Imposter Facebook Profiles Can Fake Out Your Real Friends – Better Business Bureau

The Political Agitator response: I have experienced this. When the faker started to post certain words I immediately knew it was a scam. I then immediately reported and deleted conversation. It used to be Friend Request but the latest episodes were in my Inbox and it is hard to tell until they say certain words. This can be very, very trickery. 

I got a Friend request on Facebook the other day from someone I have known for more than ten years. The profile photo was a darling one of her holding her new granddaughter. It looked very familiar to me…because she and I are already Friends on Facebook. What’s going on here? We did a little digging here at BBB and found out there are two potential options: either she accidentally defriended me and was correcting her mistake, or it’s an imposter. Turns out is was the latter.

There are large numbers of reports regarding fraudulent Facebook accounts where third parties use someone else’s name, photos, or other information, for improper purposes. The imposter may have a growing network of Friends on the fake account, which was accessed using the victim’s own Friends list. To the unsuspecting individual who gets the Friend Request, this account looks like your friend and has the same Friends. But why? (Source: Read more)

Hoops tourney schedules frozen – Wilson Times

Due to an extremely early press deadline because of Monday night’s winter storm, Wednesday’s edition of The Wilson Times will not include any coverage of or results from events from Tuesday evening.

Monday night’s blast of ice and snow predictably forced postponement of all high school basketball tournaments, many of which are in danger of being canceled outright.

The 3-A Big East Conference and 2-A Eastern Plains Conference tourneys have been pushed back to Wednesday starts but with likely little change in the road conditions Tuesday, the probability of schools being in session in slim. (Source: Read more)

Magic Johnson gives $10 million to jobs for at risk youth in Chicago – Chicago Sun Times

The Political Agitator response: Now this is what up! Brother has ties to Edgecombe County aunts, sister and other family members live here in Edgecombe County.

A targeted jobs program with a proven track record for keeping at-risk youth safe from summer violence is in line for a dramatic expansion, thanks to a $10 million gift from a former NBA great.

Hall-of-Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, along with Mark and Kimbra Walter, are partners in Inner City Youth Empowerment LLC.

Their two-year, $10 million gift to the city will triple the size of the program known as “One Summer Chicago Plus” — and provide 5,000 summer jobs for young people at risk of being exposed to violence. The city will contribute $6 million during the same period.

One Summer Chicago Plus is a costly but effective summer jobs program whose 16- to 19-year-old participants are drawn from high schools in high-crime areas. (Source: Read more)

Evidence suggests suspects in old cases of lynching and racial violence are still alive – Daily Kos

US authorities are investigating whether some of those responsible for one of the American south’s most notorious mass lynchings are still alive, in an attempt to finally bring prosecutions over the brutal unsolved killings.

FBI agents have questioned a man in Georgia about the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching of 1946, the man told the Guardian. The man was among several in their 80s and 90s named in connection with the incident on a list given to the US Department of Justice by civil rights activists. (Source: Read more)

Oklahoma House Panel Votes To Eliminate AP US History Course – TPM

An Oklahoma House committee on Monday approved a bill taking aim at the new AP U.S. History framework, which conservatives have decried as unpatriotic and negative, the Tulsa World reported.

State Rep. Dan Fisher (R) introduced a bill at the beginning of the month that keeps the state from funding AP U.S. History unless the College Board changes the curriculum. The bill also orders the state Department of Education to establish a U.S. History program that would replace the AP course.

Since the College Board released a new course framework for U.S. history in October 2012, conservative backlash against the course has grown significantly. The Republican National Committee condemned the course and its “consistently negative view of American history” in August. Numerous states and school districts have now taken action to denounce the exam. (Source: Read more)

From Slaves to British Loyalists; ‘The Book of Negroes’ Revealed – NBC News

As Black History Month celebrates the African-American cultural narrative this February, rarely is it considered that America’s neighbor to the north has a thriving community of Afro-Canadians, descendants of American slaves. Their story is meticulously recorded in “The Inspection Rolls of Negroes,” which is housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C.

When conservator Steven Loew first disassembled the giant pamphlet-like tome, revealing the neat shavings of a quill pen, he was astounded. The delicate ledger was penned by a clerk whose calligraphic writing filled two volumes with thousands of names, ages, physical description and status (either enslaved or free) for each passenger, along with remarks of these new, freed settlers.

