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Childhood video game obsession can lead to adult addiction





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Sandy Springs’ adult business battles inch closer to Supreme Court appeal

John Ruch Posted by
on September 17, 2017.

Is the city’s crackdown on adult businesses a legitimate fight against crime or an unconstitutional violation of civil liberties? After decade-long legal battles, that question is inching closer to being asked directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In recent weeks, the city won yet another federal court decision, and faced yet another appeal, in its war with local strip clubs and an adult bookstore. On paper, the city is winning the cases, but in practice, it often does so by making last-minute changes to its laws which effectively loosen the intended restrictions on adult businesses.

The sign for the adult bookstore Inserection at 7855 Roswell Road. (John Ruch)

This year, that legal strategy has included deleting an entire ordinance banning sex-toy sales and expanding the districts where adult businesses are allowed in the new zoning code from one to seven. Such last-minute changes have themselves become part of the lawsuits’ controversies.

Cary Wiggins, an attorney representing businesses involved in two of the legal battles, says appeals to the Supreme Court are on the table. While the Supreme Court accepts only a small number of the thousands of cases submitted, even a petition for its review would mean even more years of high-stakes legal combat.

“We’re not going to leave any stone unturned,” Wiggins said of the strategy in one of the two cases.

City Attorney Dan Lee declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation.

Wiggins represents two strip clubs, Flashers and Mardi Gras, and the bookstore Inserection, which is located on Roswell Road across the street from City Hall. The businesses are involved in two separate but related lawsuits that recently had significant developments: the main challenge to city zoning and alcohol laws, and a spin-off case about the sex-toy ban.

The main case
The main case began in 2006, when the businesses challenged new city codes suggested by Scott Bergthold, a Tennessee attorney who specializes in municipal laws cracking down on sexually oriented businesses. The codes aimed to ban the sale of booze — a major source of revenue — in strip clubs and to place strong zoning restrictions on where such businesses could operate.

The city has said it has no problem with adult entertainment per se, but argues that it produces crime as a side effect that needs to be controlled. The businesses say the city’s laws are motivated by a bias against their work and intended to make it impossible for them to operate. The businesses sued, claiming violations of the U.S. Constitution’s First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Attorney Cary Wiggins.

The city won an initial hearing and also won a federal court appeal on Aug. 14. On Sept. 1, the businesses filed a petition for the case to be re-heard, preferably by a panel of all judges of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The businesses claim a three-judge panel that heard the appeal did not pay enough attention to certain constitutional arguments.

If the court declines to re-hear the case, the next available step for the businesses would be a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wiggins said his clients aren’t looking that far ahead yet, but added, “We’re going to continue to pursue the case, no question about that.”

The petition to re-hear the case focuses on the interpretation of two Supreme Court decisions. In one of those cases, Los Angeles v. Alameda Books, Inc. (2002), the court upheld zoning restrictions on adult bookstores similar to those in Sandy Springs. However, Wiggins asks the court to focus on Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in that case, which cautioned that cities can regulate the effects of such bookstores, but not by directly suppressing their speech.

The other Supreme Court decision was last year’s influential Reed v. Town of Gilbert, which said a city’s sign ordinance violated First Amendment free speech rights because it restricted the size of certain signs based on their content. In Sandy Springs, the adult businesses seem to suggest the case could apply to restrictions in zoning categories, too, when they are treated different from other clubs or bookstores.

The ‘sexual devices’ case
In 2009, the city enacted a sex-toy ban targeting adult bookstores. Under the ordinance, anyone selling a “sexual device” could have been fined, jailed or sentenced to “confinement at labor.” Inserection challenged the ban as part of the main lawsuit, and a court later ordered the dispute to be a separate case, with two individual residents joining the bookstore as plaintiffs.

The city won initial rounds in court. But in March, the entire 11th Circuit Court threw out a previous decision and agreed to re-hear the case, strongly suggesting the ordinance was about to be ruled unconstitutional. Days later, the City Council quietly deleted the ordinance from the books.

However, the lawsuit continued, though the major point of controversy became whether the ordinance’s deletion made the dispute moot. On Aug. 23, a divided 11th Circuit ruled the case was indeed moot and the plaintiffs cannot seek damages.

The last possible appeal would be a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that is under consideration.

