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Dudley High School’s First Graduates Reunite

1931 graduates (from left) Emma Morgan McAdoo, Euna L. Smith and Nancy Mae Siler greet each other Saturday at the reunion of the graduates of James Benson Dudley High School at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

1931 graduates (from left) Emma Morgan McAdoo, Euna L. Smith and Nancy Mae Siler greet each other Saturday at the reunion of the graduates of James Benson Dudley High School at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

Sunday, July 19, 2009
By Jason Hardin
Staff Writer

GREENSBORO — Everyone knew they were special, that graduating class of Dudley High School. But few knew they were still here.

That changed Saturday when the members of the Dudley High School Class of 1931 — the school’s first graduating class — were recognized during the school’s consolidated reunion.

Pushing 100, or even beyond, some class members hadn’t been to a reunion in years.

“Nobody really thought any were living,” said Otis Hairston , a fellow Dudley grad. “They have incredible stories to tell.”
Their reunion came about as a few members from that first class decided it was time to get back together.

“It just sort of snowballed from there,” Hairston said.

Finally, on Saturday, they put on their Sunday finest and went to see old friends.

Many of those attending Saturday were from the class of 1959, celebrating their 50th reunion. But on a day when they reminisced about the long road they’ve traveled since then, even their experiences were dwarfed by those of the Class of 1931.

Emma Morgan McAdoo recalls clearly the pride she felt as one of the first students to attend the gleaming new high school.
“We felt so proud,” she said. “Dudley High was the thing for us. We felt very proud of it.”

McAdoo, who can still quote the Latin she learned at the school, remembers her teachers and the school’s first principal, a disciplinarian named John Tarpley.

“They called him Big John,” she said. “He commanded and demanded respect.”

Her classmate, Nancy Mae Siler , has fond memories as well.

“The teachers cared about students,” she said. “If you were so contrary you couldn’t listen to them, you were in bad shape.”
Some of the memories are tinged with regret.

Siler, who loved math and civics, had designs on going on to college.

But the 1930s wasn’t exactly a time of upward mobility, and higher education was a luxury.

Siler, who spent her teenage years “cleaning those big old barns that looked like houses” in Irving Park, couldn’t afford college.

In the end, she became a cook, spending decades sweating in Greensboro kitchens.

But her years at the school left her with pride.

“I was determined I was going to finish,” she said. Which she did. With honors. “If anybody doubts it, just tell them to go down there and look.”

McAdoo expresses similar sentiments.

All nine of her children graduated from Dudley. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren have as well.

Their exploits — and those of the school’s other alumni — fill her with pride.

“There are so many graduates from Dudley, and they’re all over the United States and they’re doing great things. It reinforces how you feel about the greatness of Dudley High School.”

And she’s proud of what she got from Dudley. “I got the desire to keep on keeping on,” she said. “We’re just very proud of it, and that it stands tall with the rest of the schools in the city. It stands tall.”

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    Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 6:37 am. Add a comment

    DIVERSITY PROVES TO BE TOUCHY TOPIC AT SOTOMAYOR HEARINGS

    U.S, Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayer During Confirmation Hearings

    U.S, Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayer During Confirmation Hearings


    By James Oliphant and David G. Savage

    July 19, 2009

    Reporting from Washington — Two months ago, Sonia Sotomayor’s Latino heritage was viewed as an overwhelming asset. And though history will be made if she becomes the Supreme Court’s newest justice, there wasn’t much talk about that during three days of grueling testimony last week. For some, her confirmation hearings left a bitter taste.

    “This is a great first, but we are not being allowed to celebrate it in the way we are allowed to celebrate Thurgood Marshall as the first African American on the court,” said Laura Gomez, a University of New Mexico law professor.

    That’s because Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee attempted to shine a negative light on Sotomayor’s earlier statements about what she as a Latina could bring to judging and on her connections with a Latino advocacy group. In wave after wave of questions, they suggested that statements by the New York federal appellate judge indicated an inability to remain impartial on the bench.

