CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s proof one person really can make a difference.
Seventeen years ago, Henry McGhee began a program to help people turn their lives around, and today it is still going strong. CBS 2’s Derrick Young reports.
A Southside recovery home is giving men and women a fresh start.
“I’m working now. I don’t miss work. I have fun at work. It’s just been an all around good experience,” says client Brian Olcikas.
Brian got his job with the help of Henry’s Sober Living House.
The sober living home provides substance-free, safe transition homes for ex offenders and people recovering from addiction.
It was founded in 2001 by Henry McGhee, a recovering drug addict, who has been clean for nineteen years.
Since then more than 8,000 clients have turned their lives around and see a brighter future.
“To see people’s lives changed and turned around. To see people reunited with their families. To see the trust of one’s family being given back to an individual who was once lost,” says McGhee.
“If you’re willing and you really, really want to do something with yourself you can do it, you can,” David Readus, client.
Henry’s sober living house recently opened their first women’s facility and now offers outpatient treatment as well.
Including the new facility, there are now five in the Chicago area.
ONTARIO (CBSLA) — It’s a promise from the larger-than-life NBA dad and reality TV star many doubted, but LaVar Ball kicked off his new basketball league’s inaugural season Thursday with dozens of players hoping the reach their hoop dreams.
“This is my dream, just to play basketball and not worry about nothing,” said Seattle Baller Jamichael Morgan. He is one of 64 players, along with Ball’s son Lamelo, taking part in LaVar’s new, eight-team Junior Basketball Association. Lamelo’s older brother Lonzo currently plays for the Lakers.
JBA is described as an alternative to the NCAA for those who, for whatever reason, cannot attend college.
“This is a big opportunity, not only for kids that come straight out of high school,” said Moises Burgos with the New York Ballers. “You know, there’s kids that think if they don’t go Division 1 college, they think their dreams are over, and, honestly, it’s not so. I thank LaVar a lot for this opportunity.”
The senior Ball knows many doubted him when he set out to create this league, but he said that’s because they didn’t understand what he was trying to do.
“I’m not competing with no G league, not competing with no NCAA. I’m doing my own thing,” Ball told CBS2 News. “When you get a bunch of guys like this, a bunch of dogs all in one room, it’s a beautiful product.”
Fans seem to like what they’ve seen so far.
“To me, it’s innovative,” Marcial Sigila of Rialto told CBS2. “It’s showcasing what the up-and-coming talent is going to provide us.”
“I believe it’s a very exploitative system, the college system forcing kids to play for free before they can chase their dreams,” said Clif Means of Oakland. “Golfers and tennis players and hockey players skip the college process all the time.”
The attendance at the JBA’s inaugural game at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario Thursday was not great, but players are confident more fans will come as the season progresses.
As for Ball, he’s not sweating it. He said if he’d listen to the haters and doubters, he never would have gotten the league off the ground in the first place.
For now, JBA games can only be watched on Facebook Live.
CHICAGO (CBS) — On Thursday, TIME revealed its new cover depicting a crying toddler and President Donald Trump looking at each other. The sentence “Welcome to America,” in white, stands in stark contrast to the cover’s bright red background.
In a tweet on Thursday, TIME wrote: “TIME’s new cover: A reckoning after Trump’s border separation policy: What kind of country are we?”
— TIME (@TIME) June 21, 2018
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer John Moore told TIME of photographing the toddler, “This one was tough for me. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths.” He snapped the image of the two-year-old Honduran girl crying while her mother was detained in McAllen, Texas.
“All I wanted to do was pick her up. But I couldn’t,” he said.
On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order regarding the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy amid nationwide outcry for the Trump White House to roll back the practice of family separation at the U.S. border. Signing the order in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump told reporters in the room that the administration would still continue its “zero tolerance” policy while managing to solve the issue of family separation.
“We are keeping families together and this will solve that problem. At the time we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance, we have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally,” Mr. Trump said.
