LISTEN: Leaders of Alabama Church-Run Boot Camp for Troubled Teens Get 20 Years for Child Abuse; South Carolina Library Named After Charleston Church Shooting Victim Tagged by Racist Graffiti (BCNN1, 3/16/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Thursday, March 16, 2017.

1. According to, all three leaders of the religious Alabama boot camp Saving Youth Foundation for troubled teens were given 20 year prison sentences for their role in the child abuse incurred on children under their care. Mobile Circuit Court Judge Charles Graddick issued the sentences in front of a filled to capacity courtroom on Wednesday morning. The leader of the church, Pastor John David Young, 55, received a 20 year sentence to be served concurrently for each of the five counts of aggravated child abuse he faced. The other school leaders, boys’ instructor William Knott, 48, and girls’ instructor Aleshia Moffett, 42, both received 20 year sentences to be served concurrently for each of the three counts of aggravated child abuse imposed by state prosecutors. Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood recommended a 20 year sentence before Judge Graddick gave his ruling. He said that he feels justice has been served for the teens whose lives were forever changed by the treatment at the church.

2. According to EURWeb, a library in South Carolina named after Cynthia Graham Hurd, a victim in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting, was one of three locations tagged by racist graffiti. Nine people were killed inside the historic church in Charleston by America terrorist and white supremacist Dylann Roof. According to Huff Post, the racist and homophobic graffiti was discovered Monday morning in Charleston’s West Ashley area. The graffiti said, “Go back to hell black women.” It took several hours to remove the graffiti. Hurd was killed in 2015 during a bible study by Roof. He also gunned down Susie Jackson, Rev. Daniel Simmons, Ethel Lance, Tywanza Sanders, the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Myra Thompson and Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the church.

3. According to the Post and Courier, Joey Meek, the friend of Dylann Roof who is charged with failing to divulge his knowledge of the attack on Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church, is expected to be sentenced next week. The sentencing hearing was scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the downtown U.S. District Court. Judge Richard Gergel, who also oversaw Roof’s death penalty trial, will hand out the punishment. Meek, 22, of Lexington County, faces up eight years in prison on charges of misprision of a felony and lying to federal authorities. Sentencing guidelines, though, typically call for 27 to 33 months on the first charge and between zero and six months on the second. Prosecutors want Meek to face more prison time than the guidelines prescribe, but Gergel said that in meting out a sentence, he would consider Meek’s actions only after the shooting.

4. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the city of Maplewood is violating the Fair Housing Act by disproportionately revoking the occupancy permits of African-Americans, women and disabled residents, in effect banishing them, a federal lawsuit filed Monday says. Two or more police calls can put someone on the list of “chronic nuisances,” the suit says, without a conviction or even when that person is the victim of the crime that triggered the police call. The Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, which filed the suit in U.S. District Court in St. Louis, said Maplewood’s nuisance ordinance was “one of the country’s most onerous.” In a study of the use of the ordinance from 2010 to 2015, the council found that the majority of enforcement actions had been taken against African-Americans, the suit says. It also says that a large percentage of actions have been taken against victims of domestic violence and those struggling with mental illness who seek police or medical help. The council is a nonprofit that says it seeks to ensure equal access to housing and other public accommodations in the region.

5. According to EEW Magazine, a new show is joining the OWN Network lineup beginning April 15 called “The Book of John Gray,” featuring associate pastor of Joel Osteen’s world-famous Lakewood Church, John Gray and his wife Aventer. The sneak peek of the full premiere episode will make you laugh, cry and praise, all while proving that this reality show is most certainly must-see TV. Empowering Everyday Women (EEW) Online Magazine’s editorial director Rebecca Johnson, who previewed the full episode with her staff, made available by OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, said about the show, “It is ministry personified, with a twist. It’s like a church service, therapy session, comedy show, flavored with practical biblical application, all rolled into a feel-good package the whole family can enjoy. It’s the kind of show Christians have been waiting and longing to see. EEW Magazine gives it four stars.”

6. According to the Wrap, a representative for the U.S. Secret Service said on Tuesday that the agency, which is responsible for the safety of President Trump, is “aware of” the video “Lavender,” which features Snoop Dogg shooting a clown-faced Trump stand-in with a toy gun. It is unclear whether the agency is investigating or planning to investigate the video, as the Secret Service spokesman said that the agency had no further public comment on the matter at this time. In the video, directors Jesse Wellens and James DeFina depict an America where everyone’s a clown, including president “Ronald Klump.” After Klump holds a press conference to announce the deportation of all dogs, Snoop chains up the Clown-in-Chief and shoots him with a toy gun. Since the video was released, it has drawn criticism from U.S. senator and hip-hop fan Marco Rubio, who said that the rapper should be “very careful” about such depictions.

7. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Terrence Howard, Mike Epps and Paula Patton will star in .38, a crime thriller to be directed by Michael Carney. Armory Films’ Tim Zajaros, who was involved in the making of Sundance sensation Mudbound, is producing along with Anita Gou and Matthew Malek of Foxtail Entertainment. David Guillod and Mark Burg from Primary Wave Entertainment are also producing. The thriller is expected to begin shooting in May in Thomasville, Ga.