Report: Former Temple Wide Receiver Arrested at Miami Music Festival

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Former Temple Owl Robby Anderson during his time playing for Temple.

New York Jets and former Temple wide receiver Robby Anderson was arrested in Miami Sunday, according to a police report.

The report said Anderson is being charged with a felony count of resisting arrest with violence and obstruction of justice.

It happened at the Rolling Loud Music Festival in Miami over the weekend.

According to the report, Anderson was asked to leave the music festival Sunday around 6 p.m. He refused, and allegedly fought a security guard. The report, in part, says Anderson “tensed his body and pushed” an officer.

Anderson joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent before the start of last season. He started eight games for the team last season.

The former Temple wide receiver proved to be an important piece of the Jets offense his rookie season, catching 42 passes for 587 yards and two touchdowns.

Dick Vermeil to Speak at 2017 Commencement Ceremony

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Photo Courtesy of Temple University

Temple University’s 2017 Commencement Speaker will be former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, according to a statement released by Temple University this morning.

The Hall of Fame candidate coach will address students at the 2017 Commencement ceremony May 11th.

He will also receive an honorary degree alongside Estelle Richman, a longtime public service champion and former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, according to the statement.

“We are beyond thrilled to honor Dick and Estelle at our Commencement ceremony,” said Temple President Richard Englert. “Through their many contributions to our society, they have truly embodied leadership, excellence, and service — qualities that Temple holds dear.”

Vermeil spent 15 seasons as an NFL head coach — including seven seasons with the Eagles. He later launched a successful career in the booth as an NFL and College Football Analyst for CBS and ABC.  

The former coach has also been active in the community. He has supported many charity events and programs in and out of the area, including partnering with the Chester County Council and Boy Scouts of America, to host a yearly golf tournament named after him.

Vermeil will receive a Doctor of humane letters, while Richman will receive a Doctor of laws.

Petition Asks TSG President to Resign

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TSG President Aron Cowen, center, is pictured with TSG Vice Presidents Jai Singletary, left, and Kelly Dawson, right. A petition calls for Cowen to step down “immediately”.

A petition asking for the resignation of Temple Student Government President Aron Cowen-Luehrmann was released early this morning on a Twitter account using the handle “@ResignTSG.”

The anonymous petition criticizes Cowen, saying “[he] proved through [his] conduct and judgement, that [he] cannot faithfully execute the duties of [his] role.” It also claims “abuse of power.”

The petition specifically cites an incident on March 20, 2017 at a session of Parliament, where Cowen made an unannounced appearance. “No executive, elected or not, should have the right of access to any session of Parliament where they arrive unannounced to forward their own agenda, swaying the votes and the free minds of the members of Parliament while intentionally perverting the legislative process and undermining checks and balances in the constitution,” reads the petition.

But the current Temple Student Government Constitution allows the TSG President to sit in on meetings “Serving as an ex-officio member with speaking and introducing rights on any and all Parliament meetings, be they full or committee…”

If Cowen were to step down from his post as President, Kelly Dawson, Vice President of Services, would take over according to the Presidential Succession noted in the Temple Student Government Constitution Article III (The Executive Branch).

Temple Update reached out to both Connecting TU and Activate TU for a comment regarding the petition. Both campaigns declined to comment.  

Cowen responded to the petition Sunday, telling Temple Update, in part, “I am doing everything I can to ensure the continuing success and growth of Temple Student Government and the Parliament. I have upheld the highest levels of integrity in doing so, and look forward to continuing to serve Temple students.”

Before the petition was posted Sunday morning, Activate TU was @ResignTSG’s only twitter follower.

Representatives from Activate TU told Update, in part, “all of our social media accounts follow multiple people, and we believe this account slipped through the cracks during our online outreach. None of the candidates, nor anyone on our campaign team, purposefully followed this account.”

TSG Administrative and Parliamentary elections are Tuesday and Wednesday.

Campus Safety Questions After Ohio State Attack

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College students across the country are on edge after a student attack on Ohio State’s campus Monday that injured 11 people before the suspect himself was shot and killed.

“It’s one of those things that should be in the back of your head. It shouldn’t make you paranoid and scared to come to class,” said Charlie Leone, Executive Director of Campus Safety Services.

Leone said Ohio State Police took appropriate actions to keep campus safe and added that his department would handle the attack in a similar manner. He believes that Temple Police would be ready– thanks to their annual active shooter training and recent upgrades in their communication center that allows easy contact with officers throughout campus.

“All of our security officers on their post, besides what they hear on the radio in case they miss something, they get an electronic phone call to their post, telling them what’s happened,” he said.

