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Michael Jordan feels “great pride” as he opens new health clinic for uninsured in his hometown

“It gives my family great pride to know that we are making a difference in Charlotte,” the legendary NBA superstar said.

Elias Marat

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Legendary basketball superstar Michael Jordan is giving back to his community in a big way, and has opened a second medical clinic in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, to offer critical care to underprivileged community members during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, the 57-year-old former Chicago Bulls shooting guard unveiled the Michael Jordan Family Clinic on Freedom Drive, which he personally contributed $7 million to. The clinic, which provides much-needed access to primary and preventive care to low-income residents, is being operated by nonprofit healthcare group Novant Health Clinics.

During the October 2019 opening, the six-time NBA champion and owner of the Charlotte Hornets tearfully explained that “it’s a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that’s supported me over the years.”

Jordan has now opened a second clinic alongside Novant Health in hopes to provide comprehensive primary care to underserved communities.

“It gives my family great pride to know that we are making a difference in Charlotte,” Jordan told The Charlotte Observer.

While the opening of the second clinic has long been in the works, the timing couldn’t be better given the dire impact of the ongoing pandemic on people across the United States and especially the Black community.

In April, the Freedom Drive clinic became widely used as a respiratory assessment center where locals had free access to coronavirus “screening, testing, treatment and education.”

“When this clinic opened, I said ‘We’re here for the long haul. Not just in a crisis’,” said Novant Health CEO and president Carl Armato.

“In fact, the first clinic enabled us to better respond to the [coronavirus] crisis. It gave us the infrastructure to set up walk-up testing – no referral needed. It gave us a platform to educate and treat patients – close to home,” he added. “It even gave us a distribution point for our universal masking initiative, where we provided free masks to anyone who needed them. This second location is critical, as it expands our impact and reach.”

Over 14,000 tests for the deadly virus were provided while around 12,600 mobile health appointments were conducted, forcing the Michael Jordan Family Clinic to direct those in need of primary care to another location – and proving the need for the second clinic to urgently begin operations amid the spiking demand in treatment.

“When we came together to mark the first clinic’s opening last fall, no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic just five months later,” Jordan said in a Zoom meeting to launch the new healthcare center.

“I’m so proud of the positive impact our clinic has had on the community so far, especially during [the pandemic],” he added. “Our second clinic will provide critical services to improve the health and lives of more Charlotteans, which is so important to me and to Novant Health.”

The new clinic will be opening on Statesville Ave. in the North End of Charlotte, and will include 12 patient exam rooms, an X-ray room, and a physical therapy center. A full-time clinical social worker will also be on-site.

“We are thrilled the North End community of Charlotte will have access to the same comprehensive care that is transforming lives at the Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in west Charlotte,” said Armato.

“The impact of the first clinic has been measurable and if [the coronavirus] has taught us anything, it is the importance of having accessible, safe and quality care in communities that need it most,” he continued.

“Michael Jordan’s commitment to improving the health of our communities, and society, is deep-rooted,” Armato added. “We’re so grateful to be his partner in bringing care and resources to those who would otherwise be without.”

Jordan is hopeful that the community has better days ahead.

“We’ve been dealt with some very difficult cards in 2020,” he commented.

“I hope 2021 is going to be much better.”

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Italian Police Use Lamborghini for Urgent 300-Mile Kidney Delivery in Just Two Hours

Elias Marat

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While Lamborghinis are typically thought of as luxury sports cars that are only affordable to the wealthy, in their home country of Italy they have long been a part of the Italian police fleet.

And while these dreamy cars may seem a bit excessive, the car was perfectly suited for a specialized task that your typical “black and white” is hardly cut out for: delivering a donor kidney overs 300 miles away in only two hours.

Earlier this month, the Italian national police posted a video on Twitter showing a police-issued Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 being deployed on a life-or-death mission to transport the vital organ from the Policlinico Universitario hospital in the Northern Italian city Padua to the Gemelli hospital in Rome.

During the journey, the Lambo soared over a distance of 500 kilometers – or about 310 miles – in just about two hours. At an average speed of 143 miles, the specialty cop car managed to trim a typically six-hour ride down to one-third of its usual time.

Thanks to the Huracán having a mighty 610 metric horsepower and 4 wheel drive – hence its designation, LP 610-4 – the officers had no trouble meeting the moment with urgency and resolve.

And given that satellite images of the starting point in the journey don’t indicate any helipad or accessible flat area close by, the Lambo seemed like a perfectly logical option.

In the video, the baby blue Lamborghini can be seen being loaded with the fragile donated organ.

The Lamborghini Huracán de la Polizia is a highly specialized vehicle that is prepared for these types of emergency medical transport tasks, and is equipped with a small refrigerated front trunk for this purpose. It also has a defibrillator in case someone requires a life-saving electric shock while suffering cardiac arrest.

Additionally, officers who pilot the vehicle are given specific training on the race track so they can master the vehicle, which – as can be seen in this case – isn’t always used to pursue criminals.

The Huracán is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds and can reach maximum speeds of about 202 mph, according to Jalopnik.

The car, which also carries out routine patrol tasks, is also fitted out with the typical gear you’ll find in a police car, including lights, a siren, a police computer, and dash cameras.

In the tweet, the Italian Police humbly claim: “‘To save a life you don’t need superpowers,’ – solidarity, technology and efficiency also help.”

However, it remains arguable whether one could claim that a Lamborghini Huracán isn’t a superpower in its own right.

