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[Press Release] Small Business Administration Grants Governor Abbott's Request For Disaster Assistance

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Governor Greg Abbott’s request for low interest federal disaster loans for those affected by the devastating tornadoes that swept through Texas on the weekend of April 28th has been granted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for seven Texas counties. …read more

Source:: Office of the Governor

      

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Johnny Depp would tell his younger self to quit showbiz

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By Stephen Iervolino

Disney – 2017(SHANGHAI) — Despite being the highest paid star in Hollywood — at least as of a few years ago — Johnny Depp has some mixed feelings about the movie business.

At the the historic world premiere of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in Shanghai, China, Depp was asked by Entertainment Tonight what advice he’d give his younger self.

The 53-year-old said, laughing, “I would have said get out of this business immediately…”No, I would.”

If younger Depp would have wanted to remain an actor, his older self, “would have said, ‘Get ready, it’s gonna get weird.'”

That might have been an allusion to some negative headlines he’s suffered of late, relating to his messy divorce from Amber Heard, which exposed Depp’s reportedly extravagant spending habits.

Johnny Depp’s fifth cinematic voyage as slurry swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow, which also stars Orlando Bloom and Javier Bardem, opens May 26.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Entertainment News

      

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New Orleans removes Confederate statues that honor 'Cult of the Lost Cause'

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By David Rind

Redheadedhornet/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW ORLEANS) — As New Orleans began the process Thursday of removing the remaining Confederate-era monuments in the Louisiana city, officials said they are facing “intimidation, threats and violence” amid their efforts to dismantle the statues that were erected decades after the Civil War to honor the “Cult of the Lost Cause.”

The city aims to take down four prominent Confederate-era monuments. The Battle of Liberty Place monument, which officials said was erected by the Crescent City White League to commemorate the deadly insurrection led by white supremacists against the city’s racially integrated police department and state militia, was removed in late April. The statue of Confederacy President Jefferson Davis statue was removed by early Thursday.

“Three weeks ago, we began a challenging but long overdue process of removing four statues that honor the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy.’ Today we continue the mission,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement Thursday. “These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it. I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it.”

Workers removing the Davis statue wore full masks and the area was heavily guarded by police officers and snipers, presumably to prevent clashes between pro- and anti-monument groups.

The monuments slated to come down next are the Robert E. Lee statue and the P.G.T. Beauregard equestrian statue.

“Due to the widely known intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain. Therefore, the City will not share details on a removal timeline for the Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard statues,” city officials said in a press release early Thursday.

The four monuments were erected between 1884 and 1915 to “celebrate the ‘Cult of the Lost Cause,’” a movement city officials say promotes white supremacy.

After removal, city officials said the statues will be crated and stored while they determine “a more appropriate place” to display them, such as a museum, “where they can be placed in their proper historical context from a dark period of American history.”

The Cult of the Lost Cause emerged at the end of the Civil War when the Confederacy had lost. The movement is made up of those who haven’t accepted the outcome of the war 152 years later.

The Cult espouses a number of controversial principles, including that slavery was a benevolent institution, that the war was caused by the states’ secession and not slavery, and that African slaves were loyal to their masters and the Confederate cause.

The movement also asserts that the Confederacy was defeated militarily only because of their opponent’s overwhelming advantages in men and resources. Confederate figures such as General Lee are revered as heroic and saintly.

Historians describe the deeply rooted phenomenon as a distortion of history by white Southerners.

“In attempting to deal with defeat, Southerners created an image of the war as a great heroic epic,” documents filed with the National Register of Historic Places state. “There was an element of chivalry in the way the South had fought, achieving noteworthy victories against staggering odds. This was the ‘Lost Cause’ as the late nineteenth century saw it, and a whole generation of Southerners set about glorifying and celebrating it.”

That glorification manifested in many forms, including organizations and countless memorials.

In 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center documented over 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy and “the myth of the Lost Cause” in public spaces as part of its report “Whose Heritage?” The U.S.-based organization, which monitors hatred and prejudice, has encouraged local governments to move the symbols to settings such as museums where people can learn the full history of the Confederacy.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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West Virginia Supreme Court rules anti-gay assaults are not hate crimes

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By David Rind

BrianAJackson/iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, WV) — In a 3-2 decision Thursday, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that anti-gay assaults are not protected under the state’s hate crime law, according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

The decision emerged from the State of West Virginia vs. Steward Butler case, which involves an April 2015 incident during which Butler allegedly directed homophobic slurs at two men he saw kissing on the sidewalk while at a stoplight before getting out of his car and striking both victims in the face with his fist, according to court documents.

On May 21, 2015, a Cabell County grand jury issued an indictment against Butler, charging him with battery and violations of an individual’s civil rights under West Virginia law. Butler challenged those indictments and the applicability of the law to his actions.

According to the court, under West Virginia law it is unlawful to threaten, injure, intimidate or oppress any individual because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation or sex. However, West Virginia’s Supreme Court agreed that the word “sex” has ambiguous meaning and it is unclear if the law protects individuals based on sexual orientation.

“A review of similar laws from other states demonstrated that ‘there are two distinct categories of potential discrimination: discrimination based on sex and discrimination based on sexual orientation,'” the court decision states. “West Virginia legislature could have included sexual orientation as an area of protection … [as] [n]umerous other states have done.”

Currently, West Virginia and five other states have hate crime protection laws that list either “sex” or “gender,” 20 states list either “sex” or “gender” in addition to “sexual orientation” and six states list only “sexual orientation.”

Citing Black’s Law Dictionary definition of sex as meaning “the sum of the peculiarities of structure and function that distinguish a male from a female organism; gender” and the dictionary’s definition of sexual orientation as “a person’s predisposition or inclination toward sexual activity or behavior with other males or females,” the court ruled that they could not make claims that the law included both.

Chief Justice Allen Loughry said that the court was “bound to apply the law as it stands” and that it “cannot expand the word ‘sex’ to include ‘sexual orientation.'” As a result, the court ruled that Butler’s battery charges would remain, but charges for violating an individual’s civil rights would be dropped.

“Tuesday’s ruling by the West Virginia Supreme Court was a step in the wrong direction,” GLAAD’s President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, told ABC News in a statement. “At a time when anti-LGBTQ hate violence is on the rise, this ruling reiterates the need to advocate for LGBTQ-inclusive hate-crime laws in all states across the nation.”

Since 1987, there have been at least 26 attempts to amend the statute in West Virginia to include sexual orientation but each of those attempts failed.

Justice Loughry stated in court documents that it is important to remember that “[i]t is not for this Court arbitrarily to read into a statute that which it does not say. Just as courts are not to eliminate through judicial interpretation words that were purposely included, we are obliged not to add to statutes something the Legislature purposely omitted.”

However, in dissent, Justice Margaret L. Workman and Justice Robin Jean Davis took issue with the opinion delivered by Justice Loughry saying it was “overly simplistic and constricted.”

“If a man stands on a corner kissing a man and is beaten because he is kissing a man, has he been assaulted because of his sex,” Justice Margaret L. Workman asked in her dissenting opinion. “Yes, but not simply because he possesses male anatomical parts; rather, the crime occurred because he was perceived to be acting outside the social expectations of how a man should behave with a man. But for his sex, he would not have been attacked.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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County Unveils Rendering of New EMS Headquarters

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By News Staff

County Judge Ed Janecka presented preliminary construction plans and a renderings of the future Fayette County EMS Headquarters in La Grange at a Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, May 8.

Commissioners deferred action on setting an amount to finance construction, but Janecka said the final cost should come in close to $1.4 million.

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Fayette%20County%20RecordID96/

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Source:: Fayette County Record

      

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