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Lexi Elias

Likes: country music, big breakfast with my family, Kentucky Wildcat basketball, St. Louis Cardinal baseball, Friends (both my own and the TV show), cowboy boots, the city of Chicago, my nephew Eli (aka my little stud), Gerard Butler (I’m sorry, but he’s perfect), anything my Tennessee Grandmother cooks – southern style Dislikes: trying to find an apartment in the city I can afford (shout-out to my new, awesome roomie), cats, horror movies, sweet potatoes (besides sweet potato fries - those are delicious) With my Kentucky and Missouri roots, I am currently growing in the best city in the world – Chicago (aside from the fact that it is home to the Chicago Cubs). I have met my best friends at DePaul University where we spend the majority of our time country music singing at Houndstooth Saloon or at the one and only Wellington’s Tavern. In high school, I was just about the worst writer in the class; which actually wasn’t that bad, because I went to school with a bunch of 36-ACT-scorers (my ACT score, however, was average for my state – and proud of it!). My writing career took off when I discovered that I basically wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City. So, I found my voice, got down to business, and am on my way to being the next Andie Anderson from How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.

Stepson of Usher declared brain dead

11-year-old boy suffers boating accident

According to a media report, Kyle Glover, the 11-year-old stepson of singer and entertainer Usher is reported brain dead after a terrible tragedy this past weekend.

The stepson of Usher was out boating for a day out on Georgia’s Lake Lanier with his friends when the accident occurred on Friday. Around 3:00 pm, Glover and a 15-year-old friend were in an inner tube being pulled by the boat when they both were suddenly struck by a jet ski.

Both children were immediately airlifted to Egleston Hospital in Atlanta. Glover’s friend suffered from some injuries; however, Usher and his family have experienced a tragedy as Glover has been declared brain dead.

Despite Usher and ex-wife Tameka Foster’s ongoing bitter divorce battle, Usher had a private jet bring Foster to her now brain dead son in the hospital.

According to two Department of Natural Resources rangers that witnessed the accident, the jet ski driver was out with a large group of family and friends that had rented two jet skis and a pontoon boat for the day.

Sgt. Mike Burgamy with the Department of Natural Resources stated, “It looks like they were trying to have a day on the lake and have a good time, but obviously something went wrong and two kids got run over.”

Although officials have ruled out alcohol as a factor in the incident, the cause of the horrific accident that left Glover brain dead is still under investigation. While it could take months to determine the cause of the accident, Robin Hill, a representative for the Department of Natural Resources states that they will recreate the accident using special computer programs to determine the details.

Usher and his family have still not pressed charges over the accident; however, based on the results, he could still choose to do so. As of today, Usher and Foster have not made a decision about taking their now brain dead son off life support.

Hitler protected Jewish vet

Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler, protected one Jewish vet during World War II. The German dictator led the genocide of all Europe’s Jews, but he wrote a letter to save one Jewish vet, Ernest Hess, a judge, because the two had served together in the military.

The letter was found in an official archives that contain files that the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, kept on Jewish lawyers and judges. On August 19, 1940, the letter was signed and dated by a member of the SS paramilitary organization.

In a recent interview, Susanne Mauss told the Associated Press, “There had always been rumors, but this was the first written reference to a protection by Hitler.”

Although Hitler protected Ernest Hess, the rest of his family, unfortunately, did not share the same luck. Ernest Hess’ sister was one the millions of innocent people who were ruthlessly murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Although Ernest Hess was protected from being savagely murdered, he had not completely escaped harm’s way as he was sent to a forced labor camp during the war from 1943 until 1945.

After the war, Ernest Hess declined the offer the return to his pervious position as judge, and he chose to work for the federal railways instead. Hess passed away in 1983.

Historian at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, Thomas Weber, who has been published on the Nazi era, shared his thoughts on the protection letter.

As Hitler and Hess did serve in the same unit together, Weber agrees that it is likely that the letter was genuine. However, he is skeptical that the letter’s order to “not harass H. in any way” came directly from Hitler. Instead, Weber believes the protection letter actually came from someone who felt it would have been Hitler’s wish for Hess to be protected.

Weber stated, “But I can’t exclude that Hitler intervened [on behalf of Hess]. We do know that Hitler felt very close to the veterans of his regiment.”

