Sunday, December 28, 2008

"A Bitter Divorce and Loss of Job" - The Root Problem for the "Santa Claus Killer"

9 People Dead: A gunman dressed as Santa Claus who opened fire on a Christmas Eve party at the home of his ex-wife's family was planning to flee to Canada, police said yesterday, as a ninth body was recovered from the charred wreckage of the massacre.

Police said Bruce Pardo, 45, was found with $17,000 taped to his body and a plane ticket to Canada after he killed himself following his murderous assault on the home of his former in-laws in the Los Angeles suburb of Covina.

The unemployed aerospace engineer burst into the property armed with four pistols shortly before midnight Wednesday and sprayed guests with bullets before the house erupted in flames.

An 8-year-old girl who had opened the door to Pardo was shot in the face, but survived. Yesterday, police released harrowing 911 calls apparently made by the girl's mother immediately after the incident.
"We need someone immediately. My daughter's been shot. She was shot in the face," the woman said, with the anguished high-pitched wailing of a child clearly audible in the background.

Pardo had recently gone through a bitter divorce with his wife, but there were no further clues as to what might have triggered the murderous rampage.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 250 pound Pardo had no criminal record and nothing in his personal history to suggest a predisposition to violence, police said. Friends from a church Pardo attended regularly expressed disbelief.

"He was just the nicest guy," said Jan Detanna, who worked with Pardo as an usher at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

Covina police chief Kim Raney told reporters Pardo had bought a ticket to Canada leaving early Christmas morning, but scrapped plans to go on the run after suffering third-degree burns in the house blaze that melted parts of his Santa Claus costume to his body, Raney said.

"All indications are he intended to commit the crime, flee the country and, it appears, he didn't anticipate injuring himself to the point where, obviously, he took his own life," Raney said.

Police said Pardo had arrived at the house with what appeared to be a homemade flamethrower comprised of two canisters, one containing oxygen or carbon dioxide, the other a high-octane racing fuel.
However police believe the device exploded sooner than Pardo intended, leaving him with serious burn injuries.

Hours after the rampage, Pardo killed himself with a single shot to the head at his brother's home in Sylmar, approximately 40 kilometres away.

Police revealed that the car used by Pardo in the attack, found outside his brother's home, had been rigged with a booby trap to be be triggered when officers attempted to move his discarded Santa Claus suit.

The car burst into flames as bomb disposal experts attempted to deactivate the advice. No officers were hurt in the explosion.
Authorities have yet to publicly identify those killed by Pardo, but local media reported the victim's ex-wife and in-laws were among the dead.

Los Angeles County Coroner's Office assistant chief Ed Winter said none of the nine bodies recovered from the crime scene were identifiable.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Author Lori Johnson's Debut Novel!: "After the Dance"

by Lori Johnson

Faye Abrahams is a thirtysomething woman faced with an important decision. Should she A) abandon her "hit it and quit it" credo and take up with Carl, the divorced father of three who appears intent on slow dancing his way into her heart? Or, should she go with option B) and give her childhood sweetheart, Venard, aka Scoobie, a chance to prove he's truly the changed man his newfound spirituality and success as a corporate chef suggests? Further complicating Faye's choice is the sudden unraveling of a secret from her past that she has long kept from everyone . . .

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The First Family of Illinois: The Blagojevichs!

The Democrat appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to hear federal corruption charges against him and was released on $4,500 bail.

"He's sad, surprised and innocent," Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky told reporters Tuesday night.

Early Tuesday, FBI agents arrested Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, on charges that the governor attempted to sell or trade President-elect Barack Obama's former Senate seat in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife, Patti.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers said they are preparing to take from the governor his power to fill the vacant Senate seat. Otherwise, Blagojevich -- despite the charges he faces -- could still move to nominate anyone he chooses for Obama's replacement.
Jay Stewart, executive director of Chicago's Better Government Association, said Blagojevich retains the right to fill the Senate vacancy until he's out of office, which won't happen unless he quits or is removed by impeachment.
The government had bugged the governor's campaign office, placed a tap on his home phone and listened to the governor talk about wanting possible deals, said U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

According to the affidavit, Blagojevich was recorded saying of the Senate seat: "I've got this thing and it's [expletive] golden and uh, uh, I'm not just giving it up for [expletive] nothing."

"Gov. Blagojevich has taken us to a new low," Fitzgerald said Tuesday. "This conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."

Both Blagojevich and Harris were charged with a count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and a count of solicitation of bribery, authorities said.
The 76-page affidavit, which describe Blagojevich's actions as a "crime spree," alleges that the governor often weighed the option of appointing himself to the Senate seat.

He said he was "stuck" at governor and might have access to more resources as a senator than as a governor, the affidavit said. A Senate seat also could help him remake his image ahead of a possible presidential run in 2016. "If ... they're not going to offer anything of any value, then I might just take it," he said in one conversation.

Obama reacted at a news conference Tuesday.
"Obviously, like the rest of the people of Illinois, I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the U.S. attorney's office today," he said. "But as this is an ongoing investigation involving the governor, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time."

Obama said he had no contact with the governor or his office about the Senate seat. "I was not aware of what was happening," he added.
At times, Blagojevich discussed obtaining a substantial salary for himself at a nonprofit group or an organization affiliated with labor unions as well as placing his wife on paid corporate boards, where she might make as much as $150,000 a year, the government said.

During one recorded conversation, Blagojevich said he needed to consider his family and said he was financially hurting, the affidavit said.

"I want to make money," Blagojevich said, according to the affidavit.

The intercepted phone calls also caught the governor and Harris discussing the possibility of the Tribune Co.'s obtaining assistance from the Illinois Finance Authority in efforts to sell the Chicago Cubs and the financing or sale of Wrigley Field, the government said. The company owns the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs and Wrigley Field.

Tribune announced Monday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Blagojevich allegedly directed Harris to tell Tribune officials that state assistance would be withheld unless members of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board were fired. The Illinois governor saw them as "driving discussion of his possible impeachment," the affidavit said.

"Our recommendation is fire all those [expletive] people, get 'em the [expletive] out of there and get us some editorial support," the governor allegedly said in one phone call.

Federal authorities also allege the governor and Harris schemed with others -- including convicted real estate developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko -- to obtain financial benefits for himself, his family and others, including his campaign committee, Friends of Blagojevich.

Reports from the Chicago Tribune last week said federal authorities were investigating the governor and were secretly taping his conversations -- with the help of his former congressional chief of staff, John Wyem.

"I don't believe there's any cloud that hangs over me," Blagojevich told WLS-TV in Chicago on Monday as he responded to the reports of wiretapping. "I think there's nothing but sunshine hanging over me."

He added, "By the way, I should say if anyone wants to tape my conversations, go right ahead, feel free to do it. I appreciate anybody who wants to tape me openly."
Fitzgerald said the case required "unusual measures" because of actions Blagojevich was expected to take soon, including filling the vacant Senate seat. "There were a lot of things going on that were imminent," he said.
"We were in the middle of a corruption crime spree, and we wanted to stop it," Fitzgerald said.

At a news conference Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said he wants the state Legislature to act quickly to pass a law setting up a special election to fill Obama's seat to prevent Blagojevich from making an appointment.
"No appointment by this governor under these circumstances could produce a credible replacement," Durbin said.

Fitzgerald said Blagojevich was looking to pull $8 million in funding for a children's hospital after the hospital's chief executive officer did not give a $50,000 contribution to the governor's campaign.

Also, Fitzgerald said, it was expected that Blagojevich would soon sign into law a bill that would direct a percentage of casino revenue to the horse racing industry -- a bill supported by someone who contributed $100,000.

"To let that bill be signed, to me, would be very, very troubling," Fitzgerald said.
The governor's office said the allegations "do nothing to impact the services, duties or function of the state."

