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All non-binary, female Denver tattoo shop target of vandalism, owner says

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At this plant-filled Denver tattoo shop, every artist is either a woman or non-binary

Step inside The Wolf Den Custom Studio on East Colfax in Denver, and you’ll see why it’s worthy of attention.

“We love everybody. We just happen to have a staff of amazing women or identifying women,” owner Ryane Urie said Sunday.

The tattoo shop got praise from The Denver Post this week because of its inclusivity and for creating a safe space for LGBTQ people.

“A lot of light has been shown on us, a lot of people wanting to support us,” Urie, who uses they/them pronouns, said.

But some of that light has cast a shadow.

Read the full story at thedenverchannel.com.

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Daily horoscope for January 28, 2022

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Daily horoscope for January 28, 2022

Moon Alert: Avoid shopping or making important decisions after 1:45 p.m. EST today (10:45 a.m. PST). The Moon is in Sagittarius.

Happy Birthday for Friday, Jan. 28, 2022:

You are an idealist who can be a perfectionist at times. You are patient, even strategic, because you like to be in control of things around you. You have excellent instincts and intuition. Good news! This year you will receive kudos, awards, promotions and acknowledgement for your efforts. Congratulations!


The stars show the kind of day you’ll have: 5-Dynamic; 4-Positive; 3-Average; 2-So-so; 1-Difficult

ARIES

(March 21-April 19)

★★★★

Tread carefully when talking to parents, bosses or the police, because this encounter could be nasty. People are inclined to be insistent, even obsessed, with their point of view. Meanwhile, Mercury is retrograde and there is a Moon Alert after 1:45 p.m. EST today (10:45 a.m. PST). Tonight: Patience.

TAURUS

(April 20-May 20)

★★★

Avoid politics, religion and racial issues today, because you will get nowhere. You might have heated views about something, or you might encounter someone else with strong views. Nevertheless, this is not the day for this discussion. Tonight: Stay silent

GEMINI

(May 21-June 20)

★★

You might be concerned or intense about issues related to shared property, taxes, debt or insurance matters. These might be issues from the past that are unfinished. Nevertheless, it’s hard to make headway today. Postpone things for another day. Tonight: Do your homework.

CANCER

(June 21-July 22)

★★★

Be reasonable when talking to partners and close friends today, because it’s easy to go off the deep end. You might insist on something, or someone else might be just as emphatic (especially concerning ex-partners). Much of today is a Moon Alert. Do not act. Tonight: Be agreeable.

LEO

(July 23-Aug. 22)

★★★★

You have strong ideas about how to clean up things at work today. You want to get rid of what is no longer needed. (Out with the old! In with the new!) You might have similar ideas related to your health or a pet. Don’t coerce others into agreeing with you. Easy does it. Tonight: Get your facts.

VIRGO

(Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

★★★

Don’t come on too strong when dealing with your kids today, because it’s easy to do. Lighten up. Likewise, issues with old flames or current romantic partners might be too intense. This is a poor day for important discussions. It’s best to sidestep things today. Tonight: Lighten up and have fun.

LIBRA

(Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

★★★

Don’t try to get your way in family discussions today, which you’ll be tempted to do. Possibly, you will encounter a family member who is coming on like gangbusters. Either way, dial things back a bit. Take a broader view of things. Easy does it. Tonight: Tidy up at home.

SCORPIO

(Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

★★★

Today people think they know what they’re talking about, including you. And perhaps they do. However, they might not. Therefore, think twice before you try to convince someone to agree with you. Distance yourself from these issues so you have more perspective. Tonight: Listen.

SAGITTARIUS

(Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

★★★★

You might be obsessed about financial matters today. Or perhaps you are obsessed about buying something. If making important financial decisions or purchases, please avoid doing this after 1:45 p.m. EST today (10:45 a.m. PST). Be smart! Tonight: Save your money.

CAPRICORN

(Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

★★★

Today Mercury retrograde is lined up with Pluto in your sign. In addition to which, most of this day there is a Moon Alert. This means it’s a poor day to make decisions or purchases, especially about the future. Put everything on hold. Just tread water. Tonight: Be agreeable.

