Michigan State trustees call for school president to resign
By ALICE YIN and LARRY LAGE
Saturday, June 16
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Two Michigan State University trustees are calling for interim school president John Engler to resign immediately, joining a chorus of sexual assault victims of disgraced former sports doctor Larry Nassar and top legislators who say the campus community cannot heal until Engler steps down.
“Unfortunately, and with great regret, John Engler’s tenure as interim president has continued the bleeding rather than stem it,” Brian Mosallam said in a statement released Friday morning. “His misguided actions and comments have failed to re-establish trust and confidence in Michigan State.”
His disapproval was echoed by trustee Dianne Byrum a few hours later.
“The despicable and disparaging comments made about survivors by interim president John Engler are completely unacceptable,” she said. “I have concluded he is no longer the right person to lead Michigan State University.”
Engler sent emails in April to another university official criticizing lawyers who represent Nassar’s assault victims and suggesting the first woman to go public with her accusations was probably getting a “kickback” from her attorney.
Michigan State has since agreed to a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were sexually assaulted by Nassar, a former campus sports doctor now serving decades in prison.
“I’m very grateful to see leadership coming from trustee Mosallam,” said Rachael Denhollander, the Nassar victim mentioned in the Engler emails. “Leadership isn’t going along to get along. Leadership is doing the hard and right things, no matter what.”
Engler was unbowed Friday, saying he is looking ahead to a public board of trustees meeting scheduled for next Friday, “where we will continue our progress and efforts to move forward.”
“Whatever the tensions were before, we have successfully negotiated a settlement agreement — something that is fair and equitable to both sides, and that both sides agreed to,” he said in a statement. “I believe actions matter, and that is how the success of our work will be determined.”
Denhollander, who has repeatedly criticized Michigan State’s response to the Nassar scandal, called on trustees Melanie Foster, Mitch Lyons and chairman Brian Breslin to join their colleagues, saying they so far “haven’t had the courage to do the same.”
The Associated Press has left messages for comment with Foster, Breslin, Lyons and fellow trustees Joel Ferguson, George Perles and Dan Kelly.
Pressure from outraged Michigan politicians is mounting in both Washington and Lansing. U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, both Michigan Democrats, reiterated that Engler is unfit to lead the university. Several Michigan gubernatorial hopefuls also denounced him Friday.
Joining fellow Republicans in his caucus, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof “is very disappointed and does agree that Engler should resign,” said his spokeswoman Amber McCann. Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard declined to comment. Engler was once Michigan’s Republican governor.
The Chronicle of Higher Education and Detroit Free Press reported on Engler’s emails Wednesday. He was found to have exchanged emails with Carol Viventi, a Michigan State vice president and special counsel following allegations at a stormy public meeting that Engler was trying to pay off a woman without her lawyer’s input.
“The survivors now are being manipulated by trial lawyers who in the end will each get millions of dollars more than any of individual survivors with the exception of Denhollander who is likely to get kickback from Manley,” Engler said, misspelling attorney John Manly’s name.
Denhollander first identified herself as a Nassar victim to the Indianapolis Star in 2016. A former gymnast, Denhollander filed a criminal complaint in 2016, saying Nassar had sexually assaulted her while treating her for back pain years earlier.
Her lawyer, Manly, has been outspoken in his criticism of Engler, tweeting on Wednesday: “Engler spent his time as MSU President verbally urinating on child molest survivors of Nassar and scheming to hurt them. … I wear his contempt & attacks as a badge of honor.”
Trustees hired Engler after the former president, Lou Anna Simon, suddenly resigned in January in the wake of the Nassar crisis. Nassar himself was fired from Michigan State in 2016, two years after he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation.
AP sports writer Lage contributed from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
For the latest information on calls for MSU interim president John Engler to resign: https://bit.ly/2HTNw6X
For more stories on Larry Nassar and the fallout from his years of sexual abuse of young women and girls: https://apnews.com/tag/LarryNassar
Sex misconduct claims include Ohio State doc’s other office
By KANTELE FRANKO
Sunday, June 17
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Claims about a former Ohio State University doctor allege sexual misconduct not only in his interactions with students and student-athletes but also at the private, off-campus medical office he had later, according to a law firm representing the school amid an independent investigation.
