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Cardinals Outfielder Oscar Taveras Dies in a Car Accident

10/27/2014 AT 07:05 AM EDT

Oscar Taveras, the St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder regarded as one of the majors’ top prospects, died Sunday in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic. He was 22.

Taveras was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro at the time of the crash on a highway between the beaches of Sosua and Cabarete in Puerto Plata, about 215 miles north of the capital of Santo Domingo, said Col. Diego Pesqueira of the Metropolitan Transportation Agency.

“He wasn’t carrying documents at the time of the accident, but his body was identified by family members,” Pesqueira said.

National police spokesman Jacobo Mateo Moquete said he was told by the mayor of Sosua that Taveras lost control of his vehicle and went off the road. Edilia Arvelo, 18, who was in the car with Taveras, also died in the accident, Pesqueira said.

Taveras made his major league debut this year. He hit .239 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 80 games for the NL Central champions.

“I simply can’t believe it,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a release. “I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest.”

Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said the organization was “stunned and deeply saddened.”

“Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time,” DeWitt said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”

Taveras was a teenager when he signed with St. Louis as an international free agent in 2008. Before this season, Taveras was ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by MLB.com and Baseball America, and had a.321 average over six minor league seasons.

He homered against the Giants’s Yusmeiro Petit in his major league debut May 31. He also had a big solo drive in the seventh inning of Game 2 in the NL Championship Series against San Francisco.

“All of us throughout Major League Baseball are in mourning this evening,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “Oscar, a young member of the baseball family, was full of promise and at the dawn of a wonderful career in our game, evident in his game-tying home run against the Giants exactly two weeks ago.”

It looked as if Taveras was headed to the majors in 2013, but he had surgery for a high right ankle sprain last August for an injury that did not respond to treatment. He then got off to a nice start at Triple-A Memphis this season, earning a promotion by batting .325 with seven homers in 49 games.

“Oscar had a very promising future, on and off the field, and this news is heartbreaking on many levels,” Tony Clark, the leader of the players’ association, said in a statement. “It’s never easy to lose a member of our fraternity, and to lose one so young is devastating news.”

Giants outfielder Juan Perez heard about Taveras’s death during Game 5 of the World Series. He hit a two-run double in the eighth inning of San Francisco’s 5-0 victory and dedicated the hit to his fallen countryman.

“He’s a really close friend of mine,” Perez said. “I know his family pretty good, I know his mom, his dad, his brothers, we were really close. It’s a huge loss for all his family, his teammates and the people that care about him.”

Several of Taveras’s Cardinals teammates took to Twitter to express their condolences.

“Last 30 minutes I’ve been sick to my stomach. Keep thinking about Oscar’s big smile in the dugout whenever we made a big play/got a big hit,” All-Star reliever Pat Neshek posted.

Rookie second baseman Kolten Wong tweeted: “RIP you will be missed buddy.”


Source: Cardinals Outfielder Oscar Taveras Dies in a Car Accident

Welcome Back, Kotter Actress Marcia Strassman Dies

10/27/2014 AT 07:00 AM EDT

The actress who played Gabe Kaplan’s wife, Julie, on the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter has died at age 66.

Marcia Strassman died at her Sherman Oaks, California, home on Friday after a long battle against breast cancer, her sister, Julie Strassman, said Sunday.

Strassman had numerous roles on television and in film during her five decade-long career.

She had a recurring role as nurse Margie Cutler on the first season ofM-A-S-H before her breakout role in Welcome Back, Kotter.

Her biggest film success was as the wife of the character played by Rick Moranis in the Disney hit Honey I Shrunk The Kids and its sequel, Honey I Blew Up The Kid.

Strassman is also survived by a daughter and a brother.

Plans for funeral services are pending.


Source: Welcome Back, Kotter Actress Marcia Strassman Dies

Garcelle Beauvais’s Blog: Co-Parenting Peacefully Is My Priority

Please help us welcome back celebrity blogger Garcelle Beauvais!

Best known for her roles on The Jamie Foxx Show and NYPD Blue, the actress, 45, formerly starred on TNT’s Franklin & Bash

Aside from acting, Beauvais just published her children’s book, I Am Living in 2 Homes, the second installment in her I Am series.

Mom to three sons — Oliver, 22, and 6-year-old twins Jax and Jaid — Beauvais supports the Step Up Women’s Network and is also active with March of DimesChildren Uniting Nations and Yéle Haiti Foundation.

She can be found on Twitter @GarcelleB.

In her latest blog, the actress shares her thoughts on raising her twins in two homes — and how she makes co-parenting a priority.

Garcelle Beauvais Blog
Michael Simon/Startraks

Divorce.

I recently asked several friends and acquaintances: “What do you think of when you hear the D-word?” Their responses were: “Painful, broken, betrayal, dysfunctional, alimony.”

And when I asked my 6-year-old twins Jax and Jaid the same question, their answer had nothing to do with money, deceit or inconvenience. They both said, “Sad.”

I understand how they feel. My parents split up when I was 3-years-old, and I didm’t see my dad again until I was 14. In my day, children of divorce didn’t grow up with both parents after a marriage broke up. I was with my mom and never really had a relationship with my dad. (Maybe a therapist would say that’s where my issues with men come from — but that’s for another blog!)

Because I had already been through a divorce from my grown son Oliver’s dad, this was the last thing I wanted. In fact, when I was dating Mike (the twins’ dad), I said there are two things that are most important:

1. If you cheat, it’s a deal breaker.

2. If we have children, I never want them split between two homes.

But I guess he didn’t hear me right because both of those things happened.

