The VIPP Report: The first African American to reach the rank of colonel in the U.S. will be honored during a flag and plaque ceremony

A plaque ceremony and flag installation will be held the FIRST African American to hold the rank of “Colonel” in the U.S. Army and Buffalo Soldier from Kentucky

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The ceremony will be held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage in West Louisville

 On Sunday, February 24, 2019, the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, (KCAAH) in partnership with The National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations presents Colonel Charles Young the Epitome of Leadership.  As we near the end of Black History Month, we invite you to attend the installation of the 9th Calvary Regiment Flag and plaque ceremony for Colonel Charles Young.

Charles YCol. Young was born a slave in 1864 in Mason County, Kentucky.  He was one of the first African Americans to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point and the first black colonel in the U.S. Army.  He also served as a member of the 9th Calvary also known as the Buffalo Soldiers.  Young died in Liberia in 1922.

The ceremony will be from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at KCAAH which is located at 1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.  During the program Brian Shellum, author of three books about the life of Colonel Charles Young will speak during the program.  His focus will be Col. Young’s challenging missions during his 30 years on active duty.  Also, a part of the ceremony will be Charles Blatcher III, chairman for the National Coalition of Black Veteran Organizations, (NCBVO).  His angle will be NCBVO advocacy on behalf of Colonel Young and his importance to Black Military History and Black History Month.

If you are unable to attend but would like to have photos of the event send your request to info@vippcommunications.com and we will give you a summary of the event and photos.

http://www.kcaah.org

twitter: @kygriot

VIPP Communications is a full-service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  http://vippcommunications.com 

 

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The VIPP Report: Louisville church surpasses the silver and gold anniversaries and now Mount Olive hits a historic number of 119 years

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Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church 

(Louisville, KY) There’s only been three pastors who’ve served at the helm of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church.  On Sunday, February 24, 2019 the church will celebrate it’s 119th anniversary.

The anniversary will begin at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday School, followed by morning worship at 11:00 a.m. featuring the Anniversary Reunion Choir and Rev. Chris Hagan, pastor of Second Baptist Church of Owenton, Ky.

Dinner will be served. Following dinner, members and guests will return to the sanctuary at 3:00 p.m. for a special tribute for our retiring pastor Rev. Shanklin.

Shanklin, only the third pastor after 119 years has served 35 years as pastor and on Easter Sunday he will preach his last sermon at Mt. Olive.

The church along with our family life center is located on several acres on East Kentucky Street.

Please post and/or announce Mount Olive’s 119th Church Anniversary.  We also invite you to come worship and fellowship with us on Sunday, February 24th.

We will also update you closer to Easter Sunday plans for Rev. Alex Shanklin’s retirement.  If you would like to setup an interview with Rev. Shanklin and/or some of their members, please contact Sis. Barbara Leavell and/or Sherlene Shanklin at VIPP Communications by email at info@vippcommunications.com.

If you have a story idea, send it to thevippreport@vippcommunications.com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport @vippcomm and Instagram @vippcommunications.

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VIPP Communications is a full service public relations, event management and production firm headquartered in Louisville, KY with clients and/or projects all over the U.S. We can create, maintain and sustain your brand.  Our clientele range from small businesses, non-profits, corporate leaders, entertainment to current and retired professional athletes.  Contact one of our team members to see if we can assist you at info at vippcommunications dot com.  http://vippcommunications.com 

 

VIPP Special Report: How 10-year-old Seven Bridges death is now bringing awareness to so many who don’t understand the consequences that bullying brings

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The heartbreak a community is feeling because a child dies a tragic death because he was suffering in silence

Special Report by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate in Louisville, KY (Original story posted: January 22, 2019/Updated: January 23, 2019)

Shanklin, an assignment editor with more than 25 years in the broadcast field for the station took the mother’s call in September 2018 while heading into work.  In a rare and raw account which is hardly done she reflects on when she took both calls about Seven Bridges.   