“That’s when in your daily work you get that little piece of history that chokes you up. It’s like, ‘Wow, this is amazing’!” said Loew, the Senior Conservator at the National Archives. (Source: Read more)

Airing Republicans’ “Dirty Laundry” by William Reed Columnist

Blacks in America tend to reject Republicans; now Blacks in that party are rebuffing each other.


Raynard Jackson recently publicly aired grievances with the Republican National Committee (RNC), its outreach staff and their methods and practices.  A Black Republican, Jackson has “had it” with certain factions in his party and will be “stay away” from this year’s Republicans’ Black History Month Honors Program, an awards program he started.  The well-respected Black Press contributor says Blacks on Reince Priebus’ RNC staff “hijacked” a luncheon to recognize and pay homage to African-American Republicans of iconic status to a lightweight affair with little substance that will have little reverberation in Black communities.


Some Blacks may decry Raynard for airing the party’s dirty laundry, but it’s time that party examines their recent relationships with Blacks.  The Republican Party once enjoyed nearly unanimous support among African American voters; today, it barely maintains a foothold among Blacks.  A long-time Washington insider, Jackson presents a Republican face and guise the RNC sorely needs to institute substantive and race-conscious messaging that convinces Black Americans that are benefits that can accrue through joining their party.  The leadership of the RNC has long-standing lack of acquaintanceship with Blacks.  Jackson is one of a few Republicans engaging in programs that show Black Americans how to benefit by being in their party and pursuing their policies. 


No matter how poorly Democrats serve Blacks in politics and/or economics, Republicans make no headway among them. Many Blacks call Republicans “racist,” could it be that both White and Black Republicans suffer from a cultural bias and viewpoint whose preference for one culture that produces political ideology and notions regarding race, power and inequality?  “Black Outreach” is not a new experience to the GOP; supposedly they’d been doing it for decades.  As they experience loss after loss at the polls, the RNC persistently uses the same political retreads to position the party among African-Americans.


But, the Republicans have yet to clearly define their brand and “what it is” and “what it stands for.”  Black voters share far more values with the Republican Party than they realize, and are on the same page on abortion, gay marriage, Christian values and supporting entrepreneurs.  Republican Party people have to start working with Black Americans and using conservative principles to address issues impacting them nationally, and at local levels.   Republicans should help in our cities and tackle issues among Blacks that the Democrats have avoided and ignored for decades.  Republicans should think in terms of how to help Blacks.  Republicans at national and local levels should introduce legislation advocating minority business development and resources to implement inner-city enterprise zones.


Priebus needs people like Reynard to help Republicans “grow and expand with different communities and groups.” To remain relevant in politics Republicans have to discard old practices and start making solid and lasting political inroads among African-Americans.  If they are going to target African Americans, they should speak out via Black Pages.  To do that will require the RNC provide “a clear positive message for people of color” with conviction.  The Republicans need to expand who they are talking to in communities of color and eliminate “elitist” protocols and self-reinforcing image problems that make them, and their party, inhospitable to people of color.  Jackson’s “honors” event was substantive for people who did things for, and within, Black communities.  The RNC has to learn how to use the right people to communicate in the right way.  To this point, the RNC has ignored Black newspaper in getting their message out.  Priebus would do well reviving relationships with Raynard, as well as starting conversations with Black publishers to really reach Black voters.


It’s a shame Priebus & Company can’t see the subtle and substantive differences in Jackson’s program designs and those that the RNC has used over the decades.  When it comes to Black outreach, RNC leadership continues doing what they’ve been doing among African Americans to get the results they’ve been getting.  White or Black, the Republicans don’t go out, nor know how, to compete for African-American votes.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

The Overcriminalization of African-Americans by William Reed Columnist

Overcriminalization is a dangerous trend that is threatening African-Americans.   America’s addiction to criminalization backlogs our judiciary, overflows our prisons and increases the racial wealth gap.  The nation’s incarceration rate is at historically unprecedented levels and as a result, imprisonment has become an inevitable reality for subsets of the American population. 

