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Baylor strength coach arrested on prostitution charge
TOMMY WITHERSPOON Feb-07-2017 143 0


A member of the Baylor University athletics department was arrested early Saturday morning in a prostitution sting.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said Brandon Washington, 33, was arrested by deputies at a local hotel on a solicitation of prostitution charge, a Class B misdemeanor.

The sheriff identified Washington as a strength coach at Baylor. Baylor confirmed that Washington was employed by Baylor when he was arrested early Saturday, but said he was immediately fired upon the school learning of the arrest. County records identify Washington as an employee of 1090 Athletics.

The Baylor athletics website contained no mention of Washington as of late Monday evening.
Washington was a member of the strength training staff at Temple University in 2016. New Baylor head football coach Matt Rhule was hired away from Temple in December.

A statement from the Baylor athletics department sent late Monday reads, in full: “After a full criminal background check was completed and cleared, Brandon Washington was recently hired as an assistant in the Football Strength and Conditioning area. Baylor was notified on February 4 of Brandon Washington’s arrest and terminated his employment immediately that day.”

“When we arrived at Baylor, we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” Rhule said. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

Deputies arrested Washington shortly after 12 a.m. Saturday after Washington arrived at the hotel to meet a prostitute, McNamara said.

Washington was released from the McLennan County Jail on Saturday after posting $1,000 bond.
Washington’s arrest comes in the midst of a sexual assault scandal the university has been mired in for more than a year and a half.

The scandal led to the May 26, 2016, firings of former head football coach Art Briles, who was temporarily replaced by Jim Grobe until Rhule was hired, along with former President Ken Starr being removed from the presidency. Starr later resigned as a tenured member of the Baylor Law School faculty.

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caleb Mar-27-2017 79 0
Former Texas Christian University quarterback Trevone Boykin was arrested early Monday in Dallas after police found 7 grams of marijuana in his Gucci bag while investigating an alleged drunk driving incident that injured several people.

Boykin, 23, was booked into the Dallas County Jail on a marijuana possession charge on a $500 bond.

According to his arrest report, Boykin was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by Shabrika Bailey, 25, who allegedly crashed into a building and hit "several" pedestrians in the 2600 block of Howell Street around 2:15 a.m. while intoxicated.

Police say she was accelerating in reverse at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash.

"The impact of the crash into the building caused bottles of alcohol and a large ice cooler to fall, hitting the bartender and causing injury," according to a statement from Demarquis Black, a spokesman for the Dallas Police Department.

Seven people were transported to nearby hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.

After the crash, Boykin allegedly fled the scene, but police found his Texas ID card and his debit card in the car while they investigated the accident.

Bailey allegedly called Boykin and told him to come back to the scene. While police were investigating the crash and interviewing the driver, Boykin returned and spoke with police.

Police say his eyes were bloodshot, he was swaying and became argumentative with officers. He was then arrested for public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Bailey was booked on two charges of intoxication assault with a vehicle, a third-degree felony.

When police conducted a routine inventory of the vehicle, they found a Gucci bag with men's clothes inside, as well as a sealed bag with 7 grams of marijuana inside. Boykin told police the bag was his, and police charged him with possession of marijuana less than 2 ounces, a Class B misdemeanor.

Boykin was the starting quarterback for the TCU football team in 2014 and 2015. He is currently a quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks.

He was previously arrested in San Antonio for hitting a police officer during a bar fight in December 2015, just days before he was to lead TCU against Oregon University in the Alamo Bowl game.
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Krissah Thompson Mar-26-2017 205 0
The first cocktail party at Barack Obama’s new office last month was certainly more casual than any he had hosted in recent years. The wine bore a random assortment of labels, as if assembled potluck-style. The self-serve appetizers were set out in the narrow hallway. The host, tieless, eschewed formal remarks, as a few dozen of his old administration officials — Joe Biden and former chief of staff Denis McDonough, as well as more junior ones — mingled in a minimalist wood-paneled suite that could be mistaken for a boutique law firm.

