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The Uninspired ‘Cry Macho’ Will Leave You Wistful for Clint Eastwood’s Past Work

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The Uninspired ‘Cry Macho’ Will Leave You Wistful for Clint Eastwood’s Past Work
Clint Eastwood in Cry Macho. Claire Folger/WB

The title character in Cry Macho is not the film’s 91-year-old star. No, Macho is a rooster— a fighting cock who, it’s worth noting, gets into an equal amount of fisticuffs with the movie’s nondescript bad guys as Clint Eastwood’s retired rodeo rider and ranch hand does, which is to say one.

That Eastwood, who as the movie’s director is helming his 22nd film since winning a Best Picture Oscar for 1992’s Unforgiven, parcels out some of the traditional duties of a leading man to a feathered farm animal is quite the practical decision given his earned limitations at this point in his career. But it also speaks to the profound weirdness that has occasionally bubbled to the surface as Eastwood explores his eighth decade as a creatively active media idol.


Cry Macho ★★
(2/4 stars)
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Written by: Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash (screenplay); N. Richard Nash (novel)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Eduardo Minett, Dwight Yoakam, Natalia Traven, and Fernanda Urrejola
Running time: 103 mins.


Still, while moments like the hero chicken—and the fact that the nonagenarian at the center of Cry Macho is presented as a potential love interest for not one but two younger women—are profoundly oddball, Eastwood’s latest never quite reaches the level of accidental eccentricity of, say, his 2019 drug-running feature The Mule. Instead, Eastwood’s return to the Western milieu, which hits theaters on Sept. 17 and will play on HBO Max’s ad-free tier for a month, is a dramatically turgid and thematically thin rumination on his own iconography in its twilight.

In what will prove dispiriting to those of us trying to convince their elderly parents to give up their car keys, Cry Macho is a road picture.

Eastwood plays Mike Milo, who has been tasked by his hot-headed former boss (Dwight Yoakam) to motor down from Texas to Mexico City to retrieve the former boss’ estranged teenage son (Eduardo Minett, a Mexican television actor making his U.S. debut). A supposed wild child with a penchant for cock fighting (unfortunately, he is given no further personality traits), Yoakam’s character claims the young man is being abused by his mother (Fernanda Urrejola) and her various suitors.

Eastwood knows in his bones certain fundamentals of his craft. He and his editor Hughes Winborne (an Oscar winner for 2004’s Crash) can pace a film so that it never drags, even when it ambles at its own deliberate pace. Eastwood allows his DP, Marvel Universe mainstay Ben Davis, to capture the rugged beauty of the desert at twilight in all its poetic sparseness.

But Eastwood completely whiffs on other aspects paramount to the success of the film in a manner that he rarely did over the course of his storied career but has from time to time in recent years. (See—or rather don’t—2018’s The 15:17 to Paris.)

Most of the film’s supporting performances are overcooked in a way that feels particularly glaring given Eastwood’s well-noted taste for minimalism. (Yoakam, a reliable antagonist in Southern Gothic and Western films since Billy Bob Thornton cast him in Sling Blade in 1996, is an exception.)

A modern master at redeeming flawed characters with morally murky pasts, Eastwood and his Gran Torino screenwriter Nick Schenk (working from a script by the late novelist N. Richard Nash) imbues little messy or complicated life in their rendering of a wizened one-time ranch hand who keeps to himself. Instead, save for a tossed-off line about his past addiction to booze and pills, he is given a tragic backstory involving his wife and child that gives the character an unfortunate victim of circumstances aura.

Even Eastwood’s often regressive but sometimes interesting politics, front and center in a polarizing manner in his 2019 telling of the Atlanta Olympics bombing Richard Jewell, gets a rather uninspired platform here. The two adult women in the film are presented as either overtly licentious or cloyingly maternal, with no shading given to either characterization.

“There’s no cure for old,” Milo says in a response to a Mexican couple seeking his medical advice for their listless dog.

