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Hartford Police Arrest West Hartford Man for Rape


HARTFORD —  A West Hartford man was arrested for sexual assault after luring a woman to a mutual assistance agency under pretense of helping her with citizenship, police said.

Hartford Police arrested Le Nghi, 56, of 46 Brace Road, West Hartford on Friday for first degree sexual assault and second-degree unlawful restraints.

Police said Nghi allegedly lured  the woman to The Connecticut Coalition of Mutual Assistance at 143 Madison Ave. in Hartford, saying he could help her with getting her citizenship.

Nghi allegedly the woman his services in exchange for sex. He then raped the woman and held her captive without her consent.

Hartford Police Department detectives believe that if the alleged allegations  prove to be true, that there may be other victims who have yet to come forward.

Any person with a similar experience or information is encouraged to come forward and call Sergeant Sonia Watson at (860) 757-4041. All victims will remain confidential, police said.

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Author and Activist Kevin Powell to Keynote Luncheon


HARTFORD — Author and activist Kevin Powell will be the guest speaker at Passing the Torch Luncheon: Faith vs. Fear event at Central Connecticut State University on May 17.

The Brooklyn native is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary, and hip-hop voices in America today. He was born and raised by a single mother in Jersey City, New Jersey and is a long-time resident of Brooklyn, New York.

thHe is the author of 11 books, including Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, and the Ghost of Dr. King: Blogs and Essays. A fixture on the pop culture landscape the past several years, Kevin was a cast member on the first season of MTV’s “The Real World”; has hosted and produced programming for HBO and BET; written a screenplay; hosted and wrote an award-winning MTV documentary about post-riot Los Angeles (“Straight From The ‘Hood”).

Walk Worthy Brands was founded by Daemond Benjamin, a native of Hartford, CT to promote positivity and empowerment among men of color in the Greater Hartford community. The premise for Walk Worthy Brands derives from Ephesians 4:1 “I, therefore, prisoner of the Lord, beseech thee to walk worthy of the vocation of which you were called.”

Walk Worthy Brands encourages individuals to live a life of purpose, determination and upliftment. The Passing the Torch Luncheon is an effort to encourage young people to be the best they can be, by celebrating exemplary models of the best of our tradition.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For tickets contact: Daemond Benjamin walkworthybrands@gmail.com and/or 860.881.8594. Tickets are also available at: www.walkworthybrands.com/events.

 

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White House to Honor Two Local Champs


WASHINGTON — The White House on April 3 will honor two Connecticut residents for their grassroots effort to help reduce gun violence.

Sarah Clements, Founder and Chairwoman, Jr. Newtown Action Alliance and Mark Barden, Director of Advocacy, Sandy Hook Promise in Newtown, CT are among nine grassroots leaders from around the country.

Clements is a senior at Newtown High School in Newtown, CT. On December 14th, 2012 her mother survived the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. After the shooting, Sarah began using gun violence prevention advocacy to transform her painful experience into positive action.

Barden leads policy and outreach efforts for Sandy Hook Promise and frequently serves as a spokesperson for the organization.  Since the tragic loss of his son Daniel at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mark has dedicated himself to bringing people together to prevent future tragedies and spare other families the pain of losing a child to gun violence.

President Obama’s Administration officials said the Obama administration “is continuing to take key steps to reduce gun violence by implementing more than 23 executive actions and elevating successful local efforts.”

This week, the Administration will highlight the critical work some of these local leaders have spearheaded to make their neighborhoods safer and to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama declared, “Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. I have seen the courage of parents, students, pastors, and police officers all over this country who say ‘we are not afraid,’ and I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls, or schools like Sandy Hook.”

The White House created the Champions of Change program to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower, inspire and support members of their communities.

The event will be live streamed on the White House website. To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 10:00 am ET on April 3rd.  To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

 

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New Haven Man to Be Honored at White House


HARTFORD – A New Haven man, who devotes time to communicating the impacts of climate change, will be honored as a champion of change on Tuesday morning at the White House.

Parker Liautaud, a polar adventurer and climate change campaigner, is a student at Yale University. He studies Geology and Geophysics and is an ambassador of One Young World, a charity organization that develops young leaders through dialogue and interactions with world leaders.

To watch the ceremony, go to www.whitehouse.gov/live at 9:00 am EST on March 18.

Parker has been on three expeditions to the North Pole and the South Pole, which has “inspired people across generations to take action on climate change.”

He led the Willis Resilience Expedition, an Antarctic expedition that involved a 350-mile trek to the South Pole. He set two world records in the process.

The project included a 16-episode live show, dedicated to communicating the impacts and science of climate change. It featured debates and discussions with experts from various fields and live video from Antarctica.

Liautaud is from Palo Alto, California.

 

 

 

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Largest LGBT Conference Comes to CT


HARTFORD —  Get ready for the “largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth conference” in Connecticut.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England  is partnering with True Colors, to host the conference at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn on March 21 and March 22. The conference is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. and end at 7:30 p.m. on March 21 and continues the following morning  at 8 a.m. It ends at midnight following a student-only dance.

