Neuman Trial Set
Hemy Neuman’s second murder trial for the killing of Rusty Sneiderman has been scheduled for August 2016.
At a hearing Wednesday, Sept. 30, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams scheduled jury selection to begin Aug. 1.
Adams was the judge in Neuman’s first trial in 2011, which resulted in his being found guilty but mentally ill of gunning down Sneiderman outside a Dunwoody preschool in November 2010.
In June, the Georgia Supreme Court threw out that verdict, ruling that Adams erred in allowing evidence from two mental health experts who were hired by the defense but were not going to be called to testify at the trial.
Neuman admitted killing Sneiderman but claimed that he was out of his mind because of an affair he was having with Sneiderman’s wife, Andrea, who worked for him at GE Energy. Andrea Sneiderman, who was convicted in 2012 of perjury, lying to police and obstructing the murder investigation, has repeatedly denied having a romantic relationship with Neuman.
Driver Charged in I-285 Wreck
Sandy Springs police have charged Howard Silverstein, 64, with failure to maintain his lane in the crash Friday, Sept. 25, that sent a Publix tractor-trailer and a tanker truck careering off eastbound Interstate 285 onto Ga. 400 below.
Although the crash tied up traffic for hours, no one was seriously hurt.
Police released videos from a traffic camera and another vehicle’s dashboard camera that showed Silverstein’s 2014 Kia Sorento veering to the right so that its right front tire hit the Publix truck’s left front tire and caused truck driver Leroy Edwards to lose control.
Silverstein told various media outlets that the wet road caused the trouble.
ADL Condemns Alabama on IDs
The Buckhead-based Southeast office of the Anti-Defamation League has criticized Alabama for a decision to help balance the state budget by ending the issuance of driver’s licenses at 31 satellite offices statewide, including every office in any county with a population that is at least 75 percent black.
Alabama last year enacted a voter ID law, so the lack of a local office to get a license creates a voting rights issue.
ADL Southeast Regional Director Mark Moskowitz responded with a statement Thursday, Oct. 1, the day the changes went into effect.
“Alabama’s decision is disgraceful and will undoubtedly further undermine the right to vote in counties with the largest communities of color,” he said. “Citizens in the affected areas will now have to expend additional time and money to obtain a driver’s license needed to cast a vote.”
The action “raises the obvious question of whether it was intended to disenfranchise communities of color,” Moskowitz said, so the ADL is urging an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
Eight of the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentages of nonwhite registered voters no longer can license new drivers, so potential voters will have to travel to other counties to get the IDs they need to vote.
“This is a sad — and dangerous — reminder of 50 years ago when marchers literally gave their blood, sweat and tears for the right to vote on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama,” Moskowitz said. “Before passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Alabama and other states constantly devised new and creative ways to disenfranchise communities of color.”
The ADL also renewed its call for congressional passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
That act, sponsored by Atlanta Democratic Congressman John Lewis among others, would restore the federal preclearance of voting-related laws that the U.S. Supreme Court threw out in 2013. The new legislation would replace the Voting Rights Act’s fixed list of states requiring preclearance with a changing list of the states facing the most voting rights complaints.
Sykes to Lead School in Israel
Rabbi Loren Sykes, who was the founding executive director of the Conservative movement’s Camp Ramah Darom, has been hired as the new principal of the Reform movement’s NFTY Eisendrath International Experience High School in Israel.
The Union for Reform Judaism announced Friday, Oct. 2, that Rabbi Sykes will spend November and December working with Baruch Kraus, who is retiring at the end of December after a quarter-century as the NFTY-EIE principal. As of Jan. 1, Rabbi Sykes will be the principal.
In addition to his work at Ramah Darom, Rabbi Sykes founded Camp Yofi for Jewish families with children with autism.
Rabbi Sykes and his family made aliyah in 2013.
“As a rabbi and educator, my mission is to help Jewish teens take the next steps on their Jewish journeys. It is also to create opportunities and experiences that lead to loving the people, the land and the state of Israel with all her blessings, achievements, challenges and shortcomings,” Rabbi Sykes said in the announcement. “As principal of EIE, I look forward to combining these two missions, to helping grow the future leadership of Reform Judaism in North America, and to strengthening the value of religious pluralism in the state of Israel.”
He also said he was humbled to follow Kraus.