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The story of Seven Bridges is making headlines not only in Louisville but nationwide after the 10-year-old committed suicide on Saturday for alleged bullying. I have to use alleged because this will likely be determined in the court of law.

I spoke to the mother Tami Charles Saturday evening after returning from out of town. I had received numerous texts wanting to know what happened to Charles’ son. I had no idea because I was traveling and could not be distracted due to extremely heavy rain.

When I got back to Louisville, I reached out to her because I knew the backstory. I didn’t expect for her to answer my text message for weeks but later that evening she responded. We texted a couple of times and then my phone rang it was Charles. She told me what happened all we could do was cry together over the phone. I got off wondering, “What else could I have done?” “What can I do now?” “Why didn’t someone say something?”

50739415_1000508566810691_3647677009657593856_nTo hear the hurt but strength of a mother on the same day she lost her child made my heart drop into my stomach. What do you say? It’s not about getting the story. I didn’t move into this community. I grew up in this community. I know the names, the faces, the unsung heroes, and the sacrifices many do day in and day out and never get a day of media coverage. I chose to stay to help and support those who needed a voice but all I could do was listen to this mother.  What could I say to comfort a grieving mother who knew something was going on but couldn’t stop it?

I walked and cried and cried and walked, all night until my family had to ask if there was anything they could do. They know I keep my work close to the vest and private and I never include them to keep my journalistic integrity. Frankly, if I told them some things, they could not erase the image from their minds. Some stories develop while others do not, but I still assist and work for an answer with as many as I can even on my off days.

My main job is to get the story out of people. Whether they are yelling at me because of their situation, their frustration and/or confusion on how to express what they are thinking and/or feeling. My task is to translate their thoughts and get to the core of the situation.

A mentor taught me a long time ago that you need to listen to the details they are in there just listen. Then, ask follow up questions to make sure I’m understanding them correctly. If I can’t understand the story, I can’t get our team to understand the importance.

With this burden on my heart and mind, I did reach out to the reporter that helped with the story in September 2018. We talked about it. We agreed not to talk to Charles about doing an interview. There was no rush since we were the only ones who did the initial story on Seven. When she along with her husband were ready they would let us know.

Then when Charles mentioned that insurance would not pay for her son’s funeral we decided that we needed to do something. That’s when we asked them to do the interview.

Reporter Heather Fountaine and I also said we wanted her to talk to anyone who could help her get the needed funds to bury her only child. Actually, her miracle child because Charles thought she was not able to have children, but she was blessed to have Seven.

Because Seven’s death was a suicide we did not think she would get a lot of coverage. Fountaine and I had to move faster than any of us wanted too, but thinking we spoke to the family during the trying time we needed to see it through and worked all weekend on our days off.

Let me take you back to September 2018 when the mother was trying to help her child when no one else thought it was anything until the untimely death of Seven on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Charles reached out to me in September and explained to me what her child was going through and as a mother she needed to find a way to help her son. They loved the school but felt like the process might have been broken when it came to the notification process.

What the mother didn’t know that I was having a bad day, running late for work and was literally stuck in traffic at 2:30 p.m. in the middle of the day. But when I saw Charles’ name on my caller ID I knew I needed to answer. She said she was having a problem and wanted to get the word out. I explained to her that I was in traffic and as soon as I got to work I would begin looking into it. As soon as we hung up, I went to work. I called my newsroom and asked them to pull the video, so we could review it as soon as I walked in and asked others to listen as well, so we could make a decision. (Our evening meetings are at 3:00 pm, so if i wanted them to try and get all of the elements before the end of business we didn’t have much time or I would have to hold the story for consideration the next day.)

In Charles’ video, which has 38,000 views and more than 1,100 shares. She expressed sincere concern for her child’s well-being. Charles alleged her son was choked and verbally abused racially and no action was taken nor was she told of the incident even though her child was elementary school age. She used the words bullied. She also said several times that they loved the school, but it needed to change its procedure of alerting parents when situations like this occur. I went into the meeting and explained the situation and that the mother wanted to address the procedure and the time frame in which a parent is notified so that the child does not continue to go through a situation alone but with a support team.

