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Diverse Florida City To Rename Streets Dedicated To Confederate Generals

One of them was named after the "father of the Ku Klux Klan."

In Hollywood, FL, resting in a predominantly black and brown neighborhood, are three street names honoring Confederate generals. Most were able to sense the problematic nature of this reality, as the city’s commission voted to rename the streets Monday (July 3).

The streets are named after Generals Robert E. Lee, John Bell Hood and Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was known as the “father of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Pastor Michael Anderson of New Jerusalem First Baptist Church shared: “It’s refreshing to see people rise up to their courage. That’s what leadership is about.”

In order to prevent any opposition to renaming the streets, the commission had to vote on two key measures that would make the change concrete and refrain from offending the Hollywood civilians.

The first measure, passing with a 5-2 result, eliminated polling the city’s residents. The argument for Commissioner Richard Blattner’s measure was that if the people of Hollywood voted against the street name changes, it would look like the Commission “could care less about what their community has to say” when they move forward with the plans. The second measure will incorporate dual-naming for two years so residents will be able to adjust to the eventual extermination of the names.

While one of the few opposing the name change, Cynthia Baker, claims the commission is serving the needs of “special interest groups” of the knowingly diverse community, Carlos Valnera likened the severity of the situation to that of women’s rights.

“If you look at history, I bet if you put women’s rights to a vote it would have never passed - where would we be today?” the resident began. “Sometimes it is not about the majority, but it is about doing what is right.”

Voting on the overall issue will occur on August 30.

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California Woman Claims School Bully Left Son With Permanent Brain Damage

A Southern California mom says her son suffered permanent brain damage after a violent run-in with a bully, CBS Los Angeles reports.  The woman, identified only as “Sarah” to protect her and her son’s identity, is suing Animo Westside Charter Middle School in Playa Vista, California, over a 2018 altercation in which her son was attacked by a bully and placed in the school office for several minutes before paramedics were called.

Footage of the altercation was caught on the school’s surveillance cameras and appears to show her 12-year-old son getting off the bus before being approached by a larger student. The apparent bully punched her son and put him in a chokehold.

Ben Meiselas, a lawyer representing the family, claims the bully did a YouTube search for “the most painful pressure points on the neck” prior to altercation. A school staff member can also be seen walking by as the boy is being attacked. The boy is eventually brought inside the school.

Staff members realize that the boy is hurt and take him into the school’s main office to lay him on the floor. The boy suffered a seizure in the office, and lost consciousness twice, the lawsuit states. School officials are also accused of failing to call paramedics for several minutes.

“By the time I get there, I’m thinking paramedics [arrived] and he’s going to have help,” said the boy’s mother. “My son is literally laying there still in the middle of the office floor completely black and blue.”

Despite viewing video of the altercation, the school district has yet to apologize to the victim and his mother, Meiselas said. “The fact that they can watch that video and not so much offer an apology is really, really, really disgusting.”

See more in the video below.

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E. Jason Wambsgans-Pool

R.Kelly "Refused Transport" And Didn't Appear In Court

R.Kelly was a no show inside a Cook County courtroom in regards to the string of sexual abuse charges leveled against him.

The 52-year-old singer reportedly "refused transport" from the federal lockup in downtown Chicago to the Leighton Criminal Court Building Thursday morning. (Aug. 15)

Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg said the U.S. Marshall Service has expressed frustration about transporting the singer. However, Greenberg didn't go into details while in court. “Suffice it to say that the Marshals Service said moving Mr. Kelly is a large undertaking.”

Kelly was indicted by federal prosecutors for allegedly setting up sexual encounters with minors and then conspiring to cover it up. In February, Cook County officials were the first to charge him with sexual abuse of women, three of which were minors.

In July, New York prosecutors charged Kelly with one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking across state lines. There are five alleged victims in the New York indictment including a reported three girls.

The singer-songwriter was arrested in Chicago on July 12 and has been held without bond at Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. The singer has remained in solitary confinement, and according to his lawyer is miserable.

"He’s not a fighter. I’ve seen him cry when he talks about the situation,” Greenberg said.

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Bill Pugliano

A Petition To Rename A Street By Trump Tower After Obama Received 100K Signatures

More than 100,000 people have given their digital signatures to a petition requesting a block of Manhattan Avenue be renamed after President Barack Obama. This is the same stretch of land that houses Trump Tower.

Elizabeth Rowin started the MoveOn.org petition as a joke and quickly realized there were others who supported the idea. While speaking with Newsweek, Rowin said she's heard from "several" city council members who showed interest in the idea.

If the change were to be made then the address of any building between 56th and 57th streets and Fifth Avenue would be changed including Trump Tower's address, which would be 725 President Barack H. Obama Ave.

The only catch to Rowin's request: to rename a street after a person in New York City, the person has to be dead.

"I am sure the conditions can be changed," Rowin said. "There are two streets in LA named after former President Obama. These laws are arbitrary and can be worked around," she said.

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