Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
The Senior Alliance (TSA) and the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) head up a collaborative network of community-based organizations that has been selected to participate in a national learning collaborative devoted to strengthening the capacity of networks of community-based organizations that support seniors and persons with disabilities.
“We are excited to form this collaboration with The Senior Alliance,” stated Paul Bridgewater, President/CEO of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, “which will yield a replicable model for urban provider networks that serve the aged and disabled citizens in Integrated Care and managed care environments across the country.”
In a new approach, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, has selected nine networks of community-based organizations (CBOs) from across the country that have experience serving seniors and people with disabilities to receive training in marketing, contracting, and pricing their services. “The Senior Alliance is excited to join DAAA and dozens of our local aging and disability partners for this collaborative process with the ACL,” said TSA Executive Director Bob Brown. “This is a unique opportunity for each participant to bring their particular expertise to the table. Our aim is to create a comprehensive network that will more effectively serve the needs of the aging and disabled community in Wayne County.”
ACL recognizes that while local organizations know their communities and the issues their clients face daily, they may not have expertise in forming business relationships with healthcare providers. DAAA and TSA’s proposal for technical assistance seeks to support enhanced business capacity to establish a partnership among Wayne County aging, disability and long-term care service providers. In addition to the two Area Agencies on Aging, the partnership will include a network of approximately 38 providers of Home and Community-Based Medicaid waiver management entities; and other providers of community-based Long Term Care Supports and Services.
The technical assistance provided by ACL will help the CBOs build skills and align service capabilities so they can build business relationships with healthcare entities that do not typically provide community-based long-term services and supports, like hospitals, health systems, Accountable Care Organizations, and managed/integrated care plans. These changing relationships, supported by the Affordable Care Act, encourage better integration between hospitals, insurers, health care providers and the CBOs that often provide day-to-day support to older Americans and people with disabilities so that they can stay healthier, remain in their homes and reduce health care costs.
During the initiative’s intensive education phase, the nine local networks will form a national learning collaborative that will share experiences, including lessons learned, innovative ideas, and best practices for providing integrated care in a variety of community settings. At the conclusion of the initiative, the collaborative will share its models and other tools with communities and local agencies facing similar challenges.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 16:15
Category: Top News Written by Dana Ford, CNN
(CNN) -- Self-defense or murder?
That's the question at the heart of the trial of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Monday marks the start of jury selection in Seminole County, Florida, where Martin was fatally shot on February 26, 2012.
The shooting put a national spotlight on Zimmerman's hometown of Sanford and sparked fresh debates about race relations and gun laws in America.
Zimmerman is Hispanic; Martin was African-American.
An initial decision not to pursue charges against Zimmerman led to the dismissal of the town's police chief and the appointment of a special prosecutor, who accused the neighborhood watch volunteer of unjustly profiling and killing Martin.
Zimmerman now faces a second-degree murder charge in Martin's death. He has pleaded not guilty and is currently free on $1 million bond.
"We don't need you to do that"
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree on almost nothing about what happened that day.
What's clear so far is this: Martin left the home of his father's girlfriend in Sanford to get a snack at a nearby convenience store.
As he walked back, carrying a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, he and Zimmerman crossed paths.
Earlier, Zimmerman had called 911 to report a suspicious person in the neighborhood.
A recording of that call includes a police dispatcher asking the volunteer, "Are you following him?"
"Yeah," Zimmerman replied.
"OK, we don't need you to do that," the dispatcher said.
Zimmerman says he killed Martin, who was wearing a hoodie, in self-defense after the teen punched him and slammed his head on the sidewalk.
He suffered a fractured nose and cuts to the back of his head, according to a medical report by Zimmerman's family doctor.
Sanford police initially questioned Zimmerman and released him without charges. They said then there were no grounds to disprove his account that he'd acted to protect himself.
The case soon became the center of a national controversy, which continues some 16 months later, though at a lower intensity.
On Monday, protesters in at least six cities plan to demonstrate in support of Martin, who was unarmed when he was shot.
His family has said Zimmerman profiled the teen and crossed the line from neighborhood watch volunteer to vigilante.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Martin's family, has gone further, accusing Zimmerman of murdering Martin "in cold blood."