    Sotomayor had given them ammunition: speeches in which she said she hoped that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”

    You can read the speech in it’s entirety here

    By the end of the week, however, she had forcefully rejected that notion — along with the idea that her diverse background meant she would judge with “empathy,” a quality President Obama had said was important for a high court justice.

    She also denied being involved in abortion-rights lawsuits filed by the Puerto Rican advocacy group whose board she served on for 12 years.

    Even though Sotomayor is almost certain to be confirmed, some Republicans considered their bid to root out what they saw as potential prejudices as a kind of victory.

    What Sen. Jeff Sessions calls an ‘honest discussion’ on race, some observers say is an attack on ethnic pride.

    “We had a more honest discussion of some of the complexities and sensitivities of the race question in this hearing than in the 12 years I have been in the Senate,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the committee, whose own bid for a federal judgeship was blocked because of racially insensitive remarks he had made in the past.

    Sotomayor’s supporters, however, viewed the questioning another way.

    “It was extremely disappointing and a walk backward from the point of diversity,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, a law professor at the University of Maryland. “This was not a productive conversation. It was unfortunate posturing by the Republicans.

    “This was an all-white judiciary committee asking condescending questions. And it was an unequal power situation. She was not in a position to honestly engage with them, because she needed their votes.”

    What last week’s public exercise illustrated was the nature of questions of race and identity in America: Ethnic pride to some is identity politics to others.

    At the heart of the Republican questioning was a sense of mistrust that they said was based on a notable difference between the probity of Sotomayor’s decisions as a judge and the more liberal tone of her speeches. Some senators were convinced she was masking her true nature — and that it would be revealed once she was given a lifetime post on the Supreme Court.

    To put a human face on their concerns, they invited a white firefighter and a Latino firefighter from Connecticut to testify on Sotomayor’s ruling in their discrimination case, Ricci vs. DeStefano.

    “I think we all want a justice who is neutral and impartial,” said Jenny Rivera, a law professor at the City University of New York, who once clerked for Sotomayor. But Republicans, she said, maintained that “when you put on the robes, you put on the shelf your sense of history and identity and heritage.”

    Conservatives, however, said that the GOP senators had succeeded in forcing Sotomayor to distance herself from her earlier statements about ethnicity and gender swaying her decisions.

    “It seems conservatives are winning the larger war over the judiciary, even if losing the battle over this nomination,” Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, wrote in the Washington Post.

    Sotomayor “ended up disavowing many of her previous statements or trying to reinterpret them,” said Ilya Somin of George Mason University School of Law.

    “More significantly, she ended up publicly rejecting the president’s view that empathy should often guide judicial decision-making,” he said.

    Democrats on the judiciary committee seemed to go out of their way to avoid the issue of Sotomayor’s heritage, focusing instead on her 17-year judicial record, one that even some Republicans conceded contained little to fight about.

    And Sotomayor herself was forced to step lightly around the subject, disavowing her “wise Latina” comment as a “rhetorical riff” that had the opposite meaning than she had intended.

    “Her selection by the nation’s first black president is a testament to the advances in diversity and tolerance that we have made as a nation,” said Rachel Moran, a law professor at UC Irvine.

    But, Moran noted, Sotomayor “made no explicit reference to her personal story as the daughter of Puerto Rican parents who moved to New York. Instead, she described her life as ‘uniquely American.’ ”

    Several GOP senators cast their line of questioning in terms of achieving a goal laid out by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who has said: “The best way to stop discriminating based on race is to stop discriminating based on race.”

    Their actions had an effect.

    “I think, before the hearings, we were seeing a discussion that diversity can enrich any institution,” said Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a political science professor at Northwestern University. But that talk “became too radioactive,” she said.

    The GOP senators “were playing to the angry white male voter. Some of the remarks were clearly about saying that ‘you’ can say things that ‘we’ can’t,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University.

