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Things to do in Winston-Salem Old Gold & Black – Old Gold & Black08.23.21

Dash-City local highlights the citys various hot spots and pastimes

Winston-Salem the city that falls asleep at 9 p.m., a boring metropolis, one Reddit users fourth-best North Carolina college town and now, your home for the next four years.

Dash City isnt a college town like Boone or Chapel Hill, so you may feel like there is not much to do outside of campus. But ask any other townie and they will agree that there is plenty to do besides sitting in parking lots with your high school friends asking each other, So what are we going to do?. The entertainment is out there, you just have to know where to look.

Shopping: Hanes Mall? Wack. Thruway? That. If you enjoy spending all day walking past empty department stores and incessant shoe cleaners, Hanes Mall is the place to be. But if overcrowded parking lots and bright fluorescent lights dont float your boat, Thruway Shopping Center may deserve a visit. Clothes, salons, sporting goods, restaurants and the best smoothies in town? This aint your mamas strip mall. Also, right across the street from Thruway is Five Points, home of Nawab, Little Richards BBQ and Midtown Cafe. Dare I say a better breakfast than the Pit? There are also many shops and boutiques in downtown Winston-Salem, including Underdog Records on Burke Street, Mast General on Trade Street, Bookmarks on 4th and many more local businesses to spend the day in.

Outdoors: Whats the coolest three-letter word in the English language? B-M-X. There is literally nothing cooler. Go grind some gears at Tanglewood Park with miles of bike trails and a racecourse. Not cool enough to BMX? Fine, I guess you are still allowed to check out the rest of the park. Golf, fishing, farmers markets, jumping off bridges into the Yadkin River or just walking around are all fun and acceptable non-BMX activities. If walking around is more your speed, there are three beautiful hiking trails all within an hour of campus Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock and Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain may be the furthest, but if you want to pretend to walk on the moon, the trek is worth it. If you are a White Sox fan, check out Winston-Salems lower, Single-A Minor League baseball team: the Dash. Lawn seats are nine dollars a pop and you can always move around the ballpark throughout the game. Plus, kids get to run the bases after the game, need I say more?

Dont Have A Car?: No worries, there are still plenty of things to do near campus, and the shuttle can be used to get downtown. Take a quick 15-minute walk over to the Reynolda House and Museum of Art to bathe yourself in early 20th-century decadence and beauty. Just flash your DeaconOne Card and you can explore the finely furnished halls for free as well as get access to the rotating art exhibits downstairs. Take the shuttle downtown, get dropped off at Bailey Park, which usually has something always going on, then take a quick walk over to Fourth Street for some dinner. Then, amble over to the Art Park on Liberty Street. All of downtown is very walkable and easy to navigate, so if you want to explore this new city, you can do so. Just make sure you keep track of time and dont get stranded by the shuttle.

Makeovers: Unless you are planning to grow your hair out for the next eight months, you are probably going to be looking for a barber shop nearby. If you are a Great Clips man, fear not, there are many locations in town. However, if you would like a more authentic barbershop feel, Mt. Tabor Barber Shop and Washington Park Barber Shop are both affordable and highly rated. If you want a closer barbershop, check out Supreme Legacy and Headliners which are less than two miles from campus and both of which specialize in cutting Black hair. If a haircut doesnt fulfill that permanent change desire, visit ArtAttack Tattoo on Reynolda Road for some fresh ink or piercings. Obviously, you should do your own research about artists around town before you lock in, but ArtAttacks convenience and testimonials are unmatched.

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The Four Seasons Total Landscaping concert was a big hit! Huge! Probably the best concert ever! – The Philadelphia Inquirer08.23.21

As Brian Sowden approached the gates to Four Seasons Total Landscaping on Saturday afternoon, past the crematorium across the street and the sex shop next door, he was dumbfounded.

Just walking up to this location, I was like, One, I cant believe there was a press conference here, and two, now theres a punk show! Sowden, 41, of North Wales, said.

Nine months after Rudy Giuliani yelled Dont be ridiculous! during a now-infamous news conference at the Northeast Philly landscaping business, ridiculous is just what Philly got on Saturday, when a life-size cardboard cutout of Giuliani crowd-surfed over punk-rock fans during a performance by musician Laura Jane Grace at the same unlikely venue.

Ive played Giants Stadium. Ive played Wembley. Sang on stage with Cyndi Lauper. Written songs with Weezer. Been on stage with Joan Jett. None of that compares to this, Grace said on stage. Im 40 years old and I can draw a bigger crowd than Rudy, and I have more Twitter followers than [Donald Trump], which isnt [so bad] for a transgender high school dropout.

About 200 people, some from as far away as North Carolina and Florida, attended the concert in Four Seasons gravel parking lot, where staffers set up a small stage, surrounded with shrubberies, near the companys now-notorious garage door. Landscaping equipment, bags of rock salt, fuel tanks, wheelbarrows, and a very tall Sunoco gas station sign nearby helped set the mood, while Four Seasons trucks around the perimeter provided plenty of photo opportunities for fans.

READ MORE: No. Not that Four Seasons. How Team Trump's news conference ended up at a Northeast Philly landscaping firm.

Tickets to the show sold out in 17 minutes last month, and many of those interviewed at the concert said they were longtime fans of Grace (who also fronts the band Against Me!) or opening musician Brendan Kelly (of the bands The Lawrence Arms and The Falcon). The unusual venue, fans said, was just an added bonus.

The fact its these particular people playing at this particular place makes it special, said Janet Snyder, 36, of Gloucester City, N.J.

Snyder, who wore a face mask with an unsettling picture of Giulianis face on it, was one of two people who snagged tickets to the show because she has a Four Seasons Total Landscaping tattoo. After the 2016 election, she got a tattoo on her shoulder of a heart with the words NASTY WOMAN written inside. In February, she said, she got a bottle of champagne below her nasty woman tattoo and the branch of leaves from Four Seasons logo above it in celebration of the 2020 election.

