WATCH How Will Houston Spend Harvey Recovery Funding

first_img Share Co-hosts Jay Aiyer and Dallas Jones lead a discussion about the state of housing in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, and how the city’s recent grant of 1.17 billion will be spent. With guests Daphne Lemelle, Community Development Director, Harris County Community Services Department; and Tom McCasland, Director of Housing and Community Development Department, City of Houston. Original air date: February 1, 2019Find information about Project RecoveryWatch more episodes of Red, White and Bluelast_img

Local Leaders To Austin Dont Defund Proposed Grand Parkway Segments

first_img Listen After years in the planning stages, the Texas Transportation Commission is now thinking about removing part of the Grand Parkway from its 10-year funding plan, known as the Unified Transportation Program.The Grand Parkway was conceived as a 180-mile loop around greater Houston. Right now you can drive the western and northern portions of the Grand Parkway from I-69 Southwest Freeway to I-69 Eastex Freeway. A section near Baytown is also open, and an eastern segment is currently under construction in Liberty and Chambers Counties.The proposed section they’re considering defunding is the part that would run from I-69 near Sugar Land to I-45 at League City. On planning documents, that section of the roadway is referred to as Segments B and C.Gov. Greg Abbott has indicated he doesn’t want to build any more toll roads in the state. But local leaders plan to speak at a public hearing about their need for the Grand Parkway, especially as the region’s population grows.One of those signed up to speak is John Baumgartner, City Manager for League City.“The Grand Parkway has been part of the planning process as a toll facility for a number of years,” said Baumgartner. “We were taken completely by surprise that they would even consider removing the Grand Parkway from the UTP primarily because it has a toll element to it.”With League City’s population now standing at about 110,000, Baumgartner said that number could rise to about 200,000 people over the next few decades. To prepare for those new residents, Baumgartner said they expect to see hundreds of new homes in the southwest part of the city. Three large developments are currently being planned and new roads are being built along the Grand Parkway corridor.“We’re seeing not development waiting on the Grand Parkway, but development in advance of the Grand Parkway, straddling both side of it,” Baumgartner told News 88.7.Baumgartner also noted that the Grand Parkway is part of League City’s updated Master Mobility Plan. In addition, about $5 million to support the Grand Parkway project was included in the bond referendum League City voters recently approved for drainage and mobility improvements.“What we see in the greater Houston region is there is such a need to improve the major limited-access roadways and to keep people moving, keep goods and freight moving,” said Baumgartner. He also noted the need for more roadway capacity to handle hurricane evacuations.As for the governor’s concern over new toll roads, Baumgartner said he doesn’t see any other option for building the southern Grand Parkway segments. He feels that without the tolls, the region would have to wait years for new funding to come forward.Friendswood State Senator Larry Taylor posted on social media that he’s been working with the commission and feels confident the roadway will be funded. The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council has also passed a resolution asking that the project be kept in the Unified Transportation Program.Meanwhile TxDOT will only say that the project remains in the public comment phase.The public hearing on the Unified Transportation Program is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Tuesday at TxDOT’s headquarters in Austin.MORE: Full Conversation from Houston Matters Share Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media The section of the Grand Parkway between U.S. 290 and I-45 opened in March of 2016. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen X 00:00 /03:39 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /00:51last_img read more

Charm City Roller Girls Open Tryouts

first_imgWant to be a part of the hardest-hitting sport on wheels? The Charm City Roller Girls are holding open tryouts on August 22. Tryouts will be held at Skateland North Point, 1113 North Point Rd, Baltimore, MD. Participants should arrive by 9:30 a.m. The tryouts will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 12:30 p.m. The cost is $20 per participant to try out. Take a shot at joining one of the top 20 roller derby leagues in the world. Participants must be 18 or older. All participants must sign a waiver, and personal insurance is strongly recommended. Quad roller skates are required; rental skates are available on site for $2. Full safety gear in the form of a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a mouth guard are also required. Participants may wear other equipment (shin guards, padded shorts) at their discretion. Charm City does have some loaner gear available, but supply is limited and participants are STRONGLY recommended to have their own gear. Visit or e-mail for more information.last_img read more

