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‘It was God,’ sister says of ‘Gospel Grace’ radio host killed while shielding son

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The sister of Tyra Womack, a 57-year-old Baltimore gospel radio host who was shot dead outside her home during a dispute with a neighbor earlier this week, said God intervened and allowed Womack to shield her son, who was the main target, and save his life.

The victim’s sister, Courtney Scott, told news station WBAL that the suspect came out of nowhere and began firing at Womack’s 25-year-old son, who was waiting for his mother on the front porch Wednesday night. Womack was an announcer on WEAA-FM’s weekly “Gospel Grace” radio program for three decades.

“In my mind, he wanted to hurt my sister and kill her one and only son,” Scott said. None of the bullets struck Womack’s son, but she was shot multiple times.

“I don’t know how that happened and how the bullets hit her. It was God, I do know how. It was God because she was protecting her son,” Scott added.

Dr. Kaye Whitehead, a fellow radio host at WEAA-FM, described Womack as a woman of faith. “It wasn’t that she just played the music. She was also a believer.”

On Friday, Baltimore Police said an arrest warrant had been obtained for the suspect, 56-year-old Richard Sylvester Green, Womack’s next-door neighbor who was described by police as “armed and dangerous.”

“WEAA offers condolences and prayers to the family of our beloved Tyra Phillips (Womack),” the station, which is affiliated with NPR and based at Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, said in a statement. “We are heartbroken about her passing and remember her beautiful, gentle, sweet spirit today. Tyra was heard on Sunday’s Gospel Grace programs for many years at WEAA.”

The university also paid tribute to her, saying: “We are truly saddened, as a community and more importantly as a family, by the inexplicable and senseless death of one of our dearest WEAA voices. Tyra ‘Phillips’ Womack, a longstanding WEAA weekend contributor, was most often heard on our airwaves gracing listeners with inspirational quotes and readings during her weekly church announcements segments on Gospel Grace Sunday.”

The suspect allegedly harassed Womack’s family for years. Her son was waiting for his mother to return from her evening walk when the shooting took place. She was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Radio Online.

“This was a senseless, tragic murder, as many are, and it appears to have stemmed from a neighbor dispute,” a police spokesperson said in a statement.

Womack, a member of First Apostolic, was also an administrative assistant for the U.S. Post Office.

Sources:Christian Post

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Priests and monks abducted in Haiti have been released

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HAITI – The remaining Catholic clergy who were kidnapped in Haiti earlier in April have been released, a missionary group said Friday.

The Society of Priests of Saint Jacques said the clergy were freed but did not say if a ransom had been paid.

A total of 10 people were abducted in Croix-des-Bouquets, a town northeast of the capital Port-au-Prince, on April 11, including the seven clergy — three of whom have already been released.

The clergy members were a group of four priests and a nun from Haiti, as well as one priest and one nun from France. The three non-clergy were members of the family of a Haitian priest, who was not among those kidnapped.

“Our hearts are filled with joy because we have found our colleagues, the sisters and the family members of Father Jean Anel Joseph in good health,” the missionary society said in a statement, without specifying whether a ransom has been paid.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, is plagued by insecurity and natural disasters.

Kidnappings for ransom have surged in recent months in Port-au-Prince and other provinces, reflecting the growing influence of armed gangs in the Caribbean nation.

Haiti’s government resigned and a new prime minister was appointed in the wake of the kidnappings, a move President Jovenel Moise said “will make it possible to address the glaring problem of insecurity and continue discussions with a view to reaching the consensus necessary for the political and institutional stability of our country.”

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New Jersey Government with the announced  give free beer to Covid vaccine recipients

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced a new bid to boost coronavirus vaccinations: Receive your first dose in May and get a free beer.

“We’re not going to be afraid to try new things,” Murphy said as he unveiled the new program, dubbed “Shot and a Beer,” at a press briefing.

Thirteen New Jersey-based breweries are participating in the program — which is only available to state residents ages 21 years and older, Murphy specified.

Those New Jerseyans will have to show their vaccine cards as proof before receiving their reward, the Democratic governor said.

The breweries themselves are footing the bill for the free drinks, said Murphy, who suggested more beer-makers could soon be added to the list.

The breweries currently participating are: Battle River Brewing, Bradley Beer Project, Bolero Snort Brewing Company, Brix City Brewing Company, Carton Brewing Company, Flounder Brewing Company, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant, Hackensack Brewing Company, Kane Brewing Company, Little Dog Brewing Company, Magnify Brewing Company and River Horse Brewing Company.

The program came from the New Jersey Department of Health in partnership with the Brewer’s Guild of New Jersey.

The Garden State is hardly the first to propose an outside-the-box incentive for people to get vaccinated.

West Virginia’s Republican Gov. Jim Justice last week announced an initiative to give $100 savings bonds to younger state residents who get vaccinated.

Connecticut is offering its own alcoholic incentive with its “Drinks On Us” campaign: Residents who get fully vaccinated and show their vaccine cards at certain restaurants will score a free drink between May 19 and May 31.

Incentive or no, vaccine rates are rising. More than 29% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University, and cases and deaths from Covid are on the decline.

But a significant number of Americans say they are not willing to get vaccinated. A Monmouth University poll published in mid-April found that about 1-in-5 Americans say they won’t get the shot.

That’s prompting health officials and leaders at every level of government to urge more people to seek out and receive their vaccinations.

The “Shot and a Beer” campaign is just one piece of New Jersey’s broader slate of programs aimed at returning the state to a more normal summer as the fight against the pandemic continues.

Murphy announced the free-beer plan after detailing the “Grateful for the Shot” initiative, which makes it possible for congregants to go from religious services directly to vaccination sites.

It’s “perhaps at the other end of the spectrum” of incentives, Murphy said.

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