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Yawu Miller

Stories by Yawu

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Sheriff Tompkins touts progress, endorsements as he faces first election

Sheriff Steve Tompkins is focused on reducing recidivism among inmates in the Suffolk County House of Corrections and reducing violence in the the communities of Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop.

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Haitian prime minister asks U.S. funders for continued investment in island’s recovery efforts

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe spoke at a funders conference held at the Boston foundation, outlining his government’s efforts to rebuild in the wake of the 2010 earthquake.

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Gubernatorial candidates reach out to black delegates, voters in advance of convention

The five Democratic candidates for governor gave their positions on economic, housing and social issues during a forum sponsored by Democratic ward committees representing black, Latino and white liberal voters in Boston.

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Blacks, Latinos concerned about Martin Walsh administration hiring

As Martin Walsh enters his sixth month as mayor, political observers in Boston’s black, Latino and Asian communities are cautiously optimistic about his administration’s work in the neighborhoods of Boston.

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Parcel 3 developers seek extension from Boston Redevelopment Authority

A BJ’s Wholesale Club, a major sports and outdoor equipment retailer, a national cinema chain, a health and fitness club, arts and crafts store and major clothing retailer are among the businesses that have expressed intent to lease more than 70 percent of the 400,000 square feet of retail space in the Parcel 3 development planned by P-3 Partners LLC.

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Candidates kick off summer campaigning in Dorchester

For Dorchester residents, the Dorchester Day Parade is a three-and- a-half-mile-long expression of civic pride that showcases the diversity of Boston’s largest neighborhood.

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Venezuelan official cites country’s African history

From the earliest years of Spanish settlement in South America, Africans played a key role in shaping the history of the continent — from slave revolts in the 1500s to African military leaders in the war of independence against Spanish colonial rule in the 1700s.

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Boston churches finding second life as condos

In the South End and other neighborhoods of Greater Boston, dozens of churches have been repurposed for housing and other uses in recent years, many of the 63 churches, rectories and other buildings sold by the Archdiocese of Boston.

City Councilors quiz Boston Public Schools officials on bus plan

Making the case for putting Boston’s 7th and 8th graders on the MBTA was a tough job, made all the more so by skeptical city councilors and an audience of disgruntled parents and school bus drivers.

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Providence’s Dominican Mayor Angel Taveras runs for governor

Angel Taveras’ credentials are impressive: a Harvard University undergraduate education, Georgetown Law School and the first Latino mayor of Providence.

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Boston school parents blast plan to put 7th graders on T

A controversial plan to transport 7th and 8th graders to school on the MBTA has many parents and education activists in Boston up in arms over what they say is an ill-conceived bid to trim the school budget.

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Friction over desegregation resolution

Councilors Bill Linehan, Sal LaMattina and Stephen Murphy decline to support resolution commemorating historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision

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Landmark 1800s Roxbury home undergoes renovation

The downturn in the economy and the city’s real estate market put the brakes on the developer’s plans and landed the Kittredge House in the hands of the Historic Boston Initiative. Now, after a one-year, $3.8 million rehab project, the house is almost completed with five two-bedroom rental units — two of them affordable — ready for the homes newest residents.

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Casinos reaching out to Roxbury residents

There are no safe bets in the push for a casino in the Boston area. Plans for casinos across Massachusetts may come to a halt if the state’s Supreme Judicial Court rules in favor of allowing a question on the November ballot that would repeal gaming in Massachusetts.

School department weighs bids for meals contract

Isabel Torres has heard the complaints about school lunches from her children — “They’re not warmed, they don’t taste right and they’re not healthy,” she says.

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OneUnited Bank slams brakes on Charles Street AME Church sale

The administration of Mayor Martin Walsh has upped the ante in the push for a business incubator in Dudley Square, setting aside 4,000 square feet in the Ferdinand Building for a startup space.

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Business incubator slated for Dudley Square’s Ferdinand Building

The administration of Mayor Martin Walsh has upped the ante in the push for a business incubator in Dudley Square, setting aside 4,000 square feet in the Ferdinand Building for a startup space.

Friends of Madison Park says BPS withholding resources

Long before the school department sent an intervention team to Madison Park Regional Technical and Vocational school, there were signs of trouble and requests for help.

