Happy Friday! Welcome to a super interesting edition of xoNews. Many of us have noted that the government is run by old white men, but now we have a young woman, 18-year-old Saira Blair, who is the youngest delegate elected in the state of West Virginia. Score one for young politicians and women, but you may not agree with all of her politics.
I also have a story about Lea DeLaria, aka Big Boo from Orange Is The New Black, who did something quite big on a subway in New York this week. Plus, a kidnapping in Pennsylvania (spoiler alert: it ends well) and the latest on actress Amanda Bynes.
What do you think of Saira Blair? Discuss her (or any other news item you wish) in the comments or tweet me directly @AmandaLauren
Last Thursday, a judge let Amanda Bynes leave the psychiatric facility where she's been staying. The following day, Bynes had a hearing to try to be released from her mother and father’s conservatorship, but a judge said no because her attorney couldn’t legally represent the actress. Why? Bynes doesn’t have the legal capacity to retain an attorney.
Since then, Amanda has been homeless and staying with friends. In a very sad turn of events, on Thursday afternoon, she was spotted napping on a couch at the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles. She has not had access to money, but has been living off American Express gift cards from her parents. On November 6, it was reported that her family has had enough and wants to move back to Texas. The Bynes’ plan is to ask a judge to transfer Amanda’s conservatorship to a professional, who deals with people suffering from severe mental illnesses. A separate money manager will likely handle her money.
On November 4, Bynes tweeted,
I was diagnosed bi - polar and manic depressive so I'm on medication and I'm seeing my psychologist and psychiatrist weekly so I'm fine :D
She also tweeted that she does not want to be under her parents' conservatorship.
I'm so mad at my parents… They are with holding my belongings and money from me so I don't have new clothes or enough money to rent an apartment… We aren't speaking… So until I get a different conservator ill look terrible because I don't have enough to get new clothes or anything I need…
Kidnapped Woman In Philadelphia Found Alive
On Sunday, Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, a 22-year-old nursing aid was violently grabbed off the street in Philadelphia, put in a car and kidnapped. She broke the passenger side window and tried to escape, but couldn’t. Her glasses and smartphone were left on the sidewalk. The event was all caught on surveillance camera. About 72 hours later, the police and FBI found her in stable condition.
So, how was she found so quickly? After seeing the surveillance footage, a rep from the ATF Office (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) in Richmond, Virginia, told police they believed the man in the footage was David Barnes. Barnes has been in trouble with the law numerous times for crimes including burglary, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats, rape and reckless endangerment. He also once held his ex-wife captive, despite an order of protection. After receiving the tip, the manhunt for Barnes was on.
Then, a woman from Havre De Grace, Maryland, who did not want her name released, found some garbage in her driveway, which included a bag of Herr’s potato chips, some shattered glass and a receipt from an Acme supermarket receipt from Northeast Philadelphia. She really didn’t think anything of it until a friend of hers mentioned the kidnapping and she contacted authorities. The police were able to get surveillance footage from Acme and saw Barnes buying the chips.
As information about Barnes continued to roll in, authorities found out he had a GPS tracker on his car, due to bad credit. Barnes was found, arrested and is currently facing federal charges. Freeland-Gaither had some injuries, but is okay and currently resting at home.
Saira Blair Becomes West Virginia’s Youngest Lawmaker
Saira Blair, a freshman at West Virginia University studying economics and Spanish, was elected West Virginia’s youngest delegate this week.
In an interview with Teen Vogue last Spring, Blair explained why she wanted to run at such a young age:
When I made the decision to run for public office, I did so because I firmly believe that my generation’s voice, fresh perspective and innovative ideas can help solve some of our state’s most challenging issues.
She also said,
The average age in Congress is 57, and the average age in the U.S. Senate is 62, but with all of that experience, we've only gotten more debt and less jobs.
Blair is a Republican with a pro-life and anti-gay marriage stance. She supports voter ID requirements and believes in drug testing people who receive public assistance. She is also pro-gun and opposed to common core education standards. Additionally, Blair is trying to make West Virginia a “right-to-work” state, which essentially means employees can choose whether or not they want to join a union. Another goal of Blair’s is to appeal the Unfair Trade Practice Act, which makes it more difficult for gas prices in West Virginia to compete with those of bordering states.
Blair plans to defer her next semester to attend the House of Delegates 60-day session in the spring.
Lea DeLaria Goes On Subway Rant
Actress Lea DeLaria, who you probably know as Big Boo from "Orange Is The New Black," confronted a hate-filled preacher on the subway in New York this week. Of course, passengers whipped out their smartphones and the video went viral. DeLaria told the man:
You have absolutely no right sir. Get off this train! Other people believe other things and everybody has the right to believe in other things on this planet and in this world. Jesus never sent for you to do this never, not anywhere in the Bible. Show me anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says it is OK for you to do this. Don't come at me because I went to fucking Catholic school for 12 years and I know every lie.
When the man started to rant against homosexuality, the openly gay DeLaria said,
Ah, there he goes! Now he calls me a dyke everyone!
According to a report, DeLaria then lead the car to sing “99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall,” to drown the preacher out, who left the subway car to a round of applause.
In an interview with Page Six, DeLaria explained why she had to talk back,
He was saying women should be subservient to men and that they should dress a certain way. He literally said that the problems in the world were because of homos. That we were all driven by our lust that we were all sinners and we were all going to hell. I really can’t tolerate anyone who uses the name of Jesus to preach hatred. When he literally used the word ‘homo,’ I decided to get up.
She also added,
You must always face evil and take it down. The reason evil thrives in the world, the reason hatred thrives in the world, the reason bullying thrives in the world is because of complacency. As long as we continue to take it, it will continue to thrive.
· In Los Angeles and San Francisco, Amazon has found a new way to try and get you your package faster: taxis. The company is trying out same day delivery, using an app called Flywheel (no relation to the spinning studio).
· Want to help stop Ebola (so I can stop making it a major point in every edition of xoNews)? Well, Facebook just made it easier for you to donate to the cause. In the next few weeks, users should see buttons on the top of the newsfeed allowing you to donate to several charities directly.
· Smoking a joint will not longer land you in the joint in Alaska -- a law was passed to make recreational marijuana legal in the state.