Category Archives: Marion-Grant County

06Jun/17

Pride Month: Standing Up To A Dress Code after 25 Years

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FORT WAYNE and MARION, IN – Like any other woman, she often worries about her hair, her weight, her makeup, anything that impacting her femininity, or in my case even my bra size. Transgender women like myself are no different than any other woman but with several exceptions: bigger bone structure (most fixed by facial feminisation surgery), the dreaded beard shadow (effectively fixed with M2F hormones and electrolysis), and the fact this transgender woman has to keep her existing male reproductive organs for the time being. The reason for this woman is strictly for reproductive purposes as she still wants to have biological children and doing so as two women having sexual intercourse (obviously with my consent and the woman’s consent as well as being either in a long term relationship in addition of the woman’s benefit of automatically being a sex partner – a dating and relationship rule I’ve had since 1993) in order to conceive (only notable difference has to be the fact instead of a strap-on is the embarrassing imperfection as a woman has to be my enlarged clitoris and the second the erected enlarged clitoris is inserted into the woman’s vagina, conception occurs).

When I began my gender transition on December 1, 2004, I had a feeling that if I had rushed my transition, it will not only damage my family’s core beliefs (or even my core beliefs and values), lose a significant number of friends (there are some who I even went to high school with that I’m likely not going to be or even on good terms with) and I’ve responded by kicking them out of Facebook – I’ve banned and blocked as few as three and as many as 75 because they didn’t follow my rules such as addressing me as “Ava”, using male pronouns, or even not showing me the respect I’ve been entitled to or the other party unfriended me because I recently admitted to being a bully for 15 years after being bullied for over 25 years (there are times when bullying is a necessary tactic in order to get the truth uncovered and most of the time it is justified, effectively “bullying the bully” method). That is why a few years ago, I decided to implement the 2-5-10-BANNED FOR LIFE RULE to crack down on transphobia (it’s a very similar structure to Florida’s 10-20-LIFE Law) and to maintain perfection well as continuing many traditions and beliefs long before I began my gender transition.

Not to mention when I started transitioning my name (Frank to Ava), gender identity (male to female), and sexual orientation (straight male to gay female) may have changed as well as my appearance as a woman since I came out as not only as a transgender woman but subsequently as a woman identifying as a lesbian. There is always a feeling I get every time I step in front of a mirror or even looking at the damage male puberty did to me some 25+ years ago would do some damage eventually would effectively come back to haunt me.

Also not to mention, if viewers don’t like the way I am now living as a woman , my makeup, my weight or my outfit, they will make sure to let me know. And so far I’ve definitely have seen mostly negative comments that have caused me to stand up for what I believe in and defending my decision to transition from a man to a woman and responding the way I responded.

I found myself spending hours upon hours to make sure my overall appearance as a woman and image was perfect before I went out in public. Maintaining my appearance as a woman and hiding the dreadful male features I am cursed with may have been more exhausting than weightlifting or carrying a 50 pound bag of bird feeder. The experience shed light on how preoccupied I am with the details of my overall appearance, which made me realise after resuming counselling sessions after a 15 year a scene was the right decision after going through three rapes/sexual assaults.

LGBT Pride Month (June) 2017 is now in full swing. It’s hot. It is sticky. It’s a time of year when a woman or a transwoman’s appearance are a greater hassle than usual because of the humidity. Nonetheless, the battle to tame the dreaded male features (unfortunately) continues and no way of resolving them unless I pay extra money (something I don’t have) and the reason I auctioned off my virginity to Kymberly in July 2014 and still her $100,000 payment to deflower me wasn’t even enough. Kymberly finally admitted to me she had gambled it all away in Las Vegas in March 2017 and heard from one of my sources that Kymberly placed a $50,000 bounty on someone she held long standing grudge against, and that made me realise that I decided that I cannot marry Kymberly. What this means is the long-term relationship with Ava Zinn and Kymberly Alvaraz is ending in legal action.

Flashback to 1991 to 2001

I started questioning my gender identity and sexual orientation – unusual for someone eight years of age – while I was serving time at the since closed Silvercrest Children’s Developmental Center in New Albany until being released in December 1992. That was when I realised my childhood was already coming to an end and I knew I was already just too young to be a dad at 10 years of age. I remember I was about to use the restroom and saw something many see is quite frankly some will say made me retarded. I saw a girl (besides my mom) using the restroom and that made me realised I really was different, in addition to watching “The Little Mermaid” and I remember having some unusual crush but nowhere near as Mary Kay Letourneau. It was on the car ride from New Albany to Van Buren with my mom and brother, how fortunate I was and didn’t realise it at that time until I reconnected with someone on Facebook and did my best to stay in touch after leaving Silvercrest.
In middle school I had been picked on and bullied by that time it was for two years after being released from Silvercrest in New Albany. I wasn’t strong enough not because I have Autism. I had began to make an attempt to become a female thinking ‘I’d trade my male parts for female parts’ and have the same characteristics just like any other girl after I heard the term “sex change” in 1995.
Unfortunately, everyone I went to school with knows why I broke a classroom window on April 18, 1996, at least that was what they thought from their standpoint. Years later, and I recently admitted to bullying.

When I launched my web site in 1999 as a junior at Mississinewa High School, there seemed to be a standard of some sort. It was also when I launched the original INNewsCenter, and knew who I wanted to become after some needed TLC from the right resources and people I can know and trust, or so I had thought.

Several years after graduating from Mississinewa High School, there seemed to be a no standard or structure when I sat foot at Indiana Wesleyan University as a college freshman and literally had no structure as construction was going on that basically affected my performance academically. There were several theories why I simply was not emotionally ready for college and when I began the gender transition, I knew there was going to be a fourth and fifth requirement that Jennie Conrad did even mention on the infamous dis-enrollment letter I received on September 27, 2001. I knew there was (1) finding another college to attend to transfer credits to IWU, (2) have psychological and psychiatric clearance (but unfortunately not as a full-time student nor as a male), and (3) a signed release if I recall to even apply for readmission. It’s safe to say now it’s just only a matter of finding the right college, getting the right number of credits and the right tools and necessities needed to finally close the IWU Cold Case.

Being more successful emotionally as a woman and still a father.

