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@kentwired WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2016

World AIDS Day to present round-table discussion Nicole Zahn Recreational and Wellness Reporter

Mason Swires / The Lantern A Columbus Police officer stands with an officer from The Ohio State University Police Department outside of the cordon in front of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry building and Koffolt Lab on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

Students respond to OSU attack Cameron Gorman Diversity Reporter Multiple reports regarding Monday’s attack at the main campus of The Ohio State University have suggested that ISIS had likely inspired the act. CNN reported that the perpetrator, Abdul Razak Ali Artan, had Facebook posts referring to Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased Yemeni-American cleric who was a leader of al Qaeda in Yemen. The report then referred to the style of the attack, saying it was similar to what was encouraged by ISIS in a recent online magazine post. It was also stated by CNN, that even though there had been claims from

Islamic State’s media that Artan was a soldier of ISIS, there is no confirmation that Artan had communication with any specific terror group. It is believed that he acted as a “lone wolf.” The incident sent 11 people to the hospital after Artan drove his car into a crowd of people and slashed them with a butcher’s knife. Artan was then shot and killed by Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko, after Artan refused to obey orders. Ali Kalberer, a freshman health science pre-med major at OSU, said that regardless of Artan’s involvement with ISIS, he still performed an act of violence with the intention of killing.

“Independent of any title or affiliation, that is an act of terrorism by the definition,” Kalberer said. Kalberer said that as a student living a block from where the incident took place, she is disappointed and devastated. “We hear about similar events happening everywhere,” Kalberer said. “It really has a different effect on how you think about the safety of our communities here in the U.S. when it happens five minutes from where I lay down to sleep every night.” OSU’s student-run newspaper, The Lantern, reported that the news was posted via the terrorist group’s Amaq News Agency, and called Artan a “soldier of the Islamic State.”

Merit Godbey, a junior pre-law major at OSU, said that ISIS has a tendency to claim attacks committed by Muslim individuals, but that doesn’t mean he is in any way or form actually attached to the radical group. “Until police come out with his motives publicly … speculation can, and only will cause harm,” Godbey said, via Twitter. “(OSU) shouldn't be dumb enough to ... fall prey to hear, say or to create racial tensions without knowing the facts in their entirety.” Marissa Rombach, a freshman journalism and mass communication major at Kent State University, said it’s scary to think that someone said to be related to an ISIS attack was at a

Presentations and forums on Kent State’s campus are being held leading up to Dec. 1 in honor of World AIDS Day. To start off the week, an HIV in context presentation was given on Monday in the Kent Student Center. Another presentation took place Tuesday in the DeWeese Health Center, led by Sierra Baker, a health educator in the University Health Service. The event focused on the importance of using condoms. A resource and information table about HIV / AIDS and related issues will be located on the second floor of the Student Center on Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday, a round-table discussion entitled “HIV in the 21st Century: New Methods in Prevention” will be presented at 2 p.m. in room 024 of the Student Center. The discussion will be led by Equitas Health Community Engagement Manager Zach Reau. “HIV and AIDS is not just an issue among the (LGBT) community anymore,” said Ken Ditlevson, director of the LGBTQ Student Center. “Even though we aren’t seeing people die from it nearly as much, the disease is still ongoing and people should still be aware.” Free confidential HIV testing will be held on Thursday and next Monday at the DeWeese Health Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Testing is by appointment only.

nearby university. “That (OSU) is close to us, that could be someone here at Kent State,” Rombach said. The claiming does not, in fact, mean that Artan was a member of ISIS — no official motive has been established. According to The New York Times, however, Artan may have been inspired by ISIS propaganda, as is the case in many similar attacks.


