Comedian jailed


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FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, Katt Williams attends the LA Premiere of "Father Figures" in Los Angeles. Williams was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, Katt Williams attends the LA Premiere of "Father Figures" in Los Angeles. Williams was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)


This image provided by the Multnomah County Jail shows Katt Williams who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Multnomah County Jail via AP)


Comedian Katt Williams jailed on assault charges in Oregon

By ANDREW SELSKY

Associated Press

Monday, October 8

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Comedian Katt Williams has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a hired driver during an argument about taking him and his dog from the Portland, Oregon, airport to a performance in the city.

Williams, who was in jail Sunday, came to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night.

The town car driver had swelling and cuts on his face and was treated at a hospital, according to Port of Portland police. The comedian, 47, whose real name is Micah Williams, left in another vehicle and was arrested Saturday.

Williams has been charged with assault in the fourth degree, and an arraignment is scheduled for Monday. He also was arrested for an out-of-state warrant from Georgia.

A publicist for Williams, whose comedy specials have appeared on HBO and Netflix, didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. A jail official and a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said they didn’t know if the comedian had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The incident happened at Atlantic Aviation, which handles private planes at Portland International Airport, police said. An employee who answered the phone Sunday said her boss had told workers not to discuss the case.

Williams won the Emmy Award last month for guest actor in a comedy series for his appearance in “Atlanta,” a TV show about two cousins in Atlanta’s rap scene.

His arrest comes more than a year after Williams was sentenced to three years of probation in Los Angeles after pleading no contest to stealing a celebrity photographer’s camera. Prosecutors said in April 2017 that he also needed to attend anger management classes.

In 2016, Williams got five years of probation after pleading no contest in Georgia to assault and battery tied to allegations he threatened a bodyguard while an acquaintance beat him with a baseball bat.

The Conversation

‘Coming of Age in Mississippi’ still speaks to nation’s racial discord, 50 years later

October 5, 2018

Anne Moody penned her memoir at the urging of baseball great Jackie Robinson.

Author

Leigh Ann Wheeler

Professor of History, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Disclosure statement

Leigh Ann Wheeler does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Partners

Binghamton University, State University of New York provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

Most memoirs are soon forgotten.

A rare exception is Anne Moody’s “Coming of Age in Mississippi,” which was published in 1968. It spoke to the day’s pressing issues – poverty, race and civil rights – with an urgent timeliness.

Instead, 50 years later, the book still commands a wide readership. Read each year by thousands of high school and college students, it remains a Random House backlist best-seller – a title that continues to sell with little to no marketing.

As I research Anne Moody’s life for my upcoming biography, I often wonder what her memoir’s continued popularity means. Does it signal dramatic progress on race relations in the U.S. – or does it instead show us that, as former Sen. Ted Kennedy wrote in 1969, “If things are somewhat different, then they are not different enough.”

Till’s death opens Moody’s eyes

Written when Moody was 28 years old, “Coming of Age” is a gripping story. In spare, direct prose, she takes readers into the world of African-American sharecroppers in the Jim Crow South. As a child, she chopped and picked cotton, cleaned houses for white people, and wondered why whites had better everything – better bathrooms, better schools and better seats in the movie theater.

That mystery remained unsolved when, in 1955, Moody learned that white men had killed a black boy her age just a few hours’ drive north. The killing felt personal.

“Before Emmett Till’s murder, I had known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil,” she wrote. “But now there was … the fear of being killed just because I was black.”

Closer to home, whites ran her cousin out of town, brutally beat a classmate, and burned an entire family alive in their home. Amid such horrors, Moody feared a nervous breakdown.

But she resolved to resist.

In 1963, Moody became infamous in Mississippi after she challenged racial segregation in what would be the era’s most violent lunch-counter sit-in. At the Woolworth’s in Jackson, Mississippi, white men shoved Moody off her stool, dragged her across the floor by her hair and, when she crawled back, smeared her with ketchup, sugar and mustard.

Photographer Fred Blackwell captured a now-iconic image of this day, with Moody seated in the middle.

In the early 1960s, Moody worked tirelessly as an organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality in Canton, Mississippi. But after facing daily death threats, she fled to the North, where she moved from city to city, raising money for the movement.

At each stop, she described what it was like to come of age, as a black woman, in Mississippi. At one, she shared a stage with baseball great Jackie Robinson, who urged her to write down her story.

So she did.

Readers react

After “Coming of Age in Mississippi” was published, the response was split.

