Tag: Nevada

Students Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott, 15, Win Settlement in Racist Bullying Lawsuit in Nevada

Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott thank students at Swope Middle School, who wrote them letters of support. (Screenshot via rgj.com)

by Clarissa Hamlin via newsone.com

Two students now have some relief after being bullied for months at their Nevada high school because of race.

Jayla Tolliver and Taylissa Marriott, who are 15-year-old sisters and freshman at Yerington High School in Yerington, have won a settlement in their federal lawsuit against Lyon County School District on Monday (June 25), the Reno Gazette Journal reported. Their case has pushed the school to re-examine how it deals with bullying and racist behaviors from students, and it is making changes to existing policies.

Tolliver and Marriott suffered through some of the worst taunts and bullying from their peers — actions that are known to have driven many students of color to consider or commit suicide. The young women were called slurs on social media and were targeted in an online photo of the son of a Lyon County sheriff’s deputy holding a gun with the caption, “the red neck god of all gods…we bout to go [racial slur] huntin” last October.

Yerington school officials didn’t do enough to help the teens, who were harassed for at least six months over the 2017-18 school year. While the school was supposed to be a welcoming safe space for them, it became a nightmarish hell.

Police weren’t involved in any investigation of the social media threats against the teens. Yerington Police Chief Darren Wagner told the Reno Gazette Journal last October that the threats were protected by free speech, and the family’s statements to police about the matter were shredded accidentally. However, what was called “free speech” was in fact hate speech.

Fast forward to now. Tolliver and Marriott, who filed the lawsuit in January, have renewed hope despite their horrible experience. “In the beginning, we didn’t realize how much of a change we have made, and by us being some of the many to stand up and let their voice be heard, [it] made me feel that we did change the way people judge and look at someone before they actually know them,” Marriott said.

The school district has agreed to consult the U.S. Department of Education’s racial harassment experts and pay for counseling for the teens. They will also pay a lump sum to the teens’ family and for all attorney fees, an amount totaling $160,000.

Jayla and Taylissa released the following statements:

I would like to thank everyone who had our back and listened when no one would, through this long painful experience. I learned that you should never let your voice be unheard even when people turn their backs and tell you to lower your voice. Racism is something I never thought I’d go through. Racism is also something many people have done nothing about, but I am proud to say that I am one of the few who stood up when my race was an issue to others. I will always look back on this tragedy knowing that it made me the strong African-American woman I am today! Racism is something that I knew went on through the world but for a long time I forgot it existed. I cannot dream about having so much hate for another group of people because of their skin color yet there are people all over the world who find people of color disgusting and repulsive because we are different but don’t realize how beautiful and unique we are because we are different. I hope that our story inspires others. Always remember no matter where you are from, what you look like, how different you talk, or how you walk we are all equal. Jayla Tolliver

I just wanted to start off saying my sister Jayla and I are so thankful. I would never in a million years believe we would have to go through what we did. For having you guys say that you are here for us and standing by our sides gave us so much hope that we could fight and overcome all the horrific behavior. In the beginning, we didn’t realize how much of a change we have made and by us being some of the many to stand up and let their voice be heard made me feel that we did change the way people judge and look at someone before they actually know them. But I want to say a BIG thank you to Swope Middle School for being some of the biggest supporters and some of the first to reach out to my sister and me. Taylissa Marriott

Source: https://newsone.com/3814608/black-students-racist-bullying-lawsuit-settlement-nevada/

HERO: Despite Being Shot in Neck During Las Vegas Massacre, Jonathan Smith Helped Save Many Others

Jonathan Smith (photo via thegrio.com)

via thegrio.com

A man who was shot in the neck during the deadly Las Vegas shooting on Sunday helped to save at least 30 people.

Jonathan Smith, 30, had attended the concert with nine other members of his family when the shots rang out and his older brother, Louis Rust, told them all to run. Smith was focused on getting his nieces out, according to the Washington Post, but he turned back into the crowd after becoming separated.

He noticed that several people had been paralyzed by fear and started to push them to move, saying, “Active shooter, let’s go!” “I got a few people out of there,” he told the Post. However, while he was trying to get to a group of children, he was struck by a bullet in the neck. The bullet shattered his collarbone, fracture one of his ribs, and bruised one of his lungs.

Smith credits a police officer with saving his life after the police officer saw Smith bleeding and staunched the flow of blood before he was lifted to the hospital. For now, doctors have left the bullet in place.“I might have to live with this bullet for the rest of my life,” Smith said.

While Smith has been heralded as a hero for his actions, he doesn’t see himself that way, either.“I would want someone to do the same for me,” he said.

