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‘‘They took my past and my future” For one Lansing resident, after facing more hardship than most through her 63 years, a Christmas theft hits hard Lansing resident Liz Owczarzak revisits a painful moment on Jan. 24 at her apartment complex in Lansing. Owczarzak was formerly homeless, and began to cry when recollecting the hardships of her life. Her truck was her home for about two months until she was able to be put in a shelter. Owczarzak mentioned being scared during the nights was the hardest part of living in her vehicle. “When you live in poverty, you don’t have a lot of choices,” Owczarzak said. PHOTO: CHLOE GRIGSBY
S P OT L I G H T
LIVE MUSIC SCENE FOR MSU STUDENTS
“How do you explain that (homelessness) to somebody? How do you say keep on going? I get upset with people that just want to give up.”
Performers and music lovers reflect on the area’s best music spots of today and yesterday
Liz Owczarzak, Lansing resident PAGES 4 AND 5
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STAT ENEWS .COM
Catch up on what’s been going on with the case against ex-MSU employee Larry Nassar as well as his upcoming court dates PAGE 6
Stephen Olschanski City editor email@example.com
Despite less popularity, the live music scene in E.L. carries on BY JOHN LAVACCARE JLAVACCARE@STATENEWS.COM
When MSU jazz studies alumnus and drummer Jeff Shoup was a young adult during the 1990s, East Lansing had a vibrant live music scene for student performers to participate in and music fans to enjoy. At least two East Lansing bars hosted live music seven nights per week in the ‘90s, Shoup said: Rick’s American Cafe and the now-defunct The Small Planet, where Shoup preformed professionally for the first time. Several others had live bands on weekends or on certain days of the week. “I was 19 at the time, so I don’t think I was even supposed to be in there, but it was super, super cool,” Shoup said. “It was a small club with a great sound system, they would have local bands, bands that—a bunch of college kids that were getting their first ever band together, and they would also get touring groups. There was a definite scene there that we don’t have anymore.” Shoup said. While Dublin Square Irish Pub and Crunchy’s host semi-regular music, and several other bars occasionally host performances, there is no regular spot in downtown East Lansing equivalent to what Rick’s and The Small Planet were 20 years ago. Yet despite the lack of regular live music venues near MSU’s campus, many students are still interested in hearing artists perform in person. “I talk to a lot of people that want to go out on a weekend and they want to hear a musician express themselves,” music senior and The Record Lounge employee Ryan McMahon said. “Whether good or bad, there’s a process that’s addicting. There’s a process that people want to see, whether or not they
like the music.” Crunchy’s features live music on most Wednesday and Sunday nights. Crunchy’s owner and general manager Michael Krueger said he has a commitment to support live music in Lansing, “for better or for worse,” despite the royalties that venues have to pay to music licensing companies for performances of any copyrighted material. “It’s expensive, but if you’re a business that wants to do it, then you’re going to do it,” Krueger said. “That’s just one of those things you bite the bullet for.” MSU graduate Duncan Tarr said Lansing proper has a few options for MSU students looking for regular live music, notably including The Loft, The Avenue and Mac’s Bar. “I would encourage students that live in East Lansing to get on a bus and go to Lansing,” Tarr said. “There’s no Mac’s Bar in East Lansing, technically, but it’s pretty, pretty close. There’s music really often on the east side of Lansing, and it’d be awesome to see a lot more students coming out, rather than, Lansing people.” MSU-based musicians often travel to Lansing for opportunities to perform. Lansing doesn’t have a jazz club, but Shoup, a 2014 graduate of MSU’s jazz studies master’s degree program, provides an opportunity for local jazz artists with his Jazz Tuesdays shows at Moriarty’s Pub in Lansing. “I saw Wynton Marsalis speak here at MSU, and it was kind of a forum where people could ask him questions and stuff, and someone asked him about that,” Shoup said. “If you want to be successful in music today, you need to go to New York, right? That’s the only way to do it.’ And Wynton basically said, ‘make a scene wherever you’re at.’ And that always kind of stuck with me. And
Portland, Mich. resident Russ Holcomb plays a song on the guitar on Feb. 1 at Crunchy’s at 254 E. Grand River Ave. Holcomb has been performing live music for more than 10 years and has played the guitar since he was 17 years old. PHOTO: NIC ANTAYA
I guess that’s what I’m trying to do.” Shoup said he includes performers from all over the state, as well as MSU students and Lansing musicians, in his shows. He said the crowd for his shows is mostly middle-aged or older, but that he is encouraged by the jazz studies community at MSU and has seen young people at his shows. “Doing the weekly gig that I do, we have a definite crowd, people that I see all the time, our regulars,” Shoup said. “But every couple of weeks, I’ll
see somebody that just happened to walk in there and the look on people’s faces when they’re like, ‘wow, there’s people that can really play instruments’ — it’s cool.” For MSU students who don’t want to travel to Lansing but are still looking to see live artists, there are a few options for live, original music beyond the weekly Crunchy’s shows and occasional performances at other bars and houses. The Record Lounge hosts live nighttime shows inside the store.
