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Police address student concerns, questions in Campus Safety Summit

first_imgA Campus Safety Summit featuring a panel of local law enforcement representatives was held in the LaFortune Ballroom on Tuesday evening to address issues such as sexual assault, the blue light phone system, racial profiling, excise police and general student safety. Hosted by Notre Dame Student Government and Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), the event consisted of panelists Mike Seamon, vice president of campus safety, Keri Kei Shibata, NDSP police chief, Nicholas Canal of the Indiana State Excise Police, William Thompson of the St. Joseph County Police Department and Eric Crittendon of the South Bend Police Department. Kelli Smith | The Observer Representatives of local law enforcement gathered Tuesday to answer over 15 questions submitted by students.The panelists answered over 15 public, anonymous or pre-submitted questions by students related to crime on and off campus. One of such questions regarded which police department would handle sexual assault investigations for students living off campus.“NDSP does not take and would not take reports of sexual assaults that were off campus,” Shibata said. “Our jurisdiction is the Notre Dame campus so if a sexual assault happens on campus that’s our jurisdiction and if someone wants to report to us, then we would investigate that case.”With Title IX, Shibata said, students have the choice to report the sexual assault case whether it happened on or off campus.“If the student is the accused person in that case, then it can be reported to Title IX and Title IX will investigate that,” Shibata said. “That does not trigger a police investigation unless the victim wants that but it does get counted in our various statistics … and it may trigger a timely warning.”The special victims unit, which investigates sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse crimes, offers an additional avenue students can take to report sexual assault for an investigation regardless of where the instance occurred, Shibata said.“All our investigators go to extensive training specifically around sexual assault because it’s such an important and it’s the most common, violent crime that happens on college campuses,” she said. “ … Whether it’s Notre Dame police or the special victims unit, you’re getting high-quality investigations from people who are trained specifically in sexual assault investigations [and] who really care a lot about that.”When asked about the “limited amount” of blue light phone systems on Notre Dame’s campus as compared to other colleges, Shibata said blue light phones are going away on a lot of college campuses because “everyone having a cell phone” has resulted in the blue light system not being used as much.“We at Notre Dame have decided not to get rid of blue light phones, but we are selective about where we place them,” Shibata said. “ … It’s the remote [areas], the parking lots, the perimeter of campus where we tend to use the blue light phones. We very, very rarely — I can think of maybe once or twice in the 14 years that I’ve been here that those blue light phones have been used to summon help or to report a crime. So that’s one of the reasons we’re not making major investments in a lot more blue light phones.”Some campuses have more of an urban environment where campus boundaries are not as clearly defined and there are higher crime rates, Shibata said, which is why those colleges may decide to have more of a blue light phone presence.“We’re grateful that we don’t have those dynamics here,” Shibata said.One thing NDSP is looking at for the future, Shibata said, is expanding the number of walk-in metal detectors used for major events. When asked about combating racial profiling in policing and protecting people of color, the panelists emphasized the oversight and mutual “fair and impartial” training each of the agencies in the area undergoes to ensure strong relationships with the community.“Everyone has a bias with something and [we make] sure our biases don’t get in the way we police,” Crittendon said. “We’re going to set aside our biases and treat people the way you would want to be treated. And it’s nice having a department where we’ve implemented a lot more training than they maybe have in the past … [we make] sure that people believe in us and believe in the work that we do out there.”One of the ways the local police agencies ensure there isn’t anti-police sentiment and the community believes in them is having officers out-and-about in their respective jurisdictions building relationships, the panelists asserted.“[Us versus them] is a big problem in a lot of departments and a lot of communities,” Thompson said. “We have not seen that here to any great degree and that’s not an accident. … Nothing we do is a secret. … We’ll tell you why it is we’re doing what we’re doing and why it’s important. That’s part of us trying to be transparent and part of us trying to be not an us vs. them part of the community.”Other than NDSP disclosing records of arrest and incarceration, Seamon said the public can hold NDSP accountable and help prevent crime on campus by abiding by “when you see something, say something.”“You can go to any university official — if you see something that you don’t think is appropriate or you’re uncomfortable with NDSP or any of our partners, just tell somebody and we’ll get to it,” Seamon said. “ … We would rather 100 times look into something and have it be nothing than miss the one time that it really becomes an issue.”With excise police in particular, Canal said his agency’s job is usually working a program to curb alcohol abuse, underage drinking and illegal drug usage — which is when he typically comes across students. “When we encounter underage individuals in bars … generally if we’re in plain clothes we’ll identify ourselves, display our badge, state who we are,” Canal said. “Generally we’ll ask for I.D., try to identify you. If you turn out to be underage, most of the time it just results in a citation. … If someone’s uncooperative, the next step above would be a misdemeanor, which that would be the same as being incarcerated as far as going on the record.”The panelists also offered a number of safety tips regarding traffic, staying safe and being aware. Students should be aware of student resources such as the student escort service when walking alone, Shibata said, and shouldn’t bike with headphones on.“Campus is a very open environment and that’s intentional that the University of Notre Dame wants to be a welcoming place,” Shibata said. “ … That does come with certain risks in that we don’t always know everyone who’s on campus … so we do have our officers out and around campus all the time and they are looking for any kind of suspicious activity.”Tags: Campus Safety Summit, NDSP, Notre Dame Student Government, policelast_img read more

