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Orlando ignored environmental racism, so women stepped up

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  Orlando responded to requests to study pollution and the health of residents in Parramore and other historically black neighborhoods by dragging its feet for years. That’s why the Coalition of Black Women – Central Florida applied for and received a $120,000 federal grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study these long-standing problems. “People’s health and lives were at risk,” said Project Manager Lawanna Gelzer. “We were tired waiting on the city. We had to act.” The grant work begins this Thursday (Dec. 3) 6:30 p.m. when the Coalition of 100 Black Women holds an online community forum to begin the fact-finding process. Residents are encouraged to attend this forum by clicking: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEqceippjIiGtHDymQPlxPKN5asozf1qXCV (After you click, check your email for access to the meeting.) The dangerous pollution in Orlando’s historically black Parramore community was spotlighted almost 2 years ago in a national article publish

Federal grant focuses on Parramore health

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  The Coalition of 100 Black Women – Central Florida just received a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency to address pollution problems in Orlando’s Parramore community. The grant, which will be managed by Lawanna Gelzer, is designed to reduce the impact of air pollution on the people who live in the historically black community, whose health and well-being have been largely overlooked by local government and leaders.. The grant will provide the resources to study the prevalence of asthma and other respiratory diseases on the residents of the community that is bracted by Interstate 4 and State Road 408 and filled with industrial businesses that use toxic chemicals. The project will also share its findings with residents to ensure they are getting the proper health care. This project will be kicked off with an online meeting that will be open to the community on Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. People can join that meet on the computer or by phone. To connect by computer; go to Zoom.

Setting record straight on man found hanging in the park

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  News that a black man was found hanging from a tree in Orlando is alarming to most black people in America given this nation’s ugly history of racist lynchings, which is why we reported this story. A report like that can grow and become more frightening as time passes, which is what happened in the case of Nevan Baker, 22. On Oct. 5 th 32805OrlNews and Orlando Urban News published a video interview with one of Mr. Baker’s relatives who spoke to us with the blessing of Mr. Baker’s mother. The relative insisted there was no way Mr. Baker would kill himself. That relative also told us that when Mr. Baker’s body was found there were signs that he had been beaten, there were injuries to his face and a tooth was missing. The grief-stricken family disputed the police conclusion that Mr. Baker killed himself. Black people have good reasons not to trust the police because of false and misleading information law enforcement have presented in other instances. We also questioned the inv

How OPD pulled a fast one on mom whose son was found hung in park

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    The Orlando Police Department blindsided the mother of the man who was found hanging in Barker Park last week. Sharonda James thought she was going to a private meeting on Monday (10/12) with Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon to learn how police reached the conclusion that her son -- Nevan Baker -- committed suicide. Instead she was ushered into a police headquarters auditorium with almost 20 other people -- including elected officials, black preachers, and others. Local activist Miles Mulrain Jr., who accompanied the mother to the meeting, discussed the situation Tuesday morning (10/13) during a news conference organized by activists to discuss the troubling case. Mulrain said the mother asked him to come to the meeting with her. Initially police officials tried to prevent Mulrain from entering. Eventually they relented and he was allowed in.  (See video of Mulrain describing what happened.) Mulrain said the mother and her family didn’t know the people police invited to attend th

Cops sure jumped to "suicide" conclusion for Nevan Baker

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  Orlando police insist they conducted a thorough investigation into the death of Nevan Baker, 22, who was found hanging from a tree in Orlando’s Barker Park, not far from Camping World Stadium. Mr. Baker was found before 4 a.m. on Monday (Oct 5 th ). By the end of that day, police and medical examiner declared the death a “suicide”. The “Practical Homicide Investigation” textbook is the bible for police death investigations. It states: “All death inquiries should be conducted as homicide investigations until the facts prove differently. The resolution of the mode of death as Suicide is based on a series of factors which eliminate Homicide, Accident and Natural Causes of death.” Attempting to bolster their claim that Mr. Baker’s death was a suicide, on Friday (10/9) Orlando police sent the news media a one-page document from the medical examiner’s office (accompanying this article) stating Mr. Baker’s death was a suicide. The document is useless because it includes no scientific

Orlando's Martin plant may be poisoning Tangelo Park

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   Environmental racism is endangering the health and safety of people who live and work in Orlando’s predominantly black Tangelo Park community. Lawyers representing people who live and work in Tangelo Park accused the Lockheed Martin company of poisoning the soil and groundwater in Tangelo Park. Lockheed Martin’s main Orlando plant on Sand Lake Road is adjacent to Tangelo Park. Lockheed Martin, formerly known as Martin Marietta, has been manufacturing aircraft, aerospace and defense products at that sprawling Sand Lake Road plant for decades. Lockheed Martin is one of Orlando’s major employers. Powerhouse Orlando law firm Morgan & Morgan accused Lockheed of mishandling dangerous toxic chemicals used it its products and those substances have caused a range of severe sicknesses in people living and working in the area. It’s noteworthy that some people working at NBC’s Golf Channel broadcast network, based in Tangelo Park, have also complained about illnesses that are believed linke

Black TV network opening in Orlando

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A global African television studio is weeks away from opening in Orlando. Afrotainment is putting the finishing touches on its multi-million-dollar studios and production facility in the heart of Orlando’s tourist district next to the Titanic attraction in the 7300 block of International Drive, near Carrier Drive. Led by Yves Bollanga, a former IBM software engineer and Cameroon native, the network produces and broadcasts films, talk shows and comedies. Mr. Bollanga anticipates the studio will be open for business by the end of this month. The production complex includes huge studios with stadium seating to accommodate live audiences. It contains the latest technology, including robotic cameras, editing bays for production teams, control rooms and meeting space. The studio is staffed with experienced professional teams. The Afrotainment TV content can be found on Dish Network, DirectTV, Verizon FiOS, Haiti HD, Xfinity, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. However, it is difficult