The trend is to use the criminal l rather than civil law to solve societal problems.  These days, America’s criminal codes are voluminous.   Our courthouses are clogged and many prisons operate well beyond their design capacity.  The chief executive officer of Koch Industries says that the past four-decade’s rise in incarcerations has been extremely costly for African-American families and communities, state budgets and society.  There’s a 70 percent chance for an African-American man without a high school diploma to be imprisoned by his mid-thirties.

Blacks should be alarmed at the number of young men in the criminal justice system. Charles Koch has set about eliminating the racial disparities inherent to our nation’s criminal justice system policies and practices.  The CEO of the second-biggest private company in America, Koch is leading an effort to reform America’s criminal justice system.   Koch represents renewed, refocused, and reenergized acts and actions toward racial justice.  Koch says “too many Americans have been jailed for crimes that shouldn’t warrant incarceration and points out that over half federal inmates are nonviolent drug offenders. 

The Democrats and labor unions depict Charles, and his brother David Koch, as “the devil incarnate.”  But, Koch’s concern for the disproportionate incarceration of Blacks is an issue that shouldn’t be abruptly dismissed by party partisans.  Koch says: “Overcriminalization leads to mass incarceration, undermines race relations and ultimately keeps more people in poverty.” 

America’s legal system and processes have not been fair to African-Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, but currently account for almost 40 percent of the prison population.  This statistic should cause Black voter’s concern about the people they’ve elected to office.  Since the 1970s, Congress and state legislatures have enacted prison and sentencing laws that have mandated prison time for lesser offenses and ensured longer sentences for offenders.  Reversing overcriminalization and mass incarceration will improve societal well-being in many respects, most notably by decreasing poverty. Fixing our criminal system could reduce the overall poverty rate and dramatically improve the quality of life throughout society—especially for the disadvantaged.

Koch and organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers maintain that the runaway growth of the criminal law has been accompanied by the dilution of constitutional rights. It’s important for Blacks to note that, more often than not, minority defendants are charged with crimes requiring a mandatory minimum prison sentences which leads to large racial disparities in incarceration. The likelihood of Black males going to prison is 28 percent compared to 4 percent for White males.  Koch financially supports the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help train defense lawyers and reverse “get tough on crime” trends that have resulted in the tripling of incarceration rates and stripped the poor of their rights to legal defense.  Counter to what political partisans have intentionally led Blacks to believe about him, Koch says that “Overcriminalization leads to mass incarceration, undermines race relations and ultimately keeps more people in poverty.”  Voters should note that the spate of devastating criminal laws has come under increasing numbers of Blacks in legislators – many of whom are still in office.  The laws of past decades directly harmed Blacks.  Koch points out that: “Prison has become the new poverty trap…and a routine event for poor African-American men and families…enduring at the very bottom of American society.”  Koch’s concept of overcriminalization requires all our attention and efforts.  Bringing about needed societal and racial transformations to make society fair and equitable requires setting aside partisan politics, replaced by collaboration toward effective solutions.  We have to demand legislators to “do no more harm.”  Black shouldn’t allow legislators to criminalize activities that do not fit a common-sense understanding of what is a “crime.”

Hopefully, lawmakers and committed citizens will support Koch’s proposed reforms. 

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

A Black All American by William Reed Columnist

Julius Caesar “J. C.” Watts, Jr. is proving that there is life after Congress and charting a course Black youth can emulate.  In contrast to career Black politicians who get elected to Congress and stay there decade after decade, J. C. Watts is proving to be a businessman of significant note.


The GOP’s great Black hope, J.C. ranks as one of the “most influential Blacks in America.” An All-American role model, Watts is estimated to have a net worth of $3 million.  A college football hero, charismatic conservative, and gifted public speaker, J. C. Watts is the epitome of what a young Black can grow up to be.  Although he fathered a child at 17, J.C. gained national fame as a successful college football quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners.   He graduated from college in 1981 with a degree in journalism.  J.C. the athlete played professionally in the Canadian Football League until he retired in 1986.  Watts served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003 as a Republican, representing Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District.


