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The Declaration of Independence
Throughout the 1760s and early 1770s, the North American colonists found themselves increasingly at odds with British imperial policies regarding taxation and frontier policy. When repeated protests failed to influence British policies, and instead resulted in the closing of the port of Boston and the declaration of martial law in Massachusetts, the colonial governments sent delegates to a Continental Congress to coordinate a colonial boycott of British goods. When fighting broke out between American colonists and British forces in Massachusetts, the Continental Congress worked with local groups, originally intended to enforce the boycott, to coordinate resistance against the British. British officials throughout the colonies increasingly found their authority challenged by informal local governments, although loyalist sentiment remained strong in some areas.
Despite these changes, colonial leaders hoped to reconcile with the British Government, and all but the most radical members of Congress were unwilling to declare independence. However, in late 1775, Benjamin Franklin, then a member of the Secret Committee of Correspondence, hinted to French agents and other European sympathizers that the colonies were increasingly leaning towards seeking independence. While perhaps true, Franklin also hoped to convince the French to supply the colonists with aid. Independence would be necessary, however, before French officials would consider the possibility of an alliance.
Throughout the winter of 1775–1776, the members of the Continental Congress came to view reconciliation with Britain as unlikely, and independence the only course of action available to them. When on December 22, 1775, the British Parliament prohibited trade with the colonies, Congress responded in April of 1776 by opening colonial ports—this was a major step towards severing ties with Britain. The colonists were aided by the January publication of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense, which advocated the colonies’ independence and was widely distributed throughout the colonies. By February of 1776, colonial leaders were discussing the possibility of forming foreign alliances and began to draft the Model Treaty that would serve as a basis for the 1778 alliance with France. Leaders for the cause of independence wanted to make certain that they had sufficient congressional support before they would bring the issue to the vote. On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion in Congress to declare independence. Other members of Congress were amenable but thought some colonies not quite ready. However, Congress did form a committee to draft a declaration of independence and assigned this duty to Thomas Jefferson.
Benjamin Franklin and John Adams reviewed Jefferson’s draft. They preserved its original form, but struck passages likely to meet with controversy or skepticism, most notably passages blaming King George III for the transatlantic slave trade and those blaming the British people rather than their government. The committee presented the final draft before Congress on June 28, 1776, and Congress adopted the final text of the Declaration of Independence on July 4.
The British Government did its best to dismiss the Declaration as a trivial document issued by disgruntled colonists. British officials commissioned propagandists to highlight the declaration’s flaws and to rebut the colonists’ complaints. The Declaration divided British domestic opposition, as some American sympathizers thought the Declaration had gone too far, but in British-ruled Ireland it had many supporters.
The Declaration’s most important diplomatic effect was to allow for recognition of the United States by friendly foreign governments. The Sultan of Morocco mentioned American ships in a consular document in 1777, but Congress had to wait until the 1778 Treaty of Alliance with France for a formal recognition of U.S. independence. The Netherlands acknowledged U.S. independence in 1782. Although Spain joined the war against Great Britain in 1779, it did not recognize U.S. independence until the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Under the terms of the treaty, which ended the War of the American Revolution, Great Britain officially acknowledged the United States as a sovereign and independent nation.
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The new program will enable pilots to fly, repair and program Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) — also commonly known as drones or Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (UAVs).
The new degree program will provide a Bachelor of Science in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, with operations, maintenance and electronics concentrations.
Projected growth for this industry is estimated in the billions of dollars over the next five years. Over 100,000 new jobs are expected be created in agriculture, search and rescue, aerial videography, border security, wildlife conservation, oil and gas pipeline inspection, and package delivery. Specific examples include the following:
First responders – search and rescue, accident investigation
As many technologies do, drones have risen to prominence in the military. LETU RPA instructor Ruedi Schubarth has worked for a defense contractor operating unmanned aircraft systems in support of training and contingency operations in the U.S. and overseas.
