Rest in Peace, Jim Vance – you were a shining star for a lot of years in DC.
One of the truly greats passed yesterday… Had seen him in concert at least half a dozen times through the years. His voice had a range and versatility beyond anyone else in the Jazz and Fusion arena.
My personal favorite song by Al Jarreau –
This one is tough. Gwen Ifill was one of the most intelligent people in the News business. Goodbye Gwen! You will surely be missed.
Gwen Ifill, a pioneering figure as the first African-American woman to co-anchor a national newscast and serve as solo anchor of a weekly public affairs show, died Monday of cancer at a hospice in Washington. The former Baltimore Evening Sun reporter was 61.
Ifill covered government in Maryland and Baltimore for The Evening Sun from 1981 to 1984. She left for a position at the Washington Post.
Her broadcast career began at the Evening Sun when she appeared on “Maryland Newswrap,” a production of Maryland Public Television.
“She’s got a good nose for news and she knows how to explain stories,” Everett Marshburn, then a vice president at MPT said in an interview with “Broadcasting & Cable,” a trade publication. “She’s tenacious and she’s intelligent.”
Gwen Ifill, an award-winning television journalist for NBC and PBS, former reporter for The New York Times and author who moderated vice-presidential debates in 2004 and 2008, died on Monday in Washington. She was 61.
Her death, at a hospice facility, was announced by Sara Just, executive producer of “PBS NewsHour.” The cause was cancer, PBS said.
Ms. Ifill was the moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and the co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff, of PBS NewsHour, the culmination of a career that began in 1981 at The Baltimore Evening Sun. Both she and Ms. Woodruff moderated a Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in February.
Ms. Ifill later reported for The Washington Post and The Times, covering Congress, presidential campaigns and national political conventions.
She is also the author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” which was published on inauguration day in 2009.
Those without at least a passing interest in the sport of MMA probably aren’t going to know who Kimbo Slice is. In a lot of ways he compares to 70’s icon Mr. T, who burst to fame initially on a TV Contest show, and parlayed that into a part on a TV Series and numerous appearances in Movies. Slice got his fame in illicit backyard bare knuckle fights broadcast over the Internet. Caught in poverty after a hurricane destroyed his home in Florida, Slice did what he had to to survive. His fierce demeanor was a fan favorite, which – more than athletic ability, propelled him into the world of MMA by fan demand. In the UFC, he was hopelessly over-matched by guys who had spent a lifetime in the sport, and had been trained by the very best. Despite that, he sold tickets. Slice’s MMA fame never converted into media deals. The fans loved Slice because of his personality.
Professional mixed martial artist Kimbo Slice died Monday at age 42, Bellator MMA announced.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the devastating and untimely loss of Kimbo Slice, a beloved member of the Bellator family,” Bellator president Scott Coker said in a statement, calling Slice “a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that transcended the sport.”
“Outside of the cage he was a friendly, gentle giant and a devoted family man,” Coker said. “His loss leaves us all with extremely heavy hearts, and our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Ferguson family and all of Kimbo’s friends, fans, and teammates.”
There was no word on the cause of Slice’s death.
Slice had been hospitalized earlier Monday in Margate, Florida, for undisclosed reasons, according to Coral Springs police, who had been dispatched to his residence to prevent a potential gathering outside. They said no foul play was suspected.
“We lost our brother today,” Slice’s longtime manager, Mike Imber, said in a text message to The Associated Press.
Slice, birth name Kevin Ferguson, was a former backyard brawler and internet sensation. A heavyweight at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, he had a 5-2 professional record with four TKOs.
He was signed to Bellator MMA and scheduled to headline Bellator 158 on July 16 in London against James Thompson.
He last fought at Bellator 149 on Feb. 19 in Houston. He defeated Dhafir Harris, aka Dada5000, in a three-round decision. The result was later changed to a no-contest by the Texas commission, after Slice tested positive for anabolic steroids and an elevated testosterone ratio.
In America, white people actually have to have guns and shoot at Police to be killed.
But…Thanks for taking out the trash.
An “imperial wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan died Friday after an hours-long standoff with police, WALB reports.
J.J. Harper exchanged fire with police during an 8-hour standoff in Dooly County following a domestic dispute. He was a well-known and active member of the KKK, law enforcement confirmed.
“Yes, he was. He had a membership drive on the courthouse steps,” Dooly County Sheriff’s deputy David Grantham told WALB.