“It was a bit of a shock to the system,” said Peter Velz, who used to work in the White House communications office. “You’re bumping up right against the vice president as he’s getting cheese from the cheese plate.”

As the dinner hour drew near, the former president exited with a familiar excuse, Velz recalled: “He was joking if he doesn’t get back to Michelle, he’s going to be in trouble.”

So far, Obama is trying to approach his post-presidency in the same way as his cocktail-hosting duties — keeping things low-key, despite clamoring from Democrats for him to do more. “He is enjoying a lower profile where he can relax, reflect and enjoy his family and friends,” said his former senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

But the unprecedented nature of this particular post-presidency means his respite could be brief. Even while taking some downtime in the South Pacific last week, Obama put out a statement urging Republicans not to unilaterally dismantle his signature health care law.

Not only are the Obamas still young and unusually popular for a post-White House couple, their decision to stay in Washington while their younger daughter finishes high school has combined with the compulsion of the new Trump administration to keep pulling them back into the spotlight.

President Trump has repeatedly invoked his predecessor to blame him for the “mess” he says he inherited: “jobs pouring out of the country,” “major problems” in the Middle East and North Korea. A post-election show of camaraderie has ended; the two have not spoken since Trump took office.

Trump dropped any remaining veneer of politeness this month with a series of tweets accusing Obama — without a shred of evidence — of illegally surveilling Trump Tower during the campaign. Obama was privately irritated at the allegation, which the director of the FBI and lawmakers from both parties dismissed as unfounded.

He has attempted to stay above the fray, watching from the sidelines as Republicans have pressed to unravel a slew of his initiatives — and emphasizing the need for a new generation of political leaders to step up in his place.

And yet, while other recent ex-presidents have devoted their retirement years to apolitical, do-gooder causes, Obama is gearing up to throw himself into the wonky and highly partisan issue of redistricting, with the goal of reversing the electoral declines Democrats have experienced nationally.

Both the continued interest in Obama and his desire to remain engaged in civic life place him in an unusual position for a former president. George W. Bush left office with low approval rates, retreating to Dallas to write a memoir and take up painting. Bill Clinton decamped for New York on a somewhat higher note politically but downshifted to a mission of building his family’s foundation and supporting his wife’s political career.

Can the Obamas put their heads down and build their ambitious presidential center while living only blocks from the White House? Or is it inevitable that he will get pulled back into the political swamp?

In February, Obama attended a Broadway performance of Arthur Miller’s “The Price” along with his older daughter, Malia, and Jarrett. They slipped into the theater after the lights went down and left before they came up, most of the audience unaware of his presence — until a New York Times reporter sitting in front of him tweeted about it. By the time Obama left, a crowd had gathered outside.

Paparazzi wait outside of the D.C. SoulCycle exercise studio that Michelle Obama frequents, though she clearly does not appear interested in being photographed.

“They are still decompressing from an extremely intense period. It actually started not just eight years ago but really since his 2004 convention speech — and it never let up,” said a former senior West Wing staffer. “It’s like 12 years of extremely intense stress, political activity, scrutiny, responsibility as a national leader, and for the first lady as the surrogate-in-chief. .?.?. That’s been a big load for the both of them.”

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Liz Farmer Mar-22-2017 262 0
An 18-year-old Texas woman's claim that she was abducted and assaulted two weeks ago were a hoax, Denison police said Wednesday.

The incident caused a whirlwind of speculation in the town near the Oklahoma border after the bloody woman ran into a church wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear and lied about two black men raping her while a third held her down, Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said.

The woman, identified as Breana Harmon Talbott, confessed to the hoax Tuesday, Burch said.

Talbott was arrested Wednesday on a charge of making a false report to a peace officer.
Police still aren't completely clear on the teen's motive, Denison police Lt. Mike Eppler later said.

In a searing statement, Burch said Talbott caused fear in the area and wasted the department's time and resources.

"Breana Harmon Talbott's hoax was also insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community due to her description of the so-called suspects in her hoax. The anger and hurts caused from such a hoax are difficult and so unnecessary."