Source: Man shot during Las Vegas massacre helped save 30 people | theGrio

Catherine Cortez Masto, America’s 1st Latina Senator, is Ready to Be “One Hell of a Check and Balance” on Trump

U.S. Senator-Elect Catherine Cortez Masto from Nevada (photo via elle.com)

article by Gina Mei via elle.com

Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto made history on Tuesday night when she became the first Latina to be elected to the Senate in U.S. history—and she’s already making it very clear she’s more than willing to go head-to-head with Donald Trump once she arrives in Washington, D.C.

“Our government is built on a system of checks and balances, and I will promise you this: I will be one hell of a check and balance on him,” she said during her victory speech on Wednesday. “Tonight we start our fight together…. The diversity here is our strength and we will continue to be strong.”

“It’s not my voice I’m taking to Washington, it’s all of yours,” she added.

Cortez Masto beat out Republican Rep. Joe Heck to become the first woman to represent Nevada in the Senate on Tuesday, ultimately winning 47 percent of votes. She is the proud granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, and strongly supports “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.”

After her victory on Tuesday, Cortez Masto took to Twitter to thank her supporters and voice her willingness to fight hard for the rights of all Americans.

To read more, go to: http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a40705/first-latina-senator-catherine-cortez-masto-check-and-balance-donald-trump/

Lauren Laray, 8, Makes Wigs for Child Cancer Patients

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8 year-old Lauren Laray (photo via You-Tube)

article by Zon D’Amour via hellobeautiful.com

Where can we make an appointment to get our hair done by 8-year-old Lauren Laray? The 3rd grader has a remarkable talent for doing hair and she’s putting her skills towards an excellent cause.

After learning that her best friend’s little sister had cancer and was losing her hair to chemotherapy, Lauren decided to make her a wig. She now wants to help even more little girls feel beautiful while they fight to overcome one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Initially, Lauren was going to make 10 wigs but by the summer, she hopes to finish 30 wigs that will be donated to the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation.

“Some of them will be blonde; some of them will be redheaded for redheaded little girls. I’ll have a whole bunch because other girls have other styles for their hair”, said Lauren.

Lauren has launched a GoFundMe page where she’s already exceeded the $900 needed to make the 30 wigs which costs $30 per head for supplies. The Las Vegas native uses a crochet needle, weave cap, two packs of hair and a bow.

“I won’t need a thank you, I’ll just see a smile on their face and I’ll be happy,” said Lauren. To see her demonstrate how to make a wig, watch below:

Obama Permanently Protects More Than One Million Acres of Public Lands

CREDIT: TYLER ROEMER

President Barack Obama announced last week that he will designate three new national monuments, permanently protecting more than one million acres of public lands. He designated pristine wilderness landscapes in Nevada as Basin and Range National Monument, scenic mountains in California as Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, and a fossil-rich site in Texas as Waco Mammoth National Monument.

With these designations, President Obama is adding to the 16 national monuments he has already created with his authority under the Antiquities Act, setting aside “more public lands and waters than any administration in history.” Both Democratic and Republican presidents have used their authority under the law to designate national monuments, many of which have later become some of the country’s most iconic national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and Arches National Park.

A diverse array of groups praised the announcement, emphasizing that the new monuments were a response to years of local support and advocacy to permanently protect these sites.

“By creating these three new national monuments, President Obama is continuing his commitment to preserving America’s treasured places and cementing his well-deserved place in conservation history,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters told the Hill. “The president acted in response to the overwhelming support expressed by local communities and stakeholders across the country for protecting these places of extraordinary environmental, historic, and scientific value.”

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Diana Ross Headlines Mini-Residency at Venetian in Las Vegas This April

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Superstar singer Diana Ross has inked April dates for the first nine performances of her new mini-residency contract at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Soon to follow in this new entertainment lineup set for the former “Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular” theater will be Janet Jackson, Lionel Richie and Ricky Martin.

Diana, named “Most Successful Female Vocalist of All Time,” takes the stage for her new show “The Essential Diana Ross: Some Memories Never Fade” as of April 1.  Tickets are on sale for three weekends of shows April 1, 3-4, 7-8, 10-11, 15 and 17-18.  To purchase, click here.

She will include songs from her remarkable, nearly five-decade career that made music-history milestones and a significant contribution to pop culture music of the 20th century. She’s promising Motown classics “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to pop favorites “I’m Coming Out” and hits including “Endless Love.”

Continue reading “Diana Ross Headlines Mini-Residency at Venetian in Las Vegas This April”

Mike Tyson to Present Evander Holyfield with Boxing Hall of Fame Trophy

Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield

Former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have come a long way since 1997, when Tyson bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear in the third round and was disqualified in their infamous championship rematch.  Over the years, they have put their ill feelings for each other to bed and even appeared in a recent television commercial spoofing the biting incident.

Tyson, who will hand Holyfield his Hall of Fame trophy, called the opportunity to present Holyfield a “privilege and high honor.”

