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Latest from Sabrina Cupit

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued travel notices for five European countries with measles outbreaks.  The most recent outbreak was in France. Other outbreaks have been reported in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Romania.   More than 14,000 cases of measles have been reported in Europe since January of 2016, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.  In the past year, 35 people have died from the disease.   With people traveling on summer vacations, the CDC in Atlanta is asking travelers to make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations.   “Most measles cases in the United States are the result of international travel,” said Gary Brunette, M.D., M.P.H., chief of CDC’s travelers’ health program.  “Travelers get infected while abroad and bring the disease home. This can cause outbreaks here in the United States.”  Measles is very contagious and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing.  The virus starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. It is followed by a rash that spreads over the body.
  • More than 100 million Americans have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.   This new report finds that as of 2015, more than 30.3 million Americans have diabetes and another 84.1 million have pre-diabetes. If not treated, people who are pre-diabetic usually have full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years.   This report shows that the rate of new diabetes cases remains steady. However, it is still a growing health problem.   In 2015, there was an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes in people 18 and older. In some parts of the country the number of people with diabetes is much higher than others. The south and Appalachian areas of the U-S have the highest rates.   “Although these findings reveal some progress in diabetes management and prevention, there are still too many Americans with diabetes and prediabetes,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.  “More than a third of U.S. adults have prediabetes, and the majority don’t know it. Now, more than ever, we must step up our efforts to reduce the burden of this serious disease.”  Diabetes symptoms vary depending on how much your blood sugar is elevated. Some people, especially those with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, may not experience symptoms initially.   Symptoms include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue, and blurred vision. In some cases, there may be no symptoms. With type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin, or it resists insulin.  Treatments include diet, exercise, medication, and insulin therapy.  Are you at risk? Take the test --
  • The opioid epidemic is so bad that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping in. The CDC will be awarding more than $12 million dollars to twenty-three states, including Georgia, to help respond to opioid related overdoses. The money will be used to strengthen prevention efforts and better track opioid related overdoses.    Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, says 'President Trump and we here at HHS are working to support states on the front lines of this national crisis.' He says the money will be used to help states and local authorities track this epidemic and respond in real time.    The states that are getting money are : Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.   'More than 90 Americans lose their lives to the opioid overdose epidemic every day, which is devastating to their communities and families,' says the CDC director, Brenda Fitzgerald,M.D.   The expanded funding is part of the Department of Health and Human Services' five point strategy to the epidemic by:    Improving access to prevention, treatment and recovery services, including the full range of medication-assisted treatment;  Targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs;  Strengthening timely public health data and reporting;  Supporting cutting-edge research on pain and addiction; and  Advancing better practices for pain management.
  • Where you live matters when it comes to getting powerful painkillers. No state in the country is immune to problems associated with opioid abuse.   Overall, opioid-prescribing declines between 2010 and 2015, but remains at high levels and varies from state to state, according to a report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  In states where doctors are prescribing the drugs, they are prescribing a lot of them.  “We’re now experiencing the highest drug overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States, driven by prescription opioids and by illicit opioids,” CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat says. “With opioid medications, we’re still seeing too many getting too much for too long.”  Providers in the highest-prescribing counties prescribed six times more opioids per person than in the lowest-prescribing counties in 2015.  “The amount of opioids prescribed in 2015 was enough for every American to be medicated round the clock for three weeks.”  Schuchat adds, “No part of the country is spared; we see within every state some high-prescribing counties.  “The Appalachian region has been really hard-hit.”  Schuchat says counties with a higher prevalence of people with diabetes or arthritis or disability, had higher rates of prescribing. “And that kind of makes sense in terms of those conditions perhaps directly or indirectly being associated with greater pain issues,” she explains.  For more information on the CDC’s opioid analysis, click here.