"Our state will continue to ensure health, safety and economic stability for the citizens of Illinois."

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said the governor should use a provision in the Illinois Constitution that allows him to step down but not necessarily to resign. "I recommend to the governor to realize ... that he cannot carry out his responsibilities of office today, and he should, in my opinion, step aside."
Quinn, a Democrat, said under the provision, a determination can be made later as to whether he can return to office.

Quinn said he had not spoken to Blagojevich at length since summer 2007.
Blagojevich, who turns 52 on Wednesday, is in his second four-year term as Illinois governor. His term ends in January 2011.

He served as a U.S. congressman for Illinois' 5th Congressional District from 1997 until 2003, according to his online biography.
He and his wife have two daughters.

The state's last governor, George Ryan, was convicted in April 2006 on racketeering and fraud charges.

Ryan reported to a federal prison in Wisconsin in November 2007 to serve a 6½-year sentence. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would not hear an appeal from Ryan.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Shekinah Prison Ministries

Doris Riley, Co-Founder
Board Chair

My Story

At the age of 18 months, my father was unjustly removed from my life; as a result my childhood was spent in poverty, living in the backwoods of Arkansas. My mother was left with two very small children; myself only 18 months, my brother three years old and she was 4 months pregnant with another child.

Although we were able to visit my father in prison, the visits were infrequent because my mother could not drive nor had the financial means to pay others to take us. I remember vividly as a little girl becoming familiar with the routine of visitation within a jail. Often my brothers and I were faced with mockery from the other children at school and the shame of our father's confinement in prison.

There were many, many challenges that we faced as a family just because we were left behind. It seemed no one cared or understood the affects of losing our father. How he was suddenly snatched from the lives of his wife and three small children and how a mother in her twenties without a high school education had to be the sole provider for her family. I thank God today that He was faithful to take care of us and we survived.

In 2004 one of my brothers (the one my mom was pregnant with) was incarcerated and left behind a 2 year old daughter, and two sons 9 and 17 years old. When this occurred my husband and I began to assist my brother's family financially, emotionally, and with much prayer. We also provided the children with gifts during the Christmas season.

This incident triggered the memory of my childhood and my heart began to feel the pain and feelings of abandonment of children all over this country. After much research, I was shocked and appalled at the high percentage of children who are left behind. My husband Joseph and I felt impressed of God to help the many children all over this country who have a mom or dad incarcerated.

Shekinah Prison Ministries' Staff

Joseph & Doris Riley, Founders

Joseph Riley, President

Konstance Riley, Account Executive

Sonia Morris, Regional Service Coordinator


Shekinah Prison Ministries is a non-profit organization that assists children/families of those incarcerated nationally. We serve as an emergency support to the children and families through out the year and provide gifts during the holiday season. Our goal is to be a support to families who suddenly find themselves as sole caregivers of children related to an incarcerated spouse or parent.

What We Do

We are dedicated to establishing a relationship with families of those incarcerated to provide support and to connect them with needed resources of survival as a family. Shekinah Prison Ministries specialize in minimizing the impact of incarceration to the families that are left behind. Services offered:

• Assistance with clothing and school supplies
• Emergency Financial Assistance
• Gifts during the Holiday Season
• Training: Anger Management, Financial Management & Drama Classes
• Resource Referral


P. O. Box 278
Olive Branch, MS 38654
United States
ph: 901-848-2914
fax: 662-504-4234

Friday, November 21, 2008


18940 Barrister Ave. Akron, OH 44309


This plan’s lengthy exploration of the business
development leaves little question about the direction
of the endeavor. All aspects of the necessary
tasks to get the business started are covered and
the entrepreneur’s absence of salary emphasizes
his commitment to profitability. The hardboiled
approach of the plan echoes the businesslike manner
with which the company will likely be run.

Mission Statement
The mission of Paintball Sport Palace is to provide playing locations and equipment rental service to paintball players in the area who are currently involved in the sport or who wish to become involved in action pursuit games. The purpose of this presentation is to seek start-up financing for capital investment in both equipment and location procurement.

History and Current Status—Paintball Sport Palace is a new company in the start-up phase of development. Incorporated in Ohio, it seeks to be located in Summit County so as to be close to a major population center. Because the company is still in the preliminary phases, the availability of capital investment is a primary consideration.

Markets and Products—The products used and the overall market strategy will closely follow that of other successful paintball field operations throughout the United States. Products used will be industry standard, allowing for endorsement revenue for product placement and an incentive for paintball equipment companies to sponsor contests and events which will help draw in players from throughout the region. All products will be viewed from a cost-benefit perspective, and will take into account factors such as safety, reliability, and price. The market targeted for development will be primarily young adults 16-25 years of age, and the secondary market will be older adults 26-46 years of age.

Objectives—The objective of Paintball Sport Palace is to develop an indoor and outdoor play field while generating revenue through field rental and admission. Additionally, revenue will be developed from rental of paintball equipment, expendable supplies, and food concessions.

These four revenue streams should make the initial investment profitable within its first year of operation and allow for a steadily increasing pool of income on a yearly basis, as the sport of paintball grows nationwide.

Description—Paintball is both a sport and a game. It is already a hundred million dollar business nationwide, with revenue, which continues to grow on an annual basis. Similar to bowling in some organizational aspects, a paintball service company provides rental space for players and equipment in a structured environment. League play is not only possible, but strongly encouraged and a necessary component of building a profitable local business. Scores are kept and posted, and tournaments can be held in order to stimulate player activity and generate free publicity.

The largest fields in the country have hundreds, and even thousands, of players who participate in tournament style events and compete for prizes sponsored by savvy equipment manufacturers. Other opportunities for revenue generation include selling constantly in-demand supplies: paintballs, CO2 propellant refills, and assorted other forms of necessary and expendable equipment. Concessions are another source of steady and significant revenue which, if properly managed, can lead to a sizeable profit margin.

Location Considerations—For a paintball service company to be successful, it is absolutely imperative to offer both indoor and outdoor playing fields. This is especially true in a state like Ohio, which has a variable climate. Bookings and reservations are made far in advance. Not taking this factor into consideration will be highly detrimental to the success of the business.

Many other fields have had trouble retaining clientele without some sort of indoor facility to operate. This would normally mean that a location would be very expensive property to lease; however, this principle consideration is mitigated by the fact that a paintball playing field does not have to concern itself with aesthetics. Playing locations are not decided on appearance, rather, the lack of aesthetics is just as appealing to most players, and a gruff atmosphere can enhance the “feel” of the game for many players. Therefore, a large amount of capital that
would ordinarily be spent improving the appearance of the facility can be saved and expended elsewhere.

Market Analysis Nationwide—The market for paintball nationwide is outstanding. Fields throughout the United States are reporting record growth, and the need for fields is increasing,not decreasing. As more seasoned players develop and move to various parts of the country,the overall number of participants continues to grow. Likewise, the longer the games are played and the longer people are exposed to the sport, the more that paintball becomes legitimized and the more that national advertising will be expended in the promotion of paintball.

Market Analysis Statewide—The market statewide is encouraging. Several fields have opened while two others have shut down. The primary reason for the shutdown of the two fields in the southern part of the state did not have to do with a lack of business, but instead had to do with local zoning requirements and the fact that these businesses were not being run in a professional manner. The closest known competitor in the western part of the state is located in the Cincinnati area and, while it is fairly well known, it is not heavily advertised and players from this area only travel to this particular field infrequently.

Market Analysis Locally—The market locally consists of one competitor. Located in the southwest quadrant of the city, this competitor is chiefly an indoor arena. There is no room for expansion nor for any large-scale redesign of the playing field, which is an essential element of field design. Even though it is a small facility, with erratic hours, during the hours that it is open it does terrific business in booking events and maintaining repeat clientele.

