LISTEN: Casket Crusades Begin in Akron (UCNN 07/16/17)

1. WKYC TV – Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Akron Saturday in the first of three “Casket Crusades,” an event meant to highlight the amount of community deaths due to violence and drug abuse. The event saw those involved march through some of the hardest-hit areas of Akron, carrying empty caskets as a symbol of those lost. Later, when the march ended at Joy Park, the caskets were opened to reveal mirrors, allowing people to see their own reflection. Dr. R.A. Vernon of The Word Church organized the event and spoke toward its end. Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan was also in attendance. The second Casket Crusade will take place July 22 in East Cleveland, and the third and final one will take place July 29 in Cleveland’s Public Square.

2. NYT – The victims were striking in their diversity: young and old; men, women, and children. There were 37 foreigners from 19 countries; about a third of those killed were Muslim. On Friday, thousands gathered in the Mediterranean city of Nice, France, to commemorate the 86 victims killed one year ago when a terrorist drove through Bastille Day crowds on the city’s famous seaside promenade.

3. NY Daily News – Police have arrested three of the four men suspected of sexually assaulting a woman as she left her Queens church. Brandon Walker, 20, Justin Williams, 17, and Julisses Ginel, 19, were charged early Friday in the sickening attack on Liberty Ave. The last suspect, a 20-year-old man, was still being sought. The victim, 50, was leaving the church about 11 p.m. Tuesday when the four creeps grabbed her. When reached Thursday, the victim, a Liberian immigrant, declined to comment. The suspects all live in the same group home in Jamaica, police said.

4. NYT – Tyler Perry, the writer, director, producer, playwright and actor, has signed a long-term deal with Viacom that could help the fortunes of that embattled media conglomerate. Mr. Perry, best known for his “Madea” movie series, has agreed to produce 90 episodes annually of original drama and comedy series for BET and other Viacom networks. Viacom will also have exclusive distribution rights to Mr. Perry’s short-form video content, and its Paramount Pictures group will have “first-look” rights on his feature-film concepts. The film deal starts immediately, but the TV and video components won’t begin until 2019, when Mr. Perry’s agreement with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network expires. The Viacom deal is to run through 2024.

5. Guardian – An Indiana woman who didn’t want her canceled $30,000 wedding to go to waste threw a party for the homeless instead. On Saturday, at the swanky event center that Sarah Cummins had booked for the reception in Carmel, a suburb just north of Indianapolis, about a dozen veterans from a local organization were among guests who dined on bourbon-glazed meatballs, roasted garlic bruschetta and wedding cake. Cummins told the Indianapolis Star that she and her fiance called off the wedding a week ago. She declined to give a reason, but said they were left with a nonrefundable contract for the Ritz Charles and a plated dinner for 170 guests.

6. NYT – Meechy Monroe, who achieved YouTube fame with hairstyle tutorials that empowered black women to embrace the natural hair movement and forgo harsh chemicals, died June 27 at a nursing home in Westmont, Ill. She was 32. The cause was brain cancer, her mother, Patricia Moore, said.

7. BBC – A rare snowfall in the Chilean capital Santiago has caused disruption and blackouts, leaving thousands of residents shivering in the dark. About 250,000 people were hit by power cuts, officials said, mostly caused by snow-laden trees falling on cables. One death was reported – of a worker trying to clear ice – and two other people were injured by a fallen power line, Chilean media said. Meteorologists say it was the heaviest snowfall in Santiago since 2007.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Psalms 91:2 says, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!