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Does Brown’s arrest put the Juvenile Court system ‘on blast?’

joebrown 600With ABC's "Good Morning America" among the flood of media outlets wanting him to give a fuller version of his reaction to being charged and arrested at Shelby County Juvenile Court Monday, Judge Joe Brown called The New Tri State Defender Tuesday morning just a bit after midnight to give his first full explanation of what he charges really spurred the incident.

Brown is running for Shelby County District Attorney in the upcoming Democratic Party Primary, with a one-on-one against incumbent Republican Amy Weirich a likely possibility. Soon after his arrest, the feedback included assertions that a stunt had been orchestrated to boost Brown's campaign.

"This was not a publicity stunt. This was the real Joe Brown in real time and in person," said Shelby County Democratic Party Chairman Bryan Carson. "What this incident has really done has put Juvenile Court on blast to show people how the courts around here operate and how crucial it is for them to step forth and support these candidates. Just watch the facts."

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Parents of Hadiya Pendleton ‘still mourning’

mourningparents 600WASHINGTON – After a long day of travelling, then networking on Capitol Hill, Nathaniel and Cleopatra Pendleton returned to their downtown Washington, D.C. hotel and dressed for a dinner in their honor. Later that evening, they shook hands and smiled for photographs as they accepted the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year Award, an accolade they earned as a result of their work against gun violence in the aftermath of their 15-year-old daughter's death. They shared the honor with the parents of Jordan Davis, a black teen killed in Jacksonville, Fla.

"We are mourning still. We still wake up every day and have to determine what to do, whether what we're doing is right for us," Cleopatra says. "So many people want to see something positive come from this, a lot of people came to us and said we need to do something. They empowered us."

Not as much as the parents have empowered Black America.

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Did ‘Scandal’ success propel Alfre Woodard into presidential role on ‘State of Affairs?’

AlfreWoodard 600Numerous black actors have played the president of the United States over the years on film and television, including Morgan Freeman, Dennis Haysbert, Richard Pryor and Jamie Foxx. But with a new pilot called "State of Affairs," NBC is offering up the first black woman POTUS.

Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning actress Alfre Woodward will play President Roberta Payton in the drama that is being billed as a cross between "Scandal" and "The West Wing." Woodard is joined by Katherine Heigl, whose character is a CIA operative who does daily debriefings with the president. Heigl's character is also the ex-girlfriend of President Payton's late son.

No further details about the pilot are available, but just the fact that a major network's drama will star a black woman as the leader of the free world is a significant milestone in how black women are depicted in pop culture.

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Uplift another woman today and be glad for the voice to do so!

LucyShaw-160Dear Lucy: Is it my imagination or is there a new level of interest in things that pertain to women? Everywhere I look, there is something about women's rights or beauty or abuse. There is just so much attention on women now. I don't know whether to be sad or glad. What is going on?
– Confused Woman

Dear Confused Woman: I notice it too. But what I see looks like a long overdue push back.

There is nothing new about feminism and there have been lots of myths around about what it means to be a feminist. To stand up for equal treatment of women does not mean that you have to be female or gay, or liberal or support abortion or atheists or any thing of the sort. I think it is simply enough to expect to be treated respectfully, to be treated equally and to be able to speak your mind without fear of censure.

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Linking traditional IRAs, tax management and retirement

CharlesSimsJr-160Traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs) can be a good way to save for retirement. If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan or would like to supplement that plan, a traditional IRA could work for you.

A traditional IRA is simply a tax-deferred savings account that has several investing options and is set up through an investment institution. For instance, an IRA can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cash equivalents, real estate, and other investment vehicles.

One of the benefits of a traditional IRA is the potential for tax-deductible contributions. In 2014, you may be eligible to make a tax-deductible contribution of up to $5,500 ($6,500 if you are 50 or older). Contribution limits are indexed annually for inflation.

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