Students at Ohio State received an alert from the University during the attack, in part, saying “Run Hide Fight.” Many of those students chose to hide. Some turned to barricading themselves in classrooms with chairs.

The phrase is part of a newer initiative in cooperation with the United State Department of Homeland Security. It is not used exclusively by Ohio State. However, Temple students showed mixed reaction on that message’s effectiveness.

“I feel like that would put people into a panic,” said freshmen Magellan McCarty. “I feel like Ohio State was trying to help out and I don’t blame them for that, but that would definitely make me very scared.”

Olivia Das, a sophomore, said the message is short, but to the point and very effective. “It’s a very simple message and it’s something that anybody can do, and there are plenty of places to hide on campus if you know where to look,” she said.

Sophomore Jack Ewart attended high school four blocks from the White House in Washington D.C. He’s used to heavy security presence but said that these attacks can happen at anytime, anywhere. The alert message for him is more alarming than helpful, “It’s not something I would want to see as a student.”

Protocol for alerts on campus at Temple would be a little different, Leone said. Should there ever be an incident on campus, officials would send out an immediate alert notifying students what the threat is, and the location of the attack. From there, more alerts would be sent to update students on the situation as time progressed.

Even though his department would be prepared to handle an attack, Leone knows how nerve-wracking incidents like the Ohio State attack can be for the Temple community. “It’s along the lines of a plane crash, you know it’s safe to fly, it rarely happens, but when it does happen it’s devastating and it scares everybody,” he said.

Temple Professor Critiques Changing Media in New Book

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Larry Atkins has always had an interest in journalism – and given the changing media landscape in recent years, he’s had a lot to think about.

So much, he decided to write his own book.

“Skewed: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Media Bias” hit bookstores back in August, and features Atkins’ critique to how the news media has played a role in biases.

“I have an extensive view of the media and how it’s evolved over the years, especially as far as bias,” said Atkins.

He touches on outlets like traditional network news to cable news media outlets like CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, to emerging types of journalism like social media and blogging. Atkins gives readers a view of the history of journalism, and the history of bias in the media from colonial times, to muckraking journalism, yellow journalism, up through talk radio, cable TV and the internet in today’s journalism.

The book also features a chapter on how to be a savvy media consumer.

A look at "Skewed: A Critical Thinker's guide to Media Bias." Atkins' new book was published in August.
A look at “Skewed: A Critical Thinker’s guide to Media Bias.” Atkins’ new book was published in August.

Some styles of journalism, Atkins said, have morphed into what’s known as advocacy journalism, meaning journalism with a transparently biased agenda. Atkins said in this type of journalism, writers and broadcasters try to persuade their audience with their own view.

“They’re not lying, they’re not misrepresenting, but they kind of cherry-pick facts that support their argument,” he said. “There are good things about advocacy journalism and negative things about advocacy journalism.”

This agenda-driven journalism, he said, even dates to colonial times.

“Ben Franklin and Jefferson and his party had their own newspaper, and then Adams and his party had their own newspaper. Then journalism evolved towards a more straightforward approach with the inverted pyramid in the 1860s,” said Atkins.

Atkins is no stranger to news media himself. The adjunct professor writes op-ed pieces regularly for news organizations including the Huffington Post, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Baltimore Sun to name a few. He’s written more than 400 articles.

As a professor, Atkins teaches writing for journalism courses at Temple and Arcadia University. He also has a background in law after receiving his law degree from Temple Law School in 1985.

In recent years while teaching his students, Atkins learned many of them veer away from traditional news sources, like NBC News or CBS News and watch satirical news shows like The Daily Show on Comedy Central or find news through social media.

“There are surveys that at one point, Jon Stewart was the most trusted person in the media, and it has its pros and cons. On one hand, it’s kind of like an entertaining way to get the news. A lot of my students don’t like to watch the nightly news,” he said.

Along with social media, his students are getting their news when they want, but not always from the most reliable sources. That’s alright, he said. But he wants them to fact-check stories and news sources that may not be reliable.

“I tell them to go to a variety of sources and to also know their sources as to what their biases are and their reliability and credibility.”

Atkins frequently finds himself quoted by national news organizations.

NBC News quoted Atkins in a story on the media and Donald Trump published during the 2016 election season.

Not left out of his new book is discussion on the somewhat unconventional election season and the media’s role in that cycle.

Fact-checking the two candidates through different websites, he said, is perhaps becoming more popular than ever.

“Don’t just take what the candidates say for granted and as gospel. Do your own research to confirm the information.”

As for Atkins’ message to all media consumers today:

“Don’t stay within your own echo chamber, meaning don’t just watch Fox News, don’t just watch MSNBC, get news from a variety of sources. Don’t just get news from your aunt Judy on Twitter. Be a skeptical news consumer.”