"In the fight of his life"
According to Crump, Martin was on the phone with his 16-year-old girlfriend shortly before the shooting.
The girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she heard someone ask Martin what he was doing and heard Martin ask why the person was following him.
She then got the impression there was an altercation, during which an earpiece fell out of Martin's ear and the connection went dead, Crump said.
Neighbors reported hearing gunfire.
Zimmerman recently waived his right to a pretrial hearing under Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force when threatened regardless of where they are.
His lawyers will claim self-defense. Zimmerman himself could testify at trial.
Defense attorney Mark O'Mara said he has no imminent plans to ask for a change of venue and would only do so if lawyers can't select a suitable jury.
"If we can pick a jury in Seminole County, this is where the incident occurred and this is where the case should be decided," O'Mara told HLN's Jean Casarez.
He also said the George Zimmerman defense fund has raised $85,000 in the past week and a half.
Media coverage of the case is expected to be intense.
The case garnered so much attention that about a month after the shooting, President Barack Obama spoke about it, saying the shooting required "soul-searching."
Zimmerman's brother, Robert, has called on the state to drop the charges.
"George lived in a community plagued by crime and was the first to come forward to help his neighbors," Robert Zimmerman said last month.
"George is a good, decent and honest man. It is now my honor to advocate for him. George is in the fight of his life quite literally."
Authorities initially "did their job when they refused to charge someone with a crime who committed no crime," he said.
"In this country, you don't charge someone why any crime solely to assuage the concerns of the misinformed masses."
CNN's Vivian Kuo contributed to this report.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 17:57
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
A partnership between the city of Jackson, Mich., and the University of Michigan School of Information aims to develop information tools such as mobile apps and social media sites designed to help citizens interact with their local government in new ways.
The project is pending the Jackson City Council's approval of a resolution at 6:30 p.m. June 11.
The three-year project, Citizen Interaction Design, takes lessons learned in the business sector—namely that social media and technology can help people communicate and work together effectively—and applies them to local civic life.
"In recent years, we've seen an explosion of new information and communication technologies that have proven to be very effective in business settings," said project leader Clifford Lampe, assistant professor of information. "While some of these tools have been used in individual projects in government applications, there haven't been many systematic efforts to use new information tools to improve interactions between local governments and citizens.
"Our goal is to implement new information tools that help inform citizens, help them become engaged in local issues and get their feedback to policymakers in effective ways. We believe these efforts could revolutionize local citizenship."
While a few larger cities have attempted similar endeavors, Lampe says he knows of none in communities the size of Jackson, which has 33,000 residents. He hopes the project can serve as a model for other places. What makes Citizen Interaction Design especially unusual, officials say, is the sustained, three-year partnership between the university and the city.
"With this initiative, the city of Jackson is working to address 21st century challenges with 21st century solutions," said Derek Dobies, city council member and sponsor of the resolution supporting the project. "As the challenges for municipalities become more complex, we have to adapt and find new and better ways to interact with citizens."
Today, city officials typically communicate with residents on an individual basis through phone calls and emails, and in person at city meetings. By leveraging mobile, social and web-based platforms, Dobies hopes to broaden the conversation—reach more citizens, hear from more of them and engage in more two-way dialogues.
"After all, communication is the foundation of a strong democracy and a strong community," Dobies said.
Lampe says the U-M team is excited to work with Jackson.
"Jackson is in the midst of some changes in their planning, which creates a great context for these types of services," he said. "In addition, they have a rich civil society layer, and some excellent groups working together already. We see our role as making the collaboration between these citizens and their government more efficient."
Once approved, the project will begin immediately. The School of Information will hire a project manager and graduate students to work on projects over the summer. One goal for the summer would be to determine how Jackson's residents currently use information tools—how many use smartphones, for example.
The U-M team would also work closely with the city to identify needs and solutions that can be implemented in the short term. One example they would explore is a tool called Blight Status, an app or site that gives citizens easier access to information about properties the city is planning to rehabilitate or demolish. Another joint effort would involve strategizing about when and how to use social media to help get relevant information to Jackson citizens.
