breaking news

Funeral details announced for Charlie Coles

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 @ 6:33 PM
Updated: Monday, June 10, 2013 @ 6:34 PM

            Charlie Coles

Funeral arrangements for longtime Miami University men’s basketball head coach Charlie Coles have been finalized, his family announced Monday.

Visitation hours will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 13, with funeral services at 1 p.m. Both will take place at Millett Hall on Miami University’s campus.

There will also be a reception on the Millett Hall West Concourse immediately following the service while the family has a private interment for Coach Coles.

The family is expected to return to Millett Hall following the graveside service to meet with guests.

Donations may be made to the American Heart Association, Ohio Valley Affiliate, P.O. Box 163549, Columbus, OH 43216-3549; or to Coaches vs. Cancer, c/o The American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.

Condolences may be sent online to

Coles died Friday, June 7, at his home in Oxford.

Coles, a former prep basketball star at John Bryan High School in Yellow Springs who went on to play and coach at Miami, was 71.

Known for his upbeat nature and comic storytelling, especially in press conferences, Coles won 355 games in a collegiate head coaching career that spanned 22 seasons — six at Central Michigan and then 16 at MU.

Coles dealt with heart problems for years and had to be revived on the court after suffering a heart attack at Western Michigan in 1998, but a cause of death has not been determined.

He retired on March 5, 2012, after completing a 9-21 season.

This Harvard senior is the school’s first to write a rap album for his final thesis

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:50 PM

Obasi Shaw poses outside the gates of Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, May 18, 2017. Shaw, an English major who graduates from Harvard next week, is the university's first student to submit his final thesis in the form of a rap album. The record, called “Liminal Minds,” has earned the equivalent of an A- grade, good enough to ensure that Shaw will graduate with honors at the university’s commencement next week.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/AP

For the first time in Harvard University history, a student submitted a senior thesis in the form of a rap album.

>> Read more trending news

Obasi R. Shaw, a 20-year-old senior from Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, presented his English thesis using rhyme and reason to illuminate the black experience in the U.S., tackling topical social issues in a 10-track record called “Liminal Minds,” The Harvard Crimson reported.

RELATED: Here’s why Harvard is holding an individual graduation ceremony for black students this month 

His project went on to earn an A-, paving the road for him to graduate with honors next week.

According to The Crimson, Shaw’s creative thesis was inspired by “The Canterbury Tales” and historical leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

One of his tracks, “Understand,” even incorporates lines from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

RELATED: Presidential order could help Atlanta’s historic black colleges and universities 

“Liminal Minds” also alludes to the Black Lives Matter movement, former President Barack Obama and segregation and slavery.

"Rap is a historically black form of art, and if I want to tell a story of black people, the most appropriate art form is to use their art form — to use our art form," he told the Crimson. "This is one of the very few forms of art that black people can claim as their own.”

When asked about his favorite lines, Shaw quoted a few from “Understand.”

“When the drugs got us hooked like the myth from Peter Pan / Getting high off the dust hoping we never land / Ain’t our own fault we lose our boys in the end.”

Shaw told The Crimson the wordplay in the last line, “in the end,” sounds like “Indian,” and alludes to the Native Americans who supposedly lived in Neverland.

Watch his performance of the track at Harvard’s first Battle of the Bands, where he won first place:

Wheelchair-bound college student surprises parents on graduation day

Published: Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 3:57 PM

Matthew Borkoski Photography/Getty Images

A college student who was born with spina bifida shocked her parents by rising from her wheelchair at graduation and walking across the stage to claim her diploma.

>> Read more trending news

Gerene TeKippe has relied on a wheelchair to get around since the eighth grade. She surprised her parents on graduation day at St. Ambrose University in Iowa by walking to accept her degree.

>> RELATED: College student gets phone call she’ll never forget at graduation ceremony

“I think I was just surprised the whole time,” said her mother, Sherri TeKippe. “(My husband) looked at me and said, ‘Did you know she was going to do that?’ and I said, ‘No, I didn’t know that.'”

Gerene TeKippe said her parents raised her to be headstrong.

“If you want to do something, you’ve got to figure out a way to get it done,” she told WQAD.

Three generations of women graduating this year celebrate in photo shoot

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 3:52 PM

Three generations of women graduating in 2017 celebrated in a photo shoot. (Darryl Hammond of Hammond Photo Design)

As graduation season is among us, one photo of five women is going viral. 

The Huffington Post reported that LaWanda Flennoy organized a special graduation photo shoot for herself, her three daughters and her granddaughter -- three generations of women who all are graduating this year.

>> Read more trending news

Flennoy and her family posed for the photos at Chicago photographer Darryl Hammond’s studio. The shoot was two hours.

Flennoy, who is graduating with an associate’s degree in psychology  from South Suburban College in May, said the shoot was the idea of one of her children.

“It was the idea of my oldest daughter, Paris,” Flennoy told “Inside Edition.” “She wanted to have a family graduate shoot. Originally I hadn’t planned on being in the picture. They insisted that I be in it.”

Paris, 25, graduated from Chicago State University with a degree in public relations and will be working at Apple. 

Flennoy’s second oldest daughter, Amari, 23, is a graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree industrial engineering and accepted a job at Ford Motor Company.

High school graduate Jade is attending Illinois State University with plans to study criminal justice. The family’s youngest grad, Brooklyn, Paris’s daughter, is graduating from kindergarten.

“The photo makes me feel proud, for a couple of reasons. First, that I have been a role model for these ladies and second, that they have set out and accomplished their goals,” Flennoy told HuffPost. “Graduating was not an easy task for any of us, as we’ve all had setbacks and feelings of uncertainty. But this year, we’ve conquered them all.”

Flennoy, a single mother, decided to return to school in 2010 after initially starting when she was younger, according to Inside Edition.

Hammond told HuffPo he hopes the photo inspires others.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for one person to graduate, let alone five total and three generations,” Hammond said. “I want parents to encourage their kids to stay in school, continue their education and never give up while doing the same thing. Everyone loved this photo; I want everyone to see this photo and say, ‘This photo is an inspiration; this is a beautiful family.’”

Mother earns honorary degree after helping quadriplegic son through college

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:01 AM

File photo
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Judy O’Connor was a staple on the campus of Chapman University, escorting her son, who is a quadriplegic, to every class so he could earn his master’s of business administration degree.

Marty O’Connor recently graduated with his mother’s help, and she pushed him across the stage to receive his diploma, KTLA reported.

>> Read more trending news

But the announcer had a surprise for her, calling her a “special individual.” The university gave her a diploma of her own.

The faculty, administration and board of trustees agreed to give her an honorary degree.

The retired elementary school teacher attended all classes with her son, taking notes for him.

Her son is the one who came up with the idea.

“I was just so excited for her because she deserved it so much,” Marty O’Connor told KTLA.

Marty O’Connor became a quadriplegic after falling down a flight of stairs in 2012, two years after he received his undergrad degree from the University of Colorado, Chapman University officials said.

He went through physical therapy five days a week. He got stronger physically, but needed a mental challenge, so he decided to try graduate school.

Judy O’Connor, who was living and teaching in Florida when he was injured, moved across the country to help her son.

And while technology like voice recognition helped, he needed to take notes and handwritten tests. His mother served as his hands when writing was involved.

Marty O’Connor will be part of a sports startup called DIVERTcity as its head of corporate sponsorship and will have a professional assistant to help him, Chapman University said.