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Charles Street AME church attempts sale of Renaissance building

In the midst of bitterly contested foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings, the Charles Street AME church in Boston is seeking to sell the Renaissance Center building that it borrowed $3.6 million to renovate.

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Income disparity squeezed middle class out of Boston’s South End

The idea behind Boston’s South End Neighborhood Housing Initiative was straightforward enough — one third of all housing built on public land was to be affordable, one third moderate income and one third market rate. But in the end, only a handful of housing developments were built using the formula.

Carlos Henriquez remains jailed, despite his being cleared for early release three weeks ago.

As the deadline for filing papers for the November state election looms, former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez remains jailed

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Scholars mull Obama’s record on race issues

The conference was organized by the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University

A funny thing happened to Professor Matthew Whitaker on his way to the Barack Obama and American Democracy Conference at Tufts University. "I got a text message from my mother," the Arizona State University Foundation Professor of History said. "She said don’t be too critical of Obama." The other conference participants nodded in agreement with Whitaker’s point: black people are uncomfortable with criticism of the nation’s first black president.

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U.S. marshals raid Roxbury radio station

Charles Clemmons says "our community will not be silenced".

Elected officials and community activists are rallying around the Grove Hall-based underground radio station Touch 106.1 FM radio after U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz ordered U.S. marshals to shut down the unlicensed station.

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Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge averts auction

A foreclosure auction for the Prince Hall Grand Masonic Lodge in Grove Hall scheduled for Thursday was called off last week after officials from the lodged reached an agreement with Northborough Capital Partners, the entity that currently holds their loan.

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Rev. Eugene Rivers courts controversy, stays in media spotlight

Fifteen years ago, the Rev. Eugene Rivers was at the height of his influence with his face on the cover of Newsweek magazine, his frequent critiques of Boston’s black political and religious readers appearing frequently in the pages of the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and the Boston Herald.

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Evandro Carvalho wins Boston 5th Suffolk by wide margin

Political neophyte Evandro Carvalho cleared the field in the five-person Democratic primary special election for the 5th Suffolk District seat formerly occupied by Carlos Henriquez, securing 49 percent of the 1,957 ballots cast.

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Majority of high-paying Boston jobs dominated by whites

For people of color, the school department is a mirror image of the rest of the city. While whites make up the majority of the employees in the schools with 57 percent, people of color make up the majority at the highest level of pay, with 53 percent of those jobs.

BJ’s Wholesale Club has signed a letter of intent for a 90,000 square-foot space in Parcel 3

This gives the P-3 Partners LLC development team the needed anchor tenant for its million-square foot Roxbury development project.

The letter of intent was announced Monday night at a meeting of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee. Committee members congratulated members of the Parcel 3 development team for the commitment, which will allow the project to secure funding for construction.

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Compromise bill dies amid battle over charter school cap

A battle between charter school supporters and public school parents came to a head last week, but the event that precipitated the dustup was an attempt at compromise.

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Boston luxury market booming, middle class gets squeezed

While activists in Roxbury debate whether the 44.9 percent of units designated affordable there have concentrated too much poverty in the neighborhood, real estate developers in downtown Boston are grappling with a radically different problem — a boom in the construction of $4,000-a-month luxury units that may soon result in a glut.

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Candidates for 5th Suffolk seat debate issues at forum

The forum for the 5th Suffolk District could have ended at the candidates’ opening statements. The auditorium at the First Parish Church was packed with supporters of the four candidates who showed at the forum with no discernable undecideds in the room.

Recent cases suggest bias in Mass. justice

Former state Rep. Carlos Henriquez was expelled from the state legislature by a House vote he and his supporters say had no basis in state law. Jailed on two misdemeanor assault charges, Henriquez will likely be released next month before the hastily-scheduled April 29 election to replace him occurs.

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Linda Dorcena Forry breathes new life into Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast

Linda Dorcena Forry’s bid last year for the 1st Suffolk Senate seat was certainly contentious enough, but once in office, she had to battle for control over one of the spoils of the seat — the right to host the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

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Roxbury history preserved in Warren Street house

For decades, the puddingstone house at 130 Warren Street, known as the Warren House, has beat the odds that laid waste to so many other homes from the early 1800s — the ravages of time, the wrecking ball of Urban Renewal and, most recently, a raging fire two weeks ago that reduced the Second Empire Victorian next door to a pile of charred wood.