“We’re exploring options with an eye to moving to the next level,” said Wiggins.

In the Aug. 23 decision, the court majority noted that it is fair to be skeptical of the city’s last-minute killing of the sex-toy ban in question.

“We are cognizant of the fact that the city defended its ordinance for nearly a decade and … declined to concede that it was unconstitutional,” the opinion says. But, the court adds, “Appellants have already won” and cannot be given damages for “purely psychic satisfaction.”

However, five justices joined a dissenting opinion that said the case should have continued. Letting the city slip away by killing the ordinance after years of subjecting the bookstore to it, the justice wrote, amounts to saying that “the government gets one free pass at violating your constitutional rights.”

The court majority wrote that it believed the city’s deletion of the ordinance was sincere, not a manipulation of the system, partly because of City Council public “deliberation” and public votes on the subject: the actual repeal, and a resolution in which the council “disavowed” the ordinance and promised to never again pass one like it.

The ordinance repeal was public, but carried out with no open council discussion and no hint of its controversial purpose. The repeal was approved by the council on its “consent agenda,” where various unrelated items are up for a single vote without elaboration or discussion. It appeared on that agenda under a generic title and its true details could be seen only by clicking through a link on the online version of the agenda.

And it is unclear what resolution “disavowing” such laws the court referred to, as none seems to have been on any City Council agenda between the time of the ordinance repeal and the court hearing.

John Ruch

About John Ruch

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Aziz Ansari Dressed Up for a Flight Because He’s an Adult


Follow @GQ for photos of celebrities, what to wear to work, and more.

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Why Once Upon a Time’s adult Henry is hoping for a 5-star rating …

Mild spoiler pertaining to the next season of Once Upon a Time below!

If you’ve been wondering what will become of Henry Daniel Mills in the upcoming seventh season of Once Upon a Time then fasten your seatbelts, because an interesting spoiler has just arrived at your door.

Actor Andrew J. West will be taking over the role as the adult Henry, and executive producer Edward Kitsis tells Entertainment Weekly he will be working as… wait for it… an Uber driver. Well, sort of. In the fantasy Seattle town of Hyperion Heights they’re known as Swyft drivers FYI.

“He is an Uber driver,” Kitsis tells EW. “He wrote one book called Once Upon a Time that we’ll realize has all the stories from the first six seasons, but it did not do well, no one bought it, and he’s a guy that’s kind of down on his luck looking for his place in the world.”

Set many years after the last season’s events, this time round things will be lead by the grown-up Henry Mills, who is now father to a ten-year-old girl named Lucy. Kitsis explains: “Henry had the heart of the truest believer and when we meet him he no longer believes, and it’s up to his daughter — who he doesn’t even realize is his daughter — to help him find his belief again.”

As well as Ubers, there’ll also be an abundance other familiar technologies Kitsis says, including “juice bars and Instagram and robots.” Well, it’s certainly an upgrade on Storybrooke. We’ll also be finding out more on the Queen-formerly-known-as-Regina (Lana Parilla) and the cop version of Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) living in contemporary Seattle.

Will you be giving the next season a five-star-rating? Let us know in the comments below.

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Adult and Teen Challenge to hold open house on Monday

Members of Omaha’s Life Church help hang drywall in the basement of Adult and Teen Challenge of the Midlands Blue River Women’s Center in Beatrice on Friday. The center will hold an open house Monday.

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Young adult ministry accompanied me during addiction recovery

Scott Weeman

The young adult ministry at St. Brigid Parish in San Diego saved my life.

On a Wednesday evening in October 2011 — having about 72 hours of sobriety from alcohol and drugs under my belt — I was greeted with a firm handshake by a young man who ultimately led the sea of men and women surrounding us in a weekly Bible study.

At the time, I couldn’t envision how valuable that community of young believers would be to my sobriety, spiritual development and growth as a man.

I moved to San Diego when I was 25 years old and on a serious losing streak. I dipped my toes into the parish when I first made the move, mostly because the woman I moved across the country with wanted me to, and she was the only good thing left I had going for me.

A year later, the relationship was over and I was completely deflated of hope. I reached out for help, calling my family members and close friends to tell them how terrible things had gotten as a result of my alcohol and drug use.

The next day, I got involved in a recovery fellowship and, by the grace of God, have not had a drink or gotten high since then. Two days after that, I was back at St. Brigid. (Read my full story here.)