Over the course of the project, the team plans to develop close to a dozen different information tools. Not all of them would necessarily be high-tech, and they would be designed to fit the specific needs of people in Jackson. The primary responsibility for developing the apps would fall on the students who enroll in Lampe's Citizen Interaction Design course, which will be offered for the first time in January 2014. The U-M Ginsberg Center, which specializes in community-based learning, is also participating.
In the fall semester, the team would begin creating those early apps, conducting additional surveys and working closely with citizens and members of city government in Jackson.
The project is funded by the U-M School of Information: http://www.si.umich.edu
Citizen Interaction Design: http://umsi.info/cid
City of Jackson: http://www.cityofjackson.org
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 15:10
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff Writer
The Community Coalition, a grassroots organization of Detroit residents and community activists, announced today it is throwing its full support behind Mike Duggan for Mayor. The group announced its endorsement at a large community fair on the grounds of New Bethel Baptist Church, which over the years has played an important role in the Civil Rights movement and Black political activism.
The Community Coalition was formed in the early 1990s and has been instrumental in the successful runs of several mayors, judges, state representatives, senators, county commissioners and governors. Its founder, Ernest Johnson, said the role of the Community Coalition is to carefully vet candidates looking to represent the residents of Detroit and endorse those who have the constituents’ best interests in mind. In this election, Johnson said that Duggan is the best choice to lead Detroit forward.
"When you look beyond where someone has lived and pay attention to what they have done throughout their career for Detroit, Mike Duggan is clearly the best person for the job," Johnson said. "Some people will call our endorsement a controversial choice, but it was an easy choice."
Johnson said he is committing the Coalition's resources to assist Duggan's field organization throughout the campaign.
Duggan said he has been greeted warmly by residents in every neighborhood of Detroit and is deeply appreciative of the Community Coalition's endorsement.
"There isn't an organization that is more grassroots and connected to every day Detroiters than the Community Coalition," Duggan said. "They are in the trenches every day fighting for meaningful progress that will improve the lives of all residents. I am honored they have entrusted me with their support."
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 15:03
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
(CNN) -- A man accused of kidnapping and holding captive three young women in his Cleveland house for 10 years will be arraigned this week on 329 counts.
Ariel Castro, 52, was indicted Friday in a case that shocked neighbors who never suspected anything out of the ordinary was going on in the house -- and prompted Castro's daughter to call him "the most evil, vile, demonic criminal."
One charge accuses Castro of aggravated murder for purposely causing the unlawful termination of a pregnancy, authorities said. One of the young women was allegedly impregnated five times by Castro, and another bore a child fathered by him, police have said.
The indictment charges Castro with 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a statement.
Cop: Emotional moment when girls found 'I had no idea that little girl was his'
The charges cover only half of the 10 years the three young were held captive -- from August 2002, when the first of three women disappeared off a Cleveland street, to February 2007. The three women were freed last month after one shouted for help while Castro was gone from the house.
The prosecutor's capital review committee will consider whether the case is appropriate for seeking the death penalty once the indictment process is complete, the prosecutor's statement said.
"Today's indictments represent a first major step in the criminal justice process,'' McGinty said in a statement. "Our investigation continues, and we will present our findings to the grand jury.''
'Please don't let me go,' kidnapping victim told officers
The indictment alleges that Castro taped the legs and mouth of one woman identified as Jane Doe 2 and also chained her to a pole in the basement with a motorcycle helmet placed on her head.
Castro also allegedly used a vacuum cord around her neck during a felonious assault and chained her to inside of a van, the indictment said.
Castro allegedly used chains and tape in the basement to restrain another woman identified as Jane Doe 3, the indictment said.
Source: Michelle Knight was suspect's main 'punching bag'
The victims were earlier identified by police as Michelle Knight, abducted at age 21 in August 2002; Amanda Berry, abducted at age 16 in April 2003 and who has a 6-year-old daughter by Castro; and Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, who was 14 when kidnapped in 2004.
Jim Wooley, attorney for Berry and DeJesus, and Kathy Joseph, attorney for Michelle Knight, expressed satisfaction with the indictment.
