Published on April 9th 2010 by Leon Shepherd

This list features The Top 10 News Stories of the Week ending Friday, April, 9, 2010. Making the headlines this week includes a former talk show host, a former NFL star, a racist dog, a stunned pregnant woman, and a highly respected actor who turns down the role of a lifetime.


10. Alicia Keys is Hiring for her Web Site


Source –   Alicia Keys is looking to hire a blogger for her new Web site dedicated to female empowerment. According to E!, the Grammy-winning singer posted an ad on seeking someone who can help spread her vision on, an acronym for I Am A Superwoman. “With, I’ll be displaying my ‘voice’ in a different way and need just the right person to help me express a point of view that I don’t think exists yet in the blog world,” read a statement from the star. Keys is taking applications through to May 3.  Here are the job qualifications:

  • Experience creating, writing, and editing a blog, website, and/or print publication.
  • A poised, passionate, and unique voice able to creatively express yourself.
  • A background in Public Relations, Marketing / Web Marketing, Media Relations, Communications, Journalism, Writing, Digital Media, Internet Canvassing, and/or Social Media.
  • Experience using web development tools and software such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft on Demand, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, WordPress, LiveJournal, and Digital Media Platforms.
  • Actively lead, manage and influence peers in developing creative media content.
  • A thirst for Arts & Entertainment, pop culture, current events, politics, and networking. 
  • A demonstrated ability to motivate and encourage women through the discussion of women’s issues.           


9. Tiki Barber and Pregnant Wife Separate over Intern?


The New York Post is reporting that NFL star-turned-”Today” show correspondent Tiki Barber left his wife of 11 years after hooking up with a 23-year-old intern. According to the newspaper, the former New York Giants running back developed a relationship with former NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson, and the affair has led him to end things with his wife Ginny Cha – who is currently eight months pregnant with their third child. “After 11 years of marriage, Ginny and I have decided to separate,” Barber said in a statement this week. “This decision was a painful one, but we are moving forward amicably and will continue to work together to raise our children with the love and dedication they have always known.” According to the Post, Johnson was spotted with Barber at a film screening in Washington, D.C. last month and may have accompanied the former football player on a trip to Senegal in late 2009. A Barber family friend told the newspaper that they believe Johnson, who was working as an NBC intern when Barber was hired in 2007, was in Vancouver with Barber while he was covering the Olympics. Photos on Johnson’s Facebook page show her wearing a Giants jersey emblazoned with the number 21, his old number. In a 2004 interview, Barber railed against his own father for leaving his mother. “Not only did he abandon her, I felt like he abandoned us for a lot of our lives,” he said. “I have a hard time forgiving that.” Source – eurweb


8. Will Smith: Rejects Marvin Gaye Role, No ‘ID’ Sequels



Will Smith has reportedly turned down the starring role in an upcoming Marvin Gaye biopic from director Cameron Crowe. According to Daily Variety, the actor spent months in negotiations to portray the legendary singer, but the parties were unable to reach an agreement. The director says he will forge on to find the right leading man. “It’s all about getting the contact high in a movie theater that you can get from music.  Crowe has been quietly working on a Marvin Gaye biopic for three and a half years, Variety reported. Meanwhile, Smith’s camp has denied reports that the actor has signed on for two more sequels to the “Independence Day” franchise. To be more precise, the publicist denied his attachment to the projects at the present moment.


7. Arsenio Hall Sued by Ex-Personal Assistant/Housekeeper



Sonia Martinez, who worked for TV personality and actor Arsenio Hall for 11 years, filed a lawsuit last Friday after being fired upon returning from an injury-related absence. The woman worked for the former ‘World’s Funniest Moments’ host from 1998 to 2009. Martinez claims that not only was she unjustly fired, but that she was never given fair overtime wages for her double-duty tasks. As if getting stiffed by Hall was not enough, Martinez also stated in the pending lawsuit that Hall never even allowed her to take meal breaks. Working overtime for a paltry sum and not being allowed to eat was enough to make Martinez go the legal route against her former employer. The last time the 54-year-old performer was involved in a court battle was back in 2004, when he was being sued for paternity and child support by his former personal manager. Hall contested the amount of cash he was expected to pay in child support. In his heyday, the ‘Coming to America’ costar was making $12 million a year. Source: Ruth Manuel-Logan,