Some readers viewed the book as – in the words of one reviewer for The New Republic – a “measure of how far we have come.” To them, the worst of racism was over, and Moody’s account served as a stark reminder of how bad things once were.

Others, however, read Moody’s experiences of racism as simply one chapter in a current and ongoing struggle – “the sickening story of the way it still is for thousands who are black in the American South,” as Robert Colby Nelson wrote for The Christian Science Monitor.

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy read it both ways.

He called the memoir “a history of our time, seen from the bottom up, through the eyes of someone who decided for herself that things had to be changed.” Still, he regretted that the book did not mention recent advances, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which enabled the election of several black public officials in Moody’s own hometown.

Meanwhile, for decades, Southern media outlets and public institutions shunned “Coming of Age in Mississippi” and Anne Moody herself. Hostile whites in Moody’s hometown of Centreville, Mississippi even threatened to kill her if she ever returned.

How much has really changed?

By contrast, today, “Coming of Age” shows up on high school and college reading lists throughout the South, and Anne Moody appears among 21 authors pictured on the Mississippi Literary Map. Her crumbling childhood home sits on the recently renamed Anne Moody Street and Anne Moody Memorial Highway, which now connects Centreville and Woodville, the town where she graduated from high school.

In Moody’s day, local public officials were all white. Now they more closely reflect the county’s 75 percent black population.

In 1963, Moody mourned the assassination of her beloved colleague, Medgar Evers, president of the state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and watched in horror as local whites refused to convict his murderer. Thirty years later, Byron De La Beckwith was finally convicted of homocide and imprisoned for life. Today, visitors who fly into the Mississippi state capital, land at Jackson-Evers International Airport.

These shifts make “Coming of Age” seem, to many readers, an inspiring account of survival, resistance and victory.

But to others, the book is anything but a triumphalist story. Instead, its lessons are grim: In retrospect, civil rights victories seem superficial, while the brutal poverty and racism Moody described endures.

Compared to whites, black people in the U.S. are more than twice as likely to die in infancy, three times more likely to be poor, three times more likely to be killed by police, five times more likely to be imprisoned and seven times more likely to be murdered. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was gutted by a 2013 Supreme Court decision that emboldened states around the country to create new restrictions that prevent black citizens from voting.

Anne Moody was one of the lucky ones. She graduated from college, moved north and published a best-selling memoir.

But despite the accolades, television appearances, radio interviews and speaking engagements, she could never really escape Jim Crow Mississippi. It had deprived her of her family and a place to truly call home.

“Coming of Age” ends with Moody listening to civil rights workers sing the anthem, “We Shall Overcome.”

“I wonder,” she wrote. “I really wonder.”

Fifty years later, many of us are still wondering.

The Conversation

Beto O’Rourke won’t beat Ted Cruz in Texas – here’s why

October 5, 2018

Author

James Henson

Director of the Texas Politics Project, University of Texas at Austin

Contributor

Joshua M Blank

Manager of Polling, Research and Online Resources, University of Texas at Austin

Disclosure statement

The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

With Election Day now only a few weeks away, the race between incumbent Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke has attracted national and international attention.

For Cruz, a star in national conservative politics, losing to O’Rourke would be a particularly bitter pill. Cruz rose to prominence during the heyday of the Tea Party, and was the last man standing against Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. He’s being challenged by a magnetic candidate embraced by both Texas and national Democrats – and, it’s fair to say, an adoring press.

So can O’Rourke defeat Cruz?

We’ve conducted public opinion polls throughout Cruz’s electoral career as principals in the most frequent statewide political poll in Texas, the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, and we’ve worked closely with statewide election data. Even if O’Rourke manages to increase Democratic turnout beyond reasonable expectations, it is very unlikely he can overcome the structural obstacles he faces in Cruz’s existing advantages.

O’Rourke’s challenge, by the numbers

One poll in the late summer found that 15 percent of likely Republican voters said that they’ll cast a vote for O’Rourke. Other polls have found the size of the pool of potential Republican defectors closer to 6 percent. We believe the 15 percent figure is likely an outlier, especially considering there’s little evidence that GOP voters in Texas have soured on President Donald Trump. The estimate of 6 percent is more consistent with the current level of partisan polarization in Texas and the rest of the country.

We can use these poll results to estimate potential 2018 vote shares based on turnout data from recent midterm elections.

The average number of Republican votes in gubernatorial and midterm Senate races in 2010 and 2014 has been about 2.8 million, according to records kept by the Texas Secretary of State. The average Democratic vote total in those races has been approximately 1.9 million. In other words, historical results suggest approximately 900,000 more Republican voters than Democratic voters in the average midterm election.

