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Palestinian rights groups see muzzle in Israel’s terrorist label

Amid paralysis, Europe, in particular, has invested in strengthening Palestinian civil society, an effort that now appears to be challenged by Israel’s decision to ban well-known rights groups. .

The terrorism label would allow Israel to raid the offices of the groups, seize assets, arrest employees and criminalize funding and expressions of support.

Rights groups in Israel and abroad have expressed outrage at the label of “terror.”

Palestinian activists said they were counting on international pressure to overturn the decision.

“We hope that the international community will exert enough pressure on Israel to back down,” said Ubai Aboudi, head of the Bisan Research and Development Center, one of the target groups on Saturday. Aboudi said he had previously been accused by Israel of being a member of the PFLP but denied ever having been a member of the group.

Sahar Francis, the director of the prisoners’ rights group Addameer, told a press conference that she was grateful for the international statements of support and that “we expect this campaign and pressure to endure. continue for it to be fruitful “. Addameer is also one of the target groups.

Shawan Jabarin, who heads veterans rights group Al-Haq, said Israel’s designation came as a surprise and the groups had not been notified. Two of the six groups said they would not be forced into hiding despite the uncertainty of their new status.

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Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver denies claims of historical racism and sexism

The Phoenix Suns released a statement regarding a possible media investigation into the franchise’s workplace culture, denying that the organization or owner Robert Sarver has a history of racism or sexism.

The statement sent Friday said the organization is aware that ESPN is working on a story accusing the organization of misconduct on a “variety of subjects.” The Suns responded by saying that these were “completely unfounded claims” and that “documentary evidence in our possession and testimonies directly contradict the reporter’s accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions.”

Sarver – a Phoenix businessman – has owned the Suns since 2004.

Suns general manager James Jones, who is Black, said in the team’s response: “Nothing that has been said describes the Robert Sarver I know, respect and love – it just isn’t not the case.”

The franchise has just had one of the most successful seasons in its history, reaching the NBA Finals with stars Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton before losing in six games to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Suns have made the final three times, in 1976, 1993 and 2021, but have never won a championship.

Suns coach Monty Williams spoke to the media on Friday ahead of the team’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles, saying he was aware of the potential report but did not want to “comment to this topic until I have time to process a lot of information and get everything I need to know about the situation. “

He added that he didn’t expect the situation to be a distraction for the team.

“Nothing will invade or erode our culture,” said Williams. “That’s something we said from day one. Wins, losses, we play basketball, we play hoop and that’s not going to change.”

Phoenix Suns and Mercury owner Robert Sarver attends Game 2 of the 2021 WNBA Finals at the Footprint Center on October 13, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The potential investigation was revealed on Friday when league analyst Jordan Schultz posted a message on social media saying that the league was bracing for a “massive” story and that if there is “enough evidence to back up such claims, there is a real chance the league will forcibly remove Sarver.”

Sarver and the Suns responded with a lengthy statement. The 59-year-old Sarver also owns the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury.

“While I cannot begin to figure out how to respond to some of the vague suggestions made by mostly anonymous voices, I can certainly tell you that some of the statements that I find completely repugnant to my nature and the character of the Suns / Mercury workplace and I can tell you that never happened, ”Sarver said.

Not even a full week into the season, the NBA now has another potentially significant issue on its hands – even without knowing the full scope of the charges the Suns say are coming.

The Suns’ statements came two days after Boston center Enes Kanter called for Tibet’s independence, comments that prompted a Chinese broadcast partner to stop broadcasting Celtics games in the basketball-mad country. ball.

There are also two top players sidelined for various reasons, with Brooklyn not allowing Kyrie Irving to be with their team until he gets his coronavirus shot and Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons not participating. not in practice or in games with the 76ers after looking for a job that still has to be done.

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Kevin Durant, James Harden and Nets Greats among selections for NBA 75th Anniversary team

To celebrate the 75th NBA season in 2021-2022, the league recognizes a 75th anniversary team of the 75 best players in NBA history. From current members of the organization to great pasts, the Nets are strongly represented on the list.

