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    A woman, identified only as Jane Doe, is suing NBA superstar Derrick Rose because he allegedly drugged and gang raped her in 2013.

    The alleged victim says she and Rose dated from 2011-13. And in that time, Rose requested some kinky sexual favors from Doe, which she says she refused. She said he allegedly attempted to pressure her into masturbating in front of him, allowing him to have sex with her friends, and engaging in group sex with strangers, reports TMZ.

    The ex-girlfriend says she and Rose continued to date until August 2013 when he and two friends allegedly raped her. She says Rose and two of his friends, personal manager Randall Hampton and Ryan Allen, invited her to Rose’s house in Beverly Hills. She alleges that they slipped a drug into her drink with the intention of raping her.

    A friend, Doe says, helped her escape. However, later that night she claims Rose, Hampton, and Allen allegedly broke into her apartment, where she was incapacitated. She says the three men forcibly gang raped her, but she only remembers “flashes” of the violation.

    After this story broke yesterday, many pondered on social media why Rose’s ex-girlfriend didn’t notify the authorities of the rape and took two years to file the lawsuit. She says she was “ashamed and embarrassed” she was raped and was concerned her “conservative family” would learn of the incident. She is seeking unspecified damages.

    A spokesperson for Rose vehemently denied the allegations via a statement:

    “The plaintiff’s allegations are completely false and without any factual basis. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.”

    Rose’s team, the Chicago Bulls, aren’t rushing to judgement:

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    speak nation 1

    Speak Nation is shouting and letting it all out with their latest collection, Fine & Fresh.


    Boasting images of some of pop culture’s most boisterous personalities and outspoken voices including Martin Lawrence and Ice Cube, the brand was created to bring the heroes, stories, events and wins (and missteps) of millennials to the forefront—fashionably.

    speak nation 3

    As seen on Teyana Taylor, Kierra Sheard and Yandy Harris, the brand has the streets talking.


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    A Michigan man told police he robbed a credit union in order to pay for his daughter’s chemotherapy, said authorities.

    On Aug. 12, Brian Randolph, 23, allegedly robbed Vibe Credit union in South Lyon, Michigan.

    Police say Randolph entered the bank and passed a note demanding money. Although the note said Randolph had a shotgun hidden on his person, he never produced the weapon during the robbery. Police later revealed that he didn’t bring a firearm with him.

    After his arrest, the 23-year-old told police that the robbery was a last ditch attempt to help pay for his daughter’s chemotherapy because her insurance would no longer pay for the treatments, according to South Lyon Public Information Officer Lieutenant Christopher Sovik.


    Asia Dupree, Randolph’s girlfriend, said their 1-year-old daughter Brialynn has retinoblastoma, a cancer that forms in the eye. Dupree and Randolph’s family believe he was desperately trying to obtain money before Brialynn’s upcoming chemo treatment.

    Randolph has been charged with armed robbery and bank robbery, and had his bond set at $500,000. Randolph is scheduled to make his first court appearance today.


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    wine brandy cover

    By Isoul H. Harris

    As the editor-in-chief of UPTOWN, a lifestyle magazine, I travel the world experiencing exotic and sometimes far-flung countries, delicious food and, oftentimes, amazing wines. I have visited vineyards from Tuscany to Cape Town and beyond. However, I never visited the domestic, Left Coast gem of Napa Valley until recently. Luckily for me, I had the perfect vehicle as my intro to California’s world-famous wine-producing region: UPTOWN Uncorked, the magazine’s first annual food and wine festival, which took place July 30th-August 2nd at the renown Silverado Resort and Spa. Also lucky for me: as an American Express Platinum Card holder, the benefits of the card made the Napa experience exponentially greater.

    Planning the trip was simple: I called American Express Travel and shared with the representative what I wished to do, and the itinerary was in my inbox before we ended our conversation. Starting in NYC, I hopped in an UBER (for which I get 2X the amount of reward points when using my AMEX) and headed to JFK. Checking into DELTA was a breeze and clearing security was even faster thanks to my TSA Pre✓™ clearance status. TSA Pre✓™ not only allows you to skip the Walt Disney World sized lines at security, but you do so without the annoyance of removing your shoes nor, more importantly, your entire Apple ecosystem from your carryon. AMEX Platinum gives you an $85 statement credit towards the TSA Pre✓™ application fee.