Africans Seek Deeper Cultural Exchange with Black Americans

first_imgAn African dance group performs a cultural dance at the D.C. Africa Festival. (Courtesy Photo)Mei Turay emigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone as a young boy with his family more than 30 years ago and settled into the District’s Columbia Heights neighborhood with ease. His cultural identification quickly took on that of many native Africans who moved to D.C. in the 1970s – Black American popular culture when among friends, and a strict adherence to Sierra Leonian values at home.“There were certain stereotypes of Africans that I wanted to separate myself from growing up – especially since most often they were negative things like starving kids on television, civil unrest, and later, HIV infections,” said Turay, who did not readily admit he was African until the release of Eddie Murphy’s 1988 film “Coming to America”. “I learned to hide my accent as much as possible and do the things my friend did so they wouldn’t associate me with those images.”Turay said that with cultural events like the annual D.C. Africa Festival (held Sept.27 at the Ronald Reagan Building), Black Americans are afforded a glimpse into the history, language, art, food, and rituals of their ancestral homes. Barring such cultural exchanges, Turay said he believes Black Americans would continue to view African nations as backwards, primitive, impoverished, and desolate.South African student Mariah Chetty concurred with Turay, saying cultural festivals have an immense effect on Black Americans who claim their African ancestry without a complete understanding of it. What Blacks do not know, Chetty said, can be harmful to their self-identity. “For Africans living in America, the cultural exchange is almost always one where we are learning from Americans, rather than Americans learning from us,” said Chetty.  “Every Black person should make a sojourn to the Motherland at least once in their lifetime because popular culture is not always popular and in the same way Black Americans would not want the world to think of them using representatives from reality housewives shows, South Africa is not all poverty, disease, and Mandela memorials.”Chetty points to the vibrant Nigerian film industry, known as Nollywood, which the Nigerian government said earned an estimated $3.3 billion with 1,844 movies produced in 2013 alone. There are also successful businesswomen like South Africa’s Toy Majola, who customizes one-of-a-kind stilettoes through her ToyGal Shoes, for Black women globally.“I applaud cities and states that spotlight the diversity of Diasporic African cultures, especially in places with high concentrations of Black Americans. Every one of the 54 countries and nearly 3,000 languages should be acknowledged because it proves we are many, but one,” Chetty said. “We are all one family, and Black Americans are a branch on that family tree. We just have to get a point where we all recognize that it is the same tree.”last_img read more

Parties Are Serious Business for DC Marketing Entrepreneur

first_imgMitchel Brooks IV, co-founder of the Urbane Group, (Courtesy Photo)While D.C. has its fair share of party promotion companies, the Urbane Lifestyle and Entertainment Group does more than promote. “We offer marketing services to a lot of corporate organizations and non-profit organizations,” Mitchel Brooks IV, told the AFRO.So it’s not just about getting people into a club and packing them in like sardines, he continued, “We look to direct the event and advocate for our clients whether they’re more social or social justice [driven].“Organizations such as the National Bar Association, for example, have come to us to curate a [Congressional Black Caucus] event. They came to us for campaign marketing, collateral, graphic design, website creation and outreach.”Not only does the Urbane Group focus on producing events for clients, but creating a memorable environment for guests. “Oftentimes, folks in Washington, D.C. – especially these highly educated, upwardly mobile professionals – go out to stand around. They get too concerned or caught up in who’s there and who will see them,” he said. “But I strongly believe you get a vibe and overall feeling when you walk into one of our projects compared to when you walk into any random happy hour or night life event on a Thursday night. We’ve had customers and brands that tell us they feel a difference. They’re able to let loose and have fun.”Brooks co-founded the entertainment and marketing company while studying to receive his MBA at Florida A&M University.  “I really wanted to create unique experiences that were missing from the marketplace in Tallahassee,” he said.The company’s first event took place at FAMU’s homecoming in 2009. After graduation, he relocated to D.C. With a team of 26 people, the company expanded to Houston, Chicago, Charlotte, St. Louis, and Miami.“Folks know that when we’re producing a project, it’s going to be as one of a kind and authentic as humanly possible, and I think that’s what folks have come to appreciate about our brand in D.C.”For more information, visit read more

CSX Freight Train Derails in Baltimore Tunnel No Injuries

first_imgBALTIMORE (AP) — Authorities say it appears that a mechanical problem caused a freight train derailment in a tunnel in Baltimore, but the specific cause is under investigation.CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said at least 13 cars derailed early Monday in the Howard Street tunnel, but there were no injuries or hazards to the public.Doolittle says the 124-car train was headed from Philadelphia to Cumberland, Maryland, with eight locomotives. He says one derailed car contains acetone, a flammable solvent. Rail traffic was stopped in the area.Fire department spokesman Samuel Johnson says no poisonous substances were released and no chemicals leaked out of the derailed cars. He says other chemicals on the train include butane and liquefied petroleum gas.last_img