“It means a lot,” said Kevin Durant. “It means everything to be honest. You want to leave your mark in this league on basketball itself. To be among the greatest this game has ever seen, to be in the same company is kinda nice. saw the 50th anniversary and always dreamed of having one of these jackets and being among this group and being in this fraternity, so it feels good to be a part of it now.

James Harden has joined Durant on the roster, the pair being part of the first 25-man squad announced by the league on Tuesday night.

“Wow. Where I’m from, man, even just being in the NBA was like a far-fetched dream,” Harden said. “To be an NBA basketball player was unheard of. And then not only to do it, but to maintain it was a different type of mountain that you have to climb. And then being one of the best basketball players is a completely different mountain. It’s just a testament to the work I did and continue to do until I can’t play anymore. Obviously, I didn’t reach the ultimate goal, which is a championship, but that’s what keeps me working and going hard every single day. That’s the end goal. When I get to that point, the work doesn’t stop. I will continue to work and keep striving until I am no longer able to play this game. This game has given me so much, just the people I have interacted with and touched and the families that I’ve helped. It’s a beautiful thing. So I’m just blessed to be on this list, and it doesn’t stop. “

In addition to the players whose career highlights are summarized below, former Nets Rick Barry, Nate Archibald, Bob McAdoo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have been selected for the squad.>


CAREER: 27.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.2 APG

Kevin Durant has carved out his own slice of NBA history – there’s just never been another player like him. With guarding skills and a 6-10 frame, Durant is one of the most feared and effective scorers the NBA has ever seen. He’s never averaged less than 20 points per game and his career-scoring average of 27.0 is fifth all-time and No. 1 among active players. The No. 2 overall pick in 2007, Durant was a third-year All-NBA first-team selection, when he dominated the league scoring for the first time with 30.1 points per game. It was the first of four milestone titles, including a career-high 32.0 points per game in his 2013-14 NBA MVP season. Over 13 seasons, Durant won 11 All-Star Game caps, nine All-NBA accolades, two NBA Finals MVP awards and was 2007-08 Rookie of the Year.


CAREER: 25.1 RPG, 6.5 RPG, 5.5 RPG

James Harden has established himself as one of the unique offensive talents in NBA history. He is one of seven players to lead the league in scoring and assists and with career averages of 25.1 points and 6.5 assists, one of five to average those two. rate for his career. Nine-time All-Star and seven-time All-NBA, Harden was the 2011-12 Sixth Man of the Year and 2017-18 MVP. His career scoring average is 11th in NBA history and third among active players. Harden has three scoring titles and a league-leading season in assists. His league-leading 36.1 points per game in 2018-19 is the seventh-highest single-season scoring average in NBA history – only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan have ever averaged more. He is fifth in NBA history with 2,445 3-pointers and eighth with 58 career triple-doubles.

STEVE NASH • 1996-2014

CAREER: 14.3 PPG, 8.5 APG, 42.8 3PT%

With a mid-career jump, Steve Nash heralded a change in the way the NBA game was played. Already a two-time star in his six seasons in Dallas, Nash returned to the team that drafted him, the Phoenix Suns, for the 2004-05 season. Supporting Phoenix’s relentless, wide-open offensive attack “Seven Seconds or Less”, Nash has won back-to-back MVP awards and led the league in assists for three consecutive seasons and five of the next seven. Nash has won eight All-Star Game selections and seven All-NBA honors. One of the great shooters in NBA history, Nash posted career shooting spreads of 49.0 / 42.8 / 90.4 and, in 2006-07, led the NBA with a goal percentage on the effective pitch of 0.613, an incredibly rare achievement for a goalkeeper. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018, he is third in NBA history with 10,335 assists.

