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Navy Yard gunman’s mother says she is heartbroken and sorry for families

September 18, 2013 - The mother of Aaron Alexis, the Washington Navy Yard shooter, said Wednesday that she was heartbroken and sorry for the families of the victims, and that she was glad he is “in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone.”

In a brief statement to a reporter in New York, the mother, Cathleen Alexis, said that her son “has murdered 12 people and wounded several others.”  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

NeNe Leakes: ‘I am black-white, I know how to be black and can be very white’

September 17, 2013 - Whoever said being a reality TV star can only buy you five minutes of fame was mistaken. Five years after first appearing as the most sassy and outspoken cast member of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, NeNe Leakes is proving all her naysayers wrong.

Leakes has been able to parlay her notoriety as a reality star into a serious acting career, earning herself a gig on two scripted TV comedies, a spot as a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice, and now her own reality show spinoff, I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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New retailers opening on 22nd Street S in St. Petersburg

September 17, 2013 - When Carolyn Brayboy signed on to her husband's plan to buy three buildings on Midtown's 22nd Street S, she knew it was a big undertaking to renovate the long-empty properties and find the right entrepreneurs to occupy them. Now she has even more work cut out for her since she and her husband, Elihu Brayboy, have decided they themselves will be the entrepreneurs they were searching for.

The two 2,000-square-foot buildings have multiple shop spaces within them. The couple plan to open an ice cream parlor and a men's consignment shop in October in the purple one at 909 22nd St. S and a restaurant called Chief's Cajun Cuisine in the salmon one at 903 22nd St. S in December.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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Former Mayor Rick Baker silent on St. Petersburg mayor's race

September 17, 2013 - As Mayor Bill Foster and challenger Rick Kriseman race to collect endorsements, one political heavyweight has remained silent. And that silence is sparking speculation.

In the final days of Foster's 2009 bid for mayor, no elected official stumped harder for the former council member than then-Mayor Rick Baker.

The men were inseparable as they crisscrossed the city. Not now.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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First Indian Miss America Receives Support After Racist Backlash

September 18, 2013 - Nina Davuluri may have won the title of Miss America, but she didn’t immediately win the hearts of America. The critical powerhouse known as Twitter almost erupted in racist tweets Sunday after the 24-year-old made history as the first Indian-American to win the beauty competition.

“If you’re #Miss America you should have to be American,” one woman tweeted.  Read more at hellobeautiful.com.

Category: General

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott Announce 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month Student Scholarship Contests

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott today announce the 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month contests and invite students in kindergarten through 12th grades to participate in the art and essay contests. Students, parents, teachers and principals have also been invited to nominate full-time Hispanic educators in elementary, middle or high schools for the Hispanic Heritage Month Excellence in Education Award.

Governor Scott said, "The upcoming Hispanic Heritage Month is a wonderful time to recognize the countless contributions Florida's Hispanic community makes across our state and nation. The 2013 Hispanic Heritage Month Contests will help students appreciate the contributions of the Hispanic community and encourage our young people to imagine Florida's future. While Florida students continue to compete with students across the world, our students are prepared with the skills to be competitive in a global marketplace. Florida remains a national leader in Hispanic graduation improvement and Florida's Hispanic graduation rate ranks first in the nation for the second year in a row."  Read more at fldoe.org.

Category: General

Navy Yard Shooting Suspect Aaron Alexis: Scant Biographical Details Emerge (UPDATES)

September 16, 2013 - Aaron Alexis, the suspect in the shooting deaths of at least 12 individuals at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday morning, was a relative recluse in the Internet age.

The 34-year-old left a scant social media footprint, though that could have been by design. Facebook does not appear to have an account for him, nor does Twitter or YouTube. Alexis' LinkedIn page was erased sometime before the shooting, leaving probing reporters with just a limited glance at the background of someone believed to be behind the worst loss of life within D.C. since 1982.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Thomas George Paculis Sentenced In Paula Deen Extortion Plot

September 16, 2013 - The man accused of trying to extort $200,000 from embattled Southern celebrity chef Paula Deen has been sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Thomas George Paculis (PAK-yew-lus), of Newfield, N.Y., was sentenced Monday and the Savannah Morning News (http://bit.ly/17EOwFE) reported he also was ordered to serve a year of supervised release.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Bill Cosby Talks 'No-groes,' Black Leadership With CNN's Don Lemon (VIDEO)

September 16, 2013 - Wanting African-Americans to take responsibility for their lives, their kids and their education, Bill Cosby has offered some strong words to a group of people he has dubbed "no-groes."