I do know that after transitioning and after my eldest daughter, Samantha, graduated from high school and IWU, I knew as the father of Samantha Zinn, I knew I had done a lot better job with raising Samantha; a transgender daughter, Tiffani; a third daughter, Tabitha; and two adopted daughters, Ashli and Kylee. After Samantha graduated high school five years ago she decided to attend college in the fall of 2013 and she didn’t want to make the same mistakes I did. Sure enough, in the Spring of 2016, Samantha earned her Associates Degree in Communications and followed in my footsteps and my former father-in-law (aka Samantha’s maternal grandfather) beforehand. Though there were times when raising Samantha, Tiffani (then Timothy), Tabitha, and currently with my now only son Kenneth as well as Ashli and Kylee, I had to frequently found myself in a number of parenting and day care situations I knew it was the right parenting call as most of them were very bad situations that could have necessitated Child Protective Services. My mom, the late Laura Bakula, my aunt-in-law Sheena were a great babysitter to Samantha, Tiffani, Ashli, and Tabitha long before “Vote for the Girls” launched. I also knew I had done a far better job as a father and as a woman than my mom did when she raised myself and my late brother, most of the parenting and discipline skills my mom used with me and my skills with my children differs from my mom’s methods. One in particular was the “no TV punishment,” but often most of the “Vote for the Girls Punishment for Failure” when a female contestant doesn’t win were also used on my children in the form of the “punishment fitting the crime” or “a justified sanction”. In fact, recently I Googled ‘female fathers of children’ and it seems as though a woman fathering children are nearly as uncommon as same sex marriage.
There is a subtle or possible no-so-subtle message that the specific type of parenting of a child is the fact that the child always has a mother and father regardless and the terms “transgender mother” and “transgendered father” are useless. After I came out to my children and recently with Tabitha, I told them “I will always be your father you can still address me as ‘Dad’.” It was something I had in mind and realized that a gender transition is very similar to a television station changing its network affiliation.

With that in mind, in addition to already existing “Vote for the Girls” franchise and several other cultural references to Lauren Brill, Brandi Chastain, and two-woman anchor teams becoming the norm, as well as basically creating the “Producers Have A Choice, Viewers Don’t” philosophy ten years ago when what is now known as INNCD 47 Action News launched (two women co-anchor news, a female meteorologist, and a female sports director). After I first watched a South Bend late newscast with Cindy Ward and Deborah Daniels at the anchor desk 15 years ago, I knew and remembered and had that flashback that first time I ever had lesbian sex.

Flashback to Spring and Summer 2002

It was that particular moment when I had “lesbian sex” with my first wife Angie, she was being impregnated by me (for the last time living as a male before coming out as a transgender woman the following year) and Angie being pregnant with my daughter Tabitha. It was also around Father’s Day of 2002 and a month after my mom died from liver and kidney failure. At the time, I had recently healed from an injury I sustained after I had attempted to arrest my own brother for kidnapping my then-2 year old son Timothy (now daughter Tiffani). It was also around that time I had also just experienced the first time in my life I’d ever been raped. I knew I had failed as male and tried my best to mask the emotional pain and never even told anyone nor did I even realized it until my brother drowned at Pine Lake.

Today/June 2017

There seems to be a subtle or maybe not-so-subtle message that looking modest means everyone looking exactly the same. So recently as part of pride month as well as a “Vote for the Girls” Punishment for Failure–Normani Kordei finished third place on Dancing with the Stars and despite the Moderators’ Save being used to decline Lauren Duski’s second place finish–based from what I had seen during not only those two competitions but also took the deaths of Holly Everman, Perri Johnson, and other factors, I had to overturn the Moderators’ Save and decided that there was not going to be a winning moderator. The pink, purple, blue, and red teams all were declared losers and face the most demeaning and diabolical punishments in “Vote for the Girls” history.

The transmen on the red team (as well as Devin on the blue team) have to go out in public in nothing but a breast binders while the transwomen on the purple team (including myself, as well as Kendra, Hillary, and Maci on the pink team as well as Bria Savage on the blue team and Lydia Delagatto on the red team) go out in public in only a bra and pants/skirt for not just Pride Month (June) 2017, but also July and August as well as the America’s Got Talent 12 and So You Think You Can Dance 14 competitions and just let biology do its work.

To my surprise, amazement, and most importantly self-acceptance as well as self-worth (I only did it on three occasions on the Vote for the Girls set), I actually kind of like being outside in just a bra and pants or skirt. The outfit match my gender identity as a woman, sexual orientation as a lesbian and overall appearance as a woman, yet could use some feminization. I waited until it was the right time to do so and many of you are probably thinking ‘THIS IS WAR!’ It may be necessarily something I want to do for the month of June but additionally when I’m in the mood or feeling intimate or looking at a biological female I’m interested in.

Despite my decision to go out in what some of you say is inappropriate and in bad taste, I was still nervous about it. The first time I was in a bra but with no shirt was on May 12, 2011 when Ryan Seacrest announced that Lauren Alaina and Haley Reinhardt were in the American Idol 10 Top 3 and the term “pull a Brandi Chastain” became well known. That’s because I think transwomen and women in our society and most certainly women and transwomen are scrutinized for too long. Every bit of the appearance of a woman and/or transwoman is picked apart.

While I was a bit self conscious, I had grabbed a shirt just in case should the “No Shirt. No Shoes. No Service” card come into play as this was constantly on my mind the whole time and trying to calm down chafing as I have yet to begin hormone therapy, I did my job as a transgender woman. In the process I realized the photos I posted on Social media should and—I hope do or will inspire more transwomen or even transmen binding his chest—speak louder to my professionalism as a webmaster than the way I look.

I’m just a woman: Officially a Transgender Woman since December 1, 2004. That’s not going to change.

I’m just a lesbian like any other woman who identifies as such: I was attracted to women as a male, and still find women attractive. But if the woman’s currently straight and is in a relationship with me and one benefit of the relationship is obviously having her as my sex partner (a rule I’ve had since 1993)… She will have to come out as a bisexual sooner or later. No ifs and or buts about it.

My gender identity and sexual orientation as a woman reflects the values and the family history I’ve always had long before the gender switch from man to woman and my work reflects my ability. The name, gender identity, and sexual orientation may change when transitioning from one sex to another, but everything else does not change, such as who you were before the transition, your personality, your lifestyle, your friends and family, etc.

Not even the DNA or chromosomes change with the gender transition: males and transfemales always have and always will have the dreaded Y chromosome and WILL ALWAYS BE A FATHER while females and transmales will ALWAYS BE A MOTHER.

Finally I can say I’m proud of my accomplishments as a woman despite the imperfections that were given to me such as the Y chromosome, the beard shadow (mostly unseen in photos if they aren’t covered or retouched), the flat chest (or my size 38AA cup) , the enlarged clitoris (this is what goes into the woman’s vagina to make children – the dreaded P-E-N-I-S), the big lumps between my legs (the male reproductive organs that produce sperm that go into the woman’s vagina). I can also say that once I am finally done having children and the timing is right then I can start the orchidectomy and begin estrogen and progesterone therapy for the remainder of my life, and help me get across the message that, like so many other transgendered men and women, not afraid to be different. Rather, I’m excited to embrace the truth of what a gender transition should look like in my view with all of the benefits and options available while they’re still intact before any genital reassignment surgery.