Soccer looks to continue success into next season Carly Evans Sports Reporter Since the start of the Kent State women’s soccer season in the MidAmerican Conference in 1997, five teams have been able to repeat as MAC Tournament champions. Kent State wants to be the sixth. “Obviously it was a great season,” coach Rob Marinaro said. “I think that started with the team picking some captains that really came through with strong leadership. They started the season by setting a great tone, a high work rate and these things ended up being a big part of our success. They really pushed each other to achieve the most that they could.” The captains — junior forward Donavan Capehart, senior forward Jenna Hellstrom and senior midfielder Abbie Lawson — accounted for 21 of the 38 goals scored this season. “(This season) is one of the cool-

est things I have done and ever will do,” Capehart said. “It took a few days after the loss at Northwestern (University) to realize what a great achievement it was. Looking back on winning the first MAC Championship in school history is an incredible thing to be a part of.” The Flashes set a program record for most wins in a season with 15, went on a 13-game unbeaten streak and hosted the MAC tournament for the first time in school history. The team also earned the first NCAA tournament berth in school history. Kent State will lose five seniors, three of whom are AllMAC players. “It’s important to start thinking about next season now and we go into off-season practices,” Capehart said. "The seniors aren’t going to be there, so I want to continue the culture they created. Going forward, the team is on the same page, even though we’re losing

five impactful players.” Hellstrom broke the school points record, assists record and career goals record. She was MAC Offensive Player of the Year and was named to the first team AllMAC and the MAC All-Tournament Team. Lawson was named second team All-MAC and the MAC All-Tournament team. Senior defender Brittany Maisano was second team All-MAC. “Abbie Lawson was the voice on and off the field and the best captain I’ve ever had," Capehart said. "She impacted the team in ways you don’t always see on the field. Jenna has the most passion for the game that I’ve ever seen, and the team constantly looked to her on the field to bring that fire. Brittany is a little bit quieter, but she put every ounce of energy she had into every single play. We have big shoes to fill, but I think we have the feet to fill those shoes.”


Aaron Self / The Kent Stater Kent State women’s soccer team celebrates after their first goal against Eastern Michigan University during the MAC Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016.

Perspectives: Santa Train page 4

A crowd gathers around the annual Santa Train in Fremont, Virginia, to receive gifts thrown from the caboose on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

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Page 2 | Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Kent Stater

Chemical physics professor named fellow of American Physical Society Emma Keating Arts and Sciences Reporter

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Kent Police celebrates ‘Movember’ by growing out facial hair for men’s health Mitchell Felan Safety and Transportation Reporter As No-Shave November comes to an end, the Kent Police Department finds itself with faces to shave this December. But Kent Police Lt. Michael Lewis said the participants are doing it for a good cause. “We’re t ryi n g t o ra ise money and raise awareness for men’s health,” Lewis said. “If (some Kent police officers) decide to grow facial hair, they’re challenged to raise money for the cause.” No-Shave November or "Movember," as it is called at the Kent Police Department, has been a tradition at the station for the past five years. The tradition started when a member of the Kent Police Department lost his father to prostate cancer and decided to partner with the Movember Foundation, which details the rules of Movember. “Initially the guys (at the Kent Police department) started growing mustaches, typically going by the ‘Movember’ Foundation. That’s what they say: you have to start on Nov. 1 clean-shaven and grow a mustache only for the 30 days of November,” Lewis said. According to the foundation's website, the Movember Foundation prompts participants to fundraise for men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer, mental health and suicide risks. From Page 1

OSU Students respond to ... Daniel Lauson, a Kent State senior environmental geography major, said he thinks ISIS will take credit for any sort of violent act on American soil -just to be known for it. “I think they’re just doing that for their propaganda, but other than that -- overall, it’s sad that people do those attacks,” Lauson said. NBC News reported that Artan had posted threatening

The organization aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25 percent before the year 2030, according to its website. Lewis also stated that while growing out facial hair is usually strictly prohibited at the Kent Police Department, it is allowed for participants in Movember. “We’re no different than anyone else. A lot of us have had our lives impacted by cancer. We’ve had friends and family members diagnosed with cancer; Some of us have lost loved ones to cancer,” Lewis said. The department is currently running its own fundraising page through the website titled “Team Kent 5.0.” The page states that the station’s motivation to fundraise is to “change the face of men’s health.” Lewis has been growing out his facial hair to help with the page and is promoting the cause by urging people to donate to the page, despite an interesting initial roadblock. “I had never ever grown facial hair until this program came along. I was challenged by one of our employees to (participate). She alone said she would donate $50 if I grew facial hair during the month of November,” Lewis said. The donation page has raised over $1,400 and donations will be accepted until the end of the month through the website team-kent-5-0. messages on his Facebook prior to the attack, stating, among other things, “Every single Muslim who disapproves of my actions is a sleeper cell, waiting for a signal. I am warning you, Oh America.” Maria Cardillo, a Kent State senior graphic design major, said she didn’t expect the situation to be that serious. “It’s really sad, because there’s so much going on right now,” Cardillo said. “It just adds to people’s fear, and that’s really upsetting.”