    With 45 minutes to kill before takeoff, I decided to take advantage of another Platinum Card benefit: complimentary entry to the Delta Sky Lounge. After enjoying a light-breakfast, a much needed jolt of java, and some early morning email exchanges via the lounges hi-speed Wi-Fi, I gathered my things, grabbed my daily news trifecta (The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times) and headed to the gate: Napa here I come.

    After landing at San Francisco International Airport, I picked up the rental car (that AMEX Travel arranged seamlessly) and 90 minutes later I was pulling up to the beautiful Silverado Resort and Spa. I spent the afternoon checking out the gorgeous and sprawling estate, which includes two PGA championship golf courses, and settling into the lovely cottage that I would call home for the next three days.image 2

    Friday was jam-packed with food demonstrations and tastings. Chef Julius Russell’s humor was almost as enjoyable as his cleverly tasty “Not Shrimp and Grits” (made with Quinoa instead of the Southern staple—and the splash of Gran Reserve Sauvignon Blanc into the recipe surely made a flavorful difference). The lovely Chef Michelle Wilson won over the crowd with her bite-sized Bacon Corn Fritters with Avocado Crème Fraiche Mousse that was paired with a nice Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013. Chef Russell had the opportunity later in the evening at the comedy show (actor/comedian Cedric The Entertainer made an appearance) to demonstrate his expert BBQ skills: his ribs seasoned with a Memphis dry rub were otherworldly.

    Saturday, I began my day with a wine tour of several of the 300 or so wineries in the area. What do you do when you want to forgo crowded shuttle buses in favor of a private VIP tour of Napa’s vineyards? Call AMEX Concierge. Platinum Card benefits include the Limousine Program. Comfortable in a spacious SUV, I toured several of the wineries in the area including Acacia, Provenance, Hewitt and Sterling (the wait for the tram is a bit annoying but worth it: the views of the valley are stunning).

    That evening, celebrity Chef Roble Ali (formerly of the Bravo show Chef Roble & Co.) wowed attendees of the festival with a well-curated four-course meal consisting of (1) Big Ranch Heirloom Tomato with burrata cheese, herb salad and sherry vinegar (2) Seared Chicken with summer succotash and chicken jus (paired with 2012 Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay), (3) Wild Salmon with cauliflower and gently cooked Asian greens and avocado dressing (paired with a 2013 Acacia Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir and (4) Summer Fruit Trifle with Olive Oil Cake and Sabayon Whipped Cream. After dinner, the DJ went to work moving the crowd and I hit the dance floor in an attempt to work off those four courses!


    Sunday morning, I packed up and headed to brunch at the fabulous Brix. AMEX concierge informed me that the longtime popular restaurant had the best Sunday Brunch in all of Napa—and the concierge was correct. Not only is Brix beautiful (there is a expansive vineyard and garden, from which ingredients are grown for a true farm-to-table experience, on the grounds), but the food is remarkable as well (tip: try the peach stuffed brioche French toast, the Applewood smoked bacon and the best Bolognese I have had since I was in Italy).

    Leaving Napa, I headed back to San Francisco, where I spent a lovely evening at the Ritz-Carlton in the tony Nob Hill district. I booked the stay through the American Express Platinum Travel Service Fine Hotels & Resorts program. I originally booked a superior room, but because of the card benefits, upon check-in, I was automatically upgraded to an Executive Suite (3 rooms and 1 and ½ baths), given a $60 credit for breakfast for two

    (you will want to use every cent on the delicious breakfast at the hotel eatery Parallel 37), a $100 credit to use for anything in the hotel (I started with an Old Fashioned in The Lounge, the hotel bar known for its well-crafted cocktails) and was given a late (4 pm) check out, which I needed, being that my flight back to New York left at 9pm the next evening.

    The next day, after checking in for my return flight, I still had an hour or so to kill at SFO. Again, lucky me: I headed over to Terminal 3 and entered the American Express Centurion Lounge (the six lounges around the country were created to provide a luxury experience for Platinum and Centurion card holders). Beautifully decorated, the SFO lounge features complimentary food and drinks with a menu crafted by Cedric Vongerichten, Chef du Cuisine at New York’s acclaimed Perry Street restaurant, and a wine list by Anthony Giglio (the fried chicken with a chile glaze, ginger rice and veggies were perfect with the Viognier Darioush 2013). The Centurion Lounge has a shower suite, workstations, and comfy couches and flat screens everywhere whether you need to catch the game or catch up with the world on CNN. And there is a Napa Valley Wine Tasting area. Even after a weekend of wine indulgence, I was tempted…but I had to catch my flight. Next time, definitely!