DC Watch Company Releases Limited Edition

first_imgImages of Benson Watches new limited Phoenix collection. (Courtesy photo)Benson Watches, a D.C. Black-owned luxury watch company, released its limited edition watch collection, just in time for Father’s Day. “The Phoenix” watch collection is available exclusively on, a domain for high caliber Black owned products. It was released June 8, featuring a limited 100 watch stock of each watch style: sapphire blue crystal and pearl white glass.“On, we only feature high quality, luxury items and that’s what Benson Watches are,” Brian Williams, founder of told the AFRO. “These watches are so popular and sell out all the time; I have no doubt that these exclusive watches will do the same.”The luxury watches are a sequel to the company’s very popular “Cardinal I” watches, which retail for $299. The watches are fully equipped with three interchangeable leather straps to wear during any occasion and includes the Benson Watches signature engraving “Time should be spent doing what you love.”A June 10 Instagram post from Monica Mauro, designer of Druzy Jewlery, a collection of jewelry made from Agate stones, said the watch collection is “majestic.”Benson Watches was founded in 2014, by Marcel Benson, who said he noticed a decline in Black-owned products on his website, According to the website, Benson attended Morehouse College where he collected more than 100 different style of watches and asked himself, “Why can’t I make my own watches?” before launching his own company.Since 2015,, has been working with “Benson Watches” to sell and create watches. “Black people have over a trillion dollars in buying power, but often Black people don’t experience the benefit, so here at, we make sure consumers know how to buy Black the right way and experience high quality items, community support, and excellent customer service which is what Benson Watches also offers,” Williams said.last_img read more

Howard U Jumps To No 110 in College Rankings

first_imgHoward University shot up 14 spots in U.S. News and World Report’s latest rankings for best national universities. It is now ranked as the 110th best university in the United States. That puts it in a five-way tie with the University of Alabama, the University of the Pacific, the University of San Francisco and the University of Utah.In a statement, Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick attributed the surge to recruiting the best students and faculty, raising compensation to retain the best faculty, improving technology to help students stay on track for graduation, and leveraging institutional resources for financial aid to needy students.“We continue to focus on providing an excellent education for very deserving students,” Frederick said in a statement. “These rankings are one marker of success and come as the result of several new initiatives.”What’s more, alumni engagement has resulted in doubling the alumni-giving rate for the past three years. Howard became a more selective school in 2016 and accepted less than a third of those who applied, according to a news release. The percentage of Howard freshmen in the top 10 percent of their high schools went up as well. Its first-year student retention rate also went up, the news release said.U.S. News and World Report ranked Howard No. 2 among HBCUs. Spelman College bested Howard as the No. 1 HBCU. The two held the same positions in the survey last year.The online magazine released the rankings Sept. 12 for inclusion in its 2018 edition Best Colleges rankings. Last year, Howard’s climbed 11 spots in the ranking. The rankings are based on the magazine’s assessment of more than 1,600 schools nationwide. It calculates the best colleges rankings using 15 indicators of academic excellence.last_img read more

Former USC Cornerback Jack Jones Arrested for Burglary

first_imgBy The Associated PressSANTA PAULA, Calif. (AP) — Former USC starting cornerback Jack Jones has been arrested after police say he tried to burglarize a California fast-food restaurant.USC Trojans Twitter (Courtesy Photo)Police say the 20-year-old Jones and another man were arrested shortly after 3 a.m. Friday inside a Panda Express restaurant in Santa Paula in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles.A third man was arrested after a short car chase.All three could face commercial burglary charges.Attorney Jamal Tooson, whose office represents Jones, issued a statement saying he’s confident that Jones will “overcome this adversity.” Tooson also says he’ll talk to the district attorney about resolving the situation.Jones, who’s from Long Beach, was a University of Southern California starter last season. He led the team with four interceptions in 13 games but was declared academically ineligible last month.last_img read more

