Jussie Smollett’s $3,500 check, texts to brothers before alleged attack obtained by ABC News

first_imgABC News(CHICAGO) — ABC News has obtained a copy of a $3,500 check apparently written by Empire actor Jussie Smollett to Abimbola Osundairo, one of the two brothers who police say helped stage an attack on Smollett in Chicago last month.The check’s memo line reads, “5 week Nutrition/Workout program (Don’t Go).”The check was dated Jan. 23, six days before Smollett claims he was attacked in a hate crime. A copy of the check was first published online by TMZ.Sources close to Smollett told ABC News the actor was starting to train for an upcoming music video titled “Don’t Go,” in which he had to appear shirtless. ABC News obtained a calendar entry of Smollett’s that indicates the video was scheduled to be filmed Feb. 23.The $3,500 check was $600 per week for the workout plan, plus $100 per week for the nutrition plan, over five weeks, a source close to Smollett told ABC News.ABC News has also obtained copies of text messages apparently between Smollett and one of the Osundairo brothers, whom he calls “Bon,” in which the two discuss exercise and meal plans in the days preceding the alleged attack.In one of the texts, dated Jan. 25, Bon writes, “This is the meal plan and the breakdown of macronutrients. Also includes projected fat loss.”The copies of the text messages also were first published online by TMZ.A Chicago Police Department spokesperson referred ABC News to the Cook County State’s Attorney when asked for comment, but added, “In the interrogation they [the brothers] told police about the money. That interview is also electronically recorded.”Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago around 2 a.m. on Jan. 29. The two men, Smollett initially said, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him as a rope was wrapped around his neck and an unknown chemical substance was poured on him. The alleged assailants yelled “MAGA country,” a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan, police were told.Police identified and questioned two “persons of interest” captured on surveillance video near the scene around the time of the alleged attack. The men, Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo, were arrested on Feb. 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrate and stage the crime after he became upset that a letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where the television series Empire is filmed, did not get enough attention, law enforcement sources told ABC News.Last Wednesday, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false crime report. By that evening, police officially had classified the actor as a suspect in the ongoing investigation. Detectives subsequently presented evidence to a Cook County grand jury.Smollett, who has consistently denied any role in staging the supposed crime, turned himself in to police Thursday morning. He pleaded not guilty.Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson accused Smollett of first sending himself the letter filled with “racial, homophobic and political language,” then orchestrating the alleged attack because he was “dissatisfied with his salary.”“When that didn’t work, Smollett paid $3,500 to stage this attack and drag Chicago’s reputation through the mud,” Johnson, visibly angry, told reporters.“Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” the police chief added. “Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile? How can an individual who’s been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Howzat? Famous cricketer cuts ribbon on new property sales operation

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Howzat? Famous cricketer cuts ribbon on new property sales operation previous nextAgencies & PeopleHowzat? Famous cricketer cuts ribbon on new property sales operationDavid Lloyd joined the director of Lancashire agency Property Shop which after 15 years in lettings has moved into sales.The Negotiator27th December 20180862 Views LtoR: Steven Chippendale, Jamie Allen, David Lloyd, Miles ParkinsonFormer England cricket team player David Lloyd has helped launch the new sales department of 10-branch Lancashire agency the Property Shop team including a new premises, shopfront and staff at its HQ in Accrington.After 15 years operating in lettings, joint Managing Directors Steven Chippendale and Jamie Allen are now bringing their expertise to property sales and in February this year incorporated the sales arm of the business, which has now been officially opened for business.David Lloyd, former international cricketer, who joined in the celebrations and interviewed staff on video (see below), says: “It has been a fantastic day, as an Accrington lad it’s great to see local businesses excelling and succeeding. The lads are clearly highly invested in what they do and offer a service that really cannot be rivalled.”Jamie Allen, Joint Managing Director added, “We are incredibly thankful for the support we have received over the years which has enabled us to do this. We have put a huge amount of effort, hard work into Property Shop and now we manage over £100m of rental properties from an Accrington headquarters.”Hyndburn Borough Council Leader, Miles Parkinson, who also attended the event, says: “Not only is it great for the company that they’re doing so well but staying local means they are investing in the town centre and community as well – this move into sales has also introduced jobs into Accrington. I wish them all the same success in sales as they have had in lettings over the years.”Video interviewMiles Parkinson new premises David Lloyd former international cricketer December 27, 2018The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Investigation: Scholarships