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    af am lens

    Through the African American Lens, the first volume in the Smithsonian’s Double Exposure series, is an impassioned collection of resplendent images of cultural icons by iconic photographers (Gordon Parks, Wayne F. Miller).

    As introduced by curator, Dr. Rhea Combs, these photos are “a review of African American experiences within the frame of American history.”


    This chronicle of poignant moments, spanning from pre-civil war to our current color, vividly details our rich textures previously blurred in broad strokes and ingeniously whets the appetite for the National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in Washington, D.C. in 2016



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  • 08/28/15--09:15: Fresh Divine
  • divine clementine

    Spoil your skin with the natural nourishment of Divine Clementine’s soaps on ropes.

    An amalgam of goat’s milk, aloe vera and oils including lavender, olive and vegetable, the hand-crafted cleansing creations boast fragrances like oatmeal cookie and peppermint and have been used to treat eczema and aid cancer patients in post radiation skin treatments.

    Lather up and luxuriate! —S.B.J.

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    Michael Jackson ONE Giveaway

    UPTOWN Magazine has teamed up with Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE to give away five (5) Michael Jackson ONE Prize packs, including a mix of the following items: Moonwalker Notebook, iPad Case, Slap Bracelets and Souvenir Programs.

    Now playing at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Michael Jackson One is a sonic experience that fuses acrobatics, dance and visuals to provide an immersive experience into Michael’s music. They’ll even be hosting a special August 29 celebration of Michael Jackson’s Birthday with special festivities to honor the King of Pop.

    To enter,

    • Make sure you’re either following us on Twitter or Facebook
    • Retweet/Share our MJOne post using #UPTOWNMJONE
    • Complete the form below.

    Enter now through Thursday, September 3, 2015 at11:59pm EST for your chance to win! We’ll announce winners September 4, 2015 at 12pm EST.

    Fill out my online form.

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    andra day cheers to the fall

    Attention: We hereby instruct you to seize the day – Andra Day, that is.

    Not because we’re enamored with her yesteryear style and red-stained lips, or because Spike Lee directed the video for her debut single, “Forever Mine,” but because her retro-pop-soul sounds billow through our bodies with a brassy boom.

    andra day

    And we love her vocal hybrid of Amy Winehouse and Rihanna. With a full album, entitled Cheers to the Fall, which debuted last week, the sun won’t set on this Day any time soon.


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  • 08/31/15--09:40: Phone Envy: HTC One M9
  • htc-one-m9-global-sketchfab-silver

    Connectivity has never been more chic than with the HTC One M9 smartphone.

    Its most important attribute, a 20MP camera, guarantees Mrs. West-level selfies and the front facing stereo speakers provide a party in your palm.

    Available in three colors, the device flaunts mirrored edges and a curved body (also like the aforementioned reality queen) and because looks aren’t everything (she may disagree), rest assured that signal strength, memory and battery life are exceptional.

    Any questions? Good, start dialing.  —N.C.


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    Judge Joe Brown was freed from a Memphis jail this morning after a five-day stint.

    The ex-TV judge compared his cell to “slave quarters,” and told People, “Jail’s jail. It’s boring, it’s dirty, but I survived. I’m breathing free air.”

    However, Brown, who appeared as the arbitrator on Judge Joe Brown from 1998-2013, said he’d do it all over again.

    “A citizen was being gravely mistreated,” he says. “I couldn’t allow that to happen. I had an opportunity to stand up for her and I took it.”

    Last year, Brown was held in contempt of court after going H.A.M. on a judge while representing a woman pro bono in a child support case.

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  • 09/01/15--09:30: Supermodel, The Movie
  • Sessilee-in-bed-Datari_0

    Former model turned producer and writer Datari Turner knows a thing or two about the runway, so much so that he’s gathered Tyson Beckford, Sessilee Lopez, Tatyana Ali and Angela Simmons to join him in his latest movie Supermodel (from his namesake production company), to be released in 2016.

    Shot on location in NYC, Paris and Los Angeles, it’s the age-old romantic tale of an inner city beauty that finds fame and romps with fate in the world’s most beautifully ugly industry.


