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Inside the life of Ja Morant

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February 22, 2018 | Vol. 92, No. 19

Canaan’s shining moment MCHS shooting Bryan Edwards || Sports Editor

“I didn’t know this was happening, so I don’t even have a speech,” he said. “All I can say is thank you for pushing me.” Only nine times in Murray State basketball history has a player’s name and number hung in the rafters of the CFSB Center. A tenth name was added to the illustrious list last week. Just 24 hours after former Racer guard Isaiah Canaan was inducted into the Murray State Hall of Fame, Director of Athletics Allen Ward had one more thing to give to him. All 10 inductees were honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Tennessee Tech, but Ward asked Canaan to remain on the floor for just a few moments. With a mic in hand, Ward went through the long list of accomplishments Canaan had achieved throughout his Racer career. Canaan is one of six Murray State players and one of only 17 in the OVC history to reach 2,000 career points, ranking fifth all-time at Murray State. He was an All-American selection in 2012 and the first player since 1996 to be drafted in the NBA. “He led his teams to 106 wins during his four years as a Racer; the most of any class in program history,” Ward said. “He was OVC Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013 and one of only 10 three-time All-OVC selections. He won three consecutive OVC Championships and led his team to an incredible 23-0 start in 2011.” After being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Canaan struggled to find consistency on a roster. Through five years in the league, he has played for five different teams. During his most recent stint, Canaan played 19 games for the Phoenix Suns before his season was abruptly ended after suffering a fractured left ankle. Through five seasons, Canaan averaged 8.4 points per game. Ward continued his speech on Canaan’s career and what he meant to Murray State, but it was the final words Ward said that left Canaan in tears. “From this day forward, no one will ever again wear number three for Murray State basketball,” he said. “Your name and number will forever hang from the rafters at the CFSB Center.” Canaan was shocked to see his name hanging next to Racer greats like Bennie Purcell, Popeye Jones and Jeff Martin. “I always dreamed of having my number hung up in the rafters one day,” Canaan said. “It was a great surprise because I had no idea about it. It’s real humbling and [I’m] blessed to be able to be up there in the rafters with the other greats.” Canaan’s jersey is the first to be retired since Marcus Brown’s No. 5 in 2010. Murray State’s current basketball team was on the floor to witness the moment as well, and it’s a moment that Head Coach Matt McMahon said is one of the greatest he’s ever seen. “I was thankful we were aware that it was happening,” McMahon said. “I thought instead of sitting in the locker room talking about stats and drawing up plays, I wanted our team to get to come out there and see that.” McMahon, who served as an assistant coach under Steve Prohm and coached Canaan for his junior and senior seasons, said there was no one more deserving. “For the impact he made here not only as a player, but as a person,” he said. “He continues to impact this community in an unbelievable way, and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more deserving of that ceremony.” Despite being immortalized as one of the greatest players in Murray State history, Canaan said the support he has gotten from Racer fans is a driving force in his NBA career and what makes it easy to come back to a place he calls home. “Wherever I go, there’s somebody that went to school at Murray or drove or flew to come see me play, and that means a lot to me just knowing that I’ve got family always following me.”

suspect in court

Lindsey Coleman News Editor

The 15-year-old student accused in the Jan. 23 Marshall County High School shooting case made his first court appearance last week. Gabriel Ross Parker, of Hardin, Kentucky was arraigned on Friday, Feb. 16 in the Marshall County Circuit Court, where he will be tried as an adult. A grand jury indicted Parker on Tuesday, Feb. 13 on two counts of murder in the deaths of 15 year-olds Bailey Holt and Preston Cope. Parker was also indicted on 14 counts of first-degree assault for “causing serious physical injury” to the other gunshot victims, according

Gabriel Ross Parker will be tried as an adult. to the indictment. The arraignment was closed to the public and the media and the documents and video surrounding the details of the arraignment have been sealed.

Judge comes under fire Lindsey Coleman News Editor

Marshall County Circuit Court Judge Jamie Jameson, who is currently presiding over the Gabriel Parker case, came under fire this week by local media outlets. Paxton Media Group, the parent company of WPSD-TV, The Paducah Sun and the Marshall County Tribune-Courier has filed a suit against Jameson on behalf of the three media organizations. The writ of mandamus, filed by PMG, claims that the judge “acted outside of his jurisdiction and committed clear errors of law that cannot be remedied by subsequent appeal.” The document states Jameson was an acquaintance of Parker’s mother,

took steps immediately following the shooting to assign a public defender to represent him despite the case not being in Circuit Court and demanded that police stop interviewing Parker following the shooting. Last weekend, journalists for the three media organizations, received reports that Jameson “went on record at the hearing to disclose his pre-indictment actions and purported to enter certain ‘findings’ about the appropriateness of his conduct and his ability to continue presiding over the case,” according to the motion. Jameson allegedly refused PMG’s post-hearing requests to release the video transcript of the hearing. The Kentucky Court of Appeals will make a ruling in the coming days or weeks.

Pension bill introduced Lindsey Coleman News Editor

A bill was filed Tuesday in the Kentucky Senate to overhaul the state’s failing pension system. Sen. Joe Bowen, who introduced the bill, said the proposed legislation would correct the public pension system over the next 30 years. Bowen said that $3 billion of the state’s budget would be dedicated to the pension system each year. Some of the notable changes to this latest proposal include elimination of the requirement for cur-

rent and future state employees and teachers to move to a defined contribution 401(k) retirement plan; teachers will have to work longer to get enhanced benefits; teachers will no longer be allowed to stockpile sick days to put toward retirement; teachers will have to put 9.105 percent of their salary into their retirement plan while the state will contribute eight percent; and the annual cost of living increases for retired teachers will be cut in half for 12 years. The News will have more coverage next week on the proposed pension bill.