Hours after Trump signed the Executive Order, a group of about 50 protestors gathered in front of the Art Institute of Chicago to demand the reunification of families that have been separated.
MID-CITY (CBSLA) — If you’re in the market for some cheap pot, you may be in luck, but you better hurry.
Marijuana retailers across the state are seeing themselves forced to sell their cannabis products at a discount ahead of the July 1 deadline that will require products meet new state regulations. Packaging will have to include the product’s potency, where the product came from, and what other ingredients are found in it.
Everything must be tested and the results displayed, or else the product cannot be sold.
That means the stock on-hand might be going for cheap, and someone has to buy it. It’s a burden some consumers are willing to bear.
“It’s not something that I like, but it is something that is happening, so we just have to go with the flow,” Markeena Lee, a patron at Pottery in Mid-City, told CBS2 News.
“You either need to send all that product back to the lab to be tested, or you need to get it off the shelf before July 1st,” said Henry’s Original CEO Jamie Warm. His products already meet the standards for packaging and testing.
However, he said as other dispensaries hurry to get rid of their respective stashes, there is a risk there will be a weed shortage come July.
“Every dispensary, I think, is scrambling to meet the July 1st deadline,” said Warm.
Lee, who uses cannabis for scoliosis, said she’s afraid her products could be harder to find.
“I’m really scared about that because this is really good medicine, and this really, really helps a lot of people,” said Lee.
State regulators said they will not budge on the July 1st deadline, adding they already gave sellers a six-month notice.
KOREATOWN (CBSLA) — A nearly 30-year veteran of the county agency charged with keeping children safe has been arrested, accused of possessing images of children being sexually abused.
Carlos Castillo, 54, of Hollywood was out on bail Wednesday after having been charged of having child pornography. The Los Angeles County Dept. of Children and Family Services confirmed his current position is assistant regional administrator.
A 2016 DCFS newsletter describes Castillo as an “adoption manager.”
The LAPD’s investigation into Castillo reportedly began after a tip was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Police served a search warrant at Castillo’s Hollywood home Tuesday. CBS2 News tried to talk to someone at the residence but received no answer.
Several nearby residents told CBS2 Castillo is a nice man who helps out in the building’s garden and is part of the community. They were shocked by the news.
“Very nice, very friendly is my view of him,” said neighbor Frederic Fournier. “I’m shocked.”
DCFS issued the following statement on the arrest:
“Our mission at the Department of Children and Family Services is to keep kids safe. We recently learned of the arrest of one of our employees for alleged disturbing activity that goes against our mission. We stand ready to assist our partners in law enforcement in their investigation.”
Castillo’s case is being handled by the LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
FRITCH, TX (CBSDFW.COM) – A billboard in Texas has gone viral with a message for folks of a particular political persuasion and now the person who posted the image online – and the billboard company – are receiving threats.
“Liberals, Please continue on I-40 until you have left our great State of Texas,” reads the sign.
Man, Sign Company Threatened After Billboard Message To \’Liberals\’ Goes Viral (Credit Kyle Mccallie / Facebook)
Kyle Mccallie of Fritch, Texas posted the image on his Facebook page yesterday and the post quickly attracted attention on social media. “Billboard 6 miles east of Vega on I-40 east bound! I like it,” Mccallie said in the post.
As of late Wednesday morning, the image was shared more than 15,000 times.
And as the number of shares increased, so too did the death threats. So much so, that the company that owns the billboard, Burkett Outdoor Advertising, is taking it down.
Owner Randy Burkett told CBS 11 News Wednesday afternoon that the unidentified client wants the billboard taken down. “We’re a firm believer in First Amendment rights,” said Burkett. But he said the client told him that his intention was not to divide the country and wanted to remove the billboard.
Mccallie meantime told CBS 11 News he has received at least ten threats from people saying they were going to show up at his house and “snap his neck.” “Lots of hate mail and death threats. But lots of ‘we love it’ also,” said Mccallie.
