HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ON THURSDAY, MARCH 30TH, 2023
Sybil’s Birthday Shoutouts
Happy Birthday to:
Entertainer, Businessman “MC“ Hammer, born Stanley Kirk Burrell
Singer, Songwriter Tracy Chapman
NFL Vet Richard Sherman
Actress Chelsea Harris
TV and Film Composer Dara Taylor
Happy Birthday Antoinette “Bunny” Ware!
Happy Birthday, Dawnya McNair!
Model, Businesswoman Naomi Sims, born in 1948
1. Don’t Forget About Southern Towns Destroyed by TornadoesSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
For almost a full week, residents of the Mississippi towns of Rolling Fork and Silver City have awakened to a sense of déjà vu: devastation everywhere they look. This is the result of Friday night tornadoes that killed an estimated 21 people and destroyed their towns.
More than 2,000 homes were leveled in Mississippi, hitting hardest the predominantly Black cities of Rolling Fork and Silver City. Many residents lost everything, including family members, their homes, and ways of making a living. Some are staying with families in nearby towns. Others are living in local shelters and hotels as they try to recover. What does recovery look like when people started out with very little?
Utility companies are promising the return of power and water as residents and volunteers to sift through the wreckage of what was once their lives. Many are hoping for word about the arrival of federal dollars that will hopefully enable people to return to a “sense of normal.”
How Can We Help:
PBS.org is one of many news sites that has published national and local organizations to which we can donate:
For those who are local, MSEMA (the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency) has a list of locations receiving donations of household items and clothing. The agency is asking for nonperishable food; sunblock; tampons, pads, and other “feminine care products;” baby wipes; cleaning supplies; paper products, such as toilet paper, tissues, and plates; and plastic cutlery. In addition to the Red Cross, MSEMA is asking for monetary donations to be directed to the Salvation Army
United Way of Southeast Louisiana has started a Mississippi Tornado Relief Fund, saying on its website that “100% of funds will support immediate relief efforts and long-term rebuilding in affected communities.” You can donate on their website.
Mercy Chefs is a Christian nonprofit that provides meals to victims, volunteers, and first responders in disaster and humanitarian relief emergencies. Their team in Mississippi is serving meals and water from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sharkey-Issaquena Academy, according to a spokesperson. To donate, text CHEFS to 24365; call their number at (757)-292-4264; or visit their website to donate by Paypal or credit card.
Never forget our friends and families.
2. The Battle For Control Over the St.Louis Police DepartmentSource:Getty
WRITTEN & CONTRIBUTED BY KHAMERON RILEY
What You Need to Know:
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that would put the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department under state control. Should the bill pass the senate, only five people would have control of the police- the Mayor of St.Louis, Tisaura Jones, and four other people appointed by the governor.
The St. Louis police department was under state control for over 140 years, from the Civil War all the way to just a decade ago.
Former Mayor Francis Slay, the longest-serving mayor in St. Louis history who got the St. Louis police back under city control, spoke out against this bill, citing a process rife with corruption.
“It was a dysfunctional format,” Slay said. “They got to make decisions on behalf of the department. And by the way, this is the biggest budget component in city government is the police department.”
He also described instances where police commissioners sexually harassed officers in exchange for a promotion or interfered with criminal investigations to squash evidence to protect friends or family members.
Republicans in the Missouri legislature want to take control of the St. Louis police again — to fight crime, they say. Critics disagree.
Mayor Tisaura Jones provided the following statement Monday:
“Voters across Missouri overwhelmingly approved a 2012 ballot measure granting St. Louisans control over our own police department for the first time since the Civil War. This bill reverses the will of the voters. Instead of focusing on measures that would actually make our communities safer – investments in left-behind communities, commonsense gun safety laws – certain Jefferson City Republicans are working overtime to turn back the clock to the 1800s. This isn’t about improving public safety. It’s about power and politics.
Why You Need to Know:
The State of Missouri wants to wrest control of the St. Louis police department from a Black mayor so they can be as corrupt as they choose with minimal oversight. Let’s hope State Senators do their job and see this power play for what it truly is. Again, another reason why local elected officials are (more) important!
3. FDA Approves Over-The-Counter Narcan. Here’s What It MeansSource:Getty
What You Need to Know:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved selling the leading version of naloxone without a prescription, setting the overdose-reversing drug on course to become the first opioid treatment drug to be sold over the counter.
It’s a move that some advocates have long sought as a way to improve access to a life-saving drug, though the exact impact will not be clear immediately.
Here’s a look at the issues involved.