Perhaps not, but so much of Eastwood’s career over the last two decades has proven that his age and experience has incredible cinematic value when he holds himself to the high standards he set for himself years ago. When he doesn’t, which is sadly the case with Cry Macho, the uninspired results leave you with wistful memories of what once was.


Observer Reviews are regular assessments of new and noteworthy cinema.

The Uninspired ‘Cry Macho’ Will Leave You Wistful for Clint Eastwood’s Past Work

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Hate crime charges dropped against man accused of yelling racial slur during assault on Chinatown leader

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Chinatown leader attacker gets hate crime charge dropped

A man who allegedly yelled anti-Asian slurs while attacking an elderly community leader in Oakland’s Chinatown is no longer facing hate crime charges.

What happened: James Lee Ramsey, 25, is accused of assaulting Carl Chan, 62, in the 400 block of 8th St. on April 29. According to Chan, Ramsey yelled “F*ck you Chinatown!” and “F*ck you Chinaman!” before striking him in the back of his head.

  • Chan, who serves as president of Oakland’s Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, was heading to visit another victim of an anti-Asian incident when the alleged attack occurred. He fell to the ground and suffered a scraped knee but managed to take a photo of his assailant, which is what he preaches for other Asians to do when attacked..
  • Shortly after the incident, Oakland police arrested Ramsey, who was still wearing the same clothes and carrying the same backpack. A parolee with multiple convictions, he was charged with felony assault and a hate crime for the alleged attack.
  • Last month, Chan, an outspoken figure amid the surge of anti-Asian incidents, urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency in Oakland and deploy California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers to improve public safety. After a formal request from Mayor Libby Schaaf, Newsom ordered the CHP deployment but declined to issue a state of emergency declaration.
Image via Carl Chan

The latest: On Sept. 9, Ramsey pleaded no contest to his assault charge in exchange for having the hate crime enhancement dropped, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office also agreed to drop his charges of committing a violent crime while on parole and against an elderly person, since Chan was over 60.

  • Ramsey’s public defenders have challenged inconsistencies in Chan’s version of the events. During his initial police interview, the Chinatown leader repeatedly said that his attacker called him a “b*tch” — but did not mention his use of racial slurs, The Oaklandside noted.
  • It was on the following day after attending a rally when Chan told authorities for the first time that his attacker had used a racial slur. When asked why he did not mention it in his first interview, Chan said “I don’t remember, because I knew that I was so shocked at the time, and I tried to describe and answer as much as I could.”
  • Records show that Ramsey had been struggling with mental issues from an early age. He reportedly denied targeting Chan because he was Asian.

Ramsey will return to court for his sentencing on Nov. 4.

Featured Image via Henry K. Lee / KTVU (left) and Carl Chan (center, right)

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How Patriots rookie Shaun Wade went from Mac Jones’ high school teammate to Baltimore to Foxboro

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How Patriots rookie Shaun Wade went from Mac Jones’ high school teammate to Baltimore to Foxboro

FOXBORO — Patriots rookie cornerback Shaun Wade was a fountain of honesty in his first press conference Thursday.

Go ahead. Ask him anything.

What happened the day he got traded from Baltimore to New England three weeks ago?

Ravens coach John Harbaugh just walked up to him in practice and broke the news.

“Coach Harbaugh was like, ‘We’re going to trade you.’ And my mind was just everywhere,” Wade remembered. “I didn’t know where to go with my mind. I had an apartment down there, I was settled down there, and it just happened.”

What about the next few days?

“That adjustment, I’m not going to lie, it’s very, very hard,” he said. “Just going to Baltimore, learning their defense, and how they play, how they practice and coming here is a totally different atmosphere.”

And what are those differences between the Patriots and Ravens? Wait, the Ravens practice harder?

“Practice-wise, it’s kind of the same because you’ve got a lot of guys that are vets, and they’re very intense. It’s probably harder in Baltimore, that’d be the little difference,” Wade admitted. “Meeting-wise, it’s probably the same. But lifting’s probably the most difficult thing, and the playbook because it’s a different language.”