The Denison Police Department also plans to seek restitution for the cost of the investigation.
"It's unfortunate a person can falsely report such a major incident in our community that wastes the time of law enforcement and needlessly puts some people in fear," Burch said.

The department believes Talbott staged the crime scene March 8. She also admitted that the cuts on her body were self-inflicted.

Officers initially responded to a call from a man, who described himself as her fiancé and claimed she was missing. He said her vehicle had been found outside an apartment in the 3800 block of Texoma Parkway about 5:30 p.m. with the driver's door open and her phone, keys and a shoe nearby.

The department mobilized all available resources to look for her, even putting other cases aside to focus on the apparent abduction.

She later walked into New Creation Church, in the 3400 block of South Eisenhower Parkway, where she told witnesses she'd been kidnapped and sexually assaulted in the woods behind the building.
Talbott told detectives she was near her vehicle at the apartment when "three black males" in ski masks kidnapped her in a black SUV before raping her.

She was taken to a hospital, where, Burch said, "it is our understanding that medical personnel who examined Talbott were unable to corroborate that Talbott had been sexually assaulted."
Within a day or two of the incident, detectives doubted most of her allegations.

"The puzzle pieces just weren't coming together," Burch said. "We were unable to corroborate any of Talbott's allegations that she had been abducted or sexually assaulted."
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EVAN GROSSMAN Mar-21-2017 130 0
Colin Kaepernick may be out of a job and he may have pledged to end his kneeling protest of the national anthem, but he continues his work to make the world a better place.

Kaepernick recently made twin $50,000 donations to Meals on Wheels America and the Love Army for Somalia, a social media campaign that’s trying to raise $2 million for food and water for starving people in that African nation.

Since he began his social justice crusade last year, Kaepernick has donated an estimated $500,000 to assorted charities and community groups. On the free-agent quarterback’s website, kaepernick7.com, there is a running log of the donations he’s made.

In January, the last month listed on the site, Kaepernick donated $25,000 each to Brooklyn-based Black Veterans for Social Justice and 350.org, the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, and the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

Since October, Kaepernick has donated $100,000 a month, mostly in $25,000 increments, to a variety of social and community programs dedicated to helping the less fortunate among us.

While President Donald Trump, among others, continues to rip Kaepernick for kneeling during the “Star-Spangled Banner” (and recently presented a federal budget that aims to de-fund programs like Meals on Wheels), Kaepernick has worked to improve the lives of veterans, poor people, minorities, women and immigrants.

It makes you wonder, exactly, who is really working to Make America Great, and who is full of it.
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MOLLY CRANE-NEWMAN Mar-21-2017 95 0
A brutal Bronx nanny was sentenced Tuesday to up to four years in prison for fatally stomping a 20-month-old boy in a bizarre wrestling match at her home day-care center.

The dead boy’s parents choked back tears as Athena Skeeter stood only a few feet away to hear Judge Miriam Best impose the sentence.

Little Cardell Williamson was killed in August 2014 while under the care of Skeeter, 42, a state-licensed day-care provider. She arrived in court wearing prison beige prison garb for the hearing.

In a strange twist, the suspect — who took a March 2 plea deal to a manslaughter count — could possibly walk out of prison in the very near future.

The sentence is 1 1/3-to-4 years in prison, and Skeeter has already served more than two years behind bars. The state parole board will determine her release date — or if she does all four years.

Authorities said Skeeter placed the mortally injured boy into a scalding hot tub after throwing the child on a hardwood floor and stomping on his stomach.

She also acknowledged throwing her own son on top of Cardell — and then stepping on both boys another three times.

“Never got to take him trick-or-treating, Halloween,” said the morose Williamson, 58. “Doing a real good birthday where he understands. I missed all that.

“I missed all them Kodak moments.”

Cheatham, 35, stood with tears in her eyes as prosecutor Danielle Pascale read her victim impact statement.

“I’m just kind of upset that it turned out the way it did,” said Cheatham after the hearing. “I think it is not enough time.”

But the DA’s office said the parents signed off on the deal allowing Skeeter to plead down from a murder charge.

