Oct 31, 2009

Student, Kami Baker, gives a heartfelt statement about the rape that took place at Richmond High School. She details how she's never felt safe at the school and how she feels the school and the school district is at fault.

CNN talks to Richmond High's famous basketball coach, Coach Carter, and the senior class president, Gina Saechao.

**** Editor's Note

Join us on Savvy Talk Radio November 1, 2009 at 6pm EST as we discuss this case as well as other topics that have stunned us in the past week.

Several Morehouse College band members were injured Saturday morning when a bus carrying students to a football game in Albany hydroplaned and overturned on I-75 South in Henry County.

Capt. Jason Bolton with the Henry County Police Department said 13 marching band members were transported to various area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. The other 29 occupants of the chartered bus were taken to a hospital by a transit bus to be checked out for injuries.

The accident occurred on I-75 South just south of the I-675 merge, said Bolton. The bus skidded on the wet roadway and ended up on its side about 30 feet off the roadway.

All lanes of I-75 South were closed near Hudson Bridge Road. Lanes began opening before noon.

Officials from Morehouse will be holding a news conference at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grady Hospital. source

Oct 30, 2009

Bernice King was selected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference on Friday named Bernice King, the daughter of SCLC co-founder Martin Luther King Jr., as its next president.

King was elected over Arkansas Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen.The vote by the board of directors was 23-15. King was not present when the vote was announced. The Rev. Byron Clay, interim president, phoned King with news of her victory.

"In the spirit of your late father, with great anticipation, we look forward to your leadership," Clay told King in the phone call.

Clay said the board will meet with King soon before making any other announcements. "She is excited, I am excited and the nation will be excited," Clay said.

Clay has served as interim president since February, when Charles Steele resigned after five years in the position.

King will be the seventh permanent leader in the organization's history. Founded in 1957 by Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy and Joseph Lowery, among others, the SCLC was at one time one of the country's most powerful direct action civil rights groups.

The SCLC was instrumental in getting both the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act passed. But over the past decade, despite the christening of a new $3 million headquarters, the organization has struggled for relevancy among financial problems and internal infighting.

Bernice King, 46, is an internationally known motivational speaker and author. She is a minister at New Birth Missionary Church in Lithonia, Georgia.

She becomes the first female leader, but the third King to serve as president, following her father and older brother, Martin Luther King III. source

I wonder how some of the male clergy is going to feel about a female heading up the organization. You know there are a lot of old-schooled people (men and women) who feel that women shouldn't be ministers. This is going to be very interesting. Congratulations, Bernice. You keep tearing down those barriers.
The Incident
Kennett, MO. – Heather Ellis, a young college student out of Kennett, MO is now facing 15 years in prison if she is sentenced after being accused of cutting line at a local Walmart. Her case has gotten the attention of the nation, and has been the subject of extensive online protests.
In January 2007, 20-year-old Heather Ellis, then a student at Xavier University, and her cousin David went to a Wal-Mart in Kennett, Missouri, near the Tennessee border, in an area commonly known as the Missouri Bootheel.  Kennett, in rural and conservative Dunklin County, which boasts that it seceded from the Union during the Civil War, is overwhelmingly white.

At the check-out line, the pair split up in order to find the shortest line [this is something that I know for a fact that pretty much everybody does].  When Ellis left her line to join her cousin at a shorter line, customers complained and a store employee accused her of cutting, at which point an argument ensued and a manager notified a security guard, an off-duty Kennett Police officer.

The incident left Ellis, an honor student on her way to medical school, charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing and two counts of assaulting a police officer. After Heather refused to sign a plea agreement, Stephen Sokoloff, the town's prosecutor, filed felony charges against Heather.
The Ku Klux Klan Cards
So, in June, minutes before a scheduled protest march started, a Kennett police officer paid a visit to their homes and handed them cards.

"I held it up and looked at it and of course I was startled by it and I said it's not going to change anything. I'm still going to march," said Ellis' aunt, Mildred Whitehorn.

The brown cards with red writing said you've just been paid a social visit by the Ku Klux Klan. The next visit will not be social.

"I consider it a terroristic threat. This organization likes nothing about Black people," said Ellis' aunt, Luetta Wright.

In a police report the officer, Steve Williams, says he was only trying to make the family aware the KKK cards were littered along the march route. Still, the family wants the incident investigated by the U.S. Justice Department.  source
Email From Prosecutor
The following email was sent to Buffalo State College journalism professor Michael Niman from Stephen Sokoloff after he criticized the police officers giving the family the KKK cards:

Had you performed any actual background research, you would discover that Ms. Ellis was not cursed by any employees, but in fact was the one doing the cursing and insulting and threatening.  when the store personnel advised her that she would have to calm down or leave, she continued to threaten and curse tham. even after the police arrived, no one made any attempt to lay hands on her, still requesting that she leave. she actuallywalked away as the clerk was trying to give her the merchandise and her change. She was notrefusing to leave without it. the clerk had to come outside and give it to her. Ms. Ellis can be very clearly seen in the video shoving the merchandise of the next customer in line back from the register and trying to place her own in fromt of it. The video anso clearly shows her cursing at the officers as they followed her out of the store, it also clearly shows that ther was no excessive force used in the arrest and that Ms. Ellis was not lifted off the ground. Further despite your report that ther were no injured victims, one officer sustained a split lip from a punch thrown by the "innocent" Ms. Ellis and another a bruised shin where she kicked him. Furhter, the E.R. records of Ms. Ellis' visit show no visible injuries, but I'm sure they are also part of the conspiracy against her as well.

With regard to yoyr report of the rally, Ther were indeed some KKK cards strewn around one of the streets of the planned march, the police gathered them up and Maj S. Williams showed one of them to one of the march organizers, Ms. Ellis' aunt. This waas done as an attempt to keep them advised of what had happened. She (the aunt) grabbed the card and accused the Major of distributing the cards, with no basis.

You might want to talk to any of the three attorneys that Ms. Ellis has fired, or who withdrew from representation because of threats from her family. They can tell you what a poor persecuted little girl Heahter is, and can tell you about the multiple missed court appearances, and the accusations of being in the prosecution's pocket( this last one made to an african-American lawyer from St. Louis, referred to Ms. Elleis by the NAACP) who withdrew because Heather's father threatened to"kick his ass" because he would not prevent the prosecution from finding out who the witnesses were that the defense  intended to call at trial. (of course, this is required by law).  source


For More Information

Several sites have been set up to provide more information about case:

Read-Heathers-Story.com, TheHeatherEllisCase.com or SaveHeatherEllis.com.

Also, Rev. Ellis has set up a fund at a local bank in Missouri to receive donations to help with legal fees at: First State Community Bank, Hayti Branch, Heather R. Ellis Benefit Fund, 1015 HWY 84 E., Hayti, MO 63851.

Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe is riding a once unthinkable trajectory of newcomer movie stardom that rivals any fairy tale.