Wade, whom Baltimore drafted in the fifth round last April out of Ohio State, also detailed how the Patriots’ weight-room philosophy diverges from the Ravens’.

“In Baltimore, they do single legs, single arms, and stuff like that. Here, you do a lot of legs, you bench and things like that. But every day is definitely a leg day here. I see they really want to work on your explosion here,” he said. “That’s the number one thing.”

Wade was a healthy scratch for the Pats’ season opener last weekend against Miami. He said the front office showed mild interest in him during the pre-draft process, sending cornerbacks coach Mike Pellegrino to Ohio State for a sitdown. Wade admitted he knew little about New England back then, but he knew this much: “I just knew you win here. And I’m a winner.”

The Patriots acquired Wade on Aug. 26 to pad their secondary depth after a disappointing summer from their reserve corners. Two days after flying into Providence and participating in his first team practice, Wade played 39 defensive snaps in the Pats’ preseason finale at the Giants. According to Wade, the coaching staff taught him three coverages before kickoff.

Now settled in Foxboro, Wade shared he’s enjoyed re-connecting with fellow Jacksonville native Mac Jones. The two played on the same 7-on-7 team for high school recruits, once beating a team sponsored by Cam Newton. According to Wade, Jones is just like he remembered; the same smack-talking, touchdown-throwing sharp passer he won with eight years ago.

“Mac has always been the same person,” Wade said. “A lot of people doubted him when he was younger, saying don’t go to ‘Bama. But you see what he did.”

At Ohio State, Wade initially broke out as a hybrid safety/nickelback in 2019 before playing outside corner and struggling for most of last year. That season ultimately caused his draft stock to fall, another dip in his roller-coaster football journey that’s now stopped in Foxboro, where the Pats believe they can win with Wade like their quarterback once did.

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Jennifer Carnahan was a victim of cancel culture, her husband, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, says

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Jennifer Carnahan was a victim of cancel culture, her husband, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, says

ROCHESTER, Minn. — As former head of Minnesota’s Republican Party, Jennifer Carnahan, weighs her options for her future, her husband, Congressman Jim Hagedorn, took to Facebook on Thursday, Sept. 16, to voice a full-throated defense of his wife.

Jim Hagedorn and Jennifer Carnahan (Courtesy of Forum News Service)

Hagedorn said his wife fell victim to “cancel culture,” a radical left tactic, engineered by a small clique devoted to her undoing. The result was “needless chaos within the party.”

“As the dust begins to settle,” he said, his wife will be vindicated and shown that the allegations against her were baseless.

“The antagonists offered no proof or factual evidence to back up their claims,” Hagedorn, a Republican representing Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, said in the post. “Instead, they littered the public square with innuendo, anonymous stories, absurd guilt by association and other nonsense.

“Then, working as a mob, they brutally forced Jennifer out without one minute of due process,” Hagedorn wrote.

Carnahan resigned Aug. 19 after her friend, GOP donor and activist Anton “Tony” Lazzaro, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges. The news of his arrest triggered a wave of sexual harassment claims within the party and accusations that Carnahan presided over a toxic workplace environment.

In a recent interview, Carnahan said that she is mulling running for her old job or for public office. She also said she has engaged a public relations firm in a bid to repair her image and has taken down her social media accounts to maintain her emotional health.

The husband-and-wife team make one of the more unique, complex political partnerships in Minnesota state politics. Carnahan has been a key adviser in Hagedorn’s political career. He singled out her contributions when he won a second term as the representative of the 1st District. Their political fortunes are often entwined. When news broke of Lazzaro’s indictment, photos on social media showed Hagedorn, Carnahan and Lazzaro together.

At times sounding like an aggrieved husband, Hagedorn said no Republican officeholder should “ever be treated the way Jennifer was treated.”

