Archive for the 'News' Category


George Zimmerman released on $150,000 bail (Kalie Gipson)

After being charged with second-degree murder, George Zimmerman is out on bail after posting a $150,000 bond.

He left the John E. Polk Correctional Facility in Florida in the early morning on Monday, equipped with a bulletproof vest and an electronic monitoring device that can immediately identify where the offender is.

Zimmerman will most likely stay in hiding and away from the public eye until his trail next year, where he will plead his case for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. According to reports, he has to report his whereabouts every three days by terms of his release. He must also surrender his passport, observe a 7 PM to 6 AM curfew, and he is not allowed to use a firearm.

Zimmerman’s lawyer, Mark O’Mara, has stated that he will waive Zimmerman’s appearance at his arraignment on May 8th out of concern for his personal safety.

“We have had serious threats that law enforcement is looking into where they’ve threatened his life and since we don’t know how legitimate they are we have to be concerned about all of them,” O’Mara told ABC news.

He has also stated that Zimmerman will need someone who can “help protect him” and he will ask the state to pay for his protection. It has also been asserted that Zimmerman’s family will be looking for some outside help in paying for his living expenses, security, and legal fees.

On April 20th, at his bond hearing, Zimmerman addressed Martin’s family directly and apologized for the murder.

“I am sorry for the loss of your son. I did not know how old he was. I thought he was a little bit younger than I am. I did not know if he was armed or not,” Zimmerman said.

Benjamin Crump, the Martin family attorney, said “it was very hard for them being in that courtroom, for him to have done what he did.”

He added that it was “somewhat of a surprise, because we had told them this was not the appropriate time. But they just disregarded that and he went and pandered to the court and the media and gave a very insincere apology.”

The Martin family stated in a news conference that his apology was not appreciated. O’Mara has said that he would have done things differently had he knew that Martin’s parents objected to an apology.

“Had I known or been told that that wasn’t the time, it wouldn’t have happened. So I apologize for that.”

It is possible that he will receive a life sentence if convicted.

Zimmerman maintains that he shot Martin in self-defense on the night of February 26. He told police that Martin punched him and then pounded his head on the concrete repeatedly. Zimmerman is not expected to be seen in public again until his trial.


Young Supermodel’s Life Forever Changed (Chelsea Ancona)

A young, aspiring supermodel went on a trip to look at Christmas lights with a friend in December when her life was forever changed by walking into the still-spinning propeller of an airplane.
On Dec 3, 23-year old supermodel, Lauren Scruggs, and a friend took a single-engine plane in Dallas, Tex to view the Christmas lights in the area. The plane landed to pick up another passenger. Scruggs walked in the dark to the front of the plane to thank the pilot when she walked into the still-spinning propeller. The propeller severely cut her left hand and the left side of her shoulder and face. Doctors had to amputate her left hand as well as her left eye. She endured other cuts on her face and a fractured skull.
The pilot, Curt Richmond, is a friend of Scruggs. He left the engine running while new passengers boarded the small plane as he prepared for another trip in the air.
Richmond told air safety officials that he put his arm up and yelled at Scruggs as she tried to walk in front of the plane. According to a National Transportation Safety Board Report, he put down his arm and turned away from her when he thought she had turned to walk away from the spinning propeller.
However, Scruggs may not have heard his warning over the sound of the engine. Moments later, someone on the ground screamed ‘Stop! Stop!’ and Richmond saw her lying on the tarmac. Scruggs’ mother was inside the airport when the incident occurred and called 911.  
The NTSB did not find Richmond at fault for the accident, but air safety investigator Denny Kelly said Richmond is ultimately responsible because he should have shut the engine down.
Scruggs does not remember anything from the night of her accident. She knows she was in a bad accident, but she does not remember how it happened. Once she was taken to the hospital and was stable, some of her first words were, “I love you” to her mom and twin sister.
Since that horrific night, Scruggs continues to progress, along with the support of her family and friends. She has since received a prosthetic eye, and is undergoing intense therapy to recover. Scruggs is learning how to walk, dress herself and shower on her own.
According to her mother’s blog on Caring Bridge, she is doing well, but is now dealing with the emotional pain. On Jan. 27 Cheryl Scruggs wrote, “We chalked up this past week as one of the toughest yet. You would think that things would be on the upswing, huh?…They are in some ways. She is progressing well, physically, but we have now entered into working through the five stages of grief. We have experienced a little of this along this journey, but we now face it head on.”
Scruggs comes from a devout Christian family and is using her faith to help her recover from her accident. Her mom has a Caring Bridge blog for her daughter, which she updates frequently. She often adds in her posts that this recovery process could not be possible without the support of their family, friends and God.
On Feb. 7 she wrote, “We have had some good days and some bad days this past week. But what God reminded me of today is to get back to praying for myself, and for my family, that we be filled to the brim each day with the fruit of the Spirit. Living by the flesh is easy. But living out the fruit of the Spirit takes a dependence on Jesus. That’s the only way we can do it.”
Scruggs and her family recently took their first vacation since the accident. They went to Steamboat Springs, Co. for the weekend. She released pictures with her family and friends for the first time since the accident.
Scruggs was pursuing her dream of becoming a supermodel. She has a fashion blog and had interviews scheduled for New York Fashion Week.
The young, aspiring supermodel continues to adapt to her new life and, through the grace of God, accept these changes and recover quickly.
A Hope Fund has been set up to help the Scruggs family pay for medical bills and other expenses. Anyone wishing to help can visit her page at and search ‘LaurenScruggs.’