McMahon said, artists contact Record Lounge owner Heather Frarey with a concert idea, she helps supply a venue and some audio equipment, and the artist sets up the rest of the show. Ultimately, Shoup said he feels that the lack of live music in East Lansing is reflective of a larger cultural trend favoring at-home entertainment over going out. However, he has hope that this trend will reverse itself in the future. READ MORE AT STATE NEWS.COM
Portland, Mich. resident Russ Holcomb plays a song on the guitar on Feb. 1 at Crunchy’s at 254 E. Grand River Ave. Crunchy’s has various musicians who come and play live music every Wednesday from 10 p.m. to midnight.
THE STATE N EWS
MONDAY, FEBRUA RY 6 , 2 01 7
Cameron Macko Managing editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel ban affects MSU student
Combating bullying at MSU
Column: MSU’s season back on track
Lyman Briggs freshman Maya Al-saghir faces the aftermath of Trump’s executive order
An MSU professor and MSU employee teamed up to prevent bullying
Provided MSU men’s basketball doesn’t have any major missteps, the season is salvaged
BY T H E N U M B E R S
36 Number of wins by MSU baseball team during 2016 season See page 7
“We have a tremendous talent in our young people in our community. This is an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities and share it with others, and that’s why we do it.” April Clobes, President and CEO of MSUFCU PAGE 8
Eli Broad urges senators to vote against Betsy DeVos’ nomination BY MADISON O’CONNOR MOCONNOR@STATENEWS.COM
Eli Broad, an MSU alumnus and entrepreneur, has urged senators to vote in opposition to Betsy DeVos’ nomination for secretary of education. Broad wrote a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) Feb. 1 encouraging them to vote ‘no’ on her confirmation. In his letter, Broad wrote DeVos is “unprepared and unqualified” for the position as secretary of education. “At the risk of stating the obvious, we must have a Secretary of Education who believes in public education and the need to keep public schools public,” he wrote. DeVos’ strong support for charter schools and the voucher system are just one problem Broad has with DeVos’ nomination. Broad also expressed his concern with potential conflicts of interest she may bring to the job and her ability to enforce federal statues. “Indeed, with Betsy DeVos at the helm of the U.S. Department of Education, much of the good work that has been accomplished to improve public education for all of America’s children could
be undone,” Broad wrote. Broad also addressed the issue of gun-free school zones. “After far too many school shootings in this country, we must have a Secretary of Education who believes guns have no place in our schools,” he wrote. Broad’s request goes to show how widespread the opposition is to DeVos’ confirmation. Thousands of letters, emails and phone calls have flooded into senators’ offices across the country, according to Politico. The East Lansing School Board also recently passed a resolution in opposition to DeVos’ confirmation and cited her lack of experience with traditional public schools and historical support for charter schools as potential problems. However, according to The Washington Post, the White House press secretary Sean Spicer and key GOP senators said they are confident in DeVos’ confirmation as secretary of education. Broad ended his letter by again encouraging McConnell and Schumer to oppose DeVos’ nomination. DeVos’ final confirmation vote is scheduled for Monday where the expected vote will be a 50-50 tie leading to a tiebreak by Vice President Mike Pence.
