<![CDATA[Ball State Daily RSS Feed]]> Sat, 15 Jun 2019 23:51:08 -0400 Sat, 15 Jun 2019 23:51:08 -0400 SNworks CEO 2019 The Ball State Daily <![CDATA[Ball State Board of Trustees approve tuition rates, general budget for the next academic year]]> A slight increase in tuition rates and a 0.6 percent increase in the university's general budget is expected for the 2019-20 academic year.

Ball State's Board of Trustees approved the tuition rates for the next two academic years among other budgetary allocations for the 2019-20 academic year at its meeting Wednesday in Emens Auditorium.

In-state and out-of-state tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate students will be increased by 1.25 percent for the 2019-20 academic year and by 1.24 percent for the 2020-21 academic year.

For in-state graduate students this increase will be 1.34 percent for the 2019-20 academic year and 1.32 percent for the 2020-21 academic year. For out-of-state graduate students these numbers are 1.29% for the 2019-20 academic year and 1.27% the following year.

According to Bernie Hannon, outgoing vice president for business affairs and treasurer, the 1.25% increase for undergraduate students is well below the projected inflation for the upcoming academic year and Ball State would still maintain the lowest tuition and fees among Mid-American Conference schools.

Hannon also noted that Ball State's published rate increases for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years are relatively lower than other Indiana public colleges and universities, second only to Purdue University.

He said this would be the lowest single year tuition rate increase since 1977 and the combined growth rate for the last eight years would be the lowest since World War II.

In a Ball State press release, Board Chair Rick Hall noted that the increase fell below the tuition increase rate recommended by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the inflation rate projected by the Federal Open Market Committee over the next two years and the national average for four-year public universities.

"Our ability to keep tuition rate increases at 2% or less since 2013 is no accident," Hall said in the release. "We have been entrusted with the stewardship of public funds and Indiana families' investments, and we take that responsibility to heart. Our prudent fiscal management has enabled us to keep tuition increases low and provide our students with high quality, affordable education."

The press release also states Ball State has more than doubled its institutional financial aid offered to students - from $21.5 million in 2013 to $46 million by the end of this academic year.

Other fee changes include $25 per credit hour for online courses, fixing recreational fee at the existing $87 irrespective of credit hours, making the health fee mandatory for all credit hours at the existing $76 and increases to the Intensive English Institute program fees for the 2020 fiscal year.

Also discussed was the salary and wage plans for the 2019-20 academic year - a 1 percent increase to the salary pool for all employees, an additional $323,000 for faculty promotions and a 1 percent increase to an employee who performs satisfactory or better in the annual performance review. These increases will be added to the employee base salary in July 2019.

Hannon also said there was a potential for an additional 1 percent salary supplement after January 2020 if the mid-year forecast was favorable and after considering other factors.

The 2019-20 general fund budget was set at $391.2 million - a 2.5 million increase from the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Budget reductions and reallocations for the next year include a $2.3 million cut to salary and benefits, $1.8 million cut to science and engineering and other support and $400,000 cut to travel expenses.

Hannon, who will be retiring and temporarily serving in an advisory role for the board for about two to three months, reflected on his time at the university and credited his team.

"The people who work her are fantastic. All the credit I get goes to my team," he said. "Working at this college at this time has been just an absolute honor for me."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Ball State's Board of Trustees approved the 2019-20 general budget, the tuition and mandatory fee rates for the next two academic years and the salary and wage plan for Ball State employees. The 1.25 percent tuition rate increase is the lowest since 1977. Unsplash, Photo Courtesy

<![CDATA[Ball State reviews design of new $4 million Multicultural Center]]> The design for the new Multicultural Center was unveiled providing more space for student organizations and activities in the building.

Ball State's Board of Trustees reviewed the design of the new Multicultural Center at its meeting Wednesday at the Ball Brother Hospitality Room in Emens Auditorium.

"The new facility will be at the heart of campus, where it belongs, and it will provide services closer to where students live and study," said President Geoffrey Mearns in a press release. "Its amenities will be designed to assist and support all students, and to promote inclusiveness - one of our University's enduring values."

The two-story, 10,000 square-foot building is set to be constructed just east of Bracken Library. The press release states construction bids for the $4 million project, designed by RGC Collaborative of Indianapolis, are expected in September.

The center is scheduled to be ready by fall 2020 and upon completion, the current Multicultural Center building on McKinley Avenue will be demolished, said Jim Lowe, associate vice president for facilities planning and management.

Some features in the new building include a multipurpose room that can be divided into two smaller seminar rooms, a lounge area, library, work spaces, office spaces and a cafe run by Ball State DIning.

Ro Anne Royer Engle, interim vice president of student affairs, hopes the center "welcomes all who identify as non-majority communities," and provides a space "where cross-cultural engagement is nurtured."

Upon completion the current Multicultural Center building on McKinley Avenue will be demolished, Lowe said.

"We hope students take the opportunity to engage in these conversations that are so critical and important for us going into the 21st century, as we help our students develop those multicultural competencies that are important going into the job market," Royer Engle said.

Additionally, the board approved the naming of Ball State's football fields and indoor practice facility.

The proposed practice facility will be named the Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility after the lead donors June and John Scheumann, while the field inside the facility will be named Briner Field after Peggy and Kenneth Briner.

Scheumann Stadium's football field will be named Gainbridge Field in recognition of Daniel Towriss' donation. Gainbridge is an annuity and life insurance agency and member of Group1001 where Towriss serves as President and CEO, according to the company group's website.

At the meeting, Mearns said the field name will be printed on the field in accordance to NCAA rules - one on the top and one on the bottom of either side of the field in between the 20 and 30 yard lines. How the name will be designed and printed on the field is yet to be determined.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

The design for the new Multicultural Center was unveiled at Ball State's Board of Trustees meeting June 12, 2019, at the Ball Brothers Hospitality Room in Emens Auditorium. The building will be ready by fall 2020. Marc Ransford, Photo Provided

<![CDATA[Ball State CAP to be named after Estopinal]]> While naming a college after him is Ball State's way of honoring the former Board of Trustees member, his passion for the university and its students is how some believe Wayne Estopinal's memory would live on.

The university's Board of Trustees in a special meeting Wednesday at Sursa Performance Hall approved the renaming of the College of Architecture and Planning after Robert Wayne Estopinal, who died Nov. 30, 2018.

"I hope [his legacy] lives on through the students," said his daughter Ashley Estopinal, a 2008 Ball State alumna. "That was always his passion … to promote the students and to help them get the best out of their education and the best out of their future."

She said being passionate, caring and hardworking were some things to take away from her father's life to "make a difference in this world."

"If [students] take out that drive and take out that passion and everything they can learn here at Ball State, I think that'll really solidify what he was trying to do," Ashley said.

RELATED: "He really did enjoy life" -Friends remember Wayne Estopinal

Apart from his former colleagues and members of the Ball State community, some from his hometown in Jeffersonville, Indiana, were also in attendance, said Rick Hall chair of the Board of Trustees.

Ashley said their presence at her father's tribute spoke to the number of people who felt a father or mentor-like connection to him.

"Always remember where you came from. And always give back to where you came from," she said was something the Ball State community could take away from his life.

President Geoffrey Mearns in his speech reflected on a conversation he had with Estopinal, who is also a 1979 Ball State alumnus, during a football game in South Bend, Indiana, about his service at the university.

Mearns said as Estopinal talked about serving his alma mater he became emotional - something the president said reflected his passion for the university.

"And in that moment, it revealed to me the depth of Wayne's love for this institution," Mearns said. "It also revealed to me the reason for doing all that he could to support our students and all that he could to support each one of us."

He said Estopinal was motivated to serve by "a sense of responsibility, a moral obligation … a desire so deep that it moved him to tears."

"We are better as a university, we are better as people, because of Wayne," Mearns said. "We miss him, hope we will never forget."

During his speech, Mearns posthumously awarded Estopinal the President's Medal of Distinction, "bestowed upon those who have made significant and unselfish contributions to the advancement of the university, to the community, to the state or to the nation."

Apart from his trusteeship, Estopinal served as Chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee and member of the Alumni Council.