first_imgMessling continued, “Accommodation and daily food are provided to students as students, not on the basis of academic achievement during their studies. If colleges want to improve their students’ academic performance at Prelims, there are lots of good options (including better welfare support or exam study skills sessions) without too much additional carrot and stick treatment. It’s good to reward academic performance, but exams are stressful enough without your accommodation riding on them too.”One second year student, Alexis Dale, maintained that, “The incentive for Oxford students does not need to be financial. We know that life is cut-throat and that those who are successful are rewarded, but this doesnothing but emphasise the contrasting attitudes and inequalities of the colleges. Who’s to say a first from a less wealthy college in a subject that’s relatively hard to get a first in is worth less than a first in a subject which is comparatively easier to get one in from a wealthier college? First year’s a challenge as it is without reinforcing the elitism that Oxford is notorious for.”A University spokesperson commented, “It’s important to note that colleges take many different approaches to supporting and recognising student achievement – looking at scholarships and prizes in isolation does not give a useful picture of the ways in which students are encouraged and incentivised across the collegiate university. Some colleges may offer prizes, while others offer things like book grants or travel scholarships – these are all useful ways of motivating and supporting student achievements.” Cherwell investigations has found that the amount awarded to students who have done well academically in their first year varies substantially from college to college. Jesus College is the most generous, with students who have achieved a first in Prelims receiving a scholarship worth £330 per year, as well as two free formal halls a week and a scholar’s gown. Scholarships are renewed annually and subject to the student continuing to succeed academically. At the other end of the spectrum, St Peter’s College gives the least, with high-scoring students only receiving £100 and priority on the housing ballot. Colleges choose to reward success differently, with some focusing on non-monetary prizes such as free meals, book tokens, scholars gowns, free vacation residence and priority on the room ballot in addition to lump sums.There is no strict correlation between a college’s endowment and the amount it gives in scholarships. However, the two outlying in terms of rewards appear to go against this: St Peter’s, with the smallest scholarships, also has the smallest endowment; and St John’s, the richest of the colleges, is in the higher bracket for academic rewards, giving £300 to scholars annually. Similarly, there is no connection between the extent to which colleges incentivise academic success and their actual results as measured by the Norrington Table. Magdalen College, which came top of the Norrington Table in the 2011/2012 academic year, awards the mean scholarship amount of £200. Pembroke, which came bottom of the table, awards scholars the second highest amount – £300 per year.David Messling, OUSU Vice-President for Access and Academic Affairs, criticised the non-monetary benefits available to students at certain colleges. “It’s great to acknowledge student achievement, not just academically, but also in extracurricular fields,” he said. “At the same time, there’s a big difference between celebrating student success with a special dinner, and denying a student the basic chance to live in college.”last_img read more

News story: A visual guide to Exercise Saif Sareea logistics

first_imgThe UK’s lead exercise of 2018, Exercise Saif Sareea 3 (SS3), is taking place this autumn in Oman. It has been years in the making, with Joint Forces Command at the very centre of the planning and organisational work. Delivering an expeditionary exercise on this scale brings a host of complex challenges for Joint Forces Command and the wider Ministry of Defence, from ensuring 24/7 medical cover to making sure drinking water never runs out.These videos help to explain this monumental effort, outlining who is responsible for these kind of military exercises abroad, and how they are delivered safely and effectively.‘Saif Sareea 3’ means ‘Swift Sword’ in Arabic. It is the name for the UK-Omani military exercise taking place in Oman from October to November 2018. The previous Saif Sareea exercises took place in 1986 and 2001.What is Exercise Saif Sareea 3?The Joint Force Logistics Component oversee and deliver the logistics for SS3. They are responsible for setting up the exercise, delivering support during it, and also responsible for returning equipment to the UK after the exercise has finished.Who runs the logistics for Exercise Saif Sareea 3?The Joint Force Logistics Component is made up of resources across the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Using these combined resources the Joint Force Logistics Component are able to deliver the UK’s logistics capability for SS3 in Oman.What do Exercise Saif Sareea 3 logistics look like on the ground?SS3 will test the UK and Oman’s ability to deploy a ‘Coalition Joint Task Force’ to the Gulf region and operate in austere and challenging conditions together. Throughout the exercise there is a need to ensure the health and safety of the 5,000 deployed personnel. To achieve this the Joint Force Logistics Component coordinate the deployment of Defence Medical Service units during the exercise.How do you keep 5,500 UK troops safe whilst on exercise in Oman?For more SS3 news, search: ComdJFC_UK, @DefenceOps, @DefenceHQ, @UKinOmanlast_img read more

