Monday, January 19, 2015



By Cash Michaels

            WLLE REMEMBERED – On Thursday, Feb. 12th, 7p.m. at the Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus of NCSU, there will be a special panel discussion remembering the golden days of 570WLLE-AM, which is more affectionately known as “WILLIE”.
            WLLE was THE radio station for the black community of Raleigh back in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s before it was sold to a Lexington, Kentucky company in 1997. The station produced some of the greats, including Dr. Jocko, Daddy-O, Sweet Bob Rogers, Chuck Harris, Chester “CD” Davis, and of course, the legendary gospel king himself, Brother James Thomas.
            I worked at the station during the 1990s, and I’ll be sharing some memories during the panel discussion, so make it on your calendar, and we’ll see you there.
            2015 AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURAL CELEBRATION  - On Saturday, Jan. 31st, the NC Museum of History presents its annual African-American Cultural Celebration, featuring music, art, dance, poetry and other performances.
            One of the special features will take place in the Longleaf Room in the SECU Education Center at the museum. I’ll be there from 12 noon to 12:30 showing clips from “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.” Admission is free, so come on by and join us.
RUSSELL WILSON – What a very special young man that Seattle Seahawks quarterback is. Russell Wilson was in point blank tears Sunday night after leading his team from an amazing come-from-behind victory over the amazing Green Bay Packers, 22-28.
            Wilson, who admittedly had perhaps his worst game ever, suddenly sucked it all up and once again became an inspired leader who was going for broke. All of a sudden, the ball started bouncing Seattle’s way as spectacular catches were made, and true heart was displayed.
            `And at the end of it all, and in the middle of the cheering crowds, was Wilson, who once played for the NC State Wolfpack, bent over in tears, thanking GOD for making the miracle win happen.
            It was raw, honest, and quite frankly great to see. In only his second season in the NFL, Wilson led his spectacular Seahawks to a Super Bowl championship last year. And now he’s done something that few NFL teams get to do, namely return the following year to vie for a second trophy.
            So we wish Russell Wilson and the Seahawks all of the best two weeks from now as they go up against the always tough New England Patriots. It will take super effort from Russell Wilson. But we’re not worried, because this young man is blessed.
            If last Sunday didn’t prove that, then nothing will.
            “SELMA” SNUBBED – I was afraid that this might happen, that Ava Duvernay’s docudrama masterpiece, “Selma,” would get the awards backhand something awful.
            And that’s exactly what happened. When the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced last Thursday, Duvernay’s name was not among those for Best Director. Neither was star David Oyelowo’s name for Best Actor, nor Carmen Ejojo for Best Actress.
            Yes. “Selma” was nominated for Best Picture, which makes little sense when virtually nothing else about the film was recognized, and so was the theme from the film, “Glory” by Common and John Legend, nominated for Best Song (and a darn good song at that).
            But those two nominations make no sense. Don’t get me wrong, they are well deserved. “Selma” deserves a Best Picture nomination, and “Glory” won a Golden Globe Award two weeks ago, so it should be a cinch here.
            However, according to Academy rules, actors vote for actors, directors vote for directors, and all over 6,000 Academy members vote for Best Picture. So how could everybody nominate “Selma” for Best Picture, but specific Academy members fail to nominate for Best Actor, Actress and Director?
            Guess we’ll never know. But we do know that “Selma” deserved better. The work of Ava Duvernay, David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejojo deserved better.
            SO WHAT’S FAIR? – A lot of folks, in reaction to “Selma” being snubbed by the Oscars in the Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress categories, are saying who really gives a blaze? Why aspire to somebody else’s standard? Why can’t we understand that “they” will never honestly nominate a truly great film?
            All valid points. But then I have a question. While there’s no question that “other folks” are always going to have their standard for excellence, how do we decide what high standards to aspire to?
            I’m not sure. There is pride in being deemed the best, and there is no question that if “Selma” did get all of the nominations it deserved, you wouldn’t hear a peep out of many of the critics you’re hearing from now.
            Indeed, if, by some miracle, “Selma’ were to win Best Picture, what would the critics say about that…that the Academy voted for it out of reaction to the controversy?
            It’s unfortunate but true that race still remains a factor in not only how things are decided, but how we evaluate then afterwards.
            Maybe one day…. one day.
Make sure you tune in every Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. for my talk radio show, ''Make It Happen'' on Power 750 WAUG-AM, or online at And read more about my thoughts and opinions exclusively at my blog, ‘The Cash Roc” (
           Cash in the Apple - honored as the Best Column Writing of 2006 by the National Newspaper Publishers Association. Columnist Cash Michaels was also honored by the NNPA for Best Feature Story Journalist of 2009, and was the recipient of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP’s President’s Award for Media Excellence in Sept. 2011.
Until next week, keep a smile on your face, GOD in your heart, and The Carolinian in your life. Bye, bye.



            [WILMINGTON]  If it is renewed for a third season, the Fox television series “Sleepy Hollow” will cease production in Wilmington, and move to Georgia, according to published reports. The Republican-led NC General Assembly ended a popular film incentives program that gave movie productions millions in incentives to film in the state. Production companies, in turn, hired local actors, actresses and technicians, and did business with  local restaurants, car services and building material companies. The incentives program had  strong economic impact in the Wilmington area, according to Mayor Bill Saffo. But Gov. Pat McCrory and the Legislature felt that the state was giving away too much, ending the program and replacing it with a $10 million grant program that simply wasn’t enough. The result has been several movie and television productions moving from the state, taking their business elsewhere. “Sleepy Hollow,” if it’s renewed, will now move to Georgia, producers say.

