All Articles Tagged "Georgia"
When I think about my lack of focus
today back in high school, I know that if I had grown up with just the slightest obstacles, I probably wouldn’t have made it. But thankfully, Georgia teenager, Chelesa had a drive and ambition unlike mine. Though she, her mother and her four siblings, were in and out of homeless shelters throughout her high school career, Fearce not only managed to graduate, she did so with a 4.4 GPA and a 1900 SAT score solidifying her spot as class valedictorian.
Fearce sat down with Georgia’s WSBTV.com to explain how she kept herself motivated despite bleak circumstances.
“I just told myself to keep working, because the future will not be like this anymore. You’re worried about your home life and then worried at school. Worry about being a little hungry sometimes, go hungry sometimes. You just have to deal with it. You eat what you can, when you can.”
In addition to excelling in her high school classes, during her last two years, Fearce took college courses. So many that when she enters Spelman College this fall, she’ll enroll as a junior.
Fearce is not the only one who inherited the brains in her family, her younger sister is graduating from another school as the class salutatorian.
Fearce’s mother also spoke to WSBTV saying that she’s very proud of her daughters and the secret behind here daughters’ success saying that she read to them a lot growing up.
Watch Chelesa Fearce explain her journey in the video on the next page.
We all know there is nothing like a parent’s love but sometimes children prove they can have your back like no other too. Thirteen-year-old Georgia Peach Shardae Simmonds proved just that when she used CPR to save her father when he passed out in their Sandy Springs, GA, home in February (apparently Fox just heard about it this week).
Shardae, who learned CPR at the age of 10, explained to FOX 5 why she had the wherewithal to learn such a life-saving skill at such a young age.
“I thought [about] all those people that die because no one’s able to do CPR– I thought it would come in handy one of these days when I was older.”
Although Shardae didn’t know her CPR training would be used to save her own dad, who suffered a major heart attack, she is grateful for the ability to keep her father alive until the paramedics came.
“I always knew that I was important to her, in her life, that she loved me– but just to hear her talk, what was going through her mind, it’s really, really touching and makes me love her even more,” her father, Glen Simmonds, said.
Sandy Springs’ Mayor and Shardae’s junior high, Tapp Middle School, honored the young heroine, as did Cobb County Fire Spokesperson Mike Parrish who had these these words to say about her.
“The things that she learned, she had advantages in this case. We are grateful for her.”
Reading about Shardae’s courageous actions make me proud, but they also make me think: Why am I just now reading about this in April? Although I do not live in the same state as her, American media (generally) fails to give credit where it is due, in a timely fashion. We’re glad someone finally found out about this story and shared it!
There are some artists who just do not make it “big” in the way we think they should. Singer Alice Smith is absolutely one of those people.
Her style is eclectic, mixing rock, funk and soul music into one sound. Her first album, For Lovers, Dreamers and Me, was a critical success with many publications dubbing her the “next best thing.” She even reached daytime status when she performed on Ellen. But despite having an undergound following, Alice’s career never fully took off.
Over the last seven years – when her first album was released – Alice has been signed to a major label and finally was able to get off in or around 2010. Fans didn’t know if they’d ever get any new music from her and all they could do was replay the debut album and watch live Youtube videos. Oh, did I forget to mention she has a four octave vocal range? Yeah, she does…and it might even be five on a good day. But anyway, it could have virtually been the end of a career that didn’t have a fully chance to develop.
And then, Alice took to Twitter in 2012. She informed her fans that she was now an independent artist and was ready to start recording an album tentatively titled She. In order to get it done, she would need help with funding and to do so, Alice started a Kickstarter fund to gain financial help from fans and supporters. She ended up raising about half of the money needed and She was officially a go!
Alice released She in March and it is a gem. From the opening a capella of the “Cabaret (intro)” to the end of the album which closes with “She,” the title track, Alice takes the listener on a journey of a love lost and also find the love of your life. You feel every emotion and every note has the ability to pierce right through your heart. She even remade Ceelo Green’s “Fool For You” which is, arguably, better than the original…just don’t tell Ceelo I said it.
Let’s get to the bottom line here: I know I can’t turn everyone into a believer, but you have to give Alice Smith a chance.
You can trust me…I wouldn’t steer you wrong. But if you don’t believe me, check the “Fool For You” video below.
Students at a Wilcox County high school confess that they are totally embarrassed that in the year 2013, their school is still holding segregated proms and homecoming dances.
“You have some people who still have a past state of mind,” one student told 41 NBC.
“It embarrasses me to say that I’m a part of a county that does this,” adds another.