Kent State chemical physics professor Robin Selinger can be found all over the world attending international conferences, theorizing research and passing on her knowledge to the next generation. Along with being an esteemed professor, a researcher and a mother, Selinger is the first woman from Kent State to be elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. “I’m delighted to be the first woman at Kent State to achieve this honor, and I’m confident that there will be many more, in years to come,” Selinger said in a news release. Selinger also said she hopes to foster the professional development of women in science, technology, engineering and math — all fields highly populated by men. Born into a family of doctors, Selinger was expected to pursue medicine. But her life was turned on its heel when she took her first physics class in high school, taught by one of her good friends. “I grew up 25 miles away from the school that I attended and (the teacher) had a station wagon and picked up a lot of kids in the remote town that I lived and drove us up to school,” Selinger said. “All of the sudden I’m in his physics class and he’s like my best friend, you know, an adult I knew very well. And of course I gave him my 100 percent effort and I learned that physics real well.” Selinger was inspired to continue studying physics because of her love for computers and what makes them work. Selinger’s school granted her permission to use its computer, a TRS-80 with 4KB of memory, just one four-millionth the size of a modern 16GB iPhone. But to Selinger, it was a phenomenon. “I would do things like use the ability to draw and I would draw a parabola,” she said. “Then I would draw a family of parabolas. And then I would make parabolas coming from the other side. I would just figure out what mathematical programs would make that happen.” Selinger said playing with computers and their programming has always been fun for her. Now she gets to use computers at work, developing new theories and disproving old ones. “My Ph. D advisor used to say that you add your postage stamp to the Empire State Building of Knowledge,” she said. “You’re just adding your little contribution to the accumulated knowledge of the species.” During her scattered free time, Selinger decided to do some analysis of the gender breakdown of the College of Arts and Sciences faculty at Kent State using data from the American Association of University Professors and the Buckeye Institute. “On this campus, men have been hired into the faculty for years and years and years,” Selinger said. “Women have relatively recently been hired.” According to Selinger’s data, there is a clear divide between the salaries of men and the salaries of women. The data shows the top 20 percent of faculty salaries are given to males. “I want the women who are studying here in the sciences to feel as welcome and as supported and as much part of the fabric of the community as the men,” Selinger said. “I don’t want anyone to feel like an outsider. And it is easy for implicit bias among the faculty, among the staff, among classmates, to make a woman feel marginalized.” Along with her research, Selinger also organizes the Science Experience Internship program, a course for high school students who are enrolled in classes at the university. The program intends to give students an opportunity to con-


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duct research under the guidance of a professor. “She always puts her students first,” said QiHuo Wei, an associate professor of chemical physics and long time friend of Selinger. “She always puts her students first. She cares about them and makes every effort to help them. She’s passionate about many things, especially research and recruiting students for our program.” Wei said that while he moved to the United States from China many years ago, he still looks to Selinger when he has questions about American culture. "She is a very good friend of mine,” Wei said. “I trust her, and quite often seek her advice and opinions.” Michael Varga, a chemical physics graduate student, chose Selinger as his advisor after taking a computational physics class with her that, he said, changed his trajectory. “She made it look surprisingly simple to do what she was doing,” Varga said. “And not in a ‘look what I can do’ kind of a way, but a ‘look how easy this is, you can do it too’ kind of a way.” Thanks to Selinger’s connections and guidance, Varga recently arrived back in Kent after doing a six-week long research project at the Lorentz Institute in the Netherlands. “She’s so proactive,” Varga said. “It’s crazy. She’s a force of nature.” Varga also said Selinger has always been willing to go out of her way to help him, even when the university is officially closed. “I do a lot of work in Scribbles (Coffee Co.) I don’t have a lab,” Varga said. “My computer is my lab.” So on Veteran’s Day, Selinger packed up her bag and joined Varga at Scribbles, working on an abstract for a conference with him. “She got to meet my friends that I hang out with every day in the coffee shop,” Varga said. “The fact she’s willing to do that … (shows) she just wants to bring people together.” Most importantly, Varga wants high schoolers in the Kent community to know about Selinger’s Science Experience program, even if they are just a little curious. “If she can’t connect you with somebody, she’ll find someone who can,” Varga said. “She knows everybody. You could mention any professor here and she’ll be like, ‘Oh, I think I sat next to him or her.'"


