Tolu Coker Awarded Fashion Scout’s Merit Award

GOLDEN TICKET: London-based designer Tolu Coker has been awarded Fashion Scout’s Merit Award. Coker will be granted 20,000 pounds, which will go toward expanding her business, and a fully sponsored runway show under the Fashion Scout program taking place during London Fashion Week, which runs from Feb. 14 to 19.
Previous winners of the award include Phoebe English, David Koma, Katie Roberts-Wood of Roberts|Wood and Eudon Choi.
“It came as a surprise to hear that I’ve won but also a challenge preparing for a debut show because I’m a one-woman band. It’s such an honor and it’s come at such an important time because storytelling is such an integral part of my brand,” the designer said.
Coker’s label champions sustainability — she is known for using upcycled denim, leather and recycled plastic scraps in her collection, which features bold embroidery and textures.
She has already racked up a roster of high-profile clients, with the likes of Rihanna, Demi Lovato and Emili Sandé wearing her pieces.
“Tolu’s brand was an easy decision for the judging panel to award Merit to, due to her originality and exciting concept of implementing past generations and dual cultures into her work,” said Martyn Roberts, founder and creative director of Fashion Scout.

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Texas Couple Awarded $3.4M After Wrongful Convictions for Abusing Kids in Satanic Rituals: Reports

A Texas couple was awarded approximately $ 3.4 million on Tuesday, decades after they were accused of sexually abusing children during alleged satanic rituals outside of their Austin child care care facility, according to multiple news reports.

Dan and Fran Keller spent more than 21 years in prison after they were found guilty in 1992, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The money they are set to receive is from a state fund to compensate wrongfully convicted people.

The Kellers were accused of sexually abusing a 3-year-old girl after children at the day care they operated out of their home told investigators of “satanic rituals, drinking blood laced cool aide, taking children to Mexico by plane to be raped-dismemberment of bodies, there were even stories of putting children in a pool with sharks,” according to local TV station KTBC.

They were each sentenced to 48 years in prison but were freed in 2013 and a Texas appeals court overturned their convictions in 2015, the Statesman reports, writing on Tuesday night:

“The Keller case made national news after three children accused them in 1991 of leading ghastly satanic rituals. … No evidence of such activities was discovered at their in-home day care facility, and the case against them collapsed about two decades later when the only physical evidence of abuse was acknowledged as a mistake by the examining physician.”

In June, the Travis County, Texas, district attorney, Margaret Moore, dismissed the cases against the Kellers and declared them “actually innocent,” citing “no credible evidence” that they committed the crimes of which they were accused, according to station KXAN.

The wrongful convictions have been cited as examples of a widespread “satanic panic” of the ’80s and ’90s.

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“They are now compensated and no longer must fear homelessness or lack of health insurance,” the Kellers’ attorney wrote in an email, KXAN reports. “They are buying a home and can live out their lives in peace and quiet. I am very happy for them.”

The Kellers’ wish list includes buying a house, a car, health insurance and better hearing aids for Dan, 75, according to the Statesman.

Fran, 67, told the paper that she and her husband were ecstatic with the news.

“This means we don’t have to worry about pinching pennies on Social Security, and late bills,” she said. “It means we will actually be free. We can start living — and no more nightmares.”


PEOPLE.com

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Mother of Juanita Yates Awarded 1st Prize at Healthiest-Baby Contest at All African American Fair

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