Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shocking new book: “Who Murdered Elvis?”

In "Who Murdered Elvis?" Stephen B. Ubaney combs through a mountain of research to arrive at this conclusion: Elvis Presley was murdered by the Mob or FBI and a government cover-up ensued.

            There have been numerous claims of Elvis sightings and unsubstantiated assertions that the “King” of rock ‘n’ roll is living incognito during his waning years on a remote island somewhere to escape the mental and physical exertion of super stardom.
Ah…but there is another theory – one that a New York-based author says is unequivocally true: Elvis Aaron Presley was murdered by the Mob (Mafia) or the FBI. In a 116-page book titled “Who Murdered Elvis?” Stephen B. Ubaney claims the entertainer was murdered and that a cover-up ensued. He arrived at this conclusion after spending years investigating Elvis’ death.
Stephen Ubaney visiting Graceland with his family in 1979.
            “This is the only book ever published that explains why, how and who murdered Elvis Presley,” said Ubaney. The book costs $17.99 and will be available Aug. 15 at The Booksellers at Laurelwood Memphis. The information within debunks many of those decades-old myths, Ubaney said. 
For the tens of thousands of Elvis fans around the world who’re looking for new material or a keepsake, they will relish “Who Murdered Elvis?” while celebrating the singer’s 35th anniversary of his death here in Memphis during the week of Aug. 10-18. It’s an intriguing book that links Elvis’ death to a government cover up.
“History will be rewritten with my book,” said Ubaney, noting that the book is a definitive account of what really happened to Elvis. “The cold case will be solved and a murderer will be found. ‘Who Murdered Elvis?’ launches the full criminal investigation that was ignored in 1977 by all levels of government.”
            The answers to Elvis’s death lie within the book and reveal a startling new “truth” that Ubaney claims he’s uncovered. “All of the witnesses who found the body told different stories from where the body was found to when the 911 call was placed and the sequence of events of Elvis’ final hours,” he said.
Elvis Presley's gravesite.
            Two years after Elvis’ death, ABC News Geraldo Rivera spoke frankly about the death of Memphis’ favorite son and the city’s supposedly lackluster investigation into his death. “It seems almost as if the city of Memphis itself does not care to know the truth about the death of its most famous citizen,” Rivera said unabashedly.     
The biggest tragedy in the world is that somebody actually murdered Elvis and got away with it, Ubaney opines. “To look at Elvis’ death singularly is to ignore many obvious facts,” he said. “The cover-up and the double talk hold shocking parallels to the deaths of Sonny Liston, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr., and even JFK.” 
The Mob or FBI – or both – murdered Elvis, the author contends. It was definitely a homicide, he said as a matter-of-fact, and that “we are finally getting down to what really happened.”
It may be a surprise to some Elvis fans, but there is a 663-page FBI file on the singer. While searching for clues to Elvis’ death, Ubaney said he read the entire file. He said he discovered after Elvis’ death that an investigator’s car was broken into outside his apartment and that all of his notes and photos of the Presley death scene were stolen.
Ubaney noted as well that Vernon Presley, Elvis’ father, announced immediately that his famous son had been murdered. Despite all of Vernon Presley’s influence, no government agency would ever grant an investigation, he said.
“There was no coroner’s inquest and no DA investigation. They ignored all normal protocols of a suspicious death. Within hours, death scene photos were stolen, body fluids were discarded prior to an autopsy, and the death scene was mysteriously sanitized.”
“Who Murdered Elvis?” is a good read that warrants a second look into Elvis’ shocking death.

Public awareness…
            “The author’s quest to find the truth about Elvis’ death is intriguing,” said Patricia A. Rogers, president and CEO of Patricia A. Rogers Public Relations in Memphis. “Stephen B. Ubaney has separated fact from fiction in the book after several years of intense research.”
The agency is handling the advertising and public relations campaign for the book during the 35th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Over 75,000 fans are expected in Memphis during the week of Aug. 10-18 from around the world.
A campaign is being launched to bring public awareness about the book. Thousands of handbills will be distributed; radio ads will be aired; television interviews have been scheduled, and the author will make high-profile appearances throughout “Elvis Week” promoting the book at various venues.                                             
“The book could become a bestseller,” Rogers believes. “It definitely has potential. This is a one in a lifetime opportunity to get a response from Elvis’ fans and tourists from around the world.”
Call 901.683.9801 to purchase “Who Murdered Elvis?” All major credit cards are accepted. For more information, contact Patricia A. Rogers at or call 901.355.9009.