6. Michael Jackson’s Doc New Defense – Michael Did It To Himself


 Multiple sources familiar with the strategy tell TMZ the defense argument goes like this:
- At around 10:50 AM, Dr. Murray gave Jackson 25 mg of Propofol from a 20 ml bottle — that’s only about 1/8 of the bottle.
- The dose Dr. Murray administered would keep someone asleep for only 5 to 10 minutes, But the Propofol, along with the Ativan and Versed that was already in MJ’s system, had a synergistic effect that put Jackson to sleep for a longer period of time.
- For the next hour, Dr. Murray stayed in the room and was on the phone for much of the time. Dr. Murray didn’t leave the room to make the calls because MJ liked activity in the room, regularly sleeping with the lights on and cartoons blaring on the TV.
- At around noon, Dr. Murray left the room for approximately two minutes to go to the bathroom. While he was gone, the defense believes Jackson suddenly awakened and was frustrated he had spent nearly 9 hours trying in vain to sleep. The defense theory — Jackson took the 20 ml bottle of Propofol and self-injected the remaining contents through the IV, causing a massive overdose that stopped his heart.
- Dr. Murray walked back in the room and saw Jackson with his eyes open and pupils dilated. Dr. Murray dropped the phone (he was speaking with his girlfriend) and began administering CPR.
The defense will argue Michael Jackson was a long-time Propofol addict — something TMZ first reported shortly after the singer’s death. As one source said, Jackson liked the sensation of Propofol being administered by IV, adding, “Michael liked to push it.” Source – TMZ


5. Report Claims Whitney Snorted Coke Last Month


You knew this was coming. In Touch magazine is the first to allege that a drug relapse is the real reason behind Whitney Houston’s tour postponements in Europe this week. The publication is quoting a source who claims he witnessed the songstress sneaking a snort of cocaine last month at a Los Angeles hotel, just weeks before the start of her European tour that has since been postponed. Below is the In Touch press release: In Touch can reveal shocking claims from onlookers at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in LA who were surprised on March 10 when the singer walked into the bar, appearing disheveled and out of it. According to eyewitness Marlon David, Whitney was with her ex-husband, Bobby Brown, and she seemed oblivious to who might be watching when she began screaming, “I want a f***in’ drink!” followed by expletives. While Whitney’s rep vehemently denies that she’s using drugs, David, who was sitting just a table away from Whitney and Bobby, tells In Touch exclusively: “I saw her pull a plastic bag out, put a folded bill to her nose and discreetly snort a line from it of what to me certainly looked like cocaine. She’s extremely thin and looks like a disaster. She’s a hot mess.” As previously reported, Houston has cancelled several dates on her European tour due to a respiratory infection.  

Whitney’s Response to Drug Use Report: ‘Ridiculous’

Singer Whitney Houston was released from a Paris hospital on Wednesday after suffering a respiratory infection and she called media reports that she was using drugs again “ridiculous.”
After being hospitalized in Paris on Tuesday under doctor’s orders, Houston told People magazine she is looking forward to returning to the stage after postponing several dates on the European leg of her concert tour. “I’m feeling great,” she said. “I’m just ready to move on and continue my world tour.” Houston, 46, is expected to retake the stage on April 13 in Birmingham, England, and continue touring through June. Source – eurweb


4. Woods back, better than ever to start Masters


By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf  Writer, Doug Ferguson – AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods played like the last five months never happened. Even more surprising, he felt that way, too. No longer the same person after he was caught cheating on his wife, Woods looked every bit the same golfer Thursday when he opened with a 4-under 68 — his best first round ever at Augusta National — that left him only two shots behind 50-year-old Fred Couples on an extraordinary opening day at the Masters. It just didn’t seem that way to Woods. Standing on the first tee, looking down a fairway lined with thousands of spectators curious to see how he would respond to a sex scandal that shocked the world, Woods didn’t flinch. “It felt normal,” he said. “Try to hit a little fade off the first tee, try to take something off of it and make sure I got it in play. That was about it. From there, I just went about my business.” Woods twirled his club after a good drive, slammed it after a few bad ones. He pumped his fist after making the first of two eagles and sunk to his knees when he missed a birdie putt on the 16th that slowed his climb up the leaderboard. Overall, it was a very impressive day for Woods.


3. Jackson Funeral Nominated for Image Award – Outrage Ensues



The former head of the NAACP’s Beverly Hills branch has written a letter blasting the national head for allowing Michael Jackson’s televised memorial service to be nominated for the organization’s Image Award as a variety show. “Even though entertainers did perform, it was still a memorial service/funeral to honor this young man,” said former NAACP’s former Beverly Hills/Hollywood Chapter president Billie J. Green in a letter to national president Ben Jealous. The letter continues: The NAACP’s Image Awards were created to honor people who portrayed positive images of African-Americans in the entertainment industry. This show has always been a legitimate awards presentation. Unfortunately, this recent nomination of Michael Jackson’s memorial service/funeral has resulted in the ridicule of the Image Awards as a legitimate awards show. This nomination is an embarrassment to the past and present members of the NAACP and the African-American community as a whole. As someone who has worked closely with the NAACP to create jobs and positive images in the entertainment industry, I am truly ashamed of this recent nomination. Thank you for your time. I hope that you can do something to correct this situation. Source –



