Tag: black

FBI helping investigate killing of Black man in Ashland hotel parking lot

Federal authorities are involved in the investigation of the shooting death of a Black man last month in the parking lot of an Ashland hotel, police said Thursday.

The FBI is working with Ashland police to assess whether Robert Keegan violated any federal laws in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Aidan Ellison, according to the Ashland Police Department. Keegan, 47, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Ashland police on Thursday said the deadly encounter hasn’t been substantiated as a bias crime but that it’s “important to examine all aspects of this case and determine whether a bias crime has been committed.”

A probable cause affidavit says Keegan was awakened Nov. 23 by loud music coming from the parking lot of the Stratford Inn, where he was staying. Keegan asked Ellison to turn down the music, according to the affidavit, and Ellison refused.

Keegan got dressed, “collected his gun” and complained to a clerk about Ellison playing music in the lot, the court document says.

The clerk went to the lot to talk with Ellison. And while the clerk was talking with him, Keegan came to the lot and confronted Ellison, according to the affidavit. The two men began to argue.

Keegan claimed Ellison hit him in the face with a fist several times, according to the affidavit. Keegan said he backed up, racked a round and shot Ellison in the chest because he feared for his safety, the document says.

An autopsy, however, showed no injuries to Ellison’s hands that indicated he punched Keegan, according to the affidavit. Keegan had no visible face injuries.

The shooting drew condemnation from southern Oregon’s Black community.

“The murder of Aidan Ellison is another example of Southern Oregon’s racist history with and current practice of white supremacy,” wrote Southern Oregon Black Leaders, Activists and Community Coalition in a statement. “Aidan was murdered because he was a young Black person who made a white man uncomfortable and refused to submit to that man’s personally-perceived authority – not because he was listening to music too loudly.”

Ellison pleaded guilty Nov. 27, to second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, unlawful possession of a firearm and recklessly endangering another person.

Keegan is being held in custody without bail until his next court date on Feb. 22, officials have said.

— Jim Ryan

[email protected]; 503-221-8005; @Jimryan015

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Talent man pleads not guilty in killing of Black teenager in Ashland hotel parking lot

A Talent man pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge stemming from the shooting death of a Black teenager Nov. 23 in the parking lot of an Ashland hotel, the Jackson County District Attorney’s office said.

Robert Keegan, 47, pleaded not guilty to four criminal counts at his arraignment, including second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, reckless endangering and unlawful possession of a weapon. Keegan is being held in custody without bail until his next court date Feb. 22, 2021, officials said.

Keegan is accused of shooting 19-year-old Aidan Ellison in the chest and killing him in the parking lot of the hotel where they were both staying as guests.

Ashland and Phoenix police responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot of Stratford Inn at around 4:20 a.m. When officers arrived, they found Ellison dead with a single gunshot wound to his chest.

Keegan, who was still at the scene, was arrested and taken to Jackson County Jail, officials said.

According to Ashland police, Keegan and Ellison, who did not know each other, were arguing when Keegan took a gun out of his coat and fired a single shot at Ellison’s chest. Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara said in a since-deleted statement on Facebook that the pair were arguing about Ellison playing loud music in the parking lot. O’Meara later posted a clarification to his statement on Ashland Police’s Facebook page Thursday.

“The only thing that caused this murder was suspect’s actions, 100%. It is completely immaterial what led up to it,” O’Meara wrote. “Yes, there was an argument over music, no, this did not happen because of loud music, it happened because the suspect chose to bring a gun with him and chose to use it, 100% on him, not the poor young man that was murdered.”

The shooting drew condemnation from Southern Oregon’s Black community, which raised concerns about the area’s culture and history of white supremacy.

“The murder of Aidan Ellison is another example of Southern Oregon’s racist history with and current practice of white supremacy,” wrote Southern Oregon Black Leaders, Activists and Community Coalition in a statement. “Aidan was murdered because he was a young Black person who made a white man uncomfortable and refused to submit to that man’s personally-perceived authority – not because he was listening to music too loudly.”