A country boy in place of birth and nature, J.C. was born in eastern Oklahoma in Eufaula in McIntosh County.  His father is J. C. “Buddy” Watts, Sr., a Baptist minister, cattle trader and the city’s first Black police officer.  Buddy Watts was also a member of the City Council.  As an adult, J.C. junior opened a highway construction company and later cited discontent with government regulation of his business as reason to become a candidate for public office. J.C. is well foundered in Republican disposition and way of life.  Watts’ family has long-time affiliation with the Democratic Party and his father and uncle Wade Watts were active in the party and continued to strongly oppose the Republican Party, but supported J.C.‘s election to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission in November 1990 for a six-year term. He served as a member of the Commission from 1990 to 1995 and as chairman from 1993 to 1995.  J.C. ran for Congress in 1994 and was re-elected to three additional terms.  In 1998 J.C. was the fourth-ranking leader in the party.


Nowadays, Watts boasts being “the largest African-American owned lobbying company in Washington, D.C.”  Watts is not unlike Black Members of Congress before him – they lobby.  He founded the J.C. Watts Companies lobbying and consulting firm after he departed Congress.   The John Deere Company hired Watts as lobbyist in 2006 and Watts later invested in a Deere dealership.  Watts was asked to find Blacks to become John Deere dealers after a lawsuit showed that not one among 1,400 Deere’s dealers were Black. In the process, J.C. Watts Cos. acquired Mustang Equipment, an independent John Deere dealer with stores in San Antonio and Marble Falls, Texas.  J. C. Watts Companies is a National Minority Supplier Development Council certified Minority Business Enterprise.


Watts Partners boasts it as “a leader in the corporate and government affairs industry.”    The practice operates at a nexus of business, government, and grassroots advocacy.   J.C. has built a diverse business organization that includes  Deere dealerships; CLS Group, a project management firm with construction and engineering operations; Oak Crest Capital, a private equity firm; and a public affairs consulting company.  Mr. Watts’ firm’s work with John Deere has includes a multi-million dollar project in the west African country of Senegal.  A full-fledged capitalist, Watts makes almost a half million a year in board fees.  He serves as a corporate director for: John Deere, Wells Fargo, NASCAR, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Clear Channel Communications, Dillard’s Department Stores, and Terex Corporation.


J.C. comes to most Blacks’ minds as a political animal, but he is proving that Blacks with entrepreneurial mindsets can succeed in American capitalism.  His book is: What Color is a Conservative?  J.C.’s family is split in political loyalties, the young Watts insists Black would do better economically with Republican orientations.  In regards to Black Americans’ voting and loyalty to the Democratic Party, J.C. says that Blacks have “made a home” with that party and it “hasn’t rewarded their loyalty or earned their support.” 

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via

Newsletter: Rep. Shelly Willingham District 23 February 16, 2015




Rep. Shelly Willingham

N.C. House of Representatives

501 N Salisbury Street, #501

Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

(919) 715-3024

(919) 754-3224 (fax)


Edgecombe  Martin

        Dedicated to District 23

February 16, 2015


2015-2016 COMMITTEES:


Alcoholic Beverage Control


Appropriations –   Information Technology




Judiciary IV




Please contact me with your concerns. 


The audio legislative session is available at  Select “Audio and then House or Senate Chamber, Appropriations Committee Room or Press Conference Room.




·       ALLISON DURHAM (Martin County) appointed to the North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences Advisory Commission.


·       MARK PETRUZZIELLO (Edgecombe County) appointed to the Edgecombe County Community College Board of Trustees.






A strong recovery should mean bigger paychecks. And yet, wage growth has been decidedly lackluster in the last several years, a sure sign that North Carolina’s comeback is far from complete.  Despite corporate profits being at an all-time high and productivity increasing, the recovery has not translated into improved earnings for the average worker.  The latest data from December 2014 shows that across the state average wages have remained flat year over year and in eight of the state’s fourteen metro areas average wages have fallen.  Economists generally say that wage growth needs to be at least 3.5 to 4 percent to deliver returns to worker’s paychecks or at least to ensure that labor is enjoying a stable share of the benefits of a recovering economy.