I was prepared for this six months ago, she said.

Ethan Savage got his Four Seasons ink on his calf this week, after seeing concert promoter Dave Kiss tweet that hed give away tickets to the first two people to get Four Seasons tattoos.

Savage, 23, of Deptford, is a massive fan of Grace and said he was happy to get a tattoo of a woman-owned business for the chance to see one of his favorite artists perform. It was Grace, Savage said, who inspired him to come out as trans. After the concert, Savage got Grace to sign his leg directly below his Four Seasons tattoo, and he plans to have her signature permanently tattooed on him as well.

It doesnt get much better than this, Savage said. It was awesome.

Around the gravel lot, fans in Four Seasons shirts, Gritty shirts, and Gritty riding a Four Seasons lawnmower shirts, sipped on Four Seasons new Lawn Jawn beer by Funk Brewing, snacked on Philly Pretzel Factory soft pretzels, and stocked up on branded merchandise from Philly Drinkers. Neither the crematorium across the street nor the Fantasy Island sex shop next door had tables at the event.

At one point during the show, a man in the alley behind Four Seasons tried to hang a Trump flag from the business fence because I thought itd be funny! he yelled, before he ran away with the flag as soon as Four Seasons staffers started walking his way. At other points, curious Northeast Philly residents watched the concert through the fence while eating hoagies straight from the Wawa wrapper.

Grace, whos also slated to play shows with Kelly at Kung Fu Neck Tie this weekend, kept the crowd rocking with songs like True Trans Soul Rebel, Pints of Guinness Make You Strong, and Osama bin Laden as the Crucified Christ, a song that she dedicated to the death of fascists, always. In between songs, Grace talked with the crowd about how the show was a surreal experience in a Salvador Dal kind of way.

Its been fun both imagining how this is all going to play out and then also just like imagining Four Seasons as a company, thinking about the strife and the drama that must go on internally, she said. Theres probably like the one side of the company, or the friends of the company, who are like, You all lost your way, man! You used to be about cutting grass.

Michael Siravo, director of operations for Four Seasons, and Sean Middleton, director of sales, said Four Seasons is still all about that grass. Despite a phenomenal show, and requests from other musicians to play at their business, at this point, Saturdays concert like the companys foray into hosting news conferences was a one and done.

But between the two events, Siravo said Saturdays show was definitely a lot more organized.

A lot more planning and effort went into this concert, Middleton said. And we knew what we were getting into ahead of time.

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Kitty Hawk Planning Board reviews tattoo studio request – The Coastland Times | The Coastland Times – The Coastland Times08.23.21

In separate actions at their August 12 meeting, Kitty Hawk Planning Board members voted to recommend a zoning map amendment and to allow a new special use within town limits.

The first action item for the evening involved a request to remove an existing split-zoning of property at 3722 North Croatan Highway.

According to Rob Testerman, Kitty Hawk planning and inspections director, the eastern half of the 3.7 acre property with a multi-unit commercial building is zoned Beach Commercial (BC-1) with rest zoned Beach Residential (BR-1). The only access is from North Croatan Highway since the BR-1 portion of the property is landlocked by Barefoot Bernies on the north, Miss Lizzies on the south end and First Flight Ridge subdivision to the west.

Testerman explained that while there are no known plans for development, split zone parcels could complicate any future development proposals when calculating lot coverage, determining setbacks and even looking at any approved uses.

It was also pointed out that although the property was split-zoned when established, it has been a town goal to correct any split zoned properties.

The only discussion on the request included a comment that there is a rumor circulating that the property has been sold and that the zoning change is not spot zoning. Testerman confirmed that the action is not spot zoning and said a sale would not make any difference on the zoning request.

The board then gave its unanimous approval to recommend changing the property zoning from BR-1 to BC-1.

The second action item was a request to add tattoo studios to the list of permitted uses in Kitty Hawk.

In providing information on this request, Testerman explained that North Carolina law does not prohibit tattoo studios and, according to a UNC School of Government publication, the board can only determine where and when they can operate.

Testerman went on to say the application from Michael Smith includes several proposed zoning districts, but if the board feels the request is appropriate for some areas and not others, that could be included in any motion for Town Council.

In his comments on the application, Smith said tattoo artists are heavily regulated and that Dare County has stricter requirements than the NC Department of Health.

There are space requirements and guidelines for health, sanitation and sterilization, said Smith, All that adds to the square footage needed. And all our waste will be handled privately, nothing will be dumped in with town waste.

Currently within Dare County there are tattoo studios in Manns Harbor, Colington and Frisco. Nags Head and Manteo have guidelines for the operation of tattoo studios, but none are known to be there.

After a brief discussion on possible guidelines and restrictions on hours of operation, the board voted to recommend adding a definition for tattoo studios to town code section 42-1 within zoning districts Beach Commercial (BC-1), Commercial (VC-2), and Village Commercial (VC-3) with operating hours limited to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In other business for the evening, the June 17 meeting minutes were approved and oath of office for Planning Board members Jim Geraghty, Chuck Heath, John Richeson and alternate member Matt Spencer.

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North Carolina man sentenced to over seven years in prison for role in armed robbery of convenience store – The Coastland Times | The Coastland Times…08.23.21

Eric Laneil Beale, of Murfreesboro, was sentenced Tuesday, August 17, 2021 to 92 months in prison for interference with commerce by robbery and brandishing a firearm in connection with that crime, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorneys Office, Eastern District of North Carolina. Beale pleaded guilty to the charges on March 9, 2021.