How is this still happening, you ask? Well, according to 41 NBC, when the Wilcox County high school integrated thirty years ago, the school stopped sponsoring the annual prom event and parent committees took over, hosting two separate proms, with one being for Black students and the other for White. The practice still continues to this day.
“If you’re an African-American and you show up to the White prom, you’ll problem be asked to leave,” said Ethan Roundtree, a student with hopes of bringing an end to the school’s outdated way of doing things.
Roundtree isn’t alone in his efforts. He has a crew of students behind him and together they’ve been raising money to host the school’s first ever integrated prom.
“We live in rural south Georgia, where not too many things change. Well, as a group of adamant high school seniors, we want to make a difference in our community. For the first time in the history of our county, we plan to have an integrated prom,” she the mission statement on the group’s Facebook page.
“In some way, it will shape the history of Wilcox County and what will happen next,” says Roundtree.
Through spring break fundraising efforts, the student group was able to raise more than $1,000 on their own, though they admit that it was a tough sell, as some were not in favor of an integrated prom.
“When we put our flyers up, they got torn down,” revealed student organizer Mariesha Rucker.
Wilcox County School Superintendent Steve Smith reveals that he is well aware of the segregated dances and that parent organizations are well within their rights in hosting them. According to Gawker, the school agreed to have only one homecoming king and queen this year, as opposed to two. This would’ve been a major step for the learning institution, but considering that the White king and the Black queen weren’t allowed to pose for the yearbook photo together, I think most would agree that the district took one step forward, only to take two steps back. Student fundraising efforts, however, have not been in vain. The students will host their first ever integrated prom later this month.
I’ve never been to Denmark but something sure does smell peculiar in Brunswick County, Georgia:
According to ABC News:
“The lawyer for one of the Georgia teenagers charged with murder in a baby’s shooting said Monday his client is “absolutely” not guilty and the grandmother of the second suspect said her grandson would never be involved in such a crime. “My client is absolutely, 1,000-percent not guilty,” public defender Kevin Gough, who represents 17-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, told The Associated Press. He made the comments Monday, while preparing for Elkins’ first court appearance on the murder charge. It was scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.”
According to published reports, Sherry West was pushing 13-month-old Antonio Santiago along in his baby stroller when she was allegedly accosted by Elkins and the unnamed minor in a botched robbery attempt in the small coastal town. Said West, the two youths who were trying to rob her allegedly fatally shot the baby in the face as he slept in his stroller after West said she didn’t have any money. West also took a bullet to the leg during the tragic incident.
Although the police chief said robbery appears to be the motive, they admit nothing was taken during the killing. On Tuesday, police announced the arrest of De’Marquise Elkins’ mother and older sister, who were later charged with evidence tampering for allegedly helping the suspect in the shooting dispose of the gun used in the shooting into a saltwater pond, which was also recovered by police that same morning. And just yesterday, new reports are saying that police now suspect Elkins of being involved in a robbery/shooting of a local pastor, who was robbed of his cell phone and wallet in the same vicinity just days before the fatal shooting death of Santiago.
Despite the public defender’s assertion of innocence, it would appear that the police, along with West, are certain that they have the right people in custody. But then, there is this from the First Coast News/ABC Affliate in Jacksonville, Florida:
“As the investigation into the shooting death of a 13-month-old Brunswick toddler continues, some people are beginning to question the mother who’s child was shot and killed during a morning walk. The daughter of Sherry West, Ashley Glassey, said she does not want to falsely accuse anyone but she wants the truth. Glassey, 21, lives in New Jersey and said her mother lost custody of her when she was 8. She said she has forgiven her mom and has spoken to her every day since Thursday’s shooting but said some of her mother’s responses have her concerned. Glassey said she started to have her doubts after receiving a phone call from her mother telling her that her brother, Antonio Santiago, had been killed. She claims the night of the shooting her mother asked, “How soon do you think life insurance policy will send me a check?”
Glassey also goes on to state that her mother is bipolar and has schizophrenic tendencies and said that she reported her suspicions to the Brunswick department but hasn’t yet received a response. This new angle has been lighting up message boards around the web from those questioning certain suspicious behaviors of West after the murder, including interviews she had given so soon after the murder to various news organizations. In one such interview with WJXT in Jacksonville, West curiously speculated if the shooting of her 13-month-old baby was related to the death of her 18-year-old son Shaun Glassey, who was fatally stabbed five years ago in New Jersey. The boy who stabbed Glassey was never charged in the case because the police thought he acted in self-defense, after it was determined that Glassey and four other unnamed juveniles lured the boy via text message to a secluded location and initially tried to use the knife in the murder on him.
