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In Memoriam: Evangelist Denise Katrina Matthews (1959-2016)

by on Feb.16, 2016, under 2016 Year, African-American Community, Leadership, World News

NEW YORK — Denise Matthews, the singer, model, and actress known as Vanity who toured with Prince in the 1980s before eschewing her wild persona for a life as a minister, died Monday in Fremont, Calif.. She was 57.

Vanity in the 1980's

Vanity in the 1980’s

Ms. Matthews’s sister Renay Matthews confirmed her death. She said Ms. Matthews had checked into a hospital Saturday night after years of health problems related to her kidneys.

Denise Katrina Matthews was born on Jan. 4, 1959, the daughter of Helga Senyk and James Levia Matthews, and grew up in Niagara Falls, Ontario. She worked as a model in Canada before moving to the United States.

She met Prince at the American Music Awards in 1980, and the two soon became romantically involved. He also invited her to be a part of Vanity 6, the funky, erotically charged girl group that had a hit in 1982 with “Nasty Girl” and toured with Prince. She appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with Prince, in a portrait shot by Richard Avedon, with her hands creeping down the front of his pants.

Prince and Vanity in 1982

Prince and Vanity in 1983

Ms. Matthews was supposed to play the female lead role in “Purple Rain,” the semiautobiographical Prince film that was a box-office hit in 1984, but she abandoned the project before filming began. She went on to release two albums as a solo artist on Motown, “Wild Animal” and “Skin on Skin.”

She thrived on raciness, often performing in lingerie. “My music is very sexual, so you could say I’m just putting all of me out there,” she told the Associated Press in 1985. She was on the cover of Playboy in 1988.

As an actress, she appeared on television and in films including “The Last Dragon,” “Never Too Young to Die,” “Action Jackson,” and “52 Pick-Up.”

By her own later admission, Ms. Matthews led a fast life, and it took its toll. In an interview with Jet magazine in 1993, she said she had been “extremely wild” in her younger days.

“There was a lot of cocaine,” she said. “I tried men, women, everything. I didn’t snort cocaine, I smoked it.”

Denise "Vanity" Matthews Pictured Center with fellow band mates Brenda Bennett on left and Susan Moonsie on right in the former girl group Vanity 6

Denise “Vanity” Matthews Pictured Center with fellow band mates Brenda Bennett on left and Susan Moonsie on right in the former girl group Vanity 6

She told Jet that drug use had nearly killed her: She had had renal failure a few years earlier and was told by doctors that she had only three days to live.

After that experience, her life took a religious turn. She left the name Vanity behind and became a Christian evangelist.

Evangelist Denise Matthews

Evangelist Denise Matthews


“All I had become was thus painted on my face — vanity,” she later wrote on a personal website.

From Vanity to Denise the Evangelist

From Vanity to Denise the Evangelist

According to her sister, Ms. Matthews eventually became an ordained minister and preached in churches around the country. She published an autobiography in 1999, “Blame It on Vanity.”

In the mid-1990s, Ms. Matthews was briefly married to the professional football player Anthony Wayne Smith, who was sentenced to life in prison for murder last month.

Her and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was; I loved her for the artist she was trying to be.’ – Prince

Prince, onstage in Melbourne, speaking about his former tour-mate
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As news of her death spread Monday during the Grammy Awards, many musicians expressed their condolences on social media.

“Vanity was everything to me,” wrote the drummer for The Roots, Ahmir Thompson, better known as Questlove.

The rapper MC Hammer said he had been in church with Ms. Matthews on Saturday. “Vanity left church after giving a beautiful testimony,” he wrote.

Onstage in Melbourne on Tuesday, Prince offered a tribute of his own. “Her and I used to love each other deeply,” he told the crowd, according to Australian news media accounts. “She loved me for the artist I was; I loved her for the artist she was trying to be.”

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Blizzard 2016: Important numbers, links if you suffer a power outage in the DC region

by on Jan.22, 2016, under Revival In America, World News

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Here are key phone numbers and websites to report a power outage in your area.

Pepco

Website: www.pepco.com
To report power outages and downed wires: 1-877-737-2662 or at www.pepco.com/pages/connectwithus/outages/reportoutage.aspx
Check outage status: www.pepco.com/pages/connectwithus/outages/checkstatus.aspx
View power outage map: www.pepco.com/pages/connectwithus/outages/outagemaps.aspx
Twitter: @PepcoConnect
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PepcoConnect

Dominion Virginia Power

Website: www.dom.com
To report and check outage status: Call 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) or at www.dom.com/residential/dominion-virginia-power/outage-center/report-and-check-outages
Interactive outage map: outagemap.dom.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/external/default.html
Twitter: @DomVAPower
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dominionvirginiapower

Baltimore Gas and Electric

Website: www.bge.com
To report an outage or downed wires: Call 1-877-778-2222 or at secure.bge.com/reportanoutage/Pages/reportanoutage.aspx
To report a gas leak or other emergencies: 1-800-685-0123
Power outage map: outagemap.bge.com
Twitter: @MyBGE
Facebook: www.facebook.com/myBGE

SMECO

Website: smeco.coop
To report an outage: 1-877-747-6326 (1-877-74-SMECO)
Power outage map: stormcenter.smeco.coop/external/default.html
Twitter: @somdelectric
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SMECO.coop/?fref=nf

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NOVEC

Website: www.novec.com
To report an outage: Call 1-888-335-0500 or at www.novec.com/forms2/acctsigninform.cfm?type=outage
Power outage map: stormcenter.novec.com/index.cfm
Twitter: @NOVEC
Facebook: www.facebook.com/novec

MonPower

Website: www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/mon_power.html
To report an outage: Call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) or at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help/Report_Power_Outages.html
Check current outages: www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help/current_outages_maps.html
Twitter: @MonPowerWV

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Get your financial house in order: Canada officially enters recession

by on Sep.01, 2015, under 2015 Year, Endtimes, Financial, World News

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Ottawa (AFP) – Reeling from low oil prices, Canada fell into a recession in the first half of the year, government data confirmed Tuesday, putting Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the defensive in the run-up to October elections.