According to court documents and statements made during hearings, on January 10, 2019, at around 6:30 p.m., two men holding guns ran into the Park N Shop convenience store in Conway, North Carolina. One man wearing all black with a black hood pulled over his face went to an employee who was working behind a deli counter, grabbed her by her shirt and pushed her to the front counter with the gun against her head, stated the release. The other man wearing bright blue pants and a burgundy hooded sweater with the hood down went behind the front counter and grabbed the money from the cash register; both men then fled on foot, according to the release.

Law enforcement began searching the area, and one officer noticed a man, later identified as Beale, crouching behind a parked car, stated the release. Beale, still crouching as if trying to not be seen, then walked over and got into the drivers seat of another car that someone had just parked and stepped away from.The officer ordered Beale out of the car and detained him.

A pat down uncovered twenty stacked $5 bills in Beales front pants pocket and Beale admitted that he was involved in the robbery, according to the release.

At the police station, Beale confessed to going into the store and committing the robbery, identifying himself as the man who had collected the money, stated the release. He directed officers to an abandoned building near a cemetery, where officers recovered a .380 caliber Hi-Point handgun, a plastic bag containing the rest of the stolen money, and the blue pants and burgundy sweater that he had worn during the robbery.

Law enforcement later identified Beales accomplice as co-defendant Isaiah Vaughan based on a distinctive tattoo visible on the surveillance video, according to the release. Vaughan pleaded guilty to the same charges on June 8, 2021 and is scheduled to be sentenced during the courts October 2021 term.

G. Norman Acker III, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Conway Police Department and Northampton County Sheriffs Office conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jake D. Pugh prosecuted the case.

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‘Cruel, Unfair and Racist’: Black immigrants whose fathers are U.S. citizens push to overturn law that keeps them from obtaining citizenship -…08.23.21

Behind the steel gates of a remote immigrant prison in Georgia lies a visitation room where detained people speak to visitors through a plexiglass window. There are messages etched on the visitors side words the detained men and women sitting opposite cant see.

Be anxious for nothing, one message reads. Im sorry, Jesus, and No Borders read others. Theyre messages of hope a feeling lost for many Black people who are detained at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.

The message with the most power, however, is in Spanish, and it speaks volumes: S, se puede. The English translation: Yes, its possible. Yes, you can.

But this message is pierced with doubt, as people at Stewart and in other immigrant detention facilities across the country fight an uphill legal battle for their release.

Kelvin Silva holds his daughter. (Credit: Kelvin Silva)

Kelvin Silva one of many Black men held at Stewart is facing deportation because of an archaic and racially inequitable law known as the Guyer Rule that prevented him from becoming a U.S. citizen as a child, even though his father was a naturalized U.S. citizen. Were it not for the Guyer Rule, Silva who was born in the Dominican Republic but grew up in the United States would have automatically gained citizenship when he was just 11 years old.

Enacted in 1940, the Guyer Rule prevented U.S.-citizen fathers, but not U.S.-citizen mothers, from passing their citizenship status to foreign-born, nonmarital children in other words, children who were born out of wedlock. The rule disproportionately restricted how nonwhite parents could secure citizenship for their children and for decades was maintained for just that reason.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and its co-counsel are representing Silva in a federal court challenge that claims the Guyer Rule is unconstitutional because it discriminates based on gender and race.

The Guyer Rule exemplifies the same type of anti-father discrimination that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in Sessions v. Morales-Santana in 2017, said Meredyth Yoon, a lead attorney with the SPLCs Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative, which is representing Silva. And although the law Mr. Silva is challenging makes no explicit mention of race, historical records show the Guyer Rule has an unequivocally racially discriminatory purpose, and it has had a disproportionate impact on Black immigrants, not to mention the profound harm it has inflicted on generations to come.

The racist Guyer Rule originates from an 1864 Maryland court decision, Guyer v. Smith, in which the court ruled that two sons born overseas of a white U.S.-citizen father and a Black mother from St. Barthlemy were not born in lawful wedlock and thus were not U.S. citizens. The Guyer Rule was subsequently incorporated into federal nationality laws, first through administrators policies and practices, and later by Congress through the Nationality Act of 1940.

Although Black immigrants were eligible for naturalization starting in 1870, historical and legislative records show that lawmakers nevertheless worked to limit the number of people of color who could become U.S. citizens. Across decades when white supremacy, segregation and eugenics undergirded the entire American legal system, administrators and legislators accomplished this goal in a variety of ways, including literacy tests, a racially discriminatory quota system and immigration preference categories that prioritized the marital family over other forms of familial arrangement, notably at a time when interracial marriage was illegal in most U.S. states.

In treating marriage as a prerequisite for U.S.-citizen fathers, but not U.S.-citizen mothers, to pass their citizenship status on to their foreign-born children, lawmakers were relying on the outdated stereotype that mothers have closer bonds with their nonmarital children than fathers do.

These false stereotypes have disproportionally harmed Black communities by preventing fathers from passing citizenship to their children, said Neyissa Desir, an SPLC outreach paralegal.

Congress repealed and replaced the discriminatory Guyer Rule in the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. But the new law did not apply to children over 18. That means Silva and many other similarly situated immigrants who were prevented from becoming U.S. citizens under the Guyer Rule continue to suffer its discriminatory effects simply because of the year they were born. Had Silva been born on or after Feb. 27, 1983, he would have been under 18 when the 2000 law was passed and thus his citizenship would not be in question.

Fairness is all Im asking for, said Silva, 44. This is my country the only country I know.

Silva, who identifies as both Black and Latino, has been detained since July 16, 2019, and he is facing possible deportation to a country he no longer remembers.

But his legal fight is not over.

As the SPLC fights in court and urges Congress to overturn the rule, the longtime resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, has the support of his representative in Congress.

Mr. Silva has an existing petition for review in the Eleventh Circuit, which involves a nationality claim and equal protection challenges to a discriminatory citizenship law, but for which he would stand recognized as a U.S. citizen, U.S. Rep. Alma Adams wrote in a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April. It would be immoral and unconscionable, and potentially illegal, for ICE to deport Mr. Silva before the Court has ruled on the merits of his nationality claim.