However, Hitler’s close feelings with the veterans in his unit was not mutual, according Ursula Hess, Ernest Hess’ 86-year-old daughter. Recently, Ursula Hess told Jewish Voice From Germany that Hitler had no friends in the regiment.

Whether Hitler protected the Jewish vet or not, does not change that fact that he led the genocide of all of the Jews in Europe and brutally murdered millions of innocent people.

Jewish Voice From Germany publisher, Rafael Seligmann, stated, “History won’t need to be rewritten because of this.”

Rihanna files lawsuit against former accountants

Singer pop star Rihanna sued her former accountants Thursday for greatly mismanaging her finances. The lawsuit states that Rihanna’s former accountants were careless with bookkeeping, failed to recommend that she cut down on expenses when a 2009 tour was losing money and for an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

Over a five-year period, Rihanna alleged the accountants were draining tens of millions of dollars from revenues while she launched four national and international tours.

According to the lawsuit, the Last Girl on Earth tour had “significant net losses.” Rihanna’s former accountants reeled in twenty-two percent of the tour’s total revenue in 2009 while Rihanna herself only received six percent.

Aside from the revenues lost from the tour, Rihanna is also suing the accountants for an ongoing IRS audit of her tax returns. Rihanna claims that she needed to spend significant resources to correct errors that resulted from the accountants’ negligence.

Rihanna hired her former accounting firm as a 16-year-old first starting her career in 2005. The former accountants repeatedly broke their agreements, paid themselves extreme commissions and mismanaged her finances.

Further, the lawsuit blames the company for the 2009 purchase of Rihanna’s new home. The lawsuit says that the accountants should have advised Rihanna not to buy the home at that time as her 2009 tour was losing money.

Since Rihanna fired the accounting firm in September 2010, the singer’s fortunes have already increased.

The truth behind Air France 447 crash

Pilots mistake or mechanical problems?

Yesterday, the French agency BEA declared its final report on the Air France 447 accident in June 2009. The French government investigation stated that the crash of Air France Flight 447 was a result of pilot errors in the wake of technical problems.

Although the report acknowledged the mechanical failures on the flight, the French agency BEA is resting the weight on the pilots’ shoulders. According to other pilots, after the plane was already plunging toward the ocean, the Air France 447 pilots should have pointed the plane’s nose down rather than up. Pointing the nose down would have restored lift in the plane’s wings and could have possibly saved Air France 447.

Although the pilots could have done something different in order to try and save Air France 447 and the 228 lives that were lost, the fact remains that the crash began with mechanical failure. Minutes before the pilots lost control, the pilot tubes became covered with ice and stopped working. The pilot tubes tell the pilots their speed in order for them to stay within the narrow window of speed that is required to stay in the air. When the pilot tubes froze, the pilots were unable to determine the plane’s speed, resulting in Air France 447 to slip into an aerodynamic stall.  

Unfortunately, the pilot tubes on Air France 447 were a model known as Thales AA, which was widely known for being faulty. In September 2007, the first of many warnings about Thales AA were announced. The warnings resulted in many airlines following advice and removing the Thales AAs from their planes. However, Air France maintained a policy to keep the Thales AA. Five days before Air France 447 flight took off, the airline had finally changed its policy and began making efforts to replace the Thales AA. Unfortunately, by the time Air France 447 took off, the pilot tubes had not been replaced.

Jason Kidd heads to New York on contract with the Knicks

The point gaurd will begin his 19th season in a Knick’s jersey this fall

Jason Kidd helps cool the burn of Steve Nash leaving the New York Knicks by agreeing to sign their multi-year offer. Kidd has decided to leave the Dallas Mavericks and will be playing point guard in a Knicks jersey this coming up season.

With an average of 6.2 point and 5.5 assists last season, Jason Kidd told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher, “I think I can help.” Kidd went on further to say that he feels the Knicks have more “pieces to work with.”

The Mavericks were shocked with Jason Kidd’s decision as they were confident with his return to Dallas with a verbal agreement on a three-year contract worth $9 million. However, after all-day negotiations with both teams, Jason Kidd decided to leave the Mavericks to join the New York Knicks for a similar deal.