Drones are used in industry to do dull, dirty and dangerous tasks more efficiently and safely than a manned aircraft. Current minimum requirements for commercial RPA operators include U.S. citizenship, sport pilot license, driver’s license and experience with RPA type: most commonly fixed-wing or rotary-wing.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to date, has expressed concern over flight safety when drones are flown in the same air space as commercial and private planes. While FAA regulations continue to mature over time, the likely effect will increase the demand for certified pilots to fly the RPAs for commercial purposes. As both federal and state legislators thoughtfully consider the legalities of these new technologies, LETU is at the forefront of the conversation as the only program of its kind in East Texas.
LETU has been on the cutting edge of aviation training since 1956 and was the first university in the state to be FAA approved to offer training for air traffic controllers.
For more information about the new drone program at LETU, visit www.letu.edu.
About LeTourneau University:
LeTourneau University is a comprehensive institution of Christ-centered higher education where educators engage students to nurture Christian virtue, develop competency and ingenuity in their professional fields, integrate faith and work, and serve the local and global community. LETU offers a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in aviation, arts & sciences, business, education, engineering and nursing. Around 1,300 students study at LETU’s main campus in Longview, Texas. LETU also offers a robust suite of online programs, as well as hybrid programs in Dallas and Houston. Claiming every workplace in every nation as their mission field, LeTourneau University graduates are professionals of ingenuity and Christ-like character who see life’s work as a holy calling with eternal impact. For additional information, visit www.letu.edu.
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For the 25th time in 29 years, the weekly newspaper, The Flare, won Sweepstakes for having the most points in its division.
Between The Flare, The Flare Magazine and Ranger yearbook, KC received 40 awards, including first and third places in statewide on-site competition.
Publications were judged from the spring 2014 and fall 2015 semesters.
The Flare newspaper received first place awards for special edition/section sports feature story, in-depth reporting, illustration (non-photo), feature page design, news feature story, sports feature story and photo illustration.
It won second place for information graphic, headline, op/ed page design, Page 1 design, general column and feature photo; and third sports page design.
It received honorable mentions for sports page design, feature story, sports feature story, sports page design, editorial, sports action photo and overall excellence.
The Ranger yearbook also won a number of awards, taking first place for photo story and feature photo, second place for feature/student life and third in overall excellence. The yearbook also received honorable mentions for academic photo and sports action photo.
The Flare Magazine won first place for magazine picture story. It also won third place for magazine illustration and received honorable mentions for cover design and overall excellence.
In live competition, Richard Nguyen brought home first in Radio Sports Writing. Tiffany Johnson received a third place award in Sports Action Photography.
Rachel Stallard serves as adviser of The Flare; O. Rufus is the photography adviser. Stallard and Lovett are co-advisers of the Ranger yearbook and The Flare Magazine.
Gary Borders was adviser during the spring 2014 semester.
Kathryn Agee – feature story
Jordan Baird – op/ed page design, sports feature story
Jordan Baker – gen. column
Devin Brooks – sports page design
Michael Brown – sports action photo
Leah Bryce – in-depth reporting
Dezirae Burnett – news feature story
Cody Davis – illustration (non-photo)
Sara Holmes – feature photo
Ashley Morales – feature page design, headline
Jon Nieto – photo illustration
Kevon Price – sports feature
Dustin Taylor – editorial
Tory Van Blarcum – info graphic, Page 1 design
Kristopher Dobbins – photo story, feature photo, sports action photo
Sonia Garza – photo story
Sara Holmes – photo story
Iesha Mayfield – acad. photo
Shelby Ragland – photo story
Karyn Sage – photo story
Randi Vinson-Davis – photo story
Sara Holmes – illustration
Ashley Morales – cover design, overall excellence
Shelby Ragland – picture story
Randi Vinson-Davis – cover design, overall excellence
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Almost 300 Tyler ISD students and parents attended the first Early College High School (ECHS) Parent Night held at the Davidson Conference Room in the Plyer Instructional Complex. One hundred thirty-eight current eighth grade students were chosen to participate in the ECHS program with 61 students signing commitment letters during the event. Students are selected from specific admissions criteria that include a completed application, student and parent interviews, student essays and school attendance.