In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon Saturday, the comedian was asked to reflect on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and to comment on the future of black leadership in the United States.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Bill De Blasio vs. Joe Lhota: Where The NYC Mayor Candidates Stand On Issues Affecting Black Communities

September 16, 2013 - The New York City primary is finally finished and the race to become the next mayor of Gotham has come down to Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota.

With more than three million African Americans residing in the Big Apple, many of whom live if predominantly African-American neighborhoods, the remaining candidates' stances on issues important to blacks carries significant weight as the city picks its next mayor.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Obama On Navy Yard Shooting: A 'Cowardly Act' [UPDATE]

September 16, 2013 - Speaking hours after a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, President Barack Obama called the incident a "cowardly act" that would be swiftly and "thoroughly" investigated.

"We still don’t know all the facts, but we do know that several people have been shot and some have been killed," he said. "So we are confronting yet another mass shooting and today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital."  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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15-Year-Old Education Expert Jaden Smith Urges Kids To Drop Out Of School

September 17, 2013 - Jaden Smith (pictured), the son of actors Will and Jada, reportedly attacked the U.S. educational system in a Twitter rant relayed to his nearly 4.6 million followers about how society would be better off “if everybody in the world dropped out of school.” Now concerned parents are in an uproar because the pint-sized actor and his “too cool for school ‘tude” is reportedly influencing his school-aged followers, according to US Magazine.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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Mothers of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis to testify at Senate ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing

September 16, 2013 - On Tuesday, the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis will testify on Capitol Hill. The topic: “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Sybrina Fulton and Lucia McBath will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights. The hearing, according to a notice on the Senate Judiciary Committee website is entitled “‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force.”  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Black teens binge drink less, exposed more

September 16, 2013 - Overall alcohol use has declined among teenagers during the last two decades, but not dangerously high levels of binge drinking.

Downing up to 15 alcoholic drinks in a row remains popular among high school seniors, according to a new study published today in JAMA Pediatrics, part of the Journal of the American Medical Association Network.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Lifetime reportedly casts roles for Gabby Douglas biopic

September 17, 2013 - It was only a matter of time before Gabby Douglas‘ incredible story was made into a movie. Lifetime has decided to greenlight the Olympic gold medalist’s incredible career into a TV biopic. 

Deadline.com reports that actresses Imani Hakim and Sydney Mikayla have been cast to portray Douglas in her early and teen years. Veteran actresses Regina King and S. Epatha Merkeson will play Gabby’s mother and grandmother respectively.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

David T. Welch, former council member who helped shape St. Petersburg, dies

September 17, 2013 - David T. Welch, a former St. Petersburg City Council member who helped shape the city's history for more than three decades, died Monday at Bayfront Medical Center after an illness. He was 85.

Mr. Welch was elected to the council in 1981, the panel's second African-American and the first to win the post in 12 years. Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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Paula Deen Makes First Public Appearance In Months, Fights Back Tears

September 14, 2013 - Celebrity cook Paula Deen fought back tears as she was greeted by a supportive crowd during an appearance at a Houston cooking show.

Saturday's event was Deen's first public appearance since June when it was revealed that in an earlier legal deposition she acknowledged using racial slurs in the past. Within a few days the Food Network yanked her show off the air, Smithfield Foods dropped her as a celebrity endorser, and retailers such as Wal-Mart removed her products from shelves.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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George Zimmerman's 15 Minutes Of Fame Live On.. And On

September 14, 2013 - Whether they think that he got away with murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin or that he was just a brave neighborhood watch volunteer "standing his ground," many Americans can't seem to get enough of George Zimmerman. And he can't seem to stop giving it to them.

So it's hardly surprising that everything Zimmerman does produces a Twitterverse explosion and spins out into heavy news coverage. Comedian Deon Cole nailed it during an appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" a couple of days after the July 13 verdict. Merely being found not guilty, he said of Zimmerman, "doesn't mean that you're a free man."  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Bill O'Reilly: Trayvon Martin Died Because He 'Looked A Certain Way' (VIDEO)

September 14, 2013 - "The reason Trayvon Martin died is because he looked a certain way, and it wasn't based on skin color," O'Reilly told West on Friday. "If Trayvon Martin had been wearing a jacket like you are and a tie, Mr. West, this evening, I don't think George Zimmerman would've had any problem. But he was wearing a hoodie, and he looked a certain way, and that way is how gangstas look. And therefore he got attention."  --Bill O'Reilly to Allen West on Friday's "O'Reilly Factor."  See video at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Snoop Lion Donates Money For Funeral Of Murdered California Girl

September 13, 2013 - Rapper Snoop Lion has donated money toward the funeral of 6-year-old Tiana Ricks of California, who was reportedly murdered last weekend, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 

Tiana and her father were reportedly attending a party at a Moreno Valley home last Sunday when two men approached them in the driveway and opened fire.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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