When Joe Biden was elected president, Silva hoped his dreams of being reunited with his family might come true. He was praying for a miracle, Silvatold ABC News in December.

But eight months after the inauguration, Silva remains imprisoned at Stewart.

Silva, whose parents were not married, joined his father in the U.S. in April of 1988, when he was 11 years old. Before ICE initiated deportation proceedings against him, he believed he was a U.S. citizen because his father was a citizen. He has only distant memories about his childhood in the Dominican Republic, where his grandmother took him to church on the weekends.

When Silva was 17 years old, his father passed away. Without his father, Silva said, his life became a roller coaster, and he soon found himself in the streets.

Im going to be honest, he said. I regret it. I regret every [one] of the things I did in my past.

In 2010, Silva was arrested. He completed a 120-month federal prison sentence, earning his GED certificate along the way, and took a drug treatment program that would have made him eligible for early release. But just two days before Silvas planned release date, ICE placed a detainer on him instead, and he was transferred to the now-shuttered D. Ray James Correctional Facility in Folkston, Georgia, a federal prison that housed non-citizens facing deportation. Silva was subsequently transferred to the Folkston ICE Processing Center, and later to Stewart.

Silva said the cruelest part of his detention is being separated from his children. Fearing the worst, he sleeps with his shoes on in case ICE deports him in the middle of the night.

Its like Im waiting for a life sentence, Silva said. I dont know whats going to happen.

Silva has deep roots and extensive ties to the U.S. When he lived in Charlotte, he owned his own bakery and a tattoo parlor, where he used his airbrushing skills to promote his businesses. As a father and grandfather, he is extremely close to his children and family.

Should Silva be deported to the Dominican Republic, he would likely find himself homeless, he said, sleeping on the streets of a country that has long since faded from his memory.

I have no family there, Silva said. I would never again be able to give my kids a hug or be there with them when I talk to them about their day and ask them how theyre feeling. It would feel like Im in the desert, completely stranded.

Silva is now up against an immigration system that is particularly harsh for Black immigrants. For example, while 7% of noncitizens in the U.S. are Black, they comprise 20% of those facing deportation on criminal grounds, even though there is no evidence they commit crimes at a higher rate, according to theBlack Alliance for Just Immigration. Black immigrants are also six times more likely to be locked up in solitary confinement while in detention.

The racial disparities are not lost on Franco Clements, another Black man detained at Stewart because of the Guyer Rule.

I havent seen any Blacks be released, Clements said. The system is racist and prejudiced. When it comes to Blacks, its deportation. Somethings not right; it doesnt add up.

Clements, 50, came to the U.S. from Liberia when he was 15. Living in Newark, New Jersey, he took general studies in college before working in construction and owning a car lot in Charlotte.

Clements father, like Silvas father, was a naturalized U.S. citizen. But because Clements parents never married and because he was born in 1971 putting him past the age of 18 when the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 was enacted he, too, was prevented from becoming a citizen by the Guyer Rule. Clements has been locked up at Stewart since March 12, 2020. At Stewart, an immigration judge ruled that due to his parents situation, Clements was a noncitizen and subject to imminent deportation.

More than anything, Clements said, he misses his two children and eight brothers and sisters. Due to the stress of detention, he has begun to take medication. At Stewart, he said hes treated as if he were an alien due to his skin color. He said that being detained under the Guyer Rule is unjust, cruel, unfair and racist.

Clements fears his life will be in danger if he is deported to Liberia.

Liberia is always at war, he said. They could poison me, murder me. I live in fear of the unknown, and [the U.S.] my country is the only country Ive ever known.

Meanwhile, Clements younger sister is fighting a brain tumor.

How am I supposed to take care of my sister in this place? he said. I want to help my sister. She doesnt want to die. It hurts my feelings and breaks my heart that ICE has taken me away from my family.

Stewart Detention Center is operated by the for-profit, privately owned prison company CoreCivic under a contract with the federal government. Founded in 1983 and formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America, CoreCivic is the worlds largest private prison company. It owns and operatesmore than 100 prisons and detention centersacross the country and has nearly $2 billion in revenue each year.

A CoreCivic sign welcomes people to Stewart Detention Center. (Credit: Mary Claire Kelly)

The people who want to fight their cases get deported, Silva said. And, at the same time, there are people who are asking to be deported who just sit here, making money for this place.

In 2020, CoreCivic earned a net income of $54.2 million.

Prison and detention corporations like CoreCivic and the GEO Group have positioned themselves at the top of a longstanding power differential that extracts profit from the bodies and labor of Black and Brown people for the financial benefit of a few, Yoon said. This shameful legacy dates back to slavery and should be abolished.

Robert Lodge a 42-year-old Black man who suffers from extreme chronic health problems for which he is not receiving care at Stewart came to the U.S. from Jamaica to live with his naturalized U.S.-citizen father in 1992, when he was 12. He said he has only bad memories of a country where he was threatened with gang violence.

As a child new to the U.S., he grew to love American football. In his free time, he enjoyed working with his father in an automobile shop and later found a trade by working for a company that moved furniture for United Airlines. But he found himself homeless and got in trouble with the police while living in Atlanta. While in prison in Georgia, he learned that ICE had placed a hold on him, and that he would be transferred to ICE custody after his sentence.

I was shocked, Lodge said, as he had always believed himself to be a U.S. citizen. I became really depressed. This has taken a serious toll on me. I want to see my family, my friends, work. But I cant do any of that. Im just laid up every day, wondering if Ill ever get released.

Lodges demeanor is somber and gentle. The sadness in his eyes and his downcast expression make it clear that life in detention has been difficult. At Stewart, Lodge said he sleeps the day away and he feels like hes wasting his life.

