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Welcome To Paradise: Homeless Man Flips LA Overpass Into Humble Abode

"This should be a landmark," Ceola Waddell Jr. aka "Mr. Dice" says about his compound located under the 110 Freeway.

A viral video has helped millions see "Paradise City," a compound created by Ceola Waddell Jr. aka "Mr. Dice" that resides under a Los Angeles underpass.

Compiled entirely by Mr. Dice himself, the compound is a collection of abandoned furniture, donated food and other materials found by the 59-year-old when he began living under the 110 Freeway six months ago. After his video had caught the attention of the Los Angeles Times, Dice explained how the city had dismantled his home several times. “I refuse to let the city beat me down to what they think a homeless person’s profile is, living on cardboard,” he said. “This should be a landmark.” Parts of his home include a canopy along with a "working" toilet and two other spaces where he allows fellow homeless people to reside for $25/week.

Bureau of Sanitation spokeswoman Elena Stern says the space is problematic and unsafe after workers found an “abundance of rotting food,” in a refrigerator and “explosive materials.” Refusing to fall into the stereotypes of the homeless, Dice set up a hot dog stand where he sells them for $2.50 each. The Tennessee native has been homeless since the age of 14 after leaving his alcoholic mother and abusive sisters. Remaining active, Dice lived in hotels while working several hustles and sales positions. He lived with a girlfriend for nine years until her death and was unable to keep a steady income afterwards.

Appreciative of the viral hype, Dice says he just wants to live comfortably. "I still don’t get it, what’s so fascinating about this place,” he said. “I decided I wanted to live like everybody else, make me something nice that I wanted to come home to. If I was in the Arctic I’d make me an igloo.”

City officials claim Dice has refused housing, but he tells a different story.  "I want to have one of those, but they're a little slow, dragging their feet with the process," he said.

Check out his story below.

 

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Flint Residents Will Reportedly Have The Ability To Sue Federal Government

On Thursday (April 18), Judge Linda Parker stated Flint, Mich., residents may have the power to sue the federal government over the officials' mishandling of the water supply system. Since 2014, residents have navigated life with non-consumable water that was tainted with lead when the city switched its water source.

The news arrives days after the city was approved to receive over $77 million in funds to assist with a new pipeline, water monitoring systems, and other water-based infrastructure needs. According to CNN, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan judge's memo stated the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mislead its residents when it failed to notify them of the lead-filled water.

"The impact on the health of the nearly 100,000 residents of the City of Flint remains untold. It is anticipated, however, the injury caused by the lead-contaminated public water supply system will affect the residents for years and likely generations to come," Parker said. Through campaigns spearheaded by Little Miss Flint and other activists, and initiatives conducted by artist Jaden Smith, the city's residents are steadily receiving assistance in adequate drinking water.

In January, an appeals court stated that federal civil lawsuits against the city of Flint would be permissible, The Hill notes.

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An Iowa Man Faces 20 Years After Gunpoint Break-In To Own A Domain Name Ends In A Shooting

The founder of a social media company faces 20 years in prison for orchestrating the home break-in and subsequent shooting of an Internet domain owner.

According to reports, Rossi Lorathio Adams II founded a social media company "State Snaps" in 2015. The company, which operates on Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, is described as containing violent, crude and often nude images of young people.

The catchphrase associated with uploaded videos is "do it for the state" and to capitalize off the growing followers, Adams, 26, tried to purchase the domain name from a Cedar Rapids resident. He couldn't make the final sale.

"Between 2015 and 2017, Adams repeatedly tried to obtain 'doitforstate.com,' but the owner of the domain would not sell it. Adams also threatened one of the domain owner's friends with gun emojis after the friend used the domain to promote concerts," court records show.

Growing tired of playing "nice," in June 2017, Adams reportedly told his cousin Sherman Hopkins Jr to break into the victim's home and force the sale. Hopkins wore pantyhose on his head, a hat and glasses to cover his eyes. He had a gun and a Taser when he broke into the home to demand the domain name.

After forcing the owner to the computer, Hopkins reportedly held the weapon to his head. "Fearing for his life, the victim quickly turned to move the gun away from his head. The victim then managed to gain control of the gun," court records show.

Hopkins was sentenced to 20 years in prison last year. Now, Adams faces a similar fate, with a 20-year maximum sentence, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervision.

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T.I. Bails 23 Nonviolent Offenders Out Of Jail For Easter

T.I. did a remarkable thing this Easter (April 21). In the true spirit of the holiday, T.I. bailed 23 nonviolent offenders out of the DeKalb County Jail in Georgia.

T.I., Love & Hip Hop's Scrapp Deleon, and the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga reportedly worked together to bail out seven women and 16 men who were locked up for first-time or nonviolent offenses. The deed was done as part of the church's "Bail Out" program.

"It's almost like finally meeting the good Samaritan – somebody who you don't know that you didn't see coming," senior Pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant said good deed. "They're appreciative to be able to press the refresh button."

The philanthropic work doesn't stop after the men and women are released, however. The "Bail Out" program also connects the newly-released citizens with a certified mentor for weekly check-ins. A portion of the donations received by the program will be used to establish college funds for former inmates with children.

According to Fox 5, New Birth Missionary launched the "Bail Out" program on Lent (Mar. 6). They pledged to raise $40,000 in order to bail inmates out of jail just in time for Easter Sunday. As soon as T.I. got involved, donations reportedly skyrocketed to $120,000.

We should take note of their courageous efforts.

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