She won the title role in the new film "Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire" with no serious training, and beat out hundreds of hopefuls in her first real audition.

The result is that she shines in scenes with stars like Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz. And her character, an obese abused teenage girl, tells an urban tale of despair and redemption that was never meant to make it to the big screen.

Opening in the United States on Friday November 6, "Precious" is now proving a winner with critics and audiences since it screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have signed on as executive producers.

"It's been almost nine months since we did Sundance with the film, so it's like being pregnant where everybody wants to rub your belly," Sidibe, a Harlem-raised 26-year-old, giggled about her experience in a recent interview.

Sidibe portrays Claireece "Precious" Jones, who is twice impregnated by her father and beaten by her mother who despite such a difficult upbringing, tries to find her way to a better life.

The tragic, sometimes comical and ultimately hopeful tale is based on a best-selling novel by New York poet Sapphire.

Before scoring the leading role in the film set in Harlem in 1987, Sidibe was a receptionist whose mother occasionally sang on New York's subway platforms. She attended local colleges and studied psychology.

Now she tours the world attending film festivals where the movie has won top prizes -- both the jury and audience awards at Sundance and the top award at the Toronto film festival. She gets standing ovations, poses for photo shoots and walks red carpets that may extend to the Oscars, award watchers say.

Sidibe says her favorite moment so far was taking her mother to the premiere of a movie by Tyler Perry.

"There were people taking pictures of me and interviews and I looked over to check on my mom because we are like that and she was beaming," said Sidibe, who is nicknamed "Gabby." "My mom is always proud of me, but it was a different face of pride."


During auditions, director Lee Daniels said he had narrowed down a list of girls whose real lives were not unlike the grim reality of the 16-year-old, 350-pound "Precious" before Sidibe came along and impressed Daniels with her acting skills.

"I was like, what? Who are you? And I realized if I used any of those other Precious's that really were like Precious, I would have been exploiting them," he said. "You can't say that about Gabby, she is quite fierce."

Sidibe says her own life is different from her character.

"I am sure I know people who have lived this life," she said. "I had to do them justice."

But like Precious, she has dealt with people gaping at her bigger body size.

"Because I am not, I guess, of a normal weight, people look at me like I am not worth a life and stuff. And I have been told plenty of times that my life would never mean anything," she told Reuters.

"That type of negative self-image, it can drive someone to death, absolutely. And so while I believed that for a lot of time in my life, eventually I stopped listening," she added.

Daniels says her strong sense of self-worth will lead to more success, and Sidibe is already shooting her second film. source

As expected, "Michael Jackson's This Is It" has taken over the box office with a Wednesday total of $7.4 million in the U.S. and $12.7 million overseas - a worldwide sum of $20.1 million on its first full day in theaters.

Distributor Sony said the $7.4 million domestic haul is the best ever for a movie on a Wednesday in October, reports the AP. "This Is It" was easily the No. 1 film domestically, coming in ahead of the $1.5 million gross for "Paranormal Activity," last weekend's top box-office earner.

Sony said it expected equally big numbers for the film today and Sunday, though Saturday may leave a hole in the overall box office, falling on Halloween, when audiences typically are preoccupied with parties and trick-or-treating.

According to the Associated Press, "This Is It's" one day total puts it just behind the $8.6 million domestic haul of "U2: Rattle and Hum" on the list of top-grossing music documentaries. By this weekend, "This Is It" is likely to shoot past such films as "Madonna: Truth or Dare" ($15 million) and "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" ($19.2 million) to become the No. 2 draw all-time on the music-documentary chart.

The No. 1 music documentary is "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert," which had a $31.1 million opening weekend last year and took in $65.3 million over its entire theatrical run.

Among the totals from other countries, "This Is It" brought in $1.9 million in Great Britain, $1.4 million France, $1.2 million in Japan and $1.1 million in Germany. The film debuted in 99 countries Wednesday and expanded to 10 more Thursday.  source

Oct 29, 2009

I need to know who in the hell fights over a man resulting in the loss of their job in this damn economy? I don't get it. That brother must seriously be working with something if you're willing to lose your job over this foolishness.


CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Police said a love letter on the social networking web site Facebook sparked an on-campus, profanity-laced fight between two teachers at Rex Hill Middle School in Rex. The altercation allegedly got so out of hand, an officer ended up arresting both instructors.

Channel 2 Action News reporter Tom Jones spent the day in Clayton County and was able to obtain the police report that detailed the love triangle that erupted into fighting and cursing in front of students.

The school district didn’t have much to say about the altercation, but parents did.

“That’s outrageous. That’s outrageous,” said parent Robert Fisher.

Parents and students at Rex Middle School were stunned after learning that police arrested two teachers after both got into a heated fight in front of students.

“I mean, what example are you showing the kids? Because when the kids get into a fight, you’re ready to expel them,” said parent Felicia Lyons.

According to the police report, Chaka Cobb, 32, said she and a man who teaches at the school are expecting a child together. Cobb stated that she discovered a love letter from Ebony Smith, 25, on her baby’s father’s Facebook account over the weekend.

Cobb angrily responded back on Facebook, according to police, and when the two returned to school on Monday, a fight broke out on the eighth-grade hall.

There was cursing, punches were thrown and threats to put the love letter on a blackboard for all to see, according to the police report.

Children witnessed it all.

“Love triangles happen everywhere. But it shouldn’t happen at school. Not in front of the kids,” said Fisher.

The officer stated he felt compelled to arrest the teachers because the altercation happened in front of the students.

Some parents said there’s only one punishment for the teachers. “They should be terminated to be honest with you. Kids get kicked out so they should be terminated,” said Lyons.

The school district placed both teachers on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation.

Both teachers face disorderly conduct charges and Smith faces simple battery as witnesses described her as the aggressor.

More info from AJC:

On Thursday, district spokesman Charles White said the teachers had been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation.

The fight broke out Monday morning after the women learned they both were involved with the same male teacher, who also teaches at the school.

Cobb, who told police she is expecting a child with the man, said she found a letter from Smith on the man's Facebook page.

"I am in love with you. I am tired of being your every blue moon [expletive]," the letter read.

Cobb responded on Facebook with a "tumultuous" message, police said.

On Monday morning, the fight moved from Facebook to the school halls. That's where Smith approached Cobb and told her to "never do that again," the report states.

Cobb summoned an assistant principal, but the fight didn't stop.

Instead, it spilled into a classroom where Smith began to swing at Cobb, the report states.

Several other teachers broke up the fight and Cobb stormed down the hallway while threatening to post the letter on the blackboard.

The assistant principal told police she pulled Cobb into another classroom, with the children present, to calm her down. But Cobb continued to curse in front of the students. That's when Smith ran into the room again and "attempted to attack" Cobb, the report states.

Police interviewed several students, who said they heard Smith yell "[Expletive], you don't want none of this" and "get the [expletive] off me" while teachers were holding her down.

After talking to students and teachers, police charged Smith with simple assault and disorderly conduct. Cobb was charged with disorderly conduct.

