Mr. Christopher Scott Calloway

Mr. Christopher Scott Calloway

Mr. Christopher Scott Calloway

Funeral services for Mr. Christopher Scott Calloway age 29 of Americus, GA will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. in the Chapel of West’s Mortuary in Americus, GA with Bro. Ernest Wright officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Christopher Scott Calloway was born June 6, 1985 in Americus GA to the parentage of Mrs. Christine Calloway and the late Mr. Melvin Hill. He was a 2004 graduate of Sumter County High School. Christopher enjoyed watching television, sports and playing video games. On April 29, 2015 Christopher passed away unexpectedly at his home.

He leave to cherish his memories a devoted mother, Mrs. Christine Calloway, Americus, GA; one brother, Mr. Joe Willie (Ebony) Calloway Jr, Jonesboro GA; two sisters: Mrs. Angelia Gail (Jay) Bosely, Cairo, GA and Mrs. Betty Jo Calloway, Americus, GA; four aunts: Mrs. Jeanette (Thomas) Griffin, Americus, GA, Mrs. Earlene Slocumb, Atlanta, GA, Mrs. Jacqueline Hill, Atlanta, GA and Mrs. Glenda Spivey, Andersonville, GA; two Uncles: Mr. Ernest Black, Jr. and Mr. Eddie Black both of Americus, GA; one great uncle, Mr. Charlie Ingram, Americus, GA; one great aunt, Mrs. Teresa Hayes, Miami, FL, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins including a devoted cousin Mr. Thomas Washington III, Americus, GA.

Mrs. Doris Cottle King

Mrs. Doris C. King

Mrs. Doris C. King

Funeral services for Mrs. Doris Cottle King of Americus, Georgia will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. at Good News Ministries on Mayo Street in Americus, Georgia with Dr. E.J. Wallace officiating.
Mrs. Doris Cottle King was born on March 27 1941 in Schley County Georgia to the late Ollie B. Cottle and Merol Merritt Cottle. Doris was a dedicated member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 558 and the G.W.F. Phillips Temple #1020 Daughters of Elk’s Mrs. King died peacefully at her home on Thursday, April 23, 2015. She was preceded in death by two brothers: Henry Cottle of Springfield Massachusetts and Ben Wright Sr. Cordele Georgia.

She leaves to cherish her memories three children: Hence (Beverly) King Jr. of Pensacola Florida, Elmira King of Tucker Georgia and Cassius King of Americus Georgia; four brothers: Ollie Robert Cottle of Bronx NY, Horace Cottle, Melvin Cottle, and Kenneth Myrick all of Americus Georgia; one God Sister, Sophia Boone Hunt of Lithonia Georgia; four grand-children, seven great grand-children and a host of Nieces and Nephews.

Mr. Darryl Davis

image.axd3Funeral services for Mr. Darryl Davis of Americus, Georgia will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Old Shady Grove Baptist Church with Pastor Jesse Watts officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Mr. Darryl Davis was born in Sumter County, Georgia to the late Mrs. Mary Hawkins Davis and Mr. David Lee Davis. Mr. Davis died on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. He was preceded in death by three brothers: Carlton Davis, Alonzo Davis and David Davis Jr.

He leaves to cherish his memory his children; Dennoris Jenkins, Daryl Davis Jr. and Katelyn Davis all of Americus, Georgia; a devoted Fiancée Ms. Janice Brown of Americus, Georgia; his father, David Lee (Patricia) Davis of Americus, Georgia; four sisters; Cheryl Davis, April (Larry) Davis, Rita (Franklin) Mann and Desharia S. Davis all of Americus, Georgia; three brothers: Tyrone Davis and (Fiancée Annice) of North Carolina, Martin (Mary) Davis and Walter M. Simmons of Americus, Georgia; nine devoted aunts: Bertha Floyd, Geraldine (David) Kimbrough, Cornelia (Henry) Moore, Essie Mae Tookes, Willie Mae Hawkins all of Americus, Georgia, Valarie (Walter) Hall of Moultrie, Georgia, Brenda (Greg) Carson Valdosta, Georgia, Janet Breland of Hahire, Georgia and Patricia (Hyrom) Clay of Sylvester, Georgia; six uncles: Minister Willie Jessie (Sara) Carson, Jessie Lee (Barbara Ann) Carson, Johnny (Melanie) Hawkins all of Americus, Georgia,  Sammy (Andrea) Carson of Hazelhurst, Georgia, Lonnie (Eunice) Carson of Moultrie, Georgia, Johnny (Tianna) Carson and Bobby (Kate) Davis of Atlanta, Georgia; one sister-in-Law, Lucille Davis of Americus, Georgia. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends also survive.

Ms. Quanesha Lashon Brown

Ms. Quanesha Lashon Brown

Ms. Quanesha Lashon Brown

Funeral services for Ms. Quanesha Lashon Brown age 24 of Americus, Georgia will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at The Household of Faith Ministries on Mary Street in Americus, Georgia with Apostle, Dr. Marcia Carter officiating. Burial will follow at the Eastview Cemetery.

Quanesha Lashon Brown who was affectionately known as “Shon” was born in Americus, Georgia on September 24, 1990 to Ms. Linda Brown and Charles Davis Jr. Atlanta, Georgia. She was educated in the Sumter County School System. Quanesha is preceded in death by her grandfathers: Willie Edward Nash & Albert Mack Sr.   She is also preceded in death by her grandmothers: Christine Kleckley Nash & Shirlene Whitehead Davis.

We cherish the memories we have, the smiles and the laughter we shared. On April 20, 2015, Quanesha Lashon Brown departed this earthly life, but will always live on in our hearts.

Shon leaves to cherish her memories; her mother, Linda Brown (Hezekiah) Warner Robins, Georgia, father Charles Davis Jr. Atlanta, Georgia, three siblings: Christian Brown, Kai Davis and Diamond Davis of Americus, Georgia; grandmother, Lucille Brown of Americus, GA; grandfather, Charles Davis Sr.; three uncles: Albert Mack Jr., Johnny Mack & Willie Frank Mack; nine aunts: Bernice Johnson (Aaron), Elizabeth Bryant, Connie Davis, Lashonda Monts, Kamika Davis, Shirlene Johnson (Michael), Betty Monts, Gladys Timmons (Jessie), Dorothy Nash. A host of other relatives and friends, including devoted friends, Leala & Thaddeus Harris of Americus, Georgia.

Mr. John “Bull” Wayne Jordan

Mr. John Wayne "Bull" Jordan

Mr. John Wayne “Bull” Jordan

Funeral services for Mr. John “Bull” Wayne Jordan age 59 of Americus, Georgia will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. at Good News Ministries in Americus, Georgia with Min. Arthur Kinder officiating. Burial will follow at the Lebanon Cemetery.

Mr. John Wayne Jordan was born on December 19, 1955 in Americus, Georgia to the late Rosa Lee Brown Jordan and the late Joe Jordan.  John was educated in the Sumter County School System and a 1975 graduate of Americus High School where he was a star athlete on the 1974 & 1975 State Football Championship teams.  At an early age she joined the Mt. Olive Baptist Church. He was employed for several years at Davidson Rubber Company. John passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 12, 2015 at the Phoebe-North Hospital in Albany, Georgia. He was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings: Joseph Jordan and Catherine Jordan Kinder.

He leaves to cherish his memories, a devoted companion of  20 years Latesia Breedlove; one sister, Mildred Jean (Lee) Gooden; one step-son, Cornelious Colwell Breedlove; sister-in-law, Vivian Jordan; his devoted niece, Chasity Gooden all of Americus, Georgia; two devoted nephews: Arthur (Melanie) Kinder of Ellenwood, Georgia and Michael Kinder of Americus, Georgia; three God-children: Zacchaues “Joc” Gooden, Leah Gatewood and Ajayla Powell; “brothers from another mother”: Frank Seay, George Lundy and William Keith Snead; lifelong devoted friends: Eddie Sims, Charles Johnson, Michael Mitchell, Joe Johnson, Amanda Magee, Sherry Magee and Rena Arnett; a devoted cousin Alex Brown and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives and friends also survive.

Mr. Willie James Waters

Mr. Willie James Waters

Mr. Willie James Waters

Memorial services for Mr. Willie James Waters will be held on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. in the Chapel of West’s Mortuary in Americus, Georgia with Rev. Tommie Jordan officiating.

Mr. Willie James Waters was born in Sumter County, Georgia to the late Mrs. Ida Lee Bartlet Waters and the late Mr. Alfred Waters. Mr. Waters lived in Rivera Beach Florida where he was employed as a construction worker. On Sunday, April 5, 2015 he was called from labor to his reward, transitioning peacefully at his home. He was preceded in death by his siblings: Freddie B. Waters, Willie C. Waters and Hazel Waters Thomas.

He leaves to cherish his memories his children: Mrs. Shirlene Williams of Americus, Georgia and Mrs. Lillie Bell Waters Willis of Royster, Georgia; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Mattie Russell Waters of Americus, Georgia; a God-daughter, Ms. Marie Lawrence of Americus, Georgia and a devoted caretaker, Ms. Virginia Banks; nine grand-children and a host of other relatives and friends also survive.