SOBLACC has planned a meeting for Dec. 7, inviting Black people living in Southern Oregon to come together and discuss priorities for their community.

A candlelit vigil to remember Ellison was held at the Stratford Inn parking lot Thursday night. According to KOBI-TV in Medford, Southern Oregon activists are planning a rally Dec. 2 at the Jackson County Courthouse.

Gun control advocacy group Oregon Moms Demand Action released a statement Saturday highlighting a 2020 statistic showing Black Oregonians are dying of gun homicide at five times the rate of white Oregonians.

“We’re horrified,” said Amie Wexler, a volunteer with gun control advocacy group Oregon Moms Demand Action, said in a statement Saturday.

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‘I just didn’t see myself represented in the travel industry’: Ella Paradis of the Black Explorer | Travel

I was around seven or eight years old, sitting in my plane seat as a giddy, unaccompanied minor. My brother and I were on an eight-hour flight to Kingston, Jamaica. I didn’t cry when we waved goodbye to our mum at the departure gate and walked off with the airline staff.

All I could think about was six weeks of sea and sun with my grandma. This was the beginning of my love for travel – something I didn’t realise until speaking to Ella Paradis, founder and editor of a new magazine, the Black Explorer. Like many second- and third-generation kids in the UK who travel across the globe to see family, she had had a similar experience to mine.

With 80% of the UK’s journalists having attended private school and only 0.2% of journalists being Black, it’s easy to see how travel journalism isn’t always a reflection of people like me. Although Black people very much do travel, the world of tourism widely excludes us and fails to cater for us. We’re barely seen in adverts, in the top spots in travel journalism, or presenting travel documentaries.

It’s something Ella is on a mission to change.

Ella Paradis at the Grand Canyon.
Ella Paradis at the Grand Canyon

Launching a travel magazine as the world stands still is a brave move but it’s also what makes the first issue of this quarterly magazine, subtitle “We Go Too”, so exciting. We may not be able to travel but we can live vicariously through its stories.

I wanted the magazine to shine a light on all the ways Black people explore

But the Black Explorer isn’t your average travel guide. Written by black writers and travellers, it’s a celebration and educational resource showing how and why we travel, told by us for us. How we navigate the world comes with its own nuances, from dealing with anti-Blackness abroad to the need for Black joy.

From the story of how psychedelics opened pathways to adventure for Alexandra Keeling to pioneering travellers, such as the Black Arctic explorers of the 1800s, the magazine seeks to redefine how we think about travel.

The Black travel movement is well established in the US. Publications including National Geographic, Outside magazine, CNN Travel and Skift have documented its growth. Black travellers’ members’ clubs like Buoyant and lifestyle platforms like Black & Abroad cater for a US black travel market said by one study to be worth $63bn a year .

Here in the UK it’s only just starting to take flight. Along with outdoor groups such as Black Girls Hike, and black-owned music festivals like British-run AfroNation, the Black British travel movement is finally getting its time in the sun.

Rhiane Fatinikun, with two other women, all in walking boots on top of a hill
Rhiane Fatinikun (centre), founder of UK group Black Girls Hike. Photograph: Sebastian Barros

Niellah Arboine: Why did you start the Black Explorer?

Ella Paradis: I just didn’t see myself represented in the travel industry. I’ve been travelling since I was 10. My parents just put me on a plane. You know: “This is

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The best Black Friday deals on binoculars for travel, skywatching and nature

There’s nothing quite like getting up close to Earth’s incredible wildlife and this Black Friday we’ve scanned retailers to help you find the very best deal on your next binocular — whether you’re wanting to observe birds up close, scour the surface of the moon (or a bit of both!), you can get a great discount today.

Celestron Nature DX 8x42 Binocular

© Provided by Live Science
Celestron Nature DX 8×42 Binocular

With unbeatable offers on Celestron’s Outland X 10×50 and Celestron’s range of SkyMaster Binocular — both of which offer a mix of stunning terrestrial views — we’ve rounded up the very best pieces of kit that exude performance and high quality. And for a fraction of the cost.