Sophomore forward Mason Appleton (27) takes the puck down the rink during the overtime period of the men’s hockey game against Wisconsin on Feb. 4 at Munn Ice Arena. The Spartans were defeated by the Badgers in overtime, 4-3. PHOTO: ZAINA MAHMOUD
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From homelessness to a Christmas theft, one Lansing resident pushes on BY JAKE ALLEN JALLEN@STATENEWS.COM
The driver’s side window of the truck was broken. Glass was sprayed across the lawn. Lansing resident Liz Owczarzak thought, “Oh shit.” And it was Christmas. For Owczarzak, the theft of a pair of Bose headphones, a blue backpack and two Western Digital hard drives with two terabytes of space each was anything but minor. The hard drives are what are “most important ” for Owczarzak. They are her future and her past, she said. “I saw and I thought, ‘not again,’” Owczarzak said. “How many times do I have to put up with this in life? Why are there those kinds of bad people out there that want to do those kinds of things?” The loss of the hard drives wasn’t the first time Owczarzak faced hardship in her 63 years of life. She has struggled through homelessness, a learning disability, the death of her mother and father, multiple surgeries and no access to a personal computer during her time as a student at Lansing Community College. Owczarzak graduated with a grade-point average that qualified her for Summa Cum Laude honors in May 2015 with an associate’s degree in geographic information system. But, without her hard drives to guide her, Owczarzak is stuck while trying to find a paying job or trying to continue her education, potentially at MSU. A Christmas crime Part of the Christmas tradition for Owczarzak and her family was to go to the movies on Christmas day. She said it was something her parents liked to do that allowed her siblings to celebrate the holiday with the other side of their families. Her current troubles began with the continuing of this tradition. “This Christmas I decided I have enough money and I could go see a movie to treat myself,” Owczarzak said. “I actually went to a movie, got home at 7:30 p.m., following morning when I came out the driver’s side window on my truck was broken.” O wczarzak immediately called the police and gave them serial numbers for most of her stolen items, including numbers for her hard drives, but said she doubts anything is being done 4
with the case. “I don’t know if they’ll just say, ‘They’re not working,’ and toss (the hard drives),” Owczarzak said. “I keep praying that they’ve kept them. ... Walk it into a police station and say, ‘I found this.’” Because Owczarzak was too poor to buy her own computer, Owczarzak’s stolen hard drives contained all of her school work as well as forms she needs to apply for government assistance, warranties and leasing information for her apartment. Ji m Ly nc h , one of Owczarzak’s professors at Lansing Community College as well as the trades technology program director, said the loss of the hard drives and her school work is a major setback for someone looking for a job in geographic information system, or GIS. “When you are looking for a GIS job, they want to see how you have performed using the software and the different things that you can do and it’s all data driven,” Lynch said. “That would be astronomical to disastrous to lose your data.” The hard drives also contained family photos. Without them, Owczarzak said she will basically have to start her life over. “What they took from me was my life on that hard drive,” Owczarzak said. “All the work that I have put through since 1980, all my school work and all my work in life in general and all the memories of my dad.” Hard drives and a learning disability Owczarzak grew up in a household with four siblings in Detroit. She graduated high school from the now closed St. Cyril and Methodius High School in 1971. For Owczarzak, school was always a struggle. It wasn’t until she was a student at Ferris State University that she realized why. “It’s actually called scotopic sensitivity syndrome, and there’s a lot of debate about whether it’s real or just a bunch of bunk, but it has to do with language processing,” Owczarzak said. The struggle is not with sight, but with processing words on a white background, such as paper, Owczarzak said. When she was first diagnosed with the syndrome, she was given a tinted pair of glasses. “When I did that and I put those glasses on for the first time and I looked at a page
THE STATE N E WS
