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University to reform sexual assault policies

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Amanda Grau, Staff writer, and Mary Bradley, Editor-in-Chief

President Bob Davies said students will likely have to take an online alcohol and sexual assault education program this fall as University officials seek to reform policies and procedures for handling sexual assault complaints.

Such changes could take effect as soon as the next academic year if approved by the Board of Regents. The board will take up the issue in its next two meetings in June and August.

Davies and administrators have spent much of this academic year informally reviewing policies and procedures related to Title IX – the federal law that governs how universities should handle discrimination and sexual assault cases.

The University has transitioned into a formal review, Davies said.

That formal review process will be similar to the creation of Murray State’s tobacco ban. University officials first will recommend to the regents in June the proposed revisions to the Title IX process. … Continue Reading

Red Bus rolls around

April 24, 2015 News, Slider Featured stories

Story by Julia Mazzuca, Staff writer

Mary Bradley/The News

Mary Bradley/The News

A large, red, double-decker bus sparkled in the sun all day Tuesday by the Murray State gates with people in bright red shirts and big smiles ready to share with students why they were on campus.

The Red Bus Project, a mobile thrift shop, came to Murray for the second year in a row, trying to raise money and awareness for the needs of orphans all over the world.

Emily Bruns, senior from Quincy, Ill., contacted the Red Bus Project to ask if they would come back to Murray.

“I just love what the Red Bus Project does and how the students on our campus were impacted last spring,” Bruns said. “Since the event was sponsored by the United Campus Ministries Association, it was neat to see all the different campus ministries work together to show hope to orphans around the world.”

Every 18 seconds, a child becomes an orphan and there are more than 140 million orphans around the world today who are in need of hope, according to the Red Bus Project website. … Continue Reading

Grimes speaks to Young Professionals

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Mari-Alice Jasper, News Editor

Kory Savage/The News Alison Lundergan Grimes speaks in Paducah, Ky., last fall during her campaign for the U.S. Senate seat.

Kory Savage/The News
Alison Lundergan Grimes speaks in Paducah, Ky., last fall during her campaign for the U.S. Senate seat.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky secretary of state, greeted and shook hands with more than 40 members of the Young Professionals of Murray group as they trickled into the wood-paneled back room at The Big Apple Cafe.

Brittany Marchetti, Murray State alumna and co-chair of the Young Professionals of Murray, said the group, already bursting with more than 60 members, started meeting together for lunch at The Big Apple in January.

She said the group stemmed from a need the Chamber of Commerce acknowledged recently. There is a lack of support for young professionals in Murray.

The Young Professionals of Murray group congregates at local restaurants to network with other young professionals in the city and share ideas to improve business in the city. Marchetti said their goal is to connect, serve and grow in the community.

She said the group is composed of community members and graduate students between the age of 21 and 39.

“Technically, I still qualify as a member of this group,” Grimes said.

Marchetti said she was honored when Grimes contacted the group hoping to speak with them about what it is like to be a young professional in Kentucky. … Continue Reading

Chain business success possible despite hurdles

April 24, 2015 News

While Buffalo Wild Wings is not coming to Murray, success is possible for similar restaurants

Story by Zachary Orr, Assistant News Editor

Nicole Ely/The News Olympic Plaza houses several local restaurants in Murray, including Los Portales, Jasmine Thai and Sushi and Tom’s Pizza.

Nicole Ely/The News
Olympic Plaza houses several local restaurants in Murray, including Los Portales, Jasmine Thai and Sushi and Tom’s Pizza.

Over the past few weeks campus has been abuzz about the popular sports bar, Buffalo Wild Wings, coming to Murray.

But, the idea that Buffalo Wild Wings will open in Murray was nothing but a rumor, said Aaron Dail, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

It isn’t bringing its 21 sauces and seasoning to town anytime soon.

aaron-dail

Dail

The company didn’t return several messages left by The News about whether the chain would consider Murray, but the issue highlighted some difficulties Murray’s business community has had in attracting big-name restaurants to the city.

Mark Manning, executive director for the Murray Calloway County Economic Development Company, said the reasons for large restaurant chains’ disinterest in opening in Murray probably stems from three factors: Murray not being located along a major interstate, Murray’s small population and Murray’s strict alcohol policy, which prohibits any restaurant to serve alcohol on Sunday. … Continue Reading

Alumna makes $25,000 donation

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Abby Siegel, Contributing writer

Photo courtesy of linkedin.com Alumna Kristie Helms is an activist for LGBT rights.

Photo courtesy of linkedin.com
Alumna Kristie Helms is an activist for LGBT rights.

