Morehouse and Spelman Cancel Homecoming Events Due to COVID (BCNN1 9.8.21)

This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to the Associated Press, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an election overhaul bill into law on Tuesday, bolstering the GOP’s efforts to restrict voting access. Democrats across the nation have widely condemned the bill, arguing that it aims to keep the GOP in power by making voting more difficult for minorities. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the post-2020 election campaign to restrict voting rights has been successful in at least 18 states. Most bills are premised on the bogus claim that widespread fraud led to Joe Biden winning the election. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the Biden administration would address concerns from voting rights activists. “We would say to these advocates: We stand with you,” said Psaki. “There’s more we’re going to keep working on together.”

According to Insider, Fifteen staffers in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools District have died from COVID-19 in the past 10 days, according to reports from local media. Sonia Diaz, a spokesperson for several unions in the school district, confirmed the number of deaths to NBC 6 on Friday. Miami-Dade County Public Schools resumed classes on August 23, but it is unknown exactly when the employees contracted COVID-19. A spokesperson said, “The loss of any of our employees is one that is always profoundly felt as every member of this organization is considered a part of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools family. We extend our hearts and prayers to the loved ones of those whose lives have recently been lost.” Not all teachers have been identified yet. A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools said it does not release information regarding the cause of death of employees.

According to the Associated Press, A third man has been arrested in the fatal shooting of an off-duty New Orleans police officer and his friend during a holdup while the two were dining at a Houston restaurant, police said Thursday. Khalil Nelson, 19, has been charged with two counts of capital murder in the deaths of New Orleans police Detective Everett Briscoe, 41, and Dyrin “DJ” Riculfy, 43. Court records do not list an attorney for Nelson who could speak on his behalf. He was set to make his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon. News of his arrest was first reported by KHOU-TV. Frederick Jackson, 19, and Anthony Jenkins, 21, had each been previously charged with capital murder. Briscoe and Riculfy were dining on a restaurant patio Aug. 21 when two men wearing hoodies approached, tried to rob them and then shot them, police said. The suspects fled, according to police. Briscoe, who had been a 13-year veteran of the New Orleans police department, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting while Riculfy died 10 days later at a Houston hospital. Both Briscoe and Riculfy were members of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club and were taking the trip with club members at the time of the shooting. Nelson, along with Jackson and Jenkins, remained jailed on Thursday and prosecutors were asking that Nelson be held without bond. Both Jackson and Jenkins are being held without bond.

According to the New York Daily News, Since being discovered in Colombia in January, the mu variant of COVID-19 has spread to nearly four dozen countries and has made its presence known in Hawaii and Alaska. It has so far been found in 49 states with Nebraska being the only state to not have a mu variant case detected. Health officials believe mu is even more transmissible than the delta variant and has the potential to resist vaccines. California has reported the highest number of the latest variant with 384. A total of 167 of those cases were found in Los Angeles County. On Aug. 30, the World Health Organization called the mu variant a variant of interest due to its ability to be more transmissible than any of the other strains of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet made similar classifications about mu in the U.S.

According to the Daily Mail, Three cops and two paramedics have been indicted for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide over the death of Elijah McClain, a 23 year-old black man who died after being arrested. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced charges Wednesday against former cop Jason Rosenblatt and Aurora Police Officers Randy Roedema and Nathan Woodyard. He filed the same charges against paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Lt. Peter Cichuniec on a 32 count indictment, which also includes some additional charges.

According to the Miami Herald, Abe Coleman, a longtime Holmes Elementary teacher and mentor to thousands of young men in Miami — “one of the best that the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project ever had” — died Wednesday, Sept. 1, after being hospitalized with COVID-19. Coleman’s wife, Inez Jackson, agrees with that assessment of Coleman by leaders within the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, a mentoring program founded in 1993 by U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson when she was a Miami-Dade County School Board member. According to 5000 Role Models, its in-school mentoring and dropout prevention program is designed to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and to help guide minority kids toward manhood and college. “You couldn’t ask for a better man than Abe Coleman. He was the best,” his wife said. Rep. Wilson said, “He was amazing, absolutely amazing,” “He was a man for all seasons. There was nothing you could ask him to do for children that he wouldn’t do. He took them to jails. He took them to college tours. To Frost Museum. He took them to Vizcaya. For those little children, this is such a huge, huge loss.” Coleman was 55.

According to USA Today, Gregg Leakes, the businessman who appeared alongside wife NeNe Leakes on “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” has died following a battle with cancer. He was 66. “Today the Leakes family is in deep pain with a broken heart. After a long battle with cancer, Gregg Leakes has passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by all of his children, very close loved ones and wife Nene Leakes,” the family said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Wednesday by publicist Ernest Dukes. The statement continued: “We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family & allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time.” Gregg was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in May 2018. NeNe publicly announced he was battling cancer that same year in June and shared the couple’s “new normal” in a doctor’s office. In 2019, NeNe announced her husband was cancer-free. In May 2020, the businessman reflected on his diagnosis: “2 years ago today I was told I had cancer. I remember being sad inside but I knew I had to be strong on the outside as much as I could… I thank my wife for taking excellent care of me and loving me even tho I wasn’t an easy patient.” Earlier this year in June, NeNe announced that her husband’s cancer had returned. The couple first married in 1997 and share two children: Bryson and Brentt. After splitting in 2011, the couple remarried in 2013 during a ceremony filmed for Bravo’s spin-off “I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.” “You have been my light,” Gregg told his bride. “I couldn’t do this without you. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t even try. So I want to thank you, baby.” Leakes appeared on Bravo’s “RHOA” alongside his wife from 2008-2019 (NeNe left the show in 2020). His battle with cancer was documented in the show’s later seasons.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!