During the standoff, “Harper exited and entered his residence multiple times wearing a bullet resistant vest, gas mask, and other weapons to include a long gun and handguns,” police said in a statement to the Telegraph.
Police told the station that during the standoff, Harper had vowed, “Someone’s going to die today.” He shot multiple rounds at police and officers returned fire before Harper walked inside his home and a gunshot was heard.
Harper was confirmed dead inside the home.
Wow! A chance for the Supreme court to be Supreme again!
Now…If only his shadow, Uncle Tommie would give up the ghost.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead Saturday, CBS News has confirmed.
According to the San Antonio News-Express, which was first to report his death, Scalia was found dead in his room at a West Texas resort.
Scalia, 79, was one of the staunchest conservative members of the court. He was nominated in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan and is the longest-serving member on the court.
He championed the philosophy of “orginalism,” meaning he interprets the Constitution according to what he believes the original authors intended over 200 years ago.
In a 2008 interview with “60 Minutes,” he told correspondent Lesley Stahl that he believes the Constitution is an “enduring” document he wants to defend….
His replacement to the court would be President Obama’s third nomination. He previously nominated Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. But CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford said it is unclear whether the Republican-held Senate will entertain a nomination from Mr. Obama or wait for a new president to be elected this November.
“It could be very unlikely that President Obama that will get that nomination,” Crawford said. “This court could remain with eight justices until the next president takes office. I think that’s very unclear what will happen.”
“This vote will change the balance of the Supreme Court if a liberal is nominated,” she added.
Yest another “mysterious death” of a black woman held in a jail…
The so called “choke hold” used in Martial Arts disciplines doesn’t produce unconsciousness by shutting of the air supply…It produces it by shutting off the blood supply to the brain. If you have ever watched MMA, check out how long it takes for these extremely well conditioned athletes to get up after being submitted with one of those holds. These holds can be lethal, which is why the referees in the sport are trained to jump in at the first sign of unconsciousness.
Using such on a child, with no threat of harm to anyone else is extreme. Yet another murder.
A staffer working at a Kentucky juvenile detention center used a martial arts hold on 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen hours before she was found dead in her cell,reports CBS.
According to a spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice, the teen refused to remove her sweatshirt for a pat down search and to have her booking photo taken, leading a staffer to use an “Aikido restraint” on her in order to get her to comply.
“The staff performed an Aikido restraint hold to safely conduct a pat-down search and remove the youth’s hoodie,” spokesperson Stacy Floden stated. “The purpose of having multiple staff involved in a controlled restraint is to ensure the safety of the youth and staff.”
McMillen was found dead in her cell at the Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center on Jan. 11, after officials failed to check on her well-being throughout the night.
According to center policy, juvenile detainees in isolation cells must be checked on every 15 minutes by staffers.
On Thursday, Reginald Windham, a 10-year veteran of the juvenile justice department, was placed on administrative leave for failing to check on the teen.
According to the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting, McMillen’s cold lifeless body was discovered “in a sleeping position” in a “secure” room at 9:55 a.m., after failing to respond to twice earlier when asked if she wanted to eat.
Despite her lack of communication, staffers never entered her cell to check on her.
According to the Hardin County coroner there were no obvious signs of trauma or a drug overdose, and that a toxicology report is still pending and could take two more weeks.
Juvenile justice expert Michele Deitch criticized the use of martial arts on the teen.
“I’ve never heard that phrase used in the context of a corrections setting,” Deitch said, adding refusal to remove a sweatshirt is not acceptable grounds for restraint.
“As far as I’m concerned that is a completely inappropriate use of a restraint,” Deitch said. “This goes back to not being so punitive with kids. That’s not just how you interact if you want to achieve a positive social response.”
McMillen was taken into custody after a fight at at a Shelby County residence shortly before 2 a.m. on Jan. 10, according to the Shelbyville Police Department. The teen was was charged with misdemeanor assault after leaving her victim with what were described as “minor injuries.”
The family of McMillen have asked for a full investigation into the teen’s death, and video from her cell has yet to be released.
This one truly stretches all credulity. A man, arrested for a minor infraction – searched twice by two separate officers, shot himself in the chest, while sitting handcuffed with his hands behind him in the back of a Police Car.
