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Michigan State University

Rows of cherry trees in an Elk Lake orchard
Bernt Rostad / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan State University scientists have received $300,000 in grants to research protections for the state's cherries from an invasive fruit fly.

The funding will support efforts to fight spotted wing drosophila, which industry surveys say ruined 21% of Michigan's cherry crop in 2016.

Courtesy of the University of Chicago

For the first time in history, NASA has named a spacecraft after a living individual. The Solar Probe Plus has been renamed to the Parker Solar Probe in honor of accomplished astrophysicist Eugene Parker. 

C/O Youtube

Michigan State University will not renew its contract with Curtis Blackwell, a school spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The news was first reported by Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press.

Blackwell, a former Detroit high school coach and co-founder of the Sound Mind Sound Body football camp, was brought on staff for his relationships with potential recruits in the region.

Kate Wells

“How you doing, kiddo?” Judge Donald Allen asked a 17-year-old witness who’d just wrapped up a long, disturbing story of sexual assault that she says has damaged both her ability to trust and her desire to be touched. “That wasn’t fun,” she admitted, her eyes red and wet for the first time since she took the stand.

“Better than the dentist?” the judge joked.

“I’d much rather go to the dentist,” she replied.

lower half of gymnast on balance beam
Flickr user James Thomas / Creative Commons

Former Olympic gymnastics and Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar will be back in district court in Mason today. He'll face some of the women and girls who claim he sexually abused them while he was supposed to be treating their injuries.

MSU football players approach the field
Matt Radick / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

So here’s what we know: on Tuesday, the attorney for a woman accusing three MSU football players of rape, told the press that MSU’s internal Title IX investigation found all three men in violation of school policy.

“What I can share is that the Title IX investigation is complete,” says Karen Truszkowski, the lawyer for the accuser. “[MSU’s investigator] did a very fair, reasonable, thorough investigation. And the report does say that three young men involved in this are in violation of a university policy.”

Steven Depolo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Michigan State officials say they have concluded a Title IX investigation into an alleged sexual assault and haven't taken any action to remove three football players from the university.

The Detroit Free Press reports Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody would not discuss the specifics or outcome of the investigation into the alleged January assault. The names of the suspended players haven't been released.

Kate Wells

The courtroom was ready for an intense day: this is, after all, a case in which the defendant has been accused of sexual assault by not just the seven women and girls in this particular hearing, but by more than 80 complainants thus far, according to the Michigan State Police.

It was just the first of what may well be three days of testimony, as 55th District Court Judge Donald Allen weighs whether there’s enough evidence against Dr. Larry Nassar, former MSU sports doctor and  Olympic gymnastics team physician, to go to trial in this case.

DREW, COOPER & ANDING / YOUTUBE VIDEO

Today, seven women and girls are expected to testify against a doctor they say sexually abused them.

They are some of more than 100 women and girls who’ve alleged Dr. Larry Nassar abused them while they were in gymnastic programs at Michigan State University (MSU) or USA Gymnastics (USAG). Nassar was the team physician for both.

(To see how the allegations against Dr. Larry Nassar unfolded, click here.)

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Rachael Denhollander will be the first to take the stand at 9 am on Friday, according to her attorney. It's the first day of preliminary hearings in a case involving her and 6 other alleged victims, who claim they were abused by Dr. Larry Nassar. 

“Yeah, I’m really not looking forward to it, to be honest,” Denhollander says. The mom of three is at home on the phone, while her husband’s in the background wrangling their 2-year-old (whose molars are coming in painfully and loudly.)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sign
TexasGOPVote / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Trump administration has dismissed some of the scientists who performed scientific reviews for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Robert Richardson, an ecological economist at Michigan State University, was one of the 18 members of the Board of Scientific Counselors from across the country. On Friday, he was notified that he was being dismissed.

Michigan State University

Former Detroit Tigers great Kirk Gibson plans to talk about dealing with obstacles when he addresses Michigan State University graduates during commencement ceremonies later today.

“Hopefully I’ll give them some insight in how to deal with that and move on and be productive and accomplish their goals,” says Gibson.

Gibson is facing a major obstacle himself as he battles with Parkinson’s disease.

He was diagnosed with the progressive neurological illness two years ago. 

Michigan State University sign
MSU

Michigan State University is asking a court to decide whether it has to release police and arrest records related to a highly publicized investigation. The records are related to the criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault that may involve members of the Spartan football team.

The sports network ESPN filed a request for the records under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. But the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office says releasing the records could interfere with the criminal investigation.

Drew, Cooper & Anding / YouTube Video

Since Rachael Denhollander went public with her accusations against former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar in September, more than 80 women and girls have come forward with similar complaints.

teacher with two students
department of education / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

More and more teachers are posting their resignation letters online and on social media.