Seeking the church as a source of community was something very new to me. I was certain that the group of young adults around me were good people that probably had their own struggles, but questioned whether they would accept me as a recently reformed deviant.

The awkward small talk and icebreakers were worth getting through to be a part of friendships that centered around Christ and correlated with my improved behavior. As the weeks and months passed, I was accompanied by men and women who walked by my side and offered social, spiritual and emotional support when I needed it. They still do today.

Invariably, I was bound to fall into other vices and supplement the lack of “fix” that I was getting from alcohol and drugs. Personal insecurities had me wanting to seek comfort from women, overstepping healthy boundaries, and putting others at emotional risk.

I was judging myself by the standards of the world and continued to find myself coming up short. When I learned to identify as a beloved son of God, with whom he is well-pleased, I treated myself and others with more dignity.

As noted in the Vatican’s preparatory document for the 2018 synod on young people, accompaniment was critical in this process. It was one thing hearing a priest speak about these things, but it became real as I watched my relatively youthful peers living it out.

While working through the 12 steps of addiction recovery, I found countless similarities between the spiritual principles of recovery and the sacramental life of the Catholic Church.

The whole process seemed like something I was being plunged — or baptized — into. Through the lens of my own brokenness (and God’s supreme goodness), I engaged the sacraments of reconciliation, Eucharist and confirmation.

As I shared honestly about what I was going through, others seemed to share with a similar amount of vulnerability that, in many cases, formed deep spiritual bonds.

And — as added blessing — I also met my wife, Jacqueline, as a result of participating in spiritual and social events around the church. We are celebrating our first anniversary this month.

Another reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness and his perfect timing.


Join the conversation. Submit a proposal for a guest column to

Scott Weeman is the founder and executive director of Catholic in Recovery, a nonprofit ministry that seeks to bring freedom to those suffering with addiction. His book, “The Twelve Steps and the Sacraments: A Catholic Journey through Recovery,” will be released Nov. 10. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Jacqueline. He is a guest columnist for the Catholic News Service column “In Light of Faith.”

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Vallejo murder suspect’s case in juvenile-adult court limbo

FAIRFIELD — Three days of witness testimony ended Wednesday in an effort by prosecutors to have a teen’s murder case transferred from juvenile court to the adult criminal court.

Elisha M. White of Suisun City was 16 in May 2015 when police said he joined a 19-year-old buddy, Zachery A. Kroll, in an effort to steal an iPhone from a 17-year-old Jesse Bethel High School student in Vallejo.

Prosecutors say as the pair walked toward the student on a path adjacent to the high school while classes were in session, White handed a loaded gun to Kroll. A few seconds later, police said Kroll fatally shot the student in the back of the head.

Kroll and White have pleaded not guilty in their respective criminal cases.

White was originally prosecuted as an adult and faces a murder charge as an accused aider and abettor. But voter-approved changes in the law in November resulted in White’s case being transferred to the juvenile court system. For the past several months, prosecutors have pursued a court order to send White’s case back to the adult court.

Lawyers for White, now 18, have challenged the prosecution effort, urging Juvenile Court Judge Donna Stashyn to keep White’s case in her court. If his case stays in juvenile court, White could be behind bars only until he turns 23. If his case goes back into adult court, he faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life.

White’s lawyers say he is the victim of childhood trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder brought about by the murders of his father and later his step-father. They also believe White has “borderline intellectual functioning” and cognitive disabilities. White’s past traumas, along with troubles with marijuana, starting by age 12, along with his criminal record, starting by age 13, should have been red flags for the juvenile court, which the lawyers say mismanaged his oversight.

Prosecutors point out that White has been locked up in juvenile hall for more than two years and has a history of fighting and threatening staff during that time.

White’s lawyers point out his behavior has radically improved and that he hasn’t been in trouble at the hall since October. Prosecutors say the timing of his behavior change coinciding with the changes in the law “is awfully suspicious.”

White’s lawyers had a psychologist and a consultant testify that, in their expert opinions, White’s best chance of rehabilitation is if his case is kept in the juvenile court system.

White is set to return to court Sept. 20 when Stashyn is expected to rule on the prosecution’s request.

Kroll also faces murder charges. His case is on hold until the future of White’s case is decided.

