Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity members are receiving death threats since singing in racist video: lawyer

An Oklahoma University fraternity whose members sang giddily about lynching blacks fear for their own lives now after receiving death threats. Some Sigma Alpha Epsilon brothers were scared to even attend class in the wake of the venomous response to their chapter’s racist video, said renowned attorney Stephen Jones. In addition to the death threats, members of the local chapter “have been verbally assaulted,” Jones said Friday. “There is legitimate concern for the safety and well-being of these young men.” The one-time attorney for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was hired by SAE alumni to handle the fallout from the national attention created by the vile video. Jones — who is not representing the two SAE brothers expelled from the university for their role in the debacle — said he would meet with his new clients to determine their next move. But he made it clear he was not defending the behavior of chapter members caught singing a fraternity song that used the N-word and referenced hanging blacks from trees. “Let me be clear, there was no justification for what was done on that bus,” said Jones, referencing the vehicle where the video was shot. “Zero. Those involved...have paid, and continue to pay, a dear price for those actions.” University President David Boren ordered the shutdown of the fraternity’s house, and kicked two of its members out of school. Protests against the fraternity became daily events at the Norman, Okla., campus. The school president has also warned that others involved would face discipline. Two SAE members seen on the video issued public apologies, with one announcing that he had withdrawn from the university. Jones, an OU grad and a member of a different fraternity, said resurrecting the chapter is among the issues raised by the old school alumni who hired Continue Reading

President Obama declares himself ‘honorary member of the tribe’ in speech at D.C. synagogue

WASHINGTON - President Obama declared himself an "honorary member of the tribe" in a Friday address at a D.C. synagogue aimed at shoring up his Jewish support. Wearing a white yarmulke and a blue suit, Obama told the congregation he has hosted seven White House Seders and employed two Jewish chiefs of staff. He recalled being described as the "first Jewish President." Obama’s address at Adas Israel, one of Washington's oldest synagogues, was officially scheduled to mark Jewish American Heritage Month. But he used the speech to defend his push to reach an agreement with Iran restricting its nuclear weapons program and to explain his clashes with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "My commitment to Israel's security is and always will be unshakable," Obama said. Citing shared values between the countries, Obama said he has an obligation to speak "honestly" about political differences, especially on the Palestinian issue. Obama also touted ties between black and Jewish Americans, citing persecution both groups faced and their shared commitment to civil rights. "Our shared heritage makes us stronger," he said. Obama retains support among Jews, 70% of whom voted for him in 2012. But Republicans hope to use the spat with Netanyahu and opposition to the Iran talks to make inroads with Jewish voters. Following the address, Obama made an unscheduled visit to a preschool class at the synagogue. According to a White House pool report, Obama joined the 11 toddlers in singing "Shabbat Shalom." ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE Continue Reading

Kim Richards will not return to ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ as a regular cast member

Kim Richards is out. The "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" cast member will not be returning for season 6 of the reality TV show, a source tells E!. MORE: KIM RICHARDS BACK IN REHAB FOR ALCOHOL AFTER MENTDOWN AT DAUGHTER'S WEDDING: REPORT The former child star might make a few appearances on upcoming episodes but she will no longer be a regular, the insider said. Earlier this week it was reported that Richards is back in rehab following a meltdown involving alcohol at her daughter's Mexico wedding. The Housewives' alleged embarrassing behavior included insulting her daughter and yelling at the groom's family. MORE: KIM RICHARDS CHARGED WITH PUBLIC INTOXICATION RESISTING ARREST FOR HOTEL RAMPAGE: REPORT Richard's sat down with Dr. Phil to talk about her battle with sobriety following her arrest in April for public intoxication. "I'm beating myself up over this," she shared about drinking before her arrest. "I poured a drink of vodka, and I thought 'Oh God, what have I done?'" ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Former gang member turned Hasidic Jew ordered to shave beard before heading to prison for impersonating a cop