I don’t think I can really stomach the possibility that not only do we live in a world where someone was cold-hearted enough to shoot a baby in the face, but a world where there is a possibility that two other children might be wrongfully blamed for it. Personally, I don’t know what to believe. However, I do believe that it is too early to make judgment calls either way. And what this story does illustrate is the rush to judgment that tends to happen when the offender is black. A lot of it is how we have been conditioned. Night after night, we see mugshots of some menacing and bugged-out looking black folks plastered on nightly news and on the front page of newspapers. Usually the crimes that people have been arrested and accused of are so heinous that it has become natural inclination to be repelled and want to disassociate ourselves away from them. However, we forget that they are just accused and not every person accused of a crime is actually guilty. Immediately after local law enforcement released to the media the description of the boys suspected in the shooting, I heard just as many black folks as there were whites praying that police “hurry up and find the person that did it.” Unfortunately when it comes to high profile cases like the shooting of this baby, “hurrying up and finding someone” is what usually happens. And doesn’t mean that they necessarily got the right “someone.”
Like most people, I want justice served in this case. And there are lots of subtleties here, which could make for a perfect storm of debauchery, which will ensure that it will not happen. First, there is the history of racism, classism and segregation in Georgia, which has often served as a historical backdrop for a miscarriage of justice. And let’s not forget about the Central Park Five, the Susan Smith case, the Troy Davis case, and a whole laundry list of other instances where people who had been accused or served time were later revealed to have been wrongly convicted for crimes. Sometimes we forget that even with the best of intent, law enforcement does sometimes make mistakes; get it wrong and flat-out engage in misconduct.
When Is It Ever That Serious? Two Women Severely Injured After Being Burned With Hot Grease Over Instagram Dispute
A heated dispute got completely out of hand when four Georgia women, Ashley Hardy, Jasmine Ragland, Shatericka Barrino and Stori Brown got together and headed to the Cumberland Glen apartment complex in an effort to confront another group of women over messages posted on social networking site, Instagram. Once they arrived to the apartments, the women were met in the parking lot by Zawadi Clark, 20, Myzelle Armstrong, 18, and Mykhal Tait, 20, who were awaiting their arrival with baseball bats and hot grease, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Realizing that they were in danger, Hardy and her friends quickly fled to their vehicle, but they were too late. The trio of armed women quickly yanked the car door open and tossed hot grease inside, which hit Hardy and Ragland who were seated in the front seat of the vehicle.
The blistering grease left second and third-degree burns on the arms and legs of the injured women. Smyrna Police revealed that the burns will more than likely lead to permanent scarring. All three suspects involved in the assault have been charged with felony battery. So far, Zawadi Clark and Myzelle Armstrong have been freed on $40,000 bond. Mykhal Tait still remains in custody.
” I was just shocked because I couldn’t even scream… I was just in shock. I didn’t believe it was happening to me at all,” Ashley Hardy told WSBTV of her traumatic experience.
“It’s hard for me to walk, bathe, get up to use the bathroom, just anything. Everyday things that I’m used to doing are hard for me to do now,” she continued. “Don’t ever show up at anyone’s house after they tell you that they’re planning to fight you. Just don’t show up, let it go, ignore it.”
Check out footage of WSBTV’s full report on the next page.
This past summer, Georgia ranked number one in the country for foreclosures. In May 2012, Georgia had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation with 300 housing units, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Things may have improved slightly, but a high number of foreclosures still continue in the Peach State, and big-name celebrities were not immune. Access Atlanta reports on all the housing problems of the stars.
On top of her other money troubles, Toni Braxton’s Duluth home was foreclosed on November 12. The home, according to TMZ, had been up for sale for $1.1 million. Nas still owed $507,000 on the $584,000, two-bedroom, three-bathroom Georgia home he bought in 2004. Needless to say, he lost it to foreclosure.
He made millions as the heavyweight boxing champion but even Evander Holyfield couldn’t avoid foreclosure on his $14 million dollar Georgia mansion. And, he will be auctioning off his possessions on November 30.
TLC’s Tionne Watkins-Rolison, aka T-Boz, has brushed close to foreclosure not once but twice. In 2009, she almost last her five-bedroom, 10,000-square foot Georgia home. And again last year she was threatened with foreclosure.
Even if they haven’t faced foreclosure, other stars are having major real estate woes. Usher is trying to get rid of his Roswell mansion, reports TMZ. He wants $3.2 million for the 12,544-square-foot home he purchased in March 2007 for $3 million while married to Tameka Raymond.