JASON KIDD • 1994-2013

CAREER: 12.6 RPG, 8.7 RPG, 6.3 RPG

Jason Kidd transformed the Nets franchise when he arrived before the 2001-02 season. With a relentless will to win, genius creativity and unparalleled attack management, Kidd led the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. They went on to win four division titles in five. seasons and have made six consecutive playoff appearances. . 10-time All-Star, Kidd won three of his six All-NBA honors while with the Nets. He was also named to nine defensive all-star teams and was 1994-95 Rookie of the Year. Kidd remains the franchise leader in assists, steals, 3 points and triple doubles. He is fourth in NBA history with 107 triple-doubles and second all-time with 12,091 assists. Kidd was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

JULES ERVING • 1971-1987

CAREER: 24.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 50.6% FG

A transformational player in professional basketball history, Julius Erving carried the Nets to the top of the ABA as the league’s iconic player, then brought his greatness to the NBA for a decade after the 1976 merger between the leagues. While with the Nets, Erving won three consecutive ABA MVPs while leading the team to two championships, and he was an All-Star and All-ABA selection each of his five seasons in the league. Erving has been an All-Star in each of his 11 NBA seasons and was named the game’s MVP twice, in 1977 and 1983. He was named to seven All-NBA teams and was league MVP in 1980-81 . Erving’s 30,026 points in the ABA and NBA combined are the eighth in professional basketball history and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

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Dave Chappelle insulted a group that no one mentions

The long list of iconic black comics that have claimed gender non-conforming people or were themselves members of the LGBTQ community.

Black comics have indeed peddled their fair share of nefarious stereotypes about LGBTQ people. Eddie Murphy, for example, sparked a slew of homophobic slurs in his early stand-up routines – performances he has since apologized for.

But the scene was one of those rare places in the black community where LGBTQ members had some freedom to be themselves – or to escape the cruelty they faced in the outside world. Chappelle took part of this space.

“There is a long tradition of trans and gender non-conforming performers in our history, from the Harlem Renaissance to our entire performing history,” says Marlon M. Bailey, author of “Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance. , and Ballroom Culture in Detroit. “

This is what gets lost in the controversy over Chapelle’s comments in his latest stand-up film, “The Closer”. Much of the attention has been focused on the content of his jokes. Chappelle joked about trans women’s genitals and told a story about beating a lesbian woman. And then there are the fallout. Netflix employees and supporters demonstrated on Wednesday to protest the streaming company’s reaction to the complaints. GLAAD, the LGBTQ media organization, also condemned Chapelle’s comments in “The Closer”.

It’s easy to forget, however, with all the attention paid to Chapelle that there were black comedians who took big risks to assert LGBTQ people and be honest about their own sexuality.

Richard Pryor and Mabley Moms

Consider the story of Richard Pryor, arguably the greatest stand-up comic of all time.

Richard Pryor has spoken openly about his bisexuality to his friends.  During a notorious public performance, he opened up to an audience about his attraction to men.

There is a generation of moviegoers who only know him through the tasteless Hollywood movies he starred in like “The Toy”. But Pryor was a different artist on the stand-up comedy scene: fearless, unpredictable, profane. And honest about his bisexuality.

In 1977, Pryor was headlining a gay rights fundraiser where he spoke on stage about having sex with a man. Pryor’s bisexuality was well known to his friends, although some of his relatives still deny that he was gay.
“With this confession, Pryor may have become the first major Hollywood celebrity to speak graphically about their own positive experience with gay sex – and certainly the first to do so in front of tens of thousands of people,” according to an excerpt from the book, “Becoming Richard Pryor” by Scott Saul.
Moms Mabley, another great black comic, was so open about her gender identity that she was known as “Mr. Moms” off the stage, some say.
Other black artists like artist and actress Josephine Baker, who has been dubbed “a radical bisexual artist and activist, and Ma Rainey, the blues singer known as the” Mother of the Blues, “have shaken the genre tropes.
    Jackie Moms Mabley was a comic pioneer on stage and an open backstage lesbian.  Friends say she didn't try to hide her identity.
Rainey sang openly about lesbian relationships and cross-dressing in the early 20th century, when homosexuality was seen as a form of mental illness. In her 1928 song, “Prove it on Me Blues, she sang:

“I went out last night with a crowd of my friends,

It must have been women, because I don’t like men.

Wear my clothes like a fan,

Talk to girls like any old man. “

From Geraldine ‘to RuPaul

Chappelle may have issues with trans women, but black audiences have traditionally embraced black male comics that create gender characters in dresses.

And so are many contemporary black male comics. It’s almost a rite of passage for a comedic black man to create a female character or a stage character. Artist and author Tyler Perry built his entertainment empire on the generous bosom of “Madea”, the carefree and wise black matriarch. RuPaul has a huge following.

