<![CDATA[Ball State Daily RSS Feed]]> Fri, 29 May 2020 22:24:17 -0400 Fri, 29 May 2020 22:24:17 -0400 SNworks CEO 2020 The Ball State Daily <![CDATA[Minnetrista farmers market strives to remain open for the community]]> Wearing face masks and carrying reusable bags, customers walked around Minnetrista's weekly farmers market May 23 - its third one since it reopened to the community as an essential business.

Vendors had their booths spread more than 6 feet apart, set up well enough to safely sell their produce while still abiding by social distancing guidelines.

Betty Brewer, president and CEO of Minnetrista, said she and her team spent four weeks creating a plan detailing all the actions they needed to take to keep their patrons and vendors safe during farmers market.

Minnetrista bought more hand sanitizing stations to supplement their hand washing stations, purchased specialized equipment, required all staff and vendors to wear masks, and limited the market to 50 people at a time.

Brewer said it felt both "good and scary" to open the Farmer's Market as an essential business.

"This is something that proved a value to our community and we want people to use it, take advantage of it," she said.

While she doesn't know how things will change in the near future, Brewer said she and her logistics team will continue working as the state moves through the Gov. Eric Holcomb's phases for reopening businesses and other regular activities in Indiana.



The farmers market, Brewer said, has been one of the oldest running social markets in East Central Indiana averaging 2,000 attendees in a typical summer. During the pandemic, their numbers were a little under 600 attendees. However, it is still providing some revenue for vendors.

First Fruits Family Farm has been selling meat at the farmers market for the past three years, said Sidney Evans, a family member who works at the farm.

When the farmers market wasn't initially taking place, Evans said the family farm saw unexpected results in their business.

Since the pandemic, she said the farm's sales have doubled what they would make on average in a typical season.

"People are really looking for healthier meat because they think it will help," Evans said.

In Anderson, Indiana, she said some stores don't sell as much meat which has helped her family business. However, she said it is hard to deal with the change because of how much the demand has increased.

While the family hopes to start selling at another market this season, she said its online sales and commitment to Minnetrista would've stretched the family thin.

Brett Ellison, sales and events manager at Minnetrista, said the farmers market usually hosts 40-50 vendors (15-20 during the pandemic) who must grow at least 51 percent of their own product to be eligible to sell at the market. This provides the kind of variety which will not overpower vendors and allows options for patrons.

Kaety Dent and Aimee Davis, who live about 15 miles away in Farmland, Indiana, said they appreciate the Minnetrista's farmers market and its variety because it's something their rural community lacks.

"We live in the middle of nowhere, so the only grocery stores are 20 minutes away," Dent said. "It's either Dollar General or go to Walmart in Winchester."

Dent and Davis said they've lived in many large cities before moving to Farmland and they miss the availability of fresh foods.

While there are many farmers living in Farmland, they said the closest farmers market takes place at Minnetrista.

Davis said she has heard concerns from people that getting fresh produce is difficult without driving a long distance to purchase it.

"[It] kind of makes sense when you live in the middle of a rural farming community, so we're trying to reach out to people all around," Davis said. "I don't think that mindset has been there to congregate and offer to the community."

As they shopped for some produce of their own, the two observed the structure of the farmers market so they could possibly create their own in Farmland.

Minnetrista's farmers market will be open for its fourth weekend from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Brewer said she wants to continue to offer the community a space to buy fresh produce and to do so safely while enjoying everyone's company.

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Katie Ambs, intern for Dragoonwood LLC, sets up maple syrup and honey products at the start of the farmers market, May 23, 2020, at Minnetrista. Ambs said Dragonwoodhas been busy at other farmers markets as well around Indiana. Jenna Gorsage, DN

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<![CDATA[Protesters torch Minneapolis police station in violent night]]> By TIM SULLIVAN and AMY FORLITI

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Thick smoke hovered over Minneapolis on Friday, hours after cheering protesters torched a police station that officers abandoned as a third night of violent protests flared over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.

Police evacuated the 3rd Precinct station, the focus of many of the protests, late Thursday to protect employees, a spokesman said. Livestream video showed protesters entering the building, where intentionally set fires activated smoke alarms and sprinklers. President Donald Trump threatened action, prompting a warning from Twitter for "glorifying violence."

Dozens of fires were also set in nearby St. Paul, where nearly 200 businesses were damaged or looted. Protests spread across the U.S., fueled by outrage over Floyd's death, and years of violence against African Americans at the hands of police. Demonstrators clashed with officers in New York and blocked traffic in Columbus, Ohio, and Denver.

Trump threatened to bring Minneapolis "under control," calling the protesters "thugs" and tweeting that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." The tweet drew another warning from Twitter, which said the comment violated the platform's rules, but the company did not remove it.

Trump also blasted the "total lack of leadership" in Minneapolis.

A visibly tired and frustrated Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey made his first public appearance of the night early Friday at City Hall and took responsibility for evacuating the precinct, saying it had become too dangerous for officers. As Frey continued, a reporter cut across loudly with a question: "What's the plan here?"

"With regard to?" Frey responded. Then he added: "There is a lot of pain and anger right now in our city. I understand that ... What we have seen over the past several hours and past couple of nights here in terms of looting is unacceptable."

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He defended the city's lack of engagement with looters - only a handful of arrests across the first two nights of violence - and said, "We are doing absolutely everything that we can to keep the peace." He said National Guard members were stationed in locations to help stem looting, including at banks, grocery stores and pharmacies.

The Minnesota State Patrol arrested a CNN television crew early Friday as the journalists reported on the unrest. While live on air, CNN reporter Omar Jimenez was handcuffed and led away. A producer and a photojournalist for CNN were also taken away in handcuffs.

The Minnesota State Patrol said the journalists were among four people arrested as troopers were "clearing the streets and restoring order," and they were released after being confirmed to be media members. CNN said on Twitter that the arrests were "a clear violation of their First Amendment rights."

Firefighters worked Friday to contain a number of blazes as National Guard troops blocked access to streets where businesses had been damaged. They marched side by side and block by block as they expanded a perimeter around a heavily damaged area.

Protests first erupted Tuesday, a day after Floyd's death in a confrontation with police captured on widely seen citizen video. In the footage, Floyd can be seen pleading as officer Derek Chauvin presses his knee against him. As minutes pass, Floyd slowly stops talking and moving.

Gov. Tim Walz activated the National Guard at the Minneapolis mayor's request. The Guard tweeted minutes after the precinct burned that it had activated more than 500 soldiers across the metro area. A couple dozen Guard members, armed with assault-style rifles, blocked a street Friday morning near a Target store that has sustained heavy damage by looters.

The Guard said a "key objective" was to make sure firefighters could respond to calls, and said in a follow-up tweet that soldiers would assist the Minneapolis Fire Department. But no move was made to put out the 3rd Precinct fire. Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Tyner said fire crews could not safely respond to blazes at the precinct station and some surrounding buildings.

Earlier Thursday, dozens of businesses across the Twin Cities boarded up their windows and doors in an effort to prevent looting, with Minneapolis-based Target announcing it was temporarily closing two dozen area stores. Minneapolis shut down nearly its entire light-rail system and all bus service through Sunday out of safety concerns.

By Thursday night, hundreds of demonstrators returned to the Minneapolis neighborhood at the center of the violence. Demonstrators carried clothing mannequins from a looted Target and threw them onto a burning car.

Elsewhere in Minneapolis, thousands of peaceful demonstrators marched through the streets calling for justice. Local leaders repeatedly urged demonstrators to avoid violence.

"Please stay home. Please do not come here to protest. Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement and on preventing this from ever happening again," tweeted St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, who is black.

Erika Atson, 20, was among thousands of people who gathered outside government offices in downtown Minneapolis, where organizers had called for a peaceful protest. Many protesters wore masks because of the coronavirus pandemic, but there were few attempts at social distancing.

Full Coverage:Minneapolis

Atson, who is black, described seeing her 14- and 11-year-old brothers tackled by Minneapolis police years ago because officers mistakenly presumed the boys had guns. She said she had been at "every single protest" since Floyd's death and worried about raising children who could be vulnerable in police encounters.

"We don't want to be here fighting against anyone. We don't want anyone to be hurt. We don't want to cause any damages," she said. "We just want the police officer to be held accountable."

The group marched peacefully for three hours before another confrontation with police broke out, though details were scarce.

After calling in the Guard on Thursday, Walz urged widespread changes in the wake of Floyd's death.

"It is time to rebuild. Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they're charged to protect," Walz said.

Among the casualties of the protests: a six-story building under construction that was to provide nearly 200 apartments of affordable housing.

"We're burning our own neighborhood," said a distraught Deona Brown, a 24-year-old woman standing with a friend outside the precinct station, where a small group of protesters were shouting at a dozen or so stone-faced police officers in riot gear. "This is where we live, where we shop, and they destroyed it."

"What that cop did was wrong, but I'm scared now," Brown said.

Others in the crowd saw something different in the wreckage.

Protesters destroyed property "because the system is broken," said a young man who identified himself only by his nickname, Cash, and who said he had been in the streets during the violence. He dismissed the idea that the destruction would hurt residents of the largely black neighborhood.

"They're making money off of us," he said angrily of the owners of the destroyed stores. He laughed when asked if he had joined in the looting or violence. "I didn't break anything."

In New York City, protesters defied New York's coronavirus prohibition on public gatherings Thursday, clashing with police, while demonstrators blocked traffic in downtown Denver and downtown Columbus. A day earlier, demonstrators had taken to the streets in Los Angeles and Memphis.