More than 50 CAP students have interned at his architecture company TEG Architects, which has also employed 110 Ball State alumni.

His contributions to the community include his involvement in the Louisville Zoo Foundation board of directors. As a soccer fan, he was the owner/managing partner of Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club in Louisville and a minority owner of the Orlando City Soccer Club of the MLS, according to Ball State's website.

On behalf of her father Ashley accepted the medal - one Mearns said was the university's recognition of "Wayne's commitment, his devotion, his leadership, his voice and his vision for his alma mater and the communities to which he belonged."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Board of Trustees members (from left)Marlee Jacocks, Wayne Estopinal, Chair Rick Hall, Jean Ann Harcourt, Mike McDaniel, Tom Bracken and President Geoffrey Mearns celebrate Estopinal's birthday at a home football game in the fall of 2017. Estopinal was not only active in the university through the Board of Trustees, but was also an active alumnus in the College of Architecture and Alumni Council. Marlee Jacocks, Photo Provided

<![CDATA[Treat yourself to authentic Mexican food at Chavas!]]>

Whether it's your birthday, you just got an A on a paper that you've been stressing over for weeks, or you're in desperate need of a study break, it sounds like you may need to treat yourself!

However, you don't want to treat yourself with some generic, sub-par food from a fast food chain. You want something that is delicious and convenient for any time of the day or night. Well, look no further because Chava's Mexican Grill has it all.

Chava's takes pride in serving a variety of authentic Mexican dishes from tacos, chimichangas or nachos. You can make it however you crave it!

There are many different ways to customize your dish to satisfy your cravings. Options include: pastor (Mexican pork), grilled chicken, pulled pork, shredded beef, grilled steak, seasoned ground beef, chorizo (Mexican sausage), and vegetarian options.

You even get to choose your own fresh toppings to add to your order. You truly have endless possibilities to eat food that makes your mouth water.

If you are worried that you are up too late to treat yourself to some tasty food, no worries because Chava's has late night hours seven days a week. You can get quality food and amazing service even late at night.

If you think that the quality service and delectable food at Chava's is too good to be true, then you should see what some Chavas' customers have said on TripAdvisor:

Courtneybrown0207: Amazing food! One of the best Mexican restaurants in Muncie. It's especially [good] to go there late at night after going to the bars. Open almost every night till 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.

Jack H: Finally--Good (actually really good) Mexican Food in Muncie!! Went there this past Sunday after recommendation. Loved it. Simple Mexican food, with really good flavor. Not fancy, but how many Mexican restaurants are? We shared [a] taco plate, with beans and rice, filled us up. Service was excellent. Portions put on tacos was good, not stingy at all. We will come back and become regulars.

The next time you are wanting to treat yourself to some incredible Mexican cuisine and stellar service, no matter the time of day, head over to Chava's.

Chava's is located in the Village: 1805 W University Ave., Muncie. You can call us at (765) 284-5417.

Hours: Sunday: 11a.m.-12 a.m.; Monday: 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Tuesday: 11a.m.-3 a.m.; Wednesday: 11a.m.-3 a.m.; Thursday: 11a.m.-4 a.m.; Friday: 11a.m.-4 a.m.; Saturday: 11a.m.-4 a.m.

As with all advertising, sponsored content does not necessarily reflect the views and choices of the employees of Unified Media. Unified Media will ensure the treatment and design of advertising and sponsor content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content. Unified Media reserves the right to refuse publication of such content that, in its own judgment, would undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of our enterprise. Consistent with the foregoing General Advertising Guidelines, Unified Media may reject or remove any sponsored content at any time that contains false, deceptive, misleading, or illegal content; is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Unified Media's brand.
<![CDATA[Morgan has 5 goals as US routs Thailand 13-0]]> By ANNE M. PETERSON

REIMS, France (AP) - Alex Morgan tied a World Cup record with five goals as the defending champion U.S. national team opened the Women's World Cup with a record-breaking 13-0 rout of Thailand on Tuesday night.

Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle each added a pair of goals for the United States, which broke the record for goals and margin of victory in a World Cup game. Lindsey Horan, Megan Rapinoe, Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd also scored. The previous record margin was Germany's 11-0 victory over Argentina in 2007.

Morgan tied Michelle Akers' record for World Cup goals, set in the quarterfinals against Chinese Taipei in 1991.

"We really just came into the game really wanting to showcase ourselves," Morgan said. "Every goal matters in this tournament and that's what we were working on."

The two teams were the last to kickoff in the group stage for the monthlong tournament. Hosts France opened the World Cup before a sellout crowd in Paris on Friday night with a 4-0 victory over South Korea.

Ranked No. 1 in the world, the Americans had dropped only one match in their previous 38, a loss to France in Le Havre in January. The team is 7-1-2 overall this year, with six straight wins going into the World Cup and its seven different scorers against Thailand set a record for most in a Women's World Cup game.

The last time the Americans played on the world's biggest stage, Lloyd had a hat trick in the first 16 minutes and the United States beat Japan 5-2 in Canada for the trophy.

The U.S. pounced early against Thailand, too, on Morgan's header in the 13th minute off Kelley O'Hara's precisely placed cross. Mewis, Lavelle and Horan were all making their World Cup debuts.

Thailand, ranked No. 34 in the world, was clearly outmatched even though the team has shown progress on the world stage. Making its World Cup debut in 2015 four years ago, Thailand finished third in its group but earned its first win, a 3-2 victory over Ivory Coast.

At the final whistle, Lloyd and Christian Press were seen consoling the Thailand goalkeeper. Morgan put her arm around an opponent, who was wiping away tears on the pitch moments after the final whistle.

The World Cup comes at a time that female players across the globe are seeking better treatment and pay. The U.S. national team has long championed equal rights, and players collectively filed a lawsuit earlier this year that alleges discrimination by the U.S. Soccer Federation and are seeking pay equitable with that of the men's national team.

The players say the lawsuit is on hold while they're in France. But a pair of prominent well-wishers on Twitter referenced the team's pursuit of equality.

"The @USWNT is something to smile about. It was great to celebrate with them back in 2015 and I'm excited to root them on in their drive to earn their fourth star. Best of luck to these champions for equality, on and off the field," wrote Former President Barack Obama.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King weighed in: "The pursuit of a record 4th World Cup trophy for the #USWNT officially begins today, but the journey has been years in the making. You have the support of a nation behind you. Get that win, and then get the equal pay you deserve!

Coach Jill Ellis made some lineup moves for the match in the absence of defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who the team said was held out as a precaution with a minor quad injury.

Julie Ertz was moved to the backline for Tuesday night's game and Samantha Mewis got the start in the midfield.

Sauerbrunn, at her third World Cup, was a steadying force for the U.S. defense in Canada when the U.S. went 540 minutes without conceding a goal.

Morgan, U.S. Soccer's 2018 Player of the Year has 106 international goals. Playing in her third World Cup, she was named player of the match.

After going into the break with a 3-0 lead, Mewis's strike deflected of a defender to put the United States up 4-0 early in the second half. And the rout was on.

The United States is one of just four teams to win a World Cup since the tournament started in 1991, joining Germany, Japan and Norway. The Americans have most titles of any country.

Up next for the United States is World Cup newcomer Chile on Sunday in Paris. In the final group match before the knockout round, the Americans will travel to Le Havre to face nemesis Sweden, who they've been grouped with six times in World Cup play.

In the last meeting between the teams, Sweden ousted the United States in the quarterfinals at the 2016 Olympics. Afterward, former U.S. goalkeeper Hole Solo called Sweden "cowards" for bunkering on defense. Alyssa Naeher has since replaced Solo, who was dismissed from the team.

Sweden defeated Chile 2-0 earlier on Tuesday in Rennes, a match that featured a 40-minute weather delay.

United States' Alex Morgan, center, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Women's World Cup Group F soccer match between United States and Thailand at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims, France, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

<![CDATA[UPD to conduct training exercises at Oakwood, Northside Middle School]]> Increased police presence is expected at the end of the work week just north of campus with Ball State's University Police Department (UPD) conducting training exercises.

