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Atlanta police warns LGBTQ community about dating app robberies

Investigators told reporters that there has been one particular Grindr profile linked to nearly all of the robberies

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ATLANTA, GA. – Investigators in Atlanta are warning the city’s LGBTQ community that there has been a series of robberies that began as chat messages on the gay dating app Grindr.

“From February to May, we have had eight instances where male victims were lured to remote locations by use of the Grindr app,” said Sgt. Rodney Jones, in a Wednesday press conference. “After the date concludes, the suspect will rob the victim, often taking their wallets, keys or even vehicles.”

Most of the incidents have taken place in northwest Atlanta, but some have occurred in Zone 3 in the city’s southeastern quadrant, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The victims are typically lured to remote locations after their dates and then robbed.

“The person typically has a handgun,” Jones said. “They’re on a normal date, and after the date concludes they’ll just rob the person of their belongings.”

Investigators told reporters that there has been one particular Grindr profile linked to nearly all of the robberies in the northwest sector of the city. Police believe that that there are several probable suspects in the robberies in in the city’s southeastern quadrant, but citing the ongoing investigation declined to comment further.

According to the Journal-Constitution, Officer Eric King, the department’s LGBT liaison, said there are several things people can do to protect themselves when meeting someone for the first time.

“Find a partner or a friend that you trust that you can notify when you’re going to meet somebody,” King said. “Meet at a grocery store. Meet at a public place before you reconvene somewhere more intimate.”

“Listen to your inner voice,” he continued.

If someone refuses to FaceTime before a first date or insists on meeting in an isolated area, it might be a setup. King said residents are still encouraged to date online and go about their lives. He just wants them to be more cautious.

King also urged anyone who maybe a victim to contact investigators.

“We treat everybody with dignity,” Major D’Andrea Price said. “We want to stop these crimes that (are) being done to our sometimes vulnerable population.”

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Miscellaneous

Texas Gov. introduces ‘Parental Bill of Rights’ amid LGBTQ+ book banning

The bill would amend the state’s constitution to “reinforce parents are the primary decision makers in all matters involving their children”

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Campaign reelection event photo from Texas Governor Greg Abbott's Personal Twitter Feed

LEWISVILLE, Tx. – Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott introduced plans to amend the state constitution to give parents primary power over their child’s education amid the governor’s effort to censor LGBTQ authors in schools. 

Abbott introduced the proposal – deemed the “Parental Bill of Rights” – Thursday at a campaign stop in Lewisville, Texas. The governor is running for a third term in the state’s 2022 election. 

The bill would amend the state’s constitution to “reinforce that parents are the primary decision makers in all matters involving their children,” according to a press release.

“The fact is no government program can or should replace the role that parents play in their children’s lives,” he said. “That’s why as Governor, I have fought to defend the rights of parents, whether it comes to education or health care.”

Among other things, the bill would expand parents’ access to course curriculum and materials available in schools, Abbott said. 

“When it comes to the classroom, Texas parents should have every right to know what their children are being taught,” he said. 

He added: “We will ensure that if a parent has a concern about curriculum or policies, that those concerns are heard quickly and respectfully.”

The announcement comes as Republican lawmakers in Texas, including Abbott, continue to target content they perceive as “inappropriate” in schools, much of which includes books by or about LGBTQ people. 

In November, the governor directed the Texas Education Agency to develop standards preventing “pornography” and other “obscene content in Texas public schools,” citing two memoirs about LGBTQ characters: “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe and “In the Dream House” by Carmen Maria Machado. Both books deal with some mature topics but are recommended for high school-aged kids. 

Soon after the order, he instructed the agency to investigate “the availability of pornography” in the state’s public schools system. 

Last year, prominent civil rights organizations denounced Abbott’s efforts to censor LGBTQ authors. 

“Gov. Abbott’s letters labeling coming-of-age stories as pornography simply because they involve LGBTQ people are attempts to create educational environments rife with censorship of ideas and topics that students deserve to have access to,” said Avatara Smith-Carrington, staff attorney at Lambda Legal. “Students need materials and information created with them in mind, in which they can see their own identities and experiences reflected.”

At the event, Abbott also touted his efforts to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) – a college-level examination of the intersection of race and law that has become a hot button issue for Republicans – in schools, highlighting two bills he signed last year. “Now Texas has the toughest anti-CRT protections in the nation,” he said. 