Comedians as diverse as Martin Lawrence (“Big Momma’s House”), and Marlon and Shawn Wayans (“White Chicks”) have donned dresses for some of their most popular films.

There is of course a debate to be had about black men posing as women or portraying LGBTQ characters on stage and in movies. Some of these representations may have reinforced stereotypes or be in bad taste. But none of them have the gratuitous cruelty to LGBTQ people that Chappelle brings to his Netflix specials.

As one reviewer asked, “What’s Dave Chapelle’s problem with gay people?
The timing, it has been said, is all in comedy, and the timing for “The Closer” is horrible. Chapelle’s comments come in a year in which at least 33 states have introduced bills to restrict the rights of transgender people – and while record numbers of transgender people, mostly women transgender people of color, were murdered.

“Right now the trans community is under siege, especially the trans community of color,” said Bailey, who is also a professor in the African and African American studies department at Arizona State University. “Artists should take this into account.”

Chappelle should take something else into account.

From a certain point of view, his last special is a success. He generated headlines, viewers and added millions for his personal fortune. It can be said that all the great actors arouse indignation. It’s part of their job description. This is how they get people to think. This is one of the reasons Chapel, who studies comic book history, received the Mark Twain Prize for American humor.

Tyler Perry built his entertainment empire on

But ambitious comedians also face another invisible audience – the greats who inspired them, some of whom are still alive. They face this audience during each performance. They have to come to terms with and borrow from the masters before developing their own voice. Chappelle says he was inspired by Pryor. Pryor was inspired by Lenny Bruce. Key & Peele’s black comedy duo (Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele) have been inspired by everyone from Abbott and Costello to Steve Martin.

The betrayal of Chapel of the black comic tradition

Chappelle turned his back on that audience by doing something they’ve never done – make a career out of pursuing a group even more vilified than black.

The great comics that Chapelle says inspired him didn’t make this mistake.

“Ancestors like Bruce and Pryor reveled in infiltrating the general public with beliefs about gender, race and culture so progressive that they were dangerous,” commentator Charles Bramesco said in a 2019 article where Chapelle , again, offended the LGBTQ community with comments on what he calls “people of the alphabet”.

“Chappelle would prefer to retire to his niche as an old crank, where everything is expected and safe,” says Bramesco.

The Chapel Ox with the LBGQT community dishonours the memory of all those black comic book greats who made his career – and millions – possible.

They created a safe space on the comic book scene for people who didn’t fit traditional gender norms. Black comics like Pryor weren’t perfect when it came to their sexual politics (Pryor ended his gay rights fundraiser by going after white gays and telling the crowd to “kiss my rich man and happy black ass “.

But they proved that a black comic could be bold and brilliant without hitting another stigmatized group to be considered a big one.

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Following her release, Whitney Mercilus posted her farewells to the city of Houston, her fans and the Texas organization on Instagram.

Texans president and CEO Cal McNair issued a statement on the defensive lineman’s release.

“There aren’t many players in franchise history who have impacted our organization and our community in the same way that Whitney Mercilus has,” McNair said. “I can remember a number of times over the past 10 seasons he has stepped in for us on the pitch with a sack or a big play at a pivotal moment, but that’s his unique connection to the Houston community. which made him one of the most popular actors in franchise history.Our fan base turned to Whitney from day one, and he always found ways to give back and serve through his foundation and her culinary work. My family and the entire organization will always consider Whitney to be a Texan. “

Mercilus ranks second in franchise history for sacks (57.0), loss tackles (72), quarterback hits (115), forced fumbles (13), recoveries from fumbles (eight) and multi-sack games (13) in 134 games (102 starts)) as Texan, the third tallest in franchise history. He’s also made eight playoff games (five starts), recording 26 tackles (15 solo), seven tackles for loss and a franchise record of 7 sacks.

Off the pitch, Mercilus has advocated and supported families of children with disabilities and special needs through its WithMerci Foundation. Nominated by Texans for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award 2018, Mercilus and his foundation have donated countless hours and monetary contributions to numerous organizations, such as the Houston Independent School District’s Special Education Department, the Smartie Pants Academy Center, Easter Seals. of Greater Houston and the Foundation for Autism Care, Education and Services.