A campus-wide public safety advisory email Tuesday states UPD will be conducting these exercises June 13 and 14 at Oakwood Building and Northside Middle School.

In addition to UPD, police officers from other local agencies and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will also be participating. People are likely to notice increased presence of police and EMS vehicles in the area, the email states.

These exercises will be held from 8 a.m. to noon and 4-8 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday.

The university released its annual Campus Security Report Monday. There was an increased number of reported rapes, but the number of liquor law violations on campus lowered again at 48 arrests, compared to last year's 60 arrests. DN File

<![CDATA[E3 2019: Ubisoft Recap]]>

Ubisoft has always been the dark horse when it comes to E3. They never have the all-out cringe quality like EA or pulse-pounding reveals like Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. The French developer always finds itself in the middle tiers of the E3 grading pool right beside Square Enix. This year, Ubisoft's biggest reveal of the afternoon may have been dashed weeks before by leaks, but "Watch Dogs: Legion" and a multitude of additional titles packed the hour-long program. If only those additional announcements could have been about the games that seem to be stuck in development hell instead.

The Lowdown

  • Watch Dogs: Legion
    • Pre-Alpha gameplay footage shows off an abundance of new features and story elements in the London setting including permadeath and a release of March 6, 2020
    • Players can recruit ANY Londoner straight of the street with unique attributes and talents
  • Ghost Recon: Breakpoint
    • A cinematic trailer featuring the title baddie Cole D. Walker (played by Jon Bernthal of "The Walking Dead") explained more about who the ghosts will be facing off against in this new entry
    • A.I. companions are brought back for solo play and a beta comes a month before release on September 5
  • The Division 2
    • The first major content update for the tactical shooter comes in an episodic format beginning in July with new missions and gameplay experiences outside Washington D.C. including the National Zoo
    • Episode two is set for fall 2019 with a Pentagon reclamation and episode three in early 2020 features a manhunt mission mode in Coney Island
    • Along with a free week of play celebrating E3, "The Division" movie was announced for a future release on Netflix
  • Rainbow Six Quarentine
    • Three players facing off in tactical PvE battles against an unknown parasite
    • Early 2020

The Filler

  • Rainbow Six Siege
    • The thirteenth season, codenamed Phantom Sight, brings with it two new operators beginning June 11, 2019
  • For Honor
    • "Shadows of the Hitokiri" in-game event will become available on June 27 featuring a new map and a gameplay mode surrounding a Japanese paranormal legend
  • U Play+
    • Ubisoft announced the launch of PC live service U Play+ at $15 a month and will be coming to Google Stadia in September
    • The subscription-based platform will feature unlimited access to 100+ games from the Ubisoft library including DLC, classics and new releases

The Random

  • Mythic Quest: Ravens Banquet
    • Ubisoft is developing an episodic series for Apple TV+ staring Rob Mcelhenney and produced by the team behind "Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
    • The program follows a team of MMORPG developers navigating the trouble of releasing their first major expansion
  • Elite Squad
    • A new trailer for a mobile spec ops RTS game titled "Elite Squad" showed gameplay and appearances from multiple specialists across the Ubisoft universe including Sam Fischer
  • Roller Champions
    • A new sports title combing roller derby brutality and the goal scoring tactics of soccer was revealed under the name "Roller Champions"
    • The free E3 U Play demo also dropped for PC immediately following the show

The Predictable?

Ubisoft pushed its previously revealed titles hard at their E3 press conference this year but came up short where it really mattered. Fans did get to witness a true reveal of the latest Watch Dogs title and updates on live games such as The Division 2, For Honor, and Rainbow Six Siege, but there was never an overwhelming pay off for sticking to the end of the show like in years past. The last significant announcement was a small teaser for "God & Monsters", a new title releasing on February 25 from the creators of Assassin's Creed.

Sadly, games like Skull and Bones, Beyond Good and Evil 2 and most egregiously Splinter Cell were absent from the conference entirely. Between the impressive promises of Watch Dogs: Legion and lackluster new projects, Ubisoft was scraping the bottom of its barrel of content to tide fans over until possibly the 2019 Game Awards. But do not fret, Just Dance 2020 is coming in November, and YES, you can still play it on your dusty 10-year-old Nintendo Wii.

Image: Wikimedia

<![CDATA[E3 2019: Square Enix Recap]]>

Major publishers having official press conferences has been a thing for a while now, with Ubisoft, EA, and even Bethesda all having their own elaborate (and generally awful) shows. One of the major players, however, has been struggling to really find a method that works: Square-Enix. Their first appearance had an awkward, stilted presser where all of their major reveals had already been done the day prior at Sony's press conference. Last year, Square-Enix delivered a show that was shorter than the entirety of the 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' showcase, where they showed off titles we've known about for a long time, games that were announced with a logo and vague hand gestures, and, of course, 'The Quiet Man'.

However, with Sony absent this year, Square can actually get away with a few surprises. Although we've already seen a new trailer for 'Final Fantasy VII Remake', complete with a March 2020 release date, there's still plenty that Square-Enix could be holding onto the impress with. At the very least, it can't be any worse than that Bethesda conference yesterday.

Major reveals & details

  • The Square presser, unsurprisingly, lead with a trailer for the opening of 'Final Fantasy VII Remake'
    • Producer Yoshinoru Kitase came out to speak about the game in detail.
    • There will be two Blu-ray discs for this project, the first being entirely devoted to the Midgar storyline.
    • The gameplay system merges real-time combat with a command based system, mixing hack-and-slash combat with a strategic ATB system.
    • A detailed gameplay sequence was shown for the fight against Guard Scorpion, the first boss, complete with the re-orchestrated version of the boss theme. The boss fights will contain real-time elements to contend with, along with proper timing required to complete certain objectives during the fight.
    • The full version of the trailer shown yesterday was presented for the audience. The trailer featured both Aerith and Tifa (at long last) in combat.
  • A remastered version of 'Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles' was announced, featuring a 15 FPS trailer.
    • Available in Winter 2019
  • A remaster for 'The Last Remnant' was announced, featuring a real trailer that sure still looks like a PS3 game.
    • Available tonight on Nintendo Switch
  • 'Dragon Quest Builders 2' was announced for the West, giving a brief story and gameplay overview. The game has already been out in Japan for a while now.
    • Available July 12th, with a demo available June 27th
  • A top-down racing game developed by one of Square's indie studios was shown, titled Circuit Superstars
    • Releases sometime in 2020
  • The trailer for 'Kingdom Hearts III: ReMind' was shown during the presser. A cryptic, silent trailer for the DLC showed off new playable characters and Keyblades.
  • Yoshi-P, producer of 'Final Fantasy XIV', comes out to loud audience chanting to talk about the next expansion, 'Shadowbringers'.
    • The world premiere for the launch trailer was shown, at long last, giving greater story details and showing off in-game cutscenes and new dungeons.
    • The expansion will release July 2nd, with early access being available with a pre-order.
  • A trailer for a western release of 'Romancing SaGa 3', along with a trailer for 'SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions', were both shown.
    • 'Romancing SaGa 3' features remastered 2D graphics, while 'SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions' is a 3D, open-world adventure.
    • The games will be released in 2020, complete with a PSVita release.
  • A trailer was given for a new game in the 'Final Fantasy Brave Exvius' series, titled 'War of the Visions: Brave Exvius.' It's a more visually impressive mobile game than Square has done before, looking more like an official 'Final Fantasy' game.
  • A trailer for a new game from People Can Fly, developers of 'Bulletstorm', is shown, titled 'Outriders'. It's another first-person shooter, as if we haven't had enough of them this E3.
    • The game will release in 2020.
  • A trailer for a top-down action RPG, titled 'Oninaki', was shown off. This game was previously shown off briefly at a Nintendo Direct earlier this year, and
    • The game will release August 22nd, 2019
  • A remastered version of 'Final Fantasy VIII' was finally announced and shown off. It mostly just looks like a port of the PC version, though.
    • The game will release in 2019.
  • At long-last, footage for the rumored Crystal Dynamics 'Avengers' game was shown, complete with massive fanfare and applause for every single logo.
    • The game is third-person action, with each of the Avengers being playable, featuring an original narrative.
    • The premise is typical Avengers fare, with a typical Avengers storyline. All five Avengers are playable, with more being added later through DLC.
    • The game won't just be a singular narrative, but as a developing story over the course of a long-period of time. It will NOT, however, be a full games-as-a-service experience, at least at first glance.
    • The game will release on all platforms (even Stadia) May 15, 2020.