The business is owned by two current police officers that also rent out the field to the city to use as a police training ground for close quarter encounter situations. This is the largest competitor in town for paintball dollars and, even though they are currently operating successfully, they have not tapped even a portion of the market due to their minimal advertising and lack of space. Since this business is not the owner’s primary source of income, the competition from this facility is thought to be manageable, and even helpful, in developing paintball players locally.

Overall Marketing Strategy—The target market for paintball is young and even middleaged, predominantly male adults. The younger players might have had experience in laser tag, or similar virtual-reality type games, and are looking for simple strategy games with a lot of action. Older players tend to be interested in more complex and challenging games where patience is more of a premium.

These players would be the weekend outdoorsmen (or sports enthusiasts) types and they would typically involve either a group of close friends or work associates, while the younger players tend to come in smaller groups of more immediate friends. Both groups depend heavily on interaction with their peers, and utilizing this peer
pressure as a positive marketing tool is essential.

There are many females who also participate in paintball games but, usually, they are drawn as either part of a corporate work outing or from some similar situation. Paintball is a demanding sport and though some degree of basic physical fitness will add to the enjoyment of the game, it is not essential to be completely fit in order to play.

Older players, and those with physical limitations, need to be reminded of the demands of the game and encouraged to play appropriately to their level of skill. This is also true of the sedentary weekend warrior type of person who is drawn to the game. Since young and middle-aged males tend to be the target demographic audience, advertising will be geared to attract these types of players.

Sales Strategy—Marketing will be targeted to a younger audience initially. Even though corporate bookings and older players will eventually become a large part of the target audience, initially, the best chance for positive cash flow comes from an appeal to younger players who will grow into repeat customers and truly provide a financial base upon which to build. Normal

media channels, which target all young adults, best reach these customers. Radio advertising seems especially effective when trying to reach this market and various radio stations with a rock or hard rock format would seem ideally suited for advertising. Also, there are plenty of local establishments that cater to young people where co-op advertising deals can be made.

The laser tag game arena, for instance, would provide an excellent place to recruit members. There are also local paintball supply shops that can provide a steady source of interested customers willing to play the game and a complete co-op arrangement can be made. Once this target market has been reached, and moderate success achieved, the next target of advertising revenue will be middle-aged players.

These players can be reached primarily through corporate advertising as a team-building exercise and through an appeal to the competitive and sportslike nature of the game. Many local paintball fields have had great success in recruiting
corporate membership by offering specialized recruiting discount packages. Once again, if the field is packaged correctly as a paintball destination and not merely as a paintball field, then the local corporate sponsors will feel comfortable bringing their employees to engage in teambuilding activities.

Current Status—A site has been pre-selected for development of the paintball field. It is located in the southeast section of the city and is the site of an abandoned multiscreen drivein theater. It is in a demographically popular part of town and very close to the shopping malls and main thoroughfares of the city. There is plenty of room for outdoor playing and there are several centralized buildings that would provide an indoor playing arena as well. The facility is not currently being used and is a liability and non-performing asset for the current owners, a regional theater chain which would like to divest itself from the property.

Development Plans—The plan to develop Paintball Sport Palace into something more than a simple playing field is essential to the overall concept. The business should strive to make it a paintball destination within the local community. There is a certain atmosphere that needs to be created in order for this to happen. The type of atmosphere necessary to be successful depends on developing a theme for the play field. The theme can be post-industrial or military or something similar.

The theme is very important to making the paintball field a destination instead of simply as a place to play. The more successful the theme, the more likely that repeat players will come back and use the field on a permanent basis. Several themes have been discussed and a military theme adopted for the field itself.

Development Timetable—An aggressive strategy of growth requires us to adopt the following timetable:

Winter 1997—Lease of primary land site in southeast section of the city.
January 1997—Bid specifications prepared for contract construction services.
February 1997—Bids awarded for March and April above ground construction.
March 1997—
Above surface rehabilitation of standing buildings for indoor portion of
play field.
April 1997—Above surface rehabilitation of outdoor playing field surfaces and
May 1997—Equipment set-up and distribution center established.
May 15, 1997—Initial advertising blitz.
June 1, 1997—Grand opening of Paintball Sport Palace.

Development Risks—Financial risks associated with the project are specified below.

Development risks are minimal and mainly concern liability and other operating risks. The risks associated with liability are as follows:

a. Players have to be given a certain amount of latitude in regards to movement and even though the field and boundaries are well marked and defined, some players may

wander from the play area and may try to shoot paintballs at unspecified targets. This would not be a problem in some locations; however, this location is close to a main thoroughfare. Fencing would eliminate this problem, yet that would be an expensive solution to a relatively small security problem.

b. There are problems associated with booking very large events that are mainly logistical in nature. Equipment, which must be provided, may be limited and cause difficulties with supply. Affiliating with a local paintball supply store could alleviate this problem, but it may be a less than ideal solution if not enough equipment is available.

c. The indoor portion of the arena may require more extensive renovation than
originally anticipated because a site survey of the property has indicated that interior walls of the main arena structure may have to be braced and/or removed.

A Note on Safety and Liability—There are several safety issues worth considering. Although paintball is recognized as a completely safe sport, and few permanent injuries happen, there are occasionally injuries due to physical exertion and these cannot be mitigated. Further, there is a potential injury problem stemming from the misuse of equipment which can cause more serious injury. These issues are addressed in a safety briefing given to each player at the start of the game.

Also, each player is required to sign a liability waiver upon entering the play area.
Violators are banned for the day and, if the offense is serious enough, they may be banned from future play. A general liability insurance policy is obtainable for this type of sport and readily available if policies and procedures are properly followed.

Personnel—The number of weekend personnel will remain fairly static and will only increase significantly if there is a large event taking place. Approximately 10 workers per day will be needed to run the entire field. The breakdown of personnel needed is as follows:

1 onsite manager for the entire operation
4 rotating counter people and equipment lessors
2 food concession personnel
3 referees and safety inspectors

Field Leasing Cost—The cost of leasing the field for the season will be approximately $6000.00 for the duration of the year, plus utilities and a nominal year-end cleanup fee for any areas that need to be restored to their original state.

Equipment—The following is a list of some of the equipment (pricing obtained at discount rates) and projected quantities that will be needed to start-up operations:

50 Stingray Paintball Guns—semi-auto, durable, carbon fiber @ $94.95 ea. = $4,747.50
20 Tracer Paintball Pump Guns—pump action, easy to operate @ 94.95 ea. = 1,899.00
20,000 Paintballs—water soluble, 2500 per case, various colors @ 89.95 ea. = 719.60
2 N2 Compressed Air System plus C1 CO2 Nitro refillable tanks @ 329.95 ea. = 659.90
100 CO2 Portable Canisters—refillable and for use with weapons @ 39.95 ea. = 3,995.00
100 VL 2000 Paintball Loaders—reusable and holding 200 balls @ 9.95 ea. = 995.00
10 VL 2000 Electronic Loaders—primarily for resale on site @ 54.95 ea. = 549.50
70 Goggle and Visor Combinations—with fully protective visor @ 54.95 ea. = 3,846.50
100 Barrel squeegees—for use with gun, reusable and durable @ 9.95 ea. = 995.00
100 Barrel Plugs—reusable and brightly colored for locating @ 4.95 ea. = 495.00
10 Vent Grips—forward barrel hold, primarily for resale on site @ 24.95 ea. = 249.50


Scope of Operations

10 Head Wraps—for further head protection, optional equipment @ 9.95 ea. = 99.50
Misc. Equipment—lens bags, ordinance, smoke, trip flares, etc. @ various = 1,000.00

TOTAL EQUIPMENT COST = $20,251.00Ongoing Operations—The cost of ongoing operations is estimated to be as follows:
In the off-season, amortized costs are expected to hover in the $1000.00 range per month, as the business is somewhat seasonal in nature. As soon as warm weather breaks (and even this is not completely necessary), income will be expected to rise in tandem with an increase in the use of the outdoor playing field.