The investigators and the university haven’t publicly disclosed details about the allegations involving Dr. Richard Strauss’ off-campus medical practice, how those claims came to light or to what extent they are part of the ongoing investigation. The allegations were mentioned without elaboration when the law firm representing Ohio State in the matter updated university officials in early June about the investigation into Strauss, whose death in 2005 was ruled a suicide.
Former student-athletes from more than a dozen Ohio State athletic teams have reported alleged sexual misconduct by Strauss.
The Associated Press hasn’t been able to reach or locate relatives of Strauss who could be asked about the allegations.
The university’s top officials say they are committed to responsibly, transparently addressing the matter and are grateful to alumni who have come forward with information to aid that endeavor.
As independent investigators look into what happened and what the university knew about the allegations, the school has repeatedly urged anyone with relevant information to contact those investigators from Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie.
That was reiterated in an email last month to over 100,000 who attended the university from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, when the alleged misconduct occurred, and in an email this week to more than 5,000 student-athletes who were enrolled between 1978 and 2001.
Strauss joined Ohio State’s clinical faculty and medical staff in 1978 and worked as a team doctor between 1981 and 1995 and in student health services from 1994 to 1996. He resigned from the medical staff in 1994 but stayed on the faculty until retiring as professor emeritus in 1998, and he had a medical office in Columbus from 1996 to 1998, according to state records.
Reports of alleged misconduct have come from male athletes affiliated with baseball, cheerleading, cross-country, fencing, football, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling.
Follow Kantele Franko on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kantele10 and find her work at http://bit.ly/2qEaebN
Overdose death toll declines in county hit hard by opioids
CINCINNATI (AP) — A hard-hit Ohio county that expanded availability of naloxone during the opioid epidemic has been seeing a decline in its overdose death toll.
Hamilton County’s program of increasing overdose antidote availability and quick response to requests for addiction treatment started last fall, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported . Public health officials increased distribution of the overdose-reversing Narcan nasal spray by 375 percent over a seven-month period.
The newspaper reports that Hamilton County coroner’s reports show a 34 percent drop in overdose deaths in the first five months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.
There’s been a 33 percent drop in medic runs for overdoses in the past six months compared to the previous six, and a 36 percent decrease in overdose visits to emergency rooms in that same period, according to Hamilton County Public Health surveillance data.
“We have plummeting mortality rates, increased treatment,” says BritView Treatment Centers founder and Hamilton County Heroin Coalition member Dr. Shawn Ryan.
But while Ryan praised the program’s progress, he remains cautious about overstating any early results.
“We are just now getting things going in the right direction and we still have a long way to go to overcome this crisis,” said Ryan.
Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram reflected a similar view, noting that it’s vital that everyone work together.
“I am cautiously optimistic that we are definitely headed in the right direction,” Ingram said.
The University of Cincinnati is following the Hamilton County project, but tracking and research on the program isn’t complete yet.
Government and health officials in the county that’s home to Cincinnati partnered for the massive effort. The county received donations from Adapt Pharma Inc., an Irish company whose U.S. base is in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Adapt Pharma would usually provide the two-dose Narcan spray kits at around $75 each.
Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com
New York garage rock record company moving to Cleveland
By MICHAEL SANGIACOMO
The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Norton Records of Brooklyn, New York, plans to open an office in the renowned Franklin Castle and move its record warehouse into the Screw Factory in Lakewood.
Norton co-founder Miriam Linna spent much of her musical formative years in Cleveland in the 1970s. The company she founded with the late Billy Miller has an affection for unheralded bands and performers of the 1950s through modern times.
Even though she has not been back to Cleveland in 40 years — except for a couple quick in-and-out trips — she said returning to the city will be like coming home.
She said she is not ready to talk about her plans for the Franklin Castle, Ohio’s legendary “haunted house” built in the early 1880s at 4308 Franklin Ave., but said there will be “a number of events starting toward the end of the year.
Before that, Norton will transfer tens of thousands of its 45 rpm singles and albums to the Screw Factory, 13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood, now the home of dozens of sculptors, painters and other artist studios.