Bailey’s love for nursing will Preston’s family among those to carry on with scholarship be honored at Cardinals game Ashley Traylor

Interim Editor-in-Chief

Her aspirations of becoming a nurse faded in an instant, but now she is helping her classmates pursue their health profession dreams. Murray State’s School of Nursing and Health Professions and West Kentucky Community Technical College teamed up with Kentucky Nurses Association and Kentucky Nurses Foundation to sponsor a scholarship in memory of Bailey Holt, one of the two students who died in the Jan. 23 school shooting at Marshall County High School. The Bailey Holt Memorial Nursing Scholarship will be awarded to Marshall County High School graduates. Students must be admitted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program or graduates of WKTC admit-


ted to the RN-to-BSN program at Murray State. “I hope that recipients will feel privileged to accept this scholarship in Bailey’s name,” Jennie Rottinghaus, director of development of the School of Nursing and Health Professions, said. “She wasn’t able to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse, but the awardees can pursue theirs in her honor.” Nancy Armstrong, assistant professor of the School of Nursing and local chapter president of KNA, spearheaded the creation of the scholarship after she saw a video about Holt’s aspirations to become a labor and delivery nurse. “After I saw that video clip where her parents were saying that she wanted to be a nurse, who worked with babies, that made me think well maybe we can at least do something in her honor and in her memory,” Armstrong

Gage Johnson || Staff writer On Jan. 23, tragedy struck Marshall County High School when a student opened fire. The shooting resulted in two casualties, 15-year-olds Bailey Holt and Preston Cope. Adam Wainwright, a starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, and his foundation, Big League Impact, recently lent a helping hand to the victims and their families. During these dark times, the families are looking back on the positive memories of their children. For Preston’s family, it was his love of baseball and the St. Louis Cardinals. Wainwright and Preston crossed paths last year when Marshall County’s baseball team went to watch the Cardinals and then play in their own exhibition game at Busch Stadium shortly after. For Preston, it was an opportunity he would always look back on and smile.

“He was so thrilled and excited,” Preston’s father, Brian Cope, said in an interview with Major League Baseball. “It was a very special moment for him. One he would never forget.” Eventually these stories came to Wainwright’s attention, and he immediately wanted to help those in mourning. Wainwright and the Big League Impact foundation plan to host victims of the shooting and their families at Busch Stadium this summer. The trip to Busch Stadium will be an emotional one for the Cope family, especially for Brian, who played a large part in instilling the love of the Cardinals in Preston. Brian grew up a Cardinals fan, and he wanted Preston to do the same. “Passing that down to my son was important,” Cope said. Brian took Preston to his first ever Cardinals game and managed to score a Scott Rolen autograph. There were also many Sundays spent running the bases on the field after the game



Bailey Holt, 15, died in the MCHS shooting. said. On Friday, Feb. 17, they revealed the scholarship and have already raised $1,000, which Armstrong said will translate to two $500 scholarships awarded to students at the start of the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 semesters. “We would be happy to



Preston Cope, 15, died in the MCHS shooting. for the Cope family. The Copes were also at game three of the 2006 World Series and the 2011 championship parade. Preston attended the Winter Warm-Up in St. Louis last year as well. However, being able to play on the same field as his heroes was an experience that went unmatched for Preston. Brian recalls that day as “the highlight that made his young life.”


The News

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February 22, 2018


News Editor: Lindsey Coleman Page Designer: Savanna Hatfield Phone: 270-809-4468 Twitter: MurrayStateNews

New legislation would allow ‘law-abiding’ SCHOLARSHIP students to carry guns on college campuses From Page 1

receive anything large or small,” Armstrong said. “From my standpoint, we are satisfied with whatever. We wanted to honor her memory, and it is less about the money and the amount and more about trying to find something we can do to put something positive out there and help somebody else reach dreams that had dreams similar to her and maybe even knew her.” Students from the School of Nursing will be collecting money, as well as the health profession organizations they are involved in. Faculty and staff are donating, along with the other sponsors.

Destinee Marking

Staff writer

Two new bills regarding safety and protection on school grounds have been introduced to the Kentucky Legislature. Two members of the Kentucky House of Representatives are co-sponsoring a bill that would allow law-abiding students to carry concealed weapons on public college campuses. Republican Reps. Tim Moore and Wesley Morgan introduced House Bill 210 Jan. 18 to amend KRS 237.115. “A publicly funded college, university or postsecondary education facility shall not restrict the carrying or possession of a deadly weapon on any property owned or controlled by the institution by a person who holds a valid concealed deadly weapon license,” the unofficial copy of the bill states. According to Campus Safety magazine, a publication dedicated to serving those involved in the safety and security at hospitals and schools in the United States, 11 states currently allow the permitted concealed carry of guns under law on public college campuses. However, concealed carry policies can differ from state to state. For example, according to Campus Safety, though concealed guns are allowed by state law, Wisconsin colleges have the ability to prohibit guns if signs forbidding weapons are posted at the entrances of buildings. According to National Conference of State Legislatures,

Armstrong said the Holt family responded positively to the scholarship, and they believe it honors File photo

carry a firearm in any public or private school building on any public or private school campus owned, used, or operated by the board or governing body,” the current draft of the bill states. J.T. Payne, junior from Henderson, Kentucky, and president of Murray State College Republicans, said he does not support HB 210 or SB 103. “By allowing permitted concealed weapons on the premises of postsecondary institutions and other governmental grounds, you are introducing more weapons in a highly populated and high stress area,” Payne said. He said this change would introduce another time-consuming factor campus police would have to take into consideration.

“The Marshall County tragedy has affected all of us at Murray State, and I think that everyone has felt a need to help our neighbors who are hurting,” Rottinghaus said. “Establishing this scholarship is one way of doing that.” Scholarship preference will be given to Marshall County High School students who were a part of Health Occupations Students of America, an organization Holt was involved in.

To make a donation, checks should be written out to the Murray State

University Foundation with “Bailey Holt Scholarship” in the memo line and sent to the office of Development at 200 Heritage Hall. To donate with a credit or debit card, call 270-8093001 or 877-282-0033, or visit Murray State’s website at

Reporting crime pays off

Eleven states currently allow the permitted concealed carry of guns on public college campuses. Kentucky is one of 23 states in which individual colleges may make the decision to ban or allow concealed carry weapons on campuses. Legislators are also proposing legislation aimed toward school employees. Three Kentucky Senators are co-sponsoring a bill that would allow designated school marshals to be exempt from the ban of possessing firearms on school property. Republican Sens. Steve West, Ralph Alvarado and Stephen Meredith introduced Senate Bill 103 Jan. 23 to amend KRS 520.070. “The board of a local public school district or governing body of a private or parochial school may appoint any person who meets the requirements… to possess, transport, deposit, or

their daughter.