Company Organization—The company will have one primary owner holding an initial 51%
of the outstanding shares of the facility. All stock will be preferred and par value of the stock is expected to be $1.00 per share. All other investors in the project will be silent partners concerning day-to-day operations of the facility; however, this shall not preclude investors from offering input as to the financial decisions affecting the company, according to their respective share holdings.

Management Team—Onsite management will consist of one weekend management coordinator
and nine support personnel. Initial management will be performed by the owner and
turned over to an assistant manager once the facility reaches suitable profitability. All personnel can be adjusted according to bookings obtained and these figures project personnel costs at Paintball Sport Palace’s anticipated peak operating capacity.

About Gerald Summers—Gerald Summers has had previous experience in a number of small
business settings including ownership of a local automated carwash and a local area
laundromat located on Main Street. Gerald Summers graduated with honors from the
University of Indiana with a degree in business.

He has helped develop several large multiinvestor projects and is currently a participant in a restaurant site location team. Previously,Gerald has worked in the insurance industry as a commercial lines underwriter. He lives in the Cleveland area with his wife and two children.

Management Compensation—Initially, management will not be compensated until the business can obtain a suitable level of profitability. Once that occurs and all reinvestment has been made, the current shareholders will be offered a chance to redeem their holdings at a level exceeding the par value of the stock.

If that option is not exercised and no stock can be bought back from any of the current shareholders, then compensation will be divided pro-rata according to shareholder equity in the business. The owner is not expected to draw a salary for the duration of the operation of the business, instead choosing to take the pro-rata portion of anticipated profits. Not only does this help to insure that the business will reach and maintain profitability, but it will also insure that unnecessary cash flow is not diverted from the business at a critical time during the operation of the facility.

Financial Assumptions—All accounting will be done through an accredited accounting firm using standard accounting practices. All financial reporting and audits that become necessary during the operation of the business will use the actual method of accounting and be backedup with suitable documentation. All specific financial assumptions have been spelled out in the sections listed above.

Financial Forecasts—This business is projected to become profitable during its first year of business and continue moderate growth following its first full year of operation.


As income streams are enhanced, the net profitability is forecasted to rise at a rate approximately 1.5% times greater than at current projections.

Capital Requirements—It has been determined that the initial capital offering will be for 30,000 shares. This offering is believed to represent the minimum capital outlay necessary to get the business up and running and generating revenue. No other capital outlay is necessary at this time; however, a capital reserve pool of $20,000 is available through owner contribution, if it becomes imperative, to add additional capital prior to start-up.

Financial Risks—There are risks associated with any business endeavor. We have tried to minimize risks associated with the development of this project. Even so, there are some considerations worth noting:

Capital development is still in the preliminary phase; however, $10,000 has been pledged for capital investment by a past investor in previous projects.
The owner’s track record with this kind of business has not been established because this is a relatively new type of business to impact the market; yet, the owner of

Paintball Sport Palace has a record for developing businesses similar in size and scope to the one being proposed.

The investment made by shareholders will initially have minimal equity necessary to
secure the business except for a large inventory of equipment that will depreciate in value quickly because of the heavy anticipated use of the equipment.

Investment Requirements—The initial private offering will be based on the expected par value of $1.00 per share. One hundred thousand shares will be available immediately with 51% held in reserve for management ownership. Thirty thousand shares will be offered in exchange for investment capital at its par value rate. Ten thousand shares have already been pledged and tentatively purchased by an investor at the shares expected par value.

The shares purchased will convey genuine ownership and voting rights within the organizational structure and will entitle the shareholder to a dividend of profits based on ownership of the business. The shares
may be redeemed at par value at any time for any shareholder willing to divest themselves of ownership; however, share redemption will be at the initiative of the shareholder and will not be forced upon them.

A. All shareholders retain rights to the company, which are fully transferrable and assignable according to their individual disposition of shares.

B. Shares will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and, even though total share distribution is expected to be set at 30,000 shares, nothing in this offering will prohibit the sale of up to 49,000 shares or more of the stock if it becomes necessary for capital outlay purposes.

C. Ownership of shares conveys specific legal rights and remedies. Proper legal representation should be obtained if necessary.

D. This is a private offering and the number of investors shall be limited to 35 shareholders or less to avoid any conflicts with the securities laws of the United States. The predominant state law authority for all disputes arising among shareholders will be Ohio State law.

Valuation of Business—The business will be valued according to the aggregate amount of all building acquisitions, cash on hand, accounts receivable, furniture / fixtures purchases, and all capital outlays divided by the par value of the stock. The total valuation of the company shall be obtained with the oversight of an accredited accounting firm and at the request of any shareholder of the business at any time.

Income Projection Sheet

OFFERING REVENUE Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug

Total sales 2,000 2,000 2,000 4,400 6,800 9,900 9,900 9,900
Cost of sales 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
Gross profit 1,700 1,700 1,700 4,100 6,500 9,600 9,600 9,600


Salaries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Payroll 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,500 3,000 3,000 3,000
Accounting 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Legal 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
Insurance 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200
Advertising (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300)
Automobile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Office misc. 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
General miscellaneous 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

Rent 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Utilities 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Permits 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Loan repay 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Phone 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Fax/comp. 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
Postage 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
General miscellaneous 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50

All Expenses 2,530 2,530 2,530 2,530 3,030 4,530 4,530 4,530

Net Profit before taxes-830 -830 -830 1,570 3,470 5,070 5,070 5,070




Sep Oct Nov Dec
7,000 4,400 2,000 2,000
300 300 300 300
6,700 4,100 1,700 1,700
0 0 0 0
2,000 1,500 1,000 1,000
100 100 100 100
80 80 80 80
200 200 200 200
(300) (300) (300) (300)
0 0 0 0
50 50 50 50
200 200 200 200
500 500 500 500
100 100 100 100
50 50 50 50
100 100 100 100
50 50 50 50
30 30 30 30
20 20 20 20
50 50 50 50
3,530 3,030 2,530 2,530
3,170 1,070 -830 -830

REVENUE Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug
Total sales 2,000 2,000 2,000 4,400 6,800 9,900 9,900 9,900
Cost of sales 300 300 300 300 300 300 300 300
Gross profit 1,700 1,700 1,700 4,100 6,500 9,600 9,600 9,600

Salaries 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Payroll 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,500 3,000 3,000 3,000
Accounting 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Legal 80 80 80 80 80 80 80 80
Insurance 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200
Advertising (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300) (300)
Automobile 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Office misc. 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
General miscellaneous 200 200 200 200 200 200 200 200

Rent 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500
Utilities 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Permits 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Loan repay 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Phone 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Fax/comp. 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30
Postage 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
General miscellaneous 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
All Expenses 2,530 2,530 2,530 2,530 3,030 4,530 4,530 4,530
Net Profit before -830 -830 -830 1,570 3,470 5,070 5,070 5,070

Six-Month Cash Flow Projection

May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Seasonly Adjusted

Cash on hand $30,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Cash receipts 6,800 9,900 9,900 9,900 7,000 4,400
Total cash available 36,800 9,900 9,900 9,900 7,000 4,400
Cash paid out/fixed expenses 3,890 3,930 3,930 3,930 2,930 2,430
Cash paid out/capital purchases 22,000 500 500 500 500 500
Total cash paid out for all expenses 25,890 4,430 4,430 4,430 3,430 2,930
Cash position/end of season $10,910 $5,470 $5,470 $5,470 $3,570 $1,470


Assets Liabilities

Current Assets Current Liabilities
Cash $1,000 Accounts payable $0
Petty cash $100 Notes payable $0
Accounts receivable $0 Interest payable $0
Inventory $0 Taxes payable $0
Short-term investments $3,500 Sales tax $0
Long-term investments $16,500 Payroll accrual $0
Fixed assets Long-term notes $0
Land $0 Total liabilities $0
Buildings $0 NET WORTH (owner equity)
Improvements $0 Proprietorship equity $21,100
Equipment $0 Partnership equity $0
Fixtures $0 Capital stock $0
Automobile $0 Surplus paid (earnings) $0
Other assets $0 Total net worth $0

Total assets $21,100
Total liabilities & Total net worth $21,100
Balance Sheet (for Start-Up)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey

In households with incomes under $15,000 per year, 35.5% of women and 20.7% of men suffered violence from an intimate partner.