In Louisville, Kentucky, police confirmed that at least seven people had been shot Thursday night as protesters demanded justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by police in her home in March.

Anger over the killing extended to Africa, where the head of the African Union Commission on Friday rejected "continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA." In a series of tweets, Moussa Faki Mahamat urged the "total elimination" of all forms of racism in the U.S.

In Mississippi, the mayor of the community of Petal resisted calls to resign following his remarks about Floyd's death. Hal Marx, a Republican, asked on Twitter: "Why in the world would anyone choose to become a police officer in our society today?" In a follow-up tweet, he said he "didn't see anything unreasonable."

The city on Thursday released a transcript of the 911 call that brought police to the grocery store where Floyd was arrested. The caller described someone paying with a counterfeit bill, with workers rushing outside to find the man sitting on a van. The caller described the man as "awfully drunk" and said he was "not in control of himself."

Asked by the 911 operator whether the man was "under the influence of something," the caller said: "Something like that, yes. He is not acting right." Police said Floyd matched the caller's description of the suspect.

State and federal authorities are investigating Floyd's death.

Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd's neck, was fired Tuesday, along with three other officers involved in the arrest.

___

Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski, Jeff Baenen and Doug Glass in Minneapolis, Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee, and Aaron Morrison in New York contributed to this report.

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A protester carries a U.S. flag upside, a sign of distress, next to a burning building Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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<![CDATA[Work continues on LaFollette Complex demolition]]> Phase two of the demolition of LaFollette Complex continued this week at Ball State.

The Shively and Knotts/Edwards residence halls and LaFollette Dining will be demolished, said Chris Wilkey, assistantdirector of marketing, communications and technology for Ball State's Housing and Residence Life. The Brayton/Clevenger portion of the complex will still remain open, he said.

According to bid documents on Ball State's website, the demolition contract was awarded to Renascent, Inc., and Indianapolis-based demolition company for a total of around $3.8 million.

According to Ball State's Magazine remainder of the complex is slated to be demolished in 2021.

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Work on the demolition of LaFollette Complex continues May 29, 2020. The Brayton/Clevenger portion of the complex will be the last portion of the complex that will remain open. Rohith Rao, DN

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<![CDATA[Here's what's happening at Muncie's parks this summer]]> At Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour's "Dream with Dan 2.0" online community forum held via Facebook Live Thursday, Carl Malone, superintendent for the parks department, talked about the status of the parks and provided updates on the opening dates for some of them.

Malone said due to the governor's social distancing guidelines, the department had to rope off the parks throughout the city during the stay-at-home order.

"That was challenging because people continued to come out and tear caution tape away from our playground area," Malone said. "Eventually the mayor and I had decided on taking down the basketball rims completely from our parks."

He said the department's workers were able to get all the piers added at the reservoir as soon as they could. He said the campsites and the beach area at the reservoir is open. However, it put them behind on the mowing work that needed to be done at all the city parks.

Malone said his department is trying to get mulch put in at all parks and update the playground equipment to get it up to standard in terms of the safety code.

"We are busy as a team trying to get as many parks up to par as we can," Malone said. "We're constantly working on that."

Tuhey Park:

Tuhey Park, which normally opens during the Memorial Day weekend, has its opening date pushed to June 15 in order to adhere to the state's guidelines, Malone said.

"We're hoping to be able to get it open maybe before. We don't know yet," he said. "We're going to meet next week and we're going to be doing some things there to get it open as soon as possible so we can have it open to the public."

McCullough Park:

McCullough Park, he said is undergoing some minor construction work. The interior of Cabin 6 at the park is being renovated inside with some work being done on its floors along with some roof work.

The main basketball court will have a new backboard, new rims and a painted surface coming soon, Malone added. The baseball diamond at the park will have its baseball season start June 15 with the American Legion.

Cooley Park:

Malone said Cooley Park will have some construction work being started soon.

"We're going to constantly continue work over there with mowing and edging and putting mulch in that area to get it going looking like it should, being it is a neighborhood park and a small corner park up in the south end of town," he said.

Thomas Park:

Thomas Park will be having a baseball program for middle school-aged children starting June 15.

"We're trying to get that league going and get some volunteers out," he said. "That's a work in progress."

Summer employment:

The parks department will be running a summer employment program for children between ages 12-16, Malone said. They will attend a mentoring session one day every week during the eight-week program and then work all day on Friday at the parks.

Children will be able to earn $50 every Friday. He said the parks department currently has 70 slots available. The program will start June 8 and last through the rest of June of July.

"We think this is an excellent opportunity to give our young kids the opportunity to earn some money over the summer," Malone said.

Summer programs:

The parks department will be having minor programs for K-6 school students. This program will include sports like kickball, baseball, basketball and track and field throughout the course of the summer.

"We're just busy trying to put the program delivery piece together," Malone said. "We're busy trying to make the community aware there's going to be some programming taking place in our city parks."

Independence Day fireworks:

Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour said the city will have its July 4 fireworks celebration at downtown Muncie near Muncie Central High School and at the reservoir.

"We're still working out how to help make sure people are safe. We'll put out some guidelines here shortly that have some serious recommendations," Ridenour said. "Most restrictions are lifted at that point, but we want to make sure that it's still safe."

Future plans:

Ridenour said the parks department, the streets department and the animal shelter have all had to try finding additional sources of funding due to budget constraints. He said the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't helped with that situation either.

"We have been looking for grant opportunities where we can find them," he said.

For example, the Community Foundation of Muncie & Delaware County, Inc. provided a $25,516 grant for upgrades at Cooley Park, which will mainly be used for phase one improvement at Cooley Park which includes safety and ADA compliance renovations to the restroom facilities, according to the foundation's website.

Ridenour said he has been working with Ralph Smith, the city councilperson from District 1 where the park is located, but would like to see more input from community members in the neighborhood before final plans for the park are put in place.

The mayor said while money is being put into that park, work on the park will happen next year and it's unlikely it will happen this year. However, the money from the grant will be used toward improvements at the park for now.

"As soon as the neighborhood associations get back to meetings, we're very interested in getting in there and finding out what the neighbors want," he said.

One of the ideas Ridenour said he was considering for the park was a splash pad, given that it was a popular idea. He said his objective is to have four splash pads in time around the city if that's what the neighborhoods want.

"It's important for me that we make our parks more usable for the public and make sure the public has what they want," he said.

Other updates:

Ethan Browning, director of the Muncie Animal Care and Services Department, said the animal shelter is now open again for serious adopters.

Browning said appointments are still encouraged, but they are allowing a limited number of serious adopters to walk in, provided guests wear masks and practice social distancing.

He said they are not yet allowing volunteers and recreational visitors until Indiana has completed all stages of the reopening process.

The city also applied for a $24 million grant from the Federal Department of Transportation that would go toward the infrastructure of the city. He said it would impact nine different neighborhoods in the city.

Ridenour said it is very competitive and there is no guarantee Muncie would get it, but he hoped fewer cities considered applying for it this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brian Stephens-Hotopp, city engineer, provided a brief update about plans to fix potholes and roads in the city, going forward.

Muncie's City Hall has been open to the public since Tuesday, but Ridenour recommended people handle their claims over the phone or online.

After a brief email question and answer period, Ridenour said he hopes to have the next "Dream with Dan 2.0" meeting in person. The venue for the meeting has not yet been decided.

Contact Jake Merkel with comments at jamerkel@bsu.edu or on Twitter @jakemerkel4. Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

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This 2015 file photo shows playground equipment called Tuhey Towers located at Tuhey Park. Muncie Parks Department Superintendent Carl Malone shared the Parks Department's plans for summer 2020. Mikaela Maranhas, DN File

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<![CDATA[Ball State graduate student to travel to Poland as Fulbright scholar]]> Editor's Note: A previous version of the article incorrectly mentioned the status of Valerie Weingart's master's degree. A change has been made to correctly reflect her completion of the degree.

Valerie Weingart's great grandparents emigrated to the United States from Poland in the 1920s. In January 2021, she will return back to her ancestral home as a Fulbright scholar.

Weingart, who received her bachelor's degree in English and vocal performance in 2018 from Ball State and completed her master's degree in creative writing in 2020, will be traveling to Poland to complete an assistantship in English teaching.

Her Polish ancestry was passed down to her by her grandfather, which sparked her interest to learn more about the daily life of Poland. She said she believes it's her responsibility to learn the culture of her family's country of origin first hand.

Weingart said she first heard about the scholarship in her Honors 100 course when Barb Stedman, the director of national and international scholarships, gave a presentation about different opportunities to teach and study in a foreign country.

Around that time, she said her friend was applying for the scholarship, which also motivated her to do the same.

"I was excited to learn about other cultures." Weingart said.

She said the process involved with applying for and receiving the scholarship was lengthy and required her to submit two essays outlining why she wanted to go to Poland and what she planned to do once she returned the United States, complete an application listing her academic, leadership and volunteering experiences, receive feedback on her application from a committee of Ball State faculty, and finally be interviewed by the Fulbright commission in Poland.

"After several months of being nervous and wondering if I would be selected, I was finally starting to be excited." Weingart said.

It was in late March that she was selected to travel to Poland for the assistantship.

Jill Christman, professor of English at Ball State, had Weingart as a student in her M.A. English program and was one professor that recommended her for the scholarship.

"Valerie is one of the most extraordinary students I have ever worked with." Christman said.

While Christman didn't teach Weingart when she was an undergraduate student, she said she was happy to hear she would be teaching her during her master's program.

"I would finally get a chance to work with the student my colleagues told me was one of the most exceptional in the history of the department," she said.