With SB 103, Payne said he is worried employees possessing firearms would create paths toward more “careless and tragic” occurrences. “When untrained civilians of any demographic are trusted and appointed to protect the general population, there is a greater chance for unintentional tragedy,” Payne said. Murray State is prepared to follow the progress of these bills. “University administration includes staff who both directly and regularly interact with elected officials in order to ensure that we receive the latest developments while advocating on behalf of the best interests of Murray State University,” according to university officials.

Destinee Marking Staff writer

Michelle Hawks Staff writer

The Murray Calloway County Crime Stoppers implemented a new system for rewarding those who have information that helps local law enforcement solve crimes. Detective Michael Weatherford said they have given rewards; however, the new pay scale will provide a uniform reward system and let people know how much they can earn by giving the police department a successful tip. An individual who provides information to help solve a crime or lead to an arrest will be

rewarded with a check after approval from the Crime Stoppers committee. The amount varies by the severity of the crime: • Bench Warrant: $50 • Misdemeanor: $100 • Class D Felony: $250 • Class C Felony: $500 • Class B Felony: $750 • Class A Felony: $1,000 The money for the rewards primarily comes from court costs. Weatherford said for more serious crimes, community leaders may donate money. Any individual providing information will remain anonymous. Community members can attend Crimestoppers meetings held at Pagliai’s at 11:30 a.m. the second Wednesday of each month. Anyone with information can call (270) 753-9500.


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The News

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February 22, 2018

Sports Racer greats immortalized Sports Editor: Bryan Edwards Assistant Sports Editor: Blake Sandlin Page Designer: Rosalyn Churchman Phone: 270-809-4481 Twitter: MSUSportsNews

Gage Johnson || Staff writer

On Friday, Feb. 16, Murray State athletics inducted a class of 10 people – from athletes to radio personalities – into the Murray State University Hall of Fame. The group of athletes inducted included Frank Allen (basketball, 1989-93), Rebecca Clay (soccer, 2005-08), Isaiah Canaan (basketball, 2009-13), Sarah Dearworth (volleyball, 1991-94), Amber Guffey (basketball, 2005-09), Danny Lee Johnson (football, 1977-81) and one former coach, Houston Nutt (football, 1993-96). Nutt, a well-known name in the world of college football, spoke on the honor of being an inductee and what the Racers mean to him. “Everything,” Nutt said. “This is where it all started for me. This was my first head job and it was so special. It was the people. Those players that we brought in and the relationships are a bond that will never go away. Winning the first ever playoff game and all of those things were great, but it doesn’t match the feeling of being inducted. Although, I know I’m inducted because of those players and the people that got me here.” One of the highlights of the Hall of Fame class of 2018 was Rebecca Clay, the first ever soccer player to be inducted. “This is an amazing honor that I’m extremely humbled and thankful to receive,” Clay said. “When Steve called me and told me I was going to be inducted, honestly I started crying. Because I saw this place after it was built and I was really excited about what Murray State was doing to honor past student athletes. So when he called me and told me, it meant the world to me. It’s one of the greatest honors I’ll probably have in my life.” Within the Hall of Fame, there is a Hall of Distinction which is made for those who have made an impact on the Racers outside of being an athlete or coach. There were four extended members of the Murray State family that were inducted into this Hall of Distinction. This year’s group included athletics staff veteran Saundra Edwards, longtime supporters Jan and Dick Weaver, who were inducted together and “Voice of the Racers” Neal Bradley. Bradley is still the current sportscaster for the Racers and is grateful that the Racers have given him the ability to do his dream job for so long. “It’s a great honor,” Bradley said. “I remember when I first received the call it was stunning. If it wasn’t from Allen Ward, I would’ve thought it was a joke and would be waiting for the punchline. It’s just amazing because to me the Hall of Fame was athletes and coaches. I realized there was a Hall of Distinction, but I didn’t think that an announcer was someone they would ever put in there and not give a second thought.” Following the induction ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 17, the class was recognized at halftime of Murray State’s game against Tennessee Tech.

Bryan Edwards/The News

From Tee to Ja: Morant finishing what his father started Blake Sandlin || Assistant Sports Editor

Photo provided by Tee Morant

Tee Morant (right) has been to multiple Murray State basketball games this season to see his son and freshman guard Ja Morant (left) play basketball for Murray State.

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If you were to examine the high school averages of freshman guard Ja Morant last season – 27 points per game, eight assists per game and eight rebounds per game – you’d assume he’d be spending his college playing career for a power-five team. Thankfully for Murray State’s basketball team, you’d be wrong. Despite his impressive senior stat line, captivating performances on the AAU circuit and jaw-dropping YouTube highlight videos, Morant flew relatively under the radars of most recruiters. The Dalzell, South Carolina native doesn’t know why he didn’t garner the notoriety and collegiate attention that others in his state did, but with recent talent like Duke-commit Zion Williamson, South Carolina’s PJ Dozier and North Carolina’s Jalek Felton, it’s understandable how Morant’s name might have gotten lost in the shuffle. “There’s a lot of talent in South Carolina,”

it’s ee

Morant said. “There’s too many to name. South Carolina I feel like is underrated when it comes to talent, so you’ve just got to find a way to make yourself known.” That’s just what Morant did. He began playing varsity basketball his sophomore year, then he got involved with an AAU team, Team South Carolina. His involvement in AAU helped him gain some minor attention his junior year, with offers from South Carolina State and Maryland Eastern-Shore coming his junior year. Morant’s father, Tee Morant, never allowed him to become satisfied with mediocrity. Morant knew what it took to make it to the next level. He played basketball at Claflin University and narrowly missed making an NBA roster. After participating in free agency camps and playing internationally, Tee’s professional aspirations were cut short when he found out his wife was pregnant with Ja. What Tee couldn’t accomplish himself, he passed down to his son. He made it his

