January 03, 2013
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has charged a 24-year-old man with attempted murder for allegedly setting a homeless woman on fire as she slept on a suburban bus bench.
Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney says Dennis Petillo is scheduled to be arraigned January 7. Prosecutors will ask that his bail be set at $1.03 million.
In addition to attempted murder, he is charged with aggravated mayhem.
Carney alleges that Petillo threw a flammable liquid on the 67-year-old woman, who had slept on the bench for years, then set her on fire last Thursday.
The victim remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
If convicted, Petillo faces a maximum of life in state prison if convicted. It’s not known if he has retained an attorney.
January 03, 2013
South Africa’s presidency says former leader Nelson Mandela is progressing with his recuperation from illness and doctors are closely monitoring his condition.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said Wednesday that “everything is moving OK” as 94-year-old Mandela rests at his home in Johannesburg after a hospital stay last month.
The former president received treatment for a lung infection and also had gallstones removed.
Maharaj says Mandela is “taking it easy” and is under “close medical attention.”
Mandela spent 27 years in prison under apartheid and became South Africa’s first black president in democratic elections in 1994.
January 03, 2013
Terry Glover, the managing editor of Ebony magazine, died of colon cancer at her Chicago home. She was 57.
Ebony announced on its website that Glover died on Monday December 31. Her husband, Kendall Glover, tells the Chicago Tribune that his wife had been fighting cancer for about two years.
Terry Glover joined Ebony in 2006 and was appointed managing editor in 2009 after serving as a senior editor for the website for three years.
Editor-in-Chief Amy DuBois Barnett says Glover was “the heart and soul” of the magazine's team and will be missed.
Ebony is published by Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co.
Johnson Publishing Chairwoman Linda Johnson Rice says Glover was passionate about her work and made innumerable contributions to Ebony.
January 03, 2013
By KRISTA LARSON Associated Press
Kpademona Marcel and other residents of the capital of Central African Republic have watched in fear as rebels from the country’s north seized control of more than half the country in less than a month. On Tuesday, all he could do was pray that a solution to the crisis could be found without the violence reaching Bangui.
“We are afraid for our nation and for our fellow citizens in the countryside,” Marcel said, standing on the steps of the Notre Dame cathedral before a New Year’s Day Mass. “The rebels are imposing themselves on the population and stealing things. We are here praying for peace.”
As a new year began, the fate of the capital with 700,000 people, remained unclear. Government forces backed by a regional multinational force held a line in Damara, just 75 kilometers (45 miles) from Bangui. The rebels hold the city of Sibut, about 185 kilometers (115 miles) from Bangui.
While President Francois Bozize, after nearly a decade in power, has proposed a coalition government to include the rebels, a spokesman for the alliance of rebel groups advancing through the country said Monday they did not trust his offer. Former colonial power France already has said it will not protect Bozize’s regime and has about 600 troops in the country just to protect its own interests.
Trucks full of soldiers bounced on the rutted roads of Bangui that are dotted with shacks where people can charge their mobile phones. Police officers stopped vehicles at intersections in another sign of stepped up security in this capital at the heart of Africa where even the banana and palm tree leaves are coated in heavy red dust from the earth.
Troops from neighboring nations arrived in the country, with a contingent from Gabon expected Tuesday. Their arrival comes a day after about 120 soldiers flew in from Republic of Congo with a mission to help stabilize the area between rebels and the government forces.
The political instability already has prompted the United States government to evacuate its ambassador and about 40 other people. There have been no mass civilian evacuations from the capital, though many residents have temporarily relocated to the southern side of Bangui, considered further from the path of a potential rebel invasion arriving from the north.
One woman in Bangui said she knew many people who already had fled the city but said she had too many family members to leave herself.
“I have five children and two grandchildren. I prefer to stay here and die with my children if it comes to that,” she said, giving her name only as Lucienne.
In the Bimbo neighborhood, traders went about their business, selling everything from leafy greens to meat at roadside stands.