Mccallie posted one of the threats he allegedly received on his Facebook feed with the message “We’ve gotta hater on our hands!” The message from a person identified as James J Wallace appeared to be a clear threat telling Mccallie to “expect a visit” calling him a “small town country bumpkin” – as well as some other expletives that cannot be printed here. Mccallie responded, “Would you like to have a beer or something? I’m not sure what you’re getting at?”
“I don’t need a gun to snap your neck you little punk,” allegedly read another message sent to Mccallie.
Man, Sign Company Threatened After Billboard Message To ‘Liberals’ Goes Viral (Credit: Kyle Mccallie / Facebook)As the threats continued from Wallace, Mccallie replied, “Just a fair warning due to the price of ammo I can’t afford to give a warning shot so bring a buddy to help out you back in your car…”
Mccallie seems to be taking the situation – and threats – in stride but he says he is keeping an eye out. “I think they are just keyboard warriors and telephone tough guys,” said Maccallie. “If they show up and have beef at my house then I will handle it accordingly.” He has a message for anyone who would show up with ill intentions. “Don’t enter someone else’s property without permission is all I can say!”
According to KYTX-TV, Mccallie saw the sign on Tuesday along a route he travels regularly for work.
Burkett said that Big Texas Steak Ranch will soon be on that billboard in its place.
Burkett said he has received many calls from media and that his website has crashed. He said he has also received threats and that his website has crashed several times.
No word on who the client was that hired Burkett Outdoor Advertising to post the billboard. Burkett said they do not release the names of clients.
KOREATOWN (CBSLA) — Thousands gathered in Koreatown late into the night Tuesday to vote on whether to split the historic neighborhood in two, thereby giving Little Bangladesh its own neighborhood designation.
Koreatown resident James Kim became emotional as he gave CBS2 News his history in the region.
“My father and my grandfather in heaven, watching all these Korean people here, all these people voting — it’s unbelievable,” Kim said as he choked back tears. “It’s really hard for me to hold back the tears.[…] My father’s friends, they brought tiles, roof tiles imported from Korea to make it look like a Korean town.”
“It’s one thing to try to expand, but when you try to take 60 percent-plus out of the community, I think you’re saying, ‘We wanna take over,'” said neighbor Grace Yoo.
Despite the history, some say it should not preclude others from making their roots in the region known, Bangladeshi and otherwise.
“It’s not about more of the voice of Bangladesh, it’s more of the voice of diverse community,” said Maruf Islam. “Diverse community includes Latino, diverse community includes African-American, Filipinos, Koreans, Indonesian, Pakistani, Indian, all nations.”
Neighborhood councils are given thousands of dollars from the city, and they act as the middleman between the city and the community.
Those opposed to a separate Little Bangladesh council say its creation could change K-town.
“This is a huge network, huge population,” said another proponent of the new council. “We want to increase the service.”
City officials say the boundaries of Koreatown will not change if the proposal is passed.
The vote tally is expected next week.
WHITTIER (CBSLA) — A group of recent high school graduates were left holding their bags, literally, after a celebratory trip that was bought and paid for fell through, and now they’re demanding answers and their money back.
Zachary Chavez was “excited” about the trip he was about to take with his fellow grads from La Serna High School in Whittier.
Iris Aguilar, the mother of classmate, booked the 5-day trip to Cancún, Mexico on the Senior Grad Trips website. She asked CBS2 News not show her face on camera.
“I Googled senior trips. This company came up,” said Aguilar. She said she did her due diligence, reading reviews, asking for referrals, and even speaking to the owner of the company George Barragan.
“He, you know, picked up my phone, texts us all the time,” said Aguilar.
The embarrassed mother said she received confirmation numbers for the trip, and everything looked good to go.
However, when the students arrived at LAX Sunday, they found out neither the airline tickets nor the resort stays were actually purchased.