© 2017, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

17May/17

New Details Regarding My April 2015 Rape…

Edited Version – An unedited version is available at the end of this post

On April 22, 2015, I became a victim of a female-on-male rape (and I had to report it as such even though my gender identity is female – I knew it was a sexual assault because I have a well-known and well-established dating and relationship policy of mine since 1993) and DNA evidence was collected for my rape kit. Since then I have been looking for the person who did this act and could have been pregnant as a result the female on male rape.

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I did my own research to generate clues based on what I had available if the suspect in my rape did get pregnant (or was pregnant since the suspect also used verbal threat I took very seriously to get an abortion) and used an app of what the suspect looked liked without her hair down (I used an app called FlashFace Woman to get a sketch of the suspect’s description) and with her hair tied back (which is what she looked like), and if the rape suspect did in fact follow through on the abortion threat then it’s a murder and I posted on social media as well as this web site hoping to generate leads just like any other crime.

Like most people, I usually try to respect one’s privacy request as a former journalist and webmaster, but because I’m the victim of the female-on-male sexual assault, I had no choice to deny the request (in many cases, the names and faces are pixelated or blurred and this is no exception) and basically looked at every angle of what I had to work with (including potential suspects and in my rape case, because the suspect is a female and possibly the mother of the child that was conceived (my definition of conceiving a child is the second my “enlarged clitoris” went in the suspect’s vagina) possible baby photos I obtained from research at the hospital and looked at detailed information).

I had posted not only a sketch of the suspect (with her hair down and now with her hair tied back) via the FlashFace Woman app I used and had probable cause to post a baby photo of what I believed looked like me 34 years ago as a baby boy in February 2016 (from what three people I’ve consulted with saw that baby in question did not look bi-racial and I’m 70 percent sure I’m not the biological father though the nose and lips look very similar) hoping to get leads in order to solve the female on male rape I did report to police in Marion on April 22, 2015.

From the summer of 2015 until April 2017, the case likely went cold and no one came forward with information.

On the morning of Saturday, May 6, 2017, I had learned that the one of the individuals that messaged me via my personal Facebook profile that came to a shock not even 24 hours after I had found a little girl lost at Meijer #153 in Marion.

My heart is pained as this is sadly another case of mistaken identity (probably the biggest case since the mixup of Laura VanRyn and Whitney Cerack in 2006) of my rape suspect. I have learned the suspect not a black woman yet sounds like one, but is instead a bi-racial or mixed race (Mixture of Caucasian and African American) I had misidentified when I reported the female on male rape on April 22, 2015 and very uncanny the resemblance between the person who messaged me and my rape suspect. The body types are somewhat similar, the hair color and texture are similar, etc.

Over the past few days after the initial contact, Kymberly and I reviewed the three Facebook messages I received (see below and the names and photos are pixelated) from the woman’s family–even Kymberly saw and two other Facebook messages that basically were threatening in nature–that met only 30 percent of my threshold of those threats being reported to police in Marion (pending 100 percent positive identification). Unfortunately, two of those threatening Facebook messages I received did meet the threshold of possibly having to take legal action and/or the person likely pay me a fine (I’m going to congratulations for being the first to be sanctioned by yours truly, Ava Zinn, under the 2-5-10-BANNED FOR LIFE).

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Although the April 22, 2015 rape occurred after I got off the Marion city bus and was reported to Marion police that afternoon, it should have also been reported to the Transportation Department and was too scared to do so within a time frame. It was finally reported to the Transportation Department on the late morning of May 15, 2017 since I had the confidence to do such. I had asked to obtain surveillance from the CVS pharmacy, a few weeks after my rape but the request was denied because I did not work for the Marion Police Department.

Later on the afternoon of May 15, 2017, I began making the process of making a positive identification. When I went to Lowe’s in Marion, I overheard a conversation (though I’m clearly 60 percent certain) it was my rape case. On the bicycle ride to my bank after leaving The Vapor Mill, I realized and knew (based on hair and remember) without any doubt, that it was unfortunately not my suspect after looking briefly and didn’t even get any DNA sample (obtaining the sample by trickery and my instinct told me not to obtain it). Had I obtained the DNA sample, I could have easily been arrested and could have turned bad. It could’ve easily turned into yours truly accused of stalking and another crime (theft if my memory serves me correctly). I know this because for most of my life while living as a male, I had been falsely accused of such in the past (most of them during junior high and middle school and at that point I was like ‘I am going fail’ since most of the males in my my family on my mother’s side are either criminals or sex offenders, something of which I am not but it could have been on one fateful prom night) and ever since I came out as a transgender woman (and subsequent sexual orientation from as a male, heterosexual or straight, to primarily homosexual or lesbian as a woman) my gender transition to female (and living full time) have become more successful socially, emotionally, and psychologically.

Unfortunately the rape of mine remains unsolved and as always, I will find out and will continue to keep searching with every available resource I have as well as with cooperation with Marion Police since I KNOW and even went to school with Marion Police Captain Amber Richards and fellow MPD office Drew Tittle.

The fact of the mater is, I’m seeking justice and answers on the woman who raped me and if the suspect did in fact get pregnant after raping me on April 22, 2015 and no father is listed on the child’s birth certificate, there would be a possible suspect in my rape case. At that point, like my 2010 rape case in Indianapolis, I will press charges for the suspect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

It is not my intent to invade someone privacy or post something without one’s written consent. In this case I had a good probable cause to do so since it was a female on male rape investigation that I am conducting and hoping to get a lead (by obtaining a DNA samples of possible suspects and ask for someone’s ID to obtain some information to submit to police in Marion) to finally get justice and move on with my life.

For yours truly, it is frustrating to know that this suspect is still out there walking the streets while I’m still struggling (emotionally, financially, and psychologically) to to absorb this new development. I have sat up the Ava Zinn Sexual Assault Defense Fund that would come in handy if, for some unforeseen reason, the rape suspect decide to press charges at the time and that is one possibility – one I will be fighting tooth and nail until I win.

If my actions have caused more LGBT (especially the transgendered men and women) that want to have biological children (and this is what has kept yours truly from completing my gender transition) BEFORE a transwoman’s first Estrogen and Anti-Androgen or a transman’s first testosterone shot at an endocrinologist’s office, I may have helped more transgendered men and women (F2M and M2F) rethink their gender transition options because this is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS one of the things to consider.

