The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, based just outside of Philadelphia, PA announced this morning that they are charging famed comedian Bill Cosby with aggravated indecent assault, a first-degree felony, in a 2004 sexual assault case.
This is the first criminal case against Cosby regarding his behavior toward women, which has gotten renewed scrutiny in the past year.
The case could be the biggest Hollywood celebrity trial in the social media era, and could possibly send the 78-year-old comic to prison.
District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman overrode the decision of the previous DA, Bruce L Castor Jr, who decided not to charge Cosby in 2005.
A Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, met him though the women’s basketball team at the university, where he was a trustee. She told police that the comic drugged and assaulted her. Contand settled a civil case with Cosby in 2005 out of court.
Pennsylvania law has a 12-year statute of limitations for felony sexual assault, which this case reaches next month.
Castor, the previous District Attorney, was sued by Constand for declining to file charges against Cosby, arguing that he defamed her by attacking her credibility.
Cosby has maintained that the sex was consensual.
Cosby created and starred in the well-known 1980s sitcom the Cosby Show, considered groundbreaking television as it depicted a loving black family, headed by two well-educated parents. He maintained a fatherly figure off-screen, often scolding young people to “pull their saggy pants up and act responsibly.”
In recent years, over 50 women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against the comedian. The women’s stories are similar, them claiming he drugged and assaulted them, but they only began to receive attention in late 2014 after comedian Hannibal Buress mocked Cosby as a hypocrite and called him a rapist during a standup routine.
Cover Photo Credit: The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)
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About the AuthorSaina Behnejad is a international student from the UK at Florida State University. She is Co-Director of Amnesty International at FSU and Social Media Coordinator for The Florida Coalition to Keep Guns Off Campus. You can find her on Twitter @SainaBehnejad.
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By Tyler Wilson
Christmas is one of the best times of the year to snuggle up and watch a good movie. Here’s a list of the 10 best Christmas movies of the past 30 years (or so).
- ‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)
This family classic will bring joy and laughter to everyone in your house, regardless of age. It is a movie about a young boy by the name of “Ralphie” who “convinces his parents, his teacher and santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940’s.”
Also a classic, National Lampoon’s family is anything from ordinary. This comedy is full of jokes, gags and tons of humor. The main character “Clark” is set on an adventure preparing his house for his arrival of his large family.
- ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (2000)
Just because this movie was made by Disney doesn’t mean those over the age of 8 can’t enjoy it! The Grinch (played by Jim Carrey) is sure to make anyone chuckle, it is about a green “Grinch” who is very determined to steal christmas from a small village. Although his fate gets changed along the way.
- ‘Santa Clause 3’ (2006)
Although this is the 3rd installment of the series, this is the one that truly gave everyone the warm feeling of Christmas. When Jack Frost attempts to steal Christmas from Santa Claus (played by Tim Allen) he must fight through time in order to save Christmas for kids all over the world.
- Elf (2003)
When an unorthodox Elf (played by Will Ferrell) is sent to New York to find out who he really is, he’s sent on an adventure through modern technology. This is a must-watch, the humor and jokes in this movie are promised to make the whole family laugh.
- ‘Home Alone’ (1990)
When 8 year old Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left at home while his parents go on vacation, he protects his house while two men attempt to break in. This is a very funny and great movie to watch with the family and has a nice “kid-like” point of view on things.
- ‘The Polar Express’ (2004)
When a young boy is awakened by the sounds of a train late at night, he is greeted by a very exciting adventure to the North Pole. This is a thrilling family movie and will be guaranteed to make you feel like a part of the ride!
- ‘Gremlins’ (1984)
This thriller is about the darker side of christmas. When a man gets an interesting pet called a “Mogwai” he’s given very strict rules. When these rules are broken he is sent on a very hair raising adventure. This movie would be better without the kids but it is still a very good classic and is a must see.
- ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’ (1993)
When Jack Skellington (The king of Halloweentown) gets bored with his repeating lifestyle, he demands a change. When he accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town, he is greeted with an entirely new lifestyle. When he gets back he attempts to bring the idea to Halloweentown. Its is a great family movie and will make everyone feel good.
- ‘Scrooged’ (1988)
When Frank Cross (played by Bill Murray) resents the idea of Christmas, he is greeted by the ghosts of Christmas past to get him in the “Christmas Spirit.” It will make everyone in your family get in the Christmas mood and will be sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.
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Broward School Board Candidate Posts Video Of Moldy Classrooms And Wet Floors At Hallandale Beach Elementary School
What’s New With This Story:
-Broward County School Board candidate Elijah Manley posted a video to his campaign Facebook page which purports to show mold and severe water damage inside multiple Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach classrooms.
-Manley claims that the video was taken by a Gulfstream Academy teacher on November 21, 2017.
-The teacher did not want to be publicly identified for fear of retaliation.
-Broward County Public Schools have been in the headlines in recent months due to allegations of widespread mold problems at various county schools.
Elijah Manley, an 18 year old candidate for Broward County School Board made waves on social media today after he published a video that he said was taken by a teacher at Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach.
The video shows a woman going from room to room narrating issues she finds along the way.
Some of the things seen in the video?
A broken window, wet floors, wet electrical boxes and water stains on roof tiles.
The woman in the video also says that she smells mold and thinks that mold in growing under the wet floors.
Manley said that the video was taken on November 21 by a teacher at the school. He then said that the teacher posted the video to a group chat that Manley is part of, on Sunday.
Manley then posted the video to Facebook.
He said that he spoke to the teacher who recorded the video today but said that she did not want to go publicly on the record.
Manley, who is running for an at-large seat on the School Board said he posted the video because he wanted to draw attention to the problem.
“A lot of the other candidates aren’t talking about it at all,” Manley said. “Now, they can’t deny it.”
Broward County schools have been the subject of recent international headlines after allegations of widespread mold issues caused hundreds to get sick.
In a statement, Broward County Schools said that the video shows a part of the school that is not used to educate children and that it is several weeks old.
Here is the full statement:
“Broward County Public Schools takes all matters concerning the upkeep, maintenance and repair of school facilities seriously, and is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of students and staff. Per the District’s Facilities & Construction Management Department, the video does not reflect repair and restoration work that has already been completed – with many of the images taken prior to the now completed work. Furthermore, the video includes images from some areas that are currently unoccupied (not being used by students or staff) due to ongoing repair work. The building has also undergone roof restoration work within the last 60 days. Additional interior and exterior restoration and repair work is ongoing and scheduled for completion by the end of the upcoming winter break. Once again, the District is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students and staff.”
RISE NEWS has reached out to a spokesperson for the Broward County Teacher’s Association but we could not get an official statement before the time of publication. The principal of Gulfstream Academy could not be reached before publication time.
We will update this story as it develops.
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By L.E. Kalikow
To cope with Internet overload, we allow algorithms to sift through and feed us bits and pieces to match our tastes while cosmetically enhanced anchormen (and anchorwomen) spoon up headlines to the tune of tone-deaf sponsors. All this through a multi-tasking world, where a generation pays half attention to work while constantly checking their Facebook pages and tweeting when they go to the bathroom. How does this affect the arts- and more specifically music?
Let’s go back a bit
As a struggling recording artist in the 60’s and 70’s, my ultimate goal was to release an album. Not just a collection of songs, but a unified creation with a theme and purpose. In those years I’d turn out the lights, turn up the amplifier, and sit in the dark for hours, listening to full albums by The Beatles, The Stones, Billy Joel, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, and Jethro Tull (to name only a few). Each with a distinctive voice and sound, cuts carefully sequenced to take me on a journey, from beginning to end.
We needed radio to sell albums, so often edited down to three minutes, the ‘lead single’ had to have a ‘hook;’ a repeated melodic line or lyric to entice the teenage album buyer.