"Due to the serious nature and children being present during this altercation, it would have been inappropriate for me not to pursue prosecution into this matter," Officer K. Singleton wrote in the report.

Both women were released on citations and released on their own recognizance instead of being booked in the jail, police said.

Cobb, 33, teaches seventh and eighth grade language arts. Cobb did not return a phone call left at her Rex home Thursday night. Smith, who teaches family and consumer science, could not be reached.

School officials said they could not comment further.

“The incident is a personnel matter, which is presently under review by the district’s human resources office,” White said. "They are on leave while the district completes its review and determines an appropriate course of action."
President Barack Obama, center, salutes as a Army carry team carries the transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. Dale R. Griffin of Terre Haute, Ind., during a dignified transfer at Dover Air Force Base, Del.,  Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Obama at Dover Air Force honoring fallen American soldiers.  18 American heros were killed in Afghanistan resulting in October being the most deadly month for U.S. troops since the war began.

Have you ever wonder what it felt like to watch Mozart compose or Picasso paint?  I mean imagine how it must have felt to see Ray Charles at the piano or Chanel sketch.  That is what I believe it was like when watching Michael Jackson in all his musical glory.  I have always been told that, "Love is in the details" and boy was Michael all about the love.  He had his finger on every aspect of this show from the 3-D short films to the choreography.  It was all Michael.
The movie opens with dancers from all around the world expressing how they feel about having the chance to audition to perform with the 'World's Greatest Entertainer."  You immediately feel their excitement and how much this means to them.  One dancer even flew from Australia two days earlier just for the opportunity to audition for Michael.  For a lot of them working with the man was a chance to see their dreams realized.  It was an amazing moment and you feel excited for them.  Not many people get to see their dreams come true, but these few performers did.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was watching Michael interact with his band.  I have always been a fan of Michael's.  I've always hailed him as the "World's Greatest Entertainer", but I never knew he was a musical genius.  I mean the man is brilliant.  I always thought Quincy Jones was the genius behind Michael's biggest hits, but I realize that's not true.  There were two geniuses working together and what they created was phenomenal.  How Michael hear and feel music is simply amazing.  The nuances of musicality that he displayed were simply amazing.  As a staunch music lover, it was definitely a joy to behold.
With everything that Michael did he did out of L-O-V-E.  Even when he was not happy with something he always made sure to preface his critiques by saying, "I only say this out of L-O-V-E' and when someone would mess up he would say, "This is the reason why we rehearse."  His was a very gentle spirit and he treated everyone with respect.  It was amazing to see someone who had accomplished so much still be so humble and so giving to the people around him. 
At some point in the film you begin to forget that these are only a series of rehearsals.  You feel as though you are in an actual concert.  I had to catch myself a few times when I began singing out loud ('Human Nature' is absolutely one of my most favorite songs of all time).  You see all the pyrotechnics and the 3-D films and can only imagine what a hell of a concert this would have been to experience.  I mean Michael didn't spare anything.  He was throwing everything at this one including the kitchen sink, counter, and cabinets.  This was really going to be his masterpeice.   
Michael's frame was extraordinarily skinny and you have to wonder how is it possible that he can still do all those dance moves, but somehow he does them and he does it well.  You can tell that his voice is in top form even when he's trying to 'preserve his throat.'  He was still Michael Jackson and damn he was GREAT.
I would recommend this movie to all people who are lovers of great artistry.  If you ever wanted the chance to witness a Ph.D level class in musicality and genius then this is the film for you.
I give the movie $$$$$/$$$$$.  Definitely a must see.
On @KATIECOURIC, Katie talks to Sapphire, author of the novel, “Push," about the upcoming movie, “Precious,” casting lead actress Gabourey Sidibe, and the inspirational message of the story.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

This is a very fascinating interview!

So much has been made about what Spike Lee supposedly said about Tyler Perry that I thought I would post the interview so that everyone could hear his words in context. Spike Lee was talking to Ed Gordon on Black Enterprise's show "Our World".


[8:55] Ed Gordon: There is a school of thought that says we’re not diversifying our imagery enough in our community. Yet there are certain images, whether they be in plays or movies or music that we flock to whether we admit it or not. I am wondering--is that just the black middle class saying “No, that is not what we want” with a lot of us wanting it?

[9:18] Spike Lee: This is a complex subject because each artist should be allowed to pursue their artistic endeavors. But I still think a lot of stuff that is on today is coonery buffoonery. And I know it’s making a lot of money, breaking records--but we can do better. That’s just my opinion. I’m a huge basketball fan. And when I watch the games on TNT, I see these two ads for these two shows and I am scratching my head. We have a black president--are we going back to Mantan Moreland and Sleep n’ Eat?

[10:12] Ed Gordon: Yet, if those films--I mean, we’re talking about Tyler Perry at this point. No, no I mean look--let’s not give them fodder for tabloids. I am not saying we’re talking about Tyler Perry, but those are the shows we’re talking about. If we’re talking about that and we look at the numbers that come, and see his movies, and view the shows on TBS--my question is, is that, in fact, maybe what black America wants to see? I hear a lot of NOs in the audience, but there are a lot of people watching it.

[10:50] Spike Lee: We’ve had this discussion back and forth. When John Singleton--people came out to see Boys in the Hood. He did Rosewood, nobody showed up. So a lot of this is on us. You vote with your pocketbook, your wallet. You vote with your time, sitting in front of the idiot box. And the man has a huge audience. Tyler is very smart with what he’s done. He started out with these plays, and church busses would pull up, packed, and he’s parlayed it. He’s bought his own jet. If you can buy a jet you have money. But at the same time, for me, just--the imagery is troubling.

Oct 28, 2009

The First Lady dishes out a little advice on the pages of GLAMOUR.  Here is some of the things she had to say about mentoring, men and fashion:
Mentoring matters, especially for young women: "I think that mentoring is such a critical part of the role I can play in this position. I see how little bits of exposure and big bits of exposure really change my girls significantly, and I want that for more girls around the country and the world."

The real role models aren't movie stars--they're the people you know: "They were the people in my life. My mom, for sure. My dad. The teachers. For me, role-modeling was immediate, it was touchable...Children connect with who is in their lives, present and accounted for...That's why we're trying to encourage moms, teachers, fathers, to be that presence in their children's lives, in their communities, because it really makes a difference."

Don't wait to be "discovered" by a mentor: "I was blessed throughout my entire career. I had people rooting for me. It started with my parents, but it extended to almost every teacher that I had. When I was a young lawyer, there were other women and men in the firm who took me under their wing. Look for those mentors, because sometimes mentors don't find you--sometimes you seek them out. Oftentimes, they're flattered and glad to lend a hand."

Don't put yourself last in line: In answer to a reader question about how she keeps her sanity, the First Lady told Katie, "I have always tried to put my kids first, and then...put myself a really close second, as opposed to fifth or seventh. One thing that I've learned from male role models is that they don't hesitate to invest in themselves."