“We don’t support what the rebels are doing,” said banana farmer Narcisse Ngo, as a young boy played nearby with a monkey corpse for sale along with other meat. “They should be at the table negotiating without weapons. We are all Central Africans.”
The landlocked nation of 4.4 million people is rich in diamonds, gold and uranium and yet remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Central African Republic has suffered many army revolts, coups and rebellions since gaining independence from France in 1960.
The rebels behind the current instability signed a 2007 peace accord allowing them to join the regular army, but insurgent leaders say the deal wasn’t fully implemented and has made a variety of demands including payments to former combatants.
December 27, 2012
GERALDINE WASHINGTON: As President of the Los Angeles Branch of the NAACP, Dr. Washington was on the front lines of fighting the declining enrollment of African American students in the UC system. Her efforts on behalf of students spanned over 40 years and demonstrated her lifelong commitment to keeping the doors of higher education open to all. Her legacy of service to Los Angeles, its students and the community will live on through the many lives she touched. She was 81. (1/5)
ETTA JAMES: Etta James’ performance of the enduring classic “At Last” was the embodiment of refined soul: Angelic-sounding strings harkened the arrival of her passionate yet measured vocals as she sang tenderly about a love finally realized after a long and patient wait. In real life, little about James was as genteel as that song. The platinum blonde’s first hit was a saucy R&B number about sex, and she was known as a hell-raiser who had tempestuous relationships with her family, her men and the music industry. Then she spent years battling a drug addiction that she admitted sapped away at her great talents. She was 73. (1/20)
JOHN LEVY: John Levy emanated the aura of a griot when he spoke and was the first prominent African-American personal manager in the jazz or pop music field, whose clients included Nancy Wilson and Ramsey Lewis. He was 99. (1/20)
LIBBY CLARK: Elizabeth “Libby” Clark was a journalist, public relations consultant and community activist. She retired from the Los Angeles Sentinel on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 – ending a career that has spanned some seven decades. During that time, she worked for six of the country’s African American newspapers and one metropolitan daily: the Chester Daily Times in Pennsylvania. Other publications included the Philadelphia Tribune, Baltimore Afro-American, Pittsburgh Courier, Chicago Defender and the California Eagle. She was 94. (1/23)
DON CORNELIUS: Don Cornelius created the long-running R&B and dance-music showcase Soul Train. He was trained as a journalist on WVON, an African-American talk radio station in his native Chicago. Cornelius conceived of Soul Train during the Civil Rights movement, noting there was no showcase for black music on national television. Soul Train debuted in 1971 and quickly became a popular stop for major acts such as James Brown, the O'Jays and Michael Jackson. Cornelius hosted the show from its inception until 1993; Soul Train ended its long run in its original form in 2006. He was 75 (2/1)
WHITNEY HOUSTON: Whitney Houston ruled as pop music's queen from the mid-1980s until the 1990s. She had a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown. Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale." She was described as having the perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal, but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise. She was 48 (2/11)
DICK ANTHONY WILLIAMS: Dick Anthony Williams WAS a veteran actor perhaps best known for his role as Pretty Tony in “The Mack. He had an extensive career on stage, films and television. Williams’ film credits include “Five on the Black Hand Side,” “The Jerk,” “Mo’ Better Blues” and “Edward Scissorhands,” among others. He was 77 (2/16)
DONALD PAYNE: He was the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 10th congressional district, serving from 1989 until his death. He was a member of the Democratic Party. His district encompasses most of the city of Newark, parts of Jersey City and Elizabeth, and some suburban communities in Essex and Union counties. He was the first African American to represent New Jersey in Congress. He was 78 (3/6)
JOHN PAYTON: Payton was president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and guided it to several major victories before the Supreme Court. He lived in Washington, D.C. He was 65 (3/22)
WALTER GORDON: One the great lawyers of the 20th century. In addition to successfully defending thousands of Blacks during his long career, Gordon left several other enduring legacies. One of the more prominent among them was mentoring a generation of young, African-American lawyers from the 1940s forward. He was 103 (4/16)
