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New data shows that the population in Illinois is on the decline. According to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday, Illinois has lost more people than any other state over the span of a year. Between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, 37,508 people left Illinois. Many of those individuals relocated to other states. “In order to reverse this trend, we need structural reforms to create more jobs, lower property taxes, improve our schools, and enact term limits to fix our broken political system,” said a spokeswoman for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. “The longer the majority party stalls and refuses to compromise, backing the status quo, trends like this will continue.” If the population continues to get smaller, the state could possibly lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Other states that include Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania experienced a population decline as well. Read more.


Texas Axes Planned Parenthood From Medicaid Program

State health officials in Texas have decided to ax Planned Parenthood out of the state’s Medicaid program. On Tuesday, a final legal notice was issued to cut the organization’s Medicaid funding. Planned Parenthood garnered $3.1 million under the program. Within the next 30 days, the money will be taken away. The decision will impact scores of low-income women who seek health and family planning services at the organization. Planned Parenthood representatives say that they will take legal action to prevent the defunding. “Planned Parenthood continues to serve Medicaid patients and will seek a preliminary injunction in an ongoing lawsuit filed in November 2015, following the state’s original threats to take action against Planned Parenthood’s patients,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. The organization has to file an appeal within the next 15 days to put the cut-off day on hold. Read more.


Missouri State Rep. Carjacked In St. Louis

Bruce Franks Jr., a recently elected Missouri state representative and Ferguson activist, found himself in a frightening situation on Monday evening in St. Louis. According to reports Franks, 32, was carjacked at gunpoint outside of a bar. Police officials say that two armed men approached him while he was sitting in his car and stole his cell phones and the vehicle. Franks was left unharmed during the incident. He took to Facebook to post about the encounter. “Some may have heard I was robbed at gun point tonite,” he wrote. “Im glad to be alive, my car and phones and stuff are replaceable! Glad to see my wife and kids…. Glad to be alive… I dont have a phone, and I am ok! Thank you Bryan Walsh for being there!” Read more.


Nina Simone To Be Honored At 2017 Special Merit Awards

The late legendary songstress Nina Simone will be honored at the 2017 Special Merit Awards. She will be one of the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Simone, who passed away in 2003, has been back in the spotlight in recent years after a handful of films about her music career were released. “This year’s Special Merit Awards recipients comprise a prestigious group of diverse and influential creators who have crafted or contributed to some of the most distinctive recordings in music history,” says President and CEO of The Recording Academy, Neil Portnow. “These exceptionally inspiring figures are being honored as legendary performers, creative architects, and technical visionaries. Their outstanding accomplishments and passion for their respective crafts have created a timeless legacy.” Other musicians that will receive the award include Shirley Caesar, Sly Stone, and Ahmad Jamal. Read more.


Business Competition Show For Black Women Comes To Centric

A new television show on Centric will give budding Black women entrepreneurs the platform to pitch their business ideas before a panel of celebrities. The show, titled Queen Boss, will be hosted by Tracey Edmonds. The panelist lineup includes Vanessa Simmons, Lauren Lake, Kandi Burruss, Carla Hall, Mikki Taylor, Lisa Price, Rakia Reynolds, Angela Benton and Robin Wilson. “It’s a reality competition show where we’ll be taking one start-up company and giving them the opportunity of a lifetime by giving them funding and invaluable advice,” said Vanessa Simmons. “I’m hoping it will start some kind of movement towards just motivating each other.  We need to uplift each other and empower each other than compete.” Queen Boss is slated to premiere on Centric on January 14 at 10:00 PM ET. Read more.

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Kentucky Gov. Sues Planned Parenthood

Zoe Saldana’s Use Of Dark Makeup In Nina Simone Biopic Sparks Colorism Controversy

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