I should be a U.S. citizen today, said Lodge, whose parents never married. I feel cheated in here, because Ive been in the United States all of my life.

If not for the Guyer Rule, Lodge would stand recognized as a U.S. citizen, and he would not be facing deportation.

He cant even imagine what deportation would look like.

I have no family there, no support, he said. There would be no way Id be able to start a life in Jamaica.

As the court battle over the Guyer Rule proceeds and civil rights advocates press Congress to change the law, these men are pleading for the opportunity to be reunited with their families in the United States.

Everybody needs a second chance, Lodge said. Ive been through a lot. Im not a bad person; Im a good person. You only get one life, and I want to be happy.

Silva wants a second chance to make amends where he knows he caused harm more than 11 years ago.

I messed up, he said. But Ive changed. Ive learned. Im not the person I used to be, and I want to show that to the world.

I am human, Clements said. I have a family that loves me and children to take care of. I cannot go back to a country I dont know. I want to do the best I can with the little time left I have here on earth.

Yoon said that ICEs continued imprisonment and deportation of people who have already finished serving their sentences for criminal convictions constitutes a form of double punishment.

They deserve the chance to rebuild their lives, and if it werent for the Guyer Rule, these men would have that chance just like any other U.S. citizen who has completed their sentence.

On the window in the visitation room at Stewart is a final etching: Freedom for Everyone.

That freedom, Yoon said, would come through action from the Biden administration.

The administration has the opportunity to make good on the presidents promise to enact racial justice, she said. The administration should do so by declining to detain, deport or seek the deportation of individuals who would have become U.S citizens as children if not for the arcane, unfair and discriminatory Guyer Rule.

Photo at top: The entrance to the Stewart Detention Center is pictured in Lumpkin, Georgia, on Feb. 21, 2018. (Credit: Reuters/Reade Levinson)

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Bank Of America’s Malfeasant Treatment Of Small Businesses Brian Moynihan, Pick Up The Damn Phone And Call Ember! – Forbes08.09.21

Loan financing.

Let me tell you about Ember, a small business owner. Her PPP loan through Bank BAC of America was approved for $76,773. A year later, BofA sent her an email that they were retroactively qualifying her for just $4,377! Is this really how Bank of America chooses to treat their best customers?

I wrote in April of 2021 and again in July of 2021 about Bank of America's horrendous treatment of its customers andabysmal customer support. But it now appears that the treatment was even worse than I described and that the Bank is taking no responsibility for its business-destroying incompetence in handling PPP.

Let me tell you about Ember Seaman, a small business owner of Mad Ethel's Tattoo, LLC located at 711-B North Person Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604. Ember's a single mom with two small children. She's also a two-decade-long client of Bank of America. When COVID struck, Ember received an email from BofA with the exciting news that a loan with full future forgiveness was available provided the business use 75 percent of the loan to cover payroll.

She applied right away through Bank of Americas Intralinks portal, on which there were two modes of entry: W2 businesses and 1099 Independent Contractor businesses. She went the 1099 route. There were no live persons to talk to; no chat options. Emails specified that you could not reply. If you did not have the correct documentation, the system simply kicked back your application with no explanation until you got it right

Ember submitted her application on April 13. On April 30, BofA sent her an email confirming that all her documentation, including the 1099 documents they required, had been uploaded correctly.

On May 3, her loan was approved for $76,773, based on her business's 1099. On May 4, her loan was issued. On May 6, the SBA changed its guidelines to disallow 1099-based payments as qualified PPP wages. Ember learned nothing of the May 6 change of guidelines for an entire year. But the SBA states clearly on its website that its rules as of the time a loan is funded are determinative.

Bank of Americas email stated that 75 percent of the lent funds needed to be paid out in eight weeks. At some point, this requirement morphed into paying 60 percent in 24 weeks. Rumors surfaced about other amounts and time frames. In any case, Ember paid out all the PPP funds within eight weeks to be safe.

Months later, Ember received a call from an excited Bank of America representative stating that forgiveness has become simpler, and only consisted of answering a few questions on an online questionnaire that would take just 15 minutes to complete. Ember provided the answers.

There was no place to upload documents or proof of payments. Ember waited patiently, week after week, to receive news that her loan had been forgiven. Instead of such a notice, she repeatedly received an identical email from BofAstating that they were reviewing her request before submitting it to the SBA.

A year after Bank of America decided Ember had qualified for small business relief money, it sent her an email that they wereretroactively qualifying her for just $4,377! Confused and panicked, Ember called the phone number in Bank of Americas email, an answering system that consistently hangs up on callers. Nine out of 10 calls get dropped.

After finally getting through, she was informed by BofA reps that BofA had made changes based on SBA rule changes that disqualified independent contractors. The BofA rep told Ember that "independent contractors could have applied for themselves" because they qualify as their own businesses.

Other than that, the reps as well as the senior manager who Ember got on the phone said they a) were "sorry," b) did not know why BofA requested proof of Ember's businesss 1099s, and c) did not know why BofA based its loan amount on the 1099s she was asked to upload.

She was also told that BofA was, at the time, giving out money as quickly as possible, so it was really hard for the bank to carefully consider all provided information. Ember searched BofA's behavior online, learning that the bank may have required proof of independent contractors' pay in order to qualify her business as a legitimate business

Fine if it did. But it gave Ember and millions of other small business owners who hire independent contractors the impression that they would receive a forgivable loan to keep hiring their contractors, Instead, they were duped into borrowing far more money from BofA than they could possibly afford. The story gets worse. None of Ember's subs had employees or 1099 subcontractors, so no one was in a position to apply on their own for PPP funds.

I asked Ember to sum up her mistreatment that is driving her out of business.