“Skewed: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Media Bias” is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble stores.

Students on Edge Following Flash Mob Assault

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Temple students were coming back to campus from Lincoln Financial around 8:30pm on October 21, ready to celebrate the football team’s win over USF.

Nothing prepared sophomore Christina Lauletta for what would cut her night so short.

Lauletta had taken the subway home from the stadium in a group—one of whom was her boyfriend. The group got off at Cecil B. Moore right in front of the Morgan Hall. They then proceeded to walk up Oxford towards Lauletta’s apartment, which is located off campus.

A group of around 30 kids were heading in her group’s direction. The group of juveniles attacked Lauletta and her friends at the corner of Oxford and Carlisle. Lauletta was kicked and stomped on repeatedly. Four of the juveniles were later arrested by police.

Surveillance footage that was released shows someone escorting Lauletta to a pizza shop nearby. When asked, the shop owner described the aftermath of the attack:

“She was frightened. She was clearly beaten, bruised, and bloody. She was shaking and scared. All I could do was give her water and a safe place to sit and a phone to contact someone.”

Lauletta was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital, which was closer to her home. Her father, Joe Lauletta, experienced every parent’s worse nightmare. “You can’t prepare yourself as a parent for that kind of phone call.”

News of the attack went viral after Lauletta’s father posted a Facebook status describing the aftermath of the attack. The story made national headlines all over the globe, appearing on ABC World News, the Washington Post, and other news outlets.

Lauletta’s father voiced every parents burning question: How can this be prevented from happening again?

“Cops on bicycles are not going to stop these thugs,” he says. “You need cars, firepower. That will scare them to death.”

Since the attack occurred, Temple University had doubled their security campus wide. Students are advised to take extra precautions considering the attack occurred right before Halloween.

Investigation is still ongoing to catch all the suspects.

Former Provost Sues Former President for Libel, Slander

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Temple Update has learned that former Provost Hai-Lung Dai has filed a civil lawsuit against former president Neil Theobald.

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court document, available to the public, was filed on September 21 by Dr. Dai’s lawyer, Patricia Pierce, lists Dai as the plaintiff in a civil law suit against Dr. Theobald on charges of libel, slander, and misrepresentation.

Temple Update spoke with First Amendment Attorney Gayle Sproles, who said US slander and libel suits can be hard for the plaintiff to prove. “The law is about proof, they have to demonstrate, again, the person who brings the lawsuit, plaintiff has to prove that they were damaged.”

Dr. Theobald announced the dismissal of Dr. Dai through a university-wide email on June 28. There was no reason given in the email as to why Dai was being removed from his post.

Following Dai’s removal, the Board of Trustees took a vote of “no confidence” in Dr. Theobald, and moved to terminate his position with the university. Theobald resigned as president on August 1.

Former provost Hai-Lung Dai is suing former president for libel and slander.
Former provost Hai-Lung Dai is suing former president for libel and slander.

Both remain on Temple University’s staff. Dr. Theobald is currently on a one-year sabbatical, and is a tenured professor in the College of Education. Dr. Dai is a tenured professor of chemistry in the College of Science and Technology.

Dai was replaced by Provost JoAnne Epps, while Theobald has been replaced by Chancellor Richard Englert.

Taggart spoke to Dai earlier this week. He says his attorney advised him not to comment on the suit at this time, but is “waiting for the truth to come out.” As for the board of trustees, they said the university was not named in the filing, and that it would be “inappropriate to comment further at this time.” Dr. Dai has not filed a complaint against the university and no Complaint has been filed yet.

Temple Update has reached out to Dr. Theobald and is awaiting comment.

SEPTA Operators Authorize Strike

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SEPTA Strike Possible as soon as Monday
SEPTA bus, trolley, and subway services in Philadelphia will be shut down if the strike occurs.

Members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 (TWU 234) met with SEPTA officials Sunday morning to discuss contract negotiations. Shortly into the meeting, workers in the Union voted unanimously to authorize a strike.

Currently, the TWU represents over 5,000 SEPTA bus drivers, subway, and trolley operators. Negotiations with SEPTA began earlier this year, but the union’s contract expires Oct. 31 at midnight. At that time, if workers do strike, they can walk off the job.

Officials from the TWU 234 stated that members are refusing to extend the contract. Some of the issues that are concerning SEPTA workers include pension plan reform, quality health care, and quality service to the public, such as safety for passengers and fatigue issues for drivers. According to SEPTA workers, the strike will begin November 1st.