The Texans will practice Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center. Sunday in Arizona, they face the Cardinals at 3:25 p.m. CT.

The next time you get to see the Texans at NRG Stadium, it’s October 31, as they host the Los Angeles Rams in Week 8. Kick-off is scheduled for noon CT. Click here for tickets.

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WaterFire Welcomes First-Ever Lighting in Honor of BIPOC Residents

As the sun set on Saturday, hundreds of visitors and residents of Providence gathered at the Providence River to watch WaterFire, a community gathering and fire-lighting show that takes place regularly from summer to late. of autumn. The October 16 show was the first WaterFire to celebrate Blacks, Indigenous people and people of color.

The event was sponsored by Papitto Opportunity Connection, a Rhode Island nonprofit that aims to invest in “education, skills training and entrepreneurial ventures” for BIPOC communities across the state, according to the website organisation.

Besides the long tradition of lighting fires and the presence of many local food vendors, participants also had the chance to attend dance performances and learn about different initiatives sponsored by Papitto Opportunity Connection.

Peter Mello, Managing Director of WaterFire Providence, told the Herald he was grateful for the opportunity to host the “first BIPOC-themed WaterFire, where we celebrate Blacks, Indigenous people and people of color. in the arts, business and culture in the State of Rhode Island. “

“The WaterFire event has been going on for 25 years, and a big part of what happens at WaterFire is that we celebrate the best of Providence and Rhode Island – the people, the organizations, the culture, the history,” Mello said. . He noted that local organizations often use the platform provided by WaterFire “to engage their audience” with social issues relevant to the community, so they were “super excited to work with (Papitto Opportunity Connection) to create a special evening. “uplifting the members of the BIPOC community.

“Each event is a little different,” added Mello. This week’s WaterFire included performances by members of the BIPOC community and demonstrations of Capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts that integrates dance and music.

A number of local organizations were invited by Papitto Opportunity Connection and spent the evening educating passers-by on community initiatives to support residents of BIPOC Rhode Island. One of those organizations was Southside Community Land Trust, a non-profit organization that aims to help low-income neighborhoods in Rhode Island access organic food.

“We’ve been around for over 30 years,” said Chandelle Wilson, SCLT training program manager. “Our hope and goal right now is to support many immigrant and migrant farmers, people from other countries, and our hope is to connect more with the people of BIPOC.”

Throughout the event, SCLT discussed current food safety initiatives and distributed products such as “chayote squash, kale or collard greens, fresh lemongrass (and) dried onions” to community members in attendance, Wilson added.

“We’re here to connect people with a space to grow their own food,” Wilson said. All products distributed were “grown here in Providence and Cranston”.

Allison Cavallo ’24, who first attended WaterFire on Saturday, enjoyed the performances and the music. Considering it was the family weekend at college, “my mom dragged me a bit (to the event), but I’m having a great time,” she said.

“I was surprised at the amount of activities, tents and music,” she said. “I didn’t know they were doing all of this. I thought it was just fire and water, but I like the festival aspect.

Lisa Tutaj, a medical assistant from Chicago, attended the event as she visited her stepdaughter for the family weekend. “So far it’s been a lot of fun,” Tutaj said, pointing out how much she enjoyed one of the dance performances of the evening.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on WaterFire, and the first insights and performance since the onset of the pandemic took place on September 4 in honor of those who served as essential workers during the pandemic.

Mello noted that despite the challenges posed throughout the pandemic, events like Saturday’s WaterFire show the organization’s renewed commitment to supporting local arts. “It’s probably the most complicated fire we’ve done,” Mello said.

Mello remains confident that WaterFire will remain important in uniting community members in the weeks and years to come. “There is no special language you have to know to experience this. There is nothing intimidating, ”he said. “It’s a visceral experience.

This year’s WaterFire will take place every two weeks until December 4th.

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October 18 Business Files | News, Sports, Jobs

Avera scores highest among ‘most hardwired’ healthcare systems

Avera once again achieved the highest level of recognition as a Tier 10 organization in the 2021 Most Wired Digital Health Survey conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

The CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess the effectiveness with which healthcare organizations are applying basic and advanced technologies in their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities.