About Stephen B. Ubaney…

Author Stephen B. Ubaney
Author Stephen B. Ubaney, a native of Fredonia, New York, was born in the mid 1960s to parents who idolized Elvis Presley. He was indoctrinated when the singer was a household name and a worldwide obsession and spent years afterward researching his life and times.
His mother’s interest in the rock ‘n’ roll icon had an everlasting impact on young Stephen. He remembers her reading every book, magazine and newspaper article on Elvis. He would eventually read those same articles and listen to his mother’s collection of Elvis records.
By the time he was 15, Ubaney had learned more about Elvis than most people learned in a lifetime. After Elvis’ death in 1977, for example, he’d already developed keen insight into the key players and facts surrounding Elvis’ death.
A defining moment for Ubaney came in 1979 when he and his family visited Graceland’s “Meditation Gardens.” He met Elvis’ uncle, Vester Presley, and remembers wearing an official “Elvis on Tour” jacket while standing stoically watching a crowd file pass Elvis’ grave. 
Even though the photo opportunity with Vester Presley and the conversation they had were very casual, it had a long lasting effect on Ubaney. Years later while watching interviews about Elvis’ death, he reflected on the conversation with Elvis’ uncle, which inspired him to search for the truth. 
Ubaney initially had no interest in becoming a researcher or the author of “Who Murdered Elvis?” But his fact-finding ability and natural inquisitive nature started him on a quest to search for the truth. The conclusion he arrived at is startling to say the least.
The day Ubaney met Elvis’ uncle was the beginning of his journey and the eventual rewriting of history. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Marchand steps into his destiny as the ‘King of Copy’

Percy J. Marchand and the staff of NOLA Copy & Print, LLC.

Trumpeters played rhythmic music and a tuba player added the low-pitched baritone sound that announced the May 29, 2010 grand opening of NOLA Copy & Print, LLC, at 2051 Caton St., Suite B, in the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans. The musical entrée reverberated from the instruments of The Troy Sawyer Group, known for its soulful, innovative Nu-Jazz sound, and likewise from the Grammy-Award winning Rebirth Brass Band, which played sweet, New Orleans-style brass band music, the kind that a drum major could proudly step to.
Two years later, the sweet, flavorful sound of New Orleans music that Percy J. Marchand and his staff relished that wondrous day helped to usher in grand openings for two more NOLA Copy & Print locations – one at 3401 South Broad St. in the Uptown section of New Orleans and the other at 9301 Lake Forest Blvd. in New Orleans East – both taking place on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
“The building that we’re in is a beautiful, historic building,” said Marchand, referring to the 1,300 sq. ft. Uptown location. The Gentilly location, he said, is about 1,800 sq. ft. of office/retail space and the New Orleans East location is 2,500 sq. ft., which he calls the “Print Super Center.”
“It has a wide variety of machinery, photography studio and 6 Internet rental stations,” he said.
The expansion of NOLA Copy & Print is not a surprising or awkward move for a young entrepreneur who has a special kind of zeal and business acumen to match his winning personality. With an acute sense for business development, Marchand was bound to reach yet another milestone in his pursuit of excellence, which can be traced back to a family that spawned talented entrepreneurs.
Marchand’s father, George Marchand Sr., is an independent contractor. His mother, Janice Marchand, is a retired public school teacher who taught English for 40-plus years. And each one of Marchand’s siblings has been pretty successful at his or her own endeavor.
Marchand has two brothers and two sisters. One brother has his own company and the other one is employed at their father’s construction company. The younger of two sisters is a beautician and the oldest one is a production assistant at NOLA Copy & Print. A niece also works for the company.
“Growing up in our household, my parents would always encourage us to be creative…to think outside the box,” says Marchand, 31, recalling his parents’ wisdom. So it stands to reason or perhaps it was a foregone conclusion in the household that Percy Marchand, the youngest member of the clan, would become an entrepreneur and one day take New Orleans by storm and literally blow the competition away in the copy and printing business.
“We have a real strong presence in New Orleans and we interact with many people and organizations -- whether it’s giving back to the community or providing our business services,” says Marchand, working thrice as hard, including 20-hour days, to achieve more than a modicum of success. “We also have a reputation for getting large jobs out with a quick turn-around time.”
The business world is not for the timid or for those without purpose or direction. From the onset, Marchand knew what his life’s work would be and what he wanted to do with it. In retrospect, it was the tinkering and exploration of computer programs that a then-14-year-old lad would use to launch a business that would grow exponentially and inevitably shape his future and those he would eventually employ.
“When I was in the 8th grade, my mom purchased a computer, and I think I stayed on it for about 36 hours exploring all the different programs. I had to pay for all the ink and I started charging to print,” says Marchand, recalling the experience that triggered his entrepreneurial pursuit and thus unleashed a floodgate of ideas.
So while boys of the carefree age of 14 generally occupy their time with playthings, Marchand was busy laying a rock-solid foundation upon which he would build a business enterprise that would eventually catapult him to the top in the copying and printing industry and secure a place for him as one of New Orleans’ most esteemed businessmen.