Uncensored Version (13 profanities are used) – Edited Version is at the top of the post


There are some frequently asked questions that the public may have regarding the April 22, 2015 rape.

 

© 2017, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

04Sep/16

Ava Zinn addresses the responses regarding minor accident, recent decisions

I am well aware of it. I am very well aware of criticism I am facing after making the decision to go live on Facebook with a breaking story after witnessing a minor accident on the afternoon of Friday, September 2, 2016 at the intersection of North Wabash Avenue and West Kem Road on the northwest side of Marion (Indiana).

As someone who is an executive producer of “Vote for the Girls (USA on YouTube)” and with some broadcast journalism experience background while attending Mississinewa High School and previously launched a news department back in 1999, you would know what I am talking about. I’m sure that all broadcast journalists have to know whether or not to shoot a Facebook live segment (something I do not do very often, unless it is warranted).

The decision to go on Facebook live just a half hour after witnessing the minor accident, met my threshold and met my threshold of the decision to go on Facebook Live, despite being shaken up. However, keep in mind that I had to find a spot with a stable Wi-Fi connection in order to provide the live update as it happened and had to work with what I have available.

My decision to post the live video on Facebook simply came down to the obligation and a duty to inform fans (both on THIS WEB SITE and Vote for the Girls) and friends without any f**king question in my judgement whatsoever. The decision also came down to the decision of this one news story since I also run the “Vote for the Girls” franchise.

One clear example of when to make the decision to go live on Facebook and/or post on YouTube at the first opportunity (besides posting episodes) happened during the summer break, starting with the very second I got alerted (approximately 4:00 AM Eastern) from sources in Orlando, Florida of word via Twitter about the murder (or should I say the Assassination) of Christina Grimmie on June 11, 2016. The reason that story met my threshold of my definition of an assassination is because Christina Grimmie was my Vote for the Girls pick on the sixth season of The Voice and decided to pick eventual winner Joshua Kaufman (I cannot accept Mr. Kaufman as a fellow Hoosier because he is from Virgina and the reason why WTHR “13 NBC” anchorman Scott Swan is no longer my all-time Indianapolis anchorman–that position is now held by Ray Cortopassi at Fox 59 in Indianapolis) as a “Vote for the Worst pick.”  Two years later (THIS YEAR), NOW I know that I had made the right decision for a good reason or two (Watch “Remembering Christina Grimmie” from VFTG  and “INNewsCenter’s 300th YouTube clip” below the details) ;

  • After Alisan Porter won “The Voice” and watching BOTH clips from Alisan Porter and Joshua Kaufman from “Star Search” back in the day on YouTube as well as after I OFFICIALLY sold my virginity to my girlfriend, Kymberly, as a threat if a female contestant did not win shows like “The Voice” or “American Idol”, which in fact did happen and what eventually lead to the most brutal punishment at the time.
  • Ever since the late Christina Grimmie’s third place finish two years ago, I’ve since made changes to Vote for the Girls to include “flex picking” (or switching picks) last year that produced my first American Idol moderator victory after Nick Fradiani was announced the winner (though I did not watch the finale performances, but Kymberly did because Jax Cole, the last female contestant, finished third, and I never watch an all-male finale nor from 1986 until I posted as part of a late “April Fool’s Day” prank after 23 years on the INNewsCenter YouTube channel, decided to post Scott Jones and Gene Cox anchoring the April 3, 2009 edition of Fox 59’s morning newscast–there are certain days when the day is right or when I do get advance notice then and ONLY THEN will that ever happen)….

Often times, most of the moderator panelists on VFTG also do double duty as a de facto reporter as a broadcast journalist. The first time that ever happened was on June 11, 2016 when I had to broadcast a special episode of “Vote for the Girls” that was eventually posted on the YouTube channel the night of June 11, 2016 (watch below) and also on INNewsCenter (watch below).

I have faced way too much criticism in recent years over recent decisions and a great majority of those decisions proved to be justified (similar to when a police officer has to shoot a suspect), but the fact of the matter is many of those other decisions were made because of what I have available at that time. Take the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute eight years ago, look at the repercussions that followed and the reason why I have cut the cord some years before it became a trend not because of costs, but after the big four Fort Wayne stations were dropped from Bright House is what killed INNewsCenter and outdated equipment . Another clear example was raising just enough funds for my American Idol audition five years ago, when I had no other choice but to raise funds by holding a yard sale yet the side effect of that was breaking the lease.

I’ve received a number of comments about the accident since Friday night. As the webmaster of AvaZinn.com, my obligation is to primarily inform people of Grant County, Indiana with this web site and entertain (such as Vote for the Girls and INNewsCenter). That obligation unfortunately, sometimes, includes uncomfortable subjects or comments that are difficult to hear or even make you angry–most of those comments were hurtful and at times disrespectful for a transgender woman nearing 34 years of age. And while this webmaster is human as well and we have similar reactions. These are situations we take very seriously.

By posting the live Facebook video Friday afternoon, you were able to get a third side of the story, the witness’ side. I wanted to give some insight into the mind of someone who happened to have witnessed the minor accident as it happened  so there was some context and exposure for you. For some, maybe it’s something you are already familiar with; for others it may be something you cannot even comprehend. It was difficult for many of us to watch and understand coming from the witness’ point of view. I’ve seen it way too many times since the day I moved to Marion from Van Buren on October 16, 1996.

The decision to post the live video on Facebook is just a small part in the existing commitment I made on May 26, 2001–the day I graduated from Mississinewa High School. That commitment did not change after I began a long transition to a woman in 2004.

Again, it is the reason why I do this web site and I hope you understand the tough choices we have to make in making the decision to go on Facebook Live. Like our viewers, we want 100 percent of the story.

Ava Zinn
Founder and Webmaster, AvaZinn.com since November 1, 1999

PS: After I watched the video back, I almost swore by saying “This is the f**king news” after I heard a car honk but instead I said, “Oh, crap.” I’ve posted part of the clip as “Ava Zinn – The Thug Life (OFFICIAL EDITED version)” on my YouTube channel and an unedited version has been donated to the ThugLifeVideos YouTube channel.

© 2016, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

28Nov/14

Turkey-less on Thanksgiving 2014 and Losing Gracefully

Almost nine months into the vegetarian diet, I had to face an obstacle as it was my first Thanksgiving without a turkey.

So I researched Turkey alternatives and found a replacement in Tofurky Vegan Roast and Savory Stuffed Turk’y ith Gravy by Gardein.

But there was a big problem, after I researched the two products–both of them are carried by Whole Foods, which does not have a location in Marion, yet there is such a store in Indianapolis.