Another professor who recommended Weingart for the scholarship was Elizabeth Dalton, associate teaching professor of honors humanities, who taught her in her undergraduate years.

Dalton mentioned Weingart's involvement in singing and music as an undergraduate student. Weingart was involved in creating music in the humanities sequence along with Dalton, who spoke highly of her abilities.

"Her vocal performances were impressive both in terms of her talent and her desire to educate the audience." Dalton said.

When Weingart learned she would be going to Poland, she said that she felt honored to represent the United States as a cultural ambassador and teacher.

In Poland, she said she would be involved in activities including in-class teaching and assisting, leading English conversation hours, participating in different university clubs or activities and hosting office hours.

She also talked about her plans to experience and learn more about Polish culture. She intends on volunteering in community groups and joining a local church choir.

"During all times, I'll be on a mission to try as many different kinds of Polish food as possible." Weingart said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Weingart said she was uncertain about aspects of her assistantship like what her full schedule in Poland would look like. Nevertheless, she remains hopeful and ready to adapt to what comes next.

"I've always counted on being flexible throughout this experience," she said. "I'm looking forward to learning more as my departure date progresses and the COVID-19 situation develops."

Weingart went on to say that after seven years of having a set schedule, she is excited for a change of pace. While she doesn't know where in Poland she will be going, or which university she'll be teaching at, she is keeping an open mind about the experience.

"I anticipate that each day will be fast-paced and filled with some combination of teaching learning, community engagement and travel," she said.

Contact Jake Merkel with comments at jamerkel@bsu.edu or on Twitter @jakemerkel4.


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Valerie Weingart, graduate creative writing major, will be traveling in January 2021 to Poland as a Fulbright scholar. Weingart serves on the editing team for "River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative," a literary magazine at Ball State and as the managing editor for the Beautiful Things magazine. Valerie Weingart, Photo Provided

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<![CDATA[MCS hires 2 new principals, chief communications officer]]> Editor's Note: This story is part of The Partnership Project, a series of content written in an effort by The Daily News to follow the formal collaboration of Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools. Read more in this series here.

Muncie Community Schools' (MCS) Board of Trustees added two new principals to the district Tuesday during its school board meeting, according to an MCS press release.


Corey Hartley, principal of Southside Middle School

Corey Hartley, who grew up in Muncie and is a Southside High School graduate, will serve as principal of Southside Middle School, the press release states.

Hartley holds four degrees - a doctorate in education, a specialists in education, a masters in educational leadership and a bachelors in elementary education from Ball State, it states.

He joined MCS after five years as the director of elementary education for the Richmond Community Schools (RCS) where he oversaw six elementary schools and served as the Title I district administrator.During his time with RCS, he facilitated curriculum development, mapping and adoption, school improvement efforts, parent involvement efforts and instructional innovations for social and emotional learning.

Before joining RCS, Hartley served as an elementary and intermediate school principal and assistant principal with Westfield-Washington Schools. Prior to that, he was a classroom educator with Yorktown Community Schools. He did his student teaching at Muncie's former Mitchell Elementary School.


Sarah Shaffer, principal of East Washington Academy

The press release states Sarah Shaffer holds a masters in educational leadership and a masters of arts in education from Marian University, a bachelor of science in psychology and political science from Miami University in Ohio, and is currently obtaining her high ability licensure from Ball State.

For the past three years, it states Shaffer has been the principal and assistant principal at Paramount Schools of Excellence (K-4) in Indianapolis where she coordinated the Gifted and Talented Programs and directed the English Language Learners services using standards set by the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium.

It states she has also served as assistant principal of Emmerich Manual High School in Indianapolis where she was instrumental in improving the school's grade from a letter "F" to "C."

She co-founded Lead Prep Southeast, a public middle school in Nashville, Tennessee, where she coached teachers, developed a student recruiting system, devised parent engagement strategies and implemented Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).She has worked as a school improvement specialist for the Indiana Department of Education where she supported 75 Indiana schools with their academic improvement strategies.


Andy Klotz, MCS chief communications officer

Additionally, the board approved the hiring of Andy Klotz as the school district's chief communications officer.

The press release states Klotz joins MCS with three decades experience in public relations, marketing and media - most recently at WFYI Public Media in Indianapolis. He has also worked at Angie's List and the Indiana State Fair Commission.

He holds a bachelor of science degree in physical education from Indiana University - Bloomington, has achieved his accreditation in public relations from the Universal Board of Public Relations and is an active board member of the Hoosier Public Relations Society of America and the Indianapolis Public Relations Society.

"We are aggressively searching for the best talent available for Muncie Community Schools and have found three accomplished, dedicated professionals in Corey, Sarah and Andy," said Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, MCS CEO and superintendent of public education. "Their desire to be part of our district says a lot about the overall direction of our school system, and I know they will each achieve great things in their respective positions."

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(Left to right) Corey Hartley will serve as the new principal of Southside Middle School. Sarah Shaffer will serve as the new principal of East Washington Academy. Muncie Community Schools, Photos Provided

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<![CDATA[Ball State students to return to campus in the fall]]> Ball State's Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to approve plans for face-to-face instruction to begin on Aug. 24, as scheduled for the fall 2020 semester, according to a university press release and Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns' campus-wide email.

This decision was made relying on the recommendations of two working groups, and recognizing the desire of students to return to campus for classes in the fall with their classmates and their professors, the press release states.

"We have heard from many returning and prospective students that they value the personal education that we uniquely provide," Mearns said. "Our students told us they also want to participate in immersive learning projects, student life, and our vibrant campus experiences."

The Board also authorized the administration to take several steps to advance the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and campus visitors.

Adjustments to the fall 2020 semester

According to the press release, Mearns said in the past month, the Academic Planning Group assembled and led by Provost Susana Rivera-Mills, reviewed a vast array of courses that Ball State offers to undergraduate and graduate students, and evaluated how faculty can use technology to improve learning.

It lists the following key components going into the fall semester:

  • Faculty will prepare classes that can quickly shift from being taught in-person to online, depending on conditions on campus and in the community.
  • Faculty will front-load learning activities best facilitated by face-to-face instruction so they are completed before the Thanksgiving break. After the Thanksgiving break, all remaining instruction, as well as all final projects and exams, will be completed online. According to Ball State's online calendar Thanksgiving break will last from Nov. 25-29.
  • The university will cancel the two-day fall break and will schedule class sessions on Labor Day. Ball State previously scheduled the fall break from Oct. 5-6. Students will have 13 weeks of on-campus instruction before the Thanksgiving break.
  • To accommodate faculty and students who may be in high-risk populations, the university will offer more online courses.

"The Provost and I fully appreciate that these adjustments will require additional preparation," Mearns said. "We have great confidence in the dedication of our faculty and staff - and their determination to adapt and to innovate in order to serve our students and to fulfill our mission."

Within two weeks, Rivera-Mills will provide faculty and staff with more detailed information, the press release states. She said the university is putting systems into place to support faculty as they design their bimodal courses.

"Our success is in the hands of our faculty and staff," she said. "As a community, we will do all we can to support each other in this challenging time."

Housing and Residence Life plan

The Board of Trustees authorized the university to implement a Housing and Residence Life plan to provide on-campus housing options for students, the press release and Mearns' email states:

  • To mitigate the risk of students transmitting the novel coronavirus while living in a residence hall, the university will adjust the room assignments to reduce the number of students who use the same restroom and other common areas.
  • Custodial staff will clean and sanitize these facilities more frequently than usual.
  • The university will retain a sufficient number of rooms in residence halls and in other university-owned facilities to quarantine and isolate students who may be exposed to or who may test positive for the COVID-19 virus.
  • In order to mitigate the risk of transmission in our dining halls, the university will continue to prepare all orders as "to-go" for students, as well as for faculty and staff.

Faculty and staff's return

The Board of Trustees also authorized the university to monitor and modify the "Return to Campus Plan" for faculty and staff. Mearns' email states this plan was developed based on recommendations the university received from the Task Force on Recovery and the University's Strategic Transition (TRUST).

Beginning June 1, more staff and some faculty will begin to return to working on campus.

Before returning to campus, each employee mustcomplete a self-certification form which has some questions about the employee's health, including whether the employee has recently experienced any of the symptoms of COVID-19. Every employee is also required to perform a daily assessment of possible symptoms and all information will be maintained confidentially and separate from an employee's personnel file.

According to the plan, all employees are strongly encouraged to wear face masks at all times while working on campus. An employee is required to wear a face mask when:

  • The employee is in the presence of other people and social distancing is not practicable.
  • The employee's supervisor has determined that a face mask is necessary in order to ensure that a specific job can be performed safely.

Mearns' email states the university has ordered 50,000 reusable face masks for faculty, staff and students. The university plans to distribute two face masks to every faculty, staff and on-campus student who requests them.

The university will incorporate staggered and alternating work schedules, reconfigured workstations, remote work and other accommodations to limit density on campus and maximize safety, it states.

The university is also purchasing plexiglass barriers to be installed at employee work stations that involve regular personal contact with other people.

Beginning July 1, more staff and faculty will return to campus, particularly as the university anticipates resuming on-campus instruction in August.

In order to extend efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Board of Trustees authorized the university to implement flexible working environments and schedules with a goal of reducing by one-third the number of administrative personnel who work on campus at any one time.

To meet this goal, the university has developed guidelines for professional and staff employees and their supervisors.

Other new policies and procedures will focus on social distancing, employee health screening, crowd limits for public gatherings, university-sponsored activities and travel restrictions.

