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June 10, 2019

Six suffer minor injuries in Elk Grove crash

Six suffer minor injuries in Elk Grove crash

Several people were taken to the hospital after a multiple-vehicle crash Sunday evening in Elk Grove Village, officials said.

Police and fire departments responded shortly before 5 p.m. after three vehicles were involved in a collision at Howard Street and Lively Boulevard, according to Elk Grove Village Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Keenan. The cause of the crash was unclear, Keenan said.

Eight people were involved in the crash, and six were taken to Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village with minor injuries, Keenan said.

Published at Sun, 09 Jun 2019 22:49:43 +0000

Tiffany Haddish Gives Back, Celebrates Foster Graduates

Tiffany Haddish Gives Back, Celebrates Foster Graduates

Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish is on a roll, with a string of high profile film and television roles as her career blossoms. But Haddish, 39, remembers tougher times.

When she was younger, she spent time in the foster system, before later becoming homeless. Now, she makes a point of giving back, offering help and encouragement to youth today in the foster and juvenile systems who are going through struggles not unlike what she faced.

“I’m really super proud of you guys,” Haddish said at an event titled “Success is Our Future,” a dinner celebrating the accomplishments of youth in the juvenile and foster systems. 

“I, too, was a former foster youth,” Haddish said. “And I understand the enormity of graduating and being celebrated and want these kids to know there is hope for them.”

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

One of the celebrated graduates on the night said, “I know she was not born with a silver spoon. It makes me proud for me to hear from her, motivate in a positive way.”

NBC Los Angeles is keeping the identities of the honorees confidential as they transition to the next phase of their lives.

“It’s like a restart of everything,” a female honoree said. “Adulthood now.”

“As an adult, I’ve had struggles, but nothing like when I was under 19,” Haddish said.

“It was great that she came here to celebrate foster youth,” Liliana Patty Flores, a foster graduate, said.

Now 23 and a University of California graduate and bound for law school, Flores is a foster success story in her own right, after her struggles began with an abusive environment at home.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

“You put all these labels on me—delinquent,” Flores said. “I’m more than that.”

Flores found her voice when she was told in a group home that she could not have a hair comb.

“I challenged them, told the judge and he got me a hair comb,” Flores said.

Terri McDonald, the chief probation officer, said, “She’s learning how her message can be used to help the system improve.”

McDonald acknowledges the system has faced criticism—recently vowing to phase out pepper spray discipline in juvenile detention facilities. McDonald cites progress in reducing the number of detained juveniles with an emphasis on community placement, such as the group homes where most of the youth at the dinner have been.

“It was good rehab for me,” Jesse Velazquez, another foster graduate, said. “I learned lots of coping skills.”

Velazquez, who is now 21, is another graduate of the juvenile system and now in his final year at Rio Hondo College, making use of independent living assistance and looking to move on to a four year college to study psychology.

“Right now I’m working hard for scholarship, so more doors can open up,” Valazquez said.

Haddish said, “The system was not that great when I was in, but I had some good people around me.”

Those good people included the counselor who famously steered the young Haddish away from psychiatric therapy and into a comedy camp. Her talent and hard work took over from there.

“If you do something everyday, you can achieve,” Haddish said. “It may not be exactly what you want, but you’re going to achieve it.”

In addition to her time and her words, Haddish also brought some tangibles donated by her She Ready Foundation, including gift cards and suitcases for all of the graduates. More than most, Haddish can appreciate the significance of luggage as someone who knows what it’s like to be 13 and have to carry all her belongings in a trash bag.

“You’re a traveler on an adventure, not garbage,” Haddish said. “Now you have to go somewhere with a purpose.”

Published at Sun, 09 Jun 2019 01:43:49 +0000

Police Push Legal Boundaries to Get Into Cellphones

Police Push Legal Boundaries to Get Into Cellphones

When police in Tampa, Florida pulled William Montanez over last June, he didn’t try to hide his pot, telling officers, “Yeah, I smoke it, there’s a joint in the center console, you gonna arrest me for that?”

Montanez was arrested for the marijuana and two small bottles police believed contained THC oil — a felony — and for having a firearm while committing that felony (they found a handgun in the glove box). When the officers confiscated his two iPhones and demanded his passcodes, Montanez suspected that police were trying to fish for evidence of illegal activity. To protect more personal things, including intimate pictures of his girlfriend, Montanez refused, and was locked up on the drug and firearm charges. After police and prosecutors made several failed attempts to get access to his phones, Montanez spent 44 days behind bars before charges were dropped and he was released. 

While few would choose jail, Montanez’s decision reflects a growing resistance to law enforcement’s power to peer into Americans’ digital lives. The main portals into that activity are cellphones, which are protected from prying eyes by encryption, with passcodes the only way in.

As police now routinely seek access to people’s cellphones, privacy advocates see a dangerous erosion of Americans’ rights, with courts scrambling to keep up.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP

Published at Sun, 09 Jun 2019 09:13:32 +0000