Murray State alumna Kristie Helms and her wife donated $25,000 to the University’s Office of LGBT Programming to begin an endowment that will “help students be exactly who they want to be.”

With roots in small town Possum Trot, Ky., Helms has seen a change in scenery since her childhood. She now works as the Global Head of Social Business and Promotional Strategy for State Street – a global Fortune 500 company with headquarters in Boston.

Helms said her desire to give back to the University stems from the support she has received in her company while being openly gay.

She and her wife of 14 years, Kathryn Carter Nettles, want to create an atmosphere of acceptance and provide awareness opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in western Kentucky, similar to what they receive in Boston, she said.

“No one in Boston bats an eye when I mention that I’m married to a woman,” Helms said.

She said having the same rights as her “straight neighbors” is something she is proud of. In Kentucky this is not the case, she said.

According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes, “marriage refers only to the civil status, condition, or relation of one (1) man and one (1) woman united in law for life, for the discharge to each other and the community of the duties legally incumbent upon those whose association is founded on the distinction of sex.”

Alongside Kentucky, 13 other states do not allow gay marriage, including Ohio and Tennessee. … Continue Reading

Pocket’s gas station closed because of leak

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Zachary Orr, Assistant News Editor

Haley Hays/The News Pocket’s, located at the corner of 12th and Chestnut streets, is closed because of a gas leak underground.

Haley Hays/The News
Pocket’s, located at the corner of 12th and Chestnut streets, is closed because of a gas leak underground.

Pocket’s Shell Food Mart, located at the corner of 12th and Chestnut streets, has been closed for unknown reasons for more than a month. Sitting at one of Murray’s busiest intersections, there has been much speculation as to what caused the station to close its doors.

Harold Hurt, attorney for Kentucky Lake Oil Company, which owns Pocket’s, said there were many factors in play that caused the station to close.

The most prominent factor is a gas leak that occurred underground at an adjacent gas station in the 1990s, called TPI, contaminating both the soil and water underneath the station, Hurt said.

“Since that date all the way up until now, (the state) has been trying to remediate the soil and the water contamination and they’ve been unsuccessful,” he said.

There was a license agreement between the TPI station that caused the leak and the state to address the leak whenever they closed, Hurt said. However, TPI did not fulfill the agreement.

“They haven’t been able to do it because they could not do it like we’ve agreed to,” he said.

Instead, Kentucky Lake Oil Company will work with the state to remove and replace the contaminated soil and water, Hurt said. … Continue Reading

Geosciences to add new program

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Abby Siegel, Contributing writer

Nicole Ely/The News Handheld wildlife GPS units demonstrate the progress made in the fast-growing field of Geographic Information Science

Nicole Ely/The News
Handheld wildlife GPS units demonstrate the progress made in the fast-growing field of Geographic Information Science

The University’s department of geosciences is adding a certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS) to be awarded to students who qualify by completing the program beginning December 2015.

Just as the department is growing in both students and program opportunities, so is the career field.  The projected percentage change in employment from 2012–22 for geographers is to increase 29 percent, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average increase is 11 percent.

“The current reality for employment areas where geographic data is a fundamental aspect of the job, employers both private and public are requiring proof of GIS experience,” said Robin Zhang, professor of geosciences.

The certificate will benefit students in many fields including biology, agriculture, civil and environmental engineering, environmental science, computer science and business, Zhang said. The certificate has become a requirement to be competitive in these fields and will allow Murray State graduates to stand out among other applicants.

Zhang said employers are looking for proficiency in knowledge beyond the college transcript. … Continue Reading

Club sports lack funding

April 24, 2015 News

Story by Julia Mazzuca, Staff writer

Jenny Rohl/The News Members of the rowing team, one of the University’s four club sports, practice using rowing machines.

Jenny Rohl/The News
Members of the rowing team, one of the University’s four club sports, practice using rowing machines.

Murray State club sports struggle to continue because of minimum funding from the University and an inconsistent willingness from students to pay for the club sports.

Steve Leitch, director of Campus Recreation, explained how the University only has four successful clubs to date: rowing, baseball, ultimate Frisbee and cycling.

“In order to start a club, it takes a lot of work to get it going and to get it established,” Leitch said. “Because we don’t have a student fee that funds club sports, money can be an issue.”

A club sport is defined as any competitive sports that are regulated by students, rather than an intercollegiate athletic association, according to Leitch.

The only fee Murray State has that is designated toward campus recreation for the students is the athletic fee.

This fee covers the student costs for the Wellness Center, technology within the Wellness Center and the ability for students to get into varsity athletic games for free.

  There is a Campus Recreation Fund that has some budget, but with budget cuts from two years ago, some dollars had to be taken out of the fund said Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs. … Continue Reading

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