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The Euclid Quartet, a multinational chamber ensemble, performs at Saint Mary’s

first_imgFaculty, staff, students and community members came together in O’Laughlin Auditorium on Thursday evening for a performance by the Euclid Quartet, an ensemble whose four members have ties to four different continents.Jameson Cooper, a violinist from Great Britain, violinist Brendan Shea of the United States, violinist Luis Enrique Vargas of Venezuela and Jaqueline Choi of South Korea collectively collaborate to perform classical music across the globe. The quartet has played for audiences from Carnegie Hall to school classrooms across the country. The Euclid Quartet is just one of many guest performers that Saint Mary’s hosts every year. Nancy Menk, chair of the music department, explained that groups are chosen based on the influence they will have on the students.“We select groups that will serve as models of excellence for our students and that demonstrate something they can possibly aspire to themselves,” Menk said. “We have some fine young string players on our campus and bringing the Euclid Quartet to Saint Mary’s makes a lot of sense.”While the Euclid Quartet has performed all over the country and world, their home base is located in South Bend at Indiana University South Bend, where the members teach private lessons and coach chamber music.Founded in 1998, the quartet’s name is derived from the famous Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, home to a wealth of artistic and cultural institutions, according to the group’s website. Highlights of the Euclid Quartet’s career include global recognition as the first American string quartet to be awarded a top prize at the prestigious Osaka International Chamber Music Competition. Prior to its Japanese laurels, the quartet also won awards in numerous United States competitions. “Bringing them to a different location [Saint Mary’s] welcomes new audiences to our campus and hopefully they will return for more performances down the road,” Menk said. Menk believes these are the types of experiences that strengthen the relationship between Saint Mary’s and the greater South Bend community as a whole. As an advocate for students being able to enjoy the fine arts, Menk said she feels it is important to bring guest performers and speakers to campus whenever possible to expose students to the great variety of talent that exists locally.“Often our students are not aware of the musical artists in our region, and it is often difficult for students to get off campus to attend performances,” Menk said. “Thus, we bring the performances to them.”Tags: Department of Music, ensemble quartet, Euclid Quartet, nancy menk, O’Laughlin Auditoriumlast_img read more


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U.S. House Passes Historic $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: piqsels / pxfuelWASHINGTON – The House of Representatives on Friday approved the historic $2 trillion stimulus package that passed the Senate earlier this week.The bill now goes to President Donald Trump’s for his signature as the American public and the US economy fight the devastating spread of Covid-19.The far-reaching legislation stands as the largest emergency aid package in US history. It represents a massive financial injection into a struggling economy with provisions aimed at helping American workers, small businesses and industries grappling with the economic disruption.Key elements of the package include sending checks directly to individuals and families, a major expansion of unemployment benefits, money for hard-hit hospitals and health care providers, financial assistance for small businesses and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies. last_img read more


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Small Earthquake Occurs In Hamburg

first_imgHAMBURG – A magnitude 2.3 earthquake shook parts of the Buffalo Southtowns just before 5 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake was registered at 4:40 p.m. with an epicenter location of Wanakah, a hamlet located on the Lake Erie Shoreline of Hamburg.No damage has been reported as of publish time.Earthquakes that register less than a 2.5 magnitude are hard to feel by humans even if the distance the quake traveled into the Earth’s crust is shallow. Seismic activity in Western and Central New York is not that uncommon. The Clarendon-Linden Fault runs through the region splitting Allegany County and points to the north and is often the cause of most of the Seismic activity across the region. While the fault mainly stays quiet, it sometimes produces little jolts of quakes.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more


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First Defense Weather: Cooler Weekend Ahead

first_imgJAMESTOWN – A hot and steamy week ended with strong storms on Friday, the weekend will be mostly quiet and much cooler. Temperatures will struggle to reach 70. A secondary cold front will pass by the region today. Temperatures for your Saturday will be much cooler as they will only hover in the low to mid 60’s across the region. Otherwise it will be mostly cloudy with a few scattered rain showers.Tonight will be cloudy and it will turn much cooler, with lows dropping back into the lower 40’s.Sunday the clouds will scatter out, leaving for a mainly sunny day. Temperatures will barely make it out of the upper 50’s. A far cry from the upper 80’s we saw a few days ago. As we begin off a new week, Monday starts off sunny with temperatures in the 60’s. As the week continues on temperatures will slowly begin to warm up with chances for rain by mid week.WNYNewsNow is a proud Ambassador for the NOAA Weather-Ready Nation program.Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more


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Audubon Community Nature Center Building New Wildlife Habitat