A hypothetical defection of 6 percent of Republican votes to O’Rourke subtracts about 168,000 votes from the average GOP vote total.

Even if we were to assume that all of these Republican voters fled to O’Rourke – as opposed to just staying home – that would leave Cruz ahead by approximately 564,000 votes. Could Democrats increase turnout enough to close that gap?

It would be an uphill battle, with hopes of victory resting on mobilizing groups with historically low turnout levels in midterm elections, such as young voters and Democratic-leaning Latinos. Exit polls for recent elections illustrate just how difficult this has been in recent history. Latinos, for example, made up only 17 percent of the electorate in 2014. In that year, nearly half of Latino voters backed the Republican candidate, and the Democrat lost by 20 percentage points.

But let’s imagine that O’Rourke manages to mobilize an additional 20 percent to the baseline Democratic vote – an optimistic estimate for O’Rourke. That would add another 380,000 votes to the Democrat’s total – still short of Cruz’s projected vote total by 184,000 votes.

Those numbers predict a closer race than usual – but one that Cruz still ends up winning.

Can Ted Cruz stay the course?

The task before Cruz is both simpler and easier to achieve.

Cruz needs to sustain historical levels of GOP turnout in order to absorb a potential uptick in Democratic turnout. This requires recognizing and combating both the possibilities of GOP defections to O’Rourke and of GOP voters declining to show up.

The recent salvo of Cruz ads and social media, as well as Cruz’s approach in the candidates’ first debate, have negatively portrayed O’Rourke’s progressive policy positions on issues like border security and racial justice as dangerously outside the mainstream. In their first debate, when a moderator asked the candidates to say something positive about each other, Cruz used the opportunity to praise O’Rourke for being passionate, energetic and sincere in his beliefs – while asserting that those beliefs were “socialism,” complete with a Bernie Sanders name check. Cruz’s critics attacked him for red-baiting, but the message was no doubt received loud and clear by Republicans watching the debate or reading the media coverage the following day.

While this may make Cruz seem like “a jerk,” to some, this approach is designed to mobilize the voters he needs to get re-elected. Expect to see a lot more of the same through Nov. 6.

Democrats and credulous reporters talk of blue waves – that is, a significant uptick in Democratic turnout. They see destiny in demographics, believing that the increase in the Latino share of the Texas population ensures a Democratic resurgence. However, we predict Cruz and other GOP incumbents will likely survive one more election cycle in Texas. If there is a whiff of desperation to Cruz’s strategy, it may be an indicator that the comfortable margins of victory assumed by Republicans for the last decade are eroding, albeit much more slowly, and less decisively, than Democrats hope.

Comment: Ali Cooper

This is a deeply flawed analysis, and you don’t even include a disclaimer:

The average number of Republican votes in gubernatorial and midterm Senate races in 2010 and 2014 has been about 2.8 million, according to records kept by the Texas Secretary of State. The average Democratic vote total in those races has been approximately 1.9 million. In other words, historical results suggest approximately 900,000 more Republican voters than Democratic voters in the average midterm election.

Comparing likely voter turnout in this midterm to any other is pretty dumb. There is nothing that suggests the numbers will be comparable, especially since National Voter Registration day (2018) was bigger than the 2016 presidential election (more than 3X the number of registrants for a typical midterm). If 900K is a traditional gap, you need to factor:

More new Democrats are going to vote in the midterms than new Republicans; There will be at least 6% defection from the GOP; Ted Cruz vs O’Rourke favorable numbers

It’s within the realm of possibility, but ultimately we will have to see.

The Conversation

For mothers who lose their babies, donating breast milk is a healing ritual

October 5, 2018

Author

Ayelet Oreg

Ph.D. Candidate, Binghamton University, State University of New York

Disclosure statement

Ayelet Oreg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Partners

Binghamton University, State University of New York provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation US.

Stillbirth and neonatal loss are painful in many ways.

But increasingly, some of the more than 24,000 American women whose pregnancies end with the loss of their babies are choosing to do something they find both demanding and healing – giving their breast milk away.

As a social worker, a scholar of philanthropy and a mother who has lost a baby myself, I wanted to learn more about what these women experience. So I embarked on a research project.

In the first phase of my study, I analyzed personal written stories and testimonials of bereaved donors who donated their milk. Currently, I’m conducting in-depth interviews with these women to understand what motivates them to give during their time of personal loss.

Tradition and trauma

From the dawn of humanity, women have shared their breast milk – often for the survival of babies whose mothers could not nurse. Until the 20th century, this was usually done by directly nursing the babies. In 2017, a network of 27 nonprofit milk banks screened, pasteurized and distributed nearly 6 million ounces of donated milk.