When it comes to looks and style, set your own standards: "People are always going to have opinions, and people have a right to their opinions, particularly when you're the First Lady; you're representing the nation. So I can't be surprised that people are interested. But I've tried to be at peace with the choices that I make first, and then be open to everyone else's reflection."

With men, don't be swayed by "cute": "Cute's good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it's, Who are you as a person? Don't look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul...When you're dating a man, you should always feel good...You shouldn't be in a relationship with somebody who doesn't make you completely happy and make you feel whole." source
The First Lady's entire interview appears in the December issue of GLAMOUR, out next week.  She will be saluting the 11 other Women of the Year winners, who will be honored at Carnegie Hall November 9. (Mrs. O's cover is one of five celebratory Women of the Year covers).  I wonder who the other four women are. 

Triple-negative breast cancer is a subtype of breast cancer that is clinically negative for expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER/PR) and HER2 protein. It is characterized by its unique molecular profile, aggressive behavior, distinct patterns of metastasis, and lack of targeted therapies.

Although not synonymous, the majority of triple-negative breast cancers carry the "basal-like" molecular profile on gene expression arrays. The majority of BRCA1-associated breast cancers are triple-negative and basal-like; the extent to which the BRCA1 pathway contributes to the behavior of sporadic basal-like breast cancers is an area of active research.

Epidemiologic studies illustrate a high prevalence of triple-negative breast cancers among younger women and those of African descent. Increasing evidence suggests that the risk factor profile differs between this subtype and the more common luminal subtypes.

Although sensitive to chemotherapy, early relapse is common and a predilection for visceral metastasis, including brain metastasis, is seen. Targeted agents, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, are currently in clinical trials and hold promise in the treatment of this aggressive disease.

In 2008, it is estimated that over 1 million women worldwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer, of which 172,695 will be classified as "triple-negative." The triple-negative phenotype encompasses a breast tumor subtype that is clinically negative for expression of the estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER and PR) and lacks overexpression of the HER2 protein, with unique prognostic and therapeutic implications.

Over the past decade, our understanding and treatment of breast cancer has undergone a metamorphosis, shifting from a generally homogeneous approach to a more sophisticated view as guided by gene expression analysis.

Multiple studies have reproducibly identified the intrinsic breast cancer subtypes, which include several luminal subtypes characterized by expression of hormone receptor-related genes, and two hormone receptor-negative subtypes - the HER2-positive/ER-negative subtype and the "basal-like" subtype. Contrary to the luminal subtypes, the basal-like subtype is characterized by low expression of ER- and HER2-related genes and clinically is usually, but not always, ER/PR-negative and lack HER2 overexpression, thereby constituting the "triple-negative" phenotype.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that the intrinsic subtypes vary by prognosis, with inferior outcomes illustrated among the two hormone receptor-negative subgroups as compared to the luminal subtypes.[3,4] They may also differ in other important ways. Recent studies suggest that patients with triple-negative breast cancer have a high incidence of visceral metastasis, including brain metastasis. This clinically challenging scenario is an area of fertile research.

Carey Anders, MD, Lisa A. Carey, MD

Click here to view Whole Article online
For more information on Triple Negative Breast Cancer please visit the following sites:
DALLAS (AP) — A model on the November cover of Teen Vogue is a 19-year-old who reveals in the magazine that she is pregnant.

Jourdan Dunn is not visibly pregnant on the cover, and Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley said the magazine didn't know about Dunn's pregnancy until after the photo shoot. But she said that editors didn't consider pulling the cover Dunn shares with fellow model Chanel Iman.

"Teen pregnancy is a difficult, real-life issue that Teen Vogue readers (with an average age of 18) are mature enough to be exposed to," Astley said in a statement. "Teen Vogue felt it was important to support, not punish, Jourdan Dunn, who contributed to a beautiful photo shoot and who will surely have an ongoing and successful career in fashion."

The cover has raised eyebrows among some parents, teens and advocates against teen pregnancy.

"There's no message to send to them that that's not okay. Maybe if she's on the cover to tell them 'Be careful,' that's one thing," said Catherine Essig, a 19-year-old sophomore at Dallas' Southern Methodist University, who was concerned about 15- and 16-year-old readers.

Many advocates said parents should use the cover as a way to talk to their kids about sex and the importance of planning pregnancies for the right moment in their lives.

"Teen parenting isn't glamorous, even if you are a teen model," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association.

A message left by The Associated Press at Dunn's New York City agency was not immediately returned. The London native told Teen Vogue that her unplanned pregnancy has been hard.

"All I could think about was what my mom was going to say, my agency, my boyfriend," said Dunn, who is expecting a boy in December. "When I told my mom, she started crying and blaming herself. She got pregnant with me at the same age, and she said, 'I don't want you to have to go through what I did.'"

The magazine should be used as a teachable moment because the media and popular culture help shape "the social script for teenagers," said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.



Oct 27, 2009


He's back. Just a little more than two weeks ago, Eric Braeden announced that he would be exiting his role as Victor Newman on "The Young and the Restless," following a salary dispute with Sony, the production company that owns the daytime drama.

Now, Eric talks to ET about his return, following the resumption and successful conclusion of contract negotiations.

ET: How did it come about that you got back into negotiations? Do you think "Y&R" fans had anything to do with it?

Eric Braeden: Let us just say that we arrived at a mutually beneficial arrangement. Obviously, I was very touched by the fans' reaction and support. I must say in all humbleness, it touched me. I had no idea. I am inclined to be a cynic about some things, and I did not expect this type of outpouring.

Did it have something to do with the outcome? I am sure it did. I come from the world of sports where you fight very hard on both sides. You finally come to the end and you shake hands.

ET: How sad were you to be walking away from the character?

Eric Braeden: As you know, in any kind of divorce or loss like that, you go through so many emotions, you can't think straight for awhile. It is kind of a grieving process. It is all kinds of emotions rolled into one.

ET: When are you back? Right now, your last airdate is Nov. 2.

Eric Braeden: I don't know. You would have to ask [head writer] Maria Bell. I don't know when that is planned. Obviously, it would have been difficult. No question about that. I love the role. I love the show. I have been an enormous supporter of it for 30 years.

ET: Can we assume you signed a new three-year deal?

Eric Braeden: You can assume something like that. source

I'm happy that Victor is returning to the show, but it still doesn't make up for the fact that the writers killed off the entire Carlton family.  After the debacle with Colleen's death and the stealing of Sharon's baby, I've completely given up on my favorite soap.  I must admit I don't even watch it anymore.  The writing has gone to hell and I think we have Ms. Bell to thank for that.  The show is only a shell of its former self and what the hell happened to all the black characters on the show...SMDH.


A bond hearing is set for Tuesday morning for the man accused of beating up an Army reservist outside a Clayton County Cracker Barrel.