    Turner, who began his successful stint as an in demand model at the tender age of 18, says filmmaking was always the goal.

    “When I stopped modeling to pursue a career in film and television, I always said I would eventually make a film about black models,” he says. Mission accomplished.

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    Today, Microsoft announced that it will donate $500,000 and Microsoft tech and services to the Beagle Freedom Project in order to support its cause. According to its website, the Beagle Freedom Project’s mission is to rescue beagles used in animal experimentation in research labs and provide them with a forever home full of love.

    But this good news is just the beginning … Starting today, you can vote for your favorite local non-profit to receive $50,000 from Microsoft to help #UpgradeYourWorld.


    According to a press release:

    Microsoft celebrated the launch of Windows 10 on July 29, 2015, by committing to Upgrade Your World, a yearlong initiative that celebrates people and organizations doing great things, including a series of partnerships with 10 global and 100 local nonprofit organizations. Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organization to achieve more. Upgrade Your World is just one example of the many ways Microsoft contributes to local communities worldwide, as Microsoft and its employees donate more than $1 billion each year to more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations around the world.

    Here’s how the voting process works, according to Microsoft’s statement:

    As part of the global Upgrade Your World initiative, Microsoft will be spotlighting 100 local nonprofit organizations making an impact in the following 10 countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Microsoft has already identified 50 of the nonprofit organizations (five of the 10 in each country) to receive a monetary donation of $50,000 each, and invites people around the world to vote for their favorite local nonprofit organizations in each country to help select the additional 50 organizations. The top five vote-getters in each country will receive a donation, joining the 50 nonprofits already chosen. In all, 10 organizations in 10 countries will each receive $50,000, totaling $5 million. To cast a vote for an organization, post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #UpgradeYourWorld[country abbreviation, U.S. example: #UpgradeYourWorldUSA], #vote, and tag the @[nonprofit].

    See #UpgradeYourWorld in action by checking out the video of Microsoft’s September partner Save the Children, which transforms the lives of children in the world’s most vulnerable countries, from the U.S. to Zimbabwe, by giving them an opportunity to learn and preparing them to succeed in school. The video shows the impact Save the Children is having in Vietnam.

    Learn more at the #UpgradeYourWorld website.

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    idris elba james bond anthony horowitz comments


    “Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better. For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a colour issue. I think he is probably a bit too “street” for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”

    Anthony Horowitz, author of the latest 007 adventure Trigger Mortis, shares his uncoloured thoughts on why he doesn’t think fellow Brit Idris Elba would make a respectable James Bond with DailyMail.


    On Tuesday, the writer took to Twitter to issue an apology for his choice of words, explaining that he was mortified to have caused offense.


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    Dancing with the Stars co-host Tom Bergeron announced the complete cast for season 21 of the celebrity dance competition show on Good Morning America Wednesday, Sept. 2nd.

    Tamar Braxton and Chaka Khan will compete against each other and Paula Deen, Kim Zolciak, Gary Busey, Bindi Irwin, Andy Grammer, Nick Carter, Hayes Grier, Victor Espinoza, and married couple Alexa and Carlos PenaVega.

    The celebrities gathered at GMA studios to reveal the final contestant. Train hero and Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos has joined the cast. Skarlatos became an international hero when he helped prevent a massacre on a Belgium train. Watch the video of the announcement below.

    Here’s the list of contestants and their professional partners:

    • Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough
    • Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas
    • Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson
    • Victor Espinoza and Karina Smirnoff
    • Hayes Grier and Emma Slater
    • Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess
    • Chaka Khan and Keo Motsepe
    • Andy Grammer and Allison Holker
    • Garey Busey and Anna Trebunskaya
    • Kim Zolciak and Tony Dovolani
    • Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy
    • Paula Deen and Louis Van Amstel
    • Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold

    Season 21 of Dancing with the Stars begins on Sept. 14th. Will you watch?

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    Harris Faulkner

    Harris Faulker of Fox News’ Outnumbered thinks Hasbro went too far with a toy hamster they created.  The anchor is suing the toy manufacturer for $5 million over their Harris Faulkner hamster, which she says wrongfully appropriates her name and bears a physical resemblance to her.

    The plastic rodent is part of Hasbro’s Littlest Pet Shop line.  The toy is not currently listed on the site.harris faulkner hamster

    From AP:

    “Hasbro’s portrayal of Faulkner as a rodent is demeaning and insulting,” says the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey.