2. Black Man Tries to Kill Racist Dog


Who said there’s no such thing as a racist dog? Well Andrew Owens, an African American, grew tired of his company’s guard dog constantly barking at him, so he took matters in to his own hands by slashing her. The Yonkers, New York resident was arrested last Tuesday and charged with aggravated cruelty, which is a felony. Owens worked as a handyman for an oil delivery business. The 58-year-old man started to take notice that every time Jenna, a four-year-old German Shepherd who was leashed outside the company, would lay eyes on him, she would bark out of control. He was not the only person the dog would bark and snarl at; it seemed that Jenna would only target minorities. Interestingly enough, the dog’s owner, Paul Tocco, did not disagree with Owens’ accusations that the German Shepard is racist:
“The dog reacts to black people, Hispanics, anyone who is not white,” he says. “She always barked at him. He [Owens] was well aware the dog didn’t like him, and he knew to stay away from her.” Owens felt he had been victimized enough by the pooch, so he decided to put an end to its menacing antics. The fed-up man egged Jenna on last Tuesday night, and when she went on one of her barking rampages, Owens charged at her with a nine-inch knife. Police investigator Ken Ross III told, “He taunted her with his arm, raised his arm with a knife and slashed the dog across the face,” he said. “He cut the dog over the right eye, all the way down to the eye socket bone.” Tocco, who was inside the company’s building, heard his dog’s yelps. When he ran outside, he saw Owens attacking Jenna. The frantic owner did not approach Owens, instead, he grabbed his injured dog and rushed her to a veterinary hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery. Jenna lost her right eye in the attack. Detective Ross states that the dog is recuperating nicely. Police are still baffled as to why Owens snapped in such a violent way against the dog. Owens told police that about a year ago, the dog bit him. He also admitted to threatening to kill Jenna in the past. Meanwhile, Tocco fired Owens and does not want to see him on the premises ever again. Source-Ruth Manuel-Logan, 



1.  Court Ruling: Seattle Police OK to Stun Pregnant Black Woman

By The Associated Press SEATTLE (AP) — Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a case that prompted an incredulous dissent.
Malaika Brooks was driving her son to Seattle’s African American Academy in 2004 when she was stopped for doing 32 mph in a school zone. She insisted it was the car in front of her that was speeding, and refused to sign the ticket because she thought she’d be admitting guilt.
Rather than give her the ticket and let her go on her way, the officers decided to arrest her. One reached in, turned off her car and dropped the keys on the floor. Brooks stiffened her arms against the steering wheel and told the officers she was pregnant, but refused to get out, even after they threatened to stun her. The officers then stunned her three times, in the thigh, shoulder and neck and hauled out of the car, laying face down in the street. Brooks gave birth to a healthy baby two months later, but has permanent scars from the Taser. She sued the officers for violating her constitutional rights, and U.S. District Judge Richard Jones allowed the case to continue. He declined to grant the officers immunity for performing their official duties and said Brooks’ rights were clearly violated.
But in a 2-1 ruling Friday, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. Judges Cynthia Holcomb Hall and Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain held that the officers were justified in making an arrest because Brooks was obstructing them and resisting arrest.
The use of force was also justified because of the threat Brooks posed, Hall wrote: “It seems clear that Brooks was not going to be able to harm anyone with her car at a moment’s notice. Nonetheless, some threat she might retrieve the keys and drive off erratically remained, particularly given her refusal to leave the car and her state of agitation.”
They also noted that the force used wasn’t that serious because the Taser was in “touch” mode rather than “dart” mode, which hurts more. They reversed the lower court’s opinion and held that the officers were entitled to immunity from the lawsuit.
The officers’ lawyers, Ted Buck and Karen Cobb, said the officers made the right decision under the circumstances they faced.
“Police officers have to have the ability to compel people to obey their lawful orders,” Buck said. That’s all the court recognized today. The 9th Circuit just applied the law instead of getting caught up in the otherwise unfortunate factual circumstances.”
The majority’s opinion outraged Judge Marsha Berzon, who called it “off the wall.”
“I fail utterly to comprehend how my colleagues are able to conclude that it was objectively reasonable to use any force against Brooks, let alone three activations of a Taser, in response to such a trivial offense,” she wrote.
She argued that under Washington law, the officers had no authority to take Brooks into custody: Failure to sign a traffic infraction is not an arrestable offense, and it’s not illegal to resist an unlawful arrest.
Berzon said the majority’s notion that Brooks obstructed officers was so far-fetched that even the officers themselves didn’t make that legal argument. To obstruct an officer, one must obstruct the officer’s official duties, and the officers’ only duties in this case were to detain Brooks long enough to identify her, check for warrants, write up the citation and give it to her. Brooks’ failure to sign did not interfere with those duties, she said.
Furthermore, Brooks posed no apparent threat, and the officers could not have known how stunning her would affect the fetus, or whether it might prompt premature labor — another reason their actions were inexcusable, Berzon said.
Brooks’ lawyer, Eric Zubel, said he would ask the 9th Circuit to rehear the case.
“This is outrageous — that something like this could happen to a pregnant woman, in front of an elementary school, at 8:30 in the morning, to someone who posed no threat whatsoever,” he said.