West, 47, is accused of kicking and punching Tashawnea Hill Sept. 9 as he screamed racial slurs outside a Cracker Barrel on Southlake Plaza Drive in Morrow, police said. West became enraged when Hill told him to be careful after he nearly hit her 7-year-old daughter while opening the restaurant's door, police said.

"The man slung open the door pretty hard and fast and I had to push my daughter out of the way. I turned to the man and I just said, 'Excuse me sir, you need to watch yourself you almost hit my daughter in the face.' And from there it just went downhill," said Hill.

West threw her to the ground and hit her in the head with his fists and feet, police said. During the exchange, witnesses said West could be heard screaming racial slurs at the victim.

"Then he punched me in my face," said Hill. "And I fell to the ground and he proceeded to punch in my head and face."

West was charged with battery, disorderly conduct and cruelty to children for the Sept. 9 incident.

Many witnesses stepped up to assist police in the investigation by providing written statements as to the events that transpired. Cracker Barrel was also helpful to police in this investigation, Morrow police said.

Cracker Barrel officials gave investigators security camera video that shows the alleged attack, according to a statement released by Cracker Barrel officials.

"The video shows how Cracker Barrel came to the victim's aid, and that a Cracker Barrel manager put himself in harm's way to provide aid to the victim," the statement said. To read the full statement click here.
"I don't normally get personally involved in cases, but I am going to personally prosecute Mr. West on behalf of that victim and the citizens of this county," District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said last week.

FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett said the Justice Department's civil rights division has initiated a probe into the incident.

The Georgia NAACP called for action at a press conference.

"We hope the FBI along with our organization and others concerned about this issues will make sure justice is served," Edward DuBose, the NAACP State President told WSB-TV. "Whatever that justice may be, that justice is served in this case."

West told Morrow police he became upset because Hill spit on him after accusing him of trying to hit her daughter, according to the police report. But several witnesses said they never saw Hill spit on West. source

RICHMOND, Calif. — Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it.

Two suspects were in custody Monday, but police said as many as five other men attacked the girl over a two-hour period Friday night outside Richmond High School.

"She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other's presence," Lt. Mark Gagan said. "What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it."

The victim remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Manuel Ortega, 19, was arrested at thescene and was being held on $800,000 bail for investigation of rape and robbery. He is not a student at the school.

Richmond police Sgt. David Harris said he did not know if Ortega had retained an attorney.

A 15-year-old student also was booked late Monday on one count of sexual assault, Gagan said.

Police said the girl left the dance and was walking to meet her father for a ride home when a classmate invited her to join a group drinking in the courtyard. The victim had drank a large amount of alcohol by the time the assault began, police said.

Officers received a tip about a possible assault on campus and found the girl semi-conscious near a picnic table. source

I don't get it.  Do we not have any empathy for each other anymore?  How can something like this happen and people do absolutely nothing to help this young girl?  I'm pretty sure there are going to be people who say that had she just met her father this would have never happened, but who gives a damn.  It's not her fault that some savages thought to take advantage of her.  We are always quick to blame these "hot-tail" girls, but yet no one thought to help her.  Obviously, someone thought it was assault because he/she called it in.  So if one person thought it was assault I'm pretty sure there were others who though the same. 

What have we become when people can stand idly by and watch a person being raped and do absolutely nothing?  We are losing our humanity and its sad.

Oct 26, 2009


NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have been blasting Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" during their playoff run. Now, the team is having the rap king perform the song live to kick off Game 1 of the World Series.

Jay-Z and fellow New Yorker Alicia Keys are set to perform the hit on Wednesday, as the Yankees take on defending World Series champs, the Philadelphia Phillies.

In an interview Monday, Jay-Z was excited about the performance, and said: "Thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee."

He calls the opportunity a "once in a lifetime experience." source

Bianca Perez wrote a letter to President Obama's two girls, Malia and Sasha, hoping to get some help in these tough economic times.

6-year-old who saw her mother brutally gunned down on the streets of Brooklyn two years ago is asking the First Daughters for help.

"Hi Malia and Sasha," Bianca Perez wrote in her letter to President Obama's 11- and 8-year-old girls. "Two years ago, I lost my mommy. She was killed by a bad man in front of me. ...

"I'm writing this letter to see if you can ask your daddy to help me and my daddy," Bianca wrote in pencil above a drawing of Obama and his girls.

Bianca wrote the letter with the help of her father, Joseph Perez, 31, last week. They sent the letter over the weekend.

Her mother, Christina Scarabaggio, 27, was shot to death by an abusive boyfriend in September 2007 as she tried to shield Bianca, then 4, in front of their Bay Ridge home.

Christopher Flynn, 27, shot Scarabaggio twice in the back and once in the face before turning his .380-caliber handgun onhimself.

Bianca has been living with her father on Staten Island ever since. Like many New Yorkers, he has fallen on hard times.

He's a mover and a union member, but work has slowed to a trickle in the past few months. He owes his landlord $3,800.

"I got an eviction notice," he said.

His hours at work have been dwindling, and he hasn't been working enough to qualify for health care, he said, so Bianca hasn't been able to go to her therapist or dentist.

Bianca's letter to the President's daughters.Undated photo of Bianca with her slain mother, Christina Scarabaggio.
(l)Picture of Bianca's letter (r) undated photo of Bianca and her mother, Christina

Oct 25, 2009

This is the full episode of 60 Minutes so you will have to skip through to get to Tyler Perry's interview.

Oct 24, 2009

What is up with everyone turning against Tavis Smiley?  I swear this has not been homeboy's year.  I guess it's true what they say, "When it rains, it pours."

A long-simmering disagreement between broadcaster Tavis Smiley and Texas Southern University ended Friday when the university's governing board agreed to strip Smiley's name from its communication school.

Smiley promised in 2004 to donate $1 million and to raise another $1 million for TSU. The school later created the Tavis Smiley School of Communication in his honor.

In return, Smiley made one $50,000 donation in mid-2005 and raised $250,000 from three corporate donors.

But he said Friday that he had intended to fulfill his personal $1 million pledge.

"Any institution that turns away a $1 million gift in this economy, I think ought to have good reason for doing that," he said in a telephone interview.

He also said former university President Priscilla Slade offered to name the school for him before he pledged any money.

"I even made a joke, how much is this decision going to cost me?" he said. "She said, 'This decision has already been made.'"

"It doesn't feel good," he said of the board's decision. "My intentions were to help the students."

Ongoing dispute

TSU President John Rudley said the dispute had been going on since he arrived on campus in early 2008.

Talks broke down last month after more than a year of negotiations, and Rudley informed Smiley the deal was off.

"Because you did not fulfill your original commitment to our partnership, TSU plans to treat the partnership as being at an end," Rudley wrote in a letter dated Sept. 28. "TSU will therefore remove your name from the School of Communication and the KTSU Radio facility to allow us to provide other major donors with the naming opportunity."

Smiley promptly responded in an e-mail to Rudley. "I understand your letter to say that you don't want that gift," he wrote. "I ... will continue with my benevolence where it's appreciated."