    Her lawsuit says that in addition to sharing her name, the toy bears a physical resemblance to Faulkner’s traditional professional appearance, including its complexion, eye shape and eye makeup design.

    The Harris Faulkner toy was introduced in 2014, according to the lawsuit, and was sold in a package as the pet hamster of a terrier named Benson Detwyler. Other toys in the popular line include animals named Pancakes Watkins, Puffball Petrovsky and Pepper Clark.

    The lawsuit says Faulkner never gave permission for Hasbro to use her name or likeness and that she even demanded in January that Hasbro stop using it. More than three weeks later, it was still for sale on Hasbro’s website, the lawsuit contends. It says that as of July, Faulkner’s name was still being used on a Hasbro website to sell Littlest Pet Shop products, and the plastic hamster that bears her name can still be bought at other online retail stores.

    Julie Duffy, a Hasbro spokeswoman, said the company doesn’t comment on litigation, but she took issue with the lawsuit’s contention that the doll is a “known choking hazard that risks harming small children.”

    “The Littlest Pet Shop product identified, and all products in the Littlest Pet Shop line, meet and exceed all safety standards,” Duffy said.

    Faulkner is seeking $5 million in damages and attorney fees, plus any profits the company made on the toy.

    Colby C.

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    Tuesday, former Eutawville, SC Police Chief Richard Combs, 38, has plead guilty to “misconduct of office” in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man in 2011. Bernard Bailey, 54, made the mistake of arguing with Combs about a traffic ticket the officer gave his daughter and he paid with his life.

    Combs could have faced 10 years in jail, but was sentenced to one year of house arrest and five years of probation under a plea deal, the Associated Press reports. Both of Combs’ trials resulted in a hung jury before he took the plea deal.

    According to the AP, these are the events that led to Combs fatally shooting an unarmed Bailey:

    “Combs shot Bailey in May 2011 as he tried to arrest him on an obstruction of justice charge weeks after he argued about his daughter’s traffic ticket on the side of a highway. Eutawville is a town of 300 people about 50 miles southeast of Columbia.

    “Bailey came to Town Hall to discuss the ticket and Combs told him he was under arrest. Bailey stormed out and got in his pickup truck and Combs followed, authorities said.

    “Bailey was shot three times as he backed his truck out. Prosecutors said Combs was trying to arrest Bailey on a trumped up charge, was not threatened and could have stepped out of the way.

    “Combs testified he was leaning into Bailey’s pickup and had just seconds to react. They said he had no pepper spray or stun gun, which left him no option but his gun. He was the only officer in the town.”

    Combs was suspended and then dismissed some months after the shooting, according to the AP.

    Bailey’s family was awarded $400,000 after reaching a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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    What started out as a pleasant family reunion turned hostile after a rowdy group of white campers began to threaten a Black family at Rollins Lake in Nevada County, Calif.


    Kanisha Allen says she and her family are victims of a hate crime and they want their assailants to be charged.

    Allen says her family’s camping trip started positively. “We pitched the tents, we bring the food, we cook the ribs,” Allen told Fox 40. Things soured when a rowdy group came near their campsite and began staring and making racial comments.

    However, the family decided to ignore the comments. The next night, however, they couldn’t ignore the group any longer.

    “I’ve been in car accidents, you know, you go through tense and scary situations in life, but nothing like this,” said Allen to the station.

    Allen recalls one man started yelling at her and her family.

    “‘I didn’t come here to sleep next to any f–king n’s,’ [is what he said],” Allen said, referring to his use of the n-word.

    Allen says the man started running towards them with what she thought at the time was a gun in his hand.

    “It was terrifying, I have a 9-month-old daughter, and I grabbed her, and the only thing that I could think of was, ‘You need to go down the ravine and hide next to the water,’ because we didn’t know what was happening,” said said.

    UPTOWN_kanisha_allens_motherAllen’s 60-something-year-old mother fell down and injured her face while trying to escape the threatening racist, said Allen.

    “[My mother was alive during the civil rights movement and] to have to relive some of the things that she had gone through in her younger years today, it is almost unbelievable,” Allen explained to the station.

    The man was attempting to leave the campsite when he learned the police were called to the scene. He wasn’t arrested because sheriff’s deputies didn’t find any weapons on him.