43% of women and 26% of men in multiracial non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

39% of women and 18.6% of men in American Indian/Alaska Native households suffered partner violence.

26.8% of women and 15.5% of men in white non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

29.2% of women and 23.3% of men in black non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

20.5% of women and 15.5% of men in Hispanic households suffered partner violence.

CDC Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence

Each year, IPV results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men.

23.6% of women and 11.5% of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization.

Highest percentage for women is adults aged 45-54 (31.2%)

Highest percentage for men is adults aged 25-34 (21.4%)

General Statistics
On the average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.

92% of women say that reducing domestic violence and sexual assault should be at the top of any formal efforts taken on behalf of women today.

1 out of 3 women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.

1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. Abused girls are significantly more likely to get involved in other risky behaviors. They are 4 to 6 times more likely to get pregnant and 8 to 9 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide.

1 in 3 teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, slapped, choked or physically hurt by his/her partner.

As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

Violence against women costs companies $72.8 million annually due to lost productivity.
Ninety-four percent of the offenders in murder-suicides were male.

Seventy-four percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner(spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend). Of these, 96 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.

Most murder-suicides with three or more victims involved a "family annihilator" -- a subcategory of intimate partner murder-suicide. Family annihilators are murderers who kill not only their wives/girlfriends and children, but often other family members as well, before killing themselves.

Seventy-five percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home.

The National Domestic Violence: Abusive Relationship Test

Embarrasses you with put-downs?
Looks at you or act in ways that scare you?
Controls what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
Stops you from seeing your friends or family members?
Takes your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
Makes all of the decisions?
Tells you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
Prevents you from working or attending school?
Acts like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
Destroys your property or threaten to kill your pets?
Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
Shoves you, slaps you, chokes you, or hits you?
Forces you to try and drop charges?
Threatens to commit suicide?
Threatens to kill you?
If you answered 'yes' to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship. For support and more information please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799 SAFE (7233) or at TTY 1-800-787-3224.
Memphis Area Domestic Violence-Related Charities

Sophia’s HouseAssociated Catholic Charities
(901) 728-4229, Angela at Sophia’s House (901) 722-4700, Associated Catholic Charities
A local charity whose goals include:
Providing emergency, long-term housing for victims and their children
Rehabilitating victims to prevent future abusive relationships
Counseling victims who also have drug or alcohol-related issues

YWCA of Memphis
(901) 323-2211 (901) 725-4277 Crisis Hotline
A local arm of the national YWCA whose goals include:
Empowering women and eliminating racism through Christian values
Providing services to thousands of local domestic violence victims (women, children) including counseling, food, court advocacy, and shelter

(212) 645-8329 (510) 841-4025
A national and global grass-roots effort whose goals include:
Educating the public to stop violence against women and girls
Raising awareness of and money for domestic violence programs
already in place with new and/or refurbished events
Teaching through testimonials and other media by Eve Ensler
from her global interviews with victims from different cultures

The Exchange Club Family Center
(901) 726-2200 24-hour hotline
A local organization whose goals include:
Educating the public to end family violence
Monitoring protective family visitations for families in recovery or crisis

CAAP, Cocaine and Alcohol Awareness Program
(901) 794-0915 (901) 272-2221 Domestic Violence Hotline
A local organization whose goals include:
Providing a variety of behavioral health services to a diverse client base
Providing a 24-hour crisis center and counseling services
Advocating victims’ rights

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


WASHINGTON – Barack Obama was elected the nation's first black president Tuesday night in a historic triumph that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself.

The son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, the Democratic senator from Illinois sealed his victory by defeating Republican Sen. John McCain in a string of wins in hard-fought battleground states — Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Iowa.

A huge crowd in Grant Park in Chicago erupted in jubilation at the news of Obama's victory. Some wept.

McCain called his former rival to concede defeat — and the end of his own 10-year quest for the White House. "The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly," McCain told disappointed supporters in Arizona.

Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, will take their oaths of office as president and vice president on Jan. 20, 2009.

As the 44th president, Obama will move into the Oval Office as leader of a country that is almost certainly in recession, and fighting two long wars, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan.

The popular vote was close, but not the count in the Electoral College, where it mattered most.

There, Obama's audacious decision to contest McCain in states that hadn't gone Democratic in years paid rich dividends.

Obama has said his first order of presidential business will be to tackle the economy. He has also pledged to withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq within 16 months.

Fellow Democrats rode his coattails to larger majorities in both houses of Congress. They defeated incumbent Republicans and won open seats by turn.

The 47-year-old Illinois senator was little known just four years ago. A widely praised speech at the Democratic National Convention, delivered when he was merely a candidate for the Senate, changed that.

Overnight he became a sought-after surrogate campaigner, and he had scarcely settled into his Senate seat when he began preparing for his run for the White House.

A survey of voters leaving polling places on Tuesday showed the economy was by far the top Election Day issue. Six in 10 voters said so, and none of the other top issues — energy, Iraq, terrorism and health care — was picked by more than one in 10.

"May God bless whoever wins tonight," President Bush told dinner guests at the White House, where his tenure runs out on Jan. 20.

The Democratic leaders of Congress celebrated in Washington.

"It is not a mandate for a party or ideology but a mandate for change," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California: "Tonight the American people have called for a new direction. They have called for change in America."

Shortly after 11 p.m. in the East, The Associated Press count showed Obama with 338 electoral vote, well over the 270 needed for victory. McCain had 127 after winning states that comprised the normal Republican base.

The nationwide popular vote was remarkably close. Totals from 58 percent of the nation's precincts showed Obama with 51 percent and McCain with 47.9.

Interviews with voters suggested that almost six in 10 women were backing Obama nationwide, while men leaned his way by a narrow margin. Just over half of whites supported McCain, giving him a slim advantage in a group that Bush carried overwhelmingly in 2004.

Monday, November 3, 2008


HONOLULU – Barack Obama's grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86.

Obama announced the news from the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C. The joint statement with his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng said Dunham died late Sunday night after a battle with cancer.

"She's gone home," Obama said as tens of thousands of rowdy supporters at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte grew silent in an evening drizzle.

"And she died peacefully in her sleep with my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I'm not going to talk about it too long because it is hard for me to talk about."

But he said he wanted people to know a little about her — that she lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars, working the second on a bomber assembly line with a baby at home and a husband serving his country. He said she was humble and plain spoken, one of the "quiet heroes that we have all across America" working hard and hoping to see their children and grandchildren thrive.

"That's what we're fighting for," Obama said.

Obama learned of Dunham's death Monday morning while he was campaigning in Jacksonville, Fla. He went ahead with campaign appearances. The family said a private ceremony would be held later.

"So many of us were hoping and praying that his grandmother would have the opportunity to witness her grandson become our next president," said Hawaii state Rep. Marcus Oshiro, an Obama supporter. "What a bittersweet victory it will be for him. Wow."