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From Page 1

Editor’s note: All records are records teams had when they faced off.

SOCCER Soccer looks to continue...

Saturday, Sept. 24: No.1 University of Alabama (3-0)

The Flashes came into the matchup against rival The University of Akron 1-3, but were looking to turn their season around in the MAC opener, for most of the game, it looked like they had. Kent State head coach Paul Haynes surprised all of Summit County when he elected to start then-running back Nick Holley at quarterback. Holley sent Dix Stadium into a frenzy when he capped off a 16 play, 97-yard drive by finding true freshman running back Justin Rankin in the end zone to give the Flashes a 27-24 lead with 1:02 left. The Zips made the most of that 1:02, though, as Akron sophomore quarterback Tra’Von Chapman found senior receiver JoJo Natson for 43 yards down the Kent State sideline to put the Zips at the Kent State three-yard line with 26 second left. The Zips found the end zone on the next play when junior receiver Mykel Traylor-Bennett rushed it in from three yards out to give Akron a 31-27 lead, the margin that they would win by.

Junior midfielder Kristen Brots and sophomore defender Paige Culver were named to the MAC All-Tournament team. Culver was also named to the first team All-MAC. Capehart was second team All-MAC and defender Sierra HendersonMuschett was named to the AllMAC Freshman team. “The one thing that you can’t replace is the leadership you lose when you lose seniors, and you can’t do that by recruiting,” Marinaro said. "Our juniors have got to step up and be strong leaders. What we need to do immediately is figure out which players can step up into those leadership roles and keep us headed in the right direction. Marinaro said next year's team is going to have to find its own identity — one that will be totally different from this year's. "We can’t try and replicate exactly what we did last year," he said. "We have to figure out what’s going to produce the best results for the team we have coming ... next year.” The Flashes used a “one game at a time” philosophy to keep them grounded and prepared this season, and Marinaro sees that going into next season as well. “What happened, happened,” Marinaro said. “What’s ahead of us is what we need to focus on.”

When Kent State traveled down to Tuscaloosa to face off against top-ranked Alabama, the Flashes went down in the hopes that they would be able to get some invaluable experience by playing against one of the best teams in the country. While the Flashes may have gotten they experience, that doesn't change the fact that they suffered a key injury. The Flashes lost true freshman quarterback Mylik Mitchell to a broken hand late in the second quarter. While this injury eventually led to Nick Holley taking over at quarterback, one can only imagine how the Flashes would have done if Mitchell was behind center the whole season. Saturday, Oct. 22: Ohio University (4-3, 2-1 MAC)

Miami (OH) came into their matchup against the Flashes with their season on the line. The Redhawks had dropped all six of their past meetings, had no quarterback, and were ranked 128th (dead last) in the FBS. The Redhawks elected to start quarterback Gus Ragland, who started practicing the Tuesday of that week as he came back from an ACL injury. Ragland proceeded to throw for 181 yards and two touchdowns, with his last one being the most important. Ragland found speedy running back Kenny Young who motored his way 55 yards into the end


Henry Palattella Sports Reporter

Saturday, Oct. 15: University of Miami (OH) (1-6, 1-2 MAC)


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The aforementioned injury to Mitchell left a hole behind center for the Flashes, one that was filled by Nick Holley. Holley found some success behind center for the Flashes, as he threw for 868 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 920 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Holley could have 895 yards and 11 passing touchdowns, but he missed a wide open Brice Fackler in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter of the Flashes game against Ohio, a touchdown that would have given the Flashes a 17-14 lead. Had the Flashes won, they would have been tied for first in the MAC East instead, they settled for one of their six conference losses.