Some binoculars in our Black Friday deals come with accessories, including lens caps and a handy carry case to ensure that the optics are always protected during tours of land and sky. What’s more, all binoculars are robust and can withstand bumps and knocks, making them the perfect choice for young observers and the most adventurous members of the family.

The all-arounder Celestron Nature DX 8×42 binocular is our editor’s choice and comes at an unbelievable 46% off at Amazon. With their lightweight design, you can switch from observing the local wildlife to the surface of the moon within moments: thanks to a combination of coated lenses, BaK-4 prisms and nitrogen purging, views are spectacularly clear for unbelievable observations.

More great Black Friday deals on binoculars from top brand Celestron

a pair of telescope

© Provided by Space

Celestron SkyMaster Pro 20×80 Binocular: $259.95 $179.00 at Amazon

With its fantastic optics, which includes fully multicoated optics and BaK-4 prisms, the SkyMaster Pro 20×80 allow the skywatcher to observe at great distances, picking out those faint fuzzies and achieving high-definition views of the moon and planets. View Deal

a close up of a device

© Provided by Space

Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 Binocular: $103.95 $69.00 at Amazon

The Celestron SkyMaster 25×70 Binocular comes with a carry case to protect its superb multicoated optics. The 25x magnification and large 2.76-inch (70 mm) objective lens allow the observer to get close to everything from wildlife to bright galaxies. View Deal

Be sure to check out Live Science’s best binoculars for kids 2020 as well as Space.com’s best binoculars 2020.  

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Even if you can’t travel yet, there are still Black Friday deals

Most travel adventures have been put on hold since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold — but studies show that thinking about and planning trips makes people happier. That happiness may get a boost from the travel deals offered during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Travel Tuesday this season.

© Provided by NBC News

This year, “many hotel chains and airlines put consumer benefits at the forefront with the introduction of flexible cancellation policies, extra rewards, and deeper discounts,” said Ben Harrell, chief marketing officer at Priceline.Flexible cancellation policies mean you can take advantage of savings now, for future travel.”

Many companies are kicking off their sales early and widening the purchase window. Others are loosening restrictions on how and when deals can be used.

Experts still recommend joining frequent flier programs and signing up for email alerts for brands and destinations you are interested in. Many deals are offered to club members early and often include a bonus member discount.

“If you land a great deal, it’s not a bad idea to arm yourself with a backup plan in case anything unexpected happens after your trip has begun,” said Kelly Soderlund, travel trends expert at TripIt. She recommends signing up for alerts to keep you informed about local travel restrictions and health and safety guidelines.

If you are unsure about choosing a destination right now, Soderlund recommended “looking instead for deals on travel gift cards that can be used on future bookings.”

Deals available as of Black Friday include Amtrak rolling out its “Track Friday Sale.” Past offers have included 30 percent off nationwide train travel well into the new year.

Many cruise lines, which have been hard hit by season-long cancellations, will be offering deals as well. MSC Cruises has a variety of discounts for sail dates through November next year.

Holiday sales are usually more important for retailers than for airlines, but “with tons of empty holiday flights remaining, we may see airlines trying to juice more of those sales this year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Scott Keyes, founder and chief flight expert for Scott’s Cheap Flights.

In fact, Dollar Flight Club said it expects Black Friday and Cyber Monday fare sale activity to be 12 times what it was in 2019.

“Jet-fuel prices are almost half the price compared to last year and airlines need to sell seats to scrape together revenue,” company founder Jesse Neugarten told NBC News. Travelers should expect summer 2021 deals to Europe “in the $200s to $300s round trip” and deals to Central America for under $250 round trip, Neugarten said.

Closer to home, Orlando has a website dedicated to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at theme parks, attractions, resorts, and shopping. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has a long list of deals available to book now.