As far as I can see, in asking for documents and approving a loan based on documents that did qualify and then disallowing the rules and regulations to protect my loan and rights, Bank of America operated in a fraudulent and negligent manner and now expects small business owners to pay for their mistakes if not intentional entrapment

Since Ember can't get anywhere with Bank of America, she's called her local SBA chapter. They informed her that BofA is wrong and that the SBA has seen numerous cases of this so far. The culprit in all cases is the Bank of America.

Again, here's Ember

The SBA rep emails me and Bank of America, pleading that Bank of America stop their pre-screening, as lenders are not allowed to prescreen forgiveness. This is solely the authority of the SBA itself even though BofA persists in prescreening. In the email he includes the SBA guidelines that state that "Borrowers and lenders may rely on laws, rules, and guidance available at the time of the relevant application." (PPP FAQ Question #17.)

I called Bank of America with this information, and the person I talk to seems to not know what to do with the information and states that I am not allowed to talk to anyone else.

I have now had dozens of calls with Bank of America and SBA representatives, had two escalations, and submitted two complaints against Bank of America with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I received one phone call resulting from the first complaint from a lady saying that she was looking into the case and would get back to me.

Thus far I have received no responses to my emails to Bank of America, received no calls back from anyone working on the case, and have not heard back from the lady looking into it. I asked what company she works for, and her answer was no surprise; Bank of America.

Clearly, Bank of America has found a way to pocket millions of SBA dollars while conducting fraudulent or negligent business with their clients

I cant speak for how many other small businesses are being affected in this way. As for myself, I was given money that was based on the documents I was asked for and provided correctly

Forgiveness was dangled in front of me if I paid it out correctly. Now, Bank of America is going against SBA guidelines, ignoring the SBA's pleas, and essentially trying to force me to have given away tens of thousands of dollars from my own pocket, while my business was closed for months, made no income, and accrued expenses while I survived on credit.

This relief money has become a way to effectively put me and similar small businesses under. It has been 15 months since I was awarded my loan. I have nine months to make full repayment if forgiveness is not awarded.

For me, repaying $77,000 over nine months means not paying rent or bills in full. It means no Christmases, Easters, birthdays, or vacations with the kids. It means no college savings, no retirement, and no unforeseen expenses

Is this really how Bank of America chooses to treat their best customers

Ember now has less than one month to receive forgiveness. She is now trapped in a vicious cycle where she needs to unapply for forgiveness due to BofA's specifying the $4K amount, but also needs to apply in order to have the option to receive the appropriate full forgiveness.

There may be one competent person in this incredibly incompetent company. His name is Brian Monyihan. He's the CEO of Bank of America. Brian, let me urge you to pick up your phone and call Ember and help her and the thousands if not tens of thousands of other BofA victims get the forgiveness they are due.

Otherwise, you will be personally responsible for your company's ongoing malfeasance. Whether that's a legal matter is beyond my pay grade. But it's surely a matter of morality and whether you will be able to sleep at night.

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Bank Of America's Malfeasant Treatment Of Small Businesses Brian Moynihan, Pick Up The Damn Phone And Call Ember! - Forbes

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The best TV series to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now, BritBox and more this July 2021 – iNews07.09.21

Its not even been a year since we last saw Ted Lasso and his beloved AFC Richmond, but already were heading back to the London football team for a second series. While details of the new plot are being kept under wraps, the trailer suggests we can expect more of Lassos unbridled optimism. Theres going to be extra time, too, in the form of two additional episodes.

Also returning for a second series is Netflixs popular teen drama Outer Banks, which follows rival groups the Pogues and Kooks as they battle over who rules the North Carolina island where they live.

On Disney+, 1999s beloved Turner and Hooch gets a serialised remake, with Josh Peck (Josh from Nickelodeons Drake and Josh) taking over Tom Hanks role as the eponymous Detective Scott Turner.

Your guide to what to watch next - no spoilers, we promise

Meanwhile, BBC Three hosts the return of sleeper hit competition series The Rap Game UK, which sees Krept and Konan search for raps next big star.

Here are all the new series on the way to streaming services this July:

A chance encounter leads two 30-somethings to remember 1998, the year their teenage hormones kicked in and the internet changed their lives forever.

Prince Wilhelm adjusts to life at his prestigious new boarding school, Hillerska, but following his heart proves more challenging than anticipated.

After making a deal with a supernatural figure, two high schoolers emerge with extraordinary powers and join forces to solve a murder.

A hotel concierge and a psychiatrist with traumatic childhoods form a heartfelt bond when they become entangled in a perplexing local murder case.

There is no such thing as an ordinary interaction in this offbeat sketch comedy series that features a roster of guest stars.

In an early-80s Polish town, a prostitute and a youth leader are found killed, but the polices handling of the case makes two journalists suspicious.

When two antagonistic families end up living next door in a posh neighbourhood, the matriarchs ensue a full-scale war of unintended consequences.

Cat people come in all shapes and sizes, but they share a love for their enchanting, unique feline friends. This docuseries reveals their tales.

These heartwarming stories explore the abiding emotional bonds that form between dogs and their caregivers, no matter the circumstances.

Federal agent Leon S Kennedy teams up with TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield to investigate a zombie outbreak.

When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self-discovery.

Ruling with an iron fist requires an aspiring dictator to know the playbook for absolute power, as historys despots prove in this sardonic docuseries.

A medical student enters a top German university on a secret mission to uncover a conspiracy linking a family tragedy to a visionary biology professor.

In 1720 Madrid, a talented cook catches the eye of a widowed duke just as he returns to aristocratic society. Based on the novel by Fernando J Muez.

Searching for a fresh start, a nurse practitioner moves from LA to a remote northern California town and is surprised by what and who she finds.

This intimate series follows Naomi Osaka as she explores her cultural roots and navigates her multifaceted identity as a tennis champ and rising leader.

Millions in stolen cash. Missing luxury bourbon. Watch ordinary people almost get away with these extraordinary heists in this true crime series.

A deep dive into the work of renowned Mexican journalist Manuel Buenda looks to unravel his murder and the ties between politics and drug trafficking.