Kassi Jackson / The Kent Stater Freshman widereceiver Kavious Price is tackled by the University of Alabama Crimson Tide’s junior redshirt defensive back Anthony Averett during a play in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. The Flashes lost 48-0.

zone to give the Redhawks an 18-14 lead with a minute left. The win over the Flashes was the start of a sixgame winning streak for the Redhawks, who finished the season bowl eligible at 6-6. Saturday, Sept. 10: North Carolina A&T (1-0) Kent State opened their home slate against FCS opponent North Carolina A&T. The Flashes came into the game having won 13-straight games against FCS opponents, so before the season this matchup looked to be more of a tune-up game for the Flashes. That didn’t prove to be the case, as the Bulldogs gave the Flashes all that they could handle and more, as they beat the Flashes 39-36 in four overtimes. North Carolina ended the game when third-string quarterback Oluwafemi Bamiro found wide receiver Denzel Keyes to give the Bulldogs the walk-off win over the Flashes. Bamiro — who had never played quarterback at the collegiate level coming into the game — threw for 95 yards and two touchdowns after coming into the game in relief.

Saturday, Oct. 1: Akron Zips (3-2, 1-0 MAC)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Page 3

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On Kent State’s Lurken named MAC East Player of the Week Henry Palattella Sports Reporter Larissa Lurken put together a dominating performance over the extended Thanksgiving — 26 points per game over three games in the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase — earning her Mid-American Conference East player of the week honors. See the extended article at

Cheers&Jeers Cheers to ... planning for the long term. At 117 years of age, the oldest living person in the world, Emma Morano of Italy, credits her longevity to a strict raw egg diet and self-dependence. Jeers to ... a Japanese amusement park that froze 5,000 dead fish under the surface of its skating rink in a morbid effort to attract tourists.

We still don’t know how to react to mass tragedies Matt Poe Columnist As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, 11 people were injured at The Ohio State University this past Monday when a student drove his car into a group and subsequently attacked multiple students and faculty with a butcher knife. The suspect, an 18-year-old OSU freshman and Somali immigrant, was shot and killed by an OSU police officer just minutes after the incident began. Authorities are currently investigating the incident to conclude if it was an act of terrorism. It was the latest incident of mass violence in a country that has grown accustomed and numb to these types of tragedies. For many, however, it hit closer to home because of its proximity; It’s likely you know someone who goes to OSU or is connected to the university in some way because — after all — it’s hard not to when you live in this state. I’m from Columbus. When I’m not at school, OSU is my home. Hell, I spend more time down there with friends than I do at my own house when I’m away from Kent State, so this incident hit home for me in many ways. Several friends of mine were supposed to be near that area of campus when the incident occurred Monday morning. And for different reasons, they thankfully didn’t make it to class that morning. Funny how that works some times. This incident wasn’t the first of its kind, and it won’t be the last. Similarly, the way we react and address these types of situations is sadly not going to change any time soon. And no, that’s not me being some pessimistic armchair therapist. I’ve come to the realization (take that as you will) that we as individuals and as a society do not know how to respond properly to incidents of mass violence. From Sandy Hook to OSU, we perform a continuous cycle when mass tragedy occurs: panic, shock, grief, anger, condemnation and standstill. The first four are emotions and reactions I cannot fault anyone for. They are inherently human, and I’ve succumbed to them as much as the next person. But where we as a society must learn to change, is how we confront current instances of mass tragedy and violence in the hopes that we can break this vicious cycle. Because once those early, necessary emotions begin to wear off, we are replaced with a much more potent wave that begins to form in the back of the mind: stereotyping, racism and unjust fear. Which, in reality, are all the types of negative emotions the people who carry out these acts want us to feel, further feeding their twisted logic. These emotions usually don’t wear off and that’s where the standstill comes into play, a perpetuated state for many. What’s the answer to how we should respond? I don’t know, and that’s the worst part of all. I know that continuing to support law enforcement and their responses to these situations is crucial. I applaud the efforts of most on social media to keep those in the area alert, and Facebook for allowing students and others in the area to “check in” to let people know they’re out of harm’s way. As ridiculous as social media can be, it proved irreplaceable in this case. What I do know is that instances like these make me appreciate everyday a little bit more and should remind us to tell those close to us that we love them. I’m reminded how easily these tragedies can happen anywhere — not just in far off places that seem to only exist on a map or in our minds like San Bernardino, California, and Nice, France. I’m reminded that it’s imperative we allow ourselves to grieve for a while. I’m reminded that fear is a poison that only leads to problems. But in the end, I’m reminded that we still have so far to go in preventing these instances and how much further we have to go in responding to them. Today, I’m reminded that we’re long on questions and so very short on reasonable answers.


