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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"I'm just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded its just not right,"

"Courageous" is the only word we can think of in describing Omaha resident Ryan Langenegger. Ryan was attacked earlier this week outside of a restaurant while standing up for his two friends who are #gay.

Ryan and his friends Josh and Jacob were eating when the harassment began. Jacob was dressed in drag and three men began to verbally abuse them. Ryan and his two friends decided to leave in the hopes of avoiding an altercation, but the men followed them out of the restaurant and continued their insults, even blocking them from leaving.

"I didn't know if they were going to try to hurt them...I stepped in and said, 'Hey we aren't looking for any trouble,'" says Ryan, "As I'm comes up and hits me in the face. I stand up and he also swings at my other friend and misses and I just look at him and say, 'Why?' There's no reason for this."

Ryan suffered bruises, chipped teeth and gash to his forehead, but says it was worth it to stand up for his friends. "I'm just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded its just not right," he added.

We applaud Ryan for defending his friends' rights to be who they are. Not everyone may support #gayrights, but we can all agree no one has the right to harm someone for what they believe in!

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An Omaha man told WOWT 6 News he is recovering Monday after being attacked in the Old Market Saturday night. Ryan Langenegger said he was punched after sticking up for his friends, who were being harassed for being gay.

Langenegger said he and his two friends, Josh Foo and Jacob Gellinger, were eating at Pepperjax Grill in the Old Market around 2 a.m. when the harassment began. Jacob was dressed in drag.

"We were eating and there was three guys watching us and one of them stepped up and was a foot or two away from my friend {Gellinger} and he just kept saying should I should I?" Langenegger explained.

Gellinger said eventually he told the men, "I know I'm a boy in a dress." Kellenegger said the men then told Gellinger, "Yeah, you're disgusting and more colorful language and insisted on using more derogatory remarks toward my two friends."

That's when the three friends decided to leave the restaurant, but according to Langenegger, the men followed them outside and eventually cut them off, preventing them from getting to their car and leaving.

"I stepped in and said, 'Hey we aren’t looking for any trouble,' and as I’m talking to him one of his friends from the corner of my eye comes up and hits me in the face. I stand up and he also swings at my other friend and misses and I just look at him and say, 'Why?' There's no reason for this."

The friends say they are upset because they were minding their own business and didn't do anything to provoke the fight.

Langenegger suffered bruising on the face, two chipped teeth, and a giant gash on his forehead. He says taking the punch was worth it to stick up for his friends.

"I see this happen all the time with my friends and it’s really sickening. It’s 2013, we live in Omaha, a lot of people don’t realize that this stuff is going on and it's just not right, and I'm just not going to stand by and watch my friends and pretty much family get degraded its just not right," he told WOWT 6 News.

Foo said, "What he did for standing up that meant so much to me." Gellinger also thanked Kellenegger, "He got in the way otherwise it would have been us."

The friends said they hope to get surveillance footage from the Pepperjax and the attackers credit card information that he likely used inside the restaurant to track him down. They hope charges will be pressed against them.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Trevor Simms didn't have long to live so he made it count.

Everybody matters! 

Trevor Sims of Baton Rouge died last week after a five year battle with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare #cancer that typically affects kids. Though sick, Trevor was determined to start a food drive to help combat hunger -- something he was all too well acquainted with: when he was first diagnosed, his mother was unable to buy food.

"We were starving for two or three days in a row," Trevor said. "She couldn't get a job because she had to take care of me. I don't want anyone to feel that way."

Trevor sought to gather money and food for the Baton Rouge Food Bank to help the #homeless and the#hungry. In response, the organization dedicated a week-long charity in his honor. During that time, they collected nearly 23,000 pounds of food and $34,000, enough to provide approximately 200,000 meals.

Trevor said people can make a difference by doing little things for people: "You can make a difference everyday just by helping someone who is getting bullied or helping someone cross the street." 

We'll never forget Trevor, or his simple, perfect message:Everyone Matters
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

An Aspie's Journey on the Employment Rollercoaster By Ben: Guest Post from my Mentor Garry Burge

An Aspie's Journey on the Employment Rollercoaster By Ben: Guest Post from my Mentor Garry Burge: This week's post is my first guest post which is written by Garry Burge who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome 1998 by Dr Tony ...

He was innocent, and she believed him.

For the rest of his days, Anthony Graves will never forget Nicole Casarez. 

