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Tavis Smiley Upset with Chicago Public Radio for Dropping Show
Oct-29-2012 1283 0


Tavis Smiley and his beloved brother in the struggle, Cornel West, just got kicked off a Chicago radio station due to declining ratings.

Smiley addressed the split recently in a heated open letter to Torey Malatia, president of Chicago Public Radio affiliate WBEZ.

“One could argue that it is easier for an African American to be president of the United States than it is to host a primetime radio program on Chicago Public Radio,” Smiley declared. He went on explaining how “demeaning, derogatory and dead wrong” Malatia and his folks are about the drop.

Smiley explained Chicago Public Media cut them off, citing declined ratings. According to the group, listeners went from 37,900 to 13,200. Besides that, officials didn’t like that the show was slanted a particular way.

“The show had developed much more of an ‘advocacy’ identity, which is inconsistent with our approach on WBEZ,” a spokesman said.

Others, however, suspect the cancelation had more to do with the pair’s relentless criticism of the president.

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Nicole Hensley Oct-30-2014 130 0
An upstate New York bus driver is jailed after allegedly masturbating behind the wheel while taking a 14-year-old boy to school.

Robert Bertart, 60, of Orangetown, has been fired by Vel Coach Company after his bosses learned of his arrest by Ramapo Police on charges of public lewdness and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Journal News newspaper.

The bus’ lone teen on his way to a church school early Tuesday morning allegedly caught Bertart in the act after glancing at a large mirror aimed right at the driver’s lap, the newspaper added.

Bertart had his gentials exposed during the brief, but disturbing 7:30 a.m. incident, according to a statement released by Ramapo Police Department.

The unnamed teen had been picked up by Bertart at Suffern High School and later reported the driver’s alleged acts to his parents and school officials after being dropped off.

"The student is very credible, old enough to understand what was going on," Lt. Mark Emma told WABC-TV.

The Journal News reports Bertart has never had an incident in his six-year employment with Vel Coach. He passed all their background checks.

This is the third arrest of a bus driver by Ramapo Police this year.

Robert Cosenzo and Michael Cunningham are both former bus drivers in the Ramapo area arrested over the summer on sex charges with minors.

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Oct-30-2014 159 0
Disturbing Halloween decorations depicting the hanging of what appears to be a black family have been removed from a yard on a Kentucky military base after neighbors complained.

A picture of the scene at the Fort Campbell Army base shows effigies of three people, two adults and a child, hanging from a tree, fake blood splattered across their shirts.

All have their hands tied behind their backs, while one has a sign hanging from its neck and the child has a knife stuck in its back.

The display was put up on Lutwin St. in the base, which sits just above Kentucky’s border with Tennessee some 60 miles northwest of Nashville.

Several people complained of the over-the-top display and the homeowner, who never meant to offend, took down the ghoulish decorations, ClarksvilleNow.com reported.

The homeowner apologized, a Fort Campbell public affairs officer said in a statement.

“The Fort Campbell leadership remains committed to maintaining a community that reflects our Army values and a family-friendly environment for Fort Campbell employees and residents and is reminding residents to ensure that all outdoor displays are consistent with these standards,” Rayna Holley said.

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Nicole Hensley Oct-30-2014 173 0
The Indiana man suspected of killing 13-year-old Kobe Jones hated neighborhood kids, according to court documents.

Khanji Fairley intended to “spray up the whole block” with bullets, according to court documents obtained by the Chicago Tribune, and later gunned down the teen on the porch of his Gary, Indiana home, police believe.

Witnesses said Jones laughed at Fairley after the 30-year-old accused the teen of breaking into his home the afternoon of Oct. 24.

“He didn’t deserve this,” the child’s stepmother, Starr Jones, repeatedly said to WXIN-TV. “How are you that angry that you kill a 13-year-old boy?”

An enraged Fairley shouted belligerently at his neighbors.

“I see them laughing over there ... I know they did it,” Fairley allegedly said. He settled down, but waited until evening to confront Kobe, the documents allege.

The Tribune reports Fairley crept through the alley next to the teen’s Polk St. home and opened fire while Jones was on the porch steps. Police told WXIN Kobe was shot nine times.

He drove off in a black Camaro but was charged Monday in Kobe’s murder.

The teen died after crawling back inside his home.

