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VIA Transit Celebrates Freedom Rider

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VIA Metropolitan Transit and St. Philip’s College will team up to honor civil rights activist Rosa Parks on what would have been her 106th birthday, anchored by a vintage 1966 GM Dreamliner VIA bus that is a piece of San Antonio history.

Freedom Rider Barbara Bowie will speak about her experience, and Parks’ passion for education at 1 pm on Feb. 4 at the Turbon Student Center at St. Philip’s, 1801 Martin Luther King Drive. VIA will also announce a contribution to the Dr. Bowie Scholarship Foundation, in memory of Ms. Bowie’s late spouse Dr. J.R. Bowie, III.

Parks, “the mother of the freedom movement”, is widely known for not giving giving up her seat to a white bus rider during a time when black people were regulated to the back of the bus. The 40-foot VIA bus will be parked next to the Turbon Student Center from Feb. 4-8.

Parks rode the VIA bus in the city’s first MLK March 32 years ago in 1987. Special Rosa Parks Seats were installed in VIA buses in 2005, and every VIA bus (510) has a special yellow seat designated in honor of Rosa Parks. That year – 1987 – when Parks passed the campus was significant in that St. Philip’s College received its Historically Black College and University (HBCU) member institution designation from the federal government. Additionally, the vintage VIA bus carried a group of Freedom Riders as ceremonial passengers in the city’s recent 2019 MLK March.

For the operating hours of the display Feb. 4-8 and details on the Feb. 4 opening event, contact VIA.

All are welcome to attend the following 2019 Black History Month events, and visit the web page for updates:

*** = SPC Debut

++ = Paid Event

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DNA Test Proved Otherwise

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Black Man Convicted of Murder Still in Prison After 7 Years Despite DNA Test Proving His Innocence

Houston, TX — 42-year old Lydell Grant, a Black man from Texas, has been behind bars for the past 7 years serving a life sentence after being convicted of a murder that he says he did not commit. There has even been a DNA test administered that has proved his innocence, and yet he still remains in prison.

Grant was accused of chasing down and fatally stabbing Aaron Scheerhoorn, a 28-year old man, near a night club in Montrose, Texas in December 2010. Grant was arrested days after the incident because of a Crime Stoppers tip.

During the trial, no one testified about whether the victim and Grant, who was a gang member and has previous arrest records, knew each other before the incident. He has since maintained his innocence and said that he did not commit the crime. But in 2012, Grant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Just recently, new evidence and testimonies prove his innocence. Aside from eyewitnesses who said Grant was not the one who killed the victim, the state DNA expert testified that Grant’s DNA does not match the DNA recovered from below the victim’s fingernails.

Moreover, the DNA test, which was even retested by the Innocence Project of Texas and the DPS crime lab, reveals that the identified suspect still remains at large.

While his release and exoneration are on the process, he could have been released on bond. Last week, Grant was in court for the hearing that would allow him to be released on bond, but the judge ruled he will remain in custody.

Another hearing is scheduled in late November but his family was somehow disappointed that Grant would still have to remain in custody and their reunion was postponed until then.

“We know he’s innocent, and we’re gonna fight to the end,” his aunt, Kitsye Grant, told ABC13. “They really need to go and find the right person. What I feel bad for is the mother of the young man, the victim. They got the wrong person.”

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6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala

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San Antonio, TX— The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21 st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.

Rance “Sonny” William Olison used his athleticism to open doors that led to an advanced education and a lifetime of philanthropy. “He had a lot of great one-liners I find myself repeating, like: ‘To be a gainer, you must be a giver,’” former NFL and University of Texas running back Priest Holmes said about his friend. Olison called himself a “suitcase” player because he played in four professional football leagues including the NFL. He was a cornerback with the San Francisco 49ers in 1976. He also played for the Texarkana Phantoms in Arkansas from 1977-78, the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1980, among others.

Olison also served as an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys and instructed many young people in sports throughout the years. Wanting to empower others, Olison also become a history teacher and philanthropist. During his reign as president of the NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter, the organization worked with the San Antonio-based Priest Holmes Foundation to provide scholarships for students to help them step into promising futures.

On March 11, at age 65, Olison died of heart complications. To honor all of his accomplishments, The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.

The event will feature a dinner, dance and silent auction. There will be several Former NFL, NBA and MLB players in San Antonio, Texas to take part in this event.

Proceeds will benefit the Mrs. Carrie Kendrix Buggs Turkey giveaway in Rance hometown in Arkansas and in San Antonio on December for families in need.

Tickets can be purchased on Event Brite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-rance-olison-celebrity-sports-trivia-night-gala-tickets-65676737891

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District 2 – Special Report

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