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George Zimmerman On The Run, Divorce On Hold

September 22, 2013 - Where is George Zimmerman?  According to reports, divorce proceedings for Trayvon Martin’s admitted killer and Shellie Zimmerman are on hold because he is no where to be found. George must be served with papers before the divorce process can move forward, however lawyers for his estranged wife say they have no idea how to track him down.  Read more at hellobeautiful.com.

Category: General

Obama takes economy message to corporate leaders

September 18, 2013 - President Barack Obama, facing a budget showdown with Congress, is pushing his economic agenda to some of the nation’s top corporate executives while cautioning Republicans not to precipitate a government shutdown or an unprecedented debt default.

Obama was to speak to the Business Roundtable on Wednesday, drawing attention to a modest economic recovery that he says would be hurt if Republican lawmakers can’t work with Democrats to pass a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating after the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.  Read more at blackpoliticsontheweb.com.

Category: General

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It's official: Walmart opening in Midtown

September 23, 2013 - Seven months after the Midtown Sweetbay closed its doors, Mayor Bill Foster and city officials confirmed the worst kept secret in St. Petersburg, Walmart will be taking its place. 

At a news conference Monday, Foster announced a Walmart Neighborhood Market would open in the Tangerine Plaza in early 2014.  Read more at patch.com.

Category: General

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DOJ To Nix Mandatory Minimum Sentences In Some Pending Drug Cases: Eric Holder

September 19, 2013 - Federal prosecutors will soon begin applying a policy that helps certain drug offenders avoid mandatory minimum sentences to defendants who haven't yet been sentenced, Attorney General Eric Holder will announce Thursday.

Holder introduced the new policy last month, but at the time it only applied to new defendants who had yet to be charged. Under the new policy, federal prosecutors will allow drug offenders without ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels to avoid harsh mandatory minimum sentences by removing the drug quantities that trigger such requirements.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Navy Yard Shooter Complained Of Insomnia, Voices Through Walls Before Massacre

September 19, 2013 - Investigators have been focusing on the erratic behavior of a former Navy reservist who law enforcement officials say was grappling with paranoia and had reported hearing voices and being followed before he gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard this week.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said Wednesday that 34-year-old Aaron Alexis (pictured) visited two hospitals in the weeks before the Monday morning rampage but denied that he was depressed or having thoughts of harming himself or others.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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13 wounded, including 3-year-old, in late-night attack on Chicago park

September 20, 2013 - A 3-year-old boy who was critically hurt in a Chicago shooting that wounded 13 people was alert when he arrived at the hospital and seemed to be doing well, family and friends said Friday.

Thursday night’s attack was the latest violence in a city that has struggled to stop such shootings by increasing police patrols.  Read more at newsone.com.

Category: General

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House votes to cut $4 billion a year from food stamps

September 19, 2013 - The House has voted to cut nearly $4 billion a year from food stamps, a 5 percent reduction to the nation’s main feeding program used by more than 1 in 7 Americans.

The 217-210 vote was a win for conservatives after Democrats united in opposition and some GOP moderates said the cut was too high.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Superintendent reports mixed success with new Pinellas summer program

September 19, 2013 - About half of Pinellas elementary school students improved their reading skills after attending a first-time summer program for struggling learners, while 47 percent stayed level or lost ground.

Superintendent Michael Grego said Thursday he will make next year's Summer Bridge curriculum more challenging and increase training for teachers so that all students rise as much as they can.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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Will 'Radio' Haugabrook turned scrap metal into cash

September 19, 2013 - Will Haugabrook had corralled together the elements of a self-sufficient lifestyle, with a workload he could adjust like a dimmer switch into retirement. In the mornings, he checked his favorite body shops, industrial supply shops and mobile home parks, looking for warped fenders, corrugated sheet metal and washing machines that hadn't worked in years.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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HealthPlan Services says it will add 1,000 jobs in Tampa over five years

September 18, 2013 - Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who last year called the federal health care law the "biggest job-killer ever," was front and center Wednesday to celebrate a health care company's announcement that it will add 1,000 jobs thanks to — yes — the health care law.

HealthPlan Services, a Tampa company that helps small companies and individuals purchase and manage health insurance policies, said it plans to add more than 1,000 jobs over five years to its Tampa headquarters near the Florida State Fairgrounds.  Read more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith Learned Of Divorce Rumors In Bed

September 18, 2013 - Will and Jada Pinkett Smith have had their fair share of vicious rumors surrounding their 15-year marriage. Perhaps most ridiculous is the latest one claiming Will and Jada's relationship has hit rock bottom.