Mr. James C. Russell was born in Sumter County, Georgia on February 19, 1943, to the parentage of the late Mr. Walter Lee Russell and the late Mrs. Rachel Lee Simmons Russell. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County. At an early age, he joined the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Rev. Julius Wilson. While at Mt. Olive, he sang in the choir and was ordained a deacon. Deacon Russell served his church as a faithful member. He was a truck driver for over 42 years, having drove for West Logging and Sheffield Hardware Company. On December 9, 1961, he married the former Ms. Mary Lee Josey and to their union, six children were born. Deacon Russell was a hard working man, a devoted husband and father and he truly loved his grandchildren. He is preceded in death by a son, James Russell, Jr.; a brother, Walter Lee Russell, Jr.; and a son-in-law, Ronny Perry.

He leaves fond memories to: his loving wife of 53 years, Mrs. Mary L. Josey Russell, Americus, GA; one son, Mr. Michael (Terry) Russell, Americus, GA; four daughters: Ms. Eula Mae Ross, Ms. Sharry R. Perry, both of Americus, GA, Ms. Brenda Brown and Mrs. Shirley (Kelvin) Jackson, both of St. Augustine, FL; one brother, Mr. Charlie Russell and friend, Nina, Irvington, NJ; two sisters, Ms. Mattie Waters and Missionary Lois Taylor, both of Americus, GA; two step-brothers, Mr. S. T. (Lola) Sampson, Americus, GA and Mr. Eddie (Virginia) Sampson, California; a son-in-law, Mr. Carlton Brown, St. Augustine, FL; a daughter-in-law, Ms. Kimberly Russell, Americus, GA; his sisters and brothers-in-law: Ms. Lena Josey, Mrs. Carmen (William) Clark, Ms. Lorena Josey, Mr. Jimmy (Doris) Josey and Mr. James (Mary) Josey, all of Americus, GA; fourteen grandchildren: Sheena, Neisha, Marcus, Cardale, Shada, Taylor, Daniella, Jamison, Trayvon, Brandon, Mercedes, Michael Russell, Lynette and Michael Lewis; nine great grandchildren: Amaiya, Azaria, Adaijah, Gregory, Essence, Carsyn, Trayvon, Jazmyne and George; and a host of nieces, nephews, including a devoted nephew, Mr. James Arthur Russell; cousins, including a devoted cousin, Ms. Shirlene Swinney; other relatives and friends also survive.




Mrs. Mary Lou Clemons was born in Dumas, Webster County, Georgia on June 13, 1936 to the parentage of the late Mr. R. J. Thomas and the late Mrs. Julia Bell West Thomas. She received her education in the public schools of Sumter County.  At an early age, she joined the Union Tabernacle Baptist Church. She was married to the late Mr. Willie C. Clemons. She is also preceded in death by a daughter, Vanessa Butts Evans, a son, Ulysses Butts and a grandson, Torriano Robinson.

She leaves to cherish her memories, four sons, Mr. Edgar (Eula) Butts, III, Mr. Charlie Foster, Jr. and Mr. Tyrone Thompson all of Americus, GA and Mr. Rufus (Christina) Thompson, Marietta, GA; three daughters, Mrs. Gwendolyn (Jessie) Josey, Mrs. Robenna (Willie James) Robinson of Americus, GA and Ms. Evette (Dwight) Christmas, Marietta, GA; her sister, Mrs. Audrey (Ike) Tisdale, McClendon, FL; her companion, Mr. Arthur Hackney, Atlanta, GA; a daughter-in-law, Ms. Gloria Butts, Americus, GA; her brothers & sisters-in-law, Mr. Jimmy Clemons, Mr. Marshall Clemons both of Atlanta, GA, Ms. Sarah A. Clemons and Ms. Mary Clemons both of Americus, GA; god daughter, Ms. E. “Ray-Ray” Stephens, Americus, GA; eleven grandchildren, LaQuitta (Andre) Joseph, Marcus Butts, Shannon (Linda) Evans, Kimberly Evans, Maurice Evans, Sherman Butts, Jasper Robinson, MarQuitta (Darnell) Bess, Geovante Carter, Ryan Gordon and Tyrone Thompson, Jr.; 31 great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends, including a devoted friend, Ms. Minnie Westbrook, Americus, GA also survive.




Veteran Joseph Gardner, III was born in Chattahoochee County, Georgia on March 20, 1938 to the parentage of the late Mr. Joe Sam Gardner and the late Mrs. Tommie Barnes Gardner. He received his education in the public schools of Chattahoochee County. He served in the United States Army. He was employed by Proctor & Gamble Warehouse for many years. He met and later married Mrs. Susie Aldridge Gardner and to this union two children were born.

He leaves to cherish his memories: three children, Mr. Joseph Gardner, IV, Cusseta, GA, Mrs. Dwanna (Shawn) Carter, Buena Vista, GA and Mrs. Shirley (Bernard) Sibley, Orlando, FL: his brothers & sisters, Mr. Climent R. (Euncie) Gardner, Augusta, GA, Mrs. Mattie E. (Howard) Hart, Decatur, GA, Mr. James F. (Bessie) Gardner, Stockbridge, GA, Mr. Milton Mathis, Camp Spring, MD, Mr. Charlie T. Gardner, Ms. Lila S. Chatmon of Atlanta, GA and a devoted sister-in-law, Ms. Linda Lawson, Macon, GA also survive




Mr. Christopher Andre’ Williams was born in Sumter County, Georgia on October 13, 1974 to the parentage of the late Mr. Arthur Willie Williams and the late Mrs. Annie Maude Carter Williams Harris. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County and graduated in the class of 1993.  On January 5, 1991, he became a member of the Springhill Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Eddie Henderson.

He leaves to cherish his memories a large blended family; his brothers, Mr. Arthur Melvin (Sharon) Williams, Mr. Byron Bernard (Sonya) Williams, Mr. John H. Harris, Mr. Daron F. (Doreatha) Harris all of Americus, GA, Rev. Timothy O. (Sylvia) Harris and Mr. Bruce Harris of Atlanta, GA; his sisters, Ms. Sheryl Ann Griffin, Mrs. Sharon D. (John) Leverette of Americus, GA; his fiancé, Ms. Denise Stephens, Americus, GA; his aunts & uncles, Ms. Bertha Mae Williams, Montezuma, GA, Mrs. Hazel (Ernest) Harp, Mrs. Mary Dean (Willie James) Harp of Oglethorpe, GA, Ms. Fannie H. Butler, Ms. Kathleen H. Monts, Ms. Janice M. Harris, Rev. Sherryl H. Sneed of Americus, GA, Mrs. Ruby H. (Clyde) Maddox, Riverside, CA, Ms. Nettie Ruth Sims, New York City, NY, Mr. Charlie Williams, Mr. Alfred (Elizabeth) Harris, Mr. William E. (Mattie Sue) Harris, Mr. John E. (Annie Maude) Harris, Mr. Fred A. Harris, Rev. Norris Harris and Rev. Gerald L. (Martha Ann) Harris all of Americus, GA; one great aunt, Ms. Minnie Williams, Boston, MA; and a host of nieces, nephews, including, Lakeisha Grayson, Shantoria Williams, Noah Ruff, Torryne Williams, Corey Williams, Ethan Stephens and a devoted nephew who was like his son, DiQuon Williams; a devoted great nephew, Keristine Tyson, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.




Ms. Tonya Annette Ross was born in Hartford, Hartford County, Connecticut on March 5, 1971 to the parent of the late Ms. Eddie Jean Davis White.  She received her education in the Hartford and Sumter County School Systems. She moved to Americus, Georgia in 1985. She was employed by the Taco Bell franchise in Americus, Georgia as a shift manager for more than fourteen years. She was a dedicated mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, who will be dearly missed.

She leaves to cherish her memories: two sons, Mr. Darrin Ross, Jr., Americus, GA and Mr. Karon Lewis, Tampa, FL; two daughters, Ms. Miranda Ross, Fort Valley, GA and Ms. China Ross, Americus, GA; two brothers, Mr. Kenneth Lewis and Mr. George Lewis of Hartford, CT; four sisters, Ms. Jacqueline Shaw, Ms. Darlene Ellis, West Virginia, Mrs. Tareta (Jennette) Miles, Dallas, TX and Mrs. Andrea (Rodney) Green, Americus, GA; two grandchildren, Ke’Marian Ross and Ms. Delilah Baisden, Americus, GA; her aunts & uncles, Mr. Charles Davis, Mr. Joseph (Earnestine) Davis, Mr. Arthur Davis, Mr. Eddie Davis, Mrs. Alice (Henry) Battle, Ms. Lillie Pearl Kennedy of Americus, GA, Mr. James (Evelyn) Davis, Albany, GA and Mr. Willie (Jacqueline) Davis, Columbia, SC; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.




Mr. Corey L. Willis was born in Sumter County, Georgia on December 22, 1978 to the parent of the late Ms. Jerri Hill and Mr. Jessie Willis who survives. Corey was a dedicated and faithful member of the Old Shady Grove Baptist Church, where he served on the Usher’s Ministry. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County and was a graduate in the class of 1998. Corey was employed by the Americus Sumter School System and worked at A.S. Staley Middle School in the maintenance department. Corey was a kind, loving, caring and sharing person, who was loved by all.

In addition to his father, Mr. Jessie Willis, Macon, GA, he leaves to cherish his memories: one brother, Mr. Tyrone Williams, Jr., Americus, GA; five sisters, Ms. Kenya Hill, Ms. Tawanna Willis, Ms. Sharnae Hill, Ms. Christy Williams, Americus, GA and Ms. Stephanie Reese, Macon, GA; his nieces & nephews: Brittany Reese, Africa Reese, Quentavius Hill, Shantoya Hill, Brittany Smith, Trinnity Ingram, Jalen Hill, Trendrick Ingram, Jr., Makaya Bridges, Amanya Bridges, Ty’Asia Williams, Willie Lewis Ballard, Jr., Kendrick Hill and Kensley Hill; his aunts & uncles, Ms. Henrietta Curry, Ms. Barbara J. Smith, Ms. Cassandra Willis, Mr. Johnny Willis, Mr. Charlie Willis and Mr. Joseph Willis all of Macon, GA; and a host of cousins, other relatives and friends also survive.