The good

The good of this conference is highly subjective, even more so than for most other developers. To me, I was more excited for the role-playing games and titles from Square-Enix Japan. For others, 'Avengers' may have been the show-stopping finishing they were looking for, despite being thoroughly uninteresting and uninspired. So, for the record, let it be known that 'Avengers' was like eating plain oatmeal. So many spices and ingredients, but overall it just tasted like nothing.

However, in terms of games, this conference showed off some really impressive titles. 'Oninaki' is a bit of a sleeper title, but one that fascinates me. 'SaGa' games finally coming to the West excited me more it probably should have, with 'SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions' being a day one purchase for me. The pacing was also fairly solid too, even if the games shown weren't that thrilling enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. Plus, Yoshi-P always lights up the room, even if he doesn't do much. He's the Todd Howard of Square-Enix if Todd Howard actually kept his promises.

And, of course, 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' looked amazing. Every single bit of it appealed to me, and any worries about the game have been put to rest. The combat looks intense and strategic, the visuals are breathtaking, and the story has some cool new beats to it to make what's old new again. In terms of pure show-stopping star power, it was hard to beat this game this year.

The bad

The bad of the conference doesn't really exist. Much like every other show, it just felt like a series of checking boxes and showing off the games that needed to be there. No crazy reveals and nothing too exciting, 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' aside. Sure, it's great to have 'SaGa' in the West and a remaster of the least-good PS1 'Final Fantasy', but it really didn't have the wow factor. The show-stopping closer in 'Avengers' just fell flat for me, another generic action title with a generic Marvel plot. At the very least there were no embarrassing celebrity cameos (Ubisoft) or beloved, long-dead franchises becoming free-to-play mobile games (Bethesda).

The cure to my insomnia

This conference's biggest crime was being flat-out boring, carried entirely by 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' and the excitement around other 'Final Fantasy' titles. Many of the games shown were previously announced or have been known about for well over a year, some games have been released in Japan for a long time, and a boat-load of remasters that are appreciated, but not really amazing. I would have loved to see more actual gameplay of 'Avengers', a Primal fight in 'Shadowbringers', or even a shadow-dropped demo for 'Final Fantasy VII Remake' to spice things up. On top of that, 'Babylon's Fall', a Platinum Studios game announced last E3, was noticeably absent from the show. Just a trailer for something new and surprising would have been much appreciated.

And finally, the greatest Square-Enix title and my personal best game of 2018, 'The Quiet Man' received no new sequels, expansions, microtransactions, or updates. It wasn't even shown in the indie highlight reel, with Square silently shelving it. It seems that, once again, my cries fall on deaf ears. At the very least, there's still hope for Quiet Man himself to show up in 'Super Smash Bros.' tomorrow, assuming he can beat Master Chief and Minecraft Steve for the invitation letter.

Featured Image: Flickr

<![CDATA[Full Dis-Chlo-Sure: Dunkin' could have, and should have, been better prepared]]>

Chloe Fellwock is a freshman advertising major and writes "Full Dis-Chlo-sure" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Chloe at cfellwock@bsu.edu.

This month, I was delighted to learn that June 7 is National Doughnut Day. I was even more thrilled to learn about it from a tweet from one of my favorite spots, Dunkin'. I love their iced coffee. And on this day, they'd include a free doughnut with every beverage purchase.

"Free you say?" I said loudly in the break room at work, "I'm sold."

I never pass up the opportunity to play the system. But as I would once again find out, the system will always find a way to play you.

I want to take a second to emphasize that I do not blame the employee. I hold no grudge against him. Maybe he was having an off day, or tired, or wasn't able to hear well due to noise levels in the store.

But I cannot stay silent on such suffering. To suffer is to be human, but I have my limits.

I rolled up to the Dunkin' after a long day at work with my brother Mason, my partner in crime who had also had a long day at work. Not familiar with the Dunkin' menu, we decide ahead of time that he will get a green tea since he's not much of a coffee fan and we didn't realize that they offer soda until it was too late.

I greeted the disembodied voice and asked it for a small Americano and a small mint tea, please. Then I inquired about the free doughnut deal to make sure we had our facts straight. The voice confirmed that we would, indeed, receive a free doughnut for each beverage.

Score, I thought, free doughnuts.

Oh, Chloe. When will you learn that there is no truly free product in a capitalist society? Everything has its price. The following conversation commenced:

"Ok, and what kind of doughnuts would you like?"

"A boston creme and a chocolate glazed, please."

"I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"A boston creme and a chocolate glazed, please."

"What doughnuts did you want?"

"A boston creme and a chocolate glazed, please."

"Ok! And what were the drinks again?"

"A small americano and a small mint tea, please."

"You said a mint tea?"


"Sweet or unsweet?"

"Sweet, please."

"You wanted what again?"

"A small mint tea."

"A What?"

"A small mint tea, please"

"Cool. What were the doughnuts again?"

This went on for approximately 10,000 years. Finally, we were given a total and asked to come up to the window. I pay for our drinks. The window opens and we were face to face with the previously unseen entity to whom we begged for mint tea. He handed me my small americano and a bag of doughnuts. Right on, business as usual! I opened the bag to make sure everything looks right. After years of asking for a chocolate glazed doughnut, our exhausted eyes fell upon a boston creme and one regular glazed doughnut. Pain of the highest degree. My brother, though mildly disappointed, did not want to send it back. He's a chill dude. But even his 80s sitcom character spirit would be broken by what happened next.

The Dunkin' man presented us with a beverage that left us with an emotional range including, but not limited to: anger, confusion and grief. Schubert's Ave Maria broke through both our skulls, now resonating throughout the Toyota Corolla. I am no expert on tea. But I am fairly certain that mint tea is supposed to look somewhat green. The liquid thrust at us was as black as my resolution at that moment. Upon later inspection, Mason would find that it was, in fact, coffee. Again, hoping for the best in everything, my brother handed it back, suggesting that there was supposed to be mint tea in his cup. The titan looked at him and spoke words that will forever send chills down my spine and curse my grandchildren:

"Oh shoot, you wanted mint in this?"

A shock ran through the atmosphere. At that moment, I became 100 years old. Mason died of dehydration. I'm scared, Dunkin'.

I have never felt more futile in my entire life. My brother and I should not have been forced to contemplate mortality and shout into a corporate void on National Doughnut Day.

Where was the guidance, Dunkin'? Why were you understaffed? Why did you not keep an eye on these things? Why didn't you help your employee? This is National Doughnut Day! If anyone should be on their A game, it's you! I do not blame your employee. I blame your sound equipment, incapable of handling the caliber of rush hour you knew you'd be attracting. You knew perfectly well you'd need extra hands on deck. You have hurt everyone involved in the situation.

This won't be my last visit, of course. When you love something, you don't give up the second a bump in the road perseveres. I just hope you'll put the same effort in for me and my family.

Dunkin' is coming to Muncie with with a restaurant set to be located at 418 S. Tillotson Ave. The building was sold to The Hari Group Feb. 15 which specializes in franchising, investing and real estate, and also owns other Dunkin' franchises around Indiana. Wikimedia Commons, Photo Courtesy

<![CDATA[Your New Nest: The Haven]]>

There are a few things in life we are certain of: summer is hot, Ball State is the Harvard of Muncie, and The Haven is the apartment complex for you.

You heard us right.

Start - and end - your apartment search with The Haven.

The Haven won Best Apartment Complex of Ball State for one simple reason - we care about our residents. We know that without you we wouldn't be here, so we make sure to do what we can to make you happy. This is what makes The Haven the premier apartment community in Muncie.

The Haven offers quality in-home amenities for its residents including washers and dryers, wood-style flooring and plush carpeting, free Internet, private bedrooms and bathrooms, and a 48" Smart TV. We can even furnish the apartment for you, so you don't have to worry about a thing! In addition to these amenities, we also welcome pets, because we know that having your furry friend with you turns your apartment into a true home.