Republican John McCain issued condolences to his opponent. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives," the statement by John and Cindy McCain said.

Last month, Obama took a break from campaigning and flew to Hawaii to be with Dunham as her health declined.

Obama said the decision to go to Hawaii was easy to make, telling CBS that he "got there too late" when his mother died of ovarian cancer in 1995 at 53, and wanted to make sure "that I don't make the same mistake twice."

Outside the apartment building where Dunham died, reporters and TV cameras lined the sidewalk as two police officers were posted near the elevator. Signs hanging in the apartment lobby warned the public to keep out.

The Kansas-born Dunham and her husband, Stanley, raised their grandson for several years so he could attend school in Honolulu while their daughter and her second husband lived overseas. Her influence on Obama's manner and the way he viewed the world was substantial, the candidate himself told millions watching him accept his party's nomination in Denver in August.

"She's the one who taught me about hard work," he said. "She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me."

Michelle Obama's voice choked with emotion during a campaign appearance in Colorado as she asked people to remember the woman her husband called "Toot," a version of the Hawaiian word for grandmother, tutu.

"Say a prayer for Toot and thank her for raising Barack Obama. I think she did an amazing job," Obama told about 2,500 people at a suburban Denver high school gym.

Madelyn and Stanley Dunham married in 1940, a few weeks before she graduated from high school. Their daughter, Stanley Ann, was born in 1942. After several moves to and from California, Texas, Washington and Kansas, Stanley Dunham's job landed the family in Hawaii.

It was there that Stanley Ann later met and fell in love with Obama's father, a Kenyan named Barack Hussein Obama. They had met in Russian class at the University of Hawaii. Their son was born in August 1961, but the marriage didn't last long. She later married an Indonesian, Lolo Soetoro, another university student she met in Hawaii.

Obama moved to Indonesia with his mother and stepfather at age 6. But in 1971, her mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with her parents. He stayed with the Dunhams until he graduated from high school in 1979.

In his autobiography, Obama wrote fondly of playing basketball on a court below his grandparents' 10th-floor Honolulu apartment, and looking up to see his grandmother watching.

It was the same apartment Obama visited on annual holiday trips to Hawaii, a weeklong vacation from his campaign in August, and his pre-election visit in October. Family members said his grandmother could not travel because of her health.

Madelyn Dunham, who took university classes but to her chagrin never earned a degree, nonetheless rose from a secretarial job at the Bank of Hawaii to become one of the state's first female bank vice presidents.

"Every morning, she woke up at 5 a.m. and changed from the frowsy muumuus she wore around the apartment into a tailored suit and high-heeled pumps," Obama wrote.

After her health took a turn for the worse, her brother said on Oct. 21 that she had already lived long enough to see her "Barry" achieve what she'd wanted for him.

"I think she thinks she was important in raising a fine young man," Charles Payne, 83, said in a brief telephone interview from his Chicago home. "I doubt if it would occur to her that he would go this far this fast. But she's enjoyed watching it."

Stanley Dunham died in 1992, while Obama's mother died in 1995. His father is also deceased.

When Obama was young, he and his grandmother toured the United States by Greyhound bus, stopping at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Disneyland and Chicago, where Obama would years later settle.

It was an incident during his teenage years that became one of Obama's most vivid memories of Toot. She had been aggressively panhandled by a man and she wanted her husband to take her to work. When Obama asked why, his grandfather said Madelyn Dunham was bothered because the panhandler was black.

The words hit the biracial Obama "like a fist in my stomach," he wrote later. He was sure his grandparents loved him deeply. "And yet," he added, "I knew that men who might easily have been my brothers could still inspire their rawest fears."

Obama referred to the incident again when he addressed race in a speech in March during a controversy over his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. "I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother," he said.

Dunham was "a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world but who once confessed her fear of black men who passed her on the street."

Still, much of who Obama is comes from his grandmother, said his half sister.

"From our grandmother, he gets his pragmatism, his levelheadedness, his ability to stay centered in the eye of the story," she told The Associated Press. "His sensible, no-nonsense (side) is inherited from her."

Madelyn Lee Payne was born to Rolla and Leona Payne in October 1922 in Peru, Kan., but lived much of her childhood in nearby Augusta.

She was the oldest of four children, and she loved to read everything from James Hilton's "Lost Horizon" to Agatha Christie's "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd."

Dunham and her husband were "vicious" bridge players, according to her brother Jack. After retirement, the two of them would take island cruises and do little but play bridge and a more difficult version called duplicate bridge.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"The Disenfranchisement of the African-American Males, 18 to 35" by Dr. Ron Davis

Dr. Ron Davis currently serves as the founding director of the JAMAR Institute, a consultant group dedicated to improving the genocidal conditions of at-risk communities. Dr. Davis’ premier research, The Disenfranchisement of African American Males, 18 to 35, is affecting change across the country.

Dr. Davis possesses an extensive work history that includes professorship at Fisk University, Strayer University and LeMoyne-Owen College. He has served as a researcher of Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Oncology. Dr. Davis has experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, and state director/NCLB specialist.

Currently, Dr. Davis is in service to Strayer University as the Dean of the Shelby Oaks Campus, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dr. Davis’ academic endeavors have awarded the following degrees: Bachelor of Science in Physical Science, Master of Education, Master of Arts in Technical Writing, and a Doctorate in Policy Studies.

Dr. Davis enjoys writing and exercising in his spare time. He and his wife, Joyce, of ten years have six children. Dr. Davis and his family reside in Memphis, Tennessee.

Order a copy of “The Disenfranchisement of the African-American Males”

Monday, October 27, 2008


How Can I Tell If a Friend or a Loved One Has a Problem With Alcohol, Marijuana, or Other Illicit Drugs?
Sometimes it is tough to tell. Most people won't walk up to someone they're close to and ask for help. In fact, they will probably do everything possible to deny or hide the problem. But, there are certain warning signs that may indicate that a family member or friend is using drugs and drinking too much alcohol.

If your friend or loved one has one or more of the following signs, he or she may have a problem with drugs or alcohol:

Getting high on drugs or getting drunk on a regular basis
Lying about things, or the amount of drugs or alcohol they are using
Avoiding you and others in order to get high or drunk
Giving up activities they used to do such as sports, homework, or hanging out with friends who don't use drugs or drink
having to use more marijuana or other illicit drugs to get the same effects constantly talking about using drugs or drinking
believing that in order to have fun they need to drink or use marijuana or other drugs
pressuring others to use drugs or drink
getting into trouble with the law
taking risks, including sexual risks and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
feeling run-down, hopeless, depressed, or even suicidal
suspension from school for an alcohol- or drug-related incident
missing work or poor work performance because of drinking or drug use
Many of the signs, such as sudden changes in mood, difficulty in getting along with others, poor job or school performance, irritability, and depression, might be explained by other causes. Unless you observe drug use or excessive drinking, it can be hard to determine the cause of these problems. Your first step is to contact a qualified alcohol and drug professional in your area who can give you further advice.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Problem with Drugs or Alcohol? How Can I Tell if I Have a Problem with Drugs or Alcohol?

Drug and alcohol problems can affect every one of us regardless of age, sex, race, marital status, place of residence, income level, or lifestyle.
You may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, if:
You can't predict whether or not you will use drugs or get drunk.
You believe that in order to have fun you need to drink and/or use drugs.
You turn to alcohol and/or drugs after a confrontation or argument, or to relieve uncomfortable feelings.
You drink more or use more drugs to get the same effect that you got with smaller amounts.
You drink and/or use drugs alone.
You remember how last night began, but not how it ended, so you're worried you may have a problem.
You have trouble at work or in school because of your drinking or drug use.
You make promises to yourself or others that you'll stop getting drunk or using drugs.
You feel alone, scared, miserable, and depressed.
If you have experienced any of the above problems, take heart, help is available. More than a million Americans like you have taken charge of their lives and are living healthy and drug-free.