Smiley is best-known for his work on radio and with the Black Entertainment Television.

He has a PBS program, which airs at 12:30 a.m. five nights a week on KUHF, channel 8.

The flap prompted TSU's regents to adopt a policy last spring spelling out under what circumstances it will consider naming a university building, college, endowed professorship or other program.

New naming policy

Under TSU's new policy, anyone interested in naming consideration for a college has to donate $10 million, with half in hand before the name change takes effect. Naming consideration for a department or school within a college would require a $2 million donation.

"Most universities have a naming policy just so you don't have this kind of misunderstanding," Rudley said.

He also said he doesn't believe the naming of the school wasn't tied to any promised donation.

"My experience with universities is, you don't name something for someone without getting money," he said.

Smiley agreed in 2004 to give TSU $200,000 a year for five years and to help raise another $1 million.

He said he stopped the payments out of concern about mismanagement under Slade.

She was accused of using school money for personal expenses and fired in mid-2006. She eventually was sentenced to 10 years probation after a grand jury indicted her.

Altered agreement

Last summer, Smiley informed TSU he was changing the terms of the agreement.

His business manager, Kenneth Goldman, wrote that Smiley wanted to pay $50,000 by the end of 2009 and $100,000 a year for the next nine years.

He no longer would try to raise money from outside donors.

TSU's well-publicized problems made it impossible to raise money from corporate donors, Smiley said Friday. "And obviously, not unlike most Americans, my personal income has been impacted by this recession."

Still, he said, he intended to honor his commitment, even if it would take a decade to do so. Now, he said he will donate that money elsewhere. source


Oct 23, 2009

So many people have asked me why I started talking about this now...I don't know where they've been for the last ten years.  I've always talked about it but never to this degree, I guess. I think it became overwhelming after turning 40 and also filming a 60 MINUTES interview.  If you get a chance to watch it, the interview airs this Sunday after the football game.
It made me come face-to-face with so many things. Byron Pitts asked me so many questions, that it started me thinking about my entire life.  We went back to my old neighborhood and the house I grew up in.  Wow!  That was hard! But it's a journey that I have to face.  I feel as if God is allowing me to look back...for my future...if that makes any sense.
For instance, when my father heard about my last email, he sent a message to me through my brother.  He told him to tell me this:  "If I had beat your ass one more time you probably would have been Barack Obama." I don't even know what to do with that.  No sooner than he sent me this message, my aunt called telling me to come home because my mother was very ill, (she needs your prayers) so I've been flying back and forth trying to keep my obligations all over the country and at the same time be by her side.  It is very hard to see her this way, as well as my having to sit ten feet from my father, when I do...God is funny; He will make you deal with stuff even when you think you're over it.


To read Tyler Perry's email addressing the abuse he suffered as a child please click here.

Obviously, no one is really looking out for the best interests of Megan Williams.  If you know she has mental issues then why would people even report on her recanting her story or even allow her to recant.  I feel like she is being exploited again.  This story just gets sadder and sadder the more you learn about it.  She may have insisted on recanting what happened but someone has to be her advocate and voice of reason.  That is the reason she has a caretaker in the first place. 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A black Ohio woman who recanted allegations of being tortured by a group of white people in West Virginia has mental issues and has more than once changed her version of what happened, her current caretaker said Thursday.

Valencia Daniels told The Associated Press that Megan Williams "goes back and forth, back and forth" about the 2007 allegations of being beaten, raped and tortured. Seven people pleaded guilty to charges in the case, and six of them are serving lengthy prison sentences.

Byron L. Potts, an attorney for Williams, said Wednesday that she fabricated the story to get revenge on an ex-boyfriend and all her wounds except facial bruises were self-inflicted.

Daniels, who now cares for the 22-year-old in Columbus, said she tried to talk Williams out of recanting, but Williams insisted. Daniels had approached media outlets with Williams in recent months, saying the truth needed to come out.

Brian Abraham, the Logan County prosecutor at the time of the 2007 incident, dismissed Williams' new story as "absurd," and said the convictions were based on the defendants' own statements and physical evidence rather than what Williams said.

"We realized within a day or two that some of what she was saying was embellished and didn't match what we were finding with the evidence," he said Wednesday.

Williams had said her captors, including boyfriend Bobby Brewster, beat her, raped her, forced her to drink urine and eat feces, poured hot wax on her and taunted her with racial slurs in a trailer in Logan County, about 50 miles from Charleston. Williams was rescued after a passer-by heard cries from the shed where she was kept and an anonymous caller tipped off sheriff's deputies.

Wednesday's announcement has thrown a racially charged case into question. When the allegations first came out in 2007, it drew in polarizing national figures like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Malik Shabazz, the national chairman of the New Black Panther Party.

Shabazz said Thursday he believes the torture attack did happen and Williams was being manipulated into recanting.

"I think it's a joke and I stand with the prosecutor and evidence that was presented in this case," he said.

Lawyers for the six convicts still imprisoned in the case have either not responded to requests for comment or have declined to talk. The Associated Press has asked, via prison officials, to speak with the six. So far, Bobby Brewster has declined comment and the others have not responded.

There is no practical legal effect of Wednesday's announcement, according to Philip Morrison, executive director of the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute.

"She hasn't recanted," Morrison said. "A lawyer can't speak for an individual. The individual has to speak for herself. That's step one."

If Williams does give a formal statement, perhaps to investigators, then it's up to the six convicts to file writs of habeas corpus to have their cases reopened, citing newly discovered evidence, Morrison said. source

I think this was the type of interview people were expecting when Chris was on Larry King.  I can appreciate the fact that that he discussed receiving counseling.  I hope that his counseling and anger management sessions are on-going.  I believe that redemption is possible for anybody, but that person has to put in the work in order to receive it.

While Brown spent much of the interview stressing his deep regrets for his actions – he expressed disappointment in Oprah Winfrey for her lack of support following his assault of ex-girlfriend Rihanna.      

"I don't dis her because I respect what she does for women around the world. But we did so many things together as far as me working for her schools in Africa, that I feel at the time I needed a helping hand, not for my career but as a person, instead of her pointing fingers," said Brown. "At the end of the day, you have opinions and thoughts, and that isn't wrong, but it's not right to judge someone when people make mistakes all the time. I learned from mine, I'm still learning and I regret every moment, every second."      

Brown praised the support of others in the industry who stood by him, such as Will Smith and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. "As a young man I needed older black role models to mold me. I didn't need people bashing me or shutting the door on me," he said.      

Additionally, Brown said about Jay-Z, who was rumored to be the reason why Brown wasn't asked to perform during this year's BET Awards, "I have no issues with dude. Honestly, I don't know and I don't think it was him."      

Brown talked about his counseling and domestic violence classes, stating how they've helped him move on and further realize his errors. "The hurt I put people through with my family and Rihanna -- I don't want to inflict that anymore," he said, assuring listeners that he will never lash out violently again. He also advises young lovers to seek counseling before they spiral out of control.       