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So that being said, and not wanting to make the brutal bike trip to Indy… I had no choice but to go to Meijer in Marion to get what is close enough to the replacement…

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And then coming across a tofurkey recipe I found online and skeptical to try it on Thanksgiving, the end result was either undercooked or overcooked….

Now with Black Friday coming up, I am thinking “this vegetarian thing could go on into 2015 if DaNica Shirey does win.”

That being said, earlier this week, my closest friend, Holly Everman, became a winning moderator as her Vote for the Girls pick (Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson) won Dancing with the Stars 19. I had made the decision to add DWTS as a make-up competition and the moderators of the Vote for the Girls site were divided into two teams based on biological sex (transwomen vs women–the Transwomen are in the Purple team and the Women in the Pink team).

Unlike the other competitions (like The Voice, American Idol, and Rising Star and to a lesser extent as the fellow makeup competitions of So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Got Talent) that have one winner, all the moderators’ picks were good since there were no Vote for the Worst picks on DWTS (the closest to such are basically not chosen by the moderator panel).

As for the 20th season of Dancing with the Stars: I can confirm that Holly Everman and Julia Passalt will not be participating and won’t make a DWTS pick because Everman’s pick won DWTS a 19 and Passalt made a great deal with the “Male Moderator” before the Rising Star finale in August with an $8 Million offer.

There is more to come next week as I celebrate 10 years as Ava Zinn, and trust me, it will start with a shocking announcement from April 18, 2014 and something that will change everything.

© 2014, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

21Sep/14

October is Leg Beards for Breast Cancer Month

It may be the 21st of September 2014 and as is typical punishment for failure when a female contestant or a Vote for the Girls pick on my site — voteforthegirls.us — doesn’t win (ex: runner-up or worse), I take part in what has become a tradition that I’ve taken criticism for since I launched the site nearly five years ago.

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I’m not the only woman or transwoman that many have had audacity to say that have called me a f***ot, and far worse derogatory terms that is typically used in the trans community.

Sure, prior to my gender transition, I had a beard and had it shaved after I graduated from Mississinewa High School some 13 years ago.

It was during the month of October of 2012 while watching Fox 59’s newscasts that the guys (notably Brian Wilkes and Ray Cortopassi) have grown their beards out. At the end of the day, I put two and two together and realized back in 2011, I didn’t know a whole lot about Beards for Breast Cancer until I learned it was an Indianapolis-based organization that asked only the guys to grow a beard during the month of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


In the past, I posted daily pictures of the unlady-likeness of the hairy leg until Haloween night or the morning of November 1. (As I did last year)

But not this year: Because I called off the competition and announced I was auctioning off my virginity to the highest female bidder on April 18, 2014 that ended a little early due to low bids, I decided back in August that I wasn’t going to shave my legs for the remainder of 2014 (to coincide with the vegetarian diet that will end on January 4, 2015) and since I’m often free to ignore the rules of Vote for the Girls as I see fit.. this Leg Beard for Breast Cancer punishment has become a real bitch in 2014. Yes the legs was bid adieu in August as I prepared for five  straight months of leg hair oriented charitable causes (Beards for Breast Cancer in October and No Shave November) .

The rules seem simple enough: Have clean-shaven legs on October 1st (for me earlier than that), grow a leg beard for 31 days, donate money–the latter is usually non-existent. I’m sure there are more rules, but anything that allows me to not shave my legs for a month (or longer) while still supporting breast cancer awareness and gets my vote as a worthwhile charity endeavor.

————————

About this Leg Beards for Breast Cancer and No Shave November Vote for the Girls Punishment for Failure

After a Vote for the Girls Loss is claimed when a girl doesn’t win shows like American Idol, The Voice, and/or Rising Star, the Vote for the Girls USA moderators (myself, Holly Everman, and other female friends) take part in the the great annual events called “Beards for Breast Cancer since October 2010 and for the first time in November 2014 “No-Shave-November” where guys and girls alike unite in the height of laziness agreeing to not shave their beards or legs (respectively) for the entire months of October and November.

After all, they are the busiest parts of the semester or work year, and you are the farthest behind on sleep, so why waste the time? Plus, it’ll cold enough to wear scarves or jeans (respectively) to cover that unsightly hair.
Everyone, young and old, male and female can participate in Beards for Breast Cancer and No-Shave-November by following this simple calendar of guide-lines. The festivities shall unfold thusly:

  • October 1 (or the first day of Beards for Breast Cancer): Razors are stowed, indifference ignited. Beards for Breast Cancer begins.
  • October 1-7: The week of scratching that itch. Push yourself, control the desire to shave and relieve the itchiness.
  • First Wednesday: Itch hump day.
  • October 14: Finally the women do look ridiculous.
  • October 27: Finally the boys or follicularly-challenged do look ridiculous.
  • November 1: Razors are stowed, indifference ignited. Noshember begins.
    Nov 1-7: The week of scratching that itch. Push yourself, control the desire to shave and relieve the itchiness.
  • Nov 30: Photograph day. Take your best hair exhibiting celebration photos. You have truly completed something great.
  • Dec 1: Great festival of many razors, shaving commences.

Among Beards for Breast Cancer and No Shave November traditions, perhaps the strongest is the beard and/or leg hair contest (or armpits or whatever…be creative). Lets see who is the fullest, bushiest, and most natural after a month, and then join in a ritual corporate shoring of our hides!

 

Girls Rules of the Game

Ladies (and this applies to transgendered and transsexual women as well)! Don’t think that just because you can’t grow a burly beard you can’t participate in Beards for Breast Cancer and No Shave November…You can! Now it may not be on your face, but hair does grow on your body…the most commonly sported female hair is on the legs and under the arms. Now its quite uncommon for even males in our society to be unkempt in general, but its especially uncommon (and unusual) for females to go all natural. So we want to give you a special word of encouragement and thanks for supporting the ways of the hairy. Only a few select women (as part of Beards for Breast Cancer Awareness) have what it takes to participate in this tradition. I think I have been commended for this, as well as my friend Holly  you.

A note from one of the female No-Shave November Facebook groups:

“For all the girls who think they can go for all of November without shaving. We are standing up for our right as women!”

“How long can you go? *oh, btw, this group is only for legs. feel free to shave other places as you wish, cuz i’m not gonna go there*”

© 2014, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

12Aug/14

CBS moves from WISH to WTTV (Justice Served?)

CBS EyemarkBy now, you have probably heard the news that Tribune Company of Chicago, owners of WTTV/WXIN in Indianapolis, have signed an affiliation agreement with the CBS Television network and ending the 58 year affiliation with WISH-TV.