Tragedy too close to home

On Monday, a freshman at The Ohio State University used a car and knife to attack students at the college’s main campus, injuring 11 people. The motive behind his attack is unknown. The Kent Stater editorial board is deeply saddened students were forced to fear for their lives after what appears to be a senseless act of violence. Our thoughts will continue to be with OSU through the university’s trying times. With Columbus being only a short drive down Interstate 71, news of the situation

sent shock waves through the Kent State community. This act of terror – although a two-hour drive away from our university – seemed to hit too close to home. We hope OSU and Columbus can quickly recover from such a traumatic event, and we encourage our fellow Flashes to stand with the Buckeyes as they return to some semblance of normalcy in the coming weeks. The above editorial is the consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.

Mason Swires / The Lantern A police officer and two other emergency personnel stand near a body lying next to the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry building on the North Campus of The Ohio State University in Colombus Ohio, on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016.

Trump’s personal ambitions may sink the ship Ty Sugick Columnist Presidential-elect Donald Trump has plenty of qualities people should admire; his drive and work ethic could never be questioned. However, his greed and unapologetic manner are a different story. Trump’s mentality is similar to a battering ram; He will knock over any obstacle in his way to achieve his personal ambitions. The problem with that is that the affairs of the president have no room for personal ambition. The best example of Trump’s personal ambition becoming a major flaw would have to be his role in the destruction of the United States Football League. The USFL only lasted three seasons (1983-1986) before folding, and that fold was highly accredited to the greed and aggressive nature of Trump. Although the president-elect did not have a presence in the league in the first season, he appeared in the league during the second season. The USFL as a league was a smashing success. TV viewership and attendance were much higher than projected. Trump had a major problem with the league playing in the spring. He fought to have the league play in the fall and compete with the NFL, secretly in hopes of a merger between the two leagues. It was apparently always Trump's dream to own an NFL franchise, but the NFL did not want him. For Trump, the USFL was the next best thing. Using his wealth as his core tool, Trump quickly dominated the league and used his power to sue the NFL's monopoly in order to allow