Legoland New York Resort, set to open in New York’s Hudson Valley in 2021, will have a Black Friday deal until Dec. 1, offering 60 percent off an unlimited admission

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Black Friday 2020 Travel Sales, Deals on Expedia, Booking.com and More

Black Friday deals are an opportunity to save some money on a vacation, with travel agents, airlines, and hotel groups offering discounts. Use the shopping holiday to save on your future travel plans, both within the U.S. and abroad.

a plane flying in the air: An aircraft flies through London skies leaving a vapour trail on February 2, 2007, in London, England. Travel companies are offering deals and discounts this Black Friday.

© Daniel Berehulak/Getty
An aircraft flies through London skies leaving a vapour trail on February 2, 2007, in London, England. Travel companies are offering deals and discounts this Black Friday.

Although heading on vacation might not be a possibility anytime soon, due to restrictions amid the pandemic, plenty of deals listed below offer deals that can apply to trips taken in 2021, when traveling will hopefully be a lot easier and safer.

If you plan to travel in the near future, make sure you understand the policies around traveling both in your area and in the country or area you intend to travel to. You may need to present a negative COVID-19 test and will need to follow health and safety guidelines when traveling.

Black Friday Travel Deals 2020

  • Expedia
  • Booking.com
  • EF Ultimate Break
  • Priceline
  • Go Ahead

Expedia Deals

Expedia’s Black Friday travel sale involves up to 50 percent off select stays, plus an additional 12 percent discount on select hotels and activities with an Expedia app-only coupon with the code GOAPP12, valid for travel until September 12, 2021, and with a maximum saving of $200.

Booking.com Deals

Deals at Booking.com include 30 percent or more off stays until December 31 and 15 percent off stays between now and January 4. Deals include stays in the U.S., so this deal could be a great option if you’re planning a staycation.

EF Ultimate Break Deals

EF Ultimate Break has numerous deals for both domestic and international trips for anyone aged 18-29. There is a $500 discount on a U.S. National Parks trip, featuring six cities over 11 days from

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The best Black Friday 2020 holiday and hotel travel deals including Tui and Thomas Cook

The Black Friday sales are here and many of the UK’s major holiday companies are offering holidaymakers some really attractive prices on their next trip away.

If you feel confident in booking a trip abroad, there’s some really good deals available for travel next year.

But whether you fancy jetting off out of the country or would prefer to take a break within the shores of the UK, you can be sure to save big on a holiday in this year’s Black Friday sales.

Holiday companies are offering decent discounts on some of the most popular holiday destinations including Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Turkey and more.

Take a look at some of the best deals from the biggest UK holiday and hotel providers and see if you can grab a bargain with your next adventure.

Travel Republic

Travel Republic have launched a flash Black Friday sale with up to 65% off worldwide holidays – all with added protection.  There’s up to 50% off trips to Tenerife with holidays starting at £157pp for seven nights, flights and accommodation. 

Or 25% on Algarve holidays, with prices starting at £116pp. And those that fancy jetting off to more long haul destinations, there up to 42% off on holidays to Dubai, from £398pp departing in June, or seven nights in Florida starting at £398pp departing in May.

Take a look at their Black Friday deals here.

Warner Leisure Hotels

They’re offering coastal village holidays from £99pp and country hotel breaks from £129pp for December to March bookings.

Stay at their Lakeside Coastal Village in Hampshire in December for £99pp saving £86, or three nights at the Corton Coastal Village in Suffolk for £126pp, saving £116.

Three nights at the luxury Holme Lacy House Hotel in Herefordshire in December is £129pp saving £186, or a long weekend at the Littlecote House Hotel in Berkshire for the same price.

Take a look at their Black Friday deals and discounts here.


Tui have launched a Black Friday sale event slashing the price of Spring and Summer 2021 holidays.

They’re also offering more money off with a limited time code.