His regret and melancholy about the assault on "shorty," as he called Rihanna several times throughout the interview, was continuously emphasized. Brown even admitted to still harboring feelings for the 21 year-old, saying if things were "handled differently" they could have possibly continued their relationship.      

When asked about media reports alleging that there was violence between the two before and that maybe Rihanna had been physical with Brown first, prior to the altercation, Brown said, "no one knows what went on in that car, but out of respect of me and my privacy and her, I don't talk about it. Whether its reports or media or stuff that's been altered or falsified, I'm not justifying what went down. I still realize what I did is not ok in any way, shape or form."      

Since the incident, media criticism has bogged Brown down but his only response to that is "at the end of the day, people don't realize I'm human. I go home, hurt, cry, feel pain, embarrassment, ashamed."      

Brown wrapped things up by saying he continues to work on making himself a better person. "I smile, but people can't expect me to walk around everyday of my life frowning," he said. "Life is too short, I love my life and I love my fans and I love me. I'm sorry for what I've done, but the only person that can judge me is God."      

Hot97's Miss Info has the entire Chris Brown interview on her Web site. Click here.


Oct 22, 2009

Wow, is the only thing I can say about this one.  You know I am one of the biggest sport's fans around.  I can remember the press conference in which Magic announced he had HIV like it was yesterday.  It's really interesting to now get a peek into how Magic was feeling during that time and how he felt about the way people treated him.  I am definitely getting this book.  I wonder if Oprah is going to have him and Isiah on the couch the way she had Mike Tyson and Holyfield.
Via SI.com:

The criticisms are made by Johnson in When The Game Was Ours, which he co-wrote with Larry Bird and author Jackie MacMullan. The book, to be released on Nov. 4, tells the inside story of the most important rivalry in basketball history.

Much of their story involves Thomas, who as captain of the Detroit Pistons served as a primary threat to the championship ambitions of Bird's Celtics and Magic's Lakers. The book offers revelations that have stunned Thomas. Magic addresses years of rumors by finally accusing Thomas of questioning his sexuality after Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991. Magic also admits that he joined with Michael Jordan and other players in blackballing Thomas from the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, saying, "Isiah killed his own chances when it came to the Olympics. Nobody on that team wanted to play with him. ... Michael didn't want to play with him. Scottie [Pippen] wanted no part of him. Bird wasn't pushing for him. Karl Malone didn't want him. Who was saying, 'We need this guy?' Nobody.''

"I'm glad that he's finally had the nerve and the courage to stand up and say it was him, as opposed to letting Michael Jordan take the blame for it all these years,'' Thomas responded during one of several interviews he gave to SI.com on Wednesday. "I wish he would have had the courage to say this stuff to me face to face, as opposed to writing it in some damn book to sell and he can make money off it.''

Thomas, who is the first-year coach at Florida International in Miami, confirmed that MacMullan attempted to reach him for comment six months ago, but he declined through his publicist to speak with her.

Magic's most shocking accusation, however, is that Thomas was responsible for spreading rumors that Johnson was gay or bisexual after Johnson tested positive for HIV, forcing his retirement at age 32. "Isiah kept questioning people about it,'' Magic says. "I couldn't believe that. The one guy I thought I could count on had all these doubts. It was like he kicked me in the stomach.''

Thomas vehemently denied that he had gossiped behind Magic's back, pointing out that he knew better than to engage in such hurtful talk.

"What most people don't know is, before Magic had HIV, my brother had HIV,'' Thomas said. "My brother died of HIV, AIDS, drug abuse. So I knew way more about the disease, because I was living with it in my house.''

His brother, Gregory Thomas, died five years ago, Isiah said.

"Magic acted and responded off some really bad information that he got,'' Thomas went on. "Whatever friendship we had, I thought it was bulls--- that he believed that. Let me put it to you this way: If he and I were such close friends, if I was questioning his sexuality, then I was questioning mine too. That's how idiotic it is.''

The book's main source for this allegation is Magic's longtime agent, Lon Rosen, who says Thomas told him in 1991, "I keep hearing Magic is gay.''

"C'mon, Isiah, you know Earvin better than anyone,'' Rosen replies.

"I know,'' Thomas answers, "but I don't know what he's doing when he's out there in L.A.''

On Wednesday, Thomas denied that conversation. "I don't know Lon like that,'' he said, adding that he reached out to Johnson at the time. "I remember calling Magic and saying [of the allegations that he was rumor-mongering], 'You know that's some bulls---.' ''

Wow, I really can't believe Tommy "The Hitman" Weeks has already remarried.  Well, I hope girlfriend knows how to bob and weave better than Juanita did...SMDH.  I'm just playing.  I'm sure Tommy is not into hitting women anymore and he is completely changed.
Bishop Thomas W. Weeks III is again a married man.

Last in the headlines over his violent 2008 divorce from Pastor Juanita Bynum, the head of international church empire Global Destiny Worldwide put a ring on the finger of self-described prophetess Christina Glenn, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.      

The quiet ceremony took place over the weekend, with only his church family and friends in attendance, a far cry from his extravagant marriage to Bynum, which was aired before millions on Trinity Broadcasting Network in 2002. The couple is currently on their honeymoon in an undisclosed location.       

Global Destiny's Web site, BishopWeeks.com, features the lovebirds discussing their marriage plans and gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.

"I am so glad that God has given me you, Prophetess Christina Glenn, as the greatest gift in my life besides himself," Weeks tells his fiancé. "He couldn't have made a better choice ."

Weeks describes Glenn - who, like Bynum, has a ministry of her own - as loyal and caring.

"I love you so much," she says. "God has blessed me with an awesome man of God, a prophet, a king — I appreciate you." 
Sam Jones III
LOS ANGELES -- "E.R." actor Sam Jones III is under arrest on charges of possessing with the intent to sell more than 10,000 tablets of oxycodone.

Jones, who played a medical student on "E.R." and was the younger brother of "E.R." doc Greg Pratt (played by Mekhi Phifer) , was arrested at his Canoga Park home Wednesday morning by DEA agents who say Jones was a "co-conspirator" in a series of drug deals.

According to the federal complaint, the DEA says Jones was the " Hollywood connection" in a drug ring that illegally purchased and distributed the oxycodone.

Oxycodone is also known by the trade name OxyContin.

Jones, along with Thomas Michael Cataloni, would negotiate with a prospective oxycodone supplier to buy the drugs for a certain price and would arrange to meet with the supplier at a certain time and location, according to the federal indictment. They would meet the supplier, buy the drugs and distribute them throughout the community, the documents allege.

The defendants were caught in a drug sting in which a special federal agent posed as a supplier of oxycodone working undercover. In June, 2008, Jones and Cataloni met the agent at a Burbank coffee shop, negotiated a price and then purchased $75,000 worth of the oxycodone in the parking lot of a Glendale video store.

Jones is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone. He is due in federal court Wednesday afternoon on the charges.