North Carolina imports more than all but 12 states, but ranks 15th among the states in terms of exports. Canada represents North Carolina’s largest export partner, accounting for 22 percent of the state’s sales, followed by Mexico at 10 percent and China with 9 percent. “North Carolina’s continued export growth shows the international demand for the quality products made in our state,” said Gov. Pat McCrory in a statement.  “The global economy offers increasing export opportunities, and we’re ready to make the link in services and assistance North Carolina companies need to grow and create jobs here at home.”  McCrory’s press office did not immediately return a request for comment on the trade deficit.



The longtime executive director of the State Employees Association of North Carolina has resigned amid questions about possible financial improprieties at the group.  Dana Cope announced his departure Tuesday. “In recent days, I’ve come to realize that in carrying out the duties of my job, I have blurred the line between my personal life and my professional life,” said Cope.  The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday that the association had paid $109,000 in unbid landscaping work to a company that also worked at Cope’s home.  The article also detailed spending of more than $8,000 for flight lessons for Cope and personal expenses paid with association credit cards that included eyebrow waxing.


House Speaker Tim Moore met for about an hour today with Rev. William Barber and other leaders of the “Moral Monday” movement, which has led protests against Republican-crafted policies at the General Assembly building for the past two years. It marked the first time since protests began at the General Assembly that a sitting House speaker had met with Barber and protest leaders.  Barber said U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, who served as House speaker during the last four years, had never agreed to meet with protest leaders.



Princeville Elementary Celebrates Town’s Birthday

Princeville, NC – Students at Princeville Elementary School recently had the opportunity to honor their town’s rich heritage with a special ceremony held at the school. The town of Princeville is observing its 130th birthday during the month of February and has planned a series of artistic, cultural, and educational programs in celebration of this milestone event.

The program opened with the presentation of colors and a flag ceremony by North Edgecombe High School’s JROTC Cadets. Princeville community leaders Dr. Glenda Knight and Delores Porter offered words of proclamation to the students. The ceremony closed with the singing of “Happy Birthday,” led by kindergarten teacher, Pamela Richardson.

“Princeville is the best town to live in. I had fun celebrating my town’s birthday,” said Kahrie Flowers, a 3rd grade student in Mrs. Gay Norville’s class.

Annette Walker, Princeville Elementary Principal, was excited to share this experience with her students. “My goal for our school is to be a part of the Princeville community. We recognize the rich history of the town and the part it plays in the lives of our students,” stated Walker.

Edgecombe County Public Schools: Evans Selected As ECPS Employee of the Month

Tarboro, NC – Cleo Evans was recognized as the ECPS Employee of the Month at the February Board of Education Meeting. Evans has served as HOPE Program Coordinator since August of last year.

“We believe Ms. Evans has completely changed the face of the HOPE Program. She has created a welcoming environment for the students of Edgecombe County who need extra support,” states Robert Batts, Tarboro High School Principal. “She creates a sense of community and belonging in the classroom. She is a skilled leader and facilitator. She believes in the power of collaboration. We are fortunate to have her as an advocate for our students.”

“I am very appreciative of our Board of Education, district leadership, the HOPE Staff and the team of teachers and parents across the district who play an invaluable role in the success of the program and our students,” Evans said. “We must remain focused on student success, connected to the parents, and ready to lead in a positive manner. It is with great honor and pride that I receive this recognition and know that this is a shared accomplishment with all stakeholders involved in the success of our students.”

Edgecombe County Public Schools: SWEHS Students Earn FBLA Honors

Pinetops, NC – Two SouthWest Edgecombe High School students were award winners at the Future Business Leaders of America Triangle East Region Competitive Events Leadership Conference held recently at Panther Creek High School in Cary. Matthew Jones placed first in Accounting I, while Miguel Ponce earned third place honors in Business Calculations.

The FBLA National Awards Program recognizes and rewards excellence in a broad range of business and career-related areas. Students compete in events testing their business knowledge and skills.

Both students credit their Career and Technical Education teacher, Venus Bradley, for their success. “Mrs. Bradley really encouraged us throughout this process. She even worked with us for long hours on several Saturdays to make sure we were prepared for the competition,” said Jones. “We are grateful for her support.”

“This is was an incredible experience for me,” states Ponce. “I am looking forward to future FBLA competitions.”

Jones and Ponce are now eligible to represent their school at the FBLA State Leadership Conference in Greensboro in April.