Life happens!

Based on my own experience as a child of divorce, I knew how important it was for my kids to have both of their parents play an active role in their lives. This is why it’s so important for my kids to spend time with their dad and me.

As parents, we try to protect our children from boo-boos and bullies. I think we should also try to protect them from adult drama and, more importantly, make sure they know it’s not their fault.

To that end, I don’t speak badly about their dad. I never have. But sometimes I make mistakes. For example, the boys’ dad recently called during our regular dinnertime. I was grumpy that day and instead of being grateful that their dad contacts them regularly, I made a comment along the lines of, “Why does he have to call while we’re eating?”

Two days later, when he called again at the same time, Jaid repeated my comment. He even used the same exasperated tone that I had when I said it. In that moment, I realized that the kids really pick up on every thing, every nuance, and they feel my energy.

So when Jaid did that, I told him that Dad calls when he can. It was an important lesson for me, and made me thankful I didn’t say anything harsher. Kids notice everything.

I’ve seen the effect on children when their parents don’t get along. They act out in school. It’s hard for them to concentrate. I just want to give my kids the best possible chance of having a normal childhood, despite the fact that they live in two homes.

Don’t get me wrong. Helping them adjust to living in two homes is not always easy. Just imagine if you were the one going back and forth and trying to remember your toys and trying to keep your life moving forward. I know a lot of kids do it, but a lot of adults don’t really put themselves in their children’s shoes.

While I’m so grateful that my ex and I are peacefully co-parenting and committed to creating a strong, consistent presence in our sons’ lives, we know that divorce is difficult. It’s hard on us, and it’s especially tough on our children, the innocent bystanders.

They are the people who were created when the love and the relationship was good. And it is most confusing and devastating to the kids when the marriage or relationship that produced them doesn’t work out. They find out quickly that their lives are going to change in ways they don’t anticipate or understand.

That is why I wrote, I Am Living in 2 Homes, the second in my I Am series of contemporary children’s books.

I Am Living in 2 Homes, which I wrote with my wonderful collaborator Sebastian A. Jones and illustrator James C. Webster, follows the adventures of siblings Jay and Nia as they live their daily lives, splitting their time between their mom and dad’s houses.

Readers of the I Am series first met the twins featured in our first book, I Am Mixed.

The story is filled with vivid illustrations that show the daily lives of this brother and sister. They learn to appreciate the differences between the times they spend with each of their parents while acknowledging the conflicting emotions of living in two different homes.

It celebrates two parents who love their children and show them that, although they are no longer married, they will always put them first. In both homes, Jay and Nia are “wonderfully loved.”

Frankly, I miss my boys so much when they’re not with me. While it’s nice to get the break (and a chance to have a clean house!) while they’re with their dad, it’s also unnervingly quiet. As weird as it sounds, I find myself having to figure out what do with my time at home when the boys aren’t with me.

I’m not gonna lie. It breaks my heart when I hear them say to their friends, “I’m at Mommy’s house this week.” Even when they’re not with me, they are constantly on my mind.

Luckily, co-parenting with Mike has been a blessing because we let each other see the boys even when it’s not his or my week. That’s because we put them first. It’s better for them to see us both at their sporting events and school activities.

We also do things to help the boys feel at home in both of our houses. They have clothing at both places, but they bring special stuffed animals, toys or books with them when they travel between their homes. Sometimes, they’ll call me from their dad’s house, and we’ll pray together on the phone before they go to bed. Plus, technology helps. We have Facetime calls, so we do get to see each other when we’re not together.

Sometimes my sons tell me, “When I’m with you, I miss Dad, and when I’m with Dad, I miss you.” I tell them that these feelings are normal. I let them know that both of us love both of them very much.

In fact, talking to my kids and checking in with them on a regular basis helps them to know that they are loved by both of us. It also makes them feel more secure.

I Am Living in 2 Homes has a questionnaire in the back so young readers can fill it out. Their answers about how they feel and what they do when they feel lonely can help start a positive discussion with their parents and help them cope with their living arrangements.

The message of our book is whether you’re raised in one home or two, Love is Love, Family is Family.

– Garcelle Beauvais

More from Garcelle’s PEOPLE.com blog series:


Source: Garcelle Beauvais’s Blog: Co-Parenting Peacefully Is My Priority

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Airport Passengers Break Up Homophobic Fight (VIDEO)

10/26/2014 AT 09:25 PM EDT

Due to the original video’s disturbing content and language, we are embedding an edited version from Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate WFAA. The original video is linked in the first sentence of the story.

A video of a fight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport has gone viral since its upload Thursday.

The disturbing video shows a man taunting another man in one of the airport’s terminals, apparently over his pink shirt. Another passenger asks the instigator what he’s upset about, to which he responds, “Queers is what I’m upset about,” just before attacking the man in the pink shirt. At that point, he’s immediately subdued by several bystanders and airport security.

One passenger asked the man why he attacked the stranger. “You want me to tell you the reason I did it?” he responds. “Because this is America, that’s why. The same reason you get to live, to breathe, to walk black.”

Neal Kennedy, brother of the original video’s uploader, Andrew Kennedy, said that, “We hope that [the instigator] was under the influence of some kind of substance, because if he wasn’t and that’s his true personality, then he’s going to have a long road in front of him.”


Source: Airport Passengers Break Up Homophobic Fight (VIDEO)


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