    “They didn’t think that he was drunk, and didn’t find any weapons on him, and for some reason or another, decided to let him go. … We expressed that we had feared for our lives, you know? And still nothing was done at that point,” Allen said.

    However, on Tuesday the Nevada County Sheriff’s Captain Jeff Pettitt said his agency would recommend the district attorney file a charge of making a criminal threat against the racist, at the very least, which could be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, according to USA Today. Pettitt said an additional investigation could lead to a hate crime charge. Pettitt refused to identify the man until he is formerly charged.

    A manager for the campsite informed Fox 40 that the man and his companions have been banned.

    “Maybe we were a little bit naive to think we could go into an area that is not necessarily known for diversity and think that nothing would happen,” Allen said.

    Organizer Shera Johnson, of Grass Valley, Calif., has created a GoFundMe page to raise money so Allen’s family can return to Nevada County for their next family reunion.

    “Let’s bring these people back. They’re kind of nervous to come back to our community and I get that,” Johnson said. “But in 2016 when they bring their family back, they’re going to have a totally different experience.”


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    Last week, we told you that Tamar Braxton will compete during Dancing with the Stars season 21. And now, the multi-hyphenate is giving us a glimpse into what to expect on the dance competition show.

    The youngest Braxton sister hits the dance floor to Whip and Nae Nae in a promotional video for DWTS. Even though we’re pretty sure the popular dance won’t actually make it into the competition, it got us excited to watch Tamar when DWTS season premiere airs Sept. 14th, the same day her talk show The Real returns to the tube.

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    UPTOWN_cormega_copening_brianna_densonCormega Copening, 17, has been charged as an adult and is facing 10 years in prison for possessing nude photos of himself and his 16-year-old girlfriend, Brianna Denson, even though the legal age of consent in North Carolina is 16.

    According to Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department who spoke with Fox News, 16 year olds are considered adults and can be charged as such. “But to disseminate and receive sexually explicit texts, photos or videos, you must be over 18,” Swain explained.

    Both Copening and Denson were charged as adults in February for “for sending ‘sexually explicit’ photos of minors — themselves — to each other’s cell phone when the Fayetteville teens were 16,” reports Fox News. Denson took a plea deal in July and was sentenced to “one year of probation without access to a phone, a $200 fine and a class on making smarter life decisions,” according to Atlanta Blackstar. Copening’s felony charges of two counts of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor and three counts of third degree sexual exploitation of a minor are still pending.

    Officials from Jack Britt High School benched the quarterback from the Buccaneers football team after learning of the charges.

    Copening is facing 10 years in prison if he’s convicted. The teen may also have to register as a sexual offender, which “would hang over his head forever. Life, as it should have unfolded for him, will not,” said Raleigh attorney Karl Knudsen, who is not involved in the case, to Fox News.

    “You can be labeled a convicted sex offender as an adult at the age of 16, but you are a minor by being under the age of 18 to commit the offense in the first place,” Knudsen explains how North Carolina teens can be found in violation of the same laws that were written to protect them. “It really makes terrible sense logically, but that’s the way the law is written.”

    Copening’s next court appearance is slated for Sept. 30th.


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    The family of Freddie Gray has reached a tentative $6.4 million settlement with the city of Baltimore in a wrongful death lawsuit, after the 25 year old was critically injured while in police custody.

    Police were transporting Gray, after he was arrested, in the back of a transport vehicle when he was injured. His death sparked outrage and protests in Baltimore for days.

    All six Baltimore police officers, including Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, are charged with second-degree assault, misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment. Lt. Brian Rice, Sgt. Alicia White, and Officer William Porter also have been charged with manslaughter, while Officer Caesar Goodson faces second-degree “depraved-heart” murder, the most serious charge.

    The settlement has no bearing on the criminal case. Yahoo reports: “The settlement does not resolve any factual disputes, and expressly does not constitute an admission of liability on the part of the city, its police department or any of the officers.”

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake explained the tentative settlement in a press release, according to Yahoo: “The proposed settlement agreement going before the board of estimates should not be interpreted as a judgment on the guilt or innocence of the officers facing trial. This settlement is being proposed solely because it is in the best interest of the city, and avoids costly and protracted litigation that would only make it more difficult for our city to heal and potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.”

    The settlement remains tentative and needs the approval of a board that oversees Baltimore spending. The board is expected to meet Wednesday, Sept. 9th.

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