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday at AT&T Park.
Amazingly, these two storied franchises have never met in the World Series, despite this being the 19th trip for the Giants and the Tigers' 11th appearance. However, this is only the fifth time the Giants will be playing in this round since the team moved from New York to San Francisco.
Of course, the Giants' last trip to the World Series resulted in the franchise's first title since 1954, a five-game victory over the Texas Rangers in 2010.
This time around San Francisco enters the Fall Classic with a ton of momentum following a thrilling seven-game win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, which saw it rally from a 3-1 series deficit.
In Monday's clincher, Matt Cain (2-2) scattered five hits and one walk over 5 2/3 scoreless innings and even drove in a run during the 9-0 rout, while Hunter Pence drove in a pair with a fortunate broken-bat double during a five- run third inning. Fellow midseason acquisition Marco Scutaro capped his NLCS MVP performance with his sixth multi-hit game of the series.
"We played with more heart and more determination than any club I've seen," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said during the trophy presentation. "They didn't want to go home."
Resiliency has been the Giants' calling card this October, as they also became the first team in NL history to rally back from an 0-2 hole and win a Division Series with a five-game win over the Cincinnati Reds.
With their sixth straight win in the face of elimination on Monday, the Giants became only the second team to win three in a row to close out postseason series twice in one session, matching the 1985 Royals -- who rallied against the Blue Jays in the ALCS and then the Cardinals in the World Series.
San Francisco won in 2010 thanks to an incredible pitching staff. That rotation seems to be finding itself again at the right time entering this series, as the Giants closed out the Cardinals by allowing just one run over the final three contests.
Lefty Barry Zito started the remarkable comeback with a sensational effort in Game 4 that saw him throw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and he'll get the call in Game 1 -- quite a contrast from the Giants' last playoff run when Zito was not even included on the postseason roster.
"For him to keep grinding, as we say, and trying to get better, for him to be at this point and starting the first game, I was really glad, proud to tell him that," Bochy said Tuesday.
Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner with Oakland, was 15-8 in the regular season and the Giants have won in each of his last 13 trips to the hill.
"Yeah, it means a lot," Zito said of getting the ball for Game 1. "Like I said earlier, it's hard to reflect and really become third person about this experience. It's more about right now just going out and preparing for a ballgame against a good team.
You know, I can look back on everything when I'm back home."
The Giants offense was paced in the regular season by MVP candidate Buster Posey, who was the NL's leading hitter at .336 with 24 home runs and 103 RBI during the regular season. However, he is hitting just .178 with six RBI in the playoffs. Four of those RBI came with one swing of the bat, as his grand slam helped the Giants finish off the Reds in Game 5 of the NLDS.
Pence was acquired near the trade deadline to help the Giants' woeful lineup, but has struggled mightily this postseason, batting a mere .188. He has become the team's inspirational leader, though, with fiery clubhouse speeches, as his "look into each other's eyes" speech has become a rallying cry for the team.
With those two struggling, the Giants got a huge contribution from Scutaro, who was 3-for-4 in Game 7 and batted .500 (14-for-28) with six runs scored and four RBI despite suffering a strained left hip when Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday took out the second baseman with a vicious slide in Game 2.
"It's a little want and a lot of willpower," said Posey. "I think to do it, guys actually have to believe it can happen."
Detroit, meanwhile, has been idle since finishing off a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees in the ALCS on Thursday. Its road here may not have been quite as difficult as the Giants, but they are back in the Fall Classic for the first time since 2006.
After beating the Oakland Athletics in five games of the ALDS, the AL Central- champion Tigers had a much easier time than anyone would have thought against the Yankees, as they took the first two games in the Bronx before sealing the series with two straight wins in Detroit, including an 8-1 thrashing over CC Sabathia in the clincher.
Detroit's last World Series appearance ended with a five-game game loss to St. Louis and the franchise hasn't won it all since besting the San Diego Padres in 1984.
Also, this is just the fourth time that a team who swept a series and one who went all seven games will meet in the World Series since the LCS expanded to a seven-game format in 1985. Each time, the team going the distance won the World Series, including the 2006 Cardinals, who took out the Tigers.
"I think they're going about it the right way," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm not too excited about it, myself, to be honest with you, but I think they're taking it the right way. They know they need to see some pitching and in-game conditions. They're doing it business-like. I won't say they're all giddy about it, but they're doing it business-like, and that's the purpose of it.
"I told them why we're here, what the plan was, why we have the plan that we have. There are a couple guys here from the team in 2006, so I explained to them why we're doing it and what happened in 2006."
History may not be on the side of the Tigers, but they must still like their chances with perhaps the best pitcher on the planet in Justin Verlander, who will start Game 1 on seven days' rest and could potentially throw three times if needed in this series.
If there was a knock on the great Verlander it was that his postseason success hadn't matched up to his regular-season production. Well, the few detractors he may have had are going to have to find something else to complain about because he has been terrific this postseason.
The AL's reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner was sensational again in the regular season, but has taken his game to yet another level this October, going 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.
