President Obama’s $1 Million Check: Chicago Designer Bet Then-Senator Obama That He Would Be President Some Day.

July 10, 2011 Leave a comment

In 2008, many onlookers were surprised to see how quickly Barack Obama went from being a U.S. senator to the president of the United States. While some doubted that the newcomer with idealistic visions for the future could win the election, one Chicago woman placed her bets on the young politician years before.

Jermikko Shoshanna met Obama in 2003. Jermikko, an award-winning fashion designer based in Chicago, headed to Springfield, Ill. with a group of friends to celebrate the swearing-in of Illinois Senator Emil Jones as Senate president. She knew Jones, and after three hours in the car, was anxious to get inside and congratulate him.

But a security guard tried to turn away the group of friends.

“I was giving [the guard] a piece of my mind,” Jermikko said, when a “tall, skinny, handsome” young man approached and asked what the trouble was. He ultimately told the guard the women were with him, and the group entered Jones’ celebration.

“I wanted to find him while I was there and say ‘thank you,’ but it was so hectic,” Jermikko said. So, the group drove home. A year passed, and she never learned his name.

But a year later, Jermikko received a call from a friend who was hosting a fundraiser for an aspiring U.S. senator. She told HuffPost she begrudgingly attended, mostly to support her friend.

“I show up the day of the fundraiser to help her and there’s a photograph, a big poster of the man we’re doing the fundraiser for,” she said.  “I’m like ‘Oh shit, that’s him!’ ”

Finally, Jermikko was able to thank the man who helped her out in Springfield, and as she watched him at the fundraiser, something struck her.

“I’m looking at him thinking, ‘You know, there is something about this man. He’s going to be more than just a senator.’ ”

As Obama signed books and spoke with supporters, Jermikko decided to make a grand gesture. She took out her checkbook and wrote a check to “President Obama” for $1,000,000. (Scroll down to see it.)

“My grandmother always said I was a strange child,” she said, laughing. “I go over to him and I said, ‘You know, I think you’re going to be a president one day.’ And he looked up and said, ‘Yeah? From your mouth to God’s ear.’ I said, ‘Okay, well I want you to get used to signing big checks, so sign this. He just took my checkbook and signed it. Then he gave it back and said, ‘Now you’re not going to try and collect on this, are you?’ ”

Jermikko ended up supporting Obama in his bid for president years later and wasn’t too surprised that her prediction came true.

“I saw a president. I saw a leader; I saw this in him,” she said.

Now, she hopes the check will help her expand her fashion business. After a lot of thought, Jermikko decided to contact Gary Zimet, president of Moments in Time, a company that sells pieces of American and world history. So far, they have sold eight handwritten letters from President Obama, along with the actual Schindler’s List and other memorabilia. The check is being sold for $100,000.

Now, they are auctioning off the $1 million check.

“I thought about it and thought about it and felt, if this check can help me create more jobs here, since I’m diversifying my business, and help employ people, then it’s time to sell it,” Jermikko said.

While her fashion company is known for jackets and outerwear, last summer Jermikko decided to branch out. One day at the grocery store, she realized how sad it was that people don’t talk to each other anymore — and decided to create a simple conversation piece. Her cloth “Status” grocery bags range in price from $2.99 to $18, and say things such as “Single Girl Groceries,” “Single Guy Groceries,” “Hitched” and “Connected.”She hopes that her little piece of history will help her keep expanding her business and fashion team. She also said she still supports the President.

“I still believe in him,” she said.

Chris Hansen Caught Cheating On Wife By Hidden Camera: ‘To Catch A Predator’ Host Nailed: Report.

July 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Looks like the sting tactic that made Chris Hansen famous may have come back to bite him — big time.

The National Enquirer is reporting that they’ve caught the “To Catch A Predator” host cheating on his wife with Kristyn Caddell, a Florida NBC affiliate news reporter twenty one years his junior, with a hidden camera. Hansen is married with two children and lives in Connecticut.

The Enquirer says that they have footage of Hansen out with Caddell, having dinner at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Manalapan, Florida, and then returning for the night to her Palm Beach apartment. The host has been spending time in Florida investigating the disappearance of James ‘Jimmy T’ Trindade, the Enquirer reports (via the Daily Mail).

“To Catch A Predator,” a Dateline series, features Hansen and an advocacy organization called Perverted Justice posing as younger women and communicating with older men online, and then catching would-be sex offenders at a location that they and the almost-offender agreed upon.

Texas Drought Declared Natural Disaster.

July 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Drought and wildfires have lead to the decision by the US Department of Agriculture to declare the entire state of Texas a natural disaster.

KCBD in Lubbock reports that in all, 213 counties in Texas have lost at least 30 percent of their crops or pasture.

The disaster declaration will allow farmers and ranchers to qualify for emergency loans at lower interest rates.

“This is a disaster,” Texas farmer Scott Harmon said. “This is a train wreck.”

Mike Swain, who farms south of Brownfield, told the Lubbock Avalanche Journal that loans aren’t what he’s looking for.