Depending on how much you spend, you can save as much as £250 off your booking.  They’re also reducing prices on some top destinations for 2021 – for example long-haul spots overlooking white-sand beaches in Mexico, and closer-to-home mainstays like Cyprus and Greece

You can see which destinations are in the sale on Black Friday here.

Use code BLK100 for £100 off, BLK150 for £150 off or BLK250 for £250 off.


a bedroom with a bed and desk in a hotel room: Travelodge

© PA


The budget hotel chain has launched their Black Friday sale with rooms for just £6.25 per person next year. There’s over a million rooms offered at a reduced rate, including family rooms costing £25 per night – which works out to just £6.25 each.

Dates available are from January 1 to September 2021 – making it an ideal option for a cheap UK break next year.

And the discounted rooms are

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How to get a Black Friday travel deal during the pandemic

You can plan your next great escape, even in turbulent travel times. 

Hotels and cruise lines are offering Black Friday deals after the travel industry took a major blow during coronavirus shutdowns earlier this year. 

More hotels and travel booking companies are offering deals up to 75% on Black Friday with free cancelllations during COVID-19. (iStock). 

More hotels and travel booking companies are offering deals up to 75% on Black Friday with free cancelllations during COVID-19. (iStock). 

A number of budget booking websites are slashing prices of hotels and resorts across the United States and in the Caribbean. And with flexible cancellation policies during the pandemic with the uncertainty of travel restrictions amid spiking cases, experts say there’s no financial risk to booking now, even if you have to back out later. 

“Make sure to prioritize flexibility alongside price this year. Look for airline and lodging deals that have waived change and cancellation fees, should plans change,” Kelly Soderlund, a travel trends expert with travel app TripIt, tells Fox.

“Many travel providers are offering credits instead of refunds, so determine a backup plan if the trip is canceled. The financial implications of travel credits could impact the when and where of an alternative trip,” Soderlund adds. 


Here are some of the smartest ways to save: 

Domestic getaways 

Budget travel booking website Expedia is expanding its sale to run five extra days this year through Dec. 1 with options like free cancellation should plans change during these uncertain times. 

The e-commerce travel platform is offering 50% off select stays and an extra 12% off select hotels and activities. The site is also alerting users to properties with enhanced cleaning protocols and free cancellation options during the pandemic. 

Luxury hotels in New York City, Miami, Orlando, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are being discounted by up to 75% off. 


Marriott is now also offering up to 20% off stays at more than 5,000 hotels and 25% off to its Bonvoy members. The hotel chain will also give 15% off e-gift cards for future travel beginning Nov. 30 through Dec. 1 for those hesitant to commit to booking during the pandemic. 

“Check local travel restrictions and health and safety guidelines for each destination you have in mind, especially as states and countries issue localized restrictions,” Soderlund advises, adding: “It’s also a good idea to arm yourself with a plan upon arrival should anything unexpected happen after your trip has begun.” 

Beach bound international travel

CheapCarribbean.com, a site that helps users book affordable getaways in destinations like the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, the Bahamas and Mexico, is offering up to 75% off more than 600 of its properties with beach vacations starting as low as $249.


One deal includes a three-night stay at an all-inclusive Cancun resort priced at $405 per person including airfare at the four-star Sunscape Akumal Beach Resort and Spa. 

Cruise control 

Those itching to hit the high seas again when safe may consider a $500 credit

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Sunwing unveils massive Black Friday savings with up to 50% off popular vacation packages

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This Black Friday, Sunwing is offering some of the best deals in the history of the company with up to 50% off vacation packages during their popular Orange Friday Sale. The sale is on now through Sunday, November 29, with savings on vacation packages for every travel style, whether Canadians are planning a romantic getaway, a solo escape or an extended stay. Sun-seekers will want to act fast to secure some of the best travel deals ever seen to the most popular destinations including Cancun, Punta Cana and Varadero.