DONNA SUMMER: Summer, known as the Disco Queen, was the first artist to have three double albums reach No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart: “Live and More,” “Bad Girls,” “On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II.” She became a cultural icon, not only as one of the defining voices of the era, but also as an influence on future pop divas from Madonna to Beyoncé. She was 63 (5/17)
BISHOP H. HARTFORD BROOKINS: He was a religious leader, a preacher in the church; and a civil leader outside the church. He dealt with civic matters outside of the church, and has traveled the historical path of icons of the civil rights struggles, who have pastored their flocks and served their constituents above and beyond. Bishop Brookins walked with kings, presidents, princes, paupers and the downtrodden. He was 86 (5/22)
FRANK HOLOMAN: Holoman was a member of the California State Assembly and a Democrat from Los Angeles from 1972 to 1974. His interests in urban improvement and local government led him to pursue these causes in the Legislature as well as through his position as chair of the Black Caucus of Southern California. He was 78 (5/24)
RODNEY KING: A Black man who became a symbol of racial tension and police brutality in America, after his beating by Los Angeles police officers in 1991 was videotaped and broadcast to the nation. He was 47 (6/17)
WILLIAM RASPBERRY: William Raspberry was one of the nation's first African American columnists at a major metropolitan daily newspaper. He was a Washington-Post columnist for four decades, many of them as a syndicated writer; he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1994. He was first nominated for the award in 1982. He was 76 (7/17)
WILLIS EDWARDS: Willis Edwards’ center of activity was the NAACP. His activist role in the organization has earned him the title in some circles, as “Mr NAACP.” His mother started an NAACP branch in Palm Springs, CA and her rule was “you go to church and you go to the NAACP meetings.” He understood the importance its work as the oldest civil rights organization in the country its history regarding Black Americans. He was 66 (7/20)
SHERMAN HELMSLEY: Hemsley’s best-known role was as George Jefferson, the owner of a dry cleaning business who lived in a New York luxury high-rise apartment with his family. “The Jeffersons” ran on television from 1975 to 1985. He was 74 (7/24)
JOHN ATTA MILLS: John Evans Fifii Atta Mills 24 July 2012) was a Ghanaian politician who was president of Ghana from 2009 until his death. He was inaugurated on 7 January 2009, having defeated the ruling party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 election. He was vice-president from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry Rawlings. He is the first Ghanaian head of state to die in office. He was 60 (7/24)
AL FREEMAN JR: Al Freeman Jr. emerged during the civil rights era and made his mark in both drama and race relations with his portraits of some of the movement’s most controversial personalities — Malcolm X in a television drama, and Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee’s 1992 movie “Malcolm X”. He was 78. (8/9)
LARRY GRANT: After a career in banking and serving in the U.S. military, Larry Grant founded The Kingdom Day Parade in remembrance of the life and legacy of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King along with his wife, Coretta Scott King. It is celebrated annually on King’s birthday. He was 86. (8/18)
Chris Lighty: Chris Lighty, 44, called one of “the most influential talent managers” by Forbes magazine in 2006, was found dead in the backyard of his home in Riverdale, N.Y. The New York City medical examiner ruled his death the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But many of those who knew him well don’t agree. Famous friends such as 50 Cent, Russell Simmons, Q-Tip, and Busta Rhymes have reportedly all joined Lighty’s mother and family in questioning how he died. (8/30)
EDWARD “ED” VINCENT: First Black Mayor of Inglewood. 78 (8/31)
MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN: Was a world-famous actor most known for his breakout role as John Coffey in “The Green Mile.” He 54 (9/3)
MERVYN M. DYMALLY: He was a political icon who opened many doors and mentored many elected officials throughout his 50 plus year career. His passing has left a void in California and indeed national politics. He was an assemblyman (twice); state senator, Lt. Governor, and congressman. He was 86. (10/7)
Emanuel Steward: He was an American boxer, legendary trainer, and world-famous commentator. He trained 41 world champion fighters throughout his career, most notably Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, and Tommy “Hitman” Hearns. (10/25).