- A Portland woman named Whitney Rutz auctioned off her “giant ass cinnamon rolls” to friends online, hoping to raise a little bit of money for the Oregon Food Bank.
- But her bidders offered hundreds for the treats and continued to ask for more. The operation later evolved into Rutz saying that for each $500 donated to the food bank, she would bake a roll for local health care workers.
- To keep up with demand, she changed her strategy, auctioning off a roll per day that can be kept or donated to health care workers in the winner’s name.
- As of Wednesday, she’s raised over $30,000 and has delivered over 50 rolls so far.
Auctioning Off Treats
An amateur baker in Portland, Oregon raised over $30,000 for a local food bank by auctioning off what she calls “giant ass cinnamon rolls.”
Whitney Rutz told Oregon Live that she has been self-isolating with her husband, Paul, and 7-year-old daughter, Elsa, since schools closed in March. As a way to try and cheer herself up during such a difficult time, Rutz asked her daughter to help her make a cinnamon roll for their family.
She later posted an Instagram photo of their creation, which ended up being a massive dessert about 12 inches wide and 3 inches deep. Soon after, friends began to comment and ask if she could bake them one too.
“I’m an amateur baker,” Rutz told the news outlet. “The recipe isn’t original.”
That’s when she was inspired to bake another one of her treats in an effort to help her community. This time, she posted a photo calling her dessert a “giant ass cinnamon roll” and actioned it off to the highest bidder. The money earned would then go to the Oregon Food Bank.
Her goal was only about $50, but to Rutz’s surprise, the roll sold for $300. From then on, the requests continued to come in. The losing bidder of her last roll even promised to bid $250 for another.
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My heart is SO full!!! My first attempt at auctioning off one of my G I A N T A S S cinnamon rolls to benefit the Oregon Food Bank sold for $300!!! This adorable family received their roll after I dropped it off on their front porch this morning – didn’t even see them/ring the bell. Thank you to everyone who placed bids. Let’s see what we can get for next weekend’s auction!!!
Two others agreed to match any bid on a third roll and the company where they worked offered to match their bid as well.
“That sold for $750,” Rutz explained. “Excuse me, I’m going to start crying.”
She also made her giant rolls for another online auction she ran. “One sold for $285,” she said. “The other was sold and Nike did a three times match. That roll sold for $1,215.”
Officials with the Oregon Food Bank eventually contacted her, curious who was raising money for their organization. “I was just sending donations directly to them on Venmo,” said Rutz told the news outlet.
Donations to Health Care Workers
Rutz’s fundraising efforts evolved once more when a customer told her that she couldn’t eat the giant roll herself since she lives alone. Instead, she asked Rutz to donate the treat to any local health care worker.
From then on, Rutz said that for every $500 donated to the Oregon Food Bank on its website, she would make a giant cinnamon roll for health care workers.
With the help of a friend who is a nurse, she managed to get some of the treats to hospitals, assisted living centers, and paramedics in the area.
According to the news outlet, Rutz has made 55 rolls and nearly 50 were donated to medical workers. By Wednesday, the food bank had raised over $30,000, with more continuing to come in.
Susannah Morgan, the food bank’s CEO, said Rutz’s unique way of showing support is an “amazing example” of people coming together to make a difference in the lives of others.
To keep up with demand, the threshold was increased from $500 to $1,000. Now, Rutz had has switched her approach, auctioning off a roll per day. The winner can choose to accept the roll themselves or donate it to a health care worker in their name.
Portland singer and performance artist Storm Large even caught wind of Rutz’s operation, asking if she could help deliver the goods to health care workers.
When Rutz told Large that a doctor was hoping to get an autographed box from her, Large told Rutz she would “do one better.”
“My daughter and other neighborhood kids had decorated the boxes,” said Rutz. “Storm said she would draw on all the boxes we use to deliver the rolls.”
Rutz plans to continue making rolls as long as donations continue to be given to the food bank.
“At some point, when things open up, the general sadness will end,” she said. “That’s when interest will taper off, and I’ll call it quits.”
“Sometimes you have to create joy and spread it around,” said Rutz. “I don’t know where I’d be emotionally and mentally if didn’t have this project to steer me in such a positive direction.”
See what others are saying: (Oregon Live) (The Takeout) (KGW8)
Bodycam Footage Shows Adam Toledo Wasn’t Holding Gun When an Officer Shot Him
- Chicago officials released body camera footage Thursday which showed that 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who was shot and killed by police last month, had put his hands up in the air right before the officer opened fire.
