A university in Ohio is getting rid of most Friday classes next fall

Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 2:30 PM

The University of Akron campus. KAREN FARKAS / THE PLAIN DEALER
The University of Akron campus. KAREN FARKAS / THE PLAIN DEALER

An Ohio college is preparing to elimante classes on at least one day of the week, giving students a three-day weekend.

Friday classes will soon be a thing of the past for students at the University of Akron. The university announced this week that it will shift to a mostly Monday through Thursday class schedule beginning next fall.

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The move, the university said, will leave Fridays open for students to get “hands-on, real world experience.” The change will condense class schedules but will not change the course loads for most students, according to the university.

Although the schedule change will mean most students will get a three-day weekend every week, the University of Akron is hoping it will prompt something else.

The university has put together a web page calling for students to use their extra day to get involved in community service, research, internships and more.

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As part of the campaign, the school is referring to the day off as “Five-Star Fridays.”

“Quality learning and student success are the primary focuses of Five-Star Fridays,” UA president Matthew Wilson said in a prepared statement. “This initiative is consistent with workplace flexibility trends, and based on my conversations with industry, UA students should be even more attractive in the workplace both during school and after graduation if they take advantage of this Friday initiative.”

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Teacher finds meowing cat in student’s backpack

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 12:58 PM

Meowing Cat Found in Student’s Backpack

One fourth grade student’s backpack was quite literally the cat’s meow.

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Fourth grade teacher Carey Geipel started looking around her classroom after she heard meowing during a planning period March 16 only to discover a student brought a cat to school hidden in a backpack, according to a Facebook post

“We listen to a purse, lunchbox... it must be a cell phone ringing,” she wrote. “Nope. It’s coming from the backpacks. I lift a jacket and a backpack MOVES. I unzip the backpack and a cat’s head POPS out!”

Geipel made a phone call home to the student’s mother, who came and picked up the cat.

“Hello, Student is safe but we have kind of a weird situation,” Geipel wrote, recounting the conversation. “Your student brought a cat to school, on the bus, in her backpack.”

It turns out it is not even their cat, it belongs to their neighbor.

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Prosecutor: Mason dad abused ‘fussy’ infant

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 3:32 PM

Mason dad facing child endangering charges

A Mason father is facing felony charges after allegedly causing his baby girl serious physical harm.

Jason Bittner, 33, was indicted Monday by a Warren County grand jury for felonious assault and child endangering.

Bittner’s wife took their 3-month-old daughter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center last month with traumatic brain injuries and 29 rib fractures in various stages of healing, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

MORE: Butler County toddler allegedly assaulted by her babysitter has died

Doctors were told the injuries were the result of an accident, but that story is not consistent with the infant’s injuries, Fornshell said.

“The defendant knew the child had been injured on Feb. 26, but sought no medical treatment despite knowing about the head injury,” Fornshell said.

Bittner was resentful the infant, his second child, was a girl and not a boy, according to the prosecutor. But he also was intolerant of a fussy infant, Fornshell told this news outlet.

“There was underlying resentment over (the sex of the child), but his temper over the fussing may have had more to do with it,” Fornshell said.

Bittner told Mason police detectives the infant fell off a couch while in a “baby bouncer type seat” without a harness, according to a search warrant to seize Bittner’s cellphone. The incident occurred while he was alone in the house with his children after his wife went to work.

“Jason Bittner left the infant on the couch unattended with a 2-year-old sibling and went to the lower level basement of the house,” police said Bittner told them. He was away from the children for 20 to 30 minutes before returning upstairs.

“Jason Bittner advised that when he arrived upstairs he observed his infant daughter face down on the wood laminate floor with the baby bouncer seat resting over her back. Jason Bittner describes his daughter as having convulsions while lying on the floor,” detectives stated in the court documents.

Bittner said he observed a dark spot under the child’s eyes when he picked her up, but did not seek medical treatment, according to the court documents.

“Jason Bittner sent a text message to his wife that the infant had scratched herself with her fingernails causing the bruising to the eye and did not tell his wife of the infant’s fall,” according to court documents.

It was not until 48 hours later after the child was running a fever that the mother took the baby to the hospital.

“The infant’s mother had no knowledge of the fall and had suggested the baby be taken to the doctor, but was convinced by Jason Bittner that the symptoms were from cold of flu and to try treatments at home,” according to court documents.

Bittner’s attorney said there are two sides to every story and his client is presumed innocent.

“The facts will come out in court at the appropriate time,” defense attorney Steven Adams said after Bittner’s arraignment Wednesday in court, where he entered not guilty pleas to all three charges. “I just ask everyone to pray for this family. It is a very stressful ordeal, but keep an open mind because medical professionals, they can get it wrong sometimes.”

MORE: Prosecutor seeks murder charge against Butler County babysitter

Bittner, a chiropractor, was arrested Friday at his office in West Chester Twp., according to Warren County Jail booking records.

He spent the weekend in the county jail. During his arraignment Wednesday, Warren County Common Pleas Judge Timothy Tepe set bond at $25,000 with a 10 percent rule.

Adams told this news outlet after the arraignment that the baby is recovering well.

“I have seen pictures of her. She is doing quite well. She is smiling,” Adams said. “The community is behind Jason and his family and the child and the whole family. They are praying for this child and the whole family.”

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12-year-old boy missing after getting on wrong school bus

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 5:58 PM

A 12-year-old boy has been missing for two days after getting on the wrong school bus at a metro Atlanta middle school.
A 12-year-old boy has been missing for two days after getting on the wrong school bus at a metro Atlanta middle school.(Pixabay)

A 12-year-old boy disappeared after getting on the wrong school bus on his way home from middle school in metro Atlanta.   

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Anthony Randolph III disappeared Wednesday after boarding the wrong bus at Redan Middle School in DeKlab County, police said.

Investigators said the boy got off the bus two miles away from his home.

He wasn’t supposed to be on that bus and school officials said they are working to figure out why the bus driver didn’t take him back to school.

“We need you home Anthony, fast, please,” the child’s father, Anthony Randolph Jr., said.

Randolph wiped away tears as he begged anyone with information on the disappearance of his son to come forward.

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A search is underway as police continue investigating the boy’s disappearance.

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West Carrollton cruiser struck during traffic stop, driver arrested

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 3:24 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 9:40 AM

CRUISER CAM: West Carrollton cruiser struck by vehicle during traffic stop, driver arrested

A woman accused of hitting a West Carrollton police cruiser, while the officer was on a separate traffic stop, was arrested on suspicion of OVI after her vehicle was stopped on Interstate 75 Friday morning, according to jail records and police.

Stephanie Dye, 47, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail following the incident on the highway around 2:45 a.m. in the area of Interstate 75 and Interstate 675.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Officials investigate after person is shot in the mouth in Trotwood

Police said they had pulled over a vehicle for a speed violation and as the officer was handling that traffic stop, Dye allegedly struck the stopped West Carrollton cruiser. 

The officer left the original traffic stop and was able to stop Dye’s vehicle a short time later without incident, investigators said.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol was called to assist with the crash investigation involving the cruiser.

No injuries were reported.

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