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A 10-year-old girl’s suspected suicide in California prompts investigation into reports she was bullied



Allison Wendell

Garden Grove elementary student Allison Wendel, was found dead in her home this week. Police are investigating whether bullying is to blame.

GARDEN GROVE, CA —Friends and family gathered at a candlelight vigil Tuesday night in remembrance of 10-year-old Allison Wendel. On Sunday night, her body was discovered by her 9-year-old sister, inside their Santa Ana home.

Authorities are investigating Wendel’s death as a suicide, with bullying a probable cause. The Orange County Coroner’s office was scheduled to perform an autopsy Wednesday to confirm her cause of death. Her family declined to comment on whether bullying was a factor.

A lone statement on a GoFundMe page established to help with Allison’s sudden death shared her family’s palpable dismay at her loss. The GoFundMe page organized by Bonnie Mesinas shared that the family’s “little angel” died on Oct. 13.

Alicia Miranda, Allison’s aunt, shared pictures of Wendel smiling, blowing out candles on her fairy-themed birthday cake. Other photos showed her wearing a shirt that reads, “Smiles always win.”

Miranda also shared prayers of support for the family left behind. “I love my niece, Allison, with all of my heart,” she said. “I will never forget God’s plan to reunite us all in heaven.”


The Wendel-Hernandez Family appreciate any help in dealing with the sudden loss of their child.
The family was “blindsided” by Allison’s sudden death, her aunt said to the media at the vigil. She added that there were no warning signs.

Santa Ana Police Sgt. Anthony Bertagna told Patch that he “could not think of a time a 10-year-old committed suicide.” Police, K-9 officers and crisis counselors remained on hand at Hazard Elementary School in Garden Grove to assist students and staff this week.

Allison Wendel’s funeral was scheduled for Oct. 24 at an undisclosed location.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, help is available with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Free, confidential support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



By Ashley Ludwig

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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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