Mr. James Buckins, Jr. was born in Sumter County, Georgia on June 8, 1956 to the parentage of the late Mr. James Buckins and the late Mrs. Willie Leverette Buckins. He is preceded in death by two sisters, Ms. Kathy Buckins and Ms. Florine Buckins.

He leaves to cherish his memories; a loving daughter, Ms. Jessica Buckins, Americus, GA; a devoted brother, Mr. Daniel (Selinda) Buckins, Americus, GA; a god-daughter, Ms. Latosha Williams, Americus, GA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends also survive.




Mr. Ned Smith, Jr. was born in Sumter County, Georgia on July 18, 1959 to the parentage of the late Deacon Ned Smith and the late Mrs. Lizzie Mae Walker Smith. He received his education in the public schools of Sumter County and was graduated from Union High School. At an earlier age, he joined the Oak Grove Baptist Church, where he served on the Usher’s Ministry. He had been employed by Charles Payne Farm, Tyson Foods and Minor Brother Farms. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his grandparents, Mr. Edd Smith, Mrs. Emma Smith and Mrs. Mary Bartlett; his aunts & uncles, Ms. Cornelia Bell, Mr. Fletcher Palmore, Mr. Ennis Smith, Ms. Georgia Mae Walker and Mr. William Smith.

He leaves to cherish his memories, five children, Ms. Demeka (Vinson) Mann, Mr. Kawagelyn Smith, Mr. Nedrick Smith, Ms. Tierra Smith all of Americus, GA and Ms. Angela Smith & friend Mr. Andreaus Roberts, Albany, GA; two brothers, Mr. William Smith, Americus, GA and Mr. Isaac Smith & friend, Ms. Shawn Robinson, Live Oak, FL; three sisters, Mrs. Emma (Wardell) Wright, Leslie, GA, Mrs. Brenda (Ricky) Green and Mrs. Abby (Leon) Boone of Americus, GA; five grandchildren, De’Andrea Vanover, De’Asia Mann, Ja’Landria Roberts, A’Laysia Roberts and La’Daysha Smith; a god-brother & sister, Mr. Otha (Lorraine) Hawkins, Albany, GA; one uncle, Mr. Earnest Floyd, Americus, GA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, including devoted cousins, Mr. Eric Clark and Mr. James Walker of Atlanta, GA, friends, including devoted friends, Mr. Curtis White, Mr. Donnell Kleckley, Mr. Mack Grover, Mr. John Mack, Ms. Kenyada Moore, the Greene & Coleman families, the entire Minor Brothers Farm Staff and the mothers of his children, Ms. Diane Smith Furlow, Ms. Keshia Sims and Ms. Theresa Champion also survive.




Mrs. Cordelia Rogers Whitehead was born in Sumter County, Georgia on November 16, 1931, to the parentage of the late Mr. Fred B. Patterson and the late Ms. Jennie Mae Rogers Strachan. She received her education in the public schools of Sumter County. At an early age, she joined the Scott Maters C.M.E. Church. She was married to the late Mr. McArthur Whitehead and to their union, three children were born.

She leaves to cherish her memories: two sons, Mr. Gerald (Connie) Whitehead, Americus, GA and Mr. Michael (Vivian) Whitehead, Murfreesboro, TN; one daughter, Ms. Edna J. Whitehead, Americus, GA; eight grandchildren: Jalen Whitehead, Gerald Whitehead, Jr., Justin Whitehead, Jasmine Whitehead, Kervin Whitehead, Kendrick Woodham, Michael Whitehead, Jr. and Elizabeth Whitehead; one great grandchild, Rae’zhun Whitehead; two sisters-in-law, Ms. Thessolonia Whitehead and Mrs. Elizabeth Harris, Americus, GA; a brother-in-law, Mr. Alfred Harris, Americus, GA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, including a devoted cousin, Mr. Ruben Gray, Philadelphia, PA; other relatives and friends, including devoted friends, Ms. Charlene Merritt also survive.




Mr. Andrew Daniels, Jr. was born on December 18, 1952 in Americus, GA to Mr. Andrew Daniels, Sr. and Mrs. Catherine Battle Daniels.  At an early age he moved to New Jersey.  There he graduated high school before entering the United States Army in 1971.

Andrew was a barber by profession, working in his father’s shop for the last several years.

In addition to his parents, Mr.  Andrew Daniels, Sr., Americus, GA and Mrs. Catherine Daniels, Cherryhill, NJ., he is survived by his sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and a host of cousins and sorrowing friends.

Inequality kills — but what can providers do about it?

Inequality kills – but what can providers do about it?

Inequality kills – but what can providers do about it?

Jim Anderson, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA, ATC –,

While I was working on creating a health equity resource toolkit for providers, I came across a wonderful Ted Talk  from 2011 by British public health researcher Richard Wilkinson.

The talk focused on the wide-ranging impact of income inequality on individuals. Wilkinson identifies health as one of the biggest areas affected by income inequality. Wilkinson’s body of research is fascinating, and it’s really helped me build a framework for understanding how health disparities occur, and why they persist.

Wilkinson’s observations are not new — his research has long implicated inequality as a leading cause of poor health. It seems intuitive, but his research leads to some surprising conclusions. Wilkinson’s findings suggest that there is a negative health impact on all socioeconomic classes — not just the poorest — in societies with large gaps between the rich and the poor.

It’s alarming how little attention the impact of income inequality on health gets in the training of physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other providers. Often labeled as “political” or “non-clinical,” this evidence remains far from the mainstream of medical teaching and curriculum.

It’s ironic, because evidence suggests the social causes of poor health may play bigger roles on the health of our patients than any of our diagnostic and pharmacological finery. And what if that’s true? What if it turns out, like many already assert, that what happens outside the exam room is a bigger determinant of health then what happens inside?

Will historians centuries from now look back, shake their heads, and say, “can you believe that they ignored all the things that were really making their patients sick, and in fact made them even worse with their medicines and operations?”

As providers committed to protecting and improving the health of our patients, we must ask ourselves some key questions: do we believe that social forces harm our patients? And if we do, is it our job to address these causes? And if it’s not, then whose job is it?

Examining the Connection Between Herpes and Alzheimer’s Disease

Examining the Connection Between Herpes and Alzheimer's Disease

Examining the Connection Between Herpes and Alzheimer’s Disease

By Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD –,

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) accounts for 60-70% of the cases of dementia1 with an estimated 5 million in the America currently. The number of cases is expected to exceed 13 million by 2050.2 This makes AD the single fastest growing psychiatric illness. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that the annual expenses for the care and medical needs of patients with AD exceed $410 billion in America alone.3

The definitive diagnosis of AD is made at autopsy, based on the findings of amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal degeneration. The clinical diagnosis is largely based on conjecture, because depression, overuse of benzodiazepines, and other dementias can have similar symptoms. Recent advances in neuroimaging have provided an earlier opportunity to recognize a dementing process and begin interventions.1

Current efforts to develop drugs that treat AD are focused on reducing amyloid protein, but anti-amyloid medications have, by and large, failed to show significant clinical improvement. Yet, if recent research is correct and a shift in intrinsic assumptions about AD can occur, then treatments that are currently available could significantly impact the incidence of AD.

A group in Sweden4 recently completed a longitudinal study of the association between immunoreactivity to herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and Alzheimer’s disease. While the finding attracted considerable media attention, it also attracted criticism. In part, the criticism comes from the assumption that most individuals have HSV1 antibodies.

One physician is quoted as saying, “More than 90% of the population has antibodies to herpes, and they are not all destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”5 This is not entirely accurate. The incidence of HSV1 in the United States is approximately 34%6. HSV1 is a particularly tenacious virus and if a person is exposed, then the virus will most likely be present in their body, albeit quiescent.

HSV1 , which causes cold sores, generally lives in the trigeminal ganglion, a group of neurons embedded in the skull at the base of the brain. The trigeminal ganglion provides touch sensation for the face, the teeth, and part of the scalp. It also provides nerves to the blood vessels and the meninges (lining) of the brain. The parts of the trigeminal ganglion that innervate the lip are only millimeters from the parts that innervate the lining of the brain.

In other words, it is a short trip for this virus to gain access to the brain.

Since 1991, Ruth Itzhaki and her team at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in England have been systematically proving the connection between HSV1 and AD. Initially, her team was studying CNS viral infections in immunocompromised patients when an intuitive leap occurred. What if the viruses were already present in the brain, but in a latent phase (dormant)?

Itzhaki and her colleagues, Jamieson, Wilcock and others, proceeded to demonstrate that HSV1 is indeed present in the brains of the elderly, both those with AD and those who are healthy.7 HSV 1 DNA was most prevalent in the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain— the very parts affected by AD.8 But they did not find the viral DNA in the white blood cells of these individuals. The virus was only in the brain.9 In 1997, Itzhaki’s team showed that the likelihood of being positive for HSV1 DNA was much higher among patients who had the risk factor gene for AD — the APOE4 gene.10 They also established that having the APOE4 gene also made these patients four times more likely to have cold sores.