As technology moved vinyl to tape to CD, the ‘album’ remained, but underwent significant changes.
The Disco explosion of the 70’s replaced lyrics and melodies with beats and production, as artists became interchangeable tools of celebrity producers and DJs. To capitalize on this trend, major record companies began to hire multiple ‘name’ producers to work on a single album, and the ‘concept album’ gave way to a collection of often disjointed productions, lacking continuity or artistic integrity.
Analog vs Digital
There was also a subliminal change taking place. When listening to a vinyl album or taped music, you’re actually listening to ‘analog’ sound waves being produced. With a CD, the sound waves are ‘digitized’ or broken up into pieces that your brain then puts together, much like looking at a bunch of colored dots up close, then standing back until you discover they make a picture.
Friends like producer/engineer Rob Fraboni (Dylan, The Band, The Stones, Clapton, etc.) also contend that digital music has an adverse effect on the human body as opposed to analog. Like the difference you feel under the warmth of an incandescent light bulb, as opposed to a flickering fluorescent. Perhaps this explains why I can’t sit and listen to a CD like I once did a vinyl album.
Napster, the beginning of the end
When record companies began suing their own customers for peer-to-peer downloading, the graffiti was on the wall. Like the industrial revolution before, the digital age wiped out the multi-billion dollar record business we once thought recession proof and timeless. But the music didn’t die, it simply morphed into another dimension as the infrastructure built to filter, foster, package, market and sell it disappeared.
Now music exists in an unfiltered internet ocean requiring navigational tools like Spotify and Pandora. And the vestiges of past record companies, co-opted into entertainment conglomerates, now create brands instead of artists, with commercials, soundtracks, and albums produced, not for the music, but to sell the brand.
Reaction vs emotion
And ‘lead singles’ are also still being created. However, no longer 3 minute radio songs , but often just a string of repeating ‘hooks’ designed to catch the attention of the multi-tasking millennial, epitomized by Pharrell’s “Happy.”
As the art of songwriting becomes less important, so do the songs. This is not to say that some ‘brand artists’ like Adelle, Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift, aren’t fine songwriters. It’s just that, based on the current system, the odds are probably against developing such equally talented songwriter/artists in the future.
So, what’s next?
In the ‘80s, with the bestseller “Megatrends,” later reprieved in the 90’s with “High Tech/High Touch,” author John Naisbitt theorized that in a world of high tech, people would begin to long for personal, human contact.
And at a recent music business convention, I couldn’t help but notice everyone so intent on their mobile phones, no one made eye contact. (No wonder “The Walking Dead” is so popular on TV). Could there be a reaction to this high tech alienation? A few trends indicate maybe so.
First, the amazing increase in vinyl record sales. And it’s not just to Baby Boomers… Last year Millennials pushed vinyl sales to a 26 year high.
Perhaps, along with the novelty factor, some of these kids might actually start to hear (and feel) the difference.
And secondly, sales figures for acoustic guitars last year increased for the 5th consecutive year, topping 1.2 million units sold.
This is not to suggest mobile devices will be discarded by new generation of hippies. But we may well see a push-back against corporate branding to more organically grown artists, perhaps even producing analog music in favor of digital downloads.
And don’t be surprised at a proliferation of small local venues where musicians gather to perform and where the audience actually turns off their phones.
And if one pops up in my neighborhood, you can bet I’ll be sitting in the front row.
or maybe up there playing my Martin D28.
For over 35 years, L.E. Kalikow served as President of Music Business Reference, Inc., as well as a singer/songwriter under production agreements with Chess Records in Chicago and both Capitol and Columbia Records in New York, and as a staff writer for Beechwood Music at 1650 Broadway. He performed as the opening act for artists such as Richie Havens, Eric Anderson, Van Morrison and Jefferson Airplane, among others.
Sex, No Drugs & Rock ’N’ Roll (Memoirs of a Music Junkie) is available for purchase on Amazon and other online retailers on February 10, 2016. The companion Soundtrack Album is also available on iTunes.
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