This is the third year that Avera has been named as a Tier 10 organization, reaching the highest level for acute and ambulatory care, with previous elite designations including Top 10 and “Advanced.” This is the 22nd time that Avera has been on the most connected list.

“Avera’s history of Most Wired awards as well as our latest designation as Level 10 demonstrate that we are an industry leader.” said Bruk Kammerman, chief information officer of Avera. “Avera fosters a strong culture of innovation, combining the latest technologies with medical expertise for the benefit of our patients. “

A total of 36,674 organizations were represented in the 2021 Digital Health Most Wired program, which includes four separate surveys: acute care, outpatient, long-term care, and international acute care. The surveys assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry leadership.

Each participating organization received a personalized benchmarking report, overall score, and scores for individual levels in eight segments:



Business / disaster recovery

Administrative / supply chain

Data analysis / management

Interoperability / population health

Patient involvement

Clinical quality / safety

Participants also received certification based on their overall performance, with level 10 being the highest.

“The digital transformation of healthcare has accelerated to an unprecedented level since 2020, and the coming years will bring a wave of innovations that will empower healthcare consumers and amaze the industry” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell. “The Digital Health Most Wired program recognizes outstanding digital leaders who paved the way for this impending revolution in healthcare. Their pioneering commitment to rapid transformation set an example for the entire industry on how to pursue a leadership vision with determination, brilliant planning and courage to overcome any challenge.

In addition to the CHIME Most Wired designation, Avera Health has many accomplishments including being named one of the Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health as well as numerous 5-star ratings through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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Lexington’s Blue Grass Trust Gets New Executive Director | Kentucky News

BY BETH MUSGRAVE, The Lexington Herald-Leader

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – One of Lexington’s oldest historical preservation groups has chosen a longtime historian and co-founder of an effort to preserve the city’s LGBTQ history as its new executive director.

Jonathan Coleman, who has served as deputy director and curator at the Mary Todd Lincoln House for the past six years, will become executive director of the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation on November 1.

The Blue Grass Trust, which has led numerous preservation efforts for over 60 years, has been without an executive director since March 2020, when longtime director Sheila Ferrell resigned.

Coleman, who received his doctorate in history from the University of Kentucky in 2014, has led many local history initiatives, including co-founding the Faulkner Morgan Archives, which chronicle the LGBTQ history of Lexington. Coleman is from Pike County.

Political cartoons

Faulkner Morgan has achieved state and national recognition, most recently from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for his success in “Creating a More Inclusive and Polyvocal American History. “.

During his tenure at the Mary Todd Lincoln House, Coleman also led other initiatives, including “A House Divided,” a Kentucky Humanities Council-funded project that used Lexington Cemetery to explore the history of the civil war in the region.

“For over sixty years, the Trust’s mission to educate, advocate and serve has been vital to preservation in central Kentucky, and with the help of our donors, community partners and Trust leaders, I look forward to building on this incredible legacy, ”said Coleman.

Janie Fergus, chairman of the board of the Blue Grass Trust, said Coleman’s selection as executive director comes at a critical time in the organization’s history.

The association was founded in 1955 to save John Wesley Hunt’s home in Gratz Park from demolition.

“With many initiatives underway, Jon looks forward to moving the Trust forward to an even stronger position as a leader in historic preservation in central Kentucky. “

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Spirits of Port Isabel organizes ghost tours

PORT ISABEL, TX (ValleyCentral) – Halloween is fast approaching and many Port Isabel natives believe their town is haunted.

A local organization dug into this myth by organizing ghost tours for locals and tourists.

“Several years ago a group of ghost hunters came to Port Isabel and the Rio Grande Valley and they declared Port Isabel the most haunted town in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Douglas Best, designer by Spirits of Port Isabel.

There’s a reason Port Isabel is considered so haunted. History experts said it was the whole history stretching back centuries that involved so many traumatic deaths in the area, including the Port Isabel Lighthouse.

“A lot of things have happened here. The Mexican-American War [and] the civil war took place, and it was a staging area for many problems, ”Best said. “Conservative General Banks actually tried to detonate the lighthouse.”