Lansing resident Liz Owczarzak poses for a portrait on Jan. 24 at her apartment complex in Lansing. Owczarzak was formerly homeless, and this truck was her home for about two months until she was able to be put in a shelter. “How do you explain that (homelessness) to somebody?” Owczarzak said. “How do you say keep on going? I get upset with people that just want to give up.” PHOTO: CHLOE GRIGSBY
of paper, it was like, ‘oh my gosh,’” Owczarzak said. “The whole page opened up and it was amazing, but I can’t afford to get those glasses anymore.” Without access to the glasses she needs, Owczarzak writes to process words and to be able to read. She records all of her lectures and later transcribes them. “If you were to sit there and open up a page from a book or something and start writing it out, it would take you 10 times longer than if you were to sit there and read it,” Owczarzak said. “My process of getting information in is through my hand.” Owczarzak said everything on her hard drives was digitalized so she could change the background color behind the text and process the information, working around her scotopic sensitivity syndrome. Homelessness and graduation Owczarzak was just like any other student at Lansing Community College, except when she was done with her day of classes she would head back to the Lansing City Rescue Mis-
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6 , 2 01 7
Lansing resident Liz Owczarzak displays her degree from Lansing Community College on Jan. 24 at her apartment complex in Lansing. Owczarzak shared a quote from an employee at LCC that inspired her pursuit of these accomplishments, “Is what I’m about to do going to help me graduate? If no: is it important or necessary?” PHOTO: CHLOE GRIGSBY
sion or her truck for the night. She was homeless. She showered at the YMCA in Lansing. The only way she had access to a computer was at a public library or on campus at school. Owczarzak would wake
up most days and buy a block of ice from Meijer to keep food cool for lunch inside a cooler in her truck. She would arrive at Lansing Community College around noon and worked on school work until they kicked
her out of the building at 11 p.m. Then she would return to the city rescue mission and be responsible for chores. T h e h a r de s t p a r t f o r Owczarzak was not having her own place to rest at the end of
Spotlight the day, she said. “A lot of times you are walking through a busy place and you are sitting there feeling so much pain and so much hurt with what’s going on in your life,” Owczarzak said about being homeless. “You feel isolated, like nothing else seems to understand what’s going on.” Lynch said comprehending what it must have been like for Owczarzak to get through school was not possible. “It’s beyond me because I don’t even know how I would react to it,” Lynch said. “I just can’t believe she was homeless. I knew she was homeless. She would tell me, ‘this is why I didn’t come to class one time, because I couldn’t find a place to stay.’ It’s a big hurdle, a huge hurdle she worked around to be successful.” Carol Miller and her husband Art Miller worked for the Lansing City Rescue Mission from 2003 to 2010, where Owczarzak would sleep sometimes when she was homeless. Carol Miller said she became sort of a grandmother figure for Owczarzak during her time at the city rescue mission. Carol Miller also said even though Owczarzak was fighting her own problems, she never forgot about others. “She cares about others,” Carol Miller said. “She loves other people and she would always want to help somebody. I’ve seen her loan money to people and not ever get it back. She just does what she can for other people that are hurting.” Carol Miller also said just as Owczarzak helped others push forward, she never stopped herself. “She’s had multiple difficulties and setbacks and yet she is so tenacious,” Carol Miller said. “She just didn’t let it rule her life. She just kept going to college and kept on plugging away.” Owczarzak said even today she couldn’t explain how she got through school while homeless. “How do you explain that (homelessness) to somebody?” Owczarzak said. “How do you say keep on going? I get upset with people that just want to give up.” Owczarzak said government assistance came through after several years and she was able to move into an apartment. Owczarzak also graduated in May 2015 from Lansing Community College with an associate’s degree in geographic information systems. After graduating, Owczarzak said she took her degree back to show her mother she didn’t have to worr y about her anymore. “I felt it could give her some peace of mind that things will be okay for me,” Owczarzak said. “All my other brothers and sisters, they were taken care of. My mom actually wanted
