NY school cancels play after protest over white student cast in lead role

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 6:39 AM

School Cancels ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ Over White Student Cast in Lead Role

A high school production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in upstate New York was canceled after students complained over the casting of a white student in a lead role, WNYW reported.

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Students at Ithaca High School sent a letter of protest to Tomkins Weekly, arguing that the role of Esmerelda was written for a woman of color. 

“We want to stress that the talented young woman who was cast in this role is a stellar actor, singer, and dancer,” the students wrote. “Our concern is not with her, but with the fact that in terms of demographics, she is the wrong choice for this role.”

The students added that the actor playing Esmerelda was blonde with hazel eyes and “is the epitome of whiteness.”

The school district canceled the production, and said a "collaborative project" would replace the show, WNYW reported.

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Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 1:22 AM

California drivers soon may have a say in picking the photos for their driver's licenses.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
California drivers soon may have a say in picking the photos for their driver's licenses.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Have you ever met anyone who liked their driver’s license photo? 

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Of course not. 

Photos on driver’s licenses always seem to show a person at his or her worst, but a bill proposed in the California state legislature would give drivers a choice, KABC reported.

The bill would allow drivers to have multiple photos taken, and would allow them to choose a favorite for the license.

While the bill would grant drivers freedom of choice, it would be more expensive for drivers getting their photos taken, KABC reported.

The bill does not specify the exact cost, but notes that additional revenue would go toward driver's education programs in California’s public schools, KABC reported.

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Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 1:01 AM



Fox13Memphis.com
(Fox13Memphis.com)

A Tennessee man was arrested in connection with the deaths of a Memphis couple who was found dead in an apartment that caught fire Thursday afternoon.

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Aareon Berryman, 18, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell, and possession of ecstasy with the intent to manufacture or sell. 

On Thursday afternoon, an Memphis Police Department officer heard multiple gunshots coming from an apartment complex.

Moments later, the officer found Berryman running northbound from an apartment unit engulfed in flames. After a short foot chase, Berryman was caught and taken into custody. Officers asked the suspect if anyone was still in the apartment. 

Berryman told police there were two other people inside the burning apartment where he "left them."

The Memphis Fire Department arrived and found the body of Brandon Allen lying on the kitchen floor and the body of Regina Allen in the back bedroom. They were pronounced dead on the scene, officials said.

The couple had celebrated Regina's birthday four days ago.

Berryman admitted to killing both victims, taking their property, and setting their apartment on fire. Police said the suspect had an AR-15, loaded handgun, two jars of marijuana, three plastic bags of marijuana, three prescription pill bottles, and a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Officials said eight to 16 apartment units were completely or partially burned out in the process. The total damage was estimated at $254,000 for buildings and $76,000 in its contents, police said.

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Convicted murderer mistakenly released from jail 

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 12:28 AM

Javoris Hurston
WSBTV.com
Javoris Hurston(WSBTV.com)

The Georgia jail that mistakenly released a convicted murderer said no one will be disciplined for what happened.

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The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office realized a mistake was made after the murder victim's family saw the murderer on the streets.

"Sounds like somebody didn't relay the right information or didn't look," one DeKalb County resident said.

Jail officials said they didn't know Javoris Hurston had recently pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Fulton County.

"So, there's a murderer on the street again?" one resident asked. 

Hurston had been free two days before a fugitive squad located him and put him back in jail.

DeKalb County officials realized the mistake after the family of murder victim, 51-year-old Barry Hawkins, saw Hurston on the streets and called wondering how he got out.

"I don't know this family, but I sympathize with them," said a mother who also lost a son to murder.

Hawkins was killed in 2015 in Atlanta. Hurston was arrested and was freed on bond. Soon after, he was arrested in DeKalb County on aggravated assault charges.

In June 2017, Hurston was returned to Fulton County, where he pleaded guilty to Hawkins’ killing and received a 20-year prison sentence.

Then he was sent back to the DeKalb County Jail to answer the aggravated assault charges. The charges were dropped Feb. 15. The jail then released Hurston.

DeKalb officials say Fulton County officials didn't send over the disposition of the murder case, so it released Hurston.

Fulton County officials are looking into what information it sent.

Residents feel bad for Hawkins’ family.

"My prayers go out to them because that’s not right. It is not right," Butler said.

The DeKalb jail says no procedural errors were made by its employees, so no one will be disciplined.

Hurston is back in the Fulton County Jail awaiting transfer to state prison.

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President Donald Trump admits to trying to hide his bald spot

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:14 PM

U.S. President Donald Trump jokes about covering his bald spot while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference.
 (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump jokes about covering his bald spot while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Over the years, much has been speculated about President Donald Trump’s hair, but he’s never admitted to having a reason for choosing his particular hairstyle other than the fact that it’s the way he “likes it.” However, on Friday, that all changed when he finally admitted to having a bald spot — and trying to hide it.

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“Oh, I try like hell to hide the bald spot, folks. I work at it,” he told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland. “It doesn’t look bad. Hey, we are hanging in, we are hanging in, we are hanging in there. Right? Together, we are hanging in.”

Trump’s honest take on his hair came after a video of him boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base on Feb. 2 revealed a bald spot on the back of his head when his signature mane was whipped by the gusty wind.

Trump’s hair has been a topic of conversation for years, and he has often talked about it himself. In a much-maligned interview on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” the late-night host was allowed to mess up then-candidate Trump’s hair to prove that it was real.

Trump has also made it clear multiple times that he doesn’t wear a wig or a “rug” as he’s called it. “As everybody knows, but the haters and losers refuse to acknowledge, I do not wear a ‘wig.’ My hair may not be perfect, but it’s mine,” he once wrote on Twitter.

“I do not wear a rug. My hair is 100 percent mine. No animals have been harmed in the creation of my hairstyle,” the former businessman quipped in his book, “Trump: How to Get Rich.”

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