But according to the full final report of the Iberia Parish coroner, which was released nearly six months later and obtained exclusively by NBC News, White was shot in the front, not the back. The bullet entered his right chest and exited under his left armpit. White was left-handed, according to family members. According to the report, the forensic pathologist found gunshot residue in the wound, but not the sort of stippling that a close-range shot can sometimes produce. He also found abrasions on White’s face.
And yet, despite the contradictions – and even though White’s hands were never tested for gunpowder residue – the Iberia Parish coroner still supported the central contention of the initial police statement issued back in March. Dr. Carl Ditch ruled that White shot himself, and declared his death a suicide.
It’s been 541 days since Victor White, a 22-year old black man from New Iberia, LA, was shot dead while handcuffed in the back of a state police cruiser. It’s been 358 days since the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lafayette, LA launched its investigation into Mr. White’s death. And we’ve yet to hear an account of what happened to him. No one, it seems, can explain why this young man died with a hole in his chest.
The circumstances surrounding White’s death are beyond suspicious. What little we do know raises more questions than answers. On March 2, 2014, White and a friend, Isaiah Lewis, walked to a local convenience store, where they purchased cigars. A fight erupted outside between two unidentified men. When the brawl ended, White and Lewis left on foot and were stopped by Corp. Justin Ortis of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
After discovering a negligible amount of marijuana in White’s pocket, the officer detained him and called for backup. White was handcuffed with his arms behind him and placed in the back seat of the cruiser. What’s crucial to note is that before being detained, White was searched a second time for contraband and weapons – and no weapons were found. When the second officer arrived at the scene, White was transported to the local station for further questioning.
What happened after that remains a mystery.
What we know is that White never saw the inside of that patrol station. He died of a gunshot wound while detained in the squad car. According to the Sheriff’s Office, White became agitated and refused to leave the vehicle. If you believe the original police statement (and you shouldn’t), White then produced a handgun (while handcuffed) and managed to shoot himself in the back before the deputy could find help.
This story can’t be believed without suspending common sense. First, how is it possible that White had a gun on his person after being patted down twice? That isn’t remotely plausible. Even more suspicious are the contradictory reports filed by the police and the coroner’s office. The police claim that White shot himself in the back while the coroner’s report says he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Adding to the confusion, the coroner, Dr. Carl M. Ditch, failed to address this inconsistency in his report. With no explanation whatsoever, he concluded (along with the Sheriff’s Office) that White’s death was “self-inflicted” – indeed he went so far as to call it a “suicide.”
Everything about this case invites skepticism. The details don’t add up. Local officials are refusing to comment further, hiding behind a pending federal probe, the progress of which remains unclear. This is a disgrace. What happened to Victor White in New Iberia is every bit as egregious as what happened to Freddie Gray in Baltimore or to Michael Brown in Ferguson or to Sandra Bland in Texas or to Samuel Dubose in Cincinnati or to Eric Garner in New York.
If there’s a difference, it’s that White’s death has received comparatively little coverage. New Iberia is a small town in a small state and even an injustice on this scale fails to capture the country’s attention the way others have. Consequently, local and federal officials in Louisiana have yet to feel the pressure and scrutiny of national media – that has to change….More…
Another one which we will never probably know the details of what really happened. A dark alley, 2 suspects fleeing, Police in hot pursuit – one of the suspects purportedly pulls a gun…
Seems to be a repetitive story, sometimes true…Sometimes not.
Think it is a better idea to wait and see what the story really is.
Police shot and killed a black man in St. Louis on Wednesday in a killing that drew angry crowds 10 days after protesters marked the anniversary of the police shooting of an unarmed teen in nearby Ferguson.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the shooting took place as officers were attempting to execute a search warrant in a crime-ridden neighborhood, when two young black men ran out the back door of the targeted house.
Police officers confronted the suspects in the alley behind the house and one suspect pointed a gun at officers who then fired approximately four times, killing him, Dotson said.
Despite the police explanation of events, dozens of people gathered near the scene protesting the police use of deadly force, according to local media.
Rodney King, the man whose beating by Los Angeles Policemen spawned a series of events culminating in days of rioting in Los Angeles is dead at the age of 47 – apparently the victim of drowning.
Rodney King — the man who was at the center of the infamous Los Angeles riots — was found dead this morning in Rialito, CA. He was 47.
According to our sources, King’s fiancée found him dead at the bottom of a pool.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ they responded to a call at 5:25 AM PT. We’re told they physically removed King from the pool and attempted CPR.
Our sources say he was pronounced dead at 6:11 AM.