In a world where beasts of all kinds coexist, a gentle wolf awakens to his own predatory urges as his school deals with a murder within its midst.

After a traumatic year, an Indian-American teen just wants to spruce up her social status but friends, family and feelings wont make it easy on her.

Hoping to say goodbye to superficial dating, real-life singles sport elaborate makeup and prosthetics to put true blind-date chemistry to the test.

Sizzling hot young Brazilians meet at a dreamy beach resort. But for a shot at R$500,000 in this fun reality show, theyll have to give up sex.

Tragedy, betrayal and a mysterious discovery fuel a womans vengeance for the loss of her tribe and family in this special episode ofKingdom.

After a calamitous battle fractures Eternia, Teela and an unlikely alliance must prevent the end of the Universe in this sequel to the 80s classic.

These blockbusters brought us together and gave us the time of our lives. Meet the actors, directors and industry insiders who made them happen.

A fatal turn of events at a brothel sends three women haunted by their pasts on a wild run from their pimp and his henchmen.

To impress his former girlfriend, a nerdy teen starts selling drugs online out of his bedroom, and soon becomes one of Europes biggest dealers.

Bad tattoos walk in. Great tattoos walk out. Top artists transform tattoo disasters into stunning cover-ups, with designs chosen by clients loved ones.

The frantic race to locate the Allspark first culminates on a strange planet as the future comes crashing through to the present day.

On an island of haves and have-nots, teen John B enlists his three best friends to hunt for a legendary treasure linked to his fathers disappearance.

Iconic beaches and breathtaking properties make Sydney one of the most cutthroat real estate markets in the world. For the first time ever, this high stakes carousel of multi-million dollar homes is revealed through a trio of Australias top agents, who stop at nothing to deliver results for their demanding clientele, while balancing their hectic personal lives with their demanding careers.

Elbow frontman Guy Garvey returns for a second series of his curated selection of his favourite artists and songs from the seventies and eighties. Unearthing rare concerts, studio performances, and interviews that have been hidden for decades, the series chronicles not just changing music tastes but the evolution in the UKs social and cultural history.

The have-a-go heroes are back as friends and comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan try their hand at another range of things they are extremely underqualified for. Having already conquered the worlds of basketball, ballet, art, country music and even the drag scene, the somewhat undynamic duo will be turning their attention to three brand new disciplines and try their hardest not to fail miserably.

Manifest returns for a third season of action-packed drama, shocking revelations and the answer to the mystery of what happened to the passengers of Flight 828. Over a year has passed since the miraculous homecoming of Flight 828 and the discovery of others who have mysteriously returned. While the Stone family endeavours to keep their friends safe and make their enemies believe the unbelievable, new challenges will test their trust of the callings and each other. But sticking together is more important than ever, because no matter what happens, its all connected.

Ten years after the third season finale, Emmy-winning drama series In Treatment returns for its fourth season with Emmy winner Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black) as the observant, empathetic Dr Brooke Taylor, the new therapist at the centre of the season. Set in present-day Los Angeles, the new series sees a diverse trio of patients in session with Brooke to help navigate a variety of modern concerns. Issues such as the global pandemic and recent major social and cultural shifts are a backdrop to the work Brooke will undertake all while she deals with complications in her own personal life.

The new season of this unique, hit US medical drama follows the charming and brilliant Dr Max Goodwin (Ryan Eggold) New Amsterdam Medical Centres newest medical director who sets out to tear up the bureaucracy and provide exceptional care. This season, New Amsterdam is still reeling from the pandemic as a plane crash lands in the East River.

Aged 19 and bored of where she grew up, Michaella craved sun and adventure. But her dream turned into a nightmare as she fell into an illicit world of drugs and excess.

The border Mayans and their Californian town suffer as federal forces crack down on all illegal activity. A grieving Galindo lets his legitimate project dry up.

A normal girl trapped in a mundane and claustrophobic life as her grandmothers only carer starts to develop mysterious and unexplainable powers.

A dedicated, fractured group of astronauts on the first manned mission to Mars. Their goal: discover a new world. But someone, or something, got there first. Intense French sci-fi.

Comedian Josh Jones pits Kristian Nairn and Gemma Bradley against each other in a competition to find the best takeaway in town.

With extraordinary access to a smartphone used by three British men who went to fight in Syria, Mobeen Azhar uncovers what made them join Isis and what happened to them.

Whinnie and Tyler meet seven housemates who are desperate to give their digs a new lease of life. Can Whinnie pull off a Roaring Twenties cinema theme for the cost of their big night out?

Six new MCs. One record deal. Rap legends DJ Target, Krept and Konan hunt for the next big MC to take over the scene.

Tense Dutch crime drama from Walter Presents. A high-ranking and ambitious tax official becomes dangerously connected to a mobster with money problems.

The amazing stories of people who have had their lives changed forever thanks to gaming and video games.

When a socialite is murdered, detective Lena Shirokova must enter the world of Moscows social elite: a place of money, luxury, sex and power. What price will she be asked to pay in a world where money dictates everything?

Tylor Tuskmon graduates top of his class from Monsters University and arrives at Monsters Incorporated to begin his dream job as a Scarer or not.

When astronomers detect a transmission from another galaxy, it is definitive proof of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Within days, mankind is all but wiped out, and as alien ships appear in the sky, the survivors ask a burning question who are these attackers and why are they hell-bent on our destruction?

Ambitious young Deputy Marshal Scott Turners life is turned upside down when he inherits Hooch, a slobbery mess of a dog. His new pet is aggravating, but he turns out to be quite good at helping Scott catch criminals, find love, and maybe even solve the mystery of Scotts dads last case.

Jason Sudeikis returns as Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team despite having no experience. But what he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for with optimism, underdog determination and biscuits.