“My son was laughing at him. I mean he didn’t deserve it,” Kaunda Jones told the TV station. “It hurts when somebody brings it up or asks what happened.”

His son did not have insurance, so the Joneses are crowdsourcing funds for Kobe’s funeral on GoFundMe.

The teen is survived by his family, which includes 14 siblings.

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Nicole Hensley Oct-30-2014 133 0
For the past 28 years, a Detroit man has owed child support for a child he never fathered.

Paternity tests confirm Carnell Alexander is not the father of a child born in 1987, even though paperwork initially filed for welfare assistance by his ex-girlfriend declared him the baby daddy.

“I had to turn to welfare to get assistance to take care of them and I had to put him down as the father. That was the only way I could get into the system,” the child’s unnamed mother told WXYZ-TV.

That paperwork followed Alexander for two decades, racking up more than $69,000 in child support debt. He didn't learn of the child until 1991, when a police officer called him a “deadbeat dad” during
“I knew I didn’t have a child, so I was blown back,” Alexander told the TV station. “I feel like I’m standing in front of a brick wall with nowhere to go.”

He could have learned of the child sooner, but a summons failed to reach Alexander. He was in jail for an unrelated charge when a process server stopped by his home with a summons. But the process server reported back that Alexander refused to sign it, according to WXYZ-TV.

The child’s mother admits “everything is my fault,” she told the TV station. “He shouldn’t have to pay it at all. I want everything to go away for him so he can get on with his life.”

The judge eventually forgave the debt owed the child’s mother, but not half of the original sum owed to the state of Michigan.

If Alexander does not payback $30,000 in welfare support the state provided, he faces legal consequences unless he fights it in court, the TV station added.

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Dramatic and graphic new video has emerged of a homeless Michigan man being gunned down in a hail of bullets fired by Saginaw police officers in 2012.

Martin Hall, 49, was facing eight screaming officers in a parking lot. A K-9 unit dog was lunging and barking at the homeless and mentally ill man, who was holding a pen knife.

Officers fired 46 times as Hall collapsed and died on the pavement.

Local and federal authorities declined to file charges against the officers, despite a flurry of protests from across the country.

On Monday, the ACLU released violent footage of the incident from a dashboard camera as part of its presentation to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington.

Included in the presentation was footage from an interview with his mother, Jewel Hall, who said her son’s blood was “running down the street like water. And he wasn’t a threat, I mean, he had a little pen knife. He had no idea that those policemen would do that to him.”

The police had responded to a call from a shopping center merchant who had gotten into some kind of argument with Hall.

The ACLU obtained the video, taken by a police cruiser dashcam, from the Hall family, whose attorneys had requested it.

In declining to prosecute, the cops and U.S. Department of Justice said investigators did not find evidence the officers had demonstrated “willful misconduct.”

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Deborah Hastings Oct-29-2014 168 0
A 17-year-old high school football player in Florida lost his right leg after his knee was injured during a game.

Leshawn Williams, a defensive lineman, went down during a play, and at first seemed to have a serious, but fairly routine, injury to his MCL (medial collateral ligament), which is an inner knee ligament.

But days after the Friday night game, surgeons were forced to remove the 6-foot, 330-pound teen's right let from above the knee.

"I don't think he's grasped it all yet. He's still recovering," said his mother, Bonita Copeland. "We're all trying to understand it," she told the Tampa Bay Times.

The high school game was stopped for nearly 30 minutes while medical workers examined Williams' leg, trying to determine if he had broken it or was suffering ligament damage, the paper said.

Copeland then said it looked like damaged ligament.

"When I first looked at it, it looked like he had an MCL. Every time he lifted his knee he had pain. Then you could see the blood clot in the back of his knee."

Doctors spent the weekend trying to return circulation in the teen's leg, but were unsuccessful. They decided to amputate on Sunday night.

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Evan Perez Oct-28-2014 153 0
The police chief in Ferguson, Missouri, is expected to step down as part of the effort by city officials to reform the Police Department, according to government officials familiar with the discussions ongoing between local, state and federal officials.

Under the proposed plan, after Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson leaves, city leadership would ask the St. Louis County police chief to take over management of Ferguson's police force.

The announcement could come as soon as next week. It would be one step in what local officials hope will help reduce tensions in the city as the public awaits a decision on whether the St. Louis County grand jury will bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Jackson said Tuesday he is not being pushed out.

