Man riding through region on horseback has mission to help others

Published: Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 9:30 AM
Updated: Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 9:30 AM

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— Brant’s trek began in early June in Illinois

— The horse’s name is “Abby Road,” the mule is “Sgt. Major Jack Houdini,” and the dog is Pepper, an Australian Shepherd

— Brant keeps a mobile phone with him and maintains social media pages

A man traveling through the area with a horse, mule and dog has captured the attention of many in recent days.

Bryan Brant, a native of Kansas, rode through Butler and Warren counties in the past few days and is currently in Montgomery County. His mission is to retrace the steps of Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, from whom he is a descendant.

The trek began in Illinois in early June.

“I’ve been traveling for two months and three weeks this Sunday,” Brant said Friday. He has traveled more than 250 miles and is headed to upstate New York and then to Canada.

Brant said he is going to the Six Nations Indian reservation in Ontario.

“Once I’m there I am going to meet my family and begin to write a book about the trip I took,” he said. He also wants to speak to leaders there and propose a mounted honor society made of veterans to work with people on reservations as a form of therapy.

“I can’t propose it to anyone if I can’t do it myself, and that’s what this is about,” he said. “I want to meet with the elders there to propose an idea that might be able to help with some of the issues we see on Indian reservations, such as alcoholism, drug problems and homelessness.

“There are a lot of different issues that need addressed,” he said.

Part of his goal is to speak to people along the way about the positives of riding horses and prevention of horse genocide.

Brant relies on others to help him along in his journey. He has stayed mostly in barns and in the homes of people he has met along the way.

He said many farmers allow him to take shortcuts through their land.

Brant once stayed in the barn of an Amish family who owned a restaurant where had had stopped to dine.

Others have offered him food and water for the animals and aided in his travel safety.

“The sheriff’s department of Butler County was extremely kind to me,” he said. “They gave me an escort down a dangerous road. It would have been a recipe for disaster had they not been there,” he said.

Brant is legally allowed to travel along all roadways, he said, but because of vehicles and safety, he must go off course and take back roads. That’s why several locals have seen Brant traveling along their residential streets.

He chose to travel through Shandon, Millville and Hamilton because going along the Ohio River in Cincinnati proved to be too dangerous, and private businesses prevented it.

“It was pleasant to see the city of Hamilton at night. Beautiful,” Brant said.

The trip has had a few bumps, Brant said. He was fined $160 in Brown County, Ind., where he stopped in a state park to allow the animals to graze.

“I didn’t have the proper bridal tag for Abby (the horse), which you had to purchase inside the park,” he said.

Weather also causes him to delay arriving at his destination.

Hamilton resident Karen Johnson said she met him recently at a Tractor Supply store on Ohio 4 in Liberty Twp. She called Brant “interesting” and “inspiring.”

“I wish I could be like him,” she said.

Married private school teachers accused of sex with students in Alabama

Published: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 @ 10:42 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 @ 10:42 PM


            Charli Parker, left, and her husband James, right, pose for a photo during the 2015 AISA Hall of Fame Induction.
            Pickens Academy/Facebook
Charli Parker, left, and her husband James, right, pose for a photo during the 2015 AISA Hall of Fame Induction.(Pickens Academy/Facebook)

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Within just days of one another, authorities arrested a husband and wife working at a private school in west Alabama on charges of having sex with a student, according to records from the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.

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Deputies arrested James Parker, 32, on one count of being a school employee and having sex with a student on Wednesday afternoon, according to PBSO. Two days earlier, deputies had arrested Parker's wife, Charli, on the same charge.

Both work at Pickens Academy in Carrollton. On the school's website, James Parker was listed as a math teacher and the boys' basketball coach.

James Parker works as the school's boys' basketball and football coach and teaches math. Charli Parker was listed as head coach for the girls' basketball team and taught physical education, computers and elementary school, according to AL.com. She was no longer listed on the school's website Wednesday.

James Parker was accused of having sex with a former female student, the Trussville Tribune reported. He remained in custody at Pickens County Jail Wednesday night.

Authorities released Charli Parker, 30, on bond Tuesday afternoon, jail records show.

According to WCBI, prosecutors have tacked on an additional 10 counts against Charli Parker, who is accused of having sex with a male student.

The incidents involving Charli Parker did not take place on school grounds, according to prosecutors. Officials have not commented on where the incident involving James Parker took place.

Coach Charli, Coach Copland and Coach Jamie after the Induction

Posted by Pickens Academy on Thursday, December 3, 2015

In a statement to AL.com after Charli Parker's arrest, Pickens Academy Headmaster Brach White said she would be suspended immediately.

“The primary concern of Pickens Academy is the safety of our students,” he wrote. “Pickens Academy is very upset about the allegations against our employee. The employee will be suspended immediately and further action may be taken upon investigation. I request prayers for our school family and for all the families involved.”