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Audubon Breaks Ground for New Wildlife Habitat. Submitted image.JAMESTOWN – A local nature center has broke ground on a new wildlife habitat.The Audubon Community Nature Center this month held an informal groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pamela A. Westrom Wildlife Habitat.For almost two decades, Audubon has been home to Liberty, a non-releasable Bald Eagle that was rescued in Washington state. Every year thousands of visitors enjoy viewing Liberty in her outdoor enclosure and several dedicated volunteers, guided by Thom Armella, provide care for her.With the support of generous donors, this new building will have an animal care room that is large enough for behind-the-scenes tours and three to four animal enclosures. The new habitats will be adjacent to Liberty’s enclosure, creating a corridor of wildlife that will significantly expand the visitor experience.Kim Turner, the staff lead for animal care, is currently training with raptors such as hawks and owls and researching care for these animals in preparation to obtain additional birds.As well as being on display regularly, these birds of prey will be in-hand, educational ambassadors, which requires a different level of training and permitting than Liberty requires.“We are so excited about this project and its potential for enriching the connection between people and nature,” said Turner in a statement. “Our planning for this project began in 2019 and it could be spring of next year before our new residents arrive, but we know it will be worth all the time and effort we’re putting into it.”Once actual construction has begun, Liberty’s enclosure will be blocked off to minimize the stress on her. To accommodate her fans, she has a Facebook page where she will keep everyone up-to-date on her daily routines, what’s new, and how she is feeling about getting some new neighbors.last_img read more


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Megan Hilty on Her Pajama Party Wedding & Getting a ‘Tramp Stamp’ While Watching The Sound of Music

first_img View Comments Broadway fave, Sean Saves the World star and newlywed Megan Hilty stopped by Yahoo! studios for a quick chat with host Ali Wentworth, and in four short minutes, she revealed a ton of interesting tidbits we never knew before. For instance, did you know Hilty and her husband Brian Gallagher’s Vegas wedding reception was a pajama party? Did you know she has a tramp stamp (and tried to “update it” at a tattoo parlor while watching The Sound of Music Live!)? Did you know she and her Sean Saves the World co-stars sing “Magic to Do” from Pippin before every show? Yep, we didn’t either! Click below to find out more about the Smash and Wicked powerhouse, then catch her in Sean Saves the World on NBC! Star Filescenter_img Megan Hiltylast_img


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Blythe Danner’s Broadway Return & Three World Premieres Set for MTC

first_img MTC’s Stage I will also be home to the world premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s The World of Extreme Happiness. Directed by Eric Ting, this play follows Sunny, a woman determined to escape her life in rural China and forge a new identity in the city. The play will begin performances on February 3, 2015 and open on February 24. Auburn’s new play Lost Lake, also directed by Sullivan, will play New York City Center – Stage I. The piece takes place at a lakeside rental that is a far cry from the idyllic getaway Veronica and her children so desperately need. No casting has been announced for the production, which begins on October 21 and opens on November 11. Tony winner Blythe Danner and world premiere works from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Donald Margulies and David Auburn are set for Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2014-2015 season. Danner, who won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in Butterflies Are Free in 1970 and most recently appeared on stage in MTC’s The Commons of Pensacola will headline Margulies’ The Country House. Danner stars as Anna Patterson, the matriarch of a brood of famous and longing-to-be-famous creative artists who have gathered at their Berkshires summerhouse during the Williamstown Theatre Festival. This should not be a stretch for Danner, who has her own real-life brood of famous artists (Hi, Gwyneth!) and has spent many summers on stage at Williamstown. Directed by Daniel Sullivan, The Country House begins Broadway performances at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on September 9 and opens on October 2. View Commentslast_img read more


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Tickets for Sting’s The Last Ship Now Available

first_img View Comments Featuring a book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey, The Last Ship is inspired by Sting’s own childhood experiences and his album of the same name. It is set in an English seafaring town that operates around the local shipyard and follows Gideon Fletcher, a man who left home to see the world and returns fourteen years later to find that the future of the shipyard is in danger. The shipyard’s workers decide to take their fate into their own hands and build a towering representation of the shared dream that has defined their existence. In addition to Esper, Lazar and Tucker, The Last Ship stars Jimmy Nail, Fred Applegate, Sally Ann Triplett and Collin Kelly-Sordelet. The production will feature sets and costumes by David Zinn, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind and sound design by Brian Ronan. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2015 Aaron Lazar The Last Shipcenter_img Tickets for the new musical The Last Ship, featuring an original score by Grammy winner Sting, are now on sale. West End star Rachel Tucker and Broadway faves Michael Esper and Aaron Lazar star in the tuner under the direction of Joe Mantello. Broadway performances begin on September 29 at the Neil Simon Theatre. Opening night is set for October 26. Related Shows Michael Esper Star Fileslast_img read more


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Tony Yazbeck & Cast of On the Town Perform ‘New York, New York’

first_img Star Files Tony Yazbeck Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 6, 2015 View Comments On the Town Related Shows The Bronx is up, the Battery’s down, and Rockefeller Center is somewhere in the middle! Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Clyde Alves and the company of On the Town leaped over to the Today Show plaza on May 18 to delight the crowd—including members of the U.S. Navy—with the Bernstein, Comden and Green classic “New York, New York.” Check out the helluva performance below (because what better way to start your day than by having a trio of sailors singing about the Big Apple?) and catch On the Town at the Lyric Theatre.last_img