“We will move our warehouse there in August,” she said. “All orders for records will then be shipped from Cleveland, with the first release of two songs recorded in 1967 from Wally Bryson, formerly of The Choir and Raspberries.”
Norton Records is known for finding records, often singles, by obscure artists and releasing them through their label.
She said she rediscovered the Franklin Castle last year when she was asked by the current owners, Oh Dear Productions, to act as a disc jockey for a private event. She spoke with the owners and decided it was time to move back to Ohio.
“It was like everything exploded,” she said. “I saw a bunch of old friends and old places and I was taken in by the Franklin Castle magic. This was part of my early rock and roll years and I knew it was time to come back.”
The owners have been working for the past eight years to restore the castle and they are just about done,” she continued. “I can’t say exactly what we plan to do in the castle, but we’ll announce it soon. We will have a party for Wally Bryson there.”
Linna said she will not move back to Cleveland permanently, but plans to spend a lot of time here.
She said Norton Records will continue creating and selling 45 rpms and plans to continue.
“I want to find more rare records from Cleveland and Ohio from the old days,” she said. “Our main focus will be on Norton Records, but we also have a lot of really rare, hard-to-find records from the early days.”
The Franklin Castle is a special place with a rich history of faded glory, failed restorations, reported hauntings, frauds and finally, revitalization.
It was built for the family of Hannes Tiedemann, a wealthy German immigrant, who moved in in 1883. The family dealt with tragedy soon after moving in as four of their children died.
Tiedemann turned his energy into rebuilding the house, adding new rooms, turrets and decorative gargoyles.
The house has been sold many times over the years. Rumors of hauntings started in 1968 when new owner James Romano and his family claimed to have seen spirits in the house.
Rumors of ghostly encounters continued prompting “ghost tours” and appearances on paranormal investigation shows. The house was vacant from 1994 through 1999 when it was purchased by Michelle Heimberger. In 2004 the house was damaged by a fire.
Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com
Overtime pay for prison nurses costs millions of tax dollars
CLEVELAND (AP) — Thousands of hours of overtime worked by Ohio prison nurses in recent years have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
The Plain Dealer reports overtime for registered nurses in the prison system has increased by nearly 60 percent since 2012. Payroll records show some prison hospital nurses have earned over $100,000 in overtime in one year.
The state presently has about 480 registered nurses working in prisons and about 50 job vacancies. Ohio has relied on volunteer overtime to fill the staffing gaps.
Union leaders say they’ve urged administrators to hire more nurses, but retention remains an issue.
An Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction official says hiring more nurses would spread costs out over more people, but Ohio would still have to pay to make sure all shifts are covered.
Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com
When consumers don’t want to talk about what they bought
Ohio State University
Jun. 18, 2018
Study shows that feeling poor stops word-of-mouth
COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the joys of shopping for many people is the opportunity to brag about their purchases to friends and others.
But new research found one common situation in which people would rather not discuss what they just bought: when they’re feeling like money is a little tight.
In a series of studies, researchers found that consumers who felt financially constrained didn’t want to talk about their purchases, large or small, with friends or strangers, face-to-face or online.
“It wasn’t about what other people might think or what they bought. Consumers who feel poor at the moment don’t want to talk about their purchases because it reinforces negative feelings about their unpleasant financial state,” said Anna Paley, lead author of the study and a visiting scholar in marketing at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
One reason that the results are so interesting, Paley said, was because they could have gone in the other direction.
“One plausible theory was that consumers who felt poor would chat more about their purchases as a way to show their spending ability and validate their decision to spend the money,” she said. “But that’s not what we found.”
Paley emphasized that this study wasn’t about whether people were rich or poor. This was about the feeling that they didn’t have as much money as they wanted. “Millionaires can feel financially constrained too,” she said.
Paley conducted the study with Stephanie Tully of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and Eesha Sharma of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Their results appear online in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The researchers conducted seven studies.
In one study, the researchers found that participants who reported feeling financially constrained also were less likely to talk about products they bought with friends, family members and colleagues.
The results held even after taking into account the income of participants.
“This suggests that our results can’t be explained by differences in objective wealth,” Paley said.
A second study recruited online participants. They were told the study was about “what people talk about.” All of them answered questions probing how financially constrained they felt.