Teacher accused of sex with students in cemetery sentenced

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 @ 5:38 AM

Charli Parker
Pickens County Sheriff's Office
Charli Parker(Pickens County Sheriff's Office)

A former Alabama private school teacher accused of having sex with two students is going to prison. According to court papers, at least four of her encounters with the teens occurred in a local cemetery.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Married private school teachers accused of sex with students in Alabama

On Monday, 31-year-old Charli Jones Parker was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to one charge of having sex with a student under the age of 19, AL.com reports. Parker was arrested in March; a few days later, her husband, Jamie, was taken in on nine counts of the same charge.

>> Alabama's teacher-student sex law is unconstitutional, judge rules

At the time of her arrest, Parker was still a gym teacher and head girls’ basketball coach at Pickens Academy in Carrollton. She faced 13 charges and was able to enter a plea deal to bring it down to one charge.

>> Teacher accused of sex with student, having child with him

While Parker was sentenced to 12 years in prison, she reportedly will only have to serve three years, followed by a five-year probation. She was ordered not to have any contact with the students, the New York Daily News reported.

>> Ex-'teacher of the year' gets 10 years in prison for hosting teen sex parties

Court papers allege that Parker had sex with the male students “at least 11 times” from October 2014 and March 2016. A deposition in the case accused her of “deviant sexual intercourse” and oral sex. Some of the encounters reportedly occurred at Graham Cemetery in Reform, Alabama.

>> Read more trending news

Parker’s lawyer pushed for the postponement of the sentencing until after an appeal of Alabama’s teacher-student sex law. In early August, a judge in northern Alabama ruled the law unconstitutional — a ruling that led to the dismissal of charges against two employees caught having sex with students. Parker entered her plea on Aug. 15 but did reserve her right to appeal if the constitutionality of her case should be overturned. Her husband’s trial is set for Nov. 27.

Charlie Daniels compares Confederate statue removal to ISIS' actions

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 6:33 AM

Robert E. Lee Never Wanted Confederate Monuments Built

Charlie Daniels has always been outspoken about his political beliefs. So it comes as no surprise that he is sharing his opinions on the recent movement to remove Confederate monuments and memorials from public spaces in the U.S.

>> Watch the interview here

In a new interview with cable network Newsmax TV, the 80-year-old country music icon was asked whether or not he thought Confederate statues should be taken down.

>> On Rare Country: Blake Shelton weighs in on the Charlottesville tragedy

He simply answered, “No.”

“If you don’t like it, don’t look at it,” Daniels explained. “I walk past movie posters that I don’t like. There’s all kinds of symbolism in this country that I don’t like, but I’m not going to go tear them down. I just don’t look at them. These statues aren’t preaching or shouting out some kind of crazy epithets or something. They’re just sitting there. So just turn around and don’t look at them.”

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

Daniels, who seemed more concerned with preserving the history and culture of America, also compared the current debate over the removal of Confederate statues to situations going on with ISIS.

>> Read more trending news

“There were pieces of history that they didn’t like. [So] they were taking them down,” he said before echoing words that President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet, “Where does it stop? Is it going to be Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, or are we headed into Jefferson, Washington, who were both slave owners? How deep into history are we going to go?

“You don’t have to condone what happened in the Civil War,” he added, “but they’re statues of people who are part of our history.”

>> On Rare Country: Charlie Daniels honors America with his latest video

Plans to remove several Confederate statues around the U.S. come just days after a white nationalist rally to protect a Statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned deadly. According to CNN, Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia and Alabama are just some of the many states pushing to remove Confederate monuments.

Charles Barkley offers brutally honest take on Confederate statue debate

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 7:55 AM

Robert E. Lee Never Wanted Confederate Monuments Built

Former basketball star Charles Barkley recently weighed in on an argument that has the entire nation riled up: the removal of Confederate statues.

>> Watch the interview here

“I’m not going to waste my time worrying about these Confederate statues. ... I’m going to keep doing great things, No. 1 in the black community because I’m black,” Barkley said in an interview with Rick Karle of WBRC.

>> Charlie Daniels compares Confederate statue removal to ISIS' actions

He continued: “I’m not going to waste my time worrying about a neo-Nazi who’s going to hate me no matter what.”

>> There are hundreds of Confederate monuments, not just in the South

When asked if the best option is to leave the statues up and ignore them, Barkley answered, “I’ve always ignored them. I’m 54 years old; I’ve never thought about those statues a day in my life. I think if you ask most black people, to be honest, they haven’t thought a day in their life about those stupid statues.”

In an interview, basketball superstar Charles Barkley called pushing for the removal of Confederate statues "wasted energy." http://bit.ly/2x0lmmJ

Posted by Fox News on Saturday, August 19, 2017

Barkley has weighed in before on the Confederate statue and flag debate. In 2004, he said he was on his way to a NASCAR race and turned around when he saw 10 Confederate flags.

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Barkley was a star player with the Philadelphia 76ers and then with the Phoenix Suns, where he earned the NBA Most Valuable Player award.