Entertainment

Here’s What We Know So Far About The Untimely Death Of Mexican-American Pitcher Tyler Skaggs

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Less than a week after the unexpected passing of 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs, there is new controversy surrounding the reporting of his death. The Santa Monica Observer sparked widespread outrage when it speculated that Skaggs had died of an opioid overdose. But after receiving a wave of blowback, the California newspaper scrapped the piece and wrote an op-ed explaining why it did so. The explanation has been met with a tepid response from police and the Angels organization.

There are few details surrounding the reason behind Skagg’s death so far.

Credit: @peteabe / Twitter

Tragedy struck the baseball world last week when Skaggs, who is of Mexican descent, was found by the Southlake Police Department unconscious in a hotel room hours before his team was about to play the Texas Rangers. Authorities pronounced the 27-year-old dead at the scene, a police press release said. But there were still many questions about how such a young promising star like Skaggs could be found like this.

Shortly after, the Santa Monica Observer reported that Skaggs may have been getting opioid prescriptions from doctors who were unaware of each other’s treatments. That report was quickly shot down by Texas police who said there was no credible information to support that Skaggs died of an overdose or suicide.

Angels spokesperson, Marie Garvey, said the report was also wrong citing that the investigation is still ongoing at this time. While an autopsy has reportedly been completed, the results of it and a toxicology report will not be released until October.

“This article is categorically incorrect,” Garvey said in a statement. “The cause of death is still under investigation as stated by the Southlake Police Department. We have tried to contact the paper to correct this story but have [been] unsuccessful in our attempts. This sort of reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”

The Op-Ed piece did little to clear things up as many wonder why this was published in the first place.

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The op-ed, published this past Saturday, titled “Why Did We Take Down Our Original Story About The Death of a Ballplayer?” says the publication took down the story due to multiple threats. Santa Monica Observer publisher David Ganezer wrote the op-ed and defended it’s publishing. He said the newspaper’s staff received “multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources,” including “a creepy text message” that was sent to a young female intern’s cellphone.

“She wasn’t frightened about it at all,” Ganezer wrote. “But I was. I’m older, much older; and I know more about how out of hand the potential pile-on is getting in this country.”

“Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails,” Ganezer said. “No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources.

The original article was ultimately scrubbed of the opioid details but Ganezer said in his op-ed it was made clear from the author, Stan Greene, the piece was “speculation.”

This isn’t the first time the newspaper publishes “speculative information.”

Credit: @alden_gonzalez / Twitter

The baseball world is still in mourning over the death of Skaggs and many teammates have shown their respect for their fallen teammate in various ways since last Monday. But for Skagg’s family, the last thing they want at this time is presumptive information being released about him.

According to the Santa Monica Lookout, the Observer has had previous situations where the paper published incorrect stories. This past January, a story ran with the headline, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Retire from the US Supreme Court in January 2019.” This was false. In December 2016, the headline, “Kanye West Appointed Under-Secretary of the Interior After Meeting at Trump Tower” was published, which was also false. Both pieces were written by Greene, who also wrote the article on Skaggs’ passing.

At this time, the paper says they would comment further on the story when Skaggs’ autopsy and toxicology reports are released in October. Maybe by then, we’ll have a more accurate picture on this unfortunate passing.

READ: Trump Put A Stop To The MLB And Cuban Baseball Federation Deal And Here’s Why It Matters

This Team Of Synchronized Swimmers With Down Syndrome Were Denied Access To A Pool For Fear Of Contaminating Other Swimmers

Entertainment

This Team Of Synchronized Swimmers With Down Syndrome Were Denied Access To A Pool For Fear Of Contaminating Other Swimmers

sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Sirenas Especiales (Special Mermaids) is giving girls with Down Syndrome in Mexico a chance to show off their athletic abilities in synchronized swimming. The team and program were organized by Paloma Torres, a former synchronized swimmer from Peru, after she studied educational psychology. Her thesis was on the cognitive benefits of synchronized swimming. With that and a little patience, Sirenas Especiales was born.

Sirenas Especiales is tearing down the stigma and misinformation about people with Down Syndrome.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Coach Paloma Torres knew that people with Down Syndrome are often very creative and flexible. Those two characteristics are perfect for synchronized swimming so she knew that it would be a great idea to get a group of girls together.

However, Torres and Sirenas Especiales immediately faced pushback from local pools in Mexico City because of the girls’ Down Syndrome.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

“I had to find a swimming pool where we could organize regular practices. At first, I couldn’t find anywhere. One pool even refused entry to my swimmers, saying that they might contaminate other swimmers! It was really disheartening at first — both for me and for the girls’ parents,” Torres told France24. “Finally, I found the Alberca Olímpica Francisco Márquez pool, which is located in southern Mexico City. I’ve been training the group there since 2011.”

The team overcame the initial mistreatment from local pools and have been competing in national and international competitions.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Their Instagram is filled with photos of the team holding medal from the various competitions they have participated in. They’ve competed all over Mexico and were recently at the PanAm games to cheer on Mexico’s national synchronizing team.

The team continues to grow with more girls and boys wanting to participate in synchronized swimming.

Credit: sirenasespeciales / Instagram

Torres currently trains about 20 swimmers between 14 and 30. There are three boys who are part of the team and 17 girls, according to France24. It seems clear that the swimmers enjoy their chance to show off their own athletic abilities.

The sport is doing more than just giving them something to do.