How Can I Get Help?

You can get help for yourself or for a friend or loved one from numerous national, State, and local organizations, treatment centers, referral centers, and hotlines throughout the country. There are various kinds of treatment services and centers.

For example, some may involve outpatient counseling, while others may be 3- to 5-week-long inpatient programs.

While you or your friend or loved one may be hesitant to seek help, know that treatment programs offer organized and structured services with individual, group, and family therapy for people with alcohol and drug abuse problems. Research shows that when appropriate treatment is given, and when clients follow their prescribed program, treatment can work.

By reducing alcohol and/or drug abuse, treatment reduces costs to society in terms of medical care, law enforcement, and crime. More importantly, treatment can help keep you and your loved ones together.

Remember, some people may go through treatment a number of times before they are in full recovery. Do not give up hope.

Each community has its own resources. Some common referral sources that are often listed in the phone book are:

Community Drug Hotlines
Local Emergency Health Clinics, or Community Treatment Services
City/Local Health Departments
Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Al-Anon/Alateen


Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and tends to be the first illegal drug teens use.

The physical effects of marijuana use, particularly on developing adolescents, can be acute.

Short-term effects of using marijuana:

difficulty keeping track of time, impaired or reduced short-term memory
reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car
increased heart rate
potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease
bloodshot eyes
dry mouth and throat
decreased social inhibitions
paranoia, hallucinations
Long-term effects of using marijuana:
enhanced cancer risk decrease in
testosterone levels for men; also lower sperm counts and difficulty having children
increase in testosterone levels for women; also increased risk of infertility
diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect
Marijuana blocks the messages going to your brain and alters your perceptions and emotions, vision, hearing, and coordination.
A recent study of 1,023 trauma patients admitted to a shock trauma unit found that one-third had marijuana in their blood.


Alcohol abuse is a pattern of problem drinking that results in health consequences, social, problems, or both. However, alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, refers to a disease that is characterized by abnormal alcohol-seeking behavior that leads to impaired control over drinking.

Short-term effects of alcohol use include:

distorted vision, hearing, and coordination
altered perceptions and emotions
impaired judgment
bad breath; hangovers
Long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include:
loss of appetite
vitamin deficiencies
stomach ailments
skin problems
sexual impotence
liver damage
heart and central
nervous system damage memory loss
How Do I Know If I, or Someone Close, Has a Drinking Problem?
Here are some quick clues:
Inability to control drinking--it seems that regardless of what you decide beforehand, you frequently wind up drunk
Using alcohol to escape problems
A change in personality--turning from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde
A high tolerance level--drinking just about everybody under the table
Blackouts--sometimes not remembering what happened while drinking
Problems at work or in school as a result of drinking
Concern shown by family and friends about drinking
If you have a drinking problem, or if you suspect you have a drinking problem, there are many others out there like you, and there is help available. Talk to school counselor, a friend, or a parent.

HERE ARE THE STRAIGHT FACTS...About Methamphetamine
Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug chemically related to amphetamine but with stronger effects on the central nervous system. Street names for the drug include "speed," "meth," and "crank."

Methamphetamine is used in pill form, or in powdered form by snorting or injecting. Crystallized methamphetamine known as "ice," "crystal," or "glass," is a smokable and more powerful form of the drug.

The effects of methamphetamine use include:

increased heart rate and blood pressure
increased wakefulness; insomnia
increased physical activity
decreased appetite
respiratory problems
extreme anorexia
hypothermia, convulsions, and cardiovascular problems, which can lead to death
irritability, confusion, tremors
anxiety, paranoia, or violent behavior
can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes
Methamphetamine users who inject the drug and share needles are at risk for acquiring HIV/AIDS.
Methamphetamine is an increasingly popular drug at raves (all night dancing parties), and as part of a number of drugs used by college-aged students. Marijuana and alcohol are commonly listed as additional drugs of abuse among methamphetamine treatment admissions. Most of the methamphetamine-related deaths (92%) reported in 1994 involved methamphetamine in combination with at least one other drug, most often alcohol (30%), heroin (23%), or cocaine (21%). Researchers continue to study the long-term effects of methamphetamine use.

HERE ARE THE STRAIGHT FACTS...About Cocaine and Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is a white powder that comes from the leaves of the South American coca plant. Cocaine is either "snorted" through the nasal passages or injected intravenously. Cocaine belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants, which tend to give a temporary illusion of limitless power and energy that leave the user feeling depressed, edgy, and craving more. Crack is a smokable form of cocaine that has been chemically altered. Cocaine and crack are highly addictive. This addiction can erode physical and mental health and can become so strong that these drugs dominate all aspects of an addict's life.

Physical risks associated with using any amount of cocaine and crack:

increases in blood
pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature
heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure
hepatitis or AIDS through shared needles
brain seizures
reduction of the body's ability to resist and combat infection
Psychological risks:
violent, erratic, or paranoid behavior
hallucinations and "coke bugs"--a sensation of imaginary insects crawling over the skin
confusion, anxiety and depression, loss of interest in food or sex
"cocaine psychosis"--losing touch with reality, loss of interest in friends, family, sports, hobbies, and other activities
Some users spend hundred or thousands of dollars on cocaine and crack each week and will do anything to support their habit. Many turn to drug selling, prostitution, or other crimes.
Cocaine and crack use has been a contributing factor in a number of drownings, car crashes, falls, burns, and suicides.
Cocaine and crack addicts often become unable to function sexually.
Even first time users may experience seizures or heart attacks, which can be fatal.

Hallucinogenic drugs are substances that distort the perception of objective reality. The most well-known hallucinogens include phencyclidine, otherwise known as PCP, angel dust, or loveboat; lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD or acid; mescaline and peyote; and psilocybin, or "magic" mushrooms.

Under the influence of hallucinogens, the senses of direction, distance, and time become disoriented. These drugs can produce unpredictable, erratic, and violent behavior in users that sometimes leads to serious injuries and death. The effect of hallucinogens can last for 12 hours.

LSD produces tolerance, so that users who take the drug repeatedly must take higher and higher doses in order to achieve the same state of intoxication. This is extremely dangerous, given the unpredictability of the drug, and can result in increased risk of convulsions, coma, heart and lung failure, and even death.

Physical risks associated with using hallucinogens:

increased heart rate and blood pressure
sleeplessness and tremors
lack of muscular coordination
sparse, mangled, and incoherent speech
decreased awareness of touch and pain that can result in self-inflicted injuriesconvulsions
coma; heart and lung failure
Psychological risks associated with using hallucinogens:
a sense of distance and estrangement
depression, anxiety, and paranoia
violent behavior
confusion, suspicion, and loss of control
behavior similar to schizophrenic psychosis
catatonic syndrome whereby the user becomes mute, lethargic, disoriented, and makes meaningless repetitive movements
Everyone reacts differently to hallucinogens--there's no way to predict if you can avoid a "bad trip."


Inhalants refer to substances that are sniffed or huffed to give the user an immediate head rush or high. They include a diverse group of chemicals that are found in consumer products such as aerosols and cleaning solvents. Inhalant use can cause a number of physical and emotional problems, and even one-time use can result in death.

Using inhalants even one time can put you at risk for:

sudden death
visual hallucinations and severe mood swings
numbness and tingling of the hands and feet
Prolonged use can result in:
headache, muscle weakness, abdominal pain
decrease or loss of sense of smell
nausea and nosebleeds
violent behaviors
irregular heartbeat
liver, lung, and kidney impairment
irreversible brain damage
nervous system damage
dangerous chemical imbalances in the body
involuntary passing of urine and feces
Short-term effects of inhalants include:
heart palpitations
breathing difficulty
Remember, using inhalants, even one time, can kill you. According to medical experts, death can occur in at least five ways:
asphyxia--solvent gases can significantly limit available oxygen in the air, causing breathing to stop;
suffocation--typically seen with inhalant users who use bags;
choking on vomit;
careless behaviors in potentially dangerous settings; and
sudden sniffing death syndrome, presumably from cardiac arrest.