mission to instill his competitive pedigree in Ja, without the negative qualities that cut his career short. “The negative things I had in me, I wanted to keep out of him, as far as the going out and all that,” Tee said. “I wanted him to focus on his dream. I didn’t put 100 percent in mine.” Tee, who said he’s only missed one of Ja’s basketball games since he was six-years-old, always strived to keep his son hungry for more. During his junior year, Morant outplayed top talent. In a matchup against Jalek Felton, the 29th-ranked player nationally and South Carolina’s No. 1 player, who now plays for the University of North Carolina, Morant dropped 36 points and held Felton to 23 points to help his team clinch an overtime win. However, Tee didn’t allow storied performances like that go to his son’s head. “I was always telling him he didn’t do nothing,” Tee said. “He will tell you I always

see MORANT, page 4

The News


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February 22, 2018

Men’s basketball sets eyes on OVC title

Blake Sandlin

Assistant Sports Editor

Murray State men’s basketball will seek to punctuate its 2017-2018 campaign with two wins this week. The 22-5 Racers will meet Eastern Illinois and Austin Peay this week before they transition to postseason play next week. Planning for the Panthers Ranked in the middle of the pack in the OVC, Eastern Illinois is poised to slip into the OVC tournament as the No. 8 seed. At 6-10, they have a onegame lead over SIUE with two games remaining on the schedule, so they’ll be playing for their lives in their final week to reserve the OVC’s final spot. Head Coach Matt McMahon said despite the Panthers’ record, they have a handful of talent on their roster. “They’ve got a really good player at point guard Montell Goodwin,” McMahon said. “They’ve suffered some injuries this year but they’re back playing well and they’ve

clinched a berth in the tournament. So it’ll be a big game for us and that’s all our guys need to worry about.” The Panthers don’t exactly jump out on the stat sheet, but they are extremely adept on the defensive end of the floor. They rank second in the OVC in blocked shots, averaging 4.3 blocks per game. However, this Eastern Illinois team has proven dangerous to top-tier talent in the past. They boast an exhibition win over Big 10 powerhouse Illinois, narrowly lost to 20-9 Nebraska and managed to bring Marquette to overtime before losing 86-83. Eastern Illinois is led by the tandem of Goodwin, who averages 14.9 PPG, and Mack Smith, averaging 11.5 PPG. They’ll meet a talented unit in Murray State on Thursday, Feb. 22. Protecting the Border Murray State will have a quick turnaround before facing off against their conference foes. Austin Peay and Murray State will have their final bout on the Govs’ home floor in the

final basketball game of the season and a chance for the Racers to accumulate some points for the Battle of the Border contest between the two schools. These two teams know each other relatively well, having just played on Feb. 8. In that game, the Racers claimed a decisive 84-63 victory. The Governors, similar to the Panthers, have a lot to prove as well. Austin Peay, sitting at 11-5 in the OVC, hasn’t clinched the third seed in the tournament yet and has Tennessee State biting at their heels at 10-6. Rest assured the Governors will be resolute in their quest to finish their season strong, and players like Terry Taylor and Averyl Ugba will be determined to make it happen. Taylor and Ugba comprise Austin Peay’s two-headed attack, both averaging 15.1 PPG. Fighting for First Having just clinched the double-bye in the conference tournament, Murray State could easily coast this last week before the start of the OVC tournament. However, the Racers do not own sole possession of

first place; they are at a stalemate with Belmont, concurrently maintaining a 14-2 record in the conference and a grip on the OVC regular season title. “We can worry about the tournament Sunday,” McMahon said. “We need to just focus in on getting better these next three days of practice.” Although they own congruent conference records, Belmont owns the tiebreaker over Murray State on account of their win against the Racers earlier this year. If the two teams survive this week in OVC play unblemished, Belmont will be bestowed the No. 1 seed in the tournament. The Bruins have an uncertain road ahead of them, however, with games against Jacksonville State and Tennessee State – two teams they lost to earlier this season. Game Time The Racers will look to replicate their winning way and improve their win streak to 10 at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Eastern Illinois. They’ll follow that with their season-finale at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Austin Peay.

Bryan Edwards/The News

Senior Jonathan Stark averaged 31 points per game last week.

Women’s basketball one win away from Evansville Gage Johnson || Staff writer

Bryan Edwards/The News

Senior Bria Bethea drives the land in the Racers’ win over Tennessee Tech.

Murray State women’s basketball has two chances to clinch a berth to the OVC Tournament this week. The Racers now have two games remaining on their schedule in the regular season. With the conference tournament approaching quickly, each game is crucial. Murray State is 10-17 overall and 6-10 in OVC play. This record gives them the eighth spot in the conference standings, with Eastern Kentucky only a game behind in the standings. The first game will come tonight against Eastern Il-

linois University. The Panthers are 2-25 overall, while being 1-15 in conference play. EIU is third in threepoint field goals made in the OVC. They’re led in scoring by freshman guard Taylor Steele, who is averaging 9.5 PPG. The last time these two teams faced off on the hardwood, the Racers defeated the Panthers on the road 7261. Murray State’s final game of the regular season will come against conference-rival Austin Peay. The Governors are 15-12 overall and are 8-8 in OVC play. Austin Peay is led in scoring by senior center Brianne Alexander with 11.7 points a game. This will be the

second Battle of the Borders matchup for women’s basketball. When the two met previously, the Racers defeated the Governors 91-65. Senior guard Ke’Shunan James had 41 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists to help secure the win for Murray State. Each conference game is crucial for Murray State, given they hold a one-game lead in the conference standings as they inch closer to the postseason. “It’s a huge week for our players,” Head Coach Rechelle Turner said. “We have seniors that have only been in the tournament one time. That was our goal when we got here. We didn’t know what

kind of level we could get to when we got here, but our goal was to get to Evansville. We understand that we have to put ourselves in position, and if we take care of business on Thursday and Saturday we’re going to do just that.” Murray State controls its own destiny in its race to Evansville. If the Racers win one game or if Eastern Kentucky loses one game, the Racers clinch the bid into the OVC Tournament. They will take on EIU at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Charleston, Illinois. They will then face off against Austin Peay at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Clarksville, Tennessee.