AQUARIUS

(Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

★★★

This is definitely a squirrely day, which is why you might feel adrift. You might have strong feelings about what you want to achieve, and yet you are blocked or detoured. Be smart and avoid shopping or important decisions after 1:45 p.m. EST today (10:45 a.m. PST). Tonight: Research.

PISCES

(Feb. 19-March 20)

★★★

Don’t try to convince a friend, especially someone younger, to agree with your ideas today, which you’ll be tempted to do. Alternatively, don’t let someone bully you into agreeing with them. Everything is vague and unsure after 1:45 p.m. EST today (10:45 a.m. PST). Sit this one out. Tonight: Listen to friends.

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Sons want to start ‘Tina’s Helping Home’ in honor of their mom who was killed in St. Paul

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Sons want to start ‘Tina’s Helping Home’ in honor of their mom who was killed in St. Paul

Tina Marie Fells-McCombs had big dreams.

Her sons saw her overcome trauma and battles through her life, and she wanted to help other Black women so they wouldn’t have to do it alone.

Tina Fells-McCombs (Courtesy of the family)

Since the 47-year-old was fatally stabbed Jan. 9 in St. Paul, the first homicide in the city this year, her sons are now taking on her cause.

They want to start Tina’s Healing Home as a place to support women who “are fighting life’s obstacles of being survivors of domestic abuse or experiencing mental health issues … or substance abuse or stability for housing,” Fells-McCombs’ son, Lewis McCaleb, said Thursday.

We saw “our mother transform her trauma into triumph … and we had these dreams, we wanted to accomplish this together,” said McCaleb, who is also known as Lewiee Blaze. “… We’re viewing this is as an opportunity to take our deep pain and turn it into power, and to immortalize her name and do something that is bigger than us.”

A 38-year-old man is charged with kicking in an apartment door and stabbing Fells-McCombs on a Sunday afternoon in the North End.  Her family is still searching for answers and “there is still no clear explanation to the cause of this tragedy,” the family wrote on a fundraising page.

Police arrested Maurice Angelo McClinton Smith soon after.  An investigator asked Smith why he was at the apartment at 180 W. Larpenteur Ave. and he said “to get some tea and crumpets,” the criminal complaint said. “… When asked why he went to see (McCombs), Smith said, ‘To kill her.’ Smith said he was a simple prophet.”

NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORTS

Toshira Garraway, who founded Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence and who supported McCaleb when he spoke publicly Thursday, said they’re asking that Smith be held accountable.

They’re also emphasizing “that prior to someone being murdered in our community, a Black woman being murdered in our community, that if someone is experiencing mental health symptoms and express those symptoms, that they’re given the adequate help that they need, Garraway said.

A judge has ordered Smith undergo a mental health evaluation for competency to proceed with the case. Smith’s attorney had no comment on Thursday.

Lack of true investments in communities needs to be fixed, said Rep. John Thompson, who represents St. Paul’s East Side.

Those under-investments “ultimately created the monster who showed up to his mother’s door and killed his mother,” he said as he stood by McCaleb. He and two other men who spoke Thursday said they know McCaleb’s pain because they still miss their mothers who’ve passed away.

MOTHER TO SONS AND THE COMMUNITY

Fells-McCombs was the mother of six sons, ages 3, 12, 17, 20, 24 and 28. McCaleb’s father died 11 years ago.

“I’ve seen her have to navigate these systems and navigate this community and do the best that she could to provide for” her boys, McCaleb said. He remembered her as nurturing, selfless and fearless, “a mother of the community” who never turned someone down when they needed a place to stay.

Lewis McCaleb, who is also known as Lewiee Blaze, shows a photo of his mother on his T-shirt after he spoke about her in St. Paul on Jan. 27, 2022. Tina Fells-McCombs was fatally stabbed in St. Paul on Jan. 9, 2022. (Mara H. Gottfried / Pioneer Press)
Lewis McCaleb, who is also known as Lewiee Blaze, shows a photo of his mother on his T-shirt after he spoke about her in St. Paul on Jan. 27, 2022. (Mara H. Gottfried / Pioneer Press)

Now, McCaleb said they are trying to provide financial stability for their family, including having all his brothers in one home together.