Graves was on death row in Texas, convicted of being an accomplice to the murder of a woman, her daughter and several of her grandchildren. Anthony swore he was not involved in the crime. The actual murderer, who had initially indicated Anthony had taken part, later recanted multiple times, including on the day of his execution.

Attorney -- and journalism professor -- Nicole Casarez believed Anthony and was determined to see him exonerated. She along with students fome her class at the University of St Thomas worked tirelessly to bring Anthony justice.

Finally in 2010, and after 18 years behind bars, Anthony Graves was a free man.

The story doesn't end there. Anthony was determined to repay Nicole for her dedication, but knew it had to be something special, "I wanted to repay Nicole but I knew she’d never accept money from me," Anthony says, "I thought about giving her an amazing trip somewhere, but I wanted to give her something that would live on."

Instead, Anthony established a college scholarship in Nicole's honor at the University of Texas Law School, which he presented to her at a dinner party.

Back in 2011, Nicole said Anthony's exoneration was proof that we should "never underestimate the power of dedicated people working for good."

Applause to Anthony for his tribute, and gratitude to Nicole and her students for remembering that Everyone Matters

"Witches are people too!"

Tom here from Everyone Matters...

As Halloween approaches, let's talk about witches – since you're seeing a lot of them around. Most people only know about witches from TV and movies, the Halloween costumes and caricatures. Two networks are debuting shows about witches -- Lifetime's 'Witches of East End' and FX's "American Horror Story: Coven." 

I always find myself a little amused at the way Hollywood portrays witches: somewhere between sexed-up goth girls or hellfire-infused, robe wearing devil worshipers.

Because, as it happens -- and I am proud to say - I have several friends that are modern-day Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. They are regular people, with regular jobs who happen to practice a different religion than most would be used to -- although arguably their beliefs pre-date many others by a long, long time.

A few years ago, my wife and I were visiting family in Massachusetts, and we stopped in Salem to introduce our boys to some Witches. We went in one of the local stores and explained to the folks working there that we were looking to "break the stereotypes" associated with Witches. The ladies (yes some dressed in black, but some dressed quite conventionally) were all too happy to talk with our little guys, explaining (in terms a kid would understand) what their beliefs were. One young lady giggled and blushed when our one son said, "But, you're so pretty...aren't witches scary with pointy hats?"

So, you may not be aware that Witches, Wiccans or Pagans exist – and still may not believe in it, which is okay - but there are others that do, and who practice it as their form of spirituality.

At Everyone Matters, we believe that everyone has a right to follow their own form of spirituality and belief system (including not believing), as long as it allows others to believe what they believe, equally. 

FYI - Join us at Everyone Matters - where EVERYONE is allowed to BE who they are, and BELIEVE what they believe -(as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, and they don't FORCE anyone else to believe what they believe!)

FYI - if you're curious about what Wicca is, check out
 — with Cindy Loss.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bruce owns Food Truck Heaven, a business where he converts old bread trucks into food service vehicles.

Everyone matters! A while back we told you about Gary Pickering: formerly#homeless, Gary began constructing pod-like shelters to help people down on their luck escape the elements and regain a little dignity. Inspired by Gary's idea, Florida resident Bruce Hicks has created a similar shelter.

Bruce owns Food Truck Heaven, a business where he converts old bread trucks into food service vehicles. Bruce created a aluminum shelter that includes a portable toilet, a bed, storage and a place to cook outside. The total cost -- around $500.

"How can we not have compassion for somebody out on the street?" Bruce says, "What's better than eating, sleeping and washing yourself and feeling safe? When the door closes, they are able to sit there without the other [outside] pressures."

Bruce plans to take the pods to local shelters to see if they would be interested in investing in some.

Thank you Bruce for keeping dignity alive for those less fortunate. Everyone Matters

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Behind The White Picket Fence: Review Policy

Behind The White Picket Fence: Review Policy: Greetings,   Thank you for taking an interest in Behind The White Picket Fence. I'd love to review your book! My policy is pretty strai...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Richard Turner's Blog: THE LAST EAGLE ON AMAZON

Richard Turner's Blog: THE LAST EAGLE ON AMAZON: A Forgotten Secret. A Lethal Enemy. A Deadly Race against the Odds. When a Russian prince is murdered in England, former soldier C...

Monday, October 7, 2013

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