    “These kinds of comments attacking ethnic pride and the benefits of diversity in any institution — which is really what her remark was about — combined with the Ricci case looked like backlash politics, pure and simple.”

    Despite the hearings, Sotomayor’s Puerto Rican heritage and Bronx upbringing will have an effect inside the Supreme Court, legal experts said.

    “Thurgood Marshall’s presence changed the Supreme Court in profound ways, and I do not doubt that Judge Sotomayor will also have a significant impact on the court,” said John Payton, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

    “She is a powerful personality. She is extremely thoughtful and self-reflective. . . . She will be the second woman, the second nonwhite member and the first Latina. All of these will certainly matter.”

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      Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 5:41 am. Add a comment

      Los Angeles Times: Murder Charges in Michael Jackson Case Are Unlikely

      According to the Los Angeles Times, Michael Jackson’s death is unlikely to result in murder charges against any of the performer’s doctors, according to a senior law enforcement official familiar with the evidence being assembled by a multiagency investigation. Los Angeles Times repoters posted the following article:

      By Jack Leonard and Harriet Ryan
      July 19, 2009

      The investigation is far from over, but a law enforcement official says there’s nothing to suggest murder. Some doctors could face lesser charges of improperly prescribing drugs, but not any time soon.

      Michael Jackson’s death is unlikely to result in murder charges against any of the performer’s doctors, according to a senior law enforcement official familiar with the evidence being assembled by a multiagency investigation. Los angeles Times repoters posted the following article

      “There’s nothing I have been told that would suggest a murder charge. It’s just so remote and so unsupported by the facts as they’ve been gathered,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the probe is continuing.

      The official’s assessment seemed designed to lower expectations for a quick conclusion to the investigation and to tamp down speculation that there was a clear criminal culprit in the unexpected death of one of the world’s most famous men.

      “There’s a lot of hysteria out there,” the official said.

      Some of the speculation about criminal conduct has been fueled by members of Jackson’s family. His father, Joe, recently told ABC News, “I do believe it was foul play.” The singer’s sister La Toya was quoted in a British tabloid calling her brother’s death a murder and alleging, “It was a conspiracy to get Michael’s money.”

      The official said that three weeks into the case, investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department, the county coroner’s office, the district attorney’s office and the Drug Enforcement Administration remain “so far away” from concluding their investigation.

      Widespread reports about the imminent arrest of one or more of Jackson’s physicians are wrongheaded, he said.

      “They are not suspects,” he said of several doctors who were ordered to turn over Jackson’s medical files to authorities. “They are repositories of medical history. . . . There’s been a high level of cooperation.”

      He also discounted reports that the singer’s death might have been a suicide attempt, saying there was no evidence to suggest that.

      Multiple law enforcement sources confirmed that the Jackson investigation is unfolding more slowly than the sometimes-breathless coverage has suggested. At one point, there were widespread reports that the coroner’s office would release results of Jackson’s toxicology report as early as Monday. Officials now say that will likely take longer.

      If the toxicology report indicates that Jackson’s death was caused by propofol, the powerful anesthetic found in his home, prosecutors could bring charges against doctors or others involved in giving him the drug. Prosecutors have discussed a range of possible charges in that scenario “all the way up to involuntary manslaughter,” the senior law enforcement official said.

      But the sources agreed that the probe may end without criminal charges directly related to the death. Even if the coroner declares the case a homicide, authorities may not pursue charges, said one source familiar with the investigation.

      “There are plenty of homicides where . . . no one is accused of murder or manslaughter,” that official said, adding that Jackson’s well-documented battles with prescription drug abuse would be a strong defense to any charges. Jackson’s doctors may face charges for using fake names on prescriptions, a violation of state and federal laws, or for illegally furnishing the performer with medication — as in the case pending against doctors for model Anna Nicole Smith.

      That investigation took two years to build into a criminal case.

      “Nothing will happen quickly,” said one police official, who like others working on the case demanded anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly.