Hagedorn said Carnahan did an “outstanding job” and “accomplished much” with the help of other Republicans during her 4 1/2 years as GOP chair. Hagedorn cited paying off the party’s debt, building up the party’s grassroots organizations, and winning back three congressional seats from Democrats — including the 1st, 7th and 8th — and helping keep the Minnesota Senate in GOP hands.

Hagedorn said his wife’s mistreatment was conducted by a “small but vocal Clique” in the party, but rank-and-file Republicans are “not happy with the way things went down.”

“Republicans must stand for due process, follow the facts and give people a fair chance,” Hagedorn said. “We must reject the societal cancer of WOKE political correctness, cancel-culture and judgment imposed by cyber mobsters.”

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Police: 18-year-old male arrested after a pistol was found during a home visit

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Police: 18-year-old male arrested after a pistol was found during a home visit

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two Albany men who displayed a handgun to steal a bottle of liquor while at a home in Pine Hills Thursday night have been arrested.

On Thursday, September 16, around 11:10 p.m., Police responded to an area of the Pine Hills, on the 400 block of Hudson Avenue between Quail and Ontario Streets, to discover an unconscious man on the sidewalk near a loaded 9mm handgun.

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Dating app robberies prompt public safety alert in St. Louis City

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Dating app robberies prompt public safety alert in St. Louis City

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – This has been a strange year for severe weather across the country. Most of our severe weather came during the summer and not during the spring.

In most years, the Woods Basement Systems Storm Runner gets its heaviest workouts in the spring months of April, May, and June. We call that “Severe Weather Season” because it’s typically the time of year when the right elements in the atmosphere come together to produce damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.

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Denver Metro’s real estate market may be changing with the seasons. But what does it mean for buyers and sellers?

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Denver Metro’s real estate market may be changing with the seasons. But what does it mean for buyers and sellers?

After a year of record-breaking buying and selling activity in Colorado, it appears as though the red-hot market is finally cooling off and settling back into its typical trends. As consumers turn their attention to getting their families back into a routine following the summer break, prepare for the upcoming holidays, and shift their focus to other priorities, real estate may not be their main concern. Despite this, the Denver Metro market is expected to remain strong and continue to provide opportunities for both homebuyers and sellers this season.

In Colorado’s capitol city and its surrounding neighborhoods, the number of homes sold at all price points dipped slightly by 9% through August compared to the same time frame in 2020, according to LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s Monthly Market Report for Denver Metro. This small decrease is an expected trend that many markets across the state see on a seasonal basis and is also a positive indicator that the real estate market is returning to a healthy rhythm.

Although the number of homes sold decreased, sellers should not be discouraged as the odds of selling have increased, according to the Metro Denver Market Review, compiled by Megan Aller of First American Title. This metric measures the ratio of buyers and sellers in a given market. In August, the odds of selling for homes in Denver Metro increased by 2.9% from July to reach 77.8%. This illustrates that sellers still have a good position in the marketplace where they can feel confident about getting their home sold in a timely manner.

But creating a strategy for success is still important. With less buying activity taking place, accurately pricing and marketing homes will be crucial. Keep in mind that the average sold price for homes in Denver Metro was $607,003 through August of this year – an impressive 16% higher than the average sold price through the end of the summer last year. Using this information and local comps from an expert LIV Sotheby’s International Realty broker, sellers can achieve their financial goals.

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Chinese billionaire lost $27 billion amid Beijing’s crackdown on tech giants

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billionaire loses $27 billion

The Chinese government’s ongoing crackdown on private companies has reportedly resulted in a Chinese billionaire losing over $27 billion this year.

Thanos snapped: Colin Huang, founder of the Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc. (PDD), lost nearly half his wealth as Beijing continues to impose stricter restrictions on tech giants and U.S.-listed Chinese companies, according to Bloomberg.  

  • The new policies reportedly resulted in Pinduoduo’s American depositary receipts (ADR) falling 44% year-to-date. Pinduoduo’s market value fell to about $125 billion after reaching a peak of $178 billion.
  • Huang, who owns 28% of PDD, suffered the biggest loss among the 500 members of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and is now worth about $35 billion, when in February he was worth $70 billion. Huang’s loss is even bigger than the estimated $16 billion that China Evergrande Group Chairman Hui Ka Yan lost this year. 
  • Huang resigned as the company’s chief executive officer last year and quit his post as chairman in March.