Depending how long it could take for a deal to be reached, the strike could potentially last through Election Day. The strike will affect SEPTA’s services in Philadelphia, including busses, trolleys, and subways will be shutdown. Area’s outside Philadelphia and SEPTA’s Regional Rail services will not be affected during this time.

Water Main Break on Campus Shuts Down 13th and Norris Streets

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Updated 10/13/16 at 10:00am

Water service has been restored to Peabody Hall residents as of late Wednesday evening.

This pipe below 13th and Norris Streets is responsible for the massive water main break.
This pipe below 13th and Norris Streets is responsible for the massive water main break.

Work on the pipe continued into the evening Wednesday, but wrapped up by Thursday morning. Norris Street is still closed between 13th and Broad Streets. No word as to when the street will be reopened.

Updated 10/12/16 at 6:10pm

Peabody residents are still without water Wednesday night after a water main break at the corner of 13th and Norris Streets.

Crews are planning on working through the night to restore water service to Peabody, but officials say they can’t begin the work until they have received clearance from PECO.

Officials told Temple Update’s Taggart Houck that the break was caused in part by a vehicle colliding with a fire hydrant in the library construction zone.

In an email to residents, the university asked students to “refrain from using the restrooms in Peabody Hall.” They also said they are working on providing accommodations until water services can be restored. Peabody residents are being directed to the first floor of 1940 Residence Hall to use the facilities there for the time being, and can shower at IBC. Water bottles are also being provided.

University officials also said that the sprinkler system in Peabody is currently out of order due to the water shortage, but the alarm system is functioning. An on going fire watch team is in place until the sprinkler system is back up and running.

There is no word how long the drought will last.

Original Post: 12:30pm

Norris Street buckles after a water main break at the corner of 13th and Norris Streets.
Norris Street buckles after a water main break at the corner of 13th and Norris Streets.

A water main break at the corner of 13th and Norris Streets have left two residence halls without water as of 12:30pm.

Officials with the Philadelphia Water Department say a 12 inch main broke around 9:30am Wednesday, shutting down the length of 13th Street from Cecil B. Moore Avenue and Diamond Street. Norris Street has been closed from 12th to Broad Streets.

As of 12:30pm, there was no word as to what caused the main to break, but the pressure lifted the road along Norris, causing extensive damage that officials say could take up to four or five hours to fix.

Water service to Peabody and 1940 Residence Halls have been turned off, and there is no word as to when service will be returned.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Temple Grad Helps Fellow Cancer Survivors Through Fashion

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18-year-old Adam Crognale sat at the end of a large table in a conference room at Philadelphia’s CBS3 Thursday night, wearing a large grin.

Just moments before, he and more than a dozen other young adults took to the runway, sporting new clothing, hats and sneakers.

Adam is a cancer survivor, and that night was all about the survivors as Joy Juice, a non-profit dedicated to empowering teens and young adults through fashion, hosted a runway show at CBS3 studios.

18-year-old Adam Crognale (red hat) poses with other survivors and Philadelphia Eagle Rodney McLeod after walking down the runway, sporting new clothing. Crognale is in remission after being diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in his right knee.

“It really was my own special moment to shine and celebrate battling cancer,” he said.

2 years ago, Crognale learned he had Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma in his right knee.

But he underwent treatment not much later, and has been in remission for about a year.

Danny Alotta founded Joy Juice back in 2013. Alotta, himself, found solace through fashion after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 17; he was just a high school student in New York City. He survived, and years later enrolled at Temple and graduated with a Bachelors, and soon after, a Masters degree.

“The irony for me is having cancer was the most impactful moment of my life ever. To be able to see the kids smiling for what used to make me feel better, you can’t put it in words,” he said.

Alotta travels back and forth from the East Coast to the West Coast, putting on his Joy Juice fashion show. The show features the Hodgkin’s disease survivor telling his story for about an hour. While he does that, about a dozen teens who survived cancer get makeup and other clothing makeovers in preparation to walk down a fashion runway to cheering friends and family.

“Walking down that aisle, I really just wanted have a good time, smile and take every second in. Just having all the parents around us and cheering, it was a great feeling,” said Crognale.

CBS3 Reporter Vittoria Woodill, and Philadelphia Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod hosted the show, itself. For many survivors, the night featured a photo session with the new Philadelphia Eagle.

“To be a part of this means a lot to me,” McLeod said.. “My grandmother passed away from cancer when I was in high school, so it’s very dear to me and to my heart just to see what Danny does with these kids who are so brave and strong.”

“Just to see them walk on the runway and really enjoy themselves was great,” he said.

For Alotta, it’s all about moments like this. He held a show similar to this one at Temple last year, but would like to have many more.

“Having cancer is now the most impactful event in my life again, but in a completely joyful way,” he said.