"The only thing you do is you go out there and you compete," Giants manager Bochy said of facing Verlander. "We know what great stuff he has. You're talking [about] one of the elite pitchers ever in the game, as hard as he throws and his other pitches. You hope your hitters look forward to seeing him."
This will be just the ninth matchup between former Cy Young winners in a World Series game.
An interesting wrinkle here is that it was actually Verlander who helped give the Giants home-field advantage in this series, as he surrendered five first- inning runs and took the loss for the AL in the All-Star Game. It was a pair of Giants who contributed to his loss in that game, as Cabrera scored the game's first run and Pablo Sandoval smacked a bases-clearing triple.
"I keep telling everyone, 'God, if I hadn't given it up, we'd be at home,'" Verlander told USA Today over the weekend.
Offensively, the Tigers are paced by maybe the best 1-2 punch in the league in the middle of the lineup in Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.
With a batting average of .330 along with 44 home runs and 139 RBI, Miguel Cabrera led the American League in all three categories and finished tops in both leagues in homers and RBI. It's the 14th time in major league history that a player has accomplished the feat.
The 29-year-old set career highs in homers and RBI and had the second-best batting average of his career, trailing his .344 mark from the 2011 season.
After only driving in one run and batting .250 against the A's, Cabrera got himself righted a bit in the ALCS, as he hit .313 with four RBI.
Cabrera isn't the only masher in the Tigers' lineup. He moved over to third base this year to accommodate Fielder, a free agent addition who enjoyed his first year in Motown by hitting .313 with 30 home runs and 108 RBI.
Fielder, though, hasn't been able to get it going in the playoffs and is hitting just .211.
Leyland does have some concerns, specifically a bullpen that has seemingly removed Jose Valverde from the closer's role. After Valverde blew big leads against both Oakland and then New York, Leyland opted to go with a closer by committee, but lefty Phil Coke seemed to be his go-to-guy against the Yankees.
"I'm going to play it by ear," Leyland said Monday. "We're going to try to do everything we can to win a game."
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/10/24/resilient-giants-host-rested-tigers-in-world-series-opener/#ixzz2AEbPzK3M
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:34
Category: Top News Written by Bankole Thompson, CHRONICLE SENIOR EDITOR
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:24
Category: Breaking News Written by Tami Luhby, moneycnn
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- They aren't in poverty, but they are just a step away from falling into its clutches.
More than 30 million Americans are living just above the poverty line. These near poor, often defined as having incomes of up to 1.5 times the poverty threshold, were supporting a family of four on no more than $34,500 last year.
They are more likely to be white than those in poverty, according to a CNNMoney analysis of Census Bureau data. They are more likely to be elderly. They are more than three times as likely to work full-time, year-round. And they are more likely not to receive help from the government.
"People just above the poverty line are just one paycheck or health disaster away from poverty," said Katherine Newman, a dean at Johns Hopkins University. "They are still quite fragile."
The near poor have grown by about 10% in number over the past five years, as the Great Recession sent many people falling down the income ladder. The ranks of those in poverty, on the other hand, swelled 24% in the same period.
Half of the near poor are white, compared to just over two in five of those in poverty, according to Census figures. And only 16.7% are black, compared to 23.6% of those in poverty. The share of Latinos who are near poor is 27.8%, only slightly smaller than the share in poverty.
The fact that there are more blacks in poverty than among the near poor likely stems from the fact that the unemployment rate among blacks is nearly double that of whites, said Robert Moffitt, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins. And they have much higher rates of single motherhood, he said. Whites, on the other hand, likely have enough earnings to put them just above the poverty line.
Another large group among the ranks of the near-poor are senior citizens. Nearly 17% of the near poor are elderly, while only 7.8% of those in poverty are.
Social Security keeps many of the elderly, particularly white seniors, above the poverty line ... but barely, said Arloc Sherman, senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
"Social Security is not an exorbitant program," he said. "People end up above the poverty line, but not necessarily far above it."
So it's not surprising that nearly 40% of the near poor who didn't work are retired, but only 6% say they couldn't find a job. On the flip side, 46% are employed and nearly half are working full-time.
Some of the near poor are eligible for income-based government assistance since certain programs allow those just above the poverty line to enroll. The food stamps program, for instance, is open to those who earn 130% of the poverty line, while Medicaid and child care subsidies let some of the near poor enroll, depending on the state.
But many are left on their own. Only 57% of the near poor receive public aid, excluding school lunches, compared with 70.3% of those in poverty. They are more likely to rely on churches or social service agencies for help.
"There are still a very large number of working families who are struggling and all but poor," Sherman said.
Newman calls this group "the missing class" because they can be overlooked by policymakers and advocates. They include home health aids, child care workers, teachers assistants and hospital orderlies, to name a few. They work full time, but often don't have employer benefits, which adds to their vulnerability, said Newman, whose research looks at those up to two times the poverty level.
"They are still low-income, but we tend to ignore them," Moffitt said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:07
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