Growth halted: Founded in 2015, the e-commerce giant was doing relatively well last year, even exceeding Alibaba’s  779 million users in its online marketplaces with 788 million users in December.

  • However, President Xi Jinping’s vision for “common prosperity” eventually forced tech companies to initiate efforts that would close China’s wealth gap, reported Time.
  • The previously untouchable tycoons are now being told to maintain a low profile, impose fair policies on workers, prioritize government initiatives and avoid criticizing the Chinese Communist Party in public.
  • Last year, Huang and PDD’s founding team donated $2.4 billion worth of company shares to a charitable trust. A month ago, PDD also pledged $1.5 billion to help in improving China’s agriculture sector.
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s ADRs also fell by 33% while Tencent Holdings Ltd’s shares in Hong Kong dove this year by 20%.
  • Tencent’s Pony Ma lost over $10 billion while Alibaba founder Jack Ma lost $6.8 billion.

Featured Image via Xinhua

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Guregian: Patriots’ pass rush needs to come alive against the Jets

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Guregian: Patriots’ pass rush needs to come alive against the Jets

FOXBORO — During training camp and the preseason, it was easy to hype the Patriots’ pass rush, with outside linebackers Matt Judon and Josh Uche primed and ready to harass opposing quarterbacks.

Given how terrific both players looked early on, they figured to provide a necessary spark for a remade defense, flying in off the edges.

Now add in Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, Chase Winovich and Christian Barmore, and expectations soared for the front seven. Then came Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

All the Patriots could manage was two sacks and four quarterback hits. That wasn’t terrible, but still underwhelming given all of the buildup, not to mention all the money spent to rebuild the front seven.

The Dolphins also don’t boast a particularly good offensive line. With starting left tackle Austin Jackson out all week on the COVID-19 list, the Fins started rookie left guard Liam Eichenberg at tackle in his place. It was a makeshift line.

And yet, Tua Tagovailoa was often comfortable in the pocket, especially during critical drives.

With the Jets on tap, fielding an even worse offensive line than the Dolphins with left tackle Mekhi Becton sidelined, the Pats’ pass rush needs to come alive.

If the Patriots can’t get to rookie Zach Wilson, there’s something wrong. The Panthers sacked Wilson six times last week, swinging the door open for more impactful takedowns. How much more aggressive can the Patriots be this week?

“You don’t want to be passive about anybody you’re playing,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said during his press conference Thursday. “Obviously, you want to respect your opponent, but also at the same time, I feel we have a good defense … we have guys that can win one-on-one in the pass rush, and guys just in the front seven all around who can get pressure on the quarterback.

“Carolina did that very well throughout the game,” Hightower went on, referring to how the Panthers used Wilson as a tackling dummy. “So hopefully, we can do that and get pressure on him.”

During Sam Darnold’s run, the Jets gave up an average of 32.6 sacks the past three seasons. Having little to no protection is part of the reason why Darnold, now with Carolina, failed after being the third pick of the 2018 draft.

It’s also the reason Wilson is going to have trouble succeeding his first year, and the reason he’ll be vulnerable once again on Sunday. Against the Panthers, he didn’t handle the early pressure particularly well, going 0-for-7 under duress in the first half. He was also 0-for-4 on third down.

He was better in the second half dealing with the pass rush, finishing 20-for-37 with two TDs and a pick, but still got rocked by the Panthers at every turn.

It’s on the Patriots to take advantage.

If they don’t, the Jets rookie is likely to pick them apart, and the Pats will face more questions about the unit. Wilson has a decent group of weapons around him with former Titan Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, ex-Jaguar Keelan Cole, Denzel Mims and rookie Elijah Moore. So it behooves the Patriots to do what they usually do to rookie quarterbacks in New York — make them see ghosts.