"Nobody in my chain of command has asked me to resign, nor have I been terminated," he said on the phone to CNN.

Jackson had faced criticism over his department's handling of the Brown shooting and the protests in its aftermath.

Last month, weeks after the Justice Department announced it was investigating Ferguson police, Jackson told CNN he would not step down despite calls for his ouster.

Asked Tuesday whether there is a plan in place for the police chief to step down, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles responded "no."

When asked whether the federal government was pressuring the city to force out the police chief, he told CNN: "People have been saying that for months, I mean for him to step down. But we've stood by him this entire time. So there is no change on that."

In an interview with CNN on September 29, Jackson said of the job and the fallout over the Brown shooting that "this is mine, and I'm taking ownership of it."

The Justice Department is conducting a pattern and practice inquiry of the Ferguson police. That complicates plans expressed by some officials who want to dissolve the entire Ferguson Police Department and turn over law enforcement to county police.

In an interview with CNN last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department was looking at the leadership of the Police Department as part of its ongoing investigation of the department's practices.

"We have an ongoing -- having a practice investigation into the Ferguson Police Department. And we're looking at a whole variety of things, including the leadership of that department, the practices that the department engages in, the nature of the interaction between the department and the community that it is supposed to serve," Holder said. "So I think it's a little premature for me at this point to comment on the leadership of the Ferguson Police Department. That is certainly something that we are looking at."

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Nncy Dillon Oct-28-2014 138 0
The former "Scandal" actor was slapped with another bench warrant when he missed a mandatory hearing in his felony battery case related to an alleged bar fight last March.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court judge who issued the warrant also revoked the actor's prior bond and doubled his bail, Short's lawyer said.

The lawyer said Short tried to make the hearing but was bumped from a flight in Atlanta.

"His failure to appear was due to circumstances beyond his control," lawyer Michael Levin told the Daily News.

He said Short was still trying to make his way to California late Monday but was worried the warrant might kick in quickly and cause him to be arrested before boarding a flight in Atlanta.
Levin said Short was considering "alternative transportation" to get to the Los Angeles courtroom without being taken into custody in another jurisdiction.

Short, 32, recently spent several days in jail for an earlier bench warrant issued Aug. 21 over a prior missed appearance in the felony case.

He was a no-show because a different judge at another courthouse had deputies place in handcuffs the morning of Aug. 21 when he arrived late for an unrelated misdemeanor domestic violence case involving his estranged wife Tanee McCall.

He copped a plea deal in the misdemeanor case hours later and was sentenced to three years probation, 30 days of community labor and counseling.

He recently told The News he wants another crack at the domestic abuse case, claiming he only pleaded no contest because he was under duress and wanted to race across town for the felony appearance.

"I took a deal when I didn't really know what was going on. It was so rushed. I was in custody, and I was trying to make it to the courthouse (for the felony case)," he told The News.

"That day was hell," he said.

Short was adamant he never hurt McCall.

"I've never touched a woman, never touched a woman like that in my life," Short claimed in an exclusive interview.

Short, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to the felony battery of alleged victim Felton Hyche III.

Hyche claims Short "viciously lunged" at him after they had a verbal disagreement outside an engagement party at Gabe's Bar and Grill.

The 37-year-old resident of San Bernardino, Calif., claimed Short knocked him to the ground with a "cowardly" sucker punch.

"I'm going to fight this all the way," Short said of the felony case last month.

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Jason Molinet Oct-27-2014 241 0
A Missouri woman was indicted by a grand jury after her 10-week-old son suffocated to death while she was drinking and smoking marijuana, authorities allege.

Jordan Danielle Glenn, 24, of Wentzville, Mo., was indicted by a St. Charles County grand jury last week on felony counts of abuse or neglect of a child and endangering the welfare of a child, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Glenn was arrested Oct. 22 and released on $50,000 bail.

Glenn drank alcohol and was high on pot and pain killers when she failed to check on her child, identified only as A.H., police said.

She also didn’t feed the baby for more than 16 hours and left the boy sleeping on his abdomen in an adult bed, police said.

The child suffocated and died May 4, an autopsy revealed, Westplex Daily News reported.

Two other children in the home at the time were removed and placed in protective custody.

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