Here’s What You Need To Know On Monday, March 27th, 2023
Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts
Happy Birthday to:
Superstar Mariah Carey
Singer, Songwriter Eric Bellinger
“Little Mermaid” for All! Singer, Actress Halle Bailey
Dustin Byfuglien, the First Black
American-born Hockey Player to Win the Stanley Cup
NFL Vet, College Hall-of-Famer Randall Cunningham
NFL Vet, Former NFL Player Association President, and Writer Domonique Foxworth
Actor Art Evans
Happy Birthday Nate “Dunkis” Wachsman
“Uncle Duck” Donald C. Williams,
Singer “The Divine One,” “Sassy”
Sarah Vaughn, born in 1924
Dancer Harold Nicholas, born in 1921
Jazz Saxophonist, Composer
Ben Webster, born in 1909
TOP 5 NEWS STORIES
1. Storms Out of California Wreck Havoc in the SouthSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
As thunderstorms battered the states of Alabama and Mississippi late Friday, a tornado was reported at about 8:50 p.m. local time in the area of predominantly Black towns, Silver City and Rolling Fork, Mississippi, the National Weather Service said.
Reuters News reported, “The tornado stayed on the ground for about an hour and cut a path of destruction some 170 miles (274 km) long, according to Nicholas Price, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, Mississippi.”
In Rolling Fork, a town of around 1,900 in western Mississippi that was hit the hardest, homes were reduced to rubble, tree trunks snapped like twigs, cars were tossed aside like toys and the town’s water tower lay twisted on the ground.
In Silver City, a rural community of around 300, residents described locking themselves in interior rooms and cowering inside bathtubs as the tornado swept through.
In Alabama, which was also struck by the same storm system, there was one reported fatality as rescuers pulled a man from the mud when his trailer was overturned. The man later died from his injuries, according to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the Friday night tornado was a violent EF-4 after surveying the damage. The weather service reports that the EF, or Enhanced Fujita, scale assigns tornados a number from zero to five based on damage, with five being the most catastrophic. According to the Storm Prediction Center, EF-4 tornadoes make up only 1% of all tornadoes. Historically, the vast majority of twisters have been rated EF-0 or EF-1.
ABC News reported that at least two twisters touched down Sunday morning in Georgia, both described by the National Weather Service as “large and extremely dangerous.”
A second tornado was confirmed to have touched down Sunday morning near LaGrange, Georgia, about 65 miles southeast of Atlanta, and was moving east at 40 mph, according to the weather service.
Why You Need to Know:
In a state like Mississippi, promises of help are often made but often dropped, especially when it comes to people of color. Governor Tate Reeves promised to bring state and accept federal help. But ask the Black people of Jackson how reliable are his promises of improvement. This would be a good time for Mississippi native Brett Favre to step up and help people with funds he accepted from the state in the previous administration.
2. Donald Trump, Facing Potential Indictment, Remains Defiant at Waco RallySource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
In the midst of several legal cases, in which he is the main character,
Donald Trump was center stage over the weekend in his campaign to return to the White House. The former president held his first formal rally since announcing his 2024 run for the Republican nomination. The Saturday rally was held in Waco, TX, where, as historians point out, was the 30th anniversary of the deadly standoff between the Branch Davidian cult, its leader David Koresh, and federal officers. For more than 90 minutes, Donald Trump spoke on a number of topics, including prosecutorial misconduct, and how opponents are “out to get them.”
Newsweek reported, “Trump said on Saturday that his “enemies are desperate to stop us” and that “our opponents have done everything they can to crush our spirit and to break our will. But they failed. They’ve only made us stronger. And 2024 is the final battle, it’s going to be the big one. You put me back in the White House, their reign will be over and America will be a free nation once again.”
Adding that, “Trump disparaged the prosecutors investigating him and also hit out repeatedly at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—who is widely viewed as the strongest challenger for the GOP nomination, although he has yet to formally announce a 2024 presidential bid.”