You’re the Cure (Brittany Bertram)

Red is the color of love; it is the color of lips, and the color of the heart. Volunteers, survivors, students, and people all around the state spent their Valentine’s Day using their lips and love to talk about matters that were very close to their heart: heart disease.

February 14, 2012 marked another successful Lobby Day for Kentuckians. The American Heart Association partnered with several people in the Kentucky community to travel to Frankfort to inform their senators and representatives about three bills they felt would greatly influence society.

“Kentucky Lobby Day is my chance to make a difference in the lives of Kentuckians. It is an opportunity to educate our legislators on important issues affecting our Commonwealth’s health and well-being and to bring them up to date on initiatives that address both the cardiovascular health and obesity levels of our citizens. It is well worth the investment of time,” said heart disease survivor, Jack Rutherford.

The main bill on which they focused was House Bill 289. This bill is in support of Smoke-Free Kentucky and would enforce the smoking restriction in public places that many Kentucky communities have already adopted. Since second-hand smoke has such a strong influence on the health of individuals, this bill would greatly decrease heart disease, which is the most predominant killer in Kentucky. In turn, the bill would save the state money because health costs would decrease due to the decline of heart disease and other medical-related issues.

Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 243 deal with the obesity epidemic and it encourages schools to allow use of the school facilities, after hours, in order to permit communities additional opportunities to be physically active. The bill would allow the schools to charge a reasonable fee and would free them of any liability issues that might occur.

With these three bills, Kentucky’s community has the opportunity to increase the quality of life for their community, improve their health, and initiate a change that will positively affect future generations.

Paul Hornback, Senator of District 20, says: “If we are going to enforce a bill that moves toward a smoke-free Kentucky, we must include language that does not take away from the freedom of the minorities. Instead of banning smoking, we need to use language that restricts smokers.” Hornback suggest that businesses should be able to decide if they would like their business to be a smoking facility or a non-smoking facility. However, if they choose to be a smoking facility they must clearly demonstrate that to their patrons. They must also inform their staff of their decision before they are hired.

Each registered guest that arrived for Lobby Day was included in a small training session to go over the bills and the points they were lobbying for. For the rest of the day, they were scheduled in meetings to share their stories and thoughts with their representatives and senators.

Senate Bill 110 and House Bill 243 for obesity look like they are well on their way to becoming enforced. Smoke-Free Kentucky has improved since last year, but there is still work to be done to done to encompass each Kentucky community in this bill.

Lobby Day is one of the several events the American Heart Association puts on in February during American Heart Month. Be sure to get involved this month in some way and share the heart health. For more information and ways to be heart healthy or for information on upcoming American Heart Month events please visit



Whitney Houston Dead at 48 (Kalie Gipson)

On Saturday, February 11th, the music world lost an iconic legend. Whitney Houston, 48, was found dead underwater in the bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. There were no signs of foul play and no immediate cause of death could be identified.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends,” stated Houston’s family through her publicist.

Investigators reportedly found several prescription drugs in her hotel room, including Xanax, but toxicology reports will take weeks to confirm whether these substances played a part in Houston’s death. Further details of her death are not being released to protect anonymity. She was poised to appear at a pre-Grammy party hosted by Clive Davis. The Los Angeles Times reported that Houston was seen acting strangely and erratically the days leading up to her death.

Houston’s rise to fame has been well-documented and her relationship with New Edition singer Bobby Brown has been rooted into popular culture. After her marriage to Brown in 1992, the couple consistently made headlines until their divorce in 2007.

It is no secret that Houston and Brown struggled with drug and alcohol addictions throughout their careers. Houston has admitted to smoking marijuana laced with cocaine and drinking heavy amounts of alcohol.  Brown was arrested multiple times over the years for DUI and was emotionally abusive towards Houston. Brown skipped a New Edition performance in Nashville to be with their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, who was hospitalized for stress and anxiety and released.

“I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time,” Brown said Sunday.

Music sales have skyrocketed since her death. The Monday following, her cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” was number one on the iTunes charts, followed by “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “The Greatest Love of All.” Her greatest hits album and the “Ultimate Collection” album were first and second on the Amazon top 10 albums chart.

Her music powered through the 80’s and 90’s and she seemed prepped for a comeback in 2012. Her death could not have come at a more unfortunate time, being found on the eve of the Grammy Awards. Consequently, the awards show was dedicated to Houston. Following Bruce Springsteen’s opening performance, rapper and host LL Cool J said a prayer for the pop singer, and Jennifer Hudson closed the show with a tribute rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” The television show Glee dedicated their Valentine’s Day episode to the songstress, and many more dedications are sure to spring up.

Regardless of her turbulent lifestyle, Whitney Houston was a musical legend and is widely considered a pop icon. She has won 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. She has sold over 170 million albums worldwide.


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