In another part of Georgia, Academy Award-winning Precious actress Mo’Nique is trying to get out of her $22,000-a-month lease on her Georgia rental. She is complaining the house smells like dog feces. Yuck. Good luck with that Mo´Nique.
But the million-dollar question is why celebs have so many real estate problems. Is it a case of just having too much property to keep track of? Maybe celebs are real estate novices just like the rest of us and need better advice about how to handle their business? Anyone out there with expertise that can shed a little light on this issue?
Whoever busted out Lil Scrappy about being on probation during the “Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta” reunion straight foreshadowed the rapper’s current legal situation. According to Scrappy’s Twitter timeline and TMZ, he has been locked up for a probation violation, but it’s not because he was fighting on the show, it sounds like it has something to do with narcotics.
As TMZ tells it, Scrappy was picked up on the side of the road in Atlanta and brought in for this reason:
Scrappy is on probation stemming from a marijuana conviction in 2008.
He was sentenced to 5 years probation for the weed bust … and was ordered to abstain from the use or possession of any alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.
He was also ordered to complete an alcohol/drug education program and was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.
According to official records … at the time Scrappy was arrested for weed, he was also popped for carrying a concealed weapon, obstruction of officers and fighting. He was sentenced to 1 year probation for each of those offenses, but they ran concurrently.
Oddly, Scrappy (or someone running his page) tweeted the arrest news at 5:15pm yesterday, writing:
Around 11pm last night, his management sent out the following message:
Lil Scrappy is OK, we’re working to get him out asap. Please keep him in your prayers. (Management)
There’s no update yet on whether Scrappy is still behind bars, I just wonder whether his ride-or-die fiancee Erica has his back through this — if not we know Mama Dee is going to clown. Welp, #FreeLilScrappy
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Thank goodness someone was watching over Nick Gordon and Bobbi Kristina when they were involved in a pretty nasty car wreck Sunday night, which according to TMZ may have stemmed from an argument between the couple. As the site tells it:
The black 2012 Camaro [involved in the crash] belongs to Bobbi’s boyfriend Nick Gordon – and according to sources close to Bobbi, Nick was driving Sunday night in Alpharetta, GA … with Bobbi in the passenger seat … when the accident happened.
The details surrounding the accident are unclear, but we’re told the couple had been arguing at the time of the crash — and Nick’s Camaro was the only car involved. No one was injured.
After the accident, the car was missing the front right tire, the front bumper was torn off, and the airbags were deployed — but somehow it got back to Bobbi and Nick’s apartment.
Cops went to the apartment soon after the accident for a noise complaint, but no one answered the door.
According to the incident report, officers saw the car parked outside the apartment with its hazard lights on — and it appeared it had been driven in a damaged state.
We’re told the accident is currently under investigation. Calls to Bobbi’s people were not returned.
From the look of the couple’s timeline, it would appear Nick’s Camaro was the only thing damaged during their reported lover’s quarrel, with Bobbi tweeting in the wee hours of the morning:
“Good note all, all a good night ;; Xxo ;; @nickdgordon Xxo”
A couple of days ago, Nick’s last tweet suggested all was good with him as well, writing:
“Doing good and keeping things moving forward.”
Hopefully these two can keep their rage under control behind the wheel — and at home as well. We’re glad no one was hurt!
Check out pics of the car damage on TMZ.
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With her lawsuit tossed out by a Georgia judge in July, Beverly McClendon has taken her case against The Tyra Banks Show to the appeals court.
Back in 2009, The Tyra Banks Show put out a call for sex addicts. McClendon says Warner Bros and producers from the show convinced her then-15-year-old daughter Jewel Ciera Washington, who responded to the call, to go to New York to be on the show behind her mother’s back. According to The Hollywood Reporter, McClendon’s lawsuit claims Warner Bros and the show demonstrated negligence and violated Washington’s privacy.
“Several phone conversations happened, and on at least one of those calls, Washington impersonated her mother so that the producers would believe they had parental consent. Washington also forged her mother’s signature on the consent and release forms,” THR reports. McClendon’s original suit sought $1 million in compensatory damages, $2 million in punitive damages and an injunction to keep the show from being distributed.
Mom says the show didn’t follow proper paperwork procedures. The judge said Washington wasn’t hired by the show so child labor laws in Georgia don’t count. Moreover the state doesn’t doesn’t recognize a “relational right to privacy.” Unsatisfied, McClendon is taking her case elsewhere.
We’re wondering how a 15-year-old made it out of the house, to the airport and onto a national TV show “behind her mother’s back.” We don’t have the details in front of us, but to McClendon’s point, didn’t the show think it was weird that a young teen had showed up to appear on a program about sex addiction without her mother? What do you think?
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