            Thanks to a bruising 2014 election year season and weaker fundraising, the NC Democratic Party has less than $43,000 in its coffers, published reports say.  Outgoing State Party Chairman Randy Voller says when the NC General Assembly ended the party donation checkoff on state tax returns last year, the party lost upwards of $1.5 million. The party’s State Executive Committee is scheduled to elect a new chairman from among four candidates on Feb. 7th.

            The family of a Louisburg man hit on the side of a road, but mistakenly declared dead by paramedics and taken to the morgue, only to be rushed to the hospital hours later, have settled with the state for $425,000. Larry Donnell Green has lived paralyzed with severe brain damage since that fateful night in January 2005. The family reached a $1 million settlement with Franklin County in 2009.


"WE'VE TURNED THE CORNER": In his annual State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama said that given the improving economy, falling gas prices, increased employment and over 10 million more people now covered for health insurance, that America has now "turned a corner." Earlier in the day, the White House announced that the presider will be visiting Selma, Ala. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Obama hosted a screening of the film, "Selma" last week at the White House [ White House Photo]


            Durham Police Jose Lopez asked the public’s help in solving three apparent that took place between Monday and Tuesday of this week, as three dead bodies were found in the city. Two of hem were found Monday, with the third discovered Tuesday morning at Rosewood and Dayton streets. Lopez is asking if anyone knows more about the victims, to please contact the Durham PD with their information.

            Durham police are investigating a rape allegation involving a female Duke University student who says she attended a party fraternity party at an off-campus site on Jan. 8th, and was given some hot chocolate which was apparently spiked. When she woke up the next day, she was wearing a t-shirt, and some of her clothing were next to the bed where she found herself. She went to the hospital for an examination. Durham police searched the frat house  and seized various items as possible evidence. Chief Jose Lopez says the investigation is ongoing, and Duke University Police are cooperating.

            A California man who allegedly sent numerous threatening emails to Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck – Brown has been arrested there and charged by the FBI.  Jesse Lee Kuhl sent 13 racially charged threatening emails to Chief Brown between October 2014 and earlier this month, authorities say. Kuhl was angry, he says, because he alleges he was mistreated at the NC Division of Waste Management, and Brown knew about it, but did nothing. That agency has no record of Kuhl ever being employed there.

                                                            LENNON LACY

By Cash Michaels

The FBI has now been investigating the open questions surrounding the mysterious hanging death of black teenager in the small eastern North Carolian town of Bladenboro for at least a month.
There is no question in the minds of those who believe that Lennon Lacy, 17, did not kill himself, as the Bladenboro police and county coroner have ruled, that someone knows what happened to the West Bladenboro High School student before his body was found hanging from a children’s swing set in a predominately white trailer park he did not live at on the morning of August 29th last summer.
Local authorities were quick to rule suicide, saying, after interviewing Lacy’s mother, that he was despondent of the recent death of a beloved uncle. But Claudia Lacy counters that while her son was indeed sad, as was the rest of the family, he was nowhere near suicidal.
Indeed, the start of the high school football season was beginning the same evening Lennon’s body was found, and young man was on his school team, and had been eagerly preparing for the big first game.
In effect, her son had every reason to live, Claudia Lacy says, which means his death was something she’s certain was done to him.
“He didn’t do this to himself,” she told CNN.
The NC NAACP has joined with the Lacy family and attorney, demanding justice and a full investigation of the facts. With Rev. William Barber, president of the statewide civil rights group leading the way, more questions about both the circumstances surrounding Lennon’s death, and the subsequent local investigation, have come to light.
“’[The Lacy family is]… being asked to accept the fact that their son, brother, and cousin might have walked out of his home the night before his first big home football game that he had been preparing for all summer,” Rev. Barber said at a November press conference with the family present.  “That he would have hidden his brand new shoes that he had been wearing, so no one could find them.  That he would have found a pair of older low-top sneakers, taken the strings out of them, and jammed them on his feet, although they were two sizes too small. That he would have walked alone to a trailer park owned by a white man who is in prison for dealing drugs.  That he would have picked up two leashes/belts along the way and fashioned a noose out of them all by himself.  That when he got there, he would have picked a swing set with no swings hanging from it, and taken the leash/belt, tied it to the beam and through the eyehook, and then put the leash around his neck, and swung himself out to his self-inflicted death.” 
“And he did all this with no one around, and he remained there until 7 a.m. or so in the morning, after people were leaving for work at the Smithfield Plant or to school,” Barber added. 
“And they are being asked to accept this without knowing that all of the other factors and leads have been exhausted.”
One possible lead is the confirmed fact that Lennon Lacy was dating a 31-year-old white divorcee’. The woman says Lennon treated her “good,” but the couple tried to be careful of being seen publicly because of negative reaction in the small town.
An expert pathologist hired by the NCNAACP who reviewed the autopsy findings has raised several doubt about how law enforcement handled the body when found. Those doubts, and further questions, were brought to the Bladen County district attorney, who has agreed to keep the case open.
Finally, based on growing questions, the US Attorney was convinced after meeting with the family and NCNAACP, to call in the FBI for a federal civil rights investigation.
Rev. Barber says his office has received calls from people in Bladenboro who say they have information, and its his expectation that the FBI will followup  with them.
Meanwhile, he and the NCNAACP stand by the family.
“Let us pray for the Lacy family,” Rev. Barber says.


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