Itzhaki’s group then moved to tissue culture to study the effects of HSV1 on cultured neuronal cells. They found that HSV1 infection resulted in cultured immortalized neurons producing excess amyloid protein.They then demonstrated that mice infected with HSV1 developed an excessive accumulation of amyloid protein in their brains, mimicking AD.11

Further cell culture work revealed that HSV1 alters the processing of the precursor proteins leading to amyloid,12 resulting in abnormal accumulations of amyloid. Moreover, HSV1 increases the formation of a second abnormal protein, tau, which forms the neurofibrillary tangles commonly found in AD.13 Of great clinical interest, currently available antiviral medications, such as acyclovir, have been shown to slow, halt or reverse the accumulation of some of amyloid and tau proteins when applied to infected neurons in culture.14

Similarly, transgenic APOE4-positive mice infected with HSV1 developed amyloid accumulations and neurofibrillary tangles (resembling AD) at a much denser level than similar mice which were not exposed to the HSV1 virus.10 So, there is extensive evidence from pathological studies, cell culture studies, and animal studies, indicating that HSV1 has a role in causing or accelerating AD.

Recently, Itzhaki, Mee, and Wozniak found the most striking evidence to date. Using in situ hybridization of intact tissue samples, they have located DNA of HSV1 in slices of brain from people who had died of AD, as well as from elderly persons who had died of other causes. In the brains of patients with AD, the DNA of HSV1 was localized inside the amyloid plaques.15

In fact, 90% of the plaques examined contained HSV1 DNA and 72% of the viral DNA was localized to such plaques. In contrast, HSV1 DNA was more randomly distributed in elderly controls with only 24% of the DNA associated with plaques (which are much fewer in elderly controls).

While Itzhaki’s work has been widely recognized, it has met considerable resistance in the United States. A statement at the top of his piece may explain why. “Infected” is not the same as “affected.” Yes, not all of those who have HSV1 will develop AD. Other factors influence the risk. Similarly, another virus in the herpes family, varicella, infects most people and causes chicken pox; yet, only a small portion experience a viral reactivation and develop shingles decades later.

Itzhaki’s group has tested the viability of a vaccine against HSV1. Mice treated with an experimental vaccine can be exposed to HSV1 without the virus establishing persistent latent infections, unlike unvaccinated mice.16 Until a human vaccine can be developed, there are interventions currently available. Antiviral medications, such as acyclovir and valacyclovir, are highly effective against HSV1. As mentioned above, acyclovir prevented the accumulation of amyloid in virally infected neurons in culture. However, acyclovir has poor oral bioavailability and is rapidly eliminated (half-life of 3 hours).

The pro-drug, valacyclovir has 3-5 times greater bioavailability.17,18 Moreover, valacyclovir is safe and well-tolerated unless there is renal impairment. In my experience, valacyclovir can be administered for years to treat virally-mediated illnesses without any detectable adverse events.19 Similarly, a group of patients with multiple sclerosis were treated for two years with valacyclovir with no adverse consequences.20

In summary, if findings by the Swedish group4 and Itzhaki are correct, and a shift in intrinsic assumptions about Alzheimer’s can occur, then antiviral treatments currently available could potentially eliminate a significant proportion of Alzheimer’s cases.21 The low cost and risk of obtaining blood work on Alzheimer’s patients and administering valacyclovir comes with a potentially huge upside. The alternative is to wait for the autopsy.

Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD, is a psychiatrist in Denver who specializes in the diagnosis of complex adult, child, and adolescent psychiatric cases. His website is


  1. Henderson TA. The diagnosis and evaluation of dementia and mild cognitive impairment with emphasis on SPECT perfusion neuroimaging. CNS Spectr. 2012; 17(4):176-206.
  2. Hebert LE, et al. Alzheimer disease in the US population: prevalence estimates using the 2000 census. Arch Neurol. 2003; 60(8) 1119–1122.
  3. Alzheimer’s Association. 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures . Accessed October 29, 2014.
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Affordable Care Act’s 5th Anniversary: Where Are We Now?

President Barak Obama

President Barak Obama

by Janell Hazelwood –,

Five years ago today, the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare,” was signed into law by President Obama. In reflecting on the legislation, ACA opponents cite issues including higher premiums and cancelled policies, while the Obama administration and proponents see the efforts as having filled a much vital need: ensuring millions of Americans who previously had few options get affordable care for themselves and their families.

“The Affordable Care Act has been the subject of more scrutiny, more rumor, more attempts to dismantle and undermine it than just about any law in recent history,” Obama said in a statement. “But five years later, it is succeeding— in fact, it’s working better than even many of its supporters expected.”

The Dept. of Health and Human Services reports that since the law was enacted, the U.S. has seen the greatest change in the numbers of the uninsured in 40 years. “Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act almost five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage – the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Because of the Affordable Care Act young adults are able to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, states can expand their Medicaid programs, and tax credits are available to millions of Americans in all 50 states, making health care coverage more affordable and accessible. When it comes to the key metrics of affordability, access, and quality, the evidence shows that the Affordable Care Act is working, and families, businesses and taxpayers are better off as a result.”

[Related: What Americans Should Know About the Affordable Care Act]

Additionally, between October 2013 and March 2015, HHS reports:

  • 4.2 million Latino adults gained coverage (a 12.3 percentage point drop)
  • 2.3 million African American adults gained coverage (a 9.2 percentage point drop)

On the day the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Black Enterprise Founder and Publisher Earl Graves Sr. wrote an op-ed that White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett told a group of African Americans on a conference call at the time “captured the spirit and intent of this historic act.” In it, he wrote:

“To gain passage of his 10-year, $940 billion plan, [President Obama] faced relentless opposition, scurrilous accusations and rancorous debate. Over the past 13 months, he had to contend with everything from heated summer protests from Tea Party members that decried “Obamacare” as a representative form of socialism to jousting with recalcitrant Republicans at chilly summit meetings. As recently as his January 27th State of the Union address, political pundits, naysayers and even members of his own party believed his health care reform bill would be D.O.A. when it arrived for a vote in Congress. Despite the odds, he persevered, taking his message to town halls, continuing to reach across the aisle and inspiring thousands to knock on doors and man phone banks.”

[Related: What Minorities Need to Know About the Affordable Care’s Impact]

The implementation of the plan had an early hiccup with Website glitches, and Vice President Joe Biden’s dropping the F-bomb on live TV in reference to the anniversary left more fodder for opponents, however the landmark legislation has indeed opened door to access, especially for minority communities where gaps in access exist. The law provides many benefits for minority small business owners, including tax breaks and wellness programs. Also, in April 2014, research showed since the law was enacted uninsured rates dropped among African Americans and low-income workers, dipping to its lowest in nearly six years.

Despite these numbers, Republicans have been staunch critics of the legislation since its inception, with many continuing to rebuke its passage and using legislative and legal means in attempts to rescind the law. In fact, as 2016 presidential hopeful Ted Cruz of Texas who maintained in 2013 that “Obamacare is a disaster,” announced his entrance into the race today, he told a Liberty University audience, “Imagine in 2017, a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.”

Another opponent and presidential hopeful, Ben Carson, wrote via his Facebook account:

“Despite the White House spin, Obamacare is clearly not a success. Why is that? A careful review of the facts indicate that the lion’s share of the ‘new’ Obamacare enrollments are in fact Medicaid enrollments. Medicaid has been greatly expanded in 2014 from $265 billion to $305 billion. Looking out 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office offers this rather bleak projection as reported by CBS News: The combined $707 billion that the federal government will spend on Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies in 2024 is roughly equal to the $716 billion the CBO estimates the government will spend on national defense that year. This is not a success.”

Once Cash Cows, University Hospitals Now Source of Worry for Schools

 A nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center checks her assignments. Photo: Josh Anderson for The Wall Street Journal

A nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center checks her assignments. Photo: Josh Anderson for The Wall Street Journal

By Melissa Korn –,

Teaching hospitals have long been points of pride for major universities, and in recent years revenue from medical services has served as a lifeline for some schools that have struggled with falling state aid and pressure to slow tuition increases.

Now the marriages between universities and their cash-cow clinical operations are starting to fray as changes stemming from the 2010 health-care law threaten to make university hospitals less profitable.

Some schools are keeping a closer eye on their hospital operations to weather the coming storm, but others, including Vanderbilt University and Emory University, are distancing themselves from their medical centers and returning to their teaching roots.

“They’re totally different businesses,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said of the health-care and educational operations. “We can really focus our energy, attention and resources more on that timeless [educational] mission.”

University-affiliated hospitals tend to charge more for their services than so-called community hospitals because they are also funding research and instruction and handling particularly complex cases. That makes them less attractive to the exchange-based insurance networks created under the Affordable Care Act.

Another factor raising costs: Most university hospitals are in urban areas and treat a high share of patients who are uninsured or covered by Medicaid.

Hospital—and therefore university—administrators have also been spooked by impending cuts to “disproportionate share” hospitals, which treat indigent patients, and uncertainty over how states will continue to fund Medicaid payments.

Academic medical centers have historically run operating margins of 3% to 5%, but McKinsey predicted in a 2013 report that those margins could drop by four to five percentage points by 2019, pushing some into the red.

Significant exposure to health-care operations doesn’t always lead to financial distress at universities, said Susan Fitzgerald, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service. But the firm has mentioned schools’ growing reliance on hospital operations, and the potential for shrinking margins in those businesses, as both credit strengths and challenges in recent statements about the universities of Kentucky, Washington and Utah.

Officials from those schools acknowledged the volatility ahead and said they were comfortable with their hospital operations but monitoring the changing landscape.

