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Heather Heyer's parents preach love, action after daughter’s death: 'You just magnified her'

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 1:02 PM

Heather Heyer's Parents At Memorial Service

The parents of Heather Heyer, the woman killed Saturday in a protest against white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia, remembered the 32-year-old as a big-hearted, outspoken woman who wanted equality for all.

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About 1,000 mourners gathered Wednesday for Heyer’s memorial in downtown Charlottesville, the same city where police said Heyer was killed while protesting what was believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade.

Heyer’s death sparked outrage across the nation and reinvigorated the debate over race relations in America.

>> Related: Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

“I think the reason that what happened to Heather has struck a chord is because we know that what she did is achievable,” Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said at Wednesday’s memorial service. “We don’t all have to die. We don’t all have to sacrifice our lives. They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”

Since her daughter’s death, Bro said she’s received an outpouring of support from people wondering how to help the grieving family. She suggested that anyone wishing to help should follow Heyer’s example.

“I want this to spread. I don’t want this to die,” Bro said. “This is not the end of Heather’s legacy. You need to find in your heart that small spark of accountability. What is there that I can do to make the world a better place? What injustice do I see?”

Heather Heyer’s father, Mark Heyer, remembered his daughter in an emotional speech to mourners as a passionate woman who always spoke her mind.

>> Related: Who is James Alex Fields Jr., suspect in deadly Charlottesville car attack?

“She wanted equality. And in this issue, on the day of her passing, she wanted to put down hate,” he said. “And for my part – we just need to stop all this stuff and just forgive each other. I think that’s what the Lord would want us to do. Just to stop -- just love one another.”

He said he was particularly struck by the diversity of the group gathered to mourn his daughter.

“I was overwhelmed at the rainbow of colors in this room. That’s how Heather was. It didn’t matter who you were or where you were from, if she loved you that was it – you were stuck,” he said with a shaky laugh.

Police said Heyer was killed Saturday when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., of Ohio, slammed a car into two vehicles and protesters in Charlottesville.

>> Related: Father of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer says he forgives James Fields

Fields was described by his former high school teacher as a Nazi sympathizer. He traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the Unite the Right rally, a demonstration organized by white supremacists to oppose the removal of a Confederate memorial from Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park.

Mark Heyer said shortly after his daughter’s death that he forgave Fields, because “as far as I’m concerned, he was deceived by the devil.”

“My daughter was fighting for equal rights, demonstrating against hatred and doing what she thought was right,” Mark Heyer told the New York Post on Sunday. “I can’t hate the man who did this to her because that would make me as bad as the people who did this.”

12 camels booted from beauty contest at Middle East festival over Botox use

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 6:16 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

Camels were once prized across the Middle East for transportation, for use in war, for food and even as companions, as guides and partners. Now they’re prized for a whole different set of reasons, including their beauty and racing abilities, and are celebrated at annual camel festivals across the region.

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But it was a little surprising when news reports began surfacing that at least 12 camels have been disqualified from a camel beauty pageant in Saudi Arabia after their handlers were caught using Botox on them.

The camels were among 30,000 of the desert beasts competing in the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, according to The National, a United Arab Emirate-based news service.

Because a “perfect pout” is so valuable, camel owners will go to great lengths to ensure their camel has the proper assets, including “a full, droopy lip and large features,” The National reported.

“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali Al Mazrouei, 31, a regular at Gulf camel festivals and the son of a top Emirati breeder told the online site.

“It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh look at how big is that head is. It has big lips, a big nose,’” features the camels are prized for. They’re also prized for small ears and some handlers have been known to take matters into their own hands and perform plastic surgery on the ears to achieve a perfect ear.

It’s no wonder camel handlers are so serious about the appearance of their beasts and willing to risk disqualification to enhance their features: $57 million is at stake in prize money at this year’s festival.

>> Related: Giant burning spider spreads flames in apartment, after torched by tenants

Some 300,000 visitors have attended the second annual festival since it started in early January. It runs through the end of the month.

(Pixabay)

14-year-old accidentally shot, killed by older sister

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 2:53 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A 14-year-old Indiana boy was accidentally shot and killed by his older sister Sunday as they and their father prepared to go target shooting.

Rex William Pruett was shot at his father’s home in Campbellsburg, a small Indiana town located about 50 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. Rex, a seventh-grader at Orleans Junior-Senior High School, died a short time after his father rushed him to a hospital. 

“The father received a phone call and, while he was on the phone, the daughter, in what appeared to be unintentional, shot her brother with a .22-caliber revolver,” Indiana State Police spokesman Chad Dick told The Times-Mail in Bedford.

Officials at the boy’s school, where his sister is a ninth-grader, said that extra counselors were brought in Monday to help students cope with the tragedy. Police investigators waited to release the boy’s name until those measures were in place. 

