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Baltimore Closes Public Schools To Sort Out Inadequate Heating System

Although classes have been suspended for the week, the state of the city’s school district may be indicative of Baltimore as a whole. 

Baltimore Public Schools decided to suspend classes on Thursday (Jan. 4), after receiving widespread criticism for forcing their students to attend class in dangerous conditions the day prior, CNN reports.

On Wednesday (Jan. 3), outrage was hurled at the Maryland city's school system as photos surfaced online of students in classrooms layered in their coats, gloves, and scarves. Not only did this anger the children’s parents, but also generated frustration from teachers as well.

The president of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union, Marietta English, used a hand-delivered letter to “implore” that the school system’s CEO, Sonja Santelises, to cancel classes, while former-NFL linebacker turned teacher, Aaron Maybin, took to social media posting tweets and pictures that critique the way the school system was handling the low temperatures.

However, in a video on Facebook live, Santelises responded to this criticism by explaining the strain on many of the district’s “outdated” and “poor” heating systems is a result of inadequate funding. But even though close to a third of the schools in the district have reported heating issues – with close to 85 percent of their students eligible for free or reduced lunch – shutting down the district is not an easy decision since many children rely on school for meals.

And although Santelises has suspended classes for the week, the state of the city’s school district may be indicative of Baltimore as a whole. With close to a fourth of their citizens below the poverty line and one of the highest murder rates in the country, one can see that the struggles of this city that is nearly 65 percent black, go past poorly insulated schools.

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Usher And Girlfriend Jenn Goicoechea Welcome Baby Girl, Sovereign Bo Raymond

Usher and girlfriend, Jenn Goicoechea are on Cloud 9! The couple recently welcomed a baby girl named Sovereign Bo Raymond, Usher revealed via Instagram on Wednesday (Sept. 30).

“We are feeling blessed and full of love with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl,” Sovereign Bo Raymond. ‘he captioned a photo of him holding his baby girl’s tiny hand. The proud father listed his location as “Heaven on Earth” and added that Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” has been on repeat in honor of their new bundle of joy.

 

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We are feeling blessed and full of love with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl, Sovereign Bo Raymond. “Isn’t She lovely” by Stevie Wonder on repeat ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

A post shared by Usher (@usher) on Sep 30, 2020 at 8:55am PDT

Sovereign was born on Sept. 24, according to PEOPLE. The baby  girl the third child for the 41-year-old Grammy winner who shares two sons, Usher Raymond V, 12, and Naviyd Raymond, 11, with his ex-wife Tameka Foster.

Though Usher and Jenn have been keeping their relationships lowkey, the “Don’t Waste My Time” singer confirmed pregnancy rumors on Good Morning America earlier in the month while promoting his forthcoming Las Vegas residency. “Babies always bring such joy to a family and [I'm] really, really excited for my young one,” he said.

Usher has a lot on his place these days. Aside from being a new father of three, and prepping for Las Vegas, the multi-Grammy winner is working on his ninth studio album.

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Naya Rivera’s Sister And Ex-Husband Explain Why They Are Living Together

Naya Rivera’s younger sister, Nickayla Rivera, and the Glee star’s ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, explained living together after photos of the two holding hands began circulating the web.

“In the darkest time of my life, the only thing that is important is my friends and family,” the 25-year-old model wrote in a message posted to her Instagram Story on Monday (Sept. 28). “Showing up for my nephew, even though I can’t show up for myself. [I’m] not concerned with the way things look because no one can see each agonizing moment we all endure. What matter most I’ve learned, is to show compassion, not to judge others, & never take a moment of life for granted. I hope you all can do the same.” Nickayla reportedly moved into Dorsey's three-bedroom home.

Actor Ryan Dorsey has moved in with Naya Rivera’s sister, Nickayla.

Daily Mail reports that the two have ‘been inseparable’ since the death of Naya. They are living together in a three-bedroom house & taking care of Rivera’s son, Josey, with the help of Dorsey’s parents. pic.twitter.com/Exe9eFZIZo

— Pop Galore (@PopGalore) September 28, 2020

Dorsey, 37, posted a 12-minute video on Instagram Tuesday (Sept. 29) explaining how Nickayala “put her life on hold” to help him take care of the 4-year-old son, Josie, that he shared with the late actress.

“I can’t believe that this is real life and that I am about to address any of this nonsense,” Dorsey said while admitting that he hasn’t watched the news and doesn’t typically read social media comments. “It was brought to my attention that a lot of people who have a lot to say and have opinions on a family’s tragic situation. 99% are strangers that don’t even know this family. I’ll be honest, I probably read about 10 [comments] and that was enough to know why I don’t read comments.”

Dorsey went on to say that he has lost around 20 pounds since Naya’s death in July, gets little sleep, and wakes up sad every day — especially for Josie, who was lifted back onto a boat by his mother before she tragically drowned. According to Dorsey, Nickayla has been a support system for him and Josie. “To have a young woman who is his blood, his Titi, who was willing to put her life on hold and sacrifice things, uproot her situation for the betterment of your child, so when you bring your child to bed you don’t always have to be alone with your thoughts…at least you have someone there to talk to, or sit in silence…be sad with. You don’t have to deal with it completely alone.”

Watch Dorsey’s full video below.

 

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🗣Its not always black and white.

A post shared by dorseyryan (@dorseyryan) on Sep 29, 2020 at 4:58pm PDT

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Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers watches tribute at AT&T Center on February 6, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.
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California Governor Signs Law Prompted By Kobe Bryant Crash Site Photos

A new California law making it illegal for first responders to snap unauthorized photos of dead victims at an accident or a crime scene, was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday (Sept. 28).

California Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson introduced AB 2655 (a.k.a. “Kobe Bryant’s Law”) in response to eight Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department  deputies reportedly snapping and sharing photos at the January plane crash site that killed Bryant, his young daughter, and eight others.

“Like many others, I was mortified after I’d heard that first responders captured and shared unauthorized photos from the scene of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and Ara Zobayan,” Gipson shared in a statement. “AB 2655 ensures that those who are trusted to secure scenes of great disaster and death are not abusing their power for personal pleasure or profit, and the privacy and dignity of the deceased and those closest to them is not to be toyed with - it must be protected. Loved ones should not be subjected to painful photos as they grieve their unimaginable loss.”

Proud to report that my bill, The #KobeBryant Act of 2020, was signed today by @GavinNewsom. #AB2655 will prohibit first responders from taking photos of the deceased outside of job duties. #caleg

— Asm. Mike A. Gipson (@AsmMikeGipson) September 29, 2020

Vanessa Bryant is suing the department over the “gratuitous images” that “soon became talked about within the department, as deputies displayed them to colleagues in settings that had nothing to do with investigating the accident,” according to her complaint filed in a Los Angeles Superior Court last week.

The lawsuit alleges that one LASD deputy even used the gruesome photos to “impress a woman at a bar, bragging about how he had been at the crash site.” LASD Alex Villanueva assured the grieving widow that the photos would not get out, according to her legal documents.

A.B. 2655 makes it a misdemeanor offense to share graphic unauthorized images punishable by fines of up to $1,000. The measure, co-sponsored by the LASD, will go into effect in January 2021.

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