Kidd can’t sign the contract until July 11, which is the first day new NBA contracts can be signed. According to ESPN.com, Kidd decided to join the Knicks in New York to take on the challenge of helping the team move into the Eastern Conference elite.

Just as Jason Kidd committed, Knicks point guard, Jeremy Lin, agreed to an offer with the Houston Rockets, complicating the Knicks’ future plans. However, because Lin is a restricted free agent, the Knicks have the opportunity to match the deal in order to try to keep their promising 23 year old point guard.

Aside from Jason Kidd being beneficial on the court with his playmaking ability, the Knicks are also certain that Kidd would be a great mentor for Jeremy Lin. As he is entering into his 19th season, Kidd’s days as an elite point guard are over. However, the New York Knicks are confident in Jason Kidd’s ability to provide quality minutes and help further Lin’s game.

The reason behind the surprising divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Is Scientology truly the reason for the split?

First, Brad and Jennifer. Then, Nick and Jessica. Now, Tom and Katie? The divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes marks another Hollywood couple down the drain, and Holmes is blaming it in Scientology.

Katie Holmes has stated that she does not want to raise their six-year-old daughter, Suri, in the Scientology religion. The concerned mother and former “Dawson’s Creek” star is trying to save Suri from the grips of Scientology with the divorce.

Jenna Hill, niece of the Church of Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige, warned Holmes that Scientology is “no place for an innocent child.” Hill left Scientology in 2005 and is the latest former member to condemn the religion.

Although Hill’s warning may have concerned Katie Holmes, it has been said that Scientology is not the true reason behind the split. According to TMZ.com, a source close to Cruise stated that, “This is not a fight over religion. It’s being used as a way to hurt Tom.” The source went on to say that, “She [Holmes] has a great enthusiasm for Scientology and would voluntarily and gladly participate in it, including when Tom was off shooting movies.”

Tom Cruise is claiming that through Holmes’ claims of Scientology, Suri is being used as a weapon against him. As of today, Cruise has not filed anything in court to establish custodial rights; however, when he does, it is said that he will fight Katie Holmes’ request for sole custody over Suri.

Aside from the claims of Scientology being the reason behind the surprising split, a source close to Holmes stated that Tom Cruise controlled every move she made. In the end, Katie Holmes felt as if she couldn’t breathe without his permission.

Cruise has stated that an alternative explanation behind Holmes’ surprise divorce filing is on the way.

Jim Carrey backs out of Dumb and Dumber sequel

“No way! That’s great… We’ve landed on the moon!” Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels supplied the world with stomach-aching laughter in their 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber that has become one America’s favorite comedies. Three months ago, director Peter Farrelly confirmed that Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey would reprise their roles as Harry and Lloyd in the highly anticipated Dumb and Dumber sequel.

However, Jim Carrey devastated his fans and the country when he back out and decided to step down from the film. Carrey was frustrated with New Line and Warner Brothers who “showed a lack of enthusiasm regarding the project,” said Carrey.

Although it has yet to be decided whether or not the sequel will go on without Jim Carrey, the film will not be the same without the 50-year-old actor. The bust of the Dumb and Dumber prequel may be a glimpse of what the sequel will be now that Jim Carrey has backed out. Neither Jim Carrey nor Jeff Daniels were in the prequel, When Harry Met Lloyd, and both characters were played by different actors.

“That was a studio thing,” Peter Farrelly told reporters of the prequel. “So we’ve always wanted to do a sequel and finally Jim called up. Jeff always wanted to do it. We always wanted to do it.”

Peter Farrelly added, “Jim was busy, but he called and said, ‘We’ve got to do this thing again.’ He had just watched Dumb and Dumber and he said, ‘This is the perfect sequel. Let’s do it.'”

Unfortunately, Jim Carrey changed his mind about the Dumb and Dumber sequel and felt the New Line and Warner Brothers were not taking the film seriously enough. So, looks like we are going to have to stick to watching Harry and Lloyd travel “someplace warm; a place where the beer flows like wine; where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano; I’m talking about a little place called Aspen.”

Reese Witherspoon announces her pregnancy in Chicago

The actress states that avoiding Chicago’s deep dish pizza is one of the hardest things about the pregnancy so far

Reese Witherspoon has had the pregnancy glow for some time now, but she finally confirmed her pregnancy this past weekend. The 36-year-old actress was in Chicago this past weekend to receive the Gene Siskel Film Center’s Renaissance Award.  At the awards, Reese Witherspoon announced her exciting news and is expecting another little one in late summer or early fall.