  • While cancer deaths are declining overall, in rural areas the decline is much slower.  A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are more deaths in rural areas from tobacco-related cancers like lung cancer, and cancers that could be prevented by regular screening like colorectal and cervical cancers.  Data released Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is the first of its kind, showing a descriptive comparison of cancer deaths in rural and urban America.  “While geography alone can’t predict your risk of cancer, it can impact prevention, diagnosis and treatment opportunities. And that’s a significant public health problem in the U.S.,” CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat says.  “Many cancer cases and deaths are preventable and with targeted public health efforts and interventions, we can close the growing cancer gap between rural and urban Americans.”  Lisa C. Richardson, oncologist and director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, echoes Schuchat’s sentiments. “Cancer – its causes, its prevention, and its treatment – is complicated.  “When I treat cancer patients, I don’t do it alone – other healthcare professionals and family members help the patient during and after treatment. The same is true for community-level preventive interventions.”  Richardson adds, “Partnerships are key to reducing cancer incidence and the associated disparities.”  For more information on the CDC’s cancer prevention efforts and programs, click here.
  • WSB caught up with WSB Consumer expert Clark Howard at the AJC Peachtree Road race to ask about his experience this year, and the best bargains on Independence Day. He says this year was a little different running wise, but there are fantastic deals through the weekend.   Howard says he is running the race with his wife’s number for a very good reason. He gave his original number to a 92-year-old veteran who was having trouble getting a tag for the race. This is his 24th Peachtree Road Race and he explains why he loves it so much.   “It’s this spirit of togetherness in Atlanta that is so much fun,” Howard says. “For so many people back here with me they are not normally runners, but they are trying to be fit themselves, and that’s great!”   Although it’s not all about the fitness for the consumer expert.   “If they are still giving away beer and donuts as I go down Peachtree I will consume each. Part of the tradition if you are in the back of the race is you take whatever free, people are handing out.”   Clark Howard then goes on to say if you’re shopping after the race there are bargains on everything from clothing to electronics.    'This is one of the best weekends of the year to buy televisions,' says Howard.   He says it's because people are in outdoor mode, not indoor mode so stores are slashing prices. He says, 'I have seen just screaming deals.'   One example is a Samsung 55-inch 4K TV for $252 less as offered by Walmart, bringing down its price from its usual $1,000 tag to a more reasonable $750. Clark has a complete list on his website.  He says the one thing to remember though is a deal is only a deal if you need it. 'I am much better at that these days,' says Howard. 
  • It is vacation season and most Americans refuse to unplug while on the road, which could put you at risk from cyber crooks.  A new study from McAfee finds 57 percent of the people they surveyed said they went on vacation with the 'intent' to stay connected and not unplug from their computers, tablets or cell phones.   Security experts say many of us unknowingly put our privacy at risk and leave our personal information vulnerable when we use unsecured Wi-Fi.  Travelers often choose convenience over security while on vacation. WSB technical consultant, Tim Stephens says, 'If you do anything involving passwords you are at risk; Facebook, email or anything like that.'   Chances are you will be ok, but there is still a possibility that your information can be stolen, especially if you have things on your phone like payment and banking apps.  Stephens says it is best to use your cell phone as a hot spot rather than using an unsecured public network. 'Anybody can get on there just like you did and can monitor what you’re doing, grab passwords and can grab information,” says Stephens.   It is also a good idea to make sure your devices’ operating system and applications are kept updated. If you have not updated your software it could leave you open to potential security vulnerabilities.
  • It is bound to happen to all of us who drive.  You have a flat tire or your car breaks down. You need help, but calling your insurance company for assistance could be a bad idea.   Some automobile insurance companies offer roadside assistance, but what you may not know could end up hurting you, says Lori Silverman in Clark Howard's Consumer Action Center.  'If you have it you can use it, but it may hurt your wallet later on,' says Silverman.  Some insurance companies treat your use of roadside assistance as a fault claim that ends up on your CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) report.   If you have too many claims, that could make it difficult to change insurance companies. You may be seen as high risk.   Silverman says a good option is to have AAA.  Consumer expert Clark Howard says, “It's the Wild West with no rules on what insurers can decide to report on your CLUE report.'  He says you have no right to appeal either. Howard adds the number one rule if you need help: “Never get it from your own insurer. Get if from AA or elsewhere.”
  • Over half of all teens in the United States have had sex by the age of 18 and most use protection, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.   An estimated 55 percent of males and females, ages 15-18 years old, have had sex and about 80 percent used some form of contraception, according to the most recent data from the National Survey of Family Growth conducted by the NCHS.   There was really no difference in boys and girls. Among female teens, 42 percent say they have had sexual relations while 44 percent of boys says they have had sex.   A small percentage of teens say their first sexual experience was with someone they had just met. A majority say their first experience was with someone that they were 'going steady' with at the time.   The good news is most were using protection. The most common form was the condom followed by birth control pills.   Among teens who say they have not yet had sex, the main reasons for abstaining were religious beliefs or moral values.