“It was so fulfilling to see these parents come out to support their children as they commit to this wonderful opportunity,” DelSenna Frasier, ECHS director, said. “The ECHS is a new experience for Tyler ISD and we are confident it will be a success for students and the community.”
Tyler ISD’s Early College High School is a partnership with Tyler Junior College that provides students with a rigorous yet supportive program to compress the time it takes to complete a high school diploma and the first two years of college.
Since 2002, partner organizations of the Early College High School Initiative have started or redesigned 110 schools in Texas serving approximately 10,000 students. The schools are designed so that low-income youth, first generation college-goers, English language learners and other young people underrepresented in higher education can simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree or up to two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree tuition free.
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This was a massive coordination of effort, with special thanks going to the PTHS Administrators, office staff, PT band staff, custodial staff, security, band boosters, student volunteers, and all of the teachers/students who were relocated during this time.
Congratulations to the following students who earned first division UIL solo and ensemble medals at Pine Tree High: Solos (Class one solos must be performed by memory to advance to state) 28 First Division Ratings with 10 Advancing to State:
86 First Division Ensemble Medals with 55 Qualifying for State)
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WHAT YOU DO AND DO NOT KNOW
This story is not just for jazz music lovers; it is for those who like jazz and don’t know it; at least not yet. Most music lovers do like jazz; they just aren’t aware of it. Maybe they have a limited definition of jazz. Perhaps they’ve heard only one type of jazz. Or perhaps they don’t know the significant impact jazz has made on all forms of music. For example, did you know that the drum set was invented by jazz musicians? Or that the words “cool” and “hip” were originally jazz terms? Or that the offset rhythms and hard bassline beats of today’s “hip-hop” music came from a 1930’s jazz style called “be-bop”? Or still better, did you know that the music in most of the Motown songs from 1959 to 1972 was composed by a small group of jazz musicians? Yes, the Funk Brothers, as they were called, wrote the music for such hits as:
“My Girl” “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered’, “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone”, “The Tears Of A Clown”, “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and many other favorites. So yes, I’ll bet you do like jazz.
EUROPEAN HORNS AND AFRICAN DRUMS
Jazz was the product of the melting pot of New Orleans; center of the American slave trade. In 1817, the New Orleans city council established “Congo Square” as an official site for slave music and dance. New Orleans was the only place in America where slaves were allowed to own drums. The slaves’ “Voodoo” rituals, as they were called, were not only tolerated; but later well attended by whites, the rich and the influential. Soon the entire city was dancing to these new “Voodoo” rhythms. But this was only the beginning. It was in New Orleans that soon the bright flash of European horns ran into the dark rumble of African drums; and it was like lightning meeting thunder! The slaves took that joyful sound and put it together with the music they heard in churches (gospel) and the music they heard in barrooms (blues), and they blew this new music all over the South. Piero Scaruffi in a History of Jazz Music said, “Unlike blues music, that was exclusively performed by blacks, jazz music was as inter-racial as the melting pot of New Orleans. Blacks were not the only ones who played jazz. Jazz groups were formed by Italians, Creoles and all sorts of European immigrants. The “African” roots of the music may or may not have been obvious to the practitioners, but clearly it did not stop them from adopting it.”
In 1898, after the Spanish-American war, the troops returning from the battlefront landed in New Orleans with European brass instruments that were sold cheaply on the black market. Within a few years, every neighborhood in New Orleans boasted of having a brass band. George “Papa Jack” Laine and his Reliance Brass Band, were notorious for playing with a “ragged time,” which meant the musicians were playing variations on the tempo to make it “swing.” Ragged time or “ragtime” (also referred to as syncopation) which is considered is to be a precursor to jazz music, continued its popularity through the end of the century. This style of play was also made famous by a piano player named Scott Joplin, who is considered to be “the King of Ragtime Music”. Scott Joplin was actually born near Linden, Texas but later moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he acclaimed fame as an originator of the ragtime/jazz style.
