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Graffiti targeting minorities, women, Muslims, Jews found at Wright State

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 9:30 AM

WSU Hate Messages

Restroom graffiti targeting blacks, women, gay men and women and people of the Jewish and Muslim faith was discovered at Wright State University twice in the last two weeks.

The graffiti was scrawled on stalls in campus restrooms and was promptly removed, WSU chief diversity officer Matt Boaz said in an email to campus on Tuesday night.

The graffiti contained racial slurs and anti-gay slurs along with phrases such as “Islam is terrorism,” “Liberals hate America,” “Date rape doesn’t exist” “Black lives don’t matter here,” “Jews go home,” among other things, images of the graffiti show.

RELATED: Ohio State to decide on white supremacist’s speaking request this week

The graffiti also referred to women as property and praised President Donald Trump while referring to his 2016 campaign slogan, Make America Great Again or “MAGA.”

“It’s a very serious situation because a lot of times, no matter what the intent of the activity was, we focus on the impact of the activity,” Boaz said. “The impact is people don’t feel as safe as they should be, they don’t feel that the campus community is as inclusive as it should be when things like this happen. So, we take it very seriously. We don’t want that to be the only voice that’s heard.”

The graffiti was written in restroom stalls in Wright State’s Medical Sciences Building and Oelman Hall. The graffiti appears to have been written in some sort of erasable marker rather than a permanent one, said spokesman Seth Bauguess.

The graffiti prompted Boaz to send out a campus-wide email Tuesday evening to warn students of the graffiti.

“This behavior is not reflective of our values as a community. Messages of hate will never be acceptable at Wright State. Moreover, damage to university property of any kind is also not acceptable,” Boaz wrote in the Tuesday campus-wide email.

Wright State police have not been able to locate some of the graffiti, of which images are circulating online, but they are encouraging anyone to report graffiti to police, according to the email.

RELATED: Wright State again planning to cut swimming and diving teams after this season

Vandalism is against Wright State’s student code of conduct and anyone caught committing an act of vandalism “will be held accountable to the fullest extent possible,” the email stated.

When something like the graffiti incident occurs, it feels like a “setback” for the university,” Boaz said. Though Boaz said Wright State has long tried to make campus an inclusive place, the graffiti was not the only racially-charge incident to have occurred on campus in the last few years.

A little more than a year ago a rock on campus was painted by students to say “Black Lives Matter.” Shortly after, the word “black” was changed to “white” and later to “all,” causing some controversy.

Since then, Wright State erected a rules sign in front of the rock and more recently, president Cheryl Schrader sent a campus email encouraging students to report hate speech on campus.

“Acts of racism, anti-Semitism, violence, and hatred continue to exist in our country. Let me be clear: Hateful actions and speech are not welcome at Wright State University,” Schrader said in August.


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Tour de Donut to bring ‘wall to wall bicycles’ to downtown Troy

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 7:11 AM

A participant in a previous Tour De Donut gets into the spirit of the event by downing a donut. CONTRIBUTED
A participant in a previous Tour De Donut gets into the spirit of the event by downing a donut. CONTRIBUTED

Troy will be hosting Tour de Donut for the second time this August.

The inaugural event in Troy last year brought 2,300 riders, and went through 14,000 donuts.

“The best part is when the cyclists start lining up, there are some just out for fun, but a lot of them are serious cyclists,” said Diana Thompson from the Miami County Visitor’s Bureau. “It’s wall to wall bicycles, singles and tandems.”

Organizers expect about 3,000 participants this year.

Tour de Donut has been running for 12 years in Illinois. It’s a unique bicycle event in which riders visit several donut stops along the course. For each donut the rider eats, and keeps down, five minutes will be deducted from their time.

That’s right — the more donuts a rider eats, the faster their time is.

The event has partnered with Be the Match this year as their official charity partner.

“It was a perfect match,” said Tour de Donut organizer Roger Bowersock. “We try to add something new every year.”

Be the Match is putting on its Bukeye Donut Dash, a 5k beginning in downtown Troy. The Buckeye Donut Dash raises funds to help patients in need of a bone marrow transplant.

“This is a big partnership, everybody wins,” Thompson said. “Because the Tour be Donut has so many followers, many more have donated (to Be the Match).”

The run and the bike event will begin simultaneously, then go their separate ways. All runners and cyclists will then merge back together on Market Street Bridge.

Riders have a choice of riding a 16-mile, 32-mile and 64-mile course through Miami County.

“Our event is casual, it is a lot of fun,” Bowersock said. “It’s something you have to experience to really understand. Most of the people who do it come back.”

Bowersock said the organization will start inviting donut shops in March to compete to be a special stop on the trail, “the Glazer.”

The Glazer serves riders an “over-the-top, overstuffed with goo, etc.” donut worth a 10-minute time reduction. The winning donut shop will be picked at the Troy Strawberry Festival in June.