For starters, CBS shows such as “The Price is Right,” “The Young and The Restless,” and possibly a US version of “Keep Your Light Shining” will move from WISH-TV (channel 8) to WTTV (channel 4) as of January 1, 2015. CW programming, which is currently on WTTV will move to WTTV’s digital subchannel currently occupied by This TV Indianapolis.

WISH-TV logoThe main question you are probably is wondering, “Why? Why is CBS moving to WTTV?” If you remember the WISH-TV/Bright House Dispute back in October 2008, LIN and Time Warner Cable entered into an impasse during negotiations to renew retransmission consent deals for some of the group’s television stations. Bright House Networks, one of two major cable providers serving Indianapolis as well as the cable provider in Marion, negotiates retransmission consent contracts through Time Warner Cable. LIN TV requested compensation for carriage of its stations in a manner similar to the deals that cable networks have with pay television providers, as other broadcast station owners began to seek compensation from cable and satellite providers for their programming. The carriage agreement with Bright House expired on October 2, 2008.  At 12:37 a.m. on October 3, WISH-TV, WNDY (channel 23/Marion Cable 10), and Fort Wayne’s WANE-TV (channel 15/former Marion Cable 20, currently occupied by TBN) signal was removed on Bright House. It would not be until October 29 when WISH-TV and WNDY were restored to Bright House Networks systems in Grant County, Indiana (which serves Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro), but WANE-TV’s signal wasn’t restored, which led to WISE-TV and WPTA-TV being dropped nearly two months later. At that point, I had no choice but to cancel my cable subscription to Bright House after six years and began to watch over-the-air (and eventually added AT&T’s U-Verse Internet High Speed, making it an online streaming/over-the-air hybrid).

I somehow knew what LIN TV was going to try to do at that point and to this day, basically turned Marion, Indiana upside down.

Then, incidentally, the very last post on INNewsCenter was Fox’s announcement on June 20, 2011 that it would end its affiliation with WFFT (channel 55/former Marion Cable 2, now occupied by C-SPAN) moving WISE-DT2 on August 1, 2011. Nexstar had earlier lost the Fox affiliation for WTVW (channel 7) in Evansville following a dispute with the network over retransmission consent fees that it wanted its stations to pay to the network.  WFFT has since reaffiliated with Fox on March 1, 2013.

And in a twist of fate, happens to the the very first unofficial post of the INNewsCenter revival is that CBS’s announcement yesterday that it would drop its affiliation with WISH-TV (and likely WLFI in Lafayette) and affiliate with a WTTV (and its Kokomo satellite WTTK), effective January 1, 2015. Like the reason for WFFT going independent from August 1, 2011 to February 28, 2013, and now the case with WISH-TV losing CBS is coming as CBS is aggressively seeking a higher share of retransmission earnings gained by its affiliates as part of affiliation agreements, an approach that openly irked WISH-TV’s owner LIN TV.  I would not be surprised if LIN TV would subsequently be stripped of its CBS affiliations in Lafayette (WLFI), Buffalo (WVIB) and Providence (WPRI) as well.

As for WISH-TV’s future after January 1, 2015, and here is likely what will happen:

  • WISH-TV will either become an independent station (or take the MyNetwork TV affiliation from WNDY) on January 1, 2015 as WTTV takes the CBS affiliation.
  • WISH-TV will likely replace CBS daytime primetime shows with syndicated programming on weeknights, movies on weekends.
  • WISH-TV will introduce increased local programming, including coverage of local high school and college sports.
  • WISH-TV’s focus on news and investigative programming will likely be increased should the station become independent. WISH will expanded its weekday morning newscast from 2 1/2 hours to four (from 4:30-9 a.m., and effectively cancelling the 7-8 a.m. hour on WNDY), early evening newscasts expanded from a 90-minute to two-hour block starting at 5 p.m., and an hour-long primetime newscast at 10 p.m. (currently shown on WNDY) will joined the existing 11 p.m. newscast, and its existing noon newscast will likely expand to an hour.

WTTV, on the other hand, will have news since canceling a WRTV (channel 6)-produced newscast in 2002. WTTV, upon taking the CBS affiliation will have the following newscasts, as not to compete with WXIN (channel 59/Marion Cable 11)

  • 4:30-7:00 a.m. Weekdays (WXIN currently airs a morning newscast from 4-10 a.m.)
  • 12:00-12:30 p.m. Weekdays (WXIN did have a midday newscast from 2008-2010)
  • 90 minute news block from 5-6:30 p.m. (WXIN currently has a early evening news block from 4-7:30 p.m. come September)
  • 11-11:35 p.m. (WXIN currently has a late newscast block from 10-11:30 p.m.)

Then there comes WTTV’s likely weekday schedule come January 1, 2015 as follows (many shows currently shown on WTTV could stay or move to either WXIN or WTTV-DT2:

  • 4:00 a.m. CBS Morning News
  • 4:30 a.m. “CBS 4 Morning News”
  • 7:00 a.m. CBS This Morning
  • 9:00 a.m. Judge Mathis
  • 10:00 a.m. The People’s Court of Let’s Make A Deal
  • 11:00 a.m. The Price is Right
  • 12:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at Noon”
  • 12:30 p.m. The Young and the Restless
  • 1:30 p.m. The Bold and The Beautiful
  • 2:00 p.m. The Talk
  • 3:00 p.m. Let’s Make A Deal or The People’s Court
  • 4:00 p.m. Paternity Court or The Middle
  • 4:30 p.m. The Middle??
  • 5:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 5:00”
  • 5:30 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 5:30”
  • 6:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 6:00”
  • 6:30 p.m. CBS Evening News
  • 7:00 p.m. The Big Bang Theory
  • 7:30 p.m. Two and a Half Men
  • 8:00 p.m. CBS Prime
  • 11:00 p.m. “CBS 4 News at 11:00”
  • 11:35 p.m. The Late Show with Steven Colbert
  • 12:37 a.m. The Late Late Show with James Corden
  • 1:37 a.m. How I Met Your Mother
  • 2:07 a.m. Rules of Engagement
  • 2:37 a.m. CBS News Up To The Minute??

When WTTV joins CBS, WTTV will most likely pre-empt the network’s Saturday morning block CBS Dream Team in favor of running E/I-compliant children’s programs acquired from the syndication market and pre-empt Up To The Minute, in favor of airing syndicated programs and infomericals during the overnight hours. Once the syndicated acquired programs get dropped from WTTV’s schedule once contract commitments with syndication distributors ended, likely those blocks may begin airing.

Then comes the issue of the This TV subchannel, since that is owned by Tribune Broadcasting. One scenario is This TV could move to a new subchannel on WXIN because WTTV will likely upgrade 4.1 and 4.2 to HD and WXIN currently has Fox on 59.1 and Antenna TV on 59.2, and possibly This TV on 59.3.

