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Registration underway for United Way HomeWalk

LOS ANGELES — Registration is underway for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ annual HomeWalk 5K.  

The 12th annual HomeWalk 5K Family Run/Walk will take place May 18 at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. It has become the largest public event to end homelessness in the nation.

Three members of the Los Angeles Rams, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth and punter Johnny Hekker will serve as team captains for this year’s walk. 

“Our most vulnerable neighbors need our help. Whether it’s single mothers and families, veterans or people who have fallen on hard times because of a loss of job or medical crisis, homelessness has many faces,” said Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer of the Rams. “At the Rams, our goal is to use our platform to rally ourselves, our community and all of Los Angeles to climb to new heights and tackle this pressing issue together with compassion, humanity and teamwork.”

“HomeWalk has provided 19,000 homes to our neighbors experiencing homelessness, and we know homes end homelessness,” said Elise Buik, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “This walk does more than fundraise — it unites our communities — and we know with the support of our three Rams HomeWalk team captains and the entire Los Angeles Rams organization, we are going to house even more of L.A. County’s 53,000 individuals who live every day on the streets.”

During its 11-year history, HomeWalk has successfully mobilized more than 100,000 people and raised $8.6 million in funding, which directly funded permanent supportive housing for L.A. County’s most vulnerable neighbors.

Powered by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Everyone In is a countywide initiative bringing together leaders and voices across L.A. County to keep the best solutions to end homelessness moving forward by creating ways for the public to get involved; tracking, measuring and sharing progress; and lifting up successes and celebrating wins.

To register for the HomeWalk visit https://secure.qgiv.com/event/homewalk2019/register/#signup.

Rita Wilson marks new album with star on Walk of Fame

HOLLYWOOD — Actress, producer and singer/songwriter Rita Wilson became the latest honoree on the Hollywood Walk of Fame March 29, coinciding with the release of her album “Halfway to Home.”

Wilson’s husband Tom Hanks and actress Julia Roberts were among those joining her in speaking at the ceremony at 7024 Hollywood Blvd., adjacent to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, near the star that Hanks received on July 1, 1992, the day “A League of Their Own” was released.

A native of Los Angeles, Wilson talked about growing up in Hollywood — watching movies at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and attending Hollywood High School, where she was a cheerleader.

“Home. This is my home. Hollywood, California,” Wilson said. “My dad was able to buy a house here on a bartender’s salary, and like so many other women in the day, my mom made our meals and our clothes. This town has given me and my family so much. This town, my home, has allowed me to do what I love to do for a living — act, sing, produce movies. This town has allowed me to pursue my dreams in my own backyard.”

Wilson was born Margarita Ibrahimoff on Oct. 26, 1956, in Los Angeles. Her father, Hassan Ibrahimoff, changed his name to Allan Wilson in 1960, choosing his name after a local street.

Wilson began her professional acting career in the 1972 episode of the ABC comedy “The Brady Bunch” titled “Greg’s Triangle,” playing an opponent of Marcia (Maureen McCormick) in her bid to be selected head cheerleader.

Between 1974 and 1979, Wilson appeared on such television series as “Movin’ On,” “Lou Grant” and “Hawaii Five-O.” She met her husband when she guest-starred in a 1981 episode of “Bosom Buddies,” in which she portrayed the Satan-worshiping girlfriend of aspiring writer Henry Desmond (Peter Scolari).

Wilson and Hanks also appeared together in the 1985 film comedy “Volunteers,” playing fellow Peace Corps members working in Thailand.

Wilson’s other 1980s television credits include “M.A.S.H.,” “Happy Days,” “Three’s Company,” “Who’s The Boss?” “thirtysomething” and “Moonlighting.” She has also appeared in “Frasier,” “From the Earth to the Moon,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Girls” and “The Good Wife.”

Wilson also appeared in the films “Sleepless in Seattle,” “It’s Complicated,” “Mixed Nuts,” “Now and Then,” “That Thing You Do!,” “Jingle All The Way,” the 1998 remake of “Psycho,” “Runaway Bride,” “The Story of Us,” “Auto Focus,” “Beautiful, Ohio” and “Gloria Bell,” released March 8.

Wilson has appeared twice on Broadway — starring in the 2015 comedy “Fish in the Dark” and as Roxie Hart in “Chicago” for nearly two months in 2006.

Wilson was a producer of the films “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its sequel “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” and an executive producer of “Mamma Mia!” and its sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”

Her new album, “Halfway to Home” is a blend of Southern California rock with Nashville country. It is her fourth album, following “AM/FM,” “Rita Wilson” and “Bigger Picture.” She is scheduled to perform at next month’s Stagecoach festival in Indio and CMA Fest in Nashville in June.