Amenities don't stop at what's provided in individual apartments. Community amenities include a 24-hour fitness gym, a tanning bed, a basketball court, on-site maintenance, a sauna, a swimming pool, a TV lounge and a video gaming lounge.

With every thing we offer, we make it easy for you to stay relaxed and happy both during the summer and the school year.

If you think our amenities are great, our next point will shock you: free stuff. That's right. In addition to great amenities, The Haven also hosts a variety of events throughout the year (think Grocery Bingo) as well as several contests throughout the year - and who doesn't love free stuff?

Still not convinced? Katelynn D. said that, "The staff if very friendly, and when [she] had some issues in the apartment, maintenance was able to take care of it in a timely manner." Stay with us and you can be one of the residents who leaves an honest review on our website to let others know what's happening at The Haven!

With everything The Haven is willing - and excited - to do for you, why would you live anywhere else? Stop overthinking it. Visit us at havenapts.com to virtually chat with a leasing agent. It's time to make The Haven your new nest.

As with all advertising, sponsored content does not necessarily reflect the views and choices of the employees of Unified Media. Unified Media will ensure the treatment and design of advertising and sponsor content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content. Unified Media reserves the right to refuse publication of such content that, in its own judgment, would undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of our enterprise. Consistent with the foregoing General Advertising Guidelines, Unified Media may reject or remove any sponsored content at any time that contains false, deceptive, misleading, or illegal content; is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Unified Media's brand.
<![CDATA[Helicopter crashes into building in Manhattan]]> NEW YORK CITY, NY(NewsLink) - At least one person is dead after a helicopter crashed on the roof of a building in Manhattan on Monday, according to NYPD.

"Preliminary information is that there was a helicopter that made a forced landing, emergency landing, or landed on the roof of the building for one reaso or another," according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. After the crash, a fire ensued. Cuomo said people in the building felt the building shake.

FDNY reported that a helicopter crash-landed on the building around 3 P.M. "The fire has been extinguished, and members continue to operate in response to fuel leaking from the helicopter, FDNY said.

FDNY said firefighters were making their way to the top of the 51-floor building and evacuations continued.

Myles Miller, spokesman for FDNY, said the pilot is dead.

At the time of the incident, moderate to heavy rain was falling in the city and visibility was down to 1.25 miles. Winds were traveling at 9 mph.

Nathan Hutton, an IT worker in the building, told reporters about the chaos in the building.

"It took a half hour to get from the 29th floor down to the ground floor. There were just too many people, it was too crowded, and everybody was trying to get off on all the floors at the same time… You could feel the building shake, and you could actually hear the alarms."

Cuomo said the crash reminded him of the events of September 11, 2001.

"If you're a New Yorker, you have a lot of PTSD from 9/11. And I remember that morning all too well. So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, my mind goes where every New Yorker's mind goes."

For any comments about this story, contact the author at emharless@bsu.edu.
<![CDATA[Muncie contractor arrested in investigation between City of Muncie and Muncie Sanitary District]]> MUNCIE, IN(NewsLink) - A Muncie contractor was arrested Monday morning on criminal charges for wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and false statement.

Rodney Barber, owner of Barber Contracting, is the latest to be arrested in the investigation between the City of Muncie and the Muncie Sanitary District.

According to the indictment, Barber Contracting sot the city $286,389 between 2015 and 2018 when doing tree removal and demolition work for Muncie Sanitary District. Barber and other Muncie employees also conspired to fraudulently steer contracts to preferred contractors, including Barber Contracting, and defraud the Muncie Sanitary District.

Among other charges, Barber is also being accused of falsifying documents to hide the scheme from federal investigators, as well as paying kickbacks to the former superintendent of sewer and maintenance engineering.

$95,635 deposited to Barber Contracting from the City of Muncie is being questioned by the U.S. Attorney's office.

Barber also allegedly lied to the FBI and IRS when questioned about the case on March 28, 2018, according to the indictment.

In 2017, federal agents arrested Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols after a search of his home and office that revealed fraudulent invoices and sham bidding practices. Tracy Barton and Jeffrey Burke were also arrested.

Mayor Dennis Tyler recently announced he will not be seeking a 3rd term.

For any comments about this story, contact the author at emharless@bsu.edu.
<![CDATA[Former Ball State Football player dies in shooting at Florida home]]> A former Ball State Football player died after being shot this weekend in Tampa, Florida.

Eric Patterson, 26, died at the hospital after being shot at his house around 5 a.m. June 8, according to a Tampa Police Department's (TPD) media alert. Patterson previously played for NFL teams like Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns.

Patterson's roommate was woken up after hearing a commotion within the house. The roommate came out to the living space and saw the unknown suspect in the residence and the victim lying on his back appearing to be shot, the alert states.

The unknown suspect fled from the house. Later, TPD arrived and began lifesaving measures while Tampa Fire Rescue arrived and transported the victim to the hospital where he died.

The alert states the shooting does not appear to be random. Police are still investigating the incident and will send out an updated media alert when additional information regarding the victim or the overall investigation becomes available.

According to Ball State Football's roster Patterson played cornerback for the Cardinals from 2011-14.

"We are mourning the passing of one of our own, Eric Patterson," tweeted Ball State Football Head Coach Mike Neu Monday morning, asking people to keep him and his family in their prayers. "Once a Cardinal, always a Cardinal."

This story will be updated.

Former Cardinal signs with Cleveland Browns

<![CDATA[E3 2019: Bethesda Recap]]>

Bethesda is one of the biggest names in gaming. whether it be the legacy of past games, or the IP's they currently hold, it's hard to ignore anything that has the Bethesda name on it. Unfortunately for the gaming giant, this year that included a good amount of controversy.

After the muddy launch and post-launch response of Fallout 76, Bethesda had been in a good amount of hot water with fans. Normally, things like this get swept under the rug at conferences like E3. Bethesda decided to take the high road with this though, having both Pete Hines and Todd Howard himself address the issues they faced from the community. After a few jokes at their own expense, Bethesda launched in to their announcements.

The New

  • Elder Scrolls: Blades
    • An update adding jewelry and a dragon quest-line drops tonight
    • Solo arena battles coming to the game this fall
    • Also this fall, Blades comes to the Nintendo Switch, along with cross-platform play and progression.
  • Fallout 76
    • Wastelanders update set to drop, for free, this fall
      • Adds human NPC's, new weapons and gear, and "choice and consequence"
    • Free trial week on all platforms June 10-17
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo
    • New action-adventure game from Tango, the studio behind The Evil Within 2
    • Story teaser trailer showed, highlighting ghost's biggest weakness - bows
  • Elder Scrolls Online
    • Showed off an impressive-looking CG dragon fight, showing off a new character
    • Scalebreaker expansion coming in August, Dragonhold late this year
  • Commander Keen
    • Free-to-play mobile game in the style of a Saturday-morning cartoon
    • Doodle Jump meets card game, plus alien slaying
    • Coming this summer
  • Elder Scrolls: Legends
    • We got a live-action trailer that didn't actually show off anything new
    • Moons of Elsweyr expansion coming June 27
  • Rage 2
    • Weekly content drops
      • cheat codes, new vehicles, new challenges
    • Rise of the Ghosts expansion
      • More story, more gear and a new enemy faction
  • Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot
    • You're a hacker who takes control of Nazi mechs and then uses them to shoot their creators
    • Available in July
  • Wolfenstein Youngblood
    • Co-op title featuring the twin daughters of series hero B.J. Blazkowicz
    • More weapons, more customization, and if the trailer was anything to go off of, more synthwave
    • Launches July 26 on all platforms, including the Switch
  • Deathloop
    • We got a CG reveal for Arkane Studio's latest game
    • Basically Groundhog Day meets Dishonored
  • Orion
    • The one thing Bethesda showed off that wasn't a game
    • Service that allows game streaming to run smoother with features like decreases latency and bandwidth usage, as well as improved graphics and framerate
      • For example, they showed Doom 2016 running at 60fps in 1080p, on a phone
  • Doom Eternal
    • We saw new weapons and gadgets, as well as new enemies
      • Doomslayer apparently ran out of things to kill in Hell, becasue we see him in what looks to be Heaven now
    • Parkour challenges, classic Doom green goo levels
    • New and improved multiplayer
      • Player-controlled demons take on player-controlled slayer
    • Post-release story content was confirmed
    • Releases November 22

The Good

Almost everything Bethesda showed off this year looked really, really good. Even the free-to-play mobile game about kids shooting aliens had me pretty excited. Bethesda seems to be more community-focused, and seems intent on putting out single-player experiences, a growing rarity in today's gaming industry.