Lidl drives in new TV campaign

first_imgLidl has launched a Little Market advertising campaign, comprising 13 separate adverts including one that champions its baked goods.The 30-second advert will run across the whole TV network from a combination of terrestrial channels as well as digital during primetime slots until 5 November.The bakery-specific ad draws customers’ attention to a number of items, including pain au chocolat, which a featured consumer describes as “just the same as the French one”.Other products highlighted include blueberry muffins, made with whole blueberries; a multigrain loaf at just 75p; and chocolate cookies.The adverts are all tagged as The Little Market, such as Little Market bakery, with others in the collection called Little Market meat and Little Market cheese.They conclude with the hashtag #LidlSurprises, as in each one customers are shown to be surprised that the products are all available in their local Lidl store.Watch the video.last_img read more

Macy’s Plans Smaller But Camera-Ready Thanksgiving Parade

first_imgMacy’s / Twitter NEW YORK — A Macy’s Thanksgiving parade reimagined for the coronavirus pandemic will feature floats, performers and giant balloons along a one-block stretch of 34th Street in front of the retailer’s flagship Manhattan store, Macy’s officials announced Monday.The spectacle will be broadcast as usual from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern time on NBC and will include both live and recorded elements, Macy’s officials said.“Under the unique challenges of these unparalleled times, we felt it was important to continue this cherished holiday tradition that has been the opening act to the holiday season for generations of families,” Susan Tercero, executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, said in a prepared statement.She added, “While it will certainly look different in execution, this year’s Macy’s Parade celebration will once again serve its historical purpose — to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation.” Macy’s similarly remade its traditional July Fourth fireworks show this year, swapping the big one-night spectacle for a series of smaller fireworks displays.The 2 1/2-mile Thanksgiving parade route will be axed in favor of a short stroll for the cameras, Macy’s spokesperson Orlando Veras said.The giant cartoon-character balloons will be flown without the traditional 80 to 100 handlers each and will instead be tethered to specialized vehicles that have been tested and approved by the city police and transportation departments, Veras said.Most of the parade’s performers will be locally based to cut down on travel, Veras said. High school and college marching bands that had been invited to perform will be deferred to 2021. In accordance with coronavirus restrictions, all performers will be required to maintain social distancing and wear face masks.Mayor Bill de Blasio thanked Macy’s officials for their effort to stage the parade despite COVID-19 restrictions.“They are reinventing the event for this moment in history,” de Blasio said at his daily coronavirus briefing. “And you will be able to feel the spirit and the joy of that day on television, online.”The Macy’s parade has been a traditional holiday season kickoff for more than 90 years and usually attracts throngs of tourists and locals who line the parade route to gawk at inflated characters like Snoopy or Felix the cat.This year’s lineup of balloon characters and human performers will be announced later, Veras said. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Food Safety

first_imgWhen severe weather threatens, preparing before the storm hits can help you keep your food and water safe. Power outagesSevere storms and hurricanes can result in loss of power and can jeopardize the safety of food in your refrigerator or freezer. Follow these tips to prepare for the worst before weather emergencies strike.Purchase refrigerator/freezer thermometers for your refrigerator and freezer. Make sure the temperature of your refrigerator is 40 degrees or colder and your freezer is 0 degrees or colder. Having a thermometer in your refrigerator and in your freezer will help you to know just how high the temperature gets in your appliances when the power goes off.Freeze extra containers of ice to help keep foods cold while the power is off. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible when the power is off. A refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if the door remains closed. A full freezer will hold the temperature for about 48 hours; a freezer that is only half full will only maintain its temperature for about 24 hours if the door stays closed.Coolers are another option for refrigerated food. If the power is off for more than 4 hours, foods can be transferred to coolers containing ice to keep them cold.Find out ahead of time where block ice or dry ice can be purchased in your area. These types of ice are a good option for keeping your refrigerator and freezer cold during a power outage. Perishable refrigerated foods like meats, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items should be discarded if the power stays off for more than 4 hours and food is not kept at 40 degrees or colder. If the power is off for several days, check the temperature of the freezer. If the food still has ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or colder (for no longer than two to three days) then the food is safe to eat.FloodwaterDo not eat any food – unless it is in a waterproof container – that may have come in contact with floodwater. This includes foods that are in containers with screw caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Home-canned foods and cardboard boxes containing juice, milk and baby formula should also be discarded if they come in contact with floodwaters. Commercially canned food should be discarded if the metal can is damaged in any way. Examine each can and throw it away if there is evidence of swelling, leakage, extensive rusting or severe dents. Cans not damaged can be salvaged by removing labels that could harbor germs. Thoroughly wash the cans with soap and hot water, and rinse the cans with water that is safe for drinking. Next, sanitize the cans by mixing a solution of a tablespoon of chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water. Another way to sanitize cans is to place them in boiling water and boiling them for two minutes. Allow the cans to air dry for at least one hour before opening or storing. Drinking waterIf the safety of drinking water supplies is in question, use bottled water that has not been exposed to floodwaters. If bottled water is not available, treat your water to destroy disease-causing organisms that could be present. First, filter cloudy water through a clean cloth. Boil the water for one minute. After cooling for at least one minute, store the water in clean containers with lids. If boiling is not an option, disinfect the water using unscented household chlorine bleach. Add 1/8 teaspoon, or 8 drops, for each gallon of water. Let stand for 30 minutes. Some disease-causing organisms are resistant to chlorine, but chlorine treatment alone will reduce your risk in an emergency situation. Store the water in clean containers with lids. For more information on food and water safety in severe storms, visit www.fsis.usda.gov/pdf/severe_storms_and_hurricanes_guide.pdf or contact your local county Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