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New footage shows teen shoved by adult during Concord Mills brawl

CONCORD, N.C. – NBC Charlotte has learned there were multiple fights at Concord Mills Mall Saturday night, but Megan Jones says her 16-year-old son, Kobe, wasn’t involved in a fight with other teenagers. Instead, it was an adult.

“My son turned around, and that’s when the gentleman hit my son in the back of the head,” Jones says of the incident, which was caught on camera.

“My son doesn’t get into fights,” Megan says of Kobe, a freshman at Vance High School.

Kobe goes to Concord Mills every weekend, but this past Saturday was nothing like a standard movie night. Instead he was involved in a cinematic-like scene which was captured on camera.

“I was like breaking up a fight,” recalls Kobe, “And then a grown man hit me out of nowhere.”

Megan says she was told the adult, whose face is blurred in the video, was breaking up a fight his daughter was involved in when he hit Kobe, who is seen in the video wearing a white shirt.

“My son went to stop them,” Megan says.

The video shows the alleged adult hitting Kobe in the back of the head.

“That’s when all the mayhem broke out,” says Megan.

After defending himself, Kobe is knocked to the ground.

“My son has had two brain surgeries,” says Megan. “He’s got a scar from the crown of his head to the bottom of his neck. You can’t miss it.”

Megan is asking for justice for her son and wondering why Concord PD hasn’t charged the alleged adult.

Concord PD has told NBC Charlotte that they will be releasing more information about the incident and any pending charges in the coming days.

© 2017 WCNC.COM

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Michigan Medicine earns accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association

In recognition of its expertise in serving adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan, has received accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA).

Michigan Medicine becomes only center in the state to earn ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) accreditation

Michigan Medicine becomes only center in the state to earn ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) accreditation

The ACHA, a nationwide organization focused on connecting patients, family members and healthcare providers to form a community of support and network of experts with knowledge of congenital heart disease, is launching its national accreditation program with 11 centers across the U.S.

Individuals with CHD, the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. There are now 1.4 million adults in the U.S. living with one of the many different types of congenital heart defects that range among simple, moderate, and complex.

“We are excited to be among the first ACHD programs in the country to earn accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association,” says Timothy Cotts, M.D., cardiologist at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and director of Michigan Medicine’s adult congenital heart disease program at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. “Accreditation status is reflective of the great cooperation at Michigan Medicine between adult and pediatric cardiology, our commitment to patient and family centered care, and the strength of other programs such as maternal fetal medicine.”

Michigan Medicine received accreditation by meeting ACHA’s criteria, which includes medical services and personnel requirements, and going through a rigorous accreditation process, both of which were developed over a number of years through a collaboration with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients.

“There are now more adults than children in the U.S. with CHD,” said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. “Accreditation will elevate the standard of care and have a positive impact on the futures of those living with this disease. Coordination of care is key, and this accreditation program will make care more streamlined for ACHD patients, improving their quality of life.”

About Michigan Medicine: At Michigan Medicine, we create the future of healthcare through the discovery of new knowledge for the benefit of patients and society; educate the next generation of physicians, health professionals and scientists; and serve health needs throughout the state of Michigan and beyond. We pursue excellence every day in our three hospitals, 40 outpatient locations and home care operations that handle more than 2.1 million outpatient visits a year. The U-M Medical School is one of the nation’s biomedical research powerhouses, with total research funding of more than $470 million.

About the Adult Congenital Heart Association 

The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and extending the lives of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). ACHA serves and supports the more than one million adults with CHD, their families and the medical community—working with them to address the unmet needs of the long-term survivors of congenital heart defects through education, outreach, advocacy, and promotion of ACHD research. For more information about ACHA, contact (888) 921-ACHA or visit 


The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program was partially funded by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. ACHA and Actelion Pharmaceuticals have partnered together since 2007 to support the CHD community.

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Vehicle collides with school bus, one adult transported to hospital

One adult was transported to an area hospital after a car collided with the back of a Muskogee Public Schools bus Thursday morning.

The car collided with Bus 35 near the intersection of Hancock Road and South 71st Street. The bus was headed to Creek Elementary.

No students were injured. All students are on another bus on the way to school. The condition of the driver of the car, who was transported to the hosptial, was not available.  

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