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Rev. C. J. Matthews Gets 15 month prison sentence on tax charges from Judge Gaughan

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-The Rev. Charles "C.J." Matthews, senior pastor at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Cleveland, was sentenced to 15 months in prison yesterday for failing to pay $90 thousand in IRS income taxes collected by the mega church between Oct. 2005 and Jan. 2007 on the wages of church employees.

And the sentence, which was handed down by Federal District Court Judge Patricia Gaughan, came in spite of a plethora of support from members of the Black community, many of whom wrote letters on his behalf.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 06:15

Ohio Supreme Court lets appeals court ruling for retrial of Joaquin Hicks stand in case of murder and robbery of Cleveland Clinic employee

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COLUMBUS, Ohio-The Ohio Supreme Court last week rejected a request by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason to hear an appeal of a state appellate court's decision for a retrial of Joaquin Hicks, sending the case back to the courtroom of Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul for another trial in the tragic case of a robbery of two young Cleveland Clinic employees that turned to murder.

And the saga is laced with recantation letters from some alleged witnesses against Hicks that were prosecuted too and are also serving time in prison, coupled with claims by defense counsel and the Hicks family that the wrong man was targeted, and railroaded, partly because of Gaul's negligence and prejudicial behavior at trial.

Mason spokesperson Maria Russo said the county prosecutor declined comment.

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 March 2012 06:59

Imperial Women, Occupy Cleveland, Goddesses Group, activists to hold vigil, Dec 6 , 7:00 am, as City of Cleveland demolition crew demolishes Serial Killer Anthony Sowell's home

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-Representatives of the grassroots groups dubbed the Imperial Women, Goddesses Blessing Goddesses, Black on Black Crime, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, the Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, the Oppressed People's Nation, the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, the Carl Stokes Brigade, ESOP, Occupy Cleveland, the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network, the People's Forum, the People's Fightback Center, Bailout The People Movement, People For The Imperial Act, the Committee To Bring Home Jamela And Jamyla, and a host of other community affiliates will hold a prayer vigil and forum tomorrow, Dec. 6, at 7:00 am next to Serial Killer Anthony Sowell's Home to support it being torn down. Demolition crews will begin the process in conjunction with an order from Cleveland Housing Court Judge Ray Pianca.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:32

Black On Black Crime, Imperial Women, Occupy Cleveland, Jobs With Justice, other activists to picket with ESOP at Chase Bank over corruption, foreclosure fraud

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-Grassroots groups including Black on Black Crime Inc., the Imperial Women, Cleveland Jobs With Justice, the Northeast Ohio's Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, Stop Targeting Ohio's Poor, Occupy Cleveland and a host of others will rally over corporate greed and malfeasance with the sponsoring group Empowering And Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP) on Tue., Dec 6, at 11:00 am at Chase Bank in Cleveland Hts., Oh at 12388 Cedar Rd. (Editor's Note: Cleveland Hts. is a suburb of Cleveland that is 43 percent Black. In addition to Cleveland, it borders Shaker Hts., E. Cleveland, University Hts. and other cities of Cuyahoga County. Like Cleveland, it too has been hit hard with illegal foreclosures furthered through corporate fraud that is tearing at the fabric of the middle class community that also enjoys prominent physicians and other medical associates from places like the renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Case Western Reserve University Medical School and University Hospitals).

Contacts for the rally are ESTOP organizers Geoff Englebret and James Rudyk at 216-361-0718 and ESOP and Imperial Women Member Marvetta Rutherford at 216-938-6627.

Several community activists will meet at the ESOP Bld at 3631 Perkins Ave . in Cleveland, Suit 4C, at 10:00 am on on Dec. 6 for a free lunch and then leave on ESOP buses to head to Chase Bank on Cedar Hill at 12388 Cedar Rd in Cleveland Hts. (Take downtown Chester Ave and turn left onto E. 36th St., and take the first right on to Perkins for the ESOP Building. Follow Cedar Rd in Cleveland all the way to Cedar Hill in Cleveland Hts for Chase Bank).

Tuesday's protest, which seeks to draw people tired of greed and malfeasance by mortgage companies and banks like Chase that charge exorbitant fees, comes at a time when the Occupy Wall Street Movement is gaining momentum as are its affiliate movements in respective cities throughout the country like the major metropolitan predominantly Black city of Cleveland, and in international venues such as Toronto Canada's Occupy Toronto.

Chase Bank and its finance companies are also under fire for allegedly stealing the homes of Cuyahoga County residents via mortgage and foreclosure fraud including paying less than a fourth of what a foreclosure home is worth to illegally buy it back at a foreclosure sheriff's sale, charging the former home owner with the difference, and then reselling the home to make an additional profit. And data also show that the reduced foreclosed homes of Cuyahoga County are also going to friends of mortgage company executives, politicians, and affiliates of big wigs from the Cuyahoga County Republican and Democratic Parties.

"Wall street and the banks like Chase and Wells Fargo got bailed out and homeowners, renters and the little people got sold out," said Community Activist Marvetta Rutherford. "I am willing to fight for the community partly because they cannot take anything else from me."

Activists will also demand that Chase Bank pay what is in excess of $2 million in back taxes, that its officials pledge to no longer steal foreclosed homes at a fraction of the price in violation of state law, and for it to agree to push federal authorities to reduce the principal on mortgages during the nation's economic decline and because they say the interest rates on homes are illegal under the Fair Lending Act and derived in bad faith. Even low interest loans, say activists, are bogus because the monies a homeowner has paid in interest at the end of a 30 year home mortgage loan is preposterous.

Art McKoy, the founder of Black on Black Crime, said that he will attend Tuesday's rally at Chase Bank and that it is time for community activists of the Black community especially to now turn their focus more toward corporate impropriety and any elected officials that are perpetuating it to the detriment of the community.

"I will be at the rally," said McKoy."And I look forward to picketing Chase Bank and in the future other banks and mortgage companies that have done harm to our communities."


Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:45

The Imperial Women and Carl Stokes Brigade and Occupy Cleveland members, other activists endorse Subodh Chandra for Cuyahoga County prosecutor

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CLEVELAND, Ohio-Subodh Chandra ( ), a candidate for next year's Democratic Primary for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, yesterday got the unanimous endorsement of the Imperial Women, the Women's Federation, the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, the People's Forum, People for the Imperial Act, the Joaquin Hicks Real People's Movement, top affiliates in their individual capacity that are members of groups such as Occupy Cleveland, the Committee for a Renewed African-American Museum of Cleveland, the Carl Stokes Brigade, Black on Black Crime Inc., and the Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, and a host of other grassroots participants.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 February 2012 10:50

State Sen. Nina Turner announces run for Congress, some Black leaders say please don't run against qualified Black Incumbent U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-State Sen. Nina Turner (D-25) , a Cleveland Democrat, sent shock waves through Cleveland's political rank and file this week when she filed petitions to take on U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-11) in next year's Democratic Primary election, a decision that has rocked Cleveland's Old Black Political Guard and has upset Black leaders with the prospective that the vote could be split by the two prominent Black women and a White could slide in.

"When minorities run against each other as was the case in Memphis, TN., you can end up with a majority representing a majority minority district historically led by a minority," said state Rep. Bill Patmon (D-10), a Cleveland Democrat and former city councilman who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2009. "When then U.S. Rep. Harold Ford gave up the only Black congressional seat in Tennessee to run for a senate seat that he lost Blacks lost that seat and have not regained it.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 February 2014 04:05

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