The Kentucky Dept of Education defines “bullying” as any unwanted verbal, physical, or social behavior among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated or has the potential to be repeated: 1. That occurs on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event; or 2. That disrupts the education process.

This incident met the criteria. We sat down with Charles and her 10-year-old son Seven Bridges. The reporter was very sensitive to the situation but asked the hard questions and the mother and child answered freely.

When the team came back to the station, they were so surprised of the maturity of the fifth grader and his level of forgiveness.

In our September 2018 interview Bridges said, “I know that I can get it out of my mind, and tomorrow is like a better day, so I can still make friends with him.”

Charles also in that interview said she would like to see the school’s administration held accountable and more racial sensitivity training within the school system.

The school system said in September 2018 that the incident was under official investigation.

Presently, the district is opening a full investigation. The parents of Seven Bridges say they will file a lawsuit.

Now, the grieving parents have to find a way to bury their child. Again, they have insurance but when a person commits suicide it is not covered under the policy.  So, they have started a Go Fund Me page entitled: Rest in Paradise Seven Bridges if you would like to donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/rest-in-paradise-seven-bridges.

The community is rallying around the family be using the words “Seven Strong” – this is to bring awareness of bullying of any kind so that no other family has to go through this traumatic situation because unfortunately Seven was suffering in silence.

There’s a phrase that’s commonly used: “If I can just save one person, then I did my job.”

I will never use that phrase again because the one person I thought I helped I could not save but I hope my efforts and Seven’s memory will not go in vain.

If you know someone who may not be able to talk to you. Have them talk to someone. Give them this number 800-273-8255. Let’s not let anyone suffer in silence.

If you have a story idea, send it to me at The411@whas11.com.

Sherlene Shanklin, an multi-Emmy nominated, two-time 2018 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Winner for Sports Writing & For Best Use of Social Media and multiple AP Awards currently works for WHAS11 Television. She created a segment The411 and is a regular contributor to whas11.com.  You can hear her on Thursdays at 11:30 am on WLOU/104.7FM as well as WHAS11 Noon Show at 12:50 pm, Fridays at 4:25 pm and Saturday mornings on Good Morning Kentuckiana at 6:25 am and 9:25 am.  You can also read her stories on this site The VIPP Report.  Sherlene’s podcast Giving You The Vibe, (GUTV) will begin in the first quarter of 2019.  

The VIPP Report: Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization official statement

December 9, 2018

From the office of the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization:

The young women that represent the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are held to a high standard.  They not only represent the organization and the state, but their families and the communities in which they live.

The Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization does not approve of the alleged behavior which led to the legal allegations and recent arrest of Ramsey Carpenter Bearse.

Please direct all inquiries in regards to Bearse’s personal and pending litigation to her attorney, A.L. Emch.

The VIPP Report: Miss Kentucky’s appearance schedule for Thanksgiving week

Miss Kentucky Katie Bouchard’s Appearance/Travel Schedule

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Morehead, Kentucky

8:00 am- Tiden Hogge Elementary School

9:30 am-Clearfield Elementary, Clearfield, KY

10:20 am-Rodburn Elementary School

12:45 pm-McBrayer Elementary School

1:30 pm-Rowan County Senior High School

2:20 pm-Rowan County Middle School

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

No scheduled events

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

No scheduled events

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving Day! No scheduled events

Friday, November 23, 2018

3:00 pm-6:00 pm Light Up Louisville Parade

Downtown Louisville, KY

Katie has been non-stop since her return from the Miss America Competition which was held on Saturday, September 9th, from historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

This week, Katie heads to Morehead, Kentucky where she will attend six scheduled events. She will take a couple days off to spend some time with family on Thanksgiving.  Then she heads to Louisville for their annual Light Up Celebration kicking off the holiday season.