the USFL television rights to play during the fall. Trump completely ignored other owners’ voices, as they felt his decision to want to move the league to the fall was premature and that the league should establish itself before making that leap. Trump’s case against the NFL would go on to win in court, so he marked that down as a personal victory. But the outcome was extremely hazardous to the league: The settlement only awarded the owners a check for less than $4 with over $6 million in court costs on the table. The final verdict left Trump a winner (which he always claims to be), but the USFL would fold in the weeks to follow. The league wouldn't see another game. Famous actor Burt Reynolds, also a USFL team owner, stated about Donald Trump regarding the USFL in an ESPN special that "his personal ambitions were what sunk the league." Trump didn’t apologize or take credit for the demise of the league; he took what was left of his money and moved on. Trump couldn't care less about the people he put out of work. He only cares about his selfish ambition. Not only will Trump have the ability to risk the fortune of others, he will also hold the power to risk lives with military and international affairs. It only took two years for Trump to harm fellow USFL owners and drive a thriving league into the ground. That same man now will now have four years to run a country.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – review and reaction Gabby Seed Columnist For fans of the famously popular “Gilmore Girls,” the focus of Thanksgiving break was the show’s highly anticipated revival, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” The television show, which originally ended in May 2007, returned triumphantly Nov. 25 in the form of a Netflix mini-series composed of four lengthy episodes, representing winter, spring, summer and fall. Fans’ hopes were high and many viewers opted to “binge” the approximately six hours of the mini-series in one or two sittings. I was one such fan. Those high hopes were accompanied by a bundle of nerves, however. There is always a degree of risk taken when a perfect, unmatched, frozen-in-time classic — be it a television series or movie — is either remade or added to, years down the line. I and other fans were undoubtedly excited about the revival but also fearful that a childhood and adolescent classic might be marred. Having now seen all six hours from start to finish, I can confidently say “A Year in the Life” was a mixed bag. The past can never be recreated, and while the revival reflected many of our favorite aspects of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s original show, other aspects missed the mark by a long shot. “Winter” opens with Rory, played by Alexis Bledel, greeting her best friend and mother Lorelai Gilmore, played by Lauren Graham, at the recognizable Stars Hollow gazebo. Bledel is visibly uncomfortable and doesn’t seem to know what to do with herself when she doesn’t have a line. In contrast, Graham shines, sliding gracefully back into a role she hasn’t played in nearly a decade. From that moment, however, Bledel rises up to meet Graham. By “Spring,” she’s almost back to being recognizably Rory. Still, it is Graham who is evidently the backbone of “A Year in the Life.” The mini-series attempted to pack as many characters and plot twists as it feasibly could into the six hours. While this resulted in a lot of fun for viewers, it is also forced painfully short cameos of previously integral characters like Christopher (Rory’s father), Sookie (Lorelai’s best friend) and Dean (Rory’s ex-boyfriend). It left me pining for the old seasons where such characters were taken for granted as day-to-day, necessary pieces of the lives of Lorelai and Rory. Despite some of these setbacks, “A Year in the Life” remained faithful to the meat and potatoes of what sets “Gilmore Girls” apart. The fast-paced conversation, the pop culture references, the small-town feel and the tightknit relationships didn’t budge. It was evident that the actors and actresses on the screen were just as thrilled to be returning to Stars Hollow as we, the viewers, were. And while I still feel that sometimes it’s best to leave something as perfect as that little Connecticut town frozen in time, I’d return to it in a heartbeat.

Page 4 | Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Photo courtesy of Logan Lutton A young boy crouches in anticipation as he waits for the arrival of the Santa Train in Fremont, Virginia, on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

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Santa comes to town

Photo courtesy of Logan Lutton A young girl kisses the teddy bear she received in Fremont, Virginia, along the Santa Train’s route on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

Alyssa Keown Photographer

Christmas came early for 14 Appalachian mountain towns on Nov. 19 via a beloved southern tradition called the Santa Train. Families crowded the tracks that run through their towns on in the crisp November air and watched as Santa Claus came by on a train, waving to those eager to get their hands on a present. Volunteers, including Santa himself, tossed stuffed animals, school supplies and food off to young children bundled in coats reaching up to the sky while sitting a top their parent’s shoulders. Older generations stood back to enjoy the tradition of seeing the train and their communities coming together. “I’ve watched it every year,” said Tony Taylor, 50, a resident of the train’s eighth stop in Dante, Virginia. “It used to be the only Christmas some kids would get.” The tradition marks 74 years in 2016, thanks to the help of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, Food City, Dignity U Wear and CSX, who all sponsor the Santa Train.

Clint Datchuk / The Kent Stater A crowd gathered in Fremont, Virginia, for the Santa Train looks to get the attention of Santa Claus on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Clint Datchuk / The Kent Stater Snow begins to fall as Santa Claus hands gifts to the crowd gathered around the Santa Train in Dante, Virginia, on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Photo courtesy of Nate Manley A Santa Train volunteer points toward the children gathered in Dante, Virginia, for the 74th Santa Train on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

Alexander Wadley / The Kent Stater Deidre Pulley / The Kent Stater Greg Duty holds his son, Brayden, while the young boy chants Santa Claus’s name at the Santa Train stop in Dante, Virginia, on Children reach for toys being thrown from the Santa Train in Dante, Virginia, on Saturday, Nov. 19, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. 2016. The Santa Train travels through Virginia and Kentucky towns every Christmas season.

Deidre Pulley / The Kent Stater A child reaches for the toy Santa Claus throws to the crowd gathered in Dante, Virginia, on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | Page 5

The Kent Stater


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The Kent Stater

The Kent Stater - Nov. 30, 2016  

The Kent Stater is an award-winning student-run newspaper. Reaching more than 15,000 people per issue, the Stater keeps the community up-to-...