If convicted, Jones faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Jones is also known for his roles on the television series "Smallville" (he played Clark Kent's best friend, Pete Ross), "The Practice" and "CSI". He also appeared in the film "Glory Road".  source

Oct 21, 2009

Now this is what's up....I love it.  Who hasn't jumped double dutch as a kid.
Talk about a game-changer. 

ATLANTA — Since 1973, this Southern capital has elected a succession of black mayors, sometimes to the consternation of residents in the largely white, prosperous neighborhood of Buckhead to the north.

But the current race to succeed Mayor Shirley Franklin in the Nov. 3 election has upended normal expectations here in what Chris Rock, in his new documentary, "Good Hair," calls "the city where all major black decisions are made." The front-runner, Mary Norwood, is one of Buckhead's own, a white Junior Leaguer running as a populist outsider.

All three candidates have maintained that Atlanta has moved beyond using race as a qualification for public office. But the ascendancy of Ms. Norwood may also reflect the decline of the city's black majority and the recession's sour effect on the mood of the voters.

The city has changed significantly since Mayor Franklin squeaked to victory without a runoff in 2001. It has grown by more than 100,000 people since 2000, according to census estimates, and the influx of many whites and Hispanics has narrowed the black majority to 56 percent from 61 percent.

Atlanta is still a draw for black professionals, and the percentage of blacks in the metropolitan area has grown slightly, but in the city the pool of likely black voters is estimated at just barely a majority. Many of the city's public housing projects, where black votes once could be marshaled in a bloc, have been demolished.

Ms. Norwood, who has held an at-large City Council position for eight years, and tirelessly attended neighborhood meetings across the city, has galvanized white voters and managed to attract significant support among blacks. Though she has often voted in Republican primaries in this heavily Democratic city, some polls about the six-way race show her with more black support than either of her two top opponents, who are both black: Lisa Borders, the president of the city council, and Kasim Reed, a lawyer and former state lawmaker who resigned his office to run for mayor.

Many analysts say the election will probably result in a runoff between Ms. Norwood and Mr. Reed or Ms. Borders, although Ms. Norwood is so far ahead that there is talk she could win outright.

"It would be a major game change in this town if a Buckhead Betty became mayor," said Tom Houck, a former newspaper columnist here, who is white, using a mocking term for the well-heeled women of the north side. "Atlanta is a symbol for black Americans, more than Los Angeles, more than Chicago, more than Baltimore."



CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A black woman whose racially charged allegations of horrific abuse helped put several people in prison now says she lied when she alleged she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and tortured in a ramshackle West Virginia trailer.

West Virginia authorities said in 2007 that Megan Williams, now of Columbus, Ohio, had been stabbed, beaten with sticks, sexually assaulted, doused with hot water, forced to eat animal feces and taunted with racial slurs by seven white men and women. She later said that hot wax was poured on her and that two of her captors had forced to drink their urine.

An unsigned statement released Wednesday by the office of her Columbus lawyer, Byron L. Potts, said simply, "Megan Williams is now recanting her story." Williams was scheduled to attend a news conference Wednesday in Columbus along with Potts.

Brian Abraham, the former Logan County prosecutor who pursued the cases, expressed skepticism that the story was a lie.

"If she's going to say that she made it all up, that's absurd," Brian Abraham told The Associated Press Wednesday. "This looks like another attempt to generate more publicity."

Abraham said police and prosecutors realized early in the case that they couldn't rely on statements from Williams, who tended to embellish and exaggerate details.

Instead, he said, the seven people were convicted based on their own statements and physical evidence. All seven pleaded guilty, and all but one were sentenced to long prison terms.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and Black Lawyers for Justice had urged prosecutors to pursue hate crime charges and held a rally and march in Charleston in 2007 to press their request. The state NAACP and other black leaders opposed the march.

At the time, Abraham said that because Williams had had a relationship with one of the defendants — Bobby Brewster — it would be difficult to prove a hate crime occurred. Even so, one of the defendants, Karen Burton, pleaded guilty to a state hate crime charge.

Those convicted were Brewster, his mother, Frankie Brewster; Danny Combs; George Messer; Burton; and Burton's daughter Alisha Burton and son Linnie Burton Jr. Linnie Burton Jr. was the only defendant not to serve jail time; he was convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge and given a six-month suspended sentence.

The assaults occurred at a trailer owned by Frankie Brewster in a rural area of Logan County, about 50 miles from Charleston.

Calls to lawyers for the seven were either not immediately returned Wednesday or were met with refusals to comment. Abraham said none of the seven have appealed.

"This was a very detailed criminal investigation," he said.

WHAT THE HELL!!!!!  I don't know what the hell is going on here, but this definitely will be something I will be paying attention to.  I remember this case very vividly because I've had to go to Logan on several occasions for my job.  I just find it hard to believe that she made all this stuff up.  Something just isn't right here.  I definitely will be doing so more research on this on. 
Now, Jan Adams are you this desperate for money that you have to write a book about a very painfully situation.  I mean seriously, have your discussion with the family and keep it moving.  I would be mad as hell if someone wrote a book about my momma.  Nothing is sacred to people anymore; everyone has to write a book about every damn thing.
In the book, Adams denies any responsibility for Dr. West's death, saying that the coroner's report absolves him completely. In an interview with "Tom Joyner Morning Show" producer Deya M. Smith, Adams says he is not to blame.

"The coroner, along with experts from USC, UCLA and actually a pathologist that I suggested the West family hire to protect their interests concluded neither surgery nor anesthesia contributed to the death of Donda West. I don't even have to contend that," said Adams. "I can tell you why I think she died, and I don't think you have to be a doctor or her doctor or Dr. Dre to be able to figure it out. What I'm saying is that if you read the public document, which is the coroner's report, it will tell you why she died."

Adams says that post-surgery, Dr. West was released into the care of her nephew, Stephen Scoggins, a registered nurse who tended to her and administered Vicodin, a medication to control pain. Numerous reports say that Dr. West felt better the morning after the surgery, but that in the afternoon, Scoggins left her in the care of others to attend a baby shower. When Dr. West began experiencing pain, a sore throat and tightness in her chest, Scoggins was unreachable, and Dr. West collapsed with black vomit around her nose and mouth.

She died in the hospital later that day.

"It's very easy from my perspective to understand what happened to her," Adams says. "They gave her medication that made her nauseous. Vicodin makes everyone nauseous. They laid her flat, she vomited, and when she went to sleep, she aspirated it (breathed it into) in her lungs. That caused her not to oxygenate well, and the process created a circle. Her blood kept getting lower and lower with oxygen and then finally, her heart stopped. (Oxygenation means you get enough oxygen in your blood to keep your tissues alive)."

Adams contends that Scoggins, with the full consent of Dr. West, was responsible for her aftercare and that he advised Dr. West that she could receive aftercare at a facility for that purpose. But he also says that he was fine with the post-surgical treatment plan, since Scoggins is a registered nurse with an advanced degree.

Click here to read the full article.