Energy audits for chicken houses

first_imgThe practices that can help us save energy in our own homes, like sealing leaks, insulating and updating cooling systems and replacing light bulbs, are also being used to make Georgia’s prolific poultry industry more efficient — one chicken house at a time. For the last five years, a team of engineers led by John Worley, an associate professor of engineering with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, has been helping chicken farmers update their broiler houses to make them run more efficiently. USDA presented Worley with a $100,000 grant on May 24 to continue Extension efforts to advise farmers how make their operations more efficient. “There’s just tremendous potential there, so we’ve tried to fill that need (for energy efficiency,” Worley said. “There are about 12,000 chicken houses in Georgia.” The effort to help farmers run more efficiently is a collaboration between several agencies, including UGA Cooperative Extension, the USDA, and representatives of the Resource Conservation and Development Councils. Poultry farmers not the only ones going greenWhile poultry farmers in Georgia have used the energy efficiency grant program the most, grants are available to all farmers who get more than 50 percent of their income from farming. Worley’s team has worked with dairies and row crop farmers to increase the efficiency of milking barns and irrigation systems, too. In the future, they’d also like to work with farmers to develop renewable energy systems, like solar-powered irrigation pumps or manure digesters to produce cheap heat. Any producer interested in taking advantage of the energy audit program through the UGA Extension or applying for a rural energy grant can contact their local county Extension agent or email Craig Scroggs or Al Burns at the USDA at [email protected] or [email protected] Over the past four years, he and his team have provided audits for almost 200 farms with over 1,000 poultry houses. Estimated electrical savings were more than 3,000 megawatt hours/year (enough to power more than 200,000 typical homes) and more than 1 million gallons of propane gas. These changes should save participating farmers about $2.7 million annually in energy costs. “(Farmers) can then take the money they were going to use towards the energy bill and put it back into their businesses – maybe use it to hire a few more people,” said Quinton Robinson, director of USDA Rural Development for Georgia. Grant money available for willing farmersAs part of USDA’s Rural Energy for America Grant program, farmers can receive 25 percent of the funding they need to help make their farms more energy efficient. To apply, they need a certified energy audit of their farms, and that’s where Worley’s team comes in. They perform those energy audits and prepare an inventory of needed upgrades and the amount of energy each should save. The farmer pays $100 for the service, which is much less expensive than hiring a private engineering firm. The auditing process assures both USDA and the farmer that the improvements will save energy, and it also provides the auditors with an opportunity to discuss with the farmers any other worthwhile improvements. So far Worley’s team has audited about 1,000 of the 12,000 broiler houses in the state. New grant will fund another year of energy auditsThe newest grant will allow Worley to audit about 50 more farms between now and June 30, 2013. Based on past projects completed after Worley’s team made their recommendation, these audits could save enough energy to power another 5,600 homes. The USDA grants associated with these audits provide farmers with 25 percent of the funding needed to upgrade their facilities. They have to specify what projects they plan to tackle before they receive the money. “These projects will pay for themselves over time, but it is hard to come up with the money to make that initial investment,” Worley said. The cost of retrofitting a chicken house can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 depending on how old the house is and what needs to be done, Worley said. Audits help farmers take small steps to greener farmsNot every farmer who has his farm audited chooses to finish the grant application process, but most do at least one project to increase the energy efficiency of their farms. “I consider that a success of this grant because (the audit) stimulated people to go ahead and make the decision to do something,” Worley said. “All of these improvements will pay for themselves without any grant assistance, but if you can stimulate people to go ahead make a decision, then they will get done sooner.” last_img read more