The beautiful Walk The Line star was showered with compliments on the red carpet.  However, Witherspoon told reporters, “Thanks, but frankly I’m feeling very round tonight.”

Reese Witherspoon is currently shooting Devil’s Knot, a suspense-drama film based on true events with Colin Firth in Atlanta.  According to Chicago Sun-times, the actress will continue filming.

“After I finish that, I’m going to take a little time off – and go have a baby,” Witherspoon said.

Reese Witherspoon and her new husband, Jim Toth, are thrilled to take some time off and welcome their baby into their family. The happy couple share custody of Witherspoon’s two children, Ava, 12, and Deacon, 8, with her first husband Ryan Phillippe.

While in Chicago this past weekend, one reporter suggested that Reese indulge in some of Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza.  In response, she explained, “It’s not easy.  I’m always feeling like I’d like to eat everything in sight!”

We are right there with you, Reese, but I say you head to Lou Malnati’s for a slice of Chicago’s best deep dish!

 

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Weight loss surgery results in diabetes for many

Diabetes can retun within three to five years after surgery

People will do anything to be skinny and turn heads while walking down the street in that new, cute outfit. However, would we risk getting diabetes just so we can look better in our jeans? A new study finds that in about one-fifth of the gastric bypass surgeries performed result in the return of diabetes within three to five years. 

In gastric bypass surgery, the patient’s stomach is made smaller in order to help him/her lose weight. Of the 72 obese people with type 2 diabetes who had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure between 2000 and 2007, 92 percent of them had a reversal of their diabetes after the surgery.

The eight percent of these patients who did not have recurrence in diabetes did lose more weight immediately after their surgery and maintained a lower average weight throughout the follow-up period.

Although there was no significant association between body mass index and a higher diabetes recurrence rate after surgery, research did show that the longer patients suffered from diabetes before surgery, the likeliness of the disease coming back was higher.

Therefore, Dr. Yessica Romas, an internal medicine resident at Mayo clinic Arizona, suggests that the sooner obese people with diabetes have weight-loss surgery, the better.   

“Providers and patients need to be aware of this information, to have a better idea of the expected outcome and be able to make an informed decision about pursuing gastric bypass surgery,” Ramos said in an Endocrine Society news release.

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Former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman was one for love letters

Marie Tillman reveals “just in case” love letter from her late husband

Love letters were not only for our favorite couple, Noah and Allie, in The Notebook. Marie Tillman shares her love letter from former NFL player, U.S. Army Ranger and late husband, Pat Tillman. In 2004, Marie Tillman was informed of her husband’s death and discovered a “just in case” love letter that he had left for her before his deployment to Afghanistan.

Marie Tillman has not spent a day of her life since the devastating day of her husband’s death without thinking about  Pat Tillman’s love letter and how the contents of the letter have helped her go on with her life. In The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss & Life, Marie Tillman discusses her story of love and grief in the death of her husband. In her new memoir, Marie Tillman reveals the Pat Tillman that is behind the tough guy exterior the country knew. The widow read from Pat Tillman’s love letter during an interview with NBC’s Jenna Bush Hager on TODAY Monday.

“Through the years, I’ve asked a great deal of you,” the letter reads. “Therefore it should surprise you a little that I have another favor to ask. I ask that you live.”

Shortly after Maria and Pat Tillman were married, he and his brother Kevin Tillman enlisted together in May of 2002 after being greatly moved by the devastating events of 9/11.

“It’s funny because that sort of simple request I feel like has taken on such different meaning over the course of years,” Marie Tillman said.

The strength Pat Tillman’s love letter gave Marie has resulted in her running the Pat Tillman Foundation.  This foundation provides educational scholarship for veterans and their spouses. In 2011, Marie married Joe Shendon, and they live in Chicago with their first born, Mac Patrick, and Shendon’s three other boys from a previous marriage.

“I don’t know if he knew what he was doing when he left that letter,’’ Tillman said about Pat. “But it was really a gift for me to know that it was okay. It was okay for me to move forward and to live my life.’’