“Three years of misery’s enough for me,“ said Williamson. “I’m just trying to maintain my sanity, what I have left, and move on to the next battle.”
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Ian Auzenne Mar-18-2017 153 0
OPELOUSAS - Three former Westminster Christian Academy students accused of hanging a noose on campus are now charged with intent to intimidate and public display of a noose.

The school released an updated statement today, which says that none of the students involved are enrolled at the school now.

Judah Benjamin Barber, 18, surrendered to deputies at the St. Landry Parish Jail after warrant was issued for his arrest. He was booked and bonded out. The two other students, both juveniles, were booked and released into their parents' custody.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says he moved forward with the charges after an investigation found enough probable cause to arrest the students.

"This kind of incident should never happen and will affect both sides the rest of their lives," Sheriff Guidroz said in a press release. "Jokes or actions like this are hateful, humiliating, and degrading to the persons who they are directed to and will cast a very dark shadow on the students that preformed the actions for the rest of their lives."
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Paula Rogo Mar-18-2017 120 0
Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to make philanthropic waves after securing a way to provide relief to the people of Somalia.

After joining a Twitter campaign begging Turkish Airlines to send a cargo plane with aid, the former quarterback announced on Twitter Friday that he had secured one from the airline to bring supplies to the East African nation.

Colin Kaepernick ? @Kaepernick7
We got the plane! Now it's time to raise funds for food and water. You can donate at http://GoFundMe.com/lovearmyforsomalia … #LoveArmyForSomalia

“Amazing news, Turkish Airlines granted us an airplane to fly to Somalia, a 60-ton cargo plane so we can fly there with food, with water for these people,” said Kaepernick in a video. “Now we’ve started a GoFundMe page to allow anyone to help us donate food, donate water. We’ll make sure every cent goes to help these people.”

Turkish Airlines is one of the few that travel to Somalia, and the flight is expected to take place March 27.

The GoFundMe page’s goal is $1 million, a number it quickly surpassed in 24 hours.

“This is a victory for the people, this is a victory for the people of Somalia,” said Kaepernick. “It was done out of love, out of respect for these people. We wanted to bring structure to this so we’re going to use the name Love Army for Somalia. So use the #LoveArmyforSomalia. This is amazing, let’s keep building, let’s keep going.”
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TERENCE CULLEN Mar-18-2017 140 0
An unarmed man was shot to death by Tennessee cops — after they claim he tried to run him over while acting unstable — recorded the shooting live on Facebook.

Rodney James Hess, 36, streamed two videos Thursday as he sat in his parked SUV, which cops said was blocking an off-ramp in Alamo, Tenn. He was shot after police claim they became worried he’d mow them down with his car.

Hess was transported to a hospital where he later died. Cops responded to calls around 2:15 Thursday afternoon that a truck was parked sideways on a highway exit.

The first video captures mostly before cops arrive. The 17-minute recording is relatively quiet and shows the car moving before the first Crockett County deputy arrives.

Family of mentally ill Ky. man shot by police demanding answers
Hess was acting “erratic” by the time more deputies arrived at the scene, said Josh DeVine, spokesman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Hess allegedly attempted to run deputies over twice during this unstable period, he added.

“At one point, preliminary information indicates Hess tried to use his vehicle, his SUV, to strike the officers at least twice,” DeVine told reporters Thursday night.

In the second video — which lasts just more than a minute — deputies are seen surrounding Hess’ car.

Hess' fiance told a local newspaper he was suffering from bipolar disorder. (VIA FACEBOOK)
Repeatedly, Hess is heard asking to speak with “the higher commands.”

“I would like the higher commands to come out,” he says in the video.

That’s when his car is seen moving in reverse. A deputy at the driver’s window waves something in his hand.

Then gun shots are heard, followed by Hess screaming in pain. The car is then seen moving before coming to a halt.

DeVine said a deputy shot Hess through his windshield as authorities became concerned he’d run them over.

“The information suggests that multiple officers were at risk of injury when this situation escalated,” he said.

Hess then drove his car “a short distance away” before crashing into a ravine, DeVine said.