A Google search for "teacher resignation letters" returns over 2.1 million results. 

Some of those letters have gone viral by echoing the frustrations that many teachers have with the state of public education. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new Michigan State University survey finds most Americans remain ignorant of the signs of mental illness and drug use.

The survey found most Americans can't recognize anxiety, don’t know what to do about depression and don’t recognize prescription drug abuse as a treatable problem.

MSU professor Mark Skidmore says, while more education is needed, progress is being made.

Screen grab from ONE OF NASSAR'S YOUTUBE VIDEOS

More than 100 women and girls claim they were sexually assaulted by former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

Complaints against the former MSU sports doctor range from the late 1990s up to 2016.

Larissa Boyce's scrapbook photos from the MSU Spartan youth gymnastics program
Courtsey of Larissa Boyce

What happens when a child reports sexual abuse, but adults don’t believe them?

A police officer with motorcycle.
mikefritcherphotograph / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The mistrust and misconceptions between police and the minority communities they serve can run both ways.

That's why the Michigan State University Police Department is hosting a communication session bringing together community leaders and citizens with police officers from all over mid-Michigan. 

City of Flint

A program to mow and maintain vacant lots is having a side effect in Flint: lower crime rates in those neighborhoods, including assaults, burglaries and robberies.

A Michigan State University researcher compared crime data to neighborhoods with active “clean and green” abandoned lots. He says his survey of crime stats from 2005 to 2014 shows crime rates decline as “clean and green” lots take hold.

Gymanst Jamie Dantzscher
Courtesy of Jamie Dantzscher

Four more former patients are suing former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse, including a 14-year-old dancer.

Meanwhile, an Ingham County judge recently issued a revised gag order that bars witnesses named in one of Dr. Nassar's criminal trials from speaking publicly. 

There are now more than 80 other women and girls who claim the former MSU doctor abused them under the guise of "treatment."

Flickr Creative Commons

Four more former patients, including a 14-year-old dancer, are suing former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar for sexual abuse.

They join more than 80 other women and girls who claim Nassar abused them under the guise of treatment.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, one woman says Nassar abused her around 1992 to 1993, when he was still in medical school at MSU. A spokesman for MSU confirmed Nassar graduated in 1993.

Wikimedia Commons

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon has announced that a full review of the University's Title IX program will begin this fall.

Title IX requires gender equity in education and in school sports. It's also supposed to protect students from sexual harassment and assault.

Food hubs can help small, local farmers connect with bigger distributors.
Friends of Family Farmers / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

What would it mean for smaller farmers and growers to sell their crops to big distributors or for consumers to know that the head of lettuce in their salad came from a nearby farm?

fordschool / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Great Recession meant a big hit in state funding for colleges and universities. But even as the country has moved past those dire years, higher education funding is still below where it was before the recession.

How are colleges and universities making up those lost dollars?

A brand-new report from the American Association of University Professors finds colleges are doing it by hiring more part-time faculty and bringing in more out-of-state students.

young woman at Science Gallery Lab
Courtesy of Jeff Grabill

The Next Idea

Science Gallery has been described as a place where science and art collide. The result? Creative ways to tackle some of the world's biggest problems.

The first Science Gallery Lab is in Dublin. Now, Michigan State University is launching Science Gallery Lab Detroit.

Alberto Ortiz/Flicker

They're stunned, confused and outraged.

"I'm not a lawyer and have only a very basic understanding of our legal system,” says former Olympic gymnast Jamie Dantzscher, in an affidavit filed in federal court Tuesday. 

Brian Turner / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Lawyers for dozens of women who say they were sexually assaulted by a MSU sports doctor are trying to overturn a judge's gag order.

They asked a federal judge to intervene Tuesday and strike an order that bars attorneys and Larry Nassar's alleged victims from talking publicly. Ingham County Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is overseeing a criminal case against Nassar and says his rights could be violated if the public is repeatedly served with negative comments about him.

Creeping cancer at MSU

Apr 4, 2017

Forty-four years ago, in another early spring, a young lawyer went to the President of the United States and told him, “There's no doubt about the seriousness of the problem we've got. We have a cancer within -- close to the presidency, that's growing. It's growing daily. It's compounding. It grows geometrically now, because it compounds itself.”

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Here’s the big question: Did a judge just block 80-plus women and girls from talking about their sexual assault allegations against former Olympic gymnastics and MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar?

Or does today’s order to “limit public disclosure” just mean that attorneys with civil suits against Nassar can’t call him a pedophile on Facebook?

Depends who you ask. And even some of the lawyers mentioned in this brief say they don’t totally understand how to interpret the order.

Nassar’s defense: We can’t get a fair trial without judge’s help

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