As Trump prepared to hold court in Waco, his presumed cases against him were gaining momentum. In the special counsel’s investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, a federal judge ruled that a number of his former White House aides, including Mark Meadows, must testify under oath about what they knew and heard.
Friday, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran testified in a separate case related to the more than 100 classified documents recovered by the FBI at the Trump Mar-a-Lago estate last year. NBC News reported the judge ruled that as a result of evidence submitted by Jack Smith, that Donald Trump committed a crime through his attorneys, therefore Corcoran could not call upon attorney-client privilege to avoid testifying.
Although prematurely announced over a week ago, a Manhattan grand jury could rule on whether to indict the former President of the United States, in the case of hush money given to adult film actress, Stormy Daniels.
Lastly, the FBI and the New York Police Department are now investigating a piece of mail that reportedly contained a letter threatening to kill Manhattan (NY) District Attorney Alvin Bragg, also containing a white powdery substance. The substance was tested and determined that it was not dangerous. This letter was said to be one of the hundreds of threats sent to DA Braggs’s office over the last few weeks.
3. Radioactive Water Leaks at Minn. Nuclear Plant For 2nd TimeSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
Water containing radioactive material has leaked for a second time from a nuclear plant near Minneapolis and the plant will be shut down, but there is no danger to the public, the plant’s owner said Thursday.
A leak of what was believed to be hundreds of gallons of water containing tritium was discovered this week from a temporary fix at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, where 400,000 gallons (1.5 million liters) of water with tritium leaked in November, Xcel Energy said in a statement Thursday.
The plant about 38 miles (61 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis is scheduled to power down Friday so permanent repairs can begin, the company said.
There was a monthslong delay in announcing the initial leak that raised questions about public safety and transparency, but industry experts said there was never a public health threat.
The new leak, announced a day after Xcel Energy says it was discovered, was found to be coming from a temporary fix to the original leak, the company said in a statement. This time, the leak is anticipated to be in the hundreds of gallons.
4. Sentenced to Life in Prison For a Nonviolent Offense, Tony Lewis Sr. is FreeSource:Getty
WRITTEN & CONTRIBUTED BY COY MALONE
What You Need to Know:
After serving more than three decades incarcerated for a nonviolent drug offense, Tony Lewis Sr. was released from prison in Cumberland, Maryland on March 20.
His son, Tony Lewis Jr., was just nine years old when his father was sent to prison.
Lewis Jr. dedicated his career and activism to fighting against mass incarceration, emphasizing prison reform, and working to reverse his father’s life sentence. He has also worked to raise awareness about the statistics of mass incarceration in the United States.
According to the Prison Policy Institute, the U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation — 565 per 100,000 residents — with more than 1.9 million individuals confined in cells throughout the country. African Americans make up 38% of incarcerated residents, despite only representing 12% of the U.S. population.
In an April 2021 interview with AFRO News before a Free Tony Lewis rally, Lewis Jr. said that his passion for mass incarceration is rooted in seeing his father and other family members serve prison sentences. “They’ve guided my work, informed my work and held me accountable.” Nearly two years later, Lewis Jr. posted photos of him and his family reunited with his father, who is now a grandfather.
With more than 50,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram combined, Lewis Jr. has been supported over the years by thousands who have fought alongside him and followed his quest, collaborative events, and local initiatives to free his dad.
Lewis Jr. took to social media to share the good news of his father’s release. The often-used hashtag #FreeTonyLewis is no longer necessary — Tony Lewis is free.
Why You Need to Know:
According to the Free Tony Lewis website, Lewis Sr. grew up in the “…worst circumstances of extreme poverty and violence. It led to him making certain decisions and today he understands the severity of his decisions and takes full accountability for his actions.” Life sentences are for violent offenders. We should support the fight for others who face punishments that don’t match the crime. Mr. Lewis Sr. is one of many. We have to keep going!