According to Statistics Canada, the economy contracted 0.5 percent in the second quarter after retreating 0.8 percent in the previous three months.

It is Canada’s second recession in seven years and it is the only Group of Seven nation in economic retreat. The figures are the weakest since the 2008 global financial crisis.

The data reflects fears about the health of the global economy as more gloomy evidence emerged of a slowdown in China, a main engine of growth worldwide.

Harper, whose Tories are trailing their rivals in opinion polls ahead of the October 19 election, blamed the overseas turmoil for Canada’s woes, and emphasized an expansion in the economy in June.

“We are living, once again, in a time of ongoing global economic instability,” Harper said.

“Obviously there has been challenges, particularly in the energy and some commodity sectors because of falling prices. But the fact of the matter is over 80 percent of the Canadian economy has been growing.”

Canada, the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, has been hit particularly hard by the halving of world oil prices from above $100 last year.

In the second quarter, its mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector posted a “notable decrease” for a second consecutive quarter, said the government statistical agency.

.. View gallery
Canada, the world's fifth-largest oil producer, …
Canada, the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, has been hit hard by the plunge in world oil pri …

Analysts said the damage however could be limited.

“Despite the weak start to the year, there is good reason to believe that the worst is over,” said TD economist Brian DePratto.

DePratto cited the sharp increase in GDP in June, “providing positive momentum to start the second half of the year.” He predicted a “sharp rebound” in the third quarter with growth reaching 2.5 percent by year’s end.

– Harper under fire –

On the campaign trail, where the economy has dominated the debate, opposition parties pounced on the grim data, urging voters to send the Tories packing.

“Under Stephen Harper, this has been Canada’s lost decade,” leftist New Democratic Party candidate Andrew Thomson told a press conference in Ottawa.

“Ten years of job losses, continued crumbling of infrastructure, tax breaks for the wealthy and a situation where the middle class continues to struggle to get ahead, 150 billion dollars in new debt and two recessions — people are telling us they have had enough.”

Thomson — whose critiques were echoed by the Liberals — said the Conservatives’ stewardship of the economy has been a failure.

“We need to bring change to Ottawa,” he said.

Harper has insisted that, oil aside, the rest of the economy is doing well, although the figures point to broad declines in a third of sectors.

At a steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario, he urged voters to support his party’s leadership, saying he had “the proven experience to keep us safe and keep our economy moving forward.”

– Business investment down –

In the second quarter, business outlays for machinery and equipment, communications and audio and video equipment, furniture, fixtures and prefabricated structures, and intellectual property products fell.

New housing construction decreased, but this was mitigated by an increase in renovations and strong resale activity, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadians also bought more cars and trucks, insurance and financial services, as well as food, beverages and accommodation services in the period.

Overall, exports edged up 0.1 percent after decreasing 0.3 percent in the first quarter. Imports declined 0.4 percent.

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In Memoriam: Marcy Borders, survivor known as ‘Dust Lady’ in iconic 9/11 photo, dies at 42

by on Aug.27, 2015, under 2015 Year, African-American Community, Endtimes, Revival In America, World News

New York (CNN)Many remember the haunting photograph: A woman wearing business attire and pearls is covered head-to-toe in white dust, her hands held out helplessly before her, as she makes her way out of the World Trade Center’s damaged North Tower on September 11, 2001.

Marcy Borders survived that day, getting out before both towers of the trade center crumbled and killed 2,753 people in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

But the woman in the photos, known to most as the “Dust Lady,” died Tuesday, her family said. She was 42.

She had been battling stomach cancer since last year, daughter Noelle Borders told CNN.

“My mom fought enemies in battle and I just loved her so much,” Borders said in a phone interview. “She will always live through me.”

Family members mourned the mother of two on Facebook.

“I can’t believe my sister is gone,” Michael Borders, her brother, posted.

“We lost our very own hero,” her cousin Elnardo Borders wrote.

Borders was 28, working as a legal assistant at Bank of America in the North Tower of the World Trade Center, when planes hijacked by terrorists struck.

People we lost in 2015
111 photos: People we lost in 2015
Freelance photographer Stan Honda took the famous photograph as Borders escaped the collapsing building through a cloud of dust.

“It wasn’t like it was one of the best images you would want to view out in the world,” she told CNN in an interview six months after the attacks. “Just looking at it just shows how much fear.”

Borders battled depression and drug addiction following the attacks, the Jersey Journal reported, but she checked into rehab in 2011 and found sobriety.

She had recently found work again as well — on a local political campaign in her native New Jersey — when she was diagnosed with cancer, according to the paper.

“How do you go from being healthy to waking up the next day with cancer?” she said in an interview with the Jersey Journal. “I’m saying to myself, ‘Did this thing (the towers’ collapse) ignite cancer cells in me?'”

“I definitely believe it because I haven’t had any illnesses,” she told the paper.

As of May, 3,700 survivors and first responders at the World Trade Center site have been diagnosed with cancers resulting from the terrorist attack, according to the CDC’s World Trade Center Health Program.

Reports from the CDC found that the collapse of the towers exposed workers and the general public to a number of known chemical carcinogens.

In a tweet Tuesday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio remembered the survivor: “Marcy Borders’ passing is a difficult reminder of the tragedy our city suffered nearly 14 years ago. NYC holds her loved ones in our hearts.”


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