“But, there is more we must do to preserve the rights of parents and give our children the future they deserve,” he added, referring to his Parental Bill of Rights.

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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks winter classes are happening NOW!

Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, pick up a hobby or instrument or simply be more active, there’s a class for everyone

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – LA County Parks is here to make your 2022 memorable. If you have not yet taken one of our classes, now is the time to register! Meet us safely outdoors at a park near you or join a class virtually from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, pick up a hobby or instrument or simply be more active, there’s a class for everyone. We offer a wide range of classes (held outdoors or virtually) for all ages.

FIND A CLASS TODAY

Here are just a few of the many classes we offer!

  • Arts & Culture: Music Mondays 🎵 Family & Me Music Class  
  • Computers and Technology: Become a Roblox Developer 💻 
  • Exercise and Fitness: Morning Senior Stretching (Virtual), Adrienne’s Salsa Cardio (Virtual) and Jay’s Fitness 365 Athletes ️ 
  • Health & Wellness: Brain Fit for Work and Life (Virtual), Integrating Essential Oils into your Everyday Life (Virtual) 🌱, Sound Bowl Healing Meditation  
  • Martial Arts: Karate and San Do Kai Karate  
  • Performing Arts, Music & Culture: Acting for the Camera (Virtual) 🎭, Ballet and Tap Dancing, Ballroom & Latin Dance 💃 and Modern Middle Eastern Belly Dance 
  • Special Interest Classes: Build, Paint & Race An Army Battle Tank, How to Become a Certified Livescan Provider (Virtual), Intro to Fashion Design (Virtual) 👗, Parent & Child Red Cross CPR, First Aid, AED and more 
  • Sports: Badminton, All Level Softball Clinics and European Tennis Academy 🎾
      

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY

Our quick and easy 24/7 online registration system Active Net allows you to manage everyone’s schedule through a single household account. Sign up for Winter Classes for yourself, partner and children from your smartphone or computer. To learn more about Active Net, visit parks.lacounty.gov/reserve/.  

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for In-person Classes:
The health and well-being of park guests and staff is our top priority. In accordance with LA County Public Health, currently masks are required at all times for all participants.  Participants must maintain six feet physical distance from the instructor and staff at all times.

Follow LA County Parks on social media: Facebook @parks.lacounty.gov and Twitter/Instagram/TikTok @lacountyparks.

Share your experience using #LearnSomethingNew at #LACountyParks.  

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Community Services - PSA

We’re Hiring! Become a LA County Pool Lifeguard!

Candidates will get paid for a 64-hour training which includes becoming certified though the American Red Cross in Emergency Medical Response

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Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – LA County Department of Parks and Recreation is hiring! This summer, the Department aims to hire over 250 new lifeguards to work at our 30 aquatic facilities, all across LA County. Not only is lifeguarding a fantastic way to kickstart your career, but it’s a great opportunity for young adults looking for part time employment while in school or looking for a career as a first responder.

Pool Lifeguards will receive a starting pay of $18.27, well above the minimum wage with opportunities to work year round. Applicants must be 17 years of age by time of appointment.

Those who meet the initial requirements will then be required to sign up and pass the Los Angeles County Swim Test. The Los Angeles County Swim Test consists of a 500-yard swim test that must be completed under 10 minutes. Upon completion of the test they will be invited to Pool Lifeguard Academy.

Candidates will get paid for a 64-hour training which includes becoming certified though the American Red Cross in Emergency Medical Response, CPR, AED, Lifeguarding, and First Aid.

SWIM TEST DATES AND LOCATIONS

Our Aquatics team is eager to help as many prospective candidates and interested students start a career path that can provide them with so many opportunities beyond lifeguarding!

Those who are interested in becoming a Pool Lifeguard are encouraged to attend an online “Open House” session to learn more about the position and answer questions.

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE SESSIONS: 

Session 1: January 19, 6pm tinyurl.com/mr36m9mn
or call in:+13237766996,,17084440#

Session 2: January 25,  5pm tinyurl.com/2p9a27ty
or call in: +13237766996,,573214358#

Session 3: January 26,  4pm tinyurl.com/5n8ks28c
or call in: +13237766996,,602797897#

APPLY TO BECOME A LIFEGUARD TODAY!

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