Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Patrick Keating, Chronicle Staff Writer
The nonprofit Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice has named Virginia Romano as its new executive director.
Romano's background includes more than 25 years working with nonprofit organizations serving families and others in need. She has a strong background in development and nonprofit management including years of service at the Kresge Foundation, Family Service Inc. in Detroit and the Family Service Association of San Antonio.
"Virginia Romano's years of social justice work brings a rich and varied experience," said John Philo, legal director of the Sugar Law Center. "We are honored and privileged to have a person of Virginia's caliber join our staff, and will undoubtedly help our organization continue and expand our work combating wage theft, advocating for community benefits, and to overturn Michigan's emergency manager law."
"There has never been a more crucial time in Detroit's history, and Sugar Law's support of workers and voters is at the heart Detroit's revitalization," Romano said. "I am greatly excited to join Sugar Law's efforts to ensure wage and community justice, and to support the efforts by citizens across the state to restore democracy in Michigan's local governments."
She added that she looks forward to working with all of Sugar Law Center's supporters in Detroit and across the country to ensure economic and social justice for all.
The Sugar Law Center provides legal advocacy, representation, education and technical support to empower community groups, workers' rights groups and individuals seeking systemic change toward economic and social justice. Visit www.sugarlaw.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:47
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Real Times Media
Interactive One's growing business division will provide technology, marketing, and editorial support for the Real Times newspaper brand digital platform
Real Times Media (RTM), a multimedia company focused on urban news and entertainment which includes the nation’s largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation, has signed on as the latest partner of Interactive One Studios, a division of Interactive One, which assists external brands with developing highly profitable digital businesses through world- class sales, platform, content and distribution services.
“Partnering with Interactive One Studios presents a tremendous opportunity for the Real Times Media digital platform,” said Hiram E. Jackson, CEO, Real Times Media. “For the past few years our company has had a laser focus on transitioning our traditionally print business model into a more robust digital platform. We’ve been able to make significant headway on our own; however, this partnership with iOne Studios will certainly help us to reach new levels of success.
” Under the terms of the partnership, Real Times Media will migrate its Atlanta Daily World (www.AtlantaDailyWorld.com), Chicago Defender (www.ChicagoDefender.com), Michigan Chronicle (www.MichiganChronicle.com), Memphis Tri-State Defender (www.TSDMemphis.com), and New Pittsburgh Courier (www.NewPittsburghCourier.com) websites to Interactive One's proprietary content and mobile platforms. The transition will benefit the Real Times Media brands through increased audience reach, world-class advertising, media management and operations, guaranteed uptimes and tech support, and a unique set of features and functions that have made the channels within the Interactive One network a leader in the space.
“Real Times Media and its newspapers have a rich tradition and deep community relationships,” said Alfred C. Liggins III, CEO of Radio One, Inc., the parent company of Interactive One. “That tradition, those relationships and the power of digital, which is the great equalizer for traditional Black and New Urban audiences, put them on firm footing for a bright future.”
Real Times Media is the latest addition to the Interactive One roster of partners, which includes Russell Simmons’ GlobalGrind.com, NBC News’ theGrio.com and Tom Joyner’s BlackAmericaWeb.com, among others.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 15:41
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber L. Bogins, Entertainment Editor
It's official. The X Games will not be coming to Detroit. After an intense bidding process and heavy grassroot campaigning, Detroit loss the bid to Austin, Texas.
Supporters of bringing the X Games to Detroit pushed hard, even creatin a Facebook poll asking, "Where should the games be held?" Their poll showed that Detroit was a favorite, coming in at 23,067 votes to Austin's 15,246.
ESPN, the creator of the X Games, last month announced that after 10 years the Games will move from its original Los Angeles location.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 12:05
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Two hundred and fifty-five child predators were arrested and 61 victims of child sexual exploitation identified during a five-week operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces across the United States and its territories.
Operation iGuardian, which ran May 28 to June 30, was a surge operation conducted as part of HSI's Operation Predator to identify and rescue victims of online sexual exploitation and to arrest their abusers as well as others who own, trade and produce images of child pornography.
"Protecting our youth in the digital age requires all of us to be on the lookout for child predators abusing and extorting victims online," said ICE Director John Morton. "Children and parents need to understand that not everyone online is who they say they are. Child abusers prowl social media looking for opportunities to force young people into sexual exploitation through guile, deceit, and extortion. We want children to know that it's wrong for any adult to solicit or pressure them for sex and that the law is on their side."
According to investigators, a "disturbing trend" is emerging in which child predators are increasingly using the Internet to entice children to produce and share sexually explicit material online. During Operation iGuardian, HSI and ICAC investigators encountered various child predators chatting online with minors about sexual topics, sending them obscene images, encouraging them to produce nude or sexual photos and videos, and attempting to meet them in person to engage in sexual activity. In some cases, child predators are also sexually extorting or "sextorting" the minors into producing additional and increasingly graphic images and videos.
Of the 61 victims identified during Operation iGuardian: four were under the age of 3, five were ages 4 to 6; 13 were ages 7 to 9; 10 were ages 10 to 12; 23 were ages 13 to 15; and six were ages 16 to 17. Forty-two were female and 19 were male.
HSI special agents in Michigan arrested the following during the operation:
On May 29, 2013, Ronald Mabee of Hopkins, Mich., was taken into custody by HSI special agents in Grand Rapids, Mich. Mabee had been indicted in the Western District of Michigan for distribution, attempted receipt and possession of child pornography.
