log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Friday, March 25, 2016 @ 11:14 AM
Updated: Friday, March 25, 2016 @ 11:14 AM
Sitting on Sandra Dee McNair’s lawn is a ceramic statue of a black man holding a lantern, dressed in a jockey outfit, that everyone seems to misunderstand.
McNair explains, on Facebook, why her lawn ornament is actually a part of the fight against racism: it was once a tool used by the Underground Railroad.
I often get asked about my lantern footman sitting in my front yard. I’ve had black people say you shouldn’t have that out that way “it makes people think you are a racist” I laugh, or “its offensive to white people” again I laugh and then explain what the significance of the lantern footman really is.
I'm really amazed at how a lot of people don’t know the real meaning behind these statues, so they vandalize them, (expletive) about them being racist, etc. When the image of a black ‘footman’ with a lantern signified the home was a stop on the Underground Railroad. These are largely a northern thing, and weren’t commonly found in the South until after WWII when northerners moved there and brought this custom with them. The clothing of the statue was also coded.
A striped jockey’s shirt meant that this was a place to swap horses, while a footman in a tailed coat meant overnight lodgings/food, and a blue sailor’s waistcoat meant the homeowner could take you to a port and get you on a ship to Canada. I always laugh when I hear black folks talk about how racist these are, because honestly, the cats who had them were likely the LEAST racist. Later, these came back into popularity after WWII, and they were again coded to show the white homeowners supported early civil rights efforts, weren’t Klan, etc.
The symbol of the jockey goes back even further to the Revolutionary War and Jocko Graves, the Independent Journal reports.
As the story goes, Graves was serving with General George Washington, who thought him too young to bring along across the Delaware River for an attack on the British.
Instead, Washington left Graves in Pennsylvania to care for the horses and keep a lantern on at the river bank to help guide their return.
The young man froze to death still gripping the lantern. Washington was so moved that he asked for a sculpture to be made of Graves, which he named “The Faithful Groomsmen” and kept at his Mount Vernon estate.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:56 PM
WEBSTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts man has been accused of taking manhole covers from roads across the town.
Police in Webster said he was kind enough, however, to cover the empty holes -- which measure from 4 to 12 feet deep -- with traffic cones so no one would run over them in their cars, The Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram reported.
Darrin Lavallee now faces larceny charges, the paper reported.
Police were called by several eyewitnesses, who said they saw a man in a PT Cruiser taking the manhole covers. Eventually police found a car that matched the vehicle’s description and found orange cones inside. Police told The Telegram that the covers had been in the car recently.
Lavallee apparently told police that the manhole covers ended up at a local salvage yard, where police said he sold them, The Telegram reported. Police were able to recover the pilfered covers.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 7:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 6:39 PM
WASHINGTON — The Navy says it is filing negligent homicide charges against the commanders of two ships involved in fatal collisions last year.
The USS John S. McCain collision resulted in the death of Champaign County sailor Jacob Drake. Drake was a Petty Officer 2nd class.
The charges are to be presented at what the military calls an Article 32 hearing, which will determine whether the accused are court-martialed.
The actions, including charges against several lower-ranking officers, were announced Tuesday by the Navy's chief spokesman, Capt. Greg Hicks.
Hicks says the decision to file charges was made by Adm. Frank Caldwell, head of the Navy's nuclear reactors program, who reviewed evidence of what caused the collisions. The USS Fitzgerald collided with a commercial ship in waters off Japan in June, killing seven sailors. Ten sailors were killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia in August.
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 5:16 PM
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is in excellent health and likely to finish his term in office without any medical issues, a presidential doctor said Tuesday at a news conference, four days after the president underwent a physical exam.
“The president's overall health is excellent," White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday.
Here are six things to know about the results of the president’s physical:
Jackson: ‘He had great findings across the board’
Trump is in “very, very good health,” Jackson said Tuesday.
“(I have) no concerns for his heart health,” the presidential physician said. “There are many good things that came from his exam, I think he had great findings across the board. “
Jackson said Trump’s good health is likely to last through “the remainder of this tern, and even for the remainder of another term, if he’s elected.” He said he based his assessment on the president’s cardiac results.