  • Southwest Airlines is testing out a way to get you off the plane faster.  The airline is trying out 'two-door” deplaning. Passengers are able to exit the plane from the front and the back of the aircraft.   WSB Consumer expert Clark Howard says, “I love what Southwest is doing.'   Passengers who de-board from the rear of the airplane use jet stairs to get onto the tarmac, while those in the front of the airplane use the jet bridge.   'I've done it in other places in the world and planes don't unload twice as fast – they unload four times quicker,' Howard says.   It is in the testing phase right now. No word on when it will be implemented in all locations where Southwest flies.   Howard says he does not understand why all airlines in the U.S. do not consider two boarding and exit options: 'Every time I do it in other countries I say ‘why don't we do this?’”
  • Sabrina Cupit

    Midday Anchor/ Health Reporter

    Sabrina is WSB's midday news anchor, a position she's held since 2000. She also serves as the station's Health Reporter, and has produced award-winning series on Defibrillators and Elderly Drivers. For the past 5 years, Sabrina has been the CDC correspondent for WSB and CBS Network. You may also recognize Sabrina as one of the familiar Georgia Lottery hosts on WSB-TV. Sabrina joined Cox Radio in 1995, anchoring the news on the morning shows for B98.5-FM, WJZF Jazz Flavors, and WCNN. Around that same time, she served as an anchor for CNN Headline News and CNN Airport News. She's also a recognizable face in infomercials which air in markets including New York and California. Before entering the news business, Sabrina got her start in country music radio, at different times performing stints as morning show host and afternoon drive jock at WNGC in Athens; she also served as the station's Program Director. She spent several years with WDUN in Gainesville as a midday talk show host.

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  • Police are investigating a shooting at a Starbucks in Cobb County. Channel 2's Ross Cavitt learned that a woman was shot outside the Starbucks at Paces Ferry and Cumberland Parkway Thursday afternoon. Witnesses said they heard a pop and then saw the gunman jump over the bushes and run to a waiting truck. Cavitt spoke to a witness who said the woman who was shot asked for help, but then left. The woman has been identified as Sheena Fisse, 31. 'She had come into the door and I heard from other people she asked for help and said she's been shot. She asked for help or announced she'd been shot and turned around and left,' Grant Wyckoff said. TRENDING STORIES: O.J. Simpson granted parole after 9 years in jail Police: Burglar thought he cut security wires, still caught on camera 10-year-old girl hit, killed while walking to store Police said Fisse was shot in the side and drove eight miles down the interstate to Fulton Industrial Boulevard where they found her. She was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Police said they are questioning one person in connection with the shooting. If you have any information, you're asked to call 770-499-3945. Woman shot outside Cumberland Starbucks, drives miles down the highway before stopping. Suspect at large. @wsbtv Ross Cavitt | WSB-TV (@RossCavittWSB) July 20, 2017
  • Police said a burglar broke into a local nail salon and got away with cash.Channel 2's Audrey Washington was in Gainesville where police said the man scoped out the shop for one specific reason.Police said the burglar targeted the salon because he knows the nail techs get tipped with cash. They said it's the same reason they want him off the streets before he hits another nail shop.Surveillance video obtained by Washington showed the man walk into the back door of the nail studio and spa inside the Lakeshore Mall before 8 a.m.'Somebody come in through the back door like you see in the video,' the business owner told Washington, 'He just randomly picked it and (was) lucky to get in.' TRENDING STORIES: Woman had $2 million in liquid meth hidden in cleaning jugs during traffic stop, police say 10-year-old girl struck, killed while walking to a store Man shoots AT&T work truck outside parked in front of his home While inside, the shop owner said that the man cut the wires to what he thought was the security system. It turned out the wires he cut were to the audio system, so the camera was rolling as the man made his way inside. 'Not fair for us or anybody or business owners,' the salon owner told Washington.Sgt. Kevin Holbrook, with the Gainesville Police Department, told Washington, 'He did not hit any other businesses in the mall. He went to this nail salon, probably knowing that they do a lot of cash business.'The owner wouldn't say how much the guy got away with and police are hoping someone will recognize the suspect in the video by his distinctive camouflage backpack. Meanwhile police are warning other nail salon owners in the area. 'If you do cash business, if you have employees that receive cash tips, do not keep large amounts of cash in your store,' Holbrook said.The salon owner said he added extra security to his back door and as for the suspect, police believe he lives in the area. Anyone with information is asked to give Gainesville police a call.