Participants had the choice of posting in one of two chat rooms – one called “recent purchases” and the other called “local/state parks.” The researchers chose this topic because in a previous study, a separate group of people had rated parks to be a less interesting topic than recent purchases.
Nearly two-thirds of participants chose to discuss recent purchases rather than parks. But participants who felt financially constrained were significantly more likely to post in the parks chat room.
“Consumers who felt poorer would rather talk about a less interesting topic than discuss what they bought recently,” Paley said.
The results held up in another study in which the researchers induced some participants to feel poorer by writing about aspects of their financial situation that made them feel like they didn’t have enough money.
These participants were less likely to say they would talk about an upcoming purchase than participants who wrote about another subject.
In this study, the researchers also asked participants to report on how talking about a purchase would make them feel about their financial situation.
“We found that financially constrained consumers expected less enjoyment from talking about their purchases because it would bring up negative feelings about their money situation,” she said.
The researchers found a few exceptions in other studies. When people thought about their purchases as expenditures of their time rather than expenditures of their money, even those who felt money was tight would talk about them. The same went for gifts and tickets to a free event.
The findings are important for marketers because consumers consistently rate word-of-mouth as one of the most trustworthy and credible sources of information about products and services, Paley said.
Their findings suggest some things marketers can do to encourage word-of-mouth.
“Word-of-mouth campaigns will be more effective if marketers can separate the cost of the item from the experience of sharing the purchase,” she said.
For example, many online retailers send people a receipt after a purchase with a request that they share about what they bought with friends on social media.
“If the money you spent is right there in front of you on your receipt and you’re feeling a little poor at the moment, you’re not going to want to share,” she said. “Marketers should consider separating receipts and sharing requests.”
Ohio Department of Education Celebrates New Graduates Headed to U.S. Military
June 15, 2018
In a first-ever ceremony held at The Ohio State University, the Ohio Department of Education celebrated the members of the class of 2018 who are joining the U.S. military.
“Ohio salutes these recent graduates and we beam with pride as they take the first steps into their careers in the U.S. military,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “In service to our country, opportunity of all kinds awaits them. We wish them well as they embark on this new journey.”
The dozens of recent graduates in attendance signed unofficial documents indicating their commitment to the military branch of their choice. Several representatives from the various branches spoke in support of Ohio’s new recruits.
“When these young men and women raised their right hands to take the oath, they publicly committed to defend our Constitution. They will join a rich heritage of selfless service to defend the freedoms we enjoy in our great nation,” said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. “I am honored to participate in this ceremony, and I wish each new enlistee a successful military career.”
In Ohio’s five-year strategic plan for education (Each Child, Our Future) passed earlier this week by the State Board of Education, serving in the military is one of four pathways for high school graduates identified in the state’s goal.
The Ohio Department of Education supports the state’s military families and veterans in several important ways. For veterans with honorable discharges and current service members, there are no fees for educator licenses. In addition, the Troops to Teachers program assists transitioning service members and veterans in beginning new careers as teachers in schools across Ohio.
Ohio also is one of 35 states involved in the Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunities for Military Children, which works to ensure military children are properly enrolled in schools, have eligibility for school activities and have assistance in meeting graduation requirements.
To recognize schools with a major commitment to serving military families, the Department recently created the Purple Star designation. Purple Star awardees receive a special Purple Star banner to display in their buildings.
In addition to the Purple Star, the Ohio Department of Education most recently launched the Ohio Network for Military Families and Veterans. The network provides an online hub of necessary information and relevant tools for principals, counselors, teachers and families.
About the Ohio Department of Education
The Ohio Department of Education oversees the state’s public education system, which includes public school districts, joint vocational school districts and charter schools. The Department also monitors educational service centers, other regional education providers, early learning and child care programs, and private schools. The Department’s tasks include administering the school funding system, collecting school fiscal and performance data, developing academic standards and model curricula, administering the state achievement tests, issuing district and school report cards, administering Ohio’s voucher programs, providing professional development, and licensing teachers, administrators, treasurers, superintendents and other education personnel. The Department is governed by the State Board of Education with administration of the Department the responsibility of the superintendent of public instruction.