      The law enforcement investigation of Jackson’s death began soon after the singer stopped breathing in a bedroom of his rented Holmby Hills mansion June 25. LAPD detectives quickly announced that his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who was in the home at the time of Jackson’s death, was wanted for questioning.

      During a three-hour interview with detectives the following day, Murray described in detail his treatment of the singer. In public statements later, Murray’s attorney said that the physician gave no medication that “should have” caused his death and that he was just as mystified as everyone else at the pop star’s sudden death. The attorney subsequently refused to answer media inquiries about the propofol found in Jackson’s home.

      After autopsy results were inconclusive, the coroner’s office ordered the toxicology screening. Jackson’s struggles with addiction to Demerol and other prescription drugs date to the early 1990s, and at the time of his death he had prescriptions for multiple medications, including at least one prescribed using the pseudonym Omar Arnold, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation.

      Coroner’s officials served subpoenas on several of Jackson’s physicians. Those told to submit “any and all” of Jackson’s medical files and radiology and psychiatric records include Dr. Arnold Klein, a Beverly Hills dermatologist who counted Jackson among his celebrity clientele for more than two decades. Klein’s lawyer met with investigators last week and emerged saying his client was not accused of wrongdoing.

      Even if the toxicology report shows large amounts of prescription drugs in Jackson’s blood, the district attorney’s office may not file charges, the senior law enforcement official said.

      If Jackson’s death is determined to be the result of a heart defect or caused by decades of drug abuse, “probably you have no case at all,” he said.

      If propofol is determined to be the cause of death, he said, the district attorney’s office is more likely to act. The anesthetic, which renders surgical patients immediately unconscious, is not designed for use outside the operating room, and it is unclear how Jackson obtained it and who may have administered it to him.

      Vesna Maras, a former L.A. County deputy district attorney who prosecuted physicians and nurses in medical cases, said fatal overdoses can present a challenge for prosecutors when numerous doctors are prescribing drugs.

      “If it is a combination of drugs, and these drugs . . . were coming from multiple sources, the argument can be made that the doctors did not know their patient was doctor-shopping. . . . That can make it really hard to prosecute,” said Maras.

      But, she said, that calculus can change when a drug such as propofol — which is only meant for use by anesthesiologists — is involved. If investigators determine that a doctor who wasn’t an anesthesiologist administered the drug to Jackson without the required devices to assure proper breathing, “in that case, I would not rule out filing a murder case,” she said.

      In 2004, Maras prosecuted two Burbank nurses for involuntary manslaughter for administering the anesthetic to a cancer patient without authorization of an anesthesiologist. The patient died. One nurse pleaded no contest to a lesser charge. The other was acquitted.

      Bryan Liang, executive director of the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law, said he would not be surprised if prosecutors decided not to charge the doctors.

      He said evidence in Jackson’s death may be used more effectively in civil court or by the state medical board, which can strip doctors of their licenses.

      “The medical care system has traditionally been regulated through civil cases, so juries generally don’t like to find physicians criminally liable,” he said. “They are happy to grant damages, but in terms of throwing a physician in jail, you really have to rise to really egregious behavior . . . and prosecutors recognize that.”

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        Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 4:47 am. Add a comment

        Michael Jackson’s Death Stops Fan Ne Yo Performance As He Breakdowns After Singing One Of The King Of Pop’s Song

        Ne-Yo Falls Ill, Bursts into Tears During Performance

        Posted Jul 17th 2009 11:30AM by Tracey Ford

        Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo shocked fans last night when he began to cry while on stage during a concert in Manchester, UK. Apparently, the crooner had been onstage for about an hour and just completed his rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall,’ before calling it quits due to illness.

        The seemingly confused crowd cheered — and some booed — as the singer wept onstage and promised that he would make it up to them at a later date. “Trust me when I say ‘I’ll be back,” Ne-Yo promised. “I will be back.”

        Watch the video after the jump.

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          Posted 5 years, 2 months ago at 4:19 am. Add a comment