  • Sen. John McCain's treatment for brain cancer could keep him out of Washington for weeks, perhaps months, and yet it's unlikely anyone will challenge his extended leave. Congress has a long tradition in which no one questions ailing lawmakers taking time to recover. For starters, it's just poor form. And, frankly, it's up to the stricken member of Congress and their doctors to decide when — or even if — they return to work. Some have recuperated away from the Capitol for a year or more. It's an unwritten courtesy that often doesn't extend to the real working world where employees are forced to file for medical disability or take unpaid leave. Julie Tarallo, McCain's spokeswoman, said Friday that 'further consultations with Sen. McCain's Mayo Clinic care team will indicate when he will return to the United States Senate.' McCain had taken to Twitter on Thursday promising a quick return. 'Unfortunately for my sparring partners in Congress, I'll be back soon, so stand-by!' said the six-term Arizona Republican and 2008 GOP presidential nominee. The 80-year-old McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, who had removed a blood clot above his left eye last Friday. He and his family are weighing his treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy. In the immediate aftermath of McCain's diagnosis, Republicans wouldn't speculate about what the temporary loss of McCain's vote would mean. But McCain's absence complicates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans for a Senate vote on a GOP health care bill to erase much of the Affordable Care Act. A vote is possible on Tuesday, but GOP defections plus McCain's likely absence could sink any chance even to get started. McCain wouldn't be the first lawmaker this year to miss votes, hearings and other legislative action. Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson remained in Georgia for several weeks earlier this year as he underwent two back surgeries and recuperated. Isakson missed the vote on confirming Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. In January 2012, then-Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. suffered a major stroke and didn't return for almost a full year, making a dramatic entrance by climbing the steps of the Capitol on the opening day of the following Congress. In a lawmaker's absence, congressional staff keep the office operating, send out news releases — one from McCain on Thursday blasted the Trump administration's Syria policy — and respond to constituents. Absences can leave the margin of control on a razor's edge. The month after Democrats won back the Senate in 2006, South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson had a near-fatal episode of bleeding in his brain that, at the time, threatened to shift the Senate's margin from 51-49 Democratic to 50-50 GOP control with Republican Vice President Dick Cheney the deciding vote. Johnson recovered but was away from the Senate for almost nine months. McCain is battling the same form of cancer that claimed the life of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in August 2009. Kennedy was away from the Senate for extended stretches but returned on occasion to vote. 'There were times when Senator Reid had to juggle things because he had two senators absent, Senator Kennedy and Senator Byrd,' said longtime former Senate aide Jim Manley, who worked for both Kennedy and then-Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. 'Having said that, it really never, with a handful of exceptions, proved to be that big of a problem.' Kennedy also delegated some of his responsibilities as chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee by farming out responsibility for bills before the panel to colleagues such as then-Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. McCain has had Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., handle his duties as Armed Services Committee chairman. Unclear is whether Inhofe will steer the sweeping defense policy bill if the Senate begins debate in August. And, if legislative necessity should dictate that McCain return for a crucial, dramatic vote, there's precedent for that. Kennedy, who mostly stayed away from the chamber for fear of infection, returned to the Senate in July 2008 for a key vote. During McCain's first term, Sen. Pete Wilson, R-Calif., recovering from an emergency appendectomy, was wheeled in on a stretcher to cast the deciding vote on a GOP budget plan. And in 1964, California Democrat Clair Engle, whose own bout with brain cancer rendered him unable to speak, was wheeled into the Senate to vote for the landmark Civil Rights Act. Engle pointed to his eye and tried to mouth 'aye,' according to newspaper accounts at the time. In an earlier time, some senators were away from the chamber for years. Karl Mundt, R-S.D., suffered a stroke in late 1969 and refused to resign and allow a GOP replacement to be named. He held the seat until January 1973 and was replaced by Democrat Jim Abourezk. Sen. Carter Glass, D-Va., kept his titles of president pro tempore and chairman of the Appropriations Committee despite being absent because of frailty due to old age.