Moody’s raised its outlook on the University of Arizona to stable from negative last month after that school’s struggling hospitals, clinics and insurance company were acquired by nonprofit Banner Health.

“Smaller, midmarket academic medical centers are among the most distressed types of hospitals nationwide,” said Banner Chief Executive Peter Fine. Like its peers, the University of Arizona Health Network has a large proportion of uninsured, Medicare and Medicaid patients, aging facilities and high debt, he said—and not much scale to spread overhead expenses.

“The intention is to reduce risk going forward, and to enhance stability,” said University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart.

The U.S. has about 120 academic health centers, composed of teaching hospitals with close ties to medical schools. Major teaching hospitals make up about 5% of all hospitals, but account for nearly a quarter of clinical care based on total hospital revenue, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Some of the largest are now getting a checkup. Vanderbilt, a private university in Nashville, Tenn., said in November it was spinning off its medical center, which narrowly avoided a fiscal 2014 loss thanks to steep cost cuts. The two will still be affiliated, but the university will shed its significant exposure to the struggling hospital: about $3 billion of the $4 billion the school forecasts in fiscal 2015 revenue is related to its health-care arm. The hospital, meanwhile, will gain flexibility to raise more debt because it won’t be limited by the university’s plan to maintain an Aa2 credit rating.

A similar deal was struck by Emory, which gets $2.5 billion, or more than 61% of total revenue, from clinical operations, up from 47.4% a decade ago. The Atlanta university said in February that it is in talks to spin off its Emory Healthcare arm, which consists of six hospitals plus outpatient clinics, in a partnership with nonprofit WellStar Health System.

“You get away from the university mission at some point if you build out the full spectrum of community services that are needed to have a successful health system of tomorrow,” said Michael Mandl, CEO of Emory Healthcare.

Still, other schools are taking the opposite tack, hoping that pulling their hospitals closer can unearth cost savings and better align clinical operations with research and teaching needs.

Loma Linda University, a health-sciences institution in Southern California, in coming months is set to announce a single governance structure for its schools, hospital system and physician practices.

That will mean a radical change in its financial statements. Net patient revenue for fiscal 2014 at Loma Linda University Medical Center was $1.08 billion, dwarfing university revenue of $304 million.

“We are choosing to glue this whole thing together” to find efficiencies, said Dr. Richard Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health. Still, he conceded the move might hurt investors’ opinions of the university.

“Every time the environment becomes unstable, universities that own their systems are trying to sell them and universities that don’t are trying to buy them,” said Daniel Jones, chancellor at the University of Mississippi, a state school. “Everybody’s unhappy with their circumstances.”

Mr. Jones had argued against spinning off the institution’s medical center in Jackson, saying that a singular focus on financial returns would hurt the public mission of the state’s only comprehensive trauma center. Instead, he has expanded patient volume and maintained a large referral base by teaming up with community hospitals.

The medical center brought in more than 40% of operating revenue for Mississippi’s eight-school higher-education system last year, up from 27% a decade earlier.

Disagreements over how to run the hospital system led Mississippi’s higher-education board not to renew Mr. Jones’s contract last month; his term will end in September.

“There are a number of board members who don’t like tolerating financial risk,” Mr. Jones said.

A representative for the board of trustees said they aren’t considering any changes.

Seeing the scrambles at schools around them, some administrators are trying to revamp their own medical centers before they fall too ill.

Ohio State University, which gets nearly half its system operating revenue from health care, initiated a plan last year to improve margins and save $100 million by pursuing more competitive pricing for supplies and services and taking a more conservative approach to hiring.

“The best way to stay healthy is to be preventative,” said Geoff Chatas, chief financial officer and senior vice president for business and finance at Ohio State.

Corrections & Amplifications

Hospital administrators have been spooked, among other things, by uncertainty over how states will continue to fund Medicaid payments. An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Medicare payments. Medicare is funded fully by the federal government. (April 22, 2015)

JAMA Viewpoint: Young African-American Men Deserve Better From Health Care


BOSTON, MA – Healthcare spending is at an all-time high in the U.S., yet young African-American men see little benefit, according to Boston Medical Center (BMC) researchers’ Viewpoint commentary published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The researchers note that black men have a life expectancy nearly five years less than white men. While heart disease and cancer contribute to this decreased life expectancy, homicide also plays a large role. From ages 1 to 14, homicide is either the second or third leading cause of death for African-American men, and from ages 15 to 34, it is the leading cause of death. A frightening fact cited by researchers: Black men are safer in prison. Data shows that black men are half as likely to die if they are in prison than if they aren’t incarcerated, whereas white men can die at a higher rate if they are incarcerated.

There have been calls from the public health sector to address the health of young African-American men, but the medical field has been relatively quiet, according to corresponding author Stephen Martin, MD, EdM, of the department of family medicine at BMC and the Boston University School of Medicine.

“Boston Medical Center has many programs and partnerships designed to help individuals cope with violence, find meaningful supports, and make improvements toward living a longer, healthier and happier life. A clear example is providing prescriptions for the hospital’s Preventive Food Pantry,” Martin said. “But largely, we in the medical field are not meeting young African-American men where they are to address their medical needs – cardiovascular disease, diabetes management, HIV, mental health and much more.”

The authors call for improved funding and other support for social and public health programs to address the disparities in healthcare, particularly as they impact young African-American men. Effectively addressing social determinants of health – conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age – has the greatest impact on health disparities and requires interventions beyond just medical care, Martin said. The authors also point out that U.S. public health programs and activities receive only three cents of the healthcare dollar to support efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable populations. A breakdown of the U.S. healthcare dollar in calendar year 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available, can be found here.

For medical care itself to improve, they call for proactive engagement and partnerships, effective lifestyle support such as the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Programs, creating trusted spaces for men to feel comfortable and safe, and the use of newer technologies such as texting and virtual care team members to communicate with patients.

Martin and his colleagues also stressed the importance of programs such as the National Healthy Start Association, which bases its fatherhood programs on first addressing survival needs to ensure family involvement. Over the years, Healthy Start has developed programs that involve fathers, helping them to have bigger roles in their children’s lives and promote the importance of responsible fatherhood, thereby adding value and strengthening family resilience.

“There is still much to be done to meet men on their own terms and provide them with the survival, behavioral, and medical care they need,” said Brian Jack, MD, chair of the department of family medicine at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine. “Traditional medical care generally isn’t built to do this well. But we are learning better approaches and ways to join efforts with others to truly and effectively meet the needs of young African-American men.”

“There are many shadows that young African-American men in this country walk with every day of their lives; shadows that impede their ability to access a myriad of needed services,” said co-author Kenn Harris, president-elect of the National Healthy Start Association. “Indeed we need services that meet them where they are, but this calls for us to understand the communities in which they live. Our male involvement/fatherhood programs build off of the community-driven approaches demonstrated in the federal Healthy Start programs, which have proven to be an effective strategy. As providers begin to move out of their systems to engage community partners, there’s greater potential for the needs of young African American men to be met.”


Jackie Robinson’s Son Has A Business That Would Make His Father Very Proud

By Victor Ochieng –,

David Robinson, the son of former baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is living a model life in Tanzania. The 61-year-old runs Sweet Unity Farms, a coffee-growing cooperative owned and operated by farmers.

It is a co-op of 300 farms located in the southwestern region of the country. The organization provides an invaluable opportunity for small-scale coffee farmers to take advantage of the international market, making it possible for them to compete with global brands.

Robinson reveals that Sweet Unity Farms remains the only entity that supplies finished and fully-branded coffee to the U.S. There are, however, several companies in the East African country that sell coffee to U.S.-based companies, accounting for an estimated 50 million pounds every year.

“It’s tragic that there are so few farmer-direct coffees in Africa, but it’s very tough,” Robinson says. “We’re competing with established brands that are on the tip of your tongue. You hear the jingle and see the logo in your mind. So it takes a bit of time to question if there are alternatives, to ask if the coffee is directly sourced.”

While Sweet Unity Farms helps farmers to earn from their coffee production, the initiative is quite famous because it gives back to the community where it operates. The cooperative’s profits are channeled towards different projects, including water management and purchase of solar panels for electricity.

Besides investing in these projects, the cooperative has also invested in an educational center that consists of a primary and a secondary school. The primary section is a $60,000 project. Robinson just took a trip to Canada and the U.S. to woo investors to pump funds into the Sweet Unity Farms project.

Apart from the task that Robinson is undertaking, he’s also enjoying his life in Tanzania. He’s made the place home, living with his children in the country as well.

And to add to his joy, he’ll be accompanied by his mother, Rachel, when he returns to Tanzania. His mother is keen on meeting her grandchildren and seeing some of the assignments he has worked on under the cooperative.

It’s been more than 30 years since Robinson settled in Tanzania. He’s gotten used to the life; he walks around at night alone, works seamlessly with the locals, and enjoys the Tanzanian food.

His iconic father would likely be proud.

Israel’s Jewish Ethiopian minority rallies against racism

 Israeli police detains an Israeli Ethiopian during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Sunday, May 3, 2015. Several thousand people, mostly from Israel's Jewish Ethiopian minority, protested in Tel Aviv against racism and police brutality on Sunday shutting down a major highway and scuffling with police. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov) The Associated Press

Israeli police detains an Israeli Ethiopian during a demonstration in Tel Aviv, Sunday, May 3, 2015. Several thousand people, mostly from Israel’s Jewish Ethiopian minority, protested in Tel Aviv against racism and police brutality on Sunday shutting down a major highway and scuffling with police. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
The Associated Press

Associated Press,

Several thousand people from Israel’s Jewish Ethiopian minority protested in Tel Aviv against racism and police brutality on Sunday, shutting down a major highway and clashing with police on horseback long into the night.