“It would also give us a chance to breathe and have the mental capacity to fulfill the vision of opening what we call the Tina’s Healing Home,” said McCaleb, 24, who is a St. Paul musical artist, entrepreneur and activist who works as a Ramsey County violence prevention coordinator.

People have been telling McCaleb it’s OK to cry and he said he has been.

“I’ve been breaking down since I got that phone call,” he said. “… Some days, I really wish I could just wake up and it was just a long … nightmare.”


HOW TO HELP

Contributions to the Tina Fells-McCombs Memorial Fund can be made at gofund.me/67adb397 or North Star Bank, 1820 N. Lexington Ave., Roseville, MN 55113.

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West Siders call for school investment after district drops Montessori program

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West Siders call for school investment after district drops Montessori program

In a virtual meeting Thursday with St. Paul Public Schools leaders, residents of the city’s West Side bemoaned last-minute changes to the district’s schools consolidation plan that figure to take scores of students out of the neighborhood’s two elementary schools.

Superintendent Joe Gothard’s “Envision SPPS” was supposed to strengthen West Side’s Cherokee Heights and Riverview schools and establish strong ties to nearby Humboldt middle and high schools.

The struggling Montessori program at Cherokee Heights would move to J.J. Hill in the Summit-University neighborhood; students in Riverview’s community program would slide over to Cherokee Heights; and Riverview’s Spanish dual-language immersion program would get an influx of students as Wellstone school closed.

But in response to an outcry from Wellstone parents, the school board last month voted to keep that school open. Students wouldn’t be moving into the West Side, after all, but the Montessori program still is moving out.

The changes, which take effect this fall, could leave the two West Side schools with fewer than 400 students — roughly one-third of their combined capacity.

“I don’t see how this is helping when it’s directly taking families away,” West Side parent Shannon Johnson said Thursday.

Community member Carlo Franco said the consolidation plan went through a “confusing process,” and the decision to take students out of the West Side came without warning.

“We need to be involved in decisions, especially when we’re talking about closing whole programs,” he said.

LIST OF DEMANDS

Franco presented a list of demands, which include investments in West Side schools, real community engagement and no program changes until there’s a long-term plan to minimize disruption.

Gothard said the administration can’t reverse the board’s vote, and the district already is planning for next year. Besides the West Side program changes, five schools across the city are closing.

But Gothard said a potential preschool expansion — funded either at the city, state or federal level — would address some of the child care barriers keeping some families from enrolling on the West Side.

Some parents said their schools need before- and after-school care run by the district, but Chief Operations Officer Jackie Turner said there hasn’t been nearly enough parent interest to cover the costs of running Discovery Club. She said it’s possible the Boys and Girls Club will start taking 4-year-olds, and she promised to work with private child care providers to find options for families.

Turner also said the district has added another preschool class at Riverview this fall to help the school grow its enrollment. She said they could do the same for Cherokee Heights if there’s enough interest.

MOVES AREN’T ‘FOR US’

One parent said she settled on the West Side in part because the Montessori method worked well for her children. She said she doesn’t understand why the program is leaving next year.

Turner said Montessori programs cost about twice as much as general education, and the program at Cherokee Heights hasn’t attracted enough students.

“With the amount of money that it takes to run a Montessori program, we cannot have an enrollment that is not sustainable,” she said.

Turner estimated that half of Cherokee Heights families want to preserve Montessori, while the rest are happy to see it go.

Franco said it’s nothing new for the district to mistreat the West Side. The community had to rally to save Humboldt High School some 50 years ago, he said, and the surprise 2012 announcement that Roosevelt would reopen as Riverview came “without community dialogue.”

He offered a slogan he said encapsulates what West Siders have been feeling since the board vote: “Nothing about us, without us, is for us.”

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