NEWS ROUNDUP: 5-YEAR-OLD JHESSYE SHOCKLEY IS MISSING / JUDGE APPROVES BLACK FARMERS’ SETTLEMENT

Posted by | Posted in Gurl Talk | Posted on 31-10-2011

It’s been nearly three weeks since 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley was reported missing in Glendale, Arizona, by her mother, Jerice Hunter, who said she left the kindergartner with Jhessye’s older siblings while she ran an errand. Authorities have received numerous tips regarding the missing child from as far away as Ohio, but continue to “[look] for that break and it just hasn’t come yet”.

Hunter reportedly served three and a half years in a California prison for abusing her other children and was released in May 2010. Family members claim Jhessye may have also been abused. Cousin Mahogany Hightower said that the last time she saw Jhessye at a family barbecue in April, the little girl “cried really bad, telling us she wanted us to take her home. She wanted to go home now. We told her you can’t come home with us now, but you will later. She goes, ‘I can’t go later. I’ve got to go now.’” Hunter, who is eight months pregnant, denied those claims as well as any involvement in Jhessye’s disappearance.

“It is very unfair to ask me that,” she said, her voice rising. “Do I look like I hurt my daughter? Do I look like I hurt my daughter? Do I look like I hurt my daughter?”

Family members have stressed to police that they want them to look at everyone, including Hunter. A cash reward is offered for information regarding Jhessye’s disappearance, and anyone with information is urged to call the Glendale Police Department at 623-930-HELP (4357), the FBI, 911 or any police agency.

JUDGE APPROVES BLACK FARMERS’ SETTLEMENT

Eddie Cotton, 82, clears a field for a fall crop of hay, using a 40-yr-old tractor. (Photo: Robin Nelson )

On Friday (Oct. 28), U.S. District judge Paul Friedman awarded a $1.25 billion settlement to thousands of black farmers who suffered racial discrimination and were denied loans and assistance from the Department of Agriculture.

Friedman said that while “historical discrimination cannot be undone” the settlement would “provide relief to an awful lot of people for the broken promise to those African-American farmers and their descendants”. President Barack Obama called the court’s decision “an important step forward in addressing an unfortunate chapter in USDA’s civil rights history”:

The U.S. District Court’s approval of the settlement between the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and plaintiffs in the Pigford II class action lawsuit is another important step forward in addressing an unfortunate chapter in USDA’s civil rights history. This agreement will provide overdue relief and justice to African American farmers, and bring us closer to the ideals of freedom and equality that this country was founded on. I especially want to recognize the efforts of Secretary Vilsack and Attorney General Holder, without whom this settlement would not have been reached.

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