of South Carolina’s stature and wear their state across their chest, Ja welcomed the chance to court his suitors. On Sept. 1, 2016, he made his official visit to Murray State. Instantly, he was hooked. “Once I came to Murray, I just fell in love with Murray and just felt like it was the best fit for me as a player and a person, really,” Ja said. “I started talking to my parents while I was here, and I just told them I was ready to commit because I thought it was the best place.” His father said the Racers pulled out all of the stops to make Ja and his family feel welcome. “The thing that made it special for [Ja] was because they showed genuine love for him and said he’s the number one priority, coach Kane and coach McMahon,” Tee said. “Then when we came down there and met the president and the head of academics, they pretty much rolled out the red carpet. Ja was pretty much at home because he felt like everything they were saying and doing down there was genuine.” Ja committed to Murray State on the spot before even making his official visit to South Carolina. Tee said Ja has always valued family and togetherness, so the tight-knit bond that Murray State offers made the commit-

ment a no-brainer. “I love the fact that he chose Murray because I love the community,” Tee said. “I love that it’s like a home. Ja is a people person and he loves unity, so that’s why he’s so great with being at Murray State.” Since his commitment in 2016, Ja has flourished in his inaugural campaign. Averaging 12.4 PPG, 6.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game, Morant is the only player in the OVC ranked in the top-20 in points, assists and rebounds. He’s ranked second in assists per game, next only to Belmont senior guard Austin Luke. In his first conference game of the season against Eastern Illinois, Ja became the second player in Murray State history to record a triple-double. His addition has functioned seamlessly in Murray State’s three-guard lineup and has the Racers in a position at 22-5 to win the conference and potentially clinch an NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 2012. While Tee’s dream of becoming an NBA player never materialized, Ja is determined to carry on the legacy his dad started and forge a path to the pros. “That’s really my drive: to live his dream and to give him back the opportunities that he had, but gave up to teach me how to play the game,” Ja said.

From Page 3 called him overrated. Why? Because I wanted to keep that drive in him.” Despite Morant’s dominance on the court, he still lacked significant recognition in his state and from scouts his senior year. Tee said players with significantly lower numbers than Ja were attracting more attention, but that adversity kept Ja humble and eager to prove himself. “I was loving it for the simple fact that it kept him hungry,” Tee said. “I was hating it because he was like ‘What do I gotta do?’.” The answer to that question came when Ja participated in an AAU camp his senior year. At the camp, Morant’s team faced off against his now teammate, Tevin Brown. Then Murray State assistant James Kane, now an assistant at Dayton, was in attendance to scout Brown, but it was Ja that caught his eye. Ja received his big break after that camp, receiving offers from schools like Wofford, UNC-Asheville and Duquesne. The biggest, though, came on Aug. 4, 2016, when South Carolina Head Coach Frank Martin offered Ja a scholarship. While most players would be eager to commit to a school

U.S. 641 N. Murray 270-753-9622 Circus Skate Murray, KY

The News

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February 22, 2018 Features Editor: Emily Williams Assistant Features Editor: Nick Erickson Page Designer: Rachel Solomon Phone: 270-809-5871


‘The beauty of blackness’

Murray State student shares her experience growing up as a racial minority Lindsey Coleman News Editor

Since 1976, each U.S. president has designated February as Black History Month, when the nation honors the role of black people in American history. Alex Smith, a senior at Murray State who is a McNair Scholar, the vice president of the local NAACP chapter, a member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs leadership team, the Psychological Honors Society and the Psychology club, a recipient of the Marvin D. Mills Diversity scholarship and a black woman from Louisville, Kentucky, recently sat down with The News, shared her thoughts about Black History Month and gave us a glimpse of her experience growing up identifying as a racial minority in America.

WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS TEACH YOU ABOUT BLACK HISTORY GROWING UP? My dad was born in 1950, so he grew up during the Civil Rights Movement. He went to segregated schools up until high school. My dad is a very proud black man. He always taught me about black pride and excellence, and he is very much of the school of thought that education is a way of elevation and bringing yourself to a

higher standing. As far as being in a problack household, a couple of things were interesting. All the paintings in our house are from black artists, and they are of people of color. There’s a ‘Daniel in the Lion’s Den.’ He’s a man of color. There’s a portrayal of Mona Lisa, but she’s Native American. That’s to give representations of black beauty, black shades and people of color. I also wasn’t allowed to have white Barbie Dolls as a child. I could have any culture Barbie Doll because, in the children’s movies and representations of princesses, most of them are white. My dad knew that I had seen representations of white beauty, but I didn’t necessarily have representations of women of color, so that was the intention behind that. I’m appreciative of the fact that my parents wanted to embed black beauty and make me understand that while it’s okay to have representations of white beauty, it’s by no means okay to only be immersed in white beauty. Beauty can look like me just as much as it can look like anyone else. I feel like I’ve always grown up with conversations about blackness, conversations about how my dad grew up, conversations about what it means to be black

in America; the strength in it, the beauty in it, the resiliency, that comprises being able to say I’m black. I think that’s the beauty of blackness: it’s not necessarily when you say someone’s black you’re referring to a specific culture, you’re not at all, you’re referring to an experience. I think that’s one of the things that I love. To be black is an experience. It is not a culture. It is not a race.

HOW DID ATTENDING A PREDOMINANTLY BLACK HIGH SCHOOL SHAPE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA? At first I hated it, because I was used to being around diversity. I was in schools where people came from different continents and spoke different languages, then in high school, it was 80 percent black, and 90 percent of the school was on free and reduced lunch. I appreciate that experience now, because it allowed me to understand different experiences with blackness. They were still African American, because a lot of those students were facing double oppression of being poor and black or living in an area where poverty and crime are close. It gave me a different experience of understanding other African Americans that may not have been raised in a two-parent, middle class household like I

Photo courtesy of Alex Smith

Alex Smith, senior at Murray State, shares her thoughts about Black History Month and gives us a glimpse of her experiences. was, and once again it shows the beauty in having different experiences in African American blackness.