“He falls into a category that portends years of event-free living,” Jackson said. “He has incredibly good genes, and that’s just the way God made him.”
White House doctor says despite President Trump's fast food habit and lack of exercise, he's in "excellent" condition; "He has incredibly good genes, and it's just the way God made him" https://t.co/fpNP3Hpnco pic.twitter.com/VGoTFSgp7C— CNN (@CNN) January 16, 2018
Cognitive screening showed no issues
Jackson said he conducted a cognitive screening on Trump at the president’s request, although he felt the test was unnecessary.
“I’ve spent almost every day in the president’s presence,” said Jackson, whose office is near Trump’s. “I’ve got to know him pretty well and I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or neurological functions.”
He said that in all his conversations with Trump, the president has been “very articulate.”
“I’ve never known him to repeat himself around me,” Jackson said. “He says what he wants to say and speaks his mind.”
Infamous slurred speech incident might have been caused by medication
A December incident in which the president sounded as though he was slurring his speech while announcing a policy shift in Israel was probably due to a medication, Jackson said.
“We evaluated him, we checked everything out and everything was normal,” Jackson said, adding that the incident was likely caused because the president needed water.
He said prior to the Dec. 7 incident, he gave Trump Sudafed, which might have “inadvertently dried up his secretions.”
Trump working to lose 10-15 pounds
At 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds, the president has a body mass index of 29.9, just under the number that would designate him as obese, according to information released Tuesday.
“The president, he and I talked and... I think a reasonable goal over the next year or so is (to lose) 10 or 15 pounds,” Jackson said, adding that a nutritionist would be meeting with White House chefs in the coming weeks and that Trump would be put on an exercise routine.
“He’s more enthusiastic about the diet,” Jackson said.
Jackson not concerned about Trump’s stress levels
Despite concerns from the public and reports that have painted a chaotic White House, Jackson said that he has no concerns about the president’s stress levels.
“I talk to him sometimes about stress just because I think it’s my job as his physician to bring it up on occasion,” he said. “I’ve never seen the president stressed out too much. ... He has a unique ability to push the reset button and he just gets up and he starts a new day. (I think it’s) made him healthier from a stress standpoint.”
Jackson did not test Trump’s hearing
Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:05 PM
CERES, Calif. — A California man is accused of shooting and killing his mother after becoming upset over a video game he was playing, police officials said.
Matthew Douglas Nicholson, 28, of Ceres, is charged with murder and making a criminal threat, according to records from the Stanislaus County Jail. He is being held without bail.
Officials with the Ceres Police Department reported that officers were called to Nicholson’s parents’ home shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday after his father called 911 to report the shooting. Nicholson’s mother, Lydia Susanne Nicholson, had been shot in the head.
The 68-year-old woman died of her injuries at a hospital.
Detectives determined that Matthew Nicholson was in his bedroom, playing video games, when he became enraged over the game he was playing and started yelling, police officials said. His mother went into his room to check on him, and the pair began arguing.
Nicholson broke his game headset during the argument and blamed his mother, officials said. Threatening to kill his mother and father, he retrieved a handgun, police officials said.
After firing two shots into a wall, Nicholson turned the gun on his mother, according to investigators.
He also tried to shoot his father, Loren Nicholson, who wrestled the gun away from him, a Ceres Police Department news release said. The 81-year-old was not injured in the scuffle.
“I understand that he would’ve killed the father, too, but the gun jammed,” a family friend told Fox 40 in Sacramento. “The father grabbed the gun (and) emptied it.”
Matthew Nicholson fled and headed to his sister’s home, in nearby Riverbank, police officials said. Officers there located the vehicle he was driving and conducted a high-risk traffic stop.
Nicholson was taken into custody without incident, the news release said.
His sister described their mother as a wonderful person who loved her children and husband of 32 years. Lydia Nicholson worked in the local school system, Autumn Nicholson told Fox 40.