DOUGLASS DESCENDANT TOUTS FREEDOM
The great-great-grandson of abolitionist Frederick Douglass is in the middle of a national tour re-enacting his famous ancestor's calls for freedom. Appearing at schools in the Louisville, Ky., area, Frederick Douglass IV -- dressed in the 19th century garb of the great freedom fighter -- rallied students to "rise from the depths" and create their own atmosphere of freedom.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports Douglass is on a national speaking tour to raise money for an African-American history museum in the nation's capital. He mesmerized a group of students as he told the story of the freed slave who became a confidant of President Abraham Lincoln.
Douglass, who looks very much like his namesake, also talked about modern-day issues, telling students to beware of drugs, alcohol and sex. His visit in Louisville coincided with the 185th anniversary of the abolitionist's birth.
JUDGE LETS THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME
A Cincinnati judge has turned the tables on a woman convicted of bilking first-time home buyers. Pamela Sanford told a judge her mother was going to take out a second mortgage on her home to help her daughter come up with the money to make restitution to victims in the case.
Judge Melba Marsh was less than pleased. The Cincinnati Enquirer says the judge "went into a tirade," ordering Sanford to go to a lender and take money out of her own home to pay the costs. This essentially forced the one-time mortgage lender to see what it feels like to have the shoe on the other foot.
Sanford was convicted of swindling people out of thousands of dollars with shady bookkeeping when the victims were trying desperately to come up with the funds to get into their first homes.
Marsh ordered Sanford to return to court April 1. "You'll pay these people back," she told the woman. "And, then we'll see if you go to jail."
MINI NAVAJO NATION ONBOARD SHIP
If you hear Navajo being spoken on the USS Constellation it's not because of a new generation of "code breakers," it's because the crew is part Navajo. The Arizona Republic, in a profile of the many Navajos in the Navy, says the service branch has quite a few who are veteran sailors and have spent time on a variety of ships, always taking Navajo flags and other memorabilia with them to remind them of home.
One sailor tells the newspaper the way he finds fellow members of the tribe on large ships is to simply look at the roster of names. Using on-board e-mail, he then fires off a letter. If the reply comes back in Navajo he knows he's hit pay dirt.
Additionally, he says if you grew up around Window Rock, Ariz., the center of the Navajo nation, you know you can spot a fellow Navajo from across the deck. One sailor tells the story of going up to someone and asking: "Are you from Arizona?" The answer came back in Navajo.
HEARING ON STRIPPERS TOO X-RATED FOR TV
The Montana state Senate recently turned off television coverage of hearings dealing with the presence of strip clubs in that state. Additionally, young boys and girls working as pages were excluded from the hearings. The Helena Independent Record reports the senator leading the committee says some of the testimony could be "too graphic" for young people and certainly not proper for broadcast.
The Montana American Civil Liberties Union chapter has come to the defense of those wanting to tune in, calling it a free speech issue. The group's Scott Crichton told the paper, "I don't know where they think they've got the authority to unplug the debate."
As it turned out, nothing too graphic became part of the testimony and the precaution might have been a "false alarm." Senate leaders, however, contend it's best to be "safe rather than sorry."