Bottom line: I think WTTV is considered to be a strong CBS affiliate owing to WTTV’s former “Indiana’s Sports Station” as a college basketball hotbed and teams such as Purdue, Butler, and Indiana being longtime fixtures in the tournament, I think NCAA tournament games on WTTV will be consistently among the highest-rated programs in Indianapolis during the tournament’s run.  Unfortunately WTTV’s future late news WILL NOT serve the lead-in for Indianapolis native David Letterman’s late night talk show on CBS, the Late Show), since The Late Show with Davide Letterman’s final episode will air on WISH, not WTTV.

© 2014 – 2017, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

25Jul/13

Marion Cable TV provider pisses off Justice for Ashley Rheam Supporters…

Ahley Rheam 1984-2013First and foremost, I am speaking on the behalf on anyone who has cable or satellite in Grant County. Secondly, I also speak to anyone that like yours truly whom until the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute of October 2008 decided to end the cable television subscription just because the cable company no longer carries the big four Fort Wayne television stations, and forced some to whom I say I applaud you to now rely on over-the-air television.

Given the number of conversations in-person, emails and messages following the WISH-TV/Bright House Dispute five years ago on this website (as well as the former INNewsCentrer, a web site I launched in November 1, 1999 as a Mississinewa High School junior that discussed the television industry changes that only covered Fort Wayne and Indianapolis before expanding to all 10 markets that serve all of Indiana’s 92 counties until June 2011 when the site closed when WFFT lost the Fox affiliation and has since rejoined that network) about where the big four Fort Wayne stations were and no longer being carried on Bright House Networks for Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro subscribers, I thought I would try to explain the issues for like yours truly that share their frustrations and could not watch the Indianapolis 500 live since the 2009 race LIVE (via WPTA-TV, former Marion cable channel 21) and more recently WFFT’s (former Marion cable channel 2) news coverage of what I will call “Justice for Ashely Rheam” coverage.

First, some background (WHERE DID WFFT-TV GO):

Industry-wide, the United States is divided into 210 television markets. The largest is New York City, with Glendive, Montana, the smallest. The Fort Wayne market is the 109th largest, with approximately 600,000 television homes. Each market has defined boundaries. Fort Wayne has 11 counties.

However, the Fort Wayne market does not include Grant County – which is, unfortunately, in the Indianapolis market, which is the 26th largest with approximately 2.5 million television homes in 32 counties.

Why is that important?

In the case of WFFT, the Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) is enforcing contract language with companies that retransmit a FOX station’s signal –for example Bright House (Marion, Gas City, Jonesboro) and Comcast (Upland, Fairmount) – that only the affiliate for that market be provided on a channel lineup. As such, the signal of WFFT, unfortunately–despite being significantly viewed in Grant County, has been removed from the channel lineups in those areas I mentioned, such as Grant County, where just WXIN (Marion Cable channel 11) is provided.

This is absolutely not being done at the request of either WXIN or WFFT and like many of my friends, fans, followers in Grant County–like you–no longer have access to WFFT.

In the case of WANE-TV–the Fort Wayne CBS affiliate (former Marion cable channel 20), five years ago LIN TV of Providence (which also owns fellow Indianapolis CBS affiliate WISH-TV), began enforcing contract language with Bright House that retransmits the signals of WISH and WANE. Unlike the case of WFFT, is affiliated with FOX, whereas WANE and WISH have been very close sister stations for as long as I can remember. However, five years after the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute and  seeing this from what I believe, and thus have a theory led to the Marion repercussions that soon followed with the removal of WPTA and WISE-TV.

My theory is that five and a half years ago right after my 25th birthday in January 2008 while INNewsCenter was in operation, I had revived an email from a LIN TV Indianapolis official concerning YouTube videos I posted on the INNewsCenter YouTube channel, that not only paved to my eventual decision to take INNewsCenter offline in June 2011.  The theory is that LIN TV of Providence (Rhode Island) knew that what the big four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) were going to try to do were basically create a pay TV-big five (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW) television network (or the lesser Pay TV-Station) model of strict contractual policies against network signal duplication (Marion’s a clear example since Bright House is the only major cable television provider)  from out-of-market signals in other markets (thus Bright House still carries mostly Indianapolis’ big four stations and eventually discontinuing of Fort Wayne stations on Bright House), basically meaning discontinuation of out-of-market distribution; all of the communities listed have their own broadcast network affiliates.

The networks aren’t “picking” on WFFT, WANE, WPTA, and/or WISE. In fact, those stations would expect that in Huntington County – which is part of the Fort Wayne market – that systems there will be seeing WTTK or WNDY removed from the lineup at some point in the near future for the same reason.

While the network’s programming may be the same on Fox stations WFFT and WXIN; CBS stations WANE-TV and WISH-TV; NBC stations WISE-TV and WTHR; and ABC stations WPTA and WRTV, many other shows – particularly the FWA and INDY newscasts, football shows, IndyStyle on WISH-TV, are unique to aforementioned stations. If a cable company chose to carry WFFT (and very unlikely re-carry WANE-TV, WISE-TV, and WPTA) for local programs, the cable company would have to block out all the network shows that are duplicated from the network – and in most cases cable companies do not provide a channel when they have to block out so many programs.

Viewers like myself that lost WANE-TV on October 2, 2008, WPTA and WISE-TV on January 1, 2009, and WFFT via Bright House Networks have just ONE Option–get the Fort Wayne stations with an outdoor antenna (no higher than 60 feet as an FAA requirement–if your apartment complex allows this in the lease), but success with an indoor antenna isn’t guaranteed given the distances involved.

I ALWAYS OFFER THIS ADVICE (and have done so since my mother founded NoSirGifts, a gift/media retailer that has since closed stores due to Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2013)–make sure to get an antenna that receives BOTH VHF and UHF signals. As assigned by the FCC, WFFT’s broadcast signal is on Channel 36.1 (PSIP 55.1); WANE-TV is Channel 31.1 (PSIP 15.1); WPTA is channel 24.1 (PSIP 21.1); and WISE-TV is 18.1 (PSIP 33.1). The Indianapolis stations, however,  BOTH use VHF and UHF signals that’ll come in pretty much handy should a cable/sattelite dispute like the WISH-TV/Bright House dispute in October 2008, WXIN/DirecTV dispute in April 2012, and WTHR/DISH Network dispute in September 2002.

As for why the networks will do this, at the end of the day, it all comes down to protecting the local affiliate within a select market.