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND MIGRATION
At the turn of the 1900’s, African Americans began to migrate from the South to the North. As the Industrial Revolution began and factory jobs became plentiful in cities like Memphis, Kansas City, Chicago, St. Louis and New York City, they enthusiastically took this music to a new level of appreciation. Jazz continued to gain its own identity through the period known as the “Harlem Renaissance”, a movement that represented “an outpouring of African American culture and entrepreneurship. Harlem had become a mecca for African Americans seeking to embrace their own cultural heritage.” [“The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.”
Still, within mainstream American society, racism remained a formidable obstacle. White patrons routinely frequented jazz clubs, like the Cotton Club in Harlem, to listen to African American jazz performers like Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. Unfortunately however, the Cotton Club often denied admission to African American patrons, even as African American jazz performers headlined the establishment!
As Duke and Ella kept swinging and singing, insisting: “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing”, white musicians like Benny Goodman and his orchestra became known as the “King of Swing”. As an educated African American middle class continued to emerge, racial barriers were gradually lowering as jazz music was vastly becoming America’s first authentic art form embraced by people of every background and heritage. In addition to the ragtime pioneering of Scott Joplin and “Jelly Roll” Morton, “Fats Waller, Willie “The Lion” Smith and James P. Johnson popularized “stride” left hand pattern (bass note, chord, bass note, chord); later Albert Ammons and Meade Lux Lewis developed this into the faster moving left hand patterns of what was called “Boogie-Woogie”’. Also during this time, a young jazz trumpeter named Louis Armstrong, is credited with the invention of the jazz “scat”, in which the vocalist makes up nonsense syllables to sing improvised lines. Ella Fitzgerald is thought to be the greatest female scat singer. Scat singing was a difficult technique that required singers have the ability to sing improvised melodies and rhythms using the voice as an instrument. It was an improvisational style similar to that used by today’s rap artists!
SWINGING WITH BIG BANDS
The mid-1930’s continued the swinging rhythms with big bands led by Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Count Basie. The “scatting” improvisations soon gave way to another change in jazz style called “be-bop”, made famous by pianist Art Tatum, saxophonist Charlie “Bird” Parker and trumpeter John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie. It is safe to say, be-bop was to jazz then as today’s hip-hop is to Rhythm and Blues. Bebop jazz was played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. In the 1940’s “blue mood” jazz emerged with such artists as pianist Thelonius Monk and trumpeter Miles Davis, who sought to create a more mellow and subdued style of jazz. This unique style would keep the complexities of be-bop, yet introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines. In the 1950’s “free jazz” made its way, with saxophonist John Coltrane, clarinetist Sidney Bechet and drummer Art Blakely explored playing without regular meter, beat and formal structures. In the 1960’s, jazz gave way to “cool-ness”, or “cool jazz” with saxophonist John Coltrane, drummer Max Roach and bassist Charles Mingus. These “cool cats” started to make jazz music rock hard; producing a big sound from a trio, quartet or quintet group of musicians. Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and guitarist Wes Montgomery converted this style into a newer “hard-bop” jazz; with Hancock introducing the electric piano to jazz music. This era also saw a bold new style of jazz arise called the “Bossa Nova” or “Latin Jazz”, which has its origins in Brazil, with composer, pianist and guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim helping define its characteristics.