Additional protocols

The TRUST working group is developing specific recommendations for the implementation of other important health and safety measures, Mearns' email states.

Ball State is negotiating an agreement with a healthcare provider to make testing accessible on campus for anyone who is symptomatic. As part of this plan, the university will require anyone who tests positive to self-isolate for an appropriate period of time, and Ball State will conduct contact tracing consistent with the procedures established by the Indiana State Department of Health.

Public health experts also advise that large organizations should encourage employees to get a flu vaccination in the fall. The rationale for this advice is that, if the number of people with COVID-19 increases later this year at the same time the seasonal flu returns, there is a risk that healthcare providers will not be able to treat all of the ill patients.

Mearns' email states public health experts advise large organizations to encourage employees to get a flu vaccination in the fall semester, the rationale being if the number of people with COVID-19 increases later this year at the same time the seasonal flu returns, there is a risk that healthcare providers will not be able to treat all of the ill patients.

To minimize this risk, the Board of Trustees has authorized the university to expand access to and the availability of annual flu vaccinations for all students and employees.

Ball State's operations will remain aligned with guidance from governmental agencies, public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the press release states. After regular review, any further changes will be posted on the university's COVID-19 website.

Board Chair Renae Conley said in the press release, she believes the university will fulfill its mission and is confident with the university's plan given that the recommendations were developed "by so many people carefully" and "on the best available research."

"They worked with deliberate speed to create our plans," Conley said. "We are on the right path."

Matt Momper, vice chair of the board, said in the press release he is confident about the upcoming school year. He said he knows the university is doing everything to promote a safe and healthy environment for the ball State community and visitors.

"My daughter, who is a graduate student, also teaches two classes," Momper said. "From that perspective, I am confident in our plans to keep our classrooms as safe as we possibly can."

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Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns speaks to the new graduates Dec. 14, 2019, at the John E. Worthen Arena. Ball State's Board of Trustees voted unanimously May 27, 2020, to approve plans for face-to-face instruction to begin on Aug. 24. Charles Melton, DN

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<![CDATA[The effect of COVID-19 on the Muncie DIY scene ]]> As summer draws near, music festivals and artists typically blast social media and their websites with promotional videos and pre-sale ticket options. But social distancing guidelines issued to stop the spread of COVID-19 - a disease that has taken the lives of more than 323,000 globally - has taken center stage. Although many fans are sympathetic to the regulations, they are bummed at the slew of music festivals and concerts that are either being cancelled or postponed. Many are worried about the long-term impact of the pandemic on the music scene.

Few people are as passionate about Muncie's local music scene than Miracle Townsel, a Ball State University senior, who previously spent nearly every weekend night in or near mosh pits at house band venues. As much as she misses the scene, she is encouraging her friends to maintain distance.

"For the sake of the concertgoers and the music lovers who just wanted to have a good time, having a good time can wait, your life matters more. Your life matters more than these four hours of music," Townsel said.

Muncie DIY

The Muncie DIY, or do-it-yourself, scene hosts house shows that are scattered all across the city. Almost every single weekend, sometimes back-to-back every Friday and Saturday, there is a show. Once the COVID-19 outbreak struck and Ball State University started cancelling their in-class meetings, there were show cancellations that piled up until no artists were left performing.

Some artists that perform at these Muncie DIY shows are: Porch Kat, The Sick Boy Method, or T.S.B.M., Doppler Radar & the Local News, or D.R.L.N., Indian Old School, Aquatone, and Cowboy Killer. The style of music most of these artists perform is punk rock.

Matthew Keyser, guitarist for Porch Kat, said, "Personally it's a little bit of a bummer because we had been working really hard to book through the summer, but this break is giving us time to regroup and write some new material so we can hopefully come out on the other end of this thing with a fresh set, ready to go."

Many artists from across the Muncie DIY scene are feeling the same way as Keyser.

Guitarist for T.S.B.M., D.R.L.N., and Lucy Furr, Ethan Smith said, "While I'd give anything to play a show as quickly as possible, I feel like I owe it to those who support me not to put them or their loved ones at risk of infection. I feel like as artists we have to hold ourselves accountable for our audience, or at least their safety. It would break my heart if an event I was a part of cost someone a loved one."

Live streaming shows

Since artists are unable to perform live, some have resorted to live streaming their shows on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. This is a way for artists to stay connected to their fans while also interacting with some of them.

"I am delighted by artists playing live stream concerts and others helping put together live stream concerts. That is a nice thing during such dreary times. The comradery around developing these live streams also shows the bond of the music community," Parker Pickett, guitarist for Indian Old School, said.

Smith said that the quality differs from stream to stream and that makes a big difference in how much fans will enjoy a stream or not. As great as he thinks it is to see and support local and bigger artists, much of that experience is lost not getting to actually be there seeing the live performance. There's so much more that goes into performance then just playing the songs. Getting to see artists in person is such an intimate experience that he thinks will be difficult to re-create digitally.

Indiana DIY vs. the World

The Muncie DIY scene has created a Spotify playlist called 'Indiana DIY vs. the World.' This playlist is a collaborative piece from a collection of Indiana DIY underground musicians from all across the state. They all have created music and just want to spread the word to keep the music scene going, instead of letting it die out.

Townsel said that these livestreams and the playlist are definitely helping to "alleviate the pain, just a little bit and alleviate the pressure just a little."



Increase in concert attendance

When the time does come for people to begin attending music festivals and concerts again, the question lies if people will hesitate to go to them to protect themselves or will people be craving to go out and interact.

Townsel said people are realizing how much they took their time at certain places and specific moments for granted now they have been stripped of it. There were so many activities people wanted to do that all of a sudden, they can't do now. She thinks there are going to be a lot more people than venues, bars, concerts, and festivals are expecting.

Drummer for Aquatone and Cowboy Killer and singer/rapper for OWL, Raegan Gordon,

has the same belief as Townsel, in thinking that there will be an increase in attendance for supporting the arts.

"I believe that people will definitely purchase tickets after this. Being in quarantine for as long and potentially even longer has personally made me and a lot of my friends miss each other and miss the human interaction so I believe any chance people get to have that, they will do," Gordon said.

The next step

Gordon believes the smart thing to do when people start attending music festivals and concerts again would be to continue to proceed with safety cautions. Some precautions she suggested were venues keeping sanitizers, cleaning products on deck while hosting events, and wiping off mics/handing out masks. Gordon plans to continue to try to keep herself and those around her as safe as possible when everything is done and continuing to practice habits she has created during the quarantine.

"There are some tough times ahead, even after this pandemic dissolves into the history books becoming dust words and fabled memories. The community built around art and music here in Indiana is going to be a place of refuge, dissent, and hope while conflicted with the calamities of the next oncoming," said Pickett. "We have a strong sense of community, and this event is only tightening those beliefs of unity between. We ain't dead. Our momentum has not faltered. It is just a moment for perspective and possible readjustment. We as musicians will be prepared to handle the societal and cultural shift that is happening. We will evolve, just as all life has done and will always do."



Sources: Google, Spotify

Featured Image: Twitter

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<![CDATA[X Lovers deserve more appreciation ]]> With dreamy, soft vocals over a relaxed electronic beat, it's difficult not to fall head-over-heels in love with pop duo X Lovers. This duo consists of London Jackson and Jacob Ames. They are childhood best friends who met in fourth grade in their hometown of Nevada City, California, and have been inseparable since then. Jackson is the vocalist and tends to most of the songwriting while Ames produces all their music. They are stars on the rise and - in my eyes - they deserve more appreciation.

Self made

Their sound has shifted over the years. Beginning with their first punk band, Opposition, they created when they were 10 years old, to their signature pop sound that was born in 2017. By the time the Nor Cal boys had graduated high school they had played over 150 shows and saved up enough money to move to Los Angeles, where their professional music career began. In 2018, they built a name for themselves for posting their own acoustic originals, covers, and remixes on SoundCloud. They released their first single "Novocaine" and shortly after released "Easy." In late 2018, Chris Zarou, Logic's manager and CEO of Visionary Music Group, signed them to a record deal in affiliation with RCA Records.

String of singles

After being signed, they released two singles; "Colder When it Rains," and "Spitfire." Their first single released under Visionary Records/RCA Records, and biggest single to date, is "Colder When It Rains." It was released on May 7, 2019, generating over 2.5 million streams on Spotify. This song is about missing someone so much. "I had this one really dope night with a girl from my hometown and I think it just made me super nostalgic about the past. The song sounds like middle school to me; simple, sweet, and pure. Colder when it rains is my version of texting somebody and saying 'i miss you,'" X Lovers said in a comment for their music video for "Colder When It Rains."

virgin

This all led up to their EP "virgin." This 8 track EP came out in late 2019. This emotional EP is one you could curl up to and just let your mind wander. It includes their hit songs "Sweatshirt" and "King of Capulet." Yes, "King of Capulet" is about Romeo and Juliet. In an interview with the Zach Sang Show, Jackson said they did a lot of Shakespeare plays in their elementary school, so it was just "subconsciously there." When they wrote the song Jackson said they just felt "royal." All of the songs have their own flair to them and have something niche that makes each one of them so different from the others.

My personal favorite songs from "virgin" are "Cut My Lip," "Dreams Where Ur Murdered," and "Life." "Cut My Lip" has a typical California surfer vibe. The beat of soft drums in the background against an acoustic guitar creating a seemingly happy song, until you listen to the lyrics. Jackson sings about a former flame that he was in love with and he thought they felt the same, but they didn't. He gave every ounce of himself to them, but they didn't do the same. This song is similar to "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, in the way that both songs are upbeat and seem lighthearted, but actually are about heavy subjects.