Law enforcement sources say Rialto PD will open a drowning investigation.
King became famous in 1991 when he was the victim of police brutality at the hands of the LAPD. The officers involved in the incident were acquitted the following year and the announcement of the verdict led to the Los Angeles riots.
This one from the Tripoli Post. There are unconfirmed reports that Muhhhamar Ghadaffi was killed when NATO planes struck a convoy in which he was travelling trying to escape.
Russia TV is broadcasting a photo, claiming is it Ghadaffi (warning – graphic!)
Unconfirmed reports from Libya indicate that the former Libyan dictator Muammar Al Qathafi has been captured and killed. This comes after the revolutionaries took Al Qathafi’s hometown of Sirte, and the final stronghold of his loyalists.
A senior NTC official has said that Muammar Al Qathafi has died of his wounds after being captured near Sirte and that the head of his armed forces, Abu Bakr Younis Jabr has also been killed.
At first, the National Transitional Council’s field commander, Jamal abu-Shaalah, reportedly said that Al Qathafi had been seized, but it was not clear whether he was dead or alive. Another NTC official, Abdel Majid, was quoted saying: “Al Qathafi is captured and is wounded.”
First reports stated that Al Qathafi was wounded in both legs and that he had been carried in an ambulance towards hospital
But then Abdel Majid was reported saying that Al Qathafi was trying to flee in a convoy that had been attacked by NATO warplanes, and that Abu Bakr Younus Jabr had been killed during Al Qathafi’s capture.
Majid said NATO warplanes struck the convoy and hit four cars as it headed west. Ahmed Ibrahim, a cousin and adviser of Ql Qathafi, was also captured.
He went on to say: “He’s captured. He’s wounded in both legs … He’s been taken away by ambulance.” He added that Younis Jabr, the head of Al Qathafi’s armed forces, was killed during the capture of the former leader.
The news came shortly after NTC claimed capturing Sirte after weeks of fighting.
The NTC top officials have not yet confirmed Al Qathafi’s capture. Neither NATO nor the US state department could confirm the reports of the capture of Al Qathafi who has not been seen since NTC fighters seized Tripoli, the Libyan capital two months ago.
Sources have told tripolipost.com that Al Qathafi’s body is being taken to a hospital in Misurata so that the medics could confirm or not that the dead body belongs to the former Libyan leader.
Meanwhile in Benghazi, crowds gathered in the streets have started to celebrate the reports of Al Qathafi’s capture.
Sources to the NTC were said to be very cautious and must make doubly sure that A Qathafi has been captured. The suggestion should, at present, be taken with a substantial pinch of salt after earlier question marks over the “capture” of Al Qathafi’s son Seif.
The first hints that Al Qathafi could have been captured was given by National Transitional Council’s information minister, Mahmoud Shammam, when he appeared on Al Jazeera and stopped short of confirming the claim, which is being widely reported on Libyan TV…
Now – if we could only follow suit and put a few of our own war criminals in jail (preferably without the bloodshed) who lied us into an illegal invasion of Iraq.
Been a long tragic struggle. I think most people are guessing that the drugs finally won…
In a statement, the London Metropolitan Police said, “Police were called by London Ambulance Service to an address in Camden Square NW1 shortly before 16.05hrs today, Saturday 23 July, following reports of a woman found deceased. On arrival officers found the body of a 27-year-old female who was pronounced dead at the scene. Enquiries continue into the circumstances of the death. At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained.”
A suspected drug overdose took the life of the singer, Nick Buckley of the Sunday Mirror tweeted.
She’s battled drug addiction for years, having most recently checked back into rehabilitation in May.
Winehouse entered treatment in late 2007 for drug problems, including admitted heroin use.
Earlier in the day, Tim Gatt of Sky News tweeted a statement from her manager saying that she was canceling upcoming performances, writing, “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.”
You really got to wonder why in the middle of a recession, and with gas prices the way they are – people are still driving these damn things.
Bushit era excess. Couple of folks down the road from me have Hummers – Every time I see them I root for a tree to jump out in front of them.
Beautiful sister, killed by a pig.
Natasha Pettigrew, a Maryland Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, died late Monday, two days after a Cadillac Escalade hit her while she was bicycling. The 30-year-old was training for a triathlon about an hour before sunrise, the Washington Post reports:
In a statement, Maryland Green Party co-chairman Brian Bittner said that Pettigrew had “incredible potential as a future leader for this party and this state” and that the Green Party had “never experienced a loss like this.”