A photo shows the students sitting around the airport terminal with nowhere to go.
A GoFundMe campaign started by Aguilar said the students ” eft crying, upset and truly disappointed not about the money but because they were looking forward to experience Cancun with their friends. They’re all great kids attending college this fall with hefty tuition to pay parents are unable financially to rebook.”
They’re now out thousands of dollars.
“Sad, mad, upset,” Chavez told CBS2 News.
Reporter Jo Kwon emailed the site, called their toll-free number, send a text message to the number listed, and finally called the number.
The outgoing message said Barragan is currently out of the country and asked to leave a reply, but the voicemail inbox was full.
Barragan did send a message to the students’ parents, saying they would be receiving a full refund within the next 30 days.
Zachary’s father Chuck told CBS2 he isn’t holding his breath. “People are scammers,” added Zachary.
For her part, Aguilar said, “I just want this gut to get caught, so that it’s not gonna happen again to some other kids.
As of Tuesday, the GoFundMe campaign had raised $25 of the $40,000 goal.
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Hundreds of young people gathered in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles Tuesday night to remember a rapper killed during an apparent robbery this week, prompting police to declare it an unlawful assembly.
Fans of murdered rapper XXXTentacion descended on trendy Melrose Avenue near Fairfax, shutting down traffic as they danced and lit candles on the street for an artist many said was an inspiration to them.
“He’s a very inspirational person to me, and his music really helped me through, like, really tough times in my life,” fan Lesley Soto told CBS2 News as she held up a drawing dedicated to Florida rapper. “He talks about a lot of real problems and problems he’s going through, as well, that I can relate to, and I think that’s why, like, his music brings me comfort, and it makes me feel more close to him.”
Police in riot gear could be seen firing “less than lethal” rounds to disperse the crowd Tuesday, with hundreds of people running down the street to get away. Some retaliated by throwing objects such as water bottles at the officers.
CBS2 video showed numerous people standing on top of a moving vehicle as it tried to get through the crowd. As officers began firing tear gas rounds, video showed the crowd stampeding down Melrose. At one point, one person jumped onto the sidewalk from a rooftop, landing on a female pedestrian. That woman was injured from the stunt and taken to a hospital to be treated.
The 20-year-old artist, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was killed Monday in an apparent robbery at a motorcycle shop in Deerfield, Florida. He was found shot and pronounced dead at a local hospital.
XXXTentacion made headlines in May when the music-streaming app Spotify announced it was removing the rapper, along with singer R. Kelly, from its playlists due to its anti-hate policy. Onfroy was awaiting trial for allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend at the time of his death.
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Police Dept. needs to do more to prevent suicides in its jails, an internal report said Tuesday.
The LAPD Office of Inspector General said there were four suicides and 102 attempts from 2012 to 2016, City News Service reported.
According to the agency’s document, many inmate cells lack surveillance cameras but have corded telephones inside them, which can be used in suicide attempts. Of the four suicides reported, all were the result of hanging and two involved a corded telephone in the cell, CNS said.
The other two involved inmates hanging themselves with sweaters
“One suicide is too many suicides, and the department is committed to improving employees to intervene in these situations,” Cmdr. Vito Palazzolo said.
The OIG recommended more surveillance of inmates through security cameras and safety checks.
Palozzolo, who oversees the jails, said the LAPD is already adding cameras to every cell and trying to obtain information in inmates’ mental health during intake.
The LAPD said it would analyze the report and respond within 45 days.
Last month, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck got a restraining order against a woman who earlier had thrown what she said were the ashes of her deceased niece Wakeisha Wilson. Wilson, 36, was found unresponsive in her cell during an inmate check on March 27, 2016. Her death was ultimately ruled a suicide.
Wilson’s aunt Sheila Hines-Brim said she threw the ashes on Beck “so he can feel her because he murdered her.” Wilson’s mother has filed a $35 million claim against the City of Los Angeles.