A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge handed down the unkindest cut of all to a burly ex-gang member turned Hasidic Jew — a sentence and a shave. Former Latin King Avroham Gross was sentenced Tuesday to 2 1/2 to 5 years in prison for impersonating a cop—but the situation got hairy when Justice Danny Chun refused to pass along the Satmar jew's request for religious reasons to preclude prison staff from shearing off his beard when he's transferred upstate. “He should make that application immediately to be heard there,” Chun said as Gross stood by, wearing a grey sweatshirt and hanging prayer strings. The police buff admitted he had used lights and sirens in his private car to pull over a New Jersey Transit bus, and had arrested a woman for breaking a window in Manhattan. He admitted having an NYPD ring made up by a jeweler and glommed a discounted meal at an IHOP restaurant by falsely claiming he was a cop. “I’ve always wanted to be a cop but I got involved with the wrong crowd,” the Brooklyn man, 41, told an NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau sergeant, according to court papers. Gross, 41, of Brooklyn, said he began studying Judaism in prison while doing time for robbery and burglary, and speaks some Hebrew. After his release he underwent a religious conversion to the ultra-Orthodox Satmar sect. He legally changed his name and joined an organization called the Child Abuse Prevention Task Force that claimed to help children although it never referred a case to the NYPD. But if Gross was trying to do the right thing, he went about it all wrong. He pleaded guilty to impersonating an NYPD cop at Brooklyn Family Court, falsely signing a log book claiming he was a cop and possession of forged city parking permits. Gross' additional requests to get his car and cellphone back also fell flat. Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel told the judge that the NYPD intends Continue Reading

Aniah Ferguson, charged in McDonald’s attack, is member of Young Savages, part of huge Folk Nation gang: officials

Aniah Ferguson has a massive street family. The 16-year-old accused of beating her grandmother and stabbing her brother before the teeth-chattering stomping she dealt to 15-year-old Ariana Taylor during Monday’s McDonald’s melee is a member of the Young Savages. The gang is an offshoot of the Folk Nation, one of the largest gangs in the country, officials said. The Folk Nation, which began in Chicago, operates out of several cities, federal officials said. It’s considered an alliance — a veritable United Nations of street gangs — that includes smaller Bloods and Crips crews, officials said. RELATED: Two more suspects held in McDonald’s beating as prosecutors say Brooklyn attack was planned for months In Brooklyn, the Folk Nation operates out of the Ebbets Field Houses in Crown Heights — the same neighborhood where the Young Savages have their turf. The Folk Nation’s Brooklyn set is responsible for several shootings and robberies, officials said. Its leader Devon (D-Bloc) Rodney was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2012 after pleading guilty to ordering the death of a Crips member near the Ebbets Field projects in 2008. His underlings tried to carry out his order and blasted away at Rodney’s rival at a block party, but shot and wounded an innocent 10-year-old girl instead, officials said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Dating site for beautiful people kicks out more than 3,000 members for ‘letting themselves go’

It’s for the betterment of beautiful people around the globe. That’s the ugly message an exclusive international dating site sent to more than 3,000 members it gave the boot to Thursday for “letting themselves go.” “This may sound harsh, and it is the most difficult part of managing the business,”’s co-owner Genevieve Hodge said in a statement. “We take no pleasure in removing members, but it is a necessary evil in order to maintain the beautiful community and our prized business model.” Most of the “former beauties” that were sent packing were from the U.S. Reasons for their immediate removal were weight gain and “graceless aging,” according to Greg Hodge, who is Genevieve’s husband and also runs the company. “Letting unattractive people populate the site would compromise the very concept for which was founded,” he said. The free website, which boasts more than 800,000 users, first launched in Denmark 2002 and took off in the U.S. and U.K. in 2005. It prides itself on being a network for “REAL beautiful people who actually look in real life as they do online,” according to its page. Stunners can only gain access to the site if their good-looking peers vote them in based on photos and short profiles. The recent rejects were told in a ruthless email to “try their luck” on a dating site for “ordinary people.” The missive also encouraged them to reapply “when they are back looking their best.” said free mentoring from volunteer beauty experts would be available to those who wanted to rejoin. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO.  Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

VIDEO: IndyCar pit crew member escapes with only minor injury after getting hit by car

AVONDALE, La. (AP) — IndyCar officials say a pit crew member who was hit by a car Sunday during the inaugural IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana has received stitches for a cut on his leg and has been released. Tire changer Todd Phillips, a front-outside tire changer for Dayle Coyne Racing, received a minor injury Sunday when he was struck by the car of Francesco Dracone, who had come in on Lap 25 for tires and fuel. RELATED: F1 DRIVER LEWIS HAMILTON CRITICIZED FOR SPRAYING CHAMPAGNE Dracone spun while exiting his put box, clipping Phillips’ leg. Phillips was taken to the infield care center for treatment. Many cars struggled with traction during the race after rain had fallen for hours leading up to the green flag. Dracone did not finish the race and wound up 23rd. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