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Main Streets Director Ed Gaskin sees bright future for Grove Hall

When Ed Gaskin talks about Boston’s Grove Hall, he sees the community’s assets first and foremost — its proximity to Franklin Park with its golf course and zoo, a newly-constructed nearby commuter rail station, the surrounding housing stock of stately one- and two-family Victorians, and commercial anchors like the One United Bank and Bank of America branches and the Grove Hall Mecca Mall.

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Entrepreneurs float ideas for Dudley Square business incubator

Speaking to the Mass Technology Leadership Council last month, Mayor Martin Walsh urged industry leaders to look beyond the Seaport District and Kendall Square to neighborhoods like Mattapan as locations for new\ innovation districts.

Latino representation seen lacking in Boston’s civic leadership

Along with African Americans and Asians, Latinos suffer the same pattern of underrepresentation in virtually all spheres of Boston’s civic life — a high concentration at the bottom of the pay scales and decision-making chains with little to no representation at the top.

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Parking may be casualty of Dudley development

The completion of the Ferdinand Building at the end of this year will be a major milestone in the rejuvenation of the Dudley Square area. The 532 employees the building is expected to bring to the business district will be an infusion of activity, lunch money and cars.

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Tito Jackson spearheads Boston commission on black boys and men

Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson’s call for a special commission to study the issues confronting black boys and men dovetailed so well with President Obama’s announcement of his My Brother’s Keeper initiative aimed at black boys, it almost seemed planned.

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Historic night at Oscars with trio of big victories

The 2014 Oscars marked a few rare wins for blacks in the white-dominated world of the Academy Awards: Best Picture for the Steve McQueen’s film “12 Years a Slave,” Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o, and Best Adapted Screenplay for writer John Ridley.

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Missing in action: Althea Garrison

Five of the six candidates who pulled papers to run in the special election for the 5th Suffolk District have cleared the first hurdle: turning in 150 valid signatures.

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Roxbury program spawned generation of photographers

In the summer of 1967, Wesley Williams and a group of Roxbury teens launched the Roxbury Photographers Training Program in Dudley Square with help from MIT and professional photography Harry Emerson.

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Few police abuse cases find way to civilian review

Seven years after the city established the Civilian Ombudsman Oversight Panel to review allegations of police abuse, the board remains largely powerless, ineffective and little-known according to attorneys and community activists contacted by the Banner.

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Governor says state can cut recidivism rate in half

Speaking at a forum held at UMass Boston and sponsored by MassINC, Gov. Deval Patrick says recidivism, the rate at which people convicted of crimes are re-arrested, can be cut by 50 percent in Massachusetts over the next five years if state policy makers continue an ongoing trend of criminal justice policy reform.

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Heritage Guild honors 19th century luminaries

When Adelaide Cromwell arrived in Boston in the 1940s, the history of the city’s African American community was all but forgotten, with the stories of prominent 19th century blacks gathering dust in out-of-print books and century-old newspapers.

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Roxbury’s boundaries buried in town history

The racially driven cartography to determine black neighborhoods has added much confusion to the location of neighborhood borders, but Boston’s neighborhood boundaries have always been confusing, even to indigenous Bostonians.

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Roxbury real estate values depressed by historic stigma

Roxbury’s real estate market is booming, according to brokers who sell listings in the Boston neighborhood. But entrenched perceptions that Roxbury is a black neighborhood and lingering concerns that Roxbury is dangerous conspire to suppress home values.

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City Council President Bill Linehan is bailing out on this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Breakfast

City Council President Bill Linehan is bailing out on this year’s Saint Patrick’s Day Breakfast

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Chinatown residents seek relief from rising rents

Last Wednesday, housing activists in Boston’s Chinatown met with Mayor Marty Walsh and members of his administration seeking help in stemming the displacement of low-income residents of the city’s densest neighborhood.

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All politics is local: gov. candidates take back seat in caucuses

As can be expected in a year with multiple candidates running for open seats for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer, the recent Massachusetts Democratic caucus meetings were packed with political activists seeking signatures and support for candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer and attorney general.