Racist Holiday Card Allegedly Prompts Pa. Supreme Court Nominee to Withdraw Name

February 25, 2015 bcic_admin 0

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court nominee withdrew his name for the seat Monday after coming under fire for a racially insensitive 2013 Facebook image he forwarded to colleagues, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Republican Judge Thomas K. Kistler (pictured), president judge in Centre County since 2012, was nominated late last year by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to fill a vacancy on the state’s supreme court. The seat will now remain open until elections in November, the report notes.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

The Inquirer reported Friday concern from legislators and others over an e-mail sent in December 2013 by Kistler titled “Merry Christmas From the Johnsons.” The message depicted a Black man and a Black woman during what appears to be a jail visit. The man, smiling and wearing an orange prison uniform, sits behind a glass window.

…read more

Family of Comedian Killed in Tracy Morgan Crash Settles Claim

January 21, 2015 bcic_admin 0

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of a comedian killed in the New Jersey Turnpike crash that seriously injured Tracy Morgan last summer has settled a wrongful death claim.

The out-of-court settlement between Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the estate of James McNair is the first stemming from the June 7 crash in which a Wal-Mart truck slammed into a limo van carrying Morgan and others home from a show in Delaware.

Morgan, the former “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock” star, suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident, according to his lawyer. Criminal charges against truck driver Kevin Roper are pending in state court in New Jersey.

McNair, 62, of Peekskill, grew up with Morgan in Brooklyn and was a friend and mentor to him over the years.

The terms of the settlement are confidential, but McNair family attorney Daryl Zaslow told The Associated Press that they were pleased with the outcome.

Wal-Mart “caused extensive damage” to the family but accepted responsibility and “more than stepped up to the plate and took care of this family,” Zaslow said.

“Ultimately they did the right thing by the McNairs,” he said.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said the company was working toward settlements with others injured in the accident.

“We know there is nothing we can do to change what happened to Mr. McNair,” Buchanan said. “We’re committed to doing what’s right.”

In an interview with the AP on Wednesday, McNair’s children — Denita, 19, and Jamel, 26 — described their father as a humble, grounded man. They said he attained a level of fame but cared less about the trappings of celebrity than about helping others, whether through advice to young comedians or giving out free Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families in his hometown.

“You don’t have to be a celebrity to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives,” …read more

SOTU Rewind: Comparing Obama’s Speeches Through The Years

January 20, 2015 bcic_admin 0

President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on January 28, 2014. ( LARRY DOWNING/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 6:03 p.m. EST – What tone will President Barack Obama (pictured) set for his seventh year in office when he addresses a joint session of Congress Tuesday in his annual State of the Union address? This year he faces a Congress that is completely controlled by Republicans and likely — at least on the surface — to be even less receptive to his plans than usual. He is expected to outline plans for raising the capital gains tax rate, making two years of community college free for many young Americans, and increasing paid leave for workers.

LIVE STREAM: Watch The 2015 State of the Union Address On WhiteHouse.Gov

SEE ALSO: Obama Seeks To Tax The One Percent And Offer Breaks To Middle Class

As we look to the President to tell us how our nation is doing and what he proposes to lead it forward, it’s worth investigating what he has told us in past years — and how those words have held up. Reading the speeches reminds one that first and foremost, this is an address to Congress — and their cooperation is required to make good on many of the goals the President sets.

Here, NewsOne selects highlights from each year (see the full transcript of each speech by clicking on the year).

2014: “America does not stand still – and neither will I.”

The president entered his sixth year in office smarting from the rocky launch of the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. “We’re in the process of fixing that,” he said his …read more

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