Moving the business forward…

It all started in the Marchand household in Uptown New Orleans when young Percy was a freshman at St. Augustine High School. He was filling print orders for small clients then while juggling the rigors of school and his new business, Marchand Printing. With savvy to match, even at this young age, the up-and-coming businessman was producing and photocopying documents for local businesses, schools, organizations and other clients.
Although his newfound business was relatively small at the time and yet growing, Marchand would graduate with honors from St. Augustine in 1999. He was active, smart, astute, athletic and gifted musically, playing with relative ease the saxophone and piano. The school's first band director, Edwin H. Hampton, selected him as a drum major in his senior year for the world-famous “Marching 100.” He also was named as a National Merit Semi-Finalist.
Then it was off to Loyola University New Orleans, a Jesuit-Catholic institution. Business of course was still foremost in his mind, and he would pursue it with just as much determination as his course work. Two years later he moved his business out of his parents’ home. “It was my first experience outside the house,” says Marchand. Then he moved the business two more times.
Though not surprising to some, Marchand was named the North American Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year for Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in 2001. He even served as vice-president of the Student Government Association at Loyola, president of The Black Student Union, and was initiated in 2000 into the Rho Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Marchand graduated as a “Top Ten Senior” in 2003 from Loyola with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration.
On August 23, 2005, Marchand moved Marchand Ink into a larger suite from a smaller office at 3869 Gentilly Blvd., which he’d occupied since 2001. But then the unexpected happened – the finale to what had been a successful journey for an enterprising entrepreneur. Just a few days after the move, a ferocious Category 4 hurricane named Katrina cut a swath of devastation along the Gulf Coast and left in its wake a heap of rubble, twisted steel and topsy-turvy lives. The city of New Orleans lay in ruin and so were the people who found themselves displaced with no choice but to leave behind their beloved city until they could return to piece together their fragmented lives.
Marchand and his family fled to Houston. At that time, Marchand Ink had been preparing to make headway in the copy and printing business. But the company was submerged in 3 feet of murky water that caused $50,000 in flood damage to the uninsured property and equipment. Depression would overtake the businessman, leaving him dispirited while he searched for the inner-strength to rebuild his life and business – for Katrina had plowed a gaping hole that took Marchand’s faith to plug.

Renewed vigor…

There was nothing left for Marchand to do but retool and essentially start anew. Six months after Katrina, he did just that. He was back in business by May of 2006. “Basically I started over from scratch with no insurance,” said the life-long resident of New Orleans.
Marchand was back with renewed vigor, with a sense of purpose. Aside from his business interest, he found himself drawn to public service. In 2007, he campaigned for the 95th District seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives during the October 20, 2007 election. The following year, he stumped for a seat on the Orleans Parish School Board from the 6th District. He lost both races, but gained invaluable experience nonetheless.  
While retooling, rebuilding and reestablishing a foothold in the copy and printing business, the unexpected happened again. This time Marchand Ink went up in smoke on November 1, 2009, along with Renaissance Hall, another business of Marchand’s that opened at the same location in June of 2009. The fire ravaged both businesses. A fallen power line had caused the fire, said Marchand, who was just 28 years old then and completely dejected and devastated.
Marchand was also beset by personal challenges as well, including the deaths of close friends and relatives. But the fire, he said matter-of-fact, was the toughest he had to face. However, not everything that happened to the Teflon businessman between Katrina and the fire would stick. He refused to give up. For example, he won a $1,000 Idea Café’s Pilot Grant in 2006, beating 1,700 applicants in the national competition. He also won $20,000 in the 2008 Miller Urban Entrepreneurs Series Business Plan Competition.
Marchand is not the kind of businessman who would give up or wallow in self-pity. His accomplishments, awards and accolades started pouring in at the onset of his career: Loyola University College of Business's Young Alumnus of the Year; Collegiate Entrepreneur of the Year for Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas; Neighborhood Development Foundation's Small Business of the Year; and one of New Orleans Magazine's People to Watch. He has served as executive director of CareCorp, LLC, chairman of the board of the Gert Town Revitalization Initiative, and a member of the St. Augustine High School Alumni Advisory Board as well as the school’s Young Alumni Association.
Because of his string of successes, Marchand has been featured in the London Times Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, City Business Magazine, The Louisiana Weekly, The Clarion Herald, BIZ New Orleans Magazine, and appeared on the covers of the Times Picayune Money and Living Sections. He was also featured on PBS's Nightly Business Report and on WWL-TV4, WDSU-TV6, WGNO-TV26, and WVUE-TV8 television stations.