"We have a great legal system, plus confidence and faith in the prosecutor's office and its decisions. Now, we need to stand back and let the judicial process unfold," the attorneys said in a statement.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 12:44
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by HLN, Graham Winch
HLN has covered the George Zimmerman case for more than a year now, reviewing and reporting on evidence since the very beginning.
The following documents may provide critical evidence in Zimmerman’s trial, scheduled to begin June 10.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for shooting Trayvon Martin Feb. 26, 2012. He says he shot the teenager in self-defense.
The police report
The police report in the Trayvon Martin shooting details the frantic moments when authorities arrived at the scene.
When the first officer arrived at the scene of the shooting, Zimmerman was in possession of a 9 mm handgun, was covered in grass, and was bleeding from his nose and the back of his head, according to the report.
The officer radioed that he was holding Zimmerman at gun point and that Martin was on the ground and had been shot. The report says Martin was wearing "a gray sweater, blue jeans and white/red sneakers laying face down on the ground" and had his hands underneath his body.
The probable cause affidavit [Warning: Explicit language]
The probable cause affidavit is the document that served as the basis for Zimmerman’s arrest.
The document walks through Zimmerman’s actions the night of the shooting, and how Zimmerman allegedly pursued the teenager, according to investigators.
“Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued,” reads the affidavit. “Zimmerman shot Martin in the chest. When police arrived Zimmerman admitted shooting Martin.”
The autopsy report
The autopsy report in the Trayvon Martin case says Martin died from a single gunshot wound to his chest. A toxicology report is also included in the autopsy, and it says Martin tested positive for the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, in his blood and urine.
Judge Debra Nelson has not ruled on whether evidence of Martin's THC blood levels will be admissible.
The autopsy lists Martin’s manner of death as homicide and says that he was “shot by another person.” The bullet penetrated Martin’s chest half an inch below his nipple, and there was no exit wound. The bullet pierced his lung and lodged in his heart.
Investigators examined the clothes Martin was wearing the night of the shooting, including his much-publicized hoodie.
The evidence from his clothes show:
Martin was actually wearing two sweatshirts the night he died. He was wearing a Nike sweatshirt under his Fruit of the Loom hoodie. The gunshot put holes in both sweatshirts.
The area around the gunshot had gunpowder residue and damage that was consistent with a direct shot from a short distance.
Investigators in the Zimmerman case shot a lot of photographs of the crime scene and of Zimmerman’s injuries, along with other evidence that could be critical to the trial.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 12:41
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by CNN
(CNN) -- Bouquets of flowers line the railing of the bridge above Bayou St. John in New Orleans.
Strangers throw rose petals into the water, or gather in circles -- hands clasped and heads bowed -- as they pray for Terrilyn Monette, a teacher missing for three months.
On Saturday, a diver with the Slidell Police Department -- volunteering to dive the waterways in the search for Monette -- found the teacher's Honda Accord in the bayou.
Inside was a decomposed body
While police believe it is that of Monette, they will await an autopsy Monday for a definite answer.
'I'm in shock'
Missing teacher's car found, body inside
Monette, 26, was last seen March 2 leaving Parlay's Dream Lounge in New Orleans, where she had been celebrating with friends her nomination for a "Teacher of the Year" award.
Monette's mother, Toni Enclade, told CNN that investigators have notified her the car has been found, but not whether the body is her daughter.
Mom: I'm in shock right now
"To know that she could have possibly been there for three months," she said, overcome with emotion.
Enclade said she does not know when she will be given a final answer.
"I can't even begin to go there right now," she said. "I'm in shock. I can't believe this. I just can't believe this."
Authorities have focused a large part of their search efforts on the waterways because Monette would have had to have driven across the bayou to get from the bar to her home.
A tireless search
In mid-March, an independent search and rescue team from Texas volunteer to comb the lagoons and waterways.
It discovered a car in the bayou, but it was later confirmed not to belong to Monette.
Family and friends of Monette put up a billboard in New Orleans and created a Facebook page, "We Love You Terrilynn Monette," to help generate tips in the search for Monette.