What is most important to me is we have a month that is celebrated and noted. I think aside from that, I really appreciate the way in which Black History Month is eclectic. No matter who we’re talking about... Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela… we can celebrate all black culture and all of their strides. We take it from multiple facets,

so it’s not just activists or politicians, which are duly noted, but it’s also doctors, inventors, nurses, entrepreneurs and writers.

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU FEEL MURRAY STATE APPRECIATES DIVERSITY ON CAMPUS? In my four years here, I feel like Davies has done a really great job with saying, “Hey, we should be paying attention to diversity.” I think that there’s still work to be done, for sure. It’s important for people to find that community where they can feel at home. Where I would like to see Murray

State go is to bridge those gaps between the diverse groups of people we have here. That’s where the work comes in. It’s like we come here and we find a community, but that community becomes a microcosm. Not to say some of the offices aren’t working toward that - I believe they are. I would like to see people stop having only microcosms, we need those, but we need a macrosystem, a mosaic, as far as making a bigger picture of splashes of color and experiences that are different and integrating those experiences to make one big picture.

Weaving a community together Murray Art Guild showcases “Interwoven” project celebrating diversity

Bridgette Mcauliffe Contributing writer

Art is something that everyone appreciates in different forms. It connects us all together and to some degree, it is something that we can all understand. The Murray Art Guild has started a project called Interwoven in an effort to show how our community is “woven” together regardless of age, race, gender or religion. Interwoven is a community-wide art project put on by the Murray Art Guild. Debi Danielson, executive director of Murray Art Guild, said the project is speaking to the idea that everyone in the community is inextricably connected. “You know, there has been so much divisiveness locally and nationally that we really wanted to do a project that spoke to community,” Danielson said. Danielson said people of all ages in the community are invited to create a “circle weaving” project. “Some of them are made on old CDs and then others are made on cardboard, Danielson said. Next week, all of these will be tied together into one big installation...It’s that idea of the individual, and that the individual fits into the whole.” Many people never decide to get involved with art because it seems hard. People go to museums, look at these beautiful paintings and think that since they aren’t at that level, art isn’t something they can participate in. But Danielson and the Murray Art Guild wanted to show how art can connect the entire community together, regardless of age or skill level. “It’s the kind of project that anybody who wanted to could have success,” Danielson said. “I’ve had children as young as 6, and the oldest person I’ve had do it was 100 years old.” The instructions for circle weaving are on the Murray Art Guild website, making it possible for people to create one without going to the Guild. There have

also been workshops put on throughout the community by Danielson and other members of the Guild to teach community members how to circle weave and create a piece of the final project. Stephanie Rea, professor at Murray State, is one who attended a workshop, taking along her young daughter. This isn’t the first time Rea has been involved with the Murray Art Guild. “My kids have had classes at the Art Guild off and on since their toddler years, and I’m on their mailing list,” said Rea. “I attend events from time to time throughout the year, and I sign my kids up for classes.” With projects like Interwoven, the arts are used to pull the community together to feel more connected. “Events like Interwoven bring people together through the actual act of making art,” said Rea. “I took my 8-year-old daughter thinking that doing something creative on a Saturday morning would be a great way to spend time together. When we got there, we knew at least four other people and seeing those people outside of the regular places I know them from is refreshing and fun for me.” Art is one of those parts of culture that throughout all of history has proven to bring groups of people together and allowed them to see where they fit in the whole, as well as express themselves. Art has a profound impact on the lives of those who create work. Rose Bowman, sophomore from Loretto, Kentucky said art has allowed her to creatively work out any issues she’s had. She also said the arts are important in bringing our communities together. “I think it’s really important to get communities working together with arts because even small projects could be fun and anyone and everyone can do them.” To find out more about the Murray Art Guild and to get involved with Interwoven, visit the art guild’s website.

Brock Kirk/The News

Justine Riley of Murray, Kentucky adds the final touches to her portion of the “Interwoven” project at The Murray Art Guild.

Brock Kirk/The News

Murray Art Guild’s “Interwoven” community project highlights the importance of unity in the face of diversity.

Page 6

The News


February 22, 2018

Photo contributed by Ashley Cumming

David Elliot, John Dressler, Ashley Cumming, Skip Snead and Eldon Matlick performed at The Golden Horn recital on Feb. 17.

Tooting our own horn

Celebrating 50 years of teaching and playing at Murray State Bridgette Mcauliffe Contributing writer

Students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered in the Performing Arts Hall on the evening of Feb. 17 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Murray State Horn Studio. The recital was an invitation for alumni and former faculty of the horn studio to perform in a recital with the current students involved. Ashley Cumming, assistant professor of music, was the coordinator of the event. She said an anniversary alumni recital hasn’t been done by any of the instrumental studios before. “It was a communal idea, really,” said Cumming. “In 2017, I took the French horn studio to perform at the MidSouth Horn Workshop.” While at the workshop, and upon running into previous Murray State faculty and alumni, everyone began sharing their fond memories of their time at Murray State. Cumming said that upon sharing their memories, alumni and former faculty had the idea to join together once more to play their horns at Murray State. And so began the process of organizing this event. “Logistically, I think it was a little bit difficult at first,” said Cumming. “Because for me, I’m a fairly new teacher here, so I started organizing this within my first year of teaching. I didn’t know the different systems and resources Murray State has.”