- The graphic video showed the officer, who has now been identified as Eric Stillman, yelling at Adam to stop as he chases him through an alley.
- The teenager obeyed and stopped by a fence, where he can be seen holding what appears to be a gun behind his back. Stillman ordered him to drop it, and then shot him a split second after Adam raised his empty hands in the air.
- The footage prompted renewed outrage, protests, and calls for an investigation. A lawyer for the Toledo family called the killing “an assassination,” while Stillman’s lawyer defended the officer, and claimed he acted appropriately.
Officer Bodycam Footage Made Public
Body camera footage released by Chicago officials Thursday showed that Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy killed by police last month, had his hands up when he was fatally shot.
The footage, which was released as part of a report by the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA), showed officers chasing Adam, who was Latino, through an alley in the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Little Village during the early hours of March 29.
The officer ordered Adam to stop. The teenager complied and halted by the side of a fence, holding what looks like a gun in one of his hands behind his back. The policeman yelled at him to drop it and show his hands.
Adam turned and lifted his empty hands, and the officer fired his weapon, striking the teenager once in the chest. The policeman is then seen administering CPR and asking him, “You alright? Where you shot?” while blood poured out of his mouth.
The COPA report published Thursday also identified the officer who shot Adam as 34-year-old Eric Stillman, who is white, and whose lawyer said he had been put on administrative duties for 30 days.
Stillman’s lawyer also argued that the shooting was justified, as did John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police.
“He was 100% right,” Catanzara said. “The offender still turned with a gun in his hand. This occurred in eight-tenths of a second.”
Renewed Backlash and Protests
Adeena Weiss Ortiz, an attorney obtained by Adam’s family, said they are looking into taking legal action against Stillman.
“If you’re shooting an unarmed child with his arms in the air, it’s an assassination,” she said at a news conference Thursday.
Ortiz acknowledged the bodycam footage did appear to show Adam holding something that “could be a gun,” but argued the video must be independently analyzed to confirm.
“It’s not relevant because he tossed the gun,” she said. “If he had a gun, he tossed it.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois also echoed Ortiz’s demands on Thursday, calling for a “complete and transparent” investigation.
“The video released today shows that police shot Adam Toledo even though his hands were raised in the air,” said Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois.
“The people of Chicago deserve answers about the events surrounding this tragic interaction. The anger and frustration expressed by many in viewing the video is understandable and cannot be ignored.”
Hours before the video was released, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pleaded for calm in the city, where anti-police protests have taken place in the weeks following the shooting.
“We must proceed with deep empathy and calm and importantly, peace,” she said. “No family should ever have a video broadcast widely of their child’s last moments, much less be placed in the terrible situation of losing their child in the first place.”
Some businesses in downtown Chicago boarded prepared for violence ahead of the video’s publication by boarding up their windows. City vehicles stood by to block traffic.
However, the demonstrations that took place Thursday were small, peaceful, and spread out over several parts of the city. Organizers said they plan to hold more protests Friday.
See what others are saying: (The Chicago Sun-Times) (The New York Times) (The Chicago Tribune)
Eight Dead in Indianapolis Shooting
- Eight people were killed and several more were injured after a gunman opened fire at a FedEx Ground Facility in Indianapolis late Thursday.
- The gunman took his life after opening fire. Authorities have not identified his motive yet.
- According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2021, there have been 147 U.S. mass shootings, defined as verified incidents with four or more gunshot victims.
- President Joe Biden released a statement calling gun violence “an epidemic in America,” adding, “We should not accept it. We must act.”
Eight Killed in Shooting
Eight people were killed and several others have been wounded after a gunman opened fire at a FedEx Ground Facility in Indianapolis late Thursday.
The gunman killed four people in the parking lot then four people inside before taking his own life, according to local officials. Authorities have identified the gunman and are searching his home, but have not disclosed any potential motives.
“There was no confrontation with anyone that was there,” Deputy Chief Craig McCartt of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said during a press conference. “There was no disturbance, there was no argument. He just appeared to randomly start shooting.”
Several witnesses told local outlets they initially thought the gunshots were engines backfiring or another type of mechanical noise until they saw the gunman. Some said they heard him shouting indistinctly before opening fire. The investigation is still in very early stages and victims have not yet been identified.
The facility employs 4,500 team members. It is unclear how many were working at the time of the shooting. FedEx released a statement expressing its condolences to the victims and their families.