Rapper Nipsey Hussle shot to death outside clothing store

SOUTH LOS ANGELES — Nipsey Hussle, a Grammy-nominated rapper turned local businessman, was shot and killed in broad daylight in front of The Marathon Clothing store, March 31.

His death sent shockwaves through South Los Angeles and across the world.

Born Ermias Asghedon, Hussle made no secret about his gang affiliation in his early life with the Rollin’ 60s Crips, but fans and civic officials both said Hussle should be remembered as a reformed man who was trying to transform his neighborhood for black and brown people through entrepreneurship, technology innovation and intervention.

“The murder of Hussle touched a deep nerve in Los Angeles and nationally because he was a positive change agent in the community,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. “This compounds the tragedy.”

Eric Holder, 29, was arrested around 1 p.m. April 2 in Bellflower and charged with the murder of Hussle. Police released Holder’s name and photo to the public the night before. He was captured less than 24 hours later.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Holder and Hussle knew each other and had argued earlier in the day in the strip mall plaza on West Slauson Avenue near Crenshaw Boulevard. Moore said the argument was a personal dispute and not gang related. Holder left the scene and returned a short time later with a handgun.

Hussle was shot in the head and body and died at a hospital, according to police and the coroner’s office. Two other men also were injured in the shooting, although one declined to be taken to a hospital.

Chief Moore would not give a specific motive for the shooting.

The shooting came a day before Hussle was scheduled to meet with Chief Moore, Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff and rapper Jay-Z entertainment company Roc Nation to talk about gang violence and how to help children avoid the gang lifestyle.

Soboroff held back tears April 2 as he read aloud an email written by Hussle asking for the meeting to learn what the Los Angeles Police Department was doing to uplift South L.A.

“Our goal is to work with the department to help improve communication, relationships and work towards changing the culture and dialogue between LAPD and your city,” Hussle wrote in February 2019.

“We should take comfort that his legacy will live on through his children, his music, his community, all those he positively impacted, including his vision and work on Destination Crenshaw,” Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said.

At a news conference prior to Holder’s arrest at LAPD headquarters, Moore mourned Hussle’s death.

“We join, as does all of Los Angeles, in a somber day in the aftermath of a senseless, another senseless homicide, of an individual who posed such an opportunity to step into a conversation to help this city work its way through a sickness, a challenge, a seemingly tragic love affair with gun violence,” Moore said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called for the community to work together and refrain from more violence.

“We have a reason to feel hopeful, even in the moments of our most extreme pain,” Garcetti said. “And that’s by turning to each other. We saw that, and we’ve seen that, since Nipsey was taken from us. That love that is out there — and I ask everybody who is grieving for him to grieve for the families of those other victims as well whose lives were just as important and just as significant.

“The absolute worst way to pay back Nipsey’s loss — somebody we lost at the hands of violence — is with more violence,” Garcetti said.

Hussle emerged from the West Coast hip hop scene in the mid-2000s. Originally known for his mixtapes, he developed a name and following after Jay-Z purchased 100 copies of a mixtape entitled “Crenshaw” for $100 apiece.

He didn’t release a studio album until February 2018. “Victory Lap” was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

He opened his Marathon Clothing store in June 2017 and had recently purchased the strip mall where it was located with plans to help redevelop it into a mixed-use commercial and residential complex. It was there he was shot to death.

Within hours of the shooting, the crime scene had turned into a shrine for Hussle.

A candlelight vigil April 1 in Hussle’s memory turned violent when someone in the crowd brandished a handgun. Moore said a person tried to disarm the person with the gun, leading to a stampede. Nineteen people were hospitalized, with two listed in critical condition and two others in serious condition.

Moore said most of the injuries came from the stampede out of the area, with people trampled or suffering cuts from broken glass.

On April 2, the candles that were left at Hussle’s memorial were moved to a different location by city workers.

Hussle’s death was mourned by NBA stars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook and musicians like Rihanna and Pharrell Williams.

Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, issued a statement, saying “The Nation of Islam mourns the loss of this great brother. His death as well as his life had so much meaning to it — for us and for unborn generations.”  

In her first public message since Hussle’s death, actress Lauren London, who was his girlfriend and the mother of his young child shared a message on the social media platform Instagram.

“I am completely lost,” she wrote. “I’ve lost my best friend. My sanctuary. My protector. My soul. … I’m lost without you. We are lost without you babe. I have no words.”

City News Service contributed to this story.

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