Cumming said this was her first time getting in contact with the Alumni Office, and she was able to not only make this a recital, but an alumni event. Alumni were asked to RSVP to the event in advance via a website that was set up, and the week prior to the event, alumni were sent music and asked to look over a couple of the pieces that would be played so that they could perform with the current students. Megan Washburn, junior from New Baden, Illinois, said, “Sometimes, professors just move on. They don’t necessarily stay connected to their previous jobs but they have this time. So, it’s really cool to have everyone come back.” T h e e x p e r i e n c e h a s brought Washburn full circle, as she is going to be playing alongside her first horn teacher, who is also a Murray State alumnus. “Teaching music is everything to me,” Washburn said. “It incorporates everything. You can learn a language, you can learn math, and you can learn culture, you can argue for science. It’s pretty much everything, just in different terms.” Anaea Dossey, sophomore from Franklin, Tennessee, said it was incredibe to play with so many talented past and present professors. “It’s an honor to play in a studio that was built by so many musically gifted people.” Dossey said she has also gained a lot from the expe-

rience of preparing for this recital. “I gained a deep respect for Dr. Cumming in organizing this, as well as a respect for all the past professors for instilling a love of music in all their students,” said Dossey. “Being a part of the Murray State horn studio has been so much fun and I know that it will prepare me for future performances as well as prepare me to make a difference in the world of music education.” Cumming has taught at several other universities in Indianapolis, Indiana before coming to Murray State. “I will say that the Murray State students are some of the sweetest, kindest, most energetic students that I’ve worked with,” said Cumming. “They just always come in with really great attitudes and sense of humor and I think that we have a good relationship. They work hard and have made a ton of growth.” Cumming said that teaching music is important to her. “Musicians start in a way that can be viewed as selfish, teaching is all about giving to another person.” Cumming said that if she can make the journey easier and more fun for even one student, then she feels like she’s succeeded The Golden Horn 50th Anniversary recital can be viewed on the Murray State University Music Department Facebook page, as well as more information about the music department itself.

The benefits of Quizlet Grant Dillard

Contributing writer

If a college or high school student were to be asked what the most challenging aspect of school is, final or regular exams would most likely be among the top five answers given. Yes, it’s no secret that studying for exams can be one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety of all time. Thankfully, there’s one particular tool that can make exam preparation much easier: Quizlet. For those who may not be familiar, Quizlet is a website that allows users to create their own study guides or other means of study including flash cards, longterm learning and matching. Users also have the ability to test themselves on the knowledge learned from the study guide with a healthy amount of different testing options.


Quizlet is simple to use, and students should easily get the hang of making study sets. The way it works, starting out, is that the user would type out both the defi-

nition and the term for each question. The option to type out the term and definition is a really good choice, as this results in no limits for what kind of questions can be made out. It doesn’t have to be just vocabulary words and definitions, as there can also be more complex questions and answers. Even better, there’s no limit to how many questions one can have for a study set, which is great for those extremely lengthy exams.


After completing their study guide, students can test themselves on the definitions and terms they have created. There’s a good amount of options, including fill-in-the-blank, ultiple Choice, True or False and Matching. Users have the choice to go with one of these options throughout the whole practice test or mix and match the different testing modes. Users can also control the number of questions given on the practice test, whether it be a select amount or every single question typed in. There’s also a mode that allows instant feedback for each question,

letting users know immediately whether or not they answered a question correctly.


For those who may be short on time for creating their own guides, there’s a good chance they’ll be able to find a nearly identical guide completed previously. It’s also a clever way to make sure they’re studying the right information. A great way to search for the right guide would be to type the exact name of the class the exam is in. Without a doubt, many students value Quizlet as one of the greatest and most helpful study tools ever created. It can make studying for exams easier than before, yet never feels like a lazy alternative. The website does a wonderful job at giving the same level of information seen on a regular study guide, only making it simpler to get into. Whether one is a college student, or even a high school student, Quizlet is strongly recommended for those who have always struggled with studying. Plus, it’s free to use, so there isn’t any reason not to use it. Say goodbye to extreme exam anxiety.

The News

Page 7

February 22, 2018


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The News 2609 University Station Murray State University Murray, Kentucky 42071-3301 Fax: 270-809-3175 The News welcomes commentaries and letters to the editor. Submissions should be 600 words or less, and contributors should include phone numbers for verification. Please include hometown, classification and title or relationship to the university. The News reserves the right to edit for style, length and content. No anonymous contributions will be accepted. All contributions should be turned in by noon on Monday of each week via email to Contributions to The News are the opinion of the author and not that of The Murray State News.

Another week, another school shooting. It is an exhausting conversation to have over and over again. Not because it shouldn’t be discussed, but because things are not changing. No matter how intense the debate becomes, our legislators have accomplished next to nothing in preventing future gun violence. There have been 18 reports of such violence on school campuses this year (this includes incidents in which there were no casualties and/ or when school was not in session). That is 18 different times which student’s lives were put in jeopardy. That is 18 different instances in which mental health education, stricter gun laws and a willingness to learn from past inaction could have kept our students safe. But it has not happened. Legislators who have accepted thousands upon thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association have failed us. Those who lobby against gun control (because they apparently do not understand the difference between the words “control” and “ban”) have failed us. It is time we, a country of people seemingly controlled by fear, prejudice and resistance to change, take matters into our own hands. The shooting survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are doing just that. Since the Feb. 14 shooting, several students have spoken out and made it clear the nation’s youth is fed up with inaction. In a statement, junior Cameron Kasky’s position was quite clear. “My message for the people in office is: You’re either with us or against us. We are losing our lives while the adults are playing

Autumn Brown/The News

around,” Kasky said. Her comments mirrored those of her fellow students, those who have lived the horrors of gun violence firsthand. The bickering about the merits of gun control have done nothing but waste time, and our young people see that. Critics are downplaying these students’ concerns as products of a traumatic experience, as if their worries are of no importance. It’s because these students survived to speak out that we should be listening to them. Yes, they have experienced something awful and vile. But that doesn’t discredit what they have to say. We should be listening. And it doesn’t stop at the students. Educators across the country are debating how to best protect the youth in their care. Institutions are adopting the


Cheers to ... Dunker’s Challenge

Many organizations have relief funds for their members, so it’s nice to see Murray State following suite. Donating the price of a McChicken could help more than you realize.

Jeers to ... Conspiracy theorists The InfoWars crowd strikes again. Some are convinced that the Parkland, Florida students are paid protestors. It’s irresponsible and disgusting. Do better.