What is Narcan?
The approved nasal spray from Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions is the best-known form of naloxone.
It can reverse overdoses of opioids, including street drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, and prescription versions including oxycodone.
Making naloxone available more widely is seen as a key strategy to control the nationwide overdose crisis, which has been linked to more than 100,000 U.S. deaths a year. The majority of those deaths are tied to opioids, primarily potent synthetic versions such as fentanyl that can take multiple doses of naloxone to reverse.
The drug has been distributed to police and other first responders nationwide.
Advocates believe it’s important to get naloxone to the people who are most likely to be around overdoses, including people who use drugs and their relatives.
The decision “represents a decisive, practical and humane approach to help people and flatten the curve of overdose deaths,” said Chuck Ingoglia of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, in a statement.
4. White Man Charged with Hate Crimes Against Black NeighborSource:Getty
WRITTEN & CONTRIBUTED BY COY MALONE
What You Need to Know:
William McDonald, a 45-year-old White man, is facing up to 11 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to being a menace who targeted Black neighbors at a West Allis, Wisconsin apartment complex.
Incidents of McDonald’s racist behavior date back to March 2021, when he slashed the tires and cracked the windshield of a Black woman’s vehicle parked outside her apartment. He left a note on her car that read, “BETTER WATCH WHO THE F**K YOU TALK S**T TO UFLY FAT N**GER B**CH! …I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE. IF I SEE YOU AGAIN, I’LL SLASH YOUR F**KING THROAT. GET THE F**K BACK TO THE NORTHSIDE WHERE YOU BELONG F**KING N**GER!”
Two weeks later, McDonald slashed two of the woman’s tires again and left another note laced with racial epithets and threats of violence if she didn’t move out.
In April 2022, a Black woman and her two sons were targeted by McDonald three days after moving into the complex. He wrote the family notes warning they would be victimized if they continued to stay there.
Two more instances occurred with a Black couple and a Puerto Rican woman receiving similar messages at their residences, located less than a mile from McDonald’s apartment.
The FBI and local police connected McDonald to the federal hate crimes with the use of surveillance footage and by obtaining a handwriting sample that proved he wrote the threatening messages left on cars and at the front doors of his neighbors. However, the Department of Justice did not specify if he also admitted to being involved in the latter events.
Why You Need to Know:
Play stupid games, and win stupid prizes. I just hope he’s imprisoned just as long as, or even longer than, Black nonviolent offenders who receive 30 years to life for much smaller offenses. When was the last time you saw a White person serving life for a hate crime? Derek Chauvin wasn’t even sentenced to life in prison. He received 22 years and he was caught on camera murdering a Black man! Hmmm…makes you think, doesn’t it?
5. What to Expect For April: Mercury’s First Retrograde of 2023Source:Getty
WRITTEN & CONTRIBUTED BY WANICA DUNN, AKA MS. ASTROLOGY
What You Need to Know:
Happy April! It’s officially Spring and the Astrological New Year! This month has the potential to REALLY be a new beginning for so many of us, but with the planets really spread across the zodiac, it is going to be very important that we are mindful of what the energies of April 2023 bring.
We start the month/year/season with the Sun transiting its “favorite” sign, Aries. Aries is the warrior of the zodiac and with its primary keyword being I AM, it can be very selfish and not care what it destroys as it pursues its own desires. There is nothing wrong with being about self, specifically with Jupiter & Chiron also transiting Aries. There is a great deal of healing that comes when we put ourselves first and that is what this season is all about, HEALING! Jupiter is a planet that offers blessings, wisdom & higher consciousness. Chiron is known as “The Wounded Healer” and indicates how healing from our own wounds positions us to help the next person heal from their own wounds.
As we move thru April, it is important that we take our own healing rather seriously, BUT because we know that these are lessons that we will pass down to others – I mean, it is all a cycle. Keep in mind, healing comes in many forms – relationships with others/money/self, our belief systems, our past, our bodies, etc. Life is a healing journey, embrace the journey.
Our first full moon will be on April 5 and encourages us to release any partnering, relating, or commitments that no longer support our healing process. We will see our first Mercury Retrograde April 21, which will bring energy that supports reconsidering what is valuable, supportive and stable in our lives – what we should continue to build on.
All in all, this month is very much an “all about me” month. Just be mindful that “all about me” is centered in healing & not just in selfishness.
Wanica, aka Ms. Astrology, is a Professional Astrologer and Tarot Reader based out of Houston TX. To connect with her visit, CosmicallyLIT.com
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