The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) (4), is one of the most recognizable household names in America working to empower young women through education and service. The Miss America Organization is comprised of 51 licensed state organizations, including all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Miss America candidates contribute tens of thousands of community service hours annually and have raised over $17 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships since 2007. The Miss America Foundation, a 501(c) (3), provides academic, community service, and other scholarships to young women.

If you would like to set up a media interview with Miss Kentucky Katie Bouchard please contact VIPP Communications for availability by emailing us at  info at vippcommunications dot com.   To have Miss Kentucky attend your next event, please send your request to bookmissky@gmail.com. To see videos and photos from her appearances follow her on IG @missamericaky.

The VIPP Report: Kroger Shooting Suspect Charged with Federal Hate Crimes and Firearm Offenses

Official news release from the United States Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Gregory A. Bush, 51, was indicted today by a federal grand jury on hate crime and firearm charges arising out of the racially motivated murder of two African-American patrons at a Kroger grocery store, and the attempted murder of a third, on Oct. 24 in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. The indictment was announced by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman, and FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr.

Today’s indictment charges Bush with hate crimes for shooting and killing two victims because of their race and color; and for shooting at a third man because of his race and color. The indictment also charges Bush for using and discharging a firearm during and in relation to those crimes of violence. The indictment alleges that Bush committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, that he killed more than one person in a single criminal episode, and that he knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.

The maximum penalty for the charges in the indictment is life imprisonment or the death penalty.  The Justice Department will determine at a later date whether, in this particular case, it will seek the death penalty.

“The crimes alleged in this indictment are horrific,” Acting Attorney General Whitaker said. “We cannot and will not tolerate violence motivated by racism. We will bring the full force of the law against these and any other alleged hate crimes against fellow Americans of any race. And so I want to thank the FBI, Trial Attorney Christopher Perras, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory for all of their hard work that has made this indictment possible. Today we take one step closer to justice for the victims and their families and one step closer to helping this community try to heal.”

“There is no place for hate-fueled violence in our community or Commonwealth,” stated U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman. “Federal, state, and local law enforcement stand united to ensure that Kentuckians can shop, worship, or attend school without the specter of fear.”

“The tragic events of October 24, 2018, are a grim reminder of why the FBI prioritizes investigations of civil rights violations among the top of its criminal programs,” said FBI Louisville Special Agent in Charge James Robert Brown, Jr. “Today’s indictment should be a reminder to those who are motivated by hate and are intent on committing violence; your hateful ideology will not have the last word. The FBI, and the Department of Justice, will be there, and you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure justice for the victims, their families and the Louisville community throughout the investigation and prosecution of this alleged, hate-filled and violent crime,” stated Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Louisville Division. “Today, and every day, ATF’s ongoing priority is to reduce violent crime and secure the safety of our communities.”

An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case has been investigated by the FBI Louisville Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Louisville Field Division, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christopher J. Perras of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky.

 

If you have a story idea, send it to The VIPP Report, thevippreport at vippcommunications dot com.  Follow us on Twitter @thevippreport for real-time news.  

Victims in the Oct 24, 2018 shooting at Kroger in Jeffersontown, KY. Pictured below: Vickie Jones (on the left with her nephew) and in the second picture Maurice Stallard.

The VIPP Report: Shooting in Jeffersontown, KY grocery store now being called a hate crime

Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11/ABC Affiliate Louisville

JUST IN:  The Kroger shooting where two African Americans were randomly shot and killed on October 24th in Jeffersontown just outside of Louisville, Ky is NOW classified a HATE CRIME case. Victims: Maurice Stallard, 69 and Vickie Jones, 67. The suspect Gregory Alan Bush could face the death penalty.

I can see community leaders Sadiqa Reynolds Christopher II X and Pastor Kevin Nelson from First Baptist Jeffersontown in the room.  Nelson’s church captured Bush on surveillance cameras attempting to get into the church before he drove down to Kroger where he shot and killed Jones and Stallard.

Follow me on Twitter @Sherlenemediapr for real-time updates.