Este día tan especial Sirenas Especiales darán entrevista en Capital 21 Canal 21 en TV abierta, no se lo pierdan a las 10:35am en VIVO!!!!! FELIZ DÍA MUNDIAL DEL SINDROME DE DOWN Edith Perez Rocio Hernández Martínez Paloma Torres Montserrat Vega Triny Turcio Blanca Olivia Fontes Machado Araceli Vazquez Loredo Beatriz Mendoza Castañón China Li Lourdes Castellanos Daniel Perez Martinez

Posted by Sirenas Especiales on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This sport helps participants improve their concentration and memory,” Torres told France24. “However, most importantly, this activity helps them integrate socially. They participate regularly in competitions both nationally and internationally, which sometimes include swimmers without disabilities. Our team has won about 50 medals. They become more social and their work is applauded. It’s also important for their families because some of them don’t think that these girls will make something of their lives.”

One thing Sirenas Especiales is doing to changing the narrative around disabilities one synchronized swim at a time.

Credit: Sirenas Especiales / Facebook

The swimmers are showing everyone that you can do anything you set your mind to. There is nothing that can keep them from participating in the sport that they love and enjoy.

Congratulations, swimmers.

We can’t wait to see what you do next.

READ: The Internet Was Having A Collective Sob Fest After A Video Of Young Disabled Man’s Reaction To Getting His First Job Goes Viral

Detroit Millionaire Raises Money For Young Girl’s Funeral After She Died From Vicious Dog Attack

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Detroit Millionaire Raises Money For Young Girl’s Funeral After She Died From Vicious Dog Attack

GoFundMe

On Monday morning, Emma Valentina Hernandez, 9, enjoyed a hearty breakfast, passed her back-to-school physical and spent the afternoon riding her bike in her Detroit neighborhood. That’s when three dogs, described as pit bulls by the police, attacked her in an alley. One of her neighbors heard her screaming and ran to the alley where she laid. Emma’s neighbors all tried to help save her, one even fired a gun and shot one of the dogs.

Her father, Armando, performed CPR on the scene. Today, he says he feels ’empty’ after paramedics were unable to save her. Emma died from her injuries.

Emma Hernandez’s family describes her as “a smart and silly girl… a beautiful soul inside and out.”

@USRealityCheck / Twitter

Emma leaves behind two brothers, ages 12 and 4, who will be returning to the Academy of the Americas without her next week. They’re currently with their abuela in Detroit while their parents grieve.

Just one week before Emma’s death, Armando got into a fight with the dogs’ owner over the inadequate fence enclosure.

@Marlenabobena / Twitter

He told Detroit News that he had warned the owner that his yard fence, the one his dogs eventually lept over to attack Emma, was too flimsy. Neighbors told the outlet that they had filed police reports about the dogs, who seemed too skinny, and were roaming the neighborhood freely.

The dog’s owner is in custody, and the dogs are likely going to be euthanized.

While a bullet didn’t stop the attack, a cement brick was finally enough to scare the dogs away.

@JennSchanzWXYZ / Twitter

“I went and grabbed a brick and threw it right at the dog,” neighbor Edward Cruz told CNN affiliate WXYZ. “They all ran and I stood next to the girl to make sure she was OK and I yelled out for help.”

That’s when Deborah Golden heard the screaming and ran to find Emma laying on her back with bite marks on her neck.

@wxyzdetroit / Twitter

A neighbor quickly called on Armando to come help his daughter. Around the corner from his house, Emma laid in a pool of blood, with Golden performing CPR. Armando applied pressure to the wounds in her neck to help stop the bleeding. The injuries were too severe to be recovered from, and she died at the hospital.

Emma’s injuries were so appalling, counseling services were offered to emergency responders.

Untitled. Digital Image. Chavez Academy. 21 August 2019.

Detroit Police Department Captain Russel Solano told CNN affiliate WDIV, “It’s hard for me not to cry. It’s tough, real tough. We’re talking about a 9-year-old girl who was just out there playing, and now she’s not here.”

“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free,” tía and godmother to Emma, Claudia Stapleton told WDIV.

@freep / Twitter

“This is her neighborhood. She should be able to be free and do what every kid does — walk around, ride their bikes — they shouldn’t be afraid to be in their own neighborhood,” Claudia said, holding a photo of Emma in front of her family’s home and memorial. “This is just very devastating. Very, very hurtful for this family.”

A Detroit millionaire has helped raise nearly $50k for Emma’s funeral costs in less than 24 hours.

@pulte / Twitter

Claudia was on her way to the cemetery to help the family understand the funeral costs for her niece when a friend called to let her know that the funeral was paid for. Founder of The Blight Authority, Bill Pulte, shared the GoFundMe link. A few hours later, he tweeted again, to assure the family that he would personally make sure the family doesn’t have to pay for the funeral.

A warrant is pending for the dogs’ owners but has not been issued.

@wxyzdetroit / Twitter

The Detroit police are handling the investigation, and Detroit Police Chief James Craig is not mincing words in getting justice for Emma. “Certainly the owner has a responsibility when they have violent animals that those animals are to be secure at all times,” Craig said in a press conference Tuesday morning. “I believe that, and if you can’t secure the animal, you shouldn’t have the animal — period, not open for conversation.”

While many sympathizers for Emma have taken to Twitter to call for murder charges against the owner, the prosecutor’s office has not disclosed what charges they are considering.

READ: Authorities Are Investigating The Tragic Death Of A Couple In Front Of Their Son While On Vacation In Guerrero

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