Jussie Smollett facing new charges for alleged staged racist, anti-gay attack

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | Actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Feb. 12 for a second time on charges of lying to police about a racist and anti-gay attack he allegedly staged on himself in downtown Chicago, renewing a divisive criminal case that drew worldwide attention last year.

The indictment came from a special prosecutor who was appointed after Cook County prosecutors dropped the same charges last March.

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String of Chicago robberies targeting users of dating apps

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | Chicago Police said Jan. 31 they are looking for a suspect or suspects using a dating app to lure victims to hotel rooms where they use a stun gun to rob them.

According to police, there have been at least five robberies in the downtown area that all follow the same pattern in which suspects arrange on the gay dating app Grindr or other dating sites to meet their victims. Then, once the men are in a hotel room, the suspect displays a stun gun and demands money and other valuables.

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Picking Berry: All My World was a Stage

By : Beneva Fruitville
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I love musicals. In fact, musical theater has been my hobby and lifelong career, a path I chose after I saw the musical “A Chorus Line” at 13 years old. In that one evening of music, dance, comedy and drama, I learned that performing was not only a viable career – but one that I, Berry Ayers, absolutely had to have.

I grew up in church and sang my first solo at the age of four with dreams of becoming the next Sandy Patti. That “Chorus Line” performance still hung in my memory like the first time I saw Dorothy step out into the colorful world of Oz, however; there were people on that stage talking about abuse, sex, hurt, anger, power and ultimately, love.

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Judge orders Google to turn over Jussie Smollett’s emails

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) – A judge has ordered Google to turn over a year’s worth of Jussie Smollett’s emails, private messages, photographs and location data to a special prosecutor who is looking into why prosecutors abruptly dismissed criminal charges against the actor.

The Chicago Tribune reported Jan. 8 that it had obtained two search warrants submitted by special prosecutor Dan Webb and signed off by Cook County Judge Michael Toomin last month.

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Chicago activist named new head of National Center for Lesbian Rights

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Imani Rupert-Gordon, photo courtesy National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The new head of the National Center for Lesbian Rights will be a Chicago-based activist who has served as a voice in the LGBTQ movement for black women, the organization announced Tuesday.

Imani Rupert-Gordon, who currently serves as executive director of Affinity Community Services in Chicago, is set to take the reins of the San Francisco-based LGBTQ group on March 16, 2020.

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Wayne Brady heads home to Florida for interactive, improv rock concert

By : Jeremy Williams
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Wayne Brady loves Orlando. The City Beautiful is where he grew up, where he went to school and where he created and honed the skills that have made him one of Hollywood’s most versatile entertainers.

“While I wasn’t born there—I was born in Columbus, Georgia—in terms of my life, Orlando is the place that I claim. I always get a sense of pride whenever I see anyone come out of Orlando that’s done anything really great,” Brady says.

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Special prosecutor named to look into Jussie Smollett case

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | A judge appointed a special prosecutor on Aug. 23 to look into why the Chicago state’s attorney’s office abruptly dropped the case against Jussie Smollett, leaving open the possibility that the former “Empire” actor could yet face charges in what police say was a phony attack on himself that he staged to get attention.

Smollett maintains that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in January. But if the special prosecutor, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, determines that the charges shouldn’t have been dropped, he could recommend that they be reinstated or that new charges be brought.

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Fox: Jussie Smollet gone from ‘Empire,’ character lives on

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) | Jussie Smollett is gone from “Empire” but his character will live on, at least in photos.

Smollett’s Jamal Lyon, who last season married Kai (Toby Onwumere), will be away on his honeymoon when the Fox drama returns Sept. 24 for its sixth and last season, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said Wednesday.

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Smollett wants Chicago’s lawsuit moved to federal court

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | Jussie Smollett wants the lawsuit that the city of Chicago filed against him moved from state court to federal court.

The motion filed July 3 and released to the media by Smollett’s representatives comes after the city sued the actor in April for the cost of investigating his allegations that he was a victim of a racist and anti-gay attack in downtown Chicago.

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Iggy Azalea pauses Chicago Pride show to speak on trans equality

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“I really want to say something important. Because we’re all here for a reason, right?” the 28-year-old Australian rapper addressed the crowd.

“I don’t want us to forget the meaning of Pride or why we came here,” she continued. “To a lot of people, you guys are still invisible and you have to fight every day just to be who you are. That’s why we’ve gotta be here tonight because we gotta be loud as f—. This shows you exist and you are valid.”

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Transgender woman alleges former Chicago cop of sex crime

By : Wire Report
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(Above image from Wikimedia Commons.)

CHICAGO (AP) | Chicago police are investigating allegations that a now-retired sergeant forced a transgender woman to perform a sex act inside a marked police vehicle while he was on duty.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the details of the investigation are included in documents the paper obtained. Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says that after an internal investigation the sergeant was stripped of his police powers in early April and that he has since retired.

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Rainbow crosswalks installed in Chicago’s ‘Boystown’ area

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | More than a dozen crosswalks are to be painted rainbow colors in Chicago’s “Boystown” area for June’s LGBTQ Pride activities.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Northalsted Business Alliance expects the crosswalks to be finished in time for Pride Fest on June 22 and 23 and the Chicago Pride Parade on June 30. The 14 crosswalks are being installed along Halsted Street in the Lakeview neighborhood on the city’s North Side. Alliance officials say their money and donations are funding the $60,000 cost.

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