"Dreams Where Ur Murdered," begins with haunting guitar strumming and then quickly picks up. Jackson's voice takes the driver's seat and his vocals shine through on this song better than any other song. "Life," is the most vulnerable song on their EP. It's about feeling depressed, overthinking certain subject matters, and questioning if you should keep living. These are serious and sensitive topics that some artists would never even dare touch. I admire their honesty and ability to shine light on such serious and sensitive topics; to let their fans know that they aren't alone.

Close-knit fans and first merchandise release

X Lovers have built such a close knit community with their fans, or 'saints.' They originally began their fan base in Nor Cal from word of mouth. They would have hundreds and hundreds of people attend their shows without ever releasing their first song. Their fan base has only catapulted from there. Their social media presence is unlike any other artists I have seen. They make it their mission to actively engage with each and every one of their fans and make them feel welcome into their family they have established.

Their Instagram presence is where they do most of their engaging. They will respond to almost every comment from their fans, taking everything that their fans have to say to heart. They listen to them. If their fans want a new song, they will give them a snippet of a new song, if their fans want merchandise, they will work tirelessly night and day to produce the best merchandise they can for their fans to rep. They released their first merch drop on April 28, 2020, much to their eager fans' excitement.

Ultimately, the fans are what make every artist who they are, so it's refreshing to see them investing so much time and energy into engaging with their fans. This is often something that artists overlook when they become 'too famous' or 'too busy.' This trait is a rarity to find in artists today. This is something I, as a huge fan, appreciate more than anything. It shows how much they truly care about their fans and what their fans have done for them.

This is the time to become a saint. Jackson and Ames exude endless talent and carry that special trait, that 'it' factor, that not many artists have. Their sound is unlike any other artists' in the music industry today. It would be a mistake to go without listening to at least one of their songs, because they deserve more appreciation. They are the next big thing in music, I can guarantee you that.



Sources: YouTube, Zach Sang Show

Featured Image: Crowd Surfer Magazine

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<![CDATA[Queer and There in Muncie]]>

Editor's note: These stories were written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Indiana Stay-at-Home order, so some events mentioned may be postponed, canceled, or altered. We're sorry for any inaccuracies.


1. Queer Chocolatier

Perhaps the most well-known LGBTQ space in Muncie, Queer Chocolatier is located just down the street from Ball State in the Village. This chocolate shop is owned by Morgan Roddy and her wife Cheri Madewell, and features a wide variety of truffles, pastries, drinking chocolate, and other beverages. All of Queer Chocolatier's ingredients are ethically sourced, and many items on the menu are vegan, including the truffles.

Beneath the "Family Wall" of photos celebrating the history and diversity of the LGBTQ community, you'll find a bookshelf overflowing with titles like Gender Trouble by Judith Butler and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. This collection serves as a miniature resource library for anyone curious about gender and sexuality - and it's perfect for perusing a few pages while you polish off a pastry.

According to the shop's website, they have around 40 books in the library that explore LGBTQ topics. The shop also has a Little Free Library.

Of course, Queer Chocolatier offers more than just food and reading material. They host open mic nights, book readings, chocolate tastings, "Gayyyme Nights," and more. If you're looking for a community hub that prides itself on being a safe, sober space for folks of all sorts - or if you're just looking to satisfy your sweet tooth - Queer Chocolatier is the place to be.


2. Mark III Taproom

Muncie's oldest and only LGBTQ nightclub, established in 1968. Although Mark III Taproom is only open to those 21 and over, it offers a wide variety of energetic events and delightful drinks.

They host monthly drag shows, weekly karaoke nights, and daily all-around good times - not to mention their $2 tacos. Stop by on a Friday for free pool games, and check out the events calendar on the club's website to find out when the next trivia night or themed dance party is happening. Don't forget to try one of their signature Rainbow Long Islands.

Mark III Taproom also holds fundraisers, benefits, free HIV/AIDS testing, safe sex supplies and information, and other events that focus on the health of the LGBTQ community. Stroll down to South Walnut Street to check them out, right across from Made in Muncie Pottery.


3. Muncie OUTreach

For the younger members of the LGBTQ community, Muncie OUTreach provides a space to connect, learn, and have fun. This program provides support groups for parents of LGBTQ kids, youth groups for ages 12-20, weekly art and robotics clubs, and much more.

One of their biggest current projects is organizing Muncie's first-ever Pride this coming September (find more information on that at munciepride.org). According to their website, before Muncie OUTreach was established, founder Laura Janney realized there were very few resources available for LGBTQ kids in the area - now, they only have to look as far as the YWCA downtown.

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<![CDATA[5 national stories of the week]]> Editor's Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from across the United States. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

The reopening of the New York Stock Exchange, disregard for social distancing rules during the Memorial Day weekend, White House failing to meet its testing goals in nursing homes, the death of black man in Minneapolis and SpaceX's first-ever launch of NASA astronauts make up this week's five national stories.


NY Stock Exchange reopens as US closes in on 100,000 dead

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange reopened Tuesday in a largely symbolic step toward economic recovery, and stocks surged at the opening bell, even as the official U.S. death toll from the coronavirus closed in on 100,000, a mark President Donald Trump once predicted the country would never see. NYSE's trading floor opened for the first time in two months with plexiglass barriers, masks and a reduced number of traders to adhere to social-distancing rules.

Read More: Business


Memorial Day weekend draws crowds and triggers warnings

The Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. meant big crowds at beaches and warnings from authorities Sunday about people disregarding the coronavirus social-distancing rules and risking a resurgence of the scourge that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans. Sheriff's deputies and beach patrols tried to make sure people kept their distance from others as they soaked up the rays on the sand, at parks and other recreation sites.

Read More: Memorial Day


White House goal on testing nursing homes unmet

Nearly two weeks ago the White House urged governors to ensure that every nursing home resident and staff member be tested for the coronavirus within 14 days. A review by The Associated Press found that at least half of the states are not going to meet White House's deadline and some aren't even bothering to try. Only a handful of states, including West Virginia and Rhode Island, have said they've already tested every nursing home resident.

Read more: Nursing homes


Video shows officer kneeling on neck of black man who died

A black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis was seen on a bystander's video pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer knelt on his neck during the arrest and kept his knee there for several minutes after the man stopped moving. The death Monday night after a struggle with officers was under investigation by the FBI and state law enforcement authorities. It drew comparisons to the 2014 case which led to the death of Eric Garner.

Read more: Minneapolis


Weather better for historic SpaceX launch of NASA astronauts

With the weather looking up, SpaceX and NASA officials vowed Tuesday to keep crew safety the top priority for the nation's first astronaut launch to orbit in nearly a decade. Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were set to make history Wednesday afternoon, riding SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on a test flight. SpaceX was on the cusp of becoming the first private company to put astronauts in orbit.

Read More: SpaceX

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A man wearing a protective face mask passes the New York Stock Exchange, May 26, 2020, as employees arrive for the partial reopening of the trading floor. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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<![CDATA[5 international stories of the week]]> Editor's Note: This listicle is part of a weekly series by The Ball State Daily News summarizing five stories from around the world. All summaries are based on stories published by The Associated Press.

Eid al-Fitr celebrations, the new travel restrictions on Brazil, protests in Hong Kong, the Israeli prime minister's corruption trial and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on work to keep alive a nearly extinct subspecies of rhino make up this week's five international stories.


Muslims celebrate major holiday amid curfews, virus fears

Muslims around the world on Sunday began celebrating Eid al-Fitr, a normally festive holiday marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, with millions under strict stay-at-home orders and many fearing renewed coronavirus outbreaks. The three-day holiday is a time of travel, family get-togethers and lavish daytime feasts after weeks of dawn-to-dusk fasting. But this year many of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims will have to pray at home and make do with video calls.

Read more: Religion


White House imposes coronavirus travel ban on Brazil

President Donald Trump on Sunday further limited travel from the world's coronavirus hotspots by denying entry to foreigners coming from Brazil, which is second to the U.S. in the number of confirmed cases. Trump had already banned certain travelers from China, Europe, U.K. and Ireland and, to a lesser extent, Iran. He has not moved to ban travel from Russia, which has the world's third-highest caseload. Last week, he said he was considering limiting travel from Brazil.

Read more: Italy


Hong Kong police fire tear gas, water cannon at protesters

Hong Kong police fired tear gas and a water cannon at protesters in a popular shopping district Sunday, as thousands took to the streets to march against China's move to impose national security legislation on the city. Pro-democracy supporters have sharply criticized a proposal, set to be approved by China's rubber-stamp parliament this week, that would ban secessionist and subversive activity, as well as foreign interference, in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Read more: Hong Kong


Israel's Netanyahu attacks justice system as trial begins

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strode into a Jerusalem courtroom Sunday to face corruption charges in a long-awaited trial that has overshadowed three inconclusive elections and deeply divided the country. Israel's first sitting prime minister to go on trial launched into a lengthy tirade against the nation's justice system in which he accused police, prosecutors, judges and the media of a conspiracy aimed to oust him against the will of the people.

Read more: Israel


Virus stalls work to keep alive a rare rhino subspecies

Groundbreaking work to keep alive the nearly extinct northern white rhino subspecies - population, two - by in-vitro fertilization has been stalled by travel restrictions. And time is running out. The two northern white rhinos are female. The goal is to create viable embryos in a lab by inseminating their eggs with frozen sperm from dead males, then transfer them into a surrogate mother, a more common southern white rhino.