The protest was mostly peaceful during the day, but by nightfall became violent with at least 20 officers hurt and “multiple protesters” arrested, Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers in riot gear. Police deployed officers on horseback and used stun grenades to try and control the crowds in central Tel Aviv. Local media reported protesters tipped over a police vehicle and set fires near city hall.

Channel 2 TV said the protesters came from all over the country.

“I am here to fight for our rights,” a woman named Batel from the northern city of Nazareth Illit told the station.

“I don’t want to be beaten by police,” said the 21-year- old, who didn’t give her last name. “My parents didn’t immigrate here for nothing. I want equality.”

Simmering frustrations among Israel’s Ethiopian community boiled over when footage emerged of an Ethiopian Israeli in an army uniform being beaten by police last week. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, many of them secretly airlifted into the country in 1984 and 1990, but their absorption into Israeli society has been difficult. Although they are Jewish, Ethiopian community members complain of racism, lack of opportunity in Israeli society, endemic poverty and routine police harassment.

Police chief Yohanan Danino told Channel 10 TV that “the use of violence by a small minority of the many protesters does not serve their struggle.” He added, “Whoever harms police or civilians will be brought to justice.”

Activists told the station they don’t want violence to escalate to the level seen in Baltimore where the death of a man in police custody sparked riots. One man held a sign reading: “Bibi, you had better not let Baltimore reach Israel,” referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname.

Police said thousands of people took part in Sunday’s protest. Protesters blocked roads in central Tel Aviv as well as a main highway leading to the city during the day.

It was the second such protest in several days and supporters say the demonstrations will continue. The first rally last week in Jerusalem turned violent as well, but on a smaller scale.

Protestor’s marched in Tel Aviv, with some blowing whistles or chanting “violent police officers belong in jail.”

Netanyahu said he will meet Monday with representatives of the community as well as the beaten solider.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich told Channel 2 the officers caught in the footage are “a disgrace” and are being investigated. He said Israel’s police force “needs to examine itself” and that more needs to be done to help the Ethiopian community.

A Less Conservative America

By E.J. Dionne –,

WASHINGTON — If Republicans are baffled by Hillary Clinton’s persistent lead in the polls despite months of bad publicity, they need only examine the tensions on display in their party over the last few days.

It would be hard to conceive of a worse stretch for Clinton than a period that began with scrutiny of her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and moved to saturation coverage of the Clinton Foundation’s fundraising. Let’s stipulate first that her trustworthiness has taken a hit. In addition, it should always be said that polls this early are not predictive of next year’s election, and that Clinton’s nearly universal name recognition helps her numbers.

Nonetheless, there was the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Monday showing Clinton ahead of both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio by six points, Scott Walker by 10, and Rand Paul by three.

The New York Times/CBS poll released a day later showed what the GOP is up against: Only 29 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Republican Party, while 43 percent had a positive view of the Democrats.

The survey also documented a steady but little-noticed trend: Americans, by their own self-description, are becoming less conservative. In the fall of 2010, the Times/CBS poll found, there were twice as many self-described conservatives as liberals: 19 percent of Americans called themselves liberal, 38 percent called themselves conservative. In the latest poll, liberals stood at 25 percent, conservatives at 33 percent. In less than five years, a 19-point margin has shrunk to eight points.

Republicans and conservatives have a brand problem. Their presidential campaign will only aggravate it as candidates are forced to double-down on an ideology that is in danger of decline. Moreover, the next year is likely to intensify deep stresses inside their coalition. Mike Huckabee gleefully highlighted these frictions when he announced his presidential candidacy, and Clinton moved quickly to exploit them.

If Democrats have a problem with white working-class voters, Huckabee brought home how Republicans have challenges of their own. While the GOP’s candidates fall all over themselves to cater to ultra-rich donors whose taxes the Republican hopefuls promise to cut, the party’s rank-and-file have reason to wonder what’s in all this for them.

This is a real predicament for a party whose money base is privileged but whose loyalists are not. In a Washington Post/ABC News survey in late March, 37 percent of registered voters who identified themselves as Republican earned less than $50,000 a year. Another 34 percent earned between $50,000 and $100,000 a year.

Huckabee spoke directly to these voters on Tuesday. “I grew up blue-collar, not blue-blood,” he declared. “I never have been and won’t be the favorite candidate of those in the Washington-to-Wall Street corridor of power.” His campaign, he added, “will be funded and fueled not by billionaires but by working people across America.”

It made you wonder: Is there an Elizabeth Warren wing of the Republican Party?

The big-money groups, starting with Club for Growth Action, went to work immediately to knock Huckabee aside. Raising the class contradictions inside the GOP coalition — as both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did with Mitt Romney — is the last thing the party’s billionaire caucus wants.

Republicans typically try to keep their working-class voters onside by appealing to them on social issues and immigration. That’s why Clinton’s sideswipe at the Republican field on the immigration issue was a sophisticated form of wedge politics. “Not a single Republican candidate, announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, she said Tuesday in a speech in Las Vegas. “Not one.”

Her goal was to put pressure especially on Rubio and Bush. They hope to shore up the GOP share among Latino voters, who went 71 percent for President Obama in 2012. But both are in a box because while 57 percent of all Americans favored a path to citizenship in the latest Times/CBS poll, only 38 percent of Republicans did. It’s no wonder that their respective trumpets on the immigration question have given a decidedly uncertain sound.

Republicans hope that if they can just stir up enough doubts about Clinton, one of their candidates will make it through in 2016.

Perhaps this can work. But their anti-Clinton focus will do little to resolve the underlying weaknesses of an ideology and a party that, even against a 67-year-old Democrat, do not look like the wave of the future.

A Step Toward Justice In Baltimore

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state’s attorney, speaks during a media availability, May 1, in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore state’s attorney, speaks during a media availability, May 1, in Baltimore. Mosby announced criminal charges against all six officers suspended after Freddie Gray suffered a fatal spinal injury while in police custody. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

By Richard B. Muhammad –

BALTIMORE ( – Marilyn J. Mosby’s decision to charge six officers in connection with the death of Freddie Gray sent shockwaves across the country.

The young state’s attorney’s decision was almost unprecedented in the speed with which the charges were filed, her independence from the city police department and her refusal to pass the buck in a highly charged case.

“No one is above the law,” she declared May 1. She listed charges against Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., 45: Second-degree depraved murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, two counts of vehicular manslaughter charges and misconduct in office. Officer William Porter, 25: Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Lt. Brian Rice, 41: Involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Officer Edward Nero, 29: Two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and false imprisonment. Officer Garrett Miller, 26: Two counts of second-degree assault, two counts of misconduct in office and one false imprisonment charge. Sgt. Alicia White, 30: Involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

“Sgt. Alicia White, Officer Porter and Officer Goodson observed Mr. Gray unresponsive on the floor of the wagon. Sgt. White who is responsible for investigating two citizen complaints pertaining to Mr. Gray’s illegal arrest spoke to the back of Mr. Gray’s head,” said the state’s attorney.

“When he did not respond, she did nothing further despite the fact that she was advised that he needed a medic. She made no effort to look or assess or determine his condition.”

“Despite Mr. Gray’s seriously deteriorating medical condition, no medical assistance was rendered or summoned for Mr. Gray at that time by any officer,” she continued. “Mr. Gray was rushed to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma where he underwent surgery. On April 19, 2015, Mr. Gray succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead. The manner of death deemed homicide by the Maryland Medical Examiner is believed to be the result of a fatal injury that occurred while Mr. Gray was unrestrained by a seatbelt in custody of the Baltimore Police Department wagon.”

The officers charged have been released on bonds of between $250,000 and $350,000.

“For the average citizen there would be no bail,” said defense lawyer Warren Brown.

The announcement, less than a day after receiving the police department’s criminal investigation and official autopsy results, took the city by surprise. So too did her detailed description, based in part on her office’s independent investigation, of the evidence supporting probable cause to charge all six officers with felonies.

The police had no reason to stop or chase after Mr. Gray, Ms. Mosby said. They falsely accused him of having an illegal switchblade when in fact it was a legal pocketknife. The van driver and the other officers failed to strap him down with a seatbelt, a direct violation of department policy, and they ignored Mr. Gray’s repeated pleas for medical attention, even rerouting the van to pick up another passenger.

Ms. Mosby did not say whether there was any indication the driver deliberately drove erratically, causing Mr. Gray’s body to strike the van’s interior. In 2005, a man died of a fractured spine after he was transported in a Baltimore police van in handcuffs and without a seat belt. At a civil trial, an attorney for his family successfully argued police had given him a “rough ride.”

The officers missed five opportunities to help an injured and falsely imprisoned detainee before he arrived at the police station no longer breathing, Ms. Mosby said.

“We are satisfied with today’s charges,” Mr. Gray’s stepfather, Richard Shipley, told a news conference. “These charges are an important step in getting justice for Freddie.”

The Fraternal Order of Police started howling about the charges and mounted a campaign picked up by White daily media questioning the decision and charging a conflict of interest because Ms. Mosby’s husband is a city councilman who represents the area where the Gray death occurred.

The charges of bias and unfitness lodged against the youngest major city prosecutor in the country are all the more ludicrous because she comes from a law enforcement family.