Making Headway

What we allow Dylan Doyle

Contributing writer

The News strives to be the university community’s source for information. Our goal is to present that information in a fair and unbiased manner and provide a free and open forum for expression and debate. The News is a designated public forum. Student editors have authority to make all content decisions without censorship or advance approval. The paper offers a hands-on learning environment for students interested in journalism. The campus press should be free from censorship and advance approval of copy and its editors should develop their editorial and news policies. The News is prepared and edited by students and is an official publication of Murray State University. The first copy is free. Additional copies are available for 25 cents at 111 Wilson Hall.

ALICE Training safety principles to ensure the future safety of their students. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate; it’s a system which allows students and educators to gauge the situation at hand, and if need be, do whatever it takes to distract and/or disarm intruders. Arming teachers is one approach to the ALICE principles, a tactic which has gained support over the past few weeks. Sheriff Richard K. Jones of Butler County, Ohio made the news when he announced he would provide free firearm training for local teachers. “We need to be prepared,” Jones said. “This is not going to stop or go away,” It is a controversial proposal. Many schools already employ resource of-

ficers, law enforcement personnel who are responsible for patrolling school grounds. Is adding more guns to the mix the right answer? It’s not a decision anyone wants to make, but it is likely some will go this route. “Am I willing to die for my students” is a question present and future educators are asking themselves. College prepares teachers for the content they’ll be discussing, but not these situations in which they are being forced to risk their own lives in an increasingly common scenario. Mental health education is another important facet of the conversation. We have done a poor job helping those with mental illnesses in the past and it’s coming back to haunt us. President Donald Trump, after the Parkland shooting, said he would “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.” However, the recent federal budget proposes deep cuts to many outlets for such services. Mental health services under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would see cuts, as would those provided by another target of the administration, Medicaid. The GOP has recently touted mental illness as one of the leading causes of gun violence; how exactly does cutting access to such services align with this conclusion? You tell us. The Marshall County shooting left a wound in our community that won’t heal for a long time. We hoped it would be a turning point for gun violence in our country. We were wrong. However, there is hope. Survivors of these tragedies are banding together, speaking out and demanding change. They will not take no for answer- we should follow their lead.

I will be frank: in recent months, the ruling party in our nation has poisoned our body politic. You are tired of hearing about it. You are burnt out on the 24-hour news cycle which is always covering a new or evolving scandal. You want to retreat into your own little social bubble of puppy pictures and inspirational memes and ignore the happenings of the world. I get it. I do, too. But this is an urge we must all resist. What we allow will continue, and what continues will escalate. Apolitical acquiescence to the status quo has never changed anything, and it never will. After an eternity of an election cycle, and what seemed to be the longest year in history, our nation’s true challenges are only just beginning. Senior White House aides cannot pass an FBI background check because of their histories of do-

mestic abuse. Our president is obstructing justice in real time, coordinating with his cronies in the legislature to smear our law enforcement institutions. Republicans in Congress ignored public opinion and basic decency and rammed through a tax bill amounting to the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich this country has ever seen. What we allow will continue, and what continues will escalate. But there is hope because we are now well into 2018, a midterm election year. It has become obvious that the GOP-controlled Congress will do nothing to defend our constitutional rights or democratic norms from the likes of President Donald Trump. In fact, they seem to have consumed the Kool-Aid and are on board with selling our future for tax cuts. Trump’s messy foreign policy puts innocent people at risk every day. His efforts to defang the special counsel investigation into his campaign already show his unfitness for office. And thanks to leaks from inside his administration, we now

know our president doesn’t even bother to read his daily briefing, preferring to get his news from “Fox and Friends.” What we allow will continue, and what continues will escalate. We cannot count on our leaders to protect us from these threats. They, too, have proven their unfitness for office. It’s high time they leave. So, what can you do? Start by registering to vote. There are house of representatives elections happening in Kentucky and across the country this year, as well as numerous local, state and federal level elections. Our democratic republic only works because we have the right to vote and, by extension, the ability to hold our leaders accountable for their actions when they go against the will and wellbeing of the people. Because we can vote, we do not have to allow this kleptocracy to continue. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, evil wins when good people do nothing - it only wins when we allow it to win.

The News


Page 8

February 22, 2018

Dunker’s Challenge Paige Effinger || Contributing writer

Murray State is launching a new campaign, “Dunker’s Challenge - Student Emergency Fund” to help students who have suffered events that hinder their academic career. Anything as small as a student not being able to pay for their utility bill or needing financial assistance to pay for their books will be covered in this fund. The fund is a reevaluation of a previous fund, the Dunker’s Challenge Scholarship. This original fund was started nine years ago to encourage students to give back to the university. “Our goal with the original Dunker’s Challenge was to encourage freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students to give $10 back to Murray State, and that would go into a scholarship fund to go directly back to the students,” Abby Hensley, director of development for the Hutson School of Agriculture, said. She said the original Dunker’s Challenge Scholarship was successful, but believes they are fulfilling a greater need with the emergency fund. “We felt that there are students who have such a true desire to finish their degree, and for whatever reason, they find an obstacle or hurdle they just can’t get over themselves,” Hensley said. “We want to help that student reach their goal.” Unlike the old scholarship, the students who will receive money from the

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emergency fund are not required to pay it back. “Our goal is to get 200 students, 200 parents and 200 faculty and staff to give whatever amount they are able to give,” Hensley said. The kick-off for donating began Feb. 16 and will run through Friday, Feb. 23. People can text “emergencyfund18” to 41444, or visit dunkerschallenge to donate. Donations will be accepted after Feb. 23, but this week is the initial push to get people excited about donating. Hensley said over $1,000 has been donated since this campaign began. “We want to raise as much as we can,” Don Robertson, vice president of student affairs, said. “I think the needs are out there, and once this is publicized, lots of folks with legitimate needs will ask for help. The more money we have, the more assistance we can provide.” Currently, there is not an application to receive financial assistance from the fund. Their main focus is to raise money, but they are in the process of working out an application. There are a number of other services in which students can receive assistance through Murray State. This emergency fund can accompany the other programs like Racers Helping Racers and the Racer Meal Bank to further assist students. “We want to be student-focused and student-centered, and we want to be known for that,” Robertson said. “This is the logical thing for us to have.”

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Isaiah Cannan was inducted into the Murray State Hall of Fame.

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