Read more: Kenya

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Worshippers wearing protective face masks offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a mosque May 24, 2020, in Tehran, Iran. Muslims worldwide celebrate one of their biggest holidays under the long shadow of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

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<![CDATA[Community donations keep Muncie business open]]> After closing dine-in services for more than a month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Queer Chocolatier co-owner Morgan Roddy shared concerns online May 4 about the business' financial situation. In response, community members raised more than $10,000 in donations for the store.

Daniel Todd, a regular customer, asked Roddy if he could create a GoFundMe page for Queer Chocolatier after reading Roddy's blog post.

Todd learned how much money was needed to keep the business afloat and initially set up the page with a goal of $6,000. Expecting a couple hundred, Todd said he could not believe it when they discovered they surpassed their goal in the first 18 hours of the fundraiser. The GoFundMe page displayed almost $10,800 in donations Saturday.

"I just couldn't stand to see the business have to close down without at least trying to do something about it," Todd said.

At first, Roddy said she was worried that asking for fundraising did not fit with Queer Chocolatier's image.

"It's one of those stories that you read about happening to other people in other places and you don't expect that to happen to you," Roddy said. "It meant a lot, and it was just really touching and uplifting to be held in good spirits with the community."

Small Indiana businesses such as Queer Chocolatier have been forced to make decisions because of the state-wide shutdown. Roddy decided to close her dine-in services more than a week before the state required because she felt she needed to protect her customers and employees.

Todd said he enjoys the atmosphere Queer Chocolatier provides.

"When you walk in the door, Morgan is always there and she greets everyone like family," Todd said. "Whether you go every week, every day, or it's your first time, you will always feel welcome."


Like many other customers, this business means a lot to Todd. Family and safety are just a couple ways he describes what Queer Chocolatier means to him.

"For LGBTQ+ people who are not 21 yet or choose to be sober, there are not a lot of places where they can feel safe," Todd said. "Whether it is because of their past, or directly related to their identity, they will turn to substance abuse at a disproportionate rate. Having sober spaces is very important. Queer Chocolatier is the only one of its kind in Muncie."

Roddy said her business in a much more comfortable financial circumstance now.

"We have raised enough through either the donations or product purchases to get us through September," Roddy said.

She will spend this summer creating a whole new line of products which include homemade chocolate from beans, as well as their own crafted chocolate bars. As for the future of Queer Chocolatier, that is still unknown. The lease ends March 2021, so business and revenue the next few months will weigh heavily on Queer Chocolatier's future.

For now, Roddy said she wants to continue to be someone who supports and provides safety to the queer and trans community. She said she wants to continue making chocolate and things with chocolate, and she looks forward to seeing how the brand will grow. Adapting to changes will be the new normal for now, but she said she is up for the challenge.

"When the community stepped forward to uplift me and carry me through this very difficult time, to the point of bringing me back from the brink of losing the business, that is a strong sign of solidarity," Roddy said.

After the GoFundMe page received attention, the business went from 10 orders a month to 200 orders in three days. While it is great that students and the Ball State and Muncie communities want to support locally owned businesses, Roddy said another way to extend that support is to give grace and patience to these hardworking businesses.

"Sometimes we are backlogged on supplies [or] learning about the procedures made by government entities," Roddy said. "It's new to all of us, so let's be gentle with one another as we continue to survive through this."

Heather Williams, president of the Riverside/Normal City Neighborhood Association, is a resident member of the Village Alliance. This group has been utilizing Facebook to promote Village businesses like Queer Chocolatier and share messages related to COVID-19 as they relate to the Village.

"It would be helpful for students to 'like' the Village Alliance page to keep up to date on when/how Village businesses are opening," Williams said.

Contact Taylor Marshall with comments at tmarshall3@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @tamarshall333.

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Queer Chocolatier co-owners Cheri Madewell and Morgan Roddy raised more than $10,000 for the business through a GoFundMe page after sharing their financial concerns online. The chocolate store closed its doors in March to dine-in customers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Morgan Roddy, Photo Courtesy

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<![CDATA[Artful Ruckus: Another story about addiction]]>

Kami Geron is a freshman mass communications and studio arts double major and writes "Artful Ruckus" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper.

Editor's Note: The following story features details of drug abuse and mental illness. If you or someone you know struggles with mental illness and/or drug abuse, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit samhsa.gov


I thought I could've saved him.

I thought, if only I had acted sooner, maybe he wouldn't have gotten addicted to drugs and alcohol.

I thought of so many different scenarios, but that's all they are: scenarios. This, however, isn't a movie, it's the reality of life. Life is full of snotty tears, long nights, built up emotions that burst out of you too late.

I have had to say goodbye to too many people in my life, but the worst ones are always the ones you had no control over.

Addiction is not an initial choice, the initial choice is to take a sip of alcohol or to smoke a joint. Addiction is a mental disorder with no cure, that affects more than just the person using. While I told myself my friend was "too smart" to get addicted - that he knew what he was getting himself into - he couldn't just stop. His brain couldn't think about how these vices affected him, it could only tell him how to stay on the high because the lows were becoming too low.

When you hear stories of addiction, you never think about it happening to someone you love. It's hard to grasp that one day you have a best friend, and the next they're a stranger. My story is a little more complicated, though; while I was able to see the warning signs, my boyfriend was too close to his friend to see the stranger he had become.

When I started dating my boyfriend four years ago, I didn't realize it meant dating his best friend too - and that wasn't a bad thing. He did everything with us and became a part of my family. By dating my boyfriend, I also gained what I thought would be a lifelong and trustworthy brother.

That's why it seemed perfect when the two of them were going to room together in college - I knew I could visit them and always feel welcome.

Some people say when you go to college, freedom can get to your head. I told myself our friend was just "experimenting" in the beginning. Every night he was out drinking or smoking weed. He was just testing this freedom out, I told myself, then he'd settle down and do his work.

But soon, it got much worse.

He would come stumbling in at three in the morning, leaving the front door unlocked, waking us all up and crashing into every piece of furniture before falling into bed. He would then wake up at 2 p.m. the next day and smoke in the room he shared with my boyfriend.

One night he came in high, and told me he needed help on a project due at 11:59 that night. I tried to help him, but the deadline passed, and instead of working to get as much credit as possible, he slammed his computer shut and went out to get drunk.

I was shocked. Our friend was one of the smartest people in our high school class, and he was excited to study a very specific and hard major.

If I didn't think something was wrong by now I would've been a fool; if using wasn't bad enough, he was mixing his prescribed high-dose depression medication with depressants - his highs became too high, making his lows too low.

Unfortunately, our friend didn't care about our opinion. It got to a point where I didn't even want to come and visit them because I didn't want my stuff to smell like weed, or to be woken up in the middle of the night. I didn't want to worry if someone would come rob or hurt us because he left the front door open, or if we'd get in trouble for him having drugs and alcohol on campus properties. And what if he hurt others by doing things like driving under the influence?

The battle of trying to change an addict, and convincing this friend of mine that he was one, was too much for me. I became very stressed and started to experience depression and anxiety along with many other mental health issues on top of my heavy school workload.

I tried talking to him about how I felt and he wouldn't take me seriously. He told me my feelings were invalid, that I couldn't be depressed and that the only solution was medication if I wanted to be "fixed."

One night last October was our breaking point. He came back in the early hours of that morning, left the front door unlocked and cracked open, stumbled up the stairs to our room and turned on all the lights. He stomped around for 10 minutes before crashing into his bed. When he saw us downstairs that next afternoon, he was hungover, so he eased it with more alcohol he had brought into the house.

We knew that we finally had to end the cycle. We called his mom.

He was out of the house the next day. He didn't say goodbye, and he never came back to campus.

The few times I saw him over winter break, he was still using. He came over to my boyfriend's house with bong water spilled all over him, which he masked with cologne. Another time we were sitting on the couch and heard the familiar sound of a glass bottle being open, and caught him drinking alcohol he had stolen from my boyfriend's parents' fridge.

He said he didn't even realize he'd grabbed it. It was so heartbreaking to see his face, to see how he couldn't trust his own body. But that was just there for a second, he instantly laughed it off like it was no big deal.

It was tough going back to school. My boyfriend was alone everyday; he no longer had the best friend who always was by his side. He would go to school, come back to the dorm, do homework, eat and sleep. It became a sad routine.

I felt just fine, I no longer had to worry about either of them being hurt. I selfishly had my boyfriend all to myself again, I didn't have to battle for his time because we no longer had to babysit our friend. I knew he felt awful for how everything happened, but we knew we did the right thing by having him go home.

But addiction isn't cured overnight, and it isn't fixed by forcing someone to get treatment. Our friend would disappear for hours without telling his mom, and she called us one night past midnight frightened. Our friend was unreachable, and it became more dangerous than ever. It's one thing for him to be gone getting high all day with a friend and his phone being dead, it's another when you know he was carrying a knife with him on campus because the lows were so low. Could this be the day the low hit rock bottom?

He never came back to college, and I've lost all contact with him. My boyfriend struggled with getting closure, but anytime he tried to reach out he never got an answer. However, when we all were sent home from college due to COVID-19, magically he reached back out to my boyfriend.

He asked about me, which made me tear up. I missed him, how could I not? We had lost a piece of both of us, and it was so hard to think we failed him. But I soon started reliving everything that had happened, and there was no way he could've possibly changed after being home three months; we knew he wasn't going to his therapy anymore because he didn't believe in it.