“We all looked forward to working with Natasha for years to come,” Bittner said.
Pettigrew was hit by a sport-utility vehicle traveling near the intersection of Campus Way. State police said the driver apparently thought she had hit a deer or another animal and realized what had happened only when she arrived home and found Pettigrew’s bicycle trapped under her car. Pettigrew was not dragged by the vehicle but suffered severe injuries, police said.
Do you think when the guy didn’t jump out of the car to protest the ticket…
That might have been a hint?
Nicholas Rappold was parked illegally on a New York street, so a traffic agent issued him a parking ticket. Only one problem: Rappold was dead in his car at the time. The officer apparently couldn’t see Rappold through the “heavily tinted windows,” a police source tells the New York Daily News, but family members are still upset: “It’s really messed up,” says his cousin. “While he was dead in his car, a New York City traffic agent gave him a ticket.”
Rappold had been at a friend’s house and left in the middle of the night. Early Tuesday morning, the traffic agent issued a citation because his Jeep Cherokee was illegally parked during street sweeping. No one realized he was dead for another hour, when his friend saw the vehicle outside and went to see why Rappold hadn’t left yet. No official cause of death is known, but investigators believe Rappold, who did a stint in rehab for pill abuse, overdosed. Not surprisingly, the parking summons was voided.
Former Alaska US Senator Ted Stevens was killed in a plane crash last night. Stevens was the longest serving member of elected Alaska Congressmen and Senators to serve in Washington, prior to being voted out after being convicted on charges of corruption. Stevens survived a crash in 1978 which killed his wife, Ann. Condolences to Mr. Steven s family, and the people of Alaska he served for so many years.
Rescue crews from the Alaska Air National Guard and theUnited States Coast Guard arrived on the scene more than 10 hours after the crash, hampered by rain and fog in an area of mountains and lakes north of Bristol Bay.
UPDATE – Keith Cowing NASAWatch.com: 2:22 PM EDT: According to a family source both Sean O’Keefe and his son Kevin than survived the plane crash but they are both rather banged up.
The family of Mr. Stevens issued a statement on Tuesday morning that expressed concern but said nothing about the former senator’s fate:
“The Ted Stevens family offers their prayers for all those on board and for their families. We thank the brave men and women who are working to reach the site. We continue to work with the Alaska National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Alaska State Troopers. We thank everyone for their support and prayers.” The crash occurred about 320 miles southwest of Anchorage before 8 p.m. Alaska Daylight time, the National Transportation Safety Boardsaid. Another plane spotted the downed aircraft around 7 p.m. and notified authorities, the National Guard said.
Mr. Stevens, 86, was among the group flying to a lodge near Lake Aleknagik, where he often spent summers fishing. It was unclear why he and the other passengers were headed there.
The N.T.S.B. said that the crash was about 10 miles northwest of Lake Aleknagik, and the aircraft was a DeHavilland DHC-3T. The single-engine, high-wing airplane plane is owned by GCI, the Alaskan telecommunications provider, as is the lodge.
The plane went undetected by radar, because in the area where it went down, about 20 miles north of Dillingham, there is no radar coverage below about 4,000 feet, according to one air traffic control expert familiar with the area. The expert asked not to be identified because the N.T.S.B. is in charge of releasing information. The flight was under visual flight rules, two people familiar with the area said, meaning that it was not being directed by air traffic controllers. The N.T.S.B. said it was sending a team of investigators to the crash site, even though it said it did not know the identity of those on board. The agency does not ordinarily send a board member from Washington to the crashes of private or corporate planes. Mr. Stevens was the longest-serving Republican senator until he lost his bid for a seventh term in 2008 after he was found guilty of corruption charges; the case was later thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct.
His stature in Alaska seemed to have remained virtually intact despite the scandal, and recently he had been campaigning with the state’s Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski. Sen. Murkowski issued a statement asking Alaskans to pray for those aboard the aircraft.
Mr. Stevens survived another plane crash on Dec. 4, 1978, that killed five of seven people on board, including his first wife, Ann. He was traveling on a Lear jet that crashed when landing at Anchorage International Airport, which was renamed Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in honor of the senator in 2000.
Before that 1978 crash, Mr. Stevens reportedly spoke of a premonition that he would die in a plane crash, a fate that is not unknown to many in Alaska who travel the vast state in small planes.