The Bad

It's hard for me to say if anything was really "bad" this conference, because everything seemed sort of... bland. What we saw looked really cool, the gameplay of everything seemed fun, but nothing really stood out. The things that did, the new IP's, were merely teasers of what we might see at later E3s. Speaking of new IPs...

The... Same

Much like their conference last year, Bethesda's announcements were plagued by continuing IPs. Not that I'm not looking forward to them, Youngblood in particular, but out of the 11 games shown off, only three were original IPs, and even one of those is a rebranding of a game from the 90s. It's something we've seen in the film industry for a while, reboots and sequels (looking at you, Disney), and that trend seems to be bleeding over into video games. I'm not mad Bethesda, I'm just disappointed.

Image: Wikimedia

<![CDATA[E3 2019: Microsoft Recap]]>

As this generation of consoles winds down, the last couple E3's are usually fairly tame. The big three companies will all hold their cards and wait to see how they can one-up their competition and capitalize on their mistakes. As such, with both Sony and EA stepping away from a formal conference this year, E3 feels surprisingly empty this year. It's likely that next year will be the one where Sony announces the PS5, waiting until it's ready to ship.

This year, however, there are plenty of rumors around Microsoft's conference. With Halo Infinite and Gears of War 5 on the menu already, along with dozens of new titles they are planning to announce, there's a lot of buzz. Banjo is said to be making a return somewhere, which is leading people to predict either him as Smash Ultimate DLC or in a remake/remaster of the original Banjo-Kazooie, all ignoring the possibility of Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts 2. Most promising though, are the rumors around the Xbox Scarlett project, which is said to be their next-gen console. If Microsoft can nail a console announcement and have it out by the winter, it could be the head start Microsoft needs to trail blaze into the next generation. All eyes are on Microsoft to show something truly amazing.

World premieres and major titles

  • Microsoft leads the conference with Obsidian's highly-anticipated space exploration RPG, The Outer Worlds
    • Short narrative/gameplay trailer shows off a beautiful open world featuring tons of choices and customization
    • Releasing October 25, 2019 for Xbox One and PC as and Epic Games Store exclusive
  • Ninja Theory walked out to announce they are working on a number of projects, namely their third-person competitive multiplayer game, Bleeding Edge.
    • The game is colorful and stylish, loaded with personality, and features a focus on melee combat in an arena environment.
    • The game will be released in a technical alpha June 27
  • The trailer for Mojang's new Diablo-esque top-down action-game, Minecraft: Dungeons, was given an announcement trailer.
    • The game features local and online co-op, a classic Minecraft artstyle, and the classic hack-and-slash gameplay the genre is famous for.
    • The game will release Spring 2020
  • A trailer for Jedi: Fallen Order was shown at the conference.
    • The game is single-player, featuring lightsaber combat and a focus on mobility and exploration.
    • The game will release November 15, 2019.
  • A world premiere for a new forest-walking, flashlight-pointing, camcorder focused horror game, Blair Witch, was shown.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 was shown in greater detail with a new narrative trailer.
    • The gritty, cyberpunk aesthetic is amazingly complimented by an obnoxious censor for the swears.
    • Keanu Reeves is in it (and on stage), for some reason.
    • This announcement certainly Keanu Leaves the audience in shock.
    • Keanu Heaves heavy plot exposition, explaining the basic details of the game.
    • The game will Keanu Release April 16, 2020
  • Another world premiere was shown for a 2D-side-scrolling exploration game titled Spiritfarer.
    • The game features a hand-drawn artstyle and a base management system
  • A new trailer was shown for Battletoads.
    • A crazy impressive art-style, and some brief gameplay, are shown. It features beat-em-up action and three-player couch co-op.
  • The Legend of Wright, a literal pen-and-paper RPG, is shown.
    • The game's creative usage of various cut-out art styles compliment a dungeon crawling experience.
    • The game will release 2020.
  • Xbox Game Pass for PC launches in open beta today, featuring a number of major titles announced and available.
    • A world premiere, captured in real-time 4K, powered by satellite data and Azubu AI, is shown for… a flight-simulator, specifically Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • A trailer for a new Wasteland game is shown, taking place in Colorado Springs and featuring wacky, Borderlands-esque non-humor.
  • A new trailer for Psychonauts 2 is finally shown.
    • Some gameplay and narrative elements are shown, and the platforming style remains intact.
  • A world premiere for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, shown
    • Releasing 2020
  • A trailer was shown for Dragonball Z: Kakarot, a new action-RPG, was shown.
  • Gears of War 5 was, of course, given a new trailer at this conference.
    • The incredibly weird and psychedelic trailer creates intrigue and confusion for the game, surprisingly abstract for the Gears series.
    • The game will release September 10th, 2019.
    • July 17th will have the multiplayer test, with a Horde Mode test in August.
    • Another, more in-depth, traditional trailer is shown for the new game mode, "Escape", featuring an awful song that samples "Crazy Train"
  • A world premiere for a new Forza game, featuring a life-size Lego car on stage, is shown.
    • The game looks to be a new Lego Racers game created by Playground Studios, featuring customizable cars and wacky, off-the-wall racing.
    • The expansion, titled Lego Speed Champions, will release this week.
  • A world premiere is shown for the Western release of Phantasy Star Online 2, a free-to-play MMORPG that was long-time exclusive to Japan.
    • The game will release 2020 in the West.
  • A world premiere trailer is shown for Crossfire, some kind of cooperative action-game.
    • The game will release in 2020.
  • A world premiere trailer is shown for the new Tales game, Tales of Arise, featuring some story elements and a very impressive aesthetic.
    • The game will release in 2020.
  • A world premiere trailer for FromSoftware's new game, Elden Ring, is shown.
    • The game is a joint project between Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin
  • At the end of the conference, Phil Spencer talks about the new Xbox console, Project Scarlett; designed, built, and optimized for gaming. That's right, no TV
    • A long explanation from the designers, in what was basically buzzword bingo, says both everything and nothing about the Scarlett.
    • We got a logo, and an announcement for a Holiday 2020 release window.
  • Project Scarlett will launch with Halo Infinite, as shown in the closing trailer of the show.
    • The impressive tech of the Scarlett is… not really shown off here.
  • No Super Smash Bros logo was shown… yet.

The Good

Microsoft, for the years since Phil Spencer took the helm, has been about one thing: showing off games. And to their credit, this year was once again filled to the breaking point with dozens of amazing, unique, and most importantly exclusive games. The games shown this year were mostly from Microsoft's own Xbox Game Studios developers, meaning that they will release on both PC and Xbox One. Aside from a few games that will most likely be multi-platform, but chose to be shown off at the Microsoft conference since Sony decided to skip this year.

Interestingly enough, the most interesting titles weren't the ones with big budgets and advanced graphics, but the smaller, more stylish indie titles that got their own showcase on the big stage. Games like Spiritfarer, Battletoads, The Legend of Wright, and even double-A titles like Wasteland 3 and Bleeding Edge all impressive with their vibrant aesthetics and worlds. When you include titles like Minecraft: Dungeons, The Outer Worlds, Lego Speed Champions and, yes, even Cyberpunk 2077, the games shown this year were all seriously impressive.

To top it all off, the conference flowed near-perfectly. There were a few minor hiccups (which I will mention later), but overall it was a constant stream of information, games, and gorgeous trailers. This was a conference made for people who love games, not just the seven die-hard Xbox fans, so it was a treat to sit through. Plus, Keanu Reeves on stage and Phantasy Star Online 2 finally coming to the West are almost exciting enough for me to buy an Xbox One. Almost.

