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Day: January 13, 2010

Sestak Calls Out Specter

Rep. Joe Sestak Tuesday called for six debates between him and his democratic incumbent rival, Sen. Arlen Specter, preceding the upcoming democratic primaries. Sestak is scheduled to visit Penn State tomorrow and meet with the College Democrats and even hopes for PSU to host one of the proposed debates.

You may remember Specter as the Republican who turned Democrat last year after nearly four decades of GOP support. You may not remember Sestak. That's probably why he has proposed for a debate in each of Pennsylvania's six media markets. So far, Specter's people are suggesting that Specter will stick to one debate as he has done in the past primary elections.

Sestak has been on the attack against Specter over his voting record while he was a senator playing for the Republican side, especially the more controversial votes during the Bush Administration years.

In addition to his meeting with the College Democrats, Sestak will be speaking at the HUB at 7 PM tomorrow. Go check it out to see what's up!


As Sports Editor for Onward State, it's not often that I get to sink my teeth into a story on crime. However, athletes are people too, and they sometimes find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Track and Field recruit and Penn State freshman Evonne Britton qualifies as one of those cases.

Britton was arrested after she attempted to shoplift a bottle of vitamins from McLanahan's downtown store on College Ave. But the criminal activity didn't stop there:

Officers tried to escort Britton out of the store to a police car, but as they were walking through the store, Britton let her body go limp and fell to the ground, police said.

Britton was lifted back up and taken outside, but refused to get into the back seat of the vehicle and tried to pull away, police said.

It was then Britton "donkey-kicked" Officer E.J. Kessinger, who sustained minor injuries to the lower left leg and left wrist, police said.

Should We Have Off for MLK Day?

Though it's everyone's favorite January long weekend, I can't help but wonder why classes are canceled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The national holiday celebrating King's birthday is a relatively new holiday, having been signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and indeed it has not been universally appreciated since its passage. In fact, it wasn't until 2000 that all 50 states recognized it as a holiday. Arizona in particular, led by John McCain, was against the holiday and withheld its support for years.

While in retrospect MLK is seen as a symbol of justice and purity, his actual life story was not nearly that simple. King was investigated by the FBI on suspicions of being a communist spy, and he is thought to have been both a frequent adulterer (one biographer called it "compulsive sexual athleticism") and a plagiarist.

So maybe the good Reverend wasn't the BEST role model, but I can look past that. Let's assume that he is worthy of a national holiday. The question remains: why does MLK Day receive preference over other national holidays that commemorate individuals, like Columbus Day and President's Day (Washington's Birthday)?

“Tuition on the Rocks” Event Held at Zola

Last night at Zola New World Bistro a few dozen students enjoyed free food (and, for those over 21, free booze) while staffers from the Center for American Progress (home to Campus Progress) distributed literature about the need for more affordable college tuition.

UPUA Governmental Chairwoman Colleen Smith, UPUA President Gavin Keirans, and Director of University Services Chris Smith also spoke to the need for more affordable Penn State tuition, stressing its origin as a land grant institution and what that means.

Penn State Protects “Climategate” Professor

Michael Mann, the Penn State professor at the center of the "Climategate" controversy, is set to be scrutinized by a small team of Penn State faculty. This committee has 120 days to delve into the details of the accusations that Mann falsified information and provided misleading evidence to support climate change.

The committee investigating this situation is made up of three people including Henry Foley (Vice President for Research), William Brune (Mann's boss in the Meteorology Department) and Candice Yekel (Director of the Office of Research Protections).

Student Killed in Car Accident

It's my sad duty to inform you of the death of a fellow Penn Stater.

Jaime Haney, 20, was killed on Monday afternoon while driving back from her Baltimore home to Penn State for the start of Spring Semester. The Bio-behavioral Health major wrote on her Facebook page that her lack of Monday classes was her reason for leaving for University Park on Monday instead of over the weekend. Facebook has subsequently pulled Miss Haney's profile page, as per their policy.

She was traveling on Route 322 East when her car left the road and collided with a tree in Howe Township. She was pronounced dead at the scene by responding authorities. It is currently unknown why her car left the road, but authorities did say that she was wearing her seat belt. It is never enjoyable to write about the death of anyone, let alone someone so young in their life. The hearts of everyone here at Onward State go out to the friends and family of Miss Haney.

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