Smith opened up on Queen Latifah's new talk show about how he learned of his wife allegedly seeking a divorce. "Like a year ago, there were all these rumors that me and Jada were getting a divorce. So I get the Google Alert, I'm laying in bed -- with Jada. It says, 'Jada Pinkett Smith files for divorce.' So I'm like, 'This is crazy!'"  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Life Sentences On The Rise, Despite Growing Efforts To Reform Prison System

September 18, 2013 - Twenty-five years ago, David Sloane murdered someone who tried to knock him off a motorcycle. “In my mind, it was the right thing to do,” he said of the crime.

In prison, where he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life, he realized he was wrong. “I believe that people have the possibility to change,” he said. “I’ve seen that a lot.”  Read  more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Michelle Obama Calls Food Marketing Summit To Ask Companies To Stop Advertising Unhealthy Foods To Kids

September 18, 2013 - Michelle Obama used the power of her bully pulpit Wednesday to push food companies and television broadcasters to do more to promote healthier foods to children – and to do it faster.

Research shows food marketing is a leading cause of childhood obesity because the ads and promotions lead impressionable kids to then pester their parents to eat what they saw on TV, consumer advocates say.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Stand Your Ground Self-Defense Laws Result In More Justifiable Homicides: Report

September 17, 2013 - Killings deemed justifiable rose sharply in states where Stand Your Ground self-defense laws allow individuals who claim to be in fear of their lives to use lethal force rather than retreat, according to a new study by a coalition of groups who favor greater gun control.

The overall justifiable homicide rate jumped 53 percent in 22 states that adopted Stand Your Ground lawsbetween 2005 and 2007, according to the study sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the National Urban League and Vote Vets.  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General

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Tyler Perry’s ‘For Better Or Worse’ stars discuss Bobbi Kristina reprising her role

September 18, 2013 - Tyler Perry’s popular sitcom For Better Or Worse makes its debut tonight on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The series arrives on the heels of a very successful year at OWN for Perry, after shattering ratings records for the network with The Have and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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In wake of ‘The Butler’ success, African-American ex-White House staffers reflect

September 18, 2013 - As the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham approached and thousands celebrated the recent March on Washington commemoration, former White House Butler George Hannie relived his journey from 1940s segregated Alabama to the regal second floor residence of the President of the United States.

Born and raised in Northport, Ala., a city in Tuscaloosa County, Hannie grew up in the Jim Crow South. He remembered the police kicking him off street corners, and threatening him and other black residents with sticks.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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Rand Paul is actually right — when it comes to the War on Drugs

September 19, 2013 - It’s doesn’t happen often, but Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is right.

The war on drugs is a modern-day version of racist Jim Crow laws this country hasn’t seen in decades.

Mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenses have sent more black people to prison, than were enslaved in America’s checkered past, and the first step to eradicate this structural inequality that plagues black and brown communities is to end mandatory minimum sentencing.  Read more at thegrio.com.

Category: General

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St. Petersburg mayoral hopeful Rick Kriseman collects $52,000, 75% from Pinellas

September 18, 2013 - Mayoral hopeful Rick Kriseman quieted critics Wednesday when he announced he has raised $52,000 since the Aug. 27 primary, about 75 percent of which came from Pinellas County.

Many wondered whether Kriseman would be able to raise that kind of money locally without being on a citywide ballot for six years. The former lawmaker and City Council member also collected $7,000 in in-kind donations from the Florida Democratic Party, which paid for polling and a campaign staff salary.  Read  more at tampabay.com.

Category: General

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Queen Latifah’s Talk Show Scores Highest Daytime TV Premiere Of The Year

September 17, 2013 - Queen Latifah’s return to daytime TV kicked off with a bang on Monday!

According to reports, the premiere episode of “The Queen Latifah Show” delivered the biggest debut of the season with a 1.7 rating among households.  Read more at hellobeautiful.com.

Category: General

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White House Issues Veto Threat On House Stopgap Bill Defunding Obamacare

September 19, 2013 - The White House promised a veto of a Republican effort to gut President Barack Obama's health care law as part of a temporary funding bill in the House to prevent a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.

The official policy statement issued Thursday said the GOP attempt to block "Obamacare" "advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens our economy and the interests of the middle class" and would deny "millions of hard-working, middle-class families the security of affordable health coverage."  Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

Category: General