uSAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Organizers of a meeting to discuss an upcoming mayoral race in Georgia barred reporters from attending — unless they were African-American.
The Wednesday meeting at a church in Savannah was held to try to unite the city’s black community behind a single candidate for mayor in the Nov. 5 election. Signs at the door said “Black Press Only!”
White reporters were denied entry, while at least two black reporters and the publisher of a local African-American newspaper were allowed inside, the Savannah Morning News reported . Television cameras and recording devices were also prohibited.
The newspaper said the Rev. Clarence Teddy Williams, who organized the meeting, declined to discuss the entry policy.
Mayor Eddie DeLoach is seeking re-election this fall. He became Savannah’s first white mayor in 20 years after winning the 2015 campaign. Elections for Savannah’s top office are nonpartisan, meaning all candidates who qualify end up on the November ballot.
Van Johnson, a Savannah city councilman and one of three black mayoral candidates to have announced campaigns so far, attended the Wednesday meeting at Bolton Street Baptist Church. Johnson said afterward he relayed “my vision for an inclusive Savannah, a progressive Savannah.”
Asked by WTOC-TV about only black reporters being allowed inside, Johnson said: “It’s not my meeting. Again, I was asked to come give a statement, and so I came and I gave a statement.”
Regina Thomas, a former Georgia state senator and one of the incumbent mayor’s black challengers, skipped the church gathering Wednesday. She said the meeting appeared divisive and was scheduled too early in the campaign.
uBOULDER FALLS FROM TRUCK IN OKLAHOMA, KILLS 2 IN PASSING SUV: PAULS VALLEY, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma authorities say a large boulder fell from a truck and went through the windshield of a passing SUV, killing two women who were passengers in the smaller vehicle.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the deadly accident happened Tuesday near Pauls Valley, which is about 50 miles south of Oklahoma City. The women killed were 89-year-old Wanda Oliver and 83-year-old Flora Perkins, who were both from Pauls Valley. The SUV’s driver wasn’t hurt.
Patrol spokeswoman Sarah Stewart says one of the women was in the front passenger seat and the other was in a rear seat when the boulder hit. It weighed 40 or 50 pounds.
She says the truck’s driver was located Wednesday and that investigators are convinced he wasn’t aware of what had happened. He wasn’t arrested.
uMOTORIST HIT IN FACE BY FROZEN TURKEY DIES YEARS LATER AT 59: LAKE RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (AP) — A New Yorker who urged leniency for the teenager who nearly killed her in 2004 by throwing a frozen turkey through her car windshield has died. Victoria Ruvolo was 59.
Anthony Ruvolo says his aunt died Monday. The cause is unknown, and it’s unclear whether the old injuries contributed to her death.
Newsday says every bone in Ruvolo’s face was shattered and the steering wheel bent when the teenager threw the 20-pound turkey at her car.
She endured reconstructive surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Because of her advocacy, the youth got six months in jail instead of a potential 25-year prison sentence. Ruvolo, of Lake Ronkonkoma (rahn-KAHN’-kuh-muh), became an author and motivational speaker .
uOWNER: CITY IS TRYING TO TAKE RACETRACK BY EMINENT DOMAIN: BALTIMORE (AP) — Attorneys for the Pimlico Race Course owners say the city of Baltimore is trying to gain control of the racetrack and the signature Preakness Stakes race through eminent domain.
The Stronach Group attorneys say there’s no “good ground” supporting the lawsuit filed last week by Mayor Catherine Pugh to keep the race in Baltimore. WBAL-TV reports the attorneys sent a letter Wednesday to a judge overseeing the lawsuit, saying Maryland has exclusive authority over all aspects of racing — not Baltimore.
The letter says the lawsuit is a “transparent ploy to gain some sort of negotiating leverage over the owners of the Maryland Jockey Club and the Preakness Stakes.” Proposed legislation would make state funds available for The Stronach Group to revamp another site, possibly moving the race.
uSCHOOL SUSPENDS OFFICIAL FOR COMMENT ON HITLER’S LEADERSHIP: NUTLEY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey sports official who told student athletes Adolf Hitler was a “good leader” with “bad moral character and intentions” has been suspended.
The Nutley Board of Education took the action Monday night against high school athletic director Joe Piro, who made the remark last month while addressing Madison High School students during an assembly aimed at promoting positive leadership.
Piro has said he was trying to make a point that “a leader could have strong leadership skills that influence people in a negative way.” He says he understands “Hitler was an evil man who used his skills in a horrific manner.”
The Madison district’s superintendent has said Piro’s presentation was “unnecessarily provocative and insensitive.”
Piro showed a photo of Hitler as part of a side-by-side comparison with Martin Luther King Jr.
uREPORT ON WOMAN’S DEATH FINDS NO FAULT WITH INDIVIDUALS: BOSTON (AP) — A report into the death of a Massachusetts woman who died days after collapsing from an asthma attack outside a locked emergency room found serious flaws with the hospital’s parent company but stopped short of blaming individuals.
Thursday’s 80-page report was conducted by a firm hired by the hospital and looks into the death of 34-year-old Laura Levis , who collapsed Sept. 16, 2016, outside Somerville Hospital.
Ex-state attorney general Martha Coakley, who helped prepare the report, tells The Boston Globe “There was no one person who did anything wrong or who could be blamed.”