After that one day, we went back to silence between us. He hasn't reached out again, not to my boyfriend. He never really reached out to me, but then again I wouldn't know. I wanted to remove him from my life, he had hurt the person I loved and hurt me, and hurt himself. I wanted to forget, so I did what we all do in this age: I blocked him on every social media platform, but I do still check his accounts and his mom's Facebook, because the hard truth is I will always care for him.

This experience was one that I never thought life would throw at me. While addiction is common, I never thought I'd be affected by it. I feel like a part of my identity was lost when I lost my best friend.

I was, and still am, very angry with our friend. I let him into my life, and it felt like he threw me and my boyfriend away.

Not many people admit that they're upset with their addict friends. They're not who they used to be, they're sick. How can you not feel like a terrible person for being mad?

But the sad truth is he couldn't stop - he had gotten addicted.

I wasn't mad at him for this, I was mad at him for inadvertently ruining our friendship and for ruining his relationship with his best friend of 10 years. I like to believe that he knew what he was doing, just not who he was doing it to.

But addiction is heartbreakingly unfair.

My boyfriend and I were left with pieces of a relationship we both had, and we still haven't found them all. That ignorance of our friendship was just as hurtful as seeing him suffer. It was unfair to me to see a best friend be blindsided by the pain he caused, not being able to see how he was hurting himself and us.

From all of this, I learned that numb is a scary feeling. It's impossible to know what to feel or how to respond to every scenario. Not everything just affects one person. While our friend only thought he was affecting himself, he was hurting both me and my boyfriend, which in turn hurt many others around us because our mental health started to plummet.

Mental health is a serious battle in our society today. If you know someone who is suffering from depression, anxiety, stress or anything else, help them. My boyfriend and I were gullible and let things go too far, and we lost a dear friend to drug and alcohol abuse because of it.

Contact Kami Geron with comments at kkgeron@bsu.edu and @GeronKami on Twitter.

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Kami Geron, DN

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<![CDATA[Ball State announces new Foundation president]]> In a campus- wide email Friday, Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns appointed Jean Crosby as the new president of the Ball State University Foundation and vice president of university advancement.

"After careful consideration, I decided that we didn't need to conduct an extensive search to fill this important position, because the best candidate was already on our team," Mearns said in the email.

Mearns said he made the decision after consulting with the Foundation Board executive committee and Kelli Lawrence, president of the Alumni Council.

The position was previously occupied by Jake Logan who served in the role for less than a year. Prior to that the position was occupied by Cherí O'Neill. Crosby served in the role in an interim capacity following both departures.

According to its website, the Ball State University Foundation works to gather funding from alumni and other fundraising projects for the university.

Mearns said Crosby demonstrates the traits necessary in order to lead the foundation.

"I value Jean's leadership during a moment in our University's history when stability and continuity is more important than ever," he said.

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Jean Crosby will serve as the next president of the Ball State University Foundation and the vice president of university advancement. Crosby previously served the role twice in an interim capacity. Ball State University, Photo Courtesy

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<![CDATA[Boy Scouts plant flags for veterans to celebrate Memorial Day]]> The Boy Scouts of America Troop 22 in Muncie walked the grounds of the Beech Grove Cemetery Thursday to plant flags in honor of fallen veterans - a tradition started about six years ago to celebrate Memorial Day.

Scoutmaster Josh Sprague said the cemetery staff reached out to a few troops in the area for help with placing flags near the fallen veterans' headstones.

The Scouts gathered flags and dispersed to place the flags on the right side of the headstones. They had family and friends with them who also participated in placing flags.

"There is a lot of correlation between a Boy Scout troop and a military organization," Sprague said. "We are really service oriented, so we try to give back to our community. Service helps these boys build their confidence and still be involved in their community."



The Boy Scouts want to show their respect to the families and relatives who have lost a loved one while serving our country.

"Every once and awhile when we are putting the flags out someone will stop and show their appreciation for remembering and honoring their family member," Sprague said. "It really gives us a good feeling to know that it is appreciated."

The Scouts practiced social distancing and wore face masks to follow the rules in place of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's no different than last year," said Brenden Jones, one of the participating Boy Scouts.

Jones has been a Scout for four years, and this is his second year planting the flags.

Brenden said even though it may seem different with the social distancing guidelines, the meaning behind why the troop was there was still the same - to honor fallen veterans. Another scout, Braxton Stein, said his great grandfather was a veteran.



"It really makes a lasting impact on the boys," Sprague said. "They can really see that these men and women died protecting our freedom."

As they planted the last few flags, Sprague and the Boy Scouts gathered for a group photo near an old war cannon.

"Boy Scouts are still a valuable part of our community - they still exist," Sprague said. "We try to do good character building for the boys and girls. Giving back to our community like we do here at the cemetery is really good for them."

Contact Jenna Gorsage with comments at jmgorsage@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @jmgorsage.

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Boy Scouts and their families plant flags beside each headstone May 21, 2020, at Beech Grove Cemetery. Scouts in Muncie leave flags before Memorial Day in remembrance of fallen veterans. Jenna Gorsage, DN

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<![CDATA[Burris teacher shares her approach to 21st century elementary education]]> This April, much like she had done in the past 10 years, Stephanie Onieal held a poetry activity for her second-grade students over the Zoom video conference platform.

The Burris Laboratory Schools teacher's students presented poetry they had written or liked, dressed up as poets and snapped their fingers for each other during the presentation while she used a tupperware container as a bongo - all done to bring some of what might have happened in the classroom to her students virtually.

"I felt that what my students were needing from me was community and engagement with each other in any way that I could," Onieal said.

Activities like these are what she said helps build a sense of community in her classroom as her students learn social and emotional skills, problem solving, collaboration and communication while also learning how to work, disagree and debate with each other with civility.

When it comes to 21st century skills, Onieal said a lot of people think about technology, but the aforementioned skills are just as important.

This approach to teaching is what earned her the Ball Brothers Foundation's Excellence in Teaching Award. According to a press release from the foundation, the award comes with a $17,500 grant which provides $5,000 each to the district, school and classroom of the winning teacher and $2,500 to be used by the teacher for professional development opportunities.

Onieal said communication and problem solving are fundamental skills that need to be actively taught and practiced from a young age.

"Academics, of course, is very important, but this other piece is just as important in my opinion," she said. "So many future professions rely on having good communication skills and good collaboration skills."

When the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of schools all across the state, it tested Onieal and her students' skills when it came to maintaining the same level of engagement of communication virtually.

Along with the other second-grade teacher, Michelle Harris, they immediately found themselves trying to figure out how to continue delivering good instruction to their students in a way they could work independently so as to be thoughtful of parents who might be busy working from home.

Instead of running her virtual class with all 22 students at the same time, Onieal divided the class into groups of seven or eight. While she has expanded it to include 11 or 12 students, she said she believes teaching all of them at the same time might have been overwhelming.

Sometimes her Zoom meetings involved sharing and playing a game because students also needed an activity to relieve their stress. Unlike college students, who sometimes turn off their video or mute their mics during conference calls, she said her students were excited and eager to share things with her and their peers - sometimes showing off their Pokemon cards during the conference calls.

Her students could also reach out to her via online educational platforms like Canvas or Seesaw in order to keep communication with her students as vibrant and alive as possible.

"We learned so much on the fly and really worked together helping each other kind of try and problem solve and figure it out," she said. "Even though it was scary and very stressful, it was exciting to be learning something new so quickly and trying to create something that was meaningful."

For Onieal, who has been teaching for more than 25 years and earned her online master's degree from Ball State at age 53, the biggest change she has seen with elementary school students is how much they know about the world around them.

"When I started, kids didn't have as much knowledge about the world as they do now," she said. "They come to us with a wealth of information."

At the beginning of her career, Onieal said she was more of a "deliverer of content." Today, she finds herself researching her students and being a coach to them instead of just being a teacher.

This can be seen in the way she teaches her students about the importance of community through her Muncie Landmarks project.

When Onieal first heard about the annual Muncie Bridge Dinner, she and her students learned about the city's historic landmarks and created decorations for the event that would help teach others about Muncie's landmarks.

She called in Chris Flook, director of the Delaware County Historical Society and telecommunications lecturer at Ball State, to teach her students about these landmarks. They discussed important questions like why there were many Native Americans depicted on statues in Muncie. When students questioned why there weren't any women on these landmarks, she shared information she learned about the wives of the Ball Brothers and their contributions in Muncie.

She described her process of inviting guest speakers to her classroom on a variety of subjects as "taking cues from my students and finding connections in the community that can come in and speak to that."

One interesting thing her students learned about was the civil rights history of the United States.

"I will say, it's one of the hardest things as a teacher, especially as a white teacher, to talk about it," Onieal said. "It's so important to talk about it."

Discussing difficult subjects like civil rights, she said, starts with building trust with her students. She also has read aloud sessions with her students where she reads them books that involve injustice and they have conversations about them.

She said she's surprised by how her second grade students would later make connections to the stories they hear in class and how these stories stay with them.

In a press release from the Ball Brothers Foundation, Onieal said she plans to use a portion of the grant to purchase more books for her classroom, particularly more inclusive ones so her students can see themselves represented in the books they read. She'd also like to spend her professional development funds for her workshop-modeled reading and writing lessons and for training about teaching tolerance and using responsive techniques in the classroom.

One of her second-grade students, Eddie Comber, said he loves being in Onieal's class because she makes the classroom fun and engages with the students' interests - particularly through her book clubs. He said students have a lot of choice when it comes to what they read or write about. One of his favorite parts of Onieal's class is learning about local landmarks in the Muncie community.

Dawn Miller, principal and chair at Burris who nominated Onieal, said she is "an excellent classroom teacher, but she is so much more."