The diver who found the car and body, Slidell Police Officer Mark Michaud, has been "working closely with the Monette family" because of his expertise in diving recoveries, police Detective Daniel Seuzeneau said.
When Monette, of Long Beach, California, learned of the "teachNOLA" program, which sends educators to New Orleans to teach in impoverished areas, she packed her bags and headed to Louisiana.
"I always wanted to be a teacher, and what better place to teach than New Orleans, where passionate teachers are needed most?" she said in a 2011 video obtained by CNN affiliate WDSU.
In her first year of teaching second grade at Woodland West Elementary School, Monette turned one of the lowest-performing classes into one of the highest achieving.
It earned her a "Teacher of the Year" nomination in her school district.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 12:29
Prominent Detroit ecumenical leaders stand together with Benny Napoleon to endorse his candidacy for Detroit Mayor
Category: News Briefs Written by Michigan Chronicle
Following a prayer breakfast, the clergy group – representing more than 50,000 Detroiters – discussed the importance of partnering with faith-based leadership in efforts to transform the city. Often mayoral candidates will campaign at churches, only to return while in office on rare occasions. The group, partnering with Napoleon, discussed how an ongoing dialogue of collaboration is necessary to transform the city for generations to come.
“Today, we heard a vision that will transform this city from a leader who has the capability, capacity and relationships to implement real change,” said Bishop Charles H. Ellis III of Greater Grace Temple, one of the largest churches in Detroit. “Benny Napoleon deeply understands what Detroiters face when they wake up in the morning. We stand together as one to set a new course for this city. It is time to conquer the challenges, not divide us even further. We stand with Benny who will usher in new collaborative leadership with a vision to transform this city one square mile at a time.”
This ecumenical leadership group joins others who have endorsed Napoleon’s mayoral candidacy including the Michigan/Ontario Council Bishops of the Church of God in Christ, Incorporated (COGIC) and pastors of the AME/CME/AME Zion Methodist churches, along with labor unions ATU Local 26, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, UFCW 876, and Unite Here Local 24.
“My father taught me the value of relationships in order to accomplish tasks,” said Napoleon. “I understand that the work in transforming Detroit cannot be done by one person or one government agency alone. Clergy leaders will be instrumental in convening citizens to be part of the process as we make Detroit’s neighborhoods livable, walkable and sustainable.
First we will work together to identify the issues that are core to each and every neighborhood. While crime and public safety are top of mind for many of Detroit’s residents and businesses, there are issues that are specific to each square mile of this city. Together with clergy and other stakeholders, we will identify, craft a strategy and implement real and lasting change. Our focus will be on four areas as we move forward: public safety, city services, neighborhoods, and jobs and jobs training.”
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 11:18
Category: News Briefs Written by NBC Sports
This was a close game for most of three quarters — then the Heat went on one of their runs. It was 62-61 Spurs with 3:50 left in the third quarter and the Heat went on a 34-5 run that just blew the game wide open. The final score was 103-84 and the final five minutes of the game were “let’s let Shane Battier take some threes” garbage time.
Miami got some help for LeBron James — LeBron started 2-of-12 and finished with 17 points, but Mario Chalmers had 19 points, Ray Allen had 13, Chris Bosh had 12 and they got a complete team game.
The Spurs turned the ball over 16 times and Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined to shoot 10-of-33 on the night. That isn’t the Spurs, and it wasn’t all Miami. Continue To NBC Sports...
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 01:44
Category: News Briefs Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
LANSING With more than half of voters supporting a repeal of Michigan’s gay marriage ban, advocates say it’s not a matter of if — but when — same-sex marriage is legal in the state.
Gay rights activists plan a 2016 ballot drive to overturn the 2004 constitutional ban approved by voters. Democratic senators last week introduced legislation to put the gay marriage question to voters in 2014, but odds of it passing a Republican-controlled Legislature are slim.
“We want to go to the ballot, win and make it a sustainable win that is an indication of a climate change in Michigan,” said Emily Dievendorf, managing director of Equality Michigan, a statewide gay rights organization. Continue To Battle Creek Enquirer...
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 01:05
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