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to take it and I said, ‘No, Mom, I can’t let you take it. I’ve got to put it up on the wall in my apartment.’” Owczarzak’s mother died less than a year later, in February 2016. Moving out and the loss of a home Before she lived in Lansing, Owczarzak left her parents’ home in Detroit for an apartment when she was 19 years old with nothing but her clothing. She bounced between a job at a brokerage firm and an accounting position with the American Red Cross and began going to college at night to study accounting. She decided accounting wasn’t for her and moved back in with her parents close to Jackson, Mich. Owczarzak attended Jackson Community College and found through career planning that she had an interest in surveying. Owczarzak’s next move was to transfer to Ferris State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in surveying. She purchased a mobile home near Ferris State, but later had it all taken away because of licensing issues with the owner of the park her mobile home was in. She was forced to sell her mobile home for almost nothing in return. O wc za r za k once aga i n moved back home to her parents’ house near Jackson. This is when she first started as a student at Lansing Community College. It was also when her father died. Death of a father Leonard Owczarzak and Liz Owczarzak always had a closeness. One of the most devastating losses for Liz from the theft of the hard drives were photos of her father, Leonard, during his time serving in the military. He served in World War II. “I don’t have my dad anymore to give me advice on life and lead me to be a good person,” Owczarzak said. “What I have is the photos to remind me of what that meant to him.” After the death of her father, Owczarzak’s mother, Helen, was placed into assisted living and Owczarzak was forced to move out of the house. The death of her father would stick with her even after moving away from Jackson. “I know she (Owczarzak) felt really bad when her dad passed away,” Carol Miller said. “That was a really difficult time for her. Her dad passed away and she didn’t know what to do.” Owczarzak said the only way to move on from the death of her father was to keep moving forward. “My next step for ward was to come up to Lansing,” Owczarzak said. “I moved up to Lansing and slept out of my truck at night.” Moving forward post-graduation
Lansing resident Liz Owczarzak tells a story as she drives her truck on Jan. 24, while leaving her apartment complex in Lansing. Owczarzak was formerly homeless, and this truck was her home for about two months until she was able to be put in a shelter. Owczarzak mentioned being scared during the nights was the hardest part of living in her vehicle. “When you live in poverty, you don’t have a lot of choices,” Owczarzak said. PHOTO: CHLOE GRIGSBY
Owczarzak currently does GIS work for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division in Lansing as a student intern, a position she received through one of her last classes at Lansing Community College. It is an unpaid position. Marshall Strong, a resource specialist in the wildlife division at the department and Owczarzak’s boss, said he is more than pleased with her contributions, but intern positions are not permanent. Owczarzak’s internship will be ending this spring, Strong said. Owczarzak said she is running into problems finding a position in GIS because most available positions require a bachelor’s degree. She said she would like to return to school, but has run out of Pell Grants and student loans from the government. Owczarzak said she does not feel comfortable with the situation she is in right now. “I am scared to live where I am living,” Owczarzak said. “Not having much money, if you are on disability you are stuck into poverty for the rest of your life. That’s my motivating force is to get out from under living on disability and to get a job and to contribute the community.” For Owczarzak getting her bachelor’s degree or finding a meaningful job in GIS would change everything. “It would mean starting my life,” Owczarzak said. “Being able to have the money, to have the security to get out from under government assistance and being able to be somebody that can say ‘Here I can help you.’”
