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Singer/actress Brandy won't
be charged in deadly crash
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles city attorney's
off ice said hnUay it will not charge brandy
in a deadly December 2006 freeway crash.
Spokesman Nick Velasquez said there
is "insufficient evidence" for a jury to find
the 28-year-old actress-singer guilty of
misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter
beyond a reasonable doubt.
The decision runs counter to a recom
mendation from the California Highway
Patrol that Brandy, whose real name is
Brandy Norwood, be charged in the Dec.
30. 2006, crash.
9 Brandy was driving on a Los Angeles
freeway when traffic slowed and her Land Rover smashed into the
back of a Honda.
That car was involved in several other collisions. The driver,
38-year-old Awatef Aboudihaj, died in the accident.
Civil rights leader calls for
hate crime inquiry into house fire
TROY, Ohio ( AP) -An Atlanta-based civil rights leader said
a fire that destroyed the home of a former high school basketball
coach charged with sexually assaulting a minor should be treated
as a hate crime.
Charles Steele, president of the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference, called last week's fire an attack on James Clay and
Investigators said Clay's car was spray-painted with the words
"guilty," "leave" and a racial slur. Clay, who is black, pleaded not
guilty Dec. 13 to a felony charge of sexual battery involving a 15
year-old girl while he was coach of the freshman boys basketball
team at Troy Christian School, about 20 miles north of Dayton.
The fire demands attention from Ohio Attorney General Marc
Dunn. the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI, Steele said.
"Racial slurs raised their ugly head. This has taken us back 50
years," Steele said. "We are not going to tolerate it. We want
cooperation from law officials."
Clay. 41, and two of his children escaped last Friday's fire
without injury. A cause of the blaze remained under investigation
and no arrests had been made.
Miami County Prosecutor Qftry Nasal said he had not been
contacted by SCLC officials. He said he can't discuss a pending
investigation, but would meet with the civil rights group if
"We both want to make sure whoever is responsible for the
fire is appropriately charged, and punished," Nasal said.
Cla^ was fired by the school in February after allegedly mak
ing inappropriate comments to staff members. Superintendent
Gary Wilber has said. The firing occurred before allegations of
misconduct with the minor surfaced.
First openly gay president of
black Journalists group dies
? r* *
NEW YORK (AP) - Thomas Morgan III, the ffrst openly
gay president of the National Association of Black Journalists
and a longtime newsman at The New York Times, has died^HE
The Brooklyn resident died last week, possibly of a heart
attack, while visiting the family of his
partner,' Thomas Ciano, in Southampton,
Mass., Ciano said.
"He was a man of many different
qualities and talents," Ciano said. "He
cared a lot about educating young jour
nalists and the prevention 'of AIDS.
Working to house and care for homeless
people. Pottery. .Gardening. Politics.
Those were his passions."
Morgan was NABJ's president from
1989 to 1991. Even though he won the
election handily, it was somewhat heat
ed, according to a 2004 profile of
Morgan on the NABJ's Web site.
"It was painful," Morgan recalled. "I struggled with how
to represent NABJ without embarrassing the organization but
while also being true to myself. I was elected as a black jour
nalist*. not a gay one."
After graduating from the University of Missouri and com
pleting his service with the U.S. Air Force in 1975, Morgan
worked at The Miami Herald and The Washington Post.
He then joined the Times, where he rose to assistant metro
editor and a|so received a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard
University in 1989.
He retired from the newspaper in 1994, "largely to concen
trate on his personal fight against AIDS," according to the pro
Patriek to stump for Obama
BOSTON ( AP) - Governor Deva] Patrick plans to make vis
its to three early presidential voting states on behalf of Democrat
Patrick's political committee says the governor will deliver
speeches in the coming days in Iowa. New Hampshire and South
Patrick was expected to be in Iowa last week, in New
Hampshire on Jan. 5-6, and in South Carolina the weekend
before the primary there
South Carolina Democrats vote on Jan 26. The Iowa caucus
es are scheduled for today, Jan 3. New Hampshire holds its first
in-the-nation primary Jan. 8.
Patrick announced his endorsement of Obama in October,
saying the Illinois senator represents a new generation of leader
Patrick and Obama share Chicago roots and both were black
student leaders at Harvard Law School.
The Chronicle (USPS 067-910) was established by Ernest H.
Pitt and Ndubisi Egemonye in 1974 and is published every
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ci ? ? -
to Ike Turner
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS '
GARDENA, Calif. - Ike Turner's funeral was part
memorial service, part rock concert.