Four years ago, Douglas wanted to deepen this story by teaching others. That’s why he launched the Sprits of Port Isabel Ghost Tours.

“It starts at the lighthouse, then we descend to the haunted fire station. We go around the cemetery and go back down to what is called the road of misfortune, ”said Best. “To know why it is called the Route du Malheur, you have to do the tour because it is explained by one of the ghosts.”

In addition to researching real spirits, Best also creates its own historical experts and ghost figures to teach people all about local history. Best said he always enjoys teaching people something new.

“I love watching and using education as a way to make people happy,” Best said. “Right now the world is full of negative things and it is actually positive. It’s nice.

Since the ghost tours began, Douglas said he has received numerous reports from locals and tourists of ghost sightings, not only at the lighthouse but across Port Isabel.

“One of the businesses across the way told me yesterday about an old gentleman in a rocking chair who disappears,” Best said.

However, with all of the haunted history, Best said this town remains unique.

“You should be proud of the story that is here and look forward to sharing your story with you if you haven’t been able to follow it,” Best said.

If you would like to join these ghost tours, you can visit the Spirits of Port Isabel website to get tickets.

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World Health Organization honors the late Henrietta Lacks for his contributions to scientific research

Lacks, a black woman, suffered from cervical cancer while being treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951. A surgeon removed cells from her cervix without her consent during a procedure and this sample allowed a doctor at the hospital to create the first human cell line to reproduce outside the body.

The cell line, now known as HeLa cells, allowed scientists to experiment and create life-saving drugs, including the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, and genetic mapping, and helped advance the cancer and AIDS research.

Lacks, 31, died the same year from cancer, but her influence in the field of medical science continued, earning her the WHO Director-General’s Award.

“By honoring Henrietta Lacks, WHO recognizes the importance of addressing past scientific injustices and advancing racial equity in health and science,” said Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a statement. “It is also an opportunity to recognize women – especially women of color – who have made incredible but often invisible contributions to medical science.”

Several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other members of Lack’s family attended the awards ceremony at the WHO Geneva office. His 87-year-old son, Lawrence Lacks, Sr., accepted the award on his behalf.

“We are moved to receive this historic recognition from my mother, Henrietta Lacks – honoring who she was as a remarkable woman and the lasting impact of her HeLa cells. My mother’s once-hidden contributions are now rightly honored for their global impact, “Lawrence Lacks said in a statement.

“My mother was a pioneer in life, giving back to her community, helping others live better lives and caring for others,” he added. “In death, she continues to help the world. Her legacy lives on in us and we thank you for saying her name – Henrietta Lacks.”

Family sues biotech company for non-consensual use of its cells

At the time of the Lacks procedure, taking cells from people without their consent was not against the protocols.

Earlier this month, the Lacks family filed a lawsuit against Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. for unfair enrichment resulting from the non-consensual use and profit of its tissue sample and cell line.

The lawsuit alleges that Thermo Fisher Scientific knowingly profits from the “unlawful conduct” of Johns Hopkins physicians and that its “ill-gotten gains belong by right to Ms. Lacks’ estate.”

He argues that the company “made a conscious choice to sell and mass produce the living tissues of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman, grandmother, and community leader, although the company knows that Ms. Lacks’ tissues have left her behind. been taken without his consent. by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a racially unfair medical system. “

While the origin of HeLa cells was unclear for years, Lacks’ story became widely known in the 21st century. It was the subject of a bestselling book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, which was released in 2010, and a subsequent film of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey. The United States House of Representatives has recognized his non-consensual contribution to cancer research, and John Hopkins hosts a series of annual conferences on his impact on medicine.

The lawsuit claims that with this broad recognition, there is no way for Thermo Fisher Scientific to say that it did not know the history of its products containing HeLa cells and points to a page on the website of the ‘company which recognizes that the cells were taken without Lacks’ consent. According to the lawsuit, there are at least 12 products marketed by Thermo Fisher that include the HeLa cell line.

Thermo Fisher Scientific generates annual sales of approximately $ 35 billion, according to its website. CNN has contacted the company for comment.

CNN’s Taylor Romine contributed to this report.

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