15 Bronx gang members indicted after using Facebook to plot attacks and trade guns: prosecutors

Status update — indicted. A group of budding Bronx gangsters, including an alleged ringleader who goes by “Sal Capone,” used Facebook to plot attacks against rivals and trade firearms, prosecutors charged in a whopping 57-count indictment unsealed Wednesday. Fifteen members of the “Lyman Place Bosses” were indicted in Bronx Supreme Court on charges including attempted murder, assault and weapons possession. Those charged include 23-year-old Saliym Gresham, who prosecutors said used the Facebook alias “Sal Capone” to order underlings to stack up on weapons for revenge attacks. “He repeatedly made orders to attack other gang members,” said prosecutor Christina Nowak. Gresham was only charged with fourth-degree conspiracy, a non-violent felony. But he has a place “high up in the hierarchy” of a gang called the Young Bosses, which oversees the Lyman Place gang and has spread across the country, Nowak added as she convinced a judge to set bail at $100,000. Other gang members used social media to trade cellphones for guns, the indictment claims. “Lyman” members are also responsible for punching a Prospect Ave. bodega owner in the face during a St. Patrick’s Day robbery, prosecutors said. Five alleged gangsters named in the indictment pleaded not guilty on Wednesday afternoon, after being hauled into the 42nd Precinct stationhouse early in the morning. The others are expected to appear in court on Thursday. Eleven other alleged hoodlums were hauled in on a slew of charges in a separate indictment last December. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Zeta Beta Tau frat members kicked out for spitting on wounded military veterans, ‘urinating on the American flag’ during rowdy spring formal at Panama City Beach

Three University of Florida students were kicked out of their fraternity after the group of drunken bros spit on and insulted a group of wounded military veterans enjoying a biannual retreat in Panama City Beach. The fallout comes after reports of boorish behavior by members of Zeta Beta Tau at the Laketown Wharf resort last week when the frat boys clashed with families enjoying the annual Warrior Beach Retreat. "They actually spit on me and my service dog as well, and that's just so disrespectful and it hurts,” wounded veteran Nicholas Connole told WJHG-TV. “I come and I feel honored and I feel safe and that I belong, but now I feel like I'm defending myself.” Among other allegations against the students, who came from chapters at UF and Emory University in Atlanta, were claims the rowdy revelers stole American flags from the wounded vets, who hold parades and visit the beach during the weekend retreat. "They're a total disgrace for our military," Warrior Beach Retreat founder and organizer Linda Cope told WJHG. "They were urinating on the American flag, they were throwing things off of the balconies." The bottle tossing got the kids kicked out of the hotel, where the 60 or so wounded vets for staying for free after Laketown Wharf donated $68,000 worth of rooms and meeting areas, according to The Gainesville Sun. Cope started the biannual event six years ago in honor of her son, Joshua, who lost both legs in a 2006 Baghdad blast. She was distraught the event honoring the military heroes had been tarnished. “These guys were getting out of control,” Cope told the newspaper. “I was just in tears. This was supposed to be a safe place.” Both frat chapters have been suspended during an investigation into the fracas. The Florida chapter was already on probation at the university because of a fall hazing Continue Reading

South Carolina frat member found dead after St. Patrick’s Day party died of alcohol poisoning: coroner

A University of South Carolina student discovered dead after a St. Patrick’s Day frat party drank himself to death, an autopsy revealed. Charles Terreni Jr., the son of a prominent lawyer, had a blood alcohol level of nearly five times the state’s legal driving limit when he died inside an off-campus house, a toxicology test revealed. “Very sad,” Richland County Coroner Gary Watts told the Daily News. The house was a hangout of the local Xi chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and the members hosted a boozy St. Patrick’s Day blowout, neighbors told WISTV. Terreni, a freshman member of the frat, was found dead the next morning, authorities said. His father was a former staffer for then-Lt. Gov. Bob Peeler and had held other high-powered jobs in South Carolina politics, WISTV reported. The university suspended the Xi chapter following Terreni’s death. A chapter spokesman said the members were cooperating with the Columbia police investigation into the tragedy. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? SEE THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading