Grandmother, granddaughter graduate together from college

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 1:57 AM

Graduation day was special for a grandmother and granddaughter at Chicago State University.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Graduation day was special for a grandmother and granddaughter at Chicago State University.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

For the first time in its 150-year history, Chicago State University awarded diplomas to a grandmother and granddaughter during the same ceremony, WLS reported.

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Belinda Berry, 62, and Karea Berry, 25, both walked across the stage at the Jones Convocation Center on Thursday to accept their diplomas. 

Grandma graduated at the top of her class with a 3.8 grade-point average in business. Her granddaughter Karea Berry earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, WLS reported. 

Both plan to pursue their master’s degrees.

"It was never planned, we both enrolled in school and we didn't know we were going to finish together because I was full-time and she was part-time, and it just worked out that way," Karea Berry said.

Belinda Berry walked first, followed by Karea Berry.

"I have always stressed that education is power,” said Belinda Berry, who went back to school part-time to improve her employment prospects. “I am very honored to be a role model and I hope that I am an inspiration to the young as well as the old, because it is never too late to pursue an education.”

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21-year-old drowned trying to save child at the beach, family says

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:05 AM

File photo of Panama City Beach, Florida.
justinhatl / Pixabay.com
File photo of Panama City Beach, Florida.(justinhatl / Pixabay.com)

Friends and family of a 21-year-old Cartersville, Georgia, man who drowned at Florida's Panama City Beach over Father's Day weekend say he died a hero.

>> Watch the news report here

Tony Jackson Jr. was on vacation swimming with friends when a strong current pulled him under.

>> 2 Georgia men drown over Father’s Day weekend in separate incidents in Gulf of Mexico

WSB-TV's Michael Seiden spoke with Jackson's friend, Muhammad Qasim, who was at the beach with him and witnessed the accident. 

Qasim told Seiden that just before they planned to leave, Jackson had turned back in the water to try to save a child who had fallen off a float.

>> What parents need to know about 'dry' and 'secondary' drowning

“I was right next to him in the water, but when he tried to go toward the kid and the wave hit him, the wave just dragged him back 10 feet," Qasim said. "There was nothing I could’ve done.”

Rescue crews recovered his body two hours later. 

>> Children may face drowning danger 24 hours after hitting the pool

Jackson's family is now trying to raise enough money to fly his body back to Georgia so they can bury him. They say it will cost around $1,700. 

“The main thing is to just get him home; that’s the biggest thing," said Jackson's mother, Latanisha. 

>> GoFundMe to bring Tony Jackson's body home

She hopes the public will step up to help. The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the expenses. They hope to raise $10,000 to pay for transportation and funeral arrangements. 

In the meantime, the family is remembering a man who they believe risked his life to help a complete stranger. 

“He had a big heart. He would do anything for anybody,” Latanisha told Seiden. 

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“He was a hard worker and he would do anything," Qasim said. "He would literally give the shirt off his back for anybody.”

Qasim says there was no warning posted about dangerous conditions in the water. A spokesman for the Panama City Beach Police said red flags were flying before the drowning, warning swimmers not to get in. 

Qasim says that isn't true. 

Click here to help the family.

Water Safety Tip

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17-year-old shot, killed by police in Pennsylvania

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 2:31 AM

A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot.
WPXI.com
A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot.(WPXI.com)

A 17-year-old was shot and killed by police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night after he allegedly ran away from a traffic stop on foot.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Visit WPXI.com for the latest on this developing story

According to the Allegheny County Police Department, the vehicle the teen got out of matched the description of a vehicle seen near a shooting that occurred in North Braddock around 8:20 p.m.

An officer from the East Pittsburgh Police Department was handcuffing the driver when two males ran from the car, authorities said.

One of those males was the 17-year-old who was shot and killed by police, authorities said.

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The Allegheny County Police Department is asking the other person who ran away from the vehicle to turn himself in "so that he can give a comprehensive description of what occurred."

The victim in the North Braddock shooting, a 22-year-old man, was treated for his injuries and released from an area trauma center.

The Allegheny County Police Homicide Unit is investigating both incidents. 

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2 Georgia men drown over Father’s Day weekend in separate incidents in Gulf of Mexico

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 9:09 PM


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Two men from North Georgia drowned in separate weekend incidents off Panama City Beach, police said.

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Eugene Spann, 67, of Atlanta, was declared dead after being pulled from the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday morning, authorities said.

The body of Tony Orlando Jackson, 21, of Cartersville, was found Sunday afternoon about two hours after he was caught by a large wave, according to police.

Police and emergency workers took over life support efforts from bystanders when they found Spann unresponsive on the beach behind a motel short after 11 a.m. He was taken to an emergency room on the beach, where he was pronounced dead.

A search effort involving several agencies eventually found Jackson’s body. Police originally responded to a call about a swimmer in distress about 2:30 p.m.

>> Related: Florida man chugs beer during DUI stop, deputies say

Police said surf flags were at the red “high hazard” level when Jackson drowned. That was up from the yellow “medium hazard” designation at the time of Spann’s death.

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Dayton police arrest man, 19, on suspicion of murder 

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 @ 1:58 AM



Photo: Montgomery County Jail
(Photo: Montgomery County Jail)

A 19-year-old man has been arrested by Dayton police on suspicion of murder, according to online jail records.

REPORT: Man detained for public indecency twice in same day 

Carlos Blanton Jr. is currently in Montgomery County Jail on charges including aggravated murder and obstructing justice. 

He was arrested at the City of Dayton Safety Building, 335 W. Third St., and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Dayton Municipal Court, jail records say.

It is not immediately known which crime Blanton’s arrest is connected to. 

We’re working to learn more and will update this page as new details become available. 

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