Holyfield is also looking forward to it.  “That’s great,” he said of Tyson’s participation.

Rich Marotta, a longtime boxing broadcaster and president of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, said: “This is the kind of thing we showed is possible in boxing last year at our inaugural induction ceremony — former and even current rivals coming together under the same roof to celebrate boxing. Everyone checks those rivalries at the door. Tyson presenting Holyfield is sheer magic.”

Holyfield is being enshrined in the non-Nevada-resident category, along with George Foreman and Roberto Duran, as voted on by a 35-member panel.

Tyson was inducted in the Nevada resident category in the inaugural ceremony in 2013. Holyfield and Tyson both fought many of their biggest fights in Las Vegas.

The rest of the 18-man class of 2014, which was announced in February, includes Sonny Liston and Cornelius Boza Edwards (Nevada-resident boxers category), Jack Dempsey and Archie Moore (pioneers), Joe Louis (adoptive Nevada resident), trainer Miguel Diaz (non-boxers), Richard Steele and Kenny Bayless (officials), Col. Bob Sheridan and Kevin Iole (media), Bruce Trampler (promotions), Chuck Minker and Luther Mack (executives), and Clifford Perlman and Steve Wynn (special contributors).

article by Dan Rafael via espn.com

Soul Train Music Awards Bans Lip Syncing From Upcoming Show

Producers of the 2013 Soul Train Awards are guaranteeing viewers an “100 percent live” show. According to Billboard, this year’s vocalists — Chaka Khan, Jennifer Hudson, Gladys Knight, Tamar Braxton, Candice Glover and Ruben Studdard — will have to bring their A-game because lip syncing is officially banned from the urban music celebration.  “100 percent live,” executive producer Bart Phillips said. “No tracks here.”

Phillips explained that the new rule was put into place to keep Soul Train’s legacy alive. “So many legends were made on the infamous Soul Train stage,” he said. “The music is the core and that is what keeps Soul Train relevant today, both with the people who grew up running to their TVs on Saturday morning and to today’s youth.”  He went on to reveal this year’s motto: “We got soul.”

“It’s a party! People aren’t going to want to miss this,” he added. “We have so many surprises planned. It’s all about the 90s this year!”  Rapper Kendrick Lamar racked up the most nominations with a total six, including best new artist, album of the year and song of the year.  The award show, which will be taped on November 8th in Las Vegas, will air on BET December 1st.

article by Myeshia Essex via blackamericaweb.com

R.I.P. Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Ken Norton

Ken Norton connects with a left to the head of Muhammad Ali during a bout in Inglewood, Calif., in 1973.

Ken Norton, who had three memorable fights with Muhammad Ali, breaking Ali’s jaw in winning their first bout, then losing twice, and who went on to become the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, died Wednesday in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada. He was 70.

His death was confirmed by his son Ken Jr., an assistant coach with the Seattle Seahawks of the N.F.L. and a pro linebacker for 13 seasons, The Associated Press said. Norton had been in poor health for several years after sustaining a series of strokes, The A.P. reported.

Norton defeated Ali on a 12-round split decision in 1973 to capture the North American Boxing Federation heavyweight title. Norton was an exceptionally muscular 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds, but he was a decided underdog in the first Ali fight.

“Ali thought it would be an easy fight,” Norton’s former manager, Gene Kilroy, was quoted by The A.P. as saying. “But Norton was unorthodox. Instead of jabbing from above like most fighters, he would put his hand down and jab up at Ali.”  Kilroy said that after the fight, Norton visited Ali at the hospital where he was getting his broken jaw wired, and Ali told him he never wanted to fight him again.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. Dominates Canelo Alvarez in Championship Win

Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his majority decision victory against Canelo Alvarez in their WBC/WBA 154-pound title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 14, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Canelo Alvarez proved nothing more than easy money for Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr.  Mayweather turned one of the richest fights ever into just another $41.5 million payday Saturday night, dominating Alvarez from the opening bell and winning a majority decision in a masterful performance that left no doubt who the best fighter of his era is.

Fighting off his shortest layoff in years, Mayweather was sharp, efficient and sometimes brutal in dismantling an unbeaten fighter who was bigger and was supposed to punch harder. He frustrated Alvarez early, pounded him with big right hands in the middle rounds, and made him look just like he said he would — like any other opponent.

Mayweather was favored 117-111 and 116-112 on two ringside scorecards while a third inexplicably had the fight 114-114. The Associated Press scored it 119-109 for Mayweather.  “I just listened to my corner, listened to my dad,” Mayweather said. “My dad had a brilliant game plan, and I went out there and got the job done.” Continue reading “Floyd Mayweather Jr. Dominates Canelo Alvarez in Championship Win”