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T H E STATE N E WS
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A recap of ex-MSU faculty member Larry Nassar’s cases BY BRIGID KENNEDY BKENNEDY@STATENEWS.COM
1 Most musicals have two 5 Start to faceted or purpose 10 Modern organizers, for short 14 Countenance 15 In front 16 Wine prefix 17 First chip in the poker pot 18 Football with scrums 19 Songwriter Kristofferson 20 Player who shoots par regularly 23 Malted relative 24 Magnolia State school, familiarly 27 Baseball misplays 31 Calendar page 32 Floppy disk backup device 35 Forest official 36 Angsty rock genre 37 Michelangelo statue 39 R&B’s __ Hill 40 Changes gears 43 Ballad for a valentine 46 Start of a Poitier film title 47 Seek ambitiously 48 O. Henry works 50 Mexican dip
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22 Disaster relief org. 25 Titanic rear end 26 “So what” shoulder gesture 28 Fabric flaws 29 Egg: Pref. 30 Fishing line holders 32 Thin citrus peels 33 Words spoken by a sweater? 34 Plant responsible for much itching 35 Sitarist Shankar 38 High side 41 Locomotive furnace 42 Cereal coveted by a silly rabbit 44 Former “formerly” 45 Seattle football pro 47 Sharp as a tack 49 Wharton’s Frome 51 Chihuahua citrus fruit 52 Boring lecture, for example 53 Share the same opinion 55 Dark clouds, perhaps 56 Aroma detector 57 Leftover bits 58 Classic sports cars 59 Set fire to
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Here is a recap of new motions and cases involving ex-MSU faculty member Larry Nassar during the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 5. Several motions filed in Grand Rapids this week aim to add new plaintiffs to the federal court case. If all motions are granted, the LARRY NASSAR lawsuit will have 27 plaintiffs. One potential new plaintiff in the case is a current MSU student-athlete. Nassar is accused of sexually abusing patients in his role as a doctor, including MSU student-athletes and members of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team. Nassar was arrested in December on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography. Some of the images show Nassar sexually assaulting young girls, according to the Detroit Free Press. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon sent an email statement to MSU community members on Friday regarding the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar. It “appears clear” that “Nassar abused the trust of his patients and his professional responsibility as a physician,” Simon wrote in her statement. MSU is being advised by an external law firm in the Nassar case, according to the statement. “The MSU Police Department is dedicating significant resources to this investigation and is coordinating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the state Attorney General,” Simon said in the statement. “We are fully cooperating with every aspect of the ongoing criminal investigations and have urged all members of the MSU community to do so as well.” This statement comes after a motion, filed on Jan. 27, alleged that representatives from MSU told “potential victims” not to speak with the police or the media, and suggested “that athletes’ personal cellular phone would be checked for police or media contact.” MSU “will take appropriate action” if any employees are found to have prevented student-athletes from reporting sexual abuse, MSU spokesperson Jason Cody said in an email statement. “The university will not tolerate any interference with the investigation,” Cody said. MSU has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit for gross negligence and violations of Title IX, among other charges. Nassar faced similar accusations in 2014, but was cleared of the charges by the university. “What is especially disturbing about these new cases is that some of these alleged assaults occurred after a sexual harassment investigation in 2014,” attorney Stephen Drew said in a statement. “Our Complaint alleges the institutional failure to enforce policies and adequately supervise and monitor Dr. Nassar after complaints of sexual assault were made allowed Dr. Nassar to assault new victims.” MSU was also allegedly made aware of inappropriate conduct by Nassar in 1999 and 2000. The lawsuit alleges that Simon “reasonably should have known” about Nassar’s conduct, and that MSU “breached their duty” to supervise Nassar in his university role. The MSU community “will undoubtedly see more” allegations against Nassar, Simon said in the statement. A motion filed in Grand Rapids on Jan. 31 alleges that MSU women’s gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages was aware of allegations of sexual abuse against Nassar as early as 1997. A plaintiff identified as Jane BMSU Doe alleges that
Nassar treated her for lower back pain with “intravaginal adjustments,” in which he touched and digitally penetrated patients’ genitals, and that these treatments occurred once a week to once every two weeks for more than two years. “These vaginal examinations were well outside any recognized and/or accepted technique and were done for Nassar’s own sexual gratification,” according to the lawsuit filed in California. The motion alleges that Jane BMSU Doe told Klages that she had concerns about her treatments with Nassar “sometime in late 1997 to mid 1998,” and Klages said that she could file a report, but the report “would have serious consequences” for both Jane BMSU Doe and for Nassar. MSU policy at the time mandated Klages to report incidents of sexual assault in the university community, according to the motion. After hearing Jane BMSU Doe’s concerns, Klages called Nassar to warn him about the conversation, according to the motion. When Jane BMSU Doe showed up to her appointment with Nassar later that day, he told her she didn’t understand the treatment And he allegedly performed another “intravaginal adjustment.” An MSU student-athlete, known as Jane Y. Doe in the lawsuit, alleged that Nassar gave her gifts, “such as his pin from his participation in the Olympic games,” for her birthday, when she started college and on other occasions. Another plaintiff, known as Jane AMSU Doe, alleged that Nassar instructed her to text his personal cell phone and attempted to set up appointments at his private residence. These were methods Nassar used to ingratiate himself with patients he sexually abused, according to the women’s attorneys. Both women say in the lawsuits Nassar used acupuncture near and on their genitals, “without notice or explanation of the ‘treatment.’” Jane Y. Doe reported in the motion that she was sexually assaulted by Nassar “on approximately six hundred different occasions” between 2008 and 2012. “It does appear that MSU has room to make a lot of positive changes as it pertains to the recording and documenting of sexual assaults,” attorney for Jane Y. Doe, Jamie White, said. “We hope that the university will cooperate to bring this matter to some conclusions so that the victims can begin their recovery.” Nassar’s federal trial before a jury begins on Feb. 21. Klages did not reply to a request for comment.