Her mother and father were officers as was her grandfather and several other family members. The actions of rogue cops taint the work of good officers and the charges are against six individuals not the entire department, she said.

Ms. Mosby rejected the police union request to step aside and appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case, and said honorable police officers should have no problem working with prosecutors in Baltimore.

Mr. Gray was stopped by police in Sandtown, a poor, overwhelmingly Black neighborhood in West Baltimore. He locked eyes with a police officer and then ran. Two blocks later, they pinned him to the sidewalk, handcuffed him and dragged him into a transport van, a scene captured on a bystander’s cell phone video and shown around the world.

Ms. Mosby said the police review, the autopsy and her own office’s investigation all point to homicide. The officers were booked on charges ranging from assault and manslaughter, carrying 10-year prison sentences, to second-degree “depraved heart” murder, which could put the van driver in prison for 30 years if convicted.

The cash-strapped city has paid millions of dollars in settlements in recent years for officers accused of misconduct and spent millions more defending officers.

Expensive settlements for police harassment, broken bones and abuses have been paid, but few police officers have been arrested, said Dr. Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University in Northeast Baltimore.

Officers know the city will settle with victims but they won’t be fired, said Dr. Winbush. Suspensions with pay amount to a vacation for officers, he added.

The officers involved in the Gray incident should have been arrested because a spine doesn’t sever itself, clearly something illegal happened, he added.

Blacks have long complained of abusive policing in Baltimore and across the country. Their complaints have usually gone ignored or dismissed.

Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice applauded the decision to charge the officers. Ms. Mosby took the right action and is a strong Black woman, he said at a May 2 downtown rally.

Unlike other major cities grappling with police killings, Baltimore’s mayor, state’s attorney and police commissioner are Black, like the majority of the city’s population.

Three of the officers charged in the case, including the van driver, are also Black, according to online court records. The other three are listed as belonging to the broad category of “White, Caucasian, Asiatic Indian, Arab,” without further elaboration.

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from West Baltimore, not far from where Mr. Gray was raised and arrested, said the neighborhood and others like it “have never seen a victory.”

“So many felt like the system had worked against them,” Rep. Cummings said. “As we approach the evening of our lives, we want to make sure our children have a better morning.”

In an impassioned statement delivered shortly after the charges were made public, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake warned that police misconduct will not be tolerated on her watch.

“To those of you who wish to engage in brutality, misconduct, racism and corruption, let me be clear,” she said, “there is no place in the Baltimore City Police Department for you.”

The decision to charge the officers brought celebrations throughout the city as residents felt finally there was hope for justice.

“What Marilyn Mosby has done is symbolic of how state’s attorneys around the country ought to conduct their independent investigations and let the information go forward, which allowed her to bring the indictments against the six police officers,” said State Senator Catherine Pugh, who represents Baltimore in the Maryland legislature.

“I think we become a model for the injustices so many African American males in the country, and people of color, had extended to them by police officers,” she added.

Racial profiling and expensive mass incarceration become topics of discussion now, said Sen. Pugh. There is a need for more cultural diversity and psychological testing to show they can properly preserve and protect neighborhoods, she added.

“At the end of the day we want justice, Baltimore City police are very corrupt, it has been going on for years. This didn’t just start today,” said Massieka Holness, who was standing at the intersection of North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue, the center for protests and unrest, with a sign praising the state’s attorney.

“Marilyn Mosby, I am so proud of her. She is beautiful, she is intelligent. She’s articulate and she’s fearless. She makes me proud to be a Black woman. She is showing this world, guess what, all Black women or people in this state are not ghetto,” said the 32-year-old Baltimorean. “She is showing you don’t have to be in the clique or be scared to step out on your own when you know something is not right.”

There are 11 members of the state’s attorneys’ family who are involved in police work and the family was in Boston, said Min. Don Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 11.

The family was always very strong toward law enforcement and people who appreciated the Nation and Minister Louis Farrakhan, who was here many years ago, said Min. Don Muhammad of the Boston mosque.

The attacks from the Fraternal Order of Police are to be expected and every Black man should feel hurt and defend Black women, especially women in positions of authority usually held by men, he said.

Student Minister Carlos Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 6 lauded the state’s attorney’s decision. Ms. Mosby made the right and courageous decision, said the Nation of Islam representative in Baltimore.

But, he added, “this is a small step toward justice.” There is still a long way to go and people have to stay interested and engaged, said Min. Muhammad.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

What If Police Brutality Was Seen As A Crime?

by abagond,

What if police brutality in the US was seen as a crime, in the same way that “Black” street crime is seen?

1. There would be no paid vacation for killer cops. Instead, they would be immediately arrested and their names made public. There would be no need for protests. Or riots. Most killer cops would become “convicted felons” and be locked up for a long time to “keep them off the streets.” Some would be executed to “provide a deterrent.”

2. Killer cops would be arrested on the 11 o’clock news. We would not merely hear that they were “taken into custody”. We would see them try to hide their faces.

3. There would be a television show called “Cops”. It would show the FBI breaking into the homes of killer cops, who then try to run away in their underwear.

4. The press would not trust the police. Police lies would be seen for what they are.

5. Police brutality would be a crime trend. There are more than enough cases in enough states with enough loopable video for the press to make it into one. It puts knockout games to shame, particularly since it has a serious body count.

6. The US would be compared to Brazil, which has much the same history and also has a high rate of police brutality.

7. Killer cops would be called “thugs”, “lawless” and “violent”. We would see their mugshots. We would hear about every bad thing they ever did.

8. Police brutality would be racialized as a “White” thing, even though some killer cops are Black or Latino.

9. White community leaders would be expected to condemn police brutality. Those who defended it or remained silent would be seen as “part of the problem.”

10. Police brutality would be a White pathology. It would not be seen as just a matter of a few “rogue cops”, but something far more troubling. Among the things that would be blamed:

  • A “lack of values” in the White community.
  • Violent video games and Hollywood films.
  • White people’s strange love of guns.
  • White fathers, especially their absenteeism.
  • The “no snitching” rule among police.
  • The “culture of silence” by the White press and White community leaders.
  • The “breakdown of the family structure”, as shown by high rates of White illegitimacy and divorce.

11. The president would scold White fathers.

12. The government would issue a report, “The White Family: The Case For National Action”. It would talk about the “tangle of pathologies” that leads to “antisocial behaviour”.

13. Police brutality would be a “national crisis”, a threat to the US Constitution, to “law and order”, to the moral fabric of America. If the police cannot be trusted to uphold the law, what is to become of the nation?

14. Politicians would use some unfortunate war metaphor, like a War on Police Brutality or, more accurately, the War on the War on Drugs. The military mindset would lead to fresh abuses. By 2040 there would be a War on the War on the War on Drugs.

– Abagond, 2015.

Freedom Rider: Michael Eric Dyson: Crab in a Barrel

Michael Eric Dyson wasn’t just defending President Obama when he unleashed his torrential rant against Cornel West. Dyson was demonstrating his loyalty to Power, in general. “Dyson’s infantile need to reveal personal details about his one-time friend is based on his own vindictiveness but also on a desire to stay in the good graces of the powerful people West has admonished.”

Michael Eric Dyson wasn’t just defending President Obama when he unleashed his torrential rant against Cornel West. Dyson was demonstrating his loyalty to Power, in general. “Dyson’s infantile need to reveal personal details about his one-time friend is based on his own vindictiveness but also on a desire to stay in the good graces of the powerful people West has admonished.”

Margaret Kimberley AR editor and senior columnist,

He stands with our enemies against one of our champions.”

How does one dissect Michael Eric Dyson’s 10,000-word screed against Cornel West? Not only is the attack purely personal, an act of bitter malice, but Dyson uses The New Republic, an openly racist organ, as his platform.

The title, “The Ghost of Cornel West,” is rather odd. No one except Dyson was aware that West had declined, even figuratively. Cornel West is the author or co-author of twenty-three books. He is a sought after advocate and is called upon by people all over the world to speak for them and with them as they struggle against police brutality, occupation and environmental destruction. West is a voice of principled conscience and is highly respected.

Of course no one is liked or respected by everyone and degrees of dislike are closely related to the opponents one chooses. Dyson’s infantile need to reveal personal details about his one-time friend is partly based on his own vindictiveness but also on a desire to stay in the good graces of the powerful people West has admonished.

Despite having supported Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, West has pointedly criticized the president’s policies. Unlike Dyson, his critiques are based on facts, actions taken, and visible outcomes. When Michael Brown’s killer was not indicted by a Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury West made this comment. “Ferguson signifies the end of the age of Obama. It is a very sad end. We began with tremendous hope and we end with great despair.” It is clear that West is acknowledging and mourning the misplaced trust that he and millions of other people placed in the Obama presidency.

Their outrage is based on loyalty to the cult of black success which is epitomized by Obama’s election.”

But there is also something even more insidious going on with Dyson and his ilk. He and many other Obamaphiles not only insist on standing by their man, but they go to great lengths to discredit and disparage anyone who doesn’t share their infatuation.

Dyson and other critics rarely take on the substance of West’s statements. Their outrage is based on loyalty to the cult of black success which is epitomized by Obama’s election. They protect him and their friends who have found themselves in West’s rhetorical cross hairs.

This most recent act of character assassination is significant in another way. The New Republic was for many years owned by Martin Peretz, a founding father of neo-liberalism. The only black writers who appeared in TNR were right wingers like Shelby Steele, John McWhorter and Randall Kennedy. Of course TNR should never live down its role in publishing excerpts from The Bell Curve, a book of discredited scholarly value which posited that black people are genetically inferior to other races.