The nearly three'-hour remembrance on Dec. 21 at
Greater Bethany Community Church City of Refuge in
Gardena featured Turner's eight-piece band, the Kings of
Rhythm, which performed rollicking renditions of some of
the musician's greatest hits, including "Nutbush City
Limits" and "Proud Mary." The songs brought the crowd
of hundreds to its feet.
"Daddy wouldn't want any of us crying," said Turner's
daughter. Mia Turner. 'He would want us to throw a
Among those eulogizing Turner, who died Dec.12 at
age 76, were music producer Phil Spector and rock 'n' roll
pioneer Little Richard, who described his friend as "one of
the greatest musicians I have ever met in my life."
Richard said that Turner's breakthrough rock, 'n' roll
hit, "Rocket 88." "shook my soul." .
"I took that same introduction and made 'Good Golly,
Miss Molly,' " he said. "I took that same thing and made a
Turner was responsible for a string of hits throughout
his career, including 1959's "A Fool in Love" and 1970's
"Take You Higher," but his musical legacy was forever tar
nished by his image as the drug-addicted, brutally abusive
former husband of Tina Turner, who did not attend
Friday's funeral. When Ike Turiier died, a spokeswoman
for Tina said she hadn't had contact with him in 35 years
and would not comment.
Ike Turner knew that his personal problems threatened
to overshadow his musical accomplishments, said Rob
Johnson, producer of Turner's Grammy-winning 2001
album "Here and Now."
"He understood, as a very sensitive artist, the challenge'
See Turner on All
KRT Photo by Nancy Wegard
Ike Turner in 2001 on the streets of New York City.
Ailing Fisk University struggles to sell art
BY ERIK SCHELZIG
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Fisk University, a. historically
black school on the brink finan
cially, is sitting on a lottery
ticket it can't cash: a remark
able collection of 19th- and
20th-century art donated by the
painter Georgia O'Keeffe.
Two years of legal battles
have prevented Fisk from turn
ing some of the valuable art
The latest battle - over
Fisk's proposed deal to share
the 101 -piece art collection
with an Arkansas museum for
-1330 million - is scheduled fori
"trial in February.
ft acknowledge it could be years
P before any money changes
hands, if ever. In the meantime,
Fisk is struggling. The 900-stu
dent school has mortgaged all
its buildings and tapped all of
its endowment not restricted to
specific programs. As recently
as October, a Fisk lawyer told a
judge that the school would
probably run out of cash before
the end of the year.
The crisis eased somewhat
earlier this month when the
Mellon Foondation announced
it would give the university up
to $3 million in grants, with $1
million of that up front. But
getting others to donate to Fisk
to put it on a firm permanent
footing could be difficult,
because it has had to be rescued
several times before.
"Foundations who give
serious money don't give it to
poor}y managed institutions,"
said DavisCarr, a former mem
ber of the school's board of
trustees. "I'm not saying Fisk is
currently poorly managed, but
Hh^v've not been able to
make it -work over some long
period of time, that sends a sig
At issue is a collection of
art that belonged to O'Keeffe's
husband, the photographer
Alfred Stieglitz. It includes
what is considered one of
O'Keeffe's masterpieces, the
1927 oil painting "Radiator
Building -Night, New York,"
as well as works by Picasso,
Renoir, Cezanne, Marsden
Hartley, Alfred Maurer and
O'Keeffe donated the art in
1949, choosing Fisk because
the school, founded in 1866,
educated blacks at a time when
, the South was segregated. She
died in 1986.
To art historians, the collec
tion has an appealing unity,
because many of the American
artists were part of O'Keeffe
and Stieglitz's circle of friends.
In 2005, Fisk'& trustees
voted to sell off two signature
pieces of the collection to help
keep the school afloat. Those
efforts became bogged down in
court battles over whether the
sale would violate the terms of
O'Keeffe's bequest, and no
deal ever went through.
Then Fisk came up with a
plan to sell a 50 percent stake in
the collection to the Crystal
Bridges Museum of American
Art for $30 million. Under the
arrangement, the collection
would travel back and forth
between Nashville and the ,
Bentonville, Ark., museum
founded by Wal-Mart heiress
But the Georgia O'Keeffe
Museum in Sjmta Fe, N.M., the
legal representatiye- 4>f the
artist's estate, has asked a judge
to disallow the deal, saying it
was O'Keeffe's wish that the
collection not be sold. Also, the
museum argues that Fisk is vio
lating a condition of gift that
the collection be displayed\
' " Fisk put the art into storage
inC3D05 because the gallery
- OJH M
See Fisk on A4
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U4449, 9/07 H3449_3780, 9/10/07. H3404S^80, 9/10/07