JAZZ GIANTS, JAZZ ROCK, R&B AND HIP-HOP
In the 1970’s, the “hard-bop” evolved into a “jazz rock”, sometimes called “jazz fusion”, led by saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., with his cross-over hit song: “Mister Magic” and Herbie Hancock, with his revolutionary jazz album “Head Hunters”. The sales of Hancock’s album broke all prior records in jazz history. The 1980’s saw the genius of such musicians and composers as pianist Quincy Jones-producer, arranger, musician and magazine founder, whose multi-Grammy award winning talents cover many genres of music; and Patrice Rushen, songwriter, band leader, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, considered still to be one of the greatest jazz and R&B keyboardist in the world. The 1990’s were dominated by the contributions of pianist Ellis Marsalis, Jr., a very gifted composer whose twenty year career in jazz had finally begun to take shape. He is perhaps better known as the patriarch of a musical family, with sons, Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis rising to international acclaim in jazz. One of the big trends of jazz today is a return to the be-bop and hard-bop roots of late twentieth century jazz music. Modern twenty first century jazz is heavily influenced with popular R&B and hip-hop music, creating yet another fusion with some favorite contemporary songs. This “smooth groove” jazz, representing yet another radical cross-over effect, is made famous by such artists as saxophonists: Kim Waters, Kirk Whalum, Dave Koz and Boney James; guitarists: Norman Brown, Jeff Golub, Larry Carlton and George Benson; bassists: Nathan East, Marcus Miller, Larry Graham and Wayman Tisdale; and pianists/keyboardists: Bob James, David Benoit, Kevin Toney and Harry Connick, Jr.; and jazz vocalists: Diana Krall, Jill Scott, Norah Jones and Will Downing. These artists, along with many others, have brought a new development in jazz, “jazz-tronica”, using electronic technology and traditional improvisation, while infusing jazz with traditional pop, R&B and hip-hop music.
These are only a few of the celebrated artists within contemporary jazz music who continue giving credit to its success. Though these are recognizable giants in jazz, the “future history” of this music is continuing to be written, even by lesser known artists of great mastery, creative ability and a genuine love for jazz.
JAZZ STARS FROM EAST TEXAS AND THE SOUTH
Many of these bright stars are from our immediate area. Jazz saxophonist Gerald Dunn, originally from Tyler, Texas; is the Entertainment Director of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. Dunn and his “Jazz Disciples” are writing their own chapter in the book of jazz from Kansas City, as they tour with such greats as the world renowned Illinois Jacquet’s Big Band based in New York. George Faber, Jr., keyboardist and bassist; also of Tyler, has grown to national acclaim with his musical experience that encompasses several musical genres, including smooth jazz, gospel, R&B and classic rock and roll. Also making jazz history is saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Dorsey Summerfield, Jr. of Shreveport, Louisiana, former Associate Professor of Music at Southern University, whose rich and illustrious career began with the Ray Charles Band. Summerfield’s talents keep evolving at every turn, as he still captivates audiences with stellar stage performances throughout the country.
These, and many other artists who share their great passion and talents with us, are an integral part of the “future history” of jazz music. They are among those who keep us loving this great music; who keep our heads bopping and our fingers popping to the rhythm and the beats; and who cause an occasional foot-tapping effect with those who don’t know they like jazz music.
Credits: http://tdl.org “Early Jazz: The Outside Shore”; Official Web Site of Marc Sabatella
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The John Tyler Guard participated in Team Flag and Team Flag/Rifle categories and had three students compete in solo competition.
In team events, the Guard earned superior ratings, best in class choreography, and first place in both categories. The Guard also received the Winner’s Cup for being the best color guard in all divisions, which also included an additional winter guard category.
In solo competition, Arnetta Pitts- Johnson was named third runner-up and Da’Jah Battles second runner-up in the 11th- 12th grade category. LaCourtney Fragoso received first runner-up honors in the 9th-10th grade category.
“We are extremely proud of our students as they’ve worked intensely hard in preparation,” Dale Faulks, John Tyler assistant director of bands, said. “This competition, however, was only a warmup for the national competition coming up March 20 and 21 in Ft. Worth.”
The competing Guard members were Viola Amphy, Da’Jah Battles, LaCourtney Fragoso, Angelina Kobs, Arnetta Pitts-Johnson, and Lynessia Roberts. The Color Guard Director is Ms. Jessilyn Taylor.