The theme of this year’s True Colors Conference is “leveling the playing field.”

In addition to co-sponsoring and having an educational table at the event, the PPSNE STARS (Students Teaching About Responsible Sexuality), a high school peer education group, will host various workshops on both days and on different topics, including Safer Sex is Smarter Sex, Communicate Before You Fornicate, Sex, Drugs and In Control and Media, Sexuality, Propaganda.

Open to both youth and adults, participants at the True Colors Conference can choose from hundreds of workshops from various tracks: professional, youth only, college only, spiritual institute, general audience, family and caregivers and the activist institute.

In addition to educational and personal growth, participants can enjoy entertainment by special guests, such as Kit Yan, slam poet; Danny Moreno, singer, dancer and entertainer; Robin Cloud, comedian and Brianna Scurry, ESPN commentator.

For more information on True Colors or the conference, visit ourtruecolors.org.

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National Fitness Campaign Comes to Connecticut


By Marlene Gomes, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Greater Hartford schools can cash in on helping to stomp out childhood obesity. And they will get some help from a national fitness guru: Jake Steinfeld.

On Friday, Gov.  Dannel P. Malloy announced a partnership with Steinfeld, who chairs the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils. According to officials,  Steinfeld is bringing the Foundation’s multi-million dollar physical fitness campaign to Connecticut help combat childhood obesity.

About one in three Connecticut kindergartners and third graders are overweight or obese, and about one in seven are obese, according to a study by the state Department of Public Health. The study found  disparities by race and income, with 41 percent of black and 43 percent of Hispanic children considered overweight or obese, compared with 27 percent of white children. In addition, obesity rates were higher in schools in lower income communities, according to DPH.

Hartford has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in the country. Last year, Hartford officials unveiled a 2012 study conducted by the University of Connecticut’s Center for Public Health and Policy, which found that children living in Hartford are at high risk for becoming obese, finding that more than one-third of Hartford’s three year olds and 23 percent of kindergarteners are overweight.

The nation-wide campaign “encourages and rewards innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to elementary and middle schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness.”

The nomination process opens today at www.natgovfit.org and will run through the end of May.

Three Alliance District schools, selected by the National Foundation, will be deemedNational Champion Schools and will each be awarded $100,000 state-of-the-art Live Positively Fitness Centers for their efforts.  

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils program will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years.  The National Foundation’s goal is to “build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.”

For more information about the National Foundation or to download a nomination form, visit www.natgovfit.org.

Photo Credit: African American Images.com

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More Than 100,000 African-American Parents Are Now Homeschooling Their Children


By Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, NAM Contributor

We hear so much about the plight of Black children and their low test scores. We have not heard that African American children who are home schooled are scoring at the 82 percent mark in reading and 77 percent in math.

This is 30-40 percent above their counterparts being taught in school. There is a 30 percent racial gap in schools, but there is no racial gap in reading if taught in the home and only a 5 percent gap in math.

Dr.-Jawanza-KunjufuWhat explains the success of African American students being taught by their parents? I believe that it’s love and high expectations. I am reminded of Booker T. Washington High School.They were honored several years ago for producing the greatest turnaround as a Recovery school.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionThe principal had the opportunity to pick and choose her staff and emphatically stated, “If you want to teach in this school you must love the students.”  Researchers love promoting that the racial gap is based on income, marital status, and the educational background of the parents. Seldom, if ever, do they research the impact of love and high expectations.

Since the landmark decision, Brown vs. Topeka in 1954, there has been a 66 percent decline in African American teachers. Many African American students are in classrooms where they are not loved, liked, or respected. Their culture is not honored and bonding is not considered. They are given low expectations – which helps to explain how students can be promoted from one grade to another without mastery of the content.

There are so many benefits to homeschooling beyond academics. Most schools spend more than 33 percent of the day disciplining students. And bullying has become a significant issue.

One of every 6 Black males is suspended and large numbers are given Ritalin and placed in Special Education. These problems seldom, if ever, exist in the Homeschool environment.

Another major benefit is the summer months. Research shows that there is a 3 year gap between White and Black students. Some students do not read or are involved in any academic endeavor during the summer. Those students lose 36 months or 3 years if you multiply 3 months times 12 years (grades first -12) Homeschool parents do not allow academics to be forsaken for 3
months.

Finally, in the homeschool environment, parents are allowed to teach their children values. Large numbers of parents are teaching their children faith based morals and principals.

And many are teaching their children with the Africentric curriculum SETCLAE. These children are being taught truths like, Columbus did not discover America; Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves; Hippocrates was not the father of medicine and that African history did not begin on a plantation, but on a pyramid.

Until public schools give more love, higher expectations, better classroom management, greater time on task throughout the entire year, values and the SETCLAE curriculum, we can expect to continue to see an increase in African American parents homeschooling their children.

Photo Credit: visualphotos.com

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Hartford to Celebrate Poetry Month at HPL


HARTFORD –  In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Hartford Public Library will host a multicultural celebration throughout two weeks in April featuring performances and workshops by noted poets and the public.