ACCN Announces Mens Soccer TV Schedule

first_img“ACC fans are passionate about their sports programs due in large part to their rich tradition of winning, especially in soccer,” said Stacie McCollum, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions. “From top to bottom, the level of play in the ACC is unparalleled, and ACCN will showcase the best teams in the country as they compete during the regular season. Also, for the first time ever, every game of the ACC Men’s Soccer Championship will be televised.”  Keeper Cam TechnologyTechnology and innovation will be at the forefront of ACCN’s coverage of men’s soccer as telecasts will feature ESPN’s exclusive “Keeper Cam” goal post camera system currently used on ESPN’s Major League Soccer productions. The technology utilizes cameras mounted inside the goal posts at both the four-inch and two-and one-half inch heights to provide unique views of the area in front of the goal, as well as straight down the goal line. The ACC will be the first and only collegiate conference to deploy the camera system. Dedicated WindowSimilar to other ACC fall sports, men’s soccer will have a dedicated night of live programming each week. ACC men’s games are slated for Fridays with additional matches on Tuesdays throughout the fall. ACCN will also televise the first round, quarterfinals and semifinals of the ACC Men’s Soccer Championship. Story Links GREENSBORO, N.C. – ACC Network (ACCN) the new, 24/7 national platform launching on August 22, 2019, will kick off its men’s soccer coverage this fall. ACCN will showcase the ACC’s men’s soccer programs with unprecedented national television coverage. The University of Louisville men’s soccer team is scheduled for three matches on ACCN; September 24 against Georgetown, October 25 at UNC, and against Wake Forest on November 1. Men’s Soccer on ACCNDate, Time, Game, NetworkSun, Sept. 1, 7 p.m., Creighton at Wake Forest, ACCNFri, Sept. 6, 4 p.m., Princeton at Duke, ACCNSun, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., New Hampshire at Syracuse, ACCNMon, Sept. 16, 7 p.m., Akron at Pittsburgh, ACCNTue, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., Fordham at Clemson, ACCNFri, Sept. 20, 6 p.m., Notre Dame at North Carolina, ACCNMon, Sept. 23, 7 p.m., Western Michigan at Virginia, ACCNTue, Sept. 24, 7 p.m., Georgetown at Louisville, ACCNFri, Sept. 27, 1 p.m., Boston College at Virginia Tech, ACCNTue, Oct. 1, 7 p.m., UNCW at North Carolina, ACCNFri, Oct. 4, 6 p.m., Notre Dame at NC State, ACCNTue, Oct. 8, 7 p.m., High Point at Wake Forest, ACCNFri, Oct. 11, 6 p.m., Duke at Notre Dame, ACCNTue, Oct. 15, 7 p.m., James Madison at Virginia, ACCNFri, Oct.18, 6 p.m., North Carolina at Wake Forest, ACCNTue, Oct. 22, 7 p.m., Michigan at Notre Dame, ACCNFri, Oct. 25, 6 p.m., Louisville at North Carolina, ACCNFri, Nov. 1, 6 p.m., Wake Forest at Louisville, ACCNTue, Nov. 5, 2 p.m., ACC Championship First Round, ACCNTue, Nov. 5, 4 p.m., ACC Championship First Round, ACCNWed, Nov. 6, 2 p.m., ACC Championship First Round, ACCNWed, Nov. 6, 4 p.m., ACC Championship First Round, ACCNSun, Nov. 10, 1 p.m., ACC Championship Quarterfinal, ACCNSun, Nov. 10, 3 p.m., ACC Championship Quarterfinal, ACCNSun, Nov. 10, 5 p.m., ACC Championship Quarterfinal, ACCNSun, Nov. 10, 7 p.m., ACC Championship Quarterfinal, ACCNWed, Nov. 13, TBD, ACC Championship Semifinal, ACCNWed, Nov. 13, TBD, ACC Championship Semifinal, ACCN Strength of ACC Men’s SoccerACC men’s soccer has enjoyed unprecedented levels of success with the league winning eight NCAA titles since the turn of the century. The ACC has consistently placed the most teams in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship, with the league sending an NCAA-record nine teams to the tournament each of the last three seasons. ACCN will exclusively televise 28 men’s soccer games in its debut year – representing a 92 percent increase in the number of ACC men’s soccer events available on a linear network over last year. Coupled with the 62 women’s fall sports events set for ACCN announced on Wednesday, ACC fall sports will enjoy the most national coverage ever for the 2019 season. About ACC NetworkOwned and operated by ESPN in partnership with the Atlantic Coast Conference, ACC Network (ACCN) is a new 24/7 national network dedicated to ACC sports set to launch August 22, 2019. Approximately 450 live contests including 40 regular-season football games, 150 men’s and women’s basketball games, and 200 other regular-season competitions and tournament games from across the conference’s 27 sponsored sports will be televised annually, plus a complement of news and information shows and original programming. Together, the ACCN and its digital platform, ACC Network Extra (ACCNE), will feature 1,350 ACC events in its first year. ESPN has been televising ACC content since 1979 and has exclusive rights to every conference-controlled game across all sports and championships. “Men’s soccer is so strong across the ACC,” said Amy Rosenfeld, ACCN senior coordinating producer. “That high level quality of play warrants the best technology we can implement to showcase this great sport, and serve the fan. We are so excited to debut “Keeper Cam” on men’s collegiate soccer coverage for the first time in history, exclusively on ACCN.”  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more