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U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
The nation’s high school graduation rate hit 81 percent in 2012-13, the highest level since states adopted a new uniform way of calculating graduation rates five years ago.
“America’s students have achieved another record-setting milestone,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We can take pride as a nation in knowing that we’re seeing promising gains, including for students of color. This is a vital step toward readiness for success in college and careers for every student in this country, and these improvements are thanks to the hard work of teachers, principals, students and families.”
Since 2010, states, districts and schools have been using a new, common metric— the adjusted cohort graduation rate—to promote greater accountability and develop strategies that will help reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates in schools nationwide. For three consecutive years, graduation rates have continued to climb, which reflects continued progress among America’s high school students.
“When schools are held accountable and students are given support to help them stay in school and on track, real progress is possible,” said John Gomperts, president and CEO of America’s Promise Alliance, leader of the GradNation campaign to reach a 90 percent on-time high school graduation rate by 2020. “Because of increases over the past decade or so, nearly two million additional young people have high school diplomas, giving them a chance at a more promising future. However, much work remains. Looking forward, we will focus on what more can be done so that all young people have the foundation they need to succeed in school and life.”
The campaign plans to release its 2015 “Building a GradNation” report in early May. To view the data—including a state by state breakdown click here. The Department hopes to release graduation rates for minority students, students with disabilities and English language learners in coming weeks.
Today’s economy calls for critical skills that go beyond the basics. To ensure the economic strength of our country, students must graduate high school ready for college, careers and life. The Department has invested more than $1 billion in early education; implemented strategies that improve achievement and close opportunity gaps, and awarded billions of dollars through such grant programs as Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and School Improvement Grants; and expanded college access and affordability for families.
To maintain and accelerate the progress students are making, the Obama Administration is calling for an overhaul of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) —also known as No Child Left Behind—with a law that not only ensures students are prepared for college, careers and life, but also delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child. Secretary Duncan has called on Congress to create a bipartisan law that gives teachers and principals the resources they need, expands high-quality preschool for families and supports schools and districts in creating innovative new solutions to problems that translate into better outcomes for students.
For more information, visit www.ed.gov.
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It is only February, and it seems violence has engulfed Longview. The recent streaks of violence prompted a prayer rally for peace and unity. And on Monday, Branden Johnson, president of Longview NAACP called a press conference to unveil a new strategy for combating violence. This strategy it is hoped will usher in a new era of hope and tranquility especially in south Longview.
“We are not going to tolerate violence in our community,” Johnson told the press corps at Divine Catering restaurant on Mobberly Avenue. He listed several upcoming workshops that can be found on longviewnaacp.com. Teens in particular, is the target audience of these workshops.
Justin Pippins the brains behind, “A Better VIEW” (Valued Individual Exchanging Wisdom) coined Proverbs 27:17 was present. He credited women for their tenacity in keeping families together for the longest. “Women have done a tremendous job for our community, and it is time for the men to take an active role,” said Pippins. “We are standing up against bullying and all other bad behaviors that are the root cause of this violence,” he said. We want to be mentors and help our community achieve great success.
Melvin Snoddy a Baptist layman agreed with Pippins about the role women have long played in the Black community. “Men need to step up and join this collective effort,” he said. According to Snoddy, the “mind” is the enemy. As an experienced older man who had a brush with violence, he stated, “I have seen it all. With all this fighting and shooting, it could be your last action.”
Their program Snoddy said will teach teens the need to respect others-peers and adults alike. “This not a laissez-faire or do as you please life.”
Kevin Hawkins owner of Divine Catering said they chose their slogan, iron sharpens iron from the Bible. “As a business owner, I have a vested interest in bringing peace to the community,” he said. “I am putting my money where my mouth is by joining to mentor our local youth.” Hawkins believes the hopelessness in the community stems from young people not envisioning a bright future. “They see nothing in their futures.”
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