News | Comments (8)

8 Responses to “Top 10 News Stories”

  1. Lenora Dorsey Says:

    Great news stories. #9. If you ask him how his actions are any different or justified more than the actions of his father, he would come up with an answer that he really believes. #7. If what she says is true, she did not have to stay. #6. I don’t even know what to say to this story.Whitney, Whitney, Whitney…#2.It is understandable how you can be pushed to feel this way, but you have to have self control. #1. This is just sad. Great job as always Leon.

  2. Leon Says:

    Thanks Lenora!

  3. Shack Says:

    Man – What a GREAT List! Where do I begin?
    #10 – I know nothing about blogging and am not qualified but will work for Ms. Keys FOR FREE!!!!!

    #9 – Men/brothers are “WEAK” when it comes to you ladies! Shaq, Tiger, Spitzer, John Q. Public it will never end!

    #8 – Thought Usher had this role a few years back although Will could probably pull it off.

    #7 – Always had my doubts about this guy!

    #6 – Doc Murray is scrambling for excuses and squirming to lessen his sentence for inv. mansluaghter.

    #5 – Told you all about Whitney. “Crack is Whack!”

    #4 – Sentiment trending positively for T.W. which is a good thing.

    #3 – Somewhat insensitive…

    #2 – Dogs can definitely be racist! I had one in the late 60s named “Blackie” ironically enough. There were still some White kids in our neighborhood and one came to the house (as other Black kids had) to play but Blackie bit him. He had never bitten anyone else, just barked! All that being said, there in NO reason to do that to an animal!!

    #1 – NO WOMAN SHOULD EVVVEEERR TASED – I don’t give a D@MN what the reason is. They tased a 72 y.o. I beleive here in Texas who resisted a cop. If I were her son/grandson I’d have shot the cop myself or went and tased his mama/grandma to let her know how feels. What did they do before they had tasers? That what should have been done in this instance!!!

    Shack Rests

  4. Leon Says:

    Good comments. Glad you like the list.

  5. Shonee Says:

    Good list Leon.

    #10 – I have to agree with Shack on this one, lol.

    #9 – Someone in the family has to break that generation curse.

    #8 – I thought actor Jessie L. Martin of the original Law & Order was set to play this role?

    #7 – No comment

    #6 – **SIGH** Michael should still be here with us.

    #5 – The Holy Spirit is the only person who can help her, if she allows Him.

    #4 – No comment on him returning to the masters BUT I hear the reason why he and wifey are still together is because she is pregnant again…hmmm

    #3 – Let Michael have peace in his death, PLEASE!

    #2 – Im not a fan of pets but couldn’t he have reported it so there would be some documentation?

    #1 – I cannot find the words to comment.

    I hope everyone enjoys the weekend.

  6. Leon Says:

    Shonee, a while back, I also read that Jesse L. Martin was going to portray M. Gaye. I don’t know what happened.
    But anyway, thanks for sharing your comments. Have a blessed weekend!

  7. Trisha Says:

    Okay, someone has to stick-up for Marvin Gaye and that poor dog. But, lets start from the top….make that the bottom…10. I’d go back to college for a chance to work with talent like Alicia 9. Tikki…following a trend 8. Besides great talent Marvin Gaye “melt me like butter” looks. Will Smith, Jesse L Martin????PLZ…What’s going on?…..7. Arsenio Hall publicity good or bad is better than not much at all 6. It’s a stretch but if MJ was using that much drug he was familiar with how to administer it but Dr.M has MD after his name = resposibility 5. Someone needs to keep Bobby away from her if she is going to have any chance 4. Tiger..It’s about time…got dust off my clubs and get back out there too 3. Let him rest in peace, why didnt they care when he was alive? 2. Dogs are naturally color blind but they can sence your mood. They can sence fear, anger, emotion. That is why people prone to seizures have dogs as companiones they sence things before it happens. Maybe the dog could sence what the man was capable of? 1. Two examples of not thinking right…first you are pregnant and dropping your other child off at school…sign the @#$% ticket and argue it in court….second…you are ticketing a pregnant woman in front of school…she is not going to run off to Mexico…mail her the #$%@ ticket and get yourself to a donut shop its 8:30 in the morning.

  8. tope akan Says:

    i love Alicia keys,her style n hair-do