Hess was shot by police after deputies surrounded his car as seen on his Facebook Live stream.
The slain man was not armed at the time, DeVine said, but added cops considered his car a weapon.

The videos don’t show Hess trying to run police over, but it appears there’s a time gap between the two recordings.

In an email to the Daily News, DeVine said TBI is aware of the recordings, but have yet to confirm their validity at this point.

Hess had a New Orleans address, and authorities initially weren’t sure what he was doing in Tennessee.

But relatives told NBC News he moved to Tennessee from Louisiana because of Hurricane Katrina.

His fiancé told the Jackson Sun that Hess suffered from bipolar disorder.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will hand over its findings to a district attorney general, who will then determine if cops acted improperly.
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Danielle Douglas-Gabriel Mar-17-2017 174 0
After meetings with the Trump administration last month, leaders of historically black colleges and universities expressed cautious optimism that the increased funding they requested might actually make it into the White House budget. It did not.

Instead, Trump’s first presidential budget released Thursday calls for “maintaining” $492 million in appropriations for HBCUs and minority-serving institutions. Combined discretionary spending for those schools, however, is actually $577 million right now. The White House directed questions about the discrepancy to the Education Department, which did not respond to requests for comment.

There is no mention in the budget of any federal investment in scholarships, technology or campus infrastructure for historically black colleges that leaders requested. And instead of expanding Pell grants for low-income students to cover summer courses as they had asked, the budget raids nearly $4 billion from the program’s reserves.

“Less than three weeks ago, this administration claimed it is a priority to advocate for HBCUs but, after viewing this budget proposal, those calls ring hollow,” Rep. Alama Adams (D-N.C.), a graduate of the largest HBCU, North Carolina A&T State University, said in a statement.

Johnny Taylor, president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said the proposed appropriations could be a lot worse considering the total amount of cuts on the table for the Education Department. He said HBCU advocates had to fight the Obama administration for funding, and stressed that the lines of communication remain open with the current administration.

“This is a process,” Taylor said. “We’re already had phone calls with the administration to say that as we go into the specific lines of this budget, this is where we’d like you to consider increases. This is only stage one.”

There was plenty of skepticism when the Trump administration made overtures toward black school leaders, including from students who questioned whether their college presidents were only being used for photo ops. It didn’t help when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called historically black institutions “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” a statement that HBCU advocates said ignored that the schools were a response to racist Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation.

Despite the controversy, HBCU leaders remained focused on funding and held out hope that Trump’s executive order regarding their schools would include some money. It did not. The order, signed in February, directs the White House initiative on HBCUs to operate from the White House instead of the Education Department. While some viewed the move as a signal that the more than 100 historically black schools were a priority for the administration, others said it was purely symbolic without monetary support.

At the time, United Negro College Fund President Michael L. Lomax, who attended the ceremonial signing, lamented the lack of financial support in the order, noting that none of the funding recommendations were included. Nevertheless, he encouraged HBCU advocates to continue to work with the administration and Congress. On Thursday, the UNCF urged the president to reconsider federal funding commitments and sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney reiterating recommendations made during last month’s meetings.

“President Trump pledged to do more for HBCUs than any other president has done before. However, this budget is not reflective of that sentiment,” Lomax said Thursday. “Without strong federal investments, President Trump’s commitment to HBCUs and the rebuilding of African American communities will be promises unfulfilled.”

Historically black schools educated nearly 300,000 students in 2014, the latest figure available from the National Center for Education Statistics. Education Department data shows that three-quarters of all doctorates awarded to African Americans and 80 percent of black federal judges earned an undergraduate degree at historically black schools.

Though the federal government sets aside money in the budget for historically black colleges, those schools have not benefited from the same level of public funding as other institutions of higher education. The disparity in funding public HBCUs, in particular, has resulted in a series of lawsuits, including a decade-old case in Maryland that is still being fought in the courts.

“You can’t just have a photo op for HBCUs and not create more funding for them,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said on a call with reporters Thursday. “These schools have been under austerity for years, and if they’re going to compete with others, they need more funding.”
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