21 cases possibly linked to Nassar have been reported to MSUPD since Nov. 7
SOURCE: MSUPD CLERY CRIME LOG
A motion filed in Grand Rapids on Feb. 3 aims to add a
plaintiff to the federal court case against Nassar Nassar’s federal trial before a jury begins on
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MSU baseball growing with leaders, sets sights on Big Ten championship BY CASEY HARRISON CHARRISON@STATENEWS.COM
It’s a scenario likely to have been envisioned by head coach Jake Boss Jr. thousands of times, and one he was so close to last season. After recording the final out, he would be the first to hoist the Big Ten championship trophy as the team mobs the field. After accepting the team’s award he would hand it off to the Spartan team he led through the 53-game regular season, starting with the seniors then downward chronologically. The vision is one Boss has lived through before, having led the Spartans to a championship in 2011, and since then has secured consistency in the program and a culture starving to go back. “We’re tired of being close,” Boss said Friday after the team’s first open practice of the season. “It’s time to take that next step and elevate that program another level.” After the team concluded practice on Friday, a short speech from Boss was followed by a chant from the Spartans. Mimicking its motto from last year, a collective shout echoed through the team’s hitting facility. “Big Ten champs.” It was a mantra last season’s team fell just short of. After finishing 36-20 overall, the best start in school history, and 13-11 in Big Ten play, MSU was on the cusp of a berth in the Big Ten Tournament championship — but a baserunning mistake in game one against Ohio State University proved costly as the Buckeyes ultimately overtook MSU for the spot in the winner-takeall championship game. “That was the worst part — knowing you were not going to see some of those guys on the team again,” senior catcher Matt Byars said. “Knowing this was the last time that team was going to play together, but I don’t want to say it was regret or anything like that because we left everything we had on the field. We’re just adding fuel to the fire for this year.” Byars will return to the Spartans as the only player to be drafted by a Major League Baseball organization after infielder Jordan Zimmerman, right-handed reliever Dakota Mekkes and left-handed starting pitcher Cam Vieaux all left MSU to pursue professional careers. Byars, along with junior outfielder Brandon Hughes
and redshirt-sophomore Alex Troop, were named to Perfect Game’s preseason All-Big Ten team. Hughes hit .303 last season with a team-high 17 stolen bases in 55 games while Troop played in 12 games as a position player and four games as a pitcher before he sustained a season-ending injury to his hand early in the season. MSU will also have to fill the void left by third baseman Justin Hovis and right fielder Kris Simonton. Both former players played at least 45 games for the Spartans last season and graduated with fellow senior infielder PJ Nowak. Despite the loss of talent, the Spartans will return a similar core of players to the field in 2016, but with the added wisdom of another season under their belts. A team saturated with young potential a year ago now has the experience to connect the dots and chase a championship with the addition of nine freshmen to the roster. “The leadership is probably the best we’ve ever had,” Boss said. “People have asked me about how we are going to be and things of that nature, and I’ll tell you this team is really, really good. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with what happens on the field. I think this team might be the closest group we’ve ever had. Again the leadership is as good as we’ve ever had, the work ethic is as good as we’ve ever had.” Five of MSU’s nine freshmen are coming into the season listed exclusively as pitchers, giving depth to a staff already filled with a number of arms, in addition to left-handed freshman Bryce Kelley who is listed as a left-handed pitcher/outfielder combination. The two incoming position players, Danny Gleaves and Joe Stewart, are listed as outfielders, a position in need of depth. Sophomore Marty Bechina will slide to third base in Hovis’ absence, leaving an open spot for a corner outfield position. “There’s a lot of them,” Boss said of the incoming class. “I think you look on the mound first, Mason Erla has gotten up to 94 on the mound with electric stuff. Mike Mokma won a state championship right here on our field less than a year ago and I think he’s going to see significant innings. … Position player wise, Danny Gleaves is a guy I think can be a special, special player here for us, so he’s probably the guy who leads the way for us on the playing surface.”