“As far as getting him rattled and stuff, he’ll stay in the pocket. I think he’s comfortable there,” said Hightower. “He doesn’t mind getting hit, which is something we know a lot of young guys typically try to run away, or get outside the pocket, but he doesn’t mind staying in there and throwing, even if it’s on a scramble. We have to do a good job being on him, inside the pocket, outside the pocket, whatever he does.”

The Pats didn’t blitz Tagovailoa all that much on Sunday. They weren’t overly aggressive, perhaps due to not having Stephon Gilmore on the back end shutting down one side of the field.

Without Gilmore, Bill Belichick & Co. aren’t as inclined to take that many chances, sending linebackers or safeties on blitzes. The Dolphins have that luxury because they boast two Pro Bowl corners playing on the outside.

Is it time to panic? No, but showing they can get to the quarterback will ultimately help the secondary.

“We just did not execute and didn’t perform the way we needed to perform,” Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo said Tuesday. “Obviously, it’s something that we need to get fixed going forward.”

If they don’t, there will be even more trouble ahead.

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Vikings DE Everson Griffen out Sunday after being injured in car accident

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Vikings DE Everson Griffen out Sunday after being injured in car accident

The fact that Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen wound up on Thursday’s injury report was surprising considering he was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.

Now he’s officially been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a concussion, and coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the injury occurred earlier this week when the 33-year-old lineman got into a car accident

Asked if it happened away from the facility, Zimmer said, “Yes. He swerved to miss a deer.”

This is the latest injury blow for the Vikings, who will also be without linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), cornerback Harrison Hand (hamstring) and left tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin) this weekend. Meanwhile, linebacker Eric Kendricks is questionable because of a quad injury.

Asked specifically about Kendricks’ injury, Zimmer quipped, “He’s just got a tweak.”

That, of course, is a reference to last season when Zimmer said defensive end Danielle Hunter had “a tweak” in training camp. He ended up missing the whole season after surgery to his neck.

“He’s all right,” Zimmer added. “We are just being cautious.”

It sounds as if Kendricks is trending in he right direction heading into this weekend.

“These other linebackers that we have dressed will have to play,” Zimmer said. “But I think he’s going to be OK. He went pretty good today.”

VIGIL IMPRESSES

Now that Barr has been ruled out, linebacker Nick Vigil will once again play an important role in the defensive game plan. With Barr out last week at Cincinnati, he played 100 percent of the defensive snaps, finishing with 10 combined tackles and a sack.

“Like I said before, he kind of reminds me of (Chad Greenway),” Zimmer said. “Nothing really bothers him. He can make adjustments real easy. I’m glad we have him. He’s done a nice job.”

POWER OUTAGE

After a powerful storm rolled through Eagan overnight, the Vikings were left without power for Friday’s walkthrough.

“We had no electricity in the building, so we moved practice,” Zimmer said. “We had meetings like the old school with the chalkboards and the whiteboards. We took care of that and we will catch up the film tomorrow morning when we get back from meetings.”

Asked whether there was an emergency generator of some sort TCO Performance Center, Zimmer joked, ““No. I had to take a shower in the dark.”

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Father sues for $1M after Michigan teacher cuts 7-year-old daughter’s hair

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Father sues for $1M after Michigan teacher cuts 7-year-old daughter’s hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (NEXSTAR) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher’s assistant.

MLive.com reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, September 14 in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools.

It alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.

Jimmy Hoffmeyer, who is Black and white, said in March that a classmate used scissors to cut one side of his daughter’s hair.

He told the Associated Press that he filed a complaint with the principal and then had to take his daughter to a salon where they styled Jurnee’s hair with an asymmetrical cut to hide what her classmate had done.

Two days later, Hoffmeyer said his daughter came home with the other side of her hair cut short.

“She was crying,” Hoffmeyer recalled in an April interview. “She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut.”

“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” he continued. “She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”

Hoffmeyer says the classmate and the teacher are white. Jurnee’s mother is white.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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