It’s not the only Lamborghini in the national police fleet, either. According to The Drive, the Huracán LP 610-4 was added to the force in 2017 as a replacement for a Lamborghini Gallardo that was decommissioned.

The car, which was the second Huracán used by Italian police, was even delivered to the police personally by Lamborghini’s CEO Stefano Domenicali.

“The new Lamborghini Huracán stands for Italian super sports car excellence and we are proud to provide it to the Italian State Police,” outgoing CEO Stephan Winklemann announced prior to the delivery.

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Skateboarding Viral Star Nathan ‘Doggface’ Apodaca Buys New Home For His Family in Cash

Elias Marat

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For many of us, 2020 has been one of the roughest and most disruptive years of our lives.

That definitely isn’t the case for Nathan Apodaca, also known as Doggface, whose fortunes saw a sharp turnaround earlier this year when a TikTok video of him skating to work while drinking cranberry juice and lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 classic “Dreams” went viral.

And now, the charismatic viral video star can finally call himself a homeowner.

Apodaca, 37, had been living in a mobile home before purchasing the home in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The home has five bedrooms and three bathrooms, and was purchased entirely with $320,000 in cash, reports TMZ.

The viral sensation, who is of Mexican and Northern Arapaho Native American descent, had long been a staple on social platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, where he could be seen dancing, skating, and pop-locking to old-school tunes while wearing a big smile on his face.

His positive attitude and optimism never wavered even when he was living in an RV without running water that was parked outside his brother’s home. Apodaca earned his living working as a manual laborer at a potato warehouse, where he was employed alongside his father.

“We’ve been working ever since the pandemic, getting potatoes out to whoever needs them,” Apodaca told Los Angeles Times.

In late September, however, Doggface broke beyond his dedicated fanbase on Instagram pages like Foos Gone Wild and reached mainstream fame when his car broke down on the way to work and he decided to film himself happily lip-syncing to the Fleetwood Mac hit while sipping Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice straight from the bottle.

The video immediately went viral and spread across the internet, gaining 11.5 million likes on TikTok and innumerable likes and comments in all other corners of the internet.

The video even spiked interest in Fleetwood Mac, with streams of “Dreams” quickly catapulting the song to the top of iTunes charts as new generations got hooked on the song.

Soon enough, even Fleetwood Mac band members Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks released their own versions of the viral video.

When people discovered the details behind the video, and Apodaca’s working-class struggles, donations began pouring in from various quarters – including from Ocean Spray, which rewarded him with a brand-new pickup truck.

He also got some much-needed work on his recognizable smile, receiving new sets of veneers on his top and bottom rows of teeth while on a trip to L.A. earlier this month.

Apodaca has also appeared alongside a range of celebrities, including Cheech and Chong and Snoop Dogg – the cousin of late hip-hop artist Nate Dogg, who inspired the name “Dogg Face.”

Since going viral, Apodaca also has a following of more than 3 million fans on Instagram and 5.8 million on TikTok.

He’s also raking in money after purchasing an embroidery machine to sell shirts and beanies from his online store, including ones that feature the nickname, “Doggface,” and some of his catchphrases like “DOWN FOO!” and “420 SOULJAZ.”

However, his most special moment came this month after he proposed to his girlfriend Estela Chavez in Las Vegas while on a trip to Nobu Hotel in Caesar’s Palace.

The new family will bring together the couple, as well as Doggface’s daughters Angelica and Makyla – who turned him on to dancing on TikTok and Instagram.

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NYC to Experiment Responding to Some Calls With Mental Health Workers Instead of Police

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On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new pilot program that will send mental health and crisis workers instead of police on emergency mental health calls. 

The program is expected to begin in February and will be composed of new mental health teams from the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services unit and will target two “high-need” neighborhoods, according to Reuters.

“For the first time in our city’s history, health responders will be the default responders for a person in crisis, making sure those struggling with mental illness receive the help they need,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.

The statement went on to say that the professionals on call for mental health crises would be equipped to handle suicide attempts, drug abuse, and physical problems that are often indicators of mental health problems, all situations that police would typically respond to.

The mental health responders will be accompanied by a police officer if there is a weapon involved or “imminent risk of harm,” the statement said.

Even the most simple police encounters can be very stressful, which often makes it difficult to communicate properly. This tends to escalate the situation, considering that most police demand nothing short of complete obedience, even if they are dealing with someone who is not a suspect in a crime.

This can be scary for most people, but for someone who suffers from a mental illness and may already have challenges with communication, these types of encounters can be especially terrifying. Sadly, police across the country have repeatedly proven that they do not have the proper attitude or social skills to deal with mentally ill people. This is extremely obvious when police are called to do a “welfare check” on someone who is struggling with mental illness, only to shoot and kill the person because they didn’t “follow orders” to the officer’s liking.

A 2017 report issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics used self-report survey data from inmates and found that at least 37% of prisoners and 44% of jail inmates had a history of mental health problems. A large portion of these people were convicted of nonviolent drug crimes or offenses associated with homelessness or poverty.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than the average person. According to the Virginia-based Treatment Advocacy Center, a minimum of 1 in 4 fatal police encounters ends the life of an individual with severe mental illness.

Some US cities have already begun experimenting with sending mental health professionals out to deal with certain issues, most notably, Eugene, Oregon, which has been operational for the past 30 years. The program, called, Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets (CAHOOTS), began in Oregon, but is now currently operational in at least 8 US cities. It was estimated that the city of Eugene diverted 17% of 130,000 calls through the CAHOOTS program in 2017 alone. The program is also running in Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Denver, Vancouver, and Portland.

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