HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5TH, 2023
Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Happy Birthday to:
Actor Sterling K. Brown
Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Musician, and Producer Pharell (Williams)
Judge Greg Mathis
Entertainer Christopher “Kid” Reid
First African American U.S. Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 4-Star General Colin Powell, born in 1937
Booker T. Washington, Educator, and Founder of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute born into slavery on this day in 1856
TOP 5 NEWS STORIES
1. The People of the State of New York vs. Donald J. TrumpSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
The long parade from Florida to a New York courthouse came to a close Tuesday afternoon, as former President Donald Trump was formally arrested, along with facing and responding to 34 felony charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, Jr.
During his appearance, Donald J. Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records. The 16-page indictment that laid out 34 felony counts, referred to hush money payments to two women with whom it was believed he was having affairs outside of his marriage to his current wife. In addition to adult movie actress, Stormy Daniels, legal analysts believe this included former Playboy model, Karen McDougal.
In the court documents, prosecutors charged that “The Defendant, Donald Trump, repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.” The damaging information allegedly includes recordings of conversations with Donald Trump.
At the center of this case is the ”scheme” that was referred to by the prosecution as “Catch and Kill.” DA Bragg charged that Donald Trump, American Media publishing executives, and Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen engaged in this scheme to help Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump and others allegedly made three payments to people who claimed to have negative information about Trump. Those who were allegedly paid were adult film actress Stormy Daniels, former Playboy model Karen McDougal and a former Trump Tower doorman who claimed to have information about a child that Donald Trump fathered outside of his marriage.
“Catch and Kill” is defined as a term used by tabloid newspapers in which a paper “catches” or grabs a story early, sitting or holding onto the story, ultimately “killing” the story by paying a source to make the story go away.
During the courtroom discussion, Judge Juan Merchan did not impose a gag order, but he did warn the former president to refrain from social media posts that could lead to unrest. He touched on earlier posts shared by Trump that were critical of DA Bragg.
Donald Trump was released and upon exiting the courthouse, was driven to his plane with plans to give a speech upon his return to Florida Tuesday evening.
The next hearing is scheduled for December 4, 2023, with a potential start for the trial in January 2024. Legal experts don’t expect the trial to begin in earnest until after November, 5, 2024, Election Day.
This is the link to the Felony Indictment of Former President Donald J. Trump
2. Who is Victor Glover? NASA’s First Black Moon-Bound AstronautSource:Getty
WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY KHAMERON RILEY
What You Need to Know:
NASA is set to send the first-ever Black astronaut to the Moon.
Victor Glover, 46, was selected to participate in the space agency’s Artemis II mission — the US’ first lunar mission in a half-century. Artemis II will confirm all of the Orion spacecraft’s systems work correctly before Artemis III, a long-term land-based lunar exploration, which will eventually lead to the first-ever crewed Mars mission.
NASA officials say the diverse crew assignments signify the cultural shifts since the original Apollo missions, which ended in 1972 when White men dominated space exploration.
Glover was the first Black man to live on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020.
Glover is a decorated veteran with the Defense Superior Service Medal, Navy Commendation Metal, and two Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medals. He’s thoroughly educated, holding a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering, a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering, a Master of Science in Systems Engineering, and a Master of Military Operation Art and Science. Glover served as a Legislative Fellow in the United States Senate and logged over 3,000 flight hours in 40 different aircraft.
“We need to celebrate this moment in human history,” Glover said during a news conference Monday. “Artemis II is more than a mission to the Moon and back. It’s more than a mission that has to happen before we send people to the surface of the Moon. It is the next step on the journey that gets humanity to Mars. This crew will never forget that.”
Why You Need to Know:
Victor Glover’s mission is an achievement and a distinguished honor! I pray for his safe return. Space remains a place of research and exploration, but valuable natural resources that assist in nuclear fission and create critical computer components lie beneath the Moon’s surface. It will not remain sacrosanct for much longer when money can be made.
3. States Moving to Remove Millions of Americans From MedicaidSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
This week state officials were scheduled to begin the process of removing Americans who no longer qualify for Medicaid as Pandemic programs have expired. During the pandemic, about 90 million Americans qualified for Medicaid coverage. An estimated 15 million could lose that coverage.
The Associated Press reported that “no-longer-eligible” Medicaid members could be removed this month in nine states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
CBS News adds that not all ineligible people will be dropped from the program at once, as states have different timelines for re-checking the eligibility of Medicaid patients. Most states, CBS adds, are expected to take between nine months to one year to complete the verification process. The special enrollment period for people dropped from Medicaid, began on March 31 and will continue through July 31, 2024.
The bottom line is for those enrolled in the Medicaid program during the pandemic, to do their due diligence in keeping up to date in answering required state inquiries. States must mail a renewal form to the home of the Medicaid participant. The federal government also requires states to contact participants in another way-by phone, text, or email, with a reminder.
Why You Need to Know:
All is not lost. Some people who no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage will be able to get health coverage from the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare).
4. Ohio Drag Queen Story Hour Goes on in Spite of Burning AttemptSource:Getty
WRITTEN AND CONTRIBUTED BY KWYN TOWNSEND RILEY
What You Need to Know:
On Saturday, April 1, over 100 residents from the Chesterland Community in Northeast Ohio gathered in a church to listen to drag queens read to children.
They had to pass barricades, metal detectors, bomb-sniffing dogs, and background checks just to attend. The church recently survived a Neo-Nazi attempt. The church’s Pastor Jess Peacock was alerted to damage to the church just a week before the event. They found burn marks on the building and broken bottles on the ground, evidence of an apparent Molotov cocktail attack.
According to the Guardian, Peacock said that they expected to receive a certain amount of backlash – “hate mail and hate voicemail and social media hate” – when they began publicizing the event, but the response to the story hour went far beyond the usual.
“The messages we started getting were much more vitriolic, in the sense of accusations of pedophilia, grooming, and horrible things being done to kids,” they said. “It felt like this was a bit different. And then once someone tried burning our church down, it went to a whole other level.”
Authorities arrested a member of a Neo-Nazi group in the area, just a few days later in relation to the violence inflicted upon the church. Aimeen Penny, who is only 20 years old, was arrested for these charges. In his affidavit, he told authorities that he did it because he wanted to protect his children. He also said he would feel better if the church was burned to the ground. Penny is a member of “White Lives Matter Ohio” and faces up to 20 years in prison.
The attack comes during a time when there are over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills restricting LGBTQ rights in 2023, with four of them advancing in Ohio that target healthcare, civil rights, and free speech for LGBTQ people.
5. Black and Missing: Dimitrius Thomas
The family and friends of Dimitrius Thomas are asking the public for help in locating him. The 16-year-old was last seen near his home in College Station, Texas in the 1600 block of Southwest Parkway at approximately 2 p.m. It is believed that Dimitrius is still in the local area. He has been missing since March 30.
Anyone with information about Dimitrius’ disappearance should go to the Black and Missing Foundation website.