From April 7 – April 16, special events will take place at the Library’s nine branches, culminating with a Community Celebration at the Downtown Library on Saturday, April 19.

The citywide Hartford Loves Poetryf estival is sponsored by the City of Hartford’s Marketing, Events and Cultural Affairs Department, and is curated by award-winning poet Bessy Reyna.

poetry-hartfordEach day of the festival, an esteemed Connecticut poet will read original works and present a workshop to inspire participants from each Hartford neighborhood to write their own poems and share them during an open microphone session. At the festival’s grand finale, guests from throughout Greater Hartford will gather at the Library’s Downtown location to share and enjoy works presented in the participants’ native languages with English descriptions. Attendees will enjoy poems read in more than 16 languages, including Tamil, Bosnian, Greek, Spanish, Polish, and Hebrew, celebrating the region’s rich diversity.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit hplct.org for more information.

 

Monday, April 7, 5:30-7:15pm; Park Branch, 744 Park Street

POET: Jose B. Gonzalez

Tuesday, April 8, 5:30-7:15pm; Goodwin Branch, 460 New Britain Avenue

POET: Marianela Medrano

 

Wednesday, April 9, 5:30-7:15pm; Dwight Branch, 7 New Park Avenue

POET: Leslie McGrath

 

Thursday, April 10, 5:30-7:15pm; Camp field Branch, 30 Campfield Avenue

POET: Pit Pinegar

 

Saturday, April 12, 3-5pm; Albany Branch, 1250 Albany Avenue

POET: John Stanizzi

 

Saturday, April 12, 3-5pm; Barbour Branch, 281 Barbour Street

POET: Ernie Blue

 

Monday, April 14, 5:30-7:15pm; Mark Twain Branch, 55 Forest Street

POET: Joyce Ashuntantang

 

Tuesday, April 15, 5:30-7:15pm; Blue Hills Branch, 649 Blue Hills Avenue

POET: Antoinette Brim

 

Wednesday, April 16, 5:30-7:15pm; Ropkins Branch, 1750 Main Street

POET: Kate Rushin

 

Saturday, April 19, 1-4pm; Downtown Branch, 500 Main Street

Hartford Loves Poetry Grand Finale:

A Community Celebration

 

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Hartford Police Arrest Suspect in Narcotics Bust


HARTFORD — A local man was arrested on Friday for pushing narcotics  in the South End of Hartford, police said.

Travale Givens, 33, of 129 South St. was arrested for alleged assault in the first degree, possession of a firearm and narcotics.

His bond was set for $800,000.

Police said they searched the Given’s home and found one firearm, a shoulder holster, ammunition and more than 80 grams of cocaine on the March 7 at about 4:00 p.m. when the Department Special Operations Group, the Shooting Task Force, D.E.A and South End C.S.O. executed a search and seizure warrant at Given’s South Street apartment.

In addition to the illegal firearm, they found a shoulder holster, and ammunition,  scales, bags, mixers, and cutting agents were also found, police said.

Police also said that they found Givens on Airport Road, where he was attempting to hide an about a quarter kilogram of powder cocaine (247 grams) inside his pants. There, he he was taken into custody.

Police said Givens had 31 prior Hartford arrests, which includes several narcotics violations, and an assault in the 1st degree and firearm conviction.

 

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FLOTUS Invites Hartford Residents to Enter Healthy Kids’ “State Dinner” Competition


HARTFORD –First Lady Michelle Obama are asking Greater Hartford residents to join in her effort to promote cooking and healthy eating.

FLOTUS has once again teamed up with Eipcurious, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host a nationwide recipe challenge that would help ensure that children “learn healthy habits early in life.”

Recipes can be submitted March 5th through April 5th, online at recipechallenge.epicurious.com, or via mail at “The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge c/o Epicurious.com,” 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036Winners will be notified in May.

Research shows that children who help with cooking and meal preparation are more likely to consume fruits and vegetables, and they are more aware of the importance of making healthier food choices.  The third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” encourages kids across the country to come up with healthy, original creations.

The third “State Dinner” invites parents or guardians and their children, ages 8-12, to create and submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty.  In support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, each recipe must adhere to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal are met.

Entries must represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half of the plate or recipe.

All U.S. states and territories, including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, are invited to participate.  Delta Air Lines will fly fifty-six children and their parent/guardian (one pair from each of the 50 states, plus the U.S. Territories, D.C., and Puerto Rico) to the nation’s capital where they will have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama.  A selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served.

The winning recipes will be chosen by a panel of judges, including Nilou Motamed, Tanya Steel, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Education representatives, as well as junior chefs.  At the conclusion of the Kids’ “State Dinner,” a free, downloadable and printable e-cookbook featuring the winning recipes, nutritional analysis, photos and drawings, will be available via LetsMove.govUSDA.govEd.gov,epicurious.com and recipechallenge.epicurious.com.

The White House Kids’ “State Dinner” will take place later this summer.

For more information and contest rules visitrecipechallenge.epicurious.com.

 Photo Credit: Whitehouse.gov

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