Before Tour de Donut was held in Troy, it was hosted in Arcanum.

VIDEOS: Meteor spotted in Ohio, Michigan, Canada

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:06 PM

Meteorite spotted over midwestern states

The fireball lit up the sky Tuesday just after 8 p.m.

>>Bitter cold temperatures to continue

The dashboard cam video was shared by Mike Austin as he was driving north on I-75 near Bloomfield Hills, north of Detroit, Michigan. 

>>2017 fireball caught on WHIO-TV weather camera

The fireball was also seen from northwest Ohio and southwest Ontario, Canada. 

It is not known whether the meteorite dissipated in the atmosphere or made it to the ground or into Lake Michigan.

Dashcam video shot by WWMT/Kalamazoo photo journalist Zack Lawler in Battle Creek, Michigan.

MONTAGE: Beams of light caused by meteor in Michigan

Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski found dead with apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 12:06 AM

WSU Quarterback Found Dead Found Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

Police in Pullman, Washington, say officers have found Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski dead Tuesday in an apartment with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

>> Read more trending news

At about 4:30 p.m., officers responded to an apartment to check on the welfare of a football player who did not show up for practice earlier in the day. 

When officers arrived, they found Hilinkski, 21, deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 

Police said a rifle was recovered next to Hilinski and a note was found. 

Washington State president Kirk Schulz tweeted, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hilinski family.”

Former Washington State linebackers coach Roy Manning, who recently left for a position at UCLA, tweeted , “Words can’t describe what I’m feeling right now. My heart is beyond saddened. Please pray for the family and all of us affected!”

Hilinski, from Claremont, Calif., recently finished his redshirt sophomore season for the Cougars.

He started in place of Senior Luke Falk in the Cougars loss to Michigan State in the Holiday Bowl. 

Hilinski played 11 games in his Cougars career, passing for 1,149 yards and seven touchdowns.

Hilinski was the presumptive starting quarterback going into next season. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Changes promised at local school district in wake of racially insensitive basketball jerseys incident

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:31 PM

Change coming to Kings School board

Changes are being promised for Kings Schools in the wake of last week’s racist incident that drew national attention, but Tuesday evening district officials said details about those changes will come later.

That was the message from Kings’ leader and school board members, who took the resignation of their board vice president in the wake of some white, local teens wearing basketball jerseys that displayed racist slurs.

 MORE: Kings and Mason schools facing outcry in wake of racial incidents

The Kings Board of Education voted 4-0 to formally accept the resignation of member Kerry McKiernan, who previously cited his own failure in stopping some of the boys on the recreational league basketball team – not affiliated with Kings -- from wearing jerseys with names that appeared to slur African-Americans.

The names on the backs of the jerseys included "Knee Grow" and "Coon." The team played in the Cincinnati Premier Youth Basketball League.

McKiernan, whose son played on the now banned team that used Kings’ facilities, did not attend Tuesday’s board meeting and has not responded to requests for comment.

Last week McKiernan emotionally announced his intentions to resign, citing his failure to stop the team from wearing the jerseys during its first four games.

 MORE: Kings board member and father said he shares responsibility for failing to report racist jerseys

Superintendent Tim Ackermann told this news outlet he will soon be proposing systemic changes design to raise student, school staffers and community members’ awareness of the importance of racial and other diversity for the predominately white Warren County district.

“It’s really important to move forward and sustainable change is extremely important to us so that we can work to create a more loving, acceptable tolerant society,” said Ackermann. “We believe this is a community and societal issue around racism … intolerance, hate and bigotry and we all need to work together to make Kings the best place for all of our kids.”

He declined, however, to give details as to what district efforts are coming, saying the changes are still being studied.

“I don’t want to create something just to create something. Sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight,” said Ackermann.

Tom Squires, an African-American parent at Kings, was among the more than a dozen residents who attended the board meeting.

Afterward, Squires said the jersey incident, which has drawn national media attention, was “unfortunate.”

“We didn’t pay that close of attention as parents and we should have. We have to react swiftly and we have to make sure that people understand that this is not a district that condones that kind of thing,” said Squires, who has lived in the Deerfield Twp. school community for more than a decade.

“When you make a mistake you have to make sure you correct that mistake. Sometimes it’s not always fast but we have to make sure we make the right correction,” he said. 

“This thing (reaction to the incident) is still evolving so it’s kind of hard for me to be critical of the district. They are still trying to make the correction and I think we should give them the opportunity to do so,” said Squires.

Under Ohio school law, the board now has until Feb. 9 to appoint a new board member and agreed during its meeting to accept applications until 4 p.m. on Jan. 24. 

Applications will soon be available on the Kings Schools website.

The board will then vote at its Jan. 31 meeting – after interviewing all applicants – on who will fill McKiernan’s seat through his term, which ends December 2019.