Most of this donated milk comes from mothers who are breastfeeding their own healthy babies, but a significant number of grieving mothers donate as well. For example, more than 300 grieving mothers have shared their milk through the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin since it opened in Texas in 1999.

This system has emerged as a way to help ensure that more babies can get their ideal source of nutrition. The World Health Organization and pediatricians recommend that all newborns be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months of their lives. Studies have shown that breastfeeding has many benefits, such as making children less prone to obesity, diabetes and other illnesses and reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Research also indicates that breastfeeding benefits maternal health, even for women who have lost their babies. And for premature or medically fragile infants breast milk can save lives.

Losing a baby before or after giving birth is a major life crisis that involves multiple losses for these women: the too-early end of their pregnancy, the dashing of their motherhood expectations and sometimes even of trust in their own bodies.

All the mothers in my study lost their babies through stillbirth during labor or died as newborns. But despite their baby’s death, their bodies produced the milk that was destined for their child. It was a recurring physical reminder of their loss.

A ritual in grief

Even for women who aren’t grieving, extracting breast milk without a baby’s help is hard.

It involves an elaborate routine of using and cleaning a breast pump, finding somewhere private and comfortable for pumping and preparing oneself emotionally for this activity.

In addition to what is often a state of emotional discomfort, pumping is sometimes physically painful. When a woman is pumping but not nursing a baby, she has to extract milk every few hours, throughout the day and night. Skipping as little as a day or two or failing to pump regularly will cause the milk supply to cease.

For the grieving mothers in my study, the process of pumping and donating breast milk became a repetitive ritual, during which they reflected on their loss.

“Pumping my milk is more healing than I thought it would be,” a bereaved mother identified as Kim blogged on the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank website. “I do it four times a day for 10 minutes. Those 40 minutes have become very precious to me. It allows me to reflect upon everything that has happened, cry, and pray. It’s very therapeutic to have something positive come from such a traumatic event.”

This act can also help these bereaved women hold onto, and share with others, the memory of their deceased children.

“The milk bank sent us a picture of a quilt that they’ve created to honor the babies gone too soon whose milk has provided life for other fragile lives,” said Chelsea, a bereaved mother from Massachusetts, on the Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast website. “This was another reminder that all life, no matter how small, is loved and valued.”

From bereaved women’s stories like these, I have sensed that the recurring act of pumping served as a private and intimate memorial ceremony for honoring the babies they lost. And that their ability to help save other babies’ lives by donating milk made recovering from their loss easier.

More than 14,000 Ring-Necked Pheasants to be Released Around Ohio

COLUMBUS, OH – A total of more than 14,000 ring-necked pheasants will be released at 24 Ohio public hunting areas this fall to provide additional hunting opportunities across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The ODNR Division of Wildlife will release pheasants prior to the small-game weekends for youth hunters. Youth ages 17 and younger can hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28.

Ohio’s small game hunting season begins on Friday, Nov. 2. Pheasants will be released for opening day, and prior to the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving holiday weekends.

A table of scheduled release numbers and locations can be found at bit.ly/2018ohiopheasant.

Hunters should note the increased youth hunting opportunity available at the Spring Valley Wildlife Area located on the Greene and Warren county line. Pheasants will be released there for the two youth weekends in October as well as the other three release dates.

Youth and regular pheasant hunting within the Ringneck Ridge Area in Sandusky County requires a free permit from the Sandusky County Park District. Visit sanduskycountyparks.com for more information.

Pheasant hunting season opens Friday, Nov. 2, and remains open through Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds. No hens (females) may be killed. Females are all brown. The males have a red and brown body, a green head and long tail feathers.

Statewide pheasant hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

FILE – In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, Katt Williams attends the LA Premiere of "Father Figures" in Los Angeles. Williams was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/10/web1_121520090-d37c36668e76496a98bc54689a67259c.jpgFILE – In this Dec. 13, 2017, file photo, Katt Williams attends the LA Premiere of "Father Figures" in Los Angeles. Williams was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

This image provided by the Multnomah County Jail shows Katt Williams who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Multnomah County Jail via AP)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/10/web1_121520090-71f3add2ae784445809f44aa5a2a0347.jpgThis image provided by the Multnomah County Jail shows Katt Williams who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a driver. Williams is in jail Sunday, Oct, 7, 2018. He had come to Portland to perform in Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” comedy improv show Friday night. (Multnomah County Jail via AP)
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