“The first-period teachers had a written statement to read about the incident and then, for any students that need additional help, we have counselors standing by,” Orleans Community Schools Superintendent Gary McClintic told the newspaper.  

Chris Stevens, principal of the siblings’ school, showed a news crew from WAVE 3 News in Louisville Rex’s locker, which was adorned Monday with photos and letters from his classmates. 

“This does remind you quite a bit of Rex,” Stevens told the station. “There were a lot of tears and a lot of smiles today.”

Stevens said that faculty members and administrators have made it clear to students that the shooting was accidental. When Rex’s sister returns to class, they will offer her their support, he said. 

Family and friends also offered the girl their support on Facebook, where she described her younger brother as “such a sweet little boy.”

“Much love, Rexy, much love. We will all keep you in our hearts,” the girl wrote. 

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Stevens described the rural community as one in which guns are part of everyday life.

“In our elementary, at the sixth-grade level, we have a gun safety course that all of our students are allowed to go through,” Stevens told the news station

McClintic, who said he taught Rex’s father when he was a teacher, described the boy’s family as a good one that had been involved with Orleans’ public schools for multiple generations. 

“It’s hard on the community, just as much as it is on the school,” McClintic told The Times-Mail

Johnny Henderson, pastor of Lost River Missionary Baptist Church in Claysville, said that Rex and his family attended services there the morning of the shooting.

“He was an outstanding young man,” Henderson said.

The pastor said the Pruett family needs support, not criticism over the shooting.

“They need support and people to pray for them for peace and comfort,” Henderson said. “They still have a hard time going forward. They still have a funeral to go to.

“They are going to be living without this young man.”

Should adolescence last until age 24? A group of scientists think so

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 4:53 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

Adolescence is thought to end at about age 18, but a group of scientists wants to extend it to 24, according to a new report. 

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Researchers from hospitals and research institutions in Australia recently conducted an experiment, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, to determine the span of years that should define adolescence.

Traditionally, it is the period between childhood and adulthood, or generally from age 10 to 18. However, the researchers believe the biological and societal shifts over the last several decades indicate the need for an extension of adolescence. 

“Adolescence is the phase of life stretching between childhood and adulthood, and its definition has long posed a conundrum. Adolescence encompasses elements of biological growth and major social role transitions, both of which have changed in the past century,” they said.

>> Related: CDC: Adolescent habits with contact lenses risk eye infection

Young girls and boys develop earlier than previous generations, they noted. For example, many preteens begin menstruating at 10, while their parents and grandparents started at 14. 

They also pointed out that the adolescent brain does not stop developing until a person is in their 20s and that wisdom teeth now generally grow in at 25. 

Furthermore, young adults are getting married later in life. It’s more common for youth to settle down in their 30s as opposed to their 20s. And they’re leaving the nest later, too, which is expected by parents and society, they said. Analysts used the United States as an example, because insurance companies are now allowing adults to keep their kids on policies longer. 

>> Related: Gender stereotypes and gender norms effect on children

“Rather than age 10–19 years, a definition of 10–24 years corresponds more closely to adolescent growth and popular understandings of this life phase and would facilitate extended investments across a broader range of settings,” the authors wrote. 

Researchers believe the extension will encourage governments to better frame laws meant to protect youth and help young people on their journey through adulthood.

>> Related: The suicide rate for teen girls is the highest it’s been in 40 years — Is social media to blame?

 

Baby drowns, toddler injured in bathtub when woman walks away, police say

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 4:30 PM

A Nassau County Sheriff’s Office squad car is blocking a road that leads to a home in Fernandina Beach, Fla., Tuesday where one child died and another was injured in a bathtub incident. 
ActionNewsJax.com
A Nassau County Sheriff’s Office squad car is blocking a road that leads to a home in Fernandina Beach, Fla., Tuesday where one child died and another was injured in a bathtub incident. (ActionNewsJax.com)

A 14-month-old baby girl is dead and a 3-year-old girl is clinging to life after deputies said their mother put them in the bathtub and walked away.

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The incident happened Tuesday at a home in Fernandina Beach, Fla. Deputies arrived and started CPR immediately, authorities said.

They tried everything they could, but the 14-month-old girl didn't make it. The 3-year-old was taken to Baptist Medical Center Nassau in Fernandina Beach. 

Deputies quickly blocked off the road to begin an investigation. Deputies roped off the home with crime scene tape. 

Deputies say the 911 call came in around 1:20 p.m. Tuesday. The mother claimed she put the two kids in the bathtub and walked away, and when she came back, they were under water.

>> Related: 10-month-old baby drowns when intoxicated mother falls asleep in tub, police say

Authorities say any possible charges will not come until their investigation is complete.