Theion TVnewsletter is a daily email full of suggestions of what to watch as well as the latest TV news, opinions and interviews.Sign up hereto stay up to date with the best new TV.

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The best TV series to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now, BritBox and more this July 2021 - iNews

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Here’s how Trinity’s Daylen Lile celebrates his Player of the Year honor for baseball – Courier Journal07.09.21

Daylen Lile could feel his phone vibrating. He had muted it for his meeting with Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell Friday afternoon, but the persistent pulsations in his pocket told him something was up.

Lile would not learn he had been named the National High School Player of the Year by Perfect Game/Rawlings until he checked his messages after hearing McDonnells pitch for U of L baseball, and he barely lingered on that news longer than a seventh inning stretch.

Less than two weeks after leading Trinity to its first state baseball title, Lile istoo restless to rest on his laurels.

More:Trinity High School's Daylen Lile named Perfect Game/Rawlings National High School Player

He needs to hit.

After meeting with McDonnell, then changing his clothes and dining on take-out chicken, Lile left home Friday night to get in some hacks at Legends Sports Academy in Jeffersontown. Though the place was closed by the time he arrived, Lile has been entrusted with a key, befitting the .550 batting average he maintained as a Trinity senior, and his drive and dedication to doing better.

His father, Danny, had recommended a day off in view of the long season just ended and the Major League Draft that starts next Sunday. But when asked how long he had gone without a bat in his hands, Daylen Lile responded, probably like zero days.

Ill always hit for hours, put in work, he said. Thats what Im known for and thats what I love to do.

A right-hander who bats left-handed, Lile was so advanced before he reached Trinity,he earned a scholarship offer from Indiana University as an eighth grader. He has since developed the power to complement his preternatural plate discipline 42 of his 61 hits went for extra bases this past season and become so prized a prospect that it seems unlikely he will ever play for U of L.

I certainly think going to Louisville is an option, Trinity coach Rick Arnold said. I think theres an emotional tug-of-war in his mind. (But) If its the right money, hes definitely going to sign.

How much money is the right amount can vary based on an individuals priorities and personal circumstances, but all 160 players selected in baseballs 2020 draft agreed to contract terms more than a week before the Aug. 1 deadline. With the first 66 picks in this years draft slotted to collect seven-figure bonuses, the opportunity to become an instant millionaire will surely sway some of those high school phenoms contemplating spending three years in college baseball before they become eligible for another draft.

More:Wisconsin's newest commit Vincel Anthony Jr. has had a busy summer, and he's still not done

MLB.com ranks Lile as this drafts No. 80 prospect. Were he to be selected in that spot, he would still be in line for a bonus of $767,800. Yet after being recognized as the nations preeminent high school hitter and having recorded the second-fastest 30-yard speed (3.57 seconds) at last months draft combine in Cary, North Carolina, Daylen Lile may not need to wait that long to hear his name called.

When I was looking at the mock drafts, I was like, Why am I here? he said. I know what kind of player I am. They made me realize that stuff doesnt matter. What matters is the people on the teams. Theyve got the decisions.

Discussing his options Saturday afternoon in Trinitys dressing room, accompanied by his parents and older brother, Lile demonstrated a talent for diplomatic generalities, admitting to leaning in a direction he did not specify. He grew more animated in anticipation of getting his first tattoo on Wednesday, producing a cell phone photo of a cross with baseball stitching.

"Friday, I'll get a haircut," he said. "Sunday, we'll see what happens."

He was planning to visit the mall Saturday afternoon. And, of course, to hit.

Tim Sullivan: 502-582-4650, tsullivan@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @TimSullivan714

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Here's how Trinity's Daylen Lile celebrates his Player of the Year honor for baseball - Courier Journal

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Can You Guess The Most Common Tattoo People Get In North Carolina? – iHeartRadio06.29.21

Tattoos.

They can be a meaningful reminder of significant people or times or simply a fun piece of art you want to proudly display on your body for the rest of your life. Whatever your reason, tattoos are a popular way to make a statement.

Figuring out what you want and where you want it can be a bit difficult for some. Maybe you want to get a tattoo but aren't exactly sure what you want, so you're looking for a bit of inspiration. If so, consider what people around you are getting inked the most.

Zippia recently released a list of the most common tattoo in each state. To determine the list, Zippia used Google Trends data from the past year, saying:

So what are North Carolinians choosing the most to permanently mark their bodies?

Wedding Band tattoos

Rings may be the most traditional way to mark that you are married, but many people in North Carolina are choosing a more permanent way to show they are taken. Whether they don't enjoy wearing jewelry or they just never want to be without a symbol of their love, this matching couples tattoo is a growing trend across the state.

Check out the full list here.

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Can You Guess The Most Common Tattoo People Get In North Carolina? - iHeartRadio

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Person of interest wanted by U.S. Marshals in connection with death of Tiara Lott – WKBW-TV06.29.21

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) The United States Marshal Service is asking for the public's assistance locating a person of interest wanted in connection with the death of Tiara Lott.

Lott was reported missing from an address on Gold Street in late January, her body was recovered by Buffalo police a few weeks later in an area near Wex and West Shore Avenues.

According to the U.S. Marshals, 27-year-old Andre Whigham is the person of interest wanted in the murder of Lott as he is believed to be the last person to have seen her before she was killed.

Buffalo Police Department

Crime Stoppers previously offered a reward up to $7,500 for information regarding this case.

The U.S. Marshals describe Whigham as a black male with brown eyes, 5'9" tall and 210 pounds, with several tattoos which includes a highly visible tattoo on his neck. Officials say he is known to go by the nickname "Dro" and has connections to Ohio and North Carolina.

Crime Stoppers and the U.S. Marshals ask anyone with information to contact (716) 867-6161 or 1-800-336-0102.

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Person of interest wanted by U.S. Marshals in connection with death of Tiara Lott - WKBW-TV

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