‘It’s just work and dedication…’

       Marchand has weathered several storms of the worst kind, perhaps because he was always willing to work harder than the competition to build his business enterprise. With the expansion of NOLA Copy & Print, LLC, he has earned the moniker “King of Copy.”
       The three copy and printing centers offer full-service black and white and color copies, large format and blue print copies, laminating, binding, faxing and scanning, in addition to computer/Internet rental stations, office supplies, and much more.
Commercial clients include businesses, schools, organizations and many others across the metro area and throughout the United States. The company produces business cards, flyers, letterheads, envelopes, newsletters, brochures, notecards, labels, multi-part forms, logo design, publication layout, wedding accessories, funeral and special event printing publications, and digital photography.
“The areas where we expanded to - I think the services are needed there,” says Marchand. “We’re definitely still recovering after the storm. I’ve been blessed and I’m doing my best to bless the areas where I’m going to do business.”
Now that Marchand is back in full swing, he ultimately wants to open two more locations and afterward offer franchising opportunities. He also wants to create more jobs. Sixteen people are currently working at NOLA Copy & Print, LLC.
“I want to move outside of New Orleans - Lafayette and Baton Rouge,” says Marchand, who took time to start and direct a program called, a six-week business internship. The program provides educational, entrepreneurial, and life-skills development courses for at-risk youth ages 14 to 21. He also founded the African-American Leadership Conference, a three-day conference aimed at retaining college-educated African-Americans in the City of New Orleans.
“When you’re young and trying to do something, nobody takes you serious,” he added.
Does Marchand consider himself a role model? “In my mind, there’s nothing I’ve done that anybody else can’t do. I didn’t have a golden spoon. It’s just work and dedication. Anybody is capable of that,” he says.
       But not many people have the wherewithal to be the kind of drum major that Percy Marchand has been.

NOLA Copy & Print locations:
Gentilly: 2051-B Caton St. (next to the Caton Street Post Office). Office hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Telephone: (504) 304-9140. Website:
• Uptown: 3401 South Broad St.; Telephone: (504) 821-4001
New Orleans East: 9301 Lake Forrest Blvd.; Telephone: (504) 241-2740.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Juneteenth 2012 salutes African-American educators

Juneteenth is a jubilant celebration marking an end to slavery in the United States. It is an annual celebration now in dozens of cities and states -- including Memphis, where the Juneteenth Freedom & Heritage Festival marks its 19th year in historic Douglass Park June 15-17 -- that recognizes the long-fought battle over African-American bondage and the long wait for freedom.
But this sordid epoch in human history only reminds us that we have come a long way and yet have a long way to go to achieve equity, parity, justice and freedom for all God’s children. For example, African Americans were prohibited from reading and writing for fear it would encourage revolt, improve their comprehension abilities, and thus improve their lot in life. That’s why we’re saluting African-American educators for their tireless work in education and their commitment to improving the lot of African-American children and others in the school system here and elsewhere.
Would you believe there were anti-education laws on the books that prohibited the teaching of slaves? Case in point: There was a law in Alabama in 1832 that fined a person $250-$500 for educating a slave. And then there was Brown v Board of Education (1954), a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. This landmark case overturned Plessy v Ferguson (1896), which allowed state-sponsored segregation.
Today, as it was then, an educated person -- whomever he or she is or whatever creed or color he or she happens to be -- stands a better chance of weathering storms of resistance in the struggle for civil rights, human rights, human dignity and respect, and the pursuit of education. African Americans have made significant accomplishments and gains in education both as teachers and students: Marva Collins, who founded the Westside Preparatory School in 1975 in an impoverished neighborhood in Chicago; Booker T. Washington, an author, orator, political leader, educator and reformer who presided as president of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute (now Tuskegee University); and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and civil rights leader who started a school in Daytona Beach, Fla., that became Bethune-Cookman University.
Educators today have much to contend with. While African-American educators such as Collins, Washington and Bethune were instrumental in creating educational opportunities for African Americans, they succeeded in spite of the turbulent racial climate of the day by making gallant strides to ensure their students’ educational attainment. 
Education reform is now sweeping America. In the recent past, No Child Left Behind undoubtedly was the most significant reform efforts in the United States, which determined success by good scores on standardized tests in reading and math and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) on student test scores. Now in Memphis, many teachers are feeling the anguish and the possible termination of their jobs when Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools officially merge during the 2013 school year. 
Educators are necessary in society if the people are going to move forward. We all owe a debt of gratitude to teachers who spend six to eight hours in the classroom teaching the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic so our children can become productive members in society. So this year we salute African-American educators for enriching our minds and enabling us to compete in a world still wrought in inequity. In many cases, the playing field is still uneven.          