“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis,” the statement read. “Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities.”
Gun Violence in the U.S.
This tragedy follows a recent string of mass shootings in the U.S., including in Atlanta, Colorado, Southern California, and Texas. According to the Associated Press, this is at least the third in Indianapolis this year.
The Gun Violence Archive has logged a total of 147 mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2021. The organization defines mass shootings as reported and verified incidents with at least four gunshot victims.
Several politicians have released statements about the shooting, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who said this pattern “must end.”
“Yet again we have families in our country that are grieving the loss of their family members because of gun violence,” she said. “There is no question that this violence must end, and we are thinking of the families that lost their loved ones.”
President Joe Biden also released a statement saying that, “Too many Americans are dying every single day from gun violence. It stains our character and pierces the very soul of our nation.”
“Gun violence is an epidemic in America,” Biden added. “But we should not accept it. We must act.”
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett echoed those remarks in a news conference.
“The scourge of gun violence that has killed far too many in our community and in our country,” he said.
“Our prayers are with the families of those whose lives were cut short,” he added on Twitter.
Hogsett is among 150 U.S. mayors who recently signed a letter asking the Senate to take up gun legislation, including expanding background checks.
Editor’s Note: At Rogue Rocket, we make it a point to not include the names and pictures of mass murders or suspected mass murderers who may have been seeking attention or infamy. Therefore, we will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.
Soldier Charged With Assault After Shoving Black Man in Viral Video
- Authorities charged Army soldier Jonathan Pentland with third-degree assault and battery on Wednesday after a viral video showed him shoving a Black man while yelling at him to leave a South Carolina neighborhood.
- Many people, including dozens who protested outside Pentland’s home this week, condemned the confrontation as another instance of someone being attacked for “walking while Black.”
- Pentland and others claimed the unidentified man was picking a fight with neighbors, which the man denied, but police said nothing that may have happened earlier justified Pentland’s actions.
- If convicted, Pentland faces a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.
A U.S. soldier was charged with assault on Wednesday after a video that circulated online showed him yelling at and shoving a Black man in a South Carolina neighborhood.
Footage of the April 8 incident was posted to social media Monday. It shows the Army soldier, Jonathan Pentland, confronting the unidentified man and telling him to leave the neighborhood.
The other man explains that he’s just walking through the area and doing nothing wrong, but Pentland becomes increasingly aggressive. “You better walk away,” he shouts at the man after shoving him.
“You either walk away, or I’m gonna carry your ass out of here,” he continues before adding, “You’re in the wrong neighborhood motherf*ker. Get out!”
The man then tries to tell Pentland that he lives in the neighborhood, and Pentland then asks for his address, which he does not give.
The confrontation continues with Pentland cursing and getting in the man’s face. As he does so, the man says that Pentland smells drunk.
It’s unclear what exactly led up to the confrontation, but in the video, a woman off-camera says the man “picked a fight with some random young lady that’s one of our neighbors.”
“I don’t even know who she is. Nobody picked a fight when someone ran up on me,” the man replies. Another woman off-screen then encourages the man to leave with her, saying, “What’s your name? Come on. You don’t want no trouble.”
Video Triggers Protests Outside Pentland’s Home
After this video spread online, many social media users condemned it as another instance of someone being attacked for “walking while Black.”
In fact, protesters even began demonstrating outside of Penland’s home. Those protests started off peaceful, but deputies were then called after 8 p.m. because unknown individuals vandalized the house. That forced police to shut down access to the area and remove Pentland’s family to another location.
As far as the viral video, deputies were told that the man approached “several neighbors in a threatening manner” and that someone had asked Pentland to “intervene.”
Police did confirm that there are two reports of alleged assault against the unnamed man Pentland shoved that are being investigated. However, they also added that the man has “an underlying medical condition that may explain the behavior exhibited in the alleged incidents.”
Either way, police said whatever happened earlier did not justify Pentland’s actions. He was ultimately arrested Wednesday morning and was charged with third-degree assault and battery. He faces a $500 fine and 30 days in jail if convicted.
“We’re not going to let people be bullies in our community,” Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said at a news conference Wednesday. “And if you are, you’re going to answer for it, and that’s what we’ve done in this case.”
On top of that, the Justice Department reportedly was investigating. Pentland’s Commanding General even issued a statement condemning his behavior, adding that Pentland “brought disrespect to @fortjackson our Army and the trust with the public we serve.”