Kompot Creation

first_imgMost Americans may not know what kompot is, but if Terrell County’s 4-H Food Development Team has anything to say about it, that may soon change.The team’s riff on this traditional Eastern European brewed fruit drink won first place in Georgia 4-H’s 2019 Food Product Development Contest. Along with four other county 4-H food product development teams, the Terrell County team presented their idea on Saturday, May 18, on the Athens campus of the University of Georgia.“First off, you are all winners for making it this far,” said Anand Mohan, UGA Cooperative Extension coordinator for the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology and new product development expert, told the contestants. “But when I saw this container, I knew there was something right with this. I’m telling you kids that if you wanted to take this to the market, you would have no problem selling this.”This is the second year that the Terrell County 4-H Club has presented their Southern Creek brand kompot beverage at the contest. They took home third place in 2018 with their Southern Creek Burri-licious fruit drink.Traditionally, kompot is a beverage made by brewing fruit and sugar with water to make a highly sweet fruit tea. The fruit is strained from the brew before it is served, team member Sebastian Shattle explained to the judges. The 4-H team worked to create a version that’s not as sweet to market under their Southern Creek brand.As part of the contest, the 4-H’ers must develop a recipe for a new food product, research the market for the product, create a marketing plan, and design a food safety and manufacturing plan for the product. Next, they pitch their product to a panel of judges from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Department of Food Science and Technology.All of the teams who competed in this year’s food product development contest focused on products that were healthy and convenient. This year’s product proposals included a shelf-stable yogurt snack, a honey-tinged oatmeal breakfast bar, a fruit and granola bar, and an on-the-go fruit salsa snack. In addition to Terrell County’s first-place win, the judges recognized the following students:In second place, Floyd County 4-H’s Clover Cookie Team: Mason Daniel, Karmen Holbert, Riley Holbert and Veeka MalanchukIn third place, Habersham County 4-H’s Owl Go Bar Team: Mercy Bowen, Christine Budd, Camden Hughes, Tabitha Ramey and Tianna RameyWith an honorable mention, Haralson County 4-H’s Yogurt Active Powder team: Ayshanna Frazier, Rachel Ibbetson, Rebekah Ibbetson and Jozie MizeWith an honorable mention, Madison County 4-H’s Southern Sun Salsa team: Clayton Adams, Alyssa Goldman, Kaylie Goldman, Alexis Gross and Parker VarnadoeThe Terrell County team will receive 4-H Master status and will be recognized at 4-H State Congress in July. They will also be invited to participate in UGA’s Flavor of Georgia food product contest event in Atlanta during Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week. After the contestants presented, they heard from Abby Jackson, who parlayed her successful fly-fishing camp in the north Georgia mountains into a successful gourmet salsa and condiment brand, Abby J’s.“If you have a dream, if you have something that you really love doing, do it,” Jackson told the high schoolers. “If you have something that really moves you, you need to check it out. You need to follow your passion … You may not have a product that will change the world, but you don’t know where your dreams are going to take you.”For more information about the wide range of programs offered by Georgia 4-H, visit www.georgia4H.org.last_img read more

Senior Interior Space Designer Joins WorkSpace Concepts Staff

first_imgWorkSpace Concepts announced the addition of Kristi Lyon as senior designer responsible for the interior design and space planning functions of the operation. Lyon has over 20 years experience in the field of interior design and space planning. She is a professional member of International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and is an experienced CAD and CAP operator.Creative space planning and interior design are the cornerstones of any successful project according to John Moran, president of WorkSpace Concepts. “Our customers enjoy the consultative approach we take to solving their space planning needs,” said Moran. “From the small office to the large, multi-faceted new construction project, designing work spaces that are ergonomically correct, pleasing to look at, and are within budget, requires a sophisticated and skilled designer. With Kristi on our team, our customers will benefit from her years of experience in this field.”Lyon has a degree in interior design from Syracuse University. She has worked for architectural firms and office interior companies serving as lead designer for more than 500,000 square feet of interior design for corporate and educational facilities including the State of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Chittenden Bank, Dartmouth College, Peerless Insurance, and Middlebury College. Lyon’s experience with the specification and layout of the major contract furniture lines for panel systems, case goods, and seating combined with her design and project management skills ensure positive results for all of her clients.ABOUT WORKSPACE CONCEPTSWorkSpace Concepts, provides ergonomically correct interior work space designs and products that promote the health and well being of the workforce while contributing to a productive and successful work environment. We offer a full range of products and services for new construction, existing businesses and home offices with consultation services, office design, space planning, delivery and installation. At WorkSpace Concepts, our business is based on respect for our customers and employees and integrity is the foundation for all our business operations. WorkSpace Concepts is located in Shelburne, Vermont and serves customers throughout Vermont.last_img read more