On June 6, 2013, HSI special agents in Detroit arrested Anthony Lucido of Chesterfield, Mich., on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography.
On June 11, 2013, HSI special agents arrested Christopher Sweedyk of Wyoming, Mich., for distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography.
Twenty-four of the 61 victims identified during the Operation iGuardian were engaging online with strangers who exploited them. Their ages ranged from 7 to 17, the majority aged 13 to 15 years old. Investigators point to three significant arrests made during Operation iGuardian. In each case, HSI is asking that anyone with additional information about potential victims come forward:
· Jimmy Caraballo-Colon, 25, a former high school cheerleading coach and athlete, was arrested June 4 in Puerto Rico by the HSI Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) after it was discovered by police in Colorado that he was blackmailing a 17-year-old girl he met online in an anonymous Internet video chat website. Through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, investigators identified a second victim, a 15-year-old girl in California. Further investigation led to another 15-year-old girl in the Netherlands, and leads are currently being pursued regarding two 15 and 16-year-old girls in Australia. There are more than 80 potential victims who remain unidentified.
· John David Boyle, 49, a former middle school teacher from Glendora, Calif., was arrested June 5, during an undercover sting operation in his classroom, by HSI Los Angeles and the multi-agency ICAC. Boyle has been indicted and charged with enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity over the Internet. He has also been charged with advertisement of online child pornography, as well as distribution, receipt and attempted receipt and possession of child pornography. Believing the undercover investigator shared his sexual interest in young boys, Boyle allegedly set up an in-person meeting in his middle school classroom for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity while watching child pornography. Investigators have identified a 14-year-old boy who was a victim of sexual contact with the defendant and believe that there are additional victims in this ongoing case.
· Eduardo Arturo Romero Barrios, a Mexican national, 33, was arrested June 26, by the Mexican Attorney General's Office with the assistance of the Mexican Federal Police in Monterrey, Mexico. The arrest followed a lead by HSI Mexico City and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children from a social media provider about a user who was pretending to be a young teenage girl in order to elicit provocative images from minors via the social networking site. Romero Barrios was then extorting the minors to provide more sexually explicit material by threatening to expose the images he had acquired from them throughout the Internet. Investigators – with the assistance of HSI Little Rock and the Arkansas Area 4 ICAC – have identified two victims, boys ages 11 and 13 in Arkansas, and are pursuing leads into at least three other children: a 10-year old Kentucky girl, and two others in Australia and the Ukraine. Investigators believe there are other potential victims who Barrios may have exploited.
"We are very thankful for the priority that Director Morton and ICE have made in protecting our country's most vulnerable victims, and we are proud of the assistance that NCMEC provides law enforcement as they investigate child sexual exploitation cases," said John Ryan, CEO of The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. "The sad truth is, there are many more child victims of sexual exploitation out there who have not yet been rescued and are still suffering. We know that there's more work to be done so that all child victims receive the help they deserve."
In fiscal year 2013 to date, 1,660 child predators have been arrested by HSI on criminal charges related to the online sexual exploitation of children. In 2012, 1,655 child predators were arrested, 1,335 were arrested in 2011, and 912 were arrested in 2010. Since 2003, HSI has initiated more than 29,000 cases and arrested more than 10,000 individuals for these types of crimes.
During the announcement of Operation iGuardian, HSI also discussed plans to launch an educational awareness program in conjunction with ICACs and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Netsmartz. That program, called Project iGuardian, is being designed to reach children, parents and teachers and share information about the dangers of online environments, how to stay safe online and how to report abuse and suspicious activity.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 12:30
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
Saunteel Jenkins, the newly elected president of the Detroit City Council, says that despite the arrival of an emergency manager, the Detroit City Council, contrary to public opinion and perception, still has some legislative work to do.
Jenkins in an interview days after her ascension to the presidency of Detroit’s legislative body following the sudden disappearance of Charles Pugh, said the City Council is not sitting idly by, even as Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr tackles the budget and legacy costs.
Rather, the council, she said has been meeting to pass resolutions, ordinances and introducing zoning measures in the city as well as ratify or disapprove of contracts that become before the legislative table.
“I expect that this next five months are going to be challenging because we are working with less members than we started with,” Jenkins said. “So it is going to be challenging for all six of us. We do not only have to be council members but now we have less staff to work with with three cosolidated policy divisions.”
Jenkins said the council is now dealing with three departments: Fiscal Analysis, Research, and Development and Planning.
“We have reduced the number of staff and cut our administrative staff by half,” Jenkins said. “The council still has a role to play because we are writing and passing ordinance through our committees and passing or canceling city contracts. We are prviding the transparency in city government that you won’t get from the executive branch. Because anything related to council is dicsussed openly.”
Jenkins maintained that, “For me, the bottom line is we still took an oath and that was we would serve the city in the legislative. Fortunately, Kevyn Orr approved the council’s budget for the new fiscal year.”
Jenkins said if the city enters chapter 9 the council will still be in place. However, she hopes Orr is able to prevent a bankruptcy and she said the city cannot be solvent in 18 months when Orr leaves.
“Given the past practices that got us here in the first place, I certainly don’t think we would be financially solvent in 18 months,” Jenkins said.
“I do believe that a road map would be put in place for us to move toward financial solvency. The bigger question is, are we willing to elect people and hold them accountable?”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 July 2013 09:58
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