Junior outfielder Brandon Hughes (33) picks up balls during practice on Feb. 3 at McLane Baseball Stadium at John H. Kobs Field. The Spartans are preparing for opening day on Feb. 17. PHOTO: JON FAMUREWA
The Spartans start the season on Feb. 17 when the team travels to Abilene, Texas to take on Abilene Christian University. Boss has not decided who will start for
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The Spartans come together to finish their practice on Feb. 3 at McLane Baseball Stadium at John H. Kobs Field. The Spartans are preparing for opening day on Feb. 17. PHOTO: JON FAMUREWA
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Student Art Exhibit comes to life at MSUFCU BY IMANI FARMER IFARMER@STATENEWS.COM
Members handling their credit union and banking duties at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, or MSUFCU, might be surprised to see the credit union turned its lobby into an art gallery. The MSUFCU Student Art Exhibit is in its 10th year featuring paintings, sketches, 3-D pieces, photography and art. The exhibit, located in the bank’s headquarters at 3777 West Road in East Lansing, showcases work from 19 Lansing area high schools throughout the month of February for public viewing and voting. There are four types of awards available to the students for their artwork, including the Social Media Award, The People’s Choice Award and School Spirit Award. The public can vote for their favorite pieces online through Feb. 20. In addition, there are Juried Awards and honorable mentions, which are determined by a panel of judges. President and CEO of MSUFCU April Clobes said the art exhibit is produced by the Capital Area Women’s Lifestyle Magazine and its parent company, M3 Group, a local public relations and advertising group. “They approached us to become involved with the program and we have been involved for just about 10 years,” Clobes said. “With that, we were able to really grow the
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program for them and be able to provide a venue that would be able to display the artwork for the students and have an exhibit space.” Clobes said the exhibit has been exceptionally well received in prior years and the community, parents and teachers are supportive of the students and their work. “The members really enjoy seeing the art in the lobby,” she said. “We have a tremendous talent in our young people in our community. This is an opportunity for them to showcase their abilities and share it with others, and that’s why we do it.” Fowlerville senior high school student Rozlin Opolka has two pieces in this year’s exhibit, “Handy Man” and “Rusty the Riveter.” She has been creating art for 12 years, with the past four being her most successful of developing technical skills, she said via email. “My lovely art teacher Mrs. (Christine) Hesch was the main reason any of us Fowlerville artists were entered into the show, she pushes us to gain public attention through art galleries and really get our art out there,” Opolka said. “I entered these two pieces in the show because they are examples of the development of my unique style, something I have been working towards establishing for a few years.” Hesch said she had Opolka as a sudent since the ninth
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A work of art by Rozlin Opolka titled “Rusty the Riveter” is pictured on Feb. 1 at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union at 3777 West Road in East Lansing. This exhibit features art pieces from 19 area high schools that will be voted for online and at the exhibit for four different awards. PHOTO: JON FAMUREWA
grade. That was when she first realized her artwork was amazing and creative. “She always makes it look different than everybody else’s (art),” Hesch said.
“She lets her creativity juices flow and doesn’t copy anybody else, she just has that internal creativity.” READ MORE AT STATENEWS.COM.