Neither is Dyson the first to lambast West in the pages of TNR. In a 1995 article, “The Unreal World of Cornel West,” the author states that West’s books are “almost completely worthless.” Now under new ownership, TNR is trying to improve its image and in January 2015 admitted its past racism. Giving Dyson a stage for his attack on a man who embodies black Americans struggle for self-determination proves that the apology was meaningless. Dyson has chosen sides. He stands with our enemies against one of our champions.

Black critics of Obama are often labeled as “haters” or “crabs in a barrel.” Like the crustaceans who can’t escape because they pull each other down, Dyson looks at West and is consumed with a bizarre, jealous rage. Dyson is a talking head who indulges in endless and meaningless verbiage while West chooses to stand with the oppressed and the voiceless. Dyson is an empty suit and a first class suck up. Rather than accept his role as a well paid and mediocre intellect he decided to pull Cornel West down. If there is a crab in the barrel in this sorry episode, it is Michael Eric Dyson.

Rhonda “The Artist” Brown

Olivia Magdelene, artist/writer, pictured with artwork from her collection of paintings,(L-R) Transcendence, Native Daughter, Inferno, Eris, Fire & Ice,Consciousness.

Olivia Magdelene, artist/writer, pictured with artwork from her collection of paintings,(L-R) Transcendence, Native Daughter, Inferno, Eris, Fire & Ice,Consciousness.

Olivia Magdelene – Staff Writer,

I came to art in an unusual manner. Growing up in Americus, everybody knew me as Rhonda Brown. But now I am also the New York artist known as Magdelene.

As a child, I used to doodle and write poetry in the margins of my notebooks during class. Yet art was something I didn’t really take seriously. I started winning awards for my words in elementary school, so being a Writer became the only goal I had in life. When you live with words like I do, they are everything. They function as air when you can’t breathe through emotional stagnation, water when you are dying of thirst from mediocrity and conformity, and fire when you need to give birth to your dreams.

So when those words fail you, it’s traumatic. For a year, my writer’s block felt like a bit like dying. I floundered for the first time in my life, unable to write even a paragraph in a notebook. It was a bad time. If I had no words, I had no outlet and no career. Desperate, I turned to a therapist in Rhode Island named Deborah Matson, a brilliant woman who told me I needed to be more than just a writer. She told me to try another art form to break through the blockage. Three months later, I was back in New York doing just that.

I took up oil painting at LaGuardia Community College in Queens, NY. My professor told me I had a knack for abstraction and a great eye for color. Later, a creative specialist in Manhattan named Dr. Helen Borel would echo the same sentiments. At the same time, I continued my academic studies in comparative religion, earning an Hon. Doctorate of Divinity and various other accolades. While attending seminary school for Gnosticism, I took on the name “Magdelene” after Saint Mary Magdalene. From that point forward, I became determined to express all I’d learned creatively.

I tried, but it was hard. I knew what I was doing as a writer. As a painter, I was so insecure. I am a lifelong dreamer, a sort of creative hippy. It took a lot to get past my insecurities, but I did. Next thing I knew, I had people asking me to do paintings for them. It sort of grew from there. Yet instead of art merely helping me get past writer’s block, it developed into something on its own. I started dreaming of colors and images, not just character studies and plots. So now I do both.

Jagged Lotus Art is an extension of who I am. I endeavor to instill a spiritual sentiment into every piece I create. I am neither calm nor gentle on the inside. I am jagged and uneven and a little dark. So is my work. And that’s okay. It simply makes it authentically me. For the time being, I only deal in originals. I had a gallery show last spring at Greenpoint Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. I am also currently in negotiations with the Ward Nasse Gallery in Manhattan. It’s been an amazing adventure getting here.

What I have learned on my creative journey is that life is a breathtaking and beautiful experience. I strive to allow everything I create to reflect that. You can view my work at Consider it an online diary, a snapshot of my imaginative mind summed up in words and images. Whatever you make of it, I will certainly be glad to have you drop by. Be blessed.
– Magdelene

Timmons Named New Women’s Hoops Coach

Quacy Barnes-Timmons is married to Desmond Timmons, son of Jesse and Glady’s Timmons of Leslie, GA, and the couple has three childen – T.J., Taryn and Taylor.

By: Travis Jarome –,

TUSKEGEE, Ala. | Tuskegee University athletic director Curtis Campbell announced the hiring of former Columbus State University assistant, Quacy Barnes-Timmons, as the program’s new head women’s basketball coach.

“Quacy brings with her a deep knowledge of the game of the basketball,” Campbell said. “Couple that with the recruiting experience she brings to the table, and those are valuable resources for our basketball program. She has worked with some great coaches in the past, that along with her playing experience at different levels, give us something special here at Tuskegee. She is just what the doctor ordered to get our program headed in the direction of competing in the SIAC, and is coming in ready to hit the ground running. We are excited that she is here to lead the women’s basketball program at Tuskegee University.”

Barnes-Timmons comes to Tuskegee following a successful three-year stint at Peach Belt Conference and fellow NCAA Division II member, Columbus State University where she helped lead the Lady Cougars to a 68-21 record during that span.

“I am excited about the opportunity to come to an institution that is rich in history like Tuskegee,” Barnes-Timmons said. “I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me by the administration to restore the tradition that is Tuskegee women’s basketball.”

In her three seasons at Columbus State, she helped coach on All-America, two All-Region selections and six All-Peach Belt Conference players. She also helped coach a Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. In her final season as an assistant at Columbus State, Barnes-Timmons helped lead the Cougars to a 31-2 record and a national ranking as high as third in country; along with the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament championship.

Prior to Columbus State, Barnes-Timmons spent six seasons at Eastern Illinois, competing in the Ohio Valley Conference. During her time with the Panthers, the team posted 116 victories and a regular season OVC championship in 2009-10. The team also won 84 games from 2007 to 2011, the most by any Eastern Illinois team in a four-year period since the school transitioned to NCAA Division I. During her stint with Eastern Illinois, Barnes-Timmons coached 16 all-conference selections, as well as three Freshman of the Year award winners and two Defensive Player of the Year winners.

“I have had the opportunity to be a part of a building process at Eastern Illinois and restoring the tradition at Columbus State,” Barnes-Timmons said. “I understand that a change in culture is tough, but I look forward to changing that here at Tuskegee and I am up for the challenge.”

Prior to her stop at Eastern Illinois, Barnes-Timmons spent a year at Austin Peay and two years at her alma mater, Indiana from 2003 to 2005.

Barnes-Timmons played for the Hoosiers from 1994 until 1998, earning two All-Big 10 honors. She still holds the school record for blocked shots in a career (269), and at the time of her departure, was among the leaders in points, field goal percentage, free throws and rebounds.

“After playing at such a high level during college and professional basketball my competitive spirit is at all-time high as a head coach,” the first-year head coach said. “I cannot wait to get on the court and have that spirit come through with the girls. This is a great opportunity for myself, the current players and all future Tigerettes.”

After her collegiate playing days, Barnes-Timmons became the first player in Indiana history to be selected in the WNBA Draft when the Sacramento Monarchs selected her in 1998. From 1998 until 2002, Barnes-Timmons played for three franchises, while also playing overseas.

Barnes-Timmons earned her Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology from Indiana in 1998. Timmons is married to Desmond Timmons, and the couple has three childen – T.J., Taryn and Taylor.

SCES Dedicates a Bench in Memory of Jayden “Jaybird” Johnson

Submitted photo Jayden "Jaybird" Johnson, who passed away in 2014 due to a chronic childhood illness. SCES recently installed and dedicated a memorial bench in his memory

Submitted photo
Jayden “Jaybird” Johnson, who passed away in 2014 due to a chronic childhood illness. SCES recently installed and dedicated a memorial bench in his memory

Submitted photo Dr. Lezley Anderson (far right) and Dr. Renee Mays (far left) with the family and friends of former student Jayden Johnson. A memorial bench has been installed near the front entrance of SCES. Sumter Elementary School recently held a small dedication ceremony in his honor.

Submitted photo
Dr. Lezley Anderson (far right) and Dr. Renee Mays (far left) with the family and friends of former student Jayden Johnson. A memorial bench has been installed near the front entrance of SCES. Sumter Elementary School recently held a small dedication ceremony in his honor.

By Andrea Nichols-SCES Public Relations,

On April 10, 2015 Sumter County Elementary School hosted a small memorial for one of its biggest heroes. On March 15, 2014, young Jayden “Jaybird” Johnson passed away due to a childhood chronic illness. Despite his many obstacles, Jayden and his parents worked diligently to ensure that his life was as normal as possible. With the help of Special Education teacher Maggie Greene and other special education professionals at SCES, Jayden attended school regularly and was a favorite student of teachers and students alike. He was always cheerful and optimistic, which inspired all who knew him. This year, students, faculty and staff raised enough money to purchase a memorial bench to be dedicated in Jayden’s honor, and it was installed by Aldridge Funeral Services of Americus at no cost. Faculty, staff and students, along with Jayden’s parents, family and friends, gathered together on what would have been Jayden’s 12th birthday to officially dedicate Jayden’s Bench. It is located near the front entrance to SCES so that visitors may sit and remember Jayden and his legacy. At the memorial service, remarks were given by Principal Dr. Lezley Anderson, and red balloons were released by attendees in Jayden’s honor. Sumter County Elementary began giving the Jayden Johnson Spirit of Optimism Award to one 5th Grader each year, a tradition SCES plans on continuing in the years to come.