The Bad

This was a great conference, but there were still some problems. Although games were the sole focus, and that's great, there was almost an information overload because of the amount of games being shown in such a short period of time. It was almost a relief when a developer or influencer or Phil Spencer himself would step up on stage and talk for a brief moment. It didn't necessarily feel bloated, but some more breathing room between major announcements would actually have been appreciated, at least for me.

And while the presentations themselves were appreciated in giving a breather, they didn't really have much to say aside from Sarah Bond's presentation of Xbox Game Pass. Phil Spencer gave the traditional politician speech in his blazer/graphic-tee combo, saying a whole lot of words that meant basically nothing. The Scarlett got an informational video talking about tech, but it was a whole lot of buzzwords and not a lot of substance. As someone who still believes, firmly, that technology is magic, it meant basically nothing to me. Speaking of the Scarlett...

The Future of Gaming

Halo Infinite, but it makes sense why Sony didn't show up with their new console if this is about what they'd have. There wasn't even a noticeable difference between the trailer for Infinite and any other AAA game shown, although that could be because my TV isn't 4K.

In terms of the future, Microsoft played their hand this year right. Sony folded, keeping their secrets to themselves, but in doing so lost the ability to associate their brand with major titles coming soon, namely Elden Ring and Jedi: Fallen Order. That sort of recognition works wonders in the eyes of the consumer. However, Microsoft teasing the Scarlett so early may reduce the hype momentum going into Holiday 2020, while Sony and possibly even Nintendo will have console announcements as well. At the very least, I hope Microsoft keeps the name Scarlett; the name rolls off the tongue, is unique, and has an air of elegance that Microsoft could utilize in branding. The future of gaming may not look that much different, but Microsoft is at least prepared for it.

Image: Wikimedia

<![CDATA[Muncie Symphony Orchestra celebrates 70th anniversary with Festival on the Green]]> Gloomy skies and the possibility of rain, did not stop participants, organizers and attendees from attending the free musical concert.

Muncie Symphony Orchestra organized their "Festival on the Green" event Saturday at the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center, to mark their 70th season in the Muncie community.

"We've been doing, if not this outdoor concert, outdoor concerts for the community for the better part of these 70 years," said Jennifer Johnson, executive director of Muncie Symphony Orchestra.

Geared in Star Trek costumes, in accordance to the season's theme "To Infinity and Beyond," Sarah McCord and Kathy Rapkin, competed against each other in a fundraiser for the orchestra for a chance to conduct the Muncie Symphony Orchestra as a superconductor.

"Two people of three people generally go up against each other, but you know what, let's put the fun back in fundraiser and have fun and that's what Sarah and I have done," Rapkin said. "We've had a lot of fun with this."

Both conductors, attempted to raise as much money as they could with one dollar counting as one vote. Kathleen Rapkin with the most votes won the contest and but in good spirit conducted the Star Trek theme song alongside Sarah Mccord.

"It was exhilarating. It was so much fun. There aren't words to describe it," Rapkin said on the experience.

While Rapkin and McCord were both good friends and competitive, they were both motivated by the need to raise money for the orchestra.

"It's one of their larger fundraisers. So, we've been trying really hard to raise as much as we can," McCord said.

The concert also included music from movies like "E.T." and "Star Wars," and other space-themed music.

"It's a wonderful sampling of what is offered in our community from all over our city, not just one area," Johnson said, referring to the other organizations from the Muncie community in attendance like Cornerstone Center for the Arts, Muncie Civic Theatre, Second Harvest Foodbank and Hillcroft Services.

Since the event was free and open to the public, she said many people in the community consider it to be "a great time to come out, and engage in social interactions, and be part of a community.

"Having a professional symphony orchestra in a community like ours hopefully contributes positively to the quality of life here in Muncie," Johnson said. "It is a great fundraiser for us because it's fun. People enjoy contributing and they want to see who wins in the end."

She said she hopes the event brings attention to other events organized by the orchestra adding that their events are free for K-12 and Ball State students.

"We want to get people to understand that the symphony is amazing. We're very fortunate to have such a fabulous symphony in town," Rapkin said.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports. Contact Britney S. Kendrick with comments at bskendrick@bsu.edu.

<![CDATA[From Ball State Cardinals to Arizona Diamondbacks: Jameson reflects on MLB first draft pick]]> He might have left for Arizona Friday night, but the Mid-American Championship 2019 Pitcher of the Year has yet another honor waiting for him in his coach's office.

Eight of Ball State's first rounders have a spot on Ball State Baseball Coach Rich Maloney's office wall, six of whom he coached himself. In the fall, Drey Jameson will earn his spot on the wall.

"I actually had one reserved for you," Maloney said to Jameson at a press conference Friday in Worthen Arena where he signed his transfer to the Arizona Diamondbacks. "It's something he'll always have."

Jameson said that was something the coach told him when he visited Ball State.

"'You could be one of those guys,'" he said the coach told him. "At the time I was like, 'Yea, maybe' - not really thinking about that at that time, but now I'm looking back at that time he said that to me … and that's definitely an honor."

Maloney said it was hard to be a first rounder, and that Jameson was now part of "an elite group."

"Here at Ball State we've been so fortunate to have the privilege of coaching so many and Drey ranks there with the best of them," the coach said. "It actually sets yourself apart in life, because that's how rare it is."

Maloney said while they both always hoped he would make it, he was concerned Major League Baseball wouldn't disallow Jameson because of his size.

"But the size of the fight in Drey is so extraordinary that thankfully they did the right thing because from a talent standpoint, he belonged in the first round … without question," Maloney said.

The way Jameson carried himself throughout his time with us was something the coach said was "extra special."

"His gift is far more than what he does as far as throwing the ball hard," he said. "His real gift is the man that he is and the competitive fire that he has."

Summarizing Jameson's accomplishments and contribution during his time at Ball State, including breaking the all-time MAC strikeout record this season, Maloney concluded with a "congratulations son."

"Growing up it's always been my dream, and I'm the kind of person, when I have a goal I just keep going for that goal," Jameson said about making it to the Diamondbacks.

He said going pro was something he always wanted to do, first getting a taste of it in high school, then believing in freshman year that he could be a prospect and after this season he said "reality kind of set in."

"Right now, my new goal is to make it to the big leagues and I won't stop till I get there," he said. "And when I get there, I'll just keep succeeding and doing what I love."

Maloney also talked about John Baker's 29th-round pick for the Miami Marlins, someone he said is "a fierce competitor."

He reflected on Baker's state championship game where he got the game winning hit and pitched 10 innings against University of Michigan's Tommy Henry who's the Diamondback's second round pick.

"John beat him head to head and that's pretty amazing," Maloney said. "For him to go in the 29th round I thought was honestly a bit absurd, but nevertheless, he's getting his chance and he'll go prove it while he gets out there."

Having two Cardinals make it to the MLB was "extra special" as a coach for Maloney.

"When you see boys you have dreams and then they realize them - it's special," he said.

Going into next season without the two pitchers, Maloney believes Ball State will still have a strong team to make it "right on the top."

"Of course losing Drey and John is huge, but we also have some pitchers who are pretty high end that they have to continue to develop," he said. "We've added a couple of junior college hitters. We think we have a better offensive team."

He said he believes Kyle Nicholas will prove to be one of the top pitchers along with Michael Pachmeyer who he said was "hungry" and "can make that next jump to be a nice draft pick next year."

He also mentioned Chase McDermon's "pro talent" and having Ross Messina, Aaron Simpson and Chase Sebby back in the team as contributing to the Cardinals' offense.

"Replacing guys like Drey and Baker are really hard to do. There's no getting around that; I mean, these kids were fantastic," Maloney said. "But I do think we have some guys in house that are capable of rising to the occasion and being great themselves, and that'll be the challenge."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Jeremy Kehrt, Arizona Diamondbacks recruiter, and Drey Jameson, sophomore outfielder and pitcher, converse after a press conference June 7, 2019, at Worthen Arena. Jameson is the eighth first-round draft pick in Ball State Baseball's history. Rohith Rao, DN

<![CDATA[The Gordys reflect on importance of First Thursday events in downtown Muncie]]> One downtown Muncie shop's rich history puts the fun in "Funcie" during Muncie's First Thursdays.

Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company has a long tradition of hosting art galleries for local artists in their shop. This past First Thursday, Carl and Barbara Schafer, husband and wife co-owners of Gordy's hosted works by two Hoosier artists - jewelry designer Lisa Walsh from Lafayette and Muncie silk painter Carrie Wright.

"We find First Thursday as a great opportunity to share the arts with Muncie, but that also gives us an opportunity to introduce artists," Barbara said.

They focus mostly on East Central Indiana artists that they work with, but sometimes they bring in artists from other parts of the state who do something that's different from what we're seeing in East Central Indiana.

Carl is proud of how far First Thursday has come, considering when the Gordys first conceived the idea 15 years ago downtown Muncie wasn't as lively as it is today.

On display right as visitors entered Gordy's were not only frames and pottery, but "Funcie Indiana" shirts as well, developed by John Morris, a graphic design professor.

"'Funcie' used to be a way of making fun of Muncie," Carl said - a "tongue-in-cheek" way for Ball State students in the 90s to say there wasn't anything to do in Muncie.

"That meaning has changed entirely. Funcie started to raise this idea there are things to do in Muncie, embracing the identity of Muncie as a place that really is very vibrant," Carl said.

"The Gordys, especially Jenny Gordy, really helped get the momentum going in the community," Barbara said.

Barbara said the Gordys had the help of others that also wanted to see the city thrive.

The owners Carl and Barbara Schafer inherited the First Thursday tradition when they bought the little shop from the original owners Brian and Jenny Gordy in late 2015. Carl, being a trained art historian and former associate director of David Owsley Museum, and Barbara with 25 years of museum experience, naturally wanted to continue the tradition of showcasing local artists.

"First Thursday is one of the instrumental things that promoted downtown as a place to have a lot of fun and come and have a really good experience and love your city," Carl said.

First Thursday invites the Muncie community to support artists and many of the small businesses downtown, and Gordy's is no exception.

Barbara said she loves seeing friends and familiar faces come through the shop.

"We have a community [of] friends - people who support our business. People who support the community just come through every Thursday for a glass of wine to see what's happening," she said.

Though the couple don't always get to see other venues while managing their own, Barbara said they get to hear the excitement from the community as they come through.

"I think arts and culture is central to the identity of Muncie and it has been for a very very long time," Carl said.

Contact Britney Kendrick with comments at bskendrick@bsu.edu.

Shirts reading "Funcie Indiana" are on display June 6, 2019, at the First Thursdays event in downtown Muncie. These shirts were developed by John Morris, a graphic design professor. Britney Kendrick, DN

<![CDATA[Country singer, comedian Granger Smith's son, 3, dies in 'tragic accident']]> Country singer, Granger Smith, who's most known for the song "Backroad Song" and his comedy alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr. announced Thursday on both Twitter and Instagram that his 3-year-old son, River Kelly Smith passed away due to a "tragic accident."

"I have to deliver unthinkable news," Smith wrote, "we've lost our youngest son, River Kelly Smith. Following a tragic accident, and despite doctor's best efforts, he was unable to be revived. Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life."

Smith went on to say that his son brought so much joy into his and his wife's life and "his light will be forever in our hearts."

His post on Instagram included a photo of himself hugging his son while the two of them smiled.

At the end of his post, Smith urged his followers to "love the ones close to you." He also instructed those who wanted to send things like flowers and presents to his family to instead make donations to Dell's Children's Medical Center due to the incredible efforts of the doctors and nurses who helped his son.

Sources: Twitter, Instagram

Image: Instagram

Image from Instagram

<![CDATA[Ball State professors reflect on 75th anniversary of D-Day, U.S.-Europe relations]]> With more than 150,000 Allied troops landing on the beaches of Normandy - Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword - D-Day marked the beginning of the Allied invasion of northwest Europe, eventually leading to the defeat of Nazi Germany a year later.

Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the name given to the first day of the Normandy landings of June 6, 1944.

The significance of D-Day:

"A tremendous logistical, technical and strategic accomplishment" was how Kevin Smith, associate dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities described the landings.

World War II and the Normandy landings still occupies "this mythological space in the way that we understand ourselves as Americans," Smith said.

Michael Hicks, George and Frances Ball distinguished professor of economics and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, said in an email D-Day "was pivotal because it ensured the end of Nazi Germany and foretold a U.S. presence in Europe that would last 75 years."

Hicks said his wife's uncle served during the D-Day landings and his younger brother and daughter currently serve in Germany.

"That's three uninterrupted generations of Americans who've been in Europe and three consecutive one[s] who have fought there," he said.

The success of D-Day prevented a more prolonged war, the use of atomic bombs in Europe, USSR's iron curtain extending deep into western Europe, far more casualties and a far slower recovery for economies around the world, things Hicks said "would have radically changed the world as we know it today."

"With D-Day we rapidly beat Nazi German … and established a western role in Europe that eventually ended the Cold War," he said.

Ken Hall, professor of history, said in a press release D-Day was significant in setting in motion a major transition in global history - the United States becoming significant in a world previously dominated by European and Japanese colonialism and later being able to restrict post-war communism.

Hall also reflected on the impact of the Allied victory in World War II on the American people.

"Certainly, World War II had significant consequence in the United States as so many Americans fought in the war and women assumed employment as replacements for servicemen," he said. "Most of the American military had very little global knowledge and traveling internationally was well-beyond most Americans' possibilities.

Wartime production helping overcome the aftermath of the Great Depression, post-war industrial productivity and employment opportunities providing Americans with a better life and increasing immigration to the United States, improvements in American education, the post-war house building boom and industrial expansion, Hall said were some effects of the war on the United States.

Therein D-Day was a significant point of transition in American history as Western and wider global civilization re-centered in the United States, he said.

Present state of U.S.-Europe relations:

While the two sides of the Atlantic have maintained a relatively peaceful relationship since the end of World War II, Smith said this 75th anniversary is "a poignant moment" to review the relationship and "recognize that right now the relationship is at a lower point than it often is."

Smith also pointed out that it is easy to forget criticisms Europeans had of presidents like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Regan in the 1980s and American resentment of France's lack of support for the Iraq War in the early 2000s, even proposing renaming French fries, freedom fries for a while.

He classified the history of U.S.-Europe relations as "a complicated relationship" yet an "an interesting marriage."

Hicks said while President Donald Trump's "unusual approach to diplomacy and his rhetorical style" were reasons why U.S. relationship with NATO and other European allies were mostly strained, issues like the current trade war will not have significant impact on the relationship "since they are neither the target nor participant in most of the deep tariff issues."

While the European nations in NATO have contributed militarily to NATO campaigns, Hicks noted "as a share of GDP, no European nation has done as much as the United States to secure the peace and security of Europe."

He said strong critics of Trump would also concur with those facts and his efforts might cause some European nations to boost military spending "especially with Russia becoming a threat to Eastern Europe."

Smith said the Trump administration views the transatlantic relationship as "a business partnership rather than one founded on common ideals," thus emphasizing the difficulties in their economic relationship and deemphasizing the benefits of their strategic partnership.

He said Trump speaks for a segment of the American population who feel taken advantage of, and not everyone values international partnership, freedom of movement of people and goods and freedom of ideas. This he said has resulted in some backlash.

"If we simply dismiss the backlash and refuse to acknowledge it, we run the risk of stoking the fires of resentment," Smith said. "If on the other hand we incorporate the views of people who have resented some of the changes that have come in, and figure out a way to rebuild the international order to account along those lines … we have a stronger foundation for the future.

"Can we still cooperate? Yes. Will we in every instance? No, and we never have," Smith said. "I remain hopeful, but cautiously so."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

U.S. Army soldiers disembark a landing craft at Normandy, France, June 6, 1944. By the end of the day, about 160,000 Allied troops had landed on five Normandy beaches and three airborne drop zones. The invasion marked the beginning of the final phase of World War II in Europe, which ended with the surrender of Germany the following May. National Infantry Museum, Photo Courtesy