“I will be real honest, I don’t need a loan – I need rain,” Swain said.

Ranchers have also been hurt by the drought, Swain noted.

“A lot of people have lost their livestock, their homes, their fencing,” he said.

Turtles Invade JFK Airport, Cause Flight Delays.

July 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Turtles invaded the runway at JFK on Wednesday morning, delaying flights.
JetBlue airlines tweeted at
around 9:30am that there were flight delays as the runway was being cleared of
turtles, saying: “JFK is experiencing delays as the airport clears turtles off
the runway. #cantmakethisup (Check flight
status at”
Officials told
the New York Post that, indeed, several turtles climbed onto the tarmac,
delaying some flights.
Odd as it may seem, this isn’t the first time
turtles have disrupted flights at JFK. In July 2009, a runway at JFK was shut
down after 78 turtles emerged from a bay and crawled onto the tarmac. Ground
crews rounded up the turtles and returned them to the water.An FAA spokesman told
the Associated Press at the time, “Apparently, this is something the tower
has experienced before. I guess it’s the season for spawning.”UPDATE: Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico told MSNBC
that 150 turtles came out of the bay to lay their eggs on a sandy beach area
across the runway, adding “staff has been out there since quarter to 7 this
morning relocating them.”You can now follow the JFK turtles on Twitter @JFKTurtles.

Is Fantasia Barrino Pregnant With Cheating Boyfriend’s Baby?

July 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Tabloid-prone ‘American Idol’ winner Fantasia Barrino was pictured sporting a baby bump while on vacation with her adulterous boyfriend, Antwuan Cook.

Barrino made dramatic headlines last August, after she pounded a cocktail of sleeping pills and aspirin in an unsuccessful suicide attempt two weeks before her third album, ‘Back to Me,’ was released.

The singer’s camp put out a statement following the incident, saying she was left with emotional baggage after aborting Cook’s baby upon learning he was still married to — and had three kids with — someone else. Barrino was forced to testify at Cook’s child custody hearing later that same year, in November.

However, the couple has apparently let bygones be bygones. They were spotted in Barbados snorkeling on a beach with the singer looking like she had a bun in the oven, according to
When pregnancy rumors began swirling earlier this, Barrino’s manager blamed the weight gain on her starring role in the biopic about New Orleans gospel queen Mahalia Jackson.

Barrino performed on the Caribbean isle over the weekend, and while there was also spotted with her 9-year-old daughter, Zion.

Intercontinental Hotel Attack: NATO Helicopters End Kabul Hotel Siege That Leaves At Least 10 Dead.

July 9, 2011 Leave a comment

KABUL, Afghanistan — The death toll in the attack on an international hotel in Kabul has risen to 10.

Kabul Police Chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said Wednesday that 10 Afghan civilians – mostly hotel workers – died when heavily armed Taliban fighters stormed the Inter-Continental and fought security forces for more than four hours.

The attack started Tuesday night, on the eve of a conference about transferring responsibility for security from foreign to Afghan forces by the end of 2014. Some conference attendees were staying at the hotel, but were not hurt.

NATO helicopters killed three gunmen on the roof and Afghan security forces rushed in to end the standoff.

However, Salangi says one of the six to eight suicide bombers, who had been injured, later blew himself up in one of the hotel rooms.

Performer on Tech N9ne’s Tour Shot in Buttocks.

July 9, 2011 Leave a comment

An opening performer on acclaimed indie hip-hop artist Tech N9ne’s All 6’s and 7’s tour was shot early Monday morning (June 27). The incident occurred hours after a performance in downtown Reno, Nevada’s Knitting Factory, in an alley outside of the venue.

According to KOLO TV, the performer was shot in the buttocks after at least 16 rounds were fired in the Douglas Alley between the Knitting Factory and the Old Fitzgerald Casino, where the tour buses were parked. Bullets hit two people and police have apprehended who they believe to be the shooter.

Although initial reports stated that the wounded performer was part of Tech’s Strange Music camp — and that the incident occurred shortly after Tech N9ne’s performance — the label issued a statement refuting some of these notions.

HipHopDX was provided with the statement, which is as follows:

“Earlier this morning in the city of Reno, Nevada an unfortunate incident took place involving a performer with an opening act on Tech N9ne’s current U.S. Tour. Nearly two hours after the show had ended, it appears that this performer was the victim of a random and senseless act of violence on a nearby city street adjacent to the club where he had performed hours earlier. By all reports, the victim was talking on his phone when he was approached by six individuals who had not been in attendance at that evening’s show. Shortly after, shots were fired and the victim was struck multiple times. He was rushed to a local hospital where he remains in serious condition but is expected to recover. Not long after the incident took place, four suspects who had fled the scene on foot were detained and taken into custody by local law enforcement, including what appears to be the main suspect and shooter in the incident. No other info has been made available at the time of releasing this statement.”

Tech N9ne’s latest album, ‘All 6’s and 7’s,’ was released on June 7 and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Rap Albums chart.


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