Four Examples:

  1. If a viewer in Grant County living in Marion watches “American Idol” on WFFT “Fox Local 55” and records that with Nielsen, WFFT does not get ratings credit for it because it’s outside the Fort Wayne market. And because that viewer in Marion didn’t watch WXIN “Fox 59”, they can’t get credit. So, Fox 59 doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched American Idol. With Fox Local 55 (and basically all the Fort Wayne stations) taken off the Bright House Networks system in Marion, viewers in Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro (and eventually Comcast will do the same in Hartford City/Upland/Fairmount)  there will have to watch Fox 59 for American Idol – and WXIN and FOX will get the appropriate credit.
  2. If a viewer in Ripley County watches “The Voice” on WTHR “13NBC” and records that with Nielsen, 13NBC does not get ratings credit for it because Ripley County is outside the Indianapolis market. And because that viewer didn’t watch WLWT, they can’t get credit. So, WLWT-TV doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched The Voice. With 13NBC off the Comcast system in Lawrenceburg/Versalles, viewers there will have to watch WLWT for The Voice – and WLWT and NBC will get the appropriate credit.
  3. If a viewer in Kosiusco County living in Warsaw watches “Dancing With the Stars” on WPTA “21Alive” and records that with Nielsen, 21Alive does not get ratings credit for it because Kosisoco  County is outside the Fort Wayne market. And because that viewer didn’t watch WBND-TV “ABC 57”, they can’t get credit. So, ABC 57 doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched Dancing with the Stars. With 21Alive more likely to be off the cable system in Warsaw, viewers there will have to watch ABC 57 for Dancing with the Stars – and WBND-TV and ABC will get the appropriate credit.
  4. If a viewer in Tippecanoe County living in Lafayette watches “The Price is Right” on WISH-TV and records that with Nielsen, WISH-TV does not get ratings credit for it because Tippecanoe County is outside the Indianapolis market.  And because that viewer didn’t watch WLFI–even though there’s no ABC, NBC or Fox affiliate in the Lafayette market, they can’t get credit, and WLFI may as well be a semi-satellite of WISH. So, WLFI doesn’t get any credit for a viewer that watched Dancing with the Stars. With WISH more likely to be off the cable system in Lafayette, viewers there will have to watch WLFI for Dancing with the Stars – and WLFI and CBS will get the appropriate credit.

 

We know it may not make a lot of sense. Marion, Muncie Central, and Anderson High Schools are in a conference with a Fort Wayne area high school while Mississinewa, Eastbrook, Oak Hill, and Madison-Grant are in a conference with a high school in the Indianapolis DMA, for example. Or maybe you just like Fort Wayne and/or Indianapolis newscasts better. I don’t blame you for that. However, in this case, we’re all paying more when you come to think of it.

SOURCES: WLUK-TV “Where did Fox 11 (Green Bay) Go?” http://blogs.fox11online.com/2012/10/01/where-did-fox-11-go/

© 2013 – 2017, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.

06May/13

McCullough Middle School Tragedy

MARION (AVA ZINN) – No resident of a local school district, let alone a parent of a middle school student, wants to have the daunting task on having to post on one their own. On May 6, 2013, I find myself in that position. It was an incredibly difficult Monday afternoon for the Marion community after school officials say a seventh grade girl hanged herself at the junior high school. Parents of the other students were baffled at how this could happen during the school day.

Braylee Rice (COURTESY WRTV)

Marion Police along with Marion Community Schools are investigating the death of a 7th grade  student at McCulloch Junior High School, 3528 South Washington.

Grant County Coroner Stephen Dorsey reported that Rice used a neck tie she frequently wore. The preliminary cause of death is being ruled as a suicide by hanging, and an autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Superintendent Steve Edwards says the likes of this case is something he’s never seen before in his experience in education.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, the Grant County coroner said Braylee Rice, 14,  hanged herself by the track bleachers at the middle school. Dorsey said the girl used her own tie she was wearing to hang herself from the bleachers.

School officials said there was “no indication at this point it was a bullying situation” but police are investigating the circumstances.

Grief counselors will be made available to students for the rest of the week.

“This is a tragic situation,” said Marion Community Schools superintendent Stephen Edwards.

According to the school district, the Grant County coroner’s office has been in contact with Braylee’s family.

Students were kept in their classrooms for the day, instead of moving from class to class or being released early, but school officials stressed that the building was not on lockdown, and many parents opted to pick up their children.
“In light of the tragic circumstances, we decided, after consulting with the State Department of Education, to keep school in session today on a modified schedule. Out of concern for the safety of those children who may have gone home to empty houses, we opted to keep school open and in session,” the district said in a statement.
School officials said counseling was provided to students during school hours and on the bus that Rice rode.

Marion Deputy Police Chief Cliff Sessoms is urging anyone who may have any information regarding the apparent suicide death of Braylee Rice to call Marion Police detectives at 662-9981.

This is a developing story that will be updated. This story reflects information that has been confirmed to Ava Zinn at this time. Stay with Ava Zinn (in person and online) for a full report, or refresh this page.

 Ava Zinn Statement:

My family is deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy of today’s events at McCullogh Middle School. Rags, Tabby, and Ashli are also saddened by this deep shock and sorrow of Braylee’s death. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Miss Rice.

What friends are saying:

A few of the status updates from Facebook, I wanted to post on AvaZinn.com….
Tiara (Shepperd) Stapleton: My heart goes out to the family of Braylee Rice. Its a sad world that kids get bullied then thinking the only way out is to kill themselves. As a parent we worry about so many things now we have to worry about our kids taking their own lives because of mean a** kids. This is a dark time we live in more n more horrible things keep getting worse and trying to find the beauty in life is being covered up by so much negativity. Its time to turn this around and start blighting up all the positives there are in this world. Prayers being sent out to this little girl and hope that this is a major wake up call for bullies, parents, children go talk to your loved ones or a trusted adult for help.

Tasha J. (Mangold) Simon: OK I’m gonna say this… but I Hope I don’t upset anyone. This poor little girl hasn’t even been gone for 12 hours and They r already having a candlelight vigil for her??? Is something wrong with this picture or is it just me??

Elicia Bockover: My lil cousin @ 14 yrs old took her own life.What a tragic day it has been.PLZ KEEP HER N UR THOUGHTS.PRAY FOR HER MOM,DAD,BROTHERS AND SISTERS.HER GMA,AUNTS,UNCLES,FRIENDS,ECT.KEEP THEM ALL N UR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.R.I.H.BRAYLEE RICE.U WILL B MISSED BABY GIRL

Jenn Ricks: Prayers go out to the loved ones of the little girl from McCullough Middle School…my daughter is only a few years younger then she was…I cant even imagine wat the family is going through right now…so sad

© 2013, avazinn.com. All rights reserved.