Daily News Roundup

July 8, 2019

Actor Cameron Boyce, known for his roles in the Disney Channel franchise “Descendants” and the TV show “Jessie,” has died at 20 years old.
Image: Heavy.com

MONDAY JULY 8

Actor Cameron Boyce, known for his roles in the Disney Channel franchise “Descendants” and the TV show “Jessie,” has died at 20 years old.

His death was confirmed to ABC News by his family Saturday night. 

A statement that was released by the actor’s family said, “he passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated,” a family spokesman said. 

“The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him.” 

“We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”

A Disney Channel spokesman said: “From a young age, Cameron Boyce dreamt of sharing his extraordinary artistic talents with the world.”

“He was an incredibly talented performer, a remarkably caring and thoughtful person and, above all else, he was a loving and dedicated son, brother, grandson and friend. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, cast mates and colleagues and join his many millions of fans in grieving his untimely passing. He will be dearly missed.”

Boyce starred in Jessie, a show about a small town girl who worked as a nanny for a wealthy family. He played one of the children the nanny looked after. 

He also starred in Descendants as CruellaDe Vill’s son Carlos and in Grown Ups alongside Adam Sandler. 

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A former police officer and mother of five killed in an outback plane crash, along with the pilot, is being remembered as a valued mentor, colleague and “beautiful friend”.

Rachel Whitford, 48, died when the Brumby 610 light plane came down near Leigh Creek Airport, about 540 kilometers north of Adelaide, in South Australian’s far north on Saturday evening. 

The pilot of the plane, Peter Gesler, was also killed. 

The plane left William Creek Airport at 4:00pm and crashed about two-and-a-half hours later on its approach to Leigh Creek, about 320 kilometres away. 

Investigators from Recreational Aviation Australia are expected to examine the crash scene today. 

Ms Whitford who was originally from Adelaide, had moved to Wynnum in Brisbane to serve with the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

The QPS confirmed that the former sergeant had died in the crash, and had worked in Logan before retiring from the force about 18 months ago. 

Ms Whitford had been heavily involved in community service work. 

A friend of Ms Whitford posted an emotional tribute on Facebook, describing her as a “mentor, a supporter, a colleague”.

“Today my world changed when I learnt my beautiful friend and sister in blue left us, way too early,” Ms Whitford’s friend wrote. 

“To the wider community she gave unconditionally and she truly changed the lives of so many people in her endeavours and mission to make a difference.”

“Your time here may be done but your legacy will live on in so many ways.”

Yesterday, police established a temporary aerial exclusion zone around the crash site, which has been extended into this morning. 

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The journey to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has taken 89 Australian athletes to Samoa, in a hunt for medals at the Pacific Games. 

They join 3500 athletes from across the Pacific who will compete in the multi-sport competition that has kicked off in Apia. 

Despite being held every four years since 1963, this is only the second time Australia has been invited to compete, joining the competition alongside New Zealand in 2015. 

Darwin weightlifter Erika Yamasaki was named the flag bearer marched out to the Samoan crowd on Sunday. 

“It was a massive honour,” she said. 

“The Samoan crowd just made it something else, every time we walked they’d go crazy for us, and the Australian team just loved it.”

The Pacific Games is a qualifying event for Olympic weightlifting and Yamasaki hopes it will help her secure a spot for Tokyo 2020. 

“This is my last opportunity and [carrying the flag] has given me a lot of encouragement about what the year ahead holds.”

Runner Steven Solomon who was a finalist in the 400-metre race at the London 2012 Games, says this event is an important milestone on his path to a second Olympic berth. 

“A strong performance in Samoa will set up my campaign for Olympic qualification, I want to head in 2020 with some fast performances,” he said.

“I know that the flag above my heart will inspire me to great speeds in Samoa.”

More than 3000 school children from 16 schools wowed the crowd with a dazzling display of Samoan culture at the opening ceremony. 

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