2017 Lower Eastside Girls Club Spring Fling And Awards Gala
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Rosario Dawson Turns Tragedy Into Triumph After Cousin's Passing

The actress breaks her silence shortly after the death of her cousin, Vaneza Inez Vasquez. 

Rosario Dawson has understandably shied away from the public eye following reports that she discovered her cousin Vaneza Ines Vasquez dead in her California home. But after taking some time to grieve, the actress has broken her silence about the tragic loss and her new outlook on family and life.

"I've been dealing with a lot of loss lately and reconnecting with my family and my friends in a different way," Dawson said at at an event in support of AOL's Build Series in NYC on Wednesday (May 2).

The Marvel star also detailed how even the most emotional and traumatic events in her life have inspired her to live to the fullest and without regret. "It's too easy to kind of go down the wormhole—the rabbit hole—and think about the stuff that didn't happen," she continued. "My cousin just died, Vaneza, and I'm coming up on the six-year anniversary of my grandmother's passing. And from 75 to 26, you just don't know when your time is. And I just don't want to be in any kind of position where I'm looking back going, 'I should've, could've, would've, didn't, damn!'"

As previously reported, Dawson found her 26-year-old cousin unresponsive at her residence in Venice, California. Upon the paramedics arrival, they tried to resuscitate her, but were ultimately unsuccessful. An official autopsy report has not been released, but authorities believe Vasquez died of natural causes, as she had been suffering from migraines and hypertension, TMZ reports.

 

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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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