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Blacks typically don’t vote GOP, but certain remarks from Republican candidates will keep them at bay

            Super Tuesday is upon us now, and the contenders vying for the Republican Party presidential nomination are hell-bent on booting President Barack Obama and the First Family from the White House by any means necessary. Their rhetoric is simply fodder for op-eds and news reports.
The race has been swift, dirty and almost unforgiving at times. And millions of dollars have been spent thus far. But when three of the contenders -- Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum -- are caught mincing words, or “misspeaking,” on the campaign trail, it does little, in my opinion, to attract voters outside the GOP base.
“I like being able to fire people,” Romney said a few weeks ago. He was castigated for the remarks and other controversial statements as well -- and deservingly so. In front of certain crowds he’s trying to appease, he’s done nothing more than to stir the ire of non-supporters.
Here’s what Gingrich said about poverty: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal.”
These and other gaffes and incendiary remarks cannot be ignored as media sound bites are replayed over and over and used against each other and by the opposing party. If Romney, for example, is hoping to win the black vote – which I doubt that’s an objective other than trying to secure the Republican base -- he might as well forget it. There are only a handful of black Republicans anyway.
Gingrich might as well forget the black vote as well, particularly after slamming Obama time and time again as “the best food stamp president in history.” That statement doesn’t bode well with African Americans and others who see the allocation of food stamps as a hand up, not a hand out. Of course, there are recipients, black and white, who will continue to choose food stamps over an honest day’s work.  
It also didn’t help “Mr. Money Bags” when he told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that he is “not concerned with the very poor.” Whether that statement was taken out of context or not, it doesn’t matter. Poor people, I’m sure, took umbrage no matter what Romney’s intentions were.
Think about it, Romney, 15.1 percent of the U.S. population was listed as poor in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In terms of race, African Americans comprise 13 percent of the total U.S. population, but 27.4 percent of them were listed as poor, compared to 26.6 percent of Hispanics, 9.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites, and 12.1 percent of Asians. He mucked that one up pretty bad.
According to, Romney makes $59,000 every 24 hours and is said to be worth $200 million. Therefore, he wouldn’t understand the plight of the nation’s poor, black or white, and those who are grappling with serious unemployment.
“I’m also unemployed,” the former Massachusetts governor told a group of unemployed workers at a campaign stop in Florida. What was he thinking? The audience may have warmed up to Romney’s remarks, but I’m certain the rest of us didn’t get it. Was it a joke? I didn’t get the punch line.
Although both Romney and Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, hope to win the Republican nomination to take on Obama and the Democrats in the general election on Nov. 6, 2012, they’d better wise up and take seriously the voters who don’t typically vote Republican.
But now they have Rick Santorum to deal with. The former Pennsylvania senator is surging and Gingrich has fallen way behind. He and Romney are now considered the frontrunners. But then in Santorum’s zeal to win the Republican nomination, the self-described conservative has said some stupid things on the stump earlier in the race.
Taking a dig at the President’s health care reform, Santorum told a group of reporters in Iowa, in April 2011, that his daughter, who was born with a genetic abnormality, would not survive in a country where “socialized medicine” is the norm.
“I look at how society with socialized medicine treats children like Bella, and children like Bella don’t survive,” he told The Des Moines Register. “Children like Bella are not given the treatment that other children are given.”
The fact is the Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions and disabilities.
And check this one out: During an interview in January 2011 on Christian television, Santorum explained to CNS News editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey that he found it almost remarkable for a black man to not know when life begins – “to say now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.”
The senator, who is pro-life, hammered away at Obama, who is pro-choice. But Santorum’s comments seemed to suggest, according to writer Igor Volsky of at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, that since Obama is black, he should know that a fetus is a person since black people weren’t considered a full human being when they were enslaved.
The audacity of such statements will continue to inflame the electorate on the opposite side of the GOP. I’m sure that after Super Tuesday and down the homestretch to the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., someone will emerge the nominee.
Whoever he is -- Romney, Gingrich or Santorum – he’d better watch the sordid language that spills from his mouth. African Americans will be watching and waiting for the nominee who’ll try to deny President Obama a second term by any means necessary.