  • Embattled former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has opened a new consulting firm called Resilient Patriot, LLC that is advising private equity firms, according to one of his brothers, who says Flynn is 'moving on with his life.' Joe Flynn said his family also is in the early stages of starting a fund to pay for the legal bills his brother is racking up as he sits at the center of multiple probes into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. 'Mike's not a millionaire, not even close,' Joe Flynn told The Associated Press this week. 'This situation has put him in a tough spot financially. This is going to cost him a lot of money.' 'There's a lot of people that are big fans of his across the country,' he added. Several of Flynn's siblings plan to administer the fund for the retired Army lieutenant general, and are working on setting up a website and consulting with a lawyer about the legal intricacies of such a fund. Joe Flynn said they want to 'be as transparent as possible' and do it properly. After being forced into retirement in 2014 by the Obama administration, Flynn went on to set up a company that accepted speaking fees from Russian entities and later did consulting work for a Turkish-owned business. He joined the Trump campaign and then the administration as an early supporter. But the Trump White House ousted him after saying he mischaracterized conversations with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. A wide range of his actions — including foreign contracts and payments, and whether he lied to officials — are under scrutiny by investigators. Joe Flynn said his brother is not independently wealthy, and depends on his Army pension. While his brother made some money consulting, Joe Flynn said much of that went into his company and to subcontractors. Now, with Resilient Patriot, Michael Flynn is advising private equity firms on deals they are considering, Joe Flynn said. He did not specify the firms. 'They use him to vet opportunities with his network,' he said. 'He's slowly starting to do that as a totally independent consultant.' While he said his older brother is doing well, 'There's still a cloud over him,' he said, adding 'I think he's not worried about going to jail or anything like that.' His son, Mike Flynn Jr., used the name Resilient Patriot on Twitter, but the work does not involve him, Joe Flynn said. Flynn Jr. sent numerous posts on Twitter about the conspiracy theories of Pizzagate, a fake new story suggesting a Washington, D.C., pizza shop plays a key role in a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton. The conspiracy theory influenced a North Carolina man to fire a rifle in the restaurant in December. Michael Flynn has been spending most of his summer in Middletown, Rhode Island, where he and his wife grew up and where they built a home years ago. Flynn has spent time surfing and golfing there in recent days. The plans for a legal defense fund were first reported by Bloomberg.
  • Lately the Congressional Budget Office just can't get any respect. Republicans from the White House on down have worked to discredit the nonpartisan agency, in an effort to undermine its inconvenient findings that GOP health care bills would cause more than 20 million people to lose their insurance. Now all eight former directors of the agency, some of them Republicans and some Democrats, have signed onto a letter defending CBO and urging lawmakers to give it the respect it deserves. 'We write to express our strong objection to recent attacks on the integrity and professionalism of the agency and on the agency's role in the legislative process,' the former directors say in their letter Friday to the top Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. CBO is a nonpartisan agency and acts as Congress' official scorekeeper, analyzing the costs and impacts of the bills lawmakers write. Most major legislation does not come to a vote without a CBO 'score' and these scores can be consequential in serving as the bottom line analysis of the impact a bill will have. CBO directors are approved by the House and Senate leaders. The current director, Keith Hall, was chosen by Republican Tom Price, who is now secretary of Health and Human Services but previously chaired the budget committee in the House. Price made the selection and it was blessed by the top Capitol Hill GOP leaders at the time. Hall has served since 2015. Nevertheless, in recent months Republicans have not liked what CBO has had to say about the GOP's legislation to repeal and replace 'Obamacare.' The biggest headlines have been the large numbers of consumers who would lose insurance under the GOP plans, plus the higher premiums for older Americans that would result. Many congressional Republicans have pointed out that CBO's predictions sometimes don't prove accurate. In one example Republicans often cite, the agency overestimated the number of Americans who would gain health coverage on the purchasing exchanges created by Obamacare. Two Trump White House officials, legislative director Marc Short and Brian Blase, special assistant to the president for the National Economic Council, went so far as to write an opinion piece in the Washington Post earlier this month pre-butting the agency's findings about Senate health care legislation. The estimates 'will be little more than fake news' the two claimed. The sitting leadership of the CBO does not respond to such attacks. But in an unusual move the past leadership got together to fight back. In their letter the former directors defended the agency's approach and the high quality of its research, while noting that a law's outcome over time can be difficult to predict in a dynamic economy. 