“We’re helping Canadians book the getaway of their dreams at an incredible price this Black Friday,” said Samantha Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer of Sunwing Travel Group. “With winter right around the corner, plenty of Canadians are eager to head back to paradise safely and responsibly, and we’re helping them get there under our wing. We secured savings on some of the most popular vacation packages; from luxurious adults only resorts to charming beachfront properties, there’s something for everyone.”

Packages start from as low as $665 per person (including taxes, based on double occupancy) for a 7-night stay at popular beachfront resort Starfish Varadero in a Gardenview Room departing from Toronto on January 10, 2021. This charming resort is perfect for vacationers planning a classic sun-and-sand getaway and is located on one of Varadero’s famous stretches of pristine white-sand shores.

Canadians can soak up the sun on Punta Cana’s famous white-sand shores at Riu Republica, home to the only water park exclusively for adults in the Caribbean. This property is an ideal choice for couples, friends or solo travellers, with no single supplement fees for a limited time. Packages to this adults only resort start at just $1,045 per person (including taxes, based on double occupancy) for a 7-night stay in a Hotel Room departing from Toronto on January 10, 2021. Plus, travellers can take their budget even further with exclusive RIU-topia inclusions for Sunwing guests.

Another popular resort included in the sale is Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun Resort and Spa, perfect for those planning an adults only getaway. Vacationers can head to Royalton CHIC Suites Cancun for just $1,095 per person (including taxes, based on double occupancy) for a 7-night stay in a Luxury Junior Suite departing from Toronto on January 9, 2021. Located just steps from the excitement of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, this 18+ oasis is home to the glamorous Level 18 Rooftop Cabana Lounge.

Vacationers can book with peace of mind knowing that the highest Canadian standards are in place throughout their entire vacation experience with the Safe with Sunwing commitment, created under the advisement of global healthcare leader Medcan. Travellers can choose from flexible booking options including the ability to change or cancel their plans anytime with ease, monthly payment options and complimentary Price Drop Cash Back. Packages booked during the sale for departures between October 16, 2020, and December 31, 2021, also include COVID-19 coverage at no additional cost.


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JetBlue’s Black Friday Sale Has Vacation Packages for Jamaica, Aruba, and More for up to $400 Off

Editor’s note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a tarmac at an airport: DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

© Provided by Travel + Leisure
DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a tarmac at an airport: The sale is for travel from Nov. 27 until Sept. 7, 2021 when you book by midnight ET on Dec. 1.

© DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images
The sale is for travel from Nov. 27 until Sept. 7, 2021 when you book by midnight ET on Dec. 1.

While others rush the stores for deals on electronics or clothes, why not spend your Black Friday booking something that you can really look forward to? 

While we’re dreaming of the day that COVID-19 travel restrictions lift and we’re free to jaunt where we please, JetBlue’s Black Friday sale is offering even more motivation to book an upcoming trip, with up to $400 off vacation packages. 

And if you’re feeling particularly generous, why not book a vacation as a holiday present? After all, there’s nothing like the promise of an upcoming vacation to get you through the cold, potentially quarantined months ahead. 

JetBlue’s packages offer perks like a $1,500 resort credit at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica or a guaranteed room upgrade at the Barcelo Aruba all-inclusive. 

The discount is available on travel from Nov. 27 until Sept. 7, 2021 when you book by midnight ET on Dec. 1. 

To snag a travel package from $250 to $1,499, use the code “FRIDAY50” for $50 off. Travel priced from $1,500 to $2,499 is eligible for $100 with the code “FRIDAY 100”. When you spend $2,500 to $3,999, you can get $200 off with “FRIDAY 200” and you can get $400 off a package valued at $4,000 or more with the code “FRIDAY400”.

Prices are based on a minimum of two travelers per room. 

Any cancellations will be refunded in JetBlue Vacations travel credits only and change fees may apply. For full terms and conditions, visit the JetBlue website. 

And once you’ve booked your vacation, why not take a look at some of the other steals available this Black Friday? You could also tack on a theme park vacation, luggage for your upcoming trip, or maybe a pair of headphones to wear on the plane. 

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, on Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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