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Across Black America for June 17, 2010

6/16/2010, 5 p.m.

Here's a look at African American issues and people making headlines throughout the country.

Alabama
Oachita Parish resident Ezra Richards committed suicide recently after two attempts to murder Damon Williams, the man who allegedly was having an affair with his wife. In the first attempt, Richards threw two containers of gasoline into Williams' home and set it ablaze. Because Williams survived, Richards later chased him down with a gun, shot him, and then turned the gun on himself while police were in pursuit.

California
Johannes Mehserle, a former Bay Area Rapid Transit District officer, faces murder charges for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant III. But the trial is sparking additional interest because none of the five potentials African American jurors expected to be on the jury will be present. The Nation of Islam Student Ministers are requesting that the Black press pay extra attention to the case to ensure that justice will be served.

District of Columbia
Many prominent NBA athletes came to join in the D.C. Goodman Summer League Kick-off recently. Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Aundray Blatche, Sam Cassell and Micheal Beasley were only a few of the players to enjoy the freedom and excitement of the first of many streetball summer league games this year.

Florida
The organization 100 Black Men of America Inc., which is headquartered in Atlanta and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of young African American males across America, is holding is 24th national conference at the Westin Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Florida June 16-20.

Georgia
Candidates Cedric Alexander, Interim Chief George Turner and Louisville Police Chief Robert C. White each attended a town hall meeting to address the public's concerns and share their positions on different controversial topics, as they continued their race for the position of chief of police for the city of Atlanta.

Illinois
Chicago author and advertising executive, Tom Burrell recently launched the "Positive Push" Experiment, a national campaign that will use the power of social media to support positive Black music artists and videos in honor of Black Music Month. The campaign continues the message Burrell is trying to portray in his book "Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority," and hopefully will combat the negative images that infect the Black community.

Louisiana
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Department recently sent federal immigration agents to oil spill repair sites to check workers' immigration status in an effort to stop criminals from coming into the area posing as migrant workers. The sheriff's office claimed this was common practice during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and said they will continue to periodically check workers' immigration status.

Maryland
Nine African American students were selected as contest winners in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County for the essays they entered in the "Laws of Life Essay Contest" which encouraged students to write about the values they believe will help them live successful and productive lives.

Massachusetts
Thousands of Massachusetts residents are pushing to make sure Deval Patrick, the state's first Black governor, continues to implement change by electing him to a second term. In his first term, Patrick is credited with improving the healthcare system, student achievement, competition in auto insurance, job growth, and public transportation reform.