'In sum, relying on CBO's estimates in the legislative process has served the Congress?_?and the American people?_?very well during the past four decades,' they conclude. 'As the House and Senate consider potential policy changes this year and in the years ahead, we urge you to maintain and respect the Congress's decades-long reliance on CBO's estimates in developing and scoring bills.' ___ Online: Read the CBO directors' letter at: An occasional look at what Capitol Hill is talking about
  • Meek Mill faced scrutiny during his highly-publicized rap feud with Drake and relationship with former girlfriend Nicki Minaj. Some may think Mill lost in both situations, especially after Drake's Grammy-nominated diss track 'Back to Back.' But the Philadelphia-bred rapper doesn't view it that way, saying there were other pressing issues in his life he considers as losses — from the death of close friends to a probation violation that landed him three months in house arrest last year. While wearing a gold pendant in remembrance of the late rapper and protege Lil Snupe, who was shot dead in 2013, Mill spoke with The Associated Press about his new album 'Wins & Losses,' which comes out Friday. He also touches on empowering young black youth, Minaj's ex-boyfriend Safaree Samuels being jumped during the BET Awards weekend and his aspirations of doing film. AP: What compelled you to name your album 'Wins and Losses'? Mill: Everybody saying that I'm losing and I lost. I lost my case. I lost my friends to the streets. Those things really meant something to me. I started off in the basement on a karaoke machine. Now I'm in million-dollar studios, making a lot of money being able to feed my family and take them out a crazy environment, still being able to wake up on my own time and do things how I want to do it. That's my definition of winning. I determine my definition of losing on this album. AP: Your single 'Young Black America' has a politically-charged tone. What do you want people to take away from it? Mill: It's an eye-opener for the young people for my culture. It's to help them open their eyes and see what they are really dealing with in real reality. A lot of rap isn't based off reality most of the time. Sometimes it's ignorant. ... I just wanted to give young people in our culture an understanding of what's going on. In one video, we got young kids with guns with KKK masks on, basically saying we killing our own. AP: What run-ins have you experienced with the law that youngsters can relate to? Mill: I was 18 and got beat up by a cop and almost killed by cops. I was just a statistic coming up. The cops are in a dangerous neighborhood thinking everybody else in the neighborhood is dangerous or everybody in the hood is killers. They caught me and treated me like I was a killer. I don't think that's really right. The cop gave me a 100 charges with trying to kill a cop. I don't want to kill a cop. They basically put me on probation for the rest of my life from that point on when I was 18. I'm 30 now and still on probation. I've been to jail three times from that one stint of probation. Any mistake you make, you'll be put in prison. Your freedom can be took. AP: Your relationship with Minaj and beef with Drake really put a spotlight on you. How did you take to the criticism? Mill: I'll look at the internet and see comments like, 'Meek got Nicki money.' You can't know nothing about Meek Mill if you saying something like that. They be like 'Meek Mill can't rap.'... 'Somebody wrote Meek Mill raps'. ... I came up on YouTube rapping since I was 14 years old. That's my importance to the streets. They seen me come up. My story is not a facade. AP: Did you have anything to do with Safaree being jumped? Mill: I don't know nothing about him getting jumped on. I pulled up and actually seen him getting into an altercation. You can look at my face and see that I was surprised. Me and my friends had a party at that spot that night, so that's somewhere we were supposed to be going. I don't communicate with him. I don't know him. I don't even want to base those guys in this interview. That's not even on my level. Street fights take place all the time. I ain't touch nobody. Didn't put no hand on nobody. I'm on strict probation. I'm just trying to handle my business and feed my family. I don't think those dudes are worthy of being talked about. AP: Does your short film, 'Wins & Losses: The Movie' make you want to get more involved in film? Mill: I want to do something that expresses the things we go through. The things we feel. I have a lot of older white friends who don't understand our culture. They might see ignorant or wild things and don't understand why it's going on. But I might have to break it down like, 'Yo, this guy is on drugs for 15 years.' I believe I can express things through film. ___ Online: ___ Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter at . His work can be found at