Messages for Teenagers

Know the law.

Methamphetamines, marijuana, hallucinogens, crack, cocaine, and many other substances are illegal. Depending on where you are caught, you could face high fines and jail time. Alcohol is illegal to buy or possess if you are under 21.

Be aware of the risks. Drinking or using drugs increases the risk of injury. Car crashes, falls, burns, drowning, and suicide are all linked to drug use.

Keep your edge. Drug use can ruin your looks, make you depressed, and contribute to slipping grades.

Play it safe. One incident of drug use could make you do something that you will regret for a lifetime.

Do the smart thing. Using drugs puts your health, education, family ties, and social life at risk.
Get with the program. Doing drugs isn't "in" anymore.

Think twice about what you're advertising when you buy and wear T-shirts, hats, pins, or jewelry with a pot leaf, joint, blunt, beer can, or other drug paraphernalia on them. Do you want to promote something that can cause cancer? make you forget things? or make it difficult to drive a car?

Face your problems. Using drugs won't help you escape your problems, it will only create more.
Be a real friend. If you know someone with a drug problem, be part of the solution. Urge your friend to get help.

Remember, you DON'T NEED drugs or alcohol. If you think "everybody's doing it," you're wrong! Over 86% of 12-17 year-olds have never tried marijuana; over 98% have never used cocaine; only about half a percent of them have ever used crack. Doing drugs won't make you happy or popular or help you to learn the skills you need as you grow up. In fact, doing drugs can cause you to fail at all of these things.

Adult Children of Alcoholics(ACA/ACoA)P.O. Box 3216Torrance, CA 90510310-534-1815
Alanon/AlateenFamily Group Headquarters, Inc.P.O. Box 862Midtown StationNew York, NY 10018-08621-800-356-9996 (Literature)1-800-344-2666 (Meeting Referral)
Alcoholics AnonymousWorld Services, Inc.475 Riverside DriveNew York, NY 10115212-870-3400 (Literature)212-647-1680 (Meeting Referral)
CDC National AIDS Hotline1-800-342-AIDS1-800-344-SIDA --Spanish1-800-AIDS-TTY TDD
Center for Substance Abuse TreatmentNational Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Service1-800-662-HELPReferrals To:
1-800-448-3000 BOYSTOWN
Children of Alcoholics Foundation, Inc.555 Madison Avenue, 20th FloorNew York, NY 10022212-754-0656 or 800-359-COAF
Cocaine AnonymousWorld Service Office3740 Overland Avenue, Ste. CLos Angeles, CA 900341-800-347-8998
Families AnonymousP.O. Box 35475Culver CIty, CA 902311-800-736-9805
Hazelden Educational MaterialsPleasant Valley RoadP.O. Box 176Center City, MN 55012-01761-800-328-9000
Marijuana AnonymousWorld ServicesP.O. Box 2912Van Nuys, CA 914041-800-766-6779
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)511 E. John Carpenter FreewaySuite 700Irving, TX 75062214-744-6233Victim Hotline: 800-438-6233 (GET MADD)
NAFARE Alcohol, Drug, and Pregnancy Hotline200 N. Michigan AvenueChicago, IL 606011-800-638-BABY
Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.P.O. Box 2562Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274310-547-5800
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)World Service OfficeP.O. Box 9999Van Nuys, CA 91409818-773-9999
National Association for Children of Alcoholics11426 Rockville Pike, Suite 301Rockville, MD 20852301-468-0985
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug InformationP.O. Box 2345Rockville, MD 20847-2345301-468-26001-800-729-6686
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence12 West 21st Street, 7th FloorNew York, NY 100101-800-NCA-CALL (will refer you to your local treatment information center)
National Families in Action2296 Henderson Mill RoadSuite 204Atlanta, GA 30345770-934-6364National Highway Traffic Safety Information400 7th Street, SWWashington, DC 20590202-366-9550Auto Safety Hotline: 1-800-424-9393
National Women's Health Network514 10th Street, NW, Ste. 400Washington, DC 20004202-682-7814
Rational Recovery SystemsP. O. Box 800Lotus, CA 956511-800-303-CURE
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)P.O. Box 5Buffalo, NY 14215310-821-8430
Women for SobrietyP.O. Box 618Quakertown, PA 189511-800-333-1606

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Oscar Winner Jennifer Hudson's Mother, Brother Slain in Chicago...Possible Domestic Violence!

CHICAGO – The mother and brother of Jennifer Hudson were found shot dead Friday at a South Side home, and police were looking for a missing child who is the nephew of the singer and Oscar-winning actress.

A man suspected in the deaths was in custody Friday night, but the 7-year-old boy had not been located, according to published reports.

William Balfour was being questioned, but Julian King's whereabouts were not known, law enforcement sources told the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Balfour has not been charged.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said investigators were talking to "a number of people in custody" but she declined to elaborate.
An Amber Alert issued Friday said Balfour was a suspect in the double homicide of Darnell Donerson, 57, and Jason Hudson, 29, whose bodies were found Friday afternoon in a South Side home.

Jennifer Hudson's personal publicist, Lisa Kasteler, confirmed the deaths.

"We can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation concerning the deaths of Jennifer Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson," Kasteler said in a statement. "No further comment will be made and the family has asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time."

The deaths appeared to be the result of domestic abuse, Bond said. The Cook County medical examiner's office said autopsies for Donerson and Jason Hudson were pending.

Deputy Chief Joseph Patterson said a family member entered the home around 3 p.m. Friday, found a woman shot on the living room floor and left to notify authorities. Responding officers found a man shot in the bedroom, Patterson said. There was no sign of forced entry.

Police tape blocked access to the large, white house, where a crowd gathered outside. Investigators with dogs and flashlights searched foliage surrounding a church that faces the home.

Authorities issued the Amber Alert for King and sought a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban. The child was the grandson of the female victim, officials said.

The alert said the child was possibly abducted and could be accompanied by Balfour, who was considered armed and dangerous and called a suspect in the double homicide investigation.

Records from the Illinois Department of Corrections show Balfour, 27, is on parole and spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possessing a stolen vehicle. Public records show one of Balfour's addresses as the home where Donerson and Jason Hudson were shot.

The alert said the boy could also be in a teal or green Chrysler Concorde with a temporary license plate, a left front headlight hanging out and scratches on the left side of the vehicle.

The tragedy comes as Hudson, who grew up in Chicago, continues to reach new heights in her career. Her song "Spotlight" is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts and her recently released, self-tiled debut album has been a top seller. She was featured in this year's blockbuster "Sex and the City" movie and is also starring in the hit film "The Secret Life of Bees."

She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007 for her role in "Dreamgirls." In an interview last year with Vogue, Hudson credited her mother with encouraging her to audition for "American Idol," which launched her career.

The singer, whose father died when she was a teenager, described herself as very close to her family. In a recent AP interview she said her family, which includes older siblings Julia and Jason, helped keep her grounded.

"My faith in God and my family, they're very realistic and very normal, they're not into the whole limelight kind of thing, so when I go home to Chicago that's just another place that's home," she said. "I stand in line with everybody else, or, when I go home to my mom I'm just Jennifer, (so she says), 'You get up and you take care of your own stuff.' And I love that; I don't like when people tell you everything you want to hear, I want to hear the truth, you know what I mean."

Hudson recently announced her engagement to David Otunga, best known for his stint on VH1's reality show "I Love New York."