"She makes meaningful, deep connections with her students," Miller said. "In addition to that, she's a researcher and a scholar. She's willing to branch out and learn about things that interest her and push her in the profession to learn and do more."

She said Onieal is an early literacy specialist who has a deep knowledge on how to teach children to read.

"That's so important, initially, because she has these great relationships with children. She gets to know them, gets to know their interests and their passions. She's able to interweave all of that into finding books that really excites students," Miller said.

This has led students like Comber to advance from being emerging readers in first grade to reading bigger chapter books in second grade, she said.

"I think that makes a huge difference as you move on through school - not just that you learn to read, but you learn to love to read," Miller said. "We are so pleased that she is a part of our Burris family … she is a great asset to our school."

Contact Kylah Humphress with comments at kshumphress@bsu.edu or on Twitter @KylahHumphress. Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

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Stephanie Onieal, second-grade teacher at Burris Laboratory School, was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Ball Brothers Foundation. The award is given to a Delaware County teacher who incorporates 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. Stephanie Onieal, Photo Provided

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<![CDATA[34th annual 'A Taste of Muncie' canceled]]> In a press release Thursday, Cornerstone Center for the Arts announced the 34th annual "A Taste of Muncie" event has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was initially scheduled for June 7. The press release states this is the first time in 34 years that the event will not be taking place.

"Cornerstone is using this time to prepare for our other upcoming events and commit to do our part to help protect our staff, attendees, and neighbors," it states.

Full refunds for all ticket holders will be automatically processed, it states.


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Ivy Tech student Alisha Mosier serves a dish made by students during the annual Taste of Muncie on April 21, 2013. Twenty-two organizations had booths with food for tasting at the Cornerstone Center of the Arts building downtown. Jordan Huffer, DN File

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<![CDATA[Sincerely, Liz: Adiós España]]>

Liz Rieth is a junior journalism and Spanish major and writes "Sincerely, Liz" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.

I wasn't ready to go.

I stood looking at a fiery sunset as it descended behind the Spanish Sierra Nevada mountains. In front of the mountains, hundreds of colorful panderías, apartments and plazas dotted Granada. My heart felt heavy as I took in the view. That night, I said my final goodbye to this Spanish scene.

I left the next morning to travel 4,000 miles back to Indiana. My final Andalusian sunset should have been months from now.

Two-and-a-half months ago, I packed my bags and left all I knew in America for the chance to study abroad in Granada.

When I arrived, I discovered my new home was better than anything I had dreamed.

Granada, Spain sat rooted in ancient Islamic culture and medieval Spanish Catholicism. Decorated in cathedrals and Moorish castles, it felt like a fairy tale had come to life in southern Spain. On top of all that, I lived with a Spanish abuela who spoiled me as if I were her own granddaughter.

In the midst of this dream, a pandemic woke me up.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent me home and turned my world upside down. Grief of the experiences that could have been filled my heart. The virus shook my faith, making me cry out to God in ways I never had before.

Even before I knew I would leave Spain, fear of the coronavirus impacted me. Just a short plane ride from Rome, Spain could feel the panic across the sea when the outbreak reached northern Italy.

Then, the virus spread like wildfire. Within weeks, all my travel plans were thrown into disarray. I was lucky to travel to Paris.

A week later, President Donald Trump held a press conference regarding the virus in the middle of the night in Spain. I went to bed with my nerves on edge - I had no idea what the next morning would hold. I woke up at 4 a.m. after hours of tossing and turning.

Trump announced the suspension of travel from Europe to the United States.

Friends and family asked what would happen to me, but I didn't know. A million questions and fears raced through my mind.

I managed to get to sleep an hour later and eventually get up for classes. Then I received an email from my study abroad program informing me I had to return home. My world stopped.

Nearly every American student received a similar email. Suddenly, classes seemed irrelevant, life itself seemed irrelevant. The air was filled with silence as the reality of our situation slowly set in.

The clock ticked away our last hours in Spain.

The European Travel Ban sent thousands of American students home forcing them to leave in the middle of their studies.

I couldn't believe it - at the start of March, Spain had only several hundred positive cases, now, the number had risen above 4,000 (the country currently has more than 270,000 cases).

As students across Europe learned of their new reality, many searched for methods to cope. I saw students try alcohol, crying or shopping to ease the pain.

For me, I tried to run away from my emotions in isolation. I hid in my room, trying to hide away from reality. However, God provided a way to find peace the same day my heart was broken.



My Bible study in Granada planned a time of worship that week. Coincidentally, the time happened to be on the same day I learned I was going home. While I was initially tempted to stay home, something in me urged me to go to the worship anyway. So, I went.

Held in a park, a few friends and I sat in the grass and dirt. My friend picked up her Bible and began to read, I don't remember what, but I remember the feeling of peace I felt. Then, another person picked up a guitar and we raised our voices in praise.

It felt strange praising God as the world fell apart, but it felt good. The Spaniards around us were likely to not understand our English songs, but I felt emboldened singing publicly. Guitar chords mingled with vocals filling our corner of the park.

At the end of worship, tears were on my face. Not tears of grief, but tears of peace.

The next few days I watched as the country I had come to love shut down when on March 13 Spain declared a state of emergency.

Tourist locations that were once brimming with people emptied. The city looked like a ghost town.

A brief moment of noise came the next evening. A message was sent around Spain urging every citizen to applaud those fighting COVID-19 at 10 p.m.

In my apartment, I saw and heard a chorus applause come from every corner of Granada when the hour struck. Each citizen stood in their window cheering. Some even played the national anthem while others yelled "¡Vive España!"

The next day, my Spanish abuela helped me pack my bags. Helpful as always, she put on a smile despite knowing it was my last night with her.

The excitement of the journey I had two-and-a-half months earlier was gone. My prayers teemed with questions about my safety, the travel ban and God's will.

All I knew to do was to keep praying.

I started my 48-hour journey home merely four days after receiving the email. It took two flight cancellations, one flight delay and one missed flight to get home.

After flying from Granada to Madrid, a flight delay caused me to miss my next flight. Due to the ban, the next available flight to the U.S. was 24 hours later. Madrid was the center of the outbreak in Spain - nearly everything had shut down there. Only one food vendor remained open in the airport.

Unsure how I would endure the next day, my new flight ticket happened to be first-class. That ticket provided me with access to the first-class lounge where there was free food, a bed and a shower. The shower felt like luxury in the shutting down airport. God provided for me even amid utter chaos.

But, coming home brought a barrage of emotional highs and lows. Some days I felt normal, others a mess.

I shifted between sadness to anger at home. Online classes and quarantine began, cutting me off from the world and tying me to my laptop. The friends and experiences I left in Spain haunted my moments. An introvert, I tried to shove away my emotions and hide them from those around me.

I couldn't hide them. Instead, they spilled out in mood swings and harsh words. I didn't feel like myself.

Unsure how to heal and process my grief, I called friends asking for counsel. One friend had returned from Asia, struggling with many similar emotions. As we compared stories, she shared that even in the midst of this, she felt secure with God beside her.

Her certainty pierced through my grief carrying hope.

Dutch watchmaker and Christian Corrie ten Boom wrote about her security in God during World War II.

Corrie and her family hid Jews in her home until they were caught and sent to a concentration camp. Faced with unimaginable horrors, Corrie and her family prayed constantly. Corrie later wrote in her book the "Hiding Place" the hope she held in those situations.

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer," she wrote.

While I'm unsure of what lies ahead, her words encourage me to trust the conductor. Even as I still face an unpredictable future, I cling to the conductor, not to all that's been left behind.

Contact Liz Rieth with comments at ejrieth@bsu.edu or on Twitter @liz_rieth.

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In this March 2020 photo, Liz Rieth, junior journalism and Spanish major, looks out at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Rieth returned home to Indiana from her study abroad program in Granada in early March. Liz Rieth, Photo Provided

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<![CDATA[Remembering the Ball family's 101-year-old family member]]> Lucina Ball Moxley, granddaughter of one of the five Ball Brothers, died March 25. At age 101, Moxley was the oldest living member of the Ball Family at the time.

According to a previous Daily News article, Moxley was born the same year the Administrative Building was donated to later establish Ball State in 1918. She grew up in Muncie attending the Burris Laboratory School as a child. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York in 1939.

She continued her education at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Moxley was known for her passion for music, working with composers in her younger years and actively supporting musical arts in Indianapolis. Last year she was presented with an honorary Ball State degree in arts.

RELATED: 100-year-old Ball family member to receive honorary degree at 2019 commencement

She was also an author of several books including three children's books - "Dandy Dollhouse," a book about her travels and another about her second husband.

Her obituary on Flanner Buchanan Cremation and Burial's website Moxley's first husband, Edwin B Eckerson, died five short years after their marriage during World War II when his ship "The Comfort," was hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane. He was a surgeon and they married in 1940. In 1948, Moxley married her second husband, Sampson "Sam" Moxley. He later became an owner of an Indiana pharmacy chain named Haag Drug Store.

The obituary states Moxley is survived by daughter, Judith Eckerson, grandchildren - Breck Mickelson, Tracey Phillips, Scott Cummings and Bryan Strohm - and great grandchildren - Erika Phillips, Dylan Phillips, Owen Mickelson, Adam Mickelson and Athena Strohm.

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Lucina Ball Moxley receives an honorary Doctor of Arts degree during the spring 2019 commencement